Joseph Herrin (07-30-2013)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I have contemplated for some time writing a series to address the subject of the militant homosexual advocacy of the American government and the media. Seldom has there been more effort expended, and more attention given, to a cause. Tragically, the cause that America’s President is championing is accelerating the moral decay of the nation, and it is leading a generation of young people into a morass of sexual deviancy, gross sensuality, and animalistic debasement. Purity and innocence are being trampled in the name of unfettered hedonistic liberty.
Although U.S. President, Barack Hussein Obama, is leading the push for a homosexual America, he is not the true power behind the agenda that is being promulgated. Satan is the chief architect of the homosexual advocacy that is flooding America and the world. Satan is a great deceiver. He couches his wicked agenda in the garb of pursuing equality, freedom, and protecting the rights of all people. Yet Satan is no friend of man. He comes only to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). Satan is the enemy of all that is right, holy, and good. His plan is to debase mankind until the human race no longer bears any resemblance to its Creator.
I have been concerned that Christians are ill prepared to stand up under the onslaught of public opinion and propaganda that is flowing forth at this hour. Many cunning and deceptive tactics are being employed to make homosexuality, or the support of those who practice it, to be viewed as honorable, fair-minded, and loving. Many Christians have already fallen, and more will succumb, as the deception of the enemy of mankind is displayed with increasing force and the darkness of society increases.
Many Christians have failed to count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah. They are unprepared, or unwilling, to suffer persecution, to receive the scorn and enmity of government and a society that is falling further under the sway of Satan. In a vain attempt to maintain peace with the world, and to continue pursuing a comfortable and pleasurable life in an increasingly anti-Christian society, many Christians refuse to take a stand on truth. Christ stated that the world would hate His disciples. Persecution is unavoidable if one is to follow in the footsteps of Yahshua.
II Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Yahshua will be persecuted.
The message of suffering for obedience to Christ is scorned by the church in this hour. A false gospel of prosperity, of easy-believism, has replaced the message of the disciple’s cross. There are great numbers who profess faith in Jesus Christ who will not stand in this hour. They will be swept away by the pressure applied to them. They will be cowed by the threats of Satan’s disciples. They will yield to peer pressure for they love the world and want to be accepted by it. The fear of being rejected by society, or being labeled a religious extremist, will be enough to cause many professing Christians to act in a manner that is a betrayal of Christ and which is unworthy of Him.
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”
This writing is offered for those who refuse to shrink back in the face of the mounting pressure of a dark world. It is for those who would push back against the evil that is being forced upon them. How does one push back? The Scripture at the top of this writing states that evil must be overcome with good. Preceding these words, the apostle Paul stated:
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
The evil of this world will not be overcome with hatred. It will not be overcome with insults, or anger. The media has given great attention to the tactics being employed by the members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.
The pastor and members of this church have shown up to protest at the funerals of American soldiers killed in military service to their country. They have held up signs applauding the fact that a young person was slain, for they say it is a judgment of God against the wickedness of America.
A pro-homosexual writer on the Huffington Post website has an article titled Why I Love the Westboro Baptist Church. She goes on to explain that she loves this church, and all the media attention it has garnered, because it has caused people to be ashamed of being labeled homophobic.
The article mentions that the Westboro Baptist Church’s website has the following statement listed:
We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including: GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAG TROOPS, GOD BLEW UP THE TROOPS, GOD HATES AMERICA, AMERICA IS DOOMED, THE WORLD IS DOOMED, etc.
I sincerely doubt that there is a member of this church who is a partaker of the Spirit of Christ. The pride, hatred, insults, and strife they promote are not the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The members of this church are not speaking the truth in love. Their words are hate filled. The attitudes of the members reveal a motive of hatred, not love. Paul did not write that the church is to overcome evil with evil. He said, “overcome evil with good.” Lies must be met with truth. Falsehood and deception must be overcome with understanding. Darkness must be dispelled with light.
In writing this series, my intent is to assist the people of God in understanding why homosexuality is deplorable to God and injurious to mankind. There are some very cunning arguments and tactics being employed by those pushing forward a homosexual agenda. Satan is cunning, and he is not stinting in supplying those who do his bidding with schemes and deceitful arguments which will further their aims.
Many Christians are unable to answer the attacks of the enemy, or withstand the wiles of the devil. I suspect that if most Christians were asked why homosexuality is wrong, they would reply, “Because the Bible says it is wrong.” This is akin to saying, “Homosexuality is immoral because Yahweh describes it as sin in the Bible.” There is merit to the argument that something is wrong simply because Yahweh says it is wrong. Understanding is not necessary to accept the fact that Yahweh’s judgments are always righteous and just. A Christian would be greatly benefitted, however, if they understood why Yahweh has declared something to be sin.
Many people in the world describe homosexuality, adultery, and fornication as “victimless” activities. They argue that because these actions are done by two (or more) consenting adults, and no one is injured, there is no reason to censure such behavior. The same argument has been used for legalizing marijuana. Proponents refer to illegal use of marijuana as a victimless crime.
