Pokemon Go and Evangelism

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Have you noticed people wandering around town, heads down and cell phones out? You may think this is nothing new. People have been distracted by their cell phones for years! Perhaps you have never heard of the new mobile game Pokemon Go.

In short, this is a cell phone game where players wander around the real world looking for digital monsters. It is sort of like geocaching but through your mobile device. You may be wondering why I bring this up.

This game is all the rage. Millions of people worldwide are playing, and hundreds of people here in 100 Mile House are involved. Young and old alike. As a church we often sit and ponder about our culture. How can we reach out to them? How can we reach them at their level?

In my experience Pokemon Go is a great platform for evangelism. People congregate together to play it, people from all walks of life. Conversations are started and friends are made. This is an opportunity! Let us use this massive cultural phenomenon as a staging point for the Gospel. When we ask the question, what are the people of our town doing and where are they doing it, this game is the answer.

The apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 9:22b “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Paul was willing to go out to his community to reach them for Christ. How far are we willing to go? Are we willing to embrace opportunities for outreach? Even in something as silly as a mobile game, are we willing to step out of our comfort zone and reach a dying world?

Reach out today.

Legacy

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If your church disappeared tomorrow, would anyone notice?

These words are haunting. The idea that the church would go out not with a bang but a whimper should terrify us.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to leave standing stones, visible reminders of God’s grace to them (Josh. 4:1-8). The church is a modern standing stone, a glorious light in a dark world. Our church needs to be a living legacy; a testament to the grace of Christ.

Like stoic stone we stand in the face of the devil’s schemes.

Stand firm.

Is Gay Okay?

Pride_flagMonday July 25 was the official kick-off day of Pride Week in Vancouver. This massive event will run all week, starring live music, parades, activities, and more. Sexual identity is openly celebrated and praised. What was once considered shameful and hidden is now openly enjoyed in the light. Make no mistake, the LGBT movement has taken Canada and the entire Western world by storm.

Ness Lake Bible Camp, located close to Prince George, has recently got into hot water for refusing to hire a staff member who supported homosexual relations. These two events reveal several truths about our world. First, the LGBT movement has gained cultural relevance. Second, the church will be brushing up against questions of homosexuality, sexual identity, and inclusivity.

The church needs a clear sexual ethic. The church needs a concise theology of identity. This is a polarizing issue, meaning that there is no more room for fence-sitting.

It is the traditional view of the church that homosexual behavior in any context is sinful (see Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The first human relationship in the Bible is monogamous and heterosexual (Genesis 2:21-25). Here are some conclusions we draw from these passages.

  1. Man and woman were created unique and uniquely compatible.
  2. Gender-identity is God-given.
  3. Each gender has unique roles and obligations.
  4. Proper sexual ethics reflect the nature of God.
  5. Therefore violating this ethic violates the nature of God and His image.
  6. Violating the nature of God is sin, therefore improper relations are sin.
  7. True identity is found in God.

Homosexuality is sin. However, there are many other actions and behaviors that violate our God-given sexual ethic (adultery, premarital relations, bestiality, incest, lust). This means that people who struggle with homosexuality are no different than those who struggle with other sexual sins. Rather than anger and hatred, we should respond to this movement in the same way that we respond to others fallen to sexual sins: by offering the Grace of Christ.

True love is not sexual freedom. True love is selfless giving and care. True love is exemplified in the works of God (1 John 4:7-16). True love transcends lust or sexual desire.

The Christian response to the LGBT movement can only be Christ.