For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Just Like Me Church" -A New Church Plant Idea (revisited)

I just read an article about a "Rock and Roll Church" here in Missouri, and it reminded me of this little tirade I posted about 3 years ago.  When will we learn to just "be the church" instead of having to coddle the culture?  I haven't changed my mind, because I don't think the Scriptural principles have changed, so let me just repeat that old post here:

So here’s the idea. I’m going to start a church for NASCAR fan turkey hunters who like loud Christian rock music and collect antique hymnals. I’m sure it’s a subculture in America that isn’t being reached yet, so I’m going to “become all things to all men that I might win some.”

Now, before you pooh-pooh the idea, let me tell you what I was recently told. You need to be more open minded. You need to learn to think bigger and realize that there are “cultures” out there that won’t be reached by the traditional church. So what’s wrong with my idea?

Well, here’s what’s wrong with it. It seeks to find people who are just like me. I want to hang with people who look like, talk like, think like, dress like, and view life just like me. And those are the people I want to reach out to. That’s what’s wrong with it.

Of course, I guess I’m the only one who sees it as wrong. The discussion started when I told someone that I thought things like Cowboy Churches and Biker Churches and so on were unhealthy for the Body of Christ. Scripture tells us “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28, ESV) The early church sought to “tear down the dividing wall” between Jew and Greek, various cultures, etc. The modern church is trying to build them back up.

Look, I don’t care if you like acting like a cowboy. I don’t care if you like putting on leathers and riding a motorcycle. That’s great. More power to ya. But being a part of the Body of Christ means bringing your “likes” and your personal preferences into the Church, into the Body of Christ, adding to our diversity, and then yielding those likes and preferences to Christ. You don’t have to do away with them, you just have to begin to view them as less important than Christ; less important than the Body.

Our problem is that we’ve elevated our “culture” (in reality our personal preferences) above the Body. My “culture” is more important. Instead of seeking unity in the midst of diversity, we’ve focused on homogenous groups that are just like me. I can’t help but think of the old, old Emo Phillips joke that was at one time considered among the best religious jokes ever. It goes like this:

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

“Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

Just like me. That’s the way I like my church. Now don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about “universalism” of belief. I’m not talking about watering down doctrinal standards. The Truth is the truth, and Scripture is our standard.

But as this person told me: “The message is the same, but the methodology can be changed.” And while there is some truth to that, the methodology that seeks only to make people comfortable with others just like them isn’t really healthy for the Body of Christ.

Think about all the “one anothers” in Scripture. Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, etc. Much of that is harder to do when we’re with a bunch of folks who are different from us. It’s a greater challenge to put others first when those others are different than me. Likewise, the challenge is lessened when everyone already acts, thinks, looks like me anyway. And I think that’s the point. We like to take the easy way out. We don’t like to have to work at being the Body of Christ. Our maturity in Christ needs the challenges.

But, since I’m the only one that sees it this way; since I’m the nut case who needs to be more open-minded, I’ll play along. So any of you NASCAR fan turkey hunters who like loud Christian rock music and collect antique hymnals, drop me a note and we’ll arrange for time to start our club…I mean church. And everyone else can go find their own.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Geek Moment #?

It's been so long since I've done a "Homeschooler Moment" or the rarer "Geek Moment," that I'm not even sure what number to title it.  But anyway...

My oldest daughter comes to the church with me to do some online stuff before I take her to work at the library.  I have a small 5 cup coffee maker in my office, which I use to brew my coffee one mug at a time after freshly grinding the beans.  But I digress. 

I started a cup of coffee and went to the other end of the building.  When I come back, my daughter is a bit freaked out.  She tells me, "I knew you were in the building, but you didn't answer your phone when it rang, and I didn't know if someone else was in the building, and all I heard was Darth Vader's breathing coming from your office!"  

Because, yeah, evil Sith lords stop by for a visit on a regular basis....

Actually, I just think it's great that this is the first thought in her head.  We must have done something right in raising her!

Side Note:  After spending a year in Germany, she tells me that no one there was surprised by the epic Vader reveal of "I am your father, Luke."  Because in German the word for "father" is "vater" and so they all just assumed Darth Vader was the "dark father."  Hmmm...

Side Note 2:  If you're looking for a nice Christmas gift to go along with this whole discussion...