To a non-Christian, the Bible’s judgments describing righteous and unrighteous behavior may appear quite arbitrary. A Christian may even have difficulty discerning any rhyme or reason relating to many of the Bible’s instructions. People today are asking, “Why cannot a woman love another woman, or a man love another man? Why cannot they enjoy the pleasure of sex together? Why cannot they be married and enjoy a committed relationship with one another?” If a Christian cannot answer these questions, but are only able to say, “Because God declared these things to be evil,” they may themselves begin to question the propriety of the Bible’s testimony.
Indeed, there are numerous Christians who are falling away from the Biblical testimony and are embracing homosexuality. Some Christians find the temptation within themselves to engage in sexual experiences with someone of the same gender. They are likely aware that Yahweh has condemned such relationships in the Bible, but the temptation is greater than their fear of God. Perhaps their faith has been weakened by listening to the arguments of the world, and their commitment to obedience eroded by ministers who describe God as kind, and merciful, and forgiving, while neglecting to teach on Yahweh’s holiness and justice and the judgment to come.
There have been a number of well known Christians who have fallen into homosexual behavior. Among them are the singers Jennifer Knapp and Ray Boltz. Jennifer Knapp was the 1999 Dove Award winner for Best New Christian Artist. Despite enjoying much success as a Christian recording artist in 2002, she abruptly quit touring and took a 7 year hiatus. In 2010 she gave a number of interviews, revealing she had been in a lesbian relationship for the past 8 years. Jennifer Knapp says she still has her Christian faith, and even claims that by being honest about her sexuality her faith is actually enhanced.
Ray Boltz was a popular male Christian singer and songwriter. He is well known for his songs Watch the Lamb, Thank You, and I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb. He sold 4.5 million Christian albums. In 2008, twenty years into his Christian music career, Ray Boltz announced that he is a homosexual. He has continued to perform in Metropolitan Community Churches, which is a homosexual denomination.
Exodus International Logo
Last month many Christians were dismayed to learn that Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, the oldest and largest ministry working to free men and women from their bondage to a homosexual lifestyle, was repenting of the ministry he helped found. Exodus International was started in 1976. For 37 years their mission had been to help men and women experience freedom from homosexual desires. Many were shocked when the president of this organization confessed that he has been struggling with same sex attraction for a number of years. He further declared that he was deceived to believe that people could be set free from same sex desires.
Chambers contacted Lisa Ling, who hosts the Our America program on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and asked if he could issue a public apology for years spent trying to set homosexuals free. Following is an excerpt taken from Alan Chamber’s apology.
It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the church’s treatment of the LGBT community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt. Today it is as if I’ve just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church...
My desire is to completely align with Christ, his Good News for all and his offer of peace amidst the storms of life. My wife Leslie and my beliefs center around grace, the finished work of Christ on the cross and his offer of eternal relationship to any and all that believe. Our beliefs do not center on “sin” because “sin” isn’t at the center of our faith. Our journey hasn’t been about denying the power of Christ to do anything – obviously he is God and can do anything...
There were several years that I conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions. I was afraid to share them as readily and easily as I do today. They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away. Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there. The days of feeling shame over being human in that way are long over, and I feel free simply accepting myself as my wife and family does. As my friends do. As God does...
Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.
More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives. For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.
A similarity found among men and women who continue to profess faith in Christ while “embracing” their homosexuality, is that they decrease their focus on sin, choosing to consider only the grace, mercy, and kindness of God. The church at large has been prepared by Satan to “embrace” homosexuality through a gradual diminishment of focus on the holiness and justice of Yahweh. Preaching on sin has become passe, as the church has turned their attention to “enjoyment” of their Christian experience. Those aspects of Yahweh’s nature that are too difficult for the flesh to bear are rejected. A new god of tolerance and acceptance, who winks at sin, has been molded for the congregation to worship.
For every Christian who confesses to being a homosexual, or engaging in same sex acts, there are many more who are denying the testimony of Scriptures as they make accommodations for those who profess to be homosexuals. The Huffington Post had the following two articles listed next to one another on their website today.
Satan is flooding the earth with a message that will lead to a wholesale embrace of homosexuality. Clicking on the link to the Pat Robertson story, one is met with the following statements.
The 83-year-old televangelist sat down on Sunday for the "Bring It Online" advice portion of his Christian Broadcasting Network show, "The 700 Club." A viewer named David wrote in asking how he should refer to two transgender females who work in his office and have legally changed their genders. Instead of criticizing the trans individuals, Robertson approached the situation in a seemingly level-headed manner.
"I think there are men who are in a woman's body," he said. "It's very rare. But it's true -- or women that are in men's bodies -- and that they want a sex change. That is a very permanent thing, believe me, when you have certain body parts amputated and when you have shot up with various kinds of hormones. It's a radical procedure. I don't think there's any sin associated with that. I don't condemn somebody for doing that."
He went on to say he would "question the validity" of someone who just says, "Well I'm really a woman" because you "don't count somebody as female unless they really are, or male unless they really are."
When his co-host said the viewer doesn't know the intentions or medical history of his co-workers, Robertson rebutted, "It's not for you to decide or to judge."
