Sunday, May 31, 2009

Is Slavery Evil?

The topic of slavery is usually accompanied by bitter feelings and condemnation for Americas past. Like America, many civilizations have used slavery as a means of providing labor. Samarian drawings on clay tablets dating back to 4000 BC show captives taken in battle being tied, whipped, and forced to work. Then there are ancient papyrus manuscripts from 2100 BC that record the ownership of slaves by private citizens in Egypt. The earliest mention of slavery in the Bible would be Genesis 9:25 when Noah cursed the descendants of Canaan. From Abraham on down we read of the men in the Bible owning slaves and the Israelites themselves becoming slaves, but never do we read of God condemning slavery. We do read of Him telling Moses how to treat slaves in Exodus chapter 21, but neither God nor Jesus ever condemned the practice.
This absence of any condemnation towards slavery has led many critics to claim that the God of the Christianity and the Bible is evil. Instead of trying to understand why God would not expressly forbid the practice of slavery, I often hear Christians defending God's silence on the evils of slavery. Like Job's friends who defended God by foolishly condemning Job, Christians often times defend God in a rather foolish way by condemning slavery. It's almost as if Christians think that somehow God just forgot to mention the evils of slavery in the Scriptures. I do believe that the practice of slavery in the Bible needs to be addressed. But not to defend God's lack of condemnation, but rather to better understand God's reasoning for not condemning it.
Here's where many will disagree with me, but as I study the Scriptures and understand God's word, I can only conclude that God did not condemn slavery because slavery is not evil. Throughout history, men have willingly chosen to be in servitude to others rather than put their future in their own hands, God even made arrangments for such a desire. “.....if the servant plainly says, "I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,”...... his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. Exodus 21:5-6 So, while there have always has been evil masters who abuse their slaves, God obviously knew that there would be good slave owners. God specifically condemned treating others in an evil way. Man being evil in his treatment of others does not make the practice of slavery itself wrong just as a husband's abuse of his wife does not make marriage evil.
It is my position that the bible does not condemn slavery because our human positions in life is not what the gospel is concerned with. To say that the very concept of slavery is wrong is to say that God's salvation is an evil practice. That is because the concept of total submission and slavery is at the very heart of Christ's gospel; in order to be saved you have to be a slave to Christ. God is the one who chose us, he is the one who saved us, and He is the one who paid the price to buy us with the very blood of His Son, Jesus.
Human slavery is a very tragic and sobering part of history. The fact that godly people in the Bible owned slaves, only makes it more difficult for modern people to understand. As humans, its natural for all of us to want to be free rather than slaves because slavery means we are in bondage. However, even though we may want to be free, the reality is that we are not. True liberty is freedom from sin, not freedom from human bondage. Sin ultimately leads to eternal punishment of torment in Hell. Jesus Christ, whom all Christians are slaves to, broke our bondage to the slavery of sin by placing us under His light yoke and easy burden Mathew 11:30 The whole concept of slavery and servitude may be difficult for us to grasp today, but at the time when Christ taught most people understand this message of slavery.
During the time when Christianity was born, 85% of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves. It is my opinion that had any of the authors of the New Testament epistles directly attacked slavery, then there would have been revolts against the institution of slavery. The result of which would be similar to what happened to the 120,000 slaves that revolted with Spartacus in 73-71 BCE. The Roman general Crassus crucified 6000 of the survivors along the Appian Way to teach future slaves what Rome would do to them of they revolted. Instead of spreading the gospel the message of Christ would have been hopelessly confused with that of social reform. Instead of a violent revolt, Christianity worked to undermine the evils of slavery by changing the hearts of slaves and masters.
An example of this kind of heart transforming work would be the letter Paul wrote to a Christian name Philemon. The letter revolves around a slave named Onesimus who had who had stolen money and eventually ran away from his owner, Philemon. During his flight from slavery, Onesimus eventually found his way to the city of Rome, where he met Paul and accepted Christ. The apostle quickly grew to love this runaway slave and wanted to keep him in Rome. Philemon However, Paul knew that Onesimus had broken Roman Law and that he had to deal with it. So Paul sent Onesimus back to Colosse with a letter he wrote to his master Philemon. Paul urged Philemon to forgive Onesimus Philemonon and welcome him back as a slave and a brother in Christ. Now if slavery was wrong this would have been a perfect opportunity for the great apostle to condemn it. But he doesn't, he actually urges a slave to go back and serve his master.
Now I personally believe the concept of Slavery is a very deep one, and the very nature of slavery characterizes the relationship that every human being has either with God or with the Evil One. All people are slaves and it is either to sin that we are enslaved or to Romans 6:16 If God would had condemned slavery in the Scriptures, then the very message of the gospel itself would have been robbed of its meaning for us. If slavery is wrong, wives should not submit to their husbands, children should not obey parents, and no one should call Jesus his master or submit to the authority of God. It is my opinion that this is the reason the Bible does not condemn slavery, because the whole concept of Christians serving God would be meaningless.
In serving God we need to remember that it is His will we should be following. When asked how we should pray, Jesus tells us to ask for the Lord's will to be done over ours. Matthew 6:10 We are also told to deny ourselves and love God even before our own families, and we do this by taking up our cross daily and following Christ.Luke 14:26-27 When I read the New Testament, it sounds like slave talk to me, and if you are a Christian you will understand what it means to be bought and to be a slave. I realize that this is and always will be a very contentious topic and that even many Christians will disagree with me on this. However I cannot reconcile the idea in my head that God just forgot to mention that slavery was wrong, because that implies God does not know everything. Those who do not understand the true concept of slavery, not only misunderstand the very nature and character of God, but they also do not understand what it means to be a Christian.
After Mary was greeted by her cousin Elizabeth, she sang a beautiful song unto the lord, and in the song are these words, “for he has regarded the lowly state of his maidservant”. Luke 1:46-55 The Greek word used by Mary for maidservant is “doulos”, which actually means “slave” or more appropriately “bond-servant”. Here we see the very mother of Jesus referring to herself as a female slave of her master, God. Mary understood perfectly what it meant to be a slave of God, and anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior should not consider the concept of slavery insulting or evil.
I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who Created Evil?

