Pride Offends God

It is Pride month in my hometown, and the city is gearing up for the celebration of the annual Pride parade this weekend.

As a Christian, I have been so distressed by the prideful flaunting of a behavior and lifestyle that is condemned by God. Make no mistake — the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. Now, you can argue that it doesn’t say that, but you would only be deceiving yourself. How have we, as a society, become so degraded?

I blame the culture in which we live — movies, music, television and social media that force-feed the LGBTQ agenda down our throats every day. The evening newscast leads with an update of this week’s Pride activities which include a fun zone for the children. Do not doubt that the little ones are specifically targeted for a reason.

Christians who have gay friends have chosen to be conformed to the world on this divisive issue. To what degree can we compromise the Word of God, and still call ourselves Christian?

Though love covers a multitude of sins we must understand that love is an action – not a feeling. It is corrective — not permissive — as when a parent disciplines a child.

People will say, “Oh, you’re just being judgmental.” Some will go so far as to call me hateful, bigoted, or homophobic. The only thing I fear is for the person’s soul.

As for being judgmental where does the Bible say not to judge? Jesus Christ commanded his disciples to judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).

Did our Lord judge the Pharisees? Did he judge the woman at the well? Did he not cast judgment on sinners … telling them to sin no more?

That kind of judgment, or correction proceeds out of love — an earnest desire that a person repent of their sins, and turn towards the living and true God.

It is human pride that denies, or rejects the LORD. There are seven things that the LORD hates — seven sins that He finds detestable. One of these is haughty eyes, or pride.

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is an abomination, but so is pride. I live in a community that celebrates gay pride. Broadcast media, government officials and local churches participate in the flamboyant parade and ostentatious activities. It grieves my soul.

It grieves my soul, but where is the safe place for me to go? Where is the community room at the local library where I can listen to soothing music, blow bubbles and play with crayons? If it’s good enough for university co-eds …

I am a Christian, and the community doesn’t care how I feel. Christians are not covered under the umbrella of political correctness. In fact, the politically correct thing to do is deliberately offend Christians.

The TV news that covers every angle of gay pride doesn’t care if I’m offended. Folks, we live in a secular world. People are not seeking after God.

In his pride the wicked man does not seek the LORD; in all his thoughts there is no room for God (Psalm 10:4).

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their homosexual culture. The earth was flooded, in part, due to man’s sexual immorality. And I’ve only heard Rabbis teach this, but the tribe of Benjamin was nearly exterminated for the sin of homosexuality.

The story is recorded in chapter 20 of Judges when the tribes of Israel went to war against the tribe of Benjamin. In one day, 25,000 men of Benjamin were slain. Afterwards, Israel grieved over Benjamin’s loss, and to ensure the survival of the lineage they married the surviving widows and maidens.

What was Benjamin’s terrible sin?

In chapter 19 of Judges we read of a Levite who was traveling through the land of Benjamin (Gibeah) with his concubine. (The story is similar to the Sodomites who demanded that Lot turn over the two angels whom the LORD sent in judgment.) Some wretched men of Gibeah wanted to sodomize the Levite, but took his concubine instead.

It is one of the most sordid narratives in the Bible, and it will leave you feeling sick. All of Israel was so enraged by the act that it sought to kill every man of the tribe of Benjamin.

Sexual immorality is a grievous sin that is hated by God.

Make no mistake, heterosexual immorality is just as grievous. A couple sought to join a local church, and were asked by the pastor if they were married.

“No,” replied the young woman. “We live as a married couple, but we’ve never had a ceremony.”

“Well,” said the pastor, “if you want to join this church you’ll have to change your living arrangement.”

“Oh,” protested the woman. “I thought you were a loving church.”

How has this manner of thinking entered the body of Christ? It’s a combination of social influences, cultural attitudes and ignorance of the Bible.

I don’t mean to sound mean-spirited, but this is what speaking out of love sounds like. How has society been so degraded that speaking the truth is considered by some to be hate-speech?

