Saturday, October 22, 2005

Minnesota Pastors' Summit - Minnestoa for Marriage


To encourage, equip, and provide tools for pastors who want to take the next step in shepherding their churches to be a greater influence in culture.

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees. ~Psalm 119:45-48 NIV

Thursday, November 10, 2005, 8:30 - 5:00 pm

Grace Church Eden Prairie, 9301 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
For map and directions, go to

Click here to learn more about the Pastors' Summit

Minnesota Pastors' Summit - Speakers

David Barton • Founder of Wallbuilders
Author and historian David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that distributes historical, legal, and statistical information and helps citizens become active in their local schools and communities.

Bishop Frederick Henry • Calgary, AB, Canada
As the Bishop of Calgary, Bishop Henry will share the realities of legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada and insights into what it will mean in the United States.

H.B. London, Jr. • Vice President, Ministry Outreach & Pastoral Ministries for Focus on the Family. H.B.’s focus is to serve as liaison to pastors and churches—a kind of “pastor to pastors.”

Colby May • Senior Counsel American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)
Colby M. May is Senior Counsel and Director of the Washington Office of the ACLJ. May represents members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on legislative initiatives involving national security, abortion, marriage, and pornography. With the ACLJ since 1994, May specializes in federal litigation, regulatory proceedings, communications and technology, non-profit tax issues, and First Amendment law.

Dr. William (Bill) Owens • President and Founder of Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP)
Dr. Owens, and CAAP strive to transcend racial, denominational and social barriers in support of Biblical principles. He serves as Co-Chair of the prestigious Arlington Group (dedicated to the advancement of the National Marriage Amendment).

Pastor Joe Wright • Central Christian Church and Pastor Terry Fox • Emmanuel Baptist Church
Both pastors of churches in Wichita, KS, Joe and Terry will share their story of how the Church united to preserve moral values across the state.

Minnesota Pastors' Summit - Breakout Topics

The Battle in Kansas
Pastors Joe Wright and Terry Fox will share how the body of Christ was united in Kansas to affect the culture.

Marriage Savers®
Founded in 1996, Marriage Savers is a ministry that equips local communities, principally through local congregations, to help men and women to prepare for lifelong marriages, strengthen existing marriages, and restore troubled marriages.

Tax Status and Free Speech
Experts from the American Center for Law and Justice will provide legal advice for Churches on what they can, and cannot do from the pulpit and within the Church body.

Culture Shakers
Gaining the tools and knowledge to activate your congregation and community.

Current Climate
An overview of church and state relations regarding family issues in Minnesota and an question and answer forum with representatives from Minnesota’s major political parties. Facilitated by Tom Prichard, President of MFC.

“Our Town” Ministry Tools
Building bridges for urban ministry partnerships and gaining insight for ministry responses to inner city and family issues.

The Truth of the Homosexual Lifestyle
Becoming equipped and prepared to reach out and minister to those walking the homosexual lifestyle. Powerful testimonies will be shared.

Prepared and Paid for by Minnesota for Marriage, 2855 Anthony Lane S, Suite 150, Minneapolis, MN 554181-877-MN-MARRY


DLW said...

I have to say I don't think I like the idea of legally defining marriage as male and female. It seems like a waste of political capital and to confirm the misguided notion that God's ideal for marriage is affected in any way by the sorts of legal arrangements that we allow for.

I mean the real source of problems for family values comes from the vaunted status of Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry and the lack of economic security. If we wanted to boost values, we should consider changing their ability to advertise movies and reduce the concentration in ownership of local cinemas and make them face more competition.

I could go on, but you know I honestly haven't heard a good argument for why these sorts of proactive amendment movements are a good use of political capital to foster stronger marriages.

ps, let me know if you get around to Roger Olson's Post-Conservative Evangelicalism essay at the GenerousOrthodoxy website.

I hope they were gracious for you wrt Greek.


Chris Meirose said...

Much in the same way I don't fully understand or agree with the the things you are more passionate about. I do not think it is a waste of political capital even if it fails. If our only marker is pragmatism, we loose many opportunities to bring honor and glory to God. Marriage is important to God, whether or not it is important to you. God has made this clear in the Bible, and because it does not fit your agenda does not make it any less important to Him.

I do still have Olson's article bookmarked, and will some day find time for it. I need the Cliff Notes version, as it's not a short simple read.

I did finally turn in my Global/Contextual papers last week, so I'm only a half month behind at this point...

Big Chris

Dannybill said...

Priorities please? What about poverty, war, torture, corruption? With all the good that a church can do why continually try to keep focus on continuing to prevent equal civil rights based on sexual orientation?

In days gone by a church's Sunday message may have included appeals to prevent women's suffrage. And years before that one might have heard appeals to help fight abolition. It is hard to imagine now, but there had to have been a time when both religion and law had rationalized these injustices to be acceptable. I think people will look back someday and feel the same about this issue.

Like many or most people, I believe a marriage between a man and woman is preferable and in many ways incomparable to a commitment between two men or two women. However, that is my personal opinion due to things beyond my control such as my physiology, possibly reinforced by my upbringing. I have come to accept that some people have a different orientation that, like mine, is natural to them and not a matter of question.

I believe discrimination based on sexual orientation is a product of societal norms and customs of the majority and is not supported by philosophical reasoning or by Christian theology. For these and other reasons it is my opinion that legal recognition of same-sex relationships be afforded no fewer rights and responsibilities than those provided in a traditional husband/wife relationship.

