I did not write this, but I wish I would have. (click link above)
I did not write this, but I wish I would have. (click link above)
In addition to the consequences that Ken lists here , this type situation is a direct consequence of a culture that doesn’t call sin what it is – SIN. When we use terms like “hook up or fling” , it doesn’t quite sound that menacing. Imagine how different this situation might have been if the terms didn’t sound quite so appealing?
Yes- thank God his grace , mercy and forgiveness when we sin – but let us not forget that while those flow freely from HIM – consequences still remain here.
Zach Anderson is in court today. Again. It’s the last place his parents, Les and Amanda Anderson, ever thought their 19-year-old son would be.
Zach is described as a “typical teen-ager. He’s into computers and wants to build a career around his love for electronics.” But his plans for the future are banished. At least for now.
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Ken nails it .. Thank you for insight brother!
Last night Norma Jean and I watched Megyn Kelly’s exclusive interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as they discussed the child molestation charges against their son, Josh.
Leading up to the interview we saw clips of the intense criticism toward the Duggar family from various news outlets. They have been called “hypocrites” and much worse. The vitriolic venom emanating from some sources has been excoriating.
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In the last month I have had the blessing of hosting 3 different preachers in my home. The first was a preacher who had been laboring in South Africa for the last three years and is back in the states for the first time. The second is someone who has preached the gospel for several more years than myself (he was in Iowa for almost as long as I have been preaching). The third has not actually started preaching. He was in the middle of a move and needed a place to sleep. It was interesting to me to listen to the stories that we have told about various hardships we have faced while preaching the gospel. In same ways, I was able to do something that I haven’t done in a really long time. I was able to be open and honest with someone about what was going on…
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“Love is love”.
I would be willing to bet you (if I were a betting man) that if I have heard that phrase once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.
” Love is love and you can’t help who you love”. However saying something over and over, no matter the volume, no matter the repetition, no matter what century it is – DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE… And NO, – time doesn’t change it either. For every time I have heard “It’s the 21 century, get with the times” , I can only think to myself that if something is pure, if something is eternal and everlasting as true love is supposed to be by definition – then it is unchangeable by culture no matter what century it is . Right and wrong, as well as truth and fiction, are principles that are built upon unchanging standards. It has never been right to murder someone (Genesis 4) nor has a lie ever become truth (Romans 1:25) and love is no different.
I believe without fail that the bible is the ultimate standard because it is the infallible word of God and because God can not lie due to his nature, every single word of it is true. The further culture moves from this standard, the more things like truth, right and wrong and love become subject to human standards. As humans, a creation of God, God gave us the ability to reason and to choose as we were created in his image (Genesis 1:26). Given the ability to choose and not making us as unthinking robots,that means we also have the capacity to not choose him – but our own way.
Proverbs 14:12 deals with this in saying “ There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
Just as children need the guidance of their parents to grow up well and to make good decisions – we too are like children that need guidance and that guidance is given by a perfect source and is absolute, so that it can be trusted . It is everlasting and most importantly – UNCHANGING. A changing standard is unsure, unsafe and ultimately flawed because it can not be trusted. IF one day something is acceptable and the next day it’s not – How can someone stay true or on the right path. I mean 2+2 still = 4 correct? OF course!Because it is based on an unchanging truth that can be tested and still be trusted when proven true.
So how is it that love is any different?
First we must define love by its source.
1 John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
1 John 4:16 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
So love, is from God because God IS love, and the fact that we are able to love, is because God first loved us and so we are commanded to love one another because love is from God and when we love , then we abide with him and know him.
So then , If in fact I am not the standard of love and where it comes from and God is , can I love just any way I choose to and it still be love? Let me put it like this – can I drive as fast as I choose to and still claim to be driving safetly? Well, despite my opinion of how well I drive, my opinion doesn’t override the law in place that regulates my speed . In fact , driving the way I choose with no regard to boundaries set by an authority or standard will have consequences. You see – we don’t get to rewrite the speed laws or change the meaning of speeding – nor do we get to rewrite the meaning of love.
Now that we know the source of love and the author of it (notice the title author inherently carries with it the concept of authority) , lets look at its definition.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love, I gain nothing.
What this first section takes note that no matter what I do,no matter how well I may do it without love it is worthless and in a word – noise…
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is the section that Hallmark makes their living on. But ,notice a few things here –
It is patient and kind. I can say for sure ,that many of the people I have engaged with over the legality of same-sex marriage who scream vehemently that “Love is love” and neither been patient nor kind to me…Lets continue –
It doesn’t envy or boast.Also untrue concerning my experiences this year.
It is not arrogant or rude. This has been a big one. In almost every occasion , I have been talked to like a lesser human being who is considered to be “less than intelligent” according to the opposing views standard of intelligence. I have been insulted and derided and in some cases threatened . Again – I’m failing to see the love here that you are screaming into my face about.
It doesn’t insist on its own way and it is not irritable nor resentful. See the earlier comments.
It does not rejoice at wrong doing ,but rejoices with the truth.
Ok – this is the big one.
If love by definition doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing but the truth – then you can not call what you are doing love. Repeat – If love by definition doesnt rejoice in wrongdoing but the truth – then you can not call what you are doing love. The same standard that defines love also defines right and wrong , truth and lies and ultimately sin what it is and what it isnt … Just like love. To rejoice in something that is opposed to God whether it be ANY type of sexual immorality , murdering , or lying or stealing ,cheating etc – is NOT rejoicing in what God has called good or true – but evil or sinful.
