Category Archives: Homosexuality

A Pastor in a Duck Dynasty impacted world

Evidently Phil Robertson shared what he believes with GQ Magazine.  I read the story on CNN’s website and was a little concerned for some of the colorful language about body parts he used.  In fact, I was struck with his presentation of his beliefs and felt that he could have been gentler about it.  Nevertheless, he quoted Scripture and what was quoted is what the Bible said.  In my opinion, Scripture is truth.

While reading through some posts on blogs and Facebook, I continue to notice that each Christian has an opinion.  In fact, as I read through what each Christian post I found myself agreeing and disagreeing.  Sometimes I just didn’t like how they presented their view even if it was, in the end, right.  As a Protestant, I am reminded that our basic background is that we believe we can read our Bible and develop our view point of Scripture.  In other words, we do not have someone setting doctrine for us because we, as individuals, do that for ourselves.

As a result, I listen to other Protestant pastors from time to time and I think that they are just wrong on their interpretation of different passages. Yet, in Protestant churches this is what makes us unique as groups.  I always caution my congregation where I serve about my sermons too.  I encourage them to read the Bible themselves to hold me accountable.

As a pastor in the United States, I also hold Constitutional rights.  My dilemma is that I’m a citizen of Heaven while a citizen of the US at the same time.  This means that I am accountable to be as civil to others as expected by God first, then by the Constitution. The problem for me, as a pastor, is that I am supposed to share biblical truth when asked.  This is where those in The Church and those outside of The Church need to give a little understanding to Phil in my opinion.  As a minister, he was asked a very touchy, because of our political climate and culture, question.  As a pastor I have been asked these very tough questions.  Questions much like Phil was asked so I can imagine the tension that was in the interview because I feel it too.

As a Christian I am called by God to love Him and others.  In fact, that is what I want to do.  I think the possible result of my answers can be abrasive from another pastor’s, Christian’s, or citizen’s point of view too.  While my answer would have been hopefully less colorful, it would have had to be the same if I want to stay true to Scripture.

Another concern that I have right now, and it seems to be a big one,  is that many Christians and non-believers are saying that this is not a freedom of speech issue, but a contractual issue between Phil and A&E; in other words, a business issue.  My thought is that if true, then a small church pastor like me who is bi-vocational may be at risk to lose his job too.  After all, I may be under contract with my other employers who hold a different point of view of sin than I do.  Unlike Phil, I and many other pastors, have to work another job to provide for my family.  I’m not a millionaire like Phil.  I’m just trying to make ends meat.

Now I’m protected, for now, by the Constitution to have free speech.  Yet, the bigger issue seems to be that the government isn’t going to protect me from losing my job for practicing my rights as a citizen of the US if people I’m employed by do not like what I say.  So now do we as Americans want to introduce this type of discrimination into the conversation?  The LGBT’s say that this is who they are.  Can I not say that a Protestant Christian is who I am?  Thankfully, homosexuals have been able to make Americans aware of discrimination that happens to them.

So can we really say that this is not an issue of free speech?  I find it alarming that CNN ran a story about a sermon that Phil preached.  A lot of the terms he used came out of the Bible.  CNN interpreted it as a type of hate speech and wondered if A&E, Phil’s employer, heard this before he was hired.  Just consider what I just said for a moment; especially in this digital age where we find ourselves as pastors on Internet media.  As a Protestant he can preach his interpretation how he wants; or can he in the US?  So what is next?  Are the news agencies going to start pointing to those who preach against certain types of sin as hate mongerers and fight to have our employment taken from us?  If so, how dangerous is that for America?  Is it okay for what happened to Phil to happen to me and others?

