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They Are Not Pastors- 2

If you have not seen it yet, here is the link to the response of the woman pastor to CP readers’ questions. Her responses are very troubling to say the best about them.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-who-says-single-christians-can-have-mutually-pleasurable-sex-doesnt-see-bible-as-gods-infallible-word-168434/page2.html

We will look at a few of her responses just to highlight how troubling her argument is.

#1.Different Christian churches read and interpret the Bible differently. I profess Jesus as the Word of God, and the Bible as a witness to His life, ministry, death and resurrection. Which is to say that I take it seriously as a living witness, but also as a historic document written in a particular time and place.

This is an example of why interpretation is so dangerous. It leads to private views being placed upon scripture and Peter stated that the Bible is not of someone’s private interpretation.  The HS is not the spirit of interpretation and the Bible doe snot teach God’s followers to use interpretation nor advocate its use.

#2.I think that there have to be additional norms for what makes sex moral or immoral, just or unjust; the question of marriage is insufficient.

We get very troubled when we hear or read people say things like this. The very first question that comes to mind is “who are they that they get to say that God’s provision is not sufficient?” What has this woman done that has qualified her to be a judge of God’s instruction and  say that her ideas are better than his?

#3.There is always a danger that people will hear what they want to hear, and will believe things that are convenient for them to believe. Witness all sorts of lies from political leaders about how the problem of our economy is “lazy poor people.” There’s a false, unbiblical, teaching for you.

This answer is also troubling as that woman does not consider God’s warning nor takes it seriously enough to use it to double-check her thinking. She thinks she is okay and that teaching people to ignore God’s instruction is good. I know of many bloggers who advocate the same thing she does so they will like her a lot which fulfills the verse mentioned by the CP reader.

#4. I have received feedback from countless folks who were taught that if they reserved sex for marriage, they would avoid hurt, and their relationships would be immediately holy and wonderful and satisfying. And that has not proven true. I also know many who had sexual relationships outside of marriage that did not leave them hurting or empty, but were loving and supportive

This is more of an excuse to pursue faulty teaching than providing the truth about marriage.  Sure some people are taught that and many people who teach those ideas believe that information is correct BUT that doesn’t mean it is. A part of being holy is waiting to have sex till one is married. You can’t be holy if you willfully sin. Sex is not the holiness factor in marriage and hurt comes through other means as well so to use that fact to move to false teaching about when to have sex is unjustified

She also doesn’t understand about conscience and those who have extra-marital affairs may not feel hurt and empty because of the beliefs they hold about affairs. Her thinking is far too limited for her to be allowed to talk about this issue. She is only pursuing her own desires and like all alternative believers, ignores how God feels about the subject.

The alternative believer prefers their own ideas over God’s way

#5.I think it’s interesting the way that readers such as Ms. Kinzer share their experiences of heartache following unmarried sex, and cite their experiences as authoritative, because, indeed, one of the things the book does is take the experiences of a number of people (350!) who completed a survey I sent out, as well as friends and my own, and offer them as sources of reflection.

WOW she takes a survey over fact and a survey which she cannot guarantee was completely truthful and the respondents completely honest. So we know her research is as flawed as her thinking.

We will repeat our call for God’s people to start praying that such teachers and pastors be removed from Christian churches and academic institutions. They should not be given a place to spread their false teaching to the faithful. We do not say this lightly but out of our troubled spirit. The people of God deserve better than this and they deserve God’s way over the pastors’ or professors’ ideas. They deserve the truth over interpretation.

God’s people need to be more discerning and reject such false teaching and not let the position of pastor or professor keep them from practicing God’s instructions when it comes to false teachers and teaching. It is only a slight hope that that pastor is misguided and easily convinced to return to the truth and that is the first request God’s people should make in their prayers to protect them from false teaching.

But if they cannot be convinced of the truth nor return to it then further step, like removal, need to be prayed for and taken. We take the position of pastor and professor very seriously as does God. Both positions are not our personal playgrounds but positions that are to lead the people to the truth and keep them in the truth.

We grieve that such people as that woman pastor get such a great hearing and lots of influence over church members and their fellow pastors. But as we said yesterday, if the person is going to defy God’s rules and instructions on who is qualified to be a pastor then further defiance is no surprise and if the church does not take the right action then they are only asking for trouble and deserve what they get.

Christianity is not a game though many people think it is.  Life is not a game though many people think it is. Eternity is real though many people do not think it is. We should be more careful in how we handle our responsibilities from God.

