God Made Them … Non-Binary?

I went to bed last night listening to Michael Medved’s discussion of the CBS program Gender: The Space Between.

A female caller wanted to know why conservatives just don’t allow people to be themselves. The woman identified herself as a conservative, heterosexual who was engaged to be married to a man.

Medved asked her if she believed that the natural order, by God’s design, was a man and a woman united in holy matrimony for the purpose of having offspring.

“Yes,” she replied, “but …”

Though in agreement that the family unit was the building block of human society, the caller felt that conservatives should not insert themselves into how other people live their lives.

“Attitudes are changing,” she said, “though it does seem that it has happened all of a sudden.”

Medved asked, “So homosexuals are allowed to insert themselves and overturn what is normal?”

Another caller was a man who had a unique problem. His sister told him that she wanted to become his gay brother, and that he needs to tell his children that auntie is now their uncle.

The sister grew up heterosexual. She had boyfriends. In fact, her sexual preference is men, but she feels like she is a male due to the fact that a blood test revealed she has testosterone.

A woman’s ovaries produce small levels of the male hormone, but this does not mean she is a man. Some girls, like this man’s sister, grow up as a tomboy which can often be attributed to the child’s environment. In fact, homosexuality is a symptomatic behavior of inhibited psycho-social development. Treatment, or counseling is what we should be discussing.

The CBS program introduced viewers to the concept of non-binary individuals. Non-binary means that one is neither male nor female — a psychological problem to be sure.

Binary is a word that is commonly used in math and science. In the gay lexicon it refers to people whose sexual identity is separate from their gender identity.

In other words, as one gay activist noted, some girls are born with a penis. A non-binary female explained it this way:

[Sexuality] really doesn’t have anything to do with gender at all. But there is a huge thing with like ‘Well, what, if you don’t identify as a female, then are you gay? Do you not like boys, do you like girls?’ And that’s just a whole other thing. A lot of people are really concerned with what genitalia you have, that’s what they want to know. So there have been instances with relationships that could have worked out perfectly fine if you weren’t non-binary, and after that person found out that you were, everything changed.

Viewers were led to believe that gender identity is not necessarily what is printed on an individual’s birth certificate:

There are dozens of genders, outside of just man or woman, that people can identify with.

What does the Bible say?

He created them male and female … (Genesis 5:2).

I believe that the source of all confusion and deception is Satanic. As it was in the Garden so it is today. What is so troublesome to me is that the daughters of Eve are as susceptible — just like the woman who called Michael Medved.

Not all women, to be sure, but I often hear female callers on talk radio — women who identify themselves as conservative, or Christian — who are permissive of a behavior that is hated by God. Their lack of discernment defies spiritual intuition. It’s as if their emotions and feelings inhibit the voice of the Spirit.

Then I hear the women of daytime television exhorting the sisterhood to deny their husbands conjugal rights if the men harbor incorrect thoughts. People often ask why Adam ate of the fruit. Well, he didn’t want to be denied the fruit of his wife.

Face it men, women decide who reproduce. I was taking a stroll along the beach as two women approached from the opposite direction. One of the women stopped and made eye contact, but her friend tugged on her arm and said, “No, he voted for Trump.”

I didn’t know I had the look.

Medved closed out the segment by asking, “Is this a trend?”

We have noted in recent posts how the Walt Disney Company has not only submitted to, but is creatively promoting the gay agenda. In 1998, Disney CEO Michael Eisner told homosexual activist Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, that 40% of Disney employees were gay. (By the way, the goal of the Human Rights Campaign is to create a genderless society.)

Though only three percent of the population, homosexuals are prominent in those industries that influence social and cultural trends. The agenda is promoted through movies, music, television and the creative arts. Strategic placement has allowed a very few to effectively change attitudes and perceptions — to redefine how people relate on the most intimate level. It totally overthrows thousands of years of human social development.

Is it a trend? In the sense that man’s nature inherently trends towards total depravity I would have to say yes. God has taken His foot off the brake, and in the style of Thelma and Louise, man is heading over the cliff … into the abyss.

Notes:

There are three stages to man’s ultimate destruction: idolatry, unnatural behavior and, finally, total depravity. This was the condition of the antediluvians — those people who lived in the age between the Garden and the Flood. Mankind is at stage two, and entering the final stage before judgment. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, described the fallen condition of man prior to Noah’s Ark:

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:21-32).

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Does Jesus Pray for the World?

The short answer is yes and no. Let me ask you this; is Jesus in any hurry to return? What did Jesus pray?