The debate about who created evil is an important one since atheists and skeptics use the existence of evil in their arguments against theism. It is incumbent upon all Christians to understand what the Scriptures say about the God they worship and the existancxe of evil in the world. If God created everything, and if evil is in the world, does it follow that God created evil? We are told as Christians to believe what the Bible says. Even the popular children's song, “Jesus Loves Me”, has in its lyrics,
“Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so”.
So, let us read what the Bible says.

In (Genesis 1:1) we read,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The New Testament says in (John 1:3),
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
So, we now know that God made everything through Christ, but are there any Scriptures that specifically say God is the author of evil? The closest we can get is (Isaiah 45:7),
“I make peace and create calamity”,
and (Amos 3:6),
“If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?”
Ok, can we then point to any passages that might elude to God condoning evil? Probably the best examples would be the time Joseph confronted his brothers who sold him into slavery,
“you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good”
(Genesis 50:20), and (Exodus 9:16) when God sent Moses to Pharoah with this message,

“.....I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

There are those who claim that these and similar Scriptures prove that God is the author of evil.

Now, if you’re coming from the persuasion that God has foreordained the entire course of events in this world as Calvinism teaches, then reason and logic would suggest that God must be the author of sin. However, Calvinist who teach that God is the author of evil would be wise smart to pay attention to the following quote from (John Calvin) himself:

“It is helpful, I think, to understand that sin is not itself a thing created. Sin is neither substance, being, spirit, nor matter. So it is technically not proper to think of sin as something that was created. Sin is simply a want of moral perfection in a fallen creature. Fallen creatures themselves bear full responsibility for their sin. And all evil in the universe emanates from the sins of fallen creatures.” Calvin goes on to state unequivocally that, “God's role with regard to evil is never as its author. He simply permits evil agents to work, then overrules evil for His own wise and holy ends. Ultimately He is able to make all things--including all the fruits of all the evil of all time--work together for a greater good.”

The biggest defenders of the idea that God created evil are followers of John Calvin's teachings. Seems to me that there is a bit of a schism in the ranks of the Calvinist movement.

Two verses used to defend the belief that God created evil are (Isaiah 45:7) and (Amos 3:6). In both instances the word evil, not calamity is used in 12 of the 21 Bible translations I have. It is important to note that all but one of the translations using the word evil were published before 1948. This is important because of the discovery of the (Dead Sea Scrolls) in the caves of Qumran in 1948. Fine tooth investigation of these Scrolls has revealed that the proper translation for these verses would actually be disaster or calamity, not evil. Now some may argue that a calamity is an evil, because it causes pain and misery and so they will still argue that God is the creator of evil.

When speaking of evil in regards to the nature of sin, it should be observed that there are three kinds of evil: physical, metaphysical, and moral. Physical evil is anything causing harm to man weather it be by order of nature directly, or through the various social conditions under which mankind naturally exists. I would say that accidents, sicknesses, and even most deaths would directly be caused by nature, while poverty, oppression and some diseases are the results of imperfect social organizations. Then we would have mental suffering, anxiety, disappointments, and remorse as a result of a both natural disposition and social circumstances. Metaphysical evil would be anything that limits an object in nature from attaining their ideal potential of existence. Some examples would be a lion killing a gazelle for food, harm or death to the gazelle would a metaphysical evil. Another metaphysical evil would be a tornado knocking down a tree thus limiting the tree’s ability to keep growing. Depending upon ones perspective, metaphysical evil can be a beneficial evil, the tree dies and becomes fertilizer for new growth, while the killing of the gazelle insures the survival of the lion. Finally we have moral evil, which is anything that would deviate from what society has deemed as normal behavior, usually by someone who knows what society has considered normal. Historically, these standards have been set by various religious communities and followed by the societies they influence. It should be pointed out that bad behavior due to ignorance would not be considered a moral evil, because a person must have an understanding of what is considered moral to be in violation of such morals. One could say that ignorance is an excuse for bad moral behavior. In conclusion, I would suggest that evil is essentially a negative, not so much in the acquisition of anything, but the loss or deprivation of something necessary for perfection. While there are certain evils that benefit us like the killing of a gazelle by a lion, or the pain of injury to alert us of bodily harm, most evil is bad. So we can say that in a world originally created by a perfect God, evil or sin is anything that falls short of the perfection of what God originally planned before the fall of man.

