Posted in apologetics, biblical resources, contend for the faith, homosexuality, todd friel, voddie baucham

Resources about the sin of homosexuality for believers, parents, and gay folks wanting to emerge from their sin

With the Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage in every state of the US last Friday, many people have come forward to me and others with questions on how to help those on bondage to it, or how to help parents struggling to come to grips with their child’s sin of homosexuality, or how to respond in apologetics to those Christians waving a rainbow flag in affirmation of the decision, or many other issues concomitant. As I saw good and trustworthy resources come across my laptop, I saved them and systematized them into groupings. I hope any of this may help as you witness to the truth regarding this particular sin.

SECTION 1: Help for those emerging from homosexuality

1. Rosaria Butterfield is probably the number 1 exhibit of the post-gay lifestyle of a former feminist and lesbian. She seems like the real deal, an honestly sinful lesbian who honestly is now a Christian. As an adult in 1999, a tenured professor at a liberal university teaching post modernism, feminism, and actively promoting and involved in the lesbian lifestyle, Rosaria is now a married woman to a pastor and mother to children, most important of all, a liberated Christian, freed from her bondage of sins, including homosexuality.

Her book: “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into the Christian Faith

Article: “My Train-Wreck Conversion

New book: “Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ

In the new book she addresses these issues:

  • Conversion: the Spark of a New Identity
  • Identity: the Flame of Our Union in Christ
  • Repentance: the Threshold to God and the Answer to Shame, Temptation, and Sin
  • Sexual Orientation: Freud’s 19th Century Category Mistake
  • Self-Representation: What Does It Mean to Be “gay”?
  • Conflict: When Sisters Disagree
  • Community: Representing Christ to the World

There are additional resources at her website.

2. This article at Piper’s Desiring God website outlines four tactics for the ex-lesbian, or anyone struggling with a besetting sin, to live their life under God in an ever-increasing sanctification.
The Dead End of Sexual Sin

3. Setting Captives Free
I am not familiar with this website/program until someone I trust on Facebook posted about it. I looked it up and apparently they have been counseling for 15 years. I found no negative reviews to speak of, no scandal, and nothing of ill-repute.

They focus on helping people with online and telephone mentoring through structured 30 and 60 day classes, for a fee. Not all classes are for fee, some are free. It is a non-denominational, Biblically based set of courses. They help people who are struggling with–

adultery
pornography
masturbation
homosexuality

They offer a couples class in purity.
They offer a class for spouses whose spouse is struggling with sexual addiction.

Recently they have added two other classes, Self-injury and gluttony. In addition, they offer general devotionals and bible studies. On the website also, there are many resources, some for pay and many for free.

SECTION 2: Help Understanding what the Bible says about homosexuality

These resources from Pastor-Teacher John MacArthur (and Voddie Baucham) cover a range of issues related to homosexuality. This is just a sampling. There are additional resources available at gty.org on the topic.

Q&A, it’s available in written, audio, or video form.
Answering the Key Questions about Homosexuality
“2004: I think the topic touches all of us in one way or another because it intersects with all of society’s most basic institutions…home, marriage, government, and of course, religion and our faith. And so the questions that I have for you today are going to explore all of those areas. This debate over homosexuality is an emotional one and it hasn’t diminished over time, only the opposite.”

Sermon, available in written, audio, or video form.
Thinking Biblically about Homosexuality
“Well, tonight I want to talk to you on the subject of what God thinks of homosexuals. It is not a particularly enjoyable subject to discuss, nor would any sin be enjoyable to discuss, for that matter. But it has become pertinent and essential and necessary for us to get a biblical view of this rapidly increasing and normalizing effort to accept homosexuality in our culture. We need to understand what the Word of God has to say.”

CD, free until July 5. Click on link to order.
Homosexuality, Cultural Decay, and the Only Hope
“But be encouraged, because even in the face of the cultural slide, there still is hope—a hope tied to believers like you, the Body of Christ. John MacArthur recently sat down to talk about “Homosexuality and Today’s Moral Slide.” It’s an hour of Bible-based discussion on same-sex marriage, transgender issues, and other evidences of profound cultural decay—and how you and believers like you need to respond to what’s going on now, and to what’s to come if the Lord tarries.”

