The following video is lengthy but well worth the time.
Several months ago I started to write a blog on what has become a common practice with many Christians and I decided to hold off until just a few days ago. What changed my mind? A simple but brief texting session with one of my sons spurred me to finish what I began. I hesitated because I suspected my statements would once again run against the grain of the majority. I’m fairly sure a significant number of my Christian brothers and sisters will even disagree with me. Disagreements aren't always negative. Opposing views and conflict should cause us to examine an issue in life more closely.
So with the likely potential of ruffling a few feathers here goes…
The common practice among Christians I write about today is that of tattooing. Now by no means do I want to give anyone the idea that getting a tattoo is some sort of “mortal” sin. There are numerous New Testament passages that would suggest we’re at liberty to do many things that were once condemned under the Old Covenant. My query with Christians marking their bodies with tattoos is one of testimony. I believe we need to ask ourselves the question of why God at one time condemned the practice of tattooing. Note Leviticus 19: 28 were God states: “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”
So if you haven’t studied this passage before “Joe” or “Sally” Christian what would your answer be if someone inquired about the rightness or wrongness of believers getting tattoos?
Would you say that’s just the Old Testament and it no longer applies to us today? Or would you take a more defensive approach and answer the question with another question? A defensive posture would be to question the practice of eating certain meats from unclean animals, blending different cloths together, or planting a field with two kinds of seeds also known as intercropping. These three practices were at one time forbidden for God’s people to do but not now. I’m sure many believers would argue that the prohibition for tattooing is no different than these other restrictions, and with the establishment of the New Covenant our views on such a practice should change. In support of this argument one most likely would point to a passage such as Acts 10 where God corrects Peter’s attitude concerning things clean and unclean or the writings of the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 8) where he addresses meats offered to idols.
Actually it’s unfair to take one verse out of a particular writing without providing the proper context to the whole article. So, Leviticus 19 begins by focusing on the holiness of God and the statutes which follow are standards for the nation of Israel to keep which reflect His holiness. The keeping of these laws also served as a testimony to the world that God’s people were to be a separate people. Again we need to take the entire passage in its proper context. Each of the laws in Leviticus 19 fall under one of the three distinctions: ceremonial, civil, or moral, and it’s not uncommon as we read the Old Testament to find these distinctions overlapping.
Ceremonial laws related to Israel’s worship and ceased with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Civil laws were those which guided Israel’s daily life, and moral laws were those such as the Ten Commandments which addressed man’s relationship with God and other individuals. Of the Ten Commandments, nine are spoken of in the New Testament as still in effect today. We should expect then that a multiplicity of unquestionable behaviors and activities would be categorized under these nine commandments.
As one reads through Leviticus 19 it becomes obvious that verses 26 – 31 are religious in nature and address pagan practices dating back to the time of Moses and before. It’s also clear that some of these statutes would fall under the area of civil law while others under the moral banner. One could say there are no specific prohibitions against these practices in the New Testament, but then how does one deal with verse 29 which speaks of turning one’s daughter over to prostitution? Surely all would agree to sell a daughter into prostitution is morally reprehensible. I also believe many Christians would agree that verses 26 and 31 concerning witchcraft and other contrary religious practices are wrong from at least a spiritual standpoint. We cannot isolate one part of a scriptural passage in order to justify or condemn a particular practice we may or may not agree with, in general. Remember many laws overlap where we might find commonality with a civil law and a moral law.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth he did address at least one pagan practice and the applications derived from this teaching are many today. To make a long story short, Paul essentially states we’re at liberty to partake of some things that were once considered part of pagan rituals but freedom doesn’t necessarily equate to a right action. The bottom line comes back to our Christian witness. Again I’m not saying that getting a tattoo is a sin. What I am questioning is the message we’re sending to other impressionable Christians and the world.
In our social media driven society do we really need to see “Sally Christian’s” new tattoo emblazoned across the upper portion of her breast or her lower back? Does “Joe Christian” need to show us his new cross tat and scripture verse on Facebook no matter how good the message may be? When the Church begins to look and act like the secular society in which we live how can we expect the world to see any real distinction? Isn’t the Church called to be different just as the nation of Israel was called to be a separate nation?
