A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


June 25, 2014

The Unbelievers In the Church

     This post is likely to be condemned by many.  But I cannot sit idly by and not comment on the latest controversy within the Church.  To that end, one of the benefits of where the Lord has placed me at this time in my life, is that I have the liberty and time to do a lot of studying and research.  It has not been until the last few years that I have taken advantage of this opportunity; and I owe my newfound dedication to the desire that He has instilled in my heart.  I now have a hunger to know more about Him; to see more clearly how I, as a Believer, am to view this world; and to discern how I am to consider the changes coming in the modern Church.
     Please know that I do not claim any unique revelations.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  That being said, I enjoy listening to various "Watchmen", whom I believe have had sincere callings on their lives.  When I consider any of their commentaries, I compare them to Scripture, and then let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts to align with God's.
     I am telling you all this as a preface to what I think is a disturbing trend among American Christians.  When I see a major U.S. denomination openly disregard the teachings of Scripture, I must agree with the Watchman, Pastor David Lankford, who boldly calls them "Unbelievers".  If you haven't guessed by now, I am talking about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s official embrace of same-sex marriage at its General Assembly meeting last week.  The decision was made to allow clergy to marry gay couples in states where same-sex unions are legal, and the resolution has been met with approval by both gay rights activists and Church pastors alike.
     The executive director of a gay rights organization in Iowa stated, “More and more, we are seeing people of faith embrace the freedom to marry. And so, it only makes sense that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — one of the largest Christian groups in the nation — makes this important step toward equality.”  Then there was this statement by the pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Bay City, Michigan, "God loves everybody.  There’s got to be someone out there that someone can fall in love with, and if they happen to be of the same sex, that’s God’s will as well.”  While his state doesn’t permit same-sex marriage, he said that his church is prepared to offer gay matrimonies if and when the time comes.
     First of all, this is not an issue of "loving our fellow man", and I will deny any charges of enmity or bigotry.  For me, it is all about honoring God's Word.  So, here is where I must agree with Pastor Lankford.  I can almost guarantee that each member of those Presbyterian congregations consider themselves "people of faith" and "Believers".  But here is my heartfelt question:  How can you call yourself a Believer, if by your words and your actions, you do not believe God's Word?  As His Church, shouldn't you seek to know what He says about the institution of marriage?  And if you are a believer of His Word, then you know that you cannot please both Him and the World.
     I will tell you that if you google "the biblical definition of marriage", you will find numerous links to sites that declare "there is no specific details or directions about marriage".  Other sites will say "The Bible's definition of marriage can be confusing and contradictory".  There's even a site written by a Jewish rabbi which states, "The Bible does not give any single, clear definition of marriage."  But I must ask them all this question:  Are you searching the Scriptures for how God established His ordained union, or are you cherry-picking Scripture to echo the culture and make yourselves more relevant?
     You see, if I am going to call myself a "Believer", then I hold myself to the standard of believing what God has told me in the Book of Genesis.  Specifically, in Genesis chapter 2, God declares it is not good for Adam (the first man) to live alone. All the animals are there, but none of them are a suitable partner for Adam. God, therefore, in a special act of creation, makes a woman. Just a few verses later, the woman is called “his wife” (Genesis 2:25). Eden was the scene of the first marriage, ordained by God Himself. The author of Genesis then records the standard by which all future marriages are defined: “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
     This passage of Scripture gives several points for understanding God’s design for marriage. First, marriage involves a man and a woman. The Hebrew word for “wife” is gender-specific; it cannot mean anything other than “a woman.” There is no passage in Scripture that mentions a marriage involving anything other than a man and a woman. It is impossible for a family to form or human reproduction to take place asexually. Since God ordained sex to only take place between a married couple, it follows that God’s design is for the family unit to be formed when a man and woman come together in a sexual relationship and have children.
     So, no matter how much "the faithful" in the modern Church want to honor love between people, no matter their sex, and proclaim that it is "God's will" that they should be married, they can only do that if they do not believe God's Word.  That would make them an "Unbeliever", even if they consider themselves Christian.  I know that sounds harsh and condemning, but it is really a simple matter of semantics.  If you are a Believer, you are a devotee of God, who reveals Himself and His higher authority through His Word.  You believe (trust and accept) His Word -- every word!  That does not mean that we get to reinterpret His Word to reflect our human feelings and desires, no matter how "loving" they may seem.  The very need to reinterpret the Bible shows that one disbelieves what has been revealed.  Therefore, I guess it should come as no surprise that the world desires to change what God has instituted in order to satisfy their human desires.
     But it saddens me to see the Church following the culture, rather than leading it.  In so doing, they (seem to me) to have lost their purpose ... to preach the Gospel to all people that the lost may be saved and that the righteous might be encouraged and edified.  Perhaps they no longer believe this either.

