Speak the Truth in Love. This article summarizes this position very well.
by Jonathan Parnell published 4/21/2014 at Desiring God.org
Homosexuality is not the only sin mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10.
Or 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.
It’s not the only sin mentioned, but it is different from all the rest, at least right now. At this moment in history, contrary to the other sins listed here, homosexuality is celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement. It’s seen as a good thing, as the new hallmark of progress.
To be sure, the masses increasingly make no bones about sin in general. Innumerable people are idolaters, not to mention those who are sexually immoral, or who commit adultery, or who steal and are greedy and get wasted and revile neighbors and swindle others. It happens all the time. And each of these unrepentant sins are the same in the sense of God’s judgment. They all deserve his wrath. And we’re constantly reminded that “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Concerning Popular Opinion
But as far as I know, none of those sins are applauded so aggressively by whole groups of people who advocate for their normalcy. Sexual immorality is no longer the tip of the spear for the progressive push. Adultery is still frowned upon by many. Accusations of greed will still smear a candidate’s political campaign. Thievery is still not openly embraced, and there are no official initiatives saying it’s okay to go steal things that don’t belong to you. There’s no such thing as a drunk agenda yet. Most aren’t proud to choose a beverage over stability, and there aren’t any petitions that the government should abolish the driving restrictions of inebriated individuals. Reviling others still isn’t seen as the best way to win friends and influence people. Swindling, especially on a corporate level, usually gets someone thrown into jail. In fact, the infrastructure of the American economy depends upon, in some measure, our shared disdain for conniving scammers.
Perhaps excepting fornication, these sins are still seen in a pretty negative light. But not homosexual practice, not by those who are now speaking loudest and holding positions of prominence. According to the emerging consensus, homosexuality is different.
What to Be Against
As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God, and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be. Let’s hope that if there’s some new cultural agenda promoting thievery — one that says it’s now our right to take whatever we want from others by whatever means — that Christians will speak out against it. The issue is sin. That’s what we’re against. And that’s what should make our voice so unique when we speak into this debate.
Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are the growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise homosexuality. We might call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We might call them the right.
Those Glorious Words
The current debate is plagued by this binary lens. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. If you don’t support, you hate. Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. If you don’t hate, you support.
But true followers of Christ will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.
Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice, we acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin; and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved.”
God tells us we’re wrong, that the wages of sin is death, that unrepentant rebellion means judgment, that our rescue required the cursed death of his Son (Romans 3:23; John 3:36; Galatians 3:13). And God tells us we’re loved, that even while we were sinners, Jesus died for us, that while we were unrighteous, Jesus suffered in our place, that though we were destined for wrath, Jesus welcomes us into glory (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:1–7).
Where the Gospel Shines
You’re wrong and you’re loved — that’s the unique voice of the Christian. That’s what we say, speaking from our own experience, as Tim Keller so well puts it, “we’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”
That’s our message in this debate, when society’s elites despise us, when pop songs vilify us, when no one else has the resources to say anything outside of two extremes, we have this incomparable opportunity to let the gospel shine, to reach out in grace: you’re wrong and you’re loved. We get to say this.
That’s why homosexuality is not like other sins.
This is really poignant interview that occurred decades ago but today we seem to be losing the wisdom here of Milton Friedman or of the founding fathers for that matter… Originally posted on TheBlaze.com on Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM CST
On radio this morning, Glenn played a portion of a 1979 interview between Phil Donahue and Milton Friedman, in which Friedman offered a very well-articulated argument in favor of minimizing the role of government in a free market system as a means of creating political and social freedom. It is Friedman’s eloquent delivery of what could be considered a complex theme that Glenn was most concerned with.
“[We have to be] more than alert and knowledgeable,” Glenn said. “We have to be able to explain to our fellow citizens what raises our eyebrows, what makes us even more alert, and what we have found in our knowledge… Milton Friedman did a great segment on the Donohue show years ago on greed. Listen to what he said.”
Watch Friedman and Donahue debate the power of greed:
“That is a beat-down of everything that’s being said right now,” Glenn said. “[But] nobody is articulating it that way. He asks the question: Where in the world does greed not rule?”
What makes Friedman’s delivery so unique is his ability to discuss harsh realities, while holding fast to his principles. Considering the lack of honesty in our world today, Glenn questioned why Friedman is often characterized as a villain.
“Nobody is talking about real world stuff. Nobody is saying the truths that need to be spoken. He spoke truth,” Glenn concluded. “It was clear. It wasn’t about politics. It was about basic principles. Milton Friedman should be the most popular guy on every campus because this guy is talking truth…”
Tim Wildmon – http://www.afa.net
Thursday, December 05, 2013 – See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/tim-wildmon/2013/12/05/to-those-who-say-there-is-no-war-on-christmas#sthash.Eefk3Brh.dpuf
Christmas is the most notable day on the calendar where the general American public is reminded of the life of Jesus Christ. That is why some want to do away with it.
