It's been a LONG time since I have visited these forums. And where do I go to jump back in? It's certainly not the shallow end of the pool - no sir... It's right, back, smack dab into the deep end without my water wings, goggles, or snorkle!
SPOILER ALERT: Get ready for a long-winded, controversial read...
Being that I live and breath in the Great State of California, I am constantly being bombarded by overheard conversations, direct confrontation from my peers and the media about a VERY CONTROVERSIAL subject - Prop 8 (Same Sex Marriage - Equality For All).
Considering that I live and reside in San Franciso - the heart of this this contorversy is very evident and it's extremely intensified here - probably moreso than other parts of the world. Afterall, San Francisco is the Gay, Lesbian, Transgender melting pot of the world with liberal Berkeley, California sitting right next door. Heated controversy runs amuck 'round these parts!
Now before I dive any further into this touchy, heated subject, I'd like to go on the record by stating my position and politics as clearly as possible...
- I am a Christian.
- I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
- I believe that the Bible (The Word) is the 100% true, inerrant, Word of God handed down by God to man, for man.
- I believe that the Bible (The Word) became manifest in flesh as Jesus Christ.
- I believe in the virgin conception and birth.
- I believe in the crucifixtion and resurection of Jesus Christ.
- I believe in Christ's forthcoming return and ensuing judgement that follows for all man kind.
- I believe in Heaven and in Hell, angels and demons, God and Satan, good and evil.
- I believe that all humankind (including gays, lesbians, etc,) have the right to choose God or "Other" on the spiritual voting ballot.
- I believe that God loves all humankind, but regardless of that love, He is a just God and ALL sin must, and will be accounted for and dealt with accordingly. In the end, God's holy and rightous justice must be served.
- I believe that as Christians, we are called to spread the Word of God to all corners of the Earth
- I also believe that everyone deserves "equal rights" - to be treated equally, and fairly under the U.S. Constitution and governing U.S. Law.
- NOTE: I am not qualified to speak on behalf of other countries political systems, so if you are not a U.S. citizen, some of this might seem foreign or unfamilliar to you.
As a disclaimer, I understand that many people feel very strongly (one way or the other) when it comes to this particular topic du jour.
I do not mean to offend anyone. But I do intend to stir the pot and ask all readers to think before replying (assuming they choose to do so - and many will, this I know).
So let's get started, shall we?
I don't want to discuss the issues of Prop 8 directly - I think there are far more qualified individuals than myself to discuss this topic in breadth and scope and to give it the proper attention it deserves.
Where I take issue is not with the demand for equal rights. I take issue with those who want to change Christianity's core beliefs because it doesn't fit their personal, "spiritual", or political taste buds.
When you go to the grocery store and you walk down to the frozen food isle and you pick up your favorite TV dinner, how often do you start a campagne to tell the manufacturer not to use a particular ingredient?
My guess is that you don't. The ingredients are the ingredients are the ingredients. Either you buy it, or you don't. It's pretty cut and dry. This goes for most consumer goods. And when you get to the cashier, the price is the price is the price - again, you don't get to haggle over how much it costs. You either buy it, or you don't. Case closed.
Yet, for some reason, people have gotten it into their mind that Christianity (in particular) is a "Consumer Good" that they can disect, pick and choose, and complain about when it doesn't suit them.
I was reading a copy of the Bay Area Reporter this afternoon on the discussion of the Vatican's announcement that Oakland Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone has been named the new archbishop of San Francisco.
You can read the entire article for yourself: http://www.ebar.com/...s&article=67922
The article was a very interesting read. But there were comments that I found very frustrating and that are the focal point of my post.
Let's grab a few of paragraphs from this article and digest - shall we?
"I accepted a long time ago that the head of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ. Popes, bishops, and cardinals don't have much bearing on the spiritual life I have," said Dorsey, who is gay and an elected member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee.
"We are well acquainted with the anti-gay strain of church teaching and this particular bishop's involvement in anti-gay activism. He doesn't like us... He thinks we are in league with the evil one. What can you say to that?
"I would like to think he just doesn't know us, but my scholarly training was in history and theology, not psychology. Perhaps he is homophobic; perhaps a careerist; perhaps a traditionalist who sincerely but naively hopes to turn back the clock," said McMullan who recently earned a doctoral degree in history from the Graduate Theological Union.
These two paragraphs are a prime example of people picking and choosing which parts of Christianity they wish to recognize.
In the first paragraph, the speaker recognizes Jesus Christ as the head of the church.
That's a GREAT start - but that's not everything. If you recognize (believe) Jesus Christ to be the head of the Church, then by proxy, you must acknowledge that the Bible (the Word of God) is pre-flesh Christ.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:1 NIV
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14 NIV
This states quite clearly that from the beginning (of time) there was God, and God was also the Word, and that the Word became flesh and dwelled among us (as Jesus Christ). The Bible makes this claim for itself - NOT THE CHURCH.
