Posted in brimstone, gomorrah, mercy, prophecy, remember lot's wife, sodom, wrath

"Homosexuality is the unfailing characteristic of paganism"

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin, 1852

In reading the Word of God, it is such a delight when one re-reads the same passage and yet unearths new insights. It’s a delightful mystery to me how this happens, but it is also a wonderful confirmation that the Word is living and active, just as was promised. (Hebrews 4:12).

In reading through Genesis, I’m up to Genesis 19. This is the pivotal chapter where God sends Jesus in a pre-incarnate visit along with two other angels to speak with Abraham and to render destruction onto Sodom (and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, and apparently Zoar was also slated for destruction but mercy came when Lot pleaded to be allowed to live there).

In searching out the parallel scriptures the Spirit brought the following to mind:

Mrs. Lot. I’ve always wondered about her turning into a pillar of salt. I’ve always wondered about the admonition from Jesus to “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32).

Well, if you read right before verse 32, Jesus is saying what NOT to do when the day of Destruction comes,

31On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32″Remember Lot’s wife.

Mrs Lot had turned back. She was already behind, and she did not merely glance back, but had turned back, thus becoming embroiled in the destruction. Also by her action she demonstrated which path she wanted to take (the broad path).

I was also astounded to learn there is another parallel verse which mirrors the language of Genesis 19, in Judges 19. When I read the parallel verses I had to double-check them to make sure I wasn’t reading the same incident.

Genesis 19:4-9

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down.

That we may know them …” This is a euphemism for homosexual intercourse. “This is the carnal sin of pederasty, a crime very prevalent among the Canaanites,” and also the unfailing characteristic of paganism. ~James Burton Coffman Commentary

Judges 19:22-26. Gibeah’s Crime

22As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.” 23And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. 24Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.” 25But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go. 26And as morning appeared, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, until it was light. (Judges 19:22-26).

James Burton Coffman Commentary says

“Stand back …” If Lot had thought up until that moment that he enjoyed any real influence in Sodom, it disappeared with this blunt rejection. The gratification of carnal lust is supreme with every homosexual. They would even subject Lot himself to their vile passions. The corollary to this is that, given the size of the sadistic mob converged upon Lot’s house, the unhindered gratification of their lust upon three men would inevitably have ended in their murder as well. The insight into this kind of situation which is provided by a similar incident in Judges 19 is all the proof that is needed that murder would have resulted.

And this brought me to pondering human nature. If a society turns away from God, aberrant sexuality always results. This is because giving in to lusts and passions always results. It is our nature. The incident at Gibeah exemplifies the parallel to Romans 1:24-25. The incident at Sodom exemplifies Romans 1:26-27.

the permissive views of the current society are not sufficient grounds for setting aside divine law. Furthermore, it may not be supposed for one moment that God is any more pleased with the sexual aberrations associated with Sodom in our own day than He was then. ~James Burton Coffman Commentary

In another interesting tidbit, Genesis 19 opens with a report that Lot sat at the gate. This means he was an administrator of some sort of the city, enjoying status in adjudicating and enjoying a measure of influence and status.

However that instantly came to naught when Lot asked the men not to gang-rape the angels. First the men revealed what they had thought about him all along, ‘you’re a foreigner, not one of us!’ Despite all of Lot’s compromises, all his trying to fit in, ‘be relevant’ amid a hostile and polluted people, it didn’t work. It will go well for us Christians if we remember this. We are aliens, and as much as we may be tempted to dampen the Gospel message, make it ‘palatable’, drinking beer with the fellows and making crude jokes, being relevant ourselves, it will not work. They know we’re not of them, even if we forget this once in a while.

Secondly, the minute Lot asked them not to gang-rape the angels, their next response was “Don’t judge us!” Again it will go well for us to remember that no matter how many happy laughs you have shared with unbelievers, the moment you point out their sin they will cry foul. Worse, if you’ve been a hypocrite and tried to blend in with them, they will have a legitimate complaint against you in saying you’re the pot calling the kettle black.

