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Posts Tagged ‘Homosexual Rights’

Pride 2019_Pride Flag Cincinnati

The Pride flag is raised for the first time at Cincinnati City Hall, June 21, 2019.  Photo by: Dwayne Slavey.

“Today is about saying that we are in this fight for civil rights and social justice and that love is love is love is love.”

    – Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard

When I was growing up, way back in the day, the sixth month of the year was known as June. It was a without a doubt one of my favorite months. School ended for the summer – yes, we had to go to school into June – the weather was beautiful and I had three glorious months do pretty much whatever I wanted.

But all that has changed over the years. June has largely been wiped off the calendar and replaced by something called Pride Month. Now when considering just the name itself, Pride Month, this ought to give any Christian reason to be skeptical of it. Pride is not a thing commended in the Scriptures. In speaking of the wicked men of his day, the psalmist wrote, “Therefore pride serves as their necklace.” In Proverbs we read, “Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate,” and, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Luke records for us Mary’s words, “He [the Lord] has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” Writes the Apostle John, “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.”

Clearly, pride is a concept at odds with the Word of God. But these passages do not exhaust what the Bible has to say about pride and its related concepts.

Writing to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul said of the enemies of Christ that their, “glory is in their shame.” These enemies of Christ were guilty of doing what the Prophet Isaiah had warned of, calling good evil and evil good, putting darkness for light and light for darkness. In the things of which they should have taken shame, in these they instead found honor, praise and enjoyed an excellent reputation among men.

When thinking about contemporary applications of this principle, that is, taking pride in that which should bring shame, it is hard to find a better example than in the many assertions of pride in the homosexual lifestyle made both by homosexuals themselves as well as by their supporters.

Now it doesn’t exactly take a theologian of the caliber of Martin Luther or John Calvin to understand what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. The Scriptures condemn homosexuality and homosexuals in the strongest terms. There’s really no debating this point, although some have tried.

But despite the clarity of the Bible on the issue of homosexuality, American society’s view of it has undergone such a profound change in just my lifetime that it constitutes a most extraordinary revolution.

To give you just one example of what I mean, consider the quote at the time of this post by Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard. The occasion for her remark was an event held outside Cincinnati City Hall where, for the first time ever, the Pride flag was raised. The event received a good deal of coverage in both the local and national press.

According to this report from a local television station, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, echoing the remarks of Tamaya Dennard, said that life is too short to prevent people from loving each other, the decision to fly the flag by Cincinnati City Council was unanimous, and Pride flags also were flown over six Hamilton County buildings as well as Cincinnati City Hall.

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Escape of Lot from Sodom

Escape of Lot from Sodom by Mattheus Merian (1593-1650)

From time to time I’ve written in this space about the collapse of Western Civilization that we so going on around us all on a daily basis. And in this author’s opinion, there is perhaps no better illustration of this collapse than the rise of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) movement over the last several decades.

I make this observation as a Christian, and those who do not believe the Bible may be tempted to dismiss my view as personal bias. But interestingly enough, at least one prominent lesbian scholar is in agreement with this view. As this 2015 article from cnsnews.com notes, “Best-selling feminist author, social critic and self-described “transgender being” Camille Paglia said in an interview last month that the rise of transgenderism in the West is a symptom of decadence and cultural collapse.”

Paglia is quoted in the article saying, “Nothing…better defines the decadence of the West to the jihadists than our toleration of open homosexuality and this transgender mania now.”

The article continues, “Paglia went on to talk about her book Sexual Personae and how the emergence of transgenderism signifies the end of Western culture. ‘Now I am concerned about this…In fact, my study of history in Sexual Personae, I’m always talking about the late phases of culture.’

‘I was always drawn to late or decadent phases of culture. Oscar Wile is one of the great exponents of that in the late 19th century. He’s one of my strongest influences from my earliest years. An I found in my study that history is cyclic, and everywhere in the world you find this pattern in ancient times: that as a culture begins to decline, you have an efflorescence of transgender phenomena. That is a symptom of cultural collapse.’

‘So rather than people singing the praises of humanitarian liberalism that allows all of these transgender possibilities to appear and to be encouraged, I would be concerned about how Western culture is defining itself to the world.’ ”

These are good comments by Paglia.  In fact, what this feminist lesbian has to say about homosexuality and transgender mania is, quite remarkably, much closer to the mind of Christ, and far more interesting, than what falls from the lips of many supposed ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ when they speak on these subjects.

The wide-spread acceptance of homosexuality and other deviant behaviors in the West is a flashing red warning signal that our civilization is in deep trouble. It’s so obvious that even a feminist lesbian scholar is able to see the problem. But for all that, there are many who name the name of Christ who are either unable or unwilling to grasp this simple and obvious truth.

