Matthew R. Perry

Archive for the ‘Homosexuality’ Category

Ban Religion!

In Apologetics, Atheism, church, Homosexuality on February 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm

In the early 1970s, John Lennon wrote a very popular song called “Imagine.”

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.

If one were to simply look at the world with secular eyes, a case could be made. In the name of religion, the Crusades occurred, slavery was tolerated in Great Britain and the United States (supposedly Christian nations) and even in the homes men misinterpreted the Bible to inflict a tyrannical rule over their wives, all the while claiming, “Woman, the Good Book says you’re gonna submit to me, so what I say goes, no matter what!” Some even used this logic to physically abuse their wives — again with what they deemed was a biblical warrant for such deviant behavior.

In the spirit of John Lennon, now comes Elton John on the scene making headlines with a recent interview made the comment, “I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. From my point of view, I would ban religion completely.” He promotes the view that religion lacks compassion.

Apparently this mindset is quite en vogue, for Rosie O’Donnell on her newest gig, “The View,” noted that radical Christianity is as big a threat as radical Islam here in the United States. ” It should be noted as well that O’Donnell is a homosexual as well.

But back to John. In the midst of this article, he makes a very salient point that penetrations all of us who worship Christ as the Prince of Peace.

Organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate. The world is near escalating to World War Three and where are the leaders of each religion?

Why aren’t they having a conclave? Why aren’t they coming together? I said this after 9/11 and people thought I was nuts. Instead of more violence why isn’t there a meeting of religious leaders?” he said.

It must be said that having all the ‘religious leaders’ come together is a tall task, especially since so many hold to so many differing views on salvation, the nature of Christ, and other intricacies. So it is difficult, nay impossible, for all religions to come together in any spiritual enterprise (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).

But what about the Christian leaders? What about the unity of those who hold to Christ and His Word? Are we becoming so spiritually minded that we forget Christ put us here as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) as a testimony to His good work on the cross and how those barriers of hostility may be broken down through Him (Ephesian 2:11-22)?

What Elton John and Rosie O’Donnell and others of their ilk have a problem with is the Bible’s view of homosexuality — and that we cannot change because Scripture says what it says. We cannot nor should not re-write the rule books no matter how loudly people yell. Plus, they yell we are being too exclusive in our views — yet they are being as exclusive in their views as we are — even more so, saying that whoever disagrees with them is wrong and needs to be corrected. Yet they add that we are the equivalent of those who are terrorists.

Maybe what should be banned is “bad” religion. I submit that true Christianity, when actually taught, believed, and practiced, will show that ‘religion’ can be good, but also beneficial. Not everyone will agree with us, but at least it will show the truth of Peter’s writings in the Scriptures:

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? [14] But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, [15] but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; [16] yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. [17] For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil 1 Peter 3:13-17, ESV).

They may not like what we say or teach, but when Christ’s love permeates our thoughts, words, and actions, they will see the truth of God’s Word in our lives and be shamed for not embracing the same truth as well.

Even James tells us what true religions should be, and it looks good!

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. [27] Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world (James 1:26-27, ESV).

Of course, the context of James’ passage comes from being ones who are not simply hearers of the Word, but doers as well (James 1:22).

So again, we should be as followers of Christ ones who ban bad and embrace true Christianity.

The world — even those antagonistic to the Scriptures — won’t help but take notice.

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Avowed Atheist Penn Gives Some Prophetic Words For Christians

In Atheism, Evangelism, Homosexuality on December 18, 2008 at 11:19 am

Penn (of Penn and Teller) is a very talented individual who is a very avowed atheist. Yet, he was confronted by a man who is a Christian. Notice Penn’s reaction to this:

Interesting how Penn has figured out what so many Christians should already know. Consider this quote:

I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’… How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?