Romans 8:7    "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot."





   



8 comments:

  1. Amen Belle Ringer! You nailed it! Satan is spreading his influence like wild fire. If we step back and look where this is coming from we will see it comes from way up. This aligns perfectly with Agenda 21. The goal is "population reduction". Satans goal is "soul destruction". Using his hidden dynasties to influence, political, education, financial, and religion. We have to look closely to see the financial influence, but it is there. We have to us offered free contraception, abortions and no doubt it will be followed with tax incentives. I have a close relative who is a deacon in his small rural church. They received a letter from the gov't threatening prosecution and loss of their 501 c3 status if they preach against gay marriage and abortion. This obviously reveals the political and financial influence, not to mention free speech and freedom of worship. We are witnessing another obvious sign of the end times. Yes, you and I will be persecuted for your and my beliefs. Thank you for reminding me in an earlier post of Psalms 94:16. It is our duty as "believing" Christians to stand up. God bless you.

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    1. My fear is that too many "Believing" Christians are unaware of the magnitude of the threat and will be woefully unprepared to stand when the time comes. May Yeshua strengthen His Church! It is only through His Power and Authority that we can hope to withstand the persecution.

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  2. Amen Belle Ringer! If we are "Believers" we need to follow God's word like Leviticus 20:13 says, ‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." That is what you believe correct? If we follow "The Word" you cannot be be picking and choosing. So what would you suggest, the traditional stoning or a good old fashion hang'in for all those evil homosexuals? (Tongue planted firmly in cheek)

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    1. In order to consider this question, one must have a full knowledge of the Bible, both Old and New Testament. The Levitical Laws (which are different than God's institution of marriage in Genesis) no longer apply to us since God came in the flesh and paid the price for our sins. Jesus makes that plain in John, Chapter 8, when the Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to him in the Temple. They tried to use the same argument that you suggest ... "Moses, in the law, commanded us that such as this woman should be stoned." But what did Jesus say? “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone."

      Nowhere in my post did I suggest that homosexual people should be stoned. In fact, I thought I made it clear that this is not an issue of "loving our fellow man". I have gay friends who are very near and dear to my heart. I cannot condemn them, because as Jesus points out to me in John 8, I am thoroughly unable to cast that first stone, and I would challenge anyone who thinks they qualify to do just that.

      But I also read further in that passage, where Jesus said to the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” He didn't say, "I don't condemn you, so it's alright to keep on sinning." He is talking to me, as a sinner, and anyone else who sins against God's commandments.

      With His coming to earth, Jesus made our sinfulness evident to each of us, and no one can stand perfect to stone another. Instead, we are to love each other and pray for each other, and yes, "sin no more." That doesn't mean we love each other and say, "Your sin is OK", anymore than I can declare my sinful ways acceptable. So sorry, if I disappoint you, but there is no desire for a good ol' stoning here.

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    2. Thanks for replying. I was being a little facetious. I am sure you are a very nice person and I know you were not advocating violence in anyway. I was pointing out that if to be a true believer you must adhere to scripture you cannot pick and choose which pieces of scripture you support. Using the Old Testament does not count anymore since Jesus came is the typical tap dance apologetic argument. You actually used the Old Testament Genesis 2 to support your position, but are quick to throw out Leviticus. It just seems strange to me that theology of the day always lines up with what is currently accepted. Some churches were perfectly okay with slavery and used scripture to support slavery as acceptable. Heck even the New Testament supported slavery 1st Peter 2:18 (NIV) “Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” Remember it’s the same Jehovah doing the crazy things in the Old and New Testament, different books same entity.
      If God wanted us to all follow him you would think he would be very clear instead of relying on supposedly inspired people writing stories way after the events and strangely always contains no more knowledge than was available at that point in history. If God really wanted to get followers he could have inspired someone to write something that was way before they could have possibly known it, like the existence of DNA or gravity, that there were other galaxies or even other planets, but no everything written was exactly what we would expect to see from people with the knowledge they had in their time.
      Your main concern, the marriage of gays, is just another progression of the church moving with the times. I am sure back in the day there was a "Belle Ringer" saying that slavery was okay or we cannot let a witch live or convert to Christianity or die, but the times “they are a changing’”. There is no one saying that a church has to marry gays, only that they should have equal rights. If your church does not support the marriage of gays that's perfectly fine and I support your church's right, but I also support another church's right to marry gays and married gays should have the exact same rights and privileges as opposite sex couples.
      As for your statement, "But it saddens me to see the Church following the culture, rather than leading it." Lagging Churches have always been the case and society has gotten better through the years not worse. If society had always followed the Church and scripture to the letter it would a miserable place indeed that I, and if you were truthful, you would not want to live.

