Board and Bible

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I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness … (Isaiah 61:10).

Where do you worship? In a school gymnasium, or stained-glass cathedral? Are your hymns accompanied by steel guitars, or a metal pipe organ? Does everyone dress up in their Sunday best, or flip-flops and a T-shirt?

The people you see at the beach church are lowly and humble. It’s an interesting mix of surfers, homeless, recovering addicts and those who might not be welcomed in a more traditional setting. It is, in fact, the type of church where you most likely would find Jesus.

I have to confess that I never was partial to dressing up for church. You can take an old heap, slap on a coat of paint, park it on the showroom floor, and people will think it’s brand new.

Listen up, God is not deceived. We need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb, and clothed in His righteousness. That Sunday suit won’t hide the sins you committed during the week. People will say, Oh, but I just want to dress my best for God. Brother, the Lord isn’t looking at your silk tie. He’s looking at your heart.

James rebuked the assembly for seating the well-dressed in a place of honor: 

Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5)

Every seat in this humble church is a place of honor. And if you come late you won’t mind sitting on the sand. Just remember to bring a beach towel, and maybe your board.

(When the tide is high this little church gets baptized!)

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Was King David Gay?

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A transsexual strongly objected to my post on Patti Height, director of Out of Egypt Ministries, whose video testimony I presented regarding her deliverance from the bondage of homosexual sin.

The commenter derided Patti as another of those bisexuals who make money out of fools like you. And I was accused of spreading vile falsehoods about Christianity.

Websites that present a Christian defense of homosexuality will feature at least one article that revises centuries-old teaching with regards to this particular sin. In fact, when you do an Internet search be prepared to be alarmed when you discover that the articles in defense of homosexuality far outnumber — maybe ten to one — articles that uphold traditional Christian values.

The Barna Group is well-known for its extensive polling of religious attitudes in contemporary society. The statistics should be disturbing to people of faith. Ninety-one percent of Millennials view the church as being anti-homosexual. Within the church, 85% of the same age group reflect softening views towards homosexuality.

What you will find on gay websites is a revisionist interpretation of the Bible. The battleground is fought over what I call The Big Six:

Genesis 19:4-7; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:18–32; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 1 Timothy 1:9–10.

You can follow the links at your convenience, but just to review — Genesis tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah; Leviticus commands that a man not lie with another man; Romans, Corinthians and Timothy are Paul’s warning that (unsaved) homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of God.

Even on gay Christian blogs you will find studies by professional theologians who claim that the original Hebrew and Greek text was misinterpreted. For example, Sodom was destroyed not for the act of sodomy, but inhospitality and pride. 

It is clear in the Genesis account that the men of Sodom wanted to know (euphemism) the visiting angels; and while it is true that the city was guilty of these other things it was the abominable action that caused the LORD to act in judgement.

As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. (Ezekiel 16:48–50)

What is the abomination? What is it? We have to refer back to one of our six reference passages.

Leviticus 18:22: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

In context, that’s when the LORD incinerated the city — when the Sodomites desired to know Lot’s visitors.

Gay bloggers will say that this verse applies only to the Levites who were to keep themselves holy as priests of the Most High. That would suggest that the act is … unholy? We cannot throw out sound hermeneutics to make the Bible say what we want it to say. There are Christians who defend their drinking habit because Jesus turned water into wine. There are Christians who engage in fornication because, they say, the admonition was not against casual sex but prostitution. And gay homosexuals will say that Paul was condemning pedophilia not homosexuality. Yet, those very same bloggers will contend that the Centurion’s servant who was healed by Jesus was, in fact, the Roman guard’s boy-lover. 

Supposedly, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi were lesbians. The marriage to Boaz was for the sake of protection and security. And one of the greatest heroes of the Bible, David, had a homosexual relationship with Saul’s son, Jonathan.

A number of verses are cited in the Books of Samuel the prophet to justify this line of reasoning. Recognizing his authority as a prophet of God it is untenable to propose that Samuel would sanction even a veiled suggestion that David and Jonathan were gay lovers.

