Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Call To Remain Faithful

I starting blogging as a result of Stephen Bennett's ministry blog. In
one of my first topics back in April I stated:

"Please keep Stephen, his family and his ministry in your prayers. As
I stated in my post, I think that it has to be one of the most difficult ministries because of the fact that it is often attacked from all sides."

One would expect to be attacked by gay activists, but when I read a
blog post from another Christian who rips apart the intentions and motives of a fellow Christian's ministry, it really saddens me. It just reiterates the truth that formerly gay ministries ARE attacked by
people from all sides! Often, sadly, from the liberal left wing of Christendom. This is truly sad. But that is what happens when people take their eyes off of Jesus Christ and His Word in the Bible and focus
on what THEY believe to be 'truth'. Scripture is clear on the issue that homosexual behavior is sin. Period. However, what this individual is missing is that she is to lift up, pray for and not slander another
Christian in their ministry...even if, perhaps, she may not completely agree with it. This is what happens when the truth gets skewed and the individual doing the "skewing" doesn't see her own error!

Friends, you can go to the blogsite and read the message for yourself.
On second thought, I will save you from the rants of the ridiculous
going on over there. Frankly, it's not even worth your time to read ANY
of it. You just may need to take my word on this.

Please note that I am NOT referring to the original poster (b). I refer to
a poster named J&O's comments. She professes to be a Christian, yet , has many derogatory comments about her brother in Christ. What is wrong with this picture?

Please keep in mind that I am NOT referring to a non-believer's views
vs. a Christian's views. These verses are discussing the relationship(s)
of fellow Christians.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 - Dear brothers and sisters, we always thank God
for you, as is right, for we are thankful that your faith is flourishing
and you are all growing in love for each other.

Footnote: Greek Brothers.


I didn't see any Christian brotherly/sisterly love in her words
directed at Stephen...did you?

Philippians 2:1 - Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and
mercy,

Philippians 2:2 - fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Philippians 2:3 - Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or
conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.


Did you see any 'consolation in Christ', 'comfort of love', 'fellowship of the Spirit', 'any affection and mercy' in her words?

Scripture tells us to be 'like-minded, having the same love, being of
ONE ACCORD, of one mind.

It is one thing to disagree with a method of ministry or perhaps the target of one's ministry, but this verse tells us to let NOTHING be
done through selfish ambition or conceit and we are to let each esteem others better than himself.

I could find many, many more verses, but perhaps these will suffice
for now.

The truth is that it APPEARS that Jaded doesn't like, approve of, or
even consider ex-gay ministry necessary or legitimate.

Where does she get the idea that she is correct on this? Certainly not
from Scripture.

Therefore, whatever denomination she attends COULD BE, BASED
ON SCRIPTURE IN JUDE, guilty of heresy and apostasy. Take a look
at Jude's warnings on this and any other heresy issue. Read it and then you tell me who is actually following the Will of God and
who is not!


Greetings from Jude
This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.
I am writing to all who are called to live in the love of God the Father
and the care of Jesus Christ.
2 May you receive more and more of God's mercy, peace, and love.
The Danger of False Teachers
3 Dearly loved friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you
about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the truth of the Good News.* God gave this unchanging truth once for all time to
his holy people. 4 I say this because some godless people
have wormed their way in among you, saying that God's forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives. The fate of such people was determined long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 I must remind you-and you know it well-that even though the Lord* rescued the whole nation of Israel from Egypt, he later destroyed every one of those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them
but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the day of judgment. 7 And don't forget the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with sexual immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and are a warning of the eternal fire that
will punish all who are evil.
8 Yet these false teachers, who claim authority from their dreams, live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at the power of the glorious ones.* 9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not
dare accuse Satan of blasphemy, but simply said, "The Lord rebuke you." (This took place when Michael was arguing with Satan about Moses' body.) 10 But these people mock and curse the things they do not understand. Like animals, they do whatever
their instincts tell them, and they bring about their own destruction. 11 How terrible it will be for them! For they
follow the evil example of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they will do anything for money. And like Korah,
they will perish because of their rebellion.
12 When these people join you in fellowship meals celebrating the love
of the Lord, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you.*
They are shameless in the way they care only about themselves. They are like clouds blowing over dry land without giving rain, promising much but producing nothing. They are like trees without fruit at harvesttime. They are not only dead but doubly dead, for they have been pulled out by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of
the sea, churning up the dirty foam of their shameful deeds. They are wandering stars, heading for everlasting gloom and darkness.
14 Now Enoch, who lived seven generations after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said,
"Look, the Lord is coming
with thousands of his holy ones.
15
He will bring the people of the world
to judgment.
He will convict the ungodly of all the evil things
they have done in rebellion
and of all the insults that godless sinners
have spoken against him."*
16 These people are grumblers and complainers, doing whatever evil they feel like. They are loudmouthed braggarts, and they flatter others to get favors in return.
A Call to Remain Faithful
17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the
apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you, 18 that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. 19 Now they are
here, and they are the ones who are creating divisions
among you. They live by natural instinct because they do
not have God's Spirit living in them.
20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed
by the Holy Spirit.* 21 Live in such a way that God's love can bless you
as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the
flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need
to show mercy, but be careful that you aren't contaminated
by their sins.*
A Prayer of Praise
24 And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy. 25
All glory to him, who alone is God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, in the beginning, now, and forevermore. Amen.
Footnotes:
1:3
Greek to contend for the faith.
1:5
Some manuscripts read Jesus.
1:8
The glorious ones are probably evil angels.
1:12
Or they are contaminants among you, or they are stains.
1:14
The quotation comes from the Apocrypha: Enoch 1:9.
1:15
The quotation comes from the Apocrypha: Enoch 1:9.
1:20
Greek Pray in the Holy Spirit.
1:23
Greek mercy, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.

[ bold - mine]

31 comments:

scribble said...

Who are you to criticize her?
Who are you to despise her?

If your slate is clean then you can throw stones,
if your slate is not...
then Leave her alone.

Why come to a site which is
in direct opposition and take
it back to your site to spew hate?
Can you not come up with a topic all on your own?

She has a right to tell Stephen why she is leaving and then to go.
She has made no effort to communicate with him after that good bye.
Why are you keeping this going ?
For the drama of it all ?

You chose to read what you did.
Then you have chosen to bad mouth my friend in several places on the internet.
How Christian does that make you ?

Shame on you.

Christinewjc said...

Hello annie,

Welcome to my blog! I have often enjoyed the great dialogue that you and Stephen shared at his blog. I had tears in my eyes when I read your post about Stephen's idea to digitally enhancing your childhood picture. I haven't kept up with all of the posts over there, but I hope that your friendship with Stephen continues. You are an articulate person who can share differing opinions without being abrasive. What a great trait! I have to confess that I still need to work a bit on that... Oh well...no one's perfect!

Anyway, I'm a bit saddened that your first post here ended up being confrontational...but it comes with the territory I guess. Just like you felt compelled to stand up for the sake of your friend Jaded, I felt compelled to stand up for Stephen.

annie said: "She has a right to tell Stephen why she is leaving and then to go."

Unfortunately, she did a lot more than just 'tell Stephen why she was leaving and then go.'


