Things I Think

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151 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Forgot to open comments again…duh.

  2. Sarah says:

    The homosexual issue is a really tough one. I am finding more and more of my Christian friends have no issue with it, and I am constantly amazed by that. Friends who I would not classify as liberal.

  3. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    It’s simply a preverted lifestyle, as men and women in these secual deviancies have turned something God made for marriage between man and woman and they have made it a disgusting thing. God has given them over to a debased mind.

  4. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    secual=”sexual”

  5. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    It’s very, very complex.
    None of us want to be perceived as “bigoted” or as lacking in compassion.
    None of us who think deeply about these things want to come off as harsh or condemning, yet we still hold to our convictions.
    This is where I believe that “forced tolerance” has short circuited the conversation.

  6. Sarah says:

    Yes…because you cannot engage in any conversation. There isn’t any, there is only a dividing line, and even when you are attempting to speak with compassion…especially via social media…it is simply lumped with all the others in our ‘camp’.

    One of the things GLAAD said in their response that Robertson was lying about what Christianity is about.

  7. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    One of the interesting (and appalling) things that have happened in this cultural shift is that one side has decided that they are in charge of definitions…and we have gone along with them.
    They want to redefine Christianity the way they have redefined “tolerance”.
    Social media is utterly oblivious to nuance…

  8. Bob says:

    Over all I believe the “church” has surrendered these subjects to the secular world:

    1. Homosexuality
    2. Marriage
    3. Sexuality in general.
    4. Creation (not the discussion between old and new earth, but God miraculously creating all things).
    5. Evolution (the church calls it a fact basically about how God used the evolution to create species).
    6. Cultural evolution.
    7. Jesus was murdered/killed/sacrificed, rose from being stone cold dead by God, lived with His disciples in full bodily form and the rose into the clouds, sits at the right hand of God, is Messiah and is Lord!

    So what does the church do?

    1. Rock out to music instead of sound teaching.
    2. Cover their bodies with tattoos which have no differentiation from those in the secular world (Jesus was tattooed with our stripes) .
    3. Ignore the widows and orphans
    4. Divorce at rates probably equal to or worse than the secular world (because “God wants me to be happy”).

    You all can add to the list (or rip it and me up).

    Michael thanks for today’s list of thinks!

  9. Hi Michael,
    Happy “Christmas-marketing-season-is-almost-over”!

    Did you try the “iPhone + earbuds + personal playlist = inner peace” suggestion for holiday calm? 😉

    Passing this along for the readership to ponder, a dear friend shared this article on FB and this has been my point all along, “…we look ridiculous. We look foolish. And worst of all, some of us sound downright ignorant.”

    http://matthewpaulturner.com/2013/12/19/hey-church-can-we-all-just-calm-the-duck-down/

  10. Xenia says:

    Generally the conversation comes to a screeching halt when people say that objecting to the homosexual agenda is the same thing as racial bigotry and that in 20 years everyone will look back at us redneck misogynists the same way we look back on the KKK now.

    I do not equate being an African American with being a sodomite. I would hope most black people would be offended by this false comparison.

    But you know, we have brought this all upon ourselves. We have looked the other way when church people practice serial polygamy (multiple divorces and remarriages) and enjoy the soft-porn output of the entertainment industry where adultery and fornication are so common that is has become normalized in our minds. Probably 90 percent of people who identify as Christians bathe their minds in this trash on a daily basis so frankly, I think the Lord has left us to suffer the consequences. “You enjoy being entertained by licentiousness? I’ll leave you to it, then. Enjoy yourselves.”

  11. Michael says:

    Gman,

    So far I’ve successfully avoided almost all multi colored marketing season.
    Today I have to go out in it…
    I hear MPT…but he also misses the point by a mile.
    I get frustrated at the lack of social awareness on a lot of issues myself.
    However, I think that Robertson lanced a boil that has been festering for some time.

  12. Xenia says:

    I am also not distracted by the red herring that Christians should be all about practicing charity and should forget that troublesome morality stuff that is so off-putting to modern minds. Christians have always cared for the poor. Christians have always built hospitals and homeless shelters. The soup kitchen in our town is run by Christians. The homeless shelters are all run by churches in this town and this is true in most places. So I don’t want to hear any more nonsense that Christians should just concentrate on charitable works and forget about morality. I will no longer be bullied by that straw man.

  13. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think you have a point…there is very little notion anymore of the doctrine of separation.

  14. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I think we’ve lost the real mission of the church in many cases…though I’m not sure about the role of tattoos in that. 🙂

  15. Xenia says:

    Well, the doctrine of separation has been labeled legalism by many Christians. Being called a legalist is just about the worst insult you can slap on a person in many church settings.

  16. Michael says:

    “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
    (1 Timothy 6:11 ESV)

    Xenia,

    You are right about that…but every time I teach I see things that we’re supposed to “flee” and things of God we are to “pursue”.
    At some point we stopped fleeing and set up camp…

  17. Kevin H says:

    The majority in our culture may still agree with Robertson’s basic view of homosexuality. However, the size of that majority has shrunk significantly over the past 10-20 years. Before that time, it was an overwhelming majority. Now it’s a majority that probably doesn’t beat 50% by much. The amount of change has been dramatic.

    Before this dramatic shift, and even to some degree during it, those who have taken a biblical view of homosexuality have been their own worst enemy to some degree in the way they are now perceived. Although right biblically from a technical sense of defining sin, many attitudes sucked in the way homosexuality and homosexual people were talked about and perceived. Certainly not implicating everybody, but attitudes in seeing homosexual people as a lower or to be avoided class, homosexual jokes, etc. were quite common. Now these types of wrongful attitudes and actions I believe have also siginficantly subsided over the past 10-20 years, but the damage has been done.

    So today, the vocal contigent of the LGBT community and supporters have become the aggressors and the bullies. They are asserting what they want and have been quite successful in swaying public opinion. At least as to when people are willing to give their opinions publically.

  18. Xenia says:

    Bob’s #8, amen.

  19. Michael says:

    Very well said, Kevin H!

  20. I love Carlos.
    I’m so stoked that he used his resources and connections to find and help someone.
    Hoping this can be an inspiration to anyone who will allow it to be.

  21. Michael,
    Carlos has some beautiful instrumental & inspiring stuff for your playlist as you try to avoid the “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” stuff.

    “Europa” is one of my favorite instrumentals

    “The Calling” is a jam with Eric Clapton over a drum loop which then morphs into a moving piece.

    Wishing you joy and peace and some groovin’ while you shop 😉

  22. Michael says:

    Gman,

    To you as well, my friend!

  23. erunner says:

    We all draw lines as to separation in different places. Ultimately that is between us and God. There will never be agreement in this area. I refuse to drink alcohol under any circumstances yet many have the freedom to drink in moderation. I’m not a legalist It’s a personal conviction.

    I’ve believed the same way about homosexuality for 40 years and as God’s word doesn’t change my beliefs will not change. What I believe about my faith and what’s foundational will not change either. The requirements for Heaven have not changed. Everybody will not be there and that separation is eternal. Jesus is the only way and whoever is excluded from the kingdom will be in that state because of God’s perfect and unquestionable ways.

    I’ve watched as Christians have slowly through the years been marginalized and even demonized for the same convictions we have always held. God’s standards don’t change over time yet sadly it seems from some christian folks things have changed and the world sees and latches onto this to strengthen their godless ways as acceptable.

    We desperately need to get our house in order. God’s people are out there daily serving God in all sorts of circumstances even to the point of death. We are so disconnected from these realities.

    Lord. What would you have me do?

  24. Kevin H says:

    Many have changed their view on homosexuality. A lot of them are probably not rooted very deep biblically. But the view that homosexuality is wrong had been the overwhelming opinion, and along with the general revelation that Michael mentions, it was not difficult to maintain that view. Now today, their views have been swayed because they do not have much depth of understanding of the biblical arguments and they are persuaded by the arguments of homosexual people being treated wrongly. Although the mistreatment doesn’t happen nearly as much as before the previous 10-20 years, they can remember their own past attitudes and actions. They can remember themselves looking down on homosexual people and laughing at or even telling demeaning gay jokes. And they don’t like what they see. And so they decide that wasn’t right and to avoid having any of these wrong kind of “attitudes” again, they decide to go the way of accepting homosexual behavior as okay.

    Now this isn’t the story of all who accept homosexual behavior. But I think it’s a significant segment.

  25. Bob says:

    Michael:

    I’ll comment on tattoos and why I said people don differentiate with them.

    I’ll admit long before the current over-the-top tattoo craze/spell our culture (secular and church) is under today i thought a discreet well hidden tattoo on my wife would be hot! While we had fun with some temporary ones we would NEVER have gone and had a permanent one scarred onto her or my body. Why? Because it requires someone to do something very personal in some very personal locations who are not betrothed to either of us.

    And then along came “tramp stamps,” tribal arm markings and expanded to the point where people literally cover their arms, backs, necks, breasts and just about everywhere for all to see. As in all things the thoughtful always ask, “why do we do such things?”

    I’m sure those who have participated in this cultural craze can provide very logical answers for their reasons, but I believe it always comes down to the 3 basics of choice and desire mentioned so eloquently by James.

    I had to mention scars because that in reality is what a tattoo is, an intentional cut and dyed mark which scars in ones very own skin.

    Now I’m all for scars which tell a tale of one’s life because we all have them, however there is One who also purposely had someone make permanent scars on Him and it was done in a very personal and public way so that all would see them, especially His bride. And if one thinks about it they were done so His bride would not have to endure those same scars/tattoos on her body, a body which would be washed clean and white as snow.

    So why does our “church” embrace and even encourage others to scar themselves on behalf of a culture which really wants them dead? I guess I will never know.

    I look at Ed Young Jr., his shirt sleeve and shake my head realizing, “I don’t get it.”

    Am I hung up by tattoos? Yes and no. No, because I believe it is the right of anyone to choose what they want to do with their bodies and with whom they want to associate with. Yes because I thought the church was supposed to be a light and yet the culture wants it to be “assimilated.”

    Michael thank you again for the opportunity to post on your forum.