I hope you know I don’t mean to sound legalistic or judgmental. I’m just asking a question in brotherly love. Maybe you see tattoos as an art form or even a way of expressing your faith. I’m really just questioning the wisdom of the placing and exhibiting of these markings.
I realize all Christians have a life before Christ and a life with Christ. I readily admit I’ve made many mistakes in my life and even now I still don’t get everything right. Also, in light of all that is taking place in our world with terrorism, extreme poverty, and assortment of other issues in humanity tattoos aren’t a big deal, but our Christian witness is always significant to a lost and dying world.
P.S. No I do not have any tats!
Remember the game tag? One kid was the proverbial “it,” and all the other kids ran from him in order not to be tagged and become “it.” A fun and simple game played in simpler times and in big green yards. I’m not even sure if children are allowed to play tag anymore in public schools because of its political incorrectness, but many adults play a tagging game in today’s society and they play with a vengeance.
Politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups, and the media often use tagging as a tactic to advance social agendas and political ideologies. This calculated approach is intellectually dishonest and destructive to our society. The method of tagging has been used successfully for years now primarily against Bible believing Christians and other groups who lean toward traditional values and conservatism. It works by simply attaching a “tag” to a group or issue in order to negatively label someone that doesn’t share the same worldview. The tags most often used today are prefixes and suffixes such as “anti” or “phobia” with the hopes of demonizing a particular group of people for the purpose of squelching debate. Part of the tagging strategy seeks to elicit an emotional response by appealing to the feelings of an individual and not the intellect.
I look back at the late 70s and early 80s with great interest in the use of these tags to turn a moral debate into a political one. The hot button issue was abortion with the passing of Roe v. Wade in 1973, and what took place in the public square was often manipulative in a psychological sense. Rhetorically, the term “antiabortion” while technically correct in describing one’s position in opposition to abortion also lacks clarity based on other societal attachments to the term. Attachments of being “antiabortion” automatically presupposed a definition of someone being anti-woman and anti-choice which is intellectually dishonest – this broad definition still lingers 30 years later. Leftist leaning politicians and groups continue to promote this form of dishonesty with their fallacious arguments on the “war against women” as seen in the last presidential election. In the 80s Christian and conservative leaders quickly attempted to turn the tide by using the term “pro-life” to combat the negative connotations of antiabortion and anti-choice.
As a young man during that time I remember hearing the pro-abortion language and thinking how persuasive it was because of its pro-individual appeal. Once the situational and statistical aberrations are removed from the conversation the argument for being pro-abortion or pro-choice I believe is an ethically challenged and selfish decision.
I use the abortion issue as an example to address something similar happening in our culture presently. Just a few weeks ago you may remember Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty was tagged as being anti-gay and homophobic because his comments given during an interview with GQ magazine. This tagging was led by the LGBT community, many Democrats, Hollywood elites, and the mainstream media. Note what Mr. Robertson actually said:
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. … “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right. … We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
Now note what the Apostle Paul says from 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Robertson’s paraphrase of 1 Corinthians appears to be right on target and in agreement with the Apostle Paul’s statement to the Church. Verses 9 and 10 obviously address all forms of sexual immorality as a sin and in particular homosexuality. In verse 11 the Apostle specifies that at least a significant number in the Church at Corinth were once practicing these particular sins, but now have changed their behaviors and are not to return to their former lifestyle. The Apostle Paul also makes a similar argument against these forms of sin in Romans 1:18 – 32 and identifies them as forms of idolatry, (which is a whole other discussion).
Phil Robertson, and Christians as a whole aren’t anti-gay or homophobic. If we’re anything we are pro-God, pro-Bible, pro-life, and pro-love. Some might debate the pro-love aspect, but from a Christian view not sharing the truth of the Gospel is unloving and a form of disobedience. To experience the truth and love of Christ and not to share it with the rest of humanity is sinful. Robertson had a duty as Follow of Christ to speak out given the platform he was given, and he did so even if some consider his speech to be somewhat crude.
As a side note, my wife I believe made a great point on Phil Robertson’s supposed crudeness. Many of those who were most outraged by his rough and colorful language seemingly never speak out about the foul language used regularly on television. Somehow it’s inappropriate to speak about sexuality in a magazine article but it’s not inappropriate to take God’s name in vain repeatedly as a form of entertainment – a bit hypocritical don’t you think?
