We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Friday, December 9, 2016

Personal Freedom Outreach Journal

Back in 1999 I was researching Bill Gothard and his Institute for Basic Life Principles.  I first called Christian Research Institute to see if they had any information about Gothard; they didn’t but they had me contact Midwest Christian Outreach apologetics ministry in the Chicago area.  MCO had done a lot of examining Gothard’s teachings and even met with him trying to correct his teachings. They provided me (free!) with all their material on Gothard (including copies of their journal articles) and also suggested I contact Personal Freedom Outreach apologetics ministry in the St. Louis area for their examination of Gothard.

Well, after reading journals from both these ministries, I began subscribing to them.  With PFO I ordered all the back issues!  MCO’s is a good publication, but isn’t as regular due to the other needs of their ministry.  MCO’s journals are also usually not as in-depth, nor do they have as many people writing for it.  There are several issues of the PFO Journal on-line (for various reasons) but MCO is getting all of theirs on-line.

I can’t recommend the PFO Journal highly enough.  You can get the whole set (from 1981) in pdf format on a CD for about $70.  You can get the complete set of six issues examining Beth Moore’s books for $30.

This introduction is because I am going to be citing the latest issue of the PFO Quarterly Journal, which has excellent articles exposing problematic teachings of Andy Stanley and Priscilla Shirer.  The citations I use should give you a wee bit of a taste for this journal, so enjoy — beginning from the article about Andy Stanley’s new book, by Gary E. Gilley:

To Stanley, the church is an evangelistic center in which the focus is on the “unchurched,” as he calls unbelievers.  Stanley’s goal is to attract non-Christians and retain them, even if this means putting new Christians and even unbelievers into positions of ministry and leadership.  A person can even join North Point online, without talking to anyone.  North Point has limited classroom instruction and the teaching of Scripture is consistently belittled throughout the book [Deep and Wide].

Relationships, on the other hand, especially through small groups, are dominant.  These groups, sometimes led by new Christians and apparently even unbelievers, by necessity are not primarily centered on Scripture or even Christ, as biblically understood, but on relationships.  This is hardly the model found in Acts 2:42-43.  Too bad Stanley did not choose the second chapter of Acts, rather than Acts 15, to develop his ecclesiology — or better yet the New Testament epistles which give instruction on why God has created His Church and how He wants it to function. . . .

[T]he student of biblical truth is one who does not seek knowledge for its own sake, or to stake out a position of superiority over others.  The biblical picture is that truth and theology are used by the Holy Spirit to change lives not just fill our heads.  As the Puritan William Ames defined it, “Theology is the knowledge of how to live in the presence of God.”

Deep and Wide offers nothing that has not been said before by seeker-sensitive leaders.  This philosophy of ministry which first gained traction in the 1970s via Robert Schuller and Bill Hybels has radically changed the Church in the Western world.  The unsaved consumer is now king, marketing strategy sets the direction, and pragmatism rules.  The system “works,” at least numerically, for many like Andy Stanley.  But a careful examination of the New Testament leads us to conclude that this is not God’s design for His Church. . . . 

After discussion of Andy Stanley’s claim of a “secret sauce” for church growth, Gilley exposits Biblical teaching as to God’s “secret sauce,” which includes doctrine, the Faith, Truth, and Teaching/instructing.  The Gilley quotes Kevin J. Vanhoozer: “Desire for God without doctrine is blind; doctrine without desire is empty.”  Later Gilley cites Adrian Rogers:  “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error.  It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills.  It is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God.  It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie. … It’s better to stand alone with the truth than to be strong with a multitude.

In his summation of his article, Gilley writes, The alternative to sound biblical theology, in which people walk in truth to the glory of God, is walking in deception to the dishonor of God.  Without clear biblical theology, discipleship is not possible.

The article by M. Kurt Goedelman is regarding Priscilla Shirer’s new book, Fervent, which is supposedly a “battle plan” for prayer.  He begins his review with this:

Near the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, the writer says, “Of making many books, there is no end” (12:12).  Today he might have written, “Of making many books on prayer, there is no end.”

A search on the website of Christian Book Distributors for resources on prayer returns a list of nearly 9,300 books — and more than 16,000 total products — available from just this one company.

