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Category Archives: Justice

In The News 24

#1. http://www.christianpost.com/news/n-korean-defector-describes-life-as-a-christian-under-kim-regime-we-met-in-a-hole-to-worship-201921/

A North Korean defector opened up about the underground church he led and the secretive life he and other Christians had there. He also revealed that despite being offered freedom for renouncing their religion, believers in the notorious prison camps refuse to do so.

Don’t forget to pray for the North Korean people

#2. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lee-strobel-details-conversation-he-had-with-hugh-hefner-about-god-gospel-201937/

Famed author Lee Strobel has revealed how Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reacted when Strobel — a well-known atheist-turned-Christian speaker and apologist — went to Hefner’s famous mansion just over a decade ago and shared the gospel with the magazine publisher.

Strobel sparked quite a bit of intrigue and speculation with a Sept. 27 tweet revealing that he once shared the gospel with Hefner and that Hefner “saw significance of the resurrection, but had never checked the evidence.”

Don’t read anything into these type of conversations. Unbelievers have them all the time and they know what to say to placate the believer. Sharing the gospel is not the only duty of the believer.

#3. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lesbian-daughter-of-focus-on-the-family-executive-releases-book-about-her-familys-rejection-201475/

The daughter of a Focus on the Family executive, who is married to another woman, has released a book in which she states that she was rejected by her own family after coming out as gay.

Do unto others… applies to the LGBTQ issue and community. We can reject their sin without violating scripture and bringing abuse on those who do not accept Christ’s ways The church is not allowed to be a persecutor of others.

#4. http://www.christianpost.com/news/christianity-is-not-the-only-way-to-heaven-prominent-presbyterian-pastor-says-201929/

Leader of the second largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner has declared that Christianity is not the only way to heaven.

Kershner, 45, who leads the 5,500-member Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois, expressed her belief in a podcast with the Chicago Sun-Times after she was asked the question “Is Christianity the only way to heaven?”

“No,” Kershner replied bluntly.

This is to be expected when you start disobeying God. When you ignore God’s instructions in one culturally difficult area then do not expect those who are finally permitted to do something God does not want them to do to follow God’s instructions.

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/raising-middle-finger-at-pastor-in-church-screaming-about-satan-is-protected-free-speech-judge-201792/

A Georgia judge ruled Monday in favor of a man who in 2014 raised his middle finger at a pastor inside a church and shouted about Satan’s influence over public schools, arguing that the behavior counts as protected free speech under the First Amendment.

It may be free speech but WHERE it is said is not protected and not free. The church has the right to remove the person from their presence and property when that person is being disruptive.

#6. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tens-of-thousands-gather-nations-capital-americas-tent-of-meeting-awaken-the-dawn-201659/

Tens of thousands of Christians are expected to assemble on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this weekend to pray and implore God for divine intervention and to rescue the next generation for a nation in crisis.

We would rather see them obey God and see them go into their prayer closets to accomplish this. There is no biblical instruction to do this in public places. Also we would rather see them pray how God could use them instead of passing the buck back to God. There are thousands there who could make an impact for God if they only would roll up their sleeves and ask God where he wants them to work for him

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Las Vegas & God

When reading articles like this one

http://www.christianpost.com/news/helping-your-teens-process-las-vegas-massacre-201939/

many thoughts rise and they are not just directed towards the tragedy but towards the author of the work as well. It is clear that many youth pastors are not equipped to handle these situations as we scan the verses quoted and see that many of them do not help in this case. What needs to be told in these and all scenarios is the truth. Young believers need to learn how to be spiritually educated and need to learn how to handle these situations correctly if they do not want to lose their faith in God or make an impact for him. We do not want to sound arrogant here as that is not our attitude when we write the following, but for those of us who have lived through Vietnam, Korea and WW2 these acts of violence are not hard to process. We are aware of the evil man can do. Just ask those people who were alive when Charles Manson and his cult killed their victims. These tragedies happen all the time and in every era and the believer should be the one who can process them the best as they know the source of these events. We know that evil exists and seeks to destroy God’s creation any way it can so these shootings should not come as a shock to any of them.

People may say ‘yea but what about God? He is supposed to be a loving God yet he lets these tragedies take place.’ Yes God does let these tragic events happen but for him to put a stop to all suffering, all crime then things would have to change. Dr. Craig Blomberg explained it best in his book from Pentecost to Patmos when it comes to the suffering in this world. He said, and we paraphrase, that ‘for God to end suffering he would have to bring an end to this world. To do that, God would then have to end the opportunity for all men to be saved.’ That act would mean that God would not get his desire that ll men be saved fulfilled and many more people would be sent to hell for eternity. That is not a good scenario and worse than what the gunman did in Las Vegas.

We are going to look at a few quotes from that article to help that youth pastor enable his youth and all youth to process this event better.

An evil madman in Las Vegas ended the lives of 58 individuals and injured over 480. So here we are once again as a nation, as a culture and as individuals…trying to process an event that defies what most of us could even imagine in our darkest dreams

We disagree with the label ‘evil madman’ simply because he may not have been mad (crazy, insane) and he may not have been evil. W prefer to see him as a creation of God who was not under God’s protection but a victim of evil’s desire to hurt God through destroying his creation. This perspective helps us bring a little compassion to the tragedy for the victims, the offender and their families. All the people killed or injured were not believers, they may have been good people but still destined for hell, so compassion is needed as those concert goers were robbed of any opportunity to repent of their sins. We know by the verse ‘our battle is not against flesh and blood…’ that the shooter may have been under the influence of evil when he committed that act so he may not have been evil.

