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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category


The Bible teaches us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  But there are a few problems with this teaching:

  1. We’re afraid to tell others that they are sinners
  2. Others don’t like being told they are sinners
  3. We keep changing the definitions around what is a sin

One of the issues at play here is how we tell others they are sinners.  Put gently and in a non-judgmental way, it’s received far better than if the message is delivered, finger in the face and Bible in the other hand.  But each of us who is saved had to be told and/or convinced at some point that WE were sinners in need of Christ.  Our basic job as Believers is to share that message in love and to share Jesus as the answer.  Remember that this Christmas!

Now, if we aren’t sinners, and if we don’t sin—or if we simply deny calling sin “sin”, then we don’t need a savior, that is, assuming we’re correct.  And if we are correct, then Jesus died for nothing and the Bible is a lie:  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The way of America seems to be this:  There is no Biblical moral code and there is no sin.  There are no moral absolutes.

This is why homosexuality is such a hot-button issue these days.  Those who are in it don’t want to be called a sinner or be made to feel “unnatural”, and those who know and love these people don’t want to be judgmental.  They genuinely want to be supportive and loving.  I get that.  I’m there too!

But that begs the question:  What do you tell your friend or family member who is sleeping with a married person, not their own spouse?  It’s called adultery and the Bible says it’s wrong.  Do you not call it sin and try to correct the person who is trapped in the relationship?

I hope you would!  You see, to the people involved, it feels GOOD!  It feels NATURAL!  It’s a case of “Don’t tell me who I can love!”  You see, I’ve been there!  I know!  And someone was bold enough to call sin what it is!  This person came and knocked on my door and told me that what I was doing was wrong.  Thing is, I KNEW it was wrong!  And so did she!  But we went there anyway!

Sin is easy!  Sin is fun!

The consequences in this life may not always be so fun.  Her husband wasn’t all that thrilled and the fact that I’m able to sit here today and even type this is a blessing!

We must call sin what it is whether it is heterosexual sin or homosexual sin.  WE ARE ALL SINNERS AND FALL SHORT OF THE STANDARDS GOD HAS ESTABLISHED!

We cannot pull God’s standards down to our level, and we cannot pull OURSELVES up to his.  If we could pull God down to our standards, the wide range of what’s acceptable would be as varied as there are people.  There would be no point in God being Holy if each person could establish his or her own standards.

If we could pull ourselves up to His standards, Jesus’ life and death would have been needless.  Point is, we need him and his atoning death to bridge that gap.

A few times over the years I’ve taken my young son to the playground.  He tries to do a pull-up on the bars but isn’t strong enough.  He simply didn’t have the strength to pull himself up.  He joked once that it would be cool if he could stand there and pull the bar down!  Indeed!  Not much of a pull-up and not a very strong bar if that were possible.  As his dad, I was happy to lift him up to the bar.  Relying on a strength outside of his own body, he was able to crest the bar.

Let’s be bold enough to call sin what it is.  Let’s be bold enough to tell others, in love, that the bridge ahead of them is washed out—that they need to stop and turn around!  But let us also be resolute in knowing what a sin is.  Society doesn’t get to move the goalposts in this game.  We didn’t invent the game, we didn’t mark the boundaries, and we just don’t get to change the rules whenever we want to.

 

 

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The iceberg has been hit!  The ship is taking on water!

You are part of the crew and are responsible for helping save the passengers.  Now consider:

  1. You can debate whether the ship is going to sink,
  2. You can debate whether some of the passengers are worth saving,
  3. Or You can simply do your job and save as many as possible.

As Christians, we have a Bible and a doctrine that teaches us that the “ship” has already hit the iceberg and is doomed.  We aren’t here to debate the size of the iceberg, whether we hit it, the rate at which the ship is taking on water, or whether the ship will sink.  It’s not our place to try to determine which passengers are worthy of being saved.   Our mandate comes from One who wants all of the passengers saved.

There are some who are in the water and don’t believe they’re drowning.  There may be others on the deck who refuse to believe the ship will go down.  Still others may be convinced that the ship is in trouble but they’re afraid to jump.  We need to reach them all and as with the Titanic, time is running out.

It is not enough to say “I’m in a lifeboat, I’m good!”  No!  We are tasked to pull as many into the boats as we can.  Convince those who need it to jump into the water.  But convincing others of the peril and doom they face without a change in their situation is our job.

We have a Titanic opportunity before us!  All hands on deck!

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Look! Homosexuality is not the pet sin of the day or of the year. It’s been around for a long time and opposition to it has been too. If you’re tired of hearing the opposing view, consider that those of us who oppose it are tired of having it thrown in our face everywhere we turn!