There are many dimensions to marriage: From a legal standpoint, it is estimated that married couples enjoy well over 1000 specific legal rights and benefits unmarried couples do not. As for the social and personal benefits experienced by reason of a traditional marriage, how can anyone honestly claim they are any more or less than those gained by same-sex partners?

In the U.S., religious organizations are exempt from many laws prohibiting discrimination. For that reason, a Church is within its rights to, among other things, not recognize same-sex marriages. In addition, a Christian church cannot be compelled by law to worship Buddha, and Jews cannot be forced to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Corollary to this I think it is just as inappropriate for a church to support passing laws codifying its view of marriage as it is for a church to try to legally codify its theology.

The 1st amendment to the U.S. constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." It is widely accepted that it follows that rules based solely on the principals of a given religion should not be made law. From a secular legalistic standpoint, to impose as law a Biblical definition of marriage is in conflict with rights provided in the Constitution. For this reason, groups intent on forcing their views on others are promoting constitutional amendments. I believe history shows these injustices ultimately do not stand, and equality will someday be provided to all, regardless of sexual orientation.

As for the religious aspects of marriage, I am not in a position to judge how much is derived more from ritual and practice than from scripture. However, I do know the word "marriage" is mentioned relatively few times in the New Testament. The most frequent reference is repeated in the Gospels - Jesus teaches that at the resurrection there is no marriage (Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:34). 1
Corinthians exhorts that marriage is a distraction that the unmarried are best off staying that way. However, it also states it is better to marry than burn with passion.

In closing, I can't comprehend a God that does not love all regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. Remember the concept of Grace and imagine the infinite love of God.

Chris Meirose said...

Thanks for your interest and for stopping by my blog.

Nowhere have I said we abandon the widow, the helpless, the homeless, the child to pursue a Biblical definition of marriage did I? No, I did not. I strongly believe the church has done rather poorly (in the USA for sure) of supporting the downtrodden. I would never contend otherwise. But that does not mean I will turn my back on another Biblical priciple, that being marriage being one man and one woman. If you want to ignore those portions of scripture, you will have to account for that in your theology, but it's very shaky ground when you start picking and choosing like that. And because the person is gay does not mean that God has quit loving them. Clearly that is not the case, and we should not quit loving the gay person any more than we should quit loving all the other sinners. I have never contended so, though you make it sound like I have in your closing. I have not forgotten the concept of Grace, I live in it daily as a sinner in need of and thankful for my Savior.

To use frequency of the discussion of a subject in scripture as the criteria for importance is both dangerous and ignorant. So the fact that marriage is not spoken about frequently does NOT make it unimportant. Outside of 1 Cor 11 how many times is communion referred to in the Bible? (hint, not many) Should we then consider communion unimportant too? How about the Trinity, which is NEVER explicity referred to? You get the idea.

In the words of Jesus (Mark 10:7-9) "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and they shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mk 10:7-9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Matthew 22:30 etc. does not come into play this side of eternity for your argument. The future life with God is not a mere continuation of the present life only on “a higher scale.” We will maintain our identities and know each other, but there will be no more death—hence, no need for marriage and procreation. Christians do not become angels. In heaven we will share the image of Jesus Christ and be much higher than the angels (1 John 3:2). Angels appear in Scripture as men, but they are spirit beings without sexuality. It is in this regard that we will be like them; there will be no marriage or childbearing in heaven.
-Wiersbe, W. W.

Big Chris

Dannybill said...

Just a couple of follow-up comments. First is I believe eternity started a long time ago. ;) Also, it is interesting that you started and stopped your quote from Mark 10 to leave out the divorce stuff. Seems to me and many others that the millions upon millions of divorces of hetrosexual couples is a far bigger issue than gay marriage. As a matter of fact my former church used to have couples' retreats and marriage encounters that helped strengthen relationships. Then these ministries were dropped in favor of political activites such as phone banks and mass mailing efforts for "defense of marriage" legislation and amendments. Not quite the same. I think the bottom line is tolerance and love. These are pretty important things, and I believe they are stonger than fear. Tolerance would say I may disagree with your conclusions but I respect your right to live them. Love would say how can I help make this piece of your eternity better? Wrap those two concepts together and great things happen.

Chris Meirose said...

Yes, I did intentinally leave out the divorce part, but only because this is about marriage, and it's definition. You'll never hear me say divorce isn't a problem in our churches. Statistically, Christians divorce at a rate equal to the rest of society. That is an absolute tragedy, that undoubtedly grieves God. God hates divorce, and He says so very clearly. God is also clear on His stance about homosexuality, and on His views of marriage. It's all in the Bible, no secret there. The fact that your church stopped doing marriage retreats sounds like an opportunity for you to start up a ministry. Get plugged in, and make sure they know you are willing to put in the effort to make sure the retreats take place. Perhaps you're not the right person to lead it (I obviously have no idea your gifting) but undoubtedly you have gifts that can be used in this effort. Likely there are others who feel as you do in the church, who want the retreats to happen. Frequently things like this die off when a pastoral staff is overburdened, or when the key lay person leaves/moves/dies/quits/does something different. Ask your church staff why it was ended. Your view of the activism being the cause may or may not be a correct assessment. There may be no correlation. But either way, ask, and offer solutions.

Big Chris