Posts Tagged ‘homosexuals’

A tug-of-war at the Vatican intensified Thursday, Oct. 16th over calls for the Catholic Church to be more open to gays and cohabiting couples as conservative bishops sought to rein in or renounce language they feared might condone lifestyles not in accord with Church teachings. A final report was epitomized by the re-translation in the text that reads: “Are we capable of providing for these people, guaranteeing them a place of fellowship in our communities?”

Many conservative Christians are up in arms over the fact that the Pope is considering providing homosexuals a place of fellowship in his churches. And yet, these same Christians seem to overlook the more dangerous aspect of this ruling—allowing unrepentant sinners to be included in the Church community.

Contrary to popular belief, homosexuality is NOT the thing that God hates the most.

“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) Isn’t it interesting that homosexuality is not even mentioned as one of the seven things that God hates?

The Bible tells us, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” (1Cor. 5:12-13)

But in the preceding verse, the apostle warns us that anyone who CLAIMS to be a Christian but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler, we’re not to even to associate with such people.

I firmly believe that those in the Church should not judge or reproach those outside the Church who are unrepentant, but I also believe that all believers should take responsibility for those who do not repent from public sin that bring reproach on the name of Christ.

The great revivalist, Charles Finney is quoted as saying, “When the Church finds its members falling into gross and scandalous sins, then it is time for the Church to awake and cry to God for a revival of religion.”

The Church used to be an uncompromising beacon of light to this darkened world. So when did it change?

Years ago I had a conversation with some people who were discussing how to get more unsaved people to come to church. They were shocked when I said, “You don’t.”

I’m not suggesting that we place guards at the door of the church and check people for salvation, but I don’t encourage people to invite unrepentant sinners into a church service either. Here is the reason why:

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: Ask the priests what the law says: If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?  The priests answered, “No.” Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?” “Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.” Then Haggai said, “So it is with this people and this nation in my sight, declares the LORD. Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.” (Haggai 2:11-14)

Let me paraphrase in modern terms what Haggai was saying. If a person smells fresh and clean who had just showered hugs a skunk, would the skunk start to smell better, or would the person begin to stink? And if a person was hospitalized for a highly contagious disease and a healthy person came to visit them, would the sick person get better, or would the healthy person become sick? This is what has happened to God’s Church and our nation!

It began oh so subtly. First we thought, “Let’s bring the unsaved into our church service so they can hear the gospel.” Then we said, “Let’s make them feel more part of our church and let them greet people at the door.” Then we said, “Let’s let them teach a Sunday school class.” And now we have pastors who have been convicted of sexual immorality, idolatry, slander, drunkenness and defrauding their congregation of money! It seems as if the devil himself has been invited to church!

Some have told me that they invite unsaved people to church so that they can hear the gospel. To those people I say that they need to repent of their laziness! Because Luke 14:22-23 says WE are to go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in…So that God’s HOUSE may be filled. Not our church building, but that GOD”S HOUSE may be filled.

Sermons and Bible teaching do not save people. Only God’s Spirit convicts and saves the sinner. I know of many people, (myself included) that were saved outside of a church building. I know of one man who was saved in the middle of a Led Zeppelin concert!

Realistically we can’t keep unsaved people from coming to a church service. But we need to allow God’ Spirit to bring them in and not some evangelistic program. Throughout the New Testament, the early Christians met with one another to worship together, to learn together and to disciple one another. Everywhere Paul went, he raised up churches that were eager to share their faith and zeal with one another. But nowhere in the New Testament does it mention anyone inviting unrepentant sinners to be part of the Church.

So let’s stop judging those outside the Church and start examining ourselves INSIDE the Church. I pray that God will send a spirit of conviction and repentance to His Church and give her the courage to change the world!

This has nothing to do with those outside the Church. This is only directed at those inside the Church-those who profess to be followers of Jesus.

 
A pastor by the name of John Pavlovitz recently wrote an article on his blog entitled, “If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent”.  http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/09/17/if-i-have-gay-children-four-promises-from-a-christian-pastorparent/

In the article he suggests that as Christian parents, we should accept our homosexual children as “okay”. This is what is wrong with the PC church today! If my kids told me that they thought that they were gay- yes, I would still love them as I always will, no matter what. But I would be honest and tell them that it is sin. I would pray for my children as they struggled with this, but I would NEVER accept it as being okay any more than I would accept adultery, lust or pedophilia as okay. That not only goes against God’s Law, but would give my children a false sense of salvation!

One cannot live as an unrepentant homosexual and be a follower of Jesus any more than an unrepentant pedophile can. Many have been taught that repentance means to “turn from sin”. Others believe that repentance means to be “sorry for your sins”. But neither is completely accurate. The full biblical definition of repentance is to change our heart and mind about sin that results in a change of action.

Repentance and faith are very closely related. Trying to separate the two is like trying to separate water and oil.  It is impossible to place your faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior without first changing your mind about who he is and what he has done. Whether it is repentance from willful rejection or repentance from ignorance, it is still a change of heart and mind. Biblical repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing your mind from rejecting God and His commandments to faith in Jesus our Messiah.

