Tuesday, August 19, 2008

God's Call For Righteousness

I thought it was really good that Rick Warren brought up the two most controversial social subjects that Christians must deal with in society today - abortion and homosexuality. We needed to hear the clear differences between the two candidates who are running for the presidency in 2008. One of them will most likely be president. The differences between the two are like night and day!

I you already watched the videos and/or read the transcript at the links provided in my post about the Civil Forum, then you already know where each candidate stands - particularly on these two issues.

When I hear arguments being bantered about in favor of same-sex marriage, I have to share the fact that those who would ignore God's laws and admonitions in the Bible obviously just don't care what the truth is - they only want to further their own agenda. What's more, their "agenda" is not new. It has been done before. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah testifies to what happens when people ignore God's call for righteousness.

Jesus told us that one of the clear signs that we are getting closer and closer to the end times would be that the world would be "as in the Days of Lot" and "as in the Days of Noah."



Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.

Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.



Over the weekend, I heard a preacher's sermon that gave a little more insight into God's mercy demonstrated within the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah. If you are familiar with the story, Abraham asked God to spare the two cities if he could find 50 righteous people there. When Abraham realized that it would probably not be possible to find 50 righteous people in such wicked cities, he asked if God would spare them if he found 20 righteous people. Each time, God gave Abraham the grace he was asking for in finding righteous people. Of course, God knew that Abraham wouldn't even find 10 righteous people - which was Abraham's last request.

Think about this for a moment. Lot's family was led out of Sodom by angels (who actually almost had to force them to leave!) and Lot's family of four were saved from the carnage. Except for one person. Lot's wife disobeyed the command not to look back. She did and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt! So, in total, only three people were saved that day. What if Lot and his daughters had found six or seven people and converted them to be righteous in the eyes of the LORD God? Would God not have spared Sodom and Gomorrah? He is a God of His Word - isn't he?

I thought that was a great point. It shows that any effort that we put into evangelism is not wasted. We'll never know whose heart (or how many hearts, for that matter) could be turned back towards God if we don't try! We'll never know, this side of heaven, what affect converting people to Christ will have in saving a city, a town, a state, or even a nation!

We have been given The Great Commission by Jesus Christ. It was his final command before ascending into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father. Shouldn't we take this command seriously all the days of our lives?

The trouble is, many Christians appear to be afraid to speak out against the evils of our times. What's worse, as one controversial pastor shared in a sermon, "the church (meaning all believers, not a building or denomination) sounds like a house cat purring on the couch!"

Ouch!!

Contrast that with what the Bible says:



Pro 28:1 ¶ The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Amo 3:8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?


Personally, I think that the tendency of many Christians not to speak out against abortion and homosexuality is because they want to be loved and accepted. Therefore, many have become silent.

I have news for you - THE MEDIA WILL NEVER LOVE YOU!

In fact, Jesus told us that "the world hated me first" and "they will hate you, too."

Why?

Jesus tells us, "because of me."

And, the second reason is because their deeds were evil and Jesus exposed them for who they follow (your father - the devil) and for what they are (sinners in need of Him! The Savior!)!

I heard a saying that should encourage you - even when you are verbally attacked because of your beliefs:

"Crows only attack the best fruit!"

Back to the Civil Forum questions.

When the abortion question was answered by Obama, he gave a flippant (IMO) answer. Over the past two days, I have noticed that some news analysts have tried their best to try and spin his answer so that it wouldn't appear to have been as bad as it surely was!

Bottom line? Obama had no defense for his wayward position on the important issue regarding the truth about when life begins.

Because of his rabid, baby-killing positions (someone once quipped that Obama never met an abortion method he didn't like) he actually trapped himself - which caused him to look even more ridiculous.

Let's see what God's Word has to say about "when life begins."



Isa 49:1 ¶ Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Isa 49:5 ¶ And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

Jer 1:4 ¶ Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,


Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.


Yes. I think that God's Word is quite clear when life begins - and the answer is AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION!

Let's look at what happened in Luke:



Luk 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luk 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.


The baby in Elisabeth's womb - who would be John the Baptist - leaped in her womb when Mary's name - who was carrying Jesus our Savior - was heard.

