These actions of these pastors who (I will not name but their initials are Tony Spell and Rodney Howard-Browne) defied orders to not “congregate” are not obeying the authorities placed over them, are endangering lives, do NOT represent Christ, Christianity or me as a Christian. You only have to remember the 60 choir members who, legally, went to a choir practice on March 10th in Washington State if you have any question as to what will likely happen to the congregants of Tony and Rodney’s churches. Of those 60 who attended, 45 contracted Covid and so far 2 are DEAD. We are supposed to be spreading the spirit of Christ and the Good News, NOT a deadly virus. Shame on these pastors who actions represent arrogance and selfishness and they are NOT placing the health and welfare of their people as a priority. Bad, VERY bad form.
There is a 5th column within the church itself which is growing ever stronger advocating the church “get on the right side of history” or become irrelevant and die.
From what were we saved and redeemed? This may sound like a rhetorical question. Light was shown on the sin of man by the giving of the laws of God. This was done in order for him to realize his need for God and the need to be cleansed from the curse of sin. It’s not as though sin is just some bad habit we should eventually be rid of, but more like some agent of death we must be rescued from lest we be destroyed in hell.
Wow, that last line makes it sound like there is some Holy God out there who will cast us into outer darkness unless we convert to His way of thinking. Yea, pretty much. But unless you come to the realization and appreciation that He loved us so much that He sacrificed His only Son in order to make it possible for that to NOT happen, it can be made to sound really intolerant and judgmental.
In 2011, Rob Bell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Just a few of years earlier he was named one of the 10 most influential Christian leaders by The Church Report. For some time Rob has been leaning heavily towards the Christian Universalism tenant that there is no eternal physical punishment (i.e. hell) and more recently he has fully embraced same sex marriage.
I am only somewhat familiar with Rob Bell, but there are millions who hang on his words. So when he says ‘the Church will “continue to be even more irrelevant” if it continues to cite the Bible’s prohibitions on homosexual behavior’ referring to the Bible as some “letters from 2000 years ago”. I guess there are a goodly number of people who stand up and take notice, especially when he says it shoulder to shoulder with the Big O herself (Oprah).
And here is where it really gets twisted. In referring to the church’s battle against same sex marriage his wife states that “there are churches who are moving forward and there are churches who are almost regressing and making it more of a battle”. Rob followed with “I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. … You sort of die or you adapt … we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.”
Rob attempts to denude God’s anointing on the writers of the New Testament to “some people wrote something” 2000 years ago. “Those letters” were written to encourage us to repent of our destructive sinful ways, follow Christ and be saved from eternal punishment. But that has now been flipped on it’s head and it’s now we the church who, Rob Bell claims, must repent of our commitment to that holy living and revert back to a time before “those letters” when living sinful lives was vogue – or die. In other words, what was considered destructive and sinful living for 2000 years has all of a sudden become NOT sin, or at least not consequential as it relates to hell, and any commitment advocating the avoidance of sinful living has been turned on its head and has now become the destructive thing?
So with all the martyring of Christians around the world in Libya, Nigeria and many other countries highly populated by Muslims on almost a daily basis you may have thought your commitment to Christ might at the worst put the choice before you to convert to Islam or die with the name of Jesus on your lips. No, brothers and sisters, it’s much, much worse than that. In order to “get along” in this generation, you will have to deny over 2 thousand years of church history, deny those faded silly letters, deny the testimony of the saints, deny your own experience with God and even deny the purposeful sacrifice of Christ – or, as those heretics claim, it is you will become irrelevant and die.
Mark 9:42 & Matt. 18:16 (a couple of verses from “those letters”) – With all the people stumbling and being led astray by Rob Bell and so many others like him, I suggest there are not enough millstones in the history of mankind or deep enough oceans on the planet to satisfy the wrath of a Holy God on those who are arrogantly saying that His detailed plan of salvation, to include the painful sacrifice of His beloved Son on the cross, was a stupid waste of time since everybody gets to heaven either way.
I don’t always watch the State of the Union, but I did last night. For me, someone who follows the news and has been one of those for whom the last few years has seen our middle class families reaping the benefits of a booming economy, there were not a lot of surprises. But what did surprise me was that it seemed the Democrat’s hate for Trump has so clouded their perspective that they could not celebrate with the rest of us all the truly good news that there is in our country, for blacks, Hispanics, women, Asians, blue collar workers, the middle class, factory workers, etc. I get it, we completely disagree on the legalized murder of babies in their mother’s womb, but the vast majority of the rest of the news was in the plus column for all Americans. You couldn’t even cheer a young black girl receiving a school scholarship or show support for the father of a son slain by an illegal immigrant. I saw some Democrats applaud a few strategic announcements while at the same time not understanding why the lowest unemployment rate for blacks in history was not important but a 100 year old black air force great grandfather was – aren’t those both fantastic? You can cheer for a family reunited but not for the news of great advancements for women in the workforce – really? It truly is a sad state of affairs when hate for a terribly flawed president is the only focus while ignoring the glaring fact of our own flaws. The divide is great, but it’s time to take a stand for what is good in our country.
I’m all for equality when it comes to the genders, I think women have been superior far too long:). But in all seriousness, last night’s Super Bowl commercials and half time show was sure sending a mixed message when it came to women. There were several commercials highlighting the amazing abilities of women and emphasizing that women can do incredible things – to which I say yes and amen. These commercials were appropriate and respectful and in line with the “Me Too” movement striking out against the objectifying and abuse of women. Then you have a halftime show that had JLO stripper pole dancing while wearing a crotch emphasizing outfit. This nasty exhibition objectifying women was in complete contradiction and contrast to the efforts of those respectful commercials. Progressive culture wants to have its cake and eat it too – well I’m going to call it what it is on its face – complete and utter hypocrisy.