The real problem “anti-taggers” have isn’t with people like Phil Robertson but with God and His Word. This is not to say I agree in totality with Phil Robertson on some of his doctrines, but I do agree with his view on the total depravity of man and his need for a Savior – the Savior Christ Jesus.
As a Christian it isn’t my desire to impose my lifestyle or beliefs upon another, nor is it my desire to have nonbelievers impose their lifestyles and beliefs upon me or the Church. It’s also not my desire to shut down debate but to encourage an open and honest dialogue with individuals from all walks of life. If we preach tolerance the let us practice it also. Tolerance is the ability to accept another human being without having to approve of their lifestyle and choices. We may not always agree, but we should always be able to discuss our differing views no matter how loud the conversation becomes.
Submitted by Angela Tomlinson
It all started with our official decision and commitment to debunk the Santa myth and omit the Santa Claus ruse from our Christmas celebration. My husband and I had the talk about Santa with our daughter Daisy today: "Santa is not real, he's a made up character, we don't believe in Santa, we believe in Jesus. He is a real person and we celebrate His birth. All things come from God, our presents come from Him because all that we have comes from Him, our presents from Him represent the free gift of eternal life God gave us through His son Jesus. We give gifts to represent the grace Jesus gave us when He paid the debt for our sins, etc."
So I think we have effectively dealt with the secularism that is encroaching on and taking over this sacred holiday, only to find another trend spreading like wildfire and troubling us more and more each day. Recently this "Elf on the shelf" joker began popping up all over the place. Facebook is ablaze with strategies of how to incorporate this doll into the lives of children each day leading up to Christmas. He even has his own book and get this, he watches all the children's behavior and is apparently in cahoots with Santa, employed to rat out the bad children and report the good works of the obedient children – the result of which is to be only coal and no presents to the “sinners” and all the presents they can handle to reward the works of the “little angels.” This behavior management technique goes back and forth in a dramatic song and dance until it reaches the pinnacle of this whole production: when both good and bad children alike end up getting the coveted presents they wanted in the first place.
There are so many parts of this practice (like that of Santa Claus) we take issue with and they’re too numerous to count: suggesting this fictional character possesses omnipresent qualities like that of God, the support of works over faith, putting faith and dependence in an entity other than God, to what and who's standards of behavior the children are being held, rewarding sinful behavior and God-like qualities equally, no consequences for sinful behavior, suggesting that any kind of control is possessed by anyone other than God, and so on and so forth. It’s nothing but idol worship manufactured and dressed-up in a cute festive red and white package.
Now I can't begin to tell you how appalled and distraught we became upon analysis of this jumbled concoction of distorted doctrine and the blatant disregard for the holy nature and sanctity of the miraculous historical events we celebrate during this time of year. It also saddens me to think about how hard these seemingly well-meaning parents are working to create a positive influence in their children's lives only to ultimately prevaricate in order to display a muddled and convoluted portrait of the “goodness” of mankind. What a hoax!
Don't they see that putting these seemingly harmless false idols before their children and playing along with this lie will cause their children to one day question the validity of our Savior Christ Jesus? I can just picture it now. Sooner or later their children will begin to question the reality of Santa, the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc. One by one, the parents then have to confess to the lie they have perpetuated for each character.
The biggest problem arises when children begin to question parents about their belief in Jesus. Will the children actually believe their parents are being honest about this Deity that you cannot see when they've already been lied to numerous times about the others? How are children expected to have unwavering faith in God when their parents have already systematically built up and then destroyed their “faith” in all of these other icons. This compromises and discredits the Godly witness of the parent to their child, making them hypocrites whose words do not match their actions. More importantly it, in turn, compromises the witness of Christ to the world portraying Him as a hypocrite, spiritualizing Him, downplaying the significance of His miraculous birth and sacrificial death, and lumps Him in with the others as a “false” idol.
Why do adults feel the need to perpetuate this secular fallacy in order to spread the feeling of “Christmas cheer?” As if the life of Christ and the knowledge of His saving grace through faith isn't enough to evoke these feelings of joy and thanksgiving. They promote these worldly values as opposed to participating in activities that bring glory and honor to a perfect God; the kind of worship that cultivates and encourages a sense of awe and amazement as God's redemptive plan begins to unfold with the birth of the Messiah. But I digress.