Here's a copy of some of what Jaded said at Stephen's blog:
"Didn't you say that you and other professed Christians question my beliefs? Judgemental. Your judgements mean nothing. Period. I have been sitting back, watching the double talk and hatred spewed in the name of Christianity and it sickens me. I've brought your blog to the attention of not only my mainstream Christian Methodist minister, but to the attention of my born-again evangelical friend and her minister husband. You'll be relieved to know that they're praying for you. Not because they agree with you, but because they are concerned with YOUR skewed views, and with how boastful they felt you are. Actually, in a general way, you were the topic of the sermon in my church on Sunday. No, there were no names mentioned, your blog and website weren't plugged... it was a sermon about being wary of false prophets, and hatred shrouded under the guise of Christianity. It was inspiring.

Even the devil himself isn't some hideous creature, or why would he ever be successful in recruiting? And yes, you can spread evil under the guise of religion. And you can inspire it without spewing it. Either way, it's certainly a sin.

Oh, and don't bother responding. I don't care to hear what you have to say, so I won't be back. I've seen your true colors, through your own words, and they aren't pretty."

It may have been deemed subtle by others, but I saw the accusations in her words where she alluded to her own idea that Stephen must be a 'false prophet'. I simply shared what the Bible says about how a fellow Christian should act towards, and speak of, a fellow Christian brother. Then, I went further to share what the book of Jude says about how to spot those who could be deceived and involved in heresy and apostasy.

The way I see it is that fellow Christians are to lift up, pray for and not slander another Christian in their ministry...even if, perhaps, they may not completely agree with it.

annie: "Then you have chosen to bad mouth my friend in several places on the internet.
How Christian does that make you ?"

Quoting Scripture verses against what Jaded said about Stephen and his ministry is 'bad mouthing your friend'? Perhaps it appears that way to you. Perhaps you are correct for Scripture instructs us:

Hebrews 4:12-16 (NLT)
12 For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. 13 Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.


Christ Is Our High Priest
14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

scribble said...

I figured you would revert to the bible verses when I was speaking from the heart.
There is such truth in speaking from ones heart.
Oh well. I tried.

Have a nice blog.
Sorry you don't see the difference.

Jaded&Opinionated said...

As usual, you have done nothing but perpetuate the very action of which you accuse me. As usual, you have done nothing but pass judgement on me, and the entire Methodist Church. I'll be sure to let my pastor know that he is guilty of heresy, according to you, which isn't passing judgment at all, right? You have not only felt it your right to judge, but you have acted as judge and jury yourself. You have found my church guilty of things that only God Himself can judge. But somehow you feel that your sin isn't sin at all, and if it is, it's certainly not as great as mine. Again, I will say kindly remove the log from your own eye before you try to remove the speck in mine.

I also told you that I don't like the idea of fighting with Bible verses. I've said that you, specifically, won't let this go because you need to prove you're right. Why? If you think you're right, good for you. Then don't seek me out on someone else's blog only to pass judgment on me to whomever is willing to listen. Remove your log.

I said I wasn't going to post at SB's site again, and I haven't. That isn't being two-faced. I said from the beginning I didn't agree with him on MANY points. My continued dissention then is not two-faced, it is dissention. There is a vast difference. The idea that you are right and everyone else is wrong is, at best, ignorant, but more than likely it's arrogant. You do not have all the answers, as you so arrogantly imply. No one does. Not one living person on this earth knows all of the answers. To say otherwise is blaspehmy.

And, the next time you find it necessary to pass judgement and bash me here or anywhere else, please, get your "facts" straight. The ministries of formerly gay men and women are not what's at issue, with me or with anyone I know. What IS at issue is catching someone who claims to be a Christian so faithful as to warrant the priviledge of people believing him at his word in more than one lie. If you lie about a story once for effect, how can you ever expect to have people believe you. You have no problem questioning my Christianity when you know nothing about me, nor what I have done in my life. Yet you have no problem believing that because someone sets up a web site and a mininstry, that he must be faithful and right.

So, this is the last I plan to address you in any way, and would expect that you would do the same. If you don't like what I have to say, then don't seek me out to listen. And if you're going to quote scripture to prove that you are right, quote all of the relative info...it's my opinion that Jude, Matthew, Peter et. al., were discussing the type of person I find your mentor to be. I take issue with him, and with the type of ministry that sets prices for visits based on how many people show up, has pop-ups for donations at every internet click, feels it necessary to have cosmetic dentistry in order to spread the Word, that lies, is deceptive in its intentions with gays and lesbians and doesn't adhere to that "love fluff"...and because I find that sort of ministry to be rife with false teachers, it is my duty from God to expose that. Remove your log!

False teachers do not wear name tags identifying themselves as such. They are hypocrites and deceivers, who have “crept in unnoticed” (Jude 4). They are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15). They identify themselves as true believers, followers of Jesus Christ, and they profess to follow Jesus as Lord. They seem to operate in His power, and they do their impressive works in His name. They appear to oppose Satan (see Matthew 7:15-23).

These false teachers attend the church and participate in its functions, including the Lord’s Supper (Jude 12). They appear to be “in fellowship” with the saints and are closely associated with them (2 Peter 2:1, 3, 13). They claim to be knowledgeable and are often regarded as leaders and teachers (see Matthew 7:15-23; 23:1-3; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:1-4).

Christinewjc said...

You wish for me to share from my heart? Then perhaps you won't mind if I share some thoughts about the Scripture verses I had just shared?

"12 For the word of God is full of living power."

I believe that Jesus Christ is who he says he is in the Bible. The Lord, Savior, Son of God, mighty Counselor etc. This is why I see God's word as better than my own words when sharing Christ with others.

"It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires."

I often use the NLT because it is easier to read and follow. But the NKJV states:

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Notice the reference to the "two-edged sword." As Stephen often says (paraphrased), "It's not my words...but God's Word that divides believer and non-believer. Take it up with God." If one discerns the Bible as God's Word of Truth (what Jesus claimed during his ministry on earth)then whether one believes this or not it cuts both ways! We either reject it as truth, or are convicted by it. There is no gray area here.

"It exposes us for what we really are."

Who am I? A sinner saved by grace...nothing more.

" 13 Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done."

We can try (as I did in the past) to hide from God, but that is impossible to do.

"Christ Is Our High Priest
14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him."

Instead, I know from where I have come (a sinner) and where I am now through trusting Him (under the mercy and grace of the cross of Christ)and it is my joy to honor Him by sharing the Gospel with all I meet.

"15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do,"

He understands my weaknesses and shortcomings and the temptations placed before me in my life. He doesn't condone my sin, but forgives me when I repent. What a comfort to know this!

"yet he did not sin."

This shows why I can trust Him with my life, now and in eternity. He is Holy.

"16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. "

Because of what Jesus did for mankind on the cross, we no longer have that barrier of sin between us and Holy God. We receive His grace and mercy as a gift and can call on him to help us whenever we are in need.

annie said:
"Sorry you don't see the difference."

I can carry on conversations without citing chapter and verse from the Bible if that makes you feel more comfortable. However, God's Word is such a large part of my life and I love to share the love of Jesus Christ with people who don't know him personally, yet.

When I reference Bible verses, the purpose is NOT to show off my biblical knowledge but to show that these words are from God and not from me. I am just an "earthen vessel" that I hope and pray that God can use to share the Gospel of Christ with other people and be pleasing to Him in my life.