Let’s examine one questionable verse (David speaking after Jonathan was slain in battle):

I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26).

What is David saying? Is he describing a gay love affair, or the fraternal love of brotherhood? If it surpasses the love of women then what is he saying? There is a bond between men — like soldiers in battle, or men in contest — that far exceeds anything physical.

To clearly understand this kind of love all we need do is examine Peter’s test of love where the apostle is asked three times by the Lord, Peter, do you love Me?

That is the covenant love by which the friendship between David and Jonathan was sealed. It is the same idea expressed in the New Covenant where the Lord commands that you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself (1 Samuel 18:3).

Two Hebrew words for love are used in the cited passage, ‘ahab (aw-hab’) or ‘aheb (aw-habe’), and they have multiple uses just as in English. For example, I love my wife … I love peanut butter — our understanding is gleaned from the context of its usage. Certainly, a man does not love a peanut butter sandwich in the same way that he loves his wife. 

The Hebrew word appears 247 times in the Old Testament. It most often is used in the relational sense to describe family ties, friendship or even objects of affection. In the lesser case where it conveys a physical relationship the context of the passage so indicates: 

Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand (Hosea 2:10).

Context is necessary to exegete the proper interpretation of Scripture, otherwise we are imposing  upon the text what we want the passage to mean (eisegesis).

Contrary to homosexual interpretation, Jesus did not say that some men are born gay (Matthew 19:12). The Greek word for eunuch (eunouchoi, εὐνοῦχοι) described men who were born deformed, or men who chose to live a celibate life in service to the LORD. Of course, male slaves who serviced the king’s concubine were castrated for the obvious reasons — heterosexual, to be sure. 

My simple prayer is that the church be cleansed of this deception, and that all who sin will come to the place of saving grace in Jesus Christ.

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Pride or Love?

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The LGBT Pride festival is being held this week in my community. The media are blowing their trumpets in celebration. There was a sign apologizing for the hateful, judgmental, bigoted attitude of the church in its resistance to such things as marriage equality.

People of faith respond in one of two ways — silence or concession. Christians are people, too, and it is difficult to hear over again that you are intolerant and homophobic. The relentless assault on Christian values is disconcerting.

I have heard so many testimonies from the LGBT camp about pride. There is a haughty arrogance in their forceful demand that they be recognized by society, and Christians in particular. That a baker, photographer and florist can be compelled by the state to violate their faith and conscience does violence to the bedrock foundation of our protected freedoms.

The left has targeted both the Constitution and the Bible in their attempt to legitimize what historically has been condemned by Christians, Jews and Muslims. Let me be clear. God hates sexual immorality whether it be fornication, adultery or homosexuality. In other words, if you are single and having sex — that is sin. If you are married and having sex outside of marriage — that is sin. If you are having same-sex — that is sin.

The Bible is unmistakably clear in six definite passages regarding the sin of homosexuality: Genesis 19:4-7; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:18–32; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 1 Timothy 1:9–10.

Practicing homosexuals within the Christian community will argue that these passages condemn inhospitality, or the unnatural behavior of heterosexual men. Friends, that is simply living in denial. We all want our religion to conform to our peculiar indiscretions … don’t we?

Then there are the activists and atheists who don’t care what the Bible says. For example, the late Christopher Hitchens:

What do I care what some Bronze Age text says about homosexuality? 

Rather than debate these finer points of Scripture, let me introduce you to the director of Out of Egypt Ministries, Patti Height.

Patti grew up in the 60’s, adopted a homosexual lifestyle in the 70’s and lived as a lesbian for thirty years before surrendering her life to Jesus Christ in 2003. Since then she has traveled around the country speaking to numerous churches about her life and ministry. Patti recently spoke at the local Calvary Chapel, and I wanted to share with you her compelling testimony.

