Test Everything. Even What the Pastor Says.

I’ve seen the following like 3-4 times today on social media:
lies

We are told to test everything against scripture.   Ladies and gentlemen this little piece of propaganda does not hold up under testing.  As a matter of fact, I’m highly skeptical a Christian pastor ever said these things or that a Christian even wrote them.  There are things that tip you off.

1) Only  ‘a few passages’ of scripture say homosexuality is a sin.  It wouldn’t matter if it was only one passage or 200 passages.  The bible lays out all sexual sins plainly.

2) The ‘pastor’ references the old testament consequences of divorce (stoning) using it as automatic grounds for dismissal (as a misunderstanding of the old testament always is).  But he didn’t refer to Jesus’ own words against divorce (Matthew 19, Matthew 5)

3) “The Bible doesn’t say anything about the consequences of a homosexual lifestyle.”   …really?  There are definite consequences in scripture.  Granted, there are times when it is specified and there are passages in which it says “sexual immorality” which includes homosexuality.  Some of the consequences are listed in the following passages: Romans 1:26-32, Jude 1:7-8,  1 Corinthians 6:17-20.

4) The ‘pastor’ then tells us Christians we are trying to ruin people’s lives.  This is obviously a distorted picture of the gospel and our relation to sin and God’s design.  Sin ruins lives.  Always.  Would you have people dive into hell if only they could be happy but for the fleeting moments they are in the air?

5) Love thy neighbor and that’s it!  That’s all folks!  Nothing else!  Let’s take a look at the whole passage Matthew 22:36-40.  There seems to be more there than just love your neighbor.  We are not to love our neighbor at the expense of loving and following God.  That wouldn’t be love anyway.  It would just be patronizing.

6) Then the coup de grace is we’re told to support ‘equality’ with a smile.  Again, are we to celebrate depravity?  Are we to lead people to their own destruction?  No.  That’s not the call, and that’s not what loving your neighbor means at all.

Here’s the deal, christians.  We are to love our gay friends.  We are to be neighborly.   We are to be genuine about these things and not pretend to be loving and then turn around and whisper destructive things behind their backs.  But… our culture has a hard time with loving someone and not supporting them.  We are not to celebrate their (or anyone else’s) sin or their success in sinful pursuit.  To do so is to celebrate a person’s plummet to hell.   “How can you say they’re going to hell and say you love them??”  A) They choose hell by not choosing Christ.  I don’t condemn them. I cannot, I have no power to condemn. They condemn themselves by turning from repentance and from Jesus.  B) Are we to ignore scripture in this regard too?  Ignore that Jesus referred to hell many times?  I am against the preaching of ‘fire and brimstone’ to try and get people to convert to christianity.  That doesn’t mean hell isn’t a scriptural reality.  That doesn’t mean it’s an aspect of our belief to ignore.  Love and acceptance will always prevail in winning people’s hearts, but we have to remember why we’re trying to win those hearts.

Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  Truth is in the Word.  Test all things against it.

‘Love the Sinner, but Hate the Sin’ is Garbage Theology

I’m writing this primarily to my Christian friends, but my non/anti-Christian friends feel free to read on. It is often said that we are to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” I want to address this exegetical error in the wake of the supreme court decision and the resulting spread of this phrase by Christians.
The first question is; Does God hate the sin but love the sinner? Answer: No. He hates the sinner.

Psalm 5:5, “The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,”

Hosea 9:15, “All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels.”

Check out this link for more: https://carm.org/does-god-hate-anyone
Also, John Piper’s opinion on this is really worth listening to: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/god-loves-the-sinner-but-hates-the-sin

God is Holy. He cannot bear sin in His presence at all. As Piper points out in his short response above, this makes the salvation that He brings all the more astounding. His Grace that much more amazing. For, though He hates us who do iniquity, He takes us and by His love makes us “the apple of His eye” (Piper). God is not constrained paradox. People ask the elementary school question, “Could God make a stone so big he couldn’t lift it?” The answer is; yes He could miraculously make that stone. And then He could equally miraculously lift it. God hates the sinner. And God takes the heavy, stone heart of that sinner and turns that heart to flesh (Ezekiel 36:26) and makes him into that which He loves.

Second question; Should WE hate the sin but love the sinner.  Answer: Is that even possible for us? Are we holy such that we should or even could justly hate the sin? Hating someone else’s sin just makes us ignorant of our own sin. “Look at them! I can’t believe he would do that! Ugh, I hate that.. oh, but I love him.”  There is nowhere in scripture a call for us to hate another person’s sin.  It says in several places that we should hate evil. That is a call for us to turn OURSELVES from evil.

9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21, ESV)

If you’re discouraged by the supreme court ruling and the state of what people call “marriage” then the best thing you can do is live righteously in your own marriage or in your own singleness.  You don’t need to celebrate the unrighteousness and depravity of others, but neither do you need to go spouting off at the mouth condemning people who you have no place or power to condemn.  I preach this to myself most of all.  Gentleness and self-control are fruits of the Spirit that I struggle with daily.

Let us not turn away from the truth of sin and the fact that God hates it and sinners.  But let us care most about the sin in our lives so that we can be effective light in a place clouded with false gospels and news that would be good if not for the lies disguised in it.

