World Vision Reverses Decision. Upholds God’s Word.

Three days ago, World Vision announced their decision to allow the employment of “legally married same-sex couples.”  While still denouncing the sins of fornication and adultery, they effectively embraced the sin of homosexual behavior. Even more absurdly they compared views on homosexuality to the denominational differences regarding baptism and other ecclesiastical practices. Appropriately, this decision was  met with thunderous opposition from nearly every sector of Christendom. After all, World Vision has been a flagship organization providing for needs of all kinds all over the globe for decades, all the while doing it in the name of Jesus.

Yesterday, World Vision did a complete 180, asking for forgiveness for their short-sightedness and, furthermore, standing upon the Word of God. Now while some may question the true motivation for the reversal, one must applaud their willingness to do the right thing. Many of us prayed for their repentance and World Vision has done so. Below is the link to the Christianity Today article:

 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-reverses-decision-gay-same-sex-marriage.html

 

I have already read the posts, tweets and comments from the liberal media and liberal Christ-followers who denounce World Vision’s decision to reverse their stance. I will undoubtedly hear from some who are horrified that an organization founded on Christian principles would dare to actually believe and abide by something that is plainly stated in the Holy Bible. So here is what I will say in a nutshell:

Tolerance does not equal love! The Apostle Paul wrote: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10). What this is saying is that those who continue in sin, maintaining habitually sinful practices, will be eternally separated from God. As a Christ-follower who, by Christ’s own words, is known by love, for me to tolerate or otherwise overlook a sinful lifestyle (no matter the kind of sin) THAT IS NOT LOVE! I care too much for people and where they might spend eternity to stand aside and allow them to plummet to hell without at least trying to intervene.

Paul completes his thought in verse 11, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” WE ALL HAVE SINNED AND HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD (Romans 3:23), BUT JESUS… JESUS died on the cross paying the penalty set for us. To continue in a sinful lifestyle makes a mockery of His sacrifice and is an indicator that Christ is not a part of his or her life.

Thank you, World Vision, for doing the right thing. Tens of thousands of men, women and children will now continue to be recipients of the wonderful ministry you have offered these many years. Please continue to allow God’s Word to be the lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

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The Time HAS Come (Part 2)

(Continued – Part 2 of 3)

Please allow me to state, for the record, my stance on a few things.

Sin is a choice that humans make. Though we inherit a sin nature and are thereby given to sin, we have all chosen to sin. Romans 3:23 declares that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We live in a fallen world. It’s a world stained with the curse of sin. Because of that state of being, ALL OF US have our issues. ALL OF US have things in our life with which we struggle. Some folks have anger management issues. Some folks have addiction issues. My struggle is eating. I have a food addiction.

I am a large man. Every year I was in school I was always among the largest people in my class. I have been overweight for about 30 years. By that I mean I have been over what the charts say I should weigh relative to my height. While I may not be morbidly obese, I struggle with my weight. Do you know why? I LOVE FOOD! I don’t just eat to stay alive, I eat for entertainment. I struggle with the sin of gluttony. Webster’s tells us that gluttony is the act or habit of eating or drinking too much. The Bible says this is a sin. Unfortunately, this sin gets a wink and nod from folks most of the time. However, gluttony is no different than adultery, fornication and homosexuality.

I would say that there are factors that complicate my food sin. Body chemistry and environment. I have friends who look at food differently than I do. They did not grow up in families in which every major function involved food. Of these friends, several have a very high metabolism. Some of my friends even forget to eat! I have never forgotten to eat. Even when I am fasting, I remember that I am supposed to eat. These factors result in some folks not struggling with food as much as I do. In order to not allow my food sin to destroy my life, I have to make choices. I have to choose to eat healthier things. I have to choose to eat less. I have to sacrifice that which I want for that which I need. I have to realize that eating food is not the source of my identity that my identity is, in fact, grounded in the person of Jesus Christ. If I could not control these things myself, I would have to seek professional help.