Then we understand why these events take place because the Bible tells us that ‘people love darkness rather than light’ thus evil has a great opportunity to manipulate humans in to doing these tragic acts. We need to place the blame where it lies and pray accordingly. This verse helps us to understand why people do these acts of violence. They have rejected God’s way thus they are under the domain of evil and act according to those rules not God’s.

First, when tragedy strikes, it’s crucial to remember that we can bring our fears and questions to God. Our faith is expansive enough to engulf every fear and question imaginable. In the Bible, the men and women who walked closest to God also carried some of the deepest doubt

The first question we would ask here is why would believers be afraid? They do not live for this world but for God’s kingdom so why would they be afraid at all? The Bible tells us that ‘perfect love casts out all fear’ thus if we have love for God and Jesus then these events should not make us fearful, even if we are victims of such people. Our hope lies in the next world not this one. Yes we will have questions but if we read the Bible those questions disappear very quickly as we see that people will do evil things because they are under the influence of evil. We believers know why people do things like this and we also know that our duty is to help unbelievers grasp the totality of the events. We need to be armed with the correct answers to meet their questions and bring them comfort as well as ease their fears.

But remind them that God is not Google…you can’t just input an inquiry and expect a nicely wrapped godopedia type answer.

But we do have the answers and they are nicely packaged. They are all found in the Bible. One just has to put down their interpreting method and follow the Holy Spirit to the true answers. We see in the Bible where men have committed evil acts throughout biblical history, we should not  be traumatized or surprised when they take place in our era. We have guidance and forewarning, we should be prepared to handle the aftermath no problem if we learn our spiritual lessons correctly.

Second, consider the fact that when great evil occurs, it should serve as a warning of the greatest calamity that will ever take place –spending an eternity in hell:

There is no need to turn a tragedy into an evangelistic event. That opportunity will come when God wants them to come. Our first priority should be to meet the needs of the victims, their families and help those who only observe these events through the t.v. etc., to grasp what took place and why. Meeting their physical and mental needs will open doors to meeting their spiritual needs. There is no need to do forced evangelism. Let God direct here. There is also no need to proclaim that this or some other natural treagic event was a judgment by God. There was no message from God saying that is so so stay away from such announcements and thinking.

This tragedy in Jesus’ day was a result of a sociopath named Pilate, who murdered innocent Galileans while they were worshipping God. Basically, this was the cultural equivalent of a public shooting. When this calamity occurred, the crowds wanted answers—and God Himself was on the scene.

Why this was mentioned we do not know but it is out of place. The next paragraph is also mishandled

What is amazing, though, is that Jesus doesn’t even try to explain the causes or solutions to the calamities. He purposely avoids going into a social discourse about the disintegration of society, or the effect that the violence in the coliseum has on people. Interestingly, He doesn’t even launch into a discussion about the tension between freewill and God’s sovereignty here.

Instead, Jesus speaks to this situation with a reminder of ultimate destiny: “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Jesus was not setting an example on how and when to do evangelism, he was giving a warning to people. That author misreads the passage that he quotes and misapplies it to his stated purpose for the article. While evangelism is important, it is not th eonly duty of the believer. There are other more important duties that a believer must do as well yet that fact has been ignored by the church in its haste to please God in only one area of the Christian life.

May you and your students hold out the gospel like a beacon of hope in the darkness!

If you want to be a beacon in a dark world then you need to believe and follow all of the Bible correctly. You will stand out and if you learn your spiritual lessons correctly then you will be able to make an impact for God even i tragedies like this

 

In The News 23

Just an overview of different news stories

#1. http://www.christianpost.com/news/massacre-in-las-vegas-our-father-is-grieving-with-us-201305/

One last word: When the shooting occurred, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted, “Pray for Las Vegas.” Please do so, right now.

Yes when tragedy takes place then they want God. But when times re good they have no time for him and even deny he exists. There is sense to this event and the Bible tells us that we struggle not against flesh and blood but  with principalities etc., from the spiritual world. Let’s keep things in perspective as you pray for Las Vegas. Suffering and evil are going to continue until God calls time but before he does that, he still wants more people saved. Conduct the battle for souls under the right context and remember that our fellow humans are ot the real enemy.

#2. http://www.christianpost.com/news/4-christian-reactions-to-hugh-hefners-death-the-mansion-is-a-myth-200906/

Here are the thoughts of some of the leading Christian leaders and writers about Hefner’s life and what he left behind.

It would have been nice if they completed the article and included those 4 thoughts. Hefner was nothing but a dirty old man. He was not a hero just a person who led many to sin and destruction.

#3. http://www.christianpost.com/news/returning-to-pastor-led-prayer-in-public-worship-services-200910/

Prayer led by the pastor of the church used to be a normal part of worship services. What was deemed in the past as a part of public worship, has now been minimized, eliminated, or delegated. This is not acceptable or good for the church.

We agree with his thinking. Pastors need to return to being the spiritual leader of the church and not be seen as some business executive who knows how to delegate. True pastoral leadership goes a long ways in keeping a church spiritually healthy.

#4. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tennessee-church-shooter-motivated-by-revenge-for-dylann-roofs-massacre-at-black-church-201332/

Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, the ex-member of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, who shot eight people including one fatally at his old church, was motivated by revenge for the nine churchgoers who were killed by Dylann Roof in 2015.

How is it revenge when you attack innocent people who had no connection to Roof?

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tearful-hope-carpenter-begs-for-forgiveness-from-multiracial-megachurch-says-shes-ignorant-about-discrimination-201325/

A tearful Hope Carpenter, who co-founded the 21,000-member Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband Ron Carpenter Jr., apologized to their multiracial congregation Sunday for slamming NFL players protesting social injustice during the national anthem as wrong.