 

They Are Not Pastors

#1.Single Christians Can Have Sex as Long as It’s ‘Mutually Pleasurable and Affirming,’ Pastor Says

When someone consistently breaks God’s rules in one area of life then it is no surprise to see them advocate for others to break more of God’s rules.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/single-christians-can-have-sex-as-long-as-its-mutually-pleasurable-and-affirming-pastor-says-168372/

Bucking against conservative Christian tradition advising against extra-marital sex, the Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan, a married mother of three and associate pastor for ministry with families at Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois, says single Christians can have sex as long as it’s “mutually pleasurable and affirming.”

She got the biblical instructions on qualification for pastor wrong so it is no wonder she is getting God’s instruction on pre-marital sex wrong. God does not say this anywhere in the Bible and what we can see is that too many people, and it doesn’t matter if they are men or women, pastors or not, have lost sight of the concept of sin and God’s definition of what is sin.

For McCleneghan, however, whose views are comprehensively captured in her new book, Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option — And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex, single Christians don’t need to abstain from sex to remain pure since being chaste is about moderation.

That too is not even close to being correct. Being chaste has nothing to do with moderation as the latter indicates that some activity is taking place and the former indicates that NO activity is being done. Here is the simple definition of the word ‘chaste’ from Miriam Webster

not having sex

: morally pure or decent : not sinful  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chaste)

When people start changing the definition of words to suit their desires and fancy then that is when they get into trouble and make all sorts of mistakes like that woman does.

That is, chastity for singles means celibacy — no sex. … I’d argue that we can be chaste — faithful — in unmarried sexual relationships if we exercise restraint: if we refrain from having sex that isn’t mutually pleasurable and affirming, that doesn’t respect the autonomy and sacred worth of ourselves and our partners,” she explained.

You will notice that she places no biblical foundation for her thinking anywhere and you will notice that she does not address any biblical verse talking about refraining from pre-marital sex. The verse mentioned in the article comes from the author or the church not the female pastor.

McCleneghan believes it’s unfair to ask single Christians who haven’t been called to a life of celibacy to refrain from sexual intimacy when both men and women need sex.

How is it unfair? God applies the same rules to everyone. Those believers who have not been called to a life of celibacy just need to be patient and make the right decisions.As we read her comments we can see that God is not with her or her views. Not one thing she says is biblically supported and that is a problem because she is a leader in the church with influence.

Pastors are not called to implement their own ideas but to be servants of God who lead the people to God’s ways and pre-marital sex is not God’s way. Pastors who lead the people to sin are not faithful servants but dishonest ones.It is no wonder the church is not making an impact for God for many pastors are not proclaiming the message God gave them to proclaim.

#2. Gay Anglican Ministers Defy Church’s Biblical Doctrine by Revealing They Are in Same-Sex Marriages

How can anyone in good conscience accept a job knowing that they will or are breaking the rules? What kind of pastors are they?  If they will break God’s rule on marriage and sexual relationships, it is not a surprise to see them break the rules of the denomination they work for.

Nearly a dozen ministers within the Church of England are expected to reveal in a letter that they are gay and have married their same-sex partners despite the Church’s biblical opposition to gay marriage.

The Guardian reported on Sunday that the letter from the clergy to the Church will ask for permission to carry out blessings for people entering gay marriages.

Again we will use the argument of a faithful/unfaithful steward here as for one to be a faithful steward they must follow the rules of the people they represent. If they have a problem with the rules then they can either quietly discuss their opinions with their bosses or resign and find a denomination that does not have such rules— though we will add, there is no other God they can work for as God has his rules on the issue and they do not seem to matter to these people.

If God’s rules do not matter to them, then it is no stretch to see that church rules do not matter to them. These people are not servants of God but very selfish servants of evil.

Our marriages are legal, celebrated and widely accepted in society,” said Andrew Foreshew-Cain, one of the first priests to defy the CofE’s ban on gay marriage.

But they are not accepted or celebrated by God and HIS OPINION is the one that matters. You cannot say you love God when you willingly break his rules. You cannot say you love God when you lead his people to sin. You cannot be a pastor and live in sin or break God’s rules.

#3.United Methodist Church Delegates Defy Church Rules to Elect First Openly Gay Bishop

http://www.christianpost.com/news/united-methodist-church-delegates-defy-church-rules-elect-first-openly-gay-bishop-166649/

Why have rules if you are not going to follow them?

A rift has emerged in the United Methodist Church after delegates in the Western Jurisdictional Conference defied the Church’s prohibition of homosexuality on Friday to elect the Rev. Karen Oliveto as its first openly gay bishop.

