Tuesday, March 25, 2014


   On the heals of World Vision releasing a statement that they will now allow those that are unrepentant LGBTQ's to work for them, as long as they are professing Christians, there has been statements flooding social media and other venues. It truly seems that the church in America has truly given over their thoughts and desires to all manners of evil. If we cannot even stand up to call out a "Christian" organizations wrong doing, then how on earth can we witness to those that are unbelievers that we come in contact with? I have seen statements that there is "unclear translation issues" within our versions of scripture, that we "just need to love everybody", and "it is so great that this organization is being more open minded".
   First, scripture is very very clear on the issue of marriage and family. In fact, it is one of the clearest topics that are laid out for us in scripture. "And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:3-6 ESV) This is a passage where Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and they are trying to trap him into saying that divorce should be allowed. Yet, it still clearly states that a man leaves his family, and then hold fast to his wife. There is a pretty clear picture hear of who is involved in marriage.
    "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
         But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5 ESV)
   This passage deals with this issue right to the core. How is it that so many Christians think that those who are LGBTQ are those who fit in the second half of this passage as correlations to Christ and the church? They do not at all, for again scripture clearly states that it is a man and his wife, they are one, and are a correlation to how Christ interacts with His church. Those that are practicing unrepentant LGBTQ individuals fit into the first half of this passage. They are the sexually immoral that must not be named AMONG us. It does not mean that we cannot talk about such issues and how to pray or care for those individuals, rather we are called to witness and bring the gospel to those in need every day. However, it does mean that those who are sexually immoral should not be named as one of the number of the church of Christ. Why do I say this? Well, it is because of this passage. Paul tells us that we (the church) and the relationship we have with Christ correlates to the way that a marriage and a family should work. Therefore, when the church allows sin and sexual immorality to creep in, does it not distort this correlation that has been created with the church and Christ? If these things are not to be permitted with the church, then how can we say that by allowing those who practices these such things into the "church" is the right and loving thing to do? Does it not say in Romans: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 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.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." (Romans 1:16 - 2:16 ESV)
   It seems pretty clear to me that this passage is laying out that the sexual immorality that Paul talks about in Ephesians may in fact not only have to do with adultery, but also with those who commit sexual acts that are outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Paul says right in this passage that it is unnatural and that those who do such things will receive "the due penalty for their error." Paul is not merely saying that they will receive a slap on the wrist here, but rather when you read this whole passage of scripture, there is God's wrath being poured out upon them. I for one, take that to mean exactly that. When God pours out His righteous wrath on people, it is not welcoming and comforting. It is painful and filled with suffering. When someone does what this passage says, that they know what is right and then they still don't do it, the consequences are not pretty. "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."(James 4:17 ESV)
   So, in closing. World Vision is not being more open minded, they are not being more loving (for if they were being loving, wouldn't they tell those who are dying in sin that there is an escape, that there is a savior who died for those who believe, rather than merely approving and accepting what they do?), and they are not searching deeply into translation issues. These are all things that people come up with so that they do not have to deal with the just and powerful God who is almighty and jealous for Himself. The God who when unrepentant sinners die, He sends them to hell. He fulfills His promises and does not take lightly to those who ignore what He has commanded. We need to pray long and hard for those who are lost in this world, and yet, that does not mean that we need to open our arms and welcome them into our midst without any call for repentance. As John the baptist said, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near." He did not say to those with whom he spoke, come God loves you as you are, no need to change from your selfish ways. No, he spoke with boldness and righteousness that those who did not repent at the coming kingdom of God, they were the ones who should fear death and it's consequences.

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