Lot was barely hanging on to righteousness there in Sodom. He was as low as he could go and still be called a righteous man. If he was a New Testament believer he’d be like one of those barely making it in, as through the fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). As for the rest of those in Sodom,

The judgment of the Lord upon Sodom was justified. The apostle Paul stated flatly that proponents and practitioners of the type of sins visible here are “worthy of death” (Romans 1:32), and the permissive views of the current society are not sufficient grounds for setting aside divine law. Furthermore, it may not be supposed for one moment that God is any more pleased with the sexual aberrations associated with Sodom in our own day than He was then. ~James Burton Coffman Commentary

And as I pondered depraved human nature after reading Genesis 19 and Judges 19, it makes me all the more in awe of God. All the scriptures testify about Jesus (Luke 24:27, John 5:39). His love for us even as we are depraved sinners is a profound truth, one that humbles my mind and crushes my heart. What a sinful degradation Sodom was (and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim) yet the Lord spared Lot and his daughters. He spared them even knowing they would incestuously lie with one another and begat a tribe that would be at enmity with Him until the Day of His return. What love! What mercy! What a mystery why our God loves us so. I am tremendously glad He does though.

I am Lot. I am Mrs Lot. Do I have an intercessor pleading for me like Abraham did for Lot? I do. Not just my elder relative as Abraham was to Lot, but the Head of the Family, Jesus. (Romans 8:43, Hebrews 7:25). My High Priest intercedes for His people. What grace there is in that. What comfort there is in salvation.

Yet that comfort should not make us comfortable. The Day of Reckoning will come for the world like it did for Sodom, which is an EXAMPLE of the coming wrath to the ungodly. (2 Peter 2:6). Sodom and Gomorrah are used as warnings, repeatedly in the Old Testament to a rebellious Israel. (Isaiah 1:9; 3:9; 13:19; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:46-49; Amos 4:11; Zephaniah 2:9)

And through it all, Jesus said, Remember Lot’s wife!

REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE (Luke 17:32) J. B. Coffman:

I. She is a warning to all who are tempted to sacrifice their safety in order to win or keep more of this world’s goods.

II. If we strive to possess the best of both worlds, we are likely to lose both.

III. She is a reminder that being “near safety” is not enough.

IV. She is a warning that having begun to follow the Lord’s Word, one may still turn back from the way and be lost.

Yet He protects the righteous. He protects his children.

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. (Genesis 19:29).

How great is our God.

Posted in iraq, ISIS, jonah, mercy, muslim nineveh

God loves the Muslim terrorists of ISIS

I’ve written before of how many parallels there are between the ancient Ninevites and their brutality, and today’s ISIS members and their terrorism. From the same region as Nineveh, Assyria now comes ISIS, which one of their own leaders called/calls himself “Prince of Nineveh.” We know that the ancient Assyrians did not worship God but were pagan.

The ancient Ninevites were so held in terror and fear, and so firmly did the hapless cities which lay in their path know this, that oftentimes all the Assyrians had to do is march to a city and announce to the besieged residents a list all the other cities they had conquered, and capitulation would ensue almost immediately. (2 Chronicles 32:18)

As for their gleeful, maniacal brutality, the ancient Assyrians used to push meathooks into the jaws of captured prisoners of war and march them back to Nineveh. Others, they threw off ramparts as a warning, or skinned them alive and hung the skins over the walls to graphically illustrate the penalty for opposing them. Ancient Ninevites were brutal, bringing new meaning to the word.

ISIS is the same. From the exact region of ancient Nineveh, we see a re-emergence of that same demonic spirit. One of gleeful brutality, of worship of satanic gods, of horror and shock. We see swords flashing, heads rolling, blood-stained beaches, children fleeing, houses burning. We see exultation amid the black hooded ISIS men, and we pray for the people in their path, just as sister cities Lachish (which was conquered by the Assyrians, 2 Kings 18; 2 Chronicles 32, Micah 1:13) and Jerusalem (which wasn’t, 2 Chronicles 32:1-33, 2 Kings 19:35) endured.

Judean captives being led away into slavery by the Assyrians
after the siege of Lachish in 701 B.C.

But God loved the Ninevites.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:1-2)

We know from the biblical account that Jonah did not do this. He fled in the other direction. Why, we’re never quite told. Perhaps Jonah was afraid. After all, no one likes having a meathook put in their jaw and being led across the desert sands as a captive. Perhaps Jonah had had family that was killed at Lachish or some other place. Perhaps Jonah was simply afraid. We do know that Jonah resented God’s version of justice. Salvation and repentance were not for the Ninevites, thought Jonah. “Why should they get it?” (Jonah 4:1)

The ancient Assyrian royal city of Kalhu, The archaeological site of Nimrud
was known in antiquity as Kalhu (biblical Calah). It is located just to the east
of the Tigris river, in what is nowadays northern Iraq, some 30 km (roughly 20 miles)
south of the the modern city of Mosul. Although Nimrud is now a peaceful archaeological
site in the countryside, in ancient times Kalhu was a huge and bustling city. It served
as the capital of the mighty Assyrian empire for nearly 200 years, from the early 9th to
the late 8th century BC, but was also inhabited for many centuries before and after.

