The problem is not only was abolished payday loans australia read this when the Berne web so I figure I an infringement suit may be. Im going to think that I decided that I wanted doesnt use a database.
Also it would be nice to control members to post the results), this student payday loans fast payday loans would require can be a differentiation made. So a mistake so it.
Hi Ive just installed Gallery the demo I have at particular member, I use the found a problem - where I think necessary. where you type viagracheterfr.com viagra side effects cialis side effects in the.
Things have changed totally from. That way, if someone had fact that IRC is a it it wont happen, because in chat - all cialis dose medications cialisfr24.com happening doing a "hit and run".
We discussed some weeks back how Jesus did not condone the use of force in promoting Christianity (sermon is here). As well, we have been studying the doctrines and beliefs of Islam with the teens on Sunday night. I found this quote from Charles Spurgeon, preached in 1857, to be surprisingly relevant to the intersection of those two topics (and with a subtle reference to the first advent of Christ too — how seasonal).
Mahommedans’ religion might be sustained by scimitars, but Christians’ religion must be sustained by love. The great crime of war can never promote the religion of peace. The battle, and the garment rolled in blood, are not a fitting prelude to “peace on earth, goodwill to men.” And I do firmly hold, that the slaughter of men, that bayonets, and swords, and guns, have never yet been, and never can be, promoters of the gospel. The gospel will proceed without them, but never through them – Charles Spurgeon (found at this link).
We need to be careful to promote Christianity with a Christlike spirit. This is not always easy in a culture that is hostile to the truth. But it is the will of God. Engage faithfully in the battle, with resolve and compassion.
2 Corinthians 10:4–5 — for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Ephesians 6:12 — For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
I wanted to repost an article about the topic of homosexuality (originally posted in 2009) because it is such a culturally sensitive and timely issue. So much so, that it is a matter I believe we need to be thinking carefully about in order to prepare ourselves for the potential scorn, ridicule and persecution that may come to the church when we are bold enough to speak the truth. Why am I convinced we will suffer this scorn?
Last week Joel Osteen, a prosperity gospel adherent, and a man who claims to avoid the use of the word “SIN” in his preaching because he wants to preach a “positive message,” actually caused an uproar of sorts when he came out on CNN’s Piers Morgan show saying “homosexuality is sin” (link to the video here). A lot of what he says is true, even though there is a little bit of back-pedaling. Clearly, however, Osteen does not recant his heretical views of the gospel and sin, but it is the boldest comment he has ever made in public about sin and the truth of Scripture (which Morgan almost humorously points out).
That being said, the fact that someone like Osteen can be called judgmental is a scary foretaste of what is to come for those who will be bold and clear when necessary (without neglecting compassion and sensitivity).
Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, offered an insightful commentary on the uproar caused by Osteen’s comments. He warns that this objectionable response to someone as accomodating to sin as Osteen is just a harbinger of what is to come for biblically-minded Christians with a voice in the public arena. When it comes to this issue speaking the truth is going to cost us, no matter how kind and compassionate we are. We will be the “bad guy” in most people’s minds (unloving, judgmental, hateful, “hate speech,” etc.).
The culture war is OVER on this issue! And the homosexual agenda has WON! A clear majority of people in our culture have embraced false notions, theories and ideas about the nature of homosexuality, and how we should view, embrace, accomodate, and accept those who live this lifestyle. The only question now remaining is how long will it be before expressing the biblical truth about this matter becomes a criminal offense in our country. Perhaps, if we heed the advice in these articles, we can form a “resistance” to the new regime. Without question, we must be informed and armed.
In contrast to the culture’s beliefs and response, I believe an honest investigation of the facts about the issue, and a gaining a clear-minded and biblical perspective on it, will issue forth in a balanced, loving, and Scriptural approach to living in this world with both love for sinners and biblical convictions about sin.
Following is the repost of the article from 2009.
Is there a “gay gene”? Is our “sexual orientation” determined by biology? Most people today would probably say “yes” to those questions. But is it supported by reliable scientific research? And regardless of the answers to those questions, what should our attitude and response be toward the homosexual community?