Why claim to be a servant of God when you do not serve him?

She thanked the delegates of the Western Jurisdiction “who dared to live into this Kairos moment. Today we took a step closer to embody beloved community and while we may be moving there, we are not there yet. We are moving on to perfection.”

You can neither embody a beloved community or move to perfection when you let sin and corruption lead the way. Nor can you serve God (as 1 John 1 attests) if you live in darkness. Saying you are not in darkness doe snot mean you are walking in the light and the only way to be in the light is to repent of your sins, something that is defined by God as HE OWNS the church, not the homosexual community.

These people are not Pastors for or of God but misguided, deceived souls who do not serve God but allow evil to work through them in order to ruin the church. God has set the rules for the church and it is up to the Pastor to see that the people understand them and live by them. The pastor is not given permission to change those rules nor to say that they do not matter.

Pastors are given a charge by God to lead his people to the promised land–heaven– but when they do not do that then they should be reprimanded, rebuked, corrected and if they do not change then removed from their positions. God does not like sin and when his chosen leaders lead his people away from Him and into sin then the people need to take strong action, starting with prayer, and rectify the situation.

Eternity is not something you should play with, Sin is not allowed in God’s community and it is not discrimination or a violation of anyone’s civil rights to exclude sin and those who practice it from church leadership or membership.

We do not need to worry about what the unbelieving world thinks as they would probably be glad to see the church stand with the God they claim to follow and remove sin from the church’s midst. They probably would love to see the church stopping from being so hypocritical.

We are not following God when we break his rules and lead others to break them.  Sin is no joke and we have many OT and NT examples of what God does with those who sin, maybe we should take those examples to heart and clean up the churches and religious academic institutions so that we have a church that is pleasing to God and makes an impact for him.

 

The Bible Is Not A Parenting Manual

This was our sermon last Sunday which we thought we would share as well

Introduction

This is the title to a blog post I addressed for my magazine this past week.  It is not a statement or fact nor am I declaring the Bible to be inadequate for parenting guidance. It is the view of that particular person who wrote that post.

One of the things that author says about the Bible is:

“Scripture offers occasional parenting advice, and some of it is good, but the Bible was never meant to be a parenting manual”

This statement is only partially true. For while it does provide only a few verses specifically talking about raising one’s children it is meant to be a guide to all aspects of our lives—this includes parenting.

The Bible provides clear instructions though general in nature in some cases on how we are to look after our families, Those who make the claim that the Bible is not a parenting manual have not read it very closely nor listened to the HS when those passages come before their eyes.

We all know those specific passages referred to by the author of that blog post. Eph. 6: 1 & 2  are prime examples as they read:

“1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

2“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:

or in Proverbs which reads, spare the rod spoil the child. Sadly too many people have taken the word ‘rod’ ultra-literally and have used rods, switches and other tools to discipline their children. They did not take the time to learn that God used the word rod here to equal ‘discipline’. If we spare discipline then we spoil the child. I am not going to get into a debate about the use of corporal punishment versus other forms of discipline for that is a conversation for another time

And I do not want to spend time in talking about the verses we all know about. I would like to focus on those issues and verses that we do not consider to be relevant to raising children. We do not think they are relevant because they are often applied to more adult situations. I will use some points from that blog post to help me bring home the point God wants us to learn about the Bible being a parenting manual.

#1. “There are a few scattered verses that talk about raising up children, discipline, and a handful of generic bits of wisdom, but few offer specific pieces of advice or relevant applications for today’s society.”

How is today’s society different from any other society in history? Parents have desires for their children, children want to play in games, and do other activities and so on. This has not changed throughout history despite the claims made by archaeologists and biblical scholars.

Then we must see that the ideas of obedience and sin have not changed from culture to culture. Children are given instructions and rules by their parents and the children either disobey on their own or they are led to disobey by their friends and other influences. When caught children are punished.

The modern society is no different from any ancient one and God’s words of parental guidance applies to all cultures and all civilizations whether ancient or modern. When God says as he does in Deut. 6

“Dt 6:1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,

Dt 6:2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live   by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life”

Our children may not be going in to possess the land of Canaan but they are eligible to enter into heaven and while we do not have to teach all the laws of the OT we do have God’s instructions and commands in the NT to impress upon our children and grandchildren.

Those instructions and commands help us in raising our children as it gives them a clear path to follow and so that they know the difference between right and wrong; good and evil; morality and immorality.