Many of these books have little biblical substance.  Those that attract the most attention and record the largest sales often are the least biblically sound.  They owe their success to claims that they offer the latest and greatest insight into communicating with God, breaking spiritual traps and “strongholds” caused by the devil, overcoming and eliminating the difficulties of life, or getting the Almighty “on board” with one’s dreams and aspirations. . . .

[Shirer] tells readers that [Fervent] was a fulfillment of a prophetic word spoken to her. . . .

Shirer touts her book as one Satan doesn’t want you to read.  “At the end of the day,” Shirer tells her readers, “the enemy is going to be sorry he ever messed with you.  You’re about to become his worst nightmare a million times over. . . “

I need to break in here for a personal comment:  You can tell Shirer and Beth Moore hang out together because Moore has stated, in her “Believing God” DVD series, that we become Satan’s worst nightmare, and that he will be sorry he ever messed with us!

It appears that Shirer would have her readers believe it is up to us to activate God’s armor and give it power:  

“Through intentional, deliberate, strategic prayer, you grab hold of Jesus and of everything He’s already done on your behalf.  It’s how you tap into the power of heaven and watch it reverberate in your experiences.  It’s a key part of your offensive weaponry against a cunning foe who prowls around and watches for your weaknesses, your vulnerable places, for any opportunity to destroy you.  In prayer you gain your strength — the power to gird yourself with armor that extinguishes every weapon your enemy wields.”

Author Kris Lundgaard disagrees:

“Many people talk about the power of prayer as if our words or will could move God.  The Scriptures say the Spirit is the real power of prayer, giving life, vigor, and strength to our prayer, and making it persuasive to God.  When we can’t drag ourselves out of bed, he enables us to pray with ‘groans that words cannot express’ (Romans 8:26).”

Prayer does relate to the armor of God and to our spiritual warfare, just not in the way Shirer describes.  Pastor and author Mark Hitchcock writes:

“The significance of prayer to spiritual warfare is evident in the very first word of Ephesians 6:18.  The word ‘with’ is a connecting word.  Prayer is vitally connected to the discussion of spiritual warfare and the Christian’s armor in 6:10-17.  Our defense is not to speak to the devil or demons by binding or rebuking them, but to pray to God.  Ephesians 6:18-20 comes right on the heels of eight verses that deal with spiritual warfare and our arsenal of six pieces of armor.  We might say that after describing our spiritual battle dress or what to wear to war, Paul now tells us how to get dressed.  We get dressed for battle in an attitude of prayer.” 

After another paragraph on spiritual warfare, Goedelman then begins to address Shirer’s teachings about forgiveness; after a couple columns of citations and commentary, he writes:

[A]ccording to Shirer, extending forgiveness is “mostly” for us — a concept never stated in Scripture.  Shirer has missed the fact that biblical forgiveness is a transaction.  Repentance must be expressed and forgiveness sought.  Then forgiveness can be extended to the offending person.  As Donald Whitney observes, “biblical forgiveness is never given or required where there is no repentance.”

While Shirer, in her discourse, correctly incorporates God’s forgiveness to us as the basis and mandate for us to forgive others, she fails to understand that God’s forgiveness is conditional — based upon our repentance.  Apart from our repentance, there is no forgiveness of sin.  Divine forgiveness without repentance is Universalism — the belief that everyone with or without repentance will be saved. . . .

So, then, if we cannot extend forgiveness apart from repentance, how do we keep from being, as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “outwitted by Satan” and fall victim to “his designs”?  Whitney provides the healthy and biblical course to follow when a Christian wants to forgive, but the one who has offended refuses to seek forgiveness:

What Christians should always do, as Jesus exemplified in His prayer, is to be ready to forgive.  And then, when forgiveness is sought, forgiveness can be extended.  Yes, we ought to release our sinful bitterness and hatred whether the offender ever seeks forgiveness.  Some equate this decision with forgiveness itself.  In reality though, this is only getting ready, being willing to forgive.  Then if the offender repents, we are prepared to complete the process by saying, ‘I forgive you.’ The one who announces forgiveness where it hasn’t been sought not only discounts the importance of repentance, he also misunderstands the requirement of Scripture.  But the one who is not willing to forgive is contradicting the Scripture and, for the moment at least, is putting the reality of his salvation to the test.” . . . .

Excluding the Psalms, there are 650 prayers recorded in Scripture.  They are all worthy to be used as prayer prompters, remembering that prayer is a personal matter of the heart.  Jay Adams reminds us:

“Prayer is not a bag of techniques, not learning the right formula, possessing some magic charm, or tacking on an open-sesame type password like ‘in Jesus name.’  It is not a matter of going through proper rituals, nor agonizing before God for long periods of time or anything of the sort.  No, the essential conditions to fulfill have to do with your heart. … In essence, effective prayer is a matter of the heart.”

No matter how perfect a “battle plan” or “strategy” we outline for prayer, if our heart condition is not right, then our prayers are ineffective and wasted.  Scripture tells us what makes up the condition of a “right heart.”  We can pray effectively — or fervently — when we approach God with an obedient heart (1 John 3:22), a forgiving heart (Mark 11:25), an undoubting heart (James 1:6), a broken or contrite heart (Psalm 51:17), an undivided heart (Jeremiah 29:13), a faithful heart (John 15:7), and a yielded heart (Romans 8:26).  These seven conditions do not constitute an exhaustive list but they do provide the basics of the heart attitude and spiritual temperament of the one who desires a fervent prayer life. . . . 

[W]e are certainly grateful for any teacher or any publication that encourages believers to pray more or establish a discipline of daily prayer.  However, prayer should never be seen as an exercise in becoming Satan’s “worst nightmare a million times over.”  The Lord’s Prayer provides a more comprehensive model for prayer.  In it we learn that prayer is first of all a relationship.  We also learn that prayer is to change us as we confess our sins and bow before His glory.  We also find that it is not done to get our will done, but to submit to His will.  There are certainly great mysteries in prayer.  These mysteries are both theological and philosophical.  Prayer is our way as believers to express our total dependence on God.  We also remember that we pray because we are commanded to pray.  To the undiscerning, Priscilla Shirer and her Fervent book misses these truths while overselling and overpromising.

Well, you can see that in reviewing both books the authors of the articles provide the biblical teachings against the teachings of the authors of the books.  This is the normal process with all articles in The Quarterly Journal.  

In addition to main articles, the QJ has an editorial page, a couple pages of news updates in the religious realm, and a book review on the back page.  You couldn’t go wrong by subscribing to this publication and learning solid teaching!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Looking at my collection of links today, it was hard to believe it has only been a week since my last “RAAH” post — so many things in the world of false teachings!  And this is just the highlights!!!  So hold on to your hats.

A perfect example of the false teachings of Rick Warren.  The man is downright dangerous!

The Clayton Jennings saga demonstrates so much that is wrong with today’s fluffy church.  Multiple sex partners have come forward, and Jennings is blowing things off as being “a long time ago.”

The heretical book “The Shack” is soon to be released as a movie.  Please tell your friends not to enrich those who promote heresy.  The Shack is pure heresy, and no one claiming the name of Christ should be reading it.

I continue to be surprised at what goes on in what are supposed to be “churches.”  But I’m NOT surprised to see the connection with Bethel Redding!

Oh goody — A conference for women, led by heretics and false teachers.  No wonder women are more and more the victims of false teachings.

The Watchman Fellowship has produced a new profile, this time on heretic Bart D. Ehrman.

The Troubling Truth About Bonhoeffer’s Theology.   And yet Christians continue to praise him as an excellent teacher!

Fake Christian Jim Wallis.

Contending for the faith on social media.

Doug Evans has handed out his “False Teacher of the Year” award to Rick Joyner.  Excellent choice!

An interesting lecture by Ken Ham, exposing the many theologians who give up the Bible as their authority and place “science” as their ultimate authority.

It never ceases to amaze me the way false prophets continue to propagate and actually get people to listen to them!!  These wolves pop up so quickly that it’s impossible to keep up with them.  Just use discernment, knowing that anyone claiming a direct word from God is a liar.  (Notice this link also shows two “churches” — Revolution Church and Potential Church — who apostatize using movie productions to teach)

Remember Todd White, the guy who teaches you to read yourself into the Bible?  Well has turned the gospel upside down.  It’s no wonder that he wears his hair like a member of the Rastafarian religion — he has no understanding of the Christian faith.

Speaking of Todd White, he and his church Bethel Redding are 100% frauds and tools of Satan.

Another testimony by someone who was with Adventures in Missions and The World Race.

Andy Stanley doesn’t care about the birth of Christ!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kay Arthur Follow-Up

I received an email, in regards to Kay Arthur,  from a long-time follower of my blog.  This person gave me the following testimony, which I felt was important information for anyone using Arthur’s material or following her in any way.  I asked permission to use the testimony and was given said permission as long as the person’s identity was not included.  

