A Speech for the Ages: Bari Weiss’ Battle Cry to Save the West

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Can Christians Partner with Homosexuals?

(Preaching Outline)

1)      The question asked in the title of today’s message is a very important question to address as followers of Jesus Christ.

a)      I wrote it in a way that is intentionally to encourage thought.

b)      For some Christians, the answer is emphatically “no” regardless of what is meant.

c)      I would like to suggest that nations can be saved through such partnerships.

d)      In addition, I believe such partnership provide context for people to meet Jesus.

2)      To explore this question more, I want to reference a talk Bari Weiss gave to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention.

a)      Bari Weiss spoke about the civilizational war we are in.  She said it is a war of ideas, conviction and will.  The difference between 9-11 and 10-7 was the reaction to the horror.  9-11 was followed by a will to fight for civilization while 10-8 was followed by a moral and spiritual catastrophe in the West celebrating the massacre.  She said that modern ideologies are tearing down the essence of our common humanity. Educated people responded to an act of barbarism not with a defense of civilization but with a defense of barbarism. We are fighting an ideology that seeks to deconstruct our society from within. It replaces basic ideas of good and evil. In the past 2 decades this inverted, morally perverse worldview has swallowed all of the sense making institutions of American life. – She said that her allies are those who believe America is good, the West is good, and that human beings are created equal and saying so is essential to know what we are fighting for. America and our values are worth fighting for.

b)      In her lecture she highlighted some of the atrocities committed and how the response in the west is that the victims were colonizers and therefore what was done to them is right.

c)      Bari looking honestly at where culture is at, and where it is headed.  This is something we must not be afraid to look at, talk about and address in the church.

d)      In my opinion Bari got to the root of the problem when she spoke about our common humanity – the battle is over the image of God in man – we must fight for a humane world that sees the inherent dignity and worth of every human being.

e)      In response to the question of partnering with homosexuals, it would be a privilege to fight alongside people like Bari.  I challenge that nations can be saved when Christians and non-Christians work together.  We this principle in scripture:

i)        Joseph and Pharoah

ii)      Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar & Cyrus

iii)    Esther and Ahasuerus

f)       People are people first, and who is without sin?

g)      We are all in the same boat, and people are shooting at each other.

h)      Natural disaster vs. ideas

i)        In honestly facing the great threat to humanity from the current ideas and values pose, there are theological challenges we have to face as believers in Jesus Christ that determine if we are able to be part of the solution. (Some of many.)

i)        One challenge is a challenge of faith in God.

ii)      Another challenge is the challenge of reconciliation – restoring humanity to humanity.

3)      The challenge of faith in God

a)      Esther 4:13–14 (NKJV) — 13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

b)      Acts 26:14–18 (NKJV) — 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

4)      The challenge of reconciliation – to restore humanity to humanity.

a)      Luke 23:32–34 (NKJV) — 32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

b)      Sin causes pain and perverts the soul.

c)      The Exodus – which we may look at next week – is a very relevant model for where we are at.

i)        A people suffering and enslaved by paganism – will to power rather than the morality of love.

ii)      Rabbi Fohram talks about the Exodus that might have been and one day will be.  He wrestles with clues into the text that give us insight into the heart of God.

iii)    Here is some of his views on God’s heart after the destruction of Pharoah and his armies:  Here’s what the Sages say: The Holy One, Blessed is He, does not rejoice in the downfall of the wicked. For R. Shmuel bar Nachman said in the name of R. Yonatan: In the moment [when Egypt was destroyed at the Sea], the ministering angels wished to sing in joy in the presence of the Holy One. But the Holy One said to them: My own creations [the Egyptians] are drowning in the Sea, and you want to sing before Me? (Megillah 10b) It turns out that the Sages ascribe the same intuition to the Almighty himself: a victor doesn’t rejoice at the downfall of his enemies, particularly if the victor is God. God is the creator; even His enemies are His creations. There is something bitter in the taste of victory over them.[1]

iv)    One of his proofs for the Exodus that might have been and one day will be are the textual connection with the story of Joseph.  Without going in depth today, I want to read some passages that connect with the heart for reconciliation:

v)      As the Sages of the Talmud tell it, during Jacob’s burial procession, all the kings of Canaan and the Princes of Ishmael assembled to attack the Israelites, who had gathered at this spot to eulogize Jacob. But then, the would-be attackers saw something that made them halt in their tracks: Joseph’s crown was hanging on Jacob’s casket, and when they saw this—all [these kings and princes] stood up, [put down their weapons] and hung their own crowns on it, and surrounded his casket with crowns, like a threshing floor surrounded by a fence of thorns (Sotah 13a, in Rashi to Genesis 50:10) What do the Sages mean to say with their cryptic story? Why were these kings attacking? And why did the sight of Joseph’s crown make all these kings halt their attack—and join their crowns to his?[2]

vi)    Only Joseph holds the moral force to take the venom out of an attack of dispossessed children. And remember: not only does he fend off these kings, he wins them over; they join their crowns to his. One wonders if the Talmud is painting a picture not only of the past, but of a possible future, gilded with hope for reconciliation within the extended family of Israel. If, after all the pain, anger and misunderstanding in his past, Joseph can solemnly give Jacob honor—if, after everything, he can wed his destiny to that of his family—then perhaps other fragments of dispossessed families can find in Joseph an example to emulate. If Joseph can make it back, perhaps there is hope for them, too.[3]

vii)   It was Joseph’s partnership with Pharoah and reconciliation with his family that made such an expression of the heart of God possible.

5)      Can Christians partner with homosexuals?

a)      The question is answered when our hearts burn to be ministers of reconciliation.

b)      2 Corinthians 5:16–21 (NKJV) — 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 


 

[1] Fohrman, Rabbi David. The Exodus You Almost Passed Over (p. 132). Aleph Beta Press. Kindle Edition.

[2] Fohrman, Rabbi David. The Exodus You Almost Passed Over (p. 158). Aleph Beta Press. Kindle Edition.

[3] Fohrman, Rabbi David. The Exodus You Almost Passed Over (p. 159). Aleph Beta Press. Kindle Edition.

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