Just for clarity, I am sharing the verse:

2 Corinthians 4:7

But this precious treasure--this light and power that now shine within us--is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
Footnote:
Greek But we have this treasure in earthen vessels.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

I sincerely hope that you might consider continuing a dialogue here with me and also at Stephen's blog.

Maybe we can start over with a clean slate and really get to know each other?

mamalicious said...

I'm saddened by your post, Christine. You really do appear to be judging J&O when she has proven to be authentic and honest in all her posts. Please don't judge. That will always be my message. Please don't judge.

I wish the dialogue could continue but I'm losing hope about that. Bru seems intent to destroy us all with his theory posted over and over and some on both sides refuse to budge on anything. I know you all see compromise as evil and something you cannot do but without a little bit of it, we'll never see eye to eye on anything.

I believe that Stephen is happy, that he changed and that God helped him get there. I don't believe God wants change for me because he loves me as I am. I wish people could see that. I think I've given up posting on Stephen's blog because while I can see that one's reality is right for him, others aren't willing to see that my reality is right for me...and that that can be okay.

Peace to you.

Christinewjc said...

Hi mamalicious,

Thanks for stopping by. I have appreciated many of your posts over at Stephen's blog. I'm sorry to hear that you have given up on posting there. Is that a permanent decision?

I'll assume that you have read through all of the posts in this thread, so no need to repeat myself. It is true. We are coming from totally different views within the current religious, political, social and moral spectrum. I'd like to explain why I posted what I did.

As Christians, we are to lift each other up and adhere to the person of Jesus Christ and His Word in the Bible. This does, at times, include the need to rebuke a fellow believer. Although this appears to be judging by non-believers, it is actually more like questioning in order to recognize whether or not God's Word is being shared accurately and as absolute truth, or being skewed in favor of a person's own humanistic beliefs.

In truth, I can be just as guilty of this as I perceived Jaded was. In fact, when re-reading my post I realize that I could have (and should have) worded a few things better.

For instance, I should have said, "She professes (meaning, affirms one's faith in a POSITIVE, definite way) to be a Christian, yet, has many derogatory comments about her brother in Christ."

It would have been a better choice of words. I'm not sure if that helps at all in your or her evalution of whether or not I was judging her, but the POSITIVE form of the term "professes" would have been more accurate than the negative form of the word "claims."

It is true that I cannot know for sure who is a true Christian and who is not. That is totally between God and them. It can be more obvious to us by witnessing the "fruits" of their works, but we are all imperfect and can make errors. This is a big reason that Christians need to rely on God and His Word in order to discern truth from error.

Another section of my post should also be changed. I should have written, "The truth is that Jaded APPEARS to not like, approve of, or even consider ex-gay ministry as necessary or legitimate."

One more. I would change,"Therefore, whatever denomination she attends is guilty of heresy and apostasy" to "Therefore, whatever denomination she attends COULD BE, BASED ON SCRIPTURE IN JUDE, guilty of heresy and apostasy."

Personally, I really try to avoid any kind of Christian in fighting. Different denominations can and do have differing traditions which can lead away from the absolute truth of the Bible, but I do not think it is a good thing for us to fight with each other about them. Sometimes we must agree to disagree while contining to share the gospel of Christ with the unsaved world.

One example of this occurred a while back on my message board. There was a Christian who absolutely insisted that polygamy was "O.K. according to the Bible." Nothing I (nor anyone else) said or quoted from Scripture could convince him otherwise. In the end, I had to just agree to disagree and leave it at that. I did try to encourage him to talk about some other topics, but so far he hasn't posted on them. I kinda see the same tendency with Bru's posts, so I see what you are saying. That's his/her "thing" and he/she wants to hammer it home. I guess the same could be said about me sharing Bible verses! But that IS my thing. Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and Word of God is the most important part of Jesus' command (THe Great Commission)just before his ascension into heaven, so that's my main objective here at my blog and my message board.

Back to our topic -

I realize that these changes to my original post that I have included above may not satisfy either you or Jaded, but I do want to apologize to Jaded for my poor wording in these three instances. I had planned to visit her over at her blog after Father's Day. Thought I would let things cool down a bit first. It appeared (in her post here) that she didn't want any more communication between the two of us so I was thinking maybe I should abide by her wishes. I have been in prayer about this and your post here has helped me to change my mind and go over and apologize to her and ask for her forgiveness.

Thank you for your gracious reply, mamalicious.

I pray and hope that the dialogue can continue between all of us over at Stephen's blog. You, Annie and Jaded are also welcome to visit me here. We can all learn from each other and help each other on this journey called life. Right?

Blessings to you -
Christine

mamalicious said...

I appreciate your response, Christine. Of course wording makes a difference - I think all too often people don't pay enough attention to their words...and words (the wrong ones) can cut deep.

I know all about "confronting our brothers/sisters in love" and I understand well the concept of discussing hard stuff with fellow believers "in God's name." I know about all of that because I lived in a world once where people claimed to "love me enough to tell me that I was going to hell" on a daily basis. While I'm sure it can be done successfully, it has never been an effective way of communicating with me...I hope you can see how that might be.

In-fighting is the saddest thing and I'm not sure it accomplishes much. Yes, many of us are coming from completely different places but why are some so unwilling to compromise? I still wish we could reach a place where we respect one another...that we feel respected and we respect those with whom we are in opposition. I have friends with whom I disagree completely - it doesn't mean we can't talk about hard stuff...we sometimes just have to abandon our "programming" and see where the other person is coming from.

This might come out completely wrong and I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say. Many Christians come off as so pious and self-righteous that they lose their audience immediately. I think Christians would reach more people if they weren't so "high and mighty" and so quick to cast judgment. In someone like Jaded, I see a Christian who is willing to allow us (as gay people) to take responsibility for our actions, while believing that God's going to figure it out for all of us who want it to be figured out. She seems an authentic spirit and I felt like I needed to defend that.

Am I permanently leaving Stephen's blog? I don't know. Things get so heated (from both sides) that sometimes it just zaps my energy. As a mom of a toddler, I need all the energy I can get - for now I'm taking a break.

Thanks again for your response.

Christinewjc said...

Hi mamalicious,

I posted my apology at Jaded's blog. Based on what I read there, I'm not sure if it will help at all, but we will see.

You said: "Yes, many of us are coming from completely different places but why are some so unwilling to compromise?"

I guess my answer would be that God's Word should not be compromised by Christians. Unfortunately, this is often done and leads to much confusion. This is why it is essential for Christians to read, study and apply the Word of God in their lives. I could cite Bible verses about this if you care to read them.

I disagree with the philosophy that God will sort it all out in the end. He has already sorted it out! It is written in His Word. The terminology often used is "separated the sheep (believers) from the goats (non-believers)" and separating the "wheat from the chaff." How do we find out, once and for all where we will end up? It's in God's Word.

I understand what you mean and where you are coming from when you state that you perceive many Christians (correct me if I am being inaccurate, but I'm assuming you mean the Bible-based, born-again evangelical conservative Christians) as "pious, high and might, self-righteous, and judgmental." I thought the same thing before I became born-again! Now that I am on the other side of debate, I see things much differently. I won't bore you with the details, but perhaps if I share a comment or two and then a secret prayer of my heart, YOU could tell me if you perceive it as all of those adjectives above.

