Gay Marriage and the Follower of Jesus – Part Two

27 06 2015

About three years ago, when President Obama proclaimed his support of gay marriage, I wrote the post titled “Gay Marriage and the Follower of Jesus” which I recommend you read given the current circumstances of the U.S. Supreme Court decision.  Consider this post a continuation of that earlier post.  There are several things I want to tackle in this post.  I’m going to try to get to the root of some of the surface issues I see that those in Christ are dealing with.  So, buckle up, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.

First, let’s establish the foundation of one simple fact.  If you know the Bible at all, there is a theme you should know: that this world is not our home.  In many instances in Scripture, we are told, reminded, and given examples of this truth.  Peter calls us sojourners and pilgrims in 1 Peter 2.  The writer of Hebrews says in Chapter 13 that we don’t have a continuing city, so we look for that one to come.  Chapter 11 of Hebrews gives the example of Abraham and other patriarchs who looked forward to a heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God.  James says in Chapter 4 of his letter that being a friend of the world is to make yourself an enemy of God.  Even Jesus himself said,

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you.” – John 15:19

There are surely more examples and Scriptures to point this out, but the point is that we are foreigners in a strange land, no matter where in the world you live.  If you are in Christ, you were once part of this world, but now you are a new creation in Christ and your home is not here but where Christ is.  If you’re in Christ, you will one day be reunited with your Master and He will destroy this world and make a new one where He will be ruler and where His followers will finally feel at home beyond anything they can imagine.  As it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Next, with that in mind, let’s tackle the decision that was handed down by the Supreme Court.  Again, with our understanding of the Scriptures, we can clearly see that our convictions are much different than of those in this world.  We are called to be different.  I want to stress that being different from the world doesn’t just mean just being nice and going to church.  The “different” I mean is what the Bible mean by being different, as in: being chaste while the world has sex with whoever, whenever they want, speaking truth when the world lies, treating people equally when the world discriminates, honoring your spouse when the world divorces and commits adultery, respecting governmental authority when the world does and says what they want, and on and on it goes.  The list also includes honoring a man and woman in marriage as God had intended when the world decides for themselves what they want to do with marriage.

So, with the foundation of the fact that this world is not our home and we are strangers and the knowledge that we are to be different from the world, why are we is such turmoil over this decision?  How does it affect your ability to marry someone of the opposite gender?  Does it keep you from doing what God calls YOU to do? The Constitution of the United States is not your Bible.  Nor was it a divinely inspired document written by the finger of God.  Whether you believe the United States was or is a Christian nation is irrelevant.  The Scripture is God’s Word alone and if you read it you will find that there is no place on this earth that will perfectly honor God, that is, if you find one that honors Him at all.  No only that, but the book of Revelation tells of a time where everyone will be cursing the God who made them.  So, you might as well prepare for it.  If our Lord was killed by his own people, why would we think this world would embrace what we believe?

I will now make a statement that may have most Christians wanting to stone me.  If you can separate the U.S. Constitution from the Bible, the world from those in Christ, and the United States from your real home where Christ is, then the U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision.  WOAH!  WAIT!!  Before you click out of this blog, here me out!!  My purpose on this blog is to challenge Christians to honor God and live for Christ.  Give me a little more of your time and then you can believe what you want.  I will deal with some of the objections in a little bit.

Yes, homosexuality is sin!  No doubt about it. But the Bible and the Constitution are two different things.  You are not a follower of the United States or the Constitution.  If you are a Christian, you are a follower of Christ and your life is hidden in Him, not on the rise or fall of the United States or any of its’ documents.  The Constitution does not say “Homosexuals may never marry.”  Even if it did, the people would have a right to change it.  That’s the way it goes.  The Constitution is not a moral document, but a document of rules on governing.  Years ago, this was never an issue because homosexuality was considered bad culturally, not just religiously.  Yet, so was abortion until the 1960’s.  Now, you hardly hear about abortion because it’s the norm.

I am not here to argue why or how the Supreme Court made the decision.  The point is: Homosexuality is sin, but the U.S. Constitution does not care about sin.  Do not put your faith in what the United States was or is, follow Christ.

Lastly, let’s consider what our response should be.  Here I will also deal with some objections and arguments that I have seen.

What should be our response?  Well, what should be our response to other sins?  How do you respond to atheists who marry?  Or better yet, how do you respond to Christians who divorce?  How do you respond to the pastor who preaches about giving and drives a relatively new BMW?

How do we respond?  Well, how did Jesus respond to the woman caught in adultery?  How did He responded to the tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes of his day?  Well, He simply treated them as humans beings and told them the truth of what they were doing was wrong in the sight of God and, if they repented and followed Him, they would have eternal life.  He also made it clear that if they didn’t repent, they would face the judgement of God for their sin.  So, why should we do anything else than what our Master did?

I don’t recall Jesus or any others in the New Testament making it an aim to make Rome change or keep laws to reflect their beliefs.  Instead of making laws, the focus was on making disciples by telling them the truths of the Gospel so that God could regenerate their hearts.  Our job as Christians is not to make everyone do what we would like, but to point them to God so that God can change them.  If you think it’s about legislating morality, you need to remember where YOU came from.

Paul says in 2nd Timothy 4 to

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching.”

