Tag Archives: same sex marriage

Editorial: Put A “C” Behind Your Name (November/December, 2015) – Jon Mitchell, Editor

As 2015 ends and 2016 comes upon us, those of us who follow political current events in the United States are continually reminded that 2016 is an election year. As we pick the new leaders of our country, let us remember that “the most High rules the kingdoms of men and gives it to whom he will” (Da. 4:32; cf. Ro. 13:1ff). God is in control, and whoever is placed into office, whether it be the Oval Office or the mayor’s office, is placed there ultimately by God.

So as the election nears, what should Christians do? We must pray (1 Ti. 2:1-2), and we must preach (2 Ti. 4:2). We must pray for leaders who will promote godliness and righteousness because righteousness will make our nation greater (Pr. 14:34). We must preach righteousness (cf. 2 Pe. 2:5), the righteousness of God’s Word (Ps. 119:172).

Some are against this, thinking that when we preach about subjects which the world has deemed political we are actually not preaching for God but for a party instead. The truth is that Christians who preach God’s Word do not preach for a political party, whether it be Republican, Democrat, Tea, Green, Libertarian, or any other party. We are Christians. We belong to Christ. We don’t owe our primary allegiance to the Republican or Democrat party, so we don’t have a “R” or a “D” after our name.

We are Christians. We belong to Christ.

We have a “C” after our name.

We preach Christ, his will, his worldview. Like Noah, we preach righteousness. Is it right that we do so? Is it right that we preach righteousness when it comes to the direction our leaders take our nation? Certainly so, because righteousness exalts nations (Pr. 14:34).

God’s Word gives us guidance concerning the choices we make should we choose to vote next year. For example, the Bible tells us that our leaders must be truthful. Such men were recommended by Jethro to Moses to help him lead Israel (Ex. 18:21), and such men are promoted by God to sit on the throne (Pr. 16:12). Rulers are not to listen to falsehood (Pr. 29:12), but are to be honest, truthful men and women.

We need leaders who hate covetousness as well, who would never rule for sheer money alone (Pr. 28:16; 29:4). In America (and in other countries, I’m sure), we have a problem on both sides of the aisle with this. Many politicians vote the way they’re told to vote by whoever contributes the most money to them. We need people in power who don’t care about special interest groups, men and women of integrity who will vote for what is moral and right no matter how much money they’re offered to do otherwise.

We hear so much about how the economy is the most important factor in this election…but is that really true? To the one who puts a “C” after their name rather than a “R” or “D,” the primary issue behind their vote is not the economy. People who put a “C” after their name would rather live in a nation that had a little wealth alongside great amounts of righteousness than live in a nation with great revenues alongside great ungodliness (Pr. 16:8). Solomon brought Israel so much wealth and prosperity, the most she would ever have in her history (1 Ki. 10:14-29)…but he turned to idolatry and thus did evil in the sight of God (1 Ki. 11:1-6). He led Israel into ungodliness (1 Ki. 11:7), and is it any coincidence that the nation’s economy got worse and worse over the years until it finally split apart (1 Ki. 12:1-20)? What’s even more important, however, is that because of Solomon’s ungodliness, the Lord “voted him out of office” (1 Ki. 11:9-14). Which was more important to God? The fact that Solomon made Israel richer…or the fact that Solomon was immoral?

God’s Word also shows us that we need leaders who surround themselves with wise counselors (Pr. 25:5; 29:2; cf. 1 Ki. 12:6-15), who are tough on crime (Pr. 20:8, 26), and who do not oppress the poor while also refusing to enable the lazy (Pr. 28:15; 29:14; 31:9; cf. 2 Th. 3:10). Above all, those who put a “C” behind their name will not go into the voting booth without making their paramount consideration a search for leaders who respect human life and God’s plan for marriage.

Why must we look for those who respect human life? Because of the One who gave it (Ps. 139:13-16). When we kill the innocent, we tell God, “You’ve made something that doesn’t matter to me, that I can discard whenever I want.” Every election nowadays has abortion come up as a major issue when it comes to whom we will cast our vote, and many believe that they can…and should…make a distinction between their loyalty to God and their loyalty to the one for whom they vote. However, such is not the case. Long before politicians grabbed hold of the abortion and marriage issues, God had already legislated on these matters. It’s not fair and right for someone to say, “Now that a political group has taken this and turned it into a political football, we Christians are now muzzled and can’t talk about it because that would be bringing politics into the church!” No, what has really happened is that politics took God’s issue and tried to make it theirs, and they can’t do that. God spoke on this long before any political party thought to, and those who put a “C” behind their name will stick with God.