I'm glad that you see Stephen's release from homosexual attraction and behavior as genuine. There are thousands who have experienced the same release from (what THEY NOW perceive as bondage from)sin, but are afraid and/or cautious about sharing it for fear of a barrage of hate being spewed at them by gay activists (please note I am NOT SAYING ALL GAYS HERE). Many of these activists have taken it upon themselves to silence (through the courts, on TV, in the news etc.)this growing minority. Stephen has been bold enough to confront the hate head-on for the glory it gives God (NOT Stephen's 'self-glory' as some may claim).

On the other side, are the homosexual people who have not experienced (nor perceive the need for it) this release from such behavior.

Still others, make a conscious decision to stop practicing homosexual behavior and still struggle with the attraction.

Still others, make a spiritual decision to abstain from homosexual behavior because of faith in Christ. One example is a pair of gay men who appeared on "Faith Under Fire" with Lee Strobel on PAX a while back. They stated that since becoming Christians, they still live together in a platonic relationship and abstain from sex. Now some people may view this as impossible (abstain from sex? are they crazy?), a lie (they still do it), or, we can percieve this choice as a personal sacrifice that THEY HAVE CHOSEN in order to please the Lord in keeping their physical bodies pure.

You may be wondering why am I bringing all of these cases up? Because I want to share my secret prayer with you. Well, to be accurate, it won't be a secret anymore! :-) You can be perfectly honest with me and share your thoughts about this particular prayer, whether you have a negative or positive reaction to it.

From what I read in God's Word, it is unrepentant homosexuals (along with unrepentant idolaters, liars, thieves, adulterors, murderers etc.) who WILL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of heaven. Here's my prayer:

Lord God, I just want to lift up the people who are caught up in the deception of homosexual behavior to you today. You love them so much that you sent your Son to die in their place for the remission of their sins, just as you did for mine. Thank you Lord Jesus for you mercy and grace! I pray that my witness about you, Jesus Christ, and all the witness of other Christians will in some way give them a change of heart and realize the need for their own personal repentance. We all need forgiveness for all of our sins, those we are willing to acknowledge as well as those we are not willing to acknowledge. I pray that their hearts will be quickened, even in the 11th hour of their lives, by your Holy Spirit that they need Jesus Christ in their lives and I pray that before their physical death they will repent of all their sins, even the one(s) they formerly were unwilling to acknowledge, and accept the gift of your mercy and grace, Lord Jesus, when they recognize your sacrifice for their sins on the cross. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever amen.

biscuit said...

And there are still others who are spiritual and have a relationship with christ regardless of their sexual orientation..

god made me in his likeness.. and if he doesn't like how I turned out I am sure he will let me know when I get to where I am going.

If Stephen and people like stephen want to minister to people who seek them out.. that's fine.. more power to ya..
But there are those of us who are gay, who are religious and who are quite fine, who don't need saving or conversion or anything of the sort.
I really wish I could understand the need to convert other gays.. I understand the need for stephen to reach out to rosie o'donnell, cause after all wouldn't that be the validation of his entire ministry if he could convert such an out gay person? It may not be what he is trying to do, but from the casual observer, that's what it looks like from here.. and since he has gotten no response, now he is on the attack going after her for anything and everything she says... how christian is that...?

the only reason I came over here is because I read your "prayer" and just wanted to say thanks, but no thanks.. My god will judge me thank you very much.. your time and efforts are better suited for some other place..
spend your time praying for someone who really needs it..

Jaded&Opinionated said...

Thank you for your post, Christine. Mama is a very wise woman, and I am fortunate to have met her. Your apology is, of course, accepted, because I believe it was heart-felt.

I have no issue with anyone and their need to witness based on their own experiences. I don't agree that religion should ever become a business. I can not imagine that Jesus ever intended for us to build big, shiny churches and have "ministers" driving expensive cars and wearing expensive clothing. I find it hard to believe that He'd ever be happy with the trappings of technology. He wanted to spread the Word in a simple manner, with no fanfare, no glitz and glamour, no "recommended" love offerings... I believe that if you have a testimony to give, then give it freely, as Jesus did. If you want to spread the Word of God full time, then become a minister and live with the allowance the church gives you. Could I have made a small fortune giving concerts in churches? Yes. But I don't charge a penny, and I never have. That doesn't mean I feel I'm "better than" any one else...I just feel that if God gives you a gift, then share it, for free. He paid for my gifts with His own blood. Sharing it is the least I can do.

It is my belief that we must allow everyone to exercise their free will. We are all sinners, not one different from the other in that respect. But to alienate any group of people by continually telling them that they're going to hell, or that they're an abomination in God's eyes does nothing to bring them closer to God. I believe that you lead by example, not with an iron fist and a pulpit of hellfire. I know you disagree, but I am truly troubled by the ministry we have been discussing. I have prayed about it alot, and I still come up with the same uneasy feeling. Something isn't right, something doesn't add up. And to that end, I think it's necessary to find out what's really going on. I sincerely hope I'm wrong. I have never doubted that Stephen was once gay and is now transformed through his relationship with Christ. I have never once doubted the validity of his own personal testimony. What doesn't sit right with me, however, is that it seems to now be a means to an end.

If there was one, etched in stone answer, there wouldn't be so many denominations within the Christian religion. It is certainly possible that your church's teachings are different from mine. That doesn't make either one guilty of heresy or blasphemy or anything like it. It just means that perhaps we all still have alot to learn from eachother.

I hope you will accept my apology for feeling it necessary to defend myself and my faith with such a strongly worded response. But, when anyone attacks my faith, I can't sit idly by and say nothing. Perhaps I should have been less aggressive and more open to dialogue.

mamalicious said...

Christine, thanks for your prayer. I truly believe that got hears all prayers and uses them as He sees fit...we can all use prayer so I appreciate it. While I don't necessarily think I need "saving," I do appreciate the kinds thoughts.

Biscuit said it well - and I wish we could all leave each other to take care of ourselves. I don't feel the need for "conversion" because my take on God's love is obviously different than yours. Can you understand or accept that? I know that compromise isn't what you will do and I can respect that...I know it's one of the battle cries of mainstream evangelicals (and I understand where it comes from). I will ask, though, that you not be too quick to judge our hearts - that you let God do that. I feel a real connection to God and have since I was a child...and I feel that my life as a lesbian isn't a betrayal of my belief in God. I'd love for Christians to believe me...take me at my word. Maybe that's what I'm asking more than anything else.

Jaded, I can't speak for Christine, but I appreciate your willingness to keep the conversation going...to try and meet in the middle. It's interesting to see two straight Christian women arguing different sides of the issue. :)

mamalicious said...

Oops - in my second sentence, that would be "God," not "got." Sorry.

Christinewjc said...

Hi mamalicious,

Thanks for your response. From your (and biscuit's) negative response to my prayer, I can see that this is a case where we will have to "agree to disagree" and call it a day.

You stated: "Jaded, I can't speak for Christine, but I appreciate your willingness to keep the conversation going...to try and meet in the middle. It's interesting to see two straight Christian women arguing different sides of the issue."