Our job is not to keep people from sinning.  That is impossible and doesn’t deal with the heart.  Our job is to tell people what God says is sin and that they will have to deal with Him.  They don’t have to deal with us, but with a God that they have deeply offended and they will one day face the wrath of.  But, not only homosexuals are in trouble with God.  A quick reading of the first few chapters of the book of Romans will clearly reveal that EVERYBODY on the face of this earth is in the same situation.  Nobody is exempt from God’s wrath.  Homosexuals and liars will be in the same hell.  Adulterers and fornicators, idolators and the covetous, murderers and haters, Muslims and false Christians, among others, will all face the wrath of a holy and just God. It’s our job to tell them the truth.

But, some may say, homosexuality is worse than other sins.  I’ve recently seen an article from a prominent ministry that made this claim.  Really?  Where does it say that in Scripture?  The only way you can make that claim is to twist scripture and rationalize your way through it.  If you quote to me the scripture that tells me it’s an abomination to God, then you better have as much fervor for lying, shedding innocent blood, or eating lobster, shrimp, or pork as you have for gay marriage.

And why is it all about gay marriage?  Why is it okay for atheists to get married?  They don’t even think a god exists.  Is God cool with homosexuals unless they get married?  I know these are silly questions, but why is homosexual marriage singled out.  There have even been instances of people being okay with baking cakes for homosexuals unless it is found out that it’s for the homosexual wedding.  Really?  Where are our priorities and consistency?  Isn’t it the homosexuality that’s sin?

Some may argue that it’s because it’s about the “sanity sanctity of marriage”.  Who decided marriage is originally between a man and a woman?  God, right?  Do they know and care about what God says?  No.  Do you?  If you say yes, then go and marry the opposite sex.  Simple as that.  Do you believe in the sanctity of marriage?  Then YOU keep it sanctified.  Do not think that sinners in opposition to God want to keep something God honoring.  Why not live out what you believe the Bible says and be a light to this dark world, instead of trying to make people submit to what they don’t believe or want.  In the Old Testament, God warned the children of Israel to not worship the idols or do the things that the other nations did, but He didn’t say go and make the other nations to the things they did.

One last argument I’ve heard is that this opens the door for other sins like bestiality and pedophilia to become legal.  Okay.  If it does, what are you going to do about it?  Don’t do those things!  Don’t do what the pagans do.  Do what God says, say what God says, and don’t expect others to care about what God says.

Only God can change the hearts of people.  But, God made the start of the process for us to proclaim His Word, not our opinions.  You can’t share with a homosexual a scripture that says homosexual marriage is sin, but you can share with him that their homosexuality, along with their lust, pride, lying, taking God’s name in vain, etc. is sin.  Once you share what God’s says, then He can convict their hearts and produce change.  It’s amazing.  That way He get all the glory, not us.

Brothers and sisters, I’m afraid that persecution is coming, but not for the right reasons.  I’ve seen the websites and Facebook posts worrying about the looming persecution for Pastors and other Christians that speak against homosexual marriage.  Yes, I guess I can see it coming, too.  But, why should it be this way?  Homosexuals are not condemned because they get married.  They are condemned despite their perversion.  They are condemned because they have lied, hated, lusted, had wrong ideas about God, stolen, have broken the Sabbath, had sex out of wedlock, divorced, called people names, have been prideful, covetous, envious, bitter, untrustworthy, unthankful, drunkards, and selfish, among many other things, just as the rest of mankind, even you and I.  It would be better if we followed in the footsteps of our Lord and those that walked in His footsteps and would get persecuted for speaking the truth about all of these wicked things that God speaks about, than to be singled out because of a stance we have on a secondary action that a certain group of sinners do.  If we keep our focus on it like we are, we deserve the persecution.

To conclude, I write these things to somehow help and challenge us.  My heart breaks over what we do in the name of Christ and what we’ve become as a “Church”.  We uproar about homosexuals marrying because marriage was God’s idea.  Yet, we let divorce happen in the Church for foolish reasons about just as much as it happens in the world.  Is God happy with this?

Personally, I will treat a homosexual as a real person, like Jesus did to prostitutes.  Yes, I make that analogy because prostitutes were highly frowned upon in those days, yet He ate with them and taught them the truth.  I also will tell them the truth as I should with everyone.  I will not tell them the truth just because they are homosexual and they need it more than others nor because they are married.  Everybody needs the truth.  If someone rejects the truth, I can also do what Jesus did and let them alone to their destruction.  Jesus did not beg others to believe and even left when He was asked to leave (Luke8:37).

I’m not a Pastor, so most that I talk to don’t think much of what I say.  That’s okay because nobody is accountable to me.  They (and you) are all accountable to God.  I know I will be accountable for what I have said and done.  Don’t even take my word for it.  Don’t take a Pastor’s or anybody’s word for it.  Get into your Bibles and read the examples of Jesus and the Apostles and what they said yourself.  There you will find ultimate truth.  There you will find ultimate freedom.  There you will find ultimate life.

Jesus said to follow Him!

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Fifty Shades of…Bestselling Women’s Suffering?

21 02 2015

I write this out of the “Shake My Head” file. I have not watched and have no intention or desire to watch “Fifty Shade of Gray”.  I have never nor will I ever read the book.  So, as a disclaimer, I have no idea of all the details of the book or the movie.  I do, however, know just enough to know that some people who criticize it seem to not have a clue about it.