Sermon, available in written, audio, or video form.
What the Bible teaches about Homosexuality
“Tonight we’re going to return, at least to begin with, to Romans chapter 1 for our study. We really finished last week looking specifically at the text of Romans 1. But there was much interest and reaction as we discussed the issue of homosexuality as it is mentioned by the apostle Paul in this text. I really feel that God used our study of Romans 1 in a very unique way. During the time we were in that chapter many people gave their lives to Christ. I think many of us have a greater understanding of why God is angry with men who reject His revelation, sink into rationalization, religion, and ultimately reprobation, as we saw in our last study. But we noted last time that in the process of Paul’s defining the sinfulness of man and the utter fallenness of man, he gives an illustration of the depth of man’s sin by pointing out what is the worst earthly expression of man’s fallenness, and that is homosexuality.”

In this 4-minute video clip, Pastor Voddie Baucham biblically refutes the comment “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” and in so doing, teaches Christians how to think about the comment and what to say in response.
https://youtu.be/bAOCjKqzAKk

SECTION 3: Help for parents, families

In this essay, Kevin DeYoung poses 40 thoughtful questions to the Christians celebrating gay marriage. These can be used in a counseling situation, or if meeting face to face in counseling, via email… whatever. The questions get the Christian to consider their position using the Bible as a mirror.
40 Questions for Christians now Waving Rainbow Flags

In this pair of essays, in one a supposedly Christian father was shockingly heartless in response to his son’s coming out. It is Exhibit A in what NOT to do.
Father disowns his gay son in shockingly heartless letter
“5 years ago, I was disowned via letter when I came out to my father,” writes Redditor RegBarc.”

David Murray read the heartless dad’s letter and mused upon the issue. What letter would he write if his son came out as gay?
What would you write to your gay son?
“As I find it hard to believe that a true Christian would ever write such a letter, I’ve drafted a letter that I hope a Christian father would write (although I’m sure we all hope we’ll never have to write it).”

Todd Friel read both letters and commented on them here in this 4 minute video.
https://youtu.be/f4o0o8a1Sng

How to respond to a homosexual child
“The challenge of responding to homosexuality used to be “out there.” Now it’s in our denominations, our churches, and for some, in the home. Many Christian parents are beginning to wonder, “How should I respond if my child claims to be a homosexual?” For some parents, that question is no longer theoretical. How should believing parents respond to their homosexual children? How do they deal biblically with their children’s sexual sins—particularly if the children claim to know Christ?”

Posted in drive by pneumatology, prophecy, science, steven lawson, the onion, todd friel, volcanoes

The Onion hilarity, bible study fellowship recipes, a scientist’s agitation, Drive By Theology, WWUTT?

Thursday is grocery shopping day. I want to go early since it is supposed to be very hot and my car AC doesn’t work anymore. My usual routine is suspended for today, so no deep theological thoughts. 🙂 Here are a few things for your consideration.

I have Bible study in my home. Here are two recipes I enjoy making in order to have something on hand to serve the guests. My mama taught me that. She taught me manners and hospitality. It is a dying art, I think. I like these 2 recipes because they are inexpensive, use only a few ingredients, are easy to make, and are low calorie. They also cook fast, something to consider in hot Georgia during the summer.

Banana Oatmeal ‘cookies’
These are gluten free and sugar free. Though the recipe calls for a small bit of sugar, I omit it. I use banana, oatmeal, raisins, and sunflower seeds. That’s it. They are tasty and filling.

The write-up says, “I’d very loosely call these treats cookies. Why? The recipe is basically two ingredients, oats and bananas, plus a few add-ins. Also, it’s pretty healthy. Probably with my add-ins they’re only about 40 calories each, but don’t let that scare you. These “cookies” are actually very tasty, like baked banana oatmeal in portable form.”