In these days it doesn’t matter what you say, someone will always be offended or upset. If you followed scripture when you framed your remarks then don’t apologize unless you are truly in error. Everyone is allowed an opinion even when it disagrees with black people. Speak the truth in love and always stick to the truth. Those who are offended may need to learn a lesson themselves.

#6. http://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-scientists-create-human-life-for-dna-experiments-christian-bioethicist-disturbed-201026/

A Christian bioethics lecturer has spoken out against new DNA surgery carried out by Chinese scientists who are reportedly creating lab-grown human embryos in order to test disease-removing techniques.

“What concerns me and actually quite a number of bio-ethicists and those who are looking and researching in this field is that what we here have is scientists who are deliberately creating human life, deliberately creating embryos. These are not embryos that have been left over as spares from fertility treatments from IVF,” Dr. Trevor Stammers, Bioethics lecturer at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, told Premier.

“They’ve been specifically created to be experimented upon and then destroyed, which is why there are no children who were cured that the Chinese are bringing out. It’s just a proof of principle and it’s been gained in a way that many people would regard as being unethical.”

Are those embryos actual human life? That is the question that must be answered first.

 

Doing What is Right

The other day we were able to view the following short film

Symbol: Should We Still Fear the Swastika? Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2010. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. <http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=44870>.

and it depicted the conflict over the swastika symbol embedded in a Roman Catholic Church in St. Cloud Minn.  The we read the following story

62 Nebraska Pastors Sign Anti-Racism Statement Calling White Supremacy ‘Blatantly Sinful’

http://www.christianpost.com/news/62-nebraska-pastors-sign-anti-racism-statement-calling-white-supremacy-blatantly-sinful-196277/

And while white supremacy (or any supremacy) is wrong believers need to be careful in these types of actions. For the symbol issue, the swastika has enjoyed thousands of years of peaceful meanings applied to it yet far to many people get caught up in the 20th century application applied to it by the Nazis. In that video, the Rabbi and a few others claim that the swastika was forever corrupted by the Nazi use of that symbol and that it can never stand for anything good. But the problem with that view is that those people are letting their own personal views distort their perception of the swastika, it isn’t the symbol that is influencing them in any way. Despite all the education concerning the swastika’s history and use they will not get down off their pedestal and accept the fact that the swastika is not restricted to only the 20th century and the Nazis.

Having lived in a country where the swastika is prevalent and on almost every corner due to the Korean Buddhist use of the symbol, we take a more relaxed view of the symbol because the 20th century meaning never made it to Korea shores. The Nazis did not make it that far east. We are well aware of what Hitler and the other Nazis did but their actions do not make the symbol guilty nor the use of it evil or representing hate. If the swastika represents anything in the 21st century. other than the applied meanings from the Hindu, Buddhist and Navajo worlds, then it is a reminder of the depravity of humanity without Christ and how low men and women will go when letting evil lead them to sin.

The swastika did not tell Hitler and the other Nazis to use it for their despicable agenda. It is an innocent victim in that portion of 20th century history not an active participant. It should no more be considered evil than the buildings that were used to torture so many prisoners.Evil is not done by symbols or structures, that activity is the sole domain of humans and the devil. Symbols are the innocent bystanders used to further an evil agenda that brings destruction on other human beings.

AS for the latter article on the statement signed by 52 pastors, their statement is fair at best and does not go far enough in promoting Christianity but is far too broad in nature. That broadness allows for other sinful actions to take place in the  name of God or goodness or equality and so on. Yes Neo-Nazism is not a biblical teaching and should not be adopted nor supported by believers in Christ but so is Black Lives Matter as that ideology promotes the superiority of one group of people over other people of color (white included).  Such statements in their naive thinking sound good but in reality are far from the biblical message that Jesus brought.

As a group, we hope that racial inequality along with other sins would be eliminated by our churches working together,” said Martin.

AS an example, if one is going to teach that supremacy is wrong then they must teach that the idea of race is wrong as well for the Bible does not teach that there are 4 different human races. It only teaches that there is 1. If pastors and believers are going to talk about what is right and wrong then they need t make sure their complete message is correct or they are just wasting everybody’s time with their public rhetoric. They sound like they are just being political and trying to look good to those around them in hopes of getting more seats filled in their churches.

The only side pastors, church leaders and believers are to take is Christ’s side and making statements like those 52 pastors is not taking his side at all but the politically correct side which is also not included in biblical teaching. You cannot represent Christ when you do not represent his side and his views but distort his perspective by compromising it with secular teaching or looking political.

What point this all brings us to is that it is wrong to remove old signs or symbols, just because a few people distort the value and meaning of a particular symbol. Yes the stars and bars are included in this as they are not a symbol of hatred or slavery but a reminder of what humans do to others when they do not correctly follow Christ (so many modern believers also do not follow Christ correctly).. Part of the problem in these type of issues is that believers are not properly biblically educated to be involved in these issues let alone comment upon them. Christians are to lead others to Christ’s ways not to a mixture of Christ and the secular world.

This means that tearing down old symbols or statues is not a Christian thing to do or to support. The Christian thing to do is bring the truth to the issue and show how people need to think instead of trying to agree with them and let them have their sinful way. Slavery was a human choice not a symbols decree. Adding sin to sin is not doing what is right and tearing out old symbols, placing upon them your own subjective perspectives is adding sin to sin. it is not promoting Christ or his love but just changing who is getting the love and who is getting the hatred.

