Archive for June, 2012

Christianity’s Argument Against Gay Marriage

June 27, 2012

Title: Christianity’s Argument Against Gay Marriage

Text: 2 Timothy 2:15, Romans 1:26-27, Romans 1:32

Time: June 16th, 2012

 

I recently wrote an article for the local paper on President Barak Obama’s misrepresentation of Christianity with his sudden endorsement of gay marriage. He says he supports same sex marriage because of his Christian faith, citing the words of Jesus – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Matthew 7:12. He says that it’s only fair that gays marry because straight people can.” He says that it fulfills Christ’s command to “Do unto others.” Then, a few weeks later, country and western star Carrie Underwood stated in an interview that she too supports gay marriage because of her Christian convictions. She says it’s only right that someone should be able to marry the one they love, using similar wording as the president. Here’s my article in the newspaper:

 

“Obama Betrays His Profession Of Faith

President Obama came out a few weeks ago in favor of gay marriage and he did it in a very strange way that betrays the teachings of his Christian faith. One might expect a professed Christian to possibly say, “My Christian faith and morality teach me to oppose gay marriage on biblical principle, but as public leader I must allow for it because I don’t want to be guilty of imposing my values on others.” That approach still wouldn’t be totally Christian, but others have used it – particularly in respect to abortion rights, for example – even though it still falls short of a consistent Christian response to the great moral issues of our time. But Obama didn’t take this approach. Instead he stated that he’s personally in favor of gay marriage – not, “As a Christian I’m personally against it, but as a public leader I must remain neutral, blah, blah, blah . . .” And in so doing he directly contradicts his own professed Christian faith, which teaches that morally, homosexuality is a sin and is wrong.

But it’s not just Obama who talks out of both sides of his mouth; his Vice-President, Joe Biden, does the same in respect to the Christian faith and gay marriage. In an earlier interview, Biden stated that he had no problem with a man marrying another man, or a woman marrying another woman. Again, we might imagine a true Christian saying, “Yes, personally as a Christian, I have a problem with gay marriage; my faith teaches me marriage is between a man and a woman; my church teaches me homosexuality is a grave sin.” But again, no; Christianity, moral principle, the Bible and the church don’t seem to weigh very heavy in Biden’s convictions about gay marriage. He says he doesn’t have a problem with it.

A while back there was somewhat of a controversy over whether Obama was really a Muslim. I don’t think people have to worry about that, because from his actions and opinions it’s a safe bet that he not a Muslim or Christian or Jewish or any religion. He’s a secular non-religious relativist. He’s a pragmatist, favoring any principle that furthers his agenda. Obama and Biden are examples of how Christians are not supposed to live out their faith in the world – promoting causes that run contrary to Christian teachings.”

 

I could say something similar towards Carrie Underwood’s support of same sex marriage as a betrayal of her Christian faith. After all, she’s been very open and vocal about being a Christian. But the deeper question is – why do people who claim to be Christians support something diametrically opposed to their faith’s spiritual teachings and morality? I conclude that it’s either ignorance or willful disobedience to God. Let me say a few things about this problem facing the Christian church today of Christians misrepresenting the faith. (more…)

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Politics — Whose Side is God On?

June 27, 2012

Title: Politics – Whose Side is God On?
Text: Joshua 5:13-15
Time: June 7th, 2012