Then I began thinking about Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” I began to wonder if and how we can reverse-engineer this blasphemous distraction and use its basic premise to refocus family worship back on Jesus. Was there a way we could use it to create a new kind of tradition, teaching our children how to glorify Him in a way that supports sound Biblical doctrine, honoring and giving thanks to Him for His redemptive work on the cross and His grace that abounds while also providing a reminder of His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence?
And then it hit me: Does the all powerful, sovereign God in heaven not know His beloved and see and hear everything we do and say? (Ps 139:13-16, Jer 12:3) Does He not call us to be set apart by living a life that honors Him (Gal 1:15-16, Gal 2:20, Ps 4:3, Rom 12:2). He has even given us the standards by which we should live (Ex 20:1-17) and by which we will be judged in His Word (Mat 12:36, John 5:28-29). He also offers the gifts of mercy, grace, forgiveness and everlasting life through His son Jesus to those who believe in Him (John 3:16; 3:36, Rom 6:23), and redemption by grace through faith (Eph 2:8). It occurred to me that even though this basic concept when wildly astray there just might be a way to refocus and re-purpose it so that all glory, honor, and praise are redirected to God.
So here is my idea: The Messiah in the Manger initiative. Instead of centering all activities on Santa or an elf just focus on Jesus – the Messiah in the manger (Luke 2:4-14)! Get back to the true meaning of Christmas and the reason we have cause to celebrate and rejoice! Put God FIRST during this holiday and all year long.
Let’s develop traditions that show children ways to honor and worship God in order to teach them about the nature and characteristics of Our creator's sovereignty (omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence), the gifts of forgiveness, mercy and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Look for ways to reinforce the standards God has set forth in His Word, and to live a lives that are set apart by a pure witness for Christ and of the Gospel through guarding the holy and sacred relevance of the impetus of God's redemptive plan.
Parents, make a commitment this Christmas season to keep your eyes fixed on God. Make sure your activities evoke the kind of worship that glorifies and honors God magnifying the purity of this sacred and holy celebration. Protect the wholesomeness and legacy of your witness of Christ for your children and guide/guard the developing witness of your child against the evil influences of the world, against anything that may detract from bringing God glory. Make a conscious choice to reject the worldly idols of secular celebrations and embrace the truth, and doctrines set forth by God in the Bible. If parents spent as much time fostering the acquisition of God's Word and application of Biblical truth as they do thinking up ways to position this “Elf on the shelf,” they would be weaving a truly rich and life-preserving heritage in deed.
The bottom line is: people inevitably will carry the traditions of their childhood memories into adulthood, and these are the customs and conventions they bestow upon their own children. Parents, consider the words of Paul in Romans 12:2 as you take time to consider the traditions you are supporting and the meaning behind them. I suspect as you contemplate the “reason for the season” by seeking out activities that truly glorify and worship God, you'll leave that “elf” ON the shelf and choose to magnify the Messiah in the manger!
Walking by faith,
Romans 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Angela and her husband are good friends of mine and she originally shared her thoughts about the “Elf on the self” with me in an email. I too was concerned about the promotion of this new trend especially among Christians and considered writing a similar article – Angela just beat me to the punch. This article is her email to me and is shared with her permission.
As I was following my daily ritual of reading through the current news cycle, I was somewhat shocked by an article citing a new strategy in the promotion of what is generally referred to as “Obamacare.” Cutting-edge advertisements have been produced by the state of Colorado to encourage young adults to sign up for the new health care exchanges. Now before going any further I realize the Affordable Care Act is a hot topic issue for many of us, but this blog isn't about politics or the soundness of the ACA law. My intent is to briefly focus on the cultural message behind these ads. Generally speaking, when we finance state and federal programs with our tax dollars we’re also putting a stamp of approval upon those programs whether we like them or not. In essences these ads reveal a part of our character and moral makeup as a nation.