In Genesis 25:21-26 we read:



Gen 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.


Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she [was] barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.


Gen 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If [it be] so, why [am] I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.


Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations [are] in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and [the one] people shall be stronger than [the other] people; and the elder shall serve the younger.


Gen 25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, [there were] twins in her womb.


Gen 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.


Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac [was] threescore years old when she bare them.


Notice that these two twin babies in Rebekah's womb represented two nations. God knew their names! They were not just a "blob of flesh."

An abortion takes away the life of a baby. Period. End of story. What does God think about the killing of innocent life?



Gen 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.


God avenges the taking of innocent blood!

In Matthew 27:3-5, we read that Judas, after having turned Jesus over to be crucified hung himself. The guilt was too much for him. He knew that his evil deed led to the shedding of innocent blood.

A pastor once said, "Do not allow abortion to steal our future."

Amen??!!



Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people.

Mat 5:13 ¶ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.


Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.


Mat 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.


Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

29 comments:

GMpilot said...

CJW: "What if Lot and his daughters had found six or seven people and converted them to be righteous in the eyes of the LORD God? Would God not have spared Sodom and Gomorrah? He is a God of His Word - isn't he?"

Is he? You answered that yourself in the preceding paragraph: "God gave Abraham the grace he was asking for in finding righteous people. Of course, God knew that Abraham wouldn't even find 10 righteous people..."
Now, some might say that Lot didn't have want all those people to be destroyed, and God wanted Lot to see for himself that they were beyond saving. Fair enough. But just like the bet with Satan over Job, God made a deal that he knew he could not lose. The game was fixed. Lot didn't know that, so he spent time and energy in a futile effort to save people that his God had already reserved a place in hell for. Way to go, God!

Just for the record, hostess: most Christians don't speak out because of what the media might say. Fred Phelps and his associates don't let that stop them. Most Christians don't speak out because of what their friends and neighbors might say! One can turn off the radio or TV, or not read the papers or news mags. It's quite a different thing to hear whispers at the supermarket, or have people step aside when you go down the street. As one who's been in that position, I understand it all too well, and I'm not even a Christian--I just took an unpopular (note that word) stand.

With each passing day, your vitriol becomes worse. Beware, or you'll have permanent acid reflux by election day! That would be a shame.

Christinewjc said...

Hmmm...you certainly have chosen to express your opinions in an excessively nasty way today. Get up on the wrong side of the bed again GM?

Sheesh!

Not that you would care, but the fact is that Lot apparently had a high position on the city council because the Scriptures tell us that Lot was "sitting at the gate." This means that Lot was tolerant of the rampant sin in the city.

This indicates that perhaps Lot did not want to interfere with their "lifestyles." But when the angel visitors came to town, he knew that the righteous thing to do would be to protect them from the Sodomites.

Sounds a lot [no pun!] like many Christians today. Tolerance trumps God's call for righteousness. We don't want to make anyone feel bad, do we? We don't want to offend anyone, do we?

Well...the truth is that the Gospel is offensive to all who are perishing! Telling people that they need to repent is never popular.

There is a slight disconnect with your comparison of Lot's story with the account of Job. You are looking at it in the wrong way.

Just because God knows the beginning to the end of all of history does not negate the free will choices of people throughout the ages.

Satan didn't know what the affliction of Job and his family would result in. Job stood his ground and chose righteousness with God, even though he didn't know the reason(s) why he was being afflicted.

Job ignored his own wife's call to "curse God and die." He refused to do it!

Job ignored his own "friends" who wanted to blame him for his affliction.

The ultimate point of it all was to show that Job's faithfulness - even through tragedy, affliction, pain and death of loved ones - was turned for good.

This could be regarded as a type of foreshadowing of Christ's first coming to save his people from their sins.

Most of Job's that was afflicted was restored...and then some. He was immensely blessed because of his faithfulness to God.

The Bible tells us, "without faith, it is impossible to please God."

Faith - when everything is going well - is easy. Keeping the faith when everything around us is in chaos and comes crashing down upon us is much more difficult.

