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A Pastor Talks about His Same Sex Attraction

12 May

A Pastor Talks about His Same Sex Attraction

This is just an awesome post. We are all human, and we have a magnificent Saviour in Jesus Christ.

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An Interview with Ravi Zacharias

2 Apr

An Interview with Ravi Zacharias

Like C.S. Lewis, Ravi Zacharias brought deep thought and insight into 20th century Christianity.

Ravi continues in this new millennium.

Is he always right?  No, and we non-Catholics don’t have a doctrine of infallibility for anyone at anytime.

But he is always worth a listen (or a read).  My world is better for having known he was in it!

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Bowdoin College and Free Speech!

11 Mar

Bowdoin College and Free Speech!

For those of us who loved the movie Gettysburg and will forever associate Bowdoin College with the brilliant, if somewhat academic, military tactician Joshua Chamberlain, this news is chilling.

The fourth most highly ranked liberal arts school in the U.S. believes that freedom of association no longer works in the U.S., at least for Christians.

The leadership of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship chapter on campus are being told they must sign a statement that people of alternate sexualities are eligible for leadership in their group. The belief is that, since Maine state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there should be no other additional standards to those in Maine law for eligibility to lead in this Christian group.

What? As the article says, are they going to apply that to leadership of dance groups (you can’t discriminate against non-dancers) or foreign student groups (you can’t discriminate against people who have never traveled outside the U.S.)?

Scary ground toward which we head.

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The Discussion of Sexual Orientation as Analogous to Race

25 Feb

The Discussion of Sexual Orientation as Analogous to Race

More voices on the comparison of sexual orientation to race . . .

vs. race

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Rosaria Butterfield, on Moving from Gay Studies Professor to Conservative Pastor’s Wife

17 Feb

Rosaria Butterfield, on Moving from Gay Activist Professor to Conservative Pastor’s Wife

Before this talk, Rosaria Butterfield was picketed by gay activists whom she helped equip in her own activist days. She notes that irony in her talk, as she mentions how our worldview is informed by what we read and . . . maybe it would behoove us to step away from the electronics and read some good, old-fashioned Puritan writers and their Biblically-based worldview.

They are even available in theological libraries we can download to our tablets.

Good stuff! This sister is always encouraging.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Virginia!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine's Day, Virginia!

So much has changed since yesterday in the state of Virginia, but yet so much remains the same.

The gospel of Jesus Christ still remains the antidote for the sin problem of the entire human race. Our problem with anger, our problem with selfishness, our problem with sexual sin, our problem with wanting to make a name for ourselves independent of God, and independent of the design and plan He built into the human race.

When Jesus came, during the Roman Empire, He defined marriage as between one man and one woman for life. So many of us nowadays fall woefully short of His definition.

Jesus then went on to concentrate on bringing the gospel, His good news, to broken, sinful people.

He did not rage against the machine.

He didn’t preach against the polygamy that was occurring in every part of the Roman Empire except Israel at that time.

He didn’t preach against the marriages that were marriages in name only, to produce heirs, while the men involved in them carried on with dozens of other women, or men, or young children.

Jesus addressed sin as sin; He addressed sinners as sinners. Yet He did more. He loved sinners. Often they received His love. They were then loved back into wholeness by the very Son of God!

Jesus is still doing that only . . . He is using the hands and feet and hearts of people who are alive in Him on earth right now. His Holy Spirit empowers us to love sinners and to lead them to Christ, that the Holy Spirit may dwell in them, too, breaking the hold of sin over their lives, as He has broken the hold of sin over our lives.

John, the Apostle of love, writes often of how Jesus said that that would be the only way the world around us would know that God is real and that He is love–when they see our love for each other and for lost people around us.

That is God’s plan for redeeming a lost world. Us. So we had better take it seriously.

Remember, the only time anyone ever threw a sexual sinner on the floor in front of our Saviour, He told her He did not condemn her.

And to go and sin no more!

That is our message for a broken world, and our message for Virginia today.

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Anti-Gun Mayor Imprisoned after Holding A Man Captive and Firing a Gun . . .

17 Jan

Anti-Gun Mayor Imprisoned after Holding A Man Captive and Firing a Gun . . .

There is so much wrong here . . . where do we begin?

The least of the mayor’s difficulties is firing his gun inside his residence (even with his membership in an anti-gun group).

It seems that, while having his “complex life involving bisexuality” he committed acts of stalking, misuse of government resources (having the police go pick up the person he was stalking–how frightening), unlawful imprisonment (making the stalking victim stay with him for three and a half hours), underage drinking (odd that giving alcohol to a 20-year-old is a crime, while consensual sex with a 20-year-old would not be a crime), attempting to have a sexual relationship with that 20-year-old (non-consensual, therefore a crime, no matter who you are), and bondage.

This is a perfect time for the gay people of good will in our nation to loudly denounce this sort of thing. Just as heterosexual (and gay) men of good will have spent forever saying that it is wrong for men to force non-consensual sex on women. Being an emotional basket case is not an excuse for breaking the law and I am glad this mayor had the book thrown at him.