The term sin, in the ancient Greek language, means to miss the mark. We all sin when we miss the mark set by God. God's mark is perfection every time. Man can never achieve the ability to hit the bull’s eye every time so anything short of that perfect mark is sin. We can conclude that evil is the absence of perfection. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of warmth, and hate is the absence off love, evil is the absence of a perfect God. When I speak of evil as to whom or what is responsible for its creation, I mean the evil that is in the realm of morality.

So let's start with Satan and see if he is the creator or author of evil. Like men, angels were given free will and it was an angel named Lucifer who Isaiah wrote about in (Isaiah 14:12-16) when he said the morning star wanted to be worshiped like God and was cast down for his sin. Sometime following day one and two of God's creation of the heavens and earth, and prior to God creating man, Lucifer chose of his own free will to rebel against God. We can ascertain, then, that evil as we know it began at the spiritual level first as committed by Satan. That does not mean however that Satan created evil, because as we learn from the book of Job, outside of God’s will Satan has no power. (Job 1:9-12) So we can conclude from this that Satan is not the author of sin, or evil, because he cannot create anything.

Next we must investigate Adam to see if he created evil. In the beginning man, nature, and God were all in a perfect tri-unity of harmony, communing with each other as man was given dominion over all that was in the world. Paul tells us that it was not until after Eve was tempted by Satan to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that sin or evil entered into the world. (Romans 5:12) Like Satan, man was given free will to either follow God or not, and man choose not to. We can surmise then that just as Satan was the first to commit sin at the spiritual level, man was the first to commit sin in the physical world. However like Satan, man cannot create anything without the will of God, and even then only with what God created for man to use in his inventions and discoveries. So our investigation leads us to the conclusion that, like Satan, man may have sinned but he is not the author of it. In Paul's letter to Romans, we learn man's offense allowed evil to come into the world, but Paul does not suggest he is the author creating it. (Romans 5:18)

We have examined the obvious choices and still do not have an answer. Maybe this little analogy of a father who gives his son a baseball and bat will help. Now I realize this is not a perfect analogy, but it does help to look at things from a father's perspective. As a gift of his love for his son, a father gives a baseball and a bat to his eight-year old boy. The boy goes outside to play with his new toy. He grabs the bat with his hand, rests it upon his shoulder and throws the ball in the air with his other hand. As the ball descends he swings the bat at the ball. To his complete enjoyment, the boy hits the ball squarely and it goes sailing into the air. As the baseball flies across the yard, it enters the neighbors yard and smashes into their living room window. As would be expected the neighbor confronts the boy about his window, and tells the boy he needs to fix that which he broke. The boy’s father gets involved, apologizes to the neighbor and promises to fix his window. The father must do this because the boy has no means of rectifying the mistake he made. While the father himself did not break the neighbor’s window, he does accept the responsibility for giving his son the ball and bat that allowed for the possibility that something bad could happen. In return the boy will have to suffer the consequences of his actions by mowing lawns to pay for the window or even loosing the chance to play with his ball and bat. The boy himself will not pay for or fix the broken window, his father does, and so it is with our father in heaven.

We have all been given the gift of free will and with it is comes the potential for committing sin, and we will. God has already accepted the responsibility and paid for our sins even though He himself did not commit the sin that enabled the whole of mankind to fall. (Revelations 13:8) We cannot do anything on our own that would satisfy God for our sins, just as the little eight year old has no way to satisfy the neighbor for breaking his window. Our father in heaven did what a loving father would do, He paid for the window we broke. He became man and fulfilled the requirements needed to become the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins. (Philippians 2:7-8)

I have concluded that evil is not a thing created, rather, evil is a the result or byproduct of disobeying God's law, and the Scriptures tell us, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) God desires for us to choose Him willingly, He is not some kind of a cosmic rapist that would force His love upon us. However, if we choose not to love God, than an emptiness is created in our hearts, and sin or evil will fill that gap. Evil is a natural probability when free will is allowed to exist in ones nature, and like Lucifer, we were given free will to make that decision possible. Thus, evil is the absence of God's love and only the receiver can deny that love. John tells us that God is love, and that we did not love Him but that He loved us first. (1 John 4;19) That being said, we also then must conclude that, a perfect and responsible God must take responsibility for the actions of His creations. So even though God did not create sin, He did pay the price for it like a truly loving Father would, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Homosexuality : Defiance of God and the Truth

With the recent success of proposition 8 in California, and the polls showing a majority of Americans across the country opposed to giving marital status to homosexual couples, one would think that the same sex-marriage debate would have faded away. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Every week we hear of another state either passing laws that allow gay marriages, or judges of those states ruling by fiat to force it upon society. 