However, this was the pattern of the apostles. Every one of them died a torturous, martyr's death (except John at Patmos) for the sake of the Gospel.

Jesus had a lot to say about this:

Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Mar 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Luk 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

There is such a thing as eternal life; whether people want to believe it or not. We are saved through belief in Jesus Christ. The Bible testifies to the fact that we are saved through Christ alone!

Jhn 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Gary Baker said...

gmpilot,

You are also mixing apples and oranges when comparing Job and Lot. God did make a deal with Abraham, but it was not of his own volition. Abraham went out of his way to test the mercy of God. He was essentially asking God, "Are you really merciful?" He should have known the answer already, because God had informed him of the wickedness of the city. God basically said "I'll double check, but I know how this is going to end."

With God, Job, and Satan, there was no deal. God said Job was righteous. Satan made an accusation. There was never a promise or any kind of commitment on either part. God didn't say he would do X if he won, or Y if he lost. God just said "Go and see for yourself." The fact that God might allow us to go through testing for no gain (at least not one that we will ever understand) is difficult. On the other hand, countless thousands (millions?) have found strength and comfort in knowing that their sufferings are neither unique nor ignored.

Sosthenes said...

"This means that Lot was tolerant of the rampant sin in the city."

2 Peter 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

2 Peter 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)

Lot gets a bad reputation for his mistakes or having a different viewpoint but Peter calls him "righteous" and that his soul was "vexed". I looked up "Vexed" and it means:

1) to tire down with toil, exhaust with labour
a) to afflict or oppress with evils
b) to make trouble for
c) to treat roughly

http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2669&t=kjv

Psalms 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

What do you do when everyone sides against you? You stand for what is right and you lose if you have to.

There is going to be a day where we won't be able to do anything:

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Some people decide to stick in failing denominations in case that they are given the opportunity to work for God. The World Wide Church of God was a cult that came around to a Trinitarian position. Someone had to stick it out so that the group could do a U-Turn.

What could I do when I stood up for God in my college and no one stood up with me? I look at McDonalds being boycotted but there are still plenty of cars at one which is right down the street from where I work.

I gave the gospel to my neighbor and she started throwing stuff at my face and then insulting me and getting her friends to stand behind her. I wouldn't think that there isn't witnessing going on. I think that we just need to work harder at loving our neighbors so that doesn't happen.

GMpilot said...

CJW: "Just because God knows the beginning to the end of all of history does not negate the free will choices of people throughout the ages. "

Don't be silly: of course it does! In a universe where an all-powerful being knows the end of every event long before the event happens, there can be no 'free will choice'. His will is sovereign, they say; nothing happens without his permission, they say (even you have quoted that). think of it as a film director watching the initial viewing of his finished product: he knows exactly what will happen, and how, and why, even if the actors don't...and certainly if the audience doesn't.
This means that God cannot ever, ever, be surprised by a sudden turn of events--except he has been, time and again, especially in the OT. He knew when he made Adam and Eve that he would have to destroy their descendants; you can't even get out of Genesis without him being surprised--unpleasantly--and reacting harshly.

"Most of Job's that was afflicted was restored...and then some. He was immensely blessed because of his faithfulness to God."

Not his first family, though. The story doesn't even record their names, so insignificant were they.

"Faith - when everything is going well - is easy. Keeping the faith when everything around us is in chaos and comes crashing down upon us is much more difficult."

The reverse is also true. That is why, despite the legends, there are 'atheists in foxholes'. But I digress.
God did accept Satan's challenge (you cannot deny that, Mr. Baker), and the two of them toyed with his fate like children. One might expect such behavior from an evil deity; but from the good-guy God as well? Who needs either of them!

Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh, that old saw? This might be closer to the truth, both about God's love and so-called free will:
Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

I notice you only call my comments 'nasty' whenever they strike too close. I read your nasty missives all the time here, but there's only this to say: nastiness is a lot like love--if you don't give any, you don't get any.

Doug said...

The unique pro-life challenge is this: To convince liberals that babies still in the uterus are, or may well be, homosexual -- and as such are protected under existing hate crimes laws and an army of leftist gay rights advocates.

GMpilot said...

