First Thoughts

Author: Spencer Harmon

How To Help Your LGBTQ Friend

If you are an evangelical Christian, the odds are that you know someone in the LGBTQ+ community. If you don’t, you will. 20% of Gen Z identifies as something other than heterosexual. Pretty soon, you will meet someone who has a partner of the same sex or “identifies” as something other than their biological sex. What do you need to know as you minister to your friend? This can be an overwhelming question if you are a Christian who believes the Bible. That is because two things are crystal clear: (1) the Bible teaches that the LGBTQ+ lifestyle is sinful and destructive, and (2) our culture is deeply hostile to anyone who would embrace what the Bible teaches. That means you are going to get into some tense moments if you are a Christian seeking to be faithful to Jesus during these times. There...

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How Do You Watch a Movie Like a Christian?

Netflix. Hulu. Disney+. Paramount+. Amazon Prime. HBO Max. Encanto. Boba Fett. Redeeming Love. Ted Lasso. Squid Game. Spiderman. Should Christians be entertained by these platforms, movies, and shows? Is it possible to consume the latest movies or binge-worthy shows and glorify God? How? From the ultra-conservative who only watches movies recommended by their pastor, to the movie connoisseur who somehow finds “the gospel” even in the most explicit content, the entertainment we consume often creates blurry lines for Christians. How can we bring biblical clarity and biblical purity to bear on our entertainment choices? Here are six principles to help you fight for purity: 1. Research You should never feel victimized by sin in your entertainment choices. In our day, there are several resources...

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Recovering Purity Culture

We need to recover purity culture. We read I Kissed Dating Goodbye in high school. As many will remember, Joshua Harris sought to dismantle what he identified as a culture of casual dating in the church. Many were helped by this book (including us!). A movement began, marked by purity banquets, purity rings, and commitments made by thousands of teenagers to save sexual intimacy for marriage. Purity culture was born. But for many, that culture crushed them. Many have recently reported that as this movement integrated into their communities, churches, and families, it was more suffocating than freeing. As they failed to keep the expectations of purity culture, they were isolated from their communities, keeping their sexual sin in the dark. Even Joshua Harris, the man at the center of this...

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