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Abortion is The Evil of our generation

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Monday, June 29, 2015

You're loved even when you're wrong - A strong Christian message

So I guess God has more for me to write.  Odd considering such a long hiatus.  But in light of the recent supreme court ruling, there's been a ton of opinions and articles linked from all spectrums of the argument.  This post is a spinoff of my post regarding my take on the gay marriage supreme court ruling .   The other day I was directed to a post to what would appear to be a very misleading, some might consider hateful title.   With a title of "why homosexuality is not like other sins", I was expecting some type of justification for the supposedly widespread "hate" that Christians supposedly have for homosexuals.  Thankfully I read it and found out that it was not the case at all.  I'll not go into detail but it's worth a read.  What I will share is a phrase that I find very good:  "You're wrong, but loved".  The phrase takes the stance of separating the sin from the sinner and showing that love transcends one's wrong doings.  

If I were to make it a little less confrontational, I'd put it as "You're loved even when you're wrong".  What's great about this phrase is that it embodies the Father's love for us as we continually fall short and do wrong things.  Yet, despite all the nasty things we'll do, including things directly hateful toward God Himself, He still loves us.  

I'm wrong all the time.  I sin all the time.  I ignore the Holy Spirit speaking to me and sin even knowing what I'm doing is wrong.  I sin even when I'm striving to be more like Him.  I'm hopeless, but even then He still loves me and accepts my repentance as if it were uttered for the first time.  

That's the type of love that needs to be communicated to people.  A love that brings people in and welcomes them into the Church.  A love that trusts the Holy Spirit to do what needs to be done.  A love that speaks truth, not condemnation. 

It's true that people do not like being told what they're doing is wrong.  And there will always be vehement resistance to when truth exposes wrong doing and lies.  And we can't be afraid to speak that truth.  But we need to have the right message that conveys that while truth exposes wrong doing, it does alter our love for the person whose vulnerability is suddenly revealed.  That's what I believe this message can do.  You're loved, even when you're wong.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why I believe homosexuality is still immoral while also believing the gay marriage ruling is a ultimately a good thing.

First, let's get this out of the way:  This is not a "my views on gay marriage have 'evolved'" post.  They still remain the same.  Homosexuality is still immoral and marriage, in the eyes of God and the church, should be between a man and a woman as our creator intended.  Instead, this post is more about a revelation or impression that the Holy Spirit has left upon me over the past few months and how this ruling, along with a few other things in my life, have strengthened my belief in how God's hand is directing His church in the United States.

First, let me take a step back and brag on God a little.  God has many awesome qualities.   But there's one in particular that I get really excited about as I see it manifest all the time and have had the good fortune of the Holy Spirit revealing it to me time and time again.  This quality is God's perfect and impeccable timing.  A very small, but personally awesome example of this is this past Friday I had the opportunity to drive for about 17 hours in one day and asked God to reveal truth to me and allow me to listen to the Holy Spirit more clearly not even realizing that day was the day the ruling was  to be revealed.  So as I was driving, I was flipping through radio stations and happened to stumble upon a news radio station that had a small blurb about the ruling that had just occurred.   At first I was upset, feeling how this ruling was just another wedge the Enemy was going to use to drive His Kingdom out of our culture and into irrelevance.  That we were losing the battle.

But then, I was reminded of the beginnings of the Christian church in the New Testament and the parallels between the Judaizers trying to force brand new Christianity to keep old covenant laws and the European based Christianity of the past few centuries that ironically turned the bible and its moral code into laws such that breaking that moral code could also mean terrible and oppressive reprisal from the ruling government.   And while we're definitely not anything close to the Inquisition these days, we still have laws that attempt to "enforce" morality my making the immoral acts also illegal.

So how is God awesome here?  He placed me in a situation where I'd have a lot of time to think on Him on the day this ruling would come out and guide my hand just enough to hear the news I needed to hear, then have plenty of time to continually meditate on Him and this situation so I could receive a download of inspiration.   It might not have happened had it just been another normal Friday.

Anyway, after having that parallel impressed upon me, it become clear that the supreme court ruling is God's hand moving His Kingdom in the direction it needs to go in.  No, it's not about "coming around" or "catching up" to the world's indifference on homosexuality's morality.  Instead, it's realizing that in order to win souls for His Kingdom, you cannot legislate morality or salvation.  You cannot save people by creating laws that discourage or prevent them from committing immoral acts.  Remember, it's by faith people are saved, not by works (and in this case, simply avoiding doing bad works because you don't want to deal with the legal consequences).  We can't rig the narrow path by making the immoral choices come with heavy legal repercussions.   It doesn't "make" them saved or even make them lead a more moral life. What it does do is build resentment that pushes people further away from making the choice to follow God.

Last week a visiting pastor to our church was giving a sermon and mentioned how conservative Christians have tried to legislate salvation.  And because of that, the people we're trying to save believe we hate them even though that's not the case at all.  And he's right.  Just look at how conservatives are painted in the media.  We're "hate" filled people that hate anyone who doesn't lead a moral life.  Granted this is not completely our fault as the Enemy is also called the Accuser and he is very good at having lost souls point the finger at God's children.  However, it doesn't mean we didn't have a role in getting to this point.  We did by attempting to legislate morality and forcing people to live a certain way.  Yes, we may understand that this way to live leads to a more fulfilling, Kingdom serving life.  But that only happens when people make that choice all on their own.

What I believe God has imparted on me is that what we're seeing with this gay marriage ruling is just another step to bring the Kingdom back to basics.  To bring us out, once again, of a law centric lifestyle to one where everyone has a choice to willingly pursue the Kingdom and discover the right choices on their own.  A movement to shift our focuses away from desperately trying to maintain Christianity's ever slipping impact and relevance through political means to focusing on impacting and influencing our culture by personally connecting with people.  His Kingdom lies in the hearts and minds of the people, our culture, not in the rules our country makes.

Lastly, keep in mind that while I see that this supreme court decision is God's hand moving the Kingdom back to basics, the Enemy will also be using it to further drive Christianity into irrelevance.  There will be tough times ahead and I'd highly doubt if there wasn't some type of incident where a church is targeted for refusing to perform a marriage for a gay couple in the near future.   That road, while undeniably an attack on Christianity, is God's crucible to form the Kingdom in a way that will enable us to bring in more souls.   Just like our Christian lives aren't always easy and fraught with our tests and tribulations, so is the Kingdom's path to God's ultimate glory.

Just have faith and remember we're here to extend His Kingdom and win souls for Him.  As long as that's always our goal and we continually seek Him, the Church will not just merely survive.  It will thrive.

God Bless.