We’re tired of the notion that those in favor have more right or reason to express themselves than we do!

Sexual sin, hetero or homo, is a sin! Call it what it is… I didn’t make the rules! Be glad about that! BUT I have broken them too! No-one of us in opposition is saying we’re perfect. What we don’t do, hopefully, is flaunt OUR sin and expect you to wink and nod and accept it–so don’t expect us to do that for you either.

The culture of the day accepting something doesn’t make it OK.

You have a belief system that teaches a point of view. You also don’t get to pick and choose which points are right and which are wrong–God didn’t make a mistake on making MAN AND WOMAN in HIS OWN IMAGE to be together and to form a union. (Phil Robertson is right on that point as well!)

A faith that has us cowering in a corner out of fear is what Peter had. I get that. But it’s time to stand up boldly and stand firm on our faith. Otherwise, it’s time to abandon the faith and just go off and try to be nice people–Humanists!

I’m not judging anyone here except myself. I’m admitting I’ve sinned sexually.

If I’m judging anyone or anything else, it’s God and the Bible. I’m judging them to mean what they say and not be open to revision by cultures that want to do whatever.

If I murder someone or steal, both called out as sins in the Bible, is someone judging me if they then say “murder is a sin” or “stealing is a sin”? Can you imagine a society where BOTH are OK and you are called a hater for saying some sinned by killing a person or by stealing?

Things are a bit crazy when good is called evil and evil is called good!

Isaiah 5:20

New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

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Tragically, two people died.

Ironically, these two people were considered to be motivational speakers and advisers.

The two recently departed, Lynne Rosen and John Littig, hosted a radio show in NYC called “Pursuit of Happiness” on WBAI-FM.  Their umbrella program is “Why Not Now” which offers life coaching, consultation, and solutions.

They were found in their Brooklyn apartment—a double-suicide.  Their chosen method:  Plastic bags!

imagesAs reported in the New York Observer, the couple had recently advised a caller to the show to “Push yourself when there’s nothing left to go on,” Ms. Rosen counseled. “Remember, positivity is precious.”

In one recording on their website, Lynne tells listeners that we must power ourselves from within.

They looked at the world, the challenges of this world, and then took a long look at themselves.

So much for motivating others!

So much for life coaching!

So much for solutions!

And so much for pursuing happiness!

When you look within yourself for empowerment, you are looking at a finite source.  You are looking at something that is insignificantly small when compared to all there is around us.

A battery does not recharge itself.  When it’s drained, it’s dead.

No respectable coach enters a sporting event and quits in front of his team and fans.

I’m not sure how many people this couple genuinely helped during their six years or so of their radio program but I hope their former listeners at least got enough out of the drivel to know that suicide is not a solution.

We cannot power ourselves from within.  Need to find an inexhaustible, external power source?

Comment and I’ll plug you in.

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A thought occurred to me the other day as I spoke with one of my children about same-sex marriage:  The Church is late coming to the party.

I would guess that the institution of marriage in America traces back to colonial times, and that, even further back to England.  It’s a guess as well that marriage didn’t change much as far as who sanctioned the union.  In England, church and state were one, headed by the monarch.  The new nation on this shore separated those ties but failed—if it intended to do otherwise—to hand over the solemnizing of marriages to the Church.  The civil government retained that responsibility while allowing clergy to officiate.  Even then, officiating by clergy was optional.

This is why I say the Church is late coming to the party.  If the Church wanted to dictate the definition and parameters for marriage, the time to do so was then.  But to cede (by action or inaction) the power to control marriage to civil authorities all those hundreds of years ago, the Church also ceded its right to come back now in an attempt to define marriage for ALL people including those outside its doors.

Have I changed my position?  No.

I do see the negative waste of time and energy it is though to fight a losing battle.  The Church is late to the party and needs to move on.  But it should hold its ground for Holy Matrimony which is NOT governed by the state, for there is nothing Holy about any state or civil authority.

A message to the Church:

Do not stress over people joining in “marriage” under civil definitions and guidelines—even with civil sanction.  It does not change the nature of what those in the Church do or have in the eyes of God.  It’s a semantics battle not to be fought.  You do not tell Italian restaurants (et al) that they cannot serve bread and wine lest it take away from the true meaning of Communion.  But even if the local restaurant wants to call it “Communion”, what is that to you?  It does nothing to detract from those who have and hold true to Biblical Communion.

Better to worry about what we do in the eyes of God than what the lost do in the eyes of men.