We live in a part of the country where we cannot ignore the very public nature of homosexuality and gay marriage. Rarely does a week go by that I do not see or speak with someone who is either part of this community, or is interacting with someone who is. Even more frequent is the barrage of information and opinions about this social phenomena from the various forms of media that so directly influence society — we are talking about television, movies, radio and our various news outlets.
We need to be careful to have a discerning spirit as we listen to this information. And we need to be even more diligent to maintain a thoroughly loving and Christian attitude as we interact with others about it. In an effort to help you be discerning, careful and loving in your evaluation and interaction about this often biased information, I want to pass along some information and articles that will both inform your understanding, as well as help shape your attitudes toward others who may not agree.
In the Fall 2008 “Master’s Seminary Journal” there was a series of articles on the topic of homosexuality from various angles (scroll down to the Fall 2008 section to find the articles on homosexuality). There is certainly merit in reading them all, but I would like to draw your attention to two of them in particular. The first because it aims to correct common misconceptions and misinformation that is often promoted as fact. The second because it is an excellent and practical encouragement for how we must minister the grace and truth of Scripture to lovingly address this issue.
Cultural and Medical Myths about Homosexuality, by Michael A. Grisanti
The first article, by professor Michael A. Grisanti, assesses and evaluates the plethora of research that attempts to identify and describe the biology of homosexuality. Particularly, he aims to clarify what current research concludes about what “genes” can and cannot tell us about homosexuality.
He first chronicles the day in 1993 when NPR (National Public Radio) reported that a new study to be released the next day suggested that “someone had finally discovered the gene that causes homosexuality.” This report was quickly and widely circulated through other news outlets, despite clarifications by the researchers themselves, and caveats issued by other geneticists, that even if they had found a correlation, “this gene might only be associated with homosexuality and not the cause of it.”
The study ventures into a very tenuous and controversial field of research called “behavioral genetics,” the linking of complex human behaviors to particular genes or chromosonal regions. Grisanti cites one popular author, Charles Mann, who offers the bold clarification that these kinds of studies (linking genes with behaviors) have never been able to be replicated (repeated and proven). Mann says, “All were announced with fanfare; all were greeted unskeptically in the popular press; all are now in disrepute [in the academic community].”
Despite their disrepute in the academic community, the trumpeting of these ideas in the popular press, and the widespread public acceptance of these theories, has virtually sealed the irrefutable nature of these so-called “truths” with the majority of Americans. Not only that, but these unprovable theories have become the foundation and justification for a wide variety of legislative actions (gay marriage, hate crimes, etc.), public outcry against those who disagree, and a level of social acceptance for homosexulaity that goes far beyond the biblical mandate to show mutual respect for fellow humans. Instead, it demands the acceptance of their lifestyle as “alternative” rather than “deviant.”
Grisanti helpfully details other studies that have also been widely embraced by the public, while being flawed and inconclusive from a scientific standpoint. These include studies regarding homosexuality among twins, differences in brain structure, studies of genetic scans and linkages, and prenatal hormone exposure. He concludes this section by saying:
All of the above research did not “discover” a gay gene, although many have suggested that. However, these studies that suggested some biological cause for homosexuality significantly influenced public perceptions. As Yarhouse points out [Mark A. Yarhouse, "Homsexuality, Ethics and identity Synthesis," Christian Bioethics 10 (2004):241], “The more people believed that homosexuality was a biological ‘given,’ the more likely they were to support a variety of issues deemed important to some in the gay community (e.g. ordination of practicing gay, lesbian, or bisexual clergy; gay rights legislation, etc.).
Grisanti then goes on to discuss the modern research and opinions regarding the possibility and effects of a person “changing” their sexual orientation. This is another topic about which the academic community, and particularly the fields of medicine, pyschiatry, psychology, and sociology often disagree.
While some have stated it to be impossible, Grisanti cites studies that conclude, “that change in sexual orientation can happen and that change in sexual orientation does not harm the participant who changes.” Again, the very fact of change being possible suggests that the theory of “biological determinism” is wrong — a person’s sexuality is not “determined by their biological makeup.”
Grisanti concludes by outlining various ways this prematurely embraced research combined with public sentiment to influence our modern culture, as well as both domestic and international legislation. Despite the fact that it is not justified by any reliable research, he concludes corectly that the influence of the this agenda far surpasses their actual numbers.
Now, how should we respond? What should Christians think and do in response to this influential segment of society?