God inspired Luke to use the same Greek word to describe the baby inside the womb and outside the womb (Lk. 1:44; 2:12). He also showed that babies are innocent (Ro. 9:11-13; Ez. 18:1-20), and then stated that he hates hands which shed innocent blood (Pr. 6:16-17). Thus, killing that innocent baby inside the womb is just as much an abomination in the sight of God as killing an innocent baby outside the womb.

Are voters who put a “C” behind their name going to purposefully give their support to someone who says the murder of these innocents should be allowed to continue? Are we going to give our support to people who say, “If you elect me, I’ll see to it that this DOES continue”? Are we supposed to look the other way and stick our heads in the sand and say, “Well, if I vote for them anyway, maybe somehow and someway these abortions will just stop happening”? Are we supposed to know that babies are being murdered…and yet it’s not supposed to matter when we’re in the voting booth? How can a Christian cast a vote for a politician who has blatantly promised to perpetuate that which God has called an abomination?

Concerning God’s plan for the home, we all know that it’s politically incorrect to condemn homosexuality and same-sex marriage these days, especially since the “Supreme” Court nationalized it. How sad that we’ve come so far in the wrong direction as a nation! Our very first presidents and congressman would have all unhesitatingly condemned homosexuality as sinful if asked about it, whereas these days most politicians from any party would be crucified if they quoted what the Bible says about homosexuality and gave their support to Scripture. Many scream, “How dare you bring religion into politics?” concerning this issue, yet the better question would be, “How dare we throw the Bible out the window and put our own, flawed wisdom in its place and tell each other that we can’t preach the truth about this?!” I can still preach this and will continue to do so until I die…and you must also. We must not be ashamed to preach Leviticus 18:22, Matthew 19:4, and Romans 1:26-28.

We are living in times when owners of private companies can be crucified by governmental authorities and the media simply for agreeing with the biblical definition of marriage…and it’s time for a change. If those who put a “C” behind their name know for sure that a candidate is promising us, “If you elect me, I will promote same-sex marriage,” then how can we knowingly vote for a politician and act like they never said it?

It was not a Republican or Democrat who died for our sins (1 Jo. 2:1-2) and will judge us on the last day (Jo. 12:48). If a politician has a moral stance on marriage and abortion and his or her party is trying to do moral things concerning them, and yet they happen to have a “D” after their name when I would rather it be a “R” (or vice-versa), should I ignore where they stand on God’s issues and vote primarily because of that “D” or “R”? Not if I seek God’s righteousness first (Mt. 6:33), which applies in the voting booth as it does in all other areas of life. If we put a “C” after our name, we must vote for the candidate who is closest to righteousness.

Christians, the Republican party doesn’t own us. The Democrat party doesn’t own us. No party does. Christ owns us. We were bought with a price (1 Co. 6:20). We belong to God. That’s why allegiances to political parties must never override allegiance to Christ. Instead, everything we do or say must be his authority and bring glory to him (Co. 3:17; 1 Co. 10:31)…including what we do in the voting booth.

Jon

carolinamessenger@gmail.com

 

The Gay “Marriage” Bandwagon – Ben Giselbach

Not long ago in our nation’s history, homosexuality was taboo. People commonly looked at homosexual behavior with disgust. Laws were enacted to outlaw various actions attributed to same-sex attraction. But now culture has very rapidly performed a 180-degree shift. A majority of Americans – particularly younger Americans – now approve of homosexual practice.

What happened? Those who support the acceptance of LGBT behavior adopted arguments that became particularly compelling to young people.

This should not come as a surprise to us. The Bible teaches us that homosexuality is a subject by which it is easy to be fooled. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither […] adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, […] will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Here are some arguments that have proven to be very effective at duping people today:

Gay “marriage” has been packaged like a civil rights issue. I think Millennials grew up reading in their history books about the 1965 civil rights marches in Alabama and thought, “I would have liked to have been a part of that.” Today, homosexuality has become the moral equivalent of being black. This is very interesting, as the social conversation about homosexuality is no longer about what you do, but about who you are. If I were a black man, I would be deeply offended by equating 2015 with 1965. Christians understand that in reality, the issue is not about identity, but about choice. You cannot choose to be black, but you can choose to practice homosexuality (cf. 1 Cor. 6:11). Your temptation does not define you, but your decision to act on your temptation does. Jesus was tempted, yet was without sin (Heb. 4:15).

Gay “marriage” has redefined love. The words of John Mayer’s song, “You love, who you love, who you love,” resonate with people today. Most now think, “There’s enough hate in the world, and here are two men who love each other; what’s wrong with that?”

