Aaron Ritter 's Articles

Lost (and Found) in Translation: A Day in the Life of the Du Family


 

The Du family is making a home in Fort Collins while still longing for a better country.


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Gender-ification: Making Sense of the Bible's Teaching on Sex and Gender


 


A couple weeks ago I spent part of a Thursday afternoon on the Colorado State campus listening to Tom Short, a campus preacher affiliated with our movement of churches, who was spending each afternoon that week on the CSU Plaza speaking to students. By the time I got there, Tom had drawn a sizable crowd and was having a spirited conversation with a handful of rather hostile students. Shortly after I arrived, a young man stopped beside me to listen and we soon struck up a conversation. He was from Saudi Arabia and had just arrived in Fort Collins, although he had spent a couple years at a different American university before coming to CSU. He told me he had listened to Tom some in the previous days, so I asked him what he thought. Here was his summary: “All you Americans ever talk about is sex.”

That, of course, was not a point I could argue. As we continued to listen to Tom, the discussion most definitely was about sex and specifically about sexual boundaries and gender definition, just as it had often been throughout that week. This probably doesn’t surprise many of you, and you may not need to be convinced that sexuality is a hot topic. Still, sometimes we need to be reminded just how much gender dominates faith-related discussions.

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In Praise of Tim Carr and the Joy of Children's Ministry


 

As Tim Carr transitions out of leading Catalyst, it’s encouraging to reflect the good that’s happening in in our children’s ministry — and how influential Mr. Carr has been over the last five years.



I used to think Mr. Swan from church was God, because he was always up there singing. I would think to myself, “Man, I love that guy!” But I now know that he isn't really God. (Anonymous Summitview 6-year-old)

Isn’t it fun to see a growing depth of theological understanding in young children? It’s always to be celebrated when a young person refrains from deifying the worship leader.

In all seriousness, though, it is a joy to watch light bulbs turn on in the brains of young children as they get to know God. In fact, the apostle John said that he had no greater joy than to hear that his children were walking in the truth (3 John 4). He was speaking of adults to whom he had become a spiritual father, but his point was that there was amazing delight in seeing people come to a greater knowledge of God. Perhaps there's no place in the church that allows for greater opportunity to experience that kind of joy than in children's ministry. Each week, we get to see genuine faith being formed in little, eternal souls.

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We Are All Adopted


 

Adoption is a picture of the gospel, and Christians should seriously consider it.



“The court grants your petition for adoption.”

Those were the glorious words we heard from the judge last Thursday at the Larimer County Justice Center. Typically, an adoption is not legally finalized until at least six months after the child is placed in a home. Our daughter, Abigail Violet, had come into our home about eight months ago, and last week was her big finalization day. Abby is now officially and irrevocably a Ritter.

The court hearing was the final step in what was about a three-year process for our family — a process that touched our hearts in a profound way. Of course, there’s something that always happens to people when they are touched deeply: They evangelize. They can’t help but speak and try to persuade others. And perhaps this is a good time to evangelize.

Two Sundays ago was Sanctity of Life Sunday. We ran a post last week on why it’s essential for Christians to continue to champion the pro-life cause. But I believe that our campaign for life is much more effective when we not only speak against the evils of abortion but speak for the wonders of adoption. For some of us, that may even mean adopting a child ourselves.

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When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, or Why Authenticity Isn’t Enough


 


Be real.

Sometimes a cultural ethic can be summed up in six letters. Five if you want to be a little more modish and go with BREAL. If anything, our communication today is efficient. We’ve become quite skilled at fitting a whole lot of meaning into a hashtag.

In the case of this popular little slogan, it’s hard to argue against its merit. Being real is surely a good thing. It’s assuredly a biblical thing and something that Christians should be especially adept at. The Bible repeatedly commands us to confess – to be honest about our deepest failures. We’re also told that there is “nothing hidden that will not be known (Matthew 10:26).” We might as well be transparent now because we will be made transparent eventually. We even have reason to be forthright with our own personal strengths and weaknesses because we know that we’re intentionally designed parts of a body, shaped by a good Designer to fill a specific role. I don’t have to posture because I can rest in my assigned role. So if anybody should be real, it’s those of us in the church.

But it’s also important to understand that we can’t only be real.

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