I totally agree with your assessment of Kay Arthur.  I’ve personally taken over 50 Precept classes (from 1992 – 2002) and also have taken their leadership course to become a Precept leader.  I never did, though, because I wasn’t totally comfortable with some aspects of the way the teaching had to be done.  It was too ecumenical for me even at that time. 

I had a personal “run-in” with Kay when she first shared a simulcast with Joyce Meyer in 2000.  I was totally shocked and e-mailed the ministry for some clarification.  I received an e-mail back from Kay herself.  Her very condescending manner surprised me and thoroughly turned me off.  I also thought she was dishonest in her explanation.   From that point on, I wasn’t able to receive any teaching from her.  I think the last several classes I took had Wayne Barber’s videos. 

I also was concerned about her recommendations like Neil Anderson, Henry Blackaby, etc.  Then she began showing up in the Women of Faith meetings with Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer.  So, I would say that she’s one to be very careful of and I thank you for writing this article. 

Not many discernment sites have info regarding her and some of the other problems with the way the Precepts Bible study is carried out. Like I said, it’s very ecumenical.  Catholics, New Agers, cult members, etc. are in the classes with you and nothing can be mentioned about doctrinal differences, solid authors and teachers are not to be mentioned either.  This sets up a very dangerous precedence. 

As I have previously noted in some of my “RAAH” posts, Kay Arthur has become very questionable with her teachings and she associates approvingly with many false teachers.  She should therefore be avoided.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Kay Arthur Bible Study

Someone gave me a copy of Kay Arthur’s “Inductive Study” on 1 &2 Timothy and Titus.  The study is titled, “Walking in Power, Love, and Discipline,” and shows the authors as Kay Arthur, David Lawson, and Bob Vereen.

Having never had my hands on a Kay Arthur study, I decided to read the book.  Overall I think it is a very good study guide, requiring the asking of specific questions which should lead to proper conclusions as to what the passages are saying.  I would have no problem with people using such studies -- assuming that other studies are arranged in the same way.

There were some concerns I have, albeit not from a theological point.  Let me demonstrate the issues I have with this book (and most likely repeated in the other books):

On page 5:  “If you desire to sharpen your study skills, we would like to recommend two things.  One, purchase the book How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur.  Two, attend a Precept Ministries Institute of Training.”
Such self-promotion!!!!!  Why couldn’t they also suggest material from other authors, such as Roy B. Zuck’s Basic Bible Interpretation?  Why send the person to an “Institute of Training,” which I’m pretty sure won’t be free?

On page 7:  They say you will need a Bible you are “willing to mark in.”  I disagree.  While I began writing in my Bible in fairly recent years, I don’t think writing in a Bible is “needed.”  It can be helpful, but one could also just have a notebook.  Ah, but then they say, “An ideal Bible for this purpose is The New Inductive Study Bible (NISB).
Guess where this Bible comes from-- Kay Arthur’s Precept Ministries.  Couldn’t they just suggest any wide-margin Bible?  More self-promotion.
Whatever Bible you use, just know you will need to mark in it…
This puts a guilty conscience on the person who doesn’t want to mark their Bible!  You DON’T need to mark in it.  Going over this course one can make notes in a notebook.  Underlining or marking words in the text is not necessary, no matter how many times the book claims otherwise.

On page 8:  “As a word of warning, you need to be aware that any time you get into the Word of God, you enter into more intensive warfare with the devil (our enemy).  Why?  Every piece of the Christian’s armor is related to the Word of God.  And the enemy doesn’t want you prepared for battle.  Thus, the warfare!  Remember that our one and only offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and it is enough to fell the enemy.”
Wow, what a scare tactic!  This claim is not supported by Scripture!  It is not necessarily true that you will “enter more intensive warfare with the devil” -- this is just an assertion by the writers of this text.  I guess this is not surprising, since Arthur promotes false teacher Neil Anderson and his aberrant spiritual warfare ideology.

On page 14:  “If you want to do a more in-depth study of a particular book of the Bible, we suggest you do a Precept Upon Precept Bible Study Course on that book.  The Precept studies are awesome but require five hours of personal study per week.”
More shameless self-promotion.  They could have suggested their own AMONG others, but this continual self-promotion makes the book not only a study guide but also a full-fledged advertisement for Kay Arthur materials.

On page 108:  “Just think of what would happen if you would study this course with a group of people who want to take their Christianity seriously?  It would be awesome because there would be more of you to live out the truths you are about to discover, and together you would have a far greater impact.  So if you are not doing this in a group study, ask God whom you are to ask to join you--either in person, over the telephone, in a couple’s study, or over the Internet.   Then watch what God does in just three short weeks.”
Such hyperbole!  So if they don’t want to do these studies,  is the implication that they don’t “want to take their Christianity seriously”?  And just because they learn the truths, that doesn’t mean they will apply them!  Asking God to tell you who you are supposed to ask to join you implies three things: 1) that God wants someone to join you, 2) you can expect a direct revelation with the information, and 3) that God will do something (what if all He does is just allow the study and nothing else?)  This really puts a guilt trip on the person who is doing the study alone, let alone leave them wondering why God doesn’t speak directly to them!  Again, I guess this is not surprising when one considers Kay Arthur’s claims of direct revelation from God and back and forth discussions with Him.

On page 109:  “Are there men in your church who are upsetting church families through their actions, speech, and beliefs?”
Um, what about women doing the same?

Advertisements are fine, but they are usually found in their own sections, such as at the back of the book--just like those at the back of this book!  The shameless advertising in the text is manipulative, as are the comments about studying with someone else and asking God to tell you who!

In addition to the two problematic issues with Kay noted above (promotion of Neil Anderson and claims of direct revelation), I have to point out other concerns about her which may eventually show up in her studies (if not already doing so): 1) She has shared the stage with false teachers and those with bad teachings, 2) she hobnobs with those in the emergent crowd, 3) other general issues demonstrating lack of discernment.

So while Kay Arthur’s study guides may be beneficial, you might seek similar teachings from someone not carrying the baggage Arthur carries.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Interesting Miscellany

A job description for the music minister.

Myths of what is loving vs unloving.  Now apply this understanding to the claims of Nicholas Wolterstorff.

Isaiah 29:11-12: Does it point to Mohammed or Joseph Smith?  Of course not.

Is it okay to celebrate extra-biblical Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter?  As I’ve said all along, YES it is.

What do you tell your children about Santa?  That he’s just a fun fairy tale!

I have this booklet on my shelf, and someone pointed to the internet version so I’m sharing it.  It demonstrates that abuse is a biblical reason for divorce.

What is included in sexual sin?

The bondage to sin from the entertainment industry.

Is It Sinful to Use Profanity?  I wrote a post addressing this issue four years ago.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Good news — Clayton Jennings has lost his ministry endorsement from his home church.

Tim Tebow and Clayton Jennings—I think I’m going to be ill!  Totally putrid video.  Both announcers have poor discernment.

The word eros is not in the Bible” — Something women need to remember.

Perry Noble: the man who never, ever should have been in a pastoral position — or any other leadership position for that matter!

The beginning of the demise of Calvary Chapel.  And more slipping down the slope.

Part two of the investigation into the Salvation Army.

Another false teacher, “pastor” Colby Martin, tries to demonstrate that God really is okay with homosexuality.  Why is it that these false believers seek support for homosexual behavior but not for adultery or prostitution or bestiality, etc?  Why is it that their favorite, untouchable sexual perversion is homosexuality?!?  I’d say this was the “things taught by demons” — Satan really found the niche, didn’t he?

The Covenants: The Continental Divide of Biblical Interpretation.  Excellent article with information needed for dealing with Seventh-day Adventists and others locked into legalistic adherence to the Old Testament covenants.  (Lengthy, but worth it — I get the magazine in the mail so I could read it while sitting on my sofa!)

What exactly is “Lectio  Divina?”

Hillsong’s marketing techniques are shared for all.  Somewhere along the line they forgot what the assembled Church is for.

No, Jesus was NOT married to Mary Magdalene.

Some good information about the business cult of Scientology (it is not a religion, contrary to their claims so as to be a tax shelter).

Some real concerns with Jan Markell.

Adventures in Missions’ World RaceParents’ Guide” seems to be a harbinger of cultism.

Are you being led by a “Judas Goat”?