I'm sorry mama, but I have to disagee again. After reading what has been said about Stephen, his family, and his ministry over at blogzie's blog, I do not see ANYONE over there who is willing to "meet in the middle". In fact, I see people who are primarily bent on attempting to destroy a man, another human being, simply because they resent the fact that his life changed for the better through the redemption power of Jesus Christ and they can't stand the message he shares with this sinful, hurting and spiritually dying world. I think that what is being said over there about Stephen and several of the Christian bloggers (e.g. wishing a yeast infection on one? sheesh!)is absolutely disgusting and appalling. Mocking him because they perceive O'Reilly as 'tearing him to shreds' in the interview is mean, bigoted and discriminatory...all of the derogatory things that the homosexual community professes are being spewed at THEM, is being relently inflicted upon this man. Where's THEIR tolerance? Where's THEIR compassion? Where's THEIR anti-bigotry? Where's THEIR anti-hate? Where's THEIR LOVE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM THEM? The answer is: IT'S NON-EXISTENT.

Look at it this way. If a gay activist, say Wayne Besen had appeared on O'Reilly and Bill had done what he did to Stephen to Besen, what do you think the reaction would have been? A celebration over at Blogzie's blog because he "crushed Besen"? Of course not. There would have been absolute outrage!

This has truly grieved me. I'm sure that it grieves the Holy Spirit of God, too. Seeing one ideological side of his beloved children attacking the other. Truly, truly sad. Who is being hypocritical here? Can you at least be honest about this mamalicious?

It is no wonder so many formerly homosexual men and women stay silent about their orientation change; whether they achieved it through psychological therapy or through the salvation grace of Jesus Christ. To be attacked, mocked, verbally bashed, and spewed with such hate the way that Stephen currently is being attacked probably isn't worth it to many who have come out of the gay life. So they stay silent. In fact, an interview I had with another ex-gay man, now Christian minister at Desert Stream Ministries opened my eyes to many facts about this issue. I asked him some blunt honest questions about how he was treated by the gay community after his conversion compared to how he was treated by heterosexuals when he identified as gay. Know what he told me? The anger, hate, bigotry, mocking, slandering happened far more towards him as an ex-gay than it ever happened when he self-identified as gay.

One more thing. As far as the questions going on about Stephen's ministry goes, there are wonderful things happening behind the scenes for people who call the ministry for help. I hope that Stephen doesn't mind that I share that some desperate people have been at the point of suicide and contacted the ministry for help. Since there are private matters and situations going on behind the scenes that do not need to be made public knowledge, in the grand picture of it all, can you see how the pettyness, bickering and hate spewing going on over at blogzie's blog is just absolutely useless? Can you at least admit that much?

Again, please turn the tables. Let's say that you are straight, and there is an ministry outreach for gay youth on the web and straight people started bashing that outreach and spewing all kinds of hate towards the person running it. Is that beneficial in any way? Of course not! But that is exactly what is going on at blogzie's blog. It is beneficial no NO ONE. All it does is just feed into the hate that they apparently have for this one man, his family (mocking his wife and children? absolutely UNNECESSARY, CRUEL AND DESPICABLE!), and his ministry. His ministry is for reaching out to hurting homosexuals WHO WANT HELP!! People in YOUR community mama! OK, YOU happen to be happy in your lifestyle. So be it. But there are thousands who are UNHAPPY and are looking for a way out! Shouldn't they be afforded the opportunity to do so through someone who was once in their shoes and is now free from it??

I know I said one last thing a while ago, but there is one more thing I'd like to state here. I did not want to believe that such a thing as the following paragraph was true or ever could be true. But this experience between Stephen, my and blogzie's blog has shown me otherwise. It shows me that it is indeed true (in this case) and sadly, is becoming more and more evident as time marches on. Here is the quote, then I will have a commment afterwards:

"The militant homosexual agenda is one of the sledgehammers used in America's cutural demolition. This agenda is not just about equal rights - it is revolutionary in its scope and aims to recreate society in its own image. In her book, "The Hidden Homosexual Agenda," Beverly LaHaye wrote, "The homosexual ideology implies the intent to rearrange our perceptions, lifestyles, and legal system. In the strict sense of the term, this change is revolutionary. It requires, if it is to be effectively implemented, the careful and gradual application and transfer of power. The homosexual movement is thus not primarily a philanthropic or educational enterprise, but a hard-nosed political movement bent on changing our society." Nowhere is this truth more shockingly portrayed than in this essay on the homosexual agenda, written by "gay revolutionary" Mark Swift and printed in the Feb. 15, '87 issue of Gay Community News. These excerpts are reprinted from the Congressional Record: "We shall sodomize your sons....We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms...in your youth groups.... Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding.... They will come to crave and adore us. All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men. Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable.... We shall raise vast, private armies...to defeat you. The family unit...will be abolished. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory.... All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men. Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks." What does the future hold for the United States and the rest of the nations swept into the net of the global culture? We may find the answer to this question by sifting the ashes of Sodom and Gomorrah. Written 8/28/97"

Did you read the vicious comments in there? Do you think that's a good thing for our children, grandchildren and the future of our nation? Maybe you do. So be it. But I will continue the fight against homosexual militancy and support those traditional family groups who will do so in the courts. Most of all, I will cling to the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible, for it is absolute truth vs. moral relativism in the fight for the minds, hearts, souls and spirits of our children and I will continue the battle until Jesus comes to rescue us or I die to be with him in eternity.

Scripture is the true measure of whether one is correct or incorrect about social issues in this world. I will rely on God's Word for my decisions, and as far as my family and I go, we will choose to serve the Lord!

Romans 8 (NLT)



Life in the Spirit
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 For the power* of the life-giving Spirit has freed you* through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us* who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. 8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.) 10 Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive* because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.
12 So, dear brothers and sisters,* you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it* and its evil deeds, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children* of God.
15 So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family*-calling him "Father, dear Father."* 16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. 17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures-for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.


The Future Glory
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God's curse. 21 All creation anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children,* including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together* for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.


Nothing Can Separate Us from God's Love
31 What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36 (Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep."*) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. 39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Footnotes:
8:2 Greek the law; also in 8:2b.
8:2 Some manuscripts read me.
8:4 Or accomplished by us.
8:10 Or the Spirit will bring you eternal life.
8:12 Greek brothers; also in 8:29.
8:13 Greek put it to death.
8:14 Greek sons; also in 8:19.
8:15 Greek You received a spirit of sonship.
8:15 Greek “Abba, Father.” Abba is an Aramaic term for “father.”
8:23 Greek wait anxiously for sonship.
8:28 Some manuscripts read And we know that everything works together.
8:36 Ps 44:22.

CrackerLilo said...

Christine, I thought the "gay revolutionary" thing had been soundly debunked.

I don't want to destroy Stephen. I was one of those who crowed about O'Reilly (I believe I also mentioned my dislike for him.) But have you ever been in high school debate? It was quite common for us to gloat over our good friends getting "pasted" and "mopping the floor with them" and "laying them out." I do like that O'Reilly quite decisively won that debate.

I don't want to destroy anyone's life, but I'm just tired of people who want to make mine more difficult.

You'll see it at Blogzie's, but I sort of want to make a new bumper sticker or icon or something: "Love me less and leave me alone more."

