Saturday, August 29, 2020

Push Back! - Part 14

Chapter 14

I began this series having discerned homosexuality to be an issue that Yahweh would have me to address with His people. The e-mail responses I have received thus far have revealed that this series has been timely, insightful, and challenging to many who read these posts. One of the remaining issues I want to address before wrapping up this series may be described as “intimate union.”

Mankind is familiar with the intimate physical union of the man and woman. The sexual union is the focus of television shows, movies, romance novels, pornography, advertising, etc.. The world is being flooded with messages related to sexual union (most of them immoral), but it knows almost nothing about intimate union at other levels. Mankind was created to be a tri-part being as the following Scripture declares.

I Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Yahshua Christ.

This series has focused on homosexuality, which is a perversion of intimate union at the physical (bodily) level. To understand how homosexuality deviates from Yahweh’s design for creation, and why the Bible describes it as “unnatural,” “depraved,” “gross immorality,” an “abomination,” and going after “strange flesh,” it would be helpful to understand Yahweh’s design for intimate union at the level of spirit, soul, and body. Let us begin by looking at some Scriptures that refer to intimate union.

The apostle Paul, writing to the church of Corinth, speaks of the mysterious parallels between the physical union of a man and his wife and the spiritual union of Christ and the church.

I Corinthians 6:16-20
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

In the passage above, we have two of the three parts of man mentioned. Paul speaks of intimate union at the level of body, and at the level of spirit. Paul mentions the physical union of a man and a woman as being parallel to, and a type and shadow of, spiritual union between humanity and “the Lord.” One could rightly say that the goal of creation is “HOLY union” of body, soul, and spirit.

Again, we are most familiar with intimate union on the level of the body. Because of sin in the world, mankind has greatly defiled the physical union that Yahweh designed to be regarded as holy.

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

This is a most serious matter with God. He will judge those who defile that which He ordained to be holy and pure. Mankind has always understood the sanctity of the marriage union. Even those in society who are strangers to the life of Christ have referred to the union of the man and woman as “HOLY matrimony.” Traditional wedding vows begin with a statement similar to the following:

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony.

The holy character of the marriage union traces its source to the second chapter of Genesis.

Genesis 2:24-25
For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

In the act of sexual intercourse, the man and the woman become “one flesh” with each other. It is worthy of consideration that in all other settings and relationships, it is regarded as a shameful thing for a man or woman to expose their nakedness. Yet there is no condemnation from God, and no consciousness within the soul of man, that it is immoral, nor an unholy act, for a man and wife to see one another’s nakedness. Yahweh has sanctified the intimate union of a man and his wife, declaring it holy.

Unholiness, and the judgment of God, enter in when the man or the woman go outside of the marriage to participate in intimate physical union with another. Paul states that “fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Fornication is sexual union outside of the marriage covenant. Adultery is sexual union with another person’s spouse.

It is important to understand that marriage is a covenant, and that sexual union is an act of covenantal intimacy. I have explored this subject in greater depth in the book The Marriage Covenant, but I will give a brief summary here.

Yahweh ordained that certain covenants should be sealed in blood, for “life is in the blood.” These covenants were appropriately called “blood covenants.” The Scriptures refer to the New Covenant inaugurated between God and man through the blood of Yahweh’s Son. This is an inviolable covenant, for it is established in blood.

I Corinthians 11:25
In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood...”

Hebrews 9:11-12
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained age-lasting redemption.

When God designed the creation, He did so with covenant in mind. He fashioned the bodies of the man and the woman so that a blood covenant would be enacted whenever a man knew a virgin sexually for the first time. The body is designed as a temple. There is a correlation between the Holy of Holies, the innermost and most sacred part of the Temple, and the reproductive organs of a woman’s body. Even as there was a veil in the Tabernacle of Moses, and the Temple of Solomon, to guard the entrance to the Holy of Holies (or the Most Holy Place), so too has Yahweh placed a veil at the entrance to the woman’s reproductive organs. This veil is called the “hymen.” The word “hymen” literally means “veil.”

When a virgin has sexual intercourse for the first time, the hymen is torn as the man penetrates the woman’s flesh. The tearing of the hymen causes bleeding, and the man carries this blood on his covenant organ (male circumcision is a sign of covenant) into the woman’s holy of holies.

The Veil of the Temple is Ripped

There is a great mystery contained in the sexual union of a man and his virgin bride, for Yahweh has designed this union to mirror the spiritual union of God and man that was inaugurated by Christ. When the High Priest entered beyond the veil to access the Holy of Holies, he always had to bring blood with him.

Hebrews 9:6-7
Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship, but into the second (the Holy of Holies) only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood...

So too, we are told that when Yahshua died on the cross, His flesh being rent, that the veil guarding the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem was rent in two.

Matthew 27:50-51
And Yahshua cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom...

Yahshua then ascended to the greater Temple in the heavens, entering into the Holy of Holies bearing His own blood.

Hebrews 10:19-20
Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Yahshua, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh...

This was the act that established the New Covenant of faith that replaced the Old Covenant of law. This is an inviolable covenant, a holy covenant, a covenant of blood. So too, Yahweh has designed the bodies of the man and the woman so that when the woman experiences first sexual union, and the man enters beyond the veil into her holy of holies, that a blood covenant is enacted.

This is why a man who raped a virgin under the old covenant of the Law was required to take the woman to be his wife. By being the first to engage in sexual union with the virgin, the man had enacted a blood covenant with her. He was bound to the covenant. It is a covenant of blood.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29
If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

The same is true if a man seduced a virgin. He was required to pay the bridal dowry to the girl’s father, and to take the girl to be his wife. The man has enacted a blood covenant with the virgin.

Exodus 22:16-17
And if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.

Under the covenant of the Law, only one man could ever go beyond the veil in the Temple and enter the Holy of Holies. This man was the High Priest. When the High Priest died, another High Priest would be appointed, and then only he could enter beyond the veil. This limitation of one living man having access to go beyond the veil is mirrored in the relationship Yahweh has established between a man and his wife. The apostle Paul speaks of it in this way.

Romans 7:2-3
For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

The woman’s body is most holy. Only one man may enter her body, that man being her husband. As long as the woman’s husband is living, no other man may engage in sexual union with her. To do so is an egregious violation of the will of Yahweh. The woman is committing adultery if she allows another man to enter into sexual union with her as long as her husband is living. It matters not whether the woman gets a divorce. The commandment of Christ is that if a woman leaves her husband, she must remain single, or be restored to her husband.