Two-Ingredient Angel Food Pineapple Cake
This recipe uses a box angel food cake and a 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, in its own juice. That’s it. Don’t even grease the pan, the cake won’t rise. I stir the the ingredients together by hand and let sit for 2-3 minutes. It froths up. Then pour into a baking dish. I use a 13-inch glass dish. Bake for the allotted time and that is it! Top with Cook Whip if desired, or fresh fruit.

As far as beverages go, I never have any that other people enjoy on hand. I don’t drink sodas or juice because of the sugar. I do always have a jug of cold water in the fridge and usually a jug or two of chilled herb tea. Chilled green tea with lemon is refreshing to serve. I know most people down south drink ‘sweet tea’ but I just can’t serve that. It’s gross.

As a person who studies prophecy and has from the beginning of her Christian walk been interested in last things, I found this spoof-news piece from The Onion laugh out loud funny. I mean, I laughed hard from my gut.

Experts Say Best Option Now Is Keeping Nation As Comfortable As Possible Till End

WASHINGTON—Saying there were no other options remaining and that continued intervention would only prolong the nation’s suffering, experts concluded Tuesday that the best course of action is to keep the United States as comfortable as possible until the end.

According to those familiar with its condition, the country’s long, painful decline over the past several decades has made it clear that the most compassionate choice at this juncture is to do whatever is possible to ensure America is at ease during its last moments.

“We need to accept the fact that the U.S. doesn’t have long—simply helping it pass that time in comfort is the humane thing to do,” said economist Danielle Martin, speaking on behalf of a large group of experts ranging from sociologists and historians to lawmakers and environmentalists, all of whom confirmed they had “done everything [they] could.” “Attempting to stabilize the country in its current enfeebled state would not only be extremely expensive, but it would also cause unnecessary agony as it enters this final stage. With how hard the nation is struggling to perform even basic functions, letting it meet its end naturally is the merciful decision here.”

More at the link.

Here is a new site I found. It is WWUTT, or “When We Understand The Text”. WWUTT is the creation of Pastor Gabriel Hughes from First Southern Baptist Church in Junction City, KS. Their 90-second video about Altar Calls is very good. Their statement says the videos are made to share, so if you enjoy this one and agree then go for it, share away.

Todd Friel of Wretched.com has a new series out. It’s actually an update of an old series, called “Drive By.” I own and have listened to Drive By Discernment and Drive By Pneumatology. I’ve listened to DBD twice, actually. It’s really good. The Drive By series is so named because the series contains numerous lectures about the topic which can be listened to on your commute to work. Each lecture is only 7-11 minutes long but are doctrinally solid. Many contributors speak on the series so there are a variety of voices. This newly updated one is Drive By Theology. It features Friel as host and Dr Steven J. Lawson.

I don’t drive anywhere and my commute to work is a short 10 minutes, but I listen to these when I cook or do the dishes or craft at home, so it’s perfect for busy homschooling moms, too. The series is an excellent way to get an education without commuting to seminary or spending lots of money.

You can purchase them by downloading immediately to your computer or ordering a CD/DVD. They are affordable, usually between $15 and $25 for 35-70 lectures. I recommend the series. If you are a pastor who has a person in your congregation who wants to study more but is frustrated by time limits either because they work outside the home or are a busy mother or caretaker, this is a perfect series. I should say that the lectures are doctrinally solid without being dense or difficult to understand. Makes a great gift. I plan to buy the Theology package in 2 weeks. I can’t wait!!

Erik Klemetti is a Professor of Geology who specializes in volcanology. He also has taken on the journalism world for the frequent false, misleading, or hyperbolic reporting on science topics. I feel his pain. As a former journalist I know for a fact that we stumble on science and fail almost always on math/economics reporting. Here Dr Klemetti is frustrated with a Russia Today news piece on the newly active volcano Sinabung in Northern Sumatra.