Blessed be. No, really.

mamalicious said...

Christine, I want to respond thoughtfully and intentionally to your message but my daughter is waking up for her nap. I say this now because I hope you'll come back and we can continue this conversation - it's an important one.

More later today? Thanks...

scribble said...

hey there.
Want to know a few truths?
Will you even listen to them?

Many of the so called haters at Blogzies were turned away from Stephens blog simply because we did not agree with him or Bru.

You can call it whatever you want to but that is a fact.

Posts were shut down in the middle of a conversation. We were told we were screaming. We were told we were being disrespectful.

In reality it was fine for Stephen and Bru to continually disrespect us with little digs and mistruths.
But it was never ok for us to reply.
When we did, it was deemed disrespectful.
This fact alone says that they believe they are better than us.
All the while professing love.

We are not five, we never needed his naughty chair.
But we did need his respect.

Bru was allowed and probably paid to keep the conversations going with his innane marriage diversity line. He was encouraged.
Even when it became so overbearing that people left.
No attempt was made to shut bru up.

There is an on going lie about bru's gender as well.

Stephen shut us down and out and then the next day would return and say how wonderful it all was.
We (I) got tired of the bi-polar personality that is Stephen Bennett.
He is reactive much of the time. He lies.
I left because of the lies.

He says he is off line and then posts as anonymous. We know it is him. IP addresses are easy to find.
Yet those lies are ok with you?

Personally,
His willingness to sell out his past for personal gain while wrapping it up in a compassionate package sickens me.
Help others. But dont ask for personal gain while doing it.

Software developers in Canada?
Web site designers ?
These people don't work for free.
I know, I am one.
How does this man who has to beg for money afford that ?

He wishes Rosie would allowed him to buy two 1000.00 cruises on Rosie's ship ??

I am sick to death of his bragging about his 100's of sexual partners. What is his point in that exactly ?
Do you know ?

Why is it necessary to tell us each day what a wonderful father and husband he is?
Who exactly is he trying to convince ? I think he needs this daily affirmation from you and his other buddies to keep him straight.

He said he wanted an open dialogue, but in the end his need for power won out.
He enjoys the ability to play games with our willingness to converse on his blog.
His overwhelming use of the off comments button proves that daily.

So you see.... his blog died because of his own inconsistancy.
He just doesn't add up Christine.
No matter how good you are at math.
He does not compute.

If you do not wish to read others
displeasure with stephen bennett, the cure is simple.
Do not read.

smax said...

christine,
Hi. I just want to chime in in case you think that annie is putting words into the mouths of others who have left SB's blog. I fully agree with every point she made in her last comment here. Steve's true colors are very hard on my eyes.
sal

smax said...

oh wait...one thing...i dont believe that there are software developers or web designers on SBM's staff.
sal

mamalicious said...

Christine, I'll try to respond to some or all of your message. First, I don't think I responded negatively to your offered prayer. I told you that I appreciated it. I just think that sometimes when we pray for something specific for or about a person, we're actually judging. Why not just pray for God to love me? That's all I need.

Secondly, I'm really sad that you've lumped all of us gay people into one "homosexual militant" group. I don't think you'd like it if I said all Christians were the same and had a negative agenda. You are obviously angry after reading what's been written at Blogzie's. Well, honestly, I've been completely offended by some of the comments made directly to me by professed Christians at Stephen's blog. Some examples? I was told by one blogger that only Lucifer would approve of my partner and I having a child. I was told by several others that I can never be an ideal parent by virtue of the fact that I'm gay. The blogging world is a place for people to write their opinions. I don't like everyone I've read in lots of places but I move on and look for people that I enjoy corresponding with. Maybe I got tired of being questioned on SB's blog...maybe I just got tired of being asked the same questions by Bru.

Lots of people are hurt by words - not just Stephen. I think I might worry more about what I'm saying than what other people are saying...that's what I'm most concerned about. Many hurtful things have been said to me - I try to just move on.

That said, many at Blogzie's place are people I consider friends. They're people with great senses of humor and they're people with whom I've shared some of the same experiences (good and bad). Just as you feel connected to those people at Stephen's blog, I feel connected to those at Blogzie's. Here's the deal - you think you're right, so you can't believe anyone who would question you. We're sometimes hurt by the types of people who always think they're right. And we're human - sometimes we lash out, just as you did in your last post. I know that you're angry but please don't direct ALL of that anger at me.

I know that you believe that the Bible tells you not to compromise and I respect that. I do think that if you really, truly hope to meet any gay people "in the middle," you're going to at least have to "suspend" your opinions for a moment and walk for a minute in my shoes. Just a minute. You don't have to sacrifice your beliefs or morals, just suspend those opinions for a few minutes so that we can meet in the middle. I don't think God would be mad at you for that. And I know a whole lot of gay folks who would appreciate it.

You wrote, "This has truly grieved me. I'm sure that it grieves the Holy Spirit of God, too. Seeing one ideological side of his beloved children attacking the other. Truly, truly sad. Who is being hypocritical here? Can you at least be honest about this mamalicious?"

I'm not exactly sure what the question is and if it's really directed at me. You're implying that I haven't been honest...I believe I have. Can you point out where I haven't been honest? I have nothing to hide and will always - if nothing else - answer honestly. Who is being hypocritical here? If both sides are attacking each other, it seems we all are, doesn't it?

You also said, "People in YOUR community mama! OK, YOU happen to be happy in your lifestyle. So be it. But there are thousands who are UNHAPPY and are looking for a way out! Shouldn't they be afforded the opportunity to do so through someone who was once in their shoes and is now free from it??"

Absolutely they should and I have never said anything different. I have said before that I believe Stephen came to terms through God's help and that there may be others like him. That's fine. God bless him for that, truly. I think many, many people have seen a message of hate because Stephen's mission was unclear for a time...at least to me it was. I thought he was only out to get us. When I got to know him and his mission, I saw that he simply wants to help those who want it. The confusion lies in some of the things he - and his followers, in particular - say about gay people. It's a confusing message and in that confusion, people get mad at feel hurt.

You've directed much of your anger directly to me - questioning other people's intent when they post messages. I can't answer for "everyone." I can only answer for myself and I believe that your "yelling" in your post is unjustified when it's directed at me. I will take it, though, because you raise some valid questions. We're all to blame for not meeting in the middle. Let's figure out a way to make that happen rather than just scream at each other online. What do you think?

Christine, please see how angry and defensive you are in your post! I believe you! I respect your belief! I respect that you will fight the homosexual militants until the day you die (though I don't really know who those people are and I've never met one that I know of). Please know this if nothing else: there are thousands upon thousands of gay kids out there...and kids of gay parents. The numbers are growing daily. Please, please, for the sake of these children, try to make sure your message (whatever it is) is about love. That children - regardless of background, orientation, religious upbringing - feel and know a message of love and acceptance. Judgment does horrible things, especially to young minds and if we can't come to the table as adults, at least consider the young people. My children are two of them and I hope that they never, ever meet a message of hate disguised as love. I hope that they will always meet people who love them as they are and who allow them to be the people that God created them to be.

I'm starting to ramble. I hope you know that my post is made respectfully and hopefully.

Peace.