I Corinthians 7:10-11
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband)...

Yahweh desires holy union among His creation. The word “holy” (kadosh in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, and hagios in the Greek language of the New Testament) bears the meaning of “something declared clean, set apart as sacred.” Such is the will of Yahweh for the bodily union of the man and woman. It is to be preserved in purity and viewed s holy.

Under the covenant of the Law, the penalty for adultery (violating the holy physical union of a man and his wife) and the penalty for idolatry (violating the holy spiritual union between man and God) were the same. They were both punishable by death. The judgment of God, that those who defiled either the holy physical union, or the holy spiritual union, were worthy of death, reveals the seriousness of the matter.

Under the New Covenant, there has been NO alteration of the way in which Yahweh views violations of holy union. The difference between the Old and New Covenant is that there is now forgiveness of sin through the atoning blood of Christ. With very tragic consequences, many Christians are confusing forgiveness with the idea of acceptance. Neither idolatry, adultery, or any other violation of holy union, have become acceptable in Yahweh’s sight. The apostle Paul reproves such errant thinking among believers.

Romans 6:1-2, 12-14
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?... Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.

Speaking specifically of violating the sanctity of the human body by engaging in sexual immorality, the apostle has even stronger words of warning.

I Corinthians 3:16-18
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. Let no man deceive himself.

Bear in mind as you consider the above words, what has been shared here about the body being designed as a temple. There are many ways to defile the temple, and one of the most grievous ways is through engaging in sexual immorality and debauchery. In this same letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle informed the saints that much of the sickness and death among them was due to the judgment of God upon their unrestrained sinfulness. Having informed them that many are suffering sickness and death in this life for walking in a manner unworthy of Christ, Paul informs them that the judgment of God will also be manifested in the age to come.

I Corinthians 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, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The satanic agenda to redefine marriage to include same sex couples is an act of tremendous pride and rebellion in the eyes of Yahweh. Celebrating homosexuality is no different than celebrating adultery. Both will call forth the judgment of Yahweh. The marriage covenant is not a manmade ordinance that can be altered at the will and whim of man. It has been divinely instituted to be a holy union between a man and his wife; a relationship whose fidelity is guarded, and whose purity is sacrosanct.

As this series has reported, homosexual relationships are highly promiscuous, even among gay “couples.” Same-sex unions violate the design of Yahweh for holy union in numerous ways. When a man sticks his sexual organ into another man’s mouth or anus, is this a holy union? Absolutely not! The apostle Paul described it well when he wrote:

Romans 1:26-27
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and 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.

Same sex union is an “indecent act” driven by “degrading passions.” Same sex unions lack another attribute of those unions Yahweh has blessed and declared holy. They cannot produce life. When Christ entered beyond the veil in the Temple in the heavens, He purchased with His own blood spiritual life for all mankind. Similarly, when a man enters beyond the veil to enter into physical union with his wife, he is engaging in an act that has the potential to bring forth new life. Homosexual unions CANNOT produce life. On the contrary, they are barren, and they lead to sickness and death.

The works of Satan and the works of Christ are obvious. They are contrasted in the following Scripture.

John 10:10
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”

As one examines the fruit of faithful, heterosexual unions between men and women, and contrast them to sexual union among homosexuals, it becomes evident that the former unions are a fountain of life while the latter are bereft of life and bring forth death. Following is an excerpt from an article titled The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality.

Anal intercourse has been linked to a host of bacterial and parasitical sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS...

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is "almost universal" among homosexuals. According to the homosexual newspaper The Washington Blade: "A San Francisco study of Gay and bisexual men revealed that HPV infection was almost universal among HIV-positive men, and that 60 percent of HIV-negative men carried HPV."

HPV can lead to anal cancer. At the recent Fourth International AIDS Malignancy Conference at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Andrew Grulich announced that "most instances of anal cancer are caused by a cancer-causing strain of HPV through receptive anal intercourse. HPV infects over 90 percent of HIV-positive gay men and 65 percent of HIV-negative gay men, according to a number of recent studies..."

Hepatitis: A potentially fatal liver disease that increases the risk of liver cancer.

Hepatitis A: The Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report published by the CDC reports: "Outbreaks of hepatitis A among men who have sex with men are a recurring problem in many large cities in the industrialized world."

Hepatitis B: This is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people of all ages contract hepatitis B and close to 5,000 die of sickness caused by AIDS. The CDC reports that MSM (Men having Sex with Men) are at increased risk for hepatitis B...

Gonorrhea: A CDC report documents "significant increases during 1994 to 1997 in rectal gonorrhea . . . among MSM..." In 1999 the CDC released data showing that male rectal gonorrhea is increasing among homosexuals amidst an overall decline in national gonorrhea rates. The report attributed the increase to a larger percentage of homosexuals engaging in unsafe sexual behavior.

The incidence of throat Gonorrhea is strongly associated with homosexual behavior. The Canadian Medical Association Journal found that "gonorrhea was associated with urethral discharge... and homosexuality (3.7 times higher than the rate among heterosexuals)." Similarly, a study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology found that homosexual men had a much higher prevalence of pharyngeal (throat) gonorrhea--15.2 percent compared with 4.1 percent for heterosexual men...

Syphilis: A venereal disease that, if left untreated, can spread throughout the body over time, causing serious heart abnormalities, mental disorders, blindness, and death... According to the CDC, "transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex." In addition, the Archives of Internal Medicine found that homosexuals acquired syphilis at a rate ten times that of heterosexuals.

The CDC reports that those who contract syphilis face potentially deadly health consequences: "It is now known that the genital sores caused by syphilis in adults also make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually. There is a two to five fold increased risk of acquiring HIV infection when syphilis is present..."

Gay Bowel Syndrome (GBS): The Journal of the American Medical Association refers to GBS problems such as proctitis, proctocolitis, and enteritis as "sexually transmitted gastrointestinal syndromes." Many of the bacterial and protozoa pathogens that cause GBS are found in feces and transmitted to the digestive system: According to the pro-homosexual text Anal Pleasure and Health, "[s]exual activities provide many opportunities for tiny amounts of contaminated feces to find their way into the mouth of a sexual partner... The most direct route is oral-anal contact."

Proctitis and Proctocolitis are inflammations of the rectum and colon that cause pain, bloody rectal discharge and rectal spasms. Proctitis is associated with STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and syphilis that are widespread among homosexuals...

HIV/AIDS Among Homosexuals. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is responsible for causing AIDS, for which there exists no cure.