Just when you thought things can’t get any crazier, progressives prove you sooooo very wrong. This past week had a liberal sports magazine (Outsports) label Fallon Fox the “bravest athlete in history”. Fallon Fox is a guy who dresses like a girl (in modern terms – transgender) and has decided to mask his sick and misogynistic desire to beat up women by hiding in plain sight in the MMA fighting ring. Understandably he always wins and has twice broken the skulls of his opponents forever altering their lives. This is nothing more than a guy taking gross advantage of women! Where is the Me Too movement? Where are the police? Why haven’t a bunch of real guys to taken this piece of slime out back to the shed and given him a taste of his own medicine. Why? Why? Why do we put up with this fringe and deviant stupidity? Where can it go from here? Up is down and right is wrong and sanity has left the building and it feels like the fat lady is preparing to belt out the final stanza of human history. Bravery???? This guy is the pure definition of a huge pile of chicken @#$% who couldn’t hack it fighting guys and saw women as an easier target. Unbelievable!!! I’m done ranting now.
As we are on the brink of another denominational split over same sex marriage (The Methodist Church), I decided to read what I understood to be the most comprehensive book trying to explain, from a Biblical perspective, support for same sex marriage. The book is by Matthew Vines and is entitled “God and the Gay Christian”.
Matthew takes several approaches to the subject and, for those who have not devoted their life to the love, study and reading of scripture, he comes across as knowledgeable in his arguments. But when looked at more academically, Matthew takes the most obscure possible interpretations of some words, reads volumes between the lines in other cases and conducts Olympic quality gymnastics to pretzel his arguments into statements that appear to challenge 3000 years of traditionally held prohibitions in scriptures as it relates to homosexuality and same sex activity. Not to mention that he quotes a plethora of secular philosophers. But I will only focus on one of his more impassioned arguments – Forced Celibacy.
The 3rd chapter of his book entitled “The Gift of Celibacy” is a central theme for the whole book in which Matthew puts forward the emotionally touching argument that for the same sex attracted person, the traditionally held “non affirming” position on homosexuality and same sex marriage relegates the same sex attracted person to a life of forced celibacy, denying him/her the freedom to express his/her desires for the rest of their life.
Here is the problem with that argument. As compassionate and inclusive at it sounds on the surface, that is actually the same struggle every one of us must address when faced with our own attractions which do not line up with scripture. Just fill in the blank with the various attractions we all have that are prohibited in scripture whether greed, anger, gluttony, steeling, drunkenness, murder, gossip, lying etc. I’m sure I just touched on probably everyone reading this blog and you can attest to the life long struggle you have had to engage in to deny yourself the freedom to participate in these various abominations/attractions. We are all “born that way” or with a sin nature that manifest itself in a myriad of tendencies. Why should we give a special status to those with same sex attraction? Do they somehow put their pants or skirts on differently than the rest of us who may struggle with say anger (my attraction). Why is it somehow different for me to deny my anger “attraction” for my whole life, essentially “forcing” me to try and be kinder and gentler for the rest of my life and yet there is some special status assigned for those with same sex attraction.
Some will argue that we should affirm same sex activity because it involves love or because it involves consenting adults. But the same can be said of that TV that I love and am tempted to steal or adultery and sex before marriage which also involves two consenting adults and “love”. Or how about that beautiful buffet that I love and am gluttonous towards or having that third, fourth or fifth drink while out with friends. We ALL face wrong desires and yes, we face them for our WHOLE lives – Gen. 4:7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.
And just to be clear, as I don’t want to hyper focus on just one sin, we must all engage the battle for holiness regardless of the sin you are attracted to. Don’t give up, don’t give in, keep fighting, keep your eyes on Jesus, keep resisting and keep winning those daily battles in our desire to please the Father.
The bottom line is that we are called to holy living as defined clearly in scripture and if you want to unrepentantly live otherwise you are free to do so. Just don’t call yourself a Christian or practice your attraction within the Body of Christ as that is both blasphemous to our Holy Father and false advertising to the world at large.
I absolutely LOVE Chick-fil-A and it has been my go to “fast food” for decades. This past weekend Chick-fil-A announced that they were going to stop supporting certain Christian charities, such as the Salvation Army, that support education, homelessness and hunger in preference to non-Christian charities that support education, homelessness and hunger. Did they not hear the story of last week when Ellie Goulding who threatened to not sing at the Cowboy’s Thanksgiving halftime show if the Salvation Army didn’t jump through certain hoops proving that they serve the LGBT community. The Salvation Army DID NOT cave but simply provided the, already obvious, proof that they faithfully serve that segment of society in their commitment to not have some litmus test for who they serve. Ellie Goulding wisely walked back her threat and is going to sing.
Really, Chick-fil-A??? Can no one in your corporate office read? Does no one in your corporate office listen to the news? Are the lights even on in your board meetings so you can see your growth chart over the past 10 years? You have only benefited and grown to become the #3 fast food company in the nation as a result of support from almost every sector of American society because they could see though the pathetic accusations and attacks from the far far left (and because you make a killer chicken sandwich). Now you decide to betray that support and trust by capitulating to the far far left. What’s next, opening on Sunday? This will not end well for you as evidenced by GLADD’s response yesterday saying that you didn’t go far enough. And as sad (and hungry) as it makes me, this writer for one will choose to go elsewhere when I can from now on. Where is the nearest Popeyes anyway?