Our secular world has cheapened “love” to mean “sexual attraction,” and the marriage bed has become the pinnacle of romance. Society’s idea of marriage, which has devolved to merely signify a time-period of commitment, is only a shabby duck-tape attempt to replicate true biblical marriage.

Knowing the new definition of “love,” are you ready for the ramifications of this argument? If society supports a relationship simply because of “love,” what else must society eventually support? Surely a man can “love” his dog. Surely pedophilia can be committed within a “loving” relationship. Surely it is wrong to continue prosecuting teachers for “loving” some of their pupils. Surely a woman can marry several men with whom she is in love.

For Christians, it isn’t about consensual sexual intercourse, but about truly loving God and His Word. It isn’t real love if I allow someone to enter into a relationship with me that God calls “sin.” Eternity, after all, awaits us. A truly loving relationship is founded on the bedrock goal of helping one another get to heaven. It more closely resembles hatred if I am willing to place myself between someone else and heaven.

Gay “marriage” is now seen as progress. Homosexuals have long been able to support one another and enter into covenants with one another. The Supreme Court on June 26, 2015 gave very few freedoms that were not already enjoyed by practicing homosexuals. But it isn’t about rights (they already had those rights); it is about gaining society’s approval.

When Lot had the audacity to deny the men of Sodom their demand to gang-rape his male guests, they replied, “Now he has become the judge!” (Gen. 19:9). Does this sound familiar to the argument used today? “Stop judging us.” “Who are you to say we are wrong?” It isn’t about rights; it is about finding affirmation after God has called certain behavior wrong. People don’t want to be seen as being on the “wrong side of history,” so they go along with this so-called “progress.”

Gay “marriage” has redefined tolerance. If you refuse to endorse homosexual behavior, society will quickly label you as “intolerant.” That is because “tolerance” no longer means peaceful coexistence with contrary views and belief systems. Today, “tolerance” means full support. Either you embrace homosexuality or you are a rotten, bigoted person full of hate. (That escalated quickly, didn’t it?) In the eyes of society, it is impossible to be both compassionate to homosexuals while disapproving of their actions.

With this word game, no wonder young people are supporting gay “marriage” in droves. After all, who wants to be seen as a bigot? They don’t want their peers to think they are “closed-minded” – or worse – “intolerant” (gasp, the thought!).

Now that the courts, the media, and public opinion favor gay “marriage,” what can we do?

  1. Prepare for these arguments. Sometimes we fail to keep ourselves up-to-speed with culture. We are often more aware of the problems of the past and easily have answers to those problems. But times have changed, and Satan has found new ways to package sin that will appeal to a new generation of thinking. Cultural Christianity has already bowed to the pressure to approve of gay marriage. Now, more than ever before, it is important to think like God thinks and live on every drop of God’s Word. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).
  2. Prepare our children for these arguments. This goes without saying. But so many of my peers have left the Lord’s Church because their parents did not prepare them how to handle these arguments. I know many children of preachers who have left the church because their fathers failed to equip them with ways to respond to postmodern and emergent arguments in favor of homosexuality (and a host of other issues). From the very beginning, our children need to know what is natural and what is unnatural and unpleasing to God.
  3. Start with the basics when talking to people who support gay “marriage.” When talking to my friends and neighbors who practice or approve of homosexuality, I rarely talk about the sinfulness of homosexuality. Why?They don’t know what sin is. Before you can establish that practicing homosexuality is wrong, there is a host of other issues one must first understand. First, one must believe in the God of the Bible. Second, one must believe in the Bible and the extent of its authority over our lives. One must understand the concept of sola scriptura, that the Bible is not a fluid document, and that God’s Word never takes a back seat to culture. Third, one must grasp the concept of sin, know Who Jesus is, and understand the nature of salvation.If someone does not understand these things, they will never understand the truth about homosexuality (and they will look at you like a close-minded, intolerant bigot).
  4. Think about our words. Because culture now supports gay “marriage,” it is important to choose our words carefully. There are more people who want to demonize your biblical convictions than there are people who tolerate (the old meaning of the word) them. Before you write or say anything, just assume your words could easily appear on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. In other words, don’t say stupid things. If you consider how your words could be interpreted from all sides, the truth will become even brighter.
  5. Model biblical sexuality. The darker our world becomes, the brighter Christianity should shine. Sin brings guilt, confusion, sadness, and doubt. Christians should model what a happy marriage looks like! A truly happy and fulfilling life can only be found in living God’s Way – following His law rather than our own reasoning (Prov. 14:12; Ecc. 12:13; Eph. 2:10).
  6. Rejoice when we feel the pressure. One of the greatest honors is suffering for Christ’s sake. Secular America is particularly hostile toward New Testament Christians. When we face name-calling, loss of opportunity, fines, or lawsuits – we should rejoice! Knowing how unworthy I am of God’s grace – it is an honor to be shamed because of the Name I wear. Glory in these verses:

