Does God Hate Homosexuals?

The answer to that question is a resounding “NO!” To be quite clear, God doesn’t hate anyone but does hate what they do sometimes. I know I have written on this before, but I write about things more than once for those that may not have seen it before or reiterate an idea for clarity. To be honest, nowhere in the Bible does it ever say that God hates people, but it does say a lot about the things people do that God is not happy wkth.

I once wrote that the one pace homosexual people should feel welcomed was at church. This did not go over well as some thought that I meant that they should go to church to be cured of their homosexuality. Two things need to be stated here. First, going to church doesn’t “cure” you of anything, but it can introduce you to the one that can. This introduction can happen anywhere, not just a church. Going to church is something you do for encouragement in following Christ, to continue learning more than you do from home, and for fellowship with other believers. Second, people should go to church by choice, and the decision to follow Christ is a choice. To make people go to church to change their behavior, or “cure” them, goes against the very teachings of Christianity.

Homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God, much like lying, cheating, stealing, alcoholism, promiscuity or prostitution. Those who are taking part in lifestyles that are of a sinful nature, meaning they are continuing with no intent of stopping, that want to help around the church with setting up or preparing meals should be allowed to help. However, because of their continuance in their lifestyle, they should not hold leadership roles as it would give the wrong message to people. When someone has given up that lifestyle and decided to live for Christ, then they can hold leadership roles. In the case of homosexuals, and even addicts and the promiscuous, by no longer engaging in the activity, even if it means they will be single for the rest of their lives, is what they have to do.

This isn’t a cure, it is a choice. Stopping an activity does not take the desire to do it away, especially if one has been doing it for a long time. It can be hard, and it takes God’s intervention to make it easier. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but gives us the freewill to choose if we want to live for him or not. Inviting homosexual people to church is not trying to cure them, but giving them a chance to hear the gospel from someone that may be more knowledgeable than you and to experience the love of God from others. It is good when someone can say to someone in a church “I’m gay.” and get the response ” That ‘s nice. Can you help me out in the kitchen real quick. ” Nothing says “Love of God” more than actions of acceptance of those you have just met.

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How To Know Your In A Cult.

There are many cults out there, some even masquerade as part of a legitimate religion. Here are a few signs that would let you know that you are dealing with a cult.

1.) They claim to be the only true authority or only true form of religion. Christianity claims this but does not discount the beliefs of others and sees that others have the right to choose to believe or not. A Cult will tell you that their way is the only way and all people should be converted, sometimes even by force.

2.) You are told to cut ties with those that do not subscribe to that “faith.” Christians should seek a dialog with people of different faiths to gain a better understanding of what people believe, conversion is a choice when the gospel is shared. Cults will tell you that if you want to remain a part of a group of friends or family you should convert. They hope that feeling excluded will make you accept their teaching.

3.) If you leave the “faith” you will be shunned. Christians are not encouraged to cut ties with those that have fallen away, but to remain open to them when they are ready to talk. This includes “hard love” where you may have to distance yourself, but not as a means of shame, more as a means of not allowing yourself to be drawn into the same situation. Shunning and shaming are ways to make you feel excluded and rely on the desire to belong as a way to make you “return to the fold.”

 4.) Denying aid or assistance because you do “do your part.” Some churches may deny certain kinda of assistance to people that are not members, but many are willing to help with bills and good if the resources are there. A Cult only seeks to help its own members as long as those members do what is needed by tithing, going on missions, knocking on x amount of doors or getting “donations” for their books.

5.) They teachings are not to be questioned. Christians should question, and no we do not know all the answers. There is a healthy level of skepticism and a cult will not take kindly to that. You are to believe what you are told without question, and to question those teaching will mean you will be shunned or “re-educated” to conform. After all, if you want to be part of their elite group of believers, you will conform. And why wouldn’t you want that.

6.) All other beliefs are false, even those that claim to be the same. This really should belong higher on the list as it goes along with being the one true faith and rejecting all that do not accept that faith. They will tell you that others teach similar things, but they are all lies. They will use their text to show how this is true, and even tell you all the others have changed the texts to twist it to their own agenda. They may even go as far as having a text that is unique to them because they have been “chosen.” When an error is found in that, they quickly change it to fit their agenda.

 These are just a few ways to tell if you are dealing with a cult. Always check their teachings against scripture and keep your eyes open for the tell take signs of manipulation, as that is what the chorus really trying to do. Some are harder to spot than others as they may seem scripturally sound, but have those small legal things that would have you question if you know about them. As for me, I am always on the watch and look for the opportunity to rip open their lies right in public. I came real close Saturday at breakfast, but missed much of their conversation and they never brought up anything as what their text claimed, so I had nothing. My Bible was in the car, though, so I had access if needed.

