Homosexuality is a sin, really? Phil Robertson, A&E, and the Duck Dynasty

Of course, it doesn’t surprise us that in our wonderful world there are those who taint and oppress others. Some just don’t like those who are different to them. The plain bigotry of some people who hate and lack tolerance towards those whose lifestyles are not the same is deplorable. There is so much evidence about these fascists it is surprising that the world just doesn’t notice what is going on and even those who are on the receiving end of their narrow-mindedness and prejudice seem oblivious to the hateful nature of their opponents. It seems that the whole world will be turned upside down, if they had their way, to conform to their ideas and way of thinking which is just plain madness. They rail about homosexuality and go on and on as if there are no other issues affecting life and because of it make life a misery because of their rants.

Perhaps you would like to read that last paragraph again. Whose side did you take? You could read this from the perspective of the homosexual and think about the Church or Christians. But there again, you could read it from the perspective of the Church or Christian about the homosexual.

Everything in that first paragraph I have heard against Christians and against me. But it seems to me that the opposite is true. The true thought police is in the militant homosexual who lacks any tolerance at all towards the Christian.

This has become even more obvious, thankfully, due to the suspension of a man I had never heard of before this week: phil rPhil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. The man quoted a verse of Scripture to indicate that homosexuality is a sin in the sight of God…and was suspended from the network for stating his obvious Christian beliefs. The same belief that any true bible-believing Christian would take including me which amounts to millions upon millions. But beware of taking that stance publicly otherwise you will lose your stature in the world. Of course it is a matter of whether we please God (whose standards do not change despite cultural change) or whether we please humankind (whose standards change all the time – for instance in Uganda they have just outlawed homosexual acts – going a different trend to the rest of the world).

The verse of Scripture quoted by Phil Robertson in full is: 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 (NKJV) — 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Did you notice there were more than homosexuals in this list? It is not that I have a distaste for homosexuals – though I do hate the act – it is that they are in the fearful place of being excluded from God’s Kingdom (along with all those who have sex outside of marriage and along with drunks and those who despise God’s standards and replace them with their own).

Outside of God’s Kingdom hell and the lake of fire is the scary alternative if we do not repent and follow Jesus who has paid the price so we don’t have to go to the alternative.  hell The good news is we don’t have to go to hell but because we have all broken God’s laws we deserve it. Jesus paid the price with his blood on a cross. Repent, believe and be baptised. Then you will be saved – I asked Jesus into my life some 27 years ago – and I have not regretted it – I am going to Heaven – not because I am good but because He is and has taken away my sin.  Dear people, whether you are a homosexual or a liar or a thief or whatever else we have done or not done that do not fit God’s standards: God loves you no matter what.  He proved it by sending His Son and Him dying and paying the price before we even considered changing our ways.  But now he COMMANDS everyone to repent (to change) and follow Jesus.  This is our proper response – God could have left us to our own devices and let us go to hell – but now the choice is ours to make.  The Lake of Fire.  The name on its own is terrifying.  You don’t have to go there and suffer for ever and ever and ever and ever.  Why be so daft and obstinate?  You could have real pleasures for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever instead.  This is no choice: Repent! Believe in Jesus.  Follow Him.

Many have had their say about what has happened to Phil. This, perhaps, is the most public one and should be a wake-up call to Americans, Brits and others that taking a stance for God’s way will lead to persecution. Maybe not the kind where we would be tortured or killed but certainly it has already affected the income of many in an adverse way because they refused to conduct a gay marriage ceremony or be their photographer or be their cake-maker or be their registrar or be their bed and breakfast (hotel) or be their florist among many others.

And who knows? If this kind of pressure from the gay lobby continues (as resulted in Phil’s suspension) our freedom will be taken as has our freedom to speak about these thing. Soon just being a Christian who says he believes the Bible will also be tainted – and in some circles are already ridiculed especially by the press and by liberal Christians. If Christians do not stand together about this kind of oppression then we cannot be surprised when we are arrested and jailed for our beliefs here in the so-called tolerant West. But remember we are surrounded by clouds of witnesses who have suffered harsher things and rejoice – for great is your reward in Heaven.

PS Whilst I am with Phil Robertson on this issue I am not necessarily aligned with any other view he has or the way he does it.  This disclaimer is here because I do not know him or have ever watched Duck Dynasty.