Christians need to think first then act by following the Holy Spirit to the truth so that they then can lead others to the truth and this is the actual truth not someone’s personal belief that it is truth. Christ’s view is often different from the world’s and his human followers’ ideas.

 

The Christian Witness

http://www.christianpost.com/news/sc-supreme-court-rules-that-breakaway-dioceses-properties-belong-to-episcopal-church-194127/

South Carolina’s highest court has ruled that at least 29 of the 36 properties of a diocese that left The Episcopal Church belong to the national denomination

In a concurring opinion, Justice Kaye G. Hearn wrote that The Episcopal Church’s hierarchical structure meant that the diocesan properties were theirs.

It sounds more like a money grab than a Christian act. Most denominations have similar clauses in their operating procedures and it is a provision that does not belong n the church in general. The denomination is not usually paying the bills of the church nor the building costs thus according to common sense they have no right to own the church buildings.Sometimes denominations make loans to local congregations but that money is paid back. This act does not entitled the denomination title to the property if the congregation decides to leave the fold.

Denominations certainly need to be more Christian in these issues. They should not be seen as grabbing for money and these type of decisions do exactly that. They give the world the wrong impression about the Christian church.  The Christian witness extends beyond giving a gospel message or reciting your testimony to an individual. The Christian witness is in everything believers and the church in general does including these lawsuits over church property.  If the church wants to make an impact for Christ then they need to review, honestly, what the biblical instructions say and how they apply to specific situations. Being honest is important if the believer wants to produce a great Christian Witness.

The Christian Witness is not about using the Bible to justify one’s actions or defend questionable activities like suing each other.

 

Controversial Issues

#1.  Tattoos

There are many people in the church today who think that many of the laws God gave to Moses for the Israelite people do not apply to today’s New Testament World and church. They consider themselves under a new covenant which releases them from many of the laws recorded in the Old Testament.

This attitude allows them to pursue different sinful activities and not feel like they have sinned or in need of repentance. One of these activities is the act of getting a tattoo to mark a special occasion, person or to simply adorn some sort of ‘art’ on their bodies. They think that since the word tattoo is not mentioned in the NT and only in the Old that the law governing tattoos is now null and void.

But these people error in their assessment of scripture as they fail to grasp the fact that while God does not use the same word more than once in scriptures he still talks about the topic and has not changed his mind about it.

For example in Leviticus 19:28 we read the following:

28 You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD. (The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Le 19:28). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

I placed the bold and underlining to emphasize the words being examined and which are very clear about the issue of having tattoos on your body. God’s words are very clear there and there is no mistaking what is meant by them.

The people of Israel were not to place any tattoos on themselves and the reason given is simple—God is the Lord. He said it thus it needs to be obeyed. Does this mean that the tattoos placed upon the Jewish people by the Nazis made them sinners or disobedient of this law? No. The Jews were not the ones seeking the tattoos nor were wanting them placed upon their bodies.

They did not sin in receiving those marks. But if they willingly got those marks then they would have sinned and been disobedient. Now many people today would look at that verse and conclude that since the law was found in the Torah it no longer applies to them and they are free to get as many tattoos as they desire.
#2. Owning Weapons

This is another issue that can bring out the emotions in people as many are for owning weapons and just as many people are against gun ownership.  For some in the latter category owning guns leads to mass shootings like the many school massacres that have taken place across America in recent years.

They blame guns when in reality they should be blaming the sin nature found in every person and the ability to choose freely what one wants to do. This issue is also vulnerable to the distortion of scripture as each side wishes to make their viewpoint the biblical one. They misuse scriptures in hopes of convincing others of the legitimacy of their position.

A look at these different scriptures is warranted so that we get a clear view of what the Bible is actually saying on this issue.

1. Many people, Christians included, assume that Christ taught pacifism. They cite Matthew 5:38-39 for their proof. In this verse Christ said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” ( All the scripture references will be taken from the article “What Does The Bible Say about Gun Control” by Larry Pratthttp://www.gunowners.org/fs9902.htm)

While Jesus was teaching a non-violent response in support of ‘a soft answer turns away wrath’ this passage does not indicate that a believer cannot own weapons. It is telling us to not use our weapons or fists to respond to certain actions carried out by other people.

2. The reference to “an eye for an eye” was taken from Exodus 21:24-25 which deals with how the magistrate must deal with a crime. Namely, the punishment must fit the crime (Ibid) This passage reads: 23But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (NKJV)

Again we see a list of punishments corresponding to a list of crimes but this passage does not support gun ownership or gun collecting nor does it mean that pacifism is to be practiced or denied. Mercy doesn’t mean that we exact a pound of flesh for every crime committed but that we have leniency when it is warranted.

3. Exodus 22:2-3 tells us “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” (Ibid)

Again we see nothing about supporting owning any type of weapons here nor does this passage indicate that we should let people harm our loved ones when they force their way into our homes.

4. King David wrote in Psalm 46:1 that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. This did not conflict with praising the God “Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1). (Ibid)

Training for war and to learn how to fight just simply means one gets to defend their own country from invaders and to do that a person needs to know the art of war and how to combat the strategies used by their enemies.

This passage, like the rest, makes no implications on owning weapons nor is it saying that it is or it is not okay to own weapons. The weapons for war can be stored by the government in a central or strategic location ready for use when the time comes.

5. This has been delegated to the civil magistrate, who, as we read in Romans 13:4, “is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” (Ibid)

The word ‘sword’ here most likely does not imply a weapon but the authority to punish lawbreakers. I would have to double-check that but in any case, the fact that the government is allowed to punish and wield weapons does not grant anyone permission to collect or own weapons.