Christinewjc said...

Well mamalicious, I have to admit that I am severely disappointed. For you not to even admit that hate was being spewed towards Stephen, his family, his ministry and some of the Christians who post there proves to me that we not only have to agree to disagree, but obviously can't see eye to eye on something as obvious as the gross mocking, hatred, anger, maliciousness and deceit being aimed towards Christians from blogzie's blog. Talk about a message of hate disguised as love. That is the two-faced nature of many of the posters there. They said nice things at Stephen's blog (at first), then travel over to their little corner blogs and trash him and other Christians posting there. Talk about hypocrisy!

I sincerely thought that at least you would be a voice of reason. Apparently, I was wrong about that. Including some of your past hurts in life is a very poor excuse to dismiss the hate and hurt being inflicted from that blogzie blog. The least you could have done was say that it isn't right for them to continue what they are doing over there. You were my last hope over in that arena.

Even before your post, I made the decision not to read that blog anymore. I even changed my original post so that people who come here won't click over to there.

Call me judgmental or whatever you like. But know this. My post was aimed at everyone over there, not just you. Actually, correct that. Like I said before, I thought that I saw a glimmer of hope and reason in your convos, but your post here APPEARS TO ME to be defending what they are saying over there. That's not right.

Well, enough said. There really is nothing left for us to talk about so I will end this. I do wish you and your family well. Perhaps one day you will see that this has less to do with 'my side' of this controversy, but more to do with God's Word in the Bible and the absolute truth which it contains. Scripture can either be willingly adhered to or willfully rejected. It can also be mocked and ignored. I do pray that you will make the correct choice one day.

CrackerLilo said...

You don't wish Mamalicious and her family well. You wish them to be broken apart. And that right there is the problem.

I am both a Witch and a Vodoun practitioner. If I were to ask my Gods to break up your marriage and family, cast you out of your community, cause confusion within you, and leave you feeling at least temporarily lonely, you would call it a curse, and rightfully so. And you can prettify your language all you want, but that's what you're trying for when it comes down to it.

I do not curse you or your family. I didn't even mean it about the "yeast infection" thing--I thought I was being tongue-in-cheek. I wish you'd noticed the other things I posted.

mamalicious said...

Wow. I sense you want the conversation to end but I do want to clarify some things. I meant not to defend anyone...I only speak for myself. You didn't ask me directly about hate as a motivation or to admit that messages on Blogzie's blog are hateful. Even if you did, I wouldn't respond to that because I won't judge intent for anyone, including you. I meant only to try and steer you away from the anger you obviously feel. You are very angry and, IT APPEARS, unwilling to even try anymore. I am sincerely disappointed in you, too. I thought I'd wake up to a message that showed you more willing to meet in the middle.

I guess I don't see where my post prompted so much anger on your part but I'm willing to take another look and will do just that when I have some time.

Thanks for wishing us well. I wish you well, too, and wish that we could have continued the conversation. Doesn't look like that will happen.

biscuit said...

Yes indeed.. agree to disagree and call it a day would be a good idea..
you stated

I'm sorry mama, but I have to disagee again. After reading what has been said about Stephen, his family, and his ministry over at blogzie's blog, I do not see ANYONE over there who is willing to "meet in the middle".


I would be more than willing to meet in the middle, but sadly there is no middle as far as Stephen and his ministry is concerned.. either you are an gay, and in need of saving, or you have already been converted.
Where is the middle ground in that?
I have no problem having a genuine conversation with someone to try to understand their point of view, but instead all that happens is that scripture is quoted to us at rapid fire speed.
I have no time or use for that. I can read the bible all on my own..
If you want to have a discussion on how to have christ in your life while still being a gay person.. well.. come on over.
Christ isn't the issue.
A ministry that claims to be of christ that seeks to tear people down is.
and that is EXACTLY what I see SB's ministry as.

So you tell me christine.. what is the middle? tell me where the middle is so that if it is possible we can meet there..

I don't resent stephen for changing his life for the better.. good on him.. I DO resent the fact that because he changed his life, now he feels that everyone else should too.

I did not howver, respond negatively toward your prayer, I only stated that I appreciated it but your efforts would be better off elsewhere..

mamalicious said...

Christine, are you abandoning this post?

Christinewjc said...

Hi mamalicious & all,

No. I haven't abandoned this post. I have been busy preparing for my daughter's H.S. graduation this Friday. Plus, she has been suffering with a bad cough the last week and we just got back from the doctor's and pharmacy. She has bronchitis. Hopefully, we caught it early and the medication will help so she will be healthier for Friday's graduation ceremonies.

My husband and I have a day trip planned for all day tomorrow. Friday is the graduation. I will try to get to all the posts here when I have snippits of time in between all this busyness. Thanks for understanding.

mamalicious said...

Christine,

Congratulations to your daughter...and to you. I'm sure that watching your daughter graduate involves a mish-mash of emotions. I'm sure you're proud of her - celebrate!

Looking forward to continuing the dialogue.

Christinewjc said...

Hi mamalicious,

Sorry for the delay in response to your post. The graduation went really well and we are so proud of our daughter!! She will be venturing off to college in August and I'll have empty nest syndrome!! :-(

I know I'm gonna miss her terribly. I ached inside when my son went off to university. The good news is that although they will reside in either a dorm or apartment while away at college, each will still be able to come home for the weekends occasionally.

OK. So where were we?

You stated: "First, I don't think I responded negatively to your offered prayer. I told you that I appreciated it. I just think that sometimes when we pray for something specific for or about a person, we're actually judging. Why not just pray for God to love me? That's all I need."

By negative response I meant that you didn't see the need to accept Christ as Savior. Of course that is your choice. God wouldn't have given us this choice if he didn't have a specific purpose in it. Perhaps we see that purpose differently. As a born-again Christian, I see the purpose in the Gospel message of Jesus Christ as the absolute truth without any error. Thus, my saying such a prayer is meant to show that all of us need to repent. Unlike you, I don't see this statement as judging. It is reality according to God's Word, the Bible. We can't pick and choose which sins we need to repent of and which sins we don't need to repent of. I can back up these statements with Bible verses for more clarity. Just let me know if that's desirable or necessary for you.

In the Christian faith, "just praying for God to love you" is a great prayer, but it is insufficient. I say this, again, in accordance to what Jesus said in the Bible. He told us the need to repent of our sins. In his many encounters with individuals caught in sin (e.g. the adulterous woman), he did not accuse her (as the many men who wanted to stone her attempted to do). He did use this incident as an object lesson to show the need for ALL of us to repent of sin (he who is without sin may cast the first stone). Each person was forced to drop the stone they held in their hand and leave because they were convicted of their own sin by Jesus' words. Jesus then turned to the woman and asked her, "Where are your accusers?" She said there were none. Then Jesus said, "Then neither will I accuse you. Go and leave your life of sin."

He didn't condemn her because condemnation was not his purpose at this time. However, he didn't condone her sin either. She left the scene a changed woman.

In another incident in Scripture, there was a woman who had a continual physical problem with her menstrual cycle. She had such faith that Jesus was the Messiah prophecied in the Scriptures, that she believed (noticed, she believe FIRST and then was healed) that if she could just touch his robe that she could be healed. The encounter as recorded in the Bible tells us that Jesus felt energy leave him (shows he was both God and man) and asked who touched him. This wasn't because he didn't know. It was in order for people to see this miracle of healing.

