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America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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Transgender

Just Look Down…Addressing the Bathroom Debate


So God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

As a young teenager, I remember accidentally walking into the wrong public bathroom.  Once inside, I noted something strangely missing from the walls…urinals.  Immediately, I realized the error of my boysgirlsways and rushed out, avoiding eye contact with anyone in the near vicinity.  I looked at the “male” and “female” bathroom signs. Yep, I certainly had chosen the wrong restroom.  It was a perfectly honest mistake, though.  At every other McDonald’s I’d visited, the male bathroom was situated on the right.  Without checking the signage, I chose the bathroom based upon its location in other franchises.  Thankfully, I wasn’t greeted by a woman inside.  I would’ve been mortified and possibly considered some type of pervert or peeping Tom.  Things have really changed since then.  Today, I could walk into any Target woman’s restroom, as a male, explaining I identify as a female.  No. Questions. Asked. And now it appears the Obama Administration is paving the way for males and females to share the same bathrooms and locker rooms in the Public School System.  You can read about that, here.

America’s definitely “tripping down the rabbit hole.”

What could possibly go wrong with boys gaining access to girl’s bathrooms?  Surely pedophiles and wildly hormonal young men won’t take advantage of this edict from the most Liberal Presidential Administration in the history of the United States.  Can you really imagine high school and fraternity boys temporarily identifying as females to ogle girls in the locker room showers?

I can.

Liberals have evolved from “It takes a village” to “It takes a village idiot,” and idiocy is the word that best describes this ideologically driven catastrophe emanating from the White House. Those pushing this garbage, do so from their ivory palaces, distancing themselves and their families from the detrimental outcomes.  For instance, President Obama’s daughters attend a pricey private institution of learning.  I imagine every time either of the First Daughters’ need to access the facilities, the Secret Service swoops in and clears the bathroom.  Whenever suggested policies like this are passed down from D.C., only the peasants pay the price, while the political elitists toast to tolerance and inclusion.

At some point America has to say enough is enough!

 II Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Instead of fleeing evil, our world chases after it like a moth to a flame.  Opening the door of our bathrooms and locker rooms to all genders or gender identities opens another Pandora’s Box in our already sin sick world.  Depending upon the leadership elected in November, it may take years to slam it shut.  Obviously the President timed this decree perfectly.  With few school days remaining, he’s counting on the typical short memory of Americans.  If you send your children to public schools, I encourage you to call your Superintendent’s office and demand the school district rebuff the wishes of the Obama Administration.

This morning my twelve year old weighed in on this topic.  He said,

“It’s not hard to tell girls from boys.  All they have to do is look down.”

Looking down might help, but first we need to look up.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

 

 

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The Battle for the Locker Room


There’s been a battle raging in Chicago, School District #211. This battle doesn’t involve guns and gang members.  This conflict doesn’t revolve around the spats between rival cliques of mean girls or even two young bucks sparring for the heart of the same doe.  No, this hostility rages over locker room privileges. A transgender student, born male, now transitioning into a female wants unfettered access to the girls’ locker room.  The main problem being, “Student A” hasn’t fully transitioned and is still an anatomical male.  I realize this may be considered intolerant, but allowing an anatomical male to dress in the same locker room as females is absolutely crazy.  I mean even the little boy in Kindergarten Cop properly identified the differences between males and females and knew which bathroom each was supposed to use…

Here’s my main concern, how many young men drooling to gain access to a girls’ locker room will fake gender fluidity. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more like a boy some days, and more like a girl other days.   I envision teenage boys feeling more like girls on the nights the cheerleaders and dance squads are changing in the school locker rooms.  You know society is screwed up when it’s considered politically incorrect to deny anatomical boys access to public girls’ locker rooms and restrooms.  From my experience with the male gender, raging hormones and claimed gender fluidity should raise ample concerns.

Instead of rushing to label me as intolerant, imagine for a moment the following scenario. I’m a Dad, and I’ve taken my kids to buy groceries.  Naturally, two aisles from check out, my ten year old girl needs to go to the bathroom.  It’s serious.  She’s doing her potty walk.  Pushing a cart full of groceries and herding her other siblings, I escort my daughter to the restrooms.  Noting the posted signs and seeing no “Family Restrooms” option, she skips into the restroom designated for women.   As I bend over to drink from the fountain, my peripheral vision identifies a man, sporting a dress, walking into the women’s restroom.  As a father, do I ignore the fact an obvious male has now intruded upon the privacy of my little girl, or does my gender become fluid momentarily while I charge into the bathroom, preparing to defend my little girl’s innocence? After the confrontation’s over, should I just explain to management and to the local authorities I identified as a female while my daughter used the facilities or that I distrusted the man in the print dress and responded accordingly?  Sadly, to say the latter would be considered hate speech.