The permission for a country’s citizen’s to own and collect guns, or other types of weapons, is up to the discretion of the government of that nation.  They have been granted authority to govern by God and that authority extends to all areas of life. Governments get to say of their citizens get to own and collect weapons or not.

Such ownership is not a right unless the government makes it a right.
#

#3. Against Homosexuality

It is hard to know exactly where to start when talking about this issue as there is so much ground to cover. This article will not discuss the definition of homosexuality for everyone already knows what the word means and how it is practiced. Nor will it discuss whether homosexuality is right or wrong, it is a given that we all know that it is wrong and sin and that is the position of this magazine.

What will be discussed here will be key points made by Matthew Vine in a discussion on the legitimacy of homosexual relations made in a series of discussions on Rachel Held Evans website (rachelheldevans.com). There is no particular order to the points and we will start with what is probably the main point of Matthew Vine’s argument

1. Our question is not whether the Bible addresses the modern concepts of sexual orientation and same-sex marriage,” he writes. “We know it doesn’t. Instead, our question is: can we translate basic biblical principles about marriage to this new situation without losing something essential in the process?” (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/god-and-the-gay-christian-discussion-week-6-conclusion )

This is a very good question and all we have to do is take a close look at the passage of scripture in question to find the answer. The verse most often quoted in this issue is found in Leviticus and it is the one verse which provides us with a definitive description of homosexuality.

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death (20;13 NASB)

The key words are in bold and if we examine those words we will see how a man lies with a woman. First, men lie with a woman in one night stands, casual sex, affairs, and other pre-marital and adulteress instances.

Second, men lie with woman in long term relationships, common law situations and they lie with a woman in a monogamous committed relationships, which include being married to the woman.

So yes, the Bible does address all forms of homosexual relationships and same-sex marriage in those few words. The homosexual preference is prohibited in all circumstances and there is no leeway or escape clause making any exceptions

2. In marriage,” writes Matthew, “we are called to reflect God’s love for us through our self-giving love for our spouse.” This is something same-sex couples can do just as well as heterosexual couples, he says (Ibid)

Same-sex couples may express a ‘love’ for their partner but they are not expressing God’s love because God has called us to repent and give up our sinful practices. Same-sex couples are not expressing God’s love because they are participating in sin and accepting sin as normal, healthy and wonderful. God hates sin

The main problem with same-sex unions is that they ignore what the Bible says about this love–30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (Eph. 5 NASB)

It is impossible for same-sex couples to become one flesh and even though one of the members of those couples calls themselves ‘a wife’ they are not truly a wife in any definition of the word. The only way for a homosexual couple to meet the standard laid out by this verse is if they give up their same-sex partner and marry an opposite sex mate.

3. Matthew points out that the two terms consider here are malakoi [sometimes translated “effeminate”] and arsenokoitai [sometimes translated “abusers of themselves with mankind” or, more recently, “homosexuals” or “men who practice homosexuality”]…New Testament scholar David Frederickson has argued that, given the context, malakoi in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is best translated, “those who lack self-control.” (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/god-and-the-gay-christian-discussion-part-5-i-corinthians-6 )

This point illustrates the extent that homosexuals and alternative believers go to  in order to get their non-biblical ideas and practices accepted by the church and to be considered normal. It doesn’t matter if the topic is same-sex marriage, women in ministry or church leadership or some other alternative the action of those alternative supporters is always the same—they seek to change the Bible in order to legitimize their false teaching and preferences.

They cannot produce alternative ancient texts with a legitimate textual record to support their point so they try to retranslate key words in order to make the Bible say something it has never said. Their work never succeeds because they have no historical foundation to build upon, only their modern sinful desires.

4. But here’s the key point to remember,” writes Matthew. “Even if Paul had intended his words to be a condemnation of all forms of same sex relations, the context in which he would have been making that statement would still differ significantly from our context today.” (Ibid)

We know this is not true because as Solomon wrote in Ecc. ‘nothing is new under the sun’ ancient homosexual preferences were the same as they are today. Yes some ancient authors wrote about experimentation, sexual excess and other forms of homosexuality that did not include same-sex unions or orientation but those writers did not write about all of the ancient world or its practices.

They simply documented only one part of the same-sex activities that was occurring at the time. To take a minute amount of written record and extrapolate that to the whole of the ancient civilization that those authors wrote about is dishonest and making an argument from silence.

Paul’s context came from God, who, as we saw earlier, addressed all forms of homosexual activity not just bits and pieces of that unnatural desire. We may not have ancient writings about all forms of homosexual practice in Paul’s time because, unfortunately for us, they did not survive the ravages of time.

Needless to say, even if experimentation and sexual excess alone were practiced in Paul’s time, it is still homosexual activity, it is still prohibited by God and it does not mean that Matthew Vine’s idea of committed, monogamous same-sex relations is permitted. Silence on the issue does not mean a prior prohibition has been lifted.

5. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about a threatened gang rape, not an intimate companionship. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 were grounded in cultural concerns about patriarchal gender roles and religious ritual purity. Romans 1:26-27 refers to excessive sexual desire and lust and uses “natural” and “unnatural” to refer to customary gender roles, just as those words are used to describe men with long hair and women who cover their heads (Ibid)

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah was not about one single, solitary episode of gang rape and we know this because that action of the citizens of Sodom came after God had come with his angels to destroy the cities.

The citizens of S & G, and the other cities included in the destruction, had long practiced homosexuality and other sins. They had worn out the patience of God by this time and one act of gang rape would not have done this.  There was a long history of homosexuality taking place in these cities and most likely a multitude of gang rapes had taken place.

