Brody Holloway
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Posts tagged Brody
Chiming in on the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

MarriageSeems like there are a lot of professing Christians who have now moved to a position of support, regarding same-sex marriage.  We expect it out of Hollywood and pop-culture in general.  We shouldn’t be surprised that politicians are following the cultural tide.  But we should be appalled that those who profess the name of Christ would stand on those things that reject the Word of God as our authority.  It is scary to see and hear the number of young Christians who are allowing the culture, rather than the scripture, to shape their beliefs, opinions, and overall worldview.  People often misuse and misinterpret a verse or passage of scripture to support an opposing view, but the Word of God is clear on this.  There is a constant, overarching theme in scripture when it comes to marriage and what God intends it to be.  I want to point out three things that God intends marriage to produce, and provide, for this world.  So-called same-sex marriage fails at all three points.

Marriage is for Making Babies

The first one is simple and obvious.  Even though we live in a society in which 30 million children live without both parents at home, we know that God intends for Godly marriages to produce Godly legacies.  This requires that the most intimate physical act between two people be expressed and enjoyed in such a way that God is glorified.  One of the earliest mandates God gave humanity was to reproduce it’s own kind.  In Genesis 1:28, God tells man to "be fruitful and multiply."  God then brings the first man the first bride and performs the first marriage.  It is a biblical marriage, and it involves a man and a woman.  It takes a man and a woman to make a baby.  Two men cannot do it.  Two women cannot do it.  God designed it that way.  He reiterates this mandate to Noah when the earth is in need of repopulation following the flood.

Marriage is for Making Us Holy (sanctification)

Within the context of a marriage, we are called to serve one another in the progressive work of the Holy Spirit in making us more like Christ.  This requires a relationship between two people that is, what we will call, "complementarian."  To make it simple,  a husband and wife are to serve one another in such a way that they are growing in Christ.  My highest priority in marriage is the spiritual growth and discipleship of my wife, Little.  Through this, our kids will grow in their own faith.  We are in an amazing position to reflect the Trinitarian love of God.

If marriage is the most intimate of relationships, then even our sexuality is to serve holiness.  By God’s grace, he even made sex and sexuality to be very gratifying and pleasurable, but not without design.  The goal of it all is to bring holiness, and that requires complimentarianism.  Paul says in Ephesians 5:26 that I am laboring for my wife’s sanctification.  This is the high calling of being a man, a husband, in marriage.

Marriage Shows us the Relationship of Christ and His Bride, the Church

The church is not the same as Christ, the head of the church.  Paul tells the Ephesians that Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  This is a self-sacrificial love.  Even within the biblical idea of submission, we have the church submitting to Christ and Christ submitting to the father.  The Son is, no doubt, equal to the Father, and that is the picture wives are given of submission.  The Son, however, shows us how to serve our wives, by laying down his own life, and even his own position, to be murdered for his bride and for her salvation.

Same-sex marriage cannot duplicate any of this.  Marriage, then, is a biblical mandate.  Anything seen by God as a mandate is not negotiable.  The Corinthian church gives us clear examples of what happens when a church is shaped by the culture.  God does not negotiate or compromise when it comes to his character and our holiness.  Marriage is so woven into the story of redemption that it is impossible to sever the two.  On a more sobering note, perhaps the reason so many “church kids” are climbing on board the same-sex marriage bandwagon, is because they have never seen a heterosexual marriage cover these three biblical realities.  We should be convicted and convinced of the high call of marriage, and we should labor to that end in our own marriages, and pray toward that end in our singleness.

The church is still the bride of Christ, and nothing can legislate away that reality.

New Year: Same Gospel, Bigger World PART 2

I don’t know why, but “missions” is a subject that seems to make people nervous. It seems that whenever we start talking about reaching the unreached or seeing the Gospel spread to the ends of the earth, folks start squirming. For most American Christians, the thought of “having” to go to some other part of the world and minister to a people group of a different culture and language is scary. In fact, it stirs in most of us a tight-fisted attitude of rebellion.

There is, no doubt, a Jonah-type syndrome in the American church. The need is obvious, and the fields are white for harvest. And everyone seems to be looking for the first ship to Tarshish. There really are only a few laborers. I think that the very word “missions" still conjures up images of spear-chucking natives bent on killing and eating foreign human flesh. And that scares people. But we will be held responsible for what we do with the Great Commission.

Jesus gave us clear instructions before he left to have a seat at the right of God the father: We are to baptize people from EVERY language and nation. We are to teach them the commands of Christ and scripture. The American church needs desperately to realize that no other generation has had the resources that we have to reach the world.