Okay, let’s reboot. Dr. McGee asked the question — what is the Lord’s prayer? As McGee tells the story, two liberal Seminary professors were debating the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-4). One said to the other, “You don’t even know the Lord’s Prayer.”

“Sure, I do,” replied the man. “It goes like this: When I lay me down to sleep …”

The first professor replied, “Well, I’ll be. I didn’t think you knew it.”

People are taught the Lord’s Prayer in first grade Sunday School. You know, forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us

And my Bible even has a headline over the passage that reads, The Lord’s Prayer. Folks, Jesus did not pray this prayer. Jesus had no sins to be forgiven.

Give us this day our daily bread … what did Jesus tell his disciples when they brought him food at the Samarian well?

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about. So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” (John 4:31-33)

Lead us not into temptation … yet Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

So, no, Jesus did not pray this prayer.

Luke tells us that one day Jesus was praying in a certain place, and his disciples came to him seeking to learn how to pray like John’s. Jesus would go into the wilderness, or atop the Mount of Olives where he would pray aloud to the Father in heaven as on the day of Transfiguration.

Rabbis taught their disciples short prayers that could be recited from memory, and it is evident from the text that John instructed his followers how to offer supplication unto YHWH.

In this context, then, Jesus is asked to teach them how to pray. It really should be called the Disciples’ Prayer.

In our last post I mentioned that John made no reference to the Lord’s Prayer, but he does give record of what my Bible calls The High Priestly Prayer.

Jesus Christ is our High Priest. What did he pray about? We find the authentic Lord’s Prayer in John 17.

First, how do you pray at church? At home? In your quiet time? Do you close your eyes and bow your head? The pastor always begins the church service, “With eyes closed and heads bowed …” Why do we do that? Did Jesus meekly approach the throne of grace? How did Christ pray?

John tells us:

and lifting up his eyes to heaven … (John 17:1). Wait, Jesus didn’t close his eyes and bow his head? But, you say, the Son has a different relationship with the Father than do we.

So, how did ancient Jews pray to God?

Psalms 120136 are revered in Judaism as the Great Hallel, or Songs of Ascent. They were sung by Jews who made their annual pilgrimages up to Jerusalem.

Psalm 121 begins, I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2).

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! (Psalm 123:1)

And King David cried out,

My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net (Psalm 25:15).

But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless! (Psalm 141:8)

The Berean Literal Bible translates this passage from Hebrews,

Therefore we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

A typical Sunday church prayer goes like this:

Lord (long pause), we just want to thank you, Lord, for, Lord, (short pause) bringing us together, Lord, and we pray that you, God, (short pause) would bless us, Lord, as we worship you, God, this morning.

And it continues for another five minutes with even longer pauses and Lord every other word.

What did Jesus say about vain repetition? The Aramaic Bible translates:

And whenever you are praying, you shall not be verbose like the heathen, for they think that they are heard by speaking much (Matthew 6:7).

So, what did Jesus pray?

Our Lord began his prayer seeking the glory of the Father. Then he prayed for his disciples, and concluded with a prayer for all believers.

Returning to my original questions, does Jesus pray for the world, and is he in a hurry to return?

I pray for them (disciples). I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours (John 17:9).

What, Jesus is not praying for the world? In this context, no, he does not pray for the world. But this was before the cross where he did ask the Father to forgive them (Luke 23:34).

For 2000 years the church has anticipated the imminent return of Christ. It may be another 2000 years as it appears that he is no hurry to return and rapture his body.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one (John 17:15).

There is an unfinished work left to done. Imagine, a world with no Christians. Ellicott wrote this:

The Christian ideal is not freedom from work, but strength to do it; not freedom from temptation, but power to overcome it; not freedom from suffering, but joy in an abiding sense of the Father’s love; not absence from the world, but grace to make the world better for our presence; not holy lives driven from the world, and living apart from it, but holy lives spent in the world and leavening it.

Christians tend to be too sheepish. We need to approach God with confidence. Be relentless like the persistent widow in the parable of Jesus (Luke 18:1-8) so that when he does return he will find a persevering faith.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Give Christmas Back to the Pagans

I am an ancient soul who doesn’t celebrate my birthday. Don’t misunderstand, I give thanks to the LORD always for the precious gift of life, and so I celebrate Him everyday. I am consciously aware when my birthday comes around, and I do give thanks to G-d for giving me another day … another year; but not with cake or presents. The simple joy of living is to be appreciated every day … giving thanks to the Creator always.

Sadly, I think people spend more time checking their text messages than giving thanks to the LORD.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech wrote an article, Jews and Birthdays, wherein he discusses why he doesn’t celebrate his birthday. In ancient Judaism, birthdays were not celebrated. It was a pagan tradition in which the Gentiles would offer gifts to their idols on the birthday of whatever false deity they worshipped.