Someone sent me an article from USA Today, which has this headline: “Not all Christians believe there is a ‘War on Christmas.'” The article quotes Christian leaders and authors saying they disagree with those of us who believe there is a war on Christmas. I could give a litany of examples of exactly how the war on Christmas has manifested itself the last decade or so. From nativity scenes no longer being allowed on the courthouse square, to schools changing Christmas break to “winter” break, from Christmas parades being changed to “winter” parades, to children being told they can no longer sing carols during their “winter” program, etc., etc. There is an intentional effort by some secularists to purge the word ‘Christmas’ from our culture. Whether it will be successful or not remains to be seen. But it’s discouraging to see some fellow Christians say – “Who cares?”
The very word itself – “Christmas” – is a reminder that this particular holiday is the celebration of Jesus Christ. Those who promote political correctness and extreme multiculturalism resent this because it is exclusionary in their view. Some Christians are willing to go along with that line of thinking. For example, USA Today quoted Dan Scott, senior pastor of Christ Church in Nashville, who said this: “We really need a way to treat the public square as the public square and private realms as private realms and not feel demonized because we come from a different perspective.” In other words, Christians should keep Christmas in our homes and churches – the “private realms” – but we can’t expect the general public to be accepting of Christmas any longer because it promotes Christianity.
Christmas is the exaltation of one particular religion that makes a claim of being the only true religion and that is unacceptable to the movers and shakers of contemporary American popular culture, elitist academia, and many in the mainstream media, news, and entertainment. Therefore, Christmas must be replaced with words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America’s public life. It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism. This is what these people (often called secular progressives) believe, and evidently a number of Christians agree with that position. Subsequently these Christians find more fault with their fellow believers – those of us who want to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America – than they do with those who want to eradicate Christmas.
This is why it concerns me when I read stories like the one in USA Today. One of the people quoted in the article is Christian author Rachel Held Evans, best known for her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Evans wrote a blog that went viral where she challenges the idea of a war on Christmas with these questions: “Did someone threaten your life, safety, civil liberties or right to worship?” No. “Did someone wish you happy holidays?” Yes. “You are not being persecuted.”
What Evans has done here is very clever. She framed the issue falsely. She set up a straw man. No one is arguing that Christians are being persecuted physically. What we are saying is Christianity itself is under siege in America. Just ask the Christian bakery owners in Washington state, the Christian florist in Colorado, or the Christian photographer in New Mexico who were all fined by their state governments because they would not participate in homosexual “weddings.” But what Evans has done is like the man who cheats on his wife and she confronts him about it. It might go something like this:
“I know you are cheating on me. What do you have to say for yourself?” the wife says. To which the husband responds: “There are children dying in sweatshops in Third World countries, and you are talking to me about my having sex a couple of times with some woman? Are you serious?”
See how this works? The “logic” is: If your life is not being threatened or your family is not in physical danger or your church is not being padlocked, then we have no cause to point out the war of Christmas. It’s much ado about nothing, say these Christian brothers.
The war on Christmas is really part of the larger war on Christianity and it concerns me that smart people like Rev. Scott and Evans don’t seem to get that.
Then there was the quote from Daniel Darling, vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The article said this about his position: “He (Darling) said on Friday that some media outlets are overstating the war on Christmas debate, and very few Christians actually engage in it. ‘We advise people that, rather than trying to force that weary Wal-Mart worker to say ‘Merry Christmas’ against company policy, how about we be the bearers of joy. Instead of taking offense, say, ‘Here’s the story, we’re the joyful ones. We’re the ones that have the greatest story.'”
Darling, like Evans, has created a false caricature of his fellow Christians who want to keep Christmas alive in the public square. The image Darling creates is one of a Christian bully. Who does this browbeating of store employees? No one I know. (By the way, Wal-Mart does not forbid its employees from wishing customers a “Merry Christmas.”) What American Family Association and some other groups do is produce a Naughty & Nice list of companies that do or don’t allow Christmas in their stores. Due to the efforts of AFA, many household name corporations have put Christmas back in their promotions, advertisements, and stores over the last few years. The Gap was the latest store to write AFA about how they were doing this. This is a good thing. Christians should applaud Gap and others when they refuse to yield to political correctness and recognize that if not for the Christmas gift-buying season, many of them would not be in business.
All of this Christians criticizing other Christians, often based on false information as demonstrated here, seems to be a trend. I’m not sure why this is, but I have a couple of theories. First, we Bible-believing Christians have been so maligned and lied about by the media, particularly the entertainment and news media, that the negative stereotype that has been created has stuck. And now even we are quick to believe the worst about our fellow brothers and sisters. The second reason is what I call the “nicer than Jesus” mentality. It is human nature to want to be liked and avoid confrontation. Christian activism, while it should always be carried out with civility and manners, is sometimes by necessity confrontational – and confrontation is not considered “nice” by some. But Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is talking here about a public stand for biblical righteousness, not just being a Christian. The world doesn’t care if you are Christian … as long as you don’t talk about what’s right and wrong, moral and immoral, or good and evil. That’s when the persecution comes.