The girls in Chicago don’t hate “Student A,” but they cited two reasons for being uncomfortable with sharing a locker room with the gender confused individual. First, he’s anatomically a boy; Second, adolescent girls are already struggling with self-image issues.  Adding a “male” to the mix only exacerbates the problem.  Girls that don’t feel comfortable disrobing in front of other females now must do so with a male present?  Come on.

Until Jesus returns, the only resolution is too plumb in a third set of bathrooms for transgender people. Don’t give me the argument that this wrongly targets and draws attention to transgender individuals in the public square.  A few years ago, I hawked cell phones for an Alltel agent in a Wal-Mart a few miles away.  One day a man, sporting a sundress stopped to inquire about rates.  I could’ve overlooked the dress and pumps, but he hadn’t waxed any visible part of his body…including his chest and back.  No, walking into a transgender bathroom doesn’t draw undo attention…a man in a dress and heels does that already.

I’m not trying to minimize the struggle of gender identification. In fact, I see this as a spiritual issue.  Ever since the Garden of Eden, the Devil has planted doubt in the heart of mankind.  A question we all mull over from time to time is,

“Did God really say…?”

So, did God really say, “Let there be males and females?”  Absolutely.  If the father of lies can plant a seed of doubt about one’s gender, why wouldn’t he?  Humanity is the crowning glory of God’s Creation.  To question God’s intent on gender, characterizes the Creator as One capable of mistakes.  When in reality the mistake is allowing males and females to change in the same locker rooms.  If you question why, make it a family movie night and watch Kindergarten Cop.

The truth often comes out of the mouth of babes.

What Happened to the Black and White World?


At 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday, I carve out a thirty minute lunch break to eat a sandwich and watch one of the greatest shows of all time…Andy Griffith.  I don’t care for the newer, colorized shows featuring Warren instead of Barney.  No, I love watching the old black and white episodes and laughing at the antics of Andy and Barney.  I’ve introduced this classic television to my kids and they also enjoy it.  The Andy Griffith show tickles the funny bone and often weaves a valuable moral lesson amidst the laughs.  When the show’s on and my kids are watching, I can leave the room and not worry about my children’s eyes or ears being assaulted by raunchy images or vile language.  The episodes clearly point out the evils of lying and gossip and the importance of loyalty and obeying the “Golden Rule.”  Not only were the early shows filmed in black and white, but the morals were taught in definite shades of black and white…No gray areas to confuse the young and the young at heart.

We no longer live in a black and white world.

Our culture preaches a doctrine referred to as “moral relativism.”  In other words, what might not be right for you may be right for me…and vice versa.  Our society has shoved moral absolutes from the public sphere and replaced them with moral ambiguities.  Behaviors and lifestyles once deemed universally sinful are now championed in sitcoms like “Modern Family.”  Fifty years ago, Andy Griffith implied to a gathering of men that if there were no women around, man wouldn’t be able to enjoy a married life.  Today, that statement would be met with outrage and the perpetrator of the verbal insensitivity would be harassed until he apologized.  Somewhere between Myer’s Lake and 21st century America, we’ve lost our moral compass.

Maybe it started in the 1960’s during the reign of free love and hallucinogenic drugs.  Maybe it started when one woman’s hatred for God precipitated the eventual ousting of prayer from the public schools.  Maybe it started when the highest court in the land found a woman’s right to abortion to be scrawled in the Constitution of the United States.  Or maybe it started earlier, much earlier, when the Enemy promised godhood to humanity for a forbidden bite of tantalizing fruit.

And therein lies the problem today.  We desire to be gods, creating our own lists of do’s and don’ts, disregarding and ignoring the truths of the Bible.  If God’s “Thou shalt nots” cramp our style or our own adopted morals and values, we toss them aside, explaining the Bible’s out of touch with 21st century crowds.  Sadly, we forget that even though people might “evolve” on morals, God does not.