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Disclaimer: I Don’t Watch “Duck Dynasty” but I Do Support the Free Exchange of Ideas

19 Dec

Disclaimer: I Don’t Watch “Duck Dynasty” but I Do Support the Free Exchange of Ideas

This post contains the Phil Robertson quote about homosexuality. It is not nearly as graphic as I thought. It is actually Biblically accurate with the first three chapters of Genesis, in which God created us male and female.

It’s the kind of thing you would say to friends, not in a national interview. So, for that reason, it is just a bit tactless.

And . . . maybe it is a bit insensitive in not acknowledging the obvious fact that gays don’t automatically feel the same desires that heterosexuals feel. But is it now a requirement for heterosexuals to always present that disclaimer when talking about the sex act? I don’t necessarily think so. God clearly created us male and female, in a complementarian way (including sexually). Again, see Genesis 1-3. I think it might be up to those who don’t live by that model to present the disclaimers. It is nice when a heterosexual remembers to do so, but I don’t see it as a requirement.

Phil Robertson’s remark was certainly acceptable within the realm of the free exchange of ideas.

The quote on the races is more disturbing to me. I can see the insensitivity there. Saying he worked with blacks in the field because he was “white trash” . . . Sounds like something out of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (and that may very well have been the culture and era in which he grew up, but he could have said what he did with more tact, as it is now 2013).

Still, should A&E have fired the lead on their most lucrative show? Only time will tell. They have the right, under free enterprise, to hire and fire whomever they want. They definitely exercised viewpoint discrimination, but that is not protected under the labor laws. You very much can be fired if the boss doesn’t like your viewpoint. It isn’t right, but it is what it is. And there are many petty people around who only want to work with people who agree with them on issues. Sometimes they are the boss.

I think maybe Paula Deen and Phil Robertson should start their own network for fallen people who realize that not everything in this world operates according to what we regard as ideal . . .

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A Believer Who Struggles with Same Sex Attraction Speaks Out

29 Nov

A Believer Who Struggles with Same Sex Attraction Speaks Out

We need to listen to our brothers and sisters in Christ who self-identify as gay–remember, temptation is not a sin. Giving in to temptation is a sin.

There is no more reason to be standoffish from someone who has been tempted with gay sexuality than there is to be standoffish with a heterosexual who has been tempted by an extramarital affair and walked away from temptation.

All sexual sin is disordered, in its own way. Saying no to it is a step toward the Saviour, no matter what that temptation was.

When we say Christ’s blood breaks the power of all sin, we have to say that with conviction. All sin!

The First Gay Legislator to Vote Against Gay Marriage

13 Nov

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/November-2013/Exclusive-Why-Rep-Jo-Jordan-voted-against-Marriage-Equality/

Jo Jordan explains her no vote on gay marriage in Hawaii.

Interestingly, it was important to her that people listen to each other on this issue and one side consistently shut down dialogue with her. They had an attitude that they already knew they were right on every aspect of the legislation so she should just vote yes, with no questioning.

The same side that usually says fundamentalist Christians always believe they are right in every situation and won’t listen to anyone else . . .

Maybe they have learned from us, after all.

Nobody but God is always right!

Five Reasons Society May Return to Traditional Marriage

12 Nov

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2013/11/12/five-reasons-to-hold-out-hope-for-traditional-marriage/

A compelling post.

It seems that gay marriage will become the law of the land in the U.S. The only question is when it will be federally recognized.

Some of us believe things will go farther and, as foreshadowed on Sesame Street more than twenty years ago, a family will become “a group of people who love each other.” Which sounds great until we contemplate the temporary nature of love in our generation.

However, history is not over yet. This post presents five reasons why society, as a whole, could later make a U-turn back to the “narrow” (but life-giving) definition of marriage that Christ gave.

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What We Can Learn From a Lesbian Visitor to our Church . . .

6 Oct

What We Can Learn From a Lesbian Visitor to our Church . . .

I had an interesting discussion with a friend a couple of weeks ago.

You see, our Pastor had said just about the same thing that this post says. God doesn’t differentiate levels of sin. One sin will keep us out of heaven. That is why we need Jesus. That is why Jesus is such good news for us.

But my friend walked out when my Pastor said that Romans 1 is not just about the sin of homosexuality. He was not prepared to hear that the other sins in that chapter are just as odious to God.

He told me he thought Pastor was “minimizing” the sin of homosexuality, by implying it is not all that serious.

I said I thought the opposite–that when we pick on homosexuality as our favorite sin to hate, we are minimizing our own favorite sins and implying that they are not all that serious.

My friend and I did not see eye to eye that day. There is lots of ground to cover here before we understand that we all stand condemned before God, but for His mercy in Christ!!!

Heterophobia

8 Jul

I have never seen my title word used, nor defined.  I don’t think it exists.  And it is curious that it does not . . .

This will not be a gay-bashing post.  My God does not teach bashing anyone made in His image.  There are times His image is distorted in people, but that is another issue and requires compassion, not the attack mode.

Let’s break down the word:  “hetero” means “other” and “phobia” means “fear.”

If homophobia means fear of people who are homosexuals, heterophobia would mean fear of people who are heterosexuals.