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Filed under Duck Dynasty, Homosexuality, Ministry, Pastor, Phil Robertson, Small Church

The Church and her fight against same-sex marriage

I haven’t been a good citizen or a good pastor lately because I am on break from watching the news.  I impose these breaks from time to time because it seems like there is a lot of bad news for the world, America, and me.  Add to this that politically, I find myself in a dying breed category.  Politically I’m conservative.  You may be someone who is on the other side of the aisle right now and just felt a strong disdain for me.  Or, you might just feel sorry for me since I’m such a poor misguided soul who just doesn’t get it.  Nevertheless, if you are still reading at this point, I am aware that politicians, federal justices, and Americans are dealing with same-sex marriage again.  Therefore, I felt that it is in order to remind Christians and secularists about what the Bible actually says about this hotly debated issue.

First, I want Christians to step back and examine what their motive is that dwells in their hearts when they post statuses on Twitter and Facebook about same-sex marriage.  I feel that honesty, with what is going on in our hearts, is needed in this arena.  I fear that some Christians really are attacking a group of people who commit a particular type of sin, according to the Bible.   What continues to be forgotten is that sexual immorality is a branch off of Original Sin that everyone, theologically, is born with.  In fact, the self is always in contrast to God.  If sexual immorality is a branch off of the tree of Original Sin, then a branch off of sexual immorality is homosexuality, and, a list that includes sins like adultery, sexual fantasy with people other than your spouse, all sex outside of the context of marriage, pornography, incest, and etc.  These, and others that I may not have listed, are stems off of the branch attached to the tree.

The problem is that we Christians focus all of our efforts to grab the saw to remove the stem of homosexuality from the branch of sexual immorality.  All the while, however, we simply try to manage the other types of sin with less vigor.  In fact, we do not even really get upset when those sins are committed because we understand them; and most of us have committed them.  Therefore, we become compassionate toward those people who struggle with those sins.  And, could I say, that some “Christians” even practice some of those sins regularly.  Here is the rub, pastors will correctly say that we have to work with these poor lost souls.  But, incorrectly it seems, not with homosexuals.  Instead of acknowledging them as those who are in bondage to sexual immorality like most other people are too, Christians begin to call judgment down on them.

This is much like OT Israel who continued to long for The Day of The Lord, but prophets warned them that when that day came it would not be what they expected.  In fact, it would be a day of justice for their injustice toward others.  Yes, injustice was practiced in Holy Israel, where God was “their King.”  They practiced racial hatred even though their Law called for them to care for those who were foreigners among them.  They ignored the poor often, and the list goes on.  The lesson that we Christians, The New Israel, should learn is that sometimes when we start calling down curses, like some disciples wanted to do, and ultimate judgment we might not get what we expect.  We might just get what we deserve.  After all, we never had the zeal to hold people in our churches accountable for those other sexual sins that they continued to practice.  We settled for “loving” them and fighting against one particular type of sin that we personally did not like.

Further, I am shocked at how few Christians really know what the Bible says about this issue and how we are supposed to live in a world where this issue isn’t going to go away.  Some Christians will post that God is fine with this type of behavior, or lifestyle, but upset with those are not because they are “judging.”  Christians continue to misunderstand what judging is.  I make judgments daily, for example, I make the judgment that if I place my hand on a hot stove I will get burned.  Therefore, I do not do it.  In fact, I tell children, don’t do it.  The problem is that some children have put their hand on a stove that was not hot before.  In fact, they enjoy doing that.  Nevertheless, I tell them not to do anyway.  But they think I am judging them because that stove has not burned them before.  Besides, what they do with their hand is their business and I should not care as long as it isn’t hurting me.  Yet, most would say that if I don’t warn them, then I am not caring for them.

