Tim Keller: How Do We Love the City Through Social Change

I’m Tim Keller, I’m back to give you the second of three talks we are doing here, I’m doing here on the subject of how do you love, how do you serve, how do you reach a city? And we’re doing it by breaking, might say breaking the answers down into three. We do it by being the church in the city, by being the church in society, by being the church in the culture. We’re looking at the urban implications last night, the social implications right now, and the cultural implications of the gospel. And right now we’re going to look at what are the social implications of the gospel.

If Christians were living out their faith in society, not just here inside the walls of the church, but if Christians were living their lives out in society, how would it change society? What would that look like? Somebody might say, well would there be any social implications? If Christians were just being Christians out in the world wouldn’t that mean they’d be sharing their faith and more people would be going to heaven? But it wouldn’t change society, would it? Yes, it would. I’d like to make the case first of all that there are massive social implications to the gospel. That if Christians are living out, Christianity when it comes into a society has massive social implications. It changes the way society works. But then secondly I’d like to look at five areas that I think today, if we were living out our faith, we would … five places where we would see change in society. Five places in which the gospel would make a major difference in society. So like I said first of all let me make the case that the gospel has massive social implications. And I’m going to do this in a way that I think is going to surprise some of you. I don’t want to just go back a little ways. I’d like to go back to the beginning of Christianity. I’d like to go back to the early couple of centuries after Christianity was born and it grew in the Roman Empire in that ancient Greek Roman classical pagan society. And we know that actually what happened there was that Christianity changed that old society in five ways. 

Let me talk to you about what those five ways are.

#1. The old Greco-Roman pagan society believed that the body and material world was not important or bad, in other words the Greeks and the Romans believed that the body was bad, the spirit was good, that the whole purpose of life was to have the spirit eventually escape this body and this world and go to be in the eternal world of the spirits, and the body wasn’t very good and the material world wasn’t really that important or even that real. It was sort of an illusion. The reality was up there in the spirit world. That was the Greco-Roman view. Christianity comes along and says wait a minute. God made the world and maybe if you know in Genesis 1, when God was making the world he kept saying it is good, it is good. He made the material world and said it is good. Not only that, Christian salvation is not just the soul is not just going to be redeemed but the body is going to be resurrected. And so Christianity came along and had a view of the material world and the physical body that was more positive than any human culture it ever had. In the west the body was bad. In the east the body’s an illusion, right? Eastern religions. Christianity comes along and has the most positive view of the material world and the body.

#2. The Greeks and the Romans understanding of history was it was cyclical. It just went around and around and around and around. Christianity comes along and says now wait a minute. God is in control of history and the material world is important and God’s going to redeem the world and therefore history is going somewhere. It’s not cyclical. It’s linear. It’s going somewhere. And therefore Christianity gave the world the idea of historical progress. The idea that history was actually making progress was a completely new idea.

#3. The Greeks and the Romans believed that since this world wasn’t real, and history isn’t going anywhere, that human choice didn’t matter. Your choices didn’t matter. You know the old story of Oedipus? Oedipus was fated to kill his father and marry his mother. When he was born that was what the oracle said. His fate is to kill his father and marry his mother. And of course the story is how he did everything he possibly could in order to get away from that. Everybody did everything they possibly could to avoid that happening, but in the end, everything they did, ended up in the end only making it possible for him to finally… Do y’all know how this story ends? He kills his father and marries his mother. And the moral of the story is it doesn’t matter what you do. You’re destined, you’re fated, choices don’t matter. And Christianity comes along and says no wait a minute. This world is real. History is making progress. We have a personal God in charge of history who cares and holds us responsible for what we do and has given us free will, and what this means is our choices matter. Our choices matter very much. They change things. We’re responsible for them.