Friday, August 7, 2015

National Lighthouse Day and A Call to the Church

I know you've heard the story before, in one form or another.  Here is the version posted on a sermon illustration site:

In U.S. Navel Institute Proceedings, the magazine of the Naval Institute, Frank Koch illustrates the importance of obeying the Laws of the Lighthouse. Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing reported, "Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
"Is it steady or moving astern?" the captain called out.
The lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.
The captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: 'We are on a collision course, advise you change course twenty degrees.'"
Back came the signal, "Advisable for you to change course twenty degrees."
The captain said, "Send: "I'm a captain, change course twenty degrees.'"
"I'm a seaman second-class," came the reply. "You had better change course twenty degrees."
By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, "Send: 'I'm a battleship. Change course twenty degrees.'"
Back came the flashing light, "I'm a lighthouse."
We changed course.

I love that story because it speaks of authority, and our need to bend to it.  I also like it because it's about a lighthouse.  I love lighthouses.  My office is filled with them.  Paintings, figurines, various lamps and models, even a giant puzzle I put together and framed.  I love lighthouses.

Today is National Lighthouse day.  According to one site: "On this date in 1789, through an Act of Congress, the Federal Government took over responsibility for building and operating our nation's lighthouses. They recognized the importance to ships at sea to find safe harbor during fog and storms. Over the years, these lighthouses have saved many ships, and an untold number of lives."

I love lighthouses because of the symbolism as well.  A beacon of light bringing direction, comfort and even warning to travelers in dangerous waters.  It's a perfect symbol for the role of the church, and for those of us in ministry.  Songs have even been written.

I think we need lighthouses more now than ever.  Our nation is in such dangerous waters.  The moral decline has morphed into a moral landslide.  Terror threats increase regularly.  We need a solid authority to give us warning, to give us direction, and to bring hope and comfort to those lost at sea.

God is that authority, and we, the church, are His lighthouses.  We need to shine the light of the gospel into the darkness of the world around us, giving warning, showing direction, offering hope.  And we need to stand firm on His truth. 

The world will try to throw its weight around, try to cause us to back down, change course.  But we know the truth.  The world is the one who needs to change course because they are headed for the rocks of destruction.  God's truth is the solid ground, the only true way to safety. 

So stand firm on the truth of God's Word.  Our world is headed for disaster, and they are desperately need of the truth whether they realize it or not.  And we are here to show the way to safe harbor, in hopes of saving lives, and maybe a nation in the process.  Be the lighthouse.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Uh-Oh The Real Truth is Comin' Out

That's right, I just titled this with hip hop lyrics from an old Flame cd.  But I feel like it's pretty appropriate.  Part of that song goes on to say:

The media's lying the T.V. is lying, and guarantee the streets ain't telling the truth
So what you want me to do?
But point to the Bible for more than survival
But God's word that be speakin' to you, they God breathe its true

OK, get past the loose grammar of the hip hop and consider the “truth” part.  If nothing else has been learned in the last few weeks, with all the revelations coming out about Planned Parenthood, it's that none of them have been telling the truth.  In fact, we're now told that 8-10 more videos might be coming out soon.  Sadly, our President's administration has responded by opening an investigation, not into PP, but into the group exposing them.  Uh-oh, the real truth is comin' out.

But before we get too excited about this (though we should be excited, no, outraged as this fine article says); let's turn those eyes of truth back toward ourselves and ask if we are ready for the truth to come out.  What does that mean, you ask?  Simply this.

When it's the enemy's dark side coming out, we all scream for the “truth.”  We want all the dirty details to come out.  We want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  But do we hold ourselves to the same standard?

I can hear the protests:  But we're not selling baby parts!  No, we're not.  But the truth of Scripture is that your heart is just as black in its natural state as those who are.  Uh-oh, the real truth is comin' out!  We don't like that kind of truth, do we?  But all of God's Word is breathed true, including the truth of the sinfulness of our hearts. 

We say we want the truth, but we often don't hold ourselves up to the standard of truth set forth in God's Word.  We like the convenient truths that make us feel better about ourselves.  We like the truths that make those we dislike look worse.  But truth is a double edged sword, cutting both ways.  If we want to stand for “truth”, then we need to look to God's Word and stand for ALL of it. 

