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Through my 60 years of hanging around the church I have often been surprised by how the Church in the US has responded to our culture. First let me say that when I use the term “Church”, I am referring to the conglomeration of churches across the United States and across all denominations that hold the Bible as authoritative in their living and dying.  

I watched through the civil rights movement, the abortion issue, the AIDS epidemic, poverty, the immigration issue and most recently the same sex marriage issue.  What surprised me was the majority of churches always seemed to be reacting to each of these issues, almost as if they were caught unaware.  Surely a small minority of the Church was initially engaged in each of these issues, however, for a large part, the majority of churches used a “wait and see” approach.  Yet, the scriptures are pretty clear that we need to study our times and to be smart as serpents and innocent as doves, we need to prepare.  

Healthy Growing Churches is committed to changing the world through Christ producing churches that multiplyThis won’t happen if we are always reacting to the culture around us.  We must be very smart and study the trends, culture, and values and then be proactive in bringing the gospel to bear on each of these.  We must seek to be healthy leaders who lean into the Spirit’s wisdom through his Word in everything we do in and out of the church.   For the last 30 years, I fully expected we would be where we are with the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages. Most individuals with any sense of the pulse on culture would only have asked when? Not if?

The church cannot, nor should it ever put its head in the proverbial sand and hope the issues will go away.  This will only ensure the church is irrelevant to the current culture, which it has become in many venues.  We must wrestle with issues even before we have all of the answers.  We must be part of a discussion that listens, as well as speaks.  We must love everyone on every issue regardless of whether they agree with us.  We must seek to keep the gospel of Jesus Christ central in all of our relationships and live in a way that is salt and light to the perishing.  

The scriptures are not to be played with. And we cannot expect redemptive thinking from unredeemed people…it just doesn’t work that way.  However, we can show them redemptive thinking through redeemed people who love their enemies and pray for them.  In this newsletter you will find two articles to help you navigate the murky waters of our time: first is a well written piece to protect your rights as a church in our changing litigious society by Randy Spence, and the second is a summary of a well written article that expresses much of our position on the same-sex marriage issue written by a Canadian Pastor, Carey Nieuwolf.  Don’t get too excited, as it won’t answer all your questions, as much as it expresses how we are to appropriately act in these changing times.  

I love you all and so look forward to making an impact in the world together.  An impact that will be much great together than it is apart and I pray will not only change our world, but also eternity for much of it.

Your brother,

Greg Wiens
Chief Catalyst

Information for Pastors Regarding the Supreme Court Ruling

The June 26, 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage has sent the church world reeling. Questions like, “How can we protect ourselves as the church?” already have been coming to me. I’ve done a bit of reading on the matter and I share with you a free publication by the Alliance Defending Freedom that outlines what you can do in your bylaws and other policy documents to protect yourself if you choose not to perform same-sex marriages or from your facilities being used for the same purpose…

Read More *Corrected*

Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for
US Church Leaders from a Canadian

In June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states, setting off a flurry of reaction by Christians and virtually everyone else on social media and beyond. Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful background post to the shift in opinion that led to the decision and included links to a number of other leading …

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