#4. The Greeks and the Romans thought that emotions were unimportant. See the old pagan classical philosophers believed that since the body was bad and the spirit was good, they believed that the mind resided in the spirit but the feelings and emotions resided in the body which is not totally wrong by the way. Your feelings and your emotions reside in the body and your mind reside in the spirit and therefore they believed that a virtuous person was someone who just controlled their emotions. Emotions were the problem. In fact, all the Greeks and Romans, when they thought virtue, the virtues were justice, self-control, bravery, loyalty. All the virtues consisted of tamping down the emotions and so the Greeks and the Romans, especially the stoics, the stoic Greek philosophers, you have any idea what they taught? By their names? That the emotions were bad things or they were things that just needed to be controlled and a virtuous person was someone who just basically completely tamped down and squelched the emotions. And Christianity comes along and says the real problem is not mind over body. The real problem is inside the heart. We talked about this last night. That the human heart is divided and we love the wrong things. And we should love the right things and that’s why when Saint Augustine came along, one of the first great Christian writers and wrote The Confessions which was a looking into his heart, into his emotions, the world had never seen a book like that in history. Never happened before because the emotions were just unimportant things that you just squelched. And Augustine says no no, it’s really important is we have to take a look at our emotions and our feelings and redirect them toward God. And so the Greco-Roman idea was emotions were unimportant. The Christian ideas emotions are good and important.

The Greco-Roman ideas was that choices don’t matter. The Christian ideas is freedom of choice was very important. The Greco-Roman idea of history was it’s cyclical. The Christian idea is there’s such a thing as historical progress. The Greco-Roman idea is the body doesn’t matter. The Christian idea is it does matter. Physical pleasure’s a good thing. If people are hungry and poor and they don’t have enough to eat and they don’t have clothing you should take care of them because body is important.

#5. The Greeks and the Romans did not believe that the individual mattered. The philosophers taught that when you died, your being went on into the eternal spirit of the universe but you weren’t an individual. Do you know how, imagine a drop of water, and it goes into the ocean. The being of the water continues, but the individual drop doesn’t continue. And what the Greeks and the Romans taught as well as all Eastern religions was that when you died you went off to be, your spirit went into be into the cosmic spirit but you didn’t stay an individual. You didn’t stay an individual person. And don’t forget that the Greeks and the Romans also believe that reason mattered and that’s the reason why Aristotle was able to say that men were more important than women because men were more rational, women were more emotional. It’s the reason why Aristotle said that some races deserved to be slaves because they weren’t as rational as others. So the Greeks and Romans did not believe that every single individual human being was of infinite worth and had dignity, but Christians believed that every human being was made in the image of God. Secondly that even our God is not just one person but tri personal. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That he made us for personal relationship with him and that when we die we’re going to be persons forever. And suddenly in Christianity persons became important and individual persons became important.

Let me ask you a question. You say, ‘Well I’m not a Christian, I don’t even believe in God.’ But if you live in Western society, you live in North America, Europe or something like that. And you say, ‘I don’t even believe in God. I don’t believe I’m a Christian. I don’t believe in Christianity at all.’ Do you believe in such a thing as historical progress that is possible? Do you believe that the material world is a good place and that if people are poor they don’t have material goods that we ought to help them? That physical pleasure is good? That freedom of choice is important? That individuals have rights? That emotions are important? They shouldn’t just be squelched. That love is more important than power and strength. If you believe all that, you got all those ideas from Christianity. Every single one of them. And you know who was constantly explaining that? Who spent his entire career talking about it?

Friedrich Nietzsche who many of you know was a German philosopher but he was a radical Atheist was always telling his fellow Atheists, ‘Look if you believe in caring for the poor, if you believe in human rights, if you believe in caring for the weak, if you believe in all these things, even though you say you’re not a Christian, you’re still acting like a Christian because all those ideas came from Christianity.’ That’s the reason we ought to get rid of them, Nietzsche thought. All of them. 

There’s a guy who teaches history. I think he’s retired now. He’s a Christian and he tells me what he used to do with a lot of his students was that he used to talk to them about the fact that when the Christian missionaries came to Europe, the Europeans, the early Anglo-Saxons and the Goths and the early Europeans before they were Christians, they were pagans. And they believed in strength. And they were a shame and honor culture. And they were a warrior culture. And they believe what really mattered was vengeance and strength. And when the Christian monks came and started talking about love and people are important and every person’s important and we ought to care for the weak. We gotta forgive each other. We gotta turn the other cheek. All the pagans said this is crazy. That is utterly crazy. Loving your enemies? Human rights? Forgiving people? Why, society would break down because society is based on respect for strength. And you gotta know that if you wrong me or if you insult me I’m going to come and I’m going to kill your entire family and that’s important for society. People need to know that’s how we do things and therefore we respect each other. And they thought that Christianity was crazy. This professor gives his students a little thought experiment.