What is an example of those instructions and commands that we might impress upon our children—Ph. 2

“14Do all things without complaining and disputing,

15that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

16holding fast the word of life,”

They are part of the light that shines in their crooked and perverse generations and they need to be shown how to hang on to the word of life, how to be blameless and harmless. This example shows parents what they need to possess themselves along with directing them to what they need to teach their children.

Another example comes from the OT, the book of Micah and it reads:

“8    He has shown you, O man, what is good;     And what does the Lord require of you     But to do justly,     To love mercy,     And to walk humbly with your God?”

Children do not come with these qualities of life and need to be shown as well as experience true justice and mercy then when to correctly apply the latter of those two. Then they need to learn how to humbly walk with God thus while God does not give us point by point instructions for each parenting problem, he does cover all child rearing issues with verses that cover everything. The parent knows that if he wants his child to be just then he must provide justice when disciplining the child.

Providing justice and the right mercy when it is called for is part of child rearing and avoids other problems as the child grows older.

#2. To make matters worse, Jesus—the central figure of Christianity—was never a parent. He didn’t have to worry about changing diapers, taking kids to school, protecting them, or transporting them to soccer practice

Jesus is the all-knowing God why does he have to be a parent to know how to tell his followers how to raise their children?

“Lk 2:40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.”

Surely the wisdom he received as he grew would sufficiently qualify him to talk about parental issues and be able to guide parents in raising their children. The following two examples are for children as well as adults:

“Mt 5:37 Simply let your yes be  yes, and your no, no? anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

Children need to be taught how to keep their word and not to speak too hastily. If we are not sure how to teach  our children God has provided older believers to help and a parent can also pray for wisdom to handle the problems they face.

As for changing diapers well, the previous point has the answer to that and other distasteful chores— do all things without complaining

We do not know if he had to worry about changing diapers, taking kids to school or protecting them because we are not sure what duties he was given by Mary & Joseph since he was the oldest he may have cared for his younger siblings or so we can conclude.

As for soccer practice other sports and activities, the Bible has those covered as well as it teaches us to be honest, not to cheat, not to lie, to do all to the glory of God and many more instructions. The Bible does cover it all if we really look at all the verses pertaining to how we should live and interact with our neighbors.

#3. There are hardly any examples in the Bible of good parents, and even if there were, it would be hard to reconcile the radical difference between cultures that span over thousands of years. We would understand little of their parenting customs and find most of their practices confusing, repulsive, and completely unfamiliar.

We do not need biblical examples of good parents to follow because we have instructions from our Creator who knows how to raise children. We just need to honestly and correctly implement them as our families grow. Though this is not a guarantee that one will not have problems with their children but if we correctly respond to those problems biblically then we will lessen those problems and our example will make the right impression upon the child’s life.

God’s word transcends culture and gives all parents the same instructions to follow in living the Christian life and raising their children. We belong to God’s culture thus the instructions are all going to be the same for everyone, it doesn’t matter which country or era one lives in God’s word is to be followed.

#4. For Christian parents searching for clear, concise, and exact answers to all of their parenting questions, concerns, and dilemmas, the Bible is frustratingly thin on content.

This is difficult for many to accept because Christian culture often puts an extra burden on parents to raise their children in the most “Christian way” possible

The most Christian way possible is to follow God’s instructions and apply them correctly. We have clear and concise and exact answers to follow if we really look honestly at God’s word. The verse ‘do unto others…’ applies to parents in raising their children. If the parent would not like the discipline they render to their children for the offense committed then the parent should rethink that punishment.

If the parent does not want to be lied to, they should not lie to their children and if the parent wants grace and forgiveness then they should administer grace and forgiveness to their children.

If the parent wants their children to return good for evil, then the parent should set that example correctly.

The most Christian way possible is to follow God’s instructions not the expected way of those in the church for who is to say if others in the church are following God or the secular world’s ideas?

We are not without help in parenting as God has provided us the HS to guide us as we raise our children and if we have questions we only need to ask for help to get to the right answer, whether it comes directly from God or from a true believer in the church.

We are not alone when we raise our children and we do have the perfect parenting manual—the Bible. A parent must take the time to read all the verses not just the ones specifically talking about children but those which guide our lives as well. One last example

‘Turn the other cheek…’  parents need to set this example for their children and instruct them clearly on how it is to be done correctly for our children will face attacks that call for retaliation and revenge but God said vengeance is mine…’ thus the child needs to see it exampled by their parent then told how to let God avenge them.

While God does not give us step by step blow-by-blow guidelines he has given us intelligence to see what he is talking about and the ability to use that intelligence to learn what verses apply to which situation. God addressed all aspects of life in a concise way so that people will pick up his word and read it.

