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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bruce Jenner, Vanity Fair and Transgenderism

I cannot and will not sit silent on this issue.  By the grace of God, and with absolute admission of my limited ability to communicate these truths, I must try to share some thoughts with my brothers and sisters in Christ and anyone else who has ears to hear.

Beloved, our nation and culture is deep trouble!  We know this.  But, if the remnant church of Jesus Christ which knows and loves Almighty God does not speak up and do what needs to be done, than I do not believe anyone else will.

1.  We must remember that Jesus Christ came to save and redeem the entire world and set the captives free.  The Word of God says that He is not willing that any should perish.  And, He calls and commands us to love others as He has loved us; with the same quality, dynamic, extent and power of love - regardless of our own personal feelings.  Christians must admit and repent of any lack of love for those who are involved in sin, no matter how bothersome.

2.  We must grapple with the fact that our own personal offenses, opinions and attitudes are no excuse for a lack of love.  No one will ever have an excuse to not love others that can top the excuses Jesus Christ could have offered.  Yet, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.  If we are His, we will walk in love.

3.  We must acknowledge that transgenderism is an expression of a great deal of pain and suffering.  These individuals often feel very trapped and are miserable.   According to one recent study, a 41 percent of transgenders, or those identified as gender-nonconforming, have attempted suicide.  Even where some may be just arrogant and proud and intentionally flaunting their lifestyle and mocking God, even they are trapped in a bondage that is indeed miserable.  

It was believed and accepted as fact in even the most educated circles for a much of human history that anyone male who thought he was a female, or desired to become one, was evidence of deviant and perverted behavior, resulting often from severe emotional and psychological troubles.

So, why has this view changed?  Has it changed because of some new medical discovering or scientific fact?  No!  It has changed as our culture has rejected its theological and philosophical underpinnings.  

But let not authentic believers in Jesus Christ fall into the same trap of rejecting the Biblical truth we love so much. Grace and compassion must be the foundation even in presenting truth and warning of God’s judgement.

4.  With all that said, we can not escape the fact that transgenderism, as with other forms of sexual sin, is an expression of discontentment with God and is a form of rebellion against God.

You see, those of us who are convinced that we are created by, and in the image of, the Holy God of Heaven, understand that He is completely sovereign.  He is God and we are not.  And, one reason why our faith is so offensive to so many is that many hate this truth.  We all, in our pride, want to be God ourself.  This is a picture of the original sin in Eden.  We want things our way when we refuse to acknowledge that the ways of God are infinitely better than anything we could design or image. 

So, as one pastor put it, “Bruce Jenner can summon every ounce of athletic prowess he has ever had, and he will not be able to outrun his Y chromosomes. No matter how much female clothing is put on, no matter how many surgeries cut off, reshape, or implant whatever—no surgery can change the basic objective fact of XY with which he was not only born, but conceived. By the very fact of your conception, you are what sex and gender that you are. No transgender can escape this objective truth: It is written upon ever cell in your body.”

Bruce Jenner was created and designed as a man, conceived as a man, born a man and will die as a man.  He can never change that.  Unfortunately, our media and the progressive left often play both sides of this fence.  They will fight tooth and nail to try to prove that homosexuals “were born that way” yet they sound silent on that argument when it comes to gender.  Just one more evidence that this is not an argument of objective truth but rather emotionalism and hedonism.

There is a God and He designed and created us as the pinnacle of His beautiful creation.  He has a plan for each one and He promises that those plans are good and wonderful.  This is why we call it faith.  Because, we will either believe that or choose not to and face the consequences.

5.  Supporting and embracing destruction is not loving.  To deny objective facts about yourself is to live a lie. Whatever problems may underlie the beginning of the process into transgenderism, it seems to me that living a lie can not only compound them but will (and does) cause a destructive internal struggle.   And no matter how much the media says we ought to accept these ones, it seems to me that to embrace a lie that increases one’s chances of suicide by a factor of nine can’t be considered loving from any angle.

Listen, any of us can fall prey to a lie.  And any of us, if we embrace that lie long enough, can and will end up believing it regardless of its validity.  This kind of delusional artificial reality is overwhelming almost every aspect of our society today.  And, generations of children are being programed to believe these things.

