"Marriage is a Counter-Cultural Act in a Throwaway Society"
Few Bible doctrines shred as many hearts and shed as many tears as teachings about marriage, divorce and remarriage. Why? "In the United States, researchers estimate that 40%–50% of all first marriages, and 60% of second marriages, will end in divorce." That means that almost everyone has been painfully and personally touched by divorce and by its distressing aftermath.
Same Words; Different Meanings; Different Everything Else
I have been asked to address the use of words like liberal and conservative as they apply to religious beliefs. Are these words used in the same way in religion as they are used in politics? In particular, is criticism of theologically liberal beliefs and practices also a criticism of politically liberal beliefs and practices? On the other hand, is the endorsement of theological conservatism at the same time an endorsement of right-wing politics? These are important questions because most of us hear and use the words liberal and conservative primarily in reference to national politics.
• Pasteurization: a process of heating food, typically milk, to slow spoilage by microbial growth; named after microbiologist Louis Pasteur.
• Pastorization: a completely made-up term describing the process by which well-meaning people confuse the terms minister and pastor.
Like bulls charging a red cape, members of churches of Christ sometimes paw the ground and snort in Bible classes. Distinguishing sound doctrine (Tit. 2:1) from religious error is required, but is it necessary to call out denominations by name (the Lutherists believe this, or the Baptarians teach that...)? Is this good form?
Authority has fallen on hard times. Once assumed to be central to civilized society, authority is now considered evil, awful, and overbearing in form. French leader Charles de Gaul summarized our one-time attitude. "I grew up to always respect authority," he said, "and respect those in charge."