And he says, ‘Imagine a little old lady who’s practically blind, she can’t see, and she’s walking through a dark alley at night and she has a purse filled with jewels and money that’s visible and there’s no one around. So she’s walking through and you’re walking the other way and you see that it would be easy to knock her over and take it and get away with that money. Do you or don’t you? And why?’ That’s the question he used to ask. Now everybody in his class says no of course you don’t do it. And then says, but why not? And he says you realize that before Christianity came into the West, the answer was this.

The reason you don’t knock the little lady over the Anglo-Saxon warrior would have said, the reason you don’t know the little lady over is because you would not respect yourself and if anybody ever heard about it they wouldn’t respect you. If you pick on the weak, that’s beneath you. It’s beneath your honor. And the reason you shouldn’t knock her over is because that would make you a weak thing and people would not respect you and you wouldn’t respect yourself. In other words, you don’t hurt her because it would hurt you. Hurt your honor, your dignity.

However, he says when Christianity came along, Christianity and the Christian Monks said the reason you don’t knock her over is because of her. It would be unkind to her because she’s of infinite value. She’s a human being. She’s equal with you. And maybe for all you know there’s people who depend on her and her money and therefore you might be hurting them as well. And so what he said is which of these two sets of reasons are the reasons you wouldn’t do it? And every single person in the class, most of them who are not Christians say, ‘Well it’s the second approach. That’s why I wouldn’t do it.’ And he says don’t you realize when Christianity came along it changed society. Society believed in pride rather than humility. Society believed in domination rather than service. It prized glory over modesty. It prized aggression over peacemaking and forgiveness. And it believed that you were totally loyal to your tribe but not to other people but when Christianity came along and said all human beings deserve equal respect. And what he says is Christianity has massively changed Western society and even today as people are turning away from Christianity whether they know it or not, as Nietzsche says they owe most of the way of which the way they think of themselves, most of their moral ideals to Christianity. You don’t think Christianity has massive social implications? Absolutely it does. Astounding.

However, the real question is that was then. And this is now. And in our cities and in our post-modern, post Christian kind of era. If Christians began to live out the social implications of the gospel right here and right now, what changes would probably come? And I’m going to suggest five and I’m going to name them for you. I’m just going to go through them a little bit. I suggest five. Those five are this. In the area it would make a difference, the gospel would make a difference in justice and power, pluralism and peace, vocation and truth, hope and the arts, and finally it would create a sexual counter culture.

#1. justice and power.

If all the Christians were living out the social implications of the gospel in a city, there would be far far better distribution of wealth and power. There would be a more equitable distribution of wealth and power. There would be radical generosity on the part of the Christian haves with all the have nots. Now there’s two ways this can happen. Some of you may have, maybe not have heard of a man named Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer, what I’m about to read you is a little surprising I think if you know who he is. Francis Schaeffer was a very conservative, evangelical white American minister, thinker, theologian from the middle of the 20th Century. But in one of his little books I found out recently, I found a very startling statement. He talks about the difference that Christianity would make. He’s talking about the social implications. And in this little booklet he says this, he says, quote, ‘The Bible does clearly teach the right of property but both the Old and New Testament.’ Private property he means, so the Bible does teach that you have private property. You make money, you have your land, you have your assets and they’re yours. But then he says, ‘But both the Old and New Testament put a tremendous stress on the compassionate use of that property. If at each place where the employer owner was a Bible believing Christian, the world could see that less profit was being taken out so that the workers would have appreciably more than the going rate of pay, the gospel would have been better proclaimed throughout the world than if the profits were the same as the world took out.

Did you hear that? He says if you’re a Christian business owner, what you take out for yourself should be appreciably less than what non Christian business owners take out. So if you take less out, not only do your workers get paid more but generally speaking your customers actually might get a better deal too. And he actually goes, it amazed me.

Francis Schaeffer says if you’re a Christian and you’re taking as much out of your, if you’re an owner, and you’re taking as much profit out of your business as non Christians, you are not proclaiming the gospel. You’re not showing people the gospel.

I’ll get to you in a minute why. Isn’t that amazing? So all the people, all the business owners, all the Christians who are making money, who are kind of up the food chain that have businesses that are higher up, they should be actually very deliberately sharing their wealth inside their work. Not just basically taking as much out and then getting philanthropic. Inside their work. That’s one way to be generous. But the second way to be generous would be have an explosion of philanthropy in a city. That people would be doing an enormous amount of giving their money away but in wise and non paternalistic ways. 