Now this is a difficult issue. With most science reporting there is a decided bias against a creationist perspective. This is to be expected. However too many Christians display a lack of maturity when it comes to pressing repeat or ‘like’ or retweet on science that is hyperbolic and just plain wrong. Much of the Ark discovery news in the Turkish mountains is one example.

There are some things that are true about the article but I was perplexed as to what exactly was untrue. Someone asked the same question and Klemetti said what was reported was “not a likely scenario at all regarding Toba”. No further specifics were given.

Now it’s true that a volcano can rain down hell, volcanic sulfur gas and ash is part of the eruption. (And God can make sulfur rain down at any time as we learned from Sodom in Genesis 19:24). It’s true that volcanoes can cause a nuclear winter and they will do so again (it’s likely volcanic activity that is referenced in Rev 6:12). Though the article throws the specter of near-extinction of humans, it is true that in the Tribulation no flesh would survive if Jesus doesn’t come back before everyone dies. But scientists don’t know that, or they don’t believe it if they do know.

Dr Klemetti’s concern with the article is that the kind of eruption the reporter described is not likely for the kind of volcano Sinabung is. However we know that the earth is the Lord’s and He can make the ground open up where there is no earthquake fault. He can make mountains melt like wax and He can make all the islands sink under the ocean. Klemetti’s frustration is legitimate because many reporters aren’t careful with the science facts. However the frustration he feels and all scientists feel only increase as the Lord increasingly demonstrates that He is in charge of the earth. A third of the sun will go dark, pestilence will sweep away most of the population very quickly, Israel will be supernaturally protected from military destruction, demons will emerge from the abyss, a third of all waters will turn to blood, and third of all grasses will burn up, the sun will be so hot people would combust if they stayed outside, and more. Science will not be able to explain these coming things.

More than one scientist will be saying “no, no, no, no, no, no…”

One last thing. Check out Adam Ford’s (Adam4D) cartoons. He has been on a roll lately. Like with this one

Creflo’s Jet

And “Who’s The Bigot?

And I really liked “Locusts

I’ll leave you with a good word from Paul-

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Posted in discernment, naming names of false teachers, todd friel, wretched radio

Discernment: Start naming some names!

Todd Friel in a short bit about the heartbreak of false pastors AKA wolves, and how devastating they are to the flock. He spoke of a pastor in Africa who urged his flock to eat grass. They did. When we refuse to name their names it perpetuates their apostasy and does nothing for the faith except allow the chaos to bring death. Here’s Todd at Wretched:

Cameron Buettel at Grace To You Blog this past February 2014 says the same thing,

Naming Names

When it comes to false teachers, naming names seems to have become the unpardonable sin for many in the charismatic movement. Certainly, much of the criticism aimed at last fall’s Strange Fire conference focused on that issue. But is “Thou shalt not call out false teachers” really another commandment for the modern church, or is it an unbiblical shield designed to protect heretics from theological scrutiny?

Great question! Buettel continues,

The Arian heresy, the Pelagian heresy, the Sabellian heresy, and the Socinian heresy—to name just a few—were all named after the heretic who taught them. Yes, their names were named, and still live on in modern memory as a reminder of the damnable errors they taught.

When the bubonic plague broke out in London in 1665, the officials who were charged with the health and safety of the populace didn’t walk down the street ringing a bell saying, “There is plague here, somewhere, but we won’t mention who has it because we don’t want to hurt their feelings.” No!Their responsibility was the safety and protection of the people, and to contain the spread. So, they marked the door of each house that had plague with a red X. False teaches are like the rats that have plague ridden fleas on them, they bring disease, chaos, and death to the people. We mark them-

 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17 KJV)

Satan has the false teachers in his pocket. He protects his own, and will not let a thrust go without a parry. A Christian woman friend named DebbieLynne Kespert noticed this week that several of Beth Moore’s more controversial (read: critiqued and challenged) videos are disappearing from the web. I linked to several of them on this blog, which unfortunately as of today, if you click on them bring you not to the video anymore, but to this:

As Ms Kespert noted,

“videos give better evidence and are harder to refute. It is harder now to substantiate our objections to her teachings”. 