This is by no means a post condoning the book or the movie.  As with most of this world’s ideas, the idea of sex and relationships as portrayed in the book and movie, as with most books and movies, even Christian ones, are in contradiction to the Scriptures.  “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God because it is stupid to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually understood.” (1 Cor 2:14)   With that in mind, I can understand bringing up 50SoG in Christian culture to bring it to light.   Yet, the reasons that it is not approved make no sense.

The reasons not to watch it that I have heard about it in the pulpit or other areas of Christian culture is not because it does not portray sex outside of marriage as sin, or a wrong depiction of sexuality, or even that it’s based off of women’s porn a romance novel.  No, the reason it’s a bad movie is….it’s advocating bad things about women.  I guess, It not only demoralizes them, but the movie also advocates violence against them.

Okay…so, let me get this straight. (Mind you, I only know about 50SoG what the media, people I’ve talked to, and Wikipedia have told me.)  This WOMAN decides to write a book about this WOMAN who WILLFULLY DECIDES to get into a BDSM relationship/contract with some rich guy.  Not only that, but it is a best selling ROMANCE NOVEL among WOMEN.  So bestselling that it sold 100 million copies and has been translated into 52 languages.  Evidently, the woman who wrote it and the millions of women who bought and read it must not think it is too violent or demoralizing.  Else, why would so many women advocate violence against and dehumanize themselves?

I don’t advocate the books or movie to any Christian woman.  I would hope it’s not even a consideration.  But if you do read or watch it, I would hope you’re not so much a hypocrite to demand your boyfriend or husband not to watch and enjoy something with barely clothed women on it.  What is the difference between you and him?  What is the difference between his porn and your romance novels?  It reminds me of a time when I saw a Christian woman comment on how “Magic Mike” was “eye candy” when she had seen it.  I can see the reaction of Christian women if they caught their husbands with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Anyway, we should tell people to not read the book or watch the movie based on what Scripture says, not based on worldly mentality.  There are several other reasons to not read or watch it beside that it’s “harmful to women”.  It’s not all about women.  If you want to criticize it, speak of the spiritual and sinful issues about it.  Dealing with this kind of reminds me of how Christians are taught not to have sex before marriage because it will lead to low self-esteem, unwanted pregnancy, and sex in marriage will not be as special.  It totally disregards anything that should be said because GOD said it.  Take for instance:

“Do not let fornication, sexual impurity, all uncleanness, or covetous even be named among you, as is fitting for saints.  For you may be sure of this, that no fornicator, unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolator, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. “

But, instead, psychology is used.  “You don’t want to feel bad for not giving all of yourself to your spouse”  Thus, keeping that Scripture fulfilled, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

If psychology and feelings-based opinions are used instead of the black-and-white truths from Scripture, people will just be left with 50 shades of gray, giving them the ability to do what is right in their own eyes.

Jesus said to follow Him!





Letting It All Hang Out

1 01 2015

I hate New Year’s resolutions and I never make any.  No, wait…I was wrong.  I made a resolution a few years ago that I won’t make anymore resolutions.  Well, I’m about to break that resolution.  Unless, I call it something else.  Hmmm.

My resolution plan for this blog in 2015 – to let it all hang out.

What does that mean?  I had some definition in mind, but wanted to confirm it before I made it the title of this blog in case it meant something, um, indecent.  But, this fits perfectly: “Be totally candid in expressing feelings and opinions; hold nothing back. To do something enthusiastically and without fear of the results.”

I realize I only wrote one blog post last year.  That’s pretty pathetic, I know.  There were several factors in that weak attempt at being a blogger.  I did work a lot this past year which limited my time tremendously.  I was also mainly limited to a desktop computer which also requires a substantial amount of time on my part because I’m, at least to me, a horribly slow thinker and need a bit of time to think about what I want to say.  I have recently acquired a decent tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard to hopefully make my blogging more portable and easier to type so that I can do it more efficiently, instead of try to set aside a big chunk of time to write a post.

What could’ve been the main reason, I’m afraid and hate to say it, is fear.  I’m not even sure if that is the right word or not.  It seems too strong of a word, but I can’t think of any others to use.

These past few years have really been life-changing for my faith.  You can read about it in some of my previous posts.  Between life events, church, the actions of fellow believers, other blogs I’ve read, culture, and, hopefully, a better understanding of the Bible, my faith has changed dramatically.  Thus, I started this blog a couple of years ago to write down my thoughts and understanding on certain subjects.  I was surprised to find that an ex-pastor, now atheist, had better biblical theology and understanding than many Christians.  I wrote a few times about the obsessions Christian have with singling out homosexuality.  I wrote about how, even though many Christians want to constantly rip on President Obama, if the Bible is true, God put him there.  There are many other things I posted about.  The point of the posts were to try and encourage others to live out the faith they claim to have.  But, when looking back, I only scratched the surface.  I was being too “safe”.

I found myself, especially this past year, thinking of things to write about.  I would think about what I wanted to write at times, but then thinking about who would read it, dealing with reactions to what I wrote, along with the lack of time because of working a lot, pushed those things out of my head.  But, even while I hardly wrote anything this past year, I still learned quite a bit.  That’s why, hopefully, I am coming back to blog this year with a new drive…a drive to challenge Christians to understand and live out their faith.