It’s interesting to note that the Andy Griffith show is set in Mayberry, North Carolina.  Neighborly, upstanding, and God-fearing would be a few of the adjectives to describe its population.  Today, Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert appearance in North Carolina because a law passed requiring men and women to use their own restrooms.  Can you imagine the outrage in Mayberry if a man trotted into a woman’s bathroom?  Andy and Barney would haul him off to jail and seek to find the individual help.  Finding that person help today is deemed insensitive and bigoted.

“Let people be who they want to be, ” they cry.

How about being the person God created him to be? Novel idea, huh?

Well, not a novel.  It’s a Bible idea.

I don’t believe the future of America hinges on this next Presidential election.  I believe it hinges upon the actions of Christian people.  Throughout the last few decades, we’ve failed to protest the leftist turn of our Country for fear of being labeled intolerant.  But it’s that silence which allows the voices of aberrant behavior to dominate the conversation and to hijack the culture.  No, we cannot remain silent.  We must teach our children right and wrong, black and white values without  cracks and crevices for the “But what ifs…”

But where do we begin?  There’s one step we must take before jumping into the cultural fray.  It’s found in II Chronicles 7:14,

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

I challenge you to personal revival, then to join the people of God in battling for the soul of America.  And if our Country chooses to vote for a “Third Obama” term and drive a stake through the heart of America, then keep your eyes fastened on the Eastern sky, for surely Jesus’ return is soon.

“Come quickly Lord Jesus.”

Boys Will Be….Girls??


I loved attending Sunday School as a child.  In fact, some of my earliest memories of Sunday School include the teacher hoisting a flannel board onto an easel, the back drop for characters that adhered to the fabric.  One morning, the teacher stuck Adam and Eve to the board, each wearing strategically placed fig leaves.   The Genesis account shares the story of God’s Creation, including the forming of the first couple tasked with being stewards of His beautiful and perfect Garden, Eden.  Genesis 1:26-27 reads,

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

A few months ago, it was brought to my attention that Facebook users are offered 58 gender options.  I read through the list with my wife, both of us shaking our heads, marveling at the mass deception being waged against humanity.  Genesis plainly teaches that God created two sexes, male and female.  In fact, humanity was God’s crowning achievement, creating humanity and only humanity with the opportunity of enjoying a personal relationship with Him.  Obviously over the past several thousand years, the Devil has wormed his way into the minds of some, sewing seeds of confusion about gender.  No one who understands spiritual warfare and Satan’s tactics doubts the turmoil suffered by an individual who is gender confused, but in no terms should a man (gender confused or not) be allowed to utilize a public restroom reserved for women only.

I saw a news story a few weeks ago about a lady in Michigan that was stripped of her Planet Fitness membership because she chose to make a big deal about a transgender individual using the women’s locker room.  On the day in question, a man walked into the locker room while she was changing.  She reported the individual to the front desk.  The employee manning the desk explained Planet Fitness has a “no-judgment” policy which allows people to use changing rooms based on

“their sincere, self-reported gender identity.”

The woman phoned Planet Fitness’ corporate headquarters and received the same response.  She commented,

“If you have male parts you don’t need to be in the women’s locker room.  I don’t care what you are; I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, transgender or transvestite.  I am uncomfortable with you as a male in my locker room, in my restroom.”

And why shouldn’t she be uncomfortable?

And now a retail giant has jumped on the political correctness parade.  Target has just announced that it will start phasing out gender-based signage in some of their kids’ departments.  The bedding department will no longer feature boys’ and girls’ comforters and the toy aisles will no longer feature backdrops of pink and blue.  An Ohio mom praised Target for its decision, calling the “color coded” divisions in toys “regressive and harmful.”  With this mentality, soon, gender reveals will be considered harmful to the baby in the womb.  Maybe everyone can just celebrate “it” at a baby shower….

Recently, North Carolina passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also known as HB2.  Under HB2, people in North Carolina are only permitted to use public restrooms that correspond with their biological sex, defined as

“the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”

Obviously Americans need to rent Kindergarten Cop and be reminded about the differences between male and female genitalia.  Women and especially young girls should not feel threatened and uncomfortable by a man’s presence in a bathroom or public shower facility.  Have we drifted so far as a society we fail to consider that males might experience temporary “gender identity” crises any time they want to ogle girls in the locker rooms? I hope women carry mace into these public facilities being invaded by men who identify as women for the sole purpose of leering at females in various stages of undress.  If I ever see a man follow my wife or daughters into the bathroom at the Mall, I too, will identify as a woman for that moment in time….Why can’t men be men and women be women?

