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Posts Tagged ‘God’


A Facebook friend of mine responded to something I posted with the following:

” If my bible is correct, God made us all the same and loves us all. So with that in mind, regardless of being gay, straight, cross eyed or whatever, God loves us all. God made us all. We are all perfect in his eyes because he does not make mistakes.”

Let’s get to the point:  This is total nonsense and not supported by the Bible.

The best lie has a seed of truth and there is a seed of truth here—maybe more than one.  Yes, God made all of us and yes, God loves us all.  No, God does not make mistakes.  However, we are NOT all perfect in his eyes.  If we were all perfect in his eyes, then Jesus, as a perfect being, is no more or less than we are.  And if we were all perfect, then we would have no need for Jesus, perfect or not.

The writer was suggesting this argument with regard to homosexuality.  I still insist she is mistaken.

As a heterosexual male and as a Christian, I am not free to sin sexually.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t–doesn’t mean I won’t.  What it does mean is that I choose to live my life to the best of my ability in accordance with a book and a teaching that says certain things are wrong.  I don’t get to vote on it or to change the text to suit my inclinations.  However, I do have the right to ignore that book and do what I choose.  That’s called sin.  Homosexuals don’t get a pass either.  Sexual sin is sexual sin.

So let me go down a dangerous path:  Is autism perfect?  Is spina bifida perfect?  Is cleft palate or hemophilia perfect?  I don’t know anyone who would say yes, yet millions have been born with these conditions.  Science and medicine have worked to identify the conditions, study them, and research in search of cures.  If these conditions were “perfect”, then no need to cure anyone with them.  Yet one would contend that we were “made that way” by God if we were talking about homosexuality.  You can’t have it both ways.

Homosexuality is NOT normal and is not a standard God created in nature.  You may argue that there are homosexual examples in nature.  Show me two dogs with homosexual tendencies and I’ll ask you to show me the pedigree of that dog.  I’ll guarantee that you cannot prove mans’ intervention over millennium in creating the breed even if it’s a mutt.  Show me two wild animals exhibiting homosexual tendencies and I’ll show you the same species licking its own rectum—and then I’ll ask you how their behavior relates to humans!

We are not mere animals, relegated to base instincts.

We are God’s creations, made male and female for the propagation of the species.  Sometimes that special privilege of creating offspring doesn’t work.  That’s because we’re NOT perfect.  We live in a broken and sinful world and have broken and sinful bodies.  The same God that so many hate, despise, and reject allows us to choose our own paths.  From time to time, those paths are evil.  Occasionally, they’re hurtful to others.  And there are times that what we do impacts others beyond what we can comprehend.  But don’t blame God!

 

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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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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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Status Check


I know I address spiritual and sexual issues here a lot–usually one in terms of the other.  So here’s another perspective:  I was talking to my youngest daughter the other day and she noticed that I had names written on a whiteboard.  After the names was the word “lost”.  I should probably mention at this point that the whiteboard contains a list of prayer concerns for me and my wife to focus on.

Anyway, my daughter, all of 17 years old, asked what “lost” meant.

I had to pause.

I thought about the profundity of that question.

After a few seconds, I answered her, explaining that “lost” in this context means “unsaved” or “not having accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior”.

It was then that it hit me:  Young people today spend more time talking about (and focusing on) their sexuality than their spirituality.  And they spend more time worried about each other’s sexuality.  It’s amazing how sexually focused young people are—almost as if THEY discovered sex!  You’d think they would wise up and realize that THEY wouldn’t be here if WE hadn’t discovered IT first!

Then again, their age-old response (as I probably said under my breath to my dad) is that things are different nowadays!

How wrong I was—and how wrong they are as well.  Human biology works the same way today that it did when God first created man and woman in the Garden.

OK–so now, thanks to the marvels of science and medicine, two men can have a child, two women can have a child, and with a pill or a procedure, no-one can have a child!  How smart man is!  But he is still limited to only taking what God already created and manipulating it.  Man has yet to create or invent anything out of nothing.  And in that, we have the real Status Check!

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People have asked this question perhaps as long as bad things have happened to people.  The answer is not simple—there is no glib reply.

In the shadow of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, people have been asking this question once again.  I read one person’s comment that pointed out the irony of how we tell God to get out of our lives and then expect him to intervene when we think he should.

American society has pushed God and Christianity into a little box and tucked them away on a closet shelf.  No prayers in school, no mention of God at public events like graduation ceremonies, and no nativity scenes or crosses on public lands.  There have been attempts to eliminate “one nation, under God” and “in God we trust” from the collective conscience of Americans.  But when the worst happens, people question where God is.  Amazing!

Apparently, people want God to sit on his tower on the beach and to let them enjoy the day, only engaging them if they’re in danger of being hurt or killed.  Their behavior on the beach should be none of his concern.  The way they treat others is none of his concern either unless that person’s life becomes endangered and then, God can intervene on that person’s behalf.  You get the picture.

In order to satisfactorily address where God was on Friday night, one has to answer the question “What did you want God to do?”

If the answer is “Stop the gunman“, then you likely misunderstand the spiritual and physical worlds completely.

Occasionally, God intervenes and we call it a “miracle” when he does.  He chooses when he will and when he won’t intervene.  But as a whole, God has not been in the business of stopping every person from committing every sin.  And if you’re reading this, you’re a sinner (not because you’re reading this but because you’re human):  YOU  DON’T  WANT  GOD  TO  STOP  PEOPLE  FROM  SINNING! 

Truth is, some sins are “fun” and others have been relegated to “harmless” or “lifestyle choices”.  It’s a safe bet that you only want God to stop SOME sins and even then, probably only the sins of OTHER PEOPLE.  In short, you want to be free to do whatever you want to do.  Your will—not God’s will.

So when someone else ISN’T stopped and they do something bad or evil, we blame God for not jumping down and stopping THEM—not us for our sins but the other person for THEIR sins!

We all have free will.  We can choose to obey God or not—His will or our will!  But on this side of the grave, don’t expect for things to change anytime soon.  One day God will abolish evil and Jesus will return to rule over the earth and those who have accepted him as their Lord and Savior.  Life, in the meantime, will be filled with pain and suffering at the hands of nature, evil people, and at times, our own stupidity.  Don’t blame God!

MORE:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/24/where-was-god-in-aurora-massacre/?hpt=hp_c2

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