Twog #4 (Forgiveness)

Subject: Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!

Let me preface this by saying that the context for this post is an article I wrote earlier titled Loving Your Neighbor.

In that piece I complained about my inconsiderate neighbors. Long story short I recently had to move because the place wasn’t habitable. Moving is very stressful, and I hadn’t been well for some time. I learned on a Monday that I would have to leave, and immediately sat down to pray. Within 24 hours I had signed a lease on a new place.

I’ve moved a lot over the years, and have never found a place so easily. It was amazing, and I thank God. Not only that, the apartment is more than I could have hoped for — it’s below market rent and fully deluxe with laundry, garage and great location. The Lord always provides more than we could even ask (or imagine). His grace is abundant beyond measure.

So how does this relate to our subject verse? Well, the upstairs tenant has a nicotine addiction. I mentioned this in my other post about smokers who move into non-smoking apartments. I have to live in a non-smoking environment because my number one allergy is tobacco smoke.

This guy has been the neighbor from hell. He’s a younger man who stays home all day. Every 20 minutes he comes downstairs for a cigarette break — from 9 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock the following morning — that’s 18 hours a day, and 54 cigarettes (almost three packs).

And he moves up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants. It’s driving me crazy. I’m losing my mind. I prayed to God — “Lord, you gave me this great apartment, but …”

I started looking for a new place. I thought about confronting him, but I got the impression from our first encounter that he’s got issues. I started to send an email to the property manager, but deleted it because I don’t want to be tagged as a complainer and have my rent increased.

The tobacco smoke is killing me!

This morning it sounded like Patton’s tanks rolling through Casablanca in 1942. That was the camel that broke the straw — no, I mean the straw that broke the camel’s back. I held my tongue 4860 times — that’s 54 cigarette breaks a day for 90 days (I’ve been here three months).

I bolted outside like the running of the bulls during the festival of San Fermin. There he was … smoking a cigarette at the base of the stairs. But before I could unleash my tongue I noticed that movers were loading his stuff into a moving van.

Hallelujah, Jesus … and pass the butter!

Peter was told to forgive seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven in some translations). I’ve needed the patience of Job to forgive this guy almost 5000 times.

Here’s the thing about that. Some theologians say you only have to forgive a person if they ask to be forgiven — that God’s forgiveness is conditional on our confession and repentance. Also, Peter asked about forgiving a brother not someone who is unsaved. I saw a Christian woman on the news who would not forgive the man who killed her son. What about that?

Pastor and blogger David Murray wrote an interesting article, Let’s Stop Forgiving Those Who Don’t Want Forgiveness.

Then there’s the matter of loving your neighbor. This guy’s nicotine addiction became my problem. That’s not very loving, and it’s in violation of the lease agreement.

I pray that the next tenant will be more considerate.

Answer Key

1 Samuel 25

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Advertisements

Mom Wanted a Girl

Has society lost its everlasting mind?

Did you hear about the gender-neutral birth certificates? One couple insisted that their newborn not be identified by a sexist, patriarchal culture.

Understand, at its roots the feminist agenda has always been anti-male. I wrote the following in a post titled Of Lies and Deceit:

Did you know that the feminist movement was inspired by misandrists (man-haters)? They hated masculinity and femininity. Andrea Dworkin (1977) proposed gendercide, and called on women to unite in common bond to overthrow men. They hated marriage and child-bearing, and were opposed to the family unit as the bedrock of society.

Not only did they hate masculinity and femininity, but also gender identity. The feminists formed an unlikely alliance with the gay and lesbian community to push a radical social agenda (abortion* and gay marriage) that defiantly rejects the very headship and authority of God.

(Can you more clearly see how the Left takes the culture down a slippery path to condemnation?)

It’s all a manifestation of the spiritual warfare in which Christians are faithfully engaged … but not all Christians. Many churches have conformed to the world either for acceptance, or simply out of ignorance.

The Episcopal church in my neighborhood proudly boasts that it is a diverse and welcoming assembly. It is inclusive in that it affirms and celebrates homosexuality, and pursues social justice.

Where is this taught in the Bible?

If I were pastor of a church I, too, would welcome homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators and drunkards …

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

I love homosexuals and would welcome them in the church with Christ’s admonition to go and sin no more (John 8:11).

The liberal church has forsaken the Gospel of Jesus Christ and preach, instead, a gospel of social justice.

This may surprise some folks, but one of my closest friends is transgender. I don’t beat them over the head with religion, and I resent being called homophobic. In their presence I simply live Jesus Christ, and pray that the Spirit will move in their heart to repentance.

Today, I heard about the parents who sued a private school in California that allegedly would not accommodate their transgender child.

The eight-year-old was born male, but identifies as a female; and the school would not permit the child to wear a dress.

If I were the judge I would throw out the lawsuit. The parents had the responsibility of exercising due diligence to discover if this would be an issue with the conservative institution.

It’s a bogus claim.

All children, at a very young age, are gender confused. Well, maybe that’s too imprecise. More correctly, they have no understanding of male and female. What, then, helps to clarify this distinction in their young minds?

Observation.

The child learns through socialization — by observing the distinct roles of mommy and daddy. This is the argument against homosexuals adopting children, and why a two-parent family (male and female) are essential in developing a child’s gender identity.

I was the third child in a family of four siblings. My mother had given birth to two sons and wanted a daughter, but I upset the family plan. Mom finally had a girl on the fourth attempt; and being closer in age I played with her. My older brothers hung out with their school chums and did guy things with dad.

Friends, this can really mess with a child’s head and create confusion. But in those days gender identity was not an issue. I was born a boy, had the right anatomy and was influenced by role models that were clearly defined — a mother, father and two older brothers.

I knew what it was to be a boy so as I got older I hung out with my brothers who no longer considered me to be a nuisance.

In that era if I had any emotional issues my parents would have taken me in for psychological counseling. Children weren’t given drugs, but underwent therapy and analysis.

The parents of the aforementioned transgender sought counseling on behalf of their child and the therapist recommended that they permit him to wear dresses. Politically correct, but bad advice. Treatment not affirmation is the loving course of action.

This tolerance and acceptance is partly to blame for our cultural and social degradation. It has given rise to the most narcissistic, self-absorbed generation that has ever been.

If I had put on a dress my dad would have unleashed some biblical love on my tender bottom. A good spanking always worked wonders for the soul (Proverbs 13:24). Sadly, that is frowned upon in today’s progressive, enlightened, permissive society that rejects any expression of authority and discipline.

Gender confusion is a psychological condition in need of professional therapy. The LGBTQ community has polarized the illness for political gain. Yes, there was a time when psycho-sexual disorders were a classified mental illness. Politics not medicine rescinded the designation.

Angela Oswalt (MSW) wrote in an article, Early Childhood: Gender Identity and Sexuality:

Early beliefs about gender roles will reflect children’s observations of what they see around them.

A five-year-old child understands gender by what they observe in their environment. Do the parents act out the traditional model of mother and father? This is a primary reason for the feminist assault on marriage and family, the defamation of fatherhood, the denigration of motherhood; and the rejection of natural law which defines what is masculine and feminine.

The metrosexual man is the antithesis to someone as bold as Donald Trump. Some young women, visiting from New York City, asked me:

Are there any men in California?

Most have been feminized, and this retreat has emboldened the misandrists and gay community to continue their aggressive assault on the social conscience. They won’t stop until every man worth his salt is emotionally castrated.

Beware … neither will the effeminate enter the kingdom of heaven (as it is written).

* Immigration and labor are divisive issues in this nation. Maybe if we hadn’t aborted 52 million babies …

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

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