I want to draw your attention to the last words above. Pat Robertson stated, “It’s not for you to decide or judge.” This forms a direct parallel to statements made by the Pope which are cited in another article found on the Wall Street Journal website.
Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests
Pontiff's Comments Suggest Greater Acceptance of Homosexuality Among Clerics
The pontiff was traveling aboard a turbulent overnight flight to Rome from his first overseas trip... when he broached the delicate issue of how the Catholic hierarchy should respond to clerics who are gay, though not sexually active. In doing so, he departed from the posture that has long shaped papal thinking on gay priests.
Pope Francis, left, and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone step off a plane at Ciampino Airport outside Rome after returning from their trip to Brazil Monday.
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" the pontiff told a news conference in response to a question. "You can't marginalize these people."
Pope Francis opened the door Sunday to greater acceptance of gay priests inside the ranks of Roman Catholicism as he flew home to the Vatican from his maiden trip overseas.
Pope Francis reaffirmed church teaching by referring to homosexual acts as a sin. But he wielded his formidable bully pulpit to shift the tone of how the church regards homosexual orientation at its highest ranks...
Pope Francis "is showing a deep respect for the human condition as it is, instead of approaching things in a doctrinal way," said Alberto Melloni, a church historian.
"This isn't a change in the church's teaching," said Rev. James Bretzke, a theology professor at Boston College. "What's important is the change in style and emphasis..."
Do you think it coincidental that the Pope and one of America’s most well known evangelical broadcasters both are in the news on the same day making statements that will lead to a greater acceptance of homosexual behavior among Christians? Very cunning are the words of these men as they make it appear that judging is an evil thing to be avoided.
"It's not for you to decide or to judge."
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?"
In the recent video I posted, I shared that judging is not restricted to declaring something to be evil. We are also judging when we say something is acceptable. Pat Robertson was making a judgment when he said that God created some men who are in women’s bodies, and some women who are in men’s bodies. The absence of any Scriptural justification for this astonishing comment is clearly noted.
There is also a fallacy in the statements of both of these men as it pertains to judging. A Christian is NOT initiating a judgment on their own, they are not “deciding” a matter in their own soul, when they express agreement with Yahweh’s words recorded in the Bible. The Christian is not judging the issue. They are only judging that what Yahweh has declared is authoritative and correct. Yahweh is the One who is judging. As Christians, it is our responsibility to accurately share the thoughts, judgments, and reasoning of God with others. Paul stated that we are Christ’s “ambassadors.” An ambassador does not make policy decisions on his own initiative. He merely represents that policy of the one whom he is representing.
Notice also that the Pope uses the word “gay” rather than “homosexual,” or the Biblical term “Sodomite,” when speaking. With such subtleties, the abomination of homosexual behavior is diminished. At the same time Christians are encouraged to not “judge” those who are homosexuals, which is a giant step forward to the goal of accepting homosexual behavior as normal.
Perhaps by now, you are feeling somewhat oppressed by the massed weight of opinion, both within and without the church. There is a constant pressure being exerted for mankind, and Christians in particular, to accept homosexuality. At the very least, Satan would silence those who have stood in agreement with Yahweh’s condemnation of homosexual activity. This was accomplished to a large degree when the President of Chick-fil-a made some pro-heterosexual statements in an obscure Baptist periodical a few months back. The firestorm in the media was so intense, and the corporation came under such intense threat, frightening many franchisees, that all Christian executives and leaders of Christian businesses, will hesitate to speak out against homosexuality in the future.
It was reported that the President of Chick-fil-a tweeted a message recently when the Supreme Court ruling was announced overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. The tweet said,
Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.
The tweet was removed two hours later. I suspect that some franchisees, and corporate counsel, urged him to remove the statement lest the company once more become a target of the government and media’s militant homosexual advocacy. Satan has accomplished his purpose in silencing critics of the homosexual agenda, at least those who can be pressured financially. At the same time, Satan’s chief disciples are speaking out boldly. The same day that the above tweet was posted, President Obama tweeted the following:
Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove
The hashtag LoveIsLove is a reference to a pro-homosexual campaign.
With such a one sided onslaught, many Christians are succumbing to the pressure. Afraid of being singled out and judged as a “hater,” or “homophobic,” they are silenced, or worse. Satan’s pressure is mounting. It will be unrelenting until the majority in the world and in the church have embraced homosexuality as normal.
Many Christians will cave in to the pressure, thinking it far easier to accept this view than to stand in agreement with Christ. When these pro-homosexual voices reach a critical mass, and the consequences of resisting cannot be avoided, there will be a flood of Christians who shift their position to open acceptance. Many will conclude that since so many Christians are declaring that it is okay to be homosexual, and that it is evil to judge, things will be much easier if they fall in line. Satan will be near at hand to prod the hesitant ones to cross over to this new way of thinking. The folly of doing so will not be realized by many until that hour when they stand before God to give an account of their lives.
I Corinthians 6:9-11
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, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yahshua Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.
In this first post of this series, I have introduced the subject, and have sought to bring attention to the pressure being exerted through a diversity of sources to alter the church’s opinion of homosexuality. In coming posts I will begin to answer the question, “Why does Yahweh condemn homosexuality?”
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