But – notice the last section –
Love bears ,believes,hopes and endures all things. This section is what solidifies love as sacrificial ! It bears the struggles of others when they need help , It believes the best about others when doubts arise , it hopes because without hope we have nothing to live for and it ENDURES with those who I may be at odds with because if I love the way I say I do – then I want the same salvation for you that God has extended ALL people…
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Love is eternal and as other things pass away , it wont .. So grow up and be mature. Face what you know is right and make the right decision. Stop being selfish and be selfless..
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The greatest is love because is gives and doesn’t take. ITs the greatest because it is not selfish , but selfless. It is the greatest because it is from God , and it is GOD.
You can’t redefine what is not yours to redefine . Nor can you change what is eternal . It is what it is , no matter how loud you scream at me , no matter how much you repeat it and now matter how much you hate me for my stance about it – I will still love you.
Yes, I will.
I will still love you , because God still loves you – and thats the difference.
Love doesnt always suit me ,nor should anyone expect it to. When we adopt a human standard as greater than God’s , what is to keep me from hating you rather than love you? Whats to keep me from stretching out my fist to hurt you rather than offer my hand to help you?
When we replace God’s standard for ours , we accept a flawed and moving target rather than trusted and solid one. If the truth depends on me – we are doomed to fail .
And yes – I know all to well that there are plenty of people who call themselves Christians who have been equally or even moreso hateful on the other side of this issue. They wrong for the same reasons I have listed from the definition of love as the ones who have hated me.
Simply calling themselves Christians and doing things “in the name of” doesnt make any of what they say true nor them a representative of the God they claim they serve.
After all words are words and they mean what they mean and none of us can change that – Out actions however , are another story all together.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins -1 Peter 4:8
I get asked a lot of questions. I do my best to give answers … Appropriate, correct, to the best of my knowledge etc… The truth is, I don’t have ALL of the answers. Yet, the questions will continue to come, and I will continue do my best to answer.
I suppose if I could answer one question to the best of my ability and to the best of my knowledge, then I could answer any question the same way , albeit – sometimes that answer would be “I don’t know “.
You see, my job demands me to question everything, to look for the truth in every situation and to examine it to the ultimate standard of truth and then compare and share it as it is proper to.
This often gets me into trouble with people.
It gets me into trouble because many of the societal and cultural push for the acceptance of immorality have inherently a built-in biblical truth that is completely opposed to it. When the answer is given to the best of my ability and from the standard of truth I have used to arrive at this conclusion, it is most often not received with the warmest of welcomes. Following quickly behind my answer are responses that are usually sharp and often used as a weapon would be to insult me, deride and berate me and to ultimately hurt me.
Now a new line of questioning begins as a means to divert me away from the original topic and turn the focus on me and my motives. These questions are filled not only with spite and maliciousness, but they are also loaded with suppositions and assumptions. The problem with the suppositions and assumptions is that others incorrectly place motives about why I do what I do , rather than work from an informed opinion or even better – to allow me to answer their question without jumping to conclusions.
“Why do you preach? – to steal people’s money? To spread your hatred for people who aren’t like you? Because you think you’re better than everyone else?
“No” is all I can usually get out before I’m cut off , but in fact there are many reasons, some more important that others, but all are deciding factors that played out when I considered choosing this life.
The first thought that comes to mind is “why would I choose a life that will bring me such hatred and uncomfortable moments such as these if not for an incredibly good reason? I mean, after all – where is the tolerance FOR me, that everyone is demanding FROM me?
That being said, It might be easier to tell you why I don’t do what I do.
1. I don’t preach for money.
2.I don’t preach to be self-righteous.
3. I don’t preach because I want to prove others wrong.
4. I don’t preach because I hate anyone.
5. I don’t preach to make you feel bad about yourself.
6. I don’t preach to make you feel good about yourself.
7.I don’t preach pretending that I am a Psychologist.
8. I don’t preach for popularity.
9.I don’t preach for praise.
10. I don’t preach pretending to have all the answers.
I preach because God is real. And just as he is real, so is his love, his grace, and his mercy – and ALL of these things have been extended to ALL people. This is completely visible in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, taking the death that we deserve, so we don’t have to…
It’s just that simple.
Because man chose to sin (Genesis 3) , he separated himself with God because God is Holy and cannot have fellowship with sin.It is completely contrary to everything he is. So from the before the beginning of time, the part of God that is Jesus said, ” I’ll go, I’ll die, and I’ll make a connection possible again.
Love… True love. REAL love – not the selfish gratification of our desires we often attribute to love – but sacrificial love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.
While his love knows no limits – his acceptance, however -DOES. This is probably the primary reason that I preach. I preach to share the love mercy and grace of God through his son, but not so we can continue on in sin – but so we can turn from it in repentance.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11 says “ 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.”
Knowing that the judgment day will come and that it is as real as today is, then knowing the Gospel of Christ and keeping it to myself is not an option. I MUST persuade others as Paul so eloquently states and to not do so will condemn me for being hateful.
Hateful? Yes… IF the Gospel of Christ is in fact “The power of salvation to all who believe” (Romans 1:16) and to die without it means to be eternally lost – THEN HOW COULD IT NOT BE HATEFUL?
How much do you have to hate someone, NOT to share the gospel with them?ITs not just the GOOD news – It is the BEST news , and like Jeremiah in Chapter 20 verse 9, he said “If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,”there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”
And I will not…
SO – that’s my answer. That is why I preach. And I fully realize that many men do, in fact, preach for the wrong reasons – maybe even some of the ones I listed above – but I know many more that do it for the same reason as I do.
So , extend to us a little of that tolerance demanded from us , and maybe not be so quick to judge us as you are shouting “judge not”, no matter how poorly you are misusing that passage. We are human too, we have families and we have feelings, and BOTH get hurt when we are not extended the same courtesies you expect from us.
We are not your enemy . We actually love you more than you know, but would love an opportunity to share with you the love that someone died to give you.