San Francisco False Prophecies Oct 3rd

False Prophecies Oct 3rd San Francisco

My friends, nearly every day I hear of some prophecy of some sort…maybe because I am interested in matching every day events with the prophecies of Scripture…and whilst this seems to be quite exciting it is a hobby that has very little value!  Some people, however, seem to make prophecy their life’s work and that, my friends, if you are a Christian, is a waste of the resources God has given to bring Good News to our generation.  ALL Scripture is given, not just the roughly 25% given to prophecies.  So, a ¼ of our time should be spent in our studies within this subject and ¾ to the rest.  Do not ignore (biblical) prophecies for fulfilled prophecy proves that the unfulfilled will happen and that God keeps His Word.

There has been a spate of prophecies of late concerning San Francisco especially of a catastrophic earthquake (of about 9.7 on the Richter scale) that was meant to happen on the 3rd of October.  Today is the 4th.  And many ‘big names’ were in on it though some may not have been so bold as to name the day.  But, friends, even if it HAD happened yesterday the seismologists have been telling us this for a very long time that the BIG one is due.  Now, it would have been different if, say the prophecy had been about New York…but San Francisco is an easy target!

Scripture has a lot to say about prophets and their prophecies…especially ones that do not come to pass…for it is evident that God did not tell them and therefore they (the Prophets) should not be feared.

There was a doom and gloom prophet whose prophecies did not come to pass.  His name was Jonah. But God ALWAYS relents when people repent.  Nineveh, though, was overthrown some years later when they obviously returned to their old ways.

Now I am hearing this used as an excuse for the prophecies not coming to pass.  Oh come on!  If there is mass repentance in San Francisco then Praise God!  But, I can guarantee you there is not.

What, for me, is sadder is that so many Christians have been duped by all this going on being deceived and deceiving.  But what is sadder still is that they relish the thought of hundreds, thousands, millions dying without Christ just so Christians could go ‘aha!’  Shouldn’t our hearts yearn for the lost?  God’s does.  God has NO pleasure in the death of the wicked – and so should we?  Is it not enough that they will stand before God one day to give an account?  Should we not pity them, should we not preach to them the Good News?  Yes, perhaps they will reject the message, perhaps they will reject you…is this not the lot of the Christian?  If they hated Jesus will they not also hate you?  However, we are NOT called to hate in return.

God does warn people and sometimes about earthly disasters.  This is mercy BEFORE judgment. And so we also should be merciful as God is to us every day.

I have read about those who claim they ‘got it right’ with the Boston Marathon or the Japanese earthquake in 2011.  So what?  What good did it do?  What was it that they did that helped them?  There are many people in the world who are not Christians who claim these things too but again it made no difference except to boost them in the eyes of others…so there you have it…false prophets are all about self-glorification and ego even when done in the name of Jesus.  The true prophets are there on the ground making a difference in the lives of those they meet by talking about and being like Jesus.

Let us return to Scripture and learn to test prophecies.  Let us turn to Scripture to see what IT has to say about the future.  Let us remind ourselves of those amazing prophecies that have come to pass word-for-word.  Let us test people according to the Words of Scripture for this is what we are called to do.  Let us not get caught up in a plethora of prophecies that appear to be saying the same thing and reckon it must be God…a confirmed prophecy is only in its fulfilment.  And friends, the San Francisco one was a false prophecy.

http://z3news.com/w/97-earthquake-coming-west-coast-october-3-2013

Why is the Bible so important? Part 1

Why is the Bible so important? Part 1

Interesting question as it actually has many answers.

I suppose it has to do with authority. By authority I mean, what is it that informs what we believe and why we believe it? Some rely upon tradition, others on feelings, others on what someone has told them, and still others rely upon their rational. All these are based somewhat upon upbringing, culture, natural demeanour and a host of other internal and external affects. And all of these are different for different people, a fact recognised in our post-modern world. Forgive the word ‘fact’ and ‘post-modern’ in the same sentence! Because it is our post-modern society that says there are no facts, no grand narrative, no one authority. This makes it convenient to believe whatever we believe with no justification necessary as you believe what you will believe and I will believe what I believe and both can live in unison despite its tensions and often diametrically opposed truths.
There is one authority, though, that has not changed, is neither ancient, modern nor post-modern but is present no matter what the era. And that is the Bible. The Bible speaks down through the ages to every people, culture and language. The Bible is its own authority. It speaks the truth. It is the Word of God. It is what God is saying.