Sexual sin has become rampant in our world and is glorified in movies and television. Sadly, the Church is not immune from its temptations. But  Jesus and the apostles were never politically correct when it came to addressing sin in the Church. Read how the Apostle Paul dealt with sexual sin within the Church: “I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother… It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (1Cor. 5:1; 12-13 NLT) As Christians, our lives should be a reflection of Jesus himself. And with so many in the world watching us we should be even more careful to watch what we’re doing.

 

Prominent Republicans are calling for Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a controversial bill that would allow businesses to deny service over religious beliefs.

The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination. This legislation has caused a national uproar and voices of opposition have grown each day, with the business community and both Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted July 2, 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. (Also known as “public accommodations”)The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964 at the White House.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits public businesses from refusing service to patrons on the basis of race, color, religion, or natural origin. In addition, most courts don’t allow businesses to refuse service to patrons based on the owner’s personal convictions. For example, a man can’t legally be refused service because they enter a business dressed in drag. At the same time, an atheist business owner cannot refuse service to a patron entering the business carrying a Bible.

There a number of legitimate reasons for a business to refuse service, some of which include:
• Patrons who are unreasonably rowdy or causing trouble
• Patrons that may overfill capacity if let in
• Patrons who come in just before closing time or when the kitchen is closed
• Patrons accompanied by large groups of non-customers looking to sit in
• Patrons lacking adequate hygiene (e.g. excess dirt, extreme body odor, etc.)

In most cases, refusal of service is warranted where a customer’s presence detracts from the safety, welfare, and well-being of other patrons and/or the business itself; such as businesses that do not allow guns to be brought onto its premises.

I believe that far too often within the Christian community, we (the Church) have become instrumental in causing disunity where none need to exist. The Bible teaches that we need to show love and unity to a lost and hurting world. In our world of so much intolerance, it is even more important to study the Scripture and seek diligently for what it says. However, we also need to be humble when we are faced with decisions that will affect others around us and to err on the side of love and unity whenever possible without disregarding the clear teaching of God’s word.

Consider the following verses:
Colossians 4:5-6 “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”
Romans 14:4 “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. “
Ephesians 4:2 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
John 8:7 “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
1 Peter 3:8-11 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

We do not win people to the Lord by condemning them and calling them names or refusing to serve them at our public businesses. This is why God says to speak with wisdom, grace, and love. Instead, we need to let the love of God flow through us so that the world can see what true love is and turn to God instead of fighting against Him.

I want to make it clear that this is not an article designed to bash the LGBT community. Neither is it my intention to draw attention to any particular type of sin. My intention is to bring awareness of how important is to study God’s Word ourselves so that we won’t be deceived by unsound doctrines.

For too long people have been spoon fed a watered down gospel by false teachers and pastors that use their positions more as a platform for social and political rhetoric than for speaking the truth from Scripture.

The Bible has traditionally been interpreted as the source of all truth authored and inspired by God. Although most Christians condemn the actions associated with homosexuality based on their understanding on the Bible, some anonymous editors have set out to reinterpret scriptures to create a new translation — “The Queen James Bible” — that is favorable to gays and lesbians. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/queen-james-bible-now-theres-a-gay-friendly-version-of-scripture/

The editors claim that their new version is a purer take on the scriptures. Through their website they have said, “We wanted to make a book filled with the word of God that nobody could use to incorrectly condemn God’s LGBT children, and we succeeded.” The editors also stated, “We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations.

Among the verses that they changed was Genesis 19:5. Originally reading: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, “Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Genesis 19:5-7 (KJV)

They amended it to, “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may rape and humiliate them. Genesis 19:5 (QJV) (Page 21)

The editors explain that they understand the story of Sodom and Gomorra to be about bullying strangers. It as if they believe that Lot asked the men of Sodom not to “wickedly bully” the angel visitors. They also point out that Leviticus forbids one to have sex with a beast, and since angels are not human, Lot was merely preventing the bullies in the town from having sex with non-humans. Plus, they rationalize that because rapes such as this one are common between men in prison, they aren’t sexual acts; they are power-dominating acts. In other words, they believe that a power-dominating rape is wrong, but consensual sex is not.

First, I feel I should point out that the Hebrew word used for angel here is ‘mal’ak’ and is best translated, messenger. Contrary to popular belief, angel / messengers mentioned in scripture did not have wings. (Although often depicted that way in art) Therefore, the men of Sodom had no idea that the visitors were anything other than human.  Just because someone is raped, it does not diminish the fact that the act of sex is involved; either homosexual or heterosexual.

Another scripture the editors changed is Leviticus 18:22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination. (KJV) And Leviticus 20:13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)

The editors believe that Leviticus is outdated as a moral code, but still picked it as their most important book to address in their edits, because they believe most anti-LGBT religious activists cite Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as proof-positive that homosexuality is a sin, and even worse, a sin punishable by death.