That’s true because a person can see the teacher saying it, know the inflection and tone, and witness the context. Ms Kespert wrote about it very well, here, saying

“These videos provided enormous help in evaluating Beth Moore’s ministry. … have no wish to assault Beth Moore’s character, nor may we pass ultimate judgment on her salvation. But, like the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11, we examine her teaching, ministry and conduct against Scripture. The missing videos troubled us. Their disappearance troubles us even more.”

After prayerful consideration and plenty of evidence, we must name names. Mr Buettel advises,

Of course Romans 16:17 is not talking about witch hunts, but it does highlight the responsibility of Christian leaders to identify, expose, and reject false teachers wherever and whenever they appear. 

When we name names, and we must name them, be prepared for push-back by satan, either directly against you and/or on behalf of his false teachers as we’ve witnessed with disappearing videos, or in refutation books, or in Facebook or other online ad hominem attacks. We cannot mark those who cause divisions without expecting a response from satan, for we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

God’s sovereignty is supreme. His truth will continue to unfold where He wills it. (John 3:8). Our duty is to the Head of our Church, Jesus Christ. Do not be afraid to name some names

Postscript:

(The grass eating pastor was Legeso Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries in Garankuwa, Pretoria, South Africa, it happened in January 2014). The news report sparked a series of online complaints. One said, “Is this a scene in a movie…this can’t be real. God created animals to chew grass and made human beings to dominate over animals. Any person who reduces human beings to animals is definitely not of God.” (source)

Posted in books, dan phillips, foxe's book of martyrs, todd friel

Clear the decks, weekend reading is ON!

We are getting clipped by the icy rain that is more to our north. Our school let out an hour early, and we all scurried home.

I stopped at the Post Office and wonder of wonders, my large book order from Amazon (thanks to a reader) had come in! Is there anyone happier than a geek on a Friday afternoon, ready to hunker down for the weekend with tea and blankets and good books? By herself? Nope!

So what did I get?

1. Twelve Ordinary Men, John MacArthur. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to be perfect to do God’s work. Look no further than the twelve disciples whose many weaknesses are forever preserved throughout the pages of the New Testament. Jesus chose ordinary men – fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots – and turned their weakness into strength, producing greatness from utter uselessness. MacArthur draws principles from Christ’s careful, hands-on training of the original twelve disciples for today’s modern disciple – you.

2. Twelve Unlikely Heroes, John MacArthur. What kind of people does God use to accomplish His work? Far from the children’s tales depicted in picture books and nursery rhymes, the men and women highlighted in the Bible were unnervingly real. They faltered. They struggled. And at times, they fell short. Yet God worked through them in surprising and incredible ways to accomplish His purposes. Scripture does not hide their weaknesses, caricature their strengths, or spin their stories as a display of human nobility. Instead, it describes these heroes of the faith with unflinching honesty and delivers an unexpected ending: “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Hebrews 11:16).

3. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: For nearly two – thousand years courageous men and women have been tortured and killed because of their confessions of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This updated edition of Foxes Book of Martyrs contains stories of persecution up to 2001. Stories of heroic courage and overcoming faith. Stories of love of God and Christ. Stories of the amazing grace of God that enabled men women and children to endure persecutions and often horrible deaths.

4. God’s Wisdom in Proverbs, Dan Phillips. God’s Wisdom in Proverbs is written brilliantly at a level that will challenge anyone who is interested enough in gaining wisdom and understanding to be serious in that quest. Readers will range from serious students of Scripture to casual lay readers on their way to a more serious approach to Scripture. It explains the wisdom of Proverbs (and the biblical nature of wisdom per se) in a clear, readable fashion that will be extremely helpful to everyone from students entering the academic world for the first time, to new parents seeking biblical insight into the process of child-rearing, to anyone in a position of responsibility or leadership. I recommend it for all who are tired of the superficial, self-centered themes that have filled evangelical pulpits and bookshelves for the past three decades (or more). If you are hungry for biblical material, God’s Wisdom in Proverbs will feed your appetite.”—PHIL JOHNSON, executive director, Grace to You