I used possibly a silly example, but the point is that I don’t believe that my motive, if I’m judging others by saying that homosexuality is a sin, is meant to intrude on someone’s right to touch a stove.  My motive should be that I know that one day that stove will be on and it will burn the child’s hand so I don’t want the child to eventually get hurt.  In fact, I deeply care about the child, otherwise I would not say anything to the child about the stove.  I would simply sit back and watch the show.  When it was over I would say, lol, I told you and walk away.  Now obviously, I think that according to the Bible homosexuality is indeed sin.  Those who practice it, along with the other types of sin I mentioned earlier, may not be getting hurt now, but they will.  And one day Jesus will return and those who clung to their Original Sin will be sent to a place of judgment.  These will be those who rejected Jesus and His teachings.  They wanted the right to live their lives and touch that stove without people like me bothering them.  And, God will grant that to those who did not want to respond to God and ignored His warning.  So in fact, these will get what they always wanted; eternal life without God.

For those who are secular I want you to know that we Christians are supposed to be showing you respect and love.  If you experience those who do not, please know that they are not currently speaking the language of Christ.  You are right that you should be able to live the way you choose.  We Christians call that Free Will.  From my point of view that is biblical, that is a gift from God to you.  If you don’t believe that the Bible is the ultimate source of truth, then none of this matters.  But, if you do believe that the Bible is God’s communication to His Church, then you need to know that homosexuality is sin.  Plus, as Americans, even if there are people misusing Scripture, or being hypocritical while quoting Scripture, it is their right to take part in the American process politically.

I do ask for forgiveness though when you experience wrong-motive Christians attacking you if you are someone who supports same-sex marriage, or someone who is homosexual.   I want you to know that you would like Jesus, and sometimes His people get a little edgy, but eventually we will grow to become more like Him.  The Christian Church simply cannot support same-sex marriage, but she should not attack those who do.  Christians are supposed to be ambassadors who persuade on behalf of her King.  Jesus is not into coercion.

If same-sex marriage is legalized, then Christians, you and I, are still called to love God and love others.  We will continue to operate as we have since they lowered the age for consensual sex, legalized alcohol, and in some places marijuana, divorce, and etc.  We live in a fallen world.  Do you really think that legislation will fix it?  Or do you suppose that being motivated by love and compassion to disciple others will eventually impact your surrounding community?  I can’t help but think of the Kingdom that was spawned by One Man over 2,ooo years ago who did not condemn, but came to save.

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Filed under Christianity, compassion, Doomsday, Holiness, Homosexuality, Love, Marriage, Same-sex marriage

4 Gravitational Pulls All Churches Experience

I took these notes from Andy Stanley at the Newspring Leadership Conference in September. 

Text: Acts 15:1-21

One of his comments about the Scripture was that a controversy arose about the need for surgery to be saved. 

He also said that every church has a “they.”

1) Churches always gravitate toward insiders and away from outsiders.  Jesus liked people who were nothing like Him.  The people liked Jesus who were nothing like Him.  Resist this pull in the way you preach, build, and etc.  We must keep our churches externally focused. Red flag prayer requests. Sin, sorrow, and death are what makes our message more important!  Lost people are what matters!

My take: Prayer requests must be centered on people finding Christ.

2) Churches gravitate toward law instead of grace.  People think categorically instead of relational.  Love must always overcome rules.  Acceptance paves the way to influence.  Use grace to sort things out.  We will have to accept people who sin; not the sin.  Homosexuality, abortion, fornication. 

My take: Those who live this way must not be influenced away from the church. The Holy Spirit can still work with them and that is His job. 

3) Churches gravitate toward complexity instead of simplicity.  Clarity.  Partner don’t pioneer; fund and volunteer for other organizations that are already doing it.  Don’t lose your uniqueness in your community.

My take: We are all unique and have a purpose in God’s plan.  Sometimes we need to simply cut the fluff away and focus on the one thing we do.  Discipleship should be a clear process too. 

4) Churches gravitate toward preserving and not advancing.  The Jews were trying to preserve the Law of Moses.  The same Law that God gave him.  Do not move into a protection mode instead of moving into the community.  We cannot protect assets before fulfilling the mission.  Think like a church plant. How did we think when we did not have money? 

My take: Protect mode really brings everything to a stop.  The assets that we protect are Gods; we must watch burying our one talent.  