Too many in the church are falling for false teachings, half truths, worldly ideas.  That issue needs to be addressed as much, if not more so, than the horrors of PP.  As Flame also says in that song:

See it's a war and I done stepped into it
And I'm on the team of the rescue unit
For the following people..
1. Ones who caught up in false doctrine
2. Non-believers ignoring the sin problem
3. And new saints, so while my mic is on
All I've got is the truth and a warning

Indeed, all we have is the truth.  The truth of God's Word.  We need to let it's light shine into our own hearts and lives as much as we want it to shine on the sin of the world.  And there are so many applications of that.

For one thing, it means truly being dedicated to the truth.  That means not passing things around the internet simply because we like it, never testing to see if it's actually true.  How many times have Christians been guilty of passing along some quote that was never actually said by the person it was attributed to, or sending along some story about this or that latest conspiracy that a simple search would reveal isn't true, or any number of other simple ways we ignore truth?

On the other hand, or on the more serious side, there are so many caught up in the cheap gospel tricks of the Osteens and Meyers of the world, whose messages aren't any different than Oprah's or even a fortune cookie for that matter. (here's a great little piece on that).  No sound biblical truth to be found, but Christians everywhere buy into it; again, pass it around the internet; join the crowd because it feels good.

We need truth.  We need to be devoted to truth, in all it's forms.  The truth we speak to others, the truth of what we pass along on social media, the truth we accept from anyone claiming to be a teacher of God's Word. 

We need The Truth.  No matter how uncomfortable it might make us at the time, God's light needs to shine on our hearts and lives just as much as the light of truth needs to reveal the despicable acts of baby killers. Sin is sin, in my life just as in others'.  We all need Christ.  Apart from Him we are all lost.  Apart from His grace, my sin is just as vile and damning as those in the PP videos, and I am just as much deserving of His wrath.

And so, if that's true, the real truth that needs to come out is not just that these people are disgusting and horrid in every way imaginable; but that they need Jesus.  So don't just yell and scream (though again, in our outrage, a little yelling and screaming needs to be done on this particular issue).  But pray for these folks.  Be willing to share the love of Christ with them and those who support them. Only God can change their hearts.  Fight for the lives of the innocent children being butchered, but also fight for the eternal souls of their executioners.  I know it's hard, but it's what the Truth demands. 

So, if you can handle the truth, enjoy a little hip-hop truth from our man Flame from “back in the day.”  (full lyrics can be read here)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another (Huge) Domino Falls

As you are probably aware, the Boy Scouts of America are the latest national organization to give in to the Gay Agenda Juggernaut.  Having stood by their convictions for so long, they finally caved in, citing that they could no longer "legally" resist.

Joe Carter has written a wonderful response over at the The Gospel Coalition blog, in which he bemoans the fact that we are teaching young men that principles aren't worth standing for if it means a legal challenge.  He also rightly points out that many churches and faith-based organizations have also fallen prey to that mindset.  Principles are worth standing for, as long as you don't face opposition and legal challenges.

Somehow that doesn't seem to fit with the portrait we have of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin being commanded to stop speaking of Christ and responding: "Sorry, but we can't help it." (slight paraphrase).  Truth is worth standing for in all circumstances. 

Now, I realize the Boy Scouts are not a faith-based group, certainly not a Christian one.  I grew up in Scouts and had a good experience, in fact came across many good, godly leaders.  But the organization isn't Christian.  In fact, after spending three years doing mission work on a Sioux Reservation, I came away a bit uncomfortable with the Scouts' glorification of Native American religious ideas and rituals.  

Still, for the longest time, BSA has been a place of moral conviction.  Standing up for principles of right and wrong because they understand that the principles they stand for are the foundation of good citizenship for the young men in the program.  It breaks my heart to see them finally give in to the pressure of the Gay Agenda. 

The new lesson we are giving young men is simply that principles are good and worth teaching, but not worth fighting for if a minority of radical activists applies legal pressure.  The lesson is that activist judges are too powerful and fearful to stand against.  The lesson is that truth is only worth standing for when the standing is relatively easy.  This lesson is more harmful than all the Native American junk theology I was worried about. 

I hope that Mr. Carter is wrong in saying that, given this latest step, "maybe our country would be better off without the Boys Scouts of America altogether."  Even more, I hope he is wrong in saying that faith-based organizations will follow in this attempt to "preserve the organization" at the expense of truth and values.  

These are indeed perilous times for those who seek to stand on Biblical principles.  The secularization of culture has reached a new high in this nation, and the activism of the minority continues to frighten many into silence.  But again, the threat is no greater than what the church has faced for generations, and indeed faces even today around the world.  