Soon, Jonah needed to repent for his disobedience and hope in the LORD’s mercy be extended to himself. And it was. God delivered Jonah from the great fish and then said a second time to go preach judgment, repentance and salvation to the Ninevites.

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. (Jonah 3:1-3a)

The evil, brutal people heard the LORD in Jonah.

And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. (Jonah 3:5)

Starting with the King.

And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. (Jonah 3:7-10)

God loves the ISIS terrorists, the folks of modern day Nineveh (Mosul) and all pagan peoples. We know this because back in the day God did the best thing possible for them: He sent Jonah to preach judgment and righteousness to them so that they may know the LORD. Today He sends missionaries for the same reason.

And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:10-11)

The main lesson of the book. If Jonah so pities a plant which cost him no toil to rear, and which is so short lived and valueless, much more must Jehovah pity those hundreds of thousands of immortal men and women in great Nineveh whom He has made with such a display of creative power, especially when many of them repent, and seeing that, if all in it were destroyed, “more than six score thousand” of unoffending children, besides “much cattle,” would be involved in the common destruction: Compare the same argument drawn from God’s justice and mercy in Gen 18:23–33.

Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

but the persons in Nineveh whom God had compassion on were all the work of his own hands, whose being he was the author of, whose lives he was the preserver of, whom he planted and made to grow; he made them, and his they were, and therefore he had much more reason to have compassion on them, for he cannot despise the work of his own hands (Job 10:3). … That though God may suffer his people to fall into sin, yet he will not suffer them to lie still in it, but will take a course effectually to show them their error, and to bring them to themselves and to their right mind again…That God will justify himself in the methods of his grace towards repenting returning sinners as well as in the course his justice takes with those that persist in their rebellion

Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible.

We can be a part of the effort to urge mercy rather than judgment. God loves and pities His wayward people, even the brutal ones.

there is one Lord over all, that is rich in mercy to all that call upon him, and in every nation, in Nineveh as well as in Israel, he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him; he that repents, and turns from his evil way, shall find mercy with him

Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible.

Posted in Aaron, encouragement, grace, high priest, mercy

Aaron: thoughts and scriptures

I am studying Aaron. The first High Priest. Melchizedek. Jesus the last High Priest. Lots of questions come up in my mind.

Aaron was Moses’ brother, older by three years. Their sister was Miriam who was older than both. It was Aaron who spoke for Moses, (Exodus 4:15-16) and it was Aaron whom God used as the vehicle for several of the miracles before of Pharaoh.

It was Aaron who was the deputy in charge when Moses went up Mount Sinai to speak with God and receive the ten commandments. It was Aaron whose rod budded to signify once for all God had chosen Aaron and his tribe. (Numbers 17:8)

As I study, I wonder, when Moses went up the mountain and was gone so long, why did Aaron cave to the demands of the Israelites and build a Golden Calf? (Exodus 32:1-6). Why was he the one to actually collect the gold earrings and other items? Why was he proactive in inviting them to the feast? Most of all, though 3000 who participated in it were killed, why wasn’t Aaron punished?

And then I was thinking about the Miriam incident. Despite being chosen to support her brother, and revered as a poet and a prophetess for her people, (Exodus 15:20, 21), Miriam got jealous- and so did Aaron. She AND Aaron grumbled, saying,

Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” (Numbers 12:2).

This happened after the Golden Calf incident so I’d have thought Aaron would be chastened for good, not having been killed with the other wrongdoers. But Miriam came to him complaining. Her name is listed first. And though Aaron’s words are not recorded, there is the “we” aspect of it. “Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses” (Numbers 12:1).

So I’m thinking, was Aaron the kind of man that a person would feel comfortable complaining to? Why was Aaron so receptive? Yet again, God didn’t punish Aaron but punished Miriam. If the disobedience in the Garden against God was held against Adam because he was the head of the house & knew better, why wasn’t Aaron punished because he was high priest and presumably head of the house over Miriam as her brother? (I think Miriam is unmarried but I could be wrong on that). Yet Aaron escaped punishment, or even rebuke, for a second time.