(HT: Ed Stetzer)

Mohler and Miller Debate the Bible’s Message on Gay Marriage

In Culture, Homosexuality on December 16, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Lisa Miller’s recent Newsweek cover story (December 15, 2008) on “The Bible and Gay Marriage” created a gigantic stir.  If Newsweek was having issues with magazine sales, I am sure that was remedied with this latest issue.  Miller contends:

While the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman. And second, as the examples above illustrate, no sensible modern person wants marriage—theirs or anyone else’s —to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes. “Marriage” in America refers to two separate things, a religious institution and a civil one, though it is most often enacted as a messy conflation of the two. As a civil institution, marriage offers practical benefits to both partners: contractual rights having to do with taxes; insurance; the care and custody of children; visitation rights; and inheritance. As a religious institution, marriage offers something else: a commitment of both partners before God to love, honor and cherish each other—in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer—in accordance with God’s will. In a religious marriage, two people promise to take care of each other, profoundly, the way they believe God cares for them. Biblical literalists will disagree, but the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history. In that light, Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married—and a number of excellent reasons why they should.

In this paragraph, Miller gives away the store with her own ideology that is imposed on the Scriptures.

For one, she believes the “Bible is a living document” rightly saying that the Bible has spoken to generations, but missing that the Bible is living and active because the God who inspired it is still living and active, and He does not change.

For two, she brings into it an “American” notion that marriage (notice that she puts “marriage” in quotes) is a civil institution. Ron Paul rightly noted in his “Revolution: A Manifesto” that marriage was not seen as a civil institution in this country until the early 1900’s, a relatively recent development.

Thirdly, she fails to interact with Jesus’ words about marriage being between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:1-10), which is consistent with what Genesis notes in Genesis 1:26-27. Plus, Jesus does condemn lust (Matthew 5:27-30) which is yearning sexually for another outside of God’s boundaries of marriage. He created it, He defines what it is.

Fourthly, she sees marriage as a merely utilitarian contract rather than a God-ordained covenant that is clearly outlined in Scripture. Yet, if one approaches the Scriptures looking for a rationalization for something they wish to see, they will use that paradigm to filter out and justify away that which does not fit their scheme — which is why Mormons use the KJV Bible, yet still are deviant from evangelical faith.

I recommend you listening to Albert Mohler’s interview with Lisa Miller regarding this issue.  Miller’s article is a classic case of building up a straw man, then tearing it down.  Even so, Miller’s article will fail to sway those who hold to the Scriptures as the truth of God’s Word. 

More on this in the days ahead.

Why Does God Care About Marriage? (Introduction)

In Church Life, Culture, Family, Homosexuality, Sermons on June 30, 2008 at 7:39 am

(This sermon was preached on Sunday, June 29, 2008, at the Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY.)

This morning, we find ourselves dealing with a very difficult topic. Right up front, I want to tell you this: I have committed to what’s called expository preaching. What that means is, a commitment to preaching through particular books or portions of the Bible as they are arranged by the Holy Spirit. Why do I do this? For one, I want to follow Paul’s dual commands to “preach the Word” and to preach the whole counsel of God. As a result of this, I will guard against the tendency of my own flesh to skip over passages that may been seen as overly controversial. This has happened a number of times, and God has always blessed and honored our times together because we have preached and received his Word, no matter how difficult.

This morning, as God’s providence would demand, we will be talking about “Why Does God Care About Marriage?” So if you would, turn with me to Matthew 5:31-32:

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:31-32, ESV).

Jesus here deals with this area with a great deal of seriousness. And by and large, the church of Jesus Christ has dealt with this seriously as well. But there are ways to deal with something seriously. How so?

In this area, our breed of churches tends to deal with the doctrine of marriage and divorce seriously. We hold the authority of God’s Word seriously and with great gravity. But for all too many, they would say they love God but the love of neighbor is decidedly missing. As a result, someone who holds to God’s commands seriously metes out judgment on those who do not. There is a risk of coming at this with such moral superiority in this area that no one looks deeper.

There’s another way to look at it seriously. You can look at this in a way that balances the clear commands of Christ with loving and showing compassion on those who are victims of divorce. We must not only take God’s Word with determined seriousness, but also take those whom he created seriously. Paul’s exhortation to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) cannot be ignored or dismissed.

Some of you sitting in this place have gone through the horrors and the pain of divorce. On the pain scale, divorce actually is more painful than any other event or experience — even more so that the death of a loved one. Some of you may have initiated the divorce because of marital unfaithfulness or even abuse on the part of your spouse. Our hearts break for you, for there is nothing worse than losing the trust of one you love. Some of you may have initiated this because you felt you didn’t love your spouse anymore. My prayer is that you will see that love is not relegated to a feeling but to a commitment, a steadfast love in much the same way that Christ steadfastly loves his church. Some of you here may be the victim of a divorce — you tried and tried and did everything you could, but they refused to. Our hearts go out to you and we pray you will come to Christ for healing and cling to him as your all in all, as one who will never leave you nor forsake you.

The point of this sermon is not, “Four Ways to Have a Happy Marriage,” but is this: how can Christ be Lord of my life even when all around me may try to take control of my heart and mind? And given this, why does God care about our marriages? What are they about? Are they just civil contracts dictated by the state, or is there a connection with the soul as well?

(Tomorrow: God Gave Marriage From the Beginning)

What Can Wash Away My Sin? (Psalm 51)

In Homosexuality, Preaching, Sermons on March 29, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Preached on Sunday, March 25, 2007
Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY

This just in: there is someone in leadership in our country that possess moral conviction. In our culture, that is newsworthy!

I wonder how many people had ever heard of Peter Pace before he made headlines this past week. What is a shame is that this man is our nation’s top military officer, a veteran decorated 48 times over, a distinguished military career. Yet, that alone is not newsworthy enough. On what matter does General Pace have conviction?

His interview with the Chicago Tribune noted this:

My upbringing is such that I believe that there are certain things, certain types of conduct that are immoral. I believe that military members who sleep with other military members’ wives are immoral in their conduct, and that we should not tolerate that. I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.

If you read the papers and see the news on the web, you would believe that General Pace spoke only of homosexuality, but he spoke of all types of immorality and put them on the same level. Whatever his worldview on life, clearly part of that worldview is, but what is clear is that he does not believe sinful or immoral behavior is right and it should not be tolerated among military personnel.

What a tragedy when we come to a point when someone makes a statement like that — and its newsworthy! When Dr. Albert Mohler of Southern Seminary was on Larry King Live not too long ago dealing with the question of homosexuality in the church, one other panelist who was also a clergywoman noted how her relationship with her female companion was “holy and completely natural to her and that she was being who God made her to be.” Dr. Mohler responded by saying, “I have a great sympathy for everyone who desires to have a relationship with God, but that only comes through Jesus Christ — and the gospel is about repenting of sin, not celebrating it!” What an important conviction to have — we must deal with our sin, not tolerate it. We must call sin by what it is — rebellion against a holy God. We must be desperate to kill sin or, as John Owen has said, ‘sin will be killing’ us.

Psalm 51 shows a desperation as David deals with his sin. David, a man after God’s own heart, found himself in a situation in which so many men find themselves. In 2 Samuel 11, it tells of a battle in which the people of Israel were engaged, yet at the end it says, “But David remain at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1, ESV). When we are idle when it comes to the duty God places before us, sin cannot help but transpire. If we’re not following our Father, we’re following our flesh. David gazed out, saw Bathsheba — the wife of Uriah, one of David’s mighty men — bathing. He sent for her, had relations, then tried to hide it by sending for Uriah from the front telling him to go home. Uriah refused and slept at the door of David’s palace. David then sent Uriah to the front of the battle, where he was killed. Once Bathsheba finished with the prescribed time of grieving, David immediately brought her into his house and made her his wife and bore him a son.

So getting back to Psalm 51, you see the title: “To the Choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had on in to Bathsheba.” Nathan, through a clever story, informed David of God’s view of his sin. The consequences? Nathan prophesied that, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me. … I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. … For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.” When David confessed his sin, Nathan said, “The Lord also has put away your sin, you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scored the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die” (see 2 Samuel 12).

Sin is serious business. Rebelling against the living God has serious consequences. Let us learn the lessons from Psalm 51.

1. Until we see our need for help, we will not treasure his hope (Psalm 51:1-6).

We laugh at the jokes where men are driving and are notorious for refusing to ask for directions when everyone in the car knows they are lost. The reason we tend not to ask is that we always tend to believe we know our way out of the situation. We try to play it cool and stay collected. It is only when we are at the end of our proverbial rope do we even think about asking. We’ll not ask for help as long as we believe we can get out of our predicament.

I believe many people reject the idea of sin because they reject the idea that they need help — and thus discount the hope that God provides. David was desperate for help because Nathan confronted him about his sin and because he was under conviction of his sin. What’s the nature of this sin?