The Closing Of A Year

Once again, another year has come and gone. We have seen wonderful acts of kindness and horrible acts of viciousness. We have seen the birth of new members of our families and the loss of others. We have made new friends and lost friends that weren’t who we thought they were. But, that is just how things go. I don’t mean that to be an “it is what it is statement,” it’s not. It is just how things go in life; people are born and die, we make and lose friends, our jobs change, new things come into being and the old goes to the wayside.

This is not to be melancholic about the year to come but the emphasize my point that I will get to. Today is a day of reflection and focus. A day to look back and see how far we have come, our greatest failures and our crowning achievements, and learn from them to move on. It is a time of focus to move forward and work to be the person we would like to be, to better ourselves and grow, not just for the next year but for the years to come as well. Let’s face it, none of us are going to get out of this world alive, so why not live live as best as you can, take some risks, challenge yourself, fail and succeed by learning from failure, be kinder, be happier, and be a better you than you were before.

Now, to get to my point. We cling to things that we have either lost or desire to have, and that is where we lose our focus on things. We are things we have lost in the past and consider it a failure. For instance, I lost a job because the place closed right after I moved into a larger, more expensive place. Not too long after I took a job at an $18,000 a year pay cut just to get back to work. This could be seen as a failure, but I am quickly moving up in the company and taking on new and challenging roles every week, and that will eventually pay off. We also look at what we don’t have and would like to and consider that a failure. I would like to have a 55″ or 7 2″ screen 4k t.v., but I don’t. I don’t really need one, the one I have is big enough and does what I need it to. It is being happy with what you have, yet still striving for better things.

Here is the key; be happy with what you have now because of you are not happy with it you will not be happy with the things you desire to have. Also, do not let what you desire dominate your focus. Work to achieve those things, be it a degree, a house, a car, etc….but do not make the lack of getting those things a failure, keep working at it. If things don’t work the way you want the first time, try a different approach. Lastly, don’t change for people, be who you are. I have been told I can be strange, and I admit I have a weird side, and those closest to me have seen it. I am not institutionalized, so it’s not too wierd. I like to be strange sometimes, to dance to music in the middle of a grocery store or say sentences that make absolutely no sense whatsoever because it is just fun for me, and sometimes it puts a smile on someone else’s face. Whatever you do, make sure to think about others and how you could brighten their day, making others happy can make you happy as well.

So here is my advice for the new year: be happy with what you have, learn from the past, dance like no one is watching, and strive to always move forward. Hope this will help in your year to come in whatever your endeavors are. Health and happiness to you all and may God bless you all.

Have We Changed?

I watch a lot of period pieces like Gunpowder, The Tudors, and Knightfall. The parts that bother me the most about the times is how cruel people were to one another and dehumanized people based on their beliefs. During those times there were major conflicts between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation, mainly consisting of the Angelican Church, or Church of England, and the Lutheran Church. Depending on the belief of the ruler, either the Protestants or the Catholic were heavily persecuted. This ended up with many public, and quite gruesome, executions. This included hangings, beheadings, dismemberment, disembowlment, being drawn and quartered, and burning at the stake. The disturbing part is not that these were performed but that they were cheered on and encouraged by the people watching. Sick, when you really think about it.

Today, we are more civilized and do not enjoy the public execution of people whose views we disagree with. People are free to think and say what they want without fear of ridicule or public shaming. Or do we think. One only needs to look at social media and find that we are no different than those who cheered on the deaths of others in the middle ages. No, they may not actually die, but they will be ridiculed and harassed for harbouring thoughts that do not confirm with the social view. Instead of logical and rational discourse we have shaming and belittling, name calling because people seek some sort of rational thought process for proposals being offered. So the reputation of those people are smeared and ruined because they challenged the nominal status quo of the time. They are persecuted for non conformance to the thoughts and ideas of the time, a time where we are told all people can hold their opinion of things until that opinion differs from what others think it should be. They are then placed on display through social media and this have their reputation and character executed in graphic medieval fashion. Some move on, some take their own lives.

I see what humanity is and it is ugly and vile. The wretched stench is sickening and putrid. We take joy in the fall of those we dislike, are biased and judgemental, and most of all speak of love with a heart full of hate. We deserve to be wiped from the face of this world and done away with, not one is worth saving. Yet in all of this God sent his son, his only begotten, to die for us. Though we are not worth saving, to him we are. The very worms are more rightious than any man, and yet he gave his son so that we might be saved. We have not changed, we are just as wretched as those people in the middle ages who did horrible things in the name of God. Still, Christ came and does for all. I may not agree with what others say, but I let them voice their opinion. I hold much back from the world as they are personal beliefs that only mean something to me. I will argue with those that go too far and who seek to discredit me. 

I only ask that you remember that the person on the other side of the screen, or the next desk over, or even in the seat on the bus next to you, is human like you. If God can go out of his way to live some one like you, you can do it for others. It is called Grace because we are not getting what we deserve. It has been shown to you, now go and give that same Grace to others.