We’re into the 2012 presidential election year so you can be sure we’ll be hearing plenty of political ads and news from now until voting day. While it’s important to elect the right political leaders, especially in a democracy, the political bombardment in the form of media messages is not something I look forward to all year long. It seems as if there never really was a break in the political campaigning from the last presidential election four years ago, so maybe this year won’t be any worse. But I have a feeling that it will only get more intense as we get closer and closer to Election Day. Now as citizens of a democratic government and as Christians committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives, what should our response be to the political process taking place this year? On the one side, you have Christians like the Amish who basically ignore the whole political process and go about their lives just as they’ve always done without giving much attention to what they see as a worldly activity. In the midst of a political election year, after having heard or seen what seems like thousands and thousands of negative political ads we’re all tempted to take the Amish approach to politics and basically forget the whole enterprise. But as responsible Christians we know that we just can’t withdraw from the process because it’s our duty to be salt and light in society (Matthew 5:13-16). So we really can’t take the approach of the Amish, although at times it would be easier and simpler to do so. On the other hand, there are those Christians who seem to pour themselves into the political process as if everything depended on it – as if the fate of the whole world hung in the balance and voting for the right candidate or party was all-important. Now this approach is easy to understand because of the media coverage of the upcoming elections and because of the daily reports on candidates, parties and political strategies. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of seeing every twist and turn in the campaign as critical because that’s the way it’s reported in the daily news. Reporters tend to present their stories as if they are all vitally important. Political parties also contribute to the hype by feeding the public the message that this year’s election could be the most critical in the history of our nation — that everything hangs in the balance this year, and so forth. The forces in society combine to constantly feed us the message that politics is the most important thing going on, that we should all make politics a priority in our lives. But as Christians we have to stop and ask ourselves, “Is politics really so important?” I think if we seriously search the scriptures we’ll find that the answer is, “No.” While important, politics isn’t most important or shouldn’t be most important in our lives. We think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God,” and we are reminded that there are more important things than elections and politics. Although politics is important, it’s not all-important. This is what the Bible teaches. Today I’d like to look at a passage from the Old Testament that teaches us that God doesn’t necessarily take sides in the political process as we often find ourselves doing. God is above it all, although he is definitely concerned about issues that he’s clearly revealed in his Word. Let’s look at Joshua 5:13-15 (read). Let me say three things about this passage in relation to the upcoming election. (more…)

Why Christians Should Go To Church

June 5, 2012

Title: Why Christians Should Go To Church

Text: Hebrews 10:25, Luke 4:16, Acts 2:42

Time: March 22nd, 2012

We’re into the Easter season 2012 with Easter Sunday only a few weeks away. Every year around this time C & E Christians (Christmas and Easter Christians) come out of obscurity and attend church. At least they consider these two holidays important enough to attend church, although by their actions we must conclude that they think the rest of the year is not important enough to attend. But this phenomenon raises the question, “Should Christians attend church at all?” Is it important for Christians to attend church? There are millions upon millions of so-called Christians who never attend church, some of these don’t even bother to attend at Christmas or Easter, although most Christians do attend church at Christmas or Easter. But what does it say when a supposed Christian doesn’t think it important enough to attend to the worship of God in church except maybe once or twice per year? What are they saying by not attending? Does it really matter whether they or anyone attends church? Now a typical American attitude towards the whole business of attending church might be something like this, “Well, if a person feels it’s important that they attend church, they should.” Yes, that’s how we Americans leave things – up to the individual. But is the Christian faith that optional? Could a person say the same thing about other Christian activities? What about prayer? “Well, if a Christian feels it’s important that they pray, they should pray.” What about reading the Bible? “Well, if a Christian feels they need to read the Bible, they should.” But again, is this the proper perspective we should have on such things? We might extend the basic question to other things, such as following Jesus in obedience. Should a Christian be expected to even follow the teachings of Jesus? “Well, if a Christian feels that it’s important to follow Jesus, they should.” But is that a valid response? It doesn’t seem like it’s valid for one simple reason – Christianity isn’t something we can make up as if it’s all about us, because Christianity is something from God that we join. It’s agenda is set by God, not anyone else, or even ourselves. We can’t take such a loose and casual attitude towards prayer or Bible reading or obedience; and we can’t take such a casual attitude towards church attendance either. I don’t know the motivation behind the millions of persons who only attend church once or twice a year at Christmas and Easter time. I don’t know the thinking of Christians who don’t even attend church at all. But what I’d like to show today is it’s not a proper attitude to hold as a Christian. It makes perfect sense for non-Christians to not attend a Christian church, just as it makes sense for non-Jews not to attend Synagogue or non-Muslims not to attend Mosque; but it makes no sense for Christians not to attend church. Let me outline three reasons why Christians should attend church. (more…)