Boycott the Evil Chicken-Frying Gay Haters

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/us/30chick.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&src=twrhp

So, evidently if you feed christians at a marriage conference it means you hate gay people.  Who knew?

The article above says there’s an uproar about a Chik-Fil-A in Pennsylvania that is providing food for/sponsoring a marriage seminar being held by the Pennsylvania Family Institute called; ‘The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God’s Design.’  This group is said in the article to be very anti-homosexuality.  Therefore, Chik-Fil-A (all of them) hates gay people.  “If you’re eating Chik-Fil-A, you’re eating anti-gay.”   Also, unbeknownst to myself (and probably other Christians) Chik-Fil-A has established their “corporate ethos” to the point that secular customers call it ‘Jesus Chicken’…which to be honest brings up some pretty funny mental images.

So, I can’t decide if it’s who is overreacting here.  Probably everyone.  You’ve got the press that’s going gaga over it.  You’ve got homosexuals who are calling for the removal of Chik-Fil-A’s on university campuses and debating seriously about no longer enjoying the succulent beyond-awesome fried chicken the company produces.  And then you have the “evangelical christians” who are all like “Woooo, raht own!…wait what are we cheerin’ for?”   Lake Lambert “the author of Spirituality, Inc. and dean of the college of liberal arts at Mercer University, where he teaches Christianity” says,

They’re going in a direction we haven’t seen in faith-based businesses before, and that is to a much broader marketing of themselves and their products,” he said. “This is possibly the next phase of evangelical Christianity’s muscle flexing.

Marketing?  Am I the only one that thinks that the place is just serving a huge group of people some fried chicken?  They are a business, a privately owned business, after all.  Plus, I’m pretty sure each location is a separate franchise.  Does having a marriage conference that talks about and defends the Christian idea of marriage (which excludes not only homosexuality, but also any heterosexual sex outside of a marriage between a male and female) automatically mean that the people holding the conference and any companies or people supporting it hate homosexuals?  That seems like a pretty big leap!  Check out this quote from the article,

It literally leaves a bad taste because I know the people who are putting this food in my mouth actively loathe me,…I’m all for freedom of religion, it’s just that I know where I want my money to go and I don’t want my money to go.

What?  Really?  This company that runs a bunch of franchise-owned locations has admitted their “faith-based principles” and has a location that is supporting a marriage conference which promotes the idea that a marriage is only between a man and woman and homosexuality is wrong… and everyone at this conference hates gay people so, of course, the whole company (that fries chicken) hates gays…therefore, the person serving you fried chicken at whatever location you are at loathes you because you’re gay?   What. The. Crap?

I fully admit that there are people out there that profess to be Christians who hate, literally hate homosexuals (Fred Phelps’ cult comes to mind).  With that admission made, I want to ask; is it possible for a person to disagree with the practice of homosexuality and not hate gay people?  Is it possible for me to have specific beliefs about sex and marriage without loathing other people who act contrary to my beliefs?  I really really hope so.

I’m going to attempt to make an analogy.  Bob is an alcoholic and he’s been sober for a year.  He has daily, evenly momentary strong desires to drink alcohol.  But he doesn’t.   Are his desires to drink wrong/sinful?  My opinion? No.  Let’s say he gives in one night, gets hammered and wakes up at the bus station sleeping next to a homeless dude named Julio.  Is that wrong?  My opinion? Yes.  Ok, now Bill is a regular hetero dude who has a girl friend or wife even and he starts to discover that he has and has had homosexual feelings & desires for a long time.   Are these desires wrong/sinful?  Granted, if he is lusting after other dudes, the Bible states clearly lust is sinful…but it’s sinful even if Bill were lusting for another woman other than his wife so that’s not specific to homosexual desires or feelings.  I don’t think these desires/feelings are sinful.  I think that to put the desires in action would be.  I realize this probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, and it’s something I continually thinking, praying and consulting scripture about… but for the life of me, I do not see how a homosexual man is any more or less sinful than a husband that indulges in pornography or a couple that has sex before they’re married or an adulterer.  I think alcoholism is self-destructive.   I also think that practicing homosexuality is self-destructive.  What’s my point(do i have one)?  We are all sinners who are faced with sinful desires every day, and we make choices every day whether to indulge those desires or to turn away from them and go God’s designed way.  In Pennsylvania they want to have a conference teaching people about “The Art of Marriage” and “Getting to the Heart of God’s Design.”  The people that go to the conference are just as sinful as the homosexuals that hate them for disagreeing with their gay lifestyle.  And there’s this private company that wants to feed the people at said conference because the “company’s corporate purpose is, in part, ‘to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.'”  What wires got crossed that made people think that this company hates gay people?  I think I’ve said too much and i wasn’t able to stay on topic well, sorta because this is a rant.  I’ll leave you with this quote from the article:

“I’m not a fan of Jesus at all, but I still go to Chick-fil-A maybe once a week,” said Tony Parker, 25, of San Antonio. “Your reason for not going to a fast-food place is bad customer service and poor food quality, not religion.”

Amen Tony.