You know, like it used to be?

We definitely need to pray for those who struggle with gender identity issues, but we also need to stand firm on our principles, requiring people to use the facilities that match their genitalia, not their feelings or their “I’d rather be’s.”  God created two sexes.  We should celebrate His creative genius and celebrate the sexes.

Not 58.

Just 2.

 

Where’s My America?


RonaldReagan

My favorite President, hands-down, is Ronald Reagan.  I remember 52 American hostages marching from a compound, released from an Iranian prison minutes after President Reagan was sworn into office.  I swelled with pride.

I remember Ronald Reagan standing at the base of the Brandenburg Gate, near the Berlin Wall delivering a hopeful speech to the people of West Berlin:

“In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: ‘We will bury you.’ But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And then the line known to the entire civilized world:

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Two years later, the people of a freed East Berlin tore down that wall.

 

Reagan’s determination and drive to see Communism topple, reminded all of the President’s desire for America to be a “shining city on a hill.”  I swelled with pride.

For two terms, the “Gipper’s” speeches never failed to invoke America’s greatness.  Due to the lackluster and feckless Presidency of Jimmy Carter, Reagan ushered in a new era of hope and Patriotism.

Yes, I miss the Reagan years.

Fast forward to 2001.

Though many bash George W. Bush, I appreciated his leadership in the first few hours and days after 9/11.  (I shudder to think the outcome had America been under the leadership of Al Gore.)  The President visited Ground Zero to thank the emergency personnel working to find people buried in the rubble of the Twin Towers.  At one point, he climbed atop the remains of a crumpled fire truck and spoke to the firefighters.  Someone shouted, “I can’t hear you.”  The President grabbed a bullhorn and said,

“I hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked down these buildings are going to hear from all of us soon.”

My heart broke the day jihadists turned planes into torpedoes, but something about a Texan living in the White House brought hope that America wouldn’t cower to evil, but would take the fight to our enemies’ homeland.  And that’s what happened.  I swelled with pride.

Since 2008, I can’t think of many reasons to be proud of our Country’s leadership.  Sure, Americans elected the first African American to the highest office in the Land…but that “accomplishment” rested solely in the hands of the voters.  From personal conversations, I have discovered many voted for Barack Obama, not because of his political experience, but because of his skin tone.  Some who had never voted for a Democrat previously, jumped on the “Let’s make American History” bandwagon.  But since his election and re-election, has the President accomplished anything of merit?

In 2009, the President boasted that his Stimulus bill would create “shovel ready” jobs.  What happened?  Nothing.  While meeting with the Jobs and Competiveness Council in Durham, NC, the President chuckled as he announced,

“Shovel-ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”

In fact, not only has job creation been stagnant, but  millions have been added to the rolls of government assistance.  This certainly doesn’t instill pride.

Our status in the eyes of the world has diminished as well.  Israel wonders if we are truly an ally.  We allow Russia to run roughshod over the Ukraine.  ISIS rampages across the Middle East, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction and bloodshed.  Our deal with the Iranians prompted celebrations in Iran.  (If Iran thinks they received a good deal, doesn’t that insure America didn’t?)

And on the American home front?  This Administration has cranked up race relations rhetoric, throwing fuel on the smoldering cities of Ferguson and Baltimore.  Now, Black Lives Matter and Louis Farakhan have challenged African Americans to wage a war on white people and our law enforcement officers.  What does our President do?  Snaps selfies by a glacier to propagate his climate change agenda.  Not much to be proud of there either.

And then there’s our President’s misguided view of heroes.  In my eyes, military personnel deserve our respect and gratitude.  Also, those who put on a uniform to keep us safe on our city streets.  Mr. Obama seldom honors men and women willing to lay down their lives for the American people, but rushes to congratulate a homosexual who decides to openly play on a professional sports team.  It’s hard to show pride in that.

Lastly, a freedom I never dreamed vulnerable is currently battling a national agenda to normalize the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender Lifestyle.  Pilgrims risked life and limb to come to shores of America to insure their freedom to worship how they pleased, when they pleased.  Today, their sacrifice seems almost futile as the Leftist agenda strives to relegate religious practice to the Church building.  However, nowhere does the Constitution demand we compromise our religious convictions once we leave the shadow of the Church steeple.  It’s impossible to take pride in diminished religious liberty.