As a logical Christian, I look at the many prophecies God has given us throughout the Scriptures, and I can see the writing on the wall. In the near future we will be living in a society that not only allows same-sex marriage but also accepts it as a normal way of life. It really should not surprise anyone, especially when you consider our society has allowed its high court to banish God from the class room and rule a woman has a right to abort her children. 

While I admit this is a battle we will inevitably lose, it is still one we must fight in the hearts and minds of every man and woman in America and abroad. As a Christian I stand behind the Bible that clearly states, homosexual behavior is a sin. It is this battle line we must make our stance upon as we continue to fight and advance the truth of the gospel in America and around the world.

Paul told the believers in Rome, that we have all sinned and thus fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 ) So if homosexuality is considered a sin, then an explanation of what sin is would be needed. The best definition I have ever heard to describe exactly what sin is would be, “anything that falls short of the perfection of a perfect God” I bring this up because many churches and Christian leaders allow those caught up in the gay lifestyle to believe they are not sinning. These false teachers are under the assumption that God has made them the way they are so obviously He would condone their behavior. They also teach that the Bible does not really condemn homosexual behavior or that Jesus would not condemn this behavior. The reality is that these claims are just more lies by Satan to convince an individual to continue practicing behavior that keeps them away from God. However, if they insist upon twisting Scripture to justify their behavior, it is our duty to point out their errors.

The Bible contains nine specific references to homosexuality: four in the Old Testament (Genesis 19:1-25); ( Judges 19:22-30); (Leviticus 18:22); and ( Leviticus 20:13) and five in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-28); (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); (1 Timothy 1:8-11); ( 2 Peter 2:6-10); and (Jude 1:7) Paul wrote the passage in Romans in such a simplistic manner that one would think he wrote in anticipation of the debate we are having today on homosexuality. Unfortunately, those who wish to lead others astray go through quite a few twists and turns to convince others of their beliefs. Along with the above mentioned Scriptures there are other references that can help the reader understand God's view upon marriage and family, promiscuity, and sexual purity. These Scriptures are as follows,( Genesis 2:18-25); (Proverbs 18:22); (Mark 7:21); (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5); (Romans 6:13); (Romans 13:13); (1 Corinthians 6:13); (1 Corinthians 18-19); (Galatians 5:19-21); (Colossians 3:5); (Revelation 21:8); (Revelation 22:15).

Throughout history, Christian theologians have been consistent in their interpretation that the Scriptures consider homosexual behavior to be sinful. We even derive our modern word sodomy from the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah. It should also be stated that while the act itself is condemned by the Bible, personality traits such as feminine feelings on the part of a man or masculine feelings on the part of a woman are not. There has always been and there always will be men and women who have traits that could be misconstrued, but it does not change the fact that we are created as man and woman and can only reproduce by the union of a man and a woman. God said be fruitful and multiply, and there is only one way to achieve that goal. (Genesis 1:28) & (Genesis 8:17 )

There are those who attempt to use the Scriptures I listed above to prove that God did not really mean to condemn homosexuality. These false teachers attempt to distort the plain meaning of Scripture by taking ancient historical languages and reinterpreting them with the mindset of today's hedonistic views. However, their arguments fall short, and with a minimal amount of study it becomes clear that they only wish to confuse their followers into believing they are not sinning. We must avoid interpreting Scripture in light of our tendencies and desires and instead interpret our desires and tendencies in light of the Scripture. God's word is the rule, we must not make our rule God's word.

Another way they obfuscate the truth is by claiming the biblical view of sexuality is not valid in the modern word. They point out that the law in Leviticus was intended for the ancient Hebrews and does not apply today. By claiming the Levitical law was intended for the ancient Hebrews, they use examples of many things condemned as evil in the Old Testament that are commonly accepted in the modern world, like eating pork. While I do admit that civil or ceremonial laws do often change from country to country and year by year, moral laws do not change. The New Testament may have repealed various Old Testament ceremonial Jewish laws like eating unclean foods and circumcision, (Acts 10:12-15); (Colossians 2:11-16); (Romans 14:17)), but the Bible is consistent throughout the Scriptures on its teaching about morality, which includes the practice of homosexuality.

Those who advance the gay agenda attempt to normalize their behavior to the public by claiming Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in any of His sermons. Obviously, they reason, we cannot ascertain His position on it. However, Jesus never mentioned other blatant sexual sins like rape, incest, or pedophilia either. Now does anyone think that Jesus would condone any of those behaviors? I think not. Just because Jesus does not mention them, does not mean that it is all right to commit these offenses against God and each other. 