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” (Phil. 1:29)

“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” (Acts 5:41)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:10)

plainsimplefaith.com

First Stop: Homosexuality. Next Stop: Pedophilia – Spencer Strickland

The lengths to which society and government have gone in order to force acceptance of certain sinful behaviors is nothing short of appalling.  As of this year, 9 states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington).  Additionally, it is legal in the nation’s capital for two members of the same gender to marry.  Those who know what the Bible truly says about homosexuality sigh in disgust at such abandonment of basic moral principles.  Both Old and New Testaments condemn the practice of homosexuality (in spite of the efforts by some to suggest otherwise).  Sodom and Gomorrha’s sin of homosexuality was at the heart of God’s reason for destroying them.  As one recalls the incident at Sodom with Lot and the two angels who appeared as men (Gen. 19:1-3), the men of Sodom asked Lot, “Where are the men which came in to thee this night?  Bring them out unto us, that we may know them” (Gen. 19:5).  The Hebrew word for “know” is the same word used in Gen. 4:1:  “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.”  Thus, it is obvious what went on in Sodom and it is clear that God destroyed Sodom because of their wickedness (Gen. 19:24-25).  One might say the divine commentary on this event is found in Jude 7:  “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities around them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire [emphasis mine, SS].”  A few passages in the Old Testament describe homosexuality as an “abomination” (Lev. 18:22; 20:13) which credible and reliable Hebrew lexicons define as “a disgusting thing.”  Finally, Paul’s discussion of women changing “the natural use into that which is against nature” along with “the men, leaving the natural use of the woman” and consequently lusting after one another is a clear condemnation of homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-27).

Faithful gospel preachers have striven to inform folks of the sin of homosexuality based upon God’s Word.  In addition to informing folks about this sin, there is a warning preachers sometimes attach to it.  Namely, if homosexuality is viewed as “normal” and same-sex marriage is accepted, then what is to stop society from embracing other perversions of God’s definition of marriage?  Now that homosexuality is being embraced by government and society, efforts are being made to suggest that pedophilia might be viewed as normal and acceptable behavior.  Pedophilia is defined as “sexual desire in an adult for a child” (“pedophilia”).  According to a recent article published in the British newspaper The Guardian, “There is a growing conviction, notably in Canada, that paedophilia [alternate spelling of the term, SS] should probably be classified as a distinct sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality” (Henley).  In this article, Sarah Goode who is both an author of two studies on pedophilia and a university lecturer is quoted as saying, “There are a lot of people […] who say: we outlawed homosexuality, and we were wrong.  Perhaps we’re wrong about paedophilia” (ibid).  This article underscores the fact that when sin is tolerated and accepted on any level, it opens the door for any and all toleration of sin.  Returning to the first chapter of Romans, where he wrote of the condemnation of homosexuality, Paul went on to give a laundry list of other sins that Gentiles were openly practicing like fornication, covetousness, maliciousness and murder – just to name a few (Rom. 1:29-31).  The final verse of that chapter says of these Gentiles: “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:32).  How is it that anyone could “take pleasure” in folks practicing these sins?  How could American society and government take pleasure in championing the cause of same-sex marriage?  How could anyone ever take pleasure in viewing pedophilia as “normal”?  The answer is found in Romans 1:28 – “they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.”

The legalization of same-sex marriage and the acceptance of homosexuality as normal behavior is a clear step towards an all out rejection of God and His will.  If the entire country legalizes same-sex marriage, it is only a matter of time before such perverted behavior as pedophilia is accepted as indicted by the article cited.  Once this behavior is accepted, what is next?  For instance, what will stop such perversions as bestiality (sexual desire of humans towards animals) from being viewed as normal behavior and just another “sexual orientation”?  Long ago, Isaiah proclaimed, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20).  In essence, government and society are “calling evil good and good evil” by accepting and legalizing these ungodly behaviors.  It is important, then, that Christians stand against these behaviors and stand up for the Word of God (Jude 3).  It is important that preachers inform congregations of the wickedness that continues to be promoted in society and government.  It is important that Christians insist that the home be defined as God defines it and to teach others that definition (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-5; Eph. 5:31).  Finally, it is important that every child of God beseech the Heavenly Father for help in stemming the tide of gross immorality practiced, endorsed, and legalized in this country.