There was a phrase that I wrote down years ago that I still hold to – “Communication is key”  I thoroughly believe that with proper communication and understanding, the level of accomplishment can be tremendous.  Unfortunately, it seems that very few can do so without succumbing to insults, arrogance, or emotional distraught.  When talking to someone about views different that what the majority believe, there is hardly any room for any adult conversation and debate.  It is either they insult you, either openly or as side jokes, they say, “Well, I believe…” without giving any proper argument for why, except that their pastor said so or they give some verse out of context and won’t listen to any sort of rebuttal, or they just go into some kind of dramatic emotional psycho-state that makes it all about them.

I am hoping to blog more about the things I have learned in my journey of faith and communicate them to you.  I will get deep.  I will say things that are not widely embraced.  I will be going against the contemporary flow.  I am not concerned about what people think of me.  I am concerned about truth and I am concerned with what we do with that truth.  If you disagree, you can join me in an adult discussion and debate so that we may encourage each other.  I may be wrong in what I say here, or you may be wrong in refuting me, but if any of us has the attitude to prove that one of us is right, we are missing the point.  Neither of us is right, God is.  Until we humble ourselves and realize that “God is true and every man a liar”, we will not be one Body in Christ*.  Heb 3:13 – “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Remember, it’s not about us, it’s about Him.  It’s not about getting all the answers right, but seeking out the right answers so that we can live them out together to glorify God.

Jesus said to follow Him!

 

* Do not think I’m getting all ecumenical.  There are major differences in some Christian “faiths” that are false and heretical and cannot be reconciled with.  But, there are also many minor things that Christians divide over that should not divide us.





World Vision: After the dust has settled

14 04 2014

A few weeks ago, the Christian community was rocked by the news that World Vision, an organization that helps third-world children and adults with basic needs and Christian teaching, changed their policy to allow the hiring of homosexuals, along with married homosexuals, into their organization.  This instantly caused many to withdraw their financial support until two days later, when World Vision reversed their decision due to the backlash from supporters.

While this may be old news to many, the arguments for and against that I’ve seen and heard have been basically the same.  One the one side, there are many Christians that just can’t believe World VIsion would do such a thing as to hire those that are in open sin into their organization and can’t see themselves supporting such a “ministry”.  On the other side, there are those that think this is a good way to show people that Christians can love everyboby, even homosexuals, and, besides, how can someone just take away their support and leave these children without basic needs?

After the dust has settled and the arguments are basically over, I guess my question is:  Is that really what this is about?  Let consider something a little more deeper.

If you’ve read my past post about gay marriage, you know that I cannot deny that homosexuality is a sin.  There is no doubt about it.  The Bible says it.  However, there are so many Christians that want to single that out as a sin that seems worse than any plague this world has ever known.  It’s as if it is one of the top five most horrible sins ever in the history of mankind, right up there with trying to take “God” out of the pledge of allegience, as if making sure these things don’t happen will win everybody over to Christ.  On the contrary, all it seems some Christian are trying to do is to keep their life from getting a little uncomfortable.

So why all the reaction against homosexuality?  Is it just a traditional reaction?  Are some just trying not to be uncomfortable?  Is it because we’ve never had to deal with it and don’t want to?

I read an interesting blog post earlier this month where the author spoke about how so many were withdrawing their support from World Vision because they felt that homosexuals shouldn’t be involved in a ministry like that. Yet. the author also pointed out that there are many in churches today that are unbiblically divorced, and some remarried, and, therefore, by Jesus’ words are adulterers, that are in ministries, even marriage ministries, but Christians hardly consider it an issue, even within the author’s own church. This is only one of many  examples, however, of how some blatant sins are winked at, that are “covered with grace”, but for some there seems to hardly be a shred of grace for.

Why are we letting some sins go and some we are so adamitly against.  Where is the balance?  Where is truth?

So why shouldn’t homosexuals be able to get married?  Why is it such a big issue?  All homosexuals see is that Christians think they shouldn’t be able to do what you can do because they are not you.  As you preach love, you come across to them as selfish and unloving.  And for what?

When I read the Bible, I see Jesus eat with and talking to sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans…you know, the scum of the earth in those days.  He was speaking truth to them about God, life, their own sin, and who He was.  He was not condoning their sin, but He was not keeping them from doing it either.  He told them the truth and let them decide if they wanted to follow Him or go their own way.  The ones that I see Jesus condemning are the Pharisees, the ones that twisted God’s commands to suit themselves, laid heavy burdens on people that they couldn’t carry, and wondered how anyone like Jesus could eat with tax collectors and sinners.

So why make a big deal about homosexuality and gay marriage?  Why try to make sinners not sin?  Why not make a big deal about dealing with the ridiculous divorce rate in churches, the false teachers that influence Christian culture, encouraging one another to live holy, blameless lives, and being a part of the worldwide Body of Christ by reflecting Him in this lost world?

As far as World Vision, there seems to be an issue not being discussed about it. World Vision is considered a Christian organization and is considered to be teaching Christian values to these children. It is supposed to be more that just sponsoring a child to keep them fed and clothed. If that is all it is, there are plenty of secular and even “religious” organizations that will feed and clothes men, women, and children all the way up until they die and go to hell because they do not teach Christ. Yet, World Vision says that they not only feed and clothe them, but also teach the children about Christ. Now, if you have a Christian organization that is teaching children about Christ and His teaching and practically endorsing open sin by having not only homosexuals, but also married homosexuals, they are distorting Christ and his teaching. While it sounds great that the children would learn how loving Christians can be toward everybody, no matter what the sin, they would also learn that homosexuals can be Christians and Christians think being homosexual is fine, when in actuality, it’s not. It’s sin that Jesus does not endorse.