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Jack Phillips_SCOTUS

Mary Torres holds up a rolling in in support of cake artist jack Phillips outside the Supreme Court n Washington on Dec. 5.  (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

In perhaps the biggest story of this past week, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The case involves the Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, who in 2012 refused to make a custom wedding cake for a same sex married couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. This set in motion a legal battle that saw Mr. Phillips, a Christian, dragged before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which did not look kindly on his appeals to free speech and the free exercise of his faith.

“I can believe anything I want,” said Commissioner Raju Jaram, “but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people.” According to this same article, Phillips was ordered to stop discriminating against gay people, document any customers he refuses to service, provide antidiscrimination training for his staff, and report quarterly for two years.

One commissioner likened Phillips’ actions to those of the Nazis.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Jack Phillips, argued this week before the Supreme Court that the baker’s First Amendment rights were violated by the Commission’s ruling. According to her, the Commission also violated Phillip’s religious liberty by attempting to force him, “to sketch, sculpt, and hand-paint cakes that celebrate a view of marriage in violation of his religious convictions.”

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The Jesuit “mafia” and fog, both literal and figurative, in the churches. These were some of the discussion points brought up by Dr. Paul Elliott in his talks on Day 2 of The Trinity Foundation’s Reformation conference. Dr. Elliott gave two presentations on Saturday 10/28, both of which I would strongly encourage you to listen to when the recordings become available.

The Reformation Is Not a Return to Pre-Reformation Positions

By way of introduction to his opening talk on Saturday, Dr. Elliott mentioned that he is working on a tree volume set on the subject of the corruption of the text of the new testament. As part of his research, Dr. Elliott noted, more often than not, he found that the hand responsible for corrupting the Greek text of the New Testament used in modern translations is, more often than not, that of the Jesuits. He also included a comment by a friend of his warning that his work exposing the Jesuit efforts would not go unnoticed and that it was “dangerous territory.” Dr. Elliott did not use the word “mafia,” but the implication of his words is that there exists something like a Jesuit mafia that seeks to silence the opposition, and do so by violence if necessary.

Dr. Elliott contends that there are forces in the Evangelical movement that are seeking to give Protestantism an “extreme makeover” of the sort one sees on various TV shows, and that the effect of this makeover is that, “the vast majority of the nominally Evangelical church today is rapidly returning to the pre-Reformation position.” Dr. Elliott identified four things that characterized the pre-Reformation church.

First, there was Biblical illiteracy. In the middle ages, Christians did not have access to Bibles in their native language. Today, the problem is that, while “Bibles” are readily available, so-called modern translations such as The Message are corrupt paraphrases, not translations at all. Because they do not faithfully translate the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, they leave people without the Word of God in much the same way as medieval church goers whose only Bible was in Latin, a language that most of them did not understand.

Second, Dr. Elliott identified the problem of Church as an Experience. The Reformation has always emphasized the primacy of preaching, the expositing of the Word of God in understandable, clear language. On the other hand, the Roman Church-State has always made an appeal to the senses with its “smells and bells.”

And just as the pre-Reformation and current Roman Catholic Church emphasized experience over doctrine, so too do neo-evangelicals in the emerging church movement. Dr. Elliott noted that as an observer he attended a trade show dedicated to the “worship market” which, “is now a multi-billion-dollar business.”

Dr. Elliott noted that, “The most popular product in this big exhibit hall was fog machines!,” which allowed churches to generate “different colors of fog” to set the right mood. As Dr. Elliott wryly commented, “Those fog machines were a metaphor for the entire so-called worship conference.”

Third, Dr. Elliott took up the problem of pluralism. By way of example, he cited Timothy Keller saying there may be some “back door way to Heaven” apart from Jesus.

More subtle is the case of John Piper, whom Elliott quotes as saying that we are made right with God by faith but enter heaven by our works.

Finally, Dr. Elliott speaks of the current emphasis on Deeds Instead of Doctrine. As Rick Warren has said, “You know, 500 years ago, the first Reformation with Luther and then Calvin, was about creeds…[the new reformation that we’re bringing about through the Purpose-Driven church] will be about deeds…The first one was about what the church believes…This one will be about what the church does.”

How is the different from what Rome teaches? In truth, not much, if at all. That being the case, it should come as no surprise that Warren is also hard at work trying to re-united Protestants and Romanists. Dr. Elliott reported that Warren was the keynote speaker at Pope Francis final Sunday service when he was in Philadelphia in 2015. Warren, a Southern Baptist, referred to the assembled cardinals, bishops and priests and the pope himself as “brothers.”

Dr. Elliott closed his talk with an encouragement for Christians not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed. We are to be outwardly what we are inwardly. This requires that Christians, “Never be afraid to admit it when you find yourself, or the church, deviating from Scripture in even the smallest point.”

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Nashville Statement

Marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

    – The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24

This isn’t hard, folks. As theological questions go, the definition of marriage is pretty simple. It is a God-ordained, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman, and this the Christians has acknowledged for 2,000 years. In truth, the institution and its definition are much older than that, going all the way back to the creation of the world.