Look to Paul for guidance:

1 Corinthians 5:12-13

New International Version (NIV)

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

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Fair Share


Can someone please tell me how much a “fair share” is?

It seems to have been the catch phrase of the recent general election.  The sense I got from the argument is that “fair share” means something like a graduated scale of ability.  Because one makes more, he or she should pay more.  And since a fixed rate—which seems fair to me—could cause a wealthier person to make a smaller sacrifice than a less-well-off person, you cannot achieve a “fair share”.

In numbers, a person with $1,000,000 and required to pay 10% will pay $100,000.  A person making only $100,000 will be required to pay $10,000.  Both are left with 90% of what they had but for some reason, there are people who think that $90,000 just isn’t enough for the second person to retain.  Or if so, then $100,000 wasn’t enough for the wealthy person to pay.  He has a lot more, let him pay a lot more.

So what’s fair?  15%?  20%?

Who’s to say?

Even if you take a person like Warren Buffet, is it really right to let him determine the rate?

I believe the fairest share is a flat rate.

Again, a Biblical World View:  When the people of Israel were told to give, they were told to give 10%.  From Abraham to Zephaniah (A-Z), each paid 10% regardless of his/her wealth.

A flat rate is supportable Biblically but there were also other financial principles that were given that aren’t followed today either.  Imagine forgiving debt for everyone after seven years!

God actually told Israel that there would be no poor among them if they followed his statutes.  Of course, they didn’t and neither have we.  Our poor are increasing in numbers and our governments–Godless entities—struggle to fill that void.

Deuteronomy 15:4-5
New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

4 However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.

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A friend asked me recently about God’s stance on homosexuality.  I wish I had answered him better.  One thing I often stress to people is that sin is sin.  Homosexuality is a sin but is no greater or lesser sin than those committed sexually by heterosexuals.  There are no pet sins from a Biblical perspective.  Actually, from a Biblical perspective, there are only three types of sin.  They are those (1) stemming from pride of life, (2) lust of the eye, and (3) lust of the flesh.  We can summarize these as Pride, Greed, and Lust.

I believe a Biblical world perspective demands that we view sexual sin through these lenses.  The type of sexual sin has little to do with it.  “Lust of the flesh” takes a view of accepting whatever feels good.  In this, people accept a wide range of activities even though Biblical teaching and civil laws may prohibit them.

When talking about civil laws against homosexual activity, or the absence of civil laws condoning homosexual relationships, some of us heap paedophilia and bestiality into the mix.  Those who have a more liberal view often find that distasteful and object.  The point they miss is that while there are laws against paedophilia and bestiality—many find the acts detestable—it wasn’t that long ago that the same could be said across the board about homosexuality.  I believe it is only the numbers of people who now find homosexuality acceptable that has shifted this.  In time, I expect the same shifts to occur for children and animals.  The emotion behind the argument—the law shouldn’t be able to tell me who I can and can’t love—leaves the doors wide open for any love to be justified.  The logic behind it—we have our inborn and a natural predilection toward sex—begs for all to be accepted for their immutable nature and sexuality.

Well, based on my friend’s question, I went back and read the chapter in Leviticus which most famously decries male homosexuality.  These were laws given to men by God through Moses, not by Moses or the priests.  It details several other sexual prohibitions as well which we generally do not question:  Incest and bestiality.  It also addresses sexual rivalries and sexual hygiene.  And it touches on homosexuality.

One thing I find interesting about this is that God told Moses to enforce these for the Jews—God’s followers.  He did not tell Moses to go to the neighboring heathens to straighten them out.  He said to not be like them if people want to be God’s people.

Maybe that lesson is here for today too.  If we want to be God’s people, let’s not do and be like the heathens around us.  We are to set ourselves aside and apart from the world.  If we can reach someone and bring him or her into the fold, great!  But we are not under a mandate to go change the ways of the world.  We are told in the New Testament to hold accountable those among us who still live as if in the world though.  A true Believer who has a heart towards God and an interest in living as God would have him or her live—has nothing to do with homosexuality.  If he or she is ensnared, we should gently and in Christian love try to help them.

One more thought:  The world has hostility towards God and his statutes.  But imagine for a moment a world living sexually as if God’s laws were unbreakable.  Within a generation, there would be:

  • No epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, including
  • No AIDS
  • No rape
  • No incest
  • No affairs
  • No adultery
  • No abortion
  • No pornography

The world system would never stand for that!  It wants its fun without any consequences!  Well, so do the child molesters and animal lovers.  After all, who’s to tell them who or what they have a right to “love”?

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