Now why would this be the case? I mean if you had Christians who were living out the social implications of the gospel in a city, there would be a, people would see that the poverty rates are going down, that the graduations out of high school are going up. The graduation rates, addictions, all those social indicators of a healthy society, they’d all be going in the right direction because Christians were being that radically willing to be generous, to be equitably distributing their wealth and their power and not holding onto it. Now why would that gospel matter? Why would Francis Schaeffer say that you’re really not proclaiming the gospel if you take as much money out of your business as a non-Christian?

Here’s a couple reasons why. Basically what the gospel does is it completely changes the attitude of the non poor toward the poor and it also changes the attitude of the poor toward themselves and everyone else. Let me explain. Number one, the gospel changes the attitude of the poor in radical ways. You’ll like this. Matthew 5 Verse 3. In Matthew 5 Verse 3, it says this, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ You may have heard that. What is poor in spirit mean? Almost all commentators say that when Jesus says blessed are the poor in spirit what he’s actually saying is not the poor but the poor in spirit. He’s saying that all Christians ought to be spiritually bankrupt. To become a Christian you have to know that spiritually speaking, you are not only in debt before God, but you’ve got no assets. Now if I was actually preaching this to a group of non-believers, I would press this a little bit. Here’s what I’d say. I would say, ‘Look it’s not enough. To become a Christian, Jesus is saying here you have to be poor in spirit. It’s not enough just to say, well I’m a good person but I’m not perfect so I need forgiveness.’ No no no. So what you’re saying there is I’ve got some assets I’ve got some deficits, I need some help. No.

Spiritually bankrupt means this. You do bad things. But secondly, even the good things that you do, you do for wrong reasons.

You’re on the verge of becoming a Christian. When you’re not just say Lord I’ve done bad things but even the good things I’ve done I’ve really, I did it to try to get control over You so You’d bless me. I did it to try to get other people to like me. I did it to boost my own self esteem as being a good and decent person. I did bad things but even the good things I’ve done I’ve done for bad reasons and therefore I’ve got nothing. I’ve got absolutely no way to make good on my debt. I am spiritually, without resources, I need absolute bleeding charity from you. I need to be saved from first to last. I don’t need to be just topped off. It’s not like I’ve got some goodness, I’ve got some badness, I just need you to cover my badness. I got nothing. You need to come in and infinite cost to yourself because of the salvation of the costly salvation of Jesus Christ and save me. That’s what it means to be poor in spirit.

If you’re a Christian and you’re poor in spirit you may never look at an economically poor person the same way again.

You see? See if you know that you’re not just, if you believe that you really are an absolute sinner, totally lost, you’ve been saved only through radical grace. If you look at a poor person, you can’t feel superior to that poor person. You can’t look at the poor person and say, ‘Well pull yourself up by your bootstraps.’ Because if Jesus did that to you, you’d be in hell. 

Secondly you can’t say, ‘Well yeah he’s in trouble but a lot of that trouble he brought on himself.’ Okay, so let’s just say God’s looking down from heaven saying look at these poor people. They’re lost in sin. I’m going to help some of them, but only the people who didn’t get themselves into that trouble. I’m only going to help people who didn’t get themselves into that trouble. Well if he said that he could have saved himself a trip because there isn’t anybody like that down here.

And therefore if you are poor in spirit and you look at a poor person, all the superiority’s gone. All this idea of, well I don’t think you deserve my help. All this why don’t you work harder and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. I’ll tell you what. If you are poor in spirit, you will pour yourself out for the poor. But if you don’t. You know in Luke Chapter 11, I just read this the other day. Jesus is looking at the Pharisees and he says, ‘Because you don’t care about the poor, that shows you’re not right with God.’

Or listen to this. This is James. The book of James talks about the fact that if you have faith, that faith will always issue in good works. So James Chapter 2 verse 14 and 17. ‘What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but does not have good works? Can that faith save him? So faith, if it does not have good works, is dead.’

We’re not saved by our good works. We’re saved by faith. But if it’s real faith, it will always result in good works.

That’s what James says. You say okay, I got that. But then almost the next breath, verse 16 he says this, ‘So if you have faith but look at others without adequate resources and you do nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? Faith, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.’ James goes so far to say you say you’re saved. You say you’re poor in spirit. You say you’ve been saved by grace. You say you’ve been born again by the blood of Jesus Christ. If you don’t care about the poor, you may be lying to yourself.