I pray God will raise up men and women of conviction who will continue to stand for truth, even if it means "the organization" will fall.  Better to have an organization fall than to have the principles on which we stand be demolished.  Here's hoping this latest falling domino will do more to motivate people of character than to end up crushing others in it's wake.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's A-liiiii-ve!


It's been nearly a month since I posted here.  Part of that has to do with the fact that we took some time off to go pick up our oldest daughter after her year in Germany. (Anyone wanting to read her exploits can do so here.)  We decided to take some time to spend together as a family since we had to make a trip anyway. 

Then, when we returned, church "stuff" was in full swing.  In addition to VBS (going on right now, and you all know how much time that takes!), and other fun things, we've had several major crises for some of our families.  It's been a busy, stressful time.

So I get online to check out my little corner of the blogosphere, and to my amazement it's been nearly a month since I've posted here.  Wow.  Sorry.  Anyone still there?  I know I had been slowing down anyway, and probably losing some of my wide range of regular readers.  *Ahem*  Now, it may seem as if this is dead space completely.  Well, moreso than usual. 

Anyway.  So much has happened while I was away.  The horrific murder of church goers.  Banning Confederate flags while making deals to fund terrorists in Iran.  A terrorist attack right on American soil killing 5 US Marines, while this Administration completely ignores it, along with much of the media (guess if the gunman was a cop instead of a Muslim, and the victims were criminals instead of US Soldiers, it would have garnered more attention, but...)  And now the unveiling of the horrors at Planned Parenthood that many of us have been convinced of for years.   Oh, the continued decline into the moral cesspool.  

In case anyone is still here, and in case anyone cares, I hope to resume spouting off about these things and many others in the days to come.  When life returns a bit toward normal.  Well, more normal.  Well, more in our regular routine anyway.

In the meantime, how about enjoying this amazing bit of recorder magic.  Just because.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Trumps God? Again....

Below is an article I posted two years ago to the day.  Not surprising that what began here has found it's fruition in the decision by the US Supreme Court to "legalize" homosexual "marriage."  Yes, I use quotes, because the terms have all been redefined.  I am sickened and saddened that our nation has come to this point.  But I have no organized thoughts to respond.  So I simply repeat that post from two years ago.  Unlike the SC, I don't think the truths have changed in that time....

In the beginning God...

God, the Creator and Sustainer of all life.  God, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.  You'd think His opinion counted for something.

In the begining God created the heavens and the earth.  And He created Man.  And then seeing that it was not good for man to be alone, He created Woman.  He commanded them to become one, to go forth and multiply, and to subdue the earth. Man and Woman, together.  That's the essence of marriage, according to God, from the beginning.  But not according to the Supreme Court.

Today, the US Supreme Court struck down a "core" portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it "unconstitutional."  It's wrong, they said, to treat gay "marriages" as "second tier" relationships.  But why should it be considered a "tier" at all?  Marriage is defined as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of mutual edification and the procreation of mankind.  At least, according to God.  you know, that One who was there at the beginning and invented the thing.

All of this comes on the heels of hearing that in France, one local mayor is currently facing jail time for refusing to perform a gay wedding.  With the SCOTUS decision, that same scenario is looming here in the good ol' US of A. (note: and now it's here!)

We just don't get it, do we?  You can't "redefine" something that was defined by God.  It's like saying, "OK, from now on, mountains are not mountains.  From now on, we'll call them trees and demand that they grow and reproduce like other trees."  No, it's a mountain.  It doesn't work like trees.

Marriage is not "redefineable."  It is what it is.  You can call aberrant relationships between men and men, or women and women (which are unable to produce a main biological function of marriage) whatever you want, but it is still not a marriage.  Shouldn't be treated as one.  Shouldn't be given the respect of one.  Etc.

I know that the world at large, enslaved to sin and self, will never recognize the reality of God's existence, let alone His law, apart from the grace of God opening their eyes.  I understand that we live in a fallen world, and fallen people will continue to seek out whatever their fallen flesh desires.  But in the end, the truth remains.  Regardless of what the SCOTUS or anyone else says, marriage is still marriage.  It is still theologically, morally, biologically, historically, and naturally the union of one man and one woman.  Nothing will ever change that.