Is there a war on Christmas? Yes. Is it part of a larger war on Christianity? Yes. Does this matter to the future of our country? Most certainly.
Just because Christians are not being physically persecuted in America today doesn’t mean these matters are not important. Not only is Christianity good for the individual, the moral value system that comes from Christianity is also good for society at large. God help us get it back before it’s too late.
Holy smokes! This above all makes sharing posts and social media in general worthwhile, when you find gems like this. I found this because Bristol Palin shared it. Hope you enjoy and share it as much as I did!
Does anyone here wonder where Mr. Phil Robertson stands in regards to abortion? The Bible? Our Forefathers? Keep scrolling. See video below.
August 20, 2013 By Bristol Palin
I saw this on my friend’s site, and had to let you guys see it. You know that I’m a Duck Dynasty fan. But after watching Phil Robertson’s sermon, I love those guys even more!
Check this out and pass the collection plate:
Recently by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD: Iodine for Radioactive Fallout
The medical establishment and government health authorities say that consumption of saturated animal fats is bad for us and causes heart disease. According to the lipid hypothesis – the label used for the diet-cholesterol theory of heart disease – saturated fats raise serum cholesterol levels, and high blood cholesterol causes obstructive plaques to form in arteries, called atherosclerosis. This pathologic process causes coronary heart disease and the need for coronary artery bypass surgery, which is what I do.This article is taken from a talk I gave at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Albuquerque last week, on the controversial subject of saturated fats [for that video CLICK HERE]. Some of the slides that I used for this talk are put in here.
Types and Structure of Fats
Animals and tropical plants contain saturated fats while plants outside the tropics have mostly unsaturated fats. Saturated animal fats are in milk, meat, eggs, butter, and cheese. And tropical coconut and palm oil contain a lot of saturated fat.
The food industry makes trans fats. They do this by shooting hydrogen atoms into polyunsaturated vegetable oils. This straightens out the fatty acid molecules and packs them closer together, giving vegetable oil so treated a solid texture like lard. Trans fats are used to make margarine, with yellow bleach added so it looks like butter. They are also used prolong the shelf life of bakery products, snack chips, imitation cheese, and other processed foods.
Excellent, must-listen podcast today from Dr. John Piper
A Response to the First Republican Senator to Support Gay Marriage — a new Ask Pastor John podcast response to a breaking news story
My friends, this is really important!! Maybe you have already heard about Dr. Ben Carlson and his amazing and courageous speech in front of President Obama at the Prayer Breakfast last Friday. This event has made many headlines. But whether you have or have not heard about this, it still bears repeating many times.
As you may know, according to my political views—well you know my political views if you have perused this blog at all—I am very partisan; I definitely feel that those that are currently in power in our nation, and their ilk, and there ideas are currently the reasons for the bulk of the problems with our nation today. But, stay with me now, Dr. Carson, WITHOUT BEING particularly PARTISAN has really spoken TRUTH at this Prayer Breakfast please see these videos below.
I know this one above is almost a half an hour. If you are pressed for time at this moment start at 17:50, but be sure to come back later. Near the beginning Dr. Carson talks very succinctly about the problems with Political Correctness. So you will have missed that if you are in a hurry and take my advice. But I really feel that the essence of his message starts at 17:50. Also just like Eric Metaxas did last year Dr. Carson appropriately mixes humor throughout his speech. (see my post about Eric Metaxas by clicking here)
This man, Dr Ben Carson has an amazing story. Cuba Gooding Jr. played Dr. Ben Carson in a movie detailing his remarkable life story, click here for that movie. Below is a picture of him receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008. This is the highest civilian award in the United States.
Below is another must see video 🙂 which is an interview where he talks about why he felt led to give that speech at the Prayer Breakfast. My hope is that you will watch this video as well as the one above in its entirety. Also my hope is that you will feel compelled to share this post with others.
Let’s get our brains back on people…
Dr. Carson’s book AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: http://www.amazon.com/America-Beautiful-Rediscovering-Nation-Great/dp/0310330912/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360280297&sr=8-1&keywords=america+the+beautiful
STORY OF HIS LIFE, GIFTED HANDS:Story of his life:http://www.amazon.com/Gifted-Hands-20th-Anniversary-Edition/dp/0310332907/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360281124&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=giftted+hands
Trailer for the Story of Dr. Ben Carson’s life:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CARsXc5XFmk
Carson Scholarship Fund: http://carsonscholars.org/