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!





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.





Obey God Rather Than Men

20 10 2013

SpurgeonDiscernment

Acts 5:27-29 – “And when they had brought them, they set [them] before the council.  And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

We seem to have a “he said, she said” issue in American Christianity.  I am sure, though, it’s not just here in America.  Some might label me as a “Protestant” or even a “Reformed Protestant” (I hate labels….I’m a follower of Christ) and I tend to enjoy some of the writings of the great preachers and “reformers” of the past.  What they seemed to write and want to tell others seems so much more deeper and filled with truth than many of the things offered in our current place in time.

One of my favorite things to read is just about anything written or preached from Charles H. Spurgeon.  He was from England in the mid-1800’s and converted at the age of 15.  He became a pastor of a church at 17.  He then went on to lead a congregation of 6,000, have most of his sermons published in the local paper, help others into gospel ministry in his Pastor’s College, among many other things.  He is a joy to read.  He spoke truth simply and with conviction and humility.

However, he is not God.  His words have not become God’s Word.

There are those of you that are of other parts of Christianity.  You may not consider yourself “Protestant”.  Maybe you’re Catholic or Orthodox and enjoy reading some of the writings of the “saints”.  (I put quotes because I know my non-protestant brethren would call Augustine – Saint Augustine.  I have read some of his work as well in study.)

However, they are not God.  Their words have not become God’s Word.

What do I mean by that?  Just as today, if Pastor so-and-so says something, it doesn’t mean it’s true.  How do you know it’s true?  Does what he say line up with what the Bible says or is he trying to grab verses out of context to conform them to what he’s saying?  If God’s Word is truth, everything else anyone says must be subject to it.  What if what he says is not according to the Bible?  What if he writes a book and someone reads it 200 years from now.  Does it make it truth 200 years from now just because it’s old?

As I said, I love reading the writings of Charles Spurgeon.  However, I need to know what the Bible says for myself so that I can discern if what he has written is true. Spurgeon’s words should compliment the Bible and help us to understand it.  They do not become truth just because he quotes a verse or two and says, “This is what it means”.

A great biblical example of this is the preaching of Paul.  Imagine, if you will, sitting in a room filled with other people hearing the words of the great Apostle Paul (or St. Paul).  He speaks with authority and seems to know the Scriptures inside and out.  But, are his words right just because he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about?  After he speaks, the group gets together to see if what Paul was saying was right.  They are known as the Bereans.

Acts 17:10-12 – “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.  Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.”

Can you imagine that?  They didn’t just take Paul’s word for it.  They looked it up for themselves.  For that reason they were given the title of being more noble for it.  What if we did the same?  What if we could discern what was truth and almost-truth?  Would we know when error was taught and would we speak against it?

Today, there is a problem with culture, psychology, and “worldly wisdom” being mixed in with the truth of Scripture.  I am sure that this is nothing new and has happened in much of Church history.  However, it is hurting the Church in so many ways in our day:

1.) The “Gospel” comes in so many flavors that many can’t discern the true from the false.

Having a hard time?  We have a gospel for that.  Diagnosed with a terminal illness? We have a gospel for that.  Need more money?  Need a spouse?  Need a divoece?  Need your husband to better?  We have a gospel for all of those, too.  You can hear preaching on just about anything you can think of.  How do you know which one is true?  One pastor says the more you give to his church, the more you or your family members, dead or alive, will be blessed.  How do you know that’s right?  Just because a pastor said it?  Somebody says all you need to do to go to Heaven is ask Jesus into your heart.  How do you know?  Where is that said?  What is the “good news”?  Is there any bad news?  Where do we find it?  Someone else states that God is all for you and if you just believe, you will have the life you’ve always wanted. Can someone please line that up with Scripture…the whole Scripture.  You can make a doctrine out of just about anything if you just take one verse out of its context.  What is taught most likely cannot be taught by one verse.  It has to line up with the rest of the Scriptures.

2.) Many hold on to certain “ism’s” (Calvinism, Preterism, Dispensationalism, etc.) so tightly, that they shun those they disagree with, though they may just not have proper understanding of such issues.

