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

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.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Can We "Judge" Bruce Jenner?

I'm sure most folks have heard the big "reveal" of Bruce Jenner's "new identity."  After some surgery and other...stuff...the former Olympian has revealed that he is now "Caitlyn" Jenner. 

This morning, Pastor John Piper put a little post on Facebook asking if this "Caitlyn" was the father of Bruce Jenner's sons.  While in part it seems to be a jab, I think Pastor John was also simply trying to point out that no matter the surgery, Jenner is still biologically a male who has fathered several children.  Regardless of what he wants to "identify" as, he is a man, he provided the male "part" needed for child birth, and nothing changes that. 

Of course, as you can imagine, comments were quick and sometimes harsh.  Here is a snapshot as I saw it on my feed:

Aside from the simple head-shaking I experience when I wonder why some of these folks even read Pastor Piper's posts (that was fun to say), I also face the head-shaking question of "have these folks ever read a Bible?"

We hear all the time this mantra of "we can't judge others" and "we should just love everyone."  But those comments show a complete lack of biblical understanding, both of judging and love. 

When it comes to judging, it is true that God is the ultimate judge.  Only He determines the ultimate fate of any man, woman or child, and His Word clearly states that the only criteria to be used is that of Jesus Christ.  In that sense, we don't judge. 

Yet Scripture also clearly tells us to be "fruit inspectors", judging the fruit in one another's life compared to the truth of God's Word.  Within in the church, that judgment can at times even lead to removing a person from the fellowship of God's people if they live in consistent, unrepentant sin.  Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5, Galatians 6 and other places spell this out for us. 

So, to call sin, sin is not "judging" as so many put it.  We are simply holding one another to the standards of God's Word.  Which by the way, is what that text about "not judging" that so many point to is all about.  Matthew 7 is all about holding others to different standards than we apply to ourselves, ignoring our own sin while highlighting others, etc.  We should avoid that, but Jesus does tell us to deal with our own sin, and then we are more ready to help others deal with theirs as well.  It's not meant to tell us to ignore those in sin completely, but to hold all to the same standard, which is God's Word. 

As to love, this attitude shows equal ignorance.  Genuine love, biblical love, is not simply letting others do whatever they want regardless of the sinfulness of the actions.  True love seeks the highest good of others.  To seek the highest good of a man like Bruce Jenner, is to tell him that his current confusion is not remedied through surgeries and makeup, but through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  Because we love others, we tell them they are lost in sin and that Jesus is the only answer for that sin problem.  

If I see a friend bound for disaster, it is unloving to keep my mouth shut and say, "Well, to each his own." If I see a child about to stick his hand in a hot oven, it's unloving to say, "Well, whatever makes him happy."  Love seeks the highest good, seeks to protect, seeks to heal.  To those in sin, love says "Your contentment can only be found in Christ, continuing in your sin will drag you to hell, Christ can heal and save and forgive."  

People often point to the story in John chapter 8 of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus rebukes those who are preparing to "judge" her, and lovingly offers her forgiveness.  Yes, he does that.  Because those who were about to stone her were doing it out of rage, in an attempt to "trap" Jesus, in denial of their own need for forgiveness as well.  

But then notice what Jesus says to the woman.  Not, "hey, it's ok, live life the way you want, do what feels right."  He says, "go and sin no more."  He love and forgives, but then calls her to leave her sin behind.

So, the loving thing to say is "Mr. Jenner, whatever pain and loneliness has caused the confusion in your life, know that true and lasting peace can only come from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  Turn from your sin, from your selfish desires, and seek Him. Find love, find peace, find reconciliation with God in Christ.  He will make you whole.  He will give you true identity in Him."  That's not judging, that's lovingly stating the truth.  Just as it was presented to me.  Just as we present it to any and all others who are lost and dying in sin.  Jesus is the answer.