There can be no mistaking about the teachings of Jesus when it comes to the proper marriage relationship of a man and a woman. In (Matthew 19:4-5) Jesus reiterated the same thing about marriage and family that Moses taught when He wrote the account of creation in the book of Genesis. (Genesis 2:24) It is very clear from both Moses and Jesus that any sexual relationship outside of a committed marriage relationship between one man and one woman not only demeans the institution of marriage, but also insults our heavenly Father.

Besides being quite clear in his contempt for sexual immorality (Mark 7:21), Jesus was even more strict than the teachings in the Old Testament. He went so far as to state that sexual immorality extended to even the lusting in ones heart. (Matthew 5:27-30) These were very tough standards compared to what Moses taught, and He knew we would find it difficult to accept them. Throughout His life Jesus met people who were caught up in different sinful behaviors, yet nowhere does He ever condone the behavior of those that sinned. After Zacchaeus had spent some time with Jesus, the tax collector pledged to pay back fourfold all he stole from his fellow Jews. (Luke 19:1-9) These were very tough standards compared to what Moses taught, and He knew we would find it difficult to accept them. Throughout His life, Jesus met people who were caught up in different sinful behaviors, yet nowhere does He ever condone the behavior of those that sinned. 

When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Him, Jesus forgave her, but also made it clear she was to sin no more. (John 8:1-11) Also Jesus specifically stated that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, (Matthew 5:17) and Jewish law was quite clear on homosexual behavior. So to suggest that Jesus would have condoned homosexual behavior is twisting Scripture for personal gratification and reasons of political correctness.

In our attempt to show how God is a loving and forgiving God we must not forget that He is also a God of justice. Justice means that there will be punishment for those who do not obey His precepts. Jesus says more about hell and eternal punishment than anyone else in the entire Bible. The teaching comes from his own lips and we must take it with utmost seriousness. (Matthew 5:48) Examples of the wrath of God's judgement: (Genesis 2:17); ( 2 Kings 17:18); (Psalm 74:1); (Psalm 79:5); (Psalm 90:11); (Proverbs 10:16); (Micah 7:9); (Zephaniah 3:8); (Matthew 5:29); (Matthew 7:13); (Matthew 25:46); (Romans 1:32); (Romans 2:8); (Romans 6:23); (Acts 3:19); (1 Corinthians 6:9); (Galatians 6:7-8); (Philippians 3:19); (2 Thessalonians 1:9); (James 1:15) and (Revelation 20:12-15).

Those who attempt to mislead others about what the Scriptures say, suggest that God is a God of love and accepts people just as they are. This is a very dangerous thing to teach, because it leads people to think they do not need to believe in Jesus so be saved. However Paul specifically told the Romans that all have sinned and thus fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ) and Jesus tells us that no one but God is good. (Luke 18:18) We are an unclean people who sin continually, and God demands that we repent of those sins. (Acts 2:38) When we create a god that fits our lifestyle we are in direct violation of the Second Commandment, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me”. (Exodus 20:3)

Regardless of the excuses we use for our sins, sin is still sin, and we will all be tested throughout our lives by our flesh and the world in which we live. Some of us will be given a thorn in our side to remind us of God's grace which allows us to look to Him for the strength we need to defeat our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:7- 10) Those weaknesses can either lead us to find pleasure in the world, or comfort in the knowledge of Christ and His power to save us. The question we all must ask ourselves is, can we sacrifice those pleasures that keep us from God upon the cross with Christ, or will we risk eternal damnation because of our desire to practice behavior the world has legalized?

I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

APA reverses itself on Claim of "Gay Gene"

In the last 30 years, the American people have been fed lie after lie that the homosexual lifestyle is a normal way of living and that there was just a matter of time before scientists would even prove that a person was born gay. So the idea that the gay lifestyle is natural has been successfully propagated by promoting a "victim" image and by the pseudo-science alleging a 'gay" gene. We were fed report after report that scientists are getting closer to proving a gay gene exists.

Then in a well publicized report put out by the APA in 1998, it was stated,

"There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality."

With a crescendo of approval the MSM touted this report while the left used it to make major inroads with the public to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality. There were those whom the media and politicians catered to who claimed this proved that homosexuals are victims of a society that will not allow them to be what they have no control over being. After all, they were born that way. Just as a Black person has no control over the color of their skin, neither can a person born to love another of the same sex.

The only problem is that in all the so called scientific reports that science is getting closer to proving the existence of a "gay" gene, not a single one ever survived scientific peer review. Now in a complete reversal the APA has backed off their previously held stance that there was evidence that abhorrent sexual behavior is genetic. Now the APA has revised that statement and omitted the above sentence. The newest APA brochure, which appears to be an update of the older one, is titled, "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality." The newly worded statement is as follows;

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles..."

So now the APA is in agreement with those who have said time and time again, there is no "gay" gene. However, I will admit that study after study have shown that homosexuals are victims, but they are victims of their own perverted behavior.