We know from modern examples that homosexuality breeds the practice of other sins, not godly behavior thus other passages of scripture do not need to specifically mention homosexuality, although Ezekiel does say ‘other abominations’ which would include that preference.

As for Mr. Vine’s reference to culture and patriarchal influences, those are weak excuses to justify modern practice of what God says is an abomination to him.

#4. Divorce: It Is NOT the Unforgiveable Sin

When you mention the word divorce, certain bias and attitudes invade the conversation. Believers tend to look upon divorce and divorcees with a certain degree of hatred, dislike, or look upon the people who are suffering through a divorce proceeding or have endured one as abnormal or that they are carrying some sort of disease like leprosy.

Divorced people are often deprived of Christian fellowship because they have broken their marriage vows for whatever reason they may have had. This prejudice against divorce and divorced people often comes from read Malachi 2:16 where God states he hates divorce.

Or it comes from reading Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:3ff where he says whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Or these attitudes about divorce simply come from the personal perspectives taught by the pastors or church leaders of the church.

The source doesn’t really matter here as the problem lies in not trying to be biblical about a difficult subject and in trying to obey and honor the wishes of God but in the failure to read these passages correctly and apply their whole meaning to the divorced person and their situation.

If you read the passages in Malachi or Matthew you will see both God’s and Jesus’ attitude concerning divorce but if you stop at the printed words then you will miss out on the complete picture being painted by them.

Yes God hates divorce and yes Jesus made getting one very strict and difficult but there are things they did not say that believers add into their views and words. When people stop the words ‘ God hates divorce’ or Jesus’ words in Matthew they are missing out on the whole divine point of view.

At no time do either God or Jesus state that divorce is the unforgiveable sin, that divorcees should be excluded from Christian fellowship that divorce is a sin in perpetuality or that the  verses talking about loving thy neighbor as thyself, or treat others better than yourself, (and similar passages), exclude divorced people.

Neither God nor Jesus say to make divorced people second class citizens, inferior to others, or lepers where they are to be separated from church fellowship and need to walk around stating that they are unclean. Divorce may be hated and banned in all but one instance but that does not make divorcees unbelievers or people trying to import sin into the church and get the members to adopt and accept sin.

Divorce happens for a number of reasons and we need to be discerning of those reasons in order to know how we are to act towards those who have to go through this painful procedure Bob Mayo in his book Divorce: A Challenge to the Church asks,

“The question I am asking is how the church might best be able to provide a consistent, well-informed, and pastorally sensitive response to those of us who have been divorced (pg. 17)

and

Is it possible for the church to be accepting of those who are dealing with the consequences while still being clear about the inherent wrongness of divorce? (pg. 17)

The answer to the second question is a simple yes and we can answer both questions with the following words. It is possible to be accepting of those going through divorce or have been divorced and the church can provide a sensitive response because we look at the reasons surrounding the divorce, the response of the parties involved, their perspective of divorce and so on.

If the people are using divorce in order to pursue sinful desires then we know that we need to respond with the message of repenting of their sinful actions and try to turn people away from committing sin. If the divorce has one innocent party then we know from biblical instruction how to provide compassion, comfort and so on.

Divorced people are not excluded from those passages which tell believers how to treat each other. For example, the Bible states that we ‘do unto others as we want to be treated’, it does not say ‘do unto others as you want to be treated except in the case of divorced people.’

or ‘treat others better than yourselves except in the case of divorced people.’  God does say he hates divorce but he does not say exclude divorced people from love, forgiveness, wise counsel, understanding and so on. As Jesus said:

12When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ £ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, £to repentance.”

The church is full of people who are spiritually sick and in need of a physician and divorced people fall into that category.  If we look at how Jesus treated the woman at the well, a person who have been married 5 times and living in sin with a 6th man then we get an idea of how we should be treating a divorced person.

#5. Abortion: It Is Not Just the Woman’s Body

Just the mention of the word abortion can spark the most extreme emotions from normally kind and peaceful people. It drives them to acts of protest ranging from walking picket lines to lying to people to actual murder. It is also one of the most distorted issues we face today.

The anti-abortion groups would have everyone believe that they are defending the innocent and while they are defending innocent babies, the term innocent is not restricted to just the unborn child. There are many other innocent people involved in this issue.

For example, many of the fathers of those aborted children do not want the procedure done yet are given no say in what happens to their child. Yet we see none of these groups defending the rights of these men.

Then there are many women who are forced to have an abortion, not only by the fathers of the unborn baby but also by their parents. These women want no part of abortion yet their wills are over-ruled by others more powerful than they. Yet again we see no defending of these women, just a blanket hatred by these groups towards all who are led to the abortion clinic.

Then the pro-abortion groups would have people believe that the decision to have an abortion is solely up to the woman because it is her body and hers alone. That is very unbiblical teaching as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 that the bodies of the man and women belong to their mates once they have been joined together.

No Christian, man or woman, should be accepting the secular argument that it is the woman’s body thus it is her choice. The unborn baby is not the sole product of the woman but also the man’s and since her body now belongs to her mate’s it is his choice as well and not just the expectant mother’s.

Yet in all of this debate there is one forgotten fact that no one dwells upon nor mentions which upends the pro-abortion groups’ argument that abortion is up to the mother because it is her body that is affected.

What people do not realize or they simply ignore is that the unborn baby’s body does not belong to the mother and the mother has no authority to harm it. It is not hers to dispose of as she sees fit. That body belongs to the baby and not one scripture gives ownership of that body to anyone else.

There is no permission granted in the Bible to any parent to harm that unborn child thus the mother, or others, cannot decide to end that baby’s life. God has not granted them that right. While secular governments have made the decision to allow that choice to be made, secular governments do not trump God and his rules.