I may tend to agree with certain things because I see them in Scripture, but am I fully right?  Do I have perfect understanding?  Do we see clearly yet?  Even if I am right, does that give me reason to say those that don’t think I’m right are not Christians?  In some cases, yes, but there is a difference in denying concrete biblical doctrines and not understanding something that is not so clear.   There is a difference between denying that Jesus is the only way to God and denying that tongues is a prayer language.  One is concrete and shouldn’t ever be questionable, the other is questionable and could be debated until Jesus comes back and isn’t worth splitting the Body of Christ over.  That is what is supposed to be the wonderful dynamic of the Body of Christ.  We all have different backgrounds, traits, understandings, gifts, talents, struggles, strengths, and weaknesses and, yet, we use them together to build each other up.  At least, that would be the ideal.  However, the common practice is to think that someone else’s weakness or misunderstanding disqualifies them from the grace of Christ.  The thought becomes that because they don’t believe everything that I do on a certain subject, they are therefore “heretics” or “apostate” when nothing is said about it in Scripture, but someone may have spoken or written, even hundreds of years ago, that it was so.

3.) Biblical marriage roles are not understood or tossed out altogether

A leading, authoritative, and loving husband and a submissive, respectful wife is like sour milk to the world.  They cannot understand such a concept, nor should we expect them to.  However, this is what marriages within the Church should be like for that is what God in His Word calls us to in Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, and Collisions 3.  But, instead, we water it down or argue with it.  Our marriages, therefore, look hardly any different with the world.  Not only that, but the divorce rate among Christians is at about the same as the world.  How are we any different? How are we an example to the world?  It’s no wonder nobody wants to get married. It’s no wonder homosexuality is becoming more common.  What do they have else to look to for an example of what is right?

And the list can go on and on.

The point is in all of this is:  Where do we turn to for truth, to men or to God? Yes, I understand that God gives pastors and teachers to equip the Church for ministry (Eph 4:11-13).  However, not all pastors and teachers are correct, as Scripture clearly warns us of false teachers who will not spare the flock (Acts 20:28-30).  Not only that, but even those that seek to be true to the Word of God are not correct on everything.   So, it is also the job of the hearers to read the Scriptures for themselves to be able to judge all things.  That being said, nobody, including you and I, will ever be able to understand every little truth in Scripture.  That is where the Body comes in to encourage each other in what we know is true, not beat each other up over misunderstandings.  That is why God inspired the Apostle Paul to write Romans 14:1-15:7.  That is why we are called to be humble, not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought, and bearing with the weak if you think you are strong.

Finally, do not at all think that I am advocating an ecumenical-kumbaya-we’re-all-the-same attitude.  By no means.  If I thought that, I would be denying the very Word of God that I want to uphold.  There are certainly false teachers, false gospels, and false theology that must be refused and brought to light.  There are black-and-white issues that some want to make trivial.  We need to point to the Scriptures to make it known that they are not trivial.  However, there are also trivial things that some make into black-and-white issues that you cannot backup with Scripture.  How do you know if it’s black-and-white or trivial?  You can ask a godly friend or pastor, but ultimately you can ask God.  It is his Word and He knows perfectly, better than any man, what He meant by it.  He has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us His truth and lead us in it.  Trust in Him.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 16:13-14 – “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

1 John 2:26-27 – “These things I have written to you concerning those who deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

Jesus said to follow Him.





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.)





Jesus said to Follow Him!

5 10 2012

At the bottom of every post I write I make it my aim to put some form of “Jesus said to follow Him”.  It seems so simple and obvious.  Yet, it seems not many understand it.

In the midst of Christianity there seems to be a sub-genre called Churchianity.  This is where people “play church”.  Church is their idea of being a Christian.  Whatever any speaker, preacher, or teacher says, that is what they do.  Whatever Focus on the Family agrees with, they agree with.  If a new movie or book comes out and it mentions a Bible verse or moral issue, whether it is out of context or not, they are all over it.  Fellowship is considered a Christian form of “hanging out”, even though conversation isn’t much different than talking with unbelievers.  “Worship” songs are often sung with passion without even understanding what messages are coming out of the songs.  (Some make Jesus into more of a boyfriend or lover instead of the God to be feared and the Lord (Master) who rules.)  Above all else, they cannot discern what is true from the Bible for themselves.  A pastor, bishop, shepherd, priest, etc. can say just about anything and the Churchians will listen, agree, and follow him (or, nowadays, maybe her) without truly digging in the Bible to make sure what the pastor says is right.