The unique pro-choice challenge is this: to convince conservatives that babies still in the uterus still need protection after they're born, and that retroactive abortion--say, at 19 or 22 years--is just as abominable as they claim it is to commit before one is born.

Gary Baker said...

"Don't be silly: of course it does! In a universe where an all-powerful being knows the end of every event long before the event happens, there can be no 'free will choice'. "

Non-sequiter. B does not follow from A. The fact that an outcome is known has zero affect on the ability of someone to choose it. A more human version is certain types of statistics. Using patterns, we can determine a rough (or sometimes not so rough) percentage of a certain group that will respond in a certain fashion. This in no way affects their ability to choose a particular path.

Your "unique pro-choice challenge" is unintelligible. From a legal standpoint, adults outside the womb have high levels of protection. In most cases, their greatest danger comes from behaviors that they willingly engage in.

"you can't even get out of Genesis without him being surprised--unpleasantly--and reacting harshly."

Assumes facts not in evidence. Also, "harshly" is a human judgment. You are certainly free to apply it, but it has little meaning as far as God is concerned.

I have never denied that God did hand Job over for testing. I would hardly say that they "toyed with his fate like children." They tested his resolve like adults, where Job was the child. In the same way, though certainly to a lesser degree, I test the mettle of my children to teach them their limits, the consequences of failure, the rewards of success, and so on. When they were much younger, I was not above strict discipline where required to teach them that there were many things they did not understand and needed to learn much more before they approached them. In much the same way, my parents taught me when I was younger.

As for who needs either of them, I guess that depends on what you hope to do for eternity. It's kind of an either/or proposition. Go to one willingly, or go to the other by default. You can rail against it, but the same way that an angry two-year-old can not hope to overcome a determined parent, your power is quite limited on an eternal scale. Bygones.

Anonymous said...

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah testifies to rape---not homosexuality. Rape has nothing to do with the orientation of the action, but the hatred and 'put to shame' act for the victim.

Please read more of the bible before shooting off so much propaganda and your own "self agenda".

What makes you a Christian? The fact that you're going to fight against homosexuality and abortion?

Have fun.

We'll just be happy living the life that Christ wanted us to live: in peace.

Tamela's Place said...

Hello your blog is a blessing to me. Please go to my blog and see what i have written about what your blog means to me. And receive your gift from me to you. God bless you and thank you! Tamela

Christinewjc said...

Anonymous,

Obviously, you have placed the usual liberal spin that's floating around out there in the homosexual behavior affirming churches that want to eliminate the truth that the the Bible unequivocally reveals regarding the sin of homosexuality.

My posts and comments are often well documented with evidence from Scripture. Your argument really isn't against me - it's against God's Holy Word.

Did you read the "Days of Noah" link and all of the additional links provided in that post?

If you didn't, then it would be you who has not read enough of the Bible before shooting off your own brand of propaganda,

If you did read the links, then you obviously just don't care what the truth is. That is proof (for me, at least) that you are only interested in furthering your own agenda - not discovering the truth of the matter from God's Word.

Christinewjc said...

Dear Tamela,

What a pleasant surprise! Thank you so much for recognizing my blog in such a special way! Really appreciate it!

Congrats on being a recipient of the award! You and your site certainly deserve it! Your blog is just as described:

A place to find encouragement, grace, joy, faith, hope and love!

Love in Christ,
Christine

Tamela's Place said...

I love your acronym for BIGOT can i use that sometime? There was someone who insinuated that i was a bigot and a homophobe in a discussion group before because i took a different stand on Homosexuality than she did. I didn't even mention how it was a sin or say anything Biblical.. I just took a stand on the health hazards of the Homosexual lifestyle.

I had noticed in her comments that she was throwing the word bigot, religious zealot and homophobe around alot to anyone who didn't see things the way she did concerning the homosexual lifestyle so i couldn't help but ask her why she had reverted to name calling just because others had a difference of opinion than her? I then said to her, "since you take a different stand than me on the homosexual lifestyle could this mean that you have a phobia of bigots, religious zealots and homophobes"? She never replied, which didn't surprise me. So now when people throw names around like bigots and religious zealot.. I just ask them if they are a bigophobe or a religiouphobe LOL!