Homosexual men are the largest risk category. The CDC reports that homosexuals comprise the single largest exposure category of the more than 600,000 males with AIDS in the United States. As of December 1999, "men who have sex with men" and "men who have sex with men and inject drugs" together accounted for 64 percent of the cumulative total of male AIDS cases...

A paper delivered at the Fourth International AIDS Malignancy Conference at the National Institutes of Health reported that homosexual men with HIV have "a 37-fold increase in anal cancer, a 4-fold increase in Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph nodes), a 2.7-fold increase in cancer of the testicles, and a 2.5 fold increase in lip cancer..."

Homosexuals with STDs Are at an Increased Risk for HIV Infection. Studies of MSM (Men having Sex with Men) treated in STD clinics show rates of infection as high as 36 percent in major cities. A CDC study attributed the high infection rate to having high numbers of anonymous sex partners: "[S]yphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia apparently have been introduced into a population of MSM who have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid and extensive transmission of STDs." The CDC report concluded: "Persons with STDs, including genital ulcer disease and nonulcerative STD, have a twofold to fivefold increased risk for HIV infection."

Anal Cancer: Homosexuals are at increased risk for this rare type of cancer, which is potentially fatal if the anal-rectal tumors metastasize to other bodily organs.

Dr. Joel Palefsky, a leading expert in the field of anal cancer, reports that while the incidence of anal cancer in the United States is only 0.9/100,000, that number soars to 35/100,000 for homosexuals. That rate doubles again for those who are HIV positive, which, according to Dr. Palefsky, is "roughly ten times higher than the current rate of cervical cancer..."

Lesbians are at Risk through Sex with MSM: The homosexual newspaper The Washington Blade, citing a 1998 study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, reported that "the study's data confirmed previous scientific observations that most women who have sex with women also have had sex with men..." Lesbians have more male sex partners that their heterosexual counterparts. A study of sexually transmitted disease among lesbians reviewed in The Washington Blade notes: "Behavioral research also demonstrates that a woman's sexual identity is not an accurate predictor of behavior, with a large proportion of 'lesbian' women reporting sex with (often high risk) men." The study found that "the median number of lifetime male sexual partners was significantly greater for WSW (women who have sex with women) than controls (twelve partners versus six). WSW were significantly more likely to report more than fifty lifetime male sexual partners..."

"Exclusive" Lesbian Relationships Also at Risk. The assumption that lesbians involved in exclusive sexual relationships are at reduced risk for sexual disease is false. The journal Sexually Transmitted Infections concludes: "The risk behavior profile of exclusive WSW was similar to all WSW." One reason for this is because lesbians "were significantly more likely to report past sexual contact with a homosexual or bisexual man and sexual contact with an IDU (intravenous drug user)."

Cancer Risk Factors for Lesbians. Citing a 1999 report released by the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the homosexual newspaper The Washington Blade notes that "various studies on Lesbian health suggest that certain cancer risk factors occur with greater frequency in this population. These factors include higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, poor diet, and being overweight." Elsewhere the Blade also reports: "Some experts believe Lesbians might be more likely than women in general to develop breast or cervical cancer because a disproportionate number of them fall into high-risk categories."

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Lesbians. In a study of the medical records of 1,408 lesbians, the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections found that women who have sexual relations with women are at significantly higher risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases: "We demonstrated a higher prevalence of BV (bacterial vaginosis), hepatitis C, and HIV risk behaviors in WSW as compared with controls."

Compulsive Behavior among Lesbians. A study published in Nursing Research found that lesbians are three times more likely to abuse alcohol and to suffer from other compulsive behaviors: "Like most problem drinkers, (91 percent) of the participants had abused other drugs as well as alcohol, and many reported compulsive difficulties with food (34 percent), codependency (29 percent), sex (11 percent), and money (6 percent)." In addition, "Forty-six percent had been heavy drinkers with frequent drunkenness."

The article above goes on to discuss the greater prevalence of violence, mental health problems,  and suicide among homosexuals. It also mentions that homosexual men have a shorter life expectancy than their heterosexual counterparts. In one major Canadian city, a study revealed that homosexual males have a life expectancy 8 to 20 years below that of heterosexual males. All of these facts demonstrate the truth of the apostle Paul’s words, “women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and 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.

Even having fallen under the curse of sin, the creation favors behavior that Yahweh has declared to be righteous and holy. Sinful behavior increases sickness and leads to early death. Homosexuality violates the natural order of the creation.

The image above reveals the irrationality embraced by advocates of same-sex marriage. Heterosexual marriage did not come into being by a vote of man. It was ordained by Yahweh. The design of creation promotes the holy union of a man and woman and penalizes all violations of the same. A vote by homosexuals will not make AIDS go away. A vote by advocates of same-sex unions will not result in offspring being born to gay couples. Men and women cannot vote and change the judgment of God upon that which He declares to be a sinful lifestyle. Voting to legalize homosexual marriage is a fool’s errand. Can man contend with his Creator and prevail?

Psalms 2:1-5
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.

The will of Yahweh will be accomplished. Holy unions will once again be esteemed as holy. Those who have warred against God, uttered reproaches against His name, and striven to loose themselves from His bonds, will repent in dust with bitter tears. All the nations are less than a drop in a bucket before the eyes of Yahweh. An hour is coming when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, that only in Yahweh are righteousness and strength. Those who have been angry with God will be ashamed.

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Joseph Herrin
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Montezuma, GA 31063

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Push Back! - Part 13

The previous post that spoke of the church’s avoidance of pain, relating it to the subject of childbirth where so many women today are encouraged by obstetricians to use spinal blocks, pain medications, and even to give birth by caesarean section, struck a chord with many female readers of the blog, eliciting some insightful responses. Following are a few of the comments received.

Dear Pastor Herrin,

Your series Push Back has been a real eye opener. Yesterday I read an article about how gay rights activists use the African-American civil rights movement as their inspiration, they were influential in keeping a well-known gospel artist Donnie McClurkin from performing at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington because he is vocal about how God delivered him from homosexuality and that it was a sin. The boldness and unapologetic way he stood up for Christ and your recent posts have ministered to me. I have struggled with a sodomite spirit since I was a child. I was exposed to pornography by my birth parents starting at the age of 2 and I was molested by a church member's relative when I was 7. Because of the pornography and molestation I became promiscuous at an early age. I struggled with lesbianism until Yahweh sent my Godmother to teach me the Biblical teachings of Yahweh and I admit I caused her great pain. Even though she didn't birth me in the natural, she birthed me in the spirit.

Your series Push Back has been especially forcing me to grow and deal with some things in the spirit that I have avoided because the pain has been so great and I have tried to avoid my issues. When I gave birth to my daughter, my gynecologist was a lesbian. I wanted to give birth naturally, but because my daughter was two weeks late I was induced. I had an epidural because I didn't think I could handle the pain. After my epidural, I developed a fever of 102 and had an infection which led to my daughter's heart rate going high which led to my cervix swelling shut, which led me to have an emergency C-section. When my daughter was born she had a fever and had to be on antibiotics for 2 days. I was unable to breast feed her because I was on antibiotics and pain medication because of my C-section. Afterwards, no one told me that I lost a lot of blood during my C-section and that an epidural puts your bowels to sleep. I didn't have bowel sounds or movement for six days. My colon started to die and I became extremely sick. I had to have emergency surgery where they found 4 perforations in my large intestine, they found that parts of my colon had died and other parts were starting to die and was leaking bile into my stomach. I spent 6 days in ICU (including my 29th birthday), I had to have an ileostomy (which was reversed 4 months later) and I was never able to breast feed because of the powerful drugs I had to take, not to mention the financial toll it has taken on my family. I know that I have to deal with these issues and allow healing to take place. I used birth control and the morning after pill in the past, all these I have never dealt with until I read your series. It has provided so much hope and correction and delivering me from things that I have held onto because I felt that they are too painful to deal with, but I know that there are people like you, Donnie McClurkin,, and other ministries that speak the truth and encourage the saints to seek Yahweh and that Yahweh has the power to heal and deliver. Thank-you Pastor Herrin.


A Sister in Christ

Brother Herrin,

I can totally relate to this post. I have two girls and my first one was born in a hospital and the second was a home birth. The difference was night and day. While researching for my home birth I learned the exact same things that you stated about the part of hormones during labor, and that was so amazing. I think one of the other ways that fear of the pain of childbirth is so great is from the flood of lies in the world through media. Movies and TV shows over-dramatize the labor experience as a situation that people have to freak out about. Spiritually from my experience, it was a wonderful time to fully lean on the Father for everything and trust in the fact that He provided me with everything to bring my child into the world. Now I am working on having that mindset everyday and it seemed so much easier to be in that place in labor than it is not being in labor!


Brother Joseph,

This series has been very enlightening. I wanted to share my experience regarding natural birth. I have only one son, born through a C-section I wasn't counting on. I was given the drug to stimulate contractions because I had none, which was excruciatingly painful, so much so that I couldn’t hardly push and made it even worse. It took four+ hours of that pain without the pain relief of the epidural (at the end I was begging for it!) until the monitoring showed the heartbeats of my baby were not right and the C-section was decided.

After the birth, the baby just didn't latch to my breast, he just kept crying and sleeping, sleeping and crying, and I had no colostrum or milk for days. The worst thing they did at the clinic was hand me a baby bottle with formula. My son never wanted the breast again! Of course I only learned about the side effects of the epidural AFTER the birth.

If I had to live through this again, I would reject the uterine stimulants and pray for the contractions to come naturally and I would try not to get the epidural shot unless the doctor said a C-section was absolutely necessary (if my baby's life was at risk).


These testimonies reveal the powerful influence that society has upon the church. It is hard to conceive of a more important event in the life of a woman than giving birth to children. Yet, in this matter the church follows the pattern of the world, and the counsel of medical practitioners. Birthing children is often done for the convenience of the doctors involved, rather than with the health of the mother and baby in mind. Women are “scheduled” to be induced to begin labor at a time when it is most convenient for a doctor and medical staff. The woman is placed flat on her back with her legs in the stirrups so that she will be positioned for the obstetrician’s convenience. There are numerous natural birthing positions for the woman, but they are not as convenient for the attending physician.

Some Natural Birth Positions

One website relates the following information.

It amazes me everyday to see and hear about women who lay flat on their back while giving birth!

Sadly, though it’s not their fault – it’s what they’re TOLD TO DO! Seriously, it goes against basic anatomy!!! …

You see our birth canal is actually shaped like a “J” … not a straight line... The baby doesn’t just slide straight down and out. It comes down, then up and over the pelvis.

Look at the picture carefully and you’ll understand how that works. Actually, it seems utterly crazy to lay flat on your back with your legs up - expecting the baby to come out at all!

In fact, choosing to lie on your back as your main childbirth positions closes up your pelvic area by about 30%.

Plus if you think about it – you’ll also have gravity working against you. This means when you’re trying to push bub out, you’re pushing down and then UP before he comes out – Can anyone say CRAZY!!!!!

A woman lying on her back to give birth makes delivery far more difficult for her and the baby. Why then is this the common way women in the Western world give birth? It is because it is the most convenient position for the attending physician. He/she can stand up straight. He/she doesn’t have to bend over, or get down on his/her knees. To do so would be undignified for one who is a “professional” caregiver, and usually one of the more affluent and educated members of society.

If you think about it, almost all non-emergency procedures done in a hospital are performed at the convenience of the medical staff. It is little wonder that so many doctors recommend that their patients are either induced, or give birth via C-section. The incidence of C-section in the United States was 4.5% of all births in 1965, when rates were first measured. The rate reached 32.8% in 2010 and 2011. That is nearly a third of all births. This is insanity. Cutting open a woman’s abdomen to deliver a baby is major surgery. The inner body is exposed to all manner of infectious elements, and fever resulting from an infection is a common result.

A woman receiving an epidural early on in labor dramatically increases the chance that she will have a C-section. Some studies have been done on the reason that C-sections have increased so dramatically, and one of the factors cited is for the convenience and profitability of the doctor.

Incentives to practice in a manner that is efficient for providers
Many health professionals are feeling squeezed by tightened payments for services and increasing practice expenses. The flat "global fee" method of paying for childbirth does not provide any extra pay for providers who patiently support a longer vaginal birth. Some payment schedules pay more for cesarean than vaginal birth. Even when payment is similar for both, a planned cesarean section is an especially efficient way for professionals to organize their hospital work, office work and personal life. Average hospital payments are much greater for cesarean than vaginal birth, and may offer hospitals greater scope for profit.  

Despite such policies being a violation of the Hippocratic Oath, whose primary tenet is “First, do no harm,” physicians are performing alarming numbers of these surgical procedures to the great detriment of mother and child.