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    3. First of all, I want to thank you for at least being able to have a respectful dialogue, but I can tell we are never going to agree. You see, my relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in my life -- more important than anything this world can offer.
      Secondly, you assume that I throw Leviticus out, I do not. I just know why it existed from a historical perspective. God was bringing the Hebrew people out of 400 years of idolatrous worship in Egypt and established a temporary (and yes, very harsh) system to make his people a holy (separated from sin) people once again. You see, I don't just read the commentaries of men throughout the centuries, but have spent lots of time studying the root meanings of words and agree with you, that man has done a poor job of interpreting what God is revealing to us in His Word.
      If you were a serious student of the Bible you would know that the Law still exists in the 10 Commandments and that Jesus did not come to replace the Law, but to fulfill it. As to why I can believe His admonition that no man is able to stone another; it is because He explicitly says that only those without sin have that privilege. And because He is the Son of God. All my belief is based on His identity.
      If you are unable to accept His deity, and cannot look upon the Bible with all its man-made misinterpretations as the closest revelation we have to our Creator, then we don't really have any common ground. You are welcome to your opinion, and I respect your right to express it. But I look at this life and this world as flawed and temporary, and I am not anxious to follow its rules. I will agree that the Church (which is made up of flawed men), throughout the centuries, has deteriorated and followed the world's temptations rather than what God desires.
      And I am still and equally saddened at the state of our culture and the Church. And I will stand by my argument that this world would be a better place if man sought God instead of their own fleshly desires, no matter what they be. You see, my soul longs for a better life, an eternal one. And I pray that all men will recognize and come to know their Savior, Jesus Christ.

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  3. I also have friends that are gay and I love them too, but they know that I do not agree or uplift their lifestyle. We will be held guilty for agreeing with what and how they're living. But by bringing it to their attention, we do it in love, not contempt. What you mentioned that a pastor in Bay City, Michigan said....."God loves everyone"; indeed He does, but that doesn't mean that He looks away at our sin that He made very clear to us in His Word. Everyone can paint whatever picture they want of this whole thing, but the truth is, Satan is having his way with this and as always, he makes it seem like it's the right thing to do, etc.,etc. within the church. I would rather stand for the truth and make sure that our gay friends who are supposedly believers understand the truthfulness of the Bible and realize as any other sin, there will be consequences that aren't positive in the end. As I've said before, it's amazing as time passes how the world seems to think that good is bad and wrong and bad is good and correct. That is Satan's undoing of our minds and souls. We've once again allowed those who are suppose to lead us towards God and to teach His word to muddle it up and have used whatever agenda they have to make their "What's happenin' Now Church" to their advantage, whatever that would be. But...in the end, I sure feel sorry for them because that in itself is a very dangerous road to go down as a person who is supposedly a watchman of God leads others towards Satan. God Bless you for your continuing truth and support and hope that you give to those of us who believe what is written as God spoke it. My prayer today is for those who believe this church has made a right decision or will continue to be silent, open your eyes and please reconsider and read the Word AGAIN! May God's truth show itself to you.

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    1. Lisa, as you know, it is difficult to stand in this world and proclaim God's Word. We are seen as bigots, discriminatory, and unloving. But as you pointed out, we do not stand in judgment or condemnation of people, no matter how we are portrayed. If it were not for the culture (and the Church!) telling me that I have to accept a lifestyle that includes gay marriage, you would never know my opinion. You would see me treating my gay friends the same as my ethnic friends, my friends who are old, my friends who are disabled, my rich friends and my poor friends. I am just like all of them, made in the image of God. Am I without sin? Absolutely not! And I have to ask for forgiveness each day of my life. But as you have so clearly explained, Satan has figured out a way to pit us imperfect souls against each other. You can either go along with the crowd and avoid ridicule; be seduced into believing Satan's deceptive interpretation of the Bible; or you can pray and stand for the holy Word of God. One of those options will result in the culture and the world condemning you. Does that sound like it would be pleasing to God? I realize that my opinion is not the popular one at the moment. But I will continue to uphold the Word of God and Jesus's teachings, no matter the cost. And I will continue to love ALL my friends, praying for them as I pray for myself... that God will forgive our sins and enable us to be more Christ-like. Thank you, my friend, for your always appreciated remarks.

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