I do not say this just because it’s homosexuality. No, I think the Christian culture is a bit hyper-political about it. However, if World Vision were to announce that they changed their policy to hire  people in other relationships while still married (adulterers), people who happily engage in premarital sex, Muslims (remember it’s a Christian org teaching Christ), people who openly use God’s name as a curse word (blaspheme), or people who frequently get drunk, I would not hesitate to revoke all sponsorship that I may have with them and encourage others to do the same. It’s not the issue of is it okay to hire homosexuals, it’s the issue of how are the people being helped going to take it when they realize that the Jesus World Vision represents is not the total Jesus of the Bible.

There has to be a balance.  I can see where people are at that want to emiphasis the truth of homosexuality being a sin.  I can see where people are at that want to show the love of Christ.  But, those are one and the same in Christ.  He is full of truth AND grace and we are his representatives.

If the point is to just feed and clothe children, there are plenty organizations out there that will do it without putting Jesus’ name behind it.  That way, the children won’t realize that Christians are liars just so they’d get people in their club.

Jesus said to follow HIM!





The Primacy of Scripture

13 11 2013

Ballista74 at “The Society of Phineas” has written a great post that adds more depth to my last post – “Obey God rather than men“. It was so good that I just had to reblog it.  I wouldn’t have minded calling it “Obey God rather than men – Part 1.5”

It is unfortunate how much weight we put into the words of men, from commentaries to books. It is even more unfortunate that there are those that cannot discern if what is being read is truth because they seem to have more knowledge in what an author says than what the Bible says.

Some of the reaction I have received at times from quoting Scripture to Christians has been anywhere from calling me a “know-it-all” to saying something like, “I’m not sure what to think of that.”

My hope for you, dear reader, is that you take Scripture as the only source of truth. All forms of teaching, doctrine, and understanding are to be subject to it, whether it be preached from a pastor, written in a book, or in any other form. Also, that you may know His Word and that you may be able to discern and not be blown around with every wind of teaching.





Mothers are awesome, Fathers can do better

11 05 2013

No, I am not dead.  I am still blogging.  I’ve just been, well…quiet.

With Mother’s Day here and Father’s Day coming up soon, I just wanted to share and question some observations that that seem quite common in churches in this day and age.

I would not have believed it if not for hearing other people mention it in the blogosphere and then hearing it with my own ears last year.

Mothers Day in the U.S. (for those from someplace else) is a special day in May set aside to honor all mothers.  It is a Sunday that you can have on the calendar to intentionally plan to maybe visit her, spend time with her, talk to her on the phone, take her out to dinner, buy her a gift, tell her “I love you”, or whatever you would like to do to honor her.  To those that have been blessed with a “normal” mom, she raised you, changed your diapers, wiped your butt, kissed your boo-boos, put up with your crying and whining, among other things.  Mother’s Day is the day to give some appreciation for all she is doing or has done for you.

So it is in many churches today that we show appreciation to all mothers.  What is done to honor them depends on the church.  Some may give them flowers as they come in to the church.  Some may have all mothers stand and a little speech is given to thank them for all the wonderful things they do.  Some even spend that Sunday preaching a whole sermon about mothers.  Rightly so, for they deserve appreciation for what they do as mothers.  I feel sorry for those who did not grow up with a loving mother or father in their lives.

Fathers Day is a special day set aside in June to do the same thing for our fathers.  However, most really don’t care for flowers, so a day out fishing, a sporting event, dinner, a gift card to the home improvement store might fit them a little better.  After all, he may have had to do some of the things I mentioned above about mothers, like wipe your butt and put up with your crying and whining.  Whatever you do, take time to honor him and return a little of the love that he has given to you if you’ve been privileged with a loving father in your life.

The problem I see, however, is that Fathers Day is much different in church than it is on Mothers Day.  While mothers get showered with love, thanks, and appreciation, as they should, Fathers Day gets a mention of that and then goes into how fathers can do better.  It doesn’t seem that bad on the surface because, frankly, mothers deserve appreciation and fathers can always do better.  However, the opposite, that fathers deserve appreciation and mothers can always do better, never seems to be said and when that becomes normal, as it has, fathers are seen as the only one with problems that need to be fixed.

While you may not see it, this is a major issue.  It is bad enough that the “battle of the sexes”, feminism, and gender “equality” rages on in our country (and probably in many countries).  I can deal with that…it’s the world.  I expect blatant disobedience to God in the world.  However, it is very disheartening to see it in the churches where the leadership of men is preached to the point of exhaustion, whether it be in sermons, books, or movies (think Fireproof and Courageous), but the submission of women is barely touched upon or mishmashed into “mutual” submission.  I am not here to get into this subject too deep in this post, but just wanted to touch on it since, to me and to others I have read, it seems that this happens on Mothers and Fathers Day as well.

