"Living and Serving Post Obergefell: How to remain faithful to our mission in a culture that often disagrees with our message." - January 18-20, 2016
The theme reflects the recent US Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court's decision guaranteed the right of same-sex couples to marry. Our main plenary speaker will be Dr. Roy Atwood, the former dean and president of New St. Andrews College, Moscow, ID, and is presently the Director of the Founders Institute. In addition, Dr. Eugene Boe, Academic Dean of Lutheran Brethren Seminary, will present "A Letter to the Church in Exile," based on 1 Peter and attorney John Talley will talk about legal issues related to the church in regards to this recent landmark Supreme Court decision and our steady transition as a nation toward a secular post-modern social politic.
8:30 -10:00 am
A Preface to Immorality: Losing the Antithesis on the Road to Obergefell
The acids of modernity, as Walter Lippmann put it so eloquently back in 1929 in his book, A Preface to Morals, dissolved the ancient social and moral order that the Christian faith once provided. While Christian scholars may continue to engage secular thought in academic contexts, the church has failed to build a distinctive, robust and winsome Christian culture. It has also given inadequate resistance to secularism’s drive to dominate popular culture. The acidic assumptions and methods of secularism gradually permeated both academic and popular culture, eventually negating the antithesis between belief and unbelief. From Descartes to Derrida, the Great Train Robbery to Star Wars, this relentless cultural secularization has come to dominate the American experience and continues to weaken biblical moral authority and confidence in the Lordship of Christ within the church itself. Today, the Obergefell decision marks the end of a preface of immorality and the beginning of a new secular order of sexual deviance and political tyranny. It echoes what the poet Aristophanes observed long ago, “Whirl is king, having driven out Zeus.”
Obergefell as an Agent of Change: From Sexual Liberation to Political Tyranny
The Obergefell case was a tipping point, propelling the sexual revolution forward, because it boldly marked an official public demotion of biblical authority over moral life. The Obergefell case also marks a tipping point in the creation and sustenance of the sexual revolution by its highly effective use of the social propaganda technique known as the “Spiral of Silence.” This sea change in the moral order and the spiral of silence that has stilled voices opposed to the sexual revolution confirm what author E. Michael Jones argued in Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control (2000): the sexual revolution is ultimately about political control. Like all those who mock God’s law and the Law Giver, however, sexual revolutionaries and those seeking political domination will not have the last laugh. Sexual liberation is ultimately no liberation at all.
1:30 – 3:00 pm
The Church’s Mission after Obergefell
The church’s great mission remains unchanged and timeless: declaring the crown rights of Christ, the King of the universe, and submitting all things—every thought, word and deed—to his sovereign grace and rule. What has changed with the Obergefell decision is the appearance of who is really in charge, what constitutes culture making, and what is normative sexually. For the church to move forward in this new context, it must, first, not be deceived by the illusion of the sexual revolution’s triumph; Christ is still the victor and judge, and the sexual revolutionaries are not. The church must not gloat about Christ’s triumph, but prepare to treat all the spiritually wounded (on both sides) of the sexual revolution. Second, the church must be winsome, as ever, in building a truly counter-counterculture. The church must not underestimate the wickedness and craftiness of Satan’s designs for tempting God’s people to unfaithfulness by the beauty of God’s gift of human sexuality. And third, the church must recover a biblically grounded, antithetically clear, joyfully fruitful view of human sexuality that is neither prudish nor libertine, while resisting the temptation to use the secularist’s playbook for being shrill or acting the “victim.”
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
The Christian Family & Home in an Age of Sexual Antinomianism
The Christian family and home have always been targets for the sexual revolutionaries precisely because they represent Christ and his bride, the church. Biblical headship and leadership in the home, feminine modest and chastity, faithful child rearing and nurturing, Christian education, sexual purity, and marital fidelity are clear threats to sexual antinomianism's corrosive forces of feminism, pornography, “public” education, abortion, birth control to reduce the consequences of adultery and fornication, prostitution, no-fault divorce, homosexuality, etc. Recovering a biblical vision for the Christian home and family has never been more important for the sake of Christ and his church living in the brave new world of the sexual revolution.
Wednesday, January 20
Mr. John Talley, Attorney-at-Law
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Churches: Establish and Implement
This session will focus on what governing documents, policies and guidelines prudent congregations should insure are established and implemented to best protect the Bride of Christ.
Wednesday, January 20
Mr. John Talley, Attorney-at-Law
10:30 – 11:15 am
Pastors: Prepare and Stand
The focus will be on how the Supreme Court decision directly impacts pastors in ministry that is faithful to the Word for their flock. This session will consider potential implications and will also attempt to anticipate likely future Human Rights Commission and court rulings.
In each session, prudent steps to be taken will be discussed and suggestions will be made for religious schools and denominations.