As was mentioned in the previous post, there are a great many chemical interchanges between mother and baby during labor and delivery when it occurs naturally. There are numerous biological and mental/emotional benefits as the mother experiences the pain of childbirth, and then experiences the joy of seeing a child enter the world.

John 16:21
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

This is a profound matter, going all the way back to the third chapter of Genesis where Yahweh declared that pain in childbirth would be the experience of the woman in this world. It is a serious issue for Christian women to seek to alter the natural order established by God. They do so to their own detriment, and to the detriment of their children.

Although I am unable to locate a study on the issue, the rise in the incidence of C-sections parallels the rise of homosexuality in America. Before you roll your eyes, and declare that I have truly gone crazy, I ask you to consider this matter prayerfully. Beginnings are a very important time in the life of an individual. Seemingly small alterations from the normal order of things at the beginning of a matter can manifest in large ways later in life. I am NOT suggesting that C-sections are wholly responsible for the parallel increase in homosexual behavior. Nor am I stating that everyone who was born by C-section will succumb to homosexual sin. What I would suggest is that Satan works along many lines, and that the increase in birth interventions, including pain relieving procedures and C-sections, have played a part in making a generation susceptible to gender confusion.

Certainly the outpouring of pro-homosexual propaganda by the government and the media bears a lot of responsibility for the increase of same sex attraction. Yet, Satan will wage an assault along numerous fronts in order to achieve his purposes. One of the fronts along which Satan has attacked is designed to erode away the profound gender identity of the woman as a mother and nurturer that is deeply rooted in the soul of a child that experiences natural childbirth and is nursed by their mother. By replacing natural childbirth with unnatural medical interventions, and then further disrupting the bond between mother and child by reducing, or eliminating breastfeeding, the gender distinctiveness, and feminine role of the mother, fails to solidify in the child’s mind.

There are many things passed between the mother and child during labor and birthing. That which is communicated between mother and child is both physical, pertaining to the human body, as well as mental and emotional, pertaining to the soul. On the physical level, that which is passed between mother and child includes hormones such as oxytocin. Wikipedia contains the following statement.

Oxytocin plays roles in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, facilitating birth, maternal bonding, and, after stimulation of the nipples, breastfeeding. Both childbirth and milk ejection result from positive feedback mechanisms.

Notice that it is stated that oxytocin is released in large amounts AFTER the distension of the cervix and uterus during labor. Due to medical interventions, such as C-sections, many women never experience this release of oxytocin. The mother’s blood supply is tied to the baby through the umbilical cord. Whatever is released into her blood is consequently passed to the child during labor. 

Conversely, if these beneficial hormones are hindered from being released to the woman, the baby is affected. Little consideration has been given by the medical profession to understand how the presence of pain in labor produces positive consequences for both mother and child. It is assumed that pain is negative and to be avoided, but this is not true. When Yahweh pronounced His judgment upon the woman in Genesis chapter 3, He was telling her what would be the natural course of bringing new life into the world. All things have been designed by Yahweh with purpose. When humanity seeks to circumvent Yahweh’s they introduce chaos and disorder.

In 2003, Lisa Diamond, PhD had an article posted in Psychological Review, where she sets forth a model for sexual attraction that involves the hormone oxytocin. A reviewer of her study states:

Sexual desire is driven by the gonadal hormones of estrogens and androgens. Animal research indicates that attachment is mediated by the neuropeptide oxytocin...

“Attachment,” another way of describing bonding and attraction between individuals, is “mediated,” by oxytocin. Understanding that oxytocin plays a large role in shepherding a person’s attachment to other individuals, both male and female, is it not proper to question what effect occurs when a mother and her baby do not experience one of the greatest releases of this hormone that one can know in life, a release that is triggered by the pain of labor and the experience of natural childbirth? What effect does this deprivation of oxytocin have on the child? Studies have shown that a baby born to a mother who used some form of pain medication, or who was birthed by C-section, will have difficulty bonding with its mother, and nursing may become problematic.

How many Christian women today are feeding their infants formula instead of breast milk? What are the consequences of doing so? Every decision a Christian makes bears consequences. The Bible states:

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

If a woman interferes with the natural bond between mother and baby, whether her child be a daughter or a son, the consequences later on in life can be immense. Breastfeeding is about much more than passing nutrients to the child. There is a familial bond being formed. An image of the woman/mother is formed in the mind of the child as one who is nurturing, life-giving, and protective. Gender roles are being developed as the mother establishes a pattern of femininity in the eyes of her nursing children. The following insightful statements are found on an Internet website.

In the Book of Ruth, a Jewish woman, Naomi, experiences the loss of her two adult sons, both of whom die childless. One of her daughters-in-law, the Moabite Ruth, remarries a relative of her late husband and has a son named Obed. Because Naomi has left no biological descendants, however, she adopts Obed as her own; the neighbours even declare, “There is a son born to Naomi.” To cement the mother-child bond, Naomi [takes] the child and [lays] it in her bosom and [becomes] nurse unto it.

Now one might wonder how Naomi could nurse a baby when she had presumably borne her last child decades earlier. This occurred through a process called relactation, whereby a woman’s breast can be stimulated by a child’s sucking to produce milk again years after giving birth. In some poor countries today grandmothers may nurse a grandchild if the baby’s mother dies. Even in the modern United States , feminist sociologist Pauline Bart – who is Jewish herself – writes of having milk reappear in her breasts after suckling her granddaughter.

The idea of various women in a family sharing the duty of nursing a child may appear abnormal to people in western cultures, but this merely reveals how far society has deviated from that which God views as normal and healthy behavior. What is abnormal is going down to your local Walmart and purchasing a case of infant formula whose major ingredients are likely to be corn syrup solids, some derivative of highly processed cow’s milk, and a variety of vegetable oils. Another common ingredient is cupric (copper) sulfate. The government lists cupric sulfate as a hazardous material. It is used as a pesticide. The Material Safety Data Sheet for this chemical says, “Do not ingest” also warning that it is a carcinogen (causes cancer). Yet this chemical is included in the list of ingredients for most of the mass produced infant formulas. For more information on the deleterious effects of infant formula, and the benefits of breastfeeding, see the following links.

The act of an infant suckling at its mother’s breast causes a release of oxytocin in the mother, which in turn releases milk from the breast. Oxytocin is passed from mother to child through breast milk. It is the effect oxytocin has upon an individual that makes it so beneficial in establishing gender identity and the nurturing, comforting, protecting persona of the mother. Oxytocin is a “feel good” hormone. It has been described by many as the “trust hormone” because it engenders a sense of trust between individuals when it is expressed. Oxytocin is a “bonding” hormone, as it fosters a sense of oneness with the individual a person is with when it is manifested.