  26. Michael says:

    Kevin and Erunner,

    I think we need to go back to a serious biblical study of the matter…I really like the one I linked to.

  27. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Thank you… I believe we are served best by a diversity of opinion.
    I’m not sure I follow you on your thoughts about tattoos, but it will be interesting to see if it is something others wonder about.
    I will confess I find it a hard fad to understand…

  28. Xenia says:

    Regarding tattooes and a myriad of other things: If we ask ourselves the following question: “Am I participating in this out of a desire to be holy or out of a desire to be cool?” we will be doing ourselves a favor.

    Holiness is seeking God’s approval.
    Coolness is seeking man’s approval.*

    (*Not to be confused with St. Paul’s desire to be all things to all men.)

  29. Michael says:

    Here’s a composite email I’ve gotten all morning.

    “Dear Michael. Love your writing. I love Xenias more”

  30. Scott Barber says:

    In terms of homosexuality, I find myself moving more to the side of “let’s stop talking about it for a while” and just put crazy, nonstop focus on preaching personal humility and God’s grace. We live in such a sex-obsesed culture that personal identity has become defined by sexual preference, consequently it is difficult without extreme care to get across exactly what you are attacking. Moreover, the issue has become intimately tied to an ambiguous political agenda, consequently it is hard to know what exactly you are signing up for.

    What I really like is Lewis’ distinction between animal and diabolical sin: animal sin being that which seeks to satisfy, in a perverted way, our animal desires (lust, gluttony), whereas diabolical sin seeks to pervertedly satisfy our spiritual desires (pride). Lewis makes the well-worn point that all animal sin is really rooted in the diabolical, pride, and therefor any condemnation of sin–personal or public–must begin there if it wants to have any chance of success.

    So what I’m arguing here is basically the Benedictine ladder. We need to subvert this world at the root, at the first rung, rather than at the branches.

  31. Michael says:

    Scott,

    That was really helpful in framing how we should handle this going forward.
    The problem is that we need more people in Christian leadership modeling how we go about this…

  32. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    Doing serious biblical study on a matter is never a bad idea. But when we engage in conversation those who aren’t interested in doing a serious bible study, how do we proceed? I think that’s the bind we find ourselves in right now. A consequential part of our culture, some who may even claim the name of Christian, just aren’t that interested in doing a serious bible study. They are much more apt to put more stock in prevailing public opinion than they are in the Bible. Prevailing public opinion used to be that homosexuality is wong. Not nearly as much anymore.

  33. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I think it comes back to what Scott said and to something I’ve written about a lot lately, that being the need for us to model humility, repentance, and forgiveness in dealing with our own sins corporately and personally.

  34. Kevin H says:

    Scott,

    One of the difficulties with “let’s stop talking about it for a while” is that, at least from a media standpoint, most times a conservative Christian leader is interviewed nowadays, the interviewer insists on talking about homosexuality. Even if the rest of the interview is not even related to the subject. And so when the media is always talking about it and particularly casting conservative Christians in a bad light, it becomes a topic of conversation among even the “regular” folk, because it is what is in the news. I believe that many Christians in the past and even some still today have overemphasized the sin of homosexuality. But avoiding talking about it in today’s world is a tough task, even if one intentionally never brings up the subject themselves.

  35. Xenia says:

    I would be delighted never to talk about or even think about homosexuality ever again. That was the situation for most of my life. I knew that a (very small) percentage of humanity were homosexuals and felt sorry for them because they were trapped in a sinful life and I hoped they could find they path out, by God’s grace.

    It’s only when they started parading naked through the streets of our major cities that I sat up and took notice. I would love to forget about them but they won’t let us. They have changed the laws of the land, bullying us into accepting their perverted definition of marriage and family. They are forcing Christians out of business and they are threatening Christian ministers. Their “Heather has two Mommies” curriculum and questionnaires that ask “Why do you think you are heterosexual? Have you ever considered homosexuality?” of school kids have made it impossible to ignore them. I would love to ignore them but they have made it impossible.

  36. Shout-outs always appreciated! Thanks.

  37. Joe Dallas says:

    That’s an important point, Kevin. A lot of what’s said by Christians on the subject is by way of response, either to a direct question or a current event. So can we really be relevant if we refuse to speak – or if we “take a break from speaking” – on an issue everyone else is speaking about? Love, humility and self examination first, for sure. But that doesn’t preclude taking clear positions as well.

  38. EricL says:

    I think society became silly when it changed from defining sex as something you “do” and started calling it something you ARE. I mean, wouldn’t it be ridiculous for me to start campaigning for ‘missionary position’ rights? Wouldn’t it be silly for us to create a protective class for ‘virgins’ or ‘monogamists’ or ‘porn lovers’?

    Homosexuality is not your identity; it is one of your activities. Sinful activities.

    Why do we offer job discrimination protection to a small group of people just because of their sexual behavior? Your sex life has NOTHING to do with your activities at work (unless you are in the sex industry). Frankly, your sexual activities, or lack thereof, shouldn’t be a topic of conversation at work. Ever.

    When the elites demand that I change my views in the name of ‘tolerance’, they are practicing the very intolerance that they are accusing me of.

  39. EricL says:

    Oh, and on point #7. You might need to go through a reputable affiliate program like Commission Junction to avoid those ad programs that are planting junk on your website. At least with CJ, you pick what ads to place on your website. It avoids the toilets, the “Phoenix Preacher on sale” ads, and all the rest you don’t want. Takes more time to set up, as you have to apply for each advertiser program through CJ, but you’ll get better ads.

  40. Scott Barber says:

    Kevin,

    That is very much the other side of the story. We probably would have never heard of Phil Robertson if his statements didn’t sell newspapers. I guess I’m holding out the hope that the game isn’t completely rigged, that we can, as Michael said, model humility and repentance in the world. I think any condemnation we do of others should be drowned out by our declaration of our own sins. I think we can say “I am a sinner” loud enough that nobody needs to hear anything else.

  41. Michael says:

    EricL,

    I signed up with CJ and couldn’t make a nickel. These aren’t working either so I’m not sure what I’ll do next.

  42. EricL says:

    Michael,
    That’s the challenge. I once had an info site that I tried to monetize and I had the same challenge. Had some sales with CJ advertisers Family Christian Stores, Yahoo, Hotels.com, BedAndBreakfast, and Zoobooks but not enough to make any profit when you figured in all the time I spent keeping the website info up-to-date (it was a site listing family-friendly activities and places throughout SoCal). There were many other CJ advertisers that I thought would connect to the site visitors and they were a flop.

  43. Papias says:

    1. A+E setup these interviews knowing that Phil might say something off the wall or perhaps even offensive. This might send even more people to watch the show and buy DD merchandise for Christmas.

    So at the end of the day, this might all be a big public relations stunt gone awry, or maybe one done right.

    “There is no such thing as bad publicity”.

    2, 10. – Expecting the world to play fair is going to lead to disappointment. The only thing we can do is speak up when they don’t play by their own rules and call them out on it. Even people
    who aren’t Christians see the double standard.

    6. Luther … is an example that God uses broken vessels to bring Him glory.

    8. Church and state have rarely co existed without one usurping the other. Both have their own agendas and the means to have them implemented. Surely there are instances of church and state working togther and achieving some sort of good for the people,
    but my mind mind is kinda jello-ey right now…..

    Michael – good luck on the Christmas shopping….

  44. Jtk says:

    A former homosexual I prayed with when he prayed to become a Christian said, “NONE of my heterosexual friends had a problem with me when I came out of the closet. When I repented and became a Christian, EVERY ONE of my gay friends was very angry.” In fact two of them even tried to fight him physically.

    Two answers I see: let’s reach lost gay people and let’s be graciously bold about the truth of the Gospel!

  45. Rob Murphy says:

    I agree with everything, every single one of your 10 Things I Think.
    Which means that I’ve either gotten suddenly smarter AND saved – or (and this is bad news for you) your brain is broken.

    I’m obviously very sorry for any part I played in the breaking of your brain.

    😉

    ps, if anyone wants a good video Bible study type discussion thing, I recommend Tim Keller’s Reason for God. We’re doing it for family study, kids ages 15, 14, 12 and even 7 and we’re really enjoying it. Great discussion time with my family, wanted to recommend for anyone else who might be looking for something for study.

  46. Michael says:

    Rob,

    Should we send help? 🙂

  47. This was an excellent Things I Think!

  48. Michael says:

    Thank you, Derek.
    Lots of good input from the comments too.

  49. Michael says:

    I just received this email from a reader…and I think it merits as much prayerful thoughtfulness as was obviously put in it’s writing.

    “I have been reading all of the comments about homosexuality for quite some time as well as dealing with it in other arenas. I notice that on Phoenix Preacher the opinions run from [close to] hatred to outright acceptance with it not being considered a sin that can keep one from being saved. What I have to share is not intended to draw a line in the sand nor am I challenging anyone’s orthodoxy or liberalism, however the shoe may fit.

    No, what I am about to share is very real and personal and cannot be kept in the comfortable confines of the blogosphere or any kind of pet doctrinal belief. Though the bible is clear in homosexuality being a sin, but this particular one is the “sin of the moment” for the majority of believers who consider themselves evangelical, conservative sola scriptura kinds of believers. Admittedly, even the orthodox and Rome chime in on this. So does Islam.

    One thing I want to make clear as day before I proceed: I do not give a flip what Phil Robertson said or didn’t say; what “impact” homosexual behavior may have on our nation (I do not buy into the “Christian Nation” doctrine) and do not believe that we must eradicate or legislate certain behaviors to continue to have God’s blessing on America so we (including the Body) can go about with our lives as we want them to go. The rain falls on the just and the unjust and I believe that as “sons” of God, we are called to not judge those outside of the body but are to live our lives in that peculiar way that causes those outside to be interested. And most of all, to “love our neighbor as our self” and to love one another and by this those in the world will know that we are sons of God. And if anyone disagrees with this, I respect their right to do so and do not part fellowship over it.

    That said, let me tell you about my son “A” (not his real initial).

    “A” was born into a family who believed the written word and studied it in fellowship and at home, line by line, over and over. A family who prayed regularly, believed what was taught from the pulpit without question and had every intention of “raising up a (our) child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it”. Our single most important concern was his salvation.