Think for a moment what the ad pictured here actually suggests. Do we really want to tell young women, and essentially young men, that a promiscuous lifestyle is now more affordable because birth control pills are covered by our new healthcare law? Do we also want to convey a sense of moral acceptability because our government has approved of such behaviors? Obviously, I believe the answer should be an emphatic "NO." Surely, some will think I’m simply being prudish and naïve because “young people are going to do what young people do.” I’m neither prudish nor naïve, and young adults engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage isn't the main point of this blog. My real issue is that our government is promoting what the Scriptures teach to be immoral, and to be footed by “Joe and JoAnn taxpayer” should disturb all Americans.
If the promotion of immorality isn't enough to bother us then note the asterisk at the bottom of the ad which states; “The pill doesn't protect you from STDs, condoms and common sense do that.” The indication is that the only real consequence other than an unintended pregnancy of sex outside of marriage is the possible transmission of an STD. Where's the common sense? Shouldn't we share with teens and young adults the emotional toil and heartache that often comes with multiple sexual relationships? There is a price to pay. Statistically young women who have multiple partners throughout their lifetime tend to have lower self-esteem and greater relationship issues.
Since we’re being frank, I don’t want you to think that I’m intentionally targeting just America’s youth. Yes, these ads may focus on young adults, but recent studies show the fastest-growing group contracting STDs are older adults - Baby Boomers to be exact. The findings of these studies indicate Boomers are “playing the field” once again after a divorce or being widowed. This suggest to us that sexual immorality is common throughout all age groups, and it brings us back to where we stand as a people culturally.
The sad story about our society is that we’re a nation in a state of rapid moral decline. It seems to some, such as myself, that the majority of Americans have adopted the “We–Don’t–Care” mentality. Even during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s there were conservative entities and vocal segments of society who still exercised a great deal of influence over our culture. Civic and community leaders at least projected and advocated a sense of biblical morality even if they didn't always practice what they preached.
Today there appears to be an outright movement against all things holy. Does holiness and righteous living even matter to us anymore as a people? Have we become such a progressive society that we really no longer care what God deems right?
Just for a moment forget about the political aspects of “Obamacare” and come to grips with the fact that God–cares.
He cares about holiness.
He cares about righteousness.
He cares about you and the life you live.
1 Peter 1:14-19 (ESV) 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
I'm not trying to be or sound "Holier than thou" because I've made many mistakes in my life. I just want you to know that God-cared enough to give His Son as a payment for our sin, and I think He deserves better from us. I know He deserves better from me, and He deserves better from the government that represents us. Our leaders are to demonstrate a higher standard in their governing, and we as a nation should speak out and hold them to that higher standard.
See the story behind this blog here
The two rulings of the United States Supreme Court this week in essence affirming gay marriage was inevitable and these decisions have also set the stage for further litigation. The winners are those who support the homosexual agenda, and especially lawyers who are bound to prosper from the lawsuits brought against states and private entities. The losers are those who support Orthodox Christian beliefs, traditional families, children, and America. Like other countries who have adopted such policies the number of marriages even among heterosexual couples will most likely decline in our country. With a continued decline in traditional marriage America will become a less religious and less stable society in the generations that follow.
As written in an earlier post the push for gay marriage has never been about equality, but about destroying traditional America and its Judeo-Christian beliefs. In March of this year I wrote an article entitled “The Evolution of Beliefs” in association with the topic of gay marriage, and I would encourage you to read that article again. I also recommended a book by Dr. Erwin Lutzer entitled “The Truth about Same-Sex Marriage,” and you can purchase a copy from Barnes & Noble for less than ten dollars. Dr. Lutzer provides valuable insight as he quotes the political and cultural leaders of the homosexual movement about their real agenda.
As a Christian who believes the Bible to be the very Word of God and accurate in all its teachings, I find it horrifying to see the rise in percentages of those who claim to follow Christ supporting gay marriage and the homosexual agenda. The numbers seem to indicate the shift of support for gay marriage is occurring mostly in adolescents and young adult populations. To be fair there’s also been a noted change in the attitudes among those in their 30s and 40s as well. The media and public schools have been extremely successful in normalizing homosexual behavior by bombarding our society through film and television, and as well with pro-homosexual materials and slanted studies. They’ve been so successful that many in the Church have been swayed in their beliefs.