And if one day I find myself in a jail cell along side that French mayor for refusing to perform a gay "wedding", then so be it.  You can't force me to say an immoral relationship is a marriage any more than you can force me to call a mountain a tree, or in the case of the original "Big Brother" that 2 plus 2 equals 5.  Words are just words.  It doesn't change the reality.  What God set forth in the beginning still stands. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Beautiful Bride

My Beautiful Bride
for Cheryl on our 26th Anniversary

My beautiful bride, sometimes I can
Hardly believe this wonderful plan
Our Father has shown
Making us His own
And giving you me, so I'll never be alone

We started as friends, and we still are
Though our bond has certainly come far
You stood by my side
My beautiful bride
Our journey begun, so that we as one abide

We've been one for twenty six year now
And sometimes I really wonder how
Your love keeps its pace
It must be His grace
That makes your love sing, through all of the things we face

I know that Christ is our greatest prize
But sometimes when I look in your eyes
My beautiful bride
Your heart open wide
I think I would die, if you were not by my side

I'm thankful for Christ, our great treasure
Still I'm so grateful for the pleasure
Of my precious wife
In joy and in strife
My beautiful bride, I'll stay by your side for life

With all my love,

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Things That Make You Go...AHHHHH!!!

Confession time.  I watch late night TV.  Not nearly as much as I used to.  I used to watch the old Letterman late, late night stuff.  Can't handle those late nights anymore.  But occasionally I hang on after the local news to catch an opening monologue and maybe a bit more.  I don't know why. Half the jokes make me cringe, the other half probably should make me cringe.  And thrown in there now and then is one that just makes me want to scream. 

To show off more of my sinful late night past...does anyone else remember Arsenio Hall?  Back in the day (notice my hip lingo) he had a show that was pretty popular.  During his monologue he would often joke about his "commute" from Cleveland to LA for the show (which of course wasn't real..the commute, not the show...nevermind), and things he thought about during the long drive.  The joke was "things that make you go hmmmm..."  Oddities of life, interesting and funny thoughts, etc.  

Anyway, last night that escalated for me into "things that make you go AHHHHH!!"  The absolute ridiculous "logic" of the left is mind blowing.  Jimmy Fallon was doing jokes about Rachel Dolezal, the now famous NAACP leader who is Caucasian by birth, but has been pretending to be African American for years.  Her family has come out to reveal the truth, and, well, you know all this. 

Anyway, Fallon was talking about the fact that Rachel had asked her brother to keep her secret, to not "blow her cover." And Fallon's joke was this: “Her cover had already been blown by God when He made her a blonde haired, blue eyed, white lady.”  The crowd laughed. I went "AHHHHH!!"  Actually, I just gasped and gaped and pointed at the TV, then looked at my wife, and pointed at the TV.  Her reply was, "Don't do that to me!"

I'm certainly not the only one to notice this ridiculous double standard in the liberal logic, but I just had to write this because...well, because AHHHHH!!  If you don't understand, let me 'splain it to you. 

Ms. Dolezal's defense is that she "identifies" as black.  She wants to be black, she acts black, took steps to make herself look black, even though her DNA is obviously white.  Nothing can change that.  To "identify" as black is ridiculous.  Hence the Fallon joke, and the crowds laughter.

And yet!  These same liberal folks make a hero out of Bruce Jenner because he says he "identifies" as female.  He wants to be female, he acts female, took steps to make himself look female, even though his DNA is obviously male.  Nothing can change that.  To "identify" as female is ridiculous.  But no jokes here, just claims of what a "hero" he/she/it is. 

I need to just leave this alone.  My last few posts, as few and far between as they've become, have been about this issue.  But this latest twist... well... it just... makes me want to scream.  How can a person make the obvious observation about God's creating hand in the one instance, and completely reject it in the other? 

Of course, I did read one explanation from the so-called LGBT community (I guess when we put a nice sounding label on something it sounds less sinful?)  The argument goes that Ms. Dolezal isn't anything like Mr. Jenner because she wants to make a "choice" to be black, whereas Mr. Jenner doesn't have a choice in who he is.  

What?  Seriously?  One person can go against their DNA programming and try to be something they are not, but it's not their choice; whereas for someone else it is a choice?  If Jenner can claim to be a female even though he's obviously male, by birth, by DNA, by science, by reason; why can't this woman say she is black even though she's obviously white, by birth, by DNA, by science, by reason?

