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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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!





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!





Gay marriage and the Follower of Jesus

19 05 2012

I am quite surprised I have not heard a cry about it.  But then again, I haven’t been listening to much mainstream Christian talk radio lately.

A week or two ago, President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage.  That didn’t surprise me.

It really doesn’t bother me either.

I know that last statement will cause some to think that I am a heretic, abandoned the faith, and may even be the devil incarnate.  How could it not bother me?  How could I just watch our country slide from “Christian” values?  Well, in light of what is portrayed in the scriptures, are we supposed to be concerned about it?  If so, why?

Of course, I do not condone homosexuality or gay marriage.  Having sex with the same gender is sin, plain and simple.  I really don’t have to quote a bunch of scriptures to point that out.  There are plenty of other places on the internet to find that out.  It is not a matter of trying to find out if it is sin or not.  That is also not the point of this post.

The major thing that I was thinking about was the backlash of Christian “leaders” going crazy about what Mr. Obama said.  I have had my fill over the years of especially hearing Christian talk radio programs telling us we need to get with our elected officials to either get our laws changed or keep them from changing.  “We need to overturn Roe v. Wade”, “We need to get a constitutional amendment to make marriage one man and one woman”, “We need to have children be able to pray in school”, and on and on it goes.  However, is that what our purpose is?

When I got to thinking about all of this, I posted this on my Facebook status:

If we are pilgrims on this earth awaiting a home “whose builder and maker is God”, why do we cry about and try to change the laws of the natives of this world because they’re “taking away our Christian rights”?

Why do we expect the world to be different than what is portrayed in the Scriptures?

Why are we so afraid of the world HATING us when that is what Jesus said would (and should) happen?

Jesus calls us to follow HIM, not politics or laws that will make your life easier. Our life does not hinge on whether gay marriage, abortion, or other sin is legal or not. God will deal with that in the end.

The world is a slave to sin.They do not know Christ. You should expect them to sin. But you, if you follow Christ, live like it. Walk in His righteousness and preach the gospel, not getting caught up in foolish arguments and opinions.

(I have a lot I could say here.  I guess I may just divide what I am saying into a few different posts.  My last post was pretty long and some people don’t want to sit and read one post for 15 minutes.  I am kind of new to this blogging thing so have patience with me.   I want to make my points with what God teaches us in His Word, not with my opinions.)

The summary of all of this is that we are considered foreigners on this earth.  This is not our home.  Scripture makes it clear that when we are Christ’s, we are not of this kingdom, but of the one to come.  Our King has made His own rules that supersede any rule on earth.

This world is a slave to sin.  We should know that by seeing it constantly rebel against God.  We should know it because we were once living according to its principles.  We, lastly, should know it because we live in this cursed flesh that wants to rebel against God.

If we live in a world that is bent on rebellion against God, why do we get all bent out of shape over it wanting to sin?  Yes, our government condones many sins though its laws, but we are not called to try to make the people of this world behave or change the laws to make it more comfortable for us.  What we ARE called to do is to preach the truth of  gospel in love so that God may change their hearts.  If God changes hearts, then it will be evidenced though righteous living.  If all we do is try to change laws or argue our opinion that something is right or not, hearts are not being changed.

We do not have any record of Jesus preaching against the sins of the Roman Empire that ruled over Israel in that day.  He instead preached against the sins in our own hearts.  He preached about what our priorities should be…the Kingdom of God and being a servant that the King Eternal.

We do not have any record of Paul telling believers in any of the churches he wrote to that they need to picket and petition the Roman government to ban certain things they didn’t agree with.  Paul spoke to them about living the way they needed to live to glorify God, even if it meant being killed for your faith.

I am not saying we shouldn’t care about abortion, homosexuality, greed, theft, adultery, murder, lying, or any other sin the government, or anybody living on this earth, might condone.  If you don’t like where the country is going, you have a right to fire the elected officials that are in office during the elections.  But, this world will sin.  We should expect it.  It will probably get worse.

If homosexuality becomes the norm, so what?  What about other sins?  Why is gossip, lying, hated, sex outside of marriage, frivolous divorce, and many other sins not given the same treatment?  I guess because the other sins touch our own lives and we don’t want to deal with those.

Don’t get carried away with trying to keep your “rights”.  You don’t have rights.  You are a foreigner. We don’t live in a “Christian nation” or world.  We live in a world that needs to hear the truth, not a bunch of Christians crying because things aren’t going their way.  If that is what they see, they will have nothing to do with Christ since His followers are a bunch of cry babies.

“Do not set you mind on things earth, but on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Col 3:1-2)

Remember, Jesus said to follow Him!