So why do we do this?  Why does it seem perfectly fine to give so much praise for mothers on their day and not tell them to be better?  Why do we use Fathers Day to challenge fathers to be better?  Why do we tell mothers they are wonderful, but not tell them that they need to be better mothers and wives?  Why can’t we do the same for both on the respected days, either appreciate them and/or challenge them both?

Some of you will answer, “It is because men are called to be the leaders.”  Yes, and men can always be better leaders. They are not perfect and never will be.  Their wives are also called to submit to their husbands in everything (Eph 5:24).  Yet, we do not hear challenges on Mother’s Day for them on such things, even in parenting their children.

Some of you will say, “You are against women.  You are a legalist.  You don’t know the Bible.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  That is why you are writing these things.”  Nonsense!  I write this, and my whole blog, to challenge those stuck in Churchianity, those just going through the motions of church instead of what the bible says.  There are some things and traditions done in churches today that do more harm than good and we don’t even realize it.  We are to follow Jesus Christ.  He is the head of the Church and everything must be subject to what the Bible says.

So, I challenge you to pay attention to what is said in your church on these days.  If you are in a different country and have days like this, listen and see if it is the same as it is here in the U.S.  If your church doesn’t do the above things, good for you.  You are one the lucky ones, I guess.  Anyone else notice this before?  Comment about it.

No matter what is said in church, just make sure you appreciate your mother and father if you have one.  Don’t go to them and say, “Thanks for being my parents, but you could be better.”

Now, for all you mothers and fathers out there:  Thank you!  Thanks for being there for us and for all you have done for us.  Thank you for the sacrifices you had to endure for us.  Thank you for helping us with our homework, teaching us life skills, loving us, and laughing with us at our silliness.  You are not perfect and neither are we or will we be.  Let us forgive the faults and sins toward each other as Christ has also forgiven us.  If you are Christians, thank you for leading us in truth the best you could.  None of us are wonderful or awesome and we are called to be humble because He is the one that is wonderful, great, and awesome.  Thanks again.  We love you!

Jesus said to follow Him!





The Christian “Red Pill”

10 12 2012

Over the past year, I have grown to enjoy reading blogs.  It has shown me that I am not alone at where I am in life.  Reading some of them is encouraging, convicting, and edifying.  Some of them also help me to understand where other people are coming from in their views as well, whether it be about the Bible, Christianity, marriage, or some controversial topic.  They helps me to understand why people think the way they do, even if they are wrong.  One of the reasons why I think some people blog is because there may not be anyone around them that will respect them enough to listen to them.  Blogging gives them the opportunity to discuss their views without someone close to them condemning them for doing so.  Reading blogs gives us the opportunity to know why atheists have a problem with a deity, what is going on in the mind of someone with a different view of the Bible, or why people hate church.  We can then come and discuss it with them at their level instead of just making sure they know “their wrong and we’re right”.  How far will that attitude get you?

Around the blogging world (aka the blogosphere), there is a genre of what is considered “red pill”.  The “red pill” is a term derived from the movie “The Matrix” to refer to having one’s eyes opened to things that are not commonly seen.  In the movie, a character is offered a red pill that will change his life or a blue pill that will make him forget any changes and go with the flow of others.  (To those who are “red pill” or are familiar with the movie, forgive me if I am misrepresenting the movie.  I still haven’t watched it.  I have just seen clips and other blogs referring to it.)  I have dealt with swallowing the “red pill” myself in this post.

I hope I am not going out on a limb by posting this because many “red pill” blogs have to do with relating to women, marriage, and alpha and beta traits, both secular and Christian.  However, of the Christian ones, many of the topics discussed point out how the Bible is being either horribly distorted or totally neglected by many in Christianity.  I appreciate many of their posts.  It has helped me to see the questions that I have asked are ones that others ask too. I am not necessarily here to speak specifically about any “flavor” of the “red pill” such as feminism, marriage, PUA, Game, MRM, or the like.  In this post, I want to broaden the reach of the Christian “red pill”.  The Christian red pill is not anything special.  All it is about is taking the Bible for what it’s worth at face value.  It’s about taking all of what God says, not only the parts you like, and counting it as truth and seeking to please God by doing it, even if it goes against the “Christian” norm.

For me, I think I accidentally swallowed the “Red Pill”.  From what I’ve read, that seems like this happens to many people.  God has a way of getting our attention when we’re to dumb to realize things ourselves.  (Again, click the link above to read my “red pill” story.)

The “red pill” goes down hard, tastes horrible, and has serious side effects.  You are just living life and BOOM! …questions arise.  You get answers to those questions that don’t make sense and it makes you question things even more.  You wonder where in the Bible what is said came from.  But what is said is just the way it is.  Everyone seems to think it as well.  It’s just tradition.   Then you hear that Pastor so-and-so said “this” or a Christian book or radio program said “that”.  Where did they get THAT from?  Suddenly, you start fighting with yourself on what is true or not.  Who is right?  You realize God is.  His Word is truth whether other Christians want to follow it or not.