4 Commitments

1-Be more concerned about who we are reaching instead of who we are keeping.

2-Let’s error on the side of grace.

3-Remain focused on our unique calling.

4-Remain open-handed.  We started with nothing we may end with nothing; and that is okay.   

This is great advice.  I think this advice is great for a small church pastor.  There is a lot to chew on and ponder on here.  Everything in these notes I took are applicable even my small church situation.  I recently shared this with my board.  My goal was to help us focus on what is important.

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Filed under Church Attendance, Church Health, compassion, Faith, God, Homosexuality, Leadership, Missional Resources, Newspring Leadership Conference, Small Church, Vision

My problem with healthcare

The biggest problem that I have with healthcare at this point is that our government did not listen to the majority of the American people.  This is really dangerous in my opinion.  Whether or not this bill is good or bad, the bottom-line is that most of America did not want this.  Leadership that is for the people is not supposed to place undo stress and fear on most of the people.

It is obvious that our government, the Democrats, believe they are doing what is best.  Yet, last time I checked, the only one that we can trust to do what is best when we are so uncomfortable is God.  He is infallible while those humans are fallible who are running our country.

This is not the only time that our government has refused to yield to the people.  The majority of America does not want to pay for abortions, nor do we want to legalize abortion.  Yet, this has been legal since the early ’70’s.  The majority wants marriage defined between a man and a woman.  Yet, this could be changed soon.

I watched Nancy Pelosi walk into the Capital Building with her huge gavel and a big smile on her face.  She made this walk before untold thousands who were protesting against the Healthcare Bill.  These protesters represented most of America.  It seemed to me that this was here way of showing us the hammer before she used it.

Pelosi would do well to remember that she is not teaching us a lesson about who is in charge.  She is supposed to be a servant of the people.

President Obama said in his victory speech after the vote, that this is still a government by the people, for the people, which serves the people.  Did he not see the polls that were consistently against this bill?  Then, how could he say that without guilt?

My ultimate problem now is whether or not we have a government that actually listens to us.  I find that a government that fundamentally changed America, when most people were against it, is very uncomfortable to me.  There will be new taxes on the middle-class.  There has to be because we are the majority.

Do you feel good that the majority of America was not listened too?  It doesn’t matter to me what your political party is.  In my mind, liberals and conservatives should agree that the government is supposed to listen to the majority of the people.

These are my personal views and do not represent the views of The Wesleyan Church, or Smith Chapel Wesleyan Church.

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Filed under Abortion, Barack Obama, Homosexuality, Leadership, Nancy Pelosi, Politics

Support for any American President

I have written about supporting American Presidents before.  I have also shared with many that I was raised to love our country and support our leaders.  What is great about this country is that we can say what is on our minds.  I cherish that right. 

Those of us who are Christians, and live in America, have citizenship in Heaven and this country.  Both should be considered privileges.  I just went the CNN web site to vote on their daily poll today.  This poll asked whether or not the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at our President was an outlaw or a hero.  At the time of this post 81,347 had voted.  33,920 of these voted that this journalist was a hero.  This means that 42% of those who voted thought it was great. 

People let me just say that if these were all Americans, who were born in this country, this is ridiculous.  I believe that those who were not born here, but are Americans now legally, would not feel this way.  At least many of them would not.  Likely, they are here because they know what living under someone who really is bad feels like. 

Whether or not you agree with the wars that we are fighting, you should still support the President in a way that shows respect for the office.  President Bush stood up to terrorism and I am glad for it.  There were things that he did and did not do that I did not like.  But I stood behind him. 

Now, President Obama has the office.  There are issues that he and I are on opposite sides about.  But, trust me, if someone threw something at him in the same manner that the Iraqi journalist did, I would not consider that person a hero.  I would be upset! 

Our President is the face of this great nation.  If you, as an American citizen, are applauding such moronic actions, then you are irresponsible about who and what you give your respect to. 