Candlelit cakes would be offered to an idol as fire and smoke from the candles lifted the people’s wishes for safety and protection to the outer domain of the gods. This tradition was carried over to the celebration of an individual’s birthday who would blow out the candles and offer birthday wishes for their own personal safety.

In the Hebrew Bible there is only one mention of a birthday, and that was when Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker.

Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, wrote in his polemic, Against Apion:

Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the birth of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess ( Book II, Chapter 26).

[Brief digression]

I confess … I am a prohibitionist. This past week two people in my community were killed by drunk drivers. The offenders, as is so often the case, walked away unharmed. One of them had five prior DUI convictions. If I could make the world dry with the snap of a finger but, alas, the Bible does not prohibit drinking.

Scripture does, however, speak rather clearly on the evils of alcohol; and that drunkards will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.

And Bathsheba warned her son, Solomon (Lemuel), that kings should not drink wine, or crave strong drink.

In the B’rit Chadasha, Shaul admonished the Ephesians to not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.

Christian, why do you drink? Or, in this day and age I might ask, why do you smoke dope?

Well, it’s legal and natural. G-d wouldn’t have made it if we weren’t supposed to use it.

So, Eve took a bite of the apple because she saw it was good to eat … I see. That tipsy feeling is not the Spirit of God, but intoxication.

I remember turning 21, and how it was a rite of passage to celebrate by getting drunk. How stupid is that? My peers had been drinking, dropping acid and getting stoned since Junior High so it was sort of anticlimactic, but now they could drink legally. I didn’t do anything on my 21st birthday. Hoorah.

By the way, Jesus turned water into unfermented wine so let’s not go there as I have discussed that on another post.

The Bible is very keen on sobriety. Parties afford tempting opportunities for excess and while ancient Jews did not celebrate birthdays they did celebrate a person’s life upon death.

[End digression]

Now, let’s understand ancient Jewish tradition with regards to the birth and death of the Messiah. The disciples of Jesus did not celebrate his birth. Indeed, the secular version of Christ’s birthday has sold many holiday cards, but it is a fabrication.

There were not three wise men. Most likely it was a caravan of hundreds which is why Herod was so distraught when they arrived in Jerusalem looking for the King of the Jews. King Herod feared an insurrection which is why he ordered the death of all Jewish babies (boys) under the age of two.

The wise men, who most likely were Jewish descendants of the Babylonian exile, found Mary and her child not in a manger, but a house. Orthodox teaching is that the wise men were Gentiles from the East. Why do I say they were Jewish? Recall the Babylonian exile about five centuries before Christ (BC). Ezekiel and Daniel were among the thousands deported. Remember that Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and was made Prime Minister of the province (and chief over all the wise men).

Most of the Jews who were exiled remained in Babylon where they received prophetic revelation from Daniel particularly with reference to the 70 weeks, or 490 years to the coming of the Mashiac.

The wise men, Jewish disciples of the prophet Daniel, embarked on a momentous journey based on the revelation of G-d of the impending birth of Messiah whose star charted a course to the Holy Land.

In Judaism, as Rabbi Blech notes, people have more than one birthday — the day they are born, and the day they become righteous. The second birth is more significant — profoundly so.

What did Jesus tell Nicodemus?

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Is this all starting to make sense?

Jewish disciples of Christ did not celebrate his birthday for the reasons so noted. It wasn’t until the 4th century when Emperor Constantine celebrated the first Christmas on December 25, 336 AD. Shortly, thereafter, Pope Julius I made it an official church holy day.

I mentioned earlier that ancient Jews did celebrate a person’s life at death. How did Jesus ask us to remember him?

In his letter to the assembly at Corinth, Shaul wrote of the Lord’s Supper:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Video of our community holiday parade is posted on the YouTube channel, and the organizers have pretty much succeeded in taking Christ out of Christmas. Only two local churches participated — the Lutheran, and Episcopalian (whose pastor grabbed the microphone and sang Joy to the World which, by the way, is not a song about Christ’s birth, but his Second Coming).

Oh, how the traditions of men defile everything that is holy and true. It doesn’t help that Christians (who don’t know the Hebrew roots of their faith) have taken the Jew out of Jesus.

I don’t get caught up in the perennial debate — taking Christ out of Christmas — when the Yule season was a pagan celebration long before Messiah was born. If anything, Christmas adopted the bacchanal celebration of the winter festival; and it has, for centuries, brought reproach and contempt to that which a Christian should be remembering, and that is the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach.

All else is vanity, my brothers.

Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate