6:02 PM Received the following e-mail from a college student who has attended Calvary occasionally: “I am writing a paper for my theology class concerning the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” I am interviewing pastors from several congregations concerning the subject of pre-marital sex to see what they look to as their primary template when they do theological deliberation. If you could help me I would be very appreciative. Here are the questions: 1. Some churches regard “Thou shalt not commit adultery” as the 6th commandment, while others refer to it as the 7th commandment. Which commandment does your church regard it as? 2. How do you define adultery? What makes it so bad and what acts does it include? 3. If there was a couple in your parish living together outside of marriage would you reach out to them and make them aware that they are breaking a commandment? If you did reach out to them what would you tell them? If not, why not? If they were seeking marriage, would you marry them or would they have to go through a certain process first. 4. Do you teach your youth concerning the warnings against and dangers of pre-marital sex? Who teaches them and how often are they taught? What are the reasons you give for not engaging in pre-marital sex?” This was my answer: “1) We regard it as the 7th Commandment. 2) Adultery is both narrow and broad. Narrowly it is sexual unfaithfulness by a spouse within the marriage relationship. It is a serious sin because it breaks the marriage covenant. Broadly the term “adultery” refers to all sorts of sexual sin. Jesus plainly includes sexual lust in Matthew 5. I would say that literal, physical adultery is the tip of the iceberg. It stands for all categories of sexual immorality—including homosexuality, fornication, pornography, sexual abuse of children, sexual lust, premarital sex, and so on. 3) Like all churches, we deal with this often. We do reach out to them to both encourage them and to challenge them to live up to God’s standards. We will not marry a couple if they continue to live together or if they continue to be sexually active together. They must make different living arrangements and they must stop sleeping together. If they won’t do that, we will not marry them. Often they are willing to make the changes, sometimes they won’t. The latter are always sad cases, but we do not think it right to perform weddings for couples that openly disobey God’s Laws. 4) We do indeed teach our children the dangers of pre-marital sex. This is a regular topic covered in our youth ministry—Junior and Senior High. We show them God’s Word, encourage them to chastity, challenge them to say no to temptation, and offer practical ways to have healthy relationships with the opposite sex that are not based solely on physical attraction. We try to balance warning them and also providing positive encouragement to do right. I hope this helps with your paper.” 5:23 PM Two special events this week … Thursday-Saturday: Evangelism Conference featuring Becky Pippert, John Armstrong, Crawford Lorritts and other speakers at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton. Sunday: I’ll be doing the Billy Sunday presentation as part of the Tale of the Tombstones at Forest Home Cemetery (Des Plaines Road and I-290 in Forest Park), 1-4 PM. Joining me will be Andrew Irvin as Homer Rodeheaver plus the Billy Sunday Singers plus a few other “surprise” performers and helpers. For pictures of last year’s event, click here. 5:19 PM I take it as a good sign that Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa are doing their national TV broadcast from the WGN studios this week. Today Regis was wearing a Cubs jersey during one of his interviews. 5:16 PM Church news … The junior highers return from their fall retreat at Phantom Ranch this afternoon … Renovation news: The workers poured the concrete for the two floors of classrooms and offices in the former gym stage area. This is a huge step forward. Coming soon: Major work on the new four-year-old nursery. In process: inspections and approval for the portico area. Work continues on the electrical installation plus the air conditioning. After several weeks where the tempo of work slowed a bit, things are starting to pick up again. Yesterday giving to the Legacy Campaign Building Fund topped $15,000. 9:02 AM The The Rapture Index has risen a point, to 162. Christweb offers a brief outline of the pre-trib chronology of the tribulation. 8:57 AM Happy Columbus Day! We all know Columbus as a great explorer. Less well known is the fact that he was also a devout Christian. The first island he landed on, he named “San Salvador,” meaning “Holy Savior.” Then he knelt and prayed this prayer:
O Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, by Thy holy Word Thou has created the heaven and the earth and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy Name, and praised be Thy Majesty, which has designed to use us, Thy humble servants, that Thy holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth.