Friday, April 12, 2013

Drives me nuts when....

It drives me nuts when people respond back to things like whether or not Homosexuality is a sin with Scripture...for instance, one argument as to why people say Leviticus 18:22 is invalid is that people eat pork, shave their beards and so on, so why can't they be homosexual? People divorce, and Jesus says that is wrong in the New Testament. People say the Levitical Law was for the Israelites only and that it doesn't apply to us today.

Here is my response to that. Have you ever read the Pentateuch, also known as the Torah or the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)? God doesn't just say things to hear himself talk. We humans love to talk just to hear ourselves speak...when God says something, you can bet there is a really good reason why. Did you know that God says not to shave your beard because it protects us from the UV rays of the sun? Did you know that pork is one of the most difficult things for the human body to digest? Not only that, have you seen how pigs live? Like a vulture, they're scavengers...you don't eat vulture do you? Eww... It's all about choice. (Some sides argue that all foods are clean...Mark being the best example, however, I personally believe there is a purpose as to why God says not to.)

Here is my point. The Law of the Old Testament isn't just a collection of rules and regulations. It is a lifestyle...guidelines on how to live a fruitful existence. Every single law in the OT is there to keep us from harm in one way or another. It isn't a "because I said so" deal. It's a "because I love you" deal. No, we cannot keep every single law, it's not possible for humans. However, living up to The Law isn't necessary...that's why Christ came to die on the cross...so your sins can be atoned for. Don't argue Grace vs. Law with me because I'll just tell you that because of the Law, we have knowledge of sin and therefore we can have Grace through Christ to be able to approach the throne of God. Remember to filter The Law through Christ because He puts things into the proper light and clarifies things. It isn't, nor should it ever be a New Testament vs. Old Testament argument. Let's quit pitting things against each other. Everything in the Scriptures tie together. The Law points to Christ. Focus on Christ and the salvation He provides. Love God, Love others. The Bible is how we live that out. Remember actions don't save you, only by grace through faith in Christ our Lord; but actions are the temperature gauge of how healthy your relationship with Him is. Rely on the Holy Spirit of God to convict you so you can repent of your evil ways. God beckons. How will you answer?

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Downfall of American Society

I have heard so many people say that 'homosexuality is the downfall of American society'. Back during Roe vs. Wade, I am sure it was 'abortion is the downfall of American society'. Here is the thing...neither homosexuality, abortion, nor divorce is the downfall of American society. Do you really want to know what the downfall of American society is? Sloth and apathy to God's word. We have been breeding generations of children who do not know God's Word...read God's word...study God's word...hear God's word preached unhindered. During all the chaos of the 'gay marriage' debate the past few weeks, I have come to this realization.

I am truly appalled at the number of Christians who are endorsing "same-sex marriage". Even pastors. Multiple denominations have now backed this movement. It begs the question, where are you getting this from?!?!?! I have done a study, which I posted to my blog last week, and found no reason whatsoever to back this movement. I have found more reasons to preach against it than anything. But still, it isn't and won't be the reason American falls...and it is coming. The reason this country will fall is because we have doubted God's word. We have doubted and turned away calling things good which are evil.

This is a call to bury your nose in your Bible. Learn the word of God. Test what preachers, teachers and the leaders (whether church or the country) are saying. Just because the government says something is right, doesn't make it right. Just because the majority of people say it's right, doesn't mean it's right. Quit being so doggone gullible and believing what everyone says. Test it against the Scripture!

Around the holidays of Christmas and Resurrection Sunday, I am always shocked at the people who 'all of the sudden' speak about Christ for a day. Yet, the actions of their lives say something completely different. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but your opinion does not sway Truth. God's Truth is forever and it will remain that way. A lot of people are going to be very shocked when judgment day comes and they find out that Truth is not relevant. Our post-modern world says Truth is relevant which is definitely not the case. There is absolute truth. That truth is God. Either you are on His side or you are against Him. It isn't my job to tell you whether you are on God's side or against Him. I am not the judge. God is the judge. Where you stand is between you and God. My job is to preach the truth and get it out that God's way is the top way...no matter what the majority says.

The downfall of American society is an illiteracy of the Bible. Change that today. Need help? Leave me a message here or on Facebook. It doesn't have to be public...you don't want it public? It'll remain quiet. I just want to help people come to a deeper relationship with God rather than just a surface knowledge. It's never too late until you're dead.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Can Homosexuality Be Endorsed?

The question has come to me regarding homosexuality and how to present it to a child who is considering a homosexual lifestyle. I was asked to come up with various verses, but I then decided it necessary from an uninfluenced point of view to see what Scripture truly does teach about it. I decided to start with the word “homosexual”. This is what I have found.

HOMOSEXUAL

1 Corinthians 6:9

7 Therefore, to have legal disputes against one another is already a moral failure for you. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you act unjustly and cheat—and you do this to believers! 9 Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And some of you used to be like this. 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.

1 Timothy 1:10

9 We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.

These two instances refer to the Greek word arsenokoites which infers male homosexual, especially the one who is in the active role in homosexual intercourse, moreover, male prostitution pedophilia. In those days, men would use young boys in their sexual fornication.

The word malakos in Greek means soft, homosexual, moreover, the one who is the passive partner in a homosexual relationship. The word can mean soft as in to touch clothing, but also ‘soft’ as in a male being feminine.

With this said, just the two instances this particular tense of the word appears seems to be a dead ringer for what we would call in today’s world as a homosexual relationship. In context of these verses, it is described as a sinful, evil behavior.

I then decided to look at various stories from the Bible. Sodom and Gomorrah was the first to come to mind.

SODOM & GOMORAH

Read all of Genesis 18 & 19; but pay attention specifically to 18:20-21

20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21 I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out.”

19:4-5

4 Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

12-13

12 Then the angels said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here: a son-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of this place, 13 for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people is so great before the LORD, that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”

Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for its sinful behavior. Romans 1:18-32 says this about this type of behavior.

18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, 19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
24 Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. •Amen.
26 This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.
28 And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong. 29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know full well God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

Here are some more instances of Scripture talking about homosexual relationships.

Lev. 18:22

22 You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman; it is detestable. 23 You are not to have sexual intercourse with any animal, defiling yourself with it; a woman is not to present herself to an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.

Judges 19:22

22 While they were enjoying themselves, all of a sudden, perverted men of the city surrounded the house and beat on the door. They said to the old man who was the owner of the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him!”

I then decided to look at the covenant of marriage.

THE COVENANT OF MARRIAGE

Genesis 2:18-24, especially 24.

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” 19 So the LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. 22 Then the LORD God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 And the man said:
This one, at last, is bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called “woman,”
for she was taken from man.
24 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.

In addition, there is a charge from God to subdue the earth and fill it. Genesis 1:26-28, how can we do that with two males or two females in a relationship??

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
27 So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”


Matthew 19:4-12& Mark 10:7-8 (speaks primarily to divorce, but that a marriage is a man and woman)

4 “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” 5 and He also said:
“For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked Him, “did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?”
8 He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning. 9 And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it’s better not to marry!”
11 But He told them, “Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been given to. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

1 Corinthians 6:15-20

5 Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? So should I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh. 17 But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Run from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body.” On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. 19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 7

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.
31 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.

Colossians 3:18-19

18 Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them.

1 Peter 3:1-7

3 In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives. 3 Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. 5 For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.
7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Over 500 times the word husband occurs…never once referring to a ‘gay couple’. Not once. There is no basis to conclude that a homosexual relationship is acceptable…in fact, Scripture says it is totally against it. In fact, In Romans 1:32, that we should not even condone the practice, but teach against it.

Here’s the thing. A homosexual relationship is not a Godly thing. Repeatedly it is called sin and evil. Therefore the conclusion is that a “gay marriage” cannot be endorsed nor should it be endorsed by the church. Like divorce and other sins, it needs to be taught as ungodly.

So as the Body of Christ, if we are to teach against it, how do we do that? Encased in love because being judgmental is just as bad…here is what Romans 2:1-11 says.

2 Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. 2 We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. 3 Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. 6 He will repay each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth but are obeying unrighteousness; 9 affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 There is no favoritism with God.

In other words, it was God’s love who brought us to a saving faith in Christ. So should we be telling homosexuals that they are hated by God? Absolutely not! They are loved by God and He wants to see them come to a repentance of their ways and to faith in Him. So, teach against homosexuality, but do not hate them. Love them. Tell them God loves them too and wants to see them come to Him. We all have sinned. Let God be the judge of a person’s heart.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Hunt

Almost a month has passed since Lighthouse and I parted ways. The Hunt for a new ministry is on and things are going well so far. The trouble is, searching for a new ministry doesn't just happen overnight. It takes prayer and discernment on Sherri and I's part, in addition to the church and their Elder's and Search Team. If you really want to know the truth, it's a miracle when a candidate is chosen to serve a church.

I have been thinking about that this week. The miracle that takes place when someone is chosen to be the minister of a church is no doubt incredible. So many candidates put their resume's in at churches when they post it online. It is an extremely difficult task to evaluate every candidate equally and come up with a 'short-list'. So many times we lose sight of the every day miracles that take place in our lives just to keep us on this Earth, doing God's work.

Many miracles are constantly taking place all around you. Do you see it? Answered prayers for a sick daughter and provisions for a place to live. Food and water to nourish our bodies. Sunshine to brighten our day...it's all a miracle! Take time this day to see the little miracles taking place in your life. This day, I choose to be thankful to God for His guidance, protection, and provisions. I look forward to seeing the ministry where God leads us. It will no doubt be a miracle when it happens.

I love and hate The Hunt for a ministry all in the same breath. I love it because I can't wait to see how God puts it together. I hate it because it means change...but as long as God's calling for the change, I will answer. I made a promise to him that I'd follow wherever He may lead. I intend to do just that. So, I will look forward to The Hunt...and then be glad when it's over and we can get settled in. The Hunt...it's intriguing...facinating...go on The Hunt today for God's little miracles. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Count it all joy

Hard times come. Trials come. Sometimes things happen that catch us off guard. Somtimes things happen that make us think that we made a wrong decision. Here's the thing...don't always assume that going through a hard time means you made a mistake. Now don't get me wrong, we sin all the time. However, to think that the entire thing was a mistake is just silly.

Sherri and I are facing just such a trial. The move to Florida is over. We thought for sure that we'd be here for a long time. It had all the potential and makings of just such a move. However, it didn't turn out like we had originally thought. Things changed. Times changed. Circumstances changed. Was the whole thing a mistake? Absolutely not. There was purpose in our being called here. We were called to be here for my mom through a difficult time. We were called here to plant seeds in four young boys lives. We were here to bring the message of change to the church that we carry per God's direction. Without a doubt, it's the shortest calling we've had. But, without a doubt, we've learned the most out of it. We were called here to be shown by God that we are on His time at His direction for however long He dictates. In short...it's not about us...it's about Him.

We have made lots of friends here. We will remain in contact with them and pray as the church seeks out the change in direction that's coming. We pray that during our search, God will dictate, guide and exercise His will over our lives. We look forward to the next challenge. God is good all the time...and all the time, God is good. We are on His time...not ours. With that said, bring on the trials, tribulations and tough times. I count it as all joy to suffer persecution for the cause of Christ (James 1:2-9). I realize that we are being refined in the fire and I thank God and Praise Him for the chance to serve Him in this capacity.

For those here in Florida who know us, do not worry. Pray for God's direction for all. We thank you for the opportunity to serve here and I have no doubt that God will take care of us as we move on into the future. God has a plan...of that I have no doubt. God always has a plan. God Bless you all.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

In the wake of tragedy

It's times like these that we struggle through the 'why did this happen' questions. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to the motives of a tragedy of this magnitude. Even if the authorities do come up with a motive as to why, it still isn't enough of an answer. Nothing seems to fit the why...until you stop to think of the mission God has us on. Make disciples and Love God, Love others. This is our mission.

