Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pornstars, Homosexuality, and Christ

In light of many on the Religious Right, the title to this blog may startle some.  What does Christ have to do with Pornstars and Homosexuals?  The answer is, "A lot!"

The media today is ripe with calls for Christian churches to accept homosexuals because the message of Jesus is available for all people.  What they are really asking for, is for Churches to condone their behavior because they were "Born that way.". They are asking Christians to embrace homosexuals and not expect them to change. 

Central Lutheran Church in Seattle, WA is one such church.  Their "About us" section states this:

We are clear that the Gospel is for all people. We affirm and joyfully welcome people who are gay or lesbian, offering the full life of the church in blessing them, and we gratefully receive the special gifts of all. -

They willingly accept homosexuals and embrace them in their condition and tell them that they are OK in God's sight just as they are. No need to repent and be transformed.  They are dead wrong.

It is true that Matthew 11:19 says that Jesus was a friend of sinners.  Does that mean that he allowed his friends to remain in their state of sin?  Absolutely not.  He called them to be "Born Again" (John 3:3).  They are to repent (Matthew 4:17) and be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2).  The church quoted above thinks that being a friend of sinners means that you allow them to happily remain in their sin. That is not what Jesus did. He called them to repent, and he gave them what they needed in order to repent. 

Christ and His church love all people, including homosexuals.  Homosexuals are more than welcome in our church.  They are welcome the same way that adulterers, thieves, liars, murderers, blasphemers, rebels are.  With open arms and a call to repentance.    They are called to be NEW creatures in Christ.

When a sinner joins our church, we begin the process of discipleship which allows the Holy Spirit to bring about the necessary changes that occur during sanctification.  While the sinner may continue to struggle and fall back in, they never embrace the sin and try to justify it as "OK" in God's sight.

A great case in point:  Recently, a famous porn star, Jenna Presley, was called by God to repentance and pronounced her Faith in Christ as her Savior.  You can read the whole story here:  World's 'hottest' porn star gives life to God

When the Savior was revealed to her she declared: 

"“Thank you, Jesus! I found Him, I’m home!” she declared, announcing that she has become a born-again Christian. ... I have finally encountered the unconditional love of God, and I will never go back"

What you don't find are Christians screaming that she should be allowed to continue her life as a porn star and still be considered a Christian.  No.  The church is welcoming her with open arms and are ready to help her fight through the difficulties that are still to come.  The true mark of a Christian is one who puts his/her hand to the plow and never looks back (Luke 9:62).  The true mark of a Christian is also one who puts his/her hand on the shoulder of a brother or sister who struggles with a particular sin and to lovingly help them fight the fight.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2, ESV)
Christians are called to help each other bear our burdens.  That does not mean that we are called to allow people to continue in sin, but rather to help them battle against it.

The bible says this about homosexuality:
Or 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, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 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. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV)
You can see from the text that many of the Christians being addressed by Paul were former homosexuals.  But he does not condone their former lifestyle.  He does not say that they can remain in the sin of homosexuality as a born again Christian.  Instead, he calls their attention to the restoring power of Christ who "washed them" and made them new. 

Does Jesus have anything to do with porn stars and homosexuals?  Absolutely.  He calls them out of a life of sin and embraces them into a life of holiness through the Holy Spirit.  Are porn stars and homosexuals worse sinners than any Christian in any church?  Absolutely not.  We are all sinners.  We are all born that way.  And Christ calls us all to be born again.  Not to continue in our former way of life and not to justify it as somehow pleasing to God, but to repent and turn from our old way and embrace the Savior.

If you are a Christian who condemns homosexuals and porn stars as worse sinners than you, or if you are a porn star or homosexual who think self-righteous Christians are worse sinners than you, than visit this site and check yourself to see if you are righteous enough to enter God's kingdom, regardless of how sinful others may appear:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where Is God?!?