Later in Scripture we find her annointing the feet of Jesus with a very expensive perfume and wiping it off with her hair. Why did she do this? In those days, it was a great gesture of respect and reverence. It also showed her greatfulness for his mercy towards her. She knew who Jesus was and believed in him even before her physical healing and before Christ's death and resurrection even happened! She received that physical healing immediately, but, more importantly she also received spiritual healing from the Savior.

I know that it is not considered politically correct today to tell people that they are under condemnation if they do not repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. Each of us have the choice to accept or reject the Gospel, but there is no "inbetween" state or gray area within this choice. There is a "seeker sensitive" Christian movement out there that promotes such an idea (e.g. like O'Reilly's comment to "let the Deity sort it all out.") The trouble is, God has already sorted it out! And he has told us through the Person of Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible.

The anger I feel is towards the deception that I see people falling for in this world; specifically because they don't know Jesus Christ or His Word, the Bible. I realize who is really responsible for these deceptions, but many people don't believe that God's adversary even exists. Therefore, many do not see the deception that he spiritually tempts and involves them in. Jesus addressed satan as a real being in Scripture. There are those who consider all of this a myth. It is one of the adversary's greatest tools of deception.

That being what it is, we can see why there is much confusion in the world about God and his eternal message to mankind. I have found that we all need to answer Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" We can only find out by studying about him in the Gospels and coming to our own decisions and answers to that most important question.

You stated: "Absolutely they should and I have never said anything different. I have said before that I believe Stephen came to terms through God's help and that there may be others like him. That's fine. God bless him for that, truly. I think many, many people have seen a message of hate because Stephen's mission was unclear for a time...at least to me it was. I thought he was only out to get us."

There is a spiritual being who is "out to get all of us" and he DOES often use people who don't know Christ for his evil purposes! It is wise to know the Scriptures, what Christ has said and done for us and God's purpose as revealed in the Bible, in order to be able to discern truth from error in the people we meet who claim to be Christian. There is criteria that can guide you in this area and I can look them up and post it here if you are interested.

Back to the adversary. I realize that many don't believe he exists, but he does. Jesus talked more about hell (and warned to avoid it) during his mission on earth than he did about heaven. We read about his direct encounters involving temptation in the desert. But still people don't believe that the adversary exists. As a result of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ he is a defeated foe, but his eternal bondage will not occur until Christ returns. Meanwhile, Jesus gave us the Great Commission to go and tell about the Gospel of Christ and that is what Christians are still doing till this day.

When people are coming from the opposite sides of the religious, political, ideological, and moral spectrum, it is difficult to do anything more than to "agree to disagree" because, logically, both cannot possibly be correct. Relativism flourishes today because it allows for religious pluralism which allows for people to choose "what is right in their own eyes" rather than what God's Word would have us do. So, the questions still remain. Is there such a thing as moral absolutes? Is there such a thing as absolute truth? If so, then how do we determine this? What criteria must we use?

Through these questions and how one answers them we see the underlying dilemma going on in the "battle of the blogs". These are deep philosophical, moral and spiritual questions. How one answers them determines what one believes and ultimately, in Whom one believes. Our eternal destiny depends on how one answers such questions.

mamalicious said...

Christine, I appreciate your response. And again, congrats on your daughter's graduation. My daughter isn't two yet and I already dread the day she leaves home. Time goes too quickly - that is a lesson I learned only when I became a mom.

I appreciate your words and I know that you're sincere in writing them. I have to say that I've heard most of what you wrote before. That means nothing other than to let you know that I grew up hearing those words, learning the scriptures, digging deep into some of the things you mention. I know that you take the scripture literally and I know that you believe yours is the absolute truth. I know that you think there's no "wiggle" room and that the devil is probably to blame for compromise and for acceptance of a "lifestyle" (I don't like that word) like my own. I understand all of this and I say this only to let you know that I know where you're coming from. I know firsthand.

That said, I believe that I am, indeed, doing what God wants for me. And I believe that I'm a Christian. Can you accept that?

Here's my proposal. Let's read a book together. Have you read Philip Yancey's "What's So Amazing About Grace?" It's excellent. I'd be willing to read it again and discuss it with you if you're interested. What do you think?

Christinewjc said...

Hi mamalicious,

Thanks for your very kind words. I am so glad that you are back here at my blog and we are still talking! :-)

You have a two-year old daughter? What a precious, and sometimes volatile age! heh heh I remember feeling as though those days and years were way to long to cope with; but the truth is they end up flying by!

I wanted to say that I chose the term "lifestyle" for lack of a better word to describe it. If you have a better term that would not be offensive to you please do share it.

Based on what you shared about your Christian upbringing, perhaps we could cut to the chase? You can tell me if I am incorrect about this, but doesn't it all boil down to the clash of two different ideologies? At Stephen's blog, I went into more detail (and, if you'd like me to bring it over here just let me know and I'll post it for clarity purposes), however, the bottom line seems to be this:

Written at Stephen's blog:

"I truly wonder how such a bitter conflict between the liberal church ideologies and the bible-based church views can ever be solved?"

This is where proper Bible exegesis is essential but that is a huge, additional new topic that we could explore as our conversations progress.



You asked me:

"That said, I believe that I am, indeed, doing what God wants for me. And I believe that I'm a Christian. Can you accept that?"

My answer to the part where you say, "I am, indeed, doing what God wants for me" may not satisfy you, but here goes. I can accept that this is what you believe, but what if you are incorrect in believing that he wants you to stay that way? It's true. I can't know for sure because He is God and I am not. But what if this is now a time in your life where He is showing you a new direction for your life?

As I have said in the past, I cannot judge who is a Christian and who is not EXCEPT by what I see through the attitudes and fruits of their lives; what they have done with Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" and how they view, read, study and apply the Word of God in their lives. Even with this information, I cannot be more than 99% sure, because it is truly between God and the person's own heart 'condition' whether or not they are truly saved. More about that later.

There are atheists, agnostics, cult members, other religion members who can demonstrate Christian traits, values and virtues, but that is NOT what saves them and makes them a Christian. Perhaps if you share your definition of what it means to be a Christian and I share what I have discovered it means through the words of Jesus in the Bible, then we can better understand our positions on this issue.

You asked: "Here's my proposal. Let's read a book together. Have you read Philip Yancey's "What's So Amazing About Grace?" It's excellent. I'd be willing to read it again and discuss it with you if you're interested. What do you think?"

You would probably be amazed if you peeked into my library of Christian books in my home. In fact, I might even have that one on one of the dozens of shelves and just haven't gotten around to reading it yet! lol I have read Yancey's, "The Jesus I Never Knew" and that book was excellent. If I don't own the book, I will get it through my Christian book club and sure, we can read it together. I'd love to do that.

I have so many favorite Christian books that I'll just have to eventually choose and recommend one that we could read together after we read Yancey's book.

Anyway, have a great Sunday and may God bless your day!

muhammadrazzaq said...

I might even have that one on one of the dozens of shelves and just haven't gotten around to reading it yet! lol I have read Yancey's, "The Jesus I Never Knew" and that book was excellen