Christinewjc said...

Yes! Please do use it! We need to spread it around!

I liked how you turned the tables on the person who called you derogatory names! And you did it so nicely, too! ;-)

We need to confront the culture - head on these days. The "tolerance" mantra seems to be only one-sided...doesn't it?

And, liberals seem to think that they have a "special right" not to EVER be offended! Yet, they are some of the most arrogant people who insult and offend Christians - big time. Sometimes, they just need a little of their own "medicine," so to speak.

Yes, we are to walk humbly with our God. But that doesn't mean we need to be doormats.

I liked the way you handled the name-calling. Need to remember that!

I have added your blog to my Christian blog list! Now, more readers here can click on the link and read your encouraging posts!

jeleasure said...

Christinewjc,
I like to use this verse ...

"Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations".

When I'm told "Those whom God foreknew, He predestined..."
The point is, scripture like Jer. 1:5 indicates that God foreknew everyone. It is not as if God turned His back, and when He turned round again, my wife had a child in the womb. God is the author of all human souls. No human soul, born or unborn existed without God.
When our people choose to abort, they are chosing once againg to deny God.
I am friends with Tamela, from Tamela's place.
Please do this favor for me. Visit my page and leave a comment so I have a link from my page to yours. This way, I do not have to save your address on my hard drive.
I'm always open to the idea of hosting other blog links that I approve of (yours is approved). I would only ask that you add my link to your blog links.
Hope to be talking to you more.
Jim

Kevin said...

Hi Christine,
You state: "Obviously, you have placed the usual liberal spin that's floating around out there in the homosexual behavior affirming churches that want to eliminate the truth that the the Bible unequivocally reveals regarding the sin of homosexuality."
I just wanted to let you know that for centuries and centuries people have written about what happened in Sodom and G., but nearly all of them do not refer to the possible homosexual content. The non-homosexual content of the story of Lot has been held by many of the early church fathers. You might believe that these ancient churches are liberal or homosexually affirming churches, but you would be historically wrong.

jeleasure said...

Christinewjc,
I have posted a link to your this page on all three of my blogs.
Yes, the Journaling For Growth blog is my main blog. The Love One Another blog is my attempt to help increase awarness as to what the core message of the Bible is.
The link I said I would provide for the boycot against McDonald's Corp is: Boycot McDonald's Corporation

Christinewjc said...

Hi Peoples,

Just a quick note to everyone to let all of you know that due to extenuating circumstances, I have been unable to blog and comment over the past several days. Will explain more later.

However, I am glad that this post is generating a lot of discussion. It is an extremely important issue. Both sides of the same-sex "marriage" issue seem to think that they are right. People can come up with all kinds of excuses, compromise, wishful thinking, and errant opinions to back their own fleshly motives, views and desires. The crux of the matter remains - what does God's Word instruct us?

Twisting of the Scriptures to make one's desires seem good - when they are clearly exposed as evil and sinful in the eyes of God through the revelation of His written word - is evidence of humanity's fallen nature.

It seems to me that non-Christians (as well as reprobate believers) absolutely refuse to face the truth - no matter how much biblical evidence is put before them.

Kevin, you are a secular humanist who is trying to tell born-again, Jesus loving, Bible believing & studying believers that we are wrong in our exegesis of Holy Scripture. There is something deeply flawed in this.

I apologize for having to cut this comment short. Just received some very sad news. There has been a death in our family.

It is my sincere hope that everyone who reads this post and comments, will add some comments of their own. Also, please read the links in the original post. There is NO WAY that ANY GENUINE CHRISTIAN could EVER believe that same-sex "marriage" could EVER receive the approval of our Holy and Righteous God.

Be back to blogging when circumstances allow.

Meanwhile, God bless you all.

I pray for the repentance and salvation of all homosexual men and women; as well as the secular humanists who don't know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

In Christ's Service,
Christine

Gary Baker said...

Kevin,

"I just wanted to let you know that for centuries and centuries people have written about what happened in Sodom and G., but nearly all of them do not refer to the possible homosexual content."