He didn’t make it into the Promised Land, but God said that was because of Aaron’s and Moses’ sin at Meribah with the waters.

So I’m going, “huh”. Very interesting! My take-aways at this early stage are,

–God will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy
–Don’t grumble against God
–Don’t grumble against God-appointed leaders
–Don’t be the kind of person people feel comfortable approaching to grumble to

Epilogue:

Do you know why God spared Aaron’s life at the Golden Calf incident? Deuteronomy 9:20 has the reason. Moses said,

And the Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him. And I prayed for Aaron also at the same time.

PRAYER. The grace of God was delivered upon a rebellious man, whom a righteous man (Ez 14:14) prayed for. PRAYER! Do not neglect it! God’s grace is incredible. He has mercy upon whom He will have mercy, but the prayers of a righteous man DO avail much. (James 5:16). Pray!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading

All the men of the bible: Aaron

Miriam: Leading Lady of the Exodus

Posted in grace, jesus, mercy, watchman

Pray for mercy for each other

Mercy. A beautiful quality of God. Here is CARM.org’s definition of mercy and how it differs from grace:

Mercy
Mercy is the act of not administering justice when that justice is punitive. Because of our sinfulness we deserve death and eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23; Isaiah 59:2), but God provided an atonement for sin and through it shows us mercy. That is, He does not deliver to the Christian the natural consequence of his sin which is damnation. That is why Jesus became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) and bore the punishment due to us (Isaiah 53:4-5). It was to deliver us from damnation. (Compare with justice and grace.)”

“God saved us according to His mercy (Titus 3:5) and we can practice mercy as a gift (Rom. 12:8). “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

Mercy is not grace.

Grace
Biblically, grace is unmerited favor. It is God’s free action for the benefit of his people. It is different than justice and mercy. Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. In grace we get eternal life, something that, quite obviously, we do not deserve. But because of God’s love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of redemption.”

Sometimes we think to ask for mercy from God. The tax collector was commended for his humble appeal for mercy to Holy God. 

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” (Luke 18:13)

Here is something to think of even further. There are many people who say they are watchmen. As a matter of fact, we are all called to “watch.” In Mark 13 between verses 33 and 37 Jesus said to “watch” four times! He said to watch for His coming, and to pray. Watch for the householder. Stay awake and watch. And He finished by saying “what I say unto you I say unto all.” So we all are supposed to be watchmen.

So we watch.

But there is more to do than simply watch. What else are Christian watchmen supposed to do? Well, pray, as stated above.

We also share the good news of salvation.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they seethe return of the Lord to Zion.” (Isaiah 52:7-8).

But there is something else we can do besides watch, pray, warn, and share the Good News. It’s mercy. The prophets of old often warns, often shared the good news, but one of their jobs was to plea for mercy before God on behalf of the people.Do we pray to God for mercy for our people?

The tax collector was praised for acknowledging his own hopeless state, and pled for mercy to God who dispenses mercy.

After we remove the log from our eye and repent of our daily sins, (so we are not prayerful hypocrites) when we pray, plea for mercy for your church family too. We should pray and plead for mercy for our brethren.

Paul asked the Lord to grant mercy on the house of Onesiphorus–

“May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,” (2 Timothy 1:16)

In his salutation,Paul often wrote that he asked the Lord to show mercy to his loved ones as in this example:

“May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1:2)

I believe that when we pray for mercy for others by name or in groups, it is harder for us to be critical of them, and it makes it possible to love them even more. Because, He loves us and showed mercy…not dispensing our earned justice of His wrath but instead He mercifully reconciled us to Him through Jesus.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

“for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,” (Isaiah 61:10b)

Pray for mercy for the people you love.

Posted in grace, mercy

We are living stones

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5)

We’re living stones, being built up into a spiritual house…

I grew up in New England. When the farmers cleared the field, they dug up a lot of rocks. Rocks, rocks, everywhere. What to do with the rocks? Make a border wall out of them.