    Very quickly we learned that “A” was a different kind of child. From his long and arduous delivery to the present he has been a handful. When “A” was a baby, he would not sleep much and if he did, it was during the day. This caused his mother (my ex) much grief because she was completely exhausted and when I returned home from a 14 hour day at work, I wasn’t much help in taking some of the responsibility for him and giving her a break. But we trudged on, loving him and nurturing him. Through several hospitalizations before he was 3 years old, we anguished over whether he would live to be that generation who would prosper because he had Christian parents (yes that was taught in the mega Calvary Chapel we attended). “A” was deeply loved by his mother and myself and we were willing to do whatever we had to do so he would grow up to love the Lord.

    “A” has always had a hard time with understanding boundaries and was continually being kicked out of Sunday School, daycare and even kindergarten because he just couldn’t grasp what he needed to learn to be able to function in social situations. “A” was (and still is), all boy buy all boy to the 10th power. Curious beyond comprehension, fearless (until recently) of nothing and ready to risk whatever he had to in order to satisfy his curiosity. In fact, one of my favorite stories from his toddler years is when he dismantled the device we put on his bedroom door so he could not open it and promptly installed it on our door so we couldn’t chase him as he headed out the front door in the middle of the night for a grand adventure. At 18 months he was able to do this and operate the door lock and deadbolt.

    Though he was a handful, he would typically obey me when we were together one on one. Because my dad did not spend a lot of time with me growing up, I was determined that my son would have to ask me for time alone by himself. And we spent more time together by the time he was 5 than I had spent in my entire life with my dad. But he continued to just not get it when it came to boundaries or the concept of “acceptable” behavior”.

    His mom and I were following all of the “rules” that the institutional church and James Dobson (and others) had determined were required for a child of believing parents. We took class after class, suffered through seminar after seminar and still he would not listen to instruction. We tried the “rod” and he would determine whether something was worth the whipping or how many “straps” he may get and go forward anyway. The satisfaction of his curiosity always won out. And it set the stage for his being an outcast at a very early age.

    Because he was “all boy” to such a degree, he could not make or keep friends because of his behavior. He was not invited to parties and such which he did not understand. Sunday school teachers would report back the difficulty they had in controlling him and with it the hint that maybe his mom and I were not the best of parents. I can’t count the number of times we heard “I love A with all my heart but he just can’t be here. He sets a bad example for the other kids”. His mom even took to teaching his Sunday school classes so she could monitor him while I attended services in the sanctuary. She even took a job at a daycare (she has a doctorate and could have had a much better paying job) so she could be with him and teach him social skills that he had such a hard time learning.

    When he got to school age the first thing was to test him because the school was convinced he was not “right”. He tested at an I.Q. above 125 so he wasn’t challenged and may have been too smart. But he could never focus on the task at hand and would always chase after what interested him in the moment.

    And we prayed. We prayed that God would heal him, make him “normal”. We prayed that God would bless him with a life where he “fit” into society and would not suffer from being an outcast. And most of all, we prayed that he would allow Jesus to “live in his heart” so he could enjoy the immense blessings that come with that. And we prayed some more.

    One night when “A” was five, I woke up with an intense need to pray for him. As I began seeking the Lord on behalf of my son; as I started my earnest pryer for his salvation and behavior, I was stopped cold. It was then that the Lord spoke (I do hear the Lord speak in the Spirit and through His written word) and it was clear. I would have to deal with homosexuality in my son.

    My immediate response was “not so Lord!”. I am doing everything right and how can this be? The only response I had was silence and peace that I had never experienced before. But I blew it off as a thought of my own mind and continued to be the best parent I could. But his behavior continued to be the same. But when he was six, he asked if he could “ask Jesus into his heart” and I prayed the sinners prayer with him. And his mom and I rejoiced.

    But he continued to struggle with his behavior and now he had the added burden of living up to being a Christian. And what made it doubly hard was that he really wasn’t malicious in his behavior, it was just who he was. He truly had a hard time understanding what he may have done wrong. And as time went on my reaction to his behavior began to take the same direction my own father’s did in regard to mine (something I swore would never happen). I would yell, spank when needed and made it clear he would lose privileges. His mom would use behavior charts only to have him choose the behavior with the best reward and complete it first. And we continued to pray. We continued to buy “Christian” books on child rearing, we really thought we were a failure at all of this. And my faith in Christ began to diminish because of my expectation that his prayer would have resulted in a “changed life’.

    As time went on we began seeing psychiatrists, psychologists, enrolled him in special schools.All to no avail, he just could never get over his curiosity and his need to do just do as he pleased. But then he would snuggle up to one of us (or both) and tell us how much he loved us, ask to sing praise songs and say how much he loved Jesus. And we prayed even more. And we tried to teach him as lovingly as we could. And my faith continued to diminish even more.

    Things unraveled a lot when we started a regimen of psychotropic medication. A certain drug would cause changes for a time and we praised God for modern medicine. But then the drug would lose its effectiveness or a side effect may occur which lead to an additional drug to treat the side effect which would then cause a side effect which lead to another drug and so on. At one point he was on 7 different medications and lost 40 points on I.Q. tests. His mom was more and more convinced he would have to institutionalized. Our hearts ached and we prayed. And I began to drink and blamed myself for his condition (sins of the fathers) and reached a point of giving God the finger as I gave up hope for my son.

    “A” was in and out of various programs where they would try and fins the “right” mix of medication combined with behavior modification. Our marriage ended and during the custody battle I was given a second chance by the Lord (a story for another time) and realized how wrong I had been in the way my son had been treated. But regardless of how much I fought, it wasn’t meant for me to have custody of him or our daughter and I almost lost my parental rights in the battle.

    It was during this time that “A” declared he was gay. The spiritual condemnation was overwhelming. I would lay prone begging forgiveness and intercede on his behalf. I was back into the “line by line” system (I am in no way condemning this) and was bound an determined that I would not fall away again and would live the Christian life correctly even if it killed me. I wanted my family back and I wanted my son set free from the life his mom now insisted upon. But he was shipped off to reform school and forced to live at another school for kids “like” him. The last one was run by a man who gave an altar call at every Christmas show and I thought this was a good place for my son.

    During this period, I began to question my faith and relationship with my heavenly Father again. I did not understand why my children could not lived with me and asked why they were living with their mom who no longer held to the beliefs I did. I never missed an opportunity to correct my son with scripture. I continually corrected him verbally and supported the decision to keep him in this school. All the while telling him I loved him and even leading him in the sinners prayer one more time after convincing him that his life would not get better until he lived for Christ. And I prayed.

    But this story is not all about my son but is about me as well in that I too struggled with my gender identity when I was younger. I was abused by a slightly older boy in the neighborhood but I had no clue as to it being wrong, it felt good and all I knew was I shouldn’t tell my parents. But I turned from it when I realized it was wrong (no one told me) and dove into heterosexual sex with a passion and complete abandon. I prided myself on how many girls I “knew”, It was not until I became a believer (in the late 80’s at the mega CC mentioned above) did I realize that my behavior was wrong. However, there was no one to disciple me and teach me the things of the kingdom, the love of my Father for me. No, it was all about making sure I didn’t sin and cutting myself off from fellowship with God.

    One day as I was driving away from visiting him at the last “treatment center/school” he was attending, all I could think of was where Paul wrote about speaking without love tent I speak as if with sounding brass. I asked the Lord what he was trying to tell me and the answer was clear, “love your son for who he is and speak when I give you something to speak”. This began the transition in my relationship with my son though it was a long time in learning for me.

    Shortly after this I renewed a friendship with a former co-worker. He had known my entire family and I filled him in on what had happened in the almost 10 years since I had last seen him. He was silent, never offered up an opinion or, thankfully, a cliche. We continued to meet regularly (still do to this day) and in that time he helped me understand my role as a father to my children and most of all, my role as a son of the living God, a joint heir with Christ.

    Because of his taking me as I was, I began to learn to take my son ( daughter and others) as he was. As I matured in my son-ship, my relationship with my children and others began to change. My self-righteousness was exposed for the sin it was (and is to a lesser degree) and the burden of being responsible for my children’s salvation was lifted.

    Until I met up with my friend again, no one had ever explained the relationship of father/son that I had with my heavenly Father. That He would make the changes in me without condemnation, without requiring perfect behavior. And He would do it in a manner and time frame as he chose, not me. Thus began my understanding of grace. Beautiful grace. And as grace was bestowed on me and the unconditional love that goes beyond comprehension flowed into me by His Spirit, my “tolerance” of my son’s chosen identity grew. And my tolerance of the unbelieving world around us grew as well. I am no longer threatened by an unbeliever nor am I “afraid” that being friends with unbelievers will lead me to forsake the faith (again this is what was taught from the pulpit). I see people as He sees them, His creation that was created so that He might have heirs, that need to hear their sins are already forgiven and that all they have to do is believe. And if they reject it, I continue to love them because He continues to love them and I know He will send someone to water the seed planted.

    To put it bluntly, I had to learn “to be a father, I had to learn to be a son”.

    All of this has been laid out as background to what I have to say next and I apologize for the length of this email.

    If one were to talk to LGBT men and women, you would find that most of them were either a) sexually abused as a child by a “father” figure, b) grew up with a domineering, verbally abusive mother and a weak father, c) grew up in a household where the father was not present, d) grew up in a house where the father was abusive either verbally, physically, sexually or all combined (in the rare case, mom may have been this way). They never knew what it was like to be under “righteous rule” of a father who knew how to “rule” his family with love for their benefit. Even in Christian homes this is not necessarily the norm and the children grow up in a rigid legalistic environment.

    One thing they will all have in common is they were outcasts because of their struggle with their situation at home and/or their sexuality. And because of this they have typically turned to where they are accepted for who they are because outcasts attract outcasts. Orphans align with orphans for survival and so do these folks.