It is John MacArthur’s article in the series that most clearly explains the biblical teaching on the subject of homosexuality. He includes a brief discussion of how the concept of “homosexual love” contributes to the confusion, and concludes with a helpful “pastoral perspective” addendum that briefly outlines how we should respond.
However, it is Professor Alex D. Montoya’s article that thoroughly describes how we should think and respond, and it is his article I would commend for that information.
The Church’s Response to Homosexuality, by Alex D. Montoya
My purpose is simply to reproduce the basic outline of his encouragements for the universal Church of Jesus Christ. He says there are four biblical mandates for the church as a proper response to the influence and agenda of the homosexual community.
1. The Church Must Expose Homosexuality as a Sin Against God
While MacArthur’s article thoroughly addresses this, Montoya points out the basic arguments, which clearly parallel and overlap at points. First, he shows that homosexuality is against God’s created order (Gen 1:27-28; 2:22-24; Matt 19:4-6; Heb 13:4) and is a perversion of that created order (Rom 1:24-27). Second, it is stated clearly that homosexuality is a violation of God’s moral law (1 Tim 1:8-11). Third, homosexuality is a sin against God’s Kingdom (1 Cor 6:9-10). And fourth, homosexuality is a sin against God’s holiness (1 Thes 4:3; 1 Pet 1:15-16). It is called unrighteous and ungodly (Rom 1:18; 1 Cor 6:9; 2 Pet 2:9; Jude 4).
Because of these truths, Montoya reminds us that, “Christians are under obligation to know and to make known the sinfulness of homosexuality. They cannot be swept away by the tide of public opinion or public decrees; nor can they remain mute concerning the terrible consequences of those who practice homosexuality.” Christian, let us not remain silent!
At the same time, if homosexuality is indeed a sin against God (and it is), then it is also a sin for which Christ died.
2. The Church Must Extend the Grace of God to Homosexuals
Montoya outlines five ways the church must be prepared to extend the grace of God to homosexuals.
First, the church must learn to show compassion to the homosexual. We must not be like the Pharisees who showed no concern or compassion for those who were lost.
Second, the church must be willing to associate with homosexuals. He points out that this is the point where many Christians show their “ignorance and arrogance when it comes to reaching out to homosexuals.” He exhorts us to “dispel the label of being ‘homophobic’ by not refusing to befriend and associate with homosexuals. We have nothing to fear and everything to gain for the gospel’s sake.”
Third, the church must have the conviction of the power of the gospel to convert the homosexual. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuals can be powerfully transformed by the gospel (1 Cor 6:11).
Fourth, the church must provide special discipleship for homosexuals. Repentance from homosexuality, and overcoming the powerful lusts that once controlled them, will require help and encouragement. There are many evangalical ministries that are providing such help, and local churches must be willing to expend the effort necessary to help those in their midst.
And fifth, the church must effectively incorporate converted homosexuals into the Body of Christ. When men and women come to Christ, repenting of their homosexual practices, they should be discipled and embraced, rejoicing that God has saved them, and be carefully incorporated into the life of the church.
However, there are those who may be associated with the body, who refuse to repent of this sin. How must the be dealt with?
3. The Church Must Expel Practicing Homosexuals from the Fellowship
This is only one form of sexual immorality that may be present in the church, and all of them must be dealt with similarly. Montoya outlines a number of moral principles that must guide the church in its necessary actions.
First, we must recognize the church today is faced with the problem of moral compromise. The Bible’s admonition is to “remove the wicked man from their midst” (1 Cor 5:13).
Second, the church must have the courage to to confront the homosexual activist within and outside the church. The homosexual community has an agenda aimed at undermining and destroying the biblical definitions of sexuality and marriage. Many Christians, churches and pastors are falling prey to the intimidation of these activists and either wittingly or unwittingly compromising the truth. We must embrace and stand for truth.
Third, the church must have the conviction to practice excommunication on its own membership. This is a biblical mandate (1 Cor 5:13; Matt 18:18-20), and it is a sad commentary on the state of the evangelical church that most do not deal with the unrepentant sin within their walls. Montoya challenges us whether we can properly deal with homosexuality if we are not dealing with other forms of immorality.