If you, as a Christian, are applauding that type of disrespect to a leader that God placed over us, then you better check your spiritual pulse.  I have seen a lot of Christians endorse what happened as a great act that somebody needed to do.  Yet, ignore whether or not human life is worthy of defending.  Further, these will ignore the Bible’s stance about the act of same-sex fornication being a sin.  Evidently, once we throw these biblical issues aside, many are capable of ignoring the biblical point of view about submitting and respecting our leaders. 

I think that if you are Christian who takes part in this type of foolishness that you should be ashamed of your witness.  Where does Jesus laugh about this type of dastardly act in the Bible?  I think that is fine to disagree with policies that our Presidents have, but when we h0pe for, or are glad for, bad things that happen to them, then you have crossed a moral line as a Christian.

If you are an American that hopes for, or is glad for, bad things that happen to our Presidents, then you should try to find some level-headed ground to stand on. 

Why don’t we all support our Presidents?  Yet, still exercise the right to disagree with them intelligently.  Here is the link with the story.

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Filed under Abortion, Barack Obama, Homosexuality, Leadership, Politics

The Journey toward Anything goes

Well, I am still rooting for my new President.  Yet, I wonder why some of the first issues like abortion and homosexuality were on his agenda of his first week in office.  We have two huge dilemmas that must be dealt with like terrorism and the economy.  Yet, President Obama, knowing that our tax money has been flowing freely from the government to save those industries and financial organizations from failure, has issued an executive order to reinstate funding to foreign countries who want to pursue aborting children. 

Let’s think about this for a second.  We don’t really know how we are able to give out billions of dollars to companies who have not managed themselves appropriately.  Basically, it seems as though we have an unlimited supply of tax money to give out.  Well, I think that most of us would agree that we can’t give out tax money hand over fist.  Yet, we are going to take money, that should be held onto to replace those monies given out, that should be saved back for real needs like energy, defense, and the economy, we are going to give money out for other countries to abort babies. 

Here is an nonreligious reason why that is wrong.  Our country is clearly against abortion, according to many statistics.  But our country is in agreement to spend money to fix the energy crisis. 

According to CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, Obama said, “It is time we end the politicization of this issue.”  I am sorry this issue is more than politics, it is about the way our government manipulates the lines of morality.  This seems to be one of the first, or the next, steps toward an anything goes America. 

Here are some questions that we, the United States, are going to have to wrestle with.

  • Why is abortion so important?  I am sorry, most people are able to have some self-control and can avoid getting pregnant by many different ways. It is as if we want to be able to make choices without any consequences. Yet, there are consequences.  Many Christians and non-Christians said one of the reasons to vote for Obama was that he was going to take care of the poor.  If that is true, then there are ways that many women can take care of their babies with federal help. 
  • Why must homosexuals have legal marriage?  They are still practicing their lifestyles.  Further, nobody that I know of is standing in their way to live together.  If it is over benefits, then the good news is that there are already benefits available to those who can’t get any through the government.  Or, both partners can get a job that provides these benefits.  Plus, wills can be made so that if one should pass away, the other person can receive what was left behind.   

 I can’t help but think that there were bigger issues to deal with this week that did not involve splitting the country.  I have seen several other blogs this week that demonize many Christian beliefs.  I have seen many different reasons why people argue for President Obams to order these things.  But, these things are those that should not have been high on the President’s agenda while we are fighting 2 wars, in the middle of a recession, in the middle of an energy crisis, and struggling to do what is appropriate with prisoners who are likely dangerous terrorists. 

One final word to many Christian brothers and sisters.  You and I are still called to stand up for what God accepts as right.  Yes, the poor are important.  But so are unborn children.  If you are willing to ignore such anti-God decisions so that your 401k is saved, then shame on you.  We have been called to refute an anything goes attitude that the world seeks.

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Filed under Abortion, Barack Obama, Church Health, Homosexuality, Politics