Something most people do not think about when considering homosexual behavior is the very unsanitary behavior they practice. Typical homosexual behavior includes regular contact with fecal matter from oneself and from sexual partners, tragically reversing several centuries of learning about cleanliness. It is the better understanding of germs and sanitary practices that have led members of our society to live a longer lifespan. Thus homosexual behavior, through the very nature of achieving sexual pleasure, reverses the advancement of longevity among those who practice it. All available evidence indicates that the lifespan of practicing homosexual persons is drastically shortened by their behavior. There is no reliable study that indicates otherwise. Added to this is the sad reality that the shortened lifespan of homosexuals is taboo subject among homosexual advocates. The evidence is damaging to the case that it is as normal as heterosexual behavior is.

This is what the Scriptures tell us about why men and women practice the behavior of homosexuality.

"For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. Romans 1:25-27
In reality, men and women who practice such abhorrent behavior do it out of their own desires. It is, in a real sense, a choice. That choice is to reject God and His laws upon which HE [God] then in turn punishes the offender. Its not a genetic flaw but is in fact exactly what the Scriptures have always said it is: SIN. And its not a mental illness. It is a willful rejection of God. The shortened lifespan they have, along with the diseases all men and women get from sexual immorality is a punishment from God. Lest anyone think otherwise though, sin is sin regardless of who practices it. Heterosexuals sin also when they practice any behavior not sanctioned by God as normal sexual behavior between a married man and woman.
One last point I must make. I love all God's people and even those who do not want Him I am called to love. Sin is anything that falls short of the perfection of God, and we all fall short of His glory and thus need the blood of His Son to wash away our sins. It is love to warn those who practice sinful behavior, it is hate to allow someone to wallow in sin and loose their soul. I warn homosexuals they are in danger of hell, just as I would warn a heterosexual who is engaged in sexual behavior outside of a marriage. Both must repent and change their behavior. Failure to warn those living in sin would be a sin in itself. That would be the sin of neglect, and we are told to tell the truth at all cost, even if it means it would cost me my life as it did all but one of the disciples of Christ.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Scratching Those Itchy Ears

Whenever I would grab a book to read and sit on the couch, and I could always count on my dog to come over, jump up and settle down next to me. Just about the time I kicked back to relax, she would lay her head on my lap and give me that look. Oh, how good she was at letting me know what she wanted!

Inevitably, this would lull her into a calm, relaxed state of mind until I thought she had fallen asleep. I would stop pampering her, and pick up my book to start reading again. That’s when she began pushing her head towards my hand in an attempt to take my mind off my reading. So, I would indulge her for a bit longer in the hope that she would settle down so I could read my book. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I would either have to give her what she desired, or else she would get down and go find someone else to scratch those itchy ears.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Ugly Result of Convincing Christians That Christ Was A Socialist

These numbers go to the heart of the reason I felt the need to write my article on Jesus not being a Socialist and why Christians need to learn the truth.

A recent survey of Protestants was released in early March of 2009. The CVS (
The Mainline Protestant Clergy Voices Survey) surveyed senior clergy from the seven largest mainline denominations:

United Methodist,
Evangelical Lutheran of America,
American Baptist USA,

Presbyterian USA,
Episcopal ,
United Church of Christ,
Christian (Disciples of Christ)

The survey found significant differences across the denominations on religious and political measures.
What follows is their findings on social and political issues. The results will stun you.

Percent of women in the clergy:
1989: 7%
2008: 20%

Agree that "gay couples should be allowed to marry legally":
Women clergy: 58%
Male clergy: 27%

Agree that "abortion should be legal in all or most cases":
Women clergy: 78%
Male clergy: 44%

Agree that "the federal government should do more to solve social problems such as unemployment, poverty, and poor housing":
Women clergy: 90%
Male clergy: 76%

Agree that "more environmental protection is needed, even if it raises prices or costs jobs":
Women clergy: 80%+
Male clergy: 66%

Agree that "support the government guaranteeing health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes":
Women clergy: 85%
Male clergy: 63%

Agree that "social welfare problems, like poverty, education and health care are the most important issues in the country that the church should address":
Women clergy: 50%
Male clergy: 34%

In regards to politics, identify with the Democratic Party:
Women clergy: 75%+
Male clergy: 50%

In regards to politics, identify with the Republican Party:
Women clergy: 11%
Male clergy: 40%

In regards to politics, self-identify as "liberal":
Women clergy: 74%
Male clergy: 42%