Now here’s the absurdity of Christians supporting gay marriage. First the term “gay” is a politically correct term that softens the reality surrounding the real issue of homosexuality, and that issue is sin. As Christians we are often quick to fall in line and adopt secular slang, arguments, and positions without examining them in the light of God’s Word. The Scriptures leave no room for debate that this particular behavior is sinful. If Christians follow the logic of secular society that says homosexuality is genetically determined and therefore not a sin they stand in direct opposition to God. Truthfully, we’re all genetically predisposed to sin because of our sin nature, and this places homosexuals in the same position with the rest of humanity. Our genetic makeup is not an excuse for the sinful choices we make in life, and for Christians to support such ideas is heretical.
The whole idea that we do not choose who we love is a lie. We make choices every day based upon our own personal preferences, and especially those with whom we choose to enter into intimate relationships. To justify the sin of homosexuality is no different than justifying any other sin such as adultery, or God forbid something as vile as bestiality. Just because a majority of people say something is right doesn’t make it so. The ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong is God; He has clearly defined the standards of right and wrong as revealed in His Word, and for those who are to be in a right standing with Him. Homosexuality cannot be defended biblically just as the mass murdering of children in the womb is indefensible. There is no excuse.
I understand there’s a growing number of families’ having to deal with this issue, and even Christian families are not immune from the homosexual debate. We have family, friends, and coworkers who are coming out of “the closet” who we love forcing us to deal with this not just in society but in the church also. Many Christians in their desire to be supportive and understanding have attempted to alter their biblical views in order to be accepting, and in so doing they unwittingly subvert truth and oppose God. Our acceptance and love for another is never dependent upon our approving of their behavioral choices.
I leave you with two thoughts.
One, the words of Christ as He addresses the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 7:53 – 8:11). Note in the passage that Christ Jesus lovingly accepts the woman but He does not condone her sin. He sends her away with an explicit command to change and sin no more. Obviously there’s much more to this passage, but His not condemning her shouldn’t be construed as approval. His act is one of grace and mercy in accordance with His divine nature as God, and part of the mission of His first advent.
Two, I share with you a quote from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in regards to gay marriage. Mr. Perkins stated, “You can make it legal, you can never make it right.” No matter what decisions the Supreme Court makes in the future or the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President of the United States, if they are contrary to the Word of God they will always be wrong. As Christians we need to remember that our God is greater than the United States and her governing bodies; God's idea of marriage has always been and always will be one man and on woman for a lifetime.
Last Sunday evening the Family Research Council hosted the event “Stand with Scouts Sunday” in Washington, DC. Scouting in America is under attack culturally and from the radical homosexual agenda on the left. In just a few days 1700 scouting representatives will gather and vote on changing the moral standards of scouting here in our country.
Please click the link below and watch the video from the FCR event, and then set aside a time each day to pray for those who will be voting on this proposed change. Together let’s put this in God’s hands.
Marriage is a choice of freewill based upon one's rational choice
Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing several blogs about the biblical idea of marriage, and how to make our marriages better based upon the teachings and principles found in the Bible. No matter what the Supreme Court might decide based upon the arguments heard this week in regards to gay marriage, the Scriptures are clear as to what constitutes a marriage in the eyes of God. This institution has been and will always be a covenant relationship between one man and one woman for life. The Old Testament paints marriage as a spiritual picture of God’s relationship with Israel, just as the New Testament provides a similar portrayal of the relationship Christ has with His church.
On June 18 of this year my wife and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary, and through our years together we have experienced many things both good and bad. During our most trying times God has always provided for our needs, but particularly He has provided us with comfort and guidance when all seemed to be lost. Because of His presence we have a stronger relationship with each other, and we believe it is the acknowledgment and practice of His Word that continues to bind us together. The things of which I will write over the next few weeks will be based upon what I’ve learned in my own marriage, education, and the 20 plus years of pastoral care counseling I’ve done with hundreds of couples.
First, as Christians we are to view marriage as a sacred gift from God. As we comb the Scriptures it’s easy to see how the idea of marriage belongs to God alone, and it is to be highly valued and protected by those who hold to the Bible as true. A high priority is placed upon marriage because of what it represents and the foundation it provides for a stable society.
We should also be reminded that we were created for fellowship as designed by God in order to ultimately glorify Him. Some mistakenly teach that our spouse is a gift which is to complete us, yet the truth is our spouse is to complement us in our work and service together for God. The “helpmate” spoken of in Genesis 2:18 is one who provides strength where the other is weak and vice versa.