Take away the interchange of chemicals and hormones produced by natural childbirth, and rob a child of the experience of nursing at its mother’s breast for a normal period of time, and there are bound to be consequences. In the Bible, women weaned their children at a much older age than most women do today, usually after 2-3 years of breastfeeding. It is uncommon to hear of a woman who nurses her child past one year of age today, and many do not make it nearly that long. The number of women who have forsaken homemaking to pursue a job, or career outside the home, makes nursing their children impractical. Many children are given infant formula from the time of birth, never experiencing the health producing benefits of nursing at their mother’s breast. What is perhaps even worse, is the gender confusion that results when the mother does not present herself as the role model God intended her to be.

There is a growing trend for men to be stay-at-home caregivers, and the responsibilities for nurturing the children are increasingly being shared among parents. What is being patterned in the child’s mind when the father is holding the child and feeding it formula through a bottle? Such behavior was unknown in the Bible. A child received milk from the woman’s breast. If a mother had problems providing milk, or the mother died or was absent for some reason, another lactating woman would be sought out to nurse the child. This is what occurred when Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby Moses. She sought out a Hebrew woman to nurse the child, not knowing that the woman selected was Moses’ own mother.

A study conducted in 2011 by Statistics Canada reported that men now account for 12 percent of stay at home parents. The change has been swift. The same report stated that in the 1970s one in a hundred stay at home parents were men. Today that number is one in eight. (Source below.)

To their own hurt, the church has failed to contemplate the consequences of departing from the divinely established order while conforming themselves to the ways of a world that lies in spiritual darkness. The role of being a keeper at home was assigned by God to the woman.

Titus 2:3-5
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home...

Without a doubt there are many factors that have contributed to the gender confusion present in society today. Christians, however, are not without responsibility. When the church conforms itself to the ways of the world, they are opening the door for a world of ills to enter. It is needful for those who fear the Lord to stop what they are doing, and to begin examining all of their life decisions carefully. All things need to be tested, even those decisions that seem totally insignificant.

As I look back upon my years of being a young father, and I consider the decisions and actions I made, there are many things I regret. I wish I would have been more aware of the consequences of every life decision. I regret that I did not seek the counsel of Yahweh in every decision, both large and small. As a minister whom Christ has appointed as a teacher to His body, I desire to spare others from similarly having the experience of looking back on their past with regret.

I had no teachers in the church to tell me that I should seek God about the method of childbirth I should recommend to my wife. I had no one to explain to us the ill effects of institutionalized childbirth, or the benefits of natural childbirth. There was no influence exerted by the body of Christ to cause us to consider our ways carefully. Life seemed to be separated into spiritual and secular realms. Pregnancy and birthing children was viewed as part of the secular realm. Counsel was sought from medical professionals instead of God. What folly!

I believe that many of those who have fallen prey to homosexual temptations and desires in this hour were rendered more susceptible by the decisions their parents unwittingly made years earlier. This does not absolve the individual practicing homosexuality of responsibility. Rather, it suggests that there are others who also share responsibility. I am reminded of the following words of Christ.

Luke 12:47-48
“And that servant who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.”

Ignorance does not absolve one of culpability. God’s people should inquire of Him about His will in all things. Did you do evil in ignorance? It was still evil, and evil affects the lives of others. If there is one thing I would say to Christians in light of these things, it is “Consider your ways!” We need to STOP, and INQUIRE of Yahweh before we ACT.

There is an account given in the book Joshua, chapter 9, of a group of people who lived within the land of Canaan. They heard of the fame of Israel, and heard of their conquest of other peoples and cities. These people feared that they too would be wiped out by Israel, so they used deception to secure their deliverance.

These citizens of the city of Gibeon put on old clothes. They put patched wineskins on their donkeys. They carried with them moldy bread and provisions. They made it appear as if they had traveled a long journey of many weeks, or months, to reach Joshua and the elders of Israel. They then asked Israel to make a covenant of peace with them. Joshua and the elders were fooled by the disguise, and they made a covenant to not destroy the people, believing that they came from a far distant land. Soon afterwards the deception was exposed, but the damage had been done. The covenant had to be kept.

Yahweh was seeking to teach His people an important lesson. They should have inquired of Him before acting. Yahweh would have exposed the lie. He would have told His people what to do, if only they had inquired. Christians today suffer many hurtful things because they do not seek Yahweh in all of their decisions. The answer may appear obvious to you. It may be something that you do not think requires deliberation. You need to inquire of God anyway.

There are many decisions you will make that will bear great consequences on the lives of your children. The most dangerous path is simply to go with the flow. It may seem to be the path of least resistance, but when the whole world is driving furiously toward moral collapse and a fiery judgment, it is unwise to follow them unheedingly. Question everything. Seek counsel daily from the Father.

A matter that seems so innocent as whether to follow a doctor’s prescribed advice for a pregnancy and birth may bear profound results for both your own life, and that of your child. Remember the reproach that is contained in Yahweh’s description of the life of King Asa.

II Chronicles 16:12
And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Yahweh, but the physicians.

Of how many Christians can it be said that they did not seek Yahweh, but the physicians? Do not let this be the final testimony of your life.

Heart4God Website:    

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Push Back! - Part 12

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Every day there is a new onslaught of propaganda by the advocates of homosexual behavior. This morning the news headlines were hyping the performance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Video Music Awards that were broadcast last night to tens of millions of viewers. The duo were nominated for six video awards, including Best Video with a Social Message for their song Same Love which they performed during the broadcast. The power of deception in this song is profound. Having Jennifer Hudson, a singer known for her Christian faith and good-girl persona, join them at the end of the performance was a triumph of wickedness. The song even includes scripture quotations to promote behavior that God abhors.

Following are two links. The first is for a video of the performance of the song at the VMA awards. The second is the official music video on YouTube that has more than 70 million views. The lyrics to Same Love are just below the video links.