Certainly, some in our world today are “willfully perverted and satanically bent on destroying what is left of the fabric of Christian culture.”  So although we must have compassion there is a cause!  The only way these trends can be reversed and the degradation of our society can be stopped is for a genuine spiritual awakening.  And, if followers of the Lord Jesus continue in their comfortable little American life, living some of what they know to be Biblical truth while ignoring much, we indeed have NO hope.

The need of the hour is the same as it has always been:

First, Followers of Jesus Christ to repent of their sin, purify their lives and surrender completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Second, to become the pray warriors we are called to be.

Third, to seek to live with such power from on-high that the reality of Christ cannot be ignored.

Forth, to live and preach the life-changing, bondage-breaking gospel everywhere we go.  This always includes giving the truth in love - no matter how uncomfortable and regardless of the consequences.


As I review these words I have written, it appears to me that every word is consistent with thousands of years of Jewish and Christian orthodoxy.  Yet, some will see it as radical and offensive.  And I am convinced, that unless things change, these words will one day result in jail-time as the enforcers of political correctness seek to control our culture.  Yet, we must as believers be more offended for the glory of our Christ than the world is by what they see as an assault on their world-view.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

CONSIDER THYSELF

I have been reading and teaching through the principles of Galatians 6:1 recently.  I have been helped greatly by Pastor Paul Kingsbury's book RADICAL RESTORATION.  What a great work this is!

This morning I was struck by some questions that Dr. Kingsbury wrote at the end of chapter 10.  He is writing in this chapter about the little phrase in Gal. 6:1 regarding considering yourself.  And by way of illustration, he compares the differences between David and Joseph when they both face temptation toward immorality.

He discussed the speed at which most of us react or respond to temptation.  He reminds us that normally there is not a great deal of thought or time by sometimes instantaneously we make the decision on which way to go.  So, the preparation for such decisions is laid ahead of time.  His summary of these points is well worth reading!

At the end of the chapter he says that he does not believe that David was particularly close to the Lord at the point in his life when he fell to temptation.  He revealed something to me that I am not sure I have considered.  He reminded me that in David's early years, when he literally was running for his life and the world seemed against him, his writings focussed on how GREAT God was and how close God was to him.  Then, as an older man, David wrote about his regret for his sins and begged God for forgiveness.

Brother Paul makes the point that this often can happen to us.  He asks us to consider the state of our relationship with the Lord today.  We can become too comfortable and we can begin to take our Lord for granted.  He asks, is your relationship with Christ persona, close and intense or has our need for His presence become dull over time?  Do you sense God is close and with you or does He seem distant today?

This is so very important.  Not only do your answers reflect where you are with God but they also reflect your readiness to help others.  Our God waits on us today ... seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened ... ask and He will answer.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Heart of a Deacon

 http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=622141214380
We ordained Randy Kobza as one of our deacons yesterday. 
Here are a few pictures...


 We need to pray for Randy and his family, that they would continue to stay in Gods will, and that God would also continue to lead, guide, and bless this family!


Visit our Facebook page for announcements in our church, and links to our sermons are there as well.
https://www.facebook.com/hbaptistchurch?ref=hl

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Swimming with My Father

(Forgive my rambling this morning) I am sitting at the dinning room table of my parents home this morning.  I had the privilege of growing up in the same house my entire life.  My Mother still lives in that home today.  I awoke early this morning and longed to go spend some time with my heavenly Father.  After some time trying to find sugar for my cup of coffee and checking on some other things that I need to fix for my Mother I decided to sit at her dinning room table.

This gave me room to spread out a little bit.  This also happens to be the place my Father spent time working on many things.  I am sitting in the chair that he always sat in.  So, as I bowed my head and closed my eyes and prayed unto the Lord this morning, as I turned my heart and my attention to my Heavenly Father for this new day, my heart is filled with memories of my earthly Father.