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13).

Imagine, the Bible is hate-speech. It leaves me, well … speechless.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Christ at the Fair

Let’s go to the fair! The San Diego County Fair, that is — located in beautiful Del Mar (where the surf meets the turf).

Dominique is a 14 year-old seeker. He decided to spend this summer day at the fair. As he wandered through the crowds (60,000 on an average day) his senses were overwhelmed by the sounds of screaming thrill riders, and the tempting aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls and deep-fried bacon.

There was one attraction, in particular, that caught his eye. It wasn’t a food booth, or adrenaline-pumping carnival ride. It was a castle. Modestly built by volunteers with plywood and nails, there were no crowds standing in line to see this exhibit.

Dominique circled the structure once, twice — even three times — but he just wasn’t sure about entering. Oh, there was a carny barker hollering for folks to come on in, but most people just ignored him. Thousands of visitors walking by completely disinterested except for the few who would say something like, “Maybe later”.

The barker’s favorite response was, “I’m okay,” and he would think to himself, no you’re not! He was fortunate to even attract 100 people to his exhibit. Why, the cinnamon stand next door could sell 100 cinnamon rolls in one hour. (They go through 4 tons of butter cream icing for goodness’ sake!)

Well, Dominique finally got up the courage, and entered the castle. Inside, he discovered there was no one there. One wonders, after 15 years, how this attraction has even survived with so little interest.

He took a seat just as a mother and her 5 year-old daughter (Leanne) entered the exhibit. After they were seated, the barker came in and asked them if they ever told a lie. Dominique and Leanne raised their hands.

Now, you might think his question seemed odd, but the barker, you see, is a Rabbi* — a Messianic Jew. The exhibit that he mans is the Bible Story Castle which probably explains why so many people just walk on by like the many who are on the wide road to destruction.

Granted, most fair-goers are probably thinking about cotton candy and carousels — not church — but it does, I think, reflect the general attitude that many people have about the Bible, or Christianity for that matter.

The Rabbi then asked his audience of three, “Do you know what sin is?”

Dominique: No.

Leanne’s mother nudged her, and she answered, “Yes”.

Then the Rabbi showed them a picture of Jesus on the cross and he asked, “What is Jesus doing?”

Dominique: I don’t know.

Leanne: He’s taking our place.

Dominique: But how do we know these stories are true?

Leanne: Because the Bible says so.

The Rabbi said afterwards that Leanne was the voice of an angel.

“As she spoke,” he said, “I couldn’t help but think of the two thieves. One said yes to Jesus, and the other said no. Just like Dominique and Leanne.”

Parents are called to raise their children up in the way of the LORD (Proverbs 22:6). Dominique and Leanne are the archetype of every generation. We have so much influence over them when they are young. Then we release them to the public school system where they are exposed to an anti-Christian world view, and classmates whose parents are unbelievers.

Leanne has yet to be taught that Sally has two mommies, or that her gender is whatever she feels — that she can be a boy or a girl, and it’s okay.

This is why I bang the drum so loudly … take your children out of the public school system.

Dominique walked out of the castle to join the throngs of people eating corn dogs and fried Snickers. He left just as confused as when he entered, but maybe Leanne planted a seed of faith in his heart.

Who knows? Out of the mouth of babes, they say.

* Tom Cantor is Rabbi of Israel Restoration Ministries, a Messianic congregation in Santee, California. Founded in 1992, the ministry holds services at the Museum of Creation and Earth History. Cantor is not well-received in the Jewish community where he spends millions of dollars (his own money) on Jewish outreach. Services are streamed live Sunday evening, 5 pm (Pacific). The Rabbi teaches the Gospel according to Moses. Reading from the Torah he demonstrates how Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Law.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Live Your Calling

Do you awaken in the middle of the night for no obvious reason? It happens to me often. I think it’s because God wants to tell us something. In the quiet, still of the night to just reflect on Him.