What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
I shall quote from the NAS here...
- Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."1
- Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them"
- 1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
- Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."
The books of 1st Corinthians and the book of Romans are from the New Testament (During and after Christ).
Again - This is what the Bible (think now - what/who is the Bible? The Bible is Jesus Christ in text format. And who/what is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is God. Therefore, who/what is the Bible? The Bible is God in text format). This IS NOT a church doctrine. This is a Biblical truth.
So to respond to the speaker (Dorsey) of the afforementioned paragraph (Paragraph 1) - He states that church clergy don't have much bearing on his spiritual life. Well, my argument is, if your church clergy is preaching from the Word (as they SHOULD be), then it should have A LOT OF BEARING on your spiritual life because if you are saying that you believe in Jesus Christ, but you do not believe those who speak to you about Jesus Christ directly from the source (the Bible - which again, IS JESUS CHRIST), then you are essentially slapping God in the face with your hypocrisy and duality.
When we look at the second paragraph, the speaker obviously wishes to discount all parts of the Bible (again, the Bible, aka Jesus Christ, aka God) that pertain to homosexuality. The speak wishes to pick and choose which parts of the Christian faith he wishes to follow.
Let's look at paragraph three... The speaker is talking about how he believes that Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone wishes to turn back the clock - as is the 2000+ year old Biblical truths don't hold any bearing or function on modern society.
Let's cut to the chase - what I read is - "We don't need the Bible (aka Jesus Christ, aka God) in modern times)"
That's a pretty scary statement!
So what's this all about?
It's people who wish to slice and dice the Bible up into attractive pieces while throwing out the "ugly" bits. It's people who wish to do things THERE way, NOT GOD'S way.
This is Satan's way of subtly changing the world. This is in direct correlation with the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation and how they describe end times.
Non-believers, nay sayers, and those who just don't want to hear anything but what they want to hear will always say, "OH! That's popycock" or "That's just coincidence!"
This isn't about Prop 8. This isn't about same sex marriage and equal rights - this is about people, through the course of time, slithering into the church; into our faith; into our doctrines of believe - just like the serpent in the Garden of Eden and changing the history of the future by tempting, teasing, and breaking down God's Word, and ultimately, trying to make God look like the bad guy in the end.
For those who believe - don't be alarmed - this MUST happen - because the Bible said so! That's why! It's setting the stage for glorious things to come - the second coming of Christ - the day of judgement and the separation of the wheat from the chaff.
If you are scared or alarmed, perhaps you need to re-evaluate your own life - what are you scared of? If you believe in God, the Bible, and cling to God's holy and rightous name, you have nothing to fear. But if you are wishy washy and flaky about your beliefs (God calls this lukewarm) or you are to into picking and choosing, you have a lot to be concerned about.
Now I know I have stepped on some people's toes here. And I know I have *** Edited *** some people off. I'm sure there are gays and lesbians and even heterosexuals who will yell at me and say, "But I'm a Christian! I believe in Jesus Christ!"
Well let me tell you something - I believe in Neil Armstrong, Marilynn Monroe, Buddah, the Dali Llama and many other historical figures too - they all lived and breathed and made an impact on society. But none of them held the keys to my immortal soul. Only Jesus Christ has that authority. And the Jesus Christ (The Bible=Jesus Christ=God) says that all who sin must be put to death.
But Jesus Christ (Bible=Jesus=God) also states that any person who REPENTS of their sin, TURNS AWAY from their sin, and FOLLOWS Jesus will inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
So to those who disect the Bible - be very wary - the Bible warns about that too...
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19 NIV
And for those who think being homosexual is ok... remeber, God still sees it as a sin... If you are knowingly committing a sin (whether it's homosexuality, abortion, adultery, theft, lying, etc.), then you are obviously not following Christ and therefore, your faith is in question.
Keep in mind, Christians sin ALL THE TIME. The difference is, people who are not Christian don't really care if they sin or not and Christians who sin try desperately not to sin.
Also remembe, people are not born as Christians. We do not pop out of our mother's womb chanting, "I AM A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST!" No - We must come to Christ of our own accord. Just because your mommy and daddy are Christians does not make you a Christian. Only your own personal repentence of sin and choice to follow Christ make you a Christian. And as a Christian, you strive to steer clear of sinful behavior. Christians do not run eagerly towards sin. They run fearfully away from it and eagerly towards God!
OK - I've said a lot here and again, I know I've rusted some feathers. GOOD! I HOPE SO!
I want people to THINK about this.
- What does it mean to be Christian?
- Can a gay person be Christian?
- Can a person who picks and chooses the parts of the Bible they want to believe in be a Christian?
I challenege you that the answer to questions 2 and 3 are "NO" and that if you wish to get real about your faith, you MUST ACCEPT THE BIBLE IN IT'S ENTIRETY, WITHOUT PAUSE OR RESERVATION as your litmus test to your faith.
I pray that God is with each and every one of you.