Technology is amazing, and rather than using it simply to keep in touch with old high school teammates and ex-girlfriends, we should be seizing the opportunity it gives us to make a global impact. Through websites like www.joshuaproject.net, we can learn of needs of foreign people groups and pray and give to the work of the Gospel to reach those groups. If we are too weak-spirited to go, we should first repent of our attitude of self-preservation, and then learn how we might give to the work and support of those obedient to go and do what God has called us to do.

We can pray for these groups, pray for missionaries, and write letters of support to those who are serving in the field. We do this as a family, and many of you have taken part in our letter writing campaign at SWO Underground. There are so many opportunities to give our resources and to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are willing to forsake all for the sake of the Gospel. We ALL have a responsibility to close the gap on the 3 billion who have never heard.

This past year, we saw students from all over the United States raise more than $30,000 so that part of the Bible could be translated into the language of an unreached people group. Many of you participated in this, known at SWO as the Garia Project. I am excited to share with our readers that the project — Phase 1 — is complete. The Gospel of Mark has been successfully translated into the Garia language!

For the first time in history, this South Asian people have the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus, in their language! This is a good reminder that there are things we can do from right here at home. The fields really are white, and for the first time in history, we have the means necessary to begin the harvest. Pray about how you might give if you are not able or willing to go. SWO has opportunities for partnership in the global work of the Gospel. To find out more, email us at thebird@swoutfitters.com.

Serving Together: Our annual mission trip

A lot of our readers have been asking about the trip to Central America that we just took with the SWO staff. Every year, we take our kids to Honduras to work in an orphanage that is home to 600 children. The kids range from newborn to 18 years, and our kids have learned a lot through these annual trips. In fact, I would say that Little and I have learned a lot through these trips.

I have the opportunity to speak a good bit on the subjects of marriage and family, parenting, biblical manhood, leadership, etc. I also have a lot of opportunities to speak at missions conferences. I often challenge parents to consider taking a family missions trip in the place of an annual vacation. We live in such a material-driven world. We live in such a material-driven CHURCH. If we can break away from the commercialism of America and serve others and teach our children to do the same, then God will honor it. He will grow our families. He will give our kids a vision and passion for the nations and for people who genuinely NEED Jesus. As a parent, giving our children these opportunities is very important. I could go on about this topic, because I am so passionate about it. But I want to make the challenge simple. I want the Lord to challenge you to consider exchanging a typical vacation for a life-changing trip with eternal implications.

I can tell you that when you serve together as a family, things change. Dynamics change. Futures change. When your week together is more about feeding hungry children than it is about feasting at a seafood buffet, things change. When you trade in beachfront lodging for a sleeping mat in a third world orphanage, things change. The first time you look into the eyes of your son or daughter as they look into the eyes of one who is fatherless, things change.

It isn’t that difficult, and we can help point you in the right directions. Opportunities abound. But you only get one chance to raise your children.

Fight, thankfully!

“…take … the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

Well, it is Thanksgiving, and I feel the pressure, and a bit of an obligation, to write an appropriate, occasion-specific blog. I don’t think that is a bad thing; in fact, I think it is a really great thought. I mean, I am genuinely thankful that the Pilgrims came over to pave the way for religious freedom, and that Squanto taught them how to grow corn, and that they had a big feast to celebrate it. I am not being funny. I really love this particular holiday, and what it commemorates. I love the annual Holloway/Turkey Bowl (a brutally competitive gridiron war of the grittiest caliber. Lailee is cut from the same cloth as say… Clay Mathews?). If you think the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving is a traditional throw-down, you should see this. And the accompanying Holloway Basketball Classic (traditionally played after dark under the lights) is a men vs. women affair that often brings bloodshed. This is one competitive family! I love eating fresh venison tenderloin, biscuits and gravy for breakfast (Tuck supplied this year’s kill with a nice fat doe). And I can’t forget Little’s buttermilk pies. You have, no doubt, heard of them.

We spend the holiday in middle-Georgia (not to be confused with Middle-Earth), hanging out at the Williams farm. Little has cousins there who may be the most hospitable people I have ever met. It is not only a day, but a week that I look forward to every year.

This morning, though, my mind goes to Ephesians 6:17, and an attitude of thankfulness that God has not left me unarmed in the battle He has called me into. I can’t imagine trying to be a dad, lead a home, shepherd this family of redeemed sinners, pay the bills, pastor my wife, maintain sexual purity, pursue righteousness, guard my steps and ways, be faithful, and wage war on sin, without the gift of the weapon that is the Word of God.

I am so grateful that God not only arms me, but that He wields the sword of the Spirit within me. He dwells in me. He is for me. He destroyed death for me. He has crushed the enemy. He was tempted in every way yet never sinned. He provides for me what He demands and expects from me. I am thankful for that.

Life is war. Sin is relentless. Satan hates us. We are overwhelmingly armed. It really isn’t a fair fight. You just gotta pick up your weapons. But you don’t have to fight unarmed. I am TRULY thankful for that.