After the last election we were all stunned at the numbers of Christians who voted for Obama and the Socialist agenda the Democrats offered. Now we no why this happened. the concerted effort to convince Christians That Jesus was a socialist and would have supported their Socialist agenda. What follows is the final statistics of how the Religious and nonreligious voted for president. You will notice I listed the numbers starting with those which John McCain carried to Obama in a sliding graduation

xx% McCain, 23% Obama - White Evangelicals age 30-64

75% McCain, 25% Obama - White7,10 Born Again Evangelicals

73% McCain, 26% Obama - Evangelical/Born-again Protestant

xx% McCain, 32% Obama - White Evangelicals age 18-29

65% McCain, xx% Obama - Weekly church-attending Protestants

65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestants

65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestant/Other Christian

62% McCain, 35% Obama - State of Utah

59% McCain, 40% Obama - Working-class whites

57% McCain, 41% Obama - White men

55% McCain, 43% Obama - Weekly mass-attending Catholics

55% McCain, 43% Obama - "White voters"

55% McCain, 44% Obama - Non-evangelical Protestant

54% McCain, 44% Obama - Weekly church-goers

54% McCain, 45% Obama - Protestants

53% McCain, 46% Obama - White women

52% McCain, 47% Obama - White "regular-mass-attending" Catholics

52% McCain, 47% Obama - White Catholic

51% McCain, 47% Obama - White college graduates

xx% McCain, 47% Obama - White independent voters

51% McCain, 49% Obama - White Catholics

46% McCain, 52% Obama - Non-Evangelical Protestants

46% McCain, 53% Obama - Protestant/Other Christian

xx% McCain, 53% Obama - Monthly church-goers

44% McCain, 54% Obama - "Young whites"

45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholics

45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholic

xx% McCain, 59% Obama - Semi-annual church-goers

38% McCain, 61% Obama - Occasional churchgoers

37% McCain, 61% Obama - Non-weekly-mass-attending Catholics

28% McCain, 62% Obama - Other faiths

30% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanics

xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Catholics

xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Protestants and other Christian

xx% McCain, 68% Obama - Don't attend church

22% McCain, 73% Obama - Other faiths

23% McCain, 75% Obama - Unaffiliated with any religion

23% McCain, 75% Obama - Unaffiliated

21% McCain, 78% Obama - American Jews and other faiths

21% McCain, 78% Obama - Jewish

xx% McCain, 94% Obama - Black Protestants

xx% McCain, 96% Obama - Blacks

Now you might understand the urgency with which we need to address the problem of truth about how Jesus believed and taught. If we cannot educate those who have faith on the truth, how can we expect to reach the unsaved with the truth?

I wish to thank Alex Murphy for the statistics.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Was Jesus A Socialist?

It has been the aim of the Democrat party since they lost the Presidential election in 2004 to subvert the Christian doctrine with the claim that Jesus was a socialist. Their goal is to convince Christians that their Social agenda is morally equivalent with the teachings and life of Jesus Christ. Considering the lack of historical and Biblical knowledge most Americans have, it is not surprising that many have fallen for the misinformation on what Jesus taught (and for whom the teachings were given). These Biblical revisionists have become especially adept at cherry picking Scripture to suit their agenda. Hence, many have come to misunderstand the gospel of Christ by equating it with modern day Socialism.

My first point of contention with the idea that Christ was a socialist, is His teachings and the example of His life. Throughout the time that Christ lived with His disciples, He never worked. Instead he was dependent upon the charity and good hearts of those who surrounded Him. Now that is not to say Jesus was lazy or a bum either. Jesus was always about His fathers business, and that bussiness was the salvation of mankind. You will find nowhere in the Scriptures, Jesus telling His followers to rely upon those who are not willing to hear the gospel or share what they have. If the people refused to hear the gospel or be charitable with them, Jesus told His disciples to rebuke them and go to others who are willing to hear the teachings, as when He sent them out by pairs. (Matthew chapter 10)

I must emphasize that all of the lessons Jesus taught were for those who followed Him, or would listen to His teachings. When a person asked for healing or for forgiveness, Jesus always told them that their sins were forgiven and to go and sin no more. As for money, there was only one time He mentioned the wealth of an individual and that was because that individual treasured his wealth over God. Jesus used the incident as a lesson to tell His disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. Not impossible, but more difficult. He tells us elsewhere that where your treasure is there too is where your heart will be. (Matthew 6:21)

Jesus also taught that we should not let our charitable work be publicly known. (Matthew 6:1-4) Those who love to brag about all the good they have done for others through the Social programs of the government would not be true followers of Jesus or his teachings.

When Jesus did finally have His big chance to influence the government and it's rulers, he did not broach the subject of socialism or it's supposed glory. Not only did He not enlighten them upon the benefits of Socialism, He would not even share the Gospel with them.

If Jesus was the great Socialist leader the left wants you to believe then why would He not get the government to follow His lead. After all, the perfect time to influence the government was when he was in front of Pontius Pilot or Herod. He did not. The Scriptures tell us that He kept silent in front of Herod. ( Luke 23:6- 12) He said only a few words to Pontius Pilot. (John 18:33-19:11) That is because Jesus did not come to influence the government, but the people who needed salvation. He wanted men to believe in Him not some social agenda that would get the government to do what Christians were called to do. These are the lessons His disciples continued to teach after he was gone, and those lessons would come into play in the Book of Acts.