I have been in that place myself.  Then I came a point in time where I began questioning a lot of things that seem common among Christianity.  Many of those questions I have dealt with on this blog including the common Christian attitude toward gay marriage, making issues from the Bible that aren’t really there, making ourselves look better than we really are, and why there is not unity in the Church (the Body of Christ, not “church”).

We live in a culture (at least, in the United States) that is drowning in religious overtones.  In other words, there are plenty that are “Christians” or believe in a god or two, whoever they might be, but have no real understanding or way of life that backs up their profession.  While some Christians might freak out about someone being a Muslim, there are many who are Muslim in name only.  It can probably be said about any religion.  They go through the motions and “do their time” at church, synagogue, mosque, or other “place of worship”.  If I’m not mistaken, studies have shown that over half of the U.S. population say that they are “Christian”.  Yet, where are the fruits of that?  There is no fruit because, to most, it is just a name to call themselves.

Being a “Christian” is NOT a game, it is serious stuff.

That’s because God is serious.  He is not this fluffy grandfather deity that is just waiting for you to just “acknowledge” or “accept him into your heart” as is commonly portrayed.  He is a holy God.  He is your creator and has authority over you.  Yes, He is a just God as well, and as many as think it is not fair (which is oxymoronic because those that have that argument don’t understand fairness), He inflicts punishment for sin.  He has given rules to follow and everyone has broken them.  He makes it very clear what we deserve because of our rebellion and disobedience.  Yet, because of His love, compassion, mercy, grace, and kindness, He not only give us opportunity to live and enjoy life, but He also gives us what we need in life.  The very breath that we breathe we don’t deserve.   His ultimate gift was the gift of His Son Jesus, who opened up more of God’s ways to us.  He then walked innocently before God and gave His life for us.  When He went to the cross, it showed God was infinitely serious about sin and showed His infinite love for us.  At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself our sin and God punished Him in our place.  God CANNOT let sin go unpunished.  One cannot simply say “I’m sorry” or “forgive me” without a basis for that forgiveness.  Therefore, since God punished Christ on our behalf, there is a basis for that forgiveness.  That forgiveness is not automatic, though.  There are strings attached to that sin/forgiveness transaction.  It is not given to everybody who ever lived.  It is given to those that follow Jesus.  The Bible makes that very clear.

Being a Christian means you follow after Jesus, who is the promised Messiah to the Jews and the Savior to those who trust Him.  He is the one God promised in times past who would be innocent before God, take upon Himself our sins, and die in our place.  Being a Christian means you believe that and what the Bible says about Him.  You read or listen to what He says in the Bible and you strive to do it, asking for help knowing you can’t do it in your own power.  Being a Christian means you die to yourself, humble yourself, take up your cross, be willing to die for truth, live in a way that pleases and glorifies God, and follow after Christ.  Being a Cristian means that this world is not your home, you go against the natural flow of this world, you will be hated as they hated Christ, and that you keep going, not because people like you, but because of your trust in what God has said about it all.

Being a Christian also means that you are to love as God loves as described in the Bible.  That love isn’t necessarily an emotional feel-good love.  It is an action as described in 1 Corinthians 13.  You realize that you are a sinner just like everyone else.  Therefore, you love others, including homosexuals, abortionists, democrats, and everyone else, by treating them how you’d like to be treated if you were in their shoes without glossing over their sin.

Ultimately, being a Christian means you believe what the Bible says, old and new testaments.  If you don’t, then what is your basis of calling yourself a Christian?  The Bible is the foundation for which we believe who God is and what He says.  It is the ultimate source where we find truth because God IS truth.  All other sources of truth MUST have their basis on the correct understanding of God’s Word.  If it doesn’t, then the other sources are not truth.  If psychology or philosophy is mixed with God’s Word, they must agree with His Word.  They cannot change the meaning it.  God knows our psyche perfectly and tells us how we should live.  He did not forget to tell us anything.  We have His Word.  His Word is truth.

The Bible is where Jesus calls us to follow Him and be His disciples, that we may be forgiven of our offenses against God and be able to know Him, love Him, honor Him, and make Him known.  Yet, if we don’t know what He says, how can we ever know Him and know what pleases Him?  How can we know if what others say about Him is actually true?