If you need another scripture to help you decide which side of the abortion issue you should be on, then we turn to the commandment, ‘thou shalt not kill’. No matter how you describe the unborn child, whether it is called a fetus, a virus, germ or whatever hate-filled term you want to or is used, one is violating that commandment because abortion is killing another human being.

We can label the unborn baby a human because humans do not produce any other type of baby and the unborn child is not magically transformed from a blob into a child seconds before birth. The born child is a human being from conception to birth and till it dies. No matter how the secular world addresses this issue, abortion is still a violation of God’s word.

The woman’s body is not the only body that is affected by this act. A part of the father dies along with the baby when the decision to abort is fulfilled. The woman does not have permission or the right to destroy part of the man either.

One of the biggest problems in solving this issue, on the church’s part, is the fact that people let their emotions distort their implementation of biblical verses. Many seem to stop at those passages which tell believers to protect the innocent and fail to include other passages of scripture which guide the believer to a better course of action.

We read in Matthew 5 the following:

44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (NKJV)

or

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be 2courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing (The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Pe 3:8–9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)

Many anti-abortion groups, those that claim to be Christian, do much damage to the cause of Christ by ignoring these passages of scripture and only letting their emotions restrict their biblical adherence to those passages which direct one to protect the innocent. They also only apply those verses to the abortion issue and not the rest of life, which is included in each verse charging us to protect those who are unable to protect themselves.

#6. Racism

In my work I use a little book called Where To Find It In The Bible by Ken Anderson and for the most part it is a handy little tool to use as it speeds up the process of finding specific verses for each topic. But when it came to this topic, not one of the verses listed actually dealt with racism.

One label said ‘racial marriage forbidden’ but when one got to Genesis 28 all it talked about was Isaac giving instructions to Jacob on where he needs to go to find a wife. Another label reads ‘request to marry heathen’ but the passage in 1 Kings is only talking about Solomon’s half-brother making a request to marry a certain woman and we do not even know if she was a heathen or not. She was just of a different nationality.

These little errors and a host of articles reporting how Pastors talk about race tells me that the church really doesn’t know much about the Bible and how it speaks about race or how race applies. They tend to use modern secular ideas like ‘anti-semitic’ when such ideas were not present in the ancient or biblical world.

The Bible does not really talk about race as the idea of different races was a human invention due to the difference of color of skin and the difference in the features of many humans. Darwin opined that there were about 4-5 different human races yet he made this observation without any scientific aid or historical foundation.

Though science now demonstrates that there is no such thing as race

“Race is a social concept, not a scientific one,” said Dr. J. Craig Venter, head of the Celera Genomics Corp. in Rockville, Md.” {http://www.augsburg.edu/education/edc210/race-myth.html}

“It’s an old-fashioned, even Victorian, sentiment. Who speaks of “racial stocks” anymore? After all, to do so would be to speak of something that many scientists and scholars say does not exist.”  {http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Leroi/}

and

“The billions of pieces of human genetic code sequenced thus far are most notable for what they do not appear to contain—a genetic test to tell one race of people from another. All scientific finds point to the conclusion that race doesn’t exist” {http://www.africanbynature.com/newsletters/raceissocial.html}

this fact doesn’t stop evolutionists from saying that Darwin was correct or keep scientists from claiming that there were different human species in previous eras:

Earlier this month, scientists working in South Africa made an exciting announcement: They had discovered a new species of human ancestor. The species, which they named Homo naledi, may be among the first of the genus Homo, what the project’s lead scientist, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger, described as a “bridge” between more primitive species and humans. National Geographic called it “one of the greatest fossil discoveries of the past half century.” (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/do-neanderthals-have-souls/406246/?utm_source=yahoo&ref=yfp )

In spite of the secular world’s best efforts to ignore the truth and the facts about race, the church cannot. It must speak the truth and declare to the world that there is only one race of humans, and that there has only been one race of humans in all of time.

When the Bible speaks about race it only talks about there being one race of people and that the human race descended only from Adam and Eve.

#7.  Criminals & Their Records

When I first went to Korea to teach all that was required of the applicants was a university degree, a valid passport and a pulse. It was great as the situation gave people a chance to see if they were cut out to be teachers or not.

Then a few years later, due to the antics of many of those who came to teach, more regulations were added, one of which was the criminal record check. You now had to have a clean criminal record if you wanted to be in the Korean classroom.

I fought against the implementation of that regulation because I thought it was unfair and unjust as the criminal record only gave evidence of past deeds that could not be changed. The criminal record spoke nothing of the person’s desire or changed attitude in the present and for the future.

It also could not provide any guarantee that the person with the clean criminal record would not offend sometime in the future (which did take place many times in subsequent years after the implementation of the regulation).

Many people lose out on good opportunities to rehabilitate their lives and live as good citizens after learning the lessons that come from making criminal mistakes. This is because of the current attitude concerning those who offend and break the law. It is not fair, it is not just, it is not right to categorize people because of one or a few errors in judgment nor is it fair, just or right to remove opportunities or their rights simply because they committed a crime.

I am old enough to remember the days when the prevailing attitude was that once the person had did their time, they had paid their debt to society and were free to pursue a good life free from prejudice and discrimination. That attitude has mostly disappeared now as it is considered to be the right thing to hold a person’s unchangeable actions over their heads for the rest of their lives and deprive them of the chance to change and live like a good citizen.

This means that this magazine even considers the sexual offenders’ lists that governments employ these days are unjust and unfair as they make the person pay for their crime long after their sentence is over and their debt paid.