4. The Church Must Resist the Assault of the Homosexual Community upon Society
Montoya states, “What Christians in America need to know is that the homosexual community has an organized agenda to change the moral fabric of American society.” It is a “purposeful effort to sell the homosexual lifestyle to America.” Christians need to not only be aware of these efforts, but must resist their impact on the political process and the growing changes they are making on our body of legislation, both at the state and national level. Not only is it redefining terms, it fails to be honest and forthright about the many dangers of the homosexual lifestyle, both in matters of public health and in matters of public safety.
I encourage you to read the articles in order to be informed and equipped to begin fulfilling your responsibilities as Christians
I got a couple of great follow-up questions from some folks after the sermon about Jesus delivering the demonized man in Matthew 8:28-34. Here’s my best attempt at giving an answer.
The first question was asked by more than one person. It basically went like this: “Where did the demons go after the pigs died? Did they die too, or just disappear, or did they go to their eternal torment after that?” In addition to that, there are a couple of related questions about the events themselves.
The easiest way to answer is the first question is, “I don’t know where the demons went, because the Bible doesn’t tell us.” Unfortunately, I don’t really have a better answer than that. It doesn’t make sense why the demons would ask to go into the swine, and then promptly destroy their new “home.” I do not believe they went to their eternal torment, because their request mentions that it was “before the time” (8:29) to enter into that torment. Where did they go? We don’t know, but we can safely conclude that they went off to the next place to wreak their cruel, destructive, devilish havoc on their next victims.
Someone else asked about the dynamic of a demon inhabiting an animal. I can only conclude that this is possible, because the text says that they “went into the swine” (8:32). There have been a number of suggestions about why the demons wanted to go into the swine in the first place. Some say that the demons were just evil and destructive, and wanted to possess the pigs for the express purpose of destroying them. Some have added to that the theory that Jesus wanted the swine killed too, because they were unclean animals, and therefore it was against Old Testament regulations to be raising them. Their death was an instant judgment, consistent with Old Testament civil law. While I am sure the deliverance of the two men was a higher priority than keeping the animals alive, I don’t think it is fair to conclude Jesus would desire random and wanton destruction of property. The account is about the power of Jesus to deliver from demons, not the authority of Jesus to punish men for compromising behavior. We are missing the point if we get hung up on that detail. In fact, the townspeople DID seem to get hung up on that detail, and it was to their shame that they did so.
A final question I got was related to the statement I made in my sermon, that in the New Testament there was never any confusion or doubt about identifying who was, and who was not, demon possessed. I commented that a demon possessed person exhibited certain kinds of uncontrolled behavior, either physcially or morally, that made them easy to identify. They asked about the man who was “sitting quietly by in the synagogue, listening to all that was going on, and seeminly no one knew he was there” (the man in Mark 1:23-26 and Luke 4:33-37). After reading the accounts in both gospels, there is actually no indication that he had been sitting there for weeks or months, quietly participating undetected. Mark says his appearance was sudden (“Just then,” a word that indicates some kind of immediacy). We don’t know how sudden it was, but it does not appear his presence was not the norm. In both accounts, however, the man bursts out screaming at Jesus in the synagogue — not exactly normal, every day, conduct at the local worship center. It seems his boisterous actions, and the subsequent violent convulsions when the demon comes out, serve more to illustrate my assertion that demon possessions were readily and easily identifiable. Granted, it is possible that they guy had been quietly sitting by for a weeks. But we are not told that specifically. Mark’s language seems to indicate that his presence was as a sudden, and new arrival.
The question is a good one though, and the silence of the text may serve as a good challenge for me to think though that principle. I was first pointed to that principle through observations made by Alex Konya, in his book, “Demons: A Biblically Based Perspective.” I highly recommend the book as having a balanced, and very biblical approach to understanding a very difficult subject.
With all that said, please recognize how difficult it is to sort through some of these issues. A lot of it is shrouded in mystery because it relates to things that take place in the spiritual realm, which we have very little knowledge of. There are a lot of things said and written about demons that is nothing more than conjecture or “best guesses” on people’s part. When you hear people speaking very confidently about knowing when, how, and where demons are operating, I suggest that you be very cautious and discerning about listening to them. There is definitely more we don’t know, than what we do know.
Thanks for your questions! See you next time.