He says the good works that always come from true faith is that you care about the poor. You say how could that be? I’ll tell you why. Because you see, when people … I talk to Christians who are really kind of disdainful of the poor. They’re not poor in spirit. They’re middle class in sprit. You know what middle class in spirit is? Middle class in spirit says well I believe in God but I’m not a bad person but I needed forgiveness but I had a lot of good assets too. Now the middle class says I’ve earned the salvation I’ve got. If you’re middle class in spirit and you believe you earned your salvation, A) you’re lost, even though you think you’re a Christian, and B) you’re making the world a miserable place. It’s one of the reasons why the poor are not being taken care of.

However, the gospel doesn’t just change the non-poor’s attitude towards the poor, it changes the poor’s attitude toward themselves and toward everyone else. I get this from this, Miroslav Volf has an article he wrote some years ago called ‘Shopkeepers Gold’ and before I read it to you I’ll just cite you a place in James. James Chapter 1 verses 9, 10 says this. It’s kind of a paradoxical thing when you first hear it. James says, ‘The poor Christian ought to take pride in his high position but the rich Christian ought to take pride in his low position because he will pass away like a wildflower.

‘ Read that again? ‘The poor Christian ought to take pride in his high position but the rich Christian ought to take pride in his low position.’ What is that talking about? Here’s what I think it means. When you become a Christian you’re automatically… When you believe the gospel, you see you’re more sinful than you ever dared believe but you’re more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than you ever dared hope.

See most people think well I’m not perfect, but I’m not a bad person. Christianity if you believe the gospel, it destroys that kind of vague idea about yourself. It says you’re far worse than you ever believed, you’re a sinner, you deserve to go to hell but at the same time, because of what Jesus Christ has done, you are completely accepted in the beloved. So Christians have both a low position and a high position at the same time. Now here’s what James is saying. The poor Christian needs to dwell on the high position because out in the world all they get is disdain. But the rich Christian ought to dwell on their low position because out in the world everybody thinks they’re great.

And this is what Miroslav Volf wrote in this very interesting article called ‘Shopkeepers Gold.’ He was walking around a very poor area with a pastor of a church that was helping the poor and the pastor of the church said that he believed the doctrine of justification by grace, apart from good works, had untapped resources for healing the inner city. This shocked Miroslav Volf because at first he thought oh justification by grace is sort of a, kind of a major, it’s just a doctrine, kind of a theological thing. How does that, what’s that got to do with the inner city? But then he thought about it and this is what he said. ‘Imagine you have no job, no money, you live cut off from the rest of society in a world ruled by poverty and violence. Imagine your skin is the wrong color and you have no hope that any of this will ever change.’ Wrong in pert end quotes. ‘And around you is a society governed by the iron law of achievement. It’s gilded goods are flaunted before your eyes on TV screens and in a thousand ways society tells you every day you’re worthless because you have no achievement. You’re a failure and you know that you will continue to be a failure because there’s no way for you to achieve tomorrow what you have not managed to achieve today. Your dignity is shattered, your soul is enveloped in a darkness of despair but the gospel tells you that you are not defined by outside forces. It tells you that you count even more that you’re loved, unconditionally and infinitely, irrespective of anything that you have achieved or failed to achieve. Imagine now this gospel not just proclaimed, but embodied in a community, the church. To be justified by sheer grace. To justify those declared failures by society’s implacable law of achievement. And in that community, everyone has equal status. Imagine furthermore this community determined to infuse the whiter culture along with its political and economic institutions with the message that it seeks to embody and proclaim. That’s justification by grace. Proclaimed and practiced.’ A dead doctrine? Hardly. The gospel’s implications massively will change the way in which we distribute wealth and power, we as Christians, amongst ourselves and with the city.

#2. pluralism and peace.

In our society right now, we have got people who want to silence and marginalize the others. We live in a society right now where there’s people who are really angry and I would say frankly, it’s people on the left and on the right who would be very happy if the people on the other end of the spectrum were silenced and marginalized forever. But most people in this country, and I mean most, not just Christians, most, would love to have a society that was truly diverse, truly pluralistic and truly a peaceful society where people of very deep difference, who had deeply different beliefs could welcome one another, be neighbors with one another, affirm each other even though they differ so much.