Open Bible
Open Bible

Some say that the Bible contains the Word of God meaning that somewhere in its pages are words that can pertain to God but other pages where it does not. When I say the Bible contains the Word of God I mean from cover to cover every Word is given by God and is from God. This makes the decision about what is my authority very easy: it is the Bible. For those who think that only part of it should be our authority then pickers will be choosers. Who is to say what part is and what part is not? For those who choose which parts are and what parts are not have actually made themselves the authority. Some make it sound very spiritual and say that it is Jesus who is their authority. If this is the case then they would know that Jesus Himself made Scripture totally authoritative.

It is clear we either take the whole of the Bible with its difficulties that should not be glossed over or we take none of it. The only way we know what we believe and why is because God has revealed it to us through human writers sometimes through dictation (Thus says the Lord…) or, as usually was the case, using the writer’s humanity but without error.

This is called plenary inspiration, the view that all Scripture (the Bible) is inspired by God and thus is without any inaccuracy, mistake, fault or error.  2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NKJV) — 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

[Glossary: ‘plenary’ means ‘full and complete’]

If it is found to have inaccuracies, mistakes, faults or errors then we have nothing to rely upon for truth. Jesus regarded Scripture to be authentic even in those parts that are hard to believe like Jonah. And who am I or you to argue with the Author of our Salvation?!

[A more in depth article will be written in due course]

Pope Francis – we welcome you! (Right?)

Pope Francis – should he be welcomed?

I am alarmed at how quick evangelical Christians have been to welcome Pope Francis.  Does the fact we have a new one change the organisation?  Or does it change the message it brings?  I think not.

It might seem like a good thing to do (to welcome Pope Francis) but it gives credibility to the Roman Catholic Church (RC) and its leadership. We may agree with the RC in relation to many moral matters (and perhaps disagree) but I can say the same in relation to my Muslim friends and the Islamic faith.

In relation to doctrine, which is the most important part for Christians, the RC have little in common with evangelicalism.  This is especially true in the veneration of Mary and the Saints, and in the 7 Sacraments. Ignorance of what the RC teaches is a problem. We willingly call them brothers and sisters in Christ.  How?  By finding the lowest common denominator (normally morality) for unity.  High profile Christians, such as Jonathan Edwards of the Baptist Union of Great Britain among others, are giving credibility to the RC.  This does not help but muddy the water.   This is not to say that there are no brothers and sisters in Christ in the RC but, I think, ought not to be.

Salvation by works (what RC teaches) is not what evangelicals (protestants) believe – but works as a result of salvation, in Christ alone.

So, glossing over ‘the much that divides us’ is not helpful but blurs the line even more. The RC Gospel is another Gospel. And the Apostle Paul said that was anathema.  This is the strongest condemnation anyone could give – basically saying ‘be condemned to hell’.

Now, I do not know Pope Francis and he may genuinely be a nice guy, humble, and loving but that is irrelevant if the Gospel is not right to start with.  I have met my share of non-believers who would seem more Christian than Christians.  And some Christians who, unfortunately, give non-Christians a run for their money in their lifestyles.

New Pope or not – the Catholic Church cannot change in regard to its essential doctrines.  Therefore evangelical Christians who take the Bible for their authority (or those who claim that Jesus is) cannot have unity with the RC, its new Pope or any of its adherents – except those who truly have found faith in Jesus- and this in spite of the teaching (doctrine) of the RC.

And the main reason for well-known evangelicals welcoming Pope Francis along with many within evangelical circles is because of their lack of knowledge of Scripture or the ignoring of it or the denigration of it.  No wonder we are sleeping instead of sounding the alarm.

On another point, wholly unrelated(!) his politics does not (yet?) [in response to an article about praying that this will be a ‘man of peace for the world’ in the Baptist Times] make him a man of peace for inflammatory comments he made last year in relation to the Falkland Islands.  It reveals nationalism which would be abhorrent to most, especially Brits.  And, of course, there will be a man of peace in due time who will be anything but, but to whom the whole world will go.

Do we welcome the new Pope? No.  He is a man who will influence many – and I think that that will not be a good thing for it will harden hearts against the true Gospel.