Amazingly, Jimmy Fallon had it right.  Ms. Dolezal is white because God made her that way, by birth, in her DNA, and any "feeling" she has to the contrary is just that, a "feeling."  And the exact same thing is true of Mr. Jenner.  He is male because God made him that way, by birth, in his DNA, and any "feeling" he has to the contrary is just that, a "feeling."  Oh, the frustrations of the liberal logic.  

Sadly, many of the sheeple in this country will blindly follow the liberal logic, laughing at Ms. Dolezal, embracing Mr. Jenner.  They will ignore the simple truth that both of these people are hurting individuals, looking for love and acceptance, looking for an "identity" that they will never find anywhere outside of Christ.  Only He can change us into who we really need to be.  Only He can take a heart mired in sin and make it new and whole.  

I need to remember that as well.  The only reason any of us see the reality of this whole thing is because God opened our eyes to the truth of our own sinful hearts, gave us new ones, gave us a desire for His truth above our own sinful desires.  Only by the grace of God. 

But still, sometimes, I just want to....... AHHHHH!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Rise of Opiniphobia

I might have coined a word.  I know I didn't invent the idea.  Many have addressed the issue.  But a friend was recently commenting about the fact that these days, if you disagree with someone, especially concerning immoral lifestyles, they label you as "phobic."  Homophobic is the term used to blast anyone who dares to point out sodomy as a sin.  The latest, thanks to the subject of my last post, is "transphobic."  Anyone who dares to say that Bruce Jenner is not "courageous" for mutilating himself to pretend to be something he biologically is not, is "transphobic."

My response to that friend's comment is simply this.  Those folks are opiniphobic.  And while mine not be a real word, at least I'm using the concept in the right way.  Others are not. 

A "phobia" is a persistent fear of something.  Someone who suffers from arachnophobia is someone who displays a genuine fear of spiders.  I know.  I suffer from this!  Spiders aren't nearly as dangerous as I perceive them to be, hence my fear is a genuine phobia.  I cringe at the sight of the things.  And don't get me started on snakes!

But here's the thing.  People use the label "homophobia" to simply describe someone who disagrees with them about the acceptance of sodomite behavior.  I don't fear those who claim to be homosexual.  I have no fear of homosexuality in general.  I simply disagree with those who claim it's acceptable behavior.  God's Word clearly says it is not.

It would be akin to two people discussing the issue of whether or not eating meat is acceptable.  One calls his friend "meataphobic" while the friend returns with a "vegaphobic" label.  It's not that either one has a dread fear of eating or not eating meat (for the most part), it's just that they disagree about whether or not it's appropriate. 

Since when did we decide that disagreeing is a phobia.  Because I don't support Jenner's "transgender" claim, it means that I'm automatically afraid of it?  Of course not.  Mr. Jenner doesn't scare me.  Well...  No, anyway.  I would gladly sit down and have lunch with him, share the gospel with him, pray with and for him.  I don't fear him, I simply share a differnt opinion about the ethical, moral, and spiriutal nature of his chosen lifestyle. 

On the other hand, those who use these kinds of labels are genuinely phobic.  They are terrified of others' opinions, if they don't line up with their own.  They can't stand disagreement with them.  And so they lash out with claims of "hate speech" and "phobia", which ironically in itself is usually accompanied by hateful speech and phobic actions.  Thus the idea of "opiniphobia."  The persistent fear of others' opinions. 

As I said, the idea is nothing new.  It's been on the rise for quite some time.  The liberal side of things has for a long time labeled anyone who disagrees as "phobic."  Primarily because it shifts the abnormality to the other person.  It makes it seem like those who disagree are the ones with the problem.  Again, even though it's an inaccurate description.  But since when are those who desire to redefine everything under the sun concerned with accuracy?

There are two streams of thought here.  One, as an American, people are entitled to their opinions.  I don't have to agree with them.  Mr. Jenner has the right to voice his opinion.  I have the right to disagree.  That's our society.  

Two, as a Christian, I'm compelled to go beyond my own opinion to see what God's Word has to say.  Once God has spoken, my opinion is worth nothing.  He is the Sovereign Creator of the Universe (I guess that makes me "evolutionaphobic").  He makes the rules.  He created male and female in the beginning.  He determined marriage is between one man and one woman.  He ordained that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone.  You are free to disagree with that.  I'm not opiniphobic myself.  But it's not me you will answer to.  And when you stand before the great Judge, I'm not really sure your opinion and your "phobic" labels are going to carry much weight.