Monday, February 09, 2015

The Issue is not Homosexuality---

No, the issue is not homosexuality, it is sexual immorality, of which homosexuality is but one of its iterations.  Granted, homosexuality is a lower, more degraded form of sexual immorality (Romans 1:24-27); but the root issue here is one of sexual immoraltiy.  And what is sexual immorality?  It is the sexual activity outside of the marriage bond of a man and a woman.

What then would be included in sexual immorality?  Let's make a short list:

1. Fornication:  This includes casual sex, recreational sex, hooking up, one night stands, and even friends with benefits. Yes, even if you are serious about one another, in love, faithful or engaged to the one you are having sex with, all sex outside of the marriage union is immoral.  Whether you are 15 or 45, single, divorced, or never married, sex outside of marriage is a sin. The Bible calls this sin.

2. Adultery:  This sexual sin is well known, and unfortunately very common.  It is having sex with anyone other than your spouse after you have been married, or someone who is single having sexual relations with someone who is married, and it also includes those who have more than one spouse. Our culture has euphemized this term down to extra-marital sex or pre-marital sex.  It is never condoned in the Scriptures.

3. Pornography:  The root for this word is from the Greek word porneia, which means illegitimate sexual activity.  This sexual sin is a blight upon our society, and has spawned a huge internet industry.  Unfortunately, because sin can never be corralled, pornography has also extended its reach to children, and to the point of international child pornography rings.  I have heard some people say, well its just pictures, so what.  Well, that "so what" is still a sin.  Why?  Because you cannot look at pornorgraphic pictures and not be affected, and in all cases, isn't that why the pictures are viewed in the first place.  In Matthew 5:28 Jesus says, "but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."  And yes, this applies to women as well, in the narrative pornography they read.  Most R rated movies contain pornography, and many of the PG-13 movies range from sexually suggestive to soft porn.

4. Incest:  This is sexual relations between immediate family members. I should not even have to mention this, but there is a push afoot to normalize this here in our country.  I remember on a trip to Paris back in the eighties seeing a music video on public television entitled "Incest is Good," and it showed an older man with a young girl. It was not graphic, but it made its point.

5. Homosexuality:  This sexual sin is between members of the same sex, and even though its proponents have tried to reword the Bible concerning this, it is always protrayed as a sin in the Scriptures.  So, even if the same sex couple is "married" it is still a sin.  Romans 1:24-27 lists two specific judgments of God on those who commit this sin, and the sex act is called shamless/indecent. 

These are the sexual sins that are common place in our country; and they all have their genesis in sexual immorality, the abandoning of a sexual morality that prescribed that sex was to be kept and to only take place within the bounds of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.

Homosexuality is gaining a greater place at the table of normalcy because our soceity has become accepting and condoning of sex outside of marriage.  No thought or shame occurs any more because couples live together.  No thought or shame occurs anymore because someone becomes pregnant outside of marriage.  No thought or shame occurs anymore when unmarried people talk candidly about their sex lives in any media outlet. Once the barrier of shame has been taken away concerning sex outside of marriage, then it is only a short distance to the removal of all sexual shame.

Every magazine at the cashier's stand will have some article dealing with sex, and it is almost never about sex between marriage partners.  Our culture has becomed consumed by sex, and thereby have become consumers of sex.  There is such a preoccupation with sex in our society, that many pastors have sermon series on sex so they can be considered relevant with the times.

Heterosexual sex outside of marriage has been normalized in our culture, and the logical next step of the normalization of sex outside of marriage is the acceptance and promotion of homosexuality.  In light of this, the stand that the church should take is not against homosexuality per se, but should be against any and all sexual immorality, all that the Bible lists as sexual immorality.  In a very real sense, the church has waited too long to speak out.  Because the church has been silent all these years regarding the proliferation of the acceptance of sex outside of marriage, speaking out against homosexuality now makes it appear that the church is singling out the homosexuals.

Let us as the church, as individual Christians, speak up and out against all sexual immorality.  Let us speak up and out for a biblical sexual morality.  Let us call all sexual immorality what it is, sin before a Holy God.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Prosperity Theology and Christ

The Prosperity Gospel wing of the Charismatic camp is its dominant, most popular, therefore its most visible wing.  Prosperity theology never considers God Himself in the person of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ worth knowing.  Therefore Prosperity preaching never presents God Himself, never presents Christ, as someone who is worth knowing. They never present the Lord as the pearl of great value, as the One who surpasses all else in value, as the One who surpasses all that is in this world.  Their emphasis is not on Him, but is solely on the things of the world that you can get from Him, as His only value is in what you can get from Him. 

What does the Bible tell us?  "What does it avail a man to have the whole world, yet lose His own soul?" Friends, don't forsake the Lord, don't ignore the Lord, for the mess of pottage that this world and its Prosperity preachers offer.  For the world and all that is in it is passing away, and one day will be destroyed.  We entered this world with nothing and will leave it with nothing.  All the things of this world will pass, and it is only a relationship with Christ that will last.