That’s why I keep a transistor radio on the nightstand. I’ll usually scroll the Christian stations, and always find a program that is discussing something I need to hear. That’s how God speaks to me.

Last night, I heard the encouraging message of Florence Littauer (author of Silver Boxes) on Focus on the Family. Her book is a compilation of personal stories intended to inspire the reader.

The title of her book is a reference to the silver box that she inherited from her father. Inside the box was her father’s life story — his goals, aspirations, and unfulfilled dreams. It was a bittersweet tale of a gifted man whose God-given talents were only partially realized.

Littauer also shared the story of her mother-in-law who came from an upper-crust background. She was sophisticated, elegant, regal, proper; and she knew how to pour afternoon tea from a silver tea-pot — “All the things I could not do,” Littauer said. “My mother-in-law was unapproachable. She was so superior, and seemed so perfect and aloof. She wasn’t real.”

One day, Littauer did sit down with her mother-in-law in an attempt to establish some sort of relationship. The conversation (which takes an interesting turn) went something like this:

Littauer: Mother, what was it like when you were younger?

Mother: Oh, I had a wonderful man in college. We were going to be married. When I graduated from Cornell, at 19, we separated for the summer and he was going to call me in the fall, and we were going to get married.

Littauer: Well, what happened?

Mother: Summer ended and he never called.

Littauer: What did you do?

Mother: I was the dutiful child. My mother didn’t like him. He wasn’t her class, and didn’t have money. Mother always said that it’s just as easy to marry rich than marry poor.

Littauer: How did you meet your husband?

Mother: My marriage to your father-in-law was arranged. Mother approved of him so I was the obedient daughter and fulfilled my role. I gave him five children … but I didn’t love him.

Littauer: So, you didn’t love my husband’s father?

Mother: Years later I was at a party, and I saw someone who looked familiar standing across the room. I walked over, our eyes met, and in a moment we recognized each other. He was my college boyfriend and I asked him, ‘Why didn’t you call?’

And he answered, ‘I did call — many times — but your mother always answered the phone. She said that you were not interested in me, and insisted that I stop calling. The last time I called she told me that you were engaged, and to never call again.’

(In tears) My mother’s words ruined my life.

Littauer: How would you have liked your life to be different?

Mother: I always wanted to sing opera. Let me show you something.

(Excuses herself and brings back a box. She pulls out a picture from Cornell.)

That’s a picture of me on stage. I was the star of Cornell’s opera production. I majored in music. I wanted to be an opera star, but mother said there was no money in it. I never sang again after college. I want you to give this picture to your daughter so that she will know her grandmother could have been somebody.

[End]

Littauer was stunned. She never thought of her mother-in-law as a young woman with boyfriends and dreams and talents. “I didn’t know she had problems like this,” she said. “I didn’t know she could sing! I have learned to not judge anyone for we don’t know the person’s life story nor the revealing secrets they keep hidden inside, or in a box.”

Her mother-in-law was later afflicted with dementia, and could not even speak. Littauer once asked her nurse if she ever uttered a word.

“No,” she said, “but it’s the strangest thing. Sometimes she will just stand up and start singing opera. The attendants all applaud and she clasps her hands, bows, and sits down again.”

“My mother-in-law,” said Littauer, “died with the music still in her.”

Everyone has a God-given talent (see Matthew 25:14–30). Our challenge is to use that gift for His glory. Littauer’s mother-in-law died with an unfulfilled gift.

Each of us must give an accounting of how we are using the gifts, talents, skills, and resources that God has entrusted to us. There are obstacles to be sure. Friends and family may offer resistance, or even discourage — maybe even sabotage — our efforts to follow God’s calling.

What a tragedy that a person’s life-purpose can be derailed and consigned to a box of memories stored in a musty closet.

I exhort you, my family, do not die with the music still in you. Do not be discouraged, do not be deterred, but live every day to the fullest; and to the glory of God.

Do not let a box of unfulfilled dreams be your final testament.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