    And the church continues to treat them as lepers, telling them in a sense, that they must be clean before they can join the body. Never taking the time to tell them about the wondrous love our Father has for them and the Good News that they have ALREADY been reconciled to God through Christ Jesus. They are kept at an arm’s length because we do not want to touch them, to love them and be patient with them as HE deals with their sin as HE sees fit and in a way that only HE could do. Never taking the time to get to know them and waiting for the Spirit to reveal what we say, how we act and who the person is. No, we pull out old testament laws intended for the Jews or we focus on the new testament Scriptures that (clearly) reveal what an abomination homosexual behavior is for those who choose it as a means of fulfillment of their own lust.

    But what of the outcast who identifies with and finds a semblance of love within the LGBT community? Are they not in prison as much as a criminal? Didn’t Jesus tell us to go to those in prison and tell them the Good News? The incredible news that the price had been paid and all they have to do is believe? But instead we go to them and tell them they can’t join our club because of who they are, fallen as much as I was fallen though I chose heterosexual sin instead of homosexual. And then we throw in the nonsense that God will judge America for this. He just may but He will judge His people first and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    I did not (nor do I now) “approve” of my son’s identity when he first declared, but I now “accept” it. I accept it because I believe part of my son’s destiny, the work the Father will do through him, will be to the LGBT “community”. I see his love for the outcast, the downtrodden and all of those who are rejected by “normal” society and the “normal” church. Though he will suffer for his choices now, he will be delivered and do the work he is destined to do, a destiny that was given to him from before the foundation of the earth.

    You see, I now know that what I had heard all of those years ago was the Lord. And His words to me that night have come true. And so will the words He speaks to me now. Not wishful thinking but the fact that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. I do not worry because He has heard my prayers and has made clear the role I play as one who will extend the unconditional love my Father has shown me to him and all of his friends. And when in season, the fruit will be harvested to His glory.

    So like the Father of the prodigal, I send my son off with his inheritance only to wait anxiously for that day when he will be clothed in a robe and we will cook the calf that has been prepared for him. What a day that will be!”

  50. Linnea says:

    Years ago, when I was homeschooling, I read some books by Mary Pride. Her contention was that when the church embraced birth control it paved the way for abortion. Even these many years later, her argument gives me pause, and I think it has application for the homosexuality argument. What did we as a church give up to make way for this practice to be ok?

  51. ( |o )====::: says:

    “to live our lives in that peculiar way that causes those outside to be interested. ”

    A profound and powerful statement amidst one of the most vulnerable things I’ve ever read.

    Please tell your friend, “Thank you for risking.”

    And thank you, Michael, for sharing that.

  52. Michael says:

    Gman,

    I will do so…someone needed to read that tonight.

  53. Jim says:

    Hard for me to imagine a topic that evokes such strong feelings and statements. It sure is an easy “sin” to hate.

    Sin or not, hatred of homosexuality is clearly an acceptable bigotry to some people.

  54. ( |o )====::: says:

    To honor the gent who emailed Michael, my FB status…


    For me, in claiming to be “a Christian”, my goal must be as another aptly said “…to live our lives in that peculiar way that causes those outside to be interested.”

  55. Xenia says:

    Jim. I do hate homosexuality. I also hate adultery, fornication, alcoholism, and addictions to p0rn and drugs. Don’t you hate sin? I hate the way it entraps people who are created in the image of God and causes them and their families so much pain and grief.

    My neighbor is a hopeless alcoholic, and I hate his alcoholism because it has wrecked his life at age 40. No job, no drivers license, no family of his own. Yet I love this guy. I talk to him and joke around with him nearly everyday. I pray for him. I love this neighbor but I hate the sin that has ruined his life.

    This is true of all sin. Sin is bad because it is destructive. If it were good for us, God would not have warned us against it.

    Several of my own children have “issues” (sins) that are extremely destructive. One is setting up a situation that is going to be tragic in a few years. One child has become an unbeliever. I accept my children because I love them but their sinful practices cause me an my husband a great deal of sorrow, a sorrow that is only eased by prayer. Do I accept their sins? Well, they are not defined by their sins. I don’t look at them and think “There goes “L” who is guilty of sin “M.” I think instead “There goes my beloved child “L” who needs extra love and prayers that s/he will repent of that destructive behavior.”

    So I can’t say I accept them “as they are.” They will not enter the Kingdom “as they are.” I am not satisfied with that. I don’t hector them because they know what is right and what is wrong and don’t need me or their dad to tell them. They have to decide on their own whether or not they want to repent and get right with God.

  56. As usual Xenia nails it.

  57. Thanks for that letter Michael,

    Many things he said I am grateful for.

  58. Linnea says:

    Just read the letter Michael posted at 5:35…wow– thank you, whoever you are, for sharing your experience. It is valuable for us to understand.

  59. Christians are pretty much bullied into figuring out what to believe by the fear of being called intolerant. Damn them. 😉

  60. Jim says:

    I don’t know a lot of Christians who are bullied into anything. Talk to a 20 year old gay kid in a non-urban area about bullying. We crush their spirits in a way that is unique to their behavior.

    My kids have never spoken with a twenty something hetero kid that was called an abomination by a parent if they moved in with their BF/GF.

    To pretend that we haven’t made homosexuality “special” is just lying to ourselves.

  61. PP Vet says:

    Some of our challenge in this area is rooted in a flawed understanding of what sin is.

    The Bible says that all things are lawful (this gets Pharisees upset, and they try to twist the scripture to get rid of it. But, that is what it says, multiple times.)

    However, anything that is not edifying (a religious word – let’s say “healthful” instead) is bad.

    Now that is pretty simple. God loves people, and wants us to be healthy in every way.

    If our opposition to deviancy is rooted in an understanding that deviancy is bad for people, we can be motivated by love as we discourage it.

    Otherwise, we will be, fundamentally, motivated by our own personal brand of phariseeism.

  62. Jim says:

    I’m on a deadline, so my responses will be more disjointed than usual, if that’s possible.

    GLAAD wants to be in our face, because they are mad and loud about it. I don’t think most people in the burbs have heard of GLAAD. Most people outside of urban areas have never seen a gay day parade. Our preteens are not being bombarded with gay soft porn produced by their favorite artists.

    The same can not be said about hetero promiscuity. Pop culture spits this stuff out 24/7. Naked Miley has 433 million views on youtube. I just checked youtube’s top ten music videos and noted a ton of hetero porn, but no gay stuff.

    No things I think about this. No lamentations or graphic descriptions from Phil about our slut culture.

    During the Holidays, America’s hetero promiscuous, cohabiting 20 somethings are welcomed into their parents homes, while many “abominations” aren’t welcome.

    This is happening NOW to my kids friends. This is a “special sin”, whose participants receive special treatment. I understand why they are mad and loud about it.

  63. Xenia says:

    No things I think about this. No lamentations or graphic descriptions from Phil about our slut culture.<<<<

    I mention it here fairly often.

  64. Xenia says:

    One of the main songs I sing here on the PhxP is the fact that most Americans and almost all Christians bathe their minds in filth on a daily basis and think nothing of it. They call it entertainment, as if that makes it ok.

  65. Isn’t homophobe man’s fear of himself by literal definition?

  66. Xenia says:

    From what I can tell as an outside observer, mostly from hearing music playing in stores and from passing by someone’s TV:

    1. Most pop songs are about lust.
    2. Most TV programs assume fornication is normal. Even “good” characters fall into bed with a people they have just met. Even that all-American hero Jethro Gibbs.
    3. Most novels are filled with profanity, adultery, and fornication. I had to quit the town’s book club because the books that were chosen were full of perversion and profanity.
    4. I don’t know what goes on at the movies as I only go to watch Hobbit-y movies.
    5. Half the stuff I read on the Internet is godless trash and I don’t wander too far abroad.

    We Christians may read a few Bible verses a day, say a few short prayers and go to church services a few times a week and all this adds up to maybe five hours a week? How many hours are filled up with this other stuff?

  67. Steve Wright says:

    In the typical verbal self-flagellation against Christ’s bride, it is “lying to ourselves” to ignore that in the Bible homosexuality IS special as a sin. There is a huge difference between sex with your fiance before marriage and sticking one’s sexual organ in a place not designed for such activity with someone of the same gender in a roadside bathroom- just as there is a huge difference between slitting the throat of another and hating them in their heart. Surely, in recognizing all sin is serious, and all sin must be atoned for by Christ, we do not equate His words on the Sermon on the Mount to Him saying there really is no distinction between thought and act…is that the new hermeneutic?

    Jim, Phil DID speak about the slut culture. Did you not even read the quote? And to think the Church has been silent about hetero sin is laughable. Except when guys did try to make noise against pornography and a variety of issues they were not joined with the full Body of Christ, but written off as too political, and/or chastised for all the other sins we should be worrying about. And now history repeats itself.

    And as I posted yesterday, two homosexuals will get married on a Rose Parade float. So even if Jim were correct in his characterization of pop culture in the burbs (don’t the burbs get television anymore? – Don’t they listen to Katy Perry singing about kissing a girl and liking it?) they certainly will get their opportunity on New Year’s Day to be introduced once more to that which the Lord calls an abomination.

    And before I am dismissed out of hand as the typical example of the problem, I challenge anyone to listen to my teachings on Romans One and 1 Corinthians….but to move the needle way in the other direction and once more to make the Body of Christ’s “reactions” more the problem than the sin itself is just too much.

  68. not always Lawful Bob says:

    PPVet:

    Over all your last post makes only partial.

    When Paul says “all things are lawful” and then accusing the Pharisees in the way you do is tainted by a misunderstanding of Paul and hints strongly at textual manipulation. Is he saying homosexuality is “lawful,” which means to a Pharisee that it is OK via the written Torah as well as the Oral Torah? I would say, based on his other writings, Paul would never and I’ll say it again, never say homosexuality or any deviant sexual behavior is “Lawful.”

    The issue here, and I believe you allude to it, is how we handle these issues in our personal and communal life.

    For all things to be “Lawful” means to me this, “do I do all things unto God?” If it doesn’t pass this test it isn’t “Lawful.”

    BTW

    Xenia is the hero and teacher of the day here!

    listen to her words

  69. Jim says:

    “There is a huge difference between sex with your fiance before marriage and sticking one’s sexual organ in a place not designed for such activity with someone of the same gender in a roadside bathroom”

    Thanks for making my point, Steve. Homos have roadside bathroom sex, while hetero’s have a hard time waiting for marriage.