The editors assert that Leviticus 18:21 refers to “lying” with pagan male prostitutes as a form of pagan idolatry and therefore fits better with the story order of Leviticus 18, and with the other offenses punishable by death within it. That’s why they changed Leviticus 18:21 and 20:13 to read as follows:

Leviticus 18:22

Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV) (Page 75)

Leviticus 20:13

If a man also lie with mankind in the temple of Molech, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (QJV) (Page 76)

The editors explain: “To address Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, we need to look at the path of translation. The Hebrew word “to’evah” from which abomination is translated simply means something that is “ritually unclean,” or a “taboo.” Although the Hebrew word tow`ebah translated “abomination” in the KJV can refer to a ritual sin, (eating unclean animals or worship of idols) in the context of this chapter it should be obvious that “Thou shalt not lie” refers to having sexual relations with someone of the same sex and not practicing pagan rituals. The word used for abomination here means: a disgusting thing; Of course, the editors prefer to translate the word abomination as “taboo”; possibly because it doesn’t sound quite as harsh?

The editors also changed Romans 1:26 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against their nature… (KJV) to:

Their women did change their natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, left of the natural use of the woman, burned in ritual lust, one toward another; (QJV) (Page 545)

The editors state that they can’t be exactly sure what Paul meant by the natural use of a woman, but they are pretty sure he wasn’t talking about lesbian sex. They further state that unnatural uses of their bodies could even have meant pagan dancing! Really?! God gave them up to vile affections that resulted in the women began dancing?!

To be honest, I’m surprised it took this long to produce such a Bible. Many view the concept of sin as archaic and outdated; something that needs to be cast aside in light of current “modern thought”. But there are some things taught in God’s word which will never become outdated. Sin is one such topic that is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. But I believe the most important point that the editors of this Bible missed, and therefore deceive many; (including themselves) is that ALL unrighteousness is sin to God. (1John 5:17)

When trying to define sin, scripture provides all the information needed:

(1 John 3:4) Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

(1Cor. 6:9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (By the way, effeminate does not just mean a male who practices homosexual forms of lewdness, but people in general who are guilty of addiction to sins of the flesh.)

(Prov. 6:16-19) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Notice that homosexuality is not even mentioned among the seven things that God hates and yet that is the one sin that most Evangelical Christians view as the most heinous of all.

Perhaps the whole matter can be summed up in the words of James 4:17: Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

I do not believe that homosexuals are condemned just because they are homosexuals. We are ALL condemned under the penalty of sin. (Rom 3:23) Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. The only way we are justified is by faith in the redemption that is in Jesus, our Messiah. And the only way we are condemned is by rejecting that redemption. Remember:

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Eph. 2:1-5) NLT

I’ve been reading about how the group, “One Million Moms” have been encouraging others to boycott companies who support gay rights. Over the years other similar groups have tried to boycott companies that advertise on television programs that they feel have objectionable content.

Today television is such a big part of our lives that we are often oblivious of its subtle (and sometimes insidious) influence. The popularity of reality TV among young people shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that we adults have created a culture that worships vanity, rather than virtue. Most television programs are merely a reflection of what our society has become – a materialistically driven society where the love of power and money overcomes the power of love. It’s a reflection of a society that is not only devoid of a solid wholesome value system, but is also separated from spiritual roots.

Imagine a twelve year old child spending six hours a day at the local movie theater and allowed to watch whatever movie they wanted, regardless of the rating. No normal parent would ever permit that! Yet, nearly half of our twelve-year-olds watch an average of six or more hours of television per day with little or no supervision!

I get it. As Christians, we should be careful not watch programs that would influence us, or our children, for the bad. But I don’t believe that joining hate groups that encourage the boycotting of companies will do anything but breed more hate.

I raised my kids to influence the world with their own spiritual lifestyle and not allow the world to influence them. It took a lot of work because I didn’t want them to get in over their heads before they were mature enough to handle it. Today they are mature well-adjusted adults who are teaching my grandchildren the same thing.

Television viewing affects both adults and children in subtle ways. And we must not ignore the fact that televised imagery does affect our perceptions and behaviors. Our world view and our subsequent actions are affected by what we see on television. Christians, therefore, must be careful not to let television conform us to the world, (Rom. 12:2) but instead we should develop a Christian world view and teach the same to our children.

And yet, I think it is interesting that Proverbs 6:16-19 teaches us that, “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Did you notice that homosexuality, foul language, and sexual themes (What most of the Christian boycotting groups object to)  isn’t even mentioned here?

As Jesus was dying on his execution stake he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Who was he speaking of? Everyone!  Later, after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples didn’t waste time boycotting unbelieving business owners of their day, but instead spent their lives encouraging everyone they met to believe in Jesus as the Messiah.

The Apostle Paul said not to associate with anyone who calls himself a brother and is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. But concerning unbelievers he said, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” (1Cor. 5:11-13)

When you consider the magnitude of the challenges that are facing Christians in America today, it becomes obvious that the Church in America is in desperate need of healing and true revival.  We need to stop judging those outside the Church and begin to judge ourselves! Whether you realize it or not, the world is watching us. And the one thing that will keep an unbeliever from being saved is when they see the Church as a judgmental and unforgiving body of believers.

Click Here to read a great article about grace and redemption.