In Genesis 2, at the very dawn of this world, God created everything: earth and sky, land and sea, plants and animals… and us. Male and female, He created us. And that wasn’t just a random choice – not only do most living creatures clearly exhibit this male/female design, but we are told specifically why God created male and female.
Man and woman were designed as perfect counterparts, companions, and a help to one another. God had created a family. And God created a succession plan. The man and woman would come together as one flesh. This one flesh would produce a new life – an exact blend of man and woman – and they would be a family. Soon enough, their child would then leave them to be joined together with a spouse and a new family would begin.
This was God’s perfect plan for his humans in creation: a beautiful pattern of love and service and devotion and support.
Then came sin. Man and woman rejected God as the sole authority in their lives. They thought they knew better… They were wrong. And from the moment that sin entered this world, so did death and corruption. They stain and distort everything. The created beauty of male and female, the exclusive unity of the “one flesh” that they form in marriage, the gift of childbirth, the stability of the family… all have been distorted, none are left untouched by sin. Not everyone is given a counterpart, not every marriage remains intact, not every couple is able to conceive and raise children, and the list goes on… God’s original design remains, but it has been skewed, and the consequences are widespread.
From this sad reality flows so much of the confusion and hurt and doubt that we see today. Just as Satan tempted Eve with the words, “Did God really say…”, eroding her confidence in her Creator, so He still tempts us. Did God really create male and female – or is gender more of a fluid lifestyle decision? Did God really give men and women unique, but equally valuable roles – or is that just a patriarchal power play? Did God really intend sexual pleasure to be found only with one’s spouse – or is that just an outdated cultural antique? Did God really intend an interrelationship between one father and one mother and their children to be the pattern – or should we embrace more alternative arrangements? Every one of these questions has become an open question in our society as a whole. Those who answer, “No – God didn’t really intend the Scriptural instructions,” are frequently praised for their bravery and their honesty and their willingness to embrace who they are.
But there’s a problem. Scripture clearly teaches us who we are: ever since the Fall, we are sinners. Is that an identity you want to embrace, celebrate, and parade in support of? No. True bravery and true honesty demand that we not declare “This is who I am,” with pride, but with repentance.
But then comes the gospel truth – though sin’s curse was on all of us, individually and in relationship to one another, Jesus’ death has reversed it. Marriage problems, family problems, gender and sex problems – these remain part of our earthly experience. But these problems no longer define us… and they will not last forever.
At Christ the King, we genuinely value healthy marriages and healthy families… but even more, we value the gift we have in Christ: single or married or divorced or widowed, with or without children, gender- and sex-confused or not… all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But Jesus Christ died, once for all people, and all who call on Him are made new by grace through faith.
In a society filled with confusion and false hope, we have been given the gift of God’s clarity. Regardless of the burdens we must bear in this life, Christ is alive within us. And the day is coming when the burden will fall and the faithful will rise.
Until then, I am glad to be a part of God’s family with you,
Pastor Rob Morris
About Our Pastor Rob Morris:
Pastor Rob Morris has just celebrated his sixth year with us having moved here to Newtown on New Years Eve 2011. Pastor Rob comes to us having earned both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in S. Hamilton, MA.
Prior to serving at Christ the King, he was a full-time staff member at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Topsfield, MA, focusing on both the youth and worship ministries. In the Fall of 2011, he attended one semester at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Pastor Morris is joyfully married to his high school sweetheart, Christy, and July 2014 marked their 13th wedding anniversary. They have been entrusted with two wonderful boys, Elijah (who turned 11 in March of 2017) and Isaiah (who turned eight in January of 2017). As a family, they love to hike, bike, explore, read, and play music together.
In his free time, Pastor Morris loves reading, playing music (guitar, bass, drums, piano, and a smattering of other instruments), and both road and mountain biking.
Though the journey to serving at Christ the King was not a traditional one, Pastor Morris is excited to serve in such a warm and vibrant congregation. He says, “Christ the King is the perfect name for this ministry, for it is Christ who reigns by grace through his Word and Sacraments. It is also the perfect name because Christ’s reign is extended by the faithful service of his saints here at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, CT and around the world.”