Here is my simplified look at life with regard to repetitive sin. It boils down to addiction. What I have just described as my food addiction struggle could just as easily have been a sexual, drug, alcohol, porn or you-name-it addiction. This is controversial and is going to make some folks angry, but let me be clear: Homosexuality is a choice. Sexual orientation is a different discussion than the physical sex act itself. But those who feel as though they are only sexually gratified in homosexual relationships make a personal choice.  It is a choice that can also be influenced (though not in all cases) by both body chemistry (hormone imbalance, etc), as well as, environmental factors. No scientific study has shown evidence that homosexuality is hard-wired into folks’ DNA. It’s a lifestyle choice. Just as those who agree with God’s Word that sex before marriage is wrong and make a choice to abstain, denying themselves sexual gratification until the proper boundaries exist, those who struggle with homosexuality can choose to abstain. It is a sin that can be overcome just as any sin can be overcome. Jesus died for ALL sin. Romans 8:2 reminds us, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

Things like Kinky Boots being broadcast during family time is just a continuation of what the media power brokers have been doing for years. Pushing an agenda that affects a minority of people into the majority. Nearly every major television show has a gay storyline somewhere in the mix. The more they can portray alternative lifestyles as “normal” and just a part of the fabric of our society, the more our culture deteriorates. The folks tolerating the gay agenda look at God-fearing, God-honoring people as if we have three heads and wonder why we don’t just fully “embrace the inevitable.” The answer is easy. It was a sin at the beginning. It’s a sin now. It will be a sin until Jesus returns. No matter how often they say it or how they package it, it’s wrong! I might be talking about homosexuality/sexual orientation now, but I feel the same way if we were talking about the glorification of heterosexual promiscuity, the glamorization of illicit drug use or any other sinful lifestyle folks may want to try to normalize.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

The Time HAS Come (Part 1)

[What follows is the first of a 3 part series from my heart. It will upset some folks. Others will feel as though I read their mind. I would ask that both camps reserve their comments and final analysis until you have had a chance to read the series in its entirety.]

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

–2 Timothy 4:1-5, NASB (emphasis added)

There I was, minding my own business, spending my Thanksgiving morning pretty much like every other Thanksgiving morning in recent memory. My family got up early and I was enjoying the rare occasion of nothing pressing or vying for my time and attention. I took my place in my chair and flipped on NBC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the traditional Brooks family practice. We were in filler time when some of the Broadway shows perform before the parade reaches Herald Square. I remember the Motown performance and thinking how awesome it was and that I would very much like to see that on Broadway.

I don’t recall the time exactly, but suffice it to say it was between 9 and 10 o’clock in the morning, when the broadcasters announced a performance with which I was unfamiliar. It was a show called Kinky Boots. The next 3 or 4 minutes were filled with men and women parading around in knee-high boots along with men dressed up like women. I later learned that to try to describe that with the traditional phrases such as “dressed in drag” or “transvestite” is demeaning, mean-spirited and hate-filled language. At least one friend suggested I instead use “transgender.” As an aside, I always thought someone who was going through the process of being surgically altered to go from being a man to a woman or vice versa was known as transgender. I could be wrong.

At any rate, I was a bit aghast at the idea that at 10 o’clock on Thanksgiving morning a traditional family oriented program was broadcasting anything “kinky” with cross-dressing people. As a father, I prefer to choose the time and place to explain things to my daughter. That decision and those conversations happen when her mother and I feel she is mature enough and there is reason for her to know certain things. That’s why we are careful about the things to which she is exposed. To see that on my TV knowing not only my child, but children all over the United States were seeing that, took me aback. So what did I do? I did what many folks do. I expressed my amazement at what I had seen on social media to see what my friends thought of said event. Here is what I posted:

“And then the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got weird… Transvestites singing on my TV! What? So much for family programming.”

This set off a litany of posts expressing their displeasure with my statement. Apparently, I was being “negative” and “hurtful” with my comments. In actuality, I was merely being factual with what I had witnessed on the screen. There was not one shred of hate in my heart, nor was their any hint of negativity. It was Thanksgiving for crying out loud! However, I learned long ago that there is absolutely no win whatsoever in arguing and badgering one another on Facebook or any other online venue – especially if you are a pastor or an otherwise reasonably intelligent person.

It’s not the first time. In the past, I’ve been accused of being hateful, mean, small-minded, a racist, a homophobe, and generally out-of-touch along with many other things. All of the above have stemmed from my taking a stand on things that are in opposition to God’s Word. I hope and pray that those who truly know me know that I am none of the aforementioned. I have dedicated my life to being faithful to the Truth. The fact is, just as the verses which opened this post stated, those who disagree with the Truth will find me disagreeable.

(To be continued…)