Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Think I'm About to Vomit

Aren't there laws regarding "contributing to the delinquency of a minor"? Because this really should fall under that category.

More for the Padded Walls

What is Christianity?

Summed up in a very quick sentence, I'd say it is a relationship with God through the teachings of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth.

Now then, where are the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth found... the Gospel, those series of books and letters that make up what we call the New Testament.

Now, if you are a pastor, claiming to be a Christian, what should you do?

I think the obvious answer is to actually talk about the Gospel, and not distort the message found within. 

Unfortunately, there are many pastors out there who claim to be Christian, but distort the message of the Gospel, or do not even talk about it. With their "feel good" message speaking what you "want to hear" versus "what you need to hear", they are slowly but surely eroding the pillars of the Gospel within people. This can be seen in many "mega-churches" these days in the USA and quite frankly, it is disgusting.

The Gospel is not all "flowers and sunshine". There are many passages that state that things will be difficult following the path of the Christ. 

The reality is this: truth causes strife. There will always be disagreements between people, and there is no way to please everyone all of the time. In the Christ's own words (from Luke 12:49-53): 

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, a father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

Disagreements within Christianity are quite common, and can be quite healthy (the last thing we need in this world is a Thoecratic GodBot State running everything). But if you teach that the walk with the Christ is a path that should be without any hardships and struggles, you are setting up a lot of people to start hating God when they hit the wall of disappointment in life. Teaching that a "good life" is a right, due to the sacrifice of the Christ, will ultimately cast more people into darkness than bring them into the light of Jesus.

Let's let a man with a better way with words than I, touch on this subject:

My thanks go out to Mars Hill Church for posting their sermons online to share with others in this world.

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I Really Need a Padded Wall

...because pounding my head against sheetrock is starting to hurt.

As someone new to/returning to the faith (I was raised in a Christian family, but cannot really say that I truly believed until just recently), it grieves my heart to see the diminishment of Scripture in many parts of the Church.

One of these is the current row among Protestants regarding homosexuality.

Before anyone jumps all over me, let me state that I have no right to condemn anyone, and that is not what I am going to do here. I am a sinner along with everyone else in this world.

Exodus 20:1-17 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 "You shall have no other gods before me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

13 "You shall not murder.

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."

I, along with anyone who reads this post, have broken many of these commandments in the past. I am no better than anyone else, therefore I cannot condemn anyone, lest I ask for condemnation upon myself (Romans 2:3).

However, without condemning, I can, and should, offer words of correction to fellow Christians who are not following God's commands (Leviticus 19:17-18, 1 Corinthians 5:12-13).

To the split within the Church regarding homosexuality:

Leviticus 20:1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying
Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

According to Scripture, homosexuality is an abomination to God. However, with Leviticus 19:17-18 and Matthew 22:34-40 stating we cannot hate our brothers, but must love them, we cannot condemn them. But we are sinning if we do not confront them and point out what Scripture says in these regards.

If you allow an unrepentant adulterer, murderer, thief, idolater, etc. into a leadership position in the Church you are not following God's word (1 Timothy 3:8-13). Therefore, if you are following Scripture, an individual who is in an active, homosexual relationship, should be removed from any Church leadership position.

Anyone who unrepentantly disobeys the word of God must be removed from any position of influence in the Church. This is not my decree, but God's.

Matthew 18:15-17 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Now, does Matthew 18:15-17 give us the right to just kick the homosexual sinner out of the Church, and wash our hands of them? I say no. It is our duty as Christians to still treat them with kindness and love and preach to them God's word, for is that not what the disciples did to Gentiles and tax collectors?

If you hear anyone profess to be a Christian, but also says they hate someone, know in your heart that person is not a Christian. Because of Sin, humanity cannot be trusted with hate. Hate for us can never be righteous, only evil due to the corrupting nature of Sin. If you feel that you must hate sinners, please do everyone a favor and take a LONG look in the mirror when you get up. There you will find the closest sinner to you to start hating.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

If you find something that you do not like in the Bible, the fault is not with God, it is with you. It is due to something within yourself that you love more than you love the word of God. For if all Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), what was an abomination in the beginning, is still an abomination today.

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.