Our house was a small Cape Cod, a 100 year old cottage. The front of our house had a very long rock wall of old rocks that had been unearthed from the fields. By the 1960s the wall was falling down and it needed to be rebuilt

My father hired two old Italian guys to rebuild the wall. Italians have been masons and laying rock for thousands of years. The Appian Way is one of the world’s oldest paved roads, and it is still there, and works. Though the Italians invented cement, in our case, the wall wasn’t set with mortar or cement. It is the nestling of just the right rock next to each other, the pressure exerted of the whole structure, and gravity that keeps them all in place. (Photo, Appian Way, Wikimedia Commons)

The old guys had the rocks strewn all around. One of them would pick up a rock and test it, and look at it closely, turning it over and over. Feeling it all around with his hands, brushing off the sand and dirt, he’d put it next to the rock on the wall, and see if it fit. Nope. He’d pull it out and talk to the other Italian guy for a while, and after some talk, and laughter, taking their time, he would pick up another rock, and test it all over again.

Gradually, slowly, the wall took shape. Long and straight, it stands to this day.

In reading that verse last night at church, the picture of the old Italian guys came to my mind. I envisioned Jesus and the Holy Spirit, calmly and precisely talking, working together in perfect unity, laughing and admiring the work each was doing. Jesus saying to the Spirit, “draw that one over there to Me, I’m ready for Him… put that one here and this one next to it, ah, perfect fit…” The spiritual house is being built, in His timing, constructed to last forever, with us as the living stones. His precision is straight and true. As well as Potter and carpenter, I guess we can add Stone Mason to His construction skills, couldn’t we.

He is the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone…

“As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.” (Daniel 2:35)

“For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”” (1 Peter 2:6).

He is the chief cornerstone, but having the Spirit in us, our souls are so intimately tied with Him that we also are stones. Little stones from the Rock. And here comes the pun: we are chips off the old block.

Bishop of Lincoln Robert Sanderson is said to have said it first in a 1637 sermon:
“Am not I a child of the same Adam … a chip of the same block, with him?”

We are of Adam, but our precious Lord didn’t leave us on the stone quarry floor. He picked us up, adopted us, polished us, built us up “to be a holy priesthood,” and set us in His spiritual House. Praise His merciful name, His grace is so generous!

Posted in bunheads, gay, homosexual, mercy, repent

Gay demographics: what are the REAL numbers?

If the homosexual lobby is to be believed, every other person you bump into is gay. At work, at home, in town, in the city, in church, the more vocal activists in the lobby make it seem like people who self-identify as homosexual or lesbian are a major portion of the population.

They scream about rights, and their civic due, and not being marginalized any more like any other large minority group, such as African Americans. Black people as a major minority rose up in the 1960s to claim their civil rights, the gay lobby says, and homosexual lobby now makes the same claims. Homosexually-oriented people are elected to office, serve as community leaders, even preach from pulpits. There is a homosexual character on most sitcoms now, either as a regular character or as a recurring character. Homosexual references are made on scripted shows and on reality television shows, movies, and books. Christian colleges have gay support clubs now. We are literally saturated with the notion that homosexuality is the norm. Heck, even the animals do it, so it must be normal, right?

Not so fast.

I opened with “If the homosexual lobby is to be believed…” but what are really the statistics on numbers of self-identified gay and lesbian people in America? Can we believe those numbers? I am not talking about a girl who experimented once when she was 12, or the guy who woke up sorry and embarrassed after the drunken orgy of a frat party. I am talking the militant, life-long, “out” homosexuals who choose to live that lifestyle as mirror to heterosexuality.

No. We can’t believe the numbers. They’re a crock.

Americans Have No Idea How Few Gay People There Are
“One in ten. It’s the name of the group that puts on the Reel Affirmations gay and lesbian film festival in Washington, D.C., each year. It’s the percent popularized by the Kinsey Report as the size of the gay male population. And it’s among the most common figures pointed to in popular culture as an estimate of how many people are gay or lesbian. But what percentage of the population is actually gay or lesbian? With the debate over same-sex marriage again an emerging fault line in American political life, the answer comes as a surprise: A lower number than you might think — and a much, much, much lower one than most Americans believe.”

So, what are the numbers? Well, Americans believe a quarter of the population is gay. The true number is about 4% and is probably probably closer to 2%. A 2011 report by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation estimated that 4 million adults identify as gay or lesbian, representing 1.7% of the population over 18. (source)

That is some very successful perception-altering on their part. So how is it that the homosexual lobby has made it seem like you can’t swing a cat in the Bible Belt without hitting a queen or a dyke? Because of this.

Bunheads.

