Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 11, 2008

…on gay marriage

I got an e-mail this afternoon from someone asking about my thoughts on gay marriage.  My response is below.  I’m not sure that I followed the evangelical company line.  So what do you think?  Am I a heretic?

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*****,
Thanks for contacting me.  I’d be happy to share some of my thoughts, but I’ll first give the disclaimer that I often struggle with political apathy, and as a result my thoughts are often rough and undeveloped.  That being said, I’m not sure that my thoughts should carry much weight.  That’s not false-humility, I assure you.

The source of my political apathy, is that while i honor our governing authorities, I believe we must all submit to the highest authority, which of course is our God.  That vantage point colors my perspective on gay marriage.  I believe that marriage is a holy and spiritual union.  In God’s wisdom he established marriage and the home as the first institution.  Not the state, not even the church…it was marriage and the home.  In the Garden of Eden God gave away the first bride and performed the first marriage ceremony.  I don’t see marriage as a legal institution.  It’s a spiritual institution which happens to have legal ramifications.   The definition of marriage, therefore, is tied to God’s perspective, not the law’s.

The Bible is perfectly clear and unflinching about homosexuality.  It’s a sin.  So does God honor gay marriage?  No.  Is gay marriage a holy institution? No.  Marriage was God’s idea, so he defines it, not us.  What that really means is there is no such thing as gay marriage.  Not in God’s eyes.  The only eyes that really matter.

I don’t mean to sound harsh…but I don’t much care what the government calls it.  The gov’t issues contracts, God issues covenants.  No matter what the gov’t calls their contracts, they can’t institute the holy covenant of marriage.  that’s God’s job.  God doesn’t institute gay marriage.  The gov’t could declare my marriage to be null and void, and tear up our legal contract…but Sharon would still be my wife.  She wouldn’t be any less my wife than she is now, because God says we’re married. That’s final.

I don’t think that anyone should be discriminated against.  If we took rights from all the people who had sins in their lives, we’d all be out of luck.  So, once again, here comes my political apathy: give them all of their rights, and let them call it what they want–because ultimately God sanctions marriage, and he says no.  We can’t change that, so it doesn’t much matter what we call it.

What I wish is that the sin of homosexuality wasn’t so rampant so as to make this such an issue.  What I really wish is that the church would stop barking and fussing about what the gov’t calls its contracts, and put all of that energy and money into loving people with our whole hearts, and teaching them about Jesus.  Jesus: the one who sets us free from our sin, and saves our souls!

Does that make sense?  I promise I’m not trying to dodge the question…I just have a little different perspective on it.

…if you have any follow-up questions or thoughts, pass ’em on!

Running the Race,
Aaron

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Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 10, 2008

The long-winded preacher.

I love Sundays.  This past one was particularly good.  Both of the morning services went well.  I laid out of afternoon volleyball because I was on baby-duty…but the truth is, I needed the rest.  The evening service went well, too.

All three sermons were more than an hour long.  I’m generally pretty long-winded, but this week I rattled on and on!  But I had to.  Seriously, I did.

My subject was alcohol.  It’s a complicated topic, and it’s a serious danger to cover it partially.  So I didn’t.  And I averaged about an hour and five to get it out.  It was fun, though!

In a couple of days it’ll be on our website and podcast…www.maryvillevineyard.com.

I’m particularly indebted to Kris McDaniel of the Trinity Vineyard, and to Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Seattle.  Both brilliant guys who’s take on this topic made this message pretty easy for me to prep!

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 8, 2008

Spook de’ Croup

If you’re looking for medical info about croup, look here.

Bryce has ‘the Croup.’  Doesn’t that sound ominous?  Can’t you hear the raspy voice of the excessively old woman with spindly fingers and oppressive evil eyes, “he’s got the Croup!”

The reality is, Croup is nothing more than baby-Larengitis.  The problem is, when we get the swelling that accompanies Larengitis we get a scratchy throat…but when a baby gets that swelling, their airway closes.

Last night at 3:37am Bryce woke up crying, coughing, and fighting for air.  Sharon was already suspicious that he might be ‘croupy’.  We took him outside on the porch to take in some cold air (apparently that can open things up a bit).  But to no avail.  Within a few minutes we (Sharon, really) knew we had to take him to Children’s.

We were only there a couple of hours.  After two breathing treatments and some cherry-flavored steroids we got to head home.