  70. stu says:

    Hi friends,
    I got this e mail today from one of the ministries I like:

    Dear Friend,

    This side of heaven, you can’t know the full impact of the lives you’re changing through your partnership with (us). But let me give you a small glimpse of what your generosity has done:
    •More than 201,000 babies’ lives saved so far through (our ultrasound ministry).
    •2,600+ families have initiated the process of foster adoption through our (foster) events
    •72,000+ post adoption resources provided
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    •94,000 people made decisions for Christ in 2013

    I could go on and on and on—but if you’ve touched only ONE of these lives, it is worthy of eternal praise. I just can’t thank you enough.

    With all my heart, I pray that your holidays will be blessed with the joy of knowing you’ve made a difference in people’s lives.

    (Not an appeal, a thank-you.)

  71. Michael says:

    The pendulum swinging back and forth is to be expected anytime we are trying to find the balance between compassion and convictions.
    It’s a necessary part of the process…

  72. PP Vet says:

    Deviancy is a special category of sin. Not, however, near as bad as religious hypocrisy.

    Yes, our culture is bathed in filth.

    Wow – this will change my life:

    http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2013-12/families-faith

    “We found that the highest generational transmission (of faith/religion) occurs in families with a high degree of warmth—particularly if the father is perceived as warm and close.”

  73. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, I used two extreme examples to show a contrast. Much as I did with the throat slitting and hate in the heart. You are smart enough to know I was certainly not saying that ALL heterosexual sin or ALL homosexual sin is represented by those two examples. – Declare victory all you want, but I most certainly did not make your point. Especially as you ignore most of my post. By the way, did you look up Phil’s quote yet to see your error? Do you care to educate yourself? Or is pontification enough the goal?

    I find your commentary on the pop culture in the “burbs” woefully naive. Of course hetero sex and sin is emphasized. But it’s also as if you have no clue what has been on TV the last 25 years or more – and how that boundary has been pushed and pushed. About 25 years ago LA Law was a top show on TV and they pushed the envelope with two main female characters sharing a kiss. I was not even a Christian then but I still remember what a huge deal it was. I also remember as a young Christian 20 years ago when the Ellen Degeneres sitcom also broke TV ground as the first main character to “come out” on her show (which was rather weird since the world knew of Ellen’s lesbianism for years prior). However, I’d rather not spend Christmas Eve recounting every example of the cultural rot over the last couple decades. Not to mention the movies, cinemax and HBO – and for that matter any sort of basic reality TV that now feels they have to include a couple episodes of homosexuals looking for a house or planning a wedding or (as Michael shared once trying to tame their pet cat) for the sake of normalcy in the name of diversity.

    How about the schools? Just the big towntown districts is the only place where indoctrination and propaganda is taking place? You really think that is accurate?

    I’ve never seen a gay pride parade either, not in the audience – however, the Los Angeles television market makes sure to broadcast them on the local news whenever they take place to millions of us in the “burbs”. As I am sure most every major TV market does to their “burbs” as well. In fact, that is part of the problem since we can count on the TV exposure to put it in the best possible light.

    And surely you know that for every anecdotal evidence of some family refusing to honor their homosexual child’s homosexual relationship at the Christmas dinner, there is a family doing the same for their heterosexual child’s sinful relationship. Likewise, there will be many homosexual children dining with their families this Christmas as well.

    We all could share anecdotes. I could tell you of a few heterosexual women, married, mothers of small children, who decided they would rather leave their husbands and fathers of their children to enjoy sexual sin with each other – while subjecting these small children (in the burbs by the way) to dual Christmas dinners, one with Dad, and one with their Mom and their “new Mom”. But hey, divorce is divorce, and sin is sin, right? No difference in God’s eyes. No difference in what it does to the children going into the next generation.

    By all means. Let’s all become like Lot. Righteous people vexed with society around them who have zero influence and never take a stand. Let’s be willing to sacrifice our own daughters like Lot to the society’s sins – that will definitely quiet down GLAAD from all their angry vocalism. We surrendered to the heterosexual sin powers that be…why not continue the slouching towards Gomorrah. Let’s focus on how bad Christians are instead.

  74. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I think Jim’s point is that we are selective about our disgust.
    I also think that is irrefutable.
    I will also make the point for about the ten thousandth time that because our hatred of sin doesn’t always start with our own that we have lost much moral authority in the culture…and justifiably so.
    I don’t consider a call to corporate self examination and repentance to be self flagellation, I consider it to be honest modeling of the ethics we claim to espouse.

  75. Xenia says:

    I think we only have ourselves to blame for the state of affairs we have today.

    Did our children often see us watching a TV program where there is a steamy sex scene between an unmarried couple? Did they see us enjoying the program? And if someone said”Hey, that’s not appropriate” did we respond with “Don’t get so uptight, It’s just entertainment?” Did they *ever* see us turn off the set and say “that’s not appropriate entertainment for this Christian household?”

    And are we shocked that this children consider all this to be normal and are therefore accepting of it all and usually act on it in their own lives and consider the Bible and traditional Christianity to be hopelessly outdated?

    It’s a little too late now for most of us to be claiming the higher moral ground when we gave in to our lust for entertainment years ago.

  76. Xenia says:

    There was a TV show on last year that a family member (who has a TV) thought I might enjoy. So, to be sociable, I watched a few episodes. But then a lesbian “married” couple showed up, kissing and what not. I said, “Nope, I’m not going to participate in this, sorry!”

    If everyone in this country who claims to be a Christian or a Jew or even a Muslim were to do likewise, that show would have been canceled right then and there. But most of us just say “It doesn’t matter, it’s just entertainment” and recline in their Lay Z Boy and soak it all in. So the shows get worse and worse and no one cares too much because no one wants to be called a legalistic Pharisee and besides, it’s so entertaining!

  77. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You speak with the authority of a prophetess to my ears…and I’m not alone in that.

  78. Jim says:

    Steve,

    I read the entire GQ story. While many sins rec’d honorable mention, homosexuality was emphasized over the others. Your media examples are outliers, and you totally outed yourself with your roadside bathroom quip. That genie won’t fit back in the bottle.

    I didn’t sacrifice my daughters to anything, pal. My girls were famously untouchable in our town, because their dad was famously dangerous in all matters regarding their welfare. I not only took a stand for them, but for their friends as well.

    My bigotry is towards the pimp daddys who “fathered” Brittney, Christina, Miley, and the rest of the pop tarts. I cry for Miley, but want to give Billy Ray an achy-breaky face. It’s a bigotry, as I consider his sin worse than others.

    I didn’t let the culture in our home, but considered Brittney and Christina far worse threats than Ellen.

    I’m not trying to focus on how bad Christians are. I’m saying that I think that we all are bigots in one way or another, and I’m asking no one to explain anything to me, but would hope that we’d all take a hard look in the mirror.

    I’ll start. I’m a bigot. I have a hatred that contains zero grace for those who are a part of the industry that objectifies women. That’s my deal. It’s a sin, as it goes beyond righteous indignation. It’s violent and does not turn the cheek.

    Your deal is your deal, and it’s none of my business. My part of this conversation started because I noted that I smelled something funky. It hit a nerve with you, and that’s fine, but you’re in no position to lecture me about how a man protects his family from the surrounding culture because I did it, and my three kids all turned out just fine. My youngest will be 29 in March. The verdict is in. I won the war.

    Go and do likewise.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, if you thought I was personally insulting you as a father of children then I apologize. I concluded in the universal “we” – I salute you and gently hope that you will not consider your time in the battle over. That the war is still going on. I wish my youngest was 29. Alas, she is five – and the world and culture she is growing up under is far different than it was in 1989 when your youngest was five. I remember 1989 culture very well as a child of the 80s, a lost sinner living for debauchery and all the entertainment the world offered, and it being my last year in college. As bad as it was then, it is far, FAR worse today.

    I would like to watch the Macy’s Parade and the big balloons of Snoopy with my daughter without having to fast forward through the drag queen portion. Same with the Rose Parade this year and the gay marriage. In 1989 these problems did not exist in these venues. Nor am I happy in raising my children saying that as Christians we boycott the entire thing because of one “in your face” moment that Satan has hijacked. I don’t want to tell my daughter that we can’t EVER go to Disneyland because once or twice a year there is some gay pride organization as the advocates of this sin seek to organize and take over the park. But I know that is an issue for today that did not exist a couple decades ago….and it is because for the most part we (i.e. Christians in the general sense) have looked the other way while sitting on the sidelines.

    We need your help in the fight to continue. Like Xenia basically said, we need the entire Body of Christ – even those who have raised their kids. Even those who have no kids.

    As far as my selective disgust – that is why I mentioned my messages on the Scriptures. I don’t expect you all to take the time to listen to them…but offer it just to say that I have a public track record. My disgust is NOT selective at all. Everything I have ever preached as a pastor in the formal worship service (Sunday or midweek) is a matter of public record.

    At the same time, any “nerve” struck is when I see what I perceive as selective accommodation. Sadly I do see a lot of that here on the blog lately. I didn’t bring anything to this thread (other than the Rose Bowl link offered without comment) until I saw a post that I still contend is not accurate with the “facts on the ground” in the here and now (suburbs or elsewhere). It is also wrong to say Phil did not comment on the slut culture when he did in the very same sentence. I am far less emotionally invested in the Duck Dynasty stuff than most I see on social media, but at the same time I’m not going to offer one note of criticism AGAINST this brother in Christ either.

    As one who makes every effort as a pastor to preach the word, and do so without selective outrages, emphases, and personal agendas…what struck my nerve was the idea that the Bible is not clear that a special emphasis is noted in regards to this sin. The Bible is very clear. But once more we come back to teaching through the whole counsel of God where we will have plenty of time to emphasize the grace, mercy and love of God to all sinners – and to focus on whatever God chose to focus on in the written word – to the degree and proportion with which He did.

  80. Day 4 in Maui – have yet to hear anyone talk about the Duck controversy.

    Is it just the PP inner circle that is keeping the story going?