The “red pill” is really nothing new, either.  Many, many people through the ages have taken the pill.  Some of the more famous ones are ingrained into Christian history.  Martin Luther took the “red pill” and questioned the authority and some practices of the Roman Catholic Church with what the Scriptures taught, only to be condemned because of it.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not sway with the Church toward Hitler’s Nazi Regime and stood his ground at the cost of his life at the age of 39.  John Hus was burned at the stake for speaking against the Roman Catholic Church in his time.  William Tyndale was burned alive for translating the Bible into common English.  John Wycliffe was deemed a heretic for his Bible-based views prior to the reformation.  He died of natural causes, but his body was dug up a burned afterwards.  Charles Spurgeon, a London pastor in the 1800’s, stood strong in the midst of the “downgrade controversy” when, even among Christians, the Bible was being questioned if it was the sole authority.     Ultimately, Jesus, the Maker of the “red pill”, stood up against the religious authority of His day who made their own rules instead of following God’s Word.

You see, the Christian “red pill” is nothing new.  It is believing EVERYTHING God says in the His Word whether it sounds good or not, even if other “Christians” think otherwise.  It means not throwing in psychology or philosophy along with the Bible.  It means doing what God says even if it’s not the cultural norm.  It means dying to yourself and the world around you.  The Christian “red pill” simply means believing and doing what God says.  Hey, isn’t that what Jesus tells us to do anyway?

Yet, in the United States, our culture wants things our own way.  Don’t like what the preacher says?  Go to the church down the street.  You can watch preachers on TV that will tell you how to get what you want and get your best life.  They can tell you God thinks your awesome, wonderful, and that you’re the greatest thing ever.  Okay, before I go into a sarcastic seizure, I’ll move on.

You know those crazy medication commercials you see on TV or hear on the radio?  You know, the ones that say you can be free of some pain or other issue at the risk of side effects that includes dry mouth, constipation, internal bleeding, or infection that can lead to death.  If someone would make a video “commercial” about the Christian “red pill”, that would be an awesome thing to watch.  I would advertise the Christian “Red pill” something like this:  (Of course, I’d need to make it way more concise.)

Benefits for everyone include:

– You don’t care what other people think about you, but what God thinks.  You don’t worry if people hate you because your life doesn’t consist of pleasing others, but pleasing God.  The world will hate you because you are not of this world.  But if the world loves you, you need to check yourself.  (John 17:14, 7:7, 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13)
You seek to be humble.  You know you are not wonderful and never were.  You understand it is only by God’s grace that you are not drowning in the depths of sin.  You do not boast in anything but God because you offer nothing good and He gives everything good.  You do not boast in any of your own accomplishments, but in what God has accomplished. (2 Corinthians 10:17, Romans 12:3)
– You remember where you came from.  You know who you were before Christ and know you would still be there, or worse, without Him.  Therefore, you also treat other “sinners”, even homosexuals, like actual human beings.  If it weren’t for Christ, you’d be going to the same Hell for your own disobedience to God.
– You understand that political leaders are chosen by God.  Therefore, you can spend more time preaching the gospel that can change hearts and lives instead of preaching about political issues.  Changing people’s minds about abortion, civil rights, or homosexuality will not make them a follower of Christ, but God changing their hearts through the gospel will. (Daniel 4:35, Romans 13:1, Daniel 4:25)
– You take responsibility for your own sins.  It is not so-and-so’s fault that you did this or that.  If you did it, it’s your own fault and you will be held accountable for it.  Deal with it. (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)
– Yet, you also understand that your actions or words can have an effect of others.  They may be tempted to sin because of something you said or did.  You know you can put a stumbling block in front of another brother or sister. (1 Corinthians 8:9-11)
– You understand that everybody have different gifts and different issues they struggle with than you do.  You can encourage others that are going through things that you are strong in and get help for things you are weak in.  You also do not look down and judge those that are weaker than you in certain areas.  You understand that without God’s grace, you can be in that same position. (1 Corinthians 12:4-27)
– You understand there is a difference between “church” and the “Church”  If you are a true follower of Christ, you are part of the “Body of Christ” or community of Christians from around the world that spans throughout history that doesn’t involve denominations.  You seek to help, build up, challenge, encourage, strengthen, and be like-minded with those in the Body.  You understand that not everyone in the Body is just like you.  God has given to each one different talents and gifts.  Each one is either stronger or weaker in faith than you.  But the Body seeks to work together to glorify God, the one who bought it.  Lastly, your Christian walk does not consist of being in a building for a few hours a week and only becoming a clique with a few people and forsaking the rest of the Body.
– You understand that the Gospel is not about life-enhancement.  Jesus did not come and die just to make you live a happy life.  The Bible has much to say about you being a sinner and condemned already because of your sin.  It speaks plainly about what you deserve and what you will receive without the atonement that comes only from Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.  (If that doesn’t make sense, message or email me.)  The Gospel is about becoming righteous, or having being made right in the eyes of God, despite your rebellion against Him.  It’s about His glory, His salvation, and His righteousness.  The only thing you bring to the table is sin.  (Romans 3:9-28, Ephesians 2)
– You understand that no matter how much of the red pill you swallow, you are to be humble, contrite, and a servant to all.  You are not to be wise in your own opinion.  You are to bear with those who are weak.  You are to provide unity to the Body of Christ and not discord and division.  (Romans 12:9-21)