Oh how I miss him!  How thankful I am for the memories I have of my Dad.  Today, I will likely be involved in repairing things around the house for Mom.  Everywhere I go and in everything I do, I will be confronted with the memory of my Dad.  He was a central leading figure in this home.  He had particular ideas about how things ought to be done and how the home would or would not be cared for.  The air conditioning does not seem to be working well. I don't think the filters have been changed. My Father would not be happy with that :).

My Father was not a spiritual man.  He did not talk much about faith.  I don't understand that. I can not imagine living without Christ being the central foundation of life.  I can not imagine facing the challenges of life 'on my own'.  The Lord has been such an ever-present source of comfort, strength and wisdom for me.  I am thankful that I have become so dependent upon Him.  Some might accuse me of using the Lord as a crutch!  I would gladly respond ... guilty as charged.  But He is far more than my crutch. I do not just lean upon Him ... I rest completely IN Him.  He is not the support upon which I put weight.  He is the pool in which I swim!

So, faith is not something my father and I shared much in common. It was not something we could "fellowship" over.  How important is the Lord to you each moment of the day?  How much do you fellowship with others over the reality of your Saviour? Parents, do you share in common with your children the most important One in your life?  Do they recognize what is most important in your life?  Is Christ Jesus your all in all?

My parents have a swimming pool. We grew up swimming almost every day.  When I would go swimming I would change clothes and I would get a towel.  We would swim ALL day if my parents would let us.  We would swim into the night!  We loved being IN that water!  I loved 'being wet'!  But, I did not like being there all alone.  I would invite others to come join me. We would 'fellowship' over swimming ... we would share it in common!  If you were anywhere near our house, you could tell if we were swimming. We were usually loud.  We were having the time of our lives.

The worse thing about swimming was having to quit ... get out ... and get dry!  My father had some rules about not coming into the house all soaking wet after swimming.  We were expected to dry off or enter through the basement and change clothes quickly.  I would hang my swimming clothes in the shower.  And often, I would betting back in before they would even dry.  I can remember putting those wet clothes back on!  The only that made that uncomfortable experience worth it was ... I was going swimming again!

Let us all go swimming today!  And remember, you do not need to get out.  You do not need to dry off.  You can stay in the water (of Jesus) as a way of life.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ignorance & Arrogance (An Old and Repeated Theme)

This is a theme which the Lord brings to me from time to time to remind me what I am and what we as humans tend to be.  In actuality we know so very little that we don't even know what we don't know.  Yet, our tendency is to think that we DO know.  But beyond the ignorance there is a frightful arrogance.  We think we know so much.  We tend to be so sure of ourselves.  We make judgements and conclusion based upon what we see, hear, touch and taste.  We do not know, what we do not know, and are quite sure about what we do know, so ... we form conclusions and are quite sure.  We will even claim that others are wrong ... and be SURE of it! Yet all the while, often, we do not have a clue!

All the while, we know that we are right.  We claim that we are right and we put down and reject all other views.  Yes ... this is arrogance! It never seems to occur to us that others may have a valid view or that others might have information or experience we know nothing of. This often builds into a critical spirit through which we look down on others and criticize others.

All of this is nothing more than human pride which is a part of our fallen state.  And, it is never more clear and more ugly than when it comes to sin.  We magnify the sin of others and minimize our own sin.  We life ourselves up and put others low.  We become puffed up with self righteousness never noticing that the meek and humble attributes which Christ exalted and manifested are no where to be seen in us.

The Lord reminds me of this because I need it.  I need to be ever mindful of who and what I truly am in the eyes of God.  I need to AGREE with him, about ME.  Thus, I can rest in Him, rely on Him and walk through Him.

Now here is the sticky wicket ... the only thing we can be sure of ... is the Word of God. We know that it is truth!  But even in that ,we must be careful about our observations, interpretations and applications.  Unfortunately, some take what I am saying to draw a conclusion that we can never be sure of anything. But in reality, they really do not believe that.  No, they like it when we can not be sure of God's truth because then we are not accountable to it. But, they remain sure of themselves and many of their own opinions, etc. Yes, we can be sure of the Word of God.  But, this never negates humility, meekness, selflessness and sacrificial love.

