Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If Only....

We all did it as kids. That one thing that was so cool, so important to us. We dreamed about it, even prayed about it. We saved our money. We did extra chores so we didn’t have to wait so long to get it. We begged, cajoled, whined, and generally made a pest of ourselves in the effort to get that one special thing, that new thing that would make our life complete. Then the day arrived and we finally got that most important thing in the whole world. But, eventually the newness wore off and we were off to the next great thing and started the process all over again. When the scholars and leaders of the ELCA concocted the doctrine of bound conscience to satisfy the selfish desires of man, they’ve led their membership down a road that leads to the same trap as those young children that just must have that new thing. Now that the ELCA has affirmed the homosexual lifestyle by voting to disregard God’s law, those who have been given this one great thing that will finally make their lives worthwhile, have indeed become tired of this new thing and are no longer satisfied with simply having their lifestyle affirmed.

Although the Episcopal Church has gotten a head start on the ELCA in disregarding Scripture, the natives are becoming restless.  From the Out-Smart, Houston’s gay magazine article posted on September 1, 2010, "While the Episcopal Diocese of Texas is in no danger of having any openly gay bishops anytime soon (although the General Convention allowed for that possibility), there are groups of Episcopalians in our state who are not content to stand by as others develop the rites for same-sex marriage. This development will not be speedy—there is a lengthy process for approving new rites— but members of Integrity, the Episcopal organization that works for LGBT inclusion in church life, have organized a two-day conference on October 1 and 2 at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston. “Our conviction is that we don’t have to wait for the diocese to take leadership,” Hunt explains. “We are the diocese, and we very much want to be part of the process of the development.” Now that the authority of Scripture has been overturned, it is time to continue to roll back these outdated laws that our repressive God has set before us. It is time to charge to the ecumenical forefront and take our rightful place that has been denied to those who are too selfish to lower themselves to obey a God that has the audacity to forbid them their lustful desires. I am sorry, but being a follower of Christ requires sacrifice. Yes, there are many delights within this world that I would love to partake, but the morals and ethics instilled in me by my Father in heaven tell me that I must deny myself and behave in the manner that He commands.

Many LGTBQ blogs and magazines accuse evangelicals of using the Bible and its condemnation of homosexuality as a way to spread hate and use it to push away children of God. The bishop of the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA used the words “using Scripture as a war club”. Brothers and sisters, we do not accuse the LGTBQ community of a sin greater than any sin that any of God’s children commit. The argument is about God’s word and the authority of Scripture. Our brothers and sisters in Christ that happen to have a proclivity towards a sexuality that is not within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman, are no worse than any of us that continually fall into sin. Why the LGTBQ community continually attacks those that adhere to Scripture only shows that they are obsessed with having society and the church accept and affirm their lifestyle. We are to love our God with all our hearts and all our minds and all our souls. If one’s lifestyle and having others accept that lifestyle is the most important thing to them, then they simply do not love God as our Lord commands.

Christian groups that support and affirm LGBTQ behavior complain that they have been forced to the margins of the church and have felt unwelcome. It’s not easy to overcome our sinful behavior. When we refuse to repent of our sin, no matter what that sin may be, the truth is not in us. 1 John 2:3-6, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” When we willfully engage in behavior that we know is sinful, refusing to acknowledge God’s law, we are not God’s children, we are indeed children of the evil one. 1 John 3:7-10,” Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”

These are strong words. Our God loves us, but this does not give us license to willfully disobey. There are consequences to our sinful behavior. We must acknowledge our sins before our Father and ask forgiveness. If we decide to continue in that sin regardless of what our Lord commands, then the judgment will be upon us and we prove ourselves to serve the evil one. It is when we ask for forgiveness for our sinful behavior, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. No, we do not use Scripture as a war club against our sinful brothers and sisters. We love and accept all children of God who come to Him and repent of their sin. The issue with the LGTBQ community is not with those that remain true to Scripture. The real issue is that they need to make themselves right with the Lord

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