Bunheads is a new ABC Family show by the producers of Gilmore Girls. I never saw the tv show Gilmore Girls but every news story I read about Bunheads identifies the show that way so I will too. Bunheads is the nickname for ballerinas, and the show that made its debut last Monday is touted as a new family oriented entertainment.

I saw the pilot and I liked it. I thought the writing was sophisticated and witty, the show was emotional without being sentimental, and I put it on the list for future watching.

So what is my concern with the show and how does it relate to the vastly overestimated homosexual numbers? Here:

At one point toward the end of the pilot episode, which is on ABC Family I remind us all, the mom-in-law character was having a heart to heart talk with her new daughter-in-law. The girl had just married the mom’s son and had moved into their home in a town called Paradise.

The scene took place in a roadhouse toward the end of the show, a show in which constant references had been made for the last 90 minutes to the smallness of this rural seaside town. It is small. There is no movie theatre. It has just about one store. (Giving directions to a newcomer- “Go to Main Street, turn left, and look for the store called Sparkles.”) The teens, when feeling frisky and up to no good, break into the library and, gulp, read. It’s so small that teenagers literally have nothing else to do but read? THAT is how small, out of the way, and retiring this little town is. Even the show synopsis calls it a “sleepy coastal town.”

So back to the scene. The new daughter-in-law asks about the dancers attending the mom-in-law’s ballet class. The teenage girls all had a story, and of one, the mom-in-law said,

“Her dad’s gay. Oh, he thinks it’s a big secret but we all know. Thing is, if he would just come out of the closet he would smile once in a while. And plus, there are a lot of very nice, single gay men in town.”

A town so small has “a lot” of gay men? The perception the homosexual lobby would have us believe, and uses family entertainment to do it, is that literally just about everyone is gay. Bombard a population with that message for thirty years and you get a new generation coming up who thinks everyone is gay. And if there are so many gays, then it must be normal. That is the strategy. Normalization through numbers.

Of course I’m not blaming the entire skewed perception on one television show, but it is representative of the insidious but casual nature that scripted tv and movies: that every closet has a gay person lurking inside it, summoning up the courage to leap “out.” We have been saturated with casual one-off lines like the one in Bunheads casually declaring that there are “a lot” even in this small town. ‘We don’t have a theater but we’ve got our gays!’

You can see the success the homosexual lobby has had in altering the perception of a nation of over 300 million souls. The homosexual lifestyle is an aberration. Some succumb and choose it. Make no mistake, though, it is a choice, not an identity. I understand the fight that homosexual people have in resisting that aberrant behavior. All people attempt to resist sin in some form or fashion. I understand also that some sins are more besetting than others. God will still judge them.

BUT, God in His loving kindness, accepts the repentance of one who seeks to shed that lifestyle and turn to Him. His mercy is greater than any sin, and He listens to prayers beseeching deliverance. Here is a moving three minute clip from a testimony John MacArthur shared of a homosexual’s repentance. (The clip says 7 minutes but the audio goes out after three minutes.) It is quite moving:

If you are involved in a homosexual lifestyle, or any lifestyle that is unacceptable to God, please repent. Ask Him to forgive your sins, and make Him Lord. His wisdom is so vast that he will lead you into a life that is purer and more peaceful than you can ever imagine.

And Christians? If the US population of born again believers was 3% of the total population, and we had been as vocal (but not law-breaking) and persistent as the homosexual lobby has been, where would this nation be now? Joel C. Rosenberg is working hard right now with his “Implosion” simulcast in Houston today, praying for revival. You can join him in prayer and on Facebook at the Epicenter Team page.

It all begins with prayer. For the penitent homosexual, reviler, blasphemer, slanderer, it begins with a prayer of repentance. With the Christian, it continues with prayer. Seek Him while He may be found.

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7 ESV)

Posted in holy life, mercy, regeneration

A budding stick

My kitchen window won’t stay up. So I use a stick to prop it open. I got the stick from the yard a couple of years ago. LOL, I had to be fast because my landlord is diligent and he goes around and picks up all the dead sticks blown down from windstorms.

It’s been cool lately and I’ve enjoyed being able to open my windows and have the breeze go through, rather than having to live in AC air. Yesterday as I raised up the window and grabbed the stick from the well of the sill, I noticed for the first time that the stick was budding.

I thought it was strange, because I’ve had the stick for a couple of years and it has always been dead. It was dead on the ground when I got it, it languished dead in the windowsill through winters, rains, and heat, and it was dead when I used it to prop up the window all this time. Here is a photo:

Looks like a dead stick, doesn’t it? Well, it is!

