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Theological | 2 Minutes

“Take the Next Step” or “Get it Right…Now”?

Marlin Detweiler Written by Marlin Detweiler
“Take the Next Step” or “Get it Right…Now”?

At your invitation, a high school friend comes to visit your church. It’s Mother’s Day and the pastor preaches on marriage—biblical marriage. With Genesis 2:24 as the text, he expounds on godly and healthy marriage. This includes exclusivity—one man to one woman, not polygamy—and not same sex.

Your friend is offended. Unbeknownst to you, he (or she) practices a homosexual lifestyle. You believe that homosexuality is wrong. How do you handle his offense?

There really are two distinct approaches taken by Christians. If you’re like me you’ll likely be tempted to buy in to one and demonize the other.

One is the approach to get it right, right now. We believe God teaches that deviations from heterosexual romantic relationships are sin. Sin cannot be tolerated. After all, repentance comes before being justified by God. We can’t wait to address obstacles to fellowship with God.

Another approach is to encourage our friend to take the next step. In the example above, it might be to encourage him to come back and hear another sermon. Or, we might encourage him to write down his thoughts, maybe even write the pastor. After all, change is a process and we should let it play out. 

Like me, you have probably seen great success stories with both approaches. And, if you’re honest, you’ve probably seen great failures with both approaches. We wish life were simple. There should be a clear sense of what’s right for every instance.

The fact is, it’s not that easy. There is no way to get around the need to apply wisdom in each and every situation. WISDOM is key.

How to learn wisdom may seem elusive. Teaching our children to be wise even more so. But isn’t that one of the most significant attractions for us to classical education from a Christian worldview? Having grasped the facts during the grammar stage, learned to think clearly in the dialectic and then to be winsome with our rhetoric, our children are being equipped to apply wisdom effectively. 

Wisdom is key. Instill it in your children every day.