I still love America, but maybe my adoration stems from memories past instead of a hopeful present and an anticipated bright future.  I pray our generation rises to claim this Country for God and that He rescues her from teetering on the precipice of destruction.  If we fail to turn, I tremble at the thought of America’s demise.  I hope our kids aren’t the first generation to dwell in the largest third world country in the world.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

 

Target Missed the Bulls-Eye


missedtarget

 

I loved attending Sunday School as a child.  In fact, some of my earliest memories of Sunday School include the teacher using a flannel board and Velcro backed characters adhering to fabrics of various backgrounds.  One morning, the teacher stuck Adam and Eve to the board, each wearing strategically placed fig leaves.   The Genesis account shares the story of God’s Creation, including the forming of the first couple tasked with stewardship of His beautiful and perfect Garden, Eden.  Genesis 1:26-27 reads,

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

A few days ago, it was brought to my attention that Facebook users are offered 58 gender options.  I read through the list with my wife, both of us shaking our heads, giggling at times, marveling at the mass deception being waged against humanity.  Genesis plainly teaches that God created two sexes, male and female.  In fact, humanity was God’s crowning achievement, creating humanity and only humanity with the opportunity of enjoying a personal relationship with Him.  Obviously over the past several thousand years, the Devil has wormed his way into the minds of some, sewing seeds of confusion about gender.  No one who understands spiritual warfare and Satan’s tactics doubts the turmoil suffered by an individual who is gender confused, but in no terms should a man (gender confused or not) be allowed to utilize a public restroom reserved for women only.

Recently, a lady in Michigan was stripped of her Planet Fitness membership because she chose to make a big deal about a transgender individual using the women’s locker room.  On the day in question, a man walked into the locker room while she was changing.  She reported the individual to the front desk.  The employee manning the desk explained that Planet Fitness has a “no-judgment” policy which allows people to use changing rooms based on “their sincere, self-reported gender identity.”  The woman phoned Planet Fitness’ corporate headquarters and received the same response.  She commented,

“If you have male parts you don’t need to be in the women’s locker room.  I don’t care what you are; I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, transgender or transvestite.  I am uncomfortable with you as a male in my locker room, in my restroom.”

And why shouldn’t she be uncomfortable?

And now, there’s Target.  The retail giant has jumped on the political correctness parade.  Target has just announced that it will start phasing out gender-based signage in some of their kids’ departments.  The bedding department will no longer feature boys’ and girls’ comforters and the toy aisles will no longer feature backdrops of pink and blue.  An Ohio mom praised Target for its decision, calling the “color coded” divisions in toys “regressive and harmful.”  With this mentality, soon, gender reveals will be considered harmful to the baby in the womb.  Maybe everyone can just celebrate the pending arrival with an “It” Shower.

We definitely need to pray for those who struggle with gender identity issues, but we also need to stand firm on the truths presented in the Word of God.  God created “male and female,” end of story.  For those who believe otherwise, a great deception has clouded their ability to perceive the truth.  If Genesis fails to meet your criteria for facts, take a moment and re-watch “Kindergarten Cop.”  A young boy addresses the debate about gender with a priceless explanation about male and female plumbing.  If his Kindergarten teacher, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, had corrected the young fellow, insisting there were 58 genders, the boy would’ve looked at the man with disbelief….probably laughing as well.  No, Arnold, there aren’t 58 genders.  There are only 2.

Oh, and Target…You missed the bulls-eye.

Southern Baptists and the Grand Old Party


Christianity Today published an article exploring the idea that Southern Baptists and Republicans share a much too close relationship.  In fact, the title “For Southern Baptists and GOP, Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” sets the stage for various Southern Baptist leaders to express concern over the Protestant denomination’s chummy ties to the Grand Old Party.

In a comment made in 2008, then Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said,

“I have cautioned Baptists about being lockstep with any Party.”

More recently, leaders of Baptist21, an organization of younger Southern Baptist pastors with reformed leanings wrote,

“There continue to be perceptions in our culture that the SBC is in bed with the Republican Party,”

Is that such a bad thing?  At least the Republican Party shows a bit of respect for God.

Several years ago, a friend and I discussed the Democrat Party.  My buddy expressed frustration that many in his family continued to vote for Democrats.  In attempting to sway his relatives he kindly explained,

“This Democrat party isn’t your Grandmother’s Democrat Party.”

A few decades ago, little difference existed between the parties in regards to moral issues.  Even if both sides of the aisle failed to see eye to eye on issues of domestic and foreign policy, Republicans and Democrats honored God and Country.