Phil. 2:3 says it well, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."   You see, this verse makes it clear that the reason why we have strife, the reason we do things for vainglory is because we do NOT see others, or esteem them, as better than ourselves.  No, we see ourselves as better.  So, this justifies us and gives us the right to have strife, to fight, to have conflict, to not pursue unity and reconciliation.  This gives us the right to exalt ourselves and lift ourselves up and put others down.

Oh God, forgive us!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Be Sure to Obey - Don't Be Fooled

Moses in Exodus chapter 4 is being sent of God to do the great work of freeing his people from the bondage of Egypt.  Moses is struggling deeply with his faith.  God give him miraculous sings to ensure his struggling servant that the God of heaven is with him and will make the way (vs. 1-4). Moses still struggles and says he cannot speak well enough (vs. 8).  God gives him Aaron and assures Moses that He himself, God, will be with him.  So Moses finally returns to Egypt in vs. 20.

But in verses 21-26 we see something very interesting.  I am no sure of all that is happening here but this is clear, Moses had not circumcised his son yet. Moses had disobeyed God in one of the most serious and greatest covenants God had ever made with man.

What strikes me about this is that Moses was hearing from God and getting leadings from God and seeing the miracles of God, yet he was in disobedience!  God was angry!

Often times when I am hearing from God and seeing God move, I tend to rest in the fact that things are right with God. Oh how crucial it is for me, for all of us, to remember our nature and our make-up.  It is so important to know that we are prone to wonder and given to sin.  We must keep the identifying of sin and confessing / repenting of it, as priorities in our lives.  Many a man has fallen deep into destructive sin while being soothed by the fact that "God is working and blessing".

After Moses got right with God, with the help of his dear wife and his friend Aaron, THEN he and the people of Israel believed and worshipped!  And after that Moses was ready to go and obey God and deal with Pharaoh.

Our GREATEST strength is power of HOLINESS!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Science is Awesome!

The great debate last night between Bill Nye and Ken Ham got me thinking and praying about this whole issue of science, origins and the Scriptures. This subject both thrills me and breaks my heart.  Creation science has always been a love of mine and I absolutely believe that ALL creation clearly does declare the Glory of God.

As some of you might know, my collegiate training was in evolutionary biology.  I LOVE science! I have always enjoyed and loved science.  It astounds me that so many in our world see such a conflict between science and faith.  Where there is a conflict, I find it comes from two fundamental points.

First, our terms.  The educational system in our culture today, to include the popular scientific community, has defined the terms which are used and dictates how these terms will be used.  But the second point is really the foundational one.  There is, and always has been, a hatred for the concept of God.  Because if we accept God we must accept who He is, what He is, and all He has done and said.  So because of that, my second point is one of presuppositions.  You see, all schools of thoughts have an idea of our origin.  And, these ideas, influence everything we think.  But most importantly, they influence the way we interpret scientific date and observation.

For example, the old age of the earth is the presupposition of the secularists.  And yes, a younger earth is indeed the presupposition of the Biblical scientists.

But by and large, because of the power of the secular scientific community, they are able to present their presuppositions or theories with NO scientific data at all.  While, the creation scientists are held to a higher standard.  They must use data to back their claims.  And frankly, this is how it should be!

Let me give you one example, Bill Nye began with the presupposition that the reason why showing that Creation Science is not a viable scientific view is because IF we believe this we as a nation will cease to produce good technology because our view of natural science will be wrong.  Now, at face value that seems a very weak argument at best.

Then Ken Ham clearly proved that our view of origin not only does not do this but then gave all manner of examples of current and past world-renowned scientists and creators who are responsible for some of the worlds greatest technology.  Yet, I believe Bill Nye is still not convinced.

The Biblical believer must hold to TRUTH rather than imagination.  The bottom line is what is often missed in this whole discussion.  The past, much of which can not be tested in the laboratory does require faith.  All views of origins require some degree of this. Creationists believe we MUST push to know and understand our origin in order to properly interpret the present.  Secularists are fine with not knowing the past and simply imposing what they see in the present upon their view of the past.

A right view of science greatly increases of love for, and worship of, Almighty God.  Please, do not avoid science but rather pursue it ... for His glory!