Blindsided. That’s the best word to describe how I felt when recently something came across my desk even I didn’t predict—three news items about polyamory—group matrimony, open marriage, one spouse many lovers…that kind of thing.
Oh, I knew this was around the corner in general, the next step down the cultural decline. Anyone could see that. But I never expected it would be championed in the church—in the Christian community, in the Body of Christ.
Apparently, “Christians” willing to embrace homosexuality, then openly gay pastors, then same-sex marriage in their church, now wonder about other “good Christians” still in the closet—the polyamorists, the group sex crowd.
The theological justification? Fasten your seatbelt: “Group love” in the Trinity is the basis for group “love” in the church. I’m not making this up. As Francis Schaeffer said, “What was unthinkable yesterday, is thinkable today, and ordinary and commonplace tomorrow.” Even more grim: Multitudes of Christians will not know what to say in response.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All around us the culture is speaking boldly, badly, and deceptively. As Christians, we must match it for boldness, but we must exceed it in grace and truth. That’s what Stand to Reason has been equipping Christian ambassadors to do all year long—our faithfulness to God made possible because of your faithfulness to STR.
In January, we released The Story of Reality, breaching the Top 100 sales mark on Amazon soon after, and holding a nearly universal 5-star approval rating ever since. In April, 1,600 showed up for our first reTHINK student apologetics conference in Alabama, and in September we filled virtually every seat in Orange County, with eager young people and their parents and leaders—over 1,800 people. Next year we add Dallas again to that line-up, and in 2019 we plan to open up a city in the Midwest.
This year we’ve added a full-time videographer and a full-time web developer, both first-class talents tasked to create for you the finest equipping web experience—a totally rebuilt site we’ll launch next year—all made possible because of a first-class team of faithful partners like you.
In the last two years, we’ve sent speakers to virtually every state in the union and multiple countries in Europe and the Middle East, in addition to Tim Barnett’s tireless—and exceptional—work in Canada. Millions have benefitted from our website, our teachings, apps, videos, and articles. Here’s just a sampling of what they’re saying:
Stand to Reason has bolstered my confidence and given me the resources and training to engage a world in darkness. I stand ready now to reason with courage and clear thinking and have begun to teach apologetics to the youth at church.
I was at reTHINK with my introverted 16-year-old. She was so greatly impacted by the sessions, she’s volunteering what she learned to her friends. Thank you to all at STR who place a high value on teens and their relationship with God.
This kind of impact has inspired a group of dedicated supporters to pledge $169,700 to challenge you. Their pooled pledge expresses their confidence in STR, but also in you and other friends of Stand to Reason, as a group, to give generously to equal or exceed their gift. Will you accept the Challenge and send your best gift today?
Here’s why your gift is so critical. Typically, over 20% of our annual revenue comes in December. A strong finish this year propels us into 2018 with confidence to pursue our plans for you—a special-event conference in the fall, expansion of reTHINK, a new web launch with unique training tools, new Ambassador Guides, new videos, and so much more—all so you can stand tall for Christ.
To help you cultivate wisdom for the task, we’ve chosen Tim Keller’s newest book, Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs, as our gift to you for your special year-end gift to us this month. My own regular reading in Proverbs has made a huge difference in shaping my character and ability to engage with grace. I’m convinced this “thinking person’s devotional” will help you, too.
No matter how far the world falls into foolishness, God is still God, His Word is still true, and STR will be here for you. Stand to Reason’s training is needed now more than ever because—thanks to friends like you—we’re preparing Christians to meet today’s challenges.
Please pray that STR and all of Christ's ambassadors, in spite of hostility, would speak God’s Word with all confidence (Acts 4:29), and equip multitudes of others to do the same (2 Tim. 2:2). We are committed to you and our other dear brothers and sisters to teach you to respond to the culture’s reproach with courage, with grace, and with sound answers, while keeping your hearts tender towards Jesus. With your generous help, STR can continue to do that for you.
2017 is rapidly coming to a close. Please consider the Challenge. Every dollar you give will move STR that much closer to meeting—and hopefully, exceeding—the $169,700 Challenge amount. That’s why your gift now is so important.
I look forward to hearing from you by December 31, and to sending you Tim Keller’s new devotional, Wisdom for Navigating Life, as a way of saying thank you for your partnership and for your prayers, both of which we depend on more than you know.
So grateful for your partnership,