Today, an ever widening rift exists between the two.

In 2012, people attending the Democratic National Convention booed to keep the mere mention of God and Israel out of the party’s platform.  After the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, the President “painted” the colors of the rainbow on the White House with special lighting.  This public display slapped both God and traditional marriage adherents in the face.  Most recently, a pro-life organization posted videos of Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the prices of “fetal tissue” harvested from aborted babies.  This atrocity should infuriate both parties.  Instead, both Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, claim these video makers are launching a “concerted attack” on those championing women’s rights.

Do I claim Republicans always tow the straight and narrow?  Absolutely not!  However, at least most Republicans embrace life and traditional marriage, and for Christians these two moral issues should be attractive.  In fact, if Christians support a candidate who supports abortion on demand and gay marriage, aren’t they being complicit in those abominations as well?

I’m not suggesting Pastors slap “Support Ted Cruz” bumper stickers on every members’ car.  I understand the necessity of Pastors refraining from endorsing candidates from the pulpit.  But the issues…the issues are another story.

During the last election cycle, a church member called asking me if I’d decided upon a Presidential Candidate.  I explained I couldn’t recommend a specific candidate, but I shared that I based my decisions on the social issues.  The economy means little if we abhor and ignore the moral standards of God.

Maybe Southern Baptists shouldn’t be in bed with the Republican Party, but maybe they should at least share the same house.  After all, morals matter.

 

 

Does God Hate Joe’s Crab Shack?


Over the weekend, my wife slipped away with her mom, and for one of the meals they chose to eat at ‘Joe’s Crab Shack.’  She raved about the shrimp, claiming it was the best she ever had.  To be honest, I suffered a bit of jealousy.  I’m a fried shrimp fan as well.

I found it interesting that her dining experience coincided with a friend who chose to use the topic of shrimp to legitimize and normalize the homosexual lifestyle.

It appears everyone determined to declassify homosexuality as a sin, rally around the same arguments.  One of those employed is if homosexuality is a sin, then so is eating shrimp.  That argument fails miserably in stripping the gay lifestyle of its sin classification.

Here’s why the “shrimp argument” falls short of being a valid point.  A Christian should never solely rely on the Old Testament Law to address modern issues.  Jesus fulfilled the Law, ending its requirements.  If a Christian cites the Old Testament as his only source in addressing homosexuality, then he must declare wearing clothing of mixed materials and tattoos is sinful as well.  Christians are not bound by the Old Testament Law but are subject to the Law of Christ.  So then, what was the purpose of steering clear of shrimp or polyester fabrics?  God forbade the consumption of shrimp and polyester to distinguish the Israelites’ diet and attire from that of the surrounding pagan nations.  Should shrimp still be avoided?  No.  Jesus said in Mark 7:28-19,

“Are you thus without understanding also?  Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from the outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”

So, if Christ fulfilled the Law, how then do some Christians insist on labeling homosexuality sinful?

It’s simple really.

The New Testament clearly states that homosexuality is both immoral and unnatural.  Consider the following texts:

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men committing with men what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”  Romans 1:26-27

“Do you no know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites….”  I Corinthians 6:9

Am I insinuating God hates homosexuals?  Absolutely not!  God provides a list of things He hates and homosexuality fails to make the list.  Proverbs 6:16-19 shares,

“These six things the Lord hates, yes seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren.”

For those who claim God hates homosexuals (Westboro Baptist “Church”), that’s a lie.  Homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin.  However, to teach that being gay is merely an alternative lifestyle slaps a holy God in the face.  Jesus addressed the issue of gay marriage in Matthew 19:4-5.  Jesus said the following:

“…Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?'”

Notice, Jesus did not hint that marriage between same sex couples was God’s intention as well.  Nor did He assert that God’s opinion would evolve in the 21st century.  Sadly, we live in a culture where people are more apt to adopt the mores of sitcom ‘Modern Family’ than the morals of the Bible.

Oh, and don’t worry.  Eat all the shrimp you want.

My wife suggests the fare at ‘Joe’s Crab Shack.’

 

 

Would Jesus Condone Same Sex Marriage?


Response to Memories Pizza in Indiana has run the gamut. Some threatened to burn down the establisment; popular Conservative talk show host Dana Loesch set up an online fundraiser to offset the financial lost incurred by the Christian business owners. (It raised almost $850,000 dollars. Wow!) What was the crime of this popular mom and pop pizza joint? Exercising their Religious Freedom and their First Amendment rights.

