Archive for the ‘Biblical Christianity’ Category

2.24.13

Do you ever feel like God is trying to drive a point home in your life? Sometimes it feels like He is hitting you over the head, saying, “You can’t run from this, no matter where you turn, you’ll find the same things over and over.”

 

That’s what I realized tonight. It started earlier this week with a video on youtube by Jeff Bethke and his wife. They were answering the question, “How can you know when your decision is the right one?” (Or something along those lines).

 

Then today in Sunday school we were in the first chapter of Acts where we discussed the apostles choosing the 12th apostle to replace Judas. Was it by chance? Was this just a gamble the apostles took? No, it was not. Peter and the others set the criteria: he must be someone who was with Jesus the whole time, “beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (Acts 1:22) There were two men that fit this, Barsabbas and Mathias. The very next thing they did was pray: “And they prayed and said, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.'” (Acts 1:24-25). They trusted God to work through their casting of the lots, because they knew there is no such thing as “chance.”

 

This evening I was talking to my mom on the phone, and while she was telling me something, I realized that what we were discussing was what God had been leading up to all throughout the week. He knew this moment was coming where I had to make a decision, and because of that, he had been sending me little notes, as it were, to prepare me. This was huge for me, y’all. He was saying, “Look, I will be leading you, here’s how you can make this decision, and here’s how you can have peace in that choice.”

 

So, after years of hearing it but still not getting it, I think I’ve learned that there are three steps to making a choice:

 

First, we need to examine the two, or three or however many different options there are. What we need to look for is, does it line up with God’s word? Is this something I can do in good conscience? Will God be honored by this? That is what the apostles did. They set a criteria that they knew, to the best of their ability, would line up with God.

 

Second, we need to pray, just as the 11 did. If we narrow down the options and know that they are all godly, then we pray about it. Today one of our elders had to fill in at the pulpit, and he taught on the Lord’s Prayer. As he closed, he reminded us of James 4:2: “You do not have, because you do not ask.” Christians, if you are not willing to bring your petitions before your Father, then how do you expect to get anything? It’s like when my siblings and I used to want to ask our dad for something, but we were sure he would say no. Most of the time we asked anyway because it never hurts to ask, even if the answer is a no. So when you are having to make a decision and you’re just not quite sure, ask God to lead you.

 

Third, after you have examined and prayed, just choose. It’s seems so simple, yet for many like me, we agonize over it and worry that we still could be making the wrong decision. But no. If you have prayed, and you know it could bring God glory, do not hesitate. Worrying can be sinful, and part of growing and maturing is being able to make choices.

 

Another thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you keep hearing something over and over, God probably really wants you to sit up and listen. So yes, you will have to make decisions. Some will be little, every day things, some will be life changing. Some will be easy, some will hurt. But if you are following where God is leading, and you are in constant prayer with Him, be confident that even though your choice may be hard or painful, it is right, and nothing brings God glory like obeying Him.

 

 

 

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Sin has consequences. Yet Chesterton always maintains that we must condemn the sin and not the sinner. 

That is another reason we must treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with compassion. We know our own sins and weaknesses well enough. Philo of Alexandria said, “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a terrible battle.” But compassion must never compromise with evil. Chesterton points out that balance that our truth must not be pitiless, but neither can our pity be untruthful. Homosexuality is a disorder. It is contrary to order. Homosexual acts are sinful, that is, they are contrary to God’s order. They can never be normal. And worse yet, they can never even be even. As Chesterton’s great detective Father Brown says:  “Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down.”

But it was heterosexual men and women who paved the way to this decay. Divorce, which is an abnormal thing, is now treated as normal. Contraception, another abnormal thing, is now treated as normal. Abortion is still not normal, but it is legal. Making homosexual “marriage” legal will not make it normal, but it will add to the confusion of the times. And it will add to the downward spiral of our civilization. But Chesterton’s prophecy remains: We will not be able to destroy the family. We will merely destroy ourselves by disregarding the family.

G. K. Chesterton: It’s Not Gay, and It’s Not Marriage:

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/g-k-chesterton-its-not-gay-and-its-not-marriage

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“My Train Wreck Conversion” is the second article I’ve read this month written by a gay or lesbian. The first was Shane Windmeyer, leader of  LGBT, opening up about his friendship with Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-a. This article by Rosaria Butterfield is about how a pastor and his wife befriended her. What is something both these friendships had in common? The Christians, while never wavering in their convictions that homosexuality is a sin, did not start by mocking and condemning them. In fact, Rosaria tells us how Ken acted:

He did not mock. He engaged. So when his letter invited me to get together for dinner, I accepted. My motives at the time were straightforward: Surely this will be good for my research.

Something else happened. Ken and his wife, Floy, and I became friends. They entered my world. They met my friends. We did book exchanges. We talked openly about sexuality and politics. They did not act as if such conversations were polluting them. They did not treat me like a blank slate. When we ate together, Ken prayed in a way I had never heard before. His prayers were intimate. Vulnerable. He repented of his sin in front of me. He thanked God for all things. Ken’s God was holy and firm, yet full of mercy. And because Ken and Floy did not invite me to church, I knew it was safe to be friends.

Many Christians avoid homosexuals like the plague. There is very little kindness or generosity shown to them, only a direct confrontation of their sin. Perhaps, as these two individuals demonstrate, a much better witness to Christianity is to befriend them, set the foundation of a relationship, and through your actions and conversations show Christ-like love and forgiveness to them. Before calling them names and automatically sending them to Hell in your book, recall that it was not to the prostitutes that Jesus called names but to the Pharisees, those who considered themselves holy. (Matt 23:15-34 for anyone who wants to read up on that).

Read the rest of Rasaria Butterfield’s testimony here:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/my-train-wreck-conversion.html?start=1

 

And Shane Windmeyer’s here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-l-windmeyer/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a_b_2564379.html

 

 

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