Same Love

When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
'Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-k, trippin' "
Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn't she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, "Yeah, I'm good at little league"
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it's a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don't know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don't know

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
"Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we're saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We press play, don't press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking 'round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up... sex

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is kind
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
Love is kind

It should not surprise the Christian that Satan will quote Scripture to advocate behavior that is detestable to God. He did so when he tempted the Son of God in the wilderness. Yahshua never fell for these deceptions, but the same cannot be said for many Christians today. Christ answered Satan’s quotations of Scriptures with other words from the Bible that demonstrated that the behavior Satan was advocating was contrary to the will of God. This is a good tack for the disciples of Christ to take today. If a homosexual advocate tells you that love is patient and kind, suggesting that it is unloving to condemn homosexual behavior, you might remind them that in the same passage the apostle Paul also wrote “Love... does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (I Corinthians 13:6).

Furthermore, the Bible describes homosexuality as unrighteousness.

I Corinthians 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... shall inherit the kingdom of God.

All of these verses come from the same book in the New Testament that Macklemore and Lewis cite in their homosexual advocacy song, which Jennifer Hudson assisted in proclaiming at the VMA awards. All of these individuals are guilty of practicing deception to justify a behavior that God condemns. Yet, they have the temerity to say,

And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago

Here is a literal (non-paraphrased) rendering of the words of the Bible.

Leviticus 18:22
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

The subtle message of the line I’m not crying on Sundays is a defiant proclamation that the person choosing the homosexual lifestyle will not be deterred, or disturbed, by the preaching of the Bible by people in church. Tragically, many will believe, and even sing along with, the words of this song, confessing that:

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Satan knows his craft well, and he is wrapping millions in chains of bondage that they cannot break. All the while he has fooled them into thinking that they are fighting for their “freedom.” In their spiritual blindness, they are actually fighting to remain prisoners of their sinful passions. Christ came to set men free: free from the shackles of sin - not freedom to sin.

I have not enjoyed writing this series, and I am eager to bring it to a close. Yet, there are things that needed to be expressed, and some things that must yet be set down, before I can conclude. I want to turn at this time to the spiritual significance of homosexuality. I believe that every sin of the flesh has a corresponding sin in the spiritual realm. The Bible reveals many of these parallel transgressions. Not surprisingly, sexual sins of the flesh are frequently linked to spiritual transgressions. Throughout the Bible we find that God relates spiritual idolatry to the physical sin of adultery.

Ezekiel 23:37
Thus they have committed adultery with their idols...

Ezekiel 16:30-32
“How languishing is your heart," declares the Yahweh God, "while you do all these things, the actions of a bold-faced harlot. When you built your shrine at the beginning of every street and made your high place in every square, in disdaining money, you were not like a harlot. You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!”

Hosea 3:1
Then Yahweh said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods...”

We should not be surprised to find that sexual sins are symbolic of spiritual transgressions that pertain to the relationship between God and man. Yahweh has created this physical universe to reveal the hidden things of the spiritual realm. The relationship between a husband and wife, and the act of procreation that brings forth offspring, offer profound parables of the relationship between humanity and the Creator. The apostle Paul wrote of the divine mystery contained in the intimate union of a man and his wife.

Ephesians 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.

Paul declares that we are members of Christ’s body. Eve was formed from a remnant portion of Adam’s body that was removed while he slept. Adam declared, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Adam had to be cast into a deep sleep in order for Yahweh to remove a portion of his body to form the woman. Similarly, we find that the Son of God, the Last Adam, had to sleep in the dust of the earth in order for a bride to come forth. Christ surrendered His flesh and His blood in order to purchase a people for His own possession. He can now say, “This is flesh of My flesh, and bone of My bone.”

The book of Genesis reveals the origins of the sexual union, and the process of bringing forth offspring. After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, Yahweh pronounced His judgment. This judgment is often referred to as “the curse,” but the word “curse” does not accurately describe God’s words. What He spoke was actually the salvation and hope of mankind. There would be a long season of toil, and the man and woman would both know pain and sorrow, but the ultimate end of their experiences would be life.

Genesis 3:16-19
To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; Yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Paul said the mystery of the man and the woman is great. In it is contained a revelation of the relationship between Christ and His church. As we look at the words above in light of the relationship between Christ and His church, some profound insight comes forth. The only way in which the church can bring forth mature sons is through pain. Suffering has become a necessary component of birthing spiritual offspring.

Philippians 1:29
For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake...

I Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Despite the fact that the church can only bring forth children through experiences of pain, she must still choose for Christ to rule over her. We find that there remains a remnant to this day whose desire is toward their heavenly Bridegroom. These ones choose for Yahshua to rule over them that He might obtain the sons that He desires. Yet, many eschew the pain and suffering. Many in the church do not share the Son of God’s desire to have mature sons in His image. Therefore, they eschew suffering, choosing pleasure without pain.

In the natural realm, there are various ways in which men and women choose the pleasure of sexual intimacy without the pain that is incurred in bringing forth offspring. Many women enjoy the pleasures of sexual intercourse and then abort the baby in their womb. This has occurred more than 50 million times in America in the last 40 years. More babies have been aborted in America than there are people in Canada, and more than twice the population of Australia.

Many women who do have babies are opting to escape the pain of childbirth by having medical procedures such as C-sections, or epidurals (spinal blocks). Science is only now coming to understand the changes that take place in a woman’s body as she undergoes the stress and pains of childbirth. There are chemicals produced, and an interchange with the baby, that effects its future growth and well-being. Babies who are born through natural childbirth are on average healthier, and even have a greater bond to the mother, than those born by C-section or with the use of pain drugs. As you read through the following, I invite you to be alert to the spiritual parallels within the church.

Natural childbirth, also known as un-medicated birth, has many hidden benefits that more women of childbearing age should be aware of. In our society, giving pain medication for labor is so normal that most doctors assume a laboring woman will want it, and most mothers-to-be expect it. In fact, depending upon the hospital and region, pain medication rates are as high as 90 percent, with the vast majority of women choosing an epidural.

Generally, if there is a way around it, most women try and avoid the pain. Why be a martyr and suffer needlessly they ask? And that is exactly how I used to think right up until I got pregnant with my son. I always assumed I would just get an epidural. Like other women, I was terrified of the pain and I never even considered delivering naturally until a friend, who had given birth naturally, began listing its virtues.

Despite being in the natural health field, I had not really heard much discussion regarding the benefits of avoiding medication during labor. In retrospect, I should have made the connection since an epidural is a drug, and most drugs have side effects. However, the fear of labor pain was simply too strong to allow me to entertain any other thoughts. Yet, when I started to do some research on my own, which included reading books on midwifery and talking to women who had chosen natural childbirth, I started to realize there was another side to the story.