Christian, if you have a Bible, the Word of God, it is essential that you get to know and understand it.  Do you want to please God?  God tells you how to in His Word.  Do you want to know how to act and react to others?  He tells you that too.  Do you not understand His Word?  He tells you what to do about it.

Before I get off into a million “rabbit trails”, let me make my point:  Do not take what your pastor, counselor, or any other Christian says for granted.  Their words are not truth.  God’s Word is truth and what they say MUST line up with it.  Their words do not become God’s truth, but must reflect His truth.  God is the one that established His Word and He is more than capable of giving you wisdom to understand it if you ask for it.  The Bible speak about God’s Word and His Spirit as being “spiritually understood”.  The natural man cannot understand it.  God is the One who gives wisdom and understanding.  Seek after it because then you will be able to discern between what is true and false.

May your heart be devoted to Christ and not to “church”.  Do not follow a pastor, bishop, etc., but follow Christ.  Do not take what others, including myself, say for granted as being true.  Judge them according to God’s Word.  His Word is truth!

Yes, I did just write a  long post about a few words I put at the end of my posts.  I feel I did a horrible job explaining what those few important words mean.  Sorry about that.  There probably will be a part two someday to give references to my claims.

Just remember, Jesus said to follow Him!!!





Remember Where You Came From

5 08 2012

There is always the temptation to “think of ourselves higher than we ought to think” (Romans 12:3), especially as Christians.  We understand sin a little better than those who do not know God.  God says He hates sin and so should we.  The problem comes when we lift ourselves up above others because we don’t do THAT particular sin.

There was a time in life when you did not know anything about God.  You followed after your own lusts and desires, doing whatever you wanted as long as other people or the law didn’t find out.  I was there too.  Actually, every Christian was there at some point.

“Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  –  1 Corinthians 6:9-11

You were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” Ephesians 2:5

I write this post because it’s easy to get caught up in looking down at people who do “that” sin, whatever that may be.  Have we forgotten where we were at one time?

If you have never smoked a cigarette in your life, can you still see yourself conversing with someone who hasn’t been able to give it up yet, even if it’s disgusting to you?

Can you understand that people sin by nature, even you?

The big “sin” today seems to be homosexuality.  Can you start and keep a conversation with a homosexual and treat them as a human being?  Or are you better than they because you would never do “that”?

Can you go beyond the “sin” of others and consider that they are a human being just like you?

Can you understand that all sin is against God, even the one that you still commit and hold on to?

Once again, when I post these things, it is not to push a certain agenda.  I write to challenge you to live for Christ.  Jesus had every right to point to others and say, “I’m better than you.  I know God.  You don’t.”  (Well, He did say that, but not in a derogatory way.)  He ate and hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners telling the them the truth about God and their sin.  He had compassion on them, yet resisted those that resisted Him.

My point in all this scattered thought is this:  There was a time you did not know God and was living is sin just like everyone else.  If a “Christian” had come up to you in those days and said some of the things you say today, would you have been drawn to Christ?  If a Christian would have just said, “God doesn’t like that.  That’s wrong!  Your going to hell because of that”, would you immediately be drawn to a Savior?  Probably not.

Homosexuals are real people that have real histories, emotion, cares, likes and dislikes, jobs, and whatever else that we have.  You know what?  So do atheists, agnostics, murderers, rapists, liars, thieves, gossipers,  those filled with hate, lust, anger, and the like.  Such were some of you, my friends!  Don’t forget that.

I wish I could put all this into better terms.  I guess this is where I need to just let the Holy Spirit work.  He doesn’t need me to be eloquent to convict.  I just get a little tired of Christians talking like other people’s sin is so beyond them.  Either they have forgotten where they came from or have never really understood their sin to begin with.

No matter where your at, never think that because you have never struggled with a certain sin that  1.) other people don’t,  2.) other people do but you can’t help them, or 3.) you are ever beyond struggling with it sometime in your life.

“Let anyone who thinks that he stands be careful lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12

So, remember where you came from.  You were, still are, and will always be a sinner…just like everyone else is.  If not, you no long need a Savior…just like everyone else needs a Savior.

Also, remember that Jesus said to follow Him!