Most people have heard the story about the early days of Christianity, where everyone sold their possessions and distributed the proceeds to other Christians in need. (Acts 4:34-35) This is one of the main Scriptures used by the left to convince people that the early Christians practiced Socialism. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that this is something that happened mainly among the Christian believers. By taking into consideration the historical setting of the Book of Acts, you will begin to better understand the reason why there was a need for this kind of outpouring among the early Christians.

During the time when Christ walked among us and taught His disciples, and later after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into Heaven, Jerusalem was an economically depressed area. Most of the employment opportunities centered around the building of Herod 's Temple, and the only ones eligible to work on the Temple were Jews. The only Jews that were allowed to work on the Temple were those who were ceremonially clean. Anyone that was unclean or found to be unfit by the priests were barred from working on the Temple. There were various reasons one could be considered unclean or at odds with the Priests who controlled the work force. A Jew who openly confessed faith in Christ and followed His teachings, was automatically considered a Heretic and unfit for consideration of employment in the Temple. They were also ostracized by their close relatives and the community, and soon found themselves unable to support themselves or their family.

It was under these conditions that the first Christians came together and pooled their resources so that the many who lacked the basics to care for themselves could be taken care of in the face of such harsh treatment in their communities. These early Christians were not only shunned by society, but many like Stephen were stoned to death for their faith in Christ. All they had was other Christians to depend upon. So while we do read in the Book of Acts about communal living, where all things were in common, it was from the excess many had so that those in need could be cared for. That does not mean that all were equal, or that those who had means split those means equally with those who did not have means, but rather they provided for the necessities of those who could not do so for themselves. What the Book of Acts records is that the early Christians stepped up and did what Christ called them to do.

We can also see in the Book of Acts that a Christian could give as much or as little as they wanted, as in the account of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. (Acts 5:1-10) The Scriptures tell us they were put to death by the Holy Spirit for lying about how much they received because they wanted everyone to believe they donated all the proceeds from some possessions they sold. The lesson we learn from the incident is that they were not required to give everything but to be honest about their donation. Later when it was prophesied that a famine would come to the land, the disciples in Antioch collected money to send with Paul and Barnabas to be delivered to Jerusalem. (Acts 11:27-30) They did not ask Herod, Caesar, the Jews, or unbelieving Gentiles for help, they collected the money from other Christians.

Now for those who want to equate this outpouring of sharing with the idea of modern day socialism, I would suggest a short course in Biblical Theology. Christianity teaches that it is up to the individual to care for others, whereas, Socialism demands forced equality enacted by the government. Also, while it is the Christian's obligation to look after the widows and the poor, Paul specifically told the Thessalonians in his 2nd letter to them, that if a healthy able bodied brother will not work he will not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Socialism on the other hand, not only promotes but demands that those who work will feed those who are lazy and will not work. This is not what Christ taught. Jesus did not have the Good Samaritan in Luke's Gospel tell the injured man in the road to seek a government social worker. The Good Samaritan gave of what was his own willingly, not under the duress of the state. (Luke 10:25-37)

Throughout the life of Christ, He always emphasized personal responsibility and love. That is because Christ came to save mankind from the penalty of sin, which is eternal death. It is through the substitutionary death of Christ and His resurrection that we are provided with the means for justification and thus salvation. Jesus said that all who believe and receive Him through faith, will be born again and saved to become children of God. Christ could care less about the governments and their so-called compassion. That is why you will not find anywhere in the Scriptures a verse that says He died for the salvation of the state.

Jesus died for the salvation of man and it is men's hearts that will be judged on judgment day. No man will be judged according to how much he paid in taxes, or how many government programs he supported. We are told to pay tribute to our rulers if they ask, but charity starts and ends at home with each individual. That is why Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Notice that He said, as you did, not as the government did. (Matthew 25:35-39 )

One last point that needs to be made, and that is for anyone who doubts that Communism and Socialism are two feathers from the same bird. Frederick Engels' wrote the preface to the 1888 edition of the “Communist Manifesto”, in which he declares that the Communist Manifesto "is undoubtedly the most widespread, the most international production of all Socialist literature, the common platform acknowledged by millions of working men from Siberia to California."

Socialism means economic control of the people by government. In a socialist country, the state is all-powerful. Such an all-powerful state views itself and not God as the ultimate authority. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Communist Manifesto calls for abolishing family, marriage, countries, and religion as well as private property. Under the socialist system the state determines what is right and wrong without any competing loyalties to God, family, or country.

Make no mistake about it, Jesus was not what politicians and their mimics in the media claim He was. He was not, and He did not teach, Socialism. He said I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one comes to the Father accept through Me. Christians are called to be the light of the world, we should influence the world through our lives and share the gospel with those who are receptive. If the Gospel, as Christ taught it, is rejected by those we whom we share it, then we are told to kick the dust from our shoes and go on. (Mark 6:11) We are not instructed to force them to be loving and charitable through the power of a Socialized government.

I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear His voice and call upon His name.