That may be, but the story certainly does, and the prohibition on homosexual conduct is listed separately as well. My theory on this (and theory is all that it is), is that for centuries there was never any need to emphasize the sinfulness of homosexuality. It was accepted. I speak about accepted by followers of God in this matter. I am aware that other cultures had tacitly accepted such practices, though they were never formalized.

Cheryl Russell said...

Hello there! I appreciate your passion about these issues. My one concern, is that many Christians are more concerned about the policies, than about the people that the policies affect. Can you legislate people into giving their hearts and lives to Christ? Do the answers to these issues come from politicians and legislation.........or from the love of Christ pouring out from His disciples? I have yet to see someone convert due to a law passed by Congress. Conversion spills out of relationship with Christ. I think we should all stop and ask ourselves some important discipleship questions. Do you care about the people that have abortions and who are gay? Do you do this out of love and concern for them? I mean no disrespect here, I just think that these only come out of a place of love and compassion and a desire to win as many as possible. What is the source of your passion? I hope, it's a genuine love for God's people, all of them.

Blessings to you and your family.

jeleasure said...

Hi Cheryl,
This is Jim from "Journaling For Growth".
I believe Christine will answer.
Kindly, If you don't mind, I would like to share my answer to your question of love for others by asking you to visit this article
Blgger Lashes on James Dobson .

Gary Baker said...

Cheryl,

For me, another aspect of the issue is found in Mat 5:16- "In the same way, let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

You stated something very profound I believe when you mentioned that you never saw anyone be converted based on law or policy. In fact, our secular government has taken great care to make such conversions all but impossible. I am not complaining on this point. I do not believe it is the purview of government to be advising people on law or morals. The government should concentrate on legality and leave morality to the church.

Having said that, look at what has happened when people of faith have attempted to use government as a substitute for personal caring. Welfare, which was intended as aid to the poor, has probably destroyed more lives than unsubsidized poverty could ever hope to. Liberalized divorce and social acceptance of loose sexual relationships continues to create social ills that will plague us for generations. I cannot help but think that if God were truly behind these types of policies, things would improve in the affected areas. This does not seem to be the case.

Worse than that, by assisting politicians in instituting these policies, we may actually be turning people away from God. Think about the verse quoted above. If we get the government to develop a marvelous new program to aid the poor, will God get the glory, or will the politicians? Will people come to rely more on God or on the government? And what is the overall effect? Do they respond with gratitude and as people who have been blessed, or do they constantly clamor for more? Are our actions in this case, no matter how well intended, truly honoring God?

I honestly do not see how any policy enacted under our government could honor God, if only for the fact that it would no doubt be declared unconstitutional by the supreme court (and properly so).

Since we really can't use the government for affirmative "good", it seems to me that the best we can hope to do in my opinion is limit the harm that legislation can do by encouraging an ungodly lifestyle. Now, I fully agree with your comment that the church must indeed act with affirmative love towards the people effected, especially when caught up in a sinful lifestyle. And again, from my standpoint, approaching legislature in this way does meet that goal. This is the only method open to us (political) to stop or slow government from advocating the slide of Godly values. The simple fact is that the more society accepts a behavior, the more difficult it is to convince someone that it is counter to a Godly standard, and the more difficult it is to bring that person to a point of repentance or even acknowledgment of sin. In that environment, conversions are very rare. One of the most basic prerequisites for someone to accept the mercy of God is to realize that they need it.

In this, as in all things, we need to keep our eyes on Christ. I did some commenting on a blog some time ago where the people seemed to have some strange ideas regarding the Savior. They were all agreed how he never judged people and simply wanted us to live in peace. Christ's first priority was always to return us to God. With that accomplished, the rest would follow naturally. He was wonderfully merciful to everyone who came seeking mercy through confession and repentance. For those who already felt themselves righteous, he never hesitated to set them straight, and he never advocated being silent with regards to sin.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the links to your additional blogs. I had the chance to read the "love one another" link and it was really good. Will catch up on the rest when I have more time.

Hi Cheryl,

Welcome to this blog. Thanks for your comments and sincerely thought-out questions. I think that Gary gave an excellent answer. All that I could add to it is that I agree...wholeheartedly!