What applies to adult to adult relationships applies to parent to child relationships as Paul wrote

“22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law”

The child needs to see this in action as well

Let us pray

 

So That

We are previewing our next Sunday’s Sermon here. We hope you like it and it is called So That.

Introduction:

The title to this sermon is ‘so that’ and it is labeled this way because the words ‘so’ & ‘that’ appear together in the Bible 737 times. The quantity alone makes these normally insignificant words, important to talk about in a sermon.

When I was in Bible school, my OT professor told us that we need to understand what the word therefore was there for. He made it an issue so that we would grasp the importance of that term and why it was placed in scripture at those specific points.

We must do the same for the words ‘so that’ because even though they seem like unimportant terms they bring with them an important message to us as we read God’s word.

That communication tells us something about God and we will get to that in a few moments. But first

#1. What is the function of the words So That?

The main function of this term is to tell us that the reason behind the words telling people to take action. For example we read in Gen. 11:4, the leaders of the original one world civilization saying

Ge 11:4 Then they said, come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens,   so that we may make a name  for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

The words ‘so that’ inform the reader/listener that the purpose behind the call to action is coming and everyone will know why that call was made.

God does the same thing as he uses the words ‘SO THAT’ to tell us his reason for his instruction . He says–   ‘you must do this SO THAT…’ God does not tell us to do as he says or else,’ he does not say ‘just do it’ or similar words many parents use when they want their kids to do a certain task.

No, God provides the reason behind his words and he does so ‘SO THAT’ we understand the purpose of his instructions. For example, and we will look at an OT and a NT example here, we read in Deut. 4

Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach  you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you

Now as I said last Sunday, we are not going into take possession of the land of Canaan but we do have a promised land for us to enter into and live within if we do as God instructs—heaven. We can rephrase that verse and say

Hear now, O followers of Jesus, the decrees and laws I am about to teach  you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of heaven that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you

God is giving us access to heaven if we follow his instructions, commands and decrees. Now a NT example:

1Co 1:8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers,  in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought

We are being given the reasons for these instructions.  if I may depart for a moment from the words ‘SO THAT’ and state that the reason behind the instruction  does not mean that we accept everyone and their alternative ideas and theories but that everyone is united in the truth.

The unbelieving world complains that there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations in the world today and they ask which one has the truth. The reason we have so many different denominations is because we are not united in the truth but allow so many to adopt and follow alternative ideas and still call them Christian.

There is only 1 truth and that is what we must teach and accept, then convince others to do the same.

We now understand why the words ‘SO THAT’ are present in God’s word, let’s move on to some examples of instructions and their reasons for God giving them to us.

#2. Examples of ‘SO THAT

I am going to read some different passages of scriptures from both the OT and the New to show you why God says what he says to us. The problem is that there are so many examples to choose from that it is difficult to choose the ones that should be used here.

Starting with the OT:

Deut. 4: 15 & 16 Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,  so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol

Ex 4:4 Then the LORD said to him,  reach out your hand and take it by the tail.So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.

Ex 4:5 This,said the LORD, is so that they may believe  that the LORD, the God of their fathers the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has appeared to you.?

Dt 6:18 Do what is right and good in the LORD’S sight, so that it may go well  with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers

Dt 6:24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.

Now we go the NT:

Gal 2:5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.

1Co 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, do not go beyond what is written.  Then you will not take pride in one man over against another

Tit 1:9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Tit 1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith

Heb 2:1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away

For every instruction we have from God we have a sound reason behind them helping us to understand why God wants us to follow what he says.  God does not write instructions for the sake of writing instructions or that he was bored and needed something to do.

He provides those instructions in order for us to fulfill his command found in

1Pe 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

1Pe 1:16 for it is written: be holy, because I am holy

#3. What Is The Message Of The Words ‘SO THAT

If you recall at the start of this sermon I mentioned that the words ‘SO THAT’ communicated to us something about God. It is a very important communication  even though those words seem so insignificant.

The Bible tells us that God is love and if we go to 1 Cor. 13 we find how God defines the term ‘love’ and in the midst of that definition we find the phrase;

it is not self-seeking

or if you want the KJV version—love seeks not its own

If you look at the all the reasons behind God’s instructions you will see the words ‘you’ and sometimes ‘they’. God’s instructions show us his love for us as he seeks the best for us. That best, of course, is following his instructions so that we may live with him forever.

Here are some examples:

Dt 4:6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.?

