I have not put up a blog in a while.  I have been busy writing papers (I have a very intensive class I am getting ready for) and I have been doing my best to be a pastor to the new flock the Lord has given me watch over.  However, I received the post from a friend and decided this would be a good place to share it.

So football season is here and as I write this my season has started.  For those of you who don’t know this about me, I am a Football Official with the Fort Worth Chapter of Football Officials.  I love football for the following reasons:

 There is the team concept that the players are taught.

There is physical discipline in conditioning and controlling a players own actions on the field.

There is the intense physical competition between the big “uglies” in the trenches.

There is the skill sets displayed by the players who handle the pig.

There is the mental gamesmanship displayed between players and coaches.

There is the drama of who is going to win the game (will the better team win? -not always)

There is the energy from the crowds the players and coaches feed on.

There is the individual glory a player garners because of his physical gifts.

There is the learning to handle winning and losing gracefully.

 I enjoy the competitive atmosphere on the field. I firmly believe for these reasons and many more men love the game of football.  There are lots of life lessons we can take from a sport like football. 

 Football for me means getting physically ready for a long season (I will call about 75 games this year “I discipline my body like an athlete”).   I will study the rules book as well as the Officials Field Mechanics Manual (the mental preparation “…get your minds ready for action…”).  I have to work with the other Officials on the field as a team to make sure we are covering our zones properly to be in position to make the right calls (like how the body of Christ works together).

 I find that my preparation for the football season generally mirrors my preparation as a soldier for Christ. C.S. Lewis said “Christianity is a fighting religion”.  I recently read that as a leader we are to be “Defenders of the Faith”.  I am to be prepared for any circumstance with the knowledge of having the scriptures “buried in my heart” for instant recall to disarm the “enemy” or encourage someone in need.  I may be called to help someone that needs physical assistance at any moment.  I am to be ready to answer the call my heavenly Father might send my way at anytime.   

Enjoy the football season!

Joseph M. Silvas

Love is More than Attraction and Affection

The Chick-Fil-A controversy has once again brought the issue of homosexuality into the spotlight of our culture.  What makes this so disturbing to me is the way the owner of Chick-Fil-A has been villain-ized  as a hater (the new label of derision in our culture).  This man voiced his own faith belief which is grounded in centuries of biblical interpretation many believe is rather direct in its meaning.

Now, before I go any further I wish to state that I strongly believe the civil benefits granted to a man and woman who enter into the state mandated contract for a recognized union should also be granted to same gender couples.  However, I also believe that any individual  believing it is a violation of God’s word should not forced to accept homosexuality and have the same right to proclaim such publicly as those who hold a different position.  I do not believe that the church or anyone who  has the conviction that same gender attraction and sexual affection is against God’s will should be forced or coerced  to call the state mandated contract a marriage.

At the same time, I believe God’s grace comes to all people.  I also believe that Love is more than attraction and affection.  True love comes only from God for God is Love.  In our human-ness we can experience love and share love and grow in love, but on this side of the eternal veil we will always have to deal with our own sinfulness and finite understanding.  We are not God.  Yes, we do decide for ourselves what is right and wrong but when we do this apart from the God’s revelation and Spirit’s direction we can dilute or pervert what is truly right and give in to what is truly wrong.  We also can justify our thinking and actions and feel compelled to push our view upon others.  This is not the way of Jesus.

Case in point, the following is an except from an article recently published in a magazine related to a large faith community:

The advocates for the acceptance of homosexuality definitely have a voice, and that voice was heard loud and clear.  However the delegates have chosen for 40 years not to agree with that voice.  When advocates say they haven’t been heard, what they really mean is that the church has not agreed with them.  In frustration, they then trun to intimidation and coercion through protest tactics.

No one is forcing those who advocate homosexuality to be part of this voluntary religious institution.  Those who feel this position is wrong are free to follow their conscience and develop a structure they are more comfortable with.  They do not have the right to force their view upon the majority who do not accept their position.  The “advocates” in this case have become aggressors who will not recognize that their position is not going to supersede the view of Scripture held by the majority and thus they reason that they have not been heard so their aggressive tactics are justified.  Their reason becomes: “You are wrong, we are right and we will force to accept this.”

I believe in reaching out to all people.  I do not identify people by their gender preferences.  I do not identify myself by my gender preference.  I have friends who are in same sex gender relationships.  I do not “preach” at them.  It is not my job to judge them.  If (and I stress the if) they bring up the issue, I tell them I am not the Holy Spirit and the Spirit is the One they must state their case.  We all fall into the error of violating the will of God so I have no right to judge anyone.  I do believe God loves us and defines his love for us in sacrifice and service.  This is a much better way of defining love rather than using attraction and affection.  The flesh fails and emotions are capricious at best.  God’s Word will remain forever.