In my former comment here, I wrote this:
Meanwhile, God bless you all.

I pray for the repentance and salvation of all homosexual men and women; as well as the secular humanists who don't know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.


Perhaps that brief acknowledgement of prayer for homosexuals and the unsaved will reveal a bit of my heart to you.

Contrary to the homosexual activists' popular belief, the opposition of their lifestyles is not a sign of anti-love for the homosexual. The admonitions against sin and the call towards repentance through Christ is given by Christians who evangelize for a specific purpose. It is not "hate" - as, unfortunately, many gay activists presume. It is a desire, like God's, that "no one would perish and for all to come to repentance" and be saved.

To me, the attitude of encouraging sinful behavior and/or indifference to it is a profound mistake. Christians who neglect sharing the complete Gospel - which includes the need to repent of sin (as Jesus gave us the command of The Great Commission)- may be "winning over secular friends and getting approval by them," but Jesus isn't interested in influencing people in such a manner. Recall in the Bible when Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his own soul?"

Jesus is interested in our efforts to encourage people towards Him - not our own egos, reputations, pride, likeability, and worldly gain. Remember he told us that his enemies, 'first hated him - and they would hate us because of him.' Why? Because people don't want their sins and evil deeds exposed.

It takes a humbling of self, a repentant heart, and genuine confession of sin to rate with Jesus...no?

He does the saving. We (Christians) can take no credit for it. All we can do is share the gospel, pray, and rejoice with the angels whenever one person turns from sin and enters into the kingdom through Christ.

When I have more time, I will visit your blog.

God bless you for your concerns about Christians and how they react to those who are still deceived in their sins. It is very important to share the truth with everyone. God's written Word, the Bible, and God's Living Word, Jesus Christ, are the plumbline we are to follow in evangelizing in this world. All other "things" in this world fall to dust and blow away...in the end.

Each and every soul will live forever in one place or the other. This requires sharing both warning (they all will die in their sins if reject Christ), and encouragement/rejoicing (for the forgiveness, mercy, grace and love given to the repentant heart who turns to God) at the foot of the cross of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

God bless you!

Gary,

Your comment was EXCELLENT! Thanks for sharing!

God bless you too!

Kevin said...

Hi Christine,
Sorry to hear about the death in your family. My grandfather died in November and it was pretty hard.

You say: "Kevin, you are a secular humanist who is trying to tell born-again, Jesus loving, Bible believing & studying believers that we are wrong in our exegesis of Holy Scripture. There is something deeply flawed in this." I don't recall stating this here. I have been stating that I am happy with what you believe. What I don't like is when someone's religious principles are used to limit the rights of others. If Christians don't want gay marriage, then Christians should not get married to the members of the same sex as themselves. But when "God created Adam and Eve" is used to make laws limiting other citizens in this country, then I think that is a chunk taken away from our democracy and it them moves towards a theocracy. I don't like that. Plain and simple.

Christinewjc said...

Thank you, Kevin. I am sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather last November. It is so difficult when we lose family members; even when they have lived a long life.

On to your comment.

The statement I made regarding you and your motives is an observation made by me - based on what you have written in comments here and at Mark's blog. You can correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that you are not born again in Christ? In revealing your thoughts about the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, isn't it true that you reject the references to homosexuality in the story?

No, Kevin. You are not "happy with what I believe." In fact, you are against it. Your statement reveals this about you:

"What I don't like is when someone's religious principles are used to limit the rights of others."

That's your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it. But you should not try to mislead readers here by claiming some sort of neutrality on this issue. You have a bias and an agenda. The rest of your comment reveals this, as well.

Tell me Kevin - do you believe that absolute truth exists? If so, where would one find it?

Our democratic republic was brought into existence by Christian leaders who wanted to escape the oppression of Britain and reject the control of the Monarchy over them. They desired freedom of religion - not freedom from religion. Contrary to what you think, Christians are not out to create a theocracy. We understand that will only happen (successfully) when Christ returns for the reign of the Millennial kingdom. So, you are incorrect in that particular belief.