Benefits for men:
– You will man up.  You will not man up as it is commonly refered to by being nice and doing what everyone tells you to do.  Manning up does not mean being blamed for everyone else’s behavior, including your wife’s.  You will man up by doing the things God says without excuse.  God tells us we should imitate Him.  God is not always nice.  He is full of truth.  He answers to no one.  You only answer to Him.
– You will seek to be a man as Christ was.  You are called to follow, imitate, and be like Him.  ALL OF HIM!  This means not only being humble, serving, and gentle when need be, but also standing firm in God’s truth.  It also means calling people out in their sin.  We have seemed to forget that Jesus and Paul were sarcastic and said things that seemed cruel for the glory of God.  There is a big difference in being sarcastic to rip someone apart and doing it to uphold God’s truths. (Matt 15:22-26, Galatians 5:2-12)
– You will call out sin without worrying about anyone’s feelings or if they are offended.  Jesus was never apologetic for being offensive because of the truth and neither should you.
– You will learn to love your wife as Christ does the church.  He did so by laying His life down for it, not give it everything it ever wanted.  He served us by doing what was best for us.  He does not ask us what He should do even when we whine and complain. (Ephesians 5:25-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7)
– You understand that love is not a feeling, but is an action as listed in 1st Corinthians 13. No matter how you “feel”, you are to love your wife and love others.
– You also understand that God tells you to love your wife no matter what she is like or how she treats you.  This does not mean you ignore her sin.  It does not mean she is not responsible.  It means you are to do what you are supposed to do before God.
– You will learn to teach and lead your children in humility, not provoking them to be angry.
– You will not apologize for being a man.  God made you a man with certain talents, responsibilities, and desires.  It is not a sin to be the way you are unless God’s Word tells you it’s a sin.  Period.  You do not let this world, culture, or even modern Christianity tell you what a man is.  You learn from God’s Word.

Benefits for women:
– You will woman down.  You will not try to be like a man, because you are not a man.  You understand that God has given men and women certain responsibilities.
– You will submit to your husband as the Church does to Christ.  It does so by respecting and obeying Christ.  The Church does not tell Christ what He should do and then yell at Him when He doesn’t do it their way.  The Church does not tell Christ how to be a better Savior.  The Church does not whine and complain until it gets her way, but asks Christ for things knowing that Christ has its best interest in mind and will give it what it needs. (Ephesians 5:22-24,33, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1-6 – notice the “likewise” in verse 1? read the full context (1 Peter 2:13-3:6))
– You understand that God tells you to respect and submit to your husband no matter if you “feel” like he’s loving you or not.  God’s command for you to submit to your husband is not conditional to his performance.  This does not mean ignore His sin.  It doesn’t mean you follow him into sin against God.  It does not mean he is not responsible.  It means you are to do what you are supposed to do before God.
– You will not seek to have authority over men in the Church.  You understand that the head of every woman is man.  That is God’s design.  (1 Timothy 2:8-15)
– You understand you are responsible for your own behavior and sin.  You will not blame men for your own irresponsible sins. (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)

Side effects:
– Other people, even Christians, will not understand you and think you’re very strange.
– Christians might label you as legalistic.  They may say things like: “That’s not for today”, “You’re taking it out of context”, or “Why are you so judgmental?”  Yet, your motive for wanting to do what God says is not to be right before God, it is because you ARE right before God because of Christ and want to obey Him out of love.
– You may lose your possessions and your family and friends may leave you.
– People may get very angry with you.
– People may hate you.
– People may physically hurt you.
– You may even lose your life.

But aren’t most of the side effects are things that God tells us will happen, anyway?  Didn’t Jesus come with a sword to divide people?  Didn’t he say you’d better be willing to lose everything, including your spouse and children, even your own life, to be His disciple?  Didn’t He say that you’re blessed when persecuted and woe to you when people speak well of you?  Don’t we have numerous examples in the Bible and through history to confirm this?

Of course, benefits of the “Red Pill” take time.  Once you take the Bible more seriously than what others may tell you how to live your life, it is just a matter of time before the questions arise and the “red pill” starts its effectiveness.  It is at this time that you MUST decide whether you go along for the ride in Churchianity, leave it all together, or decide that God is right and man is wrong and follow hard after God.

If you decide to follow hard after God after tasting the “red pill”, you need to realize some things.  His Word, that you decide to cling to above what anyone else says, tells you to be humble and not to be wise in your own eyes.  (I know I mentioned this above, but I can’t say it enough.)  You are to use your gifts that God has given you to build the Body of Christ up, not to tear it apart.  Above all, Pray, pray, pray and understand that we are in a spiritual battle.  We do not war against each other, but against the powers of darkness.

As I said, the “red pill” is nothing more than taking Scripture for what it’s worth.  Satan has, unfortunately, duped many Christians and churches into what he did to Eve…to question many things that God has said.  We have divided ourselves by whether we believe the same things or not.  We try to control one another instead of encouraging one another and letting God work in each others hearts.  We have lost the ability to discern between truth and “kind-of” truth.  Satan has bound us with many lies.

It’s time we “Christian up” and take things seriously.  It’s time we stood on the Word of God alone and judge everything according to it, not trying to fit what other people say into it.  It’s time we get tired of just “playing church” and start taking the Kingdom by force.  It’s time we be on offense with the Word of God.  It’s time to stop being a “cookie-cutter” Christian and be real.

It time we follow Christ and not other people.

For further reading:
Red Pill Ministries
Red Pill Christians
I would also have a link to CMD-N’s blog on “manning up (for real)”, but it is no longer available.  (If someone can find it or let the author know it is missed, that would be great.)