Genesis 2:18 (ESV) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that
As a husband, if I truly believe that my wife is God’s gift to me then I should see her as something precious and of great value which I would want to protect. As a wife, if I believe my husband is God’s gift to me then I too would place great value upon him and would seek to be a support in order to help meet his needs. God’s idea of marriage is to be balanced and mutually fulfilling, and if we approach it as such then our relationships with each other will be much more rewarding.
Secondly, many relationships in our culture today began on the wrong footing because they are based upon a physical attraction. These marriages and relationships are primarily expressed through physical intimacy and are rarely strong enough to last. Typically one or both suffer with low self-esteem which ultimately leads to a relationship with fewer outside friends because the physical contact becomes all-consuming. True intimacy suffers because these couples really never learn how to communicate with each other, and their relationship is normally over within a three to five year period of time.
Third, the ideal foundation for a marriage is built upon a friendship based upon common goals and attitudes which are primarily rooted in a belief in Jesus Christ. If Christ is at the center of each individual’s life within a relationship, then He also becomes the connecting ligament that holds the relationship together. While our spouses complement us it is Christ Who completes us.
If we hold Christ in common with our spouse then this one shared focus provides us a consistent foundation to build upon. It is a proven fact that those who hold similar religious views and levels of commitment are more likely to stay together. In reality your spouse should be your best friend upon this earth. This is the person who you are intimate with physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This is also the person who is your closest confidant next to Christ, and who lifts you in prayer when all others willingly forsake you.
I leave you with this thought which I've shared with many others; “If you desire a better wife then be a better husband, and if you desire a better husband then be a better wife.” Continue to develop your friendship. Spend time together in the daily routines of life. Attend church together, pray together, develop new interest together, but most of all walk together in Christ praying for one another and being a strength where the other is weak.
Updated - Please see the two links and the article from the FRC at the end of the blog
Romans 1:26-27 (ESV) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
It’s interesting what has taken place recently in regards to the gay marriage issue. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, recently revealed that he is now a supporter of gay marriage. Senator Portman’s son has just come forth and revealed he is a practicing homosexual. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also just stated as of yesterday that her views on gay marriage have “evolved.” This is the same wording that President Obama used last summer in describing his change of heart and why he now supports gay marriage.
The idea that our beliefs “evolve” based upon a changing society is not so hard to fathom. For the lack of a better term I suppose we do “evolve” positionally based upon our obtaining of new knowledge about various subjects. If we were talking about football and defensive schemes run by NFL teams I would tell you that my thinking has “evolved.” I now believe a 3 – 4 defensive alignment is better than the 4 – 3 configuration because of its aggressive nature and flexibility to create problems for NFL offenses. If we’re talking about politics I can tell you my thinking has “evolved” and that is why I am now a conservative independent.
First let me say I am not a proponent of evolution. I personally believe the whole idea of scientific evolution to be false and primarily promoted by those in academia out of fear and hatred toward God. Second, the idea of evolving means that we are somehow progressing from a lesser state to a higher state of thinking, being, or position. Just because I state that my political beliefs or ideas about defenses in the NFL have evolved doesn’t necessarily mean that I have actually “evolved,” the most likely answer is I’ve simply changed my mind based upon personal preferences.
Some have the idea that everything evolves including our understanding of hallowed writings. I believe it was Dr. D. James Kennedy who once spoke of the dangers of evolution and the affects it has upon certain texts such as the Bible. If one believes in the theory of evolution then it is not so far-fetched to also believe that our interpretation of sacred writings will evolve as man evolves. This is an argument that has been used by secular progressives in regards to the Constitution of the United States. These individuals argue that the Constitution is an open document and therefore is open to change as society changes. If we are to follow this argument to its completion it is no longer important then to question what the framers of the Constitution actually meant; their thoughts and ideas are no longer applicable to our present society.
When this philosophical belief is applied to the Scriptures, it in essence, changes everything we know about God and His Word. Instead of interpreting a passage in its literal sense based upon a historical and grammatical method one could simply say, “This particular passage has taken on a new meaning because of cultural and societal changes.” Those with neo-orthodox leanings would argue that the “Bible contains truth” not that the “Bible is true.” Herein is where we arrive at two problems for those who follow this type of logic.