Notice he begs God to blot out his transgressions, to wash him thoroughly from his iniquity, and to cleanse him from his sin. By using these terms, David was a student in understanding all the angles of sin. He knew better than to say that sin is simple some mistakes one makes. It’s much more serious. Transgressions comes with the understanding of crossing a boundary God has set between the holy and unholy. Iniquity is an understanding of our original sin — that we were born depraved (which is what David notes in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The term ‘sin’ in verse 2 deals with a falling short, much like what Paul noted in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

As he gets to verse 3, he says, “I know my transgressions, my sin is ever before me.” That is good! It is good to know not only that you have cross a boundary, but that you know where the boundary is! With all the hubbub from General Pace’s comments, our culture tends to avoid the boundary — and anyone who says there is a boundary gets shouted down. We applaud those who say we are more enlightened and have moved on from those boundaries. Yet we must be careful.

So many try to avoid what sin looks like, but they also try to avoid whom their sin is against! When we pollute, we think it is just affecting the next generation. When we commit sexual sin, we think it’s just against us or the one we’re with or against our spouse or future spouse. We think, when we have a rift with someone, we think it’s just against someone. But know for certain who you have sinned against.

“Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” How can David say this? We sin against a lot of people. The sins are our responsibility. Yes, that’s true — but how do you know what a sin is? How do you know where that boundary is? How do you know you have fallen short? You know because God is the one who sets the boundaries — and God is the one from whose glory we have fallen short! And even if you just look at how David sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, those two and everyone on earth are made in God’s image.

2. Untill we treasure his hope, we will not know true joy (Psalm 51:7-12).

We cannot experience true joy in anything while we are still in our sin. What is sad is that so many believe they can. But the bar is set too low. We think he have joy, but it will be like counterfeit money. It may look real, even feel real. You may even fool others and spend that money … but at the end of the day, it’s not real and will be deemed worthless.

Psalm 51:8 says, “Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” Verse 12 also says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation.” Where is this joy coming from? Look at verse 7: “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” The word ‘purge’ literally means to ‘de-sin’ me. David’s heart was so broken over his sin that he wanted nothing more than for any remnants, any traces of sin to be extracted from him.

Notice what the writer of Hebrews 9:19-22:

For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, [20] saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” [21] And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. [22] Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

This hyssop was a small plant that could be easily used for a brush. In the Temple ceremonies, the priests used it to sprinkle blood. In Exodus 12, when the people of Israel while enslaved in Egypt were told to use this hyssop to cover the doorways with blood, so when the angel of death passed over, their firstborn would be spared. So this hyssop of which David and the writer of Hebrews speaks is an expression of God’s mercy — it was used to cleanse and purify and forgive me. Paul says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). What can wash away those sins, dear friends? Nothing but the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Shouldn’t that bring us joy? When we are clean, we are joyful. When our bones are set once again. When we have a God who will hide our sins once forgiven, who will blot out our iniquities from his book, shouldn’t that bring a joy and a delight?

Now notice what David writes and prays in Psalm 51:10-12:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

I had a pastor friend who liked to restore cars. He would take a shell of a car that had been beaten up and wrecked and to those of us who did not have his skill, it looked as if that car could never be restored. Yet he could do it — and do it well… you never would have thought that any good could have come of that.

God not only restores, he re-creates. Only God can create something out of nothing. When we are in our sin, our spirits are wrong — undeniably wrong, and in our view irreparably wrong. Yet God gives us a renewed spirit, a right(eous) spirit. Now we look at verse 11 and think, “David is asking God not to take away his salvation!” Not at all, for once we are sealed in the Spirit, we are sealed in the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). What he is saying is, “I deserve it, so please don’t give me what I deserve. I do not deserve to have your Holy Spirit in me, but I’m thankful he is there to convict so that I can confess and then I can conform to your will and way.”

But again, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation.” Not, restore my salvation, restore the joy of my salvation. We wonder why we have so many joyless Christians. You may wonder, where is the joy? The question you may have to ask is, “where is the sin that robs my joy? Where do I need to be made clean?” Sadly, we are too often blinded to our sin, so we have to ask God to make us see it. We have to ask God, “Lord, make me willing to see it and deal with it and put it before you.”

Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our best-known secular humanists and novelists, said, “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me.” We do! His name is Jesus Christ! He is in the forgiveness business.

3. Until we are broken before God, we cannot hope to please him (Psalm 51:13-20).

Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a distinguished minister, Dr. Howard, from Australia who preached very strongly on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers came to counsel with him in the study. “Dr. Howard,” he said, “we don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin. “The minister took down a small bottle and showing it to the visitor said, “You see that label? It says strychnine — and underneath in bold, red letters the word ‘Poison!’ Do you know, man, what you are asking me to do? You are suggesting that I change the label. Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, ‘Essence of Peppermint’; don’t you see what might happen? Someone would use it, not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die. So it is, too, with the matter of sin. The milder you make your label, the more dangerous you make your poison!”

David writes in Psalm 51:13-15

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

When God delivers us from our sins, our iniquities, our transgressions, the idea is that we will turn around and teach others who are in need of sin. They’ll see the work God has done in you, and “sinners will return” to the living God. When God delivers us from our sin and our self, from “bloodguiltiness,” we cannot help but “sing aloud of [God’s] righteousness.”

When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, he saw himself. He reminds me of a newspaper article in which the writer interviewed G.K. Chesterton. He asked Chesterton, “What is wrong with the world?” to which Chesterton responded, “I am.” Isaiah said:

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. [5] And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

[6] Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. [7] And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.

[8] And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

How we declare the praises of our God and how we sing when we worship is a dogged reflection of how we view God’s mercy and deliverance. Ron should never have to ask us to sing out, nor should any other worship leader in this world! We have been delivered from our guilt. And here is the essence of our worship:

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
[17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise
(Psalm 51:16-17, ESV).

You see, they had grown to where they worshipped the form of worship rather than seeing the function of worship was to worship the Lord God. Worship extends from brokenness. In order for us to be what He desires, he has to break us in order to remake us in his image. We can come to worship and sing and stand and pray and listen in all the right places and think, “I’ve worshipped.” Have you? We can have the right form or worship, but fail in its true function. It’s function is to exalt the lordship of Jesus Christ into all areas of life — where He is predominant.

Romans 6:1-3 says,

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? [2] By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [3] Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”

We have died to sin when we trust in the fact that Christ died for our sins as a sacrifice. We lay our lives on the altar as a sacrifice to him.

Conclusion

The renowned American author John Steinbeck described in his work Travels with Charley a Sunday visit to a New England church. The minister delivered a no nonsense fire and brimstone sermon (remember those?). Note Steinbeck’s reflections:

For some years now, God has been a pal to us, practicing togetherness, and that causes the same emptiness a father does playing softball with his son. But this Vermont God cared enough about me to go to a lot of trouble kicking the Hell out of me. He put my sins in a new perspective. Whereas they had been small and mean and nasty and best forgotten, this minister gave them some size and bloom and dignity. I hadn’t been thinking very well of myself for some years, but if my sins had this dimension, there was some pride left. I wasn’t a naughty child but a first-rate sinner, and I was going to catch it.[1]

After listening to David’s reaction to his sins, and after seeing how God desires to deal with the seriousness of our sin and to lift its guilt therein, how do you see your sin? Frankly, how you see your sin is a reflection of how you see your Savior! Is Christ just a good-ol’-boy in heaven wanting to simply bestow blessings like candy? Or is he more than that — wanting to deal with the primary and most devastating problem plaguing humanity which is our sin? Sin is simply unbelief — believing in the promises of the world, the flesh, and the devil rather than the promises of God through Christ.

[1]John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America (New York: Bantam, 1996), 78. Quoted in Haddon Robinson, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 2nd edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 147.

Mohler on King Discussing Homosexuality

In Culture, Homosexuality, Uncategorized on February 19, 2007 at 11:14 am


Notice how those who hold to gay ministers that they keep saying, “Who I believe God made me to be” and how in her gay relationship, she “feels whole and complete”  — even though Scripture mandates something completely opposite .  We must be who God made us to be as he has revealed in his word. Notice the man who begins to question Dr. Mohler’s use of the word ‘truth.’ It’s the old Postmodern understanding of truth being how we personally define it rather than an absolute standard. Who made that rule? We must keep those who claim the name of Christ, yet divert from his Word, in prayer.