Bryce could have a cough for a couple more weeks, and the Doc (Dr. Francis Craig, actually–she was awesome!) said he’d be contagious for 3-4 days.  So I guess Bryce will be laying out of church!

He’s a little whiny, but he’s been a trooper!

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 7, 2008

Thoughts on Calvinism, Book Review: Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul

I just finished reading Chosen by God, by R.C. Sproul.  It’s a great book.  A seriously great book!  It wasn’t entirely what I expected, but it was nonetheless better than what I expected.

I have a million thoughts to share (some still unsorted), but I’ll simply share two of them:

  1. As I’ve said many times before, I almost always agree with the Calvinists.  It’s a beautiful and brilliant theological construct.
  2. Even after reading a brilliant presentation of it’s principles, I remain troubled that Calvinism embraces some mysteries and rejects others.  Granted, competing doctrines do the exact same thing (more so, actually)…but I’m not swearing allegiance to them either.

Forgive my lack of orthodoxy, but I suppose I’ll cling to my own tattered hybrid version that’s full of holes and shortcomings–because I refuse to plug those holes with answers I don’t yet have.

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 6, 2008

a poll question

I’m writing this week’s sermon today. The topic: “What about Alcohol?”  I’m curious where my tens of readers land on this one, so don’t be shy!

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 5, 2008

This week in SOAP

Psalm 111:2
Great are the works of the Lord,

studied by all who delight in them.


This week I was particularly challenged and intrigued by this verse.  Apparently one who delights in the Lord, is one who studies the history of His great works.  What a thought.  As people who delight in the Lord, we are to be historians.  Recalling, to the praise of His name, His great deeds and works.

The Bible talks a great deal about remembering forever the works of the Lord.  It’s a challenge to me.  It means that we first must learn them, and then recall them with praise.  Another potential application here relates to our own personal history.  There really is something to be said for writing down the miracles of God in our life, and going back to that list time and again.  It creates worship in us.  And that is, after all, what we have been created to do.

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | November 2, 2008

Task Force

Today was an odd but great day.  I love Sundays in general, but this week I was leading worship and not preaching.  Totally out of my element.  But I love leading worship!  All three services went well.  My wife, Sharon, taught about other religions and how Christianity stands alone.  She brung it!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to post for the next few days.  I’ll be in meetings for a church-planting task force I’m on with the the Vineyard.  Isn’t that an odd title, “task-force”?

A task is like random busy work, not very inspiring.  But force, that’s a powerful and moving word.  I’m new to this task force, I’m not yet sure what’s expected of me.  I can only assume that it’s my duty to carry out random busy work with great power and authority.  Task Force!

F.Y.I.-our church just launched a totally new website.  check it out.

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!

OK, so I’m not the hater of all things halloween–I just think that Reformation Day happens to be what’s most significant about today.  Of course, I didn’t do anything to celebrate that today.  Instead we dressed up our son and met up with some friends and went ‘trick or treatin’.  A smidge hypocritical I realize–but how can I celebrate the posting of the 95 theses and still dress up Bryce like a lil’ monkey?

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | October 31, 2008

The Plight of the Preacher’s Kid

I’ve spent most of the morning reading Chosen By God by R.C. Sproul.  It’s pretty much required reading for anyone who wants to figure out where they stand on the calvinism vs. arminianism thing.  I’m about halfway through.  Good stuff so far.

Bryce got his little hands on it earlier.  He gave it a thoughtful and thorough going-over.  At one point he seemed to be fighting it.  And such is the plight of the P.K.: wrestling with theology early and often.  He made me proud.

Posted by: Aaron McCarter | October 30, 2008

Unclean!

Our Assoc. Pastor / my great friend (Matt) is having surgery first thing tomorrow morning.  He tore is ACL, and now they’re replacing it with a cadaver’s ACL!  Can you imagine?

The Old Testament laws dictated that one would be ceremonially unclean if they came within 6 feet of any part of any dead body.  Matt’s about to have a part of a dead body put inside of him forever!  Hebrews 10:9-10 says that old covenant has been replaced with the new: He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Good thing for Matt.  If we were still under the Old Testament Law, he would be incredibly screwed!

Guys, please be in prayer for Matt.  It can be a tough recovery process.  Ask the Lord to speed his healing and to lend special grace to his wife, Teri (’cause he can be a bit of a whiner!).  We love you, Matt!

There will likely be updates on matt’s blog.

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