I submit that either one actually indicates revulsion, not fear.

I don’t know of anyone who is afraid of homosexuals or heterosexuals; I do know people who are revolted by the way homosexuals have sex.  By projection, I can understand that some homosexual people may be revolted by the way heterosexuals have sex (particularly the ones of opposite gender whom they don’t find attractive at all).  

It happens, and the point of my post is not to try to figure out why but just to acknowledge that a lot of things happen in a fallen world for which explanations do not come easily.   

I don’t believe all homosexuals would have heterophobia, but I have known a few who probably did.  

A college professor of mine fit the stereotype of the “flamer” perfectly.  He had studied to be a Catholic priest, then left the profession for some reason.  He was still unmarried.  He would fawn all over the men in our class, particularly the tall, blue-eyed blonde who sat across the aisle from me.  He would come over to my friend’s desk, hanging on his every word and batting his eyelashes at him.

Yet, when his female students spoke up, he would go into attack mode and tear apart everything we said.  There was a definite aspect of humiliation to the way he treated us.  As outgoing as I am, I soon learned to shut up in that class.  It just wasn’t worth it . . .

My papers were another reminder of his revulsion or contempt.  They would come back with more red ink on them than black ink.  And he wrote smaller than anyone I have ever known!

I was shocked when my first semester with him ended and I got an “A.”  I soon learned that I just had to play the game with him.  I would put up with his abuse for a semester and go home with an “A.”  Since everything split perfectly along gender lines, I learned to not take the situation personally.  It was one of my first examples of not being universally liked.  It was probably good for me to learn that.    

It was years later that I realized there probably was an element of fear behind his revulsion because he seemed to apply it to every female, without exception.  But I would still say that he is the perfect example of what I would call heterophobia, and that the defining aspect of heterophobia appears to be revulsion, not fear.

Another professor during that period used to remind us that, while there is nothing new under the sun, our job as scholars (which is the word he used for us) was to “analyze and synthesize” everything in order to come up with a new way of combining old things.  He was a crusty old guy who was dying of cancer at the time, but I learned more from my one semester with him than I did from two years with the other professor.  

Thus my use of the word “heterophobia” and my observation that I have never heard it before.  I am sure someone, somewhere has used it.  As my beloved professor used to say, there is no completely original idea anywhere.  It has all been thought before.  But it is the way we combine a series of thoughts into new patterns that is original to us.  

I will just bet there is not another writer on the face of this earth who could have written this piece on heterophobia exactly the way I just did!!!

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Welcome to Rome, Part II!

5 Jul

Welcome to Rome, Part II!

I love it! I wrote a post called “Welcome to Rome” last year and now the Southern Baptist Conference has so many posts on that issue that the writer of this one calls it “cliche.”

I promise you the phrase was from my own brain, after much reading, when I posted it last year. Obviously, nobody who is a thinker thinks in a vacuum, so I probably took data points from the SBC as well as from other voices when I made my assessment.

But the phrase “Welcome to Rome” was original to me.

Great minds think alike, or our blogs crossed paths and someone over there saw my post . . . one or the other.

Very cool. Since I am not paid for this blog, it is not important to know whether I was the first to use the phrase. But neat that I found it on my own, in the midst of others coming to the same conclusion.

You Stick Out, But Not Like A Sore Thumb!

28 Jun

I got into a conversation with the woman who was selling me my salad at Quizno’s today.  The proprietor of the place was gone for the day, so she was there from another Quizno’s, which she runs, to substitute for him.

I had had a new ID made on the base today, so I had worn a new red dress for my picture, a batik in a size 10 that is just loose enough on me to make me feel like a million dollars.

She picked right up on my joy at wearing a nice dress–within three sentences she was telling me about an upperscale dress shop that used to be next door to her Quizno’s.  

Funny thing though . . . I hadn’t mentioned clothes.  

How did she know that I would be interested in a top-notch place to buy them?

The clue was in the way I dressed and carried myself.  Without a word, she saw that I have high standards for myself when I go out in public.  

The more the world gravitates to the grunge look, the more people like me stick out.  I kind of like that.  We all get to choose our standards.  But we don’t get to choose how people react to them.  Those of us who believe that we show esteem for others by dressing nicely around them get a reputation for being people who value quality, and not just in our clothes.  When we go to church dressed nicely, we show that we esteem God, too.  Nothing but the best for my Lord and for the people who surround me!

I have heard several people say, within the last forty-eight hours since the Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage were publicized, that people who marry an opposite gender partner and stay married for life, raising several children, will not long be the norm.  But those writers have gone on to say that there is an upside to that!  

They have stated that it is now becoming possible to sit next to a stranger on a plane and, by finding out that they married at age 20, while still in college, and stayed with their same spouse for the next ten years, while having three children, to take an educated guess that those familymembers are Christians!

Not bad–being able to be a  walking, talking testimony for Christ just by having a certain family configuration.  

It won’t be long, folks.  They say it won’t be long.

And, oh the chances you will have to speak of God’s grace in your life then.

For we Christians are no better than other people.  

We just serve an awesome God, the only true God, who is better than the alternatives in every single way!!!

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