1Pe 1:7 These have come so that your faith, greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed

2Pe 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires

1Jn 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin

The first example shows how generous God is. He shares credit with us as he says we will look to other nations as wise and understanding.  If we obey God we get to look good.

The other examples shows that God loves us so much that he provides us with instructions to escape corruption and keeps us from sin

God has provided for us guidance so that we do not fall to destruction. The words ‘SO THAT’ bring us a message of God’s actual love for us and that he has not left his creation alone to make their own way in this evil and sinful world.

All we have to do is understand his instructions correctly, implement them properly and obey him, then we get to take possession of the Promised Land – heaven—when we leave this earth and live forever.

God provided us with rules SO THAT we may live.

Let us pray

 

 

This We Knew

But it is nice to have verification:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/no-scientific-evidence-that-people-are-born-gay-or-transgender-johns-hopkins-researchers-say-168263/

In the three-part report published by The New Atlantis, Lawrence Mayer, a scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University’s psychiatry department and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, and Paul McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins, take on prevailing claims that sexual orientation and gender dysphoria are caused by natural traits.

Additionally, the scholars challenge the claim that discrimination and social stigma is the sole reason why those with same-sex attractions or transgender identity suffer higher rates of mental health problems.

In the first part, the report argues that there is insufficient evidence to claim that heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual attractions are an innate trait that people are born with.

The report goes into detail about past epidemiological studies that have found a modest association between genetic factors and sexual orientation and behaviors. However, the report states that such studies have not been able to provide significant evidence “pointing to particular genes.”

You can read the rest at the link above.

 

Naive & Misguided Thinking

Another post that has caught our attention deals with a very generalized and misguided view of the church and the condemnation of all churches because a few do not do what that author expects. You can read the full post at the following link, but we will only address a few of her points.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor/2016/08/20/when-i-was-a-young-naive-christian-i-thought/

I thought that Christian people fought for integrity and truth. And then I discovered US politics and that money given to “Christian” organizations buys silence and complicity with evil and immorality.

In her haste to find fault with the Church, she accuses the innocent along with the guilty. This alone renders her whole argument moot and useless. The lack of fairness in her assessment of the actions of others is also her undoing. Then she forgets that she is not to be looking at what others do and judging them but making sure she is not doing the exact same thing in different ways.

I thought that God truly loved all the world. And then I discovered that “all the world” actually only means “the people who look like I do.”

God does and she should not place human weakness upon God and say that his attitude is the same as those who only want a ‘certain type of people’ in their individual congregations. Why punish or judge God because his people disobey His instructions? One should certainly not base their faith on such misguided concepts.

I thought that the Holy Spirit would give unity. And then I discovered hated within and without denominations, especially even in my beloved adopted denomination, The United Methodist Church.

That author seems to ignore Jesus’ words when he said, ” I came not to bring peace but a sword…’ And Jesus goes on to describe how families will be in opposition with each other because some believe him and his words and others do not. Unity can only come if people believe the same things and do not apply their own subjective definitions to other people’s actions. “Hate’ may not be hate but that term will be used when people like that author disagree with a biblical action or the actions of others. The action described as ‘hate’ only appears as such as observers do not see or accept the real reasons h=behind the action they find so distasteful or if they disagree with a biblical instruction.

I thought that forgiveness lay at the center of the Good News. And then I discovered that people can and do call themselves “Good Christians” and yet carry mean and destructive grudges for life, poisoning themselves, their families and everyone else around them.

Forgiveness is part of it but people also need to ask for forgiveness but then she may not be speaking about that. She may be speaking about the result of the free choice believers have and she may not like the fact that some people do not do as she expects. She should learn not to toss away her faith-based upon the actions of others, but strive to make sure she doe snot make the same mistakes.

I thought that God’s people were to learn from each other with the goal of becoming Christ-like, i.e., being willing to die for the unworthy. And then I discovered that the goal of the church was to get as many people in the seats as possible so they will give as much money as possible in order to keep denominational structures happy and their higher-ups well-fed and well-housed.

That is the goal but she seems to ignore the fact that Christians are tempted, fall to temptation, are not all spiritually mature and other mitigating factors which influence their decisions. She seems to be very judgmental and not very understanding of other people.

I thought that the eventual goal was that all humanity would eventually bow the knee to Jesus. But then I learned that we would all instead bow our collective knees to the Almighty Trump.

Then she ruins her post by turning it into a hate-filled political agenda

When I was young and naive, I genuinely thought that principle would win and that problems could be solved by good people working with honest humility when they reach across the table to find ways to address them.