On the issue of marriage, it is your constituency that wants to re-define the thousands- of-years-old definition of what marriage is.

Christians (as well as many other religious groups) are working to prevent that throughout the U.S.. Prop. 8 will correct what rogue judges have wrongly done here in CA (and many are working on allowing a vote to repeal same-sex marriage in MA, as well).

In our democratic republic, our laws are not to be created out of thin air by liberal judges. This is why our Founding Fathers formulated the legislation process which is to be presented to the people as the best way to enact new (or improve) law.

There are laws that exist (Roe v. Wade) that I object to and do not think were correctly adjudicated. We have the right to petition against such laws to overturn them (or, in my view in this case, give the decision back to the voters in each individual state).

Currently, there are 28 (or more) states that have passed ballot measures to keep the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Any other type of union is called something else.

Your battle in trying to re-define the term marriage is not about rights. Homosexuals have co-habitation rights just like heterosexuals. In CA, you have all of the rights needed in the workplace. Wills can be drawn up between people for the purpose of passing on possessions and estates. It is not necessary to change the definition of marriage to live your lives any way you please.

Prop. 8 isn't a "law to limit the rights of others." It is a correction to judicial activism that took away the votes of over 4 million citizens of CA who voted Prop. 22 into law back in 2000.

Gary Baker said...

Hi Kevin,

"What I don't like is when someone's religious principles are used to limit the rights of others. "


I wholeheartedly agree. If marriage were a "right" I would be the first to agree with you. But as I explained ad nauseum on your website, it is not a right. Think about it logically: Marriage is a service provided by the government. How can it be a "right" if the government has to provide it? Take a look at the other rights. For the most part, they specify what Congress can "not" do (as in limit speech, limit worship, limit assembly, etc.) Under your definition, if the government folded tomorrow, I would be denied my "rights" because I would not be able to marry. My wife would violate my "right" to be married if she chose to divorce me. It doesn't work that way. Marriage is a benefit that society has decided to give to couples meeting certain conditions. Society has agreed to bestow that benefit on heterosexual marriage due to the long history and custom. No such precedent exists for gay marriage. If you want it, go to the legislature. That's the proper venue. Courts are only supposed to either approve or reject existing laws. No where in Constitutional law are they authorized to invent law.

Carlotta said...

Christine, I'm so sorry to hear about the death in your family! Kevin, sorry to hear about your grandfather's passing from last year as well!

Even in your mourning Christine, you still have the commitment to get us the information we hunger for. I thank you for that! If you are gone long enough that we miss you, we will understand!

I am looking so forward to this Proposition 8 passing in November, more so than the entire presidential election.

Hopefully the same-sex marriage debacle can be silenced once and for all!

Praying for that!

Umm Yasmin said...

Peace!
I'm not a Christian, and thus do not take my position on abortion from the Bible.

With that caveat out of the way, I wanted to simply point out that the Biblical verses you reference don't mention point of conception, merely a vague reference to the 'womb'.

Consequently, those verses could easily be used to support permission for abortion only in the early weeks (before the foetus can kick, twins can struggle in the womb etc.)

Christinewjc said...

There are many Bible verses that reference the fact that God "knew" us before we were born while in the womb.

Job 31:15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

Psa 71:6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise [shall be] continually of thee.

Psa 127:3 Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.

Psa 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

Ecc 11:5 As thou knowest not what [is] the way of the spirit, [nor] how the bones [do grow] in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

Isa 44:2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, [which] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

He knows our name before we are even born:

Isa 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Conception is mentioned here:

Hsa 9:11 [As for] Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.

God even sent angelic messengers to tell of certain births and give the name of the child beforehand:

Luk 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

Luk 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

Luk 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luk 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luk 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.

Luk 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luk 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

We also read the fact that believers in Jesus Christ are "called according to his purpose."

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Notice what Paul says about his former self (as a persecuter of Christians) before he was converted on the Road to Damascus by Jesus Christ, Himself.

Galatians Chapter 1

Note these specific verses, too:

Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace,


Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:


Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.


Gal 1:18 ¶ Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.


Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.


Gal 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.


Gal 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;


Gal 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:


Gal 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.