    If anyone is in the neighborhood, we are meeting at Duke’s tonight for Christmas Eve dinner. 🙂

  81. Jim says:

    Steve,

    I’m sorry I got mad. You obviously hit a nerve without intending to do so. FWIW my kids were born in 1980, 83, & 85, so they were 90’s and millennial teens. I won’t try to compare cultures, as the dragons are no longer at my door, so I see things with a different eye. I’m far from indifferent, as I have three grandkids, the oldest being 6. We bought The Dangerous Book for Boys for my oldest GS for his birthday, bought the two grandsons their first bows and arrows for Christmas, and bought a princess dress for my granddaughter. I beamed with pride at Thanksgiving with my grandson announced that granddaddy taught him how to use the sights on his bb gun. His dad put in the hours, and I added a few minutes to the mix, but I’ll take the credit. I say all that to say that I haven’t given up, and I remain culturally conservative.

    Here’s how I see the culture war. The culture has always been at war with us, and I can only control what’s mine. I protect my loved ones from the culture, and show others how to do the same. That’s the battleground for me.

    BTW, I supported the Robertsons on this forum when the story broke, and love the fact that Phil is going to say whateverthehell he wants and they will win and A&E will lose.

    Anyway…again, I’m sorry I freaked out on you before. I’m working and not reading (or writing) carefully, saw “sacrifice our daughters”, and went, “WHAT?!?!!”

  82. Steve Wright says:

    By the way. I was at Disneyland once when the homosexual activists decided they wanted to take over the park. (Not with my children but with friends from out of the country). And not by Disney’s choice or sponsorship either. This was a grassroots effort among the activists.

    First there was a coordinated effort of clothing. All were wearing the same T-shirt, and there were thousands throughout the park. So everyone else knew “Hey, we’re here and we’re queer”

    Second, was the deliberate and willful desire to show as much public display of affection as legally allowed. Full throated making out, groping and grabbing. And on occasion when someone said “Could you tone it down” there was nothing but loud angry response. Not a whiff of courtesy. I don’t want to see heterosexuals make out in front of me either by the way, but few will do so and most that do get carried away will be shamed into cooling it when told to.

    On any given day at Disneyland for all we know, the people in front of you in line might all be adulterers or porn watchers or any other sort of sexual sin. And for those of us raising children, there is not one impact at all

    But this is one example I personally experienced where it is clear there is a war going on. This was a frontal assault meant to insult and cause problems in the most visible way possible, amongst the most vulnerable and impressionable.

    And no, this is not indicative of every homosexual in America. But this is not just an anecdotal incident of one or two couples. This was coordianted, planned, and deliberate carried out by thousands and applauded by tens of thousands more.

    It is a different sin, folks. Our world is not calling for acceptance of adulterers, serial fornicators, and porn watchers in the same way as this – even if there is not the outrage against them as there should be. If the cake bakers had refused to bake a wedding cake for someone on their 5th marriage, it would not have been a national news story.

    And many of the people enslaved to it are fulfilling Romans One before our very eyes.

  83. Steve Wright says:

    I love you brother Jim. Would to God there were far more men (husbands, fathers, grandfathers) like you.

    Have a blessed Christmas.

  84. Michael says:

    I could not possibly disagree more with the notion that somehow homosexuality is a “special” sin biblically and I think anyone with a concordance would have little trouble refuting the notion.
    To say that it is a more “special” sin than pride, idolatry, oppression of the poor, and a host of other sins common to the church defies biblical exegesis and the historical record of the church.
    The Fathers said little about it, the Reformers said little about it, and it hasn’t been a “special” issue until the last twenty five years or so.
    What’s “special” about it is that it isn’t common to the church…so we can feel a lot better beating hell out it.

  85. Michael says:

    What I’ve seen a lot of on this blog lately is honest wrestling with issues and people commenting from different traditions and perspectives…which is exactly how the hell I want it.

  86. Xenia says:

    No one is even talking about Phil anymore here. I imagine tonight he is at his old farm house sitting by the Christmas tree and eating a great deal of cholesterol,, surrounded by kids, grand kids and dogs, some who think he is a real hero and some who wish he had kept his mouth shut but who are still loyal to their ol’ dad.

  87. Xenia says:

    Steve’s post reminds me of the Cal State faculty “winter holiday” party we went to a few years ago. Our assigned seating placed us at a table with a party of homosexual men who were giggling and grabbing at each other, to the amusement of the other guests. It would have been distasteful if they had been heterosexuals, too, but if they had been straight I think we could have said “cut it out!” and they would (might) have but if we told these guys to keep their paws to themselves the whole ballroom would probably have exploded in outrage. Since my husband and I did not think this was a good way to celebrate the Lord’s Incarnation, we quietly slipped away and I am sure there was much talk of “homophobes!” in our wake.

  88. Steve Wright says:

    Romans One and Genesis 19 as well as the relative punishment meeted out in the Torah for that sin versus some others would all disagree with you, Michael.

    How much do we read about child molestation in Scripture, Michael? One of the most vile sins on the face of the planet. How much about abortion?

    You might reexamine your litmus test there. Frankly, the most vile sins are far more prevalent today than in past history, especially in Christian Europe of centuries past – where at least such things were done in shame and in the dark.

    It is a special sin in our culture for the previously stated reasons and examples, reasons you yourself have stated often when not looking to counterpunch. We are to accept this sin, grant this sin special rights and privileges, and as we already are seeing, public acceptance pedophilia, polygamy and others are coming right along in its wake

    Do you think this is a coincidence? Or do we fall back to Sodom being inhospitable…yeah, that’s why God was angry. David and Jonathan were actually homosexuals too.

    For those of us thinking we are living in the last days though…what did we expect the world to look like.

    I’m glad the blog though is just as you want it. It’s your blog and that is how it should be.

    (Good for you and your husband, Xenia – yeah, I’m sure you were seen as the homophobes. You’re the problem..naturally.)

  89. Steve Wright says:

    I should say were “mostly” done in shame and in the dark, lest someone pick at my nit and ignore the point of the commentary.

  90. Linnea says:

    MLD@83…Duke’s tonight, but you gotta go to Mama’s Fish House tomorrow!

  91. Michael says:

    “Frankly, the most vile sins are far more prevalent today than in past history, especially in Christian Europe of centuries past – where at least such things were done in shame and in the dark.”

    I can make a historical case that it was every bit as prevalent in past years…maybe more so.
    The biblical case is far easier to make.

    We accepted the sins common to us and continue to do so…maybe if we clean up our own house God will move in other places. That is the part of the equation that’s easy to forget when speaking about the sins that disgust us.

    According to Peter we’ve been living in the last days for a couple of thousand years…

  92. I can see both sides of the argument that Jim and Steve have made today.
    But X’s #90 is exactly why people have said nothing for so long on this publicly.

    They would rather walk away and not deal with it than deal with the “outrage”
    People will go to great lengths to avoid a scene.

  93. Michael says:

    Derek,

    If I apply for a job and they Google my name (as most do these days) this article alone will prevent me from getting an interview.
    I had to think about that long and hard before I hit “publish”.

  94. Hmmm.
    Never thought about that.

    As for me if I am ever in that position, so be it.
    It will probably get down to that at some point if the trajectory remains the same.

    Just makes me even more determined to follow my wife’s plan of a self-sufficiency farm for us. Not as much need for a job that way.

  95. Michael says:

    Derek,

    I think about it every day…and it’s why I’m trying to find another way to support myself.

  96. Jim says:

    I think I used to post here using just my last name back in 07. When I started refuge, I knew that using my full name would be a mistake, because google likes it. Brent D used it a couple of times, but I think it’s faded away. My adult kids don’t need dad’s baggage. I didn’t want to be anonymous, so I used my face as a gravatar. SGM knew who I was.

    I need to change it, I guess, because I’ve aged a lot since snapping that pic in 2008. Now I look like a short haired santa with a headache…

    FWIW, my gay friends are as put off by public displays as those who have posted here. They use “parade gay” as an insult. Maybe our view on the issue is clouded by who we know and love.

  97. Jim says:

    Derek has a smart wife.

  98. Michael says:

    Jim,

    We should always let love and grace “cloud” our theology…

  99. Michael says:

    and yes, Derek has a smart wife… 🙂

  100. We have 2 1/2 acres and my wife has plans to convert a lot of it. Larger gardens, goats, chickens and maybe cows.
    The only thing is that it is going to involve a lot of chainsaw work on all the trees in the back. 🙁

  101. Steve Wright says:

    When Tiger Woods was in his prime, there was a common bet amongst sports radio guys…Tiger or the field. One guy would bet Tiger, and the other guy would get every other of the 100-200 golfers. That’s how dominant Tiger was.

    Does anyone think, that if there comes a day when the State seeks to persecute churches in the good old USA, and the pastors and elders that lead them, that it will not have a connection to homosexual acceptance?

    That’s how dominant this sin is in our culture, government, and court system today.

    Homosexuality…or the field of numerous sins in the Bible, all wrong, all needing repentance, all for which Jesus died, all of which would damn a person to hell.

    Who could look at this country today and think “the field” would be the winning bet?

    Name me one sin in the Bible, that we could preach against, that one could see a reasonable chance of trouble with the law one day….other than homosexuality.

    Sure it may be a long way off…or never come at all. But if you would bet on homosexuality in this mythical wager, then you at least can see where I am coming from. If you would bet on something else, I would be fascinated to know what it is…but we will disagree.

    So yeah, as a pastor of a fairly large church that teaches the Word of God weekly, that saw many in the media and government three days ago condemn a guy for quoting the Bible on this one sin (and others) IN CHURCH (not talking about the GQ article, but a Sunday sermon where reading Romans One was involved)….it should give pause and at least a tacit admission that this sin is somehow “special” at least in Satan’s arsenal against the Lord’s work.

    They came for the Christian cake bakers…but I wasn’t one….they came for the Christian photogrphers but I wasn’t one…

  102. Oh, and you are both right. My wife is a smart woman. Far smarter than I am.

  103. Jim says:

    The institutional church in America has had a nice run. It’s quite comfortable, and the consumers can find a place with the lighting, seats, AC temp, preacher, and congregants that suit their fancy.

    Perhaps a dose of persecution is long overdue. What currently passes as persecution in the US is pretty laughable.