Is Morality Relative When it Comes to Relatives? (Albert Mohler)

In Culture, Homosexuality, Politics on December 12, 2006 at 11:35 am

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, has written a very insightful article dealing with the announcement of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy. Mary Cheney is the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and was the subject of much debate during the 2004 Presidential election.

Click here to read.

Has Religion Lost Its Credibility?

In Culture, Homosexuality, Religious Liberties, Religious Organizations, Theology on November 20, 2006 at 11:19 am

Oliver “Buzz” Thomas wrote an article in the USA Today Opinion section about whether religion has lost its credibility by condemning homosexuality in today’s culture. Thomas is no ordinary journalist — he is a “Baptist minister.” He notes that he is “a former ‘the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it’ kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value.” The operative word in that sentence is the word “former.” Apparently, as the article implies, he has moved on and evolved from that position.

His premise is as follows:

Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God’s followers.

For someone who is a former biblical literalist who seems to turn away from Christian exclusivism, he has now turned to another type of exclusivism. Homosexuality “is not to be condemned by God’s followers.” Direct, to the point — a the phraseology is that of a rule one must follow!

So we have now come to the point in 2006 where we are now enlightened to this? What a privileged age we must be in to now, after 3500 years of obeying biblical law that’s found in both Old and New Testaments and has been understood by civilizations all across this world for all times, whether they adhered to the Bible of not, that this is something one is born with and is not a choice.

Sarcasm aside, they call us arrogant for purporting this truth. How arrogant of them to think that after all this time they have now been enlightened when they have 3,000 years of history who says otherwise.

He goes on:

As a former “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value. But here’s the catch. Leviticus is filled with laws imposing the death penalty for everything from eating catfish to sassing your parents. If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all.

What scares me most is not his logic, but that he is a Baptist minister preaching in a pulpit to people who actually believe he understands the Scriptures. Read the Old Testament in light of the new and you will see that those dietary and ceremonial rituals and laws were fulfilled in Christ who is the end of the law (Romans 10:4) and the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17-18). Now, the moral law is still in place, which I will address in a moment. But Christ has set Christians free from the tedious and laborious nature of trying to appeal and be accepted by God by doing good things. Christ came and said, “By faith in me, you are accepted — now go and obey.”

As for the moral laws, specifically pertaining to homosexuality in the Scriptures, listen/read Thomas’ logic:

What would Jesus do?

For those who have lingering doubts, dust off your Bibles and take a few hours to reacquaint yourself with the teachings of Jesus. You won’t find a single reference to homosexuality. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting and a thousand other subjects, but there is nothing on homosexuality. Strange, don’t you think, if being gay were such a moral threat?

Mr. Thomas’ examination of the Scriptures seems to lie in the fact that Jesus never used the word ‘homosexual’ in a negative way — when in fact Jesus never used the word ‘homosexual’ in any way! So Mr. Thomas’ logic is,

A: Jesus said a lot of things that we should and shouldn’t do.
B: Jesus never addressed homosexuality.
Therefore, Jesus did not have a problem with homosexuality, or he would have addressed it.

But he did! He did, he did, he did! Jesus did address the homosexuality issue, folks. He also addressed the adultery and fornication issue in one verse.

Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Some say, “He’s talking about adultery, not homosexuality!” The issue is, he’s talking about lusting after someone who is not their spouse in a God-ordained way. Jesus also said in Matthew 19:1-6:

Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. [2] And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. [3] And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” [4] He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, [5] and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? [6] So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

God created them male and female — not male and male or female and female. A man shall be joined to his female wife. That’s the order. So when Thomas elsewhere in the article notes that sexual promiscuity is the sin in the Scriptures, not sexual fidelity, he moves God’s boundaries between man and woman. God’s boundaries are not simply between two people who love each other regardless. God provided the anatomical equipment as well as the spiritual foreordained way of connecting two people physically and spiritually.

How sad that so many in our country are turning this into a civil rights issue. It’s more than that. The Bible calls this a sin in the likes of other heinous sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. It cannot be dismissed —

. . . unless you are like Buzz Thomas who seems to have evolved from Scripture.

May God have mercy on those who are entrusted to his pastoral care.