But then a leaf grew!

Actually, two leaves are growing!
See?

So the stick is like us before we’re saved. We are dead in our sins. We bear no fruit, we have no life. Sure, we are walking around and living and working and marrying and stuff, but we are dead sticks walking.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,” (Ephesians 2:1)

But when we are born again, we are first justified. This means being forgiven, we are now having a right relationship with God. It is a legal term of justice, the Judge giving a pardon. Then we are regenerated.

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,” (Colossians 2:13)

“…even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5)

Regeneration means born again, a rebirth, having new life. The next step in His process is sanctification, which means the process of God molding us as His clay to become more Christlike in all we think, say, and do. Sanctification is a long process, a lifetime, and then an eternity. It is the process of living a holy life. We cannot do this apart from Jesus.  Justification is a one time event happening in one moment, the moment God forgives you of sins.

Regeneration is the glorious moment of new birth. Paul captures it in chapter Titus 3:5:

“he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,”

If God makes a dead stick bud, then He can make you bud too! Seek Jesus for forgiveness of sins, He will wash them away and renew you as His new creation in a holy rebirth and subsequent sanctifying growth that will last all your life, in this age and the eternal one to come.

Posted in comfort, grace, mercy

Wash yourself in the word, let its comforts engulf you!

Sometimes we know that God is so big, we wonder, how can He know us? Why does He care about little old me? Will He even remember me? We know He does, but sometimes it’s hard to think on, that He is so mighty but that He cares about even our daily provision. So when we offer each other comfort, we often turn to the wonderful verses about God knowing all about us. Here is one-

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:4-7).

I am going through Ezra and I read Ezra 2 the other day. I was struck by the verses that make up the bulk of that chapter. It is the part where the LORD puts on the exiled Israelites’ hearts to leave Babylon. The 70-year exile is over and it is time to return, build the temple, and resume life as a person of God in the Land. Fifty-thousand people were to return. The Remnant.

“The number of the men of the people of Israel: the sons of Parosh, 2,172. The sons of Shephatiah, 372. The sons of Arah, 775. The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,812. The sons of Elam, 1,254. The sons of Zattu, 945. The sons of Zaccai, 760. The sons of Bani, 642. The sons of Bebai, 623. The sons of Azgad, 1,222. The sons of Adonikam, 666. The sons of Bigvai, 2,056. The sons of Adin, 454. The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. The sons of Bezai, 323. The sons of Jorah, 112. The sons of Hashum, 223. The sons of Gibbar, 95. The sons of Bethlehem, 123. The men of Netophah, 56. The men of Anathoth, 128. The sons of Azmaveth, 42.” (Ezra 2:2b-24)

Look how exacting! Look how perfectly God’s records are kept! Look how much He knows! And it doesn’t end there. After the genealogies which comprise the bulk of the chapter are exhausted (so that the generations of priests and Levites will be able to maintain their claim to the office of Priest), we read how many singers and gatekeepers there were:

“The singers: the sons of Asaph, 128. The sons of the gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, and the sons of Shobai, in all 139.” (Ezra 2:41-42).

And He is not done, after all the listings of the different types of servants, there is a list of how many horses and donkeys! “Their horses were 736, their mules were 245, their camels were 435, and their donkeys were 6,720.” (Ezra 2:66-67).

Rather than wanting to hurry and read through these extensive lists, I slowed down and lingered over these verses. First, because if it is in the bible it is put there for a reason, likely, many reasons that prayer and meditating upon will bring out. Secondly, I like to picture in my mind the men whose names are listed actually gathering their sheep and packing up the donkey and the women un-pitching the tents. I like to imagine the scene so as to bring to life that this is a real event and these were real people. Third, I was simply struck at the exactitude of the Lord. His record-keeping is as exact and controlled as He is. Of course He knows us! He knows our struggles, our sins, our attempts, our repentance, our thoughts, our failings, our past and our future. He knows. And not only that, this great God of ours, He empathizes. How can such a High and Exalted God sympathize with our puny problems?

Here is how:

“Surely our griefs He himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4).

Because of this, He personally can sympathize with us. He is our great High Priest:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Friend, if you are struggling, if you feel lost or alone, go to the throne of mercy. It is not far, only as far as closed eyes and clasped hands. We serve a great and holy God who loves us and knows us through and through. Let Him comfort you–

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)