    I don’t long for this, and obviously don’t want the fedgovt in anyone’s business, but I do sometimes wonder what God thinks of Sunday in America.

  104. Jim says:

    We assumed you agreed, Derek. If you’re like me, you’re grateful that love is deaf, dumb, and blind. My friends have been asking me for 35 years what I’m slipping in her drink.

    And no, this isn’t a “smokin’ hot wife” post to score points at home. My wife doesn’t read here. Perhaps she should, as I’d be much more… palatable. Or something…

  105. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “If anyone is in the neighborhood, we are meeting at Duke’s tonight for Christmas Eve dinner

    I did a remote there last year when I was working for ESPN 1700 Out of San Diego when i was doing some part time Radio

  106. Lol.
    My wife doesn’t read here either. Much prefers Pinterest and her gardening blogs.

    Oh, and just in case anyone misunderstands. Not doing the self-sufficient farm for the end times.
    Just a good idea, especially as our economy can’t seem to get on it’s feet.
    Also, because I retired from the National Guard, it will be at least 10 yrs till I see a penny of retirement money from them, but I am not counting on it.
    Retirements and pensions are getting cut everywhere.

    I agree, the Church is stronger as a whole and grows crazily where there is persecution.
    I don’t desire it, but I have wondered if maybe American Christianity needs a shot in the arm.
    Just thoughts there.

  107. I am one who does not think that the “state” will persecute the church over homosexual speech. First off which “state” the city? the county? the state, the US? ain’t gonna happen.

    But a question for Steve – do you really preach against individual sin in your church? Not sin in general, but the sin your folks are committing? Do you have a sermon where we hear you preaching to the divorced people in your congregation?

    You know, “this is a special message to those of you sitting here today living in the sin of divorce? etc, etc,etc.

    Here is the problem I see is that preachers preach against sin, but not the sin of their parishioners.

  108. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    To a man, some homosexuals will tell you they started off liking women but started pushing sexual envelopes with them and then when one woman wasn’t enuff they need a third party and when that wasn’t enuff they needed toys and then role playing, before you know it they need to go the ultimate route of being with someone of the same sex. Also some Pastors have led people astray saying that because the marriage bed is indefiled just about anything goes including Sodomy which is not allowed even if between a Man and his Wife.

  109. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Here is the problem I see is that preachers preach against sin, but not the sin of their parishioners.”

    They don’t wanna lose folks. Also is Divorce in itself a Sin? I think the sin is actually in unbiblical remarriage. From what I understand if you have bbilical grounds for divorce then it is not sin. If you don’t, then it is sin but you have a choice to either remain single or get back with your divorced spouse. I always believed it was unbiblical remarriage that is sin and also perpetual adultery. I mean what if a guy has three wives who all died, does that make him a sinner for marrying a fourth time?

  110. SolRod,
    I think most divorces are sinful just by the fact that usually both parties are guilty of breaking up the marriage – oh yes, one may be the one who files against the other, but I am sure their are not guiltless parties.

    The remarriage compounds the sin.

  111. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I don’t like parades anyways, just reminds me of the time my Sister thought Kirk Cameron winked at her back at the 1990 Rose Parade when we all overnighted outside in the cold. Shye couldn’t stop drooling.

    I feel you Jim

    As a father of two daughters I have wanted to reach out and touch a few guys and not to lay Holy hands on them. The only thing that keeps me from doing that is knowing that my Children need me out here and not in Prison.

  112. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Altho the other day I chased a car running down the street in my boxers when some guy and girl came to visit my daughter at Mid Night by throwing little pepples at her window. In retrospect I shouldn’t have done that but I was pissed.

  113. Jim says:

    Shouldn’t have done what? Let him get away? 🙂

  114. dewd4jesus says:

    “Divorce” is allowed in the case of infidelity, however what is actually described is what we might term a legal separation. The marriage is not nullified, you just don’t have to live with that person anymore. The relationship having been violated in such manner,grace is given because understandably the one who was cheated on is probably going to be a bit bitter(hard of heart). But the preferable thing would be a process of repentance, reconciliation and restoration.But that’s a long and difficult road. So, an out of understanding is provided. But the only thing that nullifies the marriage and frees one to remarry is death. So, the man who’s had 3 wives who have died is free to yet again marry.

    This is yet another example of the model of Christ and the church (His bride) and why we had to be crucified with Him on the cross. We are betrothed to another, so death is the only thing which can free us to be joined with Christ as his bride.

    Want to add my two cents to the LGBT discussion, but will firstly leave it until after Christmas. Secondly I will probably email it to Michael first and allow him to decide what needs to be edited. It’s a conversation that needs to be had, but let’s face it, the facts of the matter are offensive. So, while I will write it in a manner I believe to be the least offensive, I will let Michael decide what is and isn’t appropriate.

    Blessings to all and a Very Merry Christmas!

  115. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Jim,

    Sometimes I feel like Michael Douglas in falling down but Thank God for his conviction

    DewdforJesus,

    I know that’s one view altho I believe that cheated spouse can remarry, I do agree thoanything short of adultery and desertion you cant remarry or if u do its perpetual adulerty as long as u stay in that marriage.

  116. dewd4jesus says:

    Solomon,

    I truly would love to believe that that is the case. I have a good friend and brother in Christ in this situation. But after much study and prayer over the past few years, I just don’t find any support for it in scripture. There just remains the fact that a physical bond was created (becoming one flesh) that must be dealt with. Only death does that.

    Always open to hearing and considering other viewpoints. But where do we justify it? All things are lawful? Then does that include murder? Heck why not the adultery too? Not being smart,just legit questions that one has to answer. I’d love to cover it under Grace. And I think perhaps in some cases it may. If I’m already in another marriage when this knowledge comes to me, I can certainly see Grace covering it if God is being honored in the conduct of the new relationship. But again,aside from just a generalized Grace covers everything point of view, which it does not( it can be abused), how do we justify it otherwise? If a person knows what scripture says about marriage….anything outside of that is willful disobedience.
    And, more than likely(though probably not always the case) there’s at least some level of wrong having been done by both parties in the relationship. Doesn’t justify the adultery, but most often there is something that pushed them in that direction. Neglect or abuse, lack of affection/intimacy, whatever it may be, one can legitimately feel as though they need to find that somewhere else. It’s seldom just cut and dry.

    I’d love to be able to tell my friend he’s in the clear with confidence. But to this point I cannot.

  117. Not always on my knees Bob says:

    Dewd4…

    “I’d love to be able to tell my friend he’s in the clear with confidence. But to this point I cannot.”

    I can with confidence tell people they are in the clear when they do one thing, accept and really make Jesus their Messiah (Christ if you would rather like Greek) and Lord.

    Spend some time reading about Samson. The account of this man, who is in the Hebrew’s role of a hero of the faith, describes one of this most despicable men I can think of. Read about his last days here on earth when he is being prepared for sacrifice, does he call on God for righteousness, does he repent for all his sins of chasing women, so what does he do?

    Yes adultery, divorce, sexual sin of any kind is sin and yes some are even more “special” than others, but off the hook? Jesus is my Messiah and Lord and I will confess it from the mountain tops, I can not save myself!

    Now what should people do who sin against the spouses by committing adultery, causing divorce, and so much more tragedy? Repent and ask forgiveness of the one they sinned against and BTW that’s not just God. 70 x 7…

  118. Jim says:

    I’m with Bob. I know people who think that they sin every once in a while and “worry” about the salvation of other Christians. I pray that their friends find new friends.

  119. dewd4jesus says:

    Dangerous place to go, making assumptions about people you know nothing about. I don’t recall anyone making the assertion they were without sin or only sinned occasionally. So here’s my confession, so we can be clear I certainly don’t make that assertion. I struggle with sexual sin everyday. Have since I was 6 or 7 years old. You see in my flesh I’m a faggot, a transvestite, even bisexual as I do like women. My mind runs rampant with deviate sexual thoughts. That is my chief sin, but certainly not my only. But I do my best not to entertain them. When I fail at that, I’m on my knees in repentance and asking for strength to overcome them. And He is faithful. But let’s be clear, I also will never drag anyone else into that sin with me. Including my wife. I all too well understand the power and destructiveness of it. I will not expose her to it in as much as I am able. She needs to know what I struggle with but she doesn’t need details. No one does.

    And I guess that’s my point, why would I drag another person into adultery with me? If one is “divorced” and yet the bond still exists between the former wife, since death has not occurred, you’re dragging another person into an adulterous relationship with you if you remarry. That’s selfishness. If you truly loved that person you wouldn’t put them in that situation. But oh, they shouldn’t have to suffer not having someone? What, God is not capable of satisfying or replacing those needs/desires through His Spirit? Hogwash! He is and He does. I do believe His grace can cover it. But I also am not going to willfully ignore His standard set before me. Yes, all is lawful, but it has consequences too. If you’re willing to compromise in one area, you open yourself to compromising more. Justify one sin, the effects of it fester and you start finding room for others as well. Just the nature of sin. It destroys. We’re not talking about just a salvation issue, but rather the abundance and effectiveness of one’s walk and witness in the here and now. But if you start compromising, well, that’s a very dangerous path. And ultimately may well lead to a loss of that salvation.

    And as to my friend, he sought out my counsel, as well as that of others, including pastors. No one has given him a definitive answer. He also knows there was much wrong in the relationship that was his responsibility. He’s not innocent. To his credit he has handled things once the proverbial crap hit the fan in a manner worthy of praise. He repented, forgave and sought reconciliation and restoration. She was unwilling to do the same. I’m glad he has others giving their two cents, because my opinion isn’t worth that. But hey, he came to me, so I diligently sought what the Lord would tell him. He’s free to do what he wants. Is in fact now dating. Seeks my counsel there too. I don’t and won’t condemn him for it, not my place. But I won’t shy from telling him the dangers I see from my 40+ years of studying the scriptures and from my own experience because I might offend him. Wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t would l ?

  120. Jim says:

    dewd,

    Isn’t the standard interpretation of Matt 19:9 that divorce and remarriage are permitted when adultery is the reason for the divorce?