(I wonder if USA Today would take time to print a conservative, biblical, evangelical Op/Ed on this topic! Something tells me that will not be the case. Stay tuned!)

So Jesus addresses homosexuality and every other sexual encounter outside of one man-one woman marriage. He doesn’t have to use the word to address it.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Takes a Bold Stand

In Church Life, Homosexuality, SBC, Theology on November 16, 2006 at 6:50 am

A recent Baptist Press article of November 15 outlines a bold stand the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina took at their recent state convention:

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina strengthened its membership criteria Nov. 14 to specify churches that do not support homosexuality and do not allow homosexuals to be members until they repent.

Messengers voted by nearly a three-fourths majority to change the convention’s articles of incorporation, Article VI.A.3 concerning membership as proposed in the “Sanderson Motion,” brought before the convention last year by Bill Sanderson, pastor of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell.

The original article stated, “A cooperating church shall be one that financially supports any program, institution, or agency of the Convention, and which is in friendly cooperation with the Convention and sympathetic with its purposes and work.”

(To read the rest of the article, click here.)

As with most discussions concerning polity in Southern Baptist churches, the question of autonomy arises. Does an outside entity, even within the denomination, have the right to accept into their membership those whom the Bible states are engaged in sinful behavior such as that of homosexuality? There are those who claim that SBC churches are autonomous in nature with no outside intervention able to run the operations of the church.

Yet the Southern Baptist Convention is unlike many other denominations in that the members of those conventions have a say-so as to the doctrinal boundaries and distinctives. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC, stated:

Neither I nor the convention sought out this issue. It is important to know that this reflects biblical standards we all can unite on. This in no way attacks a person caught in the grips of homosexual behavior. This is the establishment of a standard for the North Carolina Baptist Convention.

No one sin is worse than another. As believers, we have a responsibility to stand against an agenda which is contrary to Scripture. Nothing would please me more than if this discussion was unnecessary. However, this convention must stand with courage.

On the other side of that coin, Nathan Parrish, pastor at the Peace Haven Baptist Church in Winston-Salem felt this result was unproductive.

We should have more conversations with each other rather than cast stones at each other. Having the right to exclude does not give us the right to exclude. This creates another layer of board-driven committee oversight and power.

“Conversations.” What is there to talk about when the Scriptures are so clear? It’s time for us to quite thinking we can have conversations to come to some compromise and listen to the commands of Jesus and His servants.

More on this later … but I am proud of the BSCNC of their stand. There’s hope for the SBC yet!

Walmart: Gay friendly and proud of it

In Culture, Homosexuality, Politics on November 1, 2006 at 1:30 pm

walmart.jpgErin Roach of Baptist Press writes a very disturbing article about the direction Wal-Mart Stores are taking:

On its official walmartstores.com website, Wal-Mart promotes its alliances with homosexual groups along with other minority groups on a webpage devoted to diversity.

Under the heading, “Relationships with Minority and Women Constituent Groups,” Wal-Mart says its diversity relations division “establishes and maintains productive, trust-based partnerships with women and minority stakeholder groups, community leaders and suppliers to continually improve Wal-Mart’s reputation as a socially responsible enterprise.”

“Wal-Mart is building strong and valuable relationships with key national leaders and leadership groups,” the statement says, adding that Wal-Mart leaders met with and supported a number of leadership groups, which are then listed.

Among a list of minority groups including African Americans, Asians, women and Hispanics is a subheading called “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender.” The groups listed under that category are the Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Out and Equal (Workplace Advocates) and The Point Foundation.

The Human Rights Campaign, according to its website, “is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

While the verdict for me is still out on how effective petitions and boycotts are at the end of the day, I still believe it is important to understand other people’s and organization’s worldviews in order to deconstruct their belief systems and show the merits of Christianity and that worldview. Ford, Wal-Mart, and many others are quite “out” with their desire to not only include but it seems to pander to these organizations who desire equal rights.

Yet they desire equal rights based on lifestyle choices (that’s where I stand, I can do no other) rather than those who desired equal rights but were deprived of them based on gender, skin color, and country of origin.

What should be of most importance to everyone is not whether they as a citizen are receiving their “rights,” but whether they are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven?

1 Cor. 6:9-11
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [10] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.