Principle can win if enough people do not get disillusioned and give up. What good doe sit do to stop preaching the truth and turn to whining and complaining only?

I recently re-read these words by John F. Kennedy in Profiles on Courage:

If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions

The problem with these words is that new ideas are not always good or free from error. We cannot accept new ideas blindly simply because they are new. We must vet them using God’s instructions and commands to filter out the sinful and destructive ideas. Once we do that then we can see which ideas are the ones God wants us to adopt.

Her post again smells of the tired old idea ‘you are not doing it my way so I will condemn everyone’ mentality.  She let her eyes be taken off Christ and placed upon people. She was influenced by their bad behavior instead of holding fast to the words of life and continuing to practice what Jesus taught throughout scripture. Instead of setting the example she let other examples ruin her faith.

She may have been naive and misguide din some of those points but that is to be expected with some believers. They want the ideal and cannot handle the reality of the Christian life. The reality is that believers are not perfect and they need help just like everyone else. A little understanding helps avoid falling into the judgmental and condemnation spirit.

A little understanding will also help her see the source of the problems and it may not be the believer but their weaknesses and lack of spiritual growth or that evil still has a hold on some people of faith.Once she sees the true source, she would know how to address the issue correctly instead of whining about the mess and making very hate-filled statements.

 

Defending Homosexual ‘Christians’

One of the problems with addressing those who support alternative beliefs is that they do not always present clearly what they believe. They keep something back so the person who disagrees with them is not dealing with all of the information they need in order to construct a good biblical argument against those who think that there are such a thing as Homosexual Christians and that they need defending. The link below is one such post:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/graceismessy/2016/08/20/why-scripture-compels-me-to-affirm-gay-christians/

These defenders do a lot of distorting of the situation and actions of believers who oppose homosexuality. They place their own descriptive adjectives upon the actions of others without taking the time to discover the real intent behind those actions. Then if they do take the time there is no guarantee that they will accept the real a=reasons motivating  believers in their opposition or handling of homosexual issues in the church. Here is one example:

Like many of my LGBTQ friends, I have been afraid to come out and say I believe all people were created by a God who loves us all the same, and perpetuating hate and fear through destructive theology is not only hurtful, but sinful and just plain wrong.

When people say things like this they demonstrate a lack of understanding of the real definition of the word love. They tend to focus on what they want the word to mean and then apply that subjective definition to God and his view of his creation. They make no effort to grasp how God truly views the issue of homosexuality and then again, if they do, they may not accept that truth.

Yes God loves his creation but that love does not interfere with his desire to see all people saved.He does not let his love alter his definition of sin or what he calls an abomination. Those people who defend homosexuality forget about God’s feelings on the issue as they think that God cannot hate a sexual preference because he ‘loves’ his creation. That view forgets that love does not keep people in sin but seeks to rescue them from its destructive control, whether or not the person locked in sin agrees with God on what is or isn’t sin.

Jesus commanded us to love and love doesn’t come with a list of prerequisites. Grace doesn’t have criteria that must be met in order to be offered. It is more important that I love my neighbors than expect them to pass a litmus test on holiness or conservative Christian living.

This distortion of Jesus’ commands shows us that those who support the idea that there are homosexuals who are Christian only look at part of the picture. They like to look at the fact that Jesus ate with sinners but ignore the fact that Jesus said people must be born again to reach heaven. Jesus did not encourage people to remain in their sins nor did he keep them in their sins. He identified those sins and told then they must repent.

When we’re talking about people who’ve had hatred and isolation thrown at them in the name of a God who offers nothing but extravagant love and grace and kindness to us all, I want to be a liberal. I want to be a liberal for the cause of Christ, because Jesus was certainly not conservative with his love.\

What is missing from this type of thinking is that Paul instructs churches to remove the unrepentant sinner from their midst if they refuse to stop practicing their sins.  This removal is well illustrated in the OT at Jericho and Ai and also when Moses was challenged by some of his people.We do not keep sin in the congregation for sin corrupts and taints, it does not bring holiness.

Once we stop arguing our dogmas long enough to see the person behind the labels – a human being who was intricately formed in their mother’s womb by God, who has an identity and a purpose in Christ, just as I do – all the cultural “norms” and political/theological debates don’t matter.

This appeal to ‘see the human’ behind the sin is misleading and telling people that they should ignore God and his instructions and embrace unrepentant sinners and call them good  or normal Christians. When we do see the human behind the issue, it should motivate us to help rescue them from the destructive and sinful lives they lead not to bless them and say that they are okay.For what true believers see is a human bound for hell, a person in need of being removed from the impending doom they will face if they do not change.