A news reporter ASKED the owners of Memories Pizza if they would be willing to cater at a gay wedding. Co-Owner Kevin O’Connor responded,

“I don’t turn anybody away from the store, I don’t have a problem with gay people. I just don’t condone the marriage.”

This reply set off a firestorm reverberating across Liberal and Conservative lines. Some staunchly supporting the owners, others spewing hate and vitirol aimed at shutting Memories down.

In the last few days, social media has continued to keep the debate alive. One of my Facebook friends insists if Jesus was asked to supply a cake or build a table for a gay wedding reception, He’d do so gladly. In quoting the post,

He would sell them a table, and a darned good one at that.”

Let’s say he’s right. For those Christians standing with those who embrace the homosexual lifestyle, they stand on the argument of love, citing God’s love of all people. I don’t question the love of God for all people. John 3:16 states,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Note, God fails to insert an asterisk or offer a disclaimer. No Christian famliar with the teachings of the Bible argues God’s love for all people.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

When thinking about how Jesus handled the issue of sin in people’s lives, I often cite the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus demonstrates the model of ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’

As Jesus taught, religious leaders dragged a woman from the bed of an adulterous liaison and dropped her at the Master’s feet. The religious leaders circled, spewing judgment on the woman, reminding Jesus and all within earshot about the Law. For her infidelity, she deserved the prescribed punishment – a public stoning.

In response to their vitriol, Jesus stooped and scratched something in the dirt, then stood and challenged,

“You who are sinless cast the first stone.”

I’ve often wondered what Jesus wrote. I doubt He wasted His time on doodling stick figures. I wonder if He jotted a list of sins with which these men struggled. Maybe He wrote the words, “pride,” lust,” or the word that labeled the actions of the religious leaders – “entrapment.” (How did these men know about this woman’s indiscretion and the ability to catch her in the arms of a man not her husband?)

As these men cast aspersions at the woman and questioned Jesus’ handling of the situation, I imagine their words trailed off as they watched Jesus write. If Jesus enumerated a list of transgressions, as each man’s besetting sin appeared, the Spirit of God pricked their hearts. When He stood to authorize the first hurled stone, each dropped his rocks, slinking away. Jesus asked,

 ”Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

“No one sir,” she replied

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.

Many who demand acceptance of ungodly lifestyles, quote only the first part of Jesus’s statement. Jesus added the following exhortation,

“Go and leave your life of sin.”

Let’s visit the carpenter shop owned by Joseph, with Jesus apprenticing.   A couple living in a gay relationship request the Son of God craft a banquet table for a wedding feast.  There’s no doubt He’d make a “darned good one…” But would He condone the wedding?

I envision Jesus requiring the partners to spend time with Him in the carpenter shop, the Master sharing spiritual truths while He sawed, chiseled and sanded. I can see the partners squinting through sawdust laden air, complaining about the threats of the religious leaders to have them stoned to death.  I see Jesus listening to their concerns and maybe even saying,

“Don’t worry, there’s no condemnation here…”

But adding,

“Go and leave your lives of sin…”

Of course the couple’s taken aback.

Oh no, another armchair Rabbi ensnared by the teachings of  some antiquated scrolls…..

Many believe Jesus never addressed same sex marriage, thereby claiming homosexual unions are left up to the discretion of the people who choose them.  Maybe in the writings of the Gospels we find no mention of same sex marriage, but Jesus does address Biblical marriage.  In Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus says,

“And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?”So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”…

Jesus doesn’t add,

“Oh and that’s why men marry each other and women marry each other as well.”

That’s not God’s standard for marriage.

I can imagine the couple in the carpenter shop either being convicted of their sin and repenting or leaving the shop insulted and outraged, either way the banquet table no longer necessary.

If the government forces Christian owned businesses to provide the same services to all wedding ceremonies whether straight or gay, maybe the owners should adopt a “come to the table making” strategy.  To appease both sides, the owners share their views on godly marriage, expressing truths from the Bible.  I can imagine some couples embracing the views, others tolerating the “opinions, and several storming out of the bakery, decrying “discrimination.”  But see, it wouldn’t be discriminatory with all couples submitting to free pre-marital counsel.  Of course the above is hyperbolic, but nowhere is it written that a Christian’s morals and conscience are to be left once vacating the shadow of the steeple on Sunday mornings.

Hang in there Memories Pizza, many around this great nation support you.

 

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