Satan is going to do everything he can to distort, discourage, and dissolve anything God has planned. Nothing, however, is unexpected with God. He knows all...and through it all, even the killing of innocent children in Newtown, Conneticut. So, then we have another why? Because through this tragedy, God will be glorified. How? Brotherly love. Through this many chances to witness to unbelievers will come of this. My guess is that as a result of this tragedy, like 9/11, many converts to Christianity will be won...and that is what it is all about.

It is obvious that Satan had a hold over that young man who committed this terrible crime, then took his own life. Did he know Christ? I don't know for sure. It isn't my place to say yes or no. However, this is what it looks like to me. This young man was failed by Christians and church communities. We get so overly concerned with our programs, services and outreach attempts that we forget to go out of our way to make a meaningful relationship. What about the kid that sits in the back of the church alone? What about the person you always see getting your gas in the morning who never looks like their having a good day? Anyone is capable of what Adam Lanza did if Satan gains a foothold. However, anyone is capable of being filled with the Holy Spirit and doing the work of God too. We are messengers and if we don't speak up and form the relationships, then quite honestly and bluntly...we've failed...horribly.

So, in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conneticut, let us mourn for the loss of those killed. Let us then move on to try and prevent this sort of disaster again. But, church, let's step up to the plate here. Let's do something about it in our communities. Reach out to the troubled kids or adults. Make an effort to build a relationship with someone. Let's prevent this tragedy again by forming the relationships with others (and Christ) that can make a huge difference. In the wake of tragedy, fill up with God. He's the only one who can fill that void.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A House Divided...

"A House divided against itself cannot stand." This quote is most famously attributed to Abraham Lincoln. However, he got it from a specific source...the Bible...in a few different places, Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:25 and Luke 11:17. Here's the thing. Jesus was the one who spoke these words. How true they are. Abraham Lincoln was President of these great United States of America during the Civil War. It was a house divided then...and honestly...has been since. The South is very much different from the North. Now I have lived in both areas...and I can tell the difference. Yeah, demographics have a play in it...times have changed...but have they?

We are a nation a week past an election. By the look of the county breakout of the 'red' and 'blue' counties, there are far more red than blue. Yeah, those red parts are open country and the blue ones are concentrated population, which is where a good percentage of the population live. But here's the problem. We are a country horribly divided. Look at the strong feelings across party lines in Washington. Look at friendships that have been destroyed or broken in the very least by the differences of opinion on the 'political drama'. There is a huge gulf between the liberal and the conservative. There are now 20+ states that have petitions going on online to suceed the Union. Guess what it all comes down to...morals. Yes, that's right. Morals. No, this is not another rant on abortion, homosexuality or legalizing marijuana. This is about God.

You see, too many people have exchanged the truth of God for lies. They believe a government can fix things...they believe a man can fix things. We've put manmade things above God. The fact that we are so bold to make a claim that we can even purport to make a law concerning marriage between a man and a woman says that we have deeper issues at hand. It says that we've been subverting the Word of God for a long time. Where did it begin? I am not sure. But I know where it starts to get repaired...it begins by realizing that we have no right to 'judge' the things of God. Gay marriage legalization? I say, why should we even have to make a law about it? Doesn't that detract from the authority of God? God has the final say. Putting a 'gap theory' or 'periods' to the Days of Creation in Genesis? Why do we have to explain things? Why can't we just take God for His Word and just do what we are supposed to? Love God, Love Others. There should not be a need to 'explain things', judge or make laws. God's Word is sufficient. He's given us everything we need to know throughout His entire Word.

There comes a point to 'over analyzation'. Studying and gaining knowledge about the things of God are important, don't get me wrong. But it is just as important to act on them as it is to study them. It comes down to Discipleship and Evangelism. "The American Discipleship Problem"...the book God laid on my heart that is now coming to fruition. It's all about discipleship. It's all about action. Act on what Jesus has done for you. Accept Him as your Savior. It is by faith we are saved (Eph. 2:8-10)...however, faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Act on God's action by taking action. Let's restore America to God, one family at a time, one person at a time.