A Time Of Giving

This season is a time when we hear a lot about giving; of gifts, of self, of time, of money. Right now let us focus on time because it seems to be the one thing we have the most of, yet our most precious commodity. This is an oxymoron as something is only precious if it is in limited supply. Take gold and how the value changes by the amount that is available where there is an abundance of copper and it valued as far less than gold. But time is an illusion in this sense. We think we have plenty of it and act like there is never enough. The truth is we do not know how much time we have and that is what should make it precious. So spend your time wisely, with family, friends and loved ones, enjoying those moments and making memories for you and them. That could be the very best gift you give is your time. Besides, it is not what you get during this season that matters but the people you are with. This one is short so that you can spend more time with family and friends and show them the live you have for them.

Traditions

Something we all have though we don’t like to admit it. Every holiday season we bring them up. We traditionally eat turkey with dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatos, and most likely pumpkin pie or some other kind of dessert. For many, this involves visiting the grandparents house, or having them come to yours. It is similar for Christmas with the setting up of the tree, the time the gifts are laid out, what is served for dinner, and whether or not people get to open one gift on Christmas Eve or not. But traditions change. New families are formed, many times combining their traditions and passing those in to the newer generations.

The Church has many of its own traditions, and we hear about them the first time we mention a new way to do something. Before you think that I am disgruntled and venting about something I wanted to do that got shot down, that is not it. More like this came up in conversation with someone and I have been thinking about it since then. The Church has many traditions and it changes with every denomination. Sometimes, however, those traditions take the place of God and become more important than service to God. In comparison, the ruling religious leaders of Jesus time often cited tradition and adherence to the law to show their devotion to God. In some places there is almost a “this is how we have always done it” mentality when change tests its ugly head.

I am not saying the Church shouldn’t hold on to traditions, many are important as they are an identifiable marker for people looking for a church. Such things as the singing of hymns, the preaching of a sermon, invitations, and regular bible studies are important. There have been times that people have left because of the placing of flowers or a specific hymn not being sung, maybe because they took out the pulpit because the current pastor doesn’t use it. The breaking of some traditions doesn’t mean they are not respected, but it was just one of those things that had always been done without question. Traditions are good to have, but they are not to be held to above God. I guess we should look at those traditions and consider if they are something that would help or hinder our worship. If they help, keep them. If they hinder, throw them out. If they are pointless and have no effect either way, throw them out. Nothing we do should be pointless. These are just my thought on this. You can agree or disagree, it doesn’t make me right or wrong. Just my view that I share with you to ponder yourself and form your own thoughts on. God bless.

A Message For The Youth Of Today

Today’s society is about inclusiveness while excluding those whose views that do not align with their own. It doesn’t matter if you are conservatives or liberals, exclusion happens. People are limited by any and all things, from their ability to comprehend common core math to the color of their skin. This should not be, but it is. Albert Einstein once said that “If you convince s fish that it is dumb because it can not climb a tree it will go through its whole life believing it is dumb.” 

 This is true in the real world, not just education. If people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks had allowed themselves to be limited by the color of their skin and just “accepted” their situation our nation would not have some the great leaders we have now. Barack Obama would never had become president or held any political office, their would be no Dr. Ben Carson as he would have been held back by those same situations. No, they did not accept it and they changed the world and paved the way for the likes of Obama and Ben Carson to make names for themselves. 

However, I see many kids today that act out in defiance, not to make a change, but because they have accepted they will be only what the world says they will. They are a lost cause, a thug, a slut, a criminal and nothing good will come of them. Why? Because they are not the right color of skin, or because they are bad at math, or they score low on the aptitude test. Then these kids believe it and do nothing to change their situation. They have no hope because they have been told they are hopeless. So they do the only thing they know how, be hopeless. There will be some that believe no matter what that they will never be more than what they are, and that is sad. So much potential lost.

My message to these kids is simple; Do not accept your situation. Being bad at school is not being bad at life, being bad at life is. If you are told you you can not do something because of you gender, race, or skin color. Look in your community and find people like you that overcame their situation and became a great leader or upstanding citizen. They did that to pave they way for people like you to be then leaders of the next generation. If you haven’t scored well on tests but are really good at other things in life, you are not dumb, you understand things differently. Find something you do well that will make the world a better place and do that.

Lastly, you define success, not the other way around. Success is not a destination, it is a journey. It pushes us to strive harder and become better. Never forget that part of success is failure, it is how we learn and change to better who we are. Success is not measured by how wealthy you are but by how happy you are at what you do. So, find something that makes you happy, and betters the world around you, and do that. It is also said that when someone does something they love they never work a day in their life. Do what you are good at that makes you happy and you will be successful. I write this for all people; Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red, Male, Female, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan and Atheist. My believe defines what I do and that belief says to love all unconditionally, live what you believe and test that belief regularly. My hope is for all to come to know Christ, and if I do that with just one person I have done well, but the choice is yours. In summary, don’t accept your situation, seek to elevate yourself, be successful at what you love and never limit yourself to what others say you are. You were meant for more, never forget that.