To borrow a turn of phrase from the Author of Hebrews, the biblical definition of marriage is milk, not meat. It’s something every Christian, even children, easily can, and ought to, understand.

And just as the Bible’s definition of marriage is simple and clear, so too is its stance on homosexuality: it’s a sin, and a particularly egregious one at that.

But as is the case with many things in this fallen world, what ought to be often times is not. Ours is a confused age, and truths that were almost taken for granted in earlier times now once again must be restated. One could point to any number of examples of the collapse of Western Civilization, but perhaps none exemplifies it better than the sweeping success of the homosexual agenda over the past 50 years.

Behavior that once was subject to sodomy laws is now celebrated at the highest levels of society. Governments, corporations, academics and the corporate media work diligently not only to promote the acceptance of homosexuality as normal and a thing to be celebrated, but also to cover in shame anyone who stands in their way.

The modern homosexual movement is usually traced back to the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village that occurred in June 1969. From there, the homosexual agenda has gone from strength to strength, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2015 discovery that the U.S. Constitution supports the right of homosexuals to marry. The pace of change has been remarkable, and what was, just a few short years ago, considered filthy and shameful is now held up by all respectable people and institutions as the epitome righteousness.

Things have gotten to the point that, not only has it become socially unacceptable to speak out against homosexuality, but to so positively invites vilification from society’s mainstream institutions. Just last week, I wrote in this space about the SPLC’s declaring D. James Kennedy Ministries a hate group due to its opposition to the homosexual agenda. Many other examples of the same can be found

When I wrote that piece, I was unaware that a few days later that The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood would release the Nashville Statement, a work intended to affirm what the Bible has to say about men and women, marriage and homosexuality.

I first became aware of the Statement this morning while listening to Jason Hutchinson’s sermon during this morning’s church service. His comments were quite good and I will include a link to his sermon once it has become available.

After reading the document for myself, as far as I have been able to determine, the Statement is biblically sound and does a good job of setting forth Scripture’s clear teaching on sexuality. Further, the Statement also effectively refutes from Scripture some of the current arguments advanced in favor of homosexual marriage and transgenderism.

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SPLC-FL

The SPLC’s Hate Map of Florida.

What do D. James Kennedy Ministries and the Nation of Islam have in common? Not much, you say? Well, think again. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), both are hate groups with located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

This particular issue came to my attention as a result of a recent story in Christianity Today titled “D. James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC over Hate Map,” According to the article, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) received negative media coverage after the recent Charlottesville riots in which the organization was branded a hate group by the SPLC. The Christianity Today piece also notes that – mirabile dictu – local Florida news reports labeled DJKM as the No.1 hate group in the state.

Per the SPLC’s Hate Map, the Ft. Lauderdale group landed on the list due to its “Anti-LGBT” stance. Notes the SPLC, “Opposition to equal rights for LGBT people has been a central theme of Christian Right organizing and fundraising for the past three decades – a period that parallels the fundamentalist movement’s rise to political power.”

If one were to take the SPLC’s word for it, he’d come away with the distinct impression that opposition to homosexuality was some 1970’s-era novelty hatched by the Moral Majority rather than the teaching espoused by Christians for the past 2000 years. In fact, the Bible’s identification of homosexuality as a sin pre-dates the Christian era, going all the way back to the Book of Genesis, where God himself referred to “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah” and their “very grave” sin, a reference to homosexuality. The Law of Moses calls homosexuality “an abomination.” In Romans, Paul teaches that homosexuality is a punishment from God on idolaters, “who did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” There are many other examples of the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, and I do not intend to cite them all here so as not to belabor the obvious point the God considers homosexuality a sin, and a particularly heinous one at that.

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Creation of ManThe times they are a-changing wrote Bob Dylan over 50 years ago. And if those words were true then, they are at least as apropos today.

If you doubt that, consider this headline: NBC Reports ‘History’: Oregon Judge Grants Right To Be ‘Agender. ‘

Now perhaps like me and you’re an old fuddy-duddy going about your business with the antiquated notion that there are only two genders. How intolerant of you! Quite obviously you’re stuck in a repressive intellectual paradigm and are badly in need of a cultural Marxist re-education.

As NBC breathlessly reports,

History was quietly made in Oregon this month when a judge granted a Portlander’s request to become genderless.

Patch, a 27-year-old video game designer, is likely the first legally agender person in the United States.

The Multnomah County Court granted Patch a “General Judgment of Name and Sex Change” on March 10. In the same judgment, Patch was also allowed to change names, becoming monomymous – meaning only having one name instead of a given name and a surname.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn commenting on this and a similar ruling of hers last year explained her decision thus,

I made these decisions, like all decisions, because they were supported by facts and law, and out of respect for the dignity of the people who came before me.

The judge did not elaborate on what facts and what laws led to her decision, only that we are to accept that her decision was in accord with her normal practice.

Very clearly the judge did not have in mind the Law of God when she made her decision.

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