Forgiveness is no longer part of the equation nor is a second chance and for the believer we need to ask ourselves, ‘Where would we be if God did not give us second, or third or even fourth or more chances?’ or, ‘How would we feel if God held our sins over our heads throughout our lives?’

I am going to leave you with those questions to answer for yourselves and let you ask God to help you apply the answers to those who have committed crimes. The Bible tells us, as you have freely received, freely give’ and that verse (Mt. 10:8) does not exclude those with criminal pasts.

We are guilty of many crimes yet God says that when we repent, he will not remember our sins thus we cannot make ourselves greater than God by holding the sins of others over their heads when they repent of their crimes.

We need to emulate God’s attitude and make a better impact for God in this area of life by bestowing upon our repentant criminal element dignity, rights and another chance or three to get it right.

 

Issues of the Day

#1. https://www.mail.com/int/news/world/5388504-lgbt-outrage-trump-ban-transgender-military-servic.html#.1272-stage-set2-6

Leaders of major advocacy groups depicted Trump’s Twitter pronouncement as an appeal to the portion of his conservative base that opposes the recent civil-rights gains by the LGBT community. “His administration will stop at nothing to implement its anti-LGBTQ ideology within our government — even if it means denying some of our bravest Americans the right to serve and protect our nation,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the LGBT-rights group GLAAD.

The only thing stopping LGBTQ community members from serving in the military are their own demands and desire to force their preferences upon others. There are many believers serving in the military who accept the rules and adjust their behavior according. They do not usually make outrageous demands nor force other servicemen to adhere to their rules or even accept them s they are. They simply obey the rules set out by the military. This is the major problem with the LGBTQ community. They cannot accept the rules demanding that everyone one bow to their perversion or else.

The LGBTQ community is not going to make friends under their current modus operandi. In fact they should expect a backlash as their chosen preference is not accepted as good, normal, etc. by a vast majority of the people. We agree with Trump’s decision here as it is high time the LGBTQ community be told ‘no’ and it is about time they realize that they are not normal, but sinful and violating God’s rules.

#2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ken-ham-sells-ark-encounter-land-to-himself-for-10_us_596e9e95e4b05561da5a5ba9

Creationist Ken Ham, the notorious owner of The Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, has once again found a new way to swindle the good people of Kentucky out of their money.

Knowing HuffPost’s great dislike for and bias against Christians so here is another link to the same story

http://www.christianpost.com/news/kentucky-suspends-ark-encounter-18-million-tax-break-deal-192930/

While there is a lot we agree with that Ken Ham does and says there are a lot of public statements and actions we do not agree with and this is one of them. There is nothing wrong with a church or Christian theme park in investing in the community they reside. They should be setting the example how to be involved correctly with the community they are trying to reach not setting the example of how to screw the community out of much-needed revenue. The latter sets up stumbling blocks to Jesus while the former would knock those stumbling blocks down before they got started. The church is to reach the community not to make it more difficult to reach that objective. Paying property tax is not a big deal if the church or theme parks etc., are assessed correctly.

We disagree with Ham’s move here and feel that he is taking advantage of the community’s good graces. His actions are not Christian and we could point to the lack of biblical instruction that says avoid paying taxes to bolster our argument but  Ham and others already know that those do not exist. Being Christian does not mean escaping one civil responsibilities even when they are a church or christian organization

#3. http://www.morethancake.org/archives/29412

Does history prove science and Christianity are incompatible?

We have written long on this in other articles so we won’t delve into a long discussion here. Suffice it to say that the only way for science and Christianity to be compatible is for the former to repent of its sins and get to the truth. Since most of the scientific world does not believe God nor in God it is not God who is in error and lacking the truth. You can’t have the truth if you kick the only one who possesses it out the door and ban him from entry.

#4. http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/8304/is-the-bible-fake-news

The point here is actually not that God has changed or that there really was a flood or that we have to figure out how Noah’s family repopulated the world without committing incest. The compilers of Genesis included the flood story to change our minds about God.

What is fake about the Bible are all those people who forget when different rules were implemented.Incest was not banned by God till long after the flood. What is also not fake news are the different historical accounts starting with creation, moving on to the flood, then Sodom and Gomorrah and so on. You cannot have fake news if you are holy

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-wont-be-punished-as-long-as-they-do-what-we-say-rolling-stone-reporter-responds-lgbt-193200/

Kroll’s attitude seems to be, “if those conservative Christians just become like those liberal Christians, they have nothing to worry about; so what’s the problem?”

In other words “do as i say or else’. It seems absolute power has corrupted this guy absolutely, absolute power over his money that is.  He needs prayer.  But this is the way it is with the LGBTQ community. They have spent decades whining and complaining about abuse, intolerance, hate crimes and many more negative things BUT when they get an opportunity to be different, to set the example of how they want to be treated, they opt to do to others as has been done to them. They will abuse others, they will be intolerant, they will commit hate crimes and on it goes.

The LGBTQ has no sympathy nor argument because they cannot do unto others as they would like to be treated. You cannot win friends and influence people when you are sinning to achieve your demands. Nor can you expect people to accept you when you act like the bully or be hypocritical. We all know that this guy attacks Christians but he does not attack any other religious group who defy his agenda. His actions and words undermine everything he says and does and makes him a laughing-stock. So he has money, whoopee, all he demonstrates is hatred, intolerance, and acts like a bully. He is just one more rich guy in a long line of rich guys who do the exact same thing for their individual agendas. He isn’t new, unique or even smart.

When will the LGBTQ community grow up and realize that there are more people in the world than them, all of who have rights and freedoms along with free choice to exercise those rights and freedoms as they see fit.

 
 
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