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Pastor's Thoughts

Find updates, thoughts, event notices, or short message from Pastor Tim in his weekly blog posts. 

Monday Thoughts from Pastor Tim - May 27

Dear Church Family –

 

It’s surprising how much attention Harrison Butker’s commencement address two weeks ago at Benedictine College continues to receive.

 

A friend posted this on his Facebook page:

“Travis Kelce chugs a beer and slams it down at a college graduation ceremony and the NFL celebrates him.  Harrison Butker talks about Christian values, getting married, and raising kids at a graduation ceremony and the NFL sends out a memo bashing his speech.”

 

Well, it wasn’t a real graduation ceremony where Kelce chugged the beer.  It was a staged event for Kelce’s podcast.  But it does say something about our hedonistic culture—encourage alcohol consumption and people applaud; encourage marriage and family and people cry “foul.”

 

I was challenged this morning by an article I read at wng.org (World News Group) by Joe Rigney.  Rigney suggests that the strength of Butker’s remarks is that he “assumed the center.” 

“To assume the center,” Rigney explained, “is to speak and act as though what you are saying and doing is true, good, and normal.  It’s to reject sheepish hedging and qualifications and to speak plainly about reality.”

 

Harrison Butker spoke calmy and confidently from a position that…

Abortion is not normal.

Gay pride is not normal.

Godly masculinity is normal.

Marriage and homemaking is normal.

 

Rigney said: “When Butker speaks as though the majority of the women in the audience are ‘most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world,’ he is assuming the center. When he asserts as a basic fact that men ‘set the tone in culture,’ he is assuming the center. When he casually condemns every form of LGBTQ Pride in passing, he is assuming the center. He’s not arguing for these positions; he’s exhorting from them. Rather than treating these basic facts of reality as up-for-grabs, he assumes them, celebrates them, and commends them.”

 

The reaction to Butker’s speech by media, celebrities, and the NFL, is an attempt to claim a different “center,” a different “norm.”  That is, in Rigney’s words, that “progressive ideology is the default operating system for society.” 

 

The challenge then, that we can take away from Harrison Butker’s speech is to not surrender the norm for society.  Here’s how Joe Rigney concludes his article:


“And so take a lesson from the kicker.  Assume the center.  Abortion is an abomination…. Gay Pride is a deadly sin…. Men do in fact set the tone for culture, and must embrace their masculinity to do hard things for the glory of God.  And as for women?  Embrace the high calling of wife and mother.  Laugh out loud at the mockers who demean baby-making and homemaking.”

 

To which I would add the words of 1 Peter 3:

“Do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Pet 3:14-16).

 

Just yesterday, an out-of-town visitor to our church commented how refreshing it was to be in a place where Christian truth is the norm.  Thanks, Emmaus Church family, for upholding, celebrating, and promoting the will of God that is “good, acceptable, and perfect” (Romans 12:2). – Pastor Tim

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