July 2, 2015

Dear Linwood Family and Friends,

Last week was quite a week!

I began the week in Alaska, the last few days of our Alaskan adventure.  In a word (or 3) IT WAS FABULOUS!  Monday we were flying in a small plane from Homer to Katmai National Park (accessible only by air or water) to watch grisly bears.  We were indeed up close and personal.

Wednesday and Thursday included a somewhat challenging return trip to Cleveland.

Saturday was the Patriotic Concert at Linwood.  That was also a great time.  Thank you Rick Fortney and the TrueNorth Chorale and Orchestra!

Then came Sunday.  And…I found myself asking the question that I am sure was asked by every pastor or every church in this nation.  Do I talk about the Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage, and if so, what do I say?  The Lord made this somewhat easy for me.  Six months earlier I had planned to talk this past Sunday on “Marriage.”  Since our theme for the season is “Faith, Family, and Friendship” (this summer emphasizing family), it made sense that one of the messages would be on marriage.  I had no idea that this would be on the schedule two days after a landmark Court decision.  As I said last Sunday, I could only attribute the timing to the Lord’s wisdom or to His sense of humor.

I felt – and I still feel – that it was my responsibility as your pastor to share my thoughts and my heart.  Linwood is interdenominational.   There is not a “party line.”  I have no authority over you.  Instead God’s Word has authority over all of us.  There were a number of people who asked if I would make available my comments.  If you are interested, they are posted HERE (link opens in a new window or tab).

I do not claim any special knowledge or expertise.  My views are by no means unique.  There are many wonderful statements, blogs, emails, etc. that can be found on the internet.  However, let me simply say that I was not surprised nor dismayed by the Supreme Court statement, but I am also deeply concerned.  I am deeply concerned about our country – a country that is more and more embracing a culture that I believe is less than God’s best.  I am deeply concerned about Christians who are more and more finding themselves at odds with prevailing viewpoints.  And, I am deeply concerned about what seems to be a growing intolerance against Bible believing people of faith.

At the same time I am excited and hopeful.  The Christian faith has always been most vibrant when it calls for a life style and decisions that do stand apart from a non-believeing culture.  And, no matter how many skirmishes seem to be lost, I know that God’s Kingdom will one day be victorious.

Blessings in Christ,
Hu Auburn, Linwood Park Pastor