Due to the medical institutionalization of birth in North America, most women forget birthing is a natural experience that, in most cases, does not need medical intervention. Women have been delivering babies naturally for millennia. It is what our bodies were designed to do. Of course the reality that pain is involved in the process cannot be ignored. For this reason, the vast majority of women choose pain medication...

Let’s look at the main reasons many women choose to have a natural childbirth.

Labor is Often Shorter

Epidurals and other pain relieving medications often lead to a slower delivery. Pain medications often interfere with the body’s natural way of laboring and can slow down contractions. This increases total laboring periods. In addition, women often do not feel their contractions and do not know when to push. By not pushing at key times, or with adequate strength, they are not able to facilitate the laboring process. They miss important opportunities to work with the rhythms of their bodies.

Epidurals Often Increase Use of Medical Interventions

Because epidurals disconnect women from the natural pushing action and prolong labor, doctors are prone to intervene in the slowed birthing process and may give a pitocin drip (a uterine stimulant) or use a vacuum or forceps to move the fetus through the birth canal. In addition, fetal monitoring may be necessary to study the fetus’s heart rate. This usually requires an instrument to be attached to the baby’s scalp. If there are issues related to the heart beat or other complications, a Cesarean-section may be done.

Although epidural use doesn’t always cause these complications, it does increase the likelihood that interventions will be used.

Breastfeeding is Facilitated

Research shows babies born through natural childbirth are more alert and show more interest in breastfeeding once delivered. Many women don’t realize the pain medication they receive is also passed on to their baby. Because of this, many babies are born slightly “drugged” from the pain medication. This can interfere with their innate suckling behavior that normally expresses itself shortly after birth. It is not unusual for babies, exposed to an epidural, to have difficulty with latching on and an uncoordinated suck/swallow response for hours, or even days.

When videotaped studies of newborn babies have been done, there has been a marked difference between those born to mothers who received pain medication and those who didn’t. The fact that neither mom, nor baby, is medicated means natural instincts can emerge and the bonding that normally manifests between a mother and her baby can take place.

Natural Childbirth is Often Healthier for Mom and Baby

Because an epidural slows down labor, a woman is much more likely to be given a pitocin drip (uterine stimulant) to speed up contractions. The resulting contractions begin to come on so strong and fast that a woman has very little time to recover between them, leaving less oxygen to reach the fetus. This could damage the fetus’s brain cells and possibly lead to neurological problems.

Epidurals in birthing women also increase the chance of fever which increases the likelihood antibiotics will be prescribed.

Faster Recovery Time

Women who planned natural childbirths often feel great for a short while after delivering their babies. Because no numbing drugs were used, and no tubes or needles were stuck into their body parts, naturally birthing moms can get up shortly after labor if they desire, and walk around or take a shower.

The euphoric feeling in which many naturally birthing moms experience is caused by the release of endorphins in the body during labor. Endorphins are calming and pain-relieving hormones the body naturally produces when dealing with pain. Tests have shown a woman’s body will not release nearly as many endorphins if a pain medication is utilized.

Like women in America, more than 90% of the church is seeking to avoid the necessary pain that accompanies the birthing of new life. Whether the life is a newborn baby, or a spiritual son or daughter of God, pain is both normal and necessary. The avoidance of pain ALWAYS results in negative consequences. One consequence is that the delivery takes longer. The mother, by choosing to ease her own discomfort and pain, actually prolongs the time that the baby within her womb must struggle through the process of birth. There is certainly a spiritual parable here. It takes much longer to produce spiritual offspring in the image of Christ when pain is avoided.

A second consequence is that unnatural medical procedures are often called upon to facilitate the birth process. In the spiritual realm the doctors are often the ministers. Even as the use of forceps, or pitocin drips, can result in harm to the baby, so too do the efforts of ministers who seek to bring forth offspring without the church having to suffer.

A third consequence is difficulty in breastfeeding. Like babies born to mothers who took pain drugs, many new Christians are born “dazed,” not fully alert. They are disoriented, and have trouble finding their way spiritually in life. They may lack a healthy appetite for the life sustaining milk of the word of God. They may look for sustenance in inferior manmade sources even as many parents supply their newborns with infant formula rather than the mother’s breast milk.

Will not a spiritual child that is birthed in pain have a greater love for the church who labored to bring it forth? Will there not be a greater affinity between the new convert and the church who laid down their life, and embraced suffering, to secure its new birth? When the church avoids the pain of the cross it also lessens the bond of love between members.

One of the primary losses to the church when it seeks to avoid suffering, is that it cheats itself out of the “euphoria” that results after one has passed through a difficult trial. The Scriptures state that “for the joy (euphoria) set before Him, Christ endured the cross.” There is great joy that results, both in this age, and in the ages to come, for those who have endured suffering in obedience to Christ. Those who strive to avoid this suffering are casting away an immense joy that far surpasses the pain of these momentary and light afflictions.

I found it interesting that the article above contained the following line:

Why be a martyr and suffer needlessly they ask?

The word “martyr” is a Biblical one. Those who are called to be disciples of Christ are called “martyrs.”

Acts 1:8
“And you shall be My witnesses [Greek - martus, martyrs] both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Yahweh told the woman that bringing forth new life would be accompanied by pain. Can a woman cheat God and there be no consequences? There are always consequences to our decisions. In relation to natural birth and its associated pains, more consequences are being discovered all the time. The following quotation reveals a couple more benefits of natural childbirth.

Experts generally agree that most healthy, risk-free women should deliver their babies vaginally rather than by cesarean section, as it has benefits for both the mother and baby, like shorter hospital stays and fewer infant respiratory problems.

Now, Yale researchers said they've found another potential benefit of vaginal birth, claiming it triggers the production of a protein in babies' brains that may improve brain development.

Giving birth via c-section, on the other hand, may impair its expression...

Other recent studies on the impact of different birthing methods have focused on immune system function.

A 2010 study in the journal PNAS suggested that as babies travel through the vagina during birth, they may pick up certain bacteria that could help protect them from future diseases.

With these words I am seeking to establish in the reader’s mind the significant parallels between this natural creation and the spiritual realm. Yahweh has designed the entire male/female relationship and reproductive process to show forth profound spiritual truths.

Men and women in the church show little differentiation from those in the world. A pleasure seeking, pain eschewing people are demonstrating physically what is occurring unseen in realms of the spirit. Abortion, adultery, homosexuality, all have their parallels in the spirit. In the next post, I will begin to examine the spiritual significance of homosexual behavior and what it reveals about the church today.

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Joseph Herrin
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