I recently read an article by Frank Schaeffer in the Huffington Post that demanded (he didn't really ask, but rather accusingly demanded) to know where God is when suffering occurs. Schaeffer says,

"Where is God when a child is shot in Newtown or hung in Auschwitz or killed in an American drone air strike or for that matter dies of cancer? I don't know. There is no answer."

Schaeffer doesn't allow the reader to consider options, but definitively declares that "there is NO answer" (emphasis mine). His accusations continue further and insinuate that God borders on being a monster and is guilty of Depraved Indifference:

"If the creator could intervene personally when it came to the magic tricks in the Bible like making the sun stand still for a day in a battle, he could have done something about that child gasping out his young life. He didn't. Theology that tries to paper this horrible fact over with explanations about why there is evil is nothing but nervous blather. "

Depraved Indifference is a punishable offense in the united states. It is defined as

"conduct [that] must be 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime."

To put all of this another way, Schaeffer has judged God and found Him wanting. Schaeffer expects that God should tremble in the hands of angry sinners who demand answers. Schaeffer's sense of morality and understanding of right and wrong trump any revealed definitions of God's morality or decreed lines of right and wrong and leave God guilty. In Schaeffer's world, God has no right to stand by and allow suffering, much less decree suffering.

We don't have to look far in scripture to find that this argument is not a new one. As Christians, we can easily answer this, because our Lord Jesus was asked this very question, and answered it directly. In Luke 13:1-5, some people in the crowd that were listening to Jesus preach challenged him in the same tone that Schaeffer challenges God. They wanted to know about two current events of that day in which seemingly innocent people were killed. One had to do with political violence in which the leader of that day had killed people for their religious views, and the other had to do with a tower that had fallen over and killed 18 people. The text does not tell us who the 18 were, so one can surmise from the text that it may have included some women and children. Where was God in all of this? Was God just in allowing such tragedy to occur?

What was Jesus' answer? He simply answered both events with these words:

"No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” 

To Schaeffer, and all who would challenge God's actions in His universe, I would say that there IS an answer to where God is in all of this. We are not left to wonder why bad things happen in this world. God calls us not to wonder about others, but to examine ourselves. Unless WE repent, WE will all likewise PERISH!" God is not an Evil Guilty God in the hands of Righteous People, but rather, People are sinners in the Hands of a Righteous and Holy God. We should tremble and examine ourselves, and seek repentance.

Should God intervene to stop all tragedies, whether "natural" or "man-made?" Should he step in and prevent sin? I tell you, he is going to. The bible says that he is coming again to judge the living and the dead.

Psalm 96:13 before the Lord, for he comes,for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness
Acts 17:30-31:
"now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 

If God returns right now to put an end to suffering and death, he will have to remove all sin. That includes everything and every ONE who practices sin. Are you ready for Him to return and do that? Will you survive such a purge of this planet?

Instead, God is patiently waiting for you to repent and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for the sin of all who repent and trust in him.

2 Peter 3:9-10: "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodieswill be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed."

God is just as angry as Schaeffer that this world is full of sin and misery. And He has promised to come again and make all things right.

As with Schaeffer, there are many who look at the sins of the world and assume that God will judge on a curve. That somehow, they are better than those whom God should punish. Each person should privately consider these matters, but they should do so on God's terms, not their own. If you want to know how you measure up against God's standard so that you can know for sure what your fate will be on the day that He WILL return to set things right, go to to take the test. Be honest as you do, and be ready to have your world rocked.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Evangelism 101

1. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring conviction in the heart of a sinner by discussing God's Holy requirements as outlined int he moral law of the 10 commandments.

2. Watch for conviction - do not proceed until conviction is discovered.

3. Allow the weight of that conviction and the consequences of eternal hell to be fully realized by the sinner so that their spiritual tongue is wetted with a desire for righteousness and for deliverance.

4.  Reveal the glorious work of the Son who died to pay the price for those who repent and trust in Him for salvation.  Salvation is being reconciled to the Father, by the work of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.

5.  Call the sinner to repent, and to make Psalm 51 their own prayer and to read their bible every day.