If you want to teach the real gospel to a Catholic, then the Pope says you are guilty of “a grave sin.”  Well, I’d rather reach a Catholic with the truth so they can be eternally saved than to worry about “sinning” against the Pope!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another Trite One

As noted in the past, some of the newer songs used in our assemblies can have some okay lyrics while still being trite, and especially if they are used to manufacture emotions.

This week we opened our service with two songs.  The second one was the solid old hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  It followed a “chorus” which I assume was to be a lead-in for it, and that first song is the topic of this post.

The song in discussion is Chris Falson’s “I See the Lord.”  Take a look at the lyrics (which, by the way, we sang and then repeated - just in case you missed the idea the first time you sang it!):

I see the Lord seated on the throne, exalted
And the train of His robe
Fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled
The whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
With His glory


Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Verse again

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Well, we repeated the whole thing, so it wasn’t done exactly as shown here (lyrics acquired from the Internet).

Now, I found the background for this song at Isaiah 6, so the words are sort of from the Bible.  But there is one BIG problem:  Isaiah was reporting on a vision of the Lord which he had, and neither the song-writer nor anyone singing this song has seen a vision of the Lord!  So right off the bat the song is a lie, a figment of the song-writer’s imagination, and disqualified from being sung in the congregation!

While the first three lines are from Isaiah 6:1, the second three lines comes from Isaiah 6:3b:  the whole earth is full of his glory.

Ah, but the lyricist had to get repetitious, with “the whole earth is filled” three times!!  Why stop there? Couldn’t you manufacture more emotion if you repeated it a few more times?!??!  Is this not similar to a vainly repetitious prayer?

We really need to quit using such trite songs in our worship!!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Wrath and Vengeance of God

Even Christians who are firmly convinced of the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures tend to minimize, or explain away, descriptions of the wrath and vengeance of God such as Nahum presented here.  While it may not be appropriate to use such passages when first approaching people with a view to persuading them of the truth of the Bible, eventually there comes a time when we cannot avoid the question of how God’s wrath and vengeance are related to His love.  Pursuing these connections requires thought, courage, and a willingness to come to know God as He is and not as we might wish Him to be.  

Conversion to the faith of Christ is not simply a matter of “asking Jesus to come into your heart.”  It involves a metanoia (the NT word for repentance), which means, literally, a “change of mind.”  In other words, becoming a believer involves adopting a new worldview, or perspective on reality.  The modern Western worldview has blurred distinctions between right and wrong, and within such a perspective there is no place for the wrath and judgment of God.  But when one’s perspective changes, and it becomes evident that God is a moral force to be reckoned with, then it becomes equally apparent that serious consequences ensue for those who attempt to live without regard for His plan for human life (see Rm 1:16-32).

Commentary on Nahum 1:2-6, The Apologetics Study Bible.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

“Gays,” Lesbians, and “Transgenders” - What Do I Think About Them?

Although this blog is ostensibly about exposing false teachings and false teachers, my “Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies” posts often address assemblies or teachers who are going against God and sanctioning homosexuality.  Additionally, I’ve written a couple posts explaining what the Bible says about homosexual behavior.

Sexual deviations of every sort are becoming more and more mainstream, as we should expect in this fallen world where Satan is taking God’s great gift of sex and degrading it in every what possible.  However, it is a virtual cultic movement within the Church at large which claims God sanctions homosexuality and “transgenderism.”  There is in fact a homosexual denomination (Metropolitan Community Church) which is nothing more than a cult of homosexuality.

When Christians discuss the problem of homosexuality, the normal response from the secular world, and, sadly, from other Christians, is hostility.  Like other believers, I have been accused of having all sorts of beliefs about discriminating against those who practice homosexual behavior.  Very little of what I have been accused of is even close to the truth.  So in my defense I am going to spell out exactly what my stance is, and what I would assume would be the stance of all REAL Christians.

First, there is no such thing as a “homosexual” - there are people who practice homosexual behavior.  The problem is that these people want to be identified by their sexual proclivities.  I don’t even like the word “gay” for men, because a gay person is one who is cheerful or happy — something those who practice homosexuality rarely seem to be.  For convenience sake, I normally use the word “gay” for men, but it will always be with the quotation marks.  However, also for convenience in this post, I will use “gays” to mean both males and females who practice homosexual behavior.