There were six other kids in the neighborhood where she grew up. They were all boys so Patti essentially became one of the boys. She acted like the boys, dressed like the boys, talked like the boys — in fact, her mother took her to the doctor and said, My daughter thinks she’s a boy.

[A transgender said, I grew up in a macho-Italian neighborhood. How does a child relate to that? I didn’t know how to be a little boy.

Boys and girls need proper role models. Growing up is a learning experience. They need to be taught how to be young men and women. I’ve pretty much reached the conclusion that a lot of our problems are the result of bad parenting.]

Patti said that neither her mother nor her father affirmed that she was a little girl. She wanted to play house and such, but her parents — except for the abuse — pretty much neglected her. The mother was abused by the father, and in the midst of all the pain and suffering Patti became more confused and isolated. Her only solace was in being one of the boys.

As she reached puberty her emotional and psychological mindset was that of a boy. She still wanted to play house, but in the role of the father. Eventually, she began a long-term relationship with a backslidden, Catholic girlfriend.

The death of her brother in 2002 touched her deeply. The grief was overwhelming. Her friends could not comfort her. She thought, How can you be comforted without Jesus? Her brother had received the Lord in his final days, and though his body was dying, Patti noticed that his spirit was so very much alive. She didn’t understand it, but she wanted that same peace and joy. One night, in bed, she restlessly turned towards her girlfriend and asked, Are we doing the right thing? Her girlfriend responded, Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe you asked that. I was thinking the same thing.

Patti asked, What should we do? So they went to the attic and found an old Bible. Now, they had always seen at the Pride parade a sign that read Lv 18:22, but didn’t understand the meaning. As they opened the Bible it turned to the Book of Leviticus, chapter 18. They glanced at the page and saw verse 22.

This was the defining moment of their lives when Patti realized that God had spoken to them. They ended their relationship, and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The girlfriend’s identity is kept secret because she is actively involved in a very dangerous ministry — smuggling Bibles into countries where it is a capital offense to be a Christian. Formerly gay, and now risking her life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ — that simply amazes me. This sister in Christ has sacrificed everything — her very life if she is caught — in order to serve God. May the Lord protect and keep her.

Patti said that the LGBT movement, despite its marketing, is not about love but narcissism:

It is self-loving at its core. Gay men, or women want from their partner what they couldn’t get from their mother or father. The child who was abused and neglected seeks affirmation from a same-sex partner. 

So a man seeks from another man the love he was denied by his father. Likewise a woman. But it’s not love. It’s a draining, self-taking relationship that sucks the emotional energy out of the other person. I don’t believe people are born gay. In my experience and research I have found that (the majority of homosexuals) are gay due to emotional or psychological trauma, or sexual abuse.

Up until 1960 homosexuality was treated as such. That is, until the activists successfully lobbied the medical profession to delist it as a mental illness. Patti self-medicated herself with alcohol and drugs until, she said, her brain became fried. She freely indulged in sexual immorality because, she thought, that’s why girls were made.

The solace that she was seeking could not be found in the homosexual lifestyle, but in Jesus Christ only. To follow Patti’s journey out of Egypt (sin) please watch the following 50 minute video testimony. 

Finally, I am struggling with how to present this final point, and not have stones hurled at me. (This is my experience so hear me out.) In my secular career I worked with a number of LGBT people. The female co-workers adored the gay men. The common thought was, It’s like having a male girlfriend. 

I saw an article — or was it a book?– titled, How Satan Deceives Women to Destabilize the Church. The brief synopsis — Satan has been deceiving women ever since Eve for the purpose of executing his war against God. Women, more so than men, cast a sympathetic eye towards homosexuals; and Satan uses that compassion to alter perceptions, and gain acceptance, within the body of Christ — even to the point of sanctifying homosexuality in the sacred rite of marriage which, lest we forget, Jesus said was between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4–5).

Love is not born of pride. It sacrifices, but does not take. It gives, and still more. It is offered to you freely by the One who gave everything — even His own life upon the Cross. Nothing equals that kind of love. Nothing. 

Greater love hath no man … (John 15:13).

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