  121. dewd4jesus says:

    On it’s own, it does appear to say that. However, when you look at Luke 16:18 Jesus here states that anyone who puts away(divorces) his wife and remarrries commits adultery. No qualifier here.The divorce (again, what we would call legal separation) is allowed, but not remarrying. There’s a bond that occurs that’s beyond our full comprehension. Though quite obviously damaged and broken by the adulterous act(s) of the cheating spouse, it’s not gone. So not only does the husband (or wife) commit adultery, but causes their new spouse to do so also. It’s why so many end up in 3rd and 4th and more marriages. There’s baggage in the way of ever producing a right relationship. Can Grace cover it? Can it be made to work? Absolutely. Nothing is impossible with God. I know people for which it does. But in those cases from personal experience/friends, their first marriage was before new life in Christ. So, they were made dead and given new life after the divorce. But even in those situations, baggage existed that caused tension that required much grace from one or both to make it work. That can be a huge hindrance to one’s walk and witness. How much greater witness to be obedient, despite what it costs oneself. I have much greater respect as individuals for those outside the Body who hold to their convictions, than those in the Body who compromise theirs. The world is exactly the same with us. Do we walk what we preach? They look at the divorce/remarriage rate in the Church and say, Why do I need that? It’s no different or better.

    To the baggage/still existent bond. There are physical things that happen when one reaches orgasm. In males 4 separate drugs are released into the body, one of which creates a link between sexual arousal and whatever visual image is in your mind at the time. It’s why pornography is so dangerous and destructive. The others are similar in different ways. It all creates this unbreakable bond. We’re told not to be with a harlot for that very reason. She or the types of sexual activities engaged in become part of your sexual desires permanently then. Masturbation has the same effect. I believe it’s why Jesus said even if you’ve done it in your head, you’ve done it. And by His words there, murder and many other things probably effect our chemistry in much the same way. And these bonds can only be broken by death. Our need to be crucified with Christ comes from this. As unbelievers, we were bound to Satan. In order to become bonded with Christ as His Bride, the bond had to be broken. Only death could do that. In the new life He gives us in His resurrection, we are then free to be bonded to Him. Earthly marriage, being a picture of that relationship, is just the same. While I give the possibility of remarriage being acceptable, it’s certainly not portrayed anywhere in scripture as being preferable or ideal. That would be reconciliation and restoration. Again an out was given in understanding of the hurt that was caused. Matthew 19:9 does appear to say it’s ok to remarry then, but if it’s still adultery for the one, is it not still for the other? The same bond existed in both. I could be wrong. But the version in Luke gives no qualification and simply states that to remarry is adultery.

  122. dewd4jesus says:

    If someone has remarried, consider and keep in mind these issues, but honor God in the relationship you’re in. Not there yet but considering it? Consider these things and ask why you want to remarry. If it’s about meeting some need of yours, then that’s the wrong reason to begin with, even in a first marriage. Marriage is about serving and meeting your spouse’s needs, not yours. That, in a nutshell, is the biggest issue and generally (though not always) is why the adulterer went down that road to begin with.

  123. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “If someone has remarried, consider and keep in mind these issues, but honor God in the relationship you’re in. Not there yet but considering it? Consider these things and ask why you want to remarry. If it’s about meeting some need of yours, then that’s the wrong reason to begin with, even in a first marriage. Marriage is about serving and meeting your spouse’s needs, not yours. That, in a nutshell, is the biggest issue and generally (though not always) is why the adulterer went down that road to begin with.”

    This^^^^

  124. stu says:

    Moses allowed it but it was not so from the beginning. God is able to keep 2 sinners together. The 2 actually become 1.

  125. Nonnie says:

    All this talk about divorce and remarriage and condemnation….I am just glad that the Lord can take a bunch of broken people and redeem the mess we make for ourselves. He takes our junk (the polite word for it) and then turns us into vessels built for honour. I look back on my past in shame, but I rejoice and praise God with such gratitude for my today and for my future. He is so good, so gracious and so kind… and His mercy endures forever.

  126. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “All this talk about divorce and remarriage and condemnation….I am just glad that the Lord can take a bunch of broken people and redeem the mess we make for ourselves. He takes our junk (the polite word for it) and then turns us into vessels built for honour. I look back on my past in shame, but I rejoice and praise God with such gratitude for my today and for my future. He is so good, so gracious and so kind… and His mercy endures forever.”

    No condemnation, just the Word of God which is an offense to some people.

  127. Jesus predicted that just before His return as Judge, there will be a strange, dangerous fad – a spontaneous global steamroller notable for its speed, violence, and impudent in-your-face openness. In Luke 17 He called this worldwide craze the repeat of the “days of Lot” (see Genesis 19). By fulfilling this worldwide mania that’s secretly coordinated by unseen spirit beings, gays are really hurrying up Christ’s return and making the Bible even more believable!
    They’ve actually invented strange architecture: closets opening not on to bedrooms but on to Main Streets where kids can see naked men having sex in “Madam” Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco Brothel District. We wonder how soon S.F.’s underground saint – San Andreas – will get a 10-point jolt out of what goes on over his head (see the dire prediction about cities in Revelation 16:19, and Google “Obama Supports Public Depravity”).
    What’s really scary is the “reprobate mind” phrase in Romans 1:28. A person can sear his conscience so much that God finally turns him over to S, the universal evil leader whose unseen agents can give a “possessed” person super-human strength that many cops with tasers have trouble subduing!
    Remember, gays don’t have to stay bound to their slavery. Their emancipation is found in a 5-letter name starting with J – no, not James or Julia. As soon as they can find out the all-powerful J name, gays will really start living! (Google “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans,” and “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)
    Was Jesus silent about gays? Google ” ‘Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality.’ When gays have birthdays….”

  128. stu says:

    “I’ll take ‘God deals with nations’ for a thousand, Alex.”

    “1945 plus 70.”

  129. stu says:

    “What is twenty fifteen?”

    “Correct. Go.”

    “‘God deals with nations’ for 800.”

    “1917 plus 70.”

  130. stu says:

    “What is 1987?”

    “Correct again. Continue.”

    “I’ll take ‘God deals with nations’ for 600.”

    “The Jeopardy clue is ‘1941 plus 70’.

  131. stu says:

    “What is 2011?”

    “Right again. You’re dominating the category. Choose again.”

    “Let’s continue with ‘God deals with nations’ for 400, Alex.”

    “1861 plus 70.”

  132. stu says:

    No interest?

  133. dewd4jesus says:

    I’ll play. But let’s do it away from here. Everyone else has moved on to this week. And probably don’t have much interest. scott_sevre@yahoo.com

  134. Michael says:

    I’m just totally lost…

  135. dewd4jesus says:

    Michael,

    What events coincide with an action by a nation that God would probably judge them for and then secondly as the judgment 70 years later for 1941 and 2011. Hint- A day that will live in infamy.

  136. dewd4jesus says:

    And then what ended that conflict? In what year? Possibly an event that might cause judgement as well?

  137. stu says:

    Aw, c’mon Michael. You’re many times smarter than I am.

  138. Michael says:

    Pearl Harbor and WWII…and I’m still lost. 🙂

  139. stu says:

    What else was Japan doing in 1941? What happened 70 years later?

    What happened in Russia in 1917? What happened 70 years later?

    What happened in 1861? What happened 70 years later?

    What happened in 1945? What could happen 70 years later?

    This is my response to Irv’s post above. It’s a game. It could never really happen.

  140. dewd4jesus says:

    The United States entered the world into the nuclear age. We dropped the bomb.

  141. Michael says:

    Stu,

    I went blind reading Irv’s post so I never made the connection… 🙂

  142. stu says:

    What major event(s) happened in 1844? The Millerites predicted the return of Jesus. The Adventists were born. 1844 saw the birth of Marxism and biblical dispensationism (or is it dispensationalism?). Darwin finished the first full length draft of Origin of the Species. The inception of the Baha’i faith. Invention of the telegraph. Upon the death of Joseph Smith Brigham Young modernizes the Mormon church. I’m not a historian or even a good researcher. There may be other significant events I missed, such as Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, the founding of the YMCA, etc.

    What happened 70 years later? What hath God wrought?

  143. stu says:

    Here’s one I missed- March 23, 1844 – Edict of Toleration, allowing Jews to settle in the Holy Land. How’s that for significance? 70 years later we have WWI. I’m having fun with numbers.

  144. dewd4jesus says:

    Huh! What a thread. It’s a big complicated mess we make of it isn’t it? So many things we can get caught up on, and miss the whole point. You hit on it in a post the other day on fb. We can even kind of get caught up in the Grace celebration and forget that the objective is Holiness. Grace is what gets us there. And we are to be ministers of it in Love, one to another. We need it. In eternity, I’m going to seek out Paul and compare notes. I think I can at the very least come close to his “chief of sinners” title. Alright, not in the actual realm of things, I didn’t do 99.99% of it because of the control of the Spirit. But I did in my heart. And Jesus says I’m guilty of it then. After 47 years, having decided at 8 that I needed to have a relationship with God through Christ, because I knew exactly who I was. If I’ve blown it, I will still be praising the name of Jesus in hell, because He saved whom He would save.

    I guess on the eschatological side of things, the only thing I can say is, He waits for as many to come to the truth before things become so bad, that even the elect would be deceived if He waited any longer. Are we there yet?

  145. dewd4jesus says:

    And Operation World’s prayer email for the day just told me to pray for the Lord’s return. Hah. And so pray for the souls of the unsaved as well.

  146. stu says:

    dewd,
    I’m surprised that you’re the only one responding to my numbers game. Coincidences are fun! I should write a book. “The Seventy Year Coincidence Game” with the subtitle Will you survive?

  147. stu says:

    dewd,
    Things are worse than they were a hundred years ago but things could get much worse. I agree with you that God is waiting for as many as possible to come to him. Maybe 70 more years. 😉

  148. dewd4jesus says:

    Could be 700. And yes, could get much worse. And I believe will. But looking at the increase in knowledge of the last 50 years, and especially the exponential increase of the last 20 that the internet has existed, I don’t see it being much longer. But I’m not God. And His love and desire for all to be saved, shown through His grace and patience with us, is beyond our fathoming.

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