To make a point, adulterers don’t go around saying, “I’m an adulterer—and I want your respect for my disloyalty to my spouse.”  Nor do those who visit prostitutes go around saying, “I am a whore-monger and I want you to respect my immorality.”  So why do those who practice homosexual behavior feel they have to say, “I am ‘gay’ and you have to respect my sexual behavior”?  I don’t really care what your sexual proclivities are as long as you don’t try to force me to accept them or sanction them.

What about the people themselves—how do I feel about them?  No, I am not prejudiced against them.  They are people like anyone else and I feel the same way about them as people as I do anyone else.  I have worked alongside many in my career—and I know they were because they just had to tell me they were, as if I cared.  As long as they didn’t discuss their sex life I couldn't care less that they worked along side me.  I was more interested in whether they were able to do the job.  I can be friendly with a “gay” just as I can be friendly with an adulterer or a fornicator; as long as none of them want my approval for their sexual activities I don’t care what they do.

Let’s take a short break and make the point that I do not hate “gays,” nor do I fear them, nor am I a bigot against them.  Not wanting to sanction someone’s behavior or ideology doesn’t mean one hates them or is a bigot against them, and certainly not that they fear them.

Do I believe “gays” and lesbians should have the same civil rights as I do?  I certainly do, but not all of what they are now calling “civil rights” truly are.  It is NOT a civil right to marry someone of the same sex—that isn’t a marriage no matter how many liberal, activist judges try to redefine the word.  They can call a dandelion a rose and it remains a dandelion nevertheless.  They can call same-sex unions a rose yet they remain dandelions nevertheless.  It is also NOT a civil right to adopt children.  Children NEED both a mother and father; just because real-life situations lead to children being deprived of one or the other, that doesn’t make it right to intentionally place them in that situation just to serve some politically-correct social engineering ideology.

Do I think “gays” and lesbians, or even add other misnomers such as “transgender,” should be deprived of employment?  Normally, no.  However, there are some jobs where it would not be right to force the employer to accept them, such as any religious organization which reserves the right to not hire those people who are participating in serious sinful activities.  In other words, if they wouldn’t hire a gambler, an adulterer, a fornicator, a drunk, etc, they shouldn’t be forced to hire “gays.”  Boy Scouts should not be forced to have “gay” members who are open about their sexual behavior—this would be analogous to having a male Girl Scout member.  If a person is open about their homosexual behavior and wants to be able to discuss it in classroom settings, then they should not be allowed to be part of the public school system.  And I certainly don’t think it is right to have “gays” in the military; it causes all sorts of problems, including the forcing of people to accept their behavior as right and proper or be disciplined and perhaps drummed out of service.  And a college student shouldn’t be forced to have a “gay” roommate.  

What about providing services to “gays”?  Normally they should be treated just as anyone else.  However, if the service they seek will require the server to appear in any way to sanction their same-sex relationships, then the service provider should be allowed to refuse service.  For example, a wedding photographer such as the case in New Mexico should not have to participate in their ceremony celebrating their union.  Nor should a counselor be forced to give counsel to “gays” about helping their relationships.  Nor should a musician be forced to play for ceremonies celebrating same-sex unions.  Nor should a land-lord who would not rent or provide lodging for unmarried couples be forced to provide lodging for same-sex couples.  Nor should anyone be forced to provide a reception hall for same-sex celebrations. Nor should a dating service be forced to accommodate “gays.”  All these sorts of things would imply sanctioning of such unions.  Also, doctors who provide fertilization services should not be forced to provide them to unmarried heterosexuals or any “gays.”  Personal conscience rights should not be legislated against.  Remember, discriminating against an activity is NOT discriminating against the person.  (After all, the florist who has lost everything provided service to her “gay” customers many, many times; she just didn’t want to provide service for their “wedding.”  So she never discriminated against the person, it was just against ONE activity.)

Let me give a personal example.  I play for all sorts of ceremonies and festivities, from weddings to funerals to parties, etc.  But there are places or activities for which I will not play if it will appear I approve of them.  I will not play for a non-Christian funeral service IF they want Christian music.  I will never play for any Freemason celebration (I won’t play for anything in a Masonic building).  I will not play for religious services of any sort for cults.  I will not play for bachelor parties if they will be having immoral activities. I have refused to play in a parade with the Democratic party.  I once turned down an Irish “hand-fasting ceremony” (a 3-some union).  And I certainly will not play for any same-sex celebration.  But guess what I will be called out on—only for not wanting to play for a same-sex celebration.  Just like the photographers in NM who had a whole list of things in which they refused to participate—only the refusal of the same-sex celebration was found to violate the law.  And yet the claim by the LEFT is that this isn’t special rights!

