Should I raise my hands when I pray (or sing) in the local church? Which music should we use in our local church worship? Should my kids be allowed to dance during a good praise song at the assembly? Shall I be allowed to say “amen” after any song I feel particularly touched by during worship service? Can we change the complete structure of the meeting of the local church? Should we say the Nicene Creed at the gathering of the local church?
In all of these questions we’re really just asking, “What am I allowed to do?” I’ve said it in another post but before answering the questions you have to actually figure out why we come together at all. After you identify that purpose for gathering you then figure out your freedoms within that gathering. In other words, first you ask “why do we assemble?” then you ask, “What should I be doing when we’re assembled?”
Why we assemble is the main question to answer but I think Scripture would have us ask several probing questions that help tie down both the purpose of the church while examining any of our actions.
In recent days I have seen a circle drawn around the category of persecution that minimizes what some folk are going through. You’ll find that someone looks at Fox Book of Martyrs and defines “real” persecution as the things that those people had experienced. You don’t have to run too far down the Internet—do a search for “real persecution” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
On this side of eternity we will sin. I’m not saying we must sin. Sin is not necessary to human life but it is part of human life. On this side of eternity we will struggle with it. We will sin.
Indeed, there will be times in lives where we think we’re doing okay, where things seem to be going fine, and then we hear a sermon or see a passage in the Bible, or read an article, or hear an argument where we find ourselves convicted of sin. We wind up convicted of some specific thing that we thought was okay but now we see it is wrong.
Perhaps there is a specific sin that we keep slipping into, like a well-fitting sweater or comfy shoes. Or the sin we’ve committed a long time ago, before even thinking it was a sin, and now we see it for what it is. We’ve sinned.
In the blogging vogue, here are eleven things (to limit it to a readable number) to keep in mind in regards to sin.
We are expecting our fifth child. That’s not an apology. Almost every time someone hears that I have more than two children, eyes widen, jaw drops, and questions are raised about my sanity. At the very least a suggestion is offered that my wife and I find a new hobby.
And, more often than not, men have recommended a vasectomy.
A vasectomy is a lightly invasive surgical procedure that makes men infertile. The man can do everything he could do before the surgery except (in a few rare cases) get a woman pregnant. At the end, couples can enjoy sex without the expectation that they’ll get pregnant. As such, there have been reports (surveys and some anecdotal—offered to me in sage counsel) of greater sexual enjoyment.
In this post, I want to offer my personal struggle with vasectomies, tubal ligations and any other forms of self-imposed permanent contraception. This is not a defense of the Quiverfull movement. It is a man wrestling with a specific issue.
Two up-front warnings: (1) although this post will not be needlessly graphic it is necessarily sensitive; (2) this post is long.