5. Drive By Pneumatology. Todd Friel, et al. 42 lectures. Pneumatology is the theological study of the Holy Spirit which seeks to answer who the Holy Spirit is and what His function is in the world. Drive By Pneumatology will provide a thorough, thoughtful and Biblical presentation on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. But Drive By Pneumatology goes beyond the who, what, where, when and why of the Holy Spirit and is very practical: • How do I get more of the Holy Spirit? • How can I be led by Him? • How do I get more fruit of the Holy Spirit?

6. When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. In a small town square of a sleepy Georgia town, seven-year-old Annie sits at her lemonade stand, raising money for her own heart transplant. At a nearby store, Reese flips through the newspaper, thinking about the latest boat hes restoring. As a beat-up bread truck careens around the corner, a strong wind blows Annie’s money into the road. Reese looks up in time to see Annie’s yellow dress fluttering in the wind as she runs into the road. What happens next will change both of their lives forever. Richly atmospheric and evocative, with the kind of characters that move into your heart and take up residence, Charles Martins new novel will resonate with fans of God-haunted southern fiction, and with anyone who enjoys a solidly crafted, heart-touching story.

7. The Racketeer, John Grisham. Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five. Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise?

I love to read. It was my first, best, and is my most enduring joy. I learned to read early, and dove head first into books, all the time, every day. I read Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy and The Saturdays. A Wrinkle in Time and The Secret Garden. I read Little House on the Prairie books tucked inside my algebra text. It didn’t fool the teacher. I read under the trees in the next door cemetery (so quiet there). I read on the school bus, in my bedroom under the eaves of the small Cape Cod house we lived in, I read at pep rallies. I read.

Even as an adult I was never without a book. I felt naked without one tucked into my purse or backpack. Heavens to Betsy, what if I was stuck at a doctor’s office waiting room for a long time, with nothing to read?! That was a fate worse than death. Not something even to consider.

Even as an adult, my tastes gravitated to historical fiction but usually more often toward the non-fiction of the topic I was involved in at the time. When I ran for office and got involved in civics in my community, I read civics books. When I ran the newspaper as editor/publisher, I read journalism books. When I was getting my Master’s in education, I read literacy books. (The ultimate egghead? Reading literacy books about literacy?)

When I was saved by the grace of God at age 43, my sanctifying walk took up quickly. Fiction books fast became unpalatable, due to language, themes, or immorality. Christian fiction, especially for women, is often too sentimental and badly written. Sorry to say that, but it is.

So mostly I read essays online or doctrinal books. I was excited when a friend recommended the Charles Martin books. Martin is a Christian author and his books are apparently well-written. Also, I love books by John Grisham! I enjoy stories of legal beagles and as an author he is consistent, the books are well written, and wonder of wonders, the tale is always absorbing. I thought his last book, The Litigators, was one of his best in years. But I’ve read all of Grisham’s books and I was bereft for a long time with no good books on the horizon. So now I am excitedly I’m looking forward to a just plain good reading session this weekend.

What a great Savior, who knew that the intersection of my love to read and the inevitable disappointment at having devoured and finished a book would eventually collide. In reading the bible, God the author is consistent, the books are well written, and wonder of wonders, the tale is always absorbing. The difference here is that I can never devour and dispense with the Good Book! It always has something to say and there is always more to digest!

I haven’t read these books yet, obviously, but they are by well-known credible authors and they have good reviews. I’ll review them after I read them but if you’re looking for some good reads, and some good texts to fill our your library bookshelf, I can say with fair amount of certainty that in these, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I plan to wrap up in a blanket, keep the teapot endlessly warmed, and crack open the Grisham right after supper. My weekend is about to begin, and as ole Si Robertson says, it’s on like Donkey Kong!