Public schools should not teach anything about homosexuality or “transgenderism,” especially not in any grade below the high school level.  There is absolutely no need to teach about abnormal human sexuality in school.  Nor should anyone who disagrees with same-sex unions be forced to take any “sensitivity” training or “diversity” training to force them to change their minds about such behavior.  And the government definitely should NOT be sanctioning or promoting “gay” and “transgender” lifestyles in any fashion!

There should be no “hate speech” or “hate crime” laws based on sexual orientation.  This gives extra punishment for thoughts.  The crime should be judged on the basis of it being a crime, not given extra punishment based on the use of a pejorative word or thought.  And no one should be punished or even fired for saying they believe homosexual behavior is wrong; they wouldn’t be treated that way if they said adultery or fornication is wrong, which demonstrates another example of “gays” demanding special treatment.

By the same token, no one should bully or attack a “gay” or “transgender” person for that reason.  That is clearly wrong.

Any inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, etc, which are automatic with married people can be provided to “gay” people through legal arrangements.  However, insurance of any type through an employer should not be provided to same-sex unions; these benefits are for the promotion of the traditional family unit which is the bedrock foundation of society.  The same goes for any annuities earned through employment or social security (social security should be dismantled anyway - it is unconstitutional).

No, I do not think homosexuality and pedophilia are the same, and have never intimated such.  When I compare the two sexual behaviors, it is to demonstrate logic fallacies of saying one is okay but the other isn’t.  If you make a moral judgement that one is okay, you can not logically be consistent and say the other isn’t.  The claim that pedophilia is different because it is illegal doesn’t hold water; sodomy was also once illegal.

There should not be such things as “gay pride” parades, school events, etc.  All that says it that the person’s identity is their sexual behavior.  No other sexual orientation seeks such recognition.  Keep the homosexual agenda out of the schools, and if you want a parade then don’t dress like a bunch of perverts.  If homosexual behavior truly is a normal lifestyle, then why dress and behave in such a perverted fashion?  Why not dress and act like any other person walking down the street?

It is not “brave” or “courageous” to “come out” as “gay,” and no one should be promoting “gays” or “transgenders” as heroes or role models based on their sexual identity; there is nothing heroic or brave about practicing abnormal sexual activities or pretending you are a member of the opposite sex.

The bottom line is that in the majority of life there is no reason to tell people what your sexual orientation or proclivities are.  Just do your job, go about life and no one cares what you do in the privacy of your home.  The problem comes about when you tell everyone you are “gay” and then want them to approve your sexual orientation and behavior with special rights and special treatment based on it.  And demanding marriage is where the line is crossed, as is demanding adoption and proclaiming your agenda in public school and having laws forcing people to do your bidding.

No, I do not want to outlaw homosexual behavior.  I just don’t want to have laws sanctioning it and forcing citizens to give personal sanction.  There is a big difference between the two issues.

Also, there are many, especially uninformed or liberal “Christians” who say that all sin is equal and that focusing on one particular sexual sin is hypocritical.  Well I hate to burst their bubble, but all sins are only equal in that any sin condemns one to spiritual death and eternal damnation unless they have a savior named Jesus who took the payment of their sin for them.  BUT some sins certainly are worse than others; God demonstrated that when Noah walked off the ark and was told that punishment for murder was the death penalty.  Under the laws of the theocracy of Israel, adultery and bestiality and homosexual behavior were also capital crimes.  These sins are indeed seen as more serious.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:18 says that sexual sins are worse than other sins because all other sins are outside the body but sexual sins are against the body.

One final thing about this situation: Those who practice homosexual behavior or who mutilate their bodies for pretending to be members of the opposite sex are spiritually lost.  What they need from Christians is not condemnation of their sin (refusing to approve of it is not condemning them), rather they need to be shown that they are sinners in need of salvation just like any other non-believer.

I will not entertain discussion about this post because I think I’ve covered the issue well.

P.S.  Christians are asked why we focus on homosexuality and "transgenderism" and not all the other sins.  We aren't the ones focusing on it; we are only responding to what is being forced upon us.  No one else is trying to force us to accept their sin, no one else is bringing in the force of the law to make us provide services, or having us fired, etc.  Think about that.