Christians have got an enormous ability I think to be leaders in creating that truly inclusive pluralism that a lot of people are yearning for.

The Christian approach to identify formation is completely different than anybody else’s. In traditional societies, go to Asia. How do you feel good about yourself if you’re pleasing your parents?

In Western society, here in Los Angeles, how do you feel good about yourself? You’ve achieved. You’ve looked into your heart and you said I wanna be an actor, I wanna be a business person, I wanna be an artist and I’ve achieved it. In other words, every approach to identity is you can feel good if you have lived up to standards. Identity is achieved.

Only Christianity gives you an identity received not achieved. Your self-worth and your self-esteem come as a free gift from God, through the work of Jesus Christ. 

Now every other approach to identity takes the identity factors. I’m proud of being an artist. I’m proud of being a good religious person. I’m proud of living up to my parent’s expectations. I’m proud of this, I’m proud of that. Every single other form of identity takes the identity factors and it operates on the basis of exclusion. You feel good because you’re not like them. If your identity is I am a liberal person, you have to look down your nose at conservatives. If your identity is I’m a conservative person, I’m true to traditional values, you have to despise liberals. If your identity factor is you’re a hard working person, you have to look down your nose at lazy people. If your identity is based on the fact that I please my parents, you have to despise the siblings that haven’t pleased the parents. The identity factors, an achieved identity works on the bases of exclusion, works on the basis of excluding people who don’t have your identity factor. That’s how you feel good about yourself. 

But the gospel is utterly different. It gives you an identity that is received. You’re a sinner saved by grace. So on the one hand, you’re not afraid of anything. You don’t care what people think because you’ve got God’s love. On the other hand you can’t feel superior to anybody because you’re a sinner. And as a result, you identity is based actually on Jesus Christ who was excluded for you. And he was cast out and he was crucified outside the gate and he was rejected and he was trampled into the dust for you. And what that means is Christians have an identity that makes them uniquely open to people who are different. Uniquely humble and respectful toward people who are deeply different. And we must lead the charge on having a society in which people with deeply different views are not silenced and not marginalized and not screamed at. Loved and welcomed in spite of the differences.

#3. Vocation and truth.

There’s three things that people out there really desperately want to hear.

  • They want to hear that their job is not just another way to achieve through performance.
  • They want to see their job as a way of serving other people. Christianity has a doctrine of vocation that actually says that. Christians need to have churches that help them think out the implications of if they’re in business, if they’re in the arts, how the gospel actually affects the way in which they do their work.
  • And lastly, under this heading, there’s a tremendous amount of dishonesty now in almost every field of endeavor. There’s a lot of corruption. There’s a lot of lying. There’s a lot of cooking the books. It’s worse than it’s ever been. People know that that’s not good for society. They desperately need people who are simply willing to take the moral values and therefore what we need at this point are a slew of people out there, Christians, who are salt and light and simply living lives of integrity.

#4. Hope and the arts.

If you’re in the arts, Christianity is more pessimistic than any other view of life. We’re lost, we’re going to hell, we’re sinners, we’re totally depraved. On the other hand, Christianity is more optimistic than any other view of life. New heavens, new earth, resurrection. If you’re in the arts and you’re not a Christian, you’re either going to make money by producing saccharine, overly optimistic, naive flat kinds of products that actually sell, or you’re going to be nihilistic and you’re going to be talking about how there’s no hope and both of those kinds of art are not good for people. If you’re a Christian and you have the kind of realistic hope of Christianity, it’s going to affect your art. 

#5. sexually counter culture

Right now, the public debate about what sex is about, Christians have lost the debate. Have you not noticed that? And what we’re going to have to do is we’re going to have to be willing in and outside our churches, to create a sexual counter culture. We’re going to have to say in here we’re going to look at sex not as a way of personal fulfillment but as a way of self-donation to create community. We’re going to have our single people not just be seeking for a mate who’s got looks and money, but a person of character. In here we’re going to treat sex and love and gender in the Biblical way and we’ll see in about 50-60 years, we’ll see what the outcomes are like. It’s a wisdom contest. In here we’re going to do it the way the Bible says. Out in the rest of society they’re trying a whole lot of different things and we’ll see as time goes on whose got the healthier kids, whose got the healthier psyches, and therefore will the social implications of the gospel in the end be a recommendation of the truth of the gospel in our 21st Century as it was in the 1st Century? Absolutely it will.

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