Looking at the human behind the issue should not motivate anyone to keep them in their sins.

Any church-goer who uses the phrase, “abomination” or has the audacity to ask someone if they are a “practicing” homosexual has obviously lost touch with what it means to exhibit Christian charity and basic human decency.

This is just not true. A believer needs to identify where the other person stands before knowing how they can respond to such a person. One cannot blindly accept people based upon their claims that they are Christians and invite them into fellowship for God has set up rules to govern such invitations.Those rules trump that author’s demand that we love regardless. This does not mean that we do not feed the homosexual if they are hungry or meet other physical needs, it means that we do not allow them to bring their sin into the church and ruin the church.

To be part of the church the homosexual must give up their sins and embrace Jesus and his holy life.

I’m done referring to my LGBTQ brothers and sisters as “those who struggle with same-sex attraction,” as it implies homosexuality is something to be cured, stopped, or fixed. Who am I to meddle in the destiny of another? Aren’t they, too, created in the image of God?

The homosexual in essence is made n the image of God but the sin of homosexuality is not part of that image. These type of words demonstrate a very  great lack of understanding of the image of God and also of the nature of sin.  Why wouldn’t that author not ‘meddle in the destiny of others”? Isn’t that what evangelism is all about?  Isn’t that what real love is all about?

Real love does not support people when the other person is in error. Love corrects wisely, it does not say the unrepentant sinner is not sinning.

I also can’t help but wonder who is actually following the example of Christ in the gay/Christian debate. One major point of Liz Edman’s book, Queer Virtue, is this: If we compare the incredible faith of LGBT people who desperately want into the church – people who ache to worship God, to contribute to Christian community, to invite others in – versus those who use their power and status to make sure faithful LBGTQ people remain outside of Christian fellowship, which group is doing the will of our Lord?

God has rules and if those people really do ache to worship God and want to have real faith then they need to love God with all of their heart and give up their homosexuality for him. If those people desperately want in the church then they need to follow God’s rules on inclusion. They have to make a choice–the church, God and faith or homosexuality. If they choose the latter then the church and its member have little choice in the matter and must obey God by excluding the homosexual from fellowship, membership and leadership.

The inability to follow the rules is one reason why the homosexual is despised and rejected.

And can I ask you a question? When you think about encounters you’ve had with people who are preaching or protesting against gay people, have you ever seen any of the fruit of the spirit demonstrated there?

The fruits of the spirit do not accept, include, support or encourage sin.They may feed the hungry, give monetary aid to those who need money and so on but they do not violate God’s word or his rules.

My friend, your indifference and your silence is screaming at those hurting people who are desperate to simply touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. As you stand silent, your unwillingness to carry them to Jesus is as much a roadblock as the man standing on the street corner, holding a GOD HATES FAGS sign.

What that author still ignores or fails to understand is that while Jesus helped and healed those who were not believers he still required them to repent of their sins to enter heaven. Healing someone is not bestowing salvation upon them; binding their wounds is not accepting the sin practiced by the wounded; feeding them is not telling the unrepentant sinner that they are okay and normal.

Those people need to follow God’s rules and truly repent of their sins, giving them up because they love God more than their sins. If they don’t then they cannot expect inclusion in God’s church or heaven. Being made in the image of God does not entitle them to the benefits of Christian living.

Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them

That author replaces biblical words with words of his own choosing but in quoting that passage, he shows that he doe snot understand what those verses mean.  Those are not scriptures telling believers to ignore God’s instructions but to stand with God and his rules if they love him. Those verses are also telling the homosexual and their supporters that for them to love God with all of their hearts mind and soul, they must give up their sins. Very few do so as they seek to hang on to their sin and still get God’s love.

They want to alter the rules in order to remain in the sin that they love more than God.The homosexual and their supporters need to be careful when they quote scripture for those scriptures, while exposing some believers failures, also opens up to the world the homosexuals failure of not loving God enough to give up their sins.

When my friend and her partner sit on my couch, or have dinner at my table, there is no more gay debate. They are only people, people I love and God loves dearly. And there is no doubt in my mind how to respond to the people I love.

How sad. He doesn’t really love his friend or her partner because he does nothing to rescue them from their sins. Yes God loves them but his love demands that they repent of their sins first and no one is helping those people to realize this fact. Love is not accepting sin but leading people out of its clutches. His mind is wrong.

 

 
 
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