One, homosexuality and gay marriage is not a political issue nor is it a new cultural phenomenon. Homosexuality and the issue of gay marriage is a moral issue rooted in the sinful nature of man, and played out in the depravity of man’s behavioral choices. Those who would rail against the writings of Moses in the book of Exodus and the Apostle Paul in Romans with their modern interpretations simply prove my point. Their arguments concerning the “lack of hospitality” and what would be "natural" versus "unnatural" just to name two are not only weak but ludicrous.
Two, if one believes the Bible to be true then the Bible is an extension of God being that it is His testimony to mankind. The Scriptures teach us that God is immutable, meaning He does not change; therefore if God is unchangeable then His Word is also unchangeable. Note the passages below.
Malachi 3:6 (ESV) “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
The Word of God not only speaks against the practice of homosexuality and all forms of sexual perversion, but clearly reveals that God does not evolve nor do His teachings. So our political leaders, Hollywood stars, leaders in academia, and society as a whole may believe their positions on homosexuality are evolving yet the Scriptures would suggest something else. At best the majority of Americans may simply be changing their minds, but most likely we are de-evolving as a society morally and scripturally. If we in America continue to follow this road of moral degradation it can only end in one way which is with the destruction of our country. I pray you do not believe the myth that we are “too big to fail.”
Note this statement from Dr. D. James Kennedy in his book, “What’s Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?”
Society cannot remain stable when there is no permanency. The greatest sense of belonging has been provided by the traditional family. We know who we are because we belong to a family unit with all persons sharing the same last name. Who are responsible for the children? And who will care for the elderly? … The instability that will overtake us if same-sex marriage is not stopped will affect all areas of society, from schools to jobs to retirement. … Same-sex marriage leads us down a slippery slope. To say that marriage is no longer between one man and one woman opens the door for marriage to mean anything. Some of the proponents for same-sex marriage have already stated outright that their goal is to destroy marriage altogether. Liberal commentator and former co-host of Crossfire Michael Kinsley wrote a guest editorial in the Washington Post in the summer of 2003. Listen to these chilling words from an article entitled “Abolish Marriage: Let’s Really Get the Government Out of Our Bedrooms”: “[The] solution is to end the institution of marriage, or rather, the solution is to end the monopoly on marriage. And yes, if three people want to get married, or one person wants to marry herself and someone else wants to conduct a ceremony and declare them married, let ’em. If you and your government aren't implicated, what do you care? If marriage were an entirely private affair, all the disputes over gay marriages would become irrelevant.”18 Thus says Kinsley and others. They want marriage itself redefined out of existence. And if same-sex marriage is all right, then with what moral authority can we condemn polygamy.
Let us pray again for our country and her leaders. Pray for Christian teachers in public and private schools and that they will have a profound influence upon young minds. Pray for Christian businessmen and women in hopes that they will invest in pro-family businesses and organizations. Pray for our Christian political leaders that they will stand for traditional families in spite of mounting opposition. And pray for our clergy an evangelist that they will have the backbone to boldly proclaim the truth of God’s Word no matter the cost.
May God strengthen you in your daily walk,
 D. James Kennedy, What's Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage, (Wheaton, Illinois Crossway, 2005), 48 – 49
I just received an email from a dear friend who works closely with the Boy Scouts of America, and who knows intimately about the ongoing struggles behind the scenes of this great organization. They have requested that we help get information out about a petition being sponsored by the Family Research Counsel. Please go to the following link (http://www.frc.org/alert/the-scouts-need-your-help) and read the information provided by FRC, and then if you feel so led please sign the petition.
Your voice needs to be heard once again, and your support is greatly appreciated. Please keep the BSA leaders who stand for what is right according to the standards of God in your prayers. The old saying, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" still holds true. Let me remind you of a parable that Christ Jesus once shared:
Luke 18:1-8 (ESV) And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
As Christians we need to keep praying, and continuously speaking out on all issues whether they be spiritual, cultural, or political in nature when they are at odds with the Word of God. Let us be vigilant in all we do and in so doing God will be honored.
Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, friend, and lover of the Word of God!