Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Testimony: How I Met Jesus

Video Testimony:

Life before Jesus, for me, was a living nightmare. And that’s in no way an exaggeration. Even before drugs took control in my story, it was still basically a life of confusion, and quiet desperation. See life without Jesus is simply life chasing 2 dimensional pleasures that don’t quite fulfill. And I wandered along sort of haphazardly blundering my way through life. But I questioned life, I asked often, What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What should I do next? College? Marriage?

At age 17 I got into drugs. It started with marijuana and smoking cigarettes with friends, after problems in my family developed. Marijuana led to pills, benzos, amphetamines, which led to stronger pills, and eventually my drug of choice dxm. Without the power of Christ in my life, the drugs took total control. Over many years I became detached from society, family, and reality itself.

My body began deteriorating after nearly 10 years of drug addiction. I overdosed, and nearly died in the hospital ICU. I overdosed a second time, and was involuntarily placed in a mental hospital restricted as a danger to myself and society.

About one year later, at rock bottom, a series of strange events led me to fall onto my knees, and cry out to a Nazarene peasant who lived 2 thousand years ago named Jesus Christ.

There were several encounters that were key to this deliverance. First, two trembling teenage girls at the university of wisconsin extension who walked up to me and asked me if I thought I would go to heaven when I died? It got me thinking about if God really existed. Second, my mom bugging me to go to church with her to see this hip young pastor. I went. Third, my grandpa having the guts to invite me over, hand me my first bible, and talk to me about the love of Jesus. Fourth, my cousin Kimberly buying me a copy of the movie called the gospel of John, which is word for word the gospel of John. To this day I’m not good at reading books, but being able to watch this gospel movie over and over finally made it connect in my mind that I needed Jesus. Fifth, while I was in ICU, the chaplain of the hospital came to visit me, talked to me about Jesus, looked at me with love, and called me His brother in Christ. Every single one of those events, were people, probably afraid, who were willing to interrupt my life and tell me about Jesus. They probably went away thinking, wow I really blew it that time. But their feeble efforts, which I thought were so foolish and stupid at the time were in fact the glory of God, forged in courage and a willingness to look foolish to bring a wayward soul to Christ. But probably just as much as any of those encounters, it was the Bible study group at Bethany Baptist quietly praying for me every week, it was my grandmas monica and patricia, my mom and my grandpa Bernie praying for me, praying and praying and praying stubbornly refusing to give up on me, all of that culminating, in the urge to cry out to Jesus and become a saved born again Christian. That’s evangelism.

My life since I’ve accepted Christ has been an amazing, awe-inspiring roller coaster of God’s grace, to the most undeserving of sinners. Fundamentally my life is about joy now, instead of sorrow. It’s like someone flipped on the lights. When C.S. Lewis said, I believe Christianity like the sun in the sky, because by it I see everything else.” That statement is so true. I can see now. I can see who I am and why I’m here.

And freedom from drug addiction. Folks I had tried so hard to break those chains of addiction, they were solid steel, when I called out to Jesus, got into twelve step groups, those chains broke off and fell at my feet like tissue paper. Amazing grace. All of my sins, that endless list of wrongs I’d done, people I’d hurt, family estranged, broken relationships, all forgiven, wiped out at the cross of Christ.

Jesus had saved me, he had set me free from all evil. But my part, my response was to get to work. I fought really hard in the beginning. I went to tons of recovery meetings every week. I joined a church. I prayed every day, on my knees before God. I read my Bible incessantly, constantly. I got to work on myself, reading books on recovery from depression, anxiety and addiction. I began to pick up the pieces of my past, and began to make amends to those I’d harmed. I made a public declaration of faith, and was baptized into the body of Christ. I started volunteering for ministries at my church. I began to address sins in my life, pursuing holiness.

God was opening up doors, and I knew God was calling me to ministry. So I applied to Liberty university and I was accepted. I graduated with a bachelors degree, magna cum laude in Religion. I asked God where he wanted me to serve, and pretty soon I started working at the transitional living center in Wausau. I worked rotating shifts, including Sundays, so I started attending the Salvation Army church there. I fell in love with the mission of the Salvation Army, got more involved, and started attending conferences. I became a soldier. And participation at the Wausau corps led to me applying for the ministry discovery program internship. After several conferences and calls forward, I knew God was calling me to officership. It was radical at the time to leave Wausau and head to Escanaba for the internship. So I’ve been in Escanaba for two years now, and it’s been the most amazing experience. I’ve learned so much. I’ve found so much grace from God when the challenges come. So I know as I head to CFOT that God’s grace and provision will get me through every high and low, and I pray I can bring glory to His name. Amen.

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  3. Origin, Meaning, Morality, & Destiny: An atheist and a Christian on discuss Worldview
  4. Seven Objections to the Bible and Seven Reasonable Responses
  5. Quick Fact Sheet: Four Points to Consider
  6. 10 Answers to Common Questions Raised by Skeptics
  7. Believing in the Miraculous: The Work of Jesus Christ on the Cross
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  10. No Evidence for God?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Everything is about Jesus: All Things To, For, and By Christ

Accompanying Video:

Message Audio:

We’ve talked about topics like theology, sociology, philosophy, government, and other topics, looking at a litany of spheres of life to discover how our Christian faith impacts all of our lives. As the final message of this series, we address this simple fact: Everything is about Jesus. The scriptures say everything was made by Him, for Him, and through Him.

We worship, adore, fear, and love this righteous God who reveals himself to us as Father God of the heavens, Holy Spirit ministering within us, and Jesus Christ, God coming into human history to set us free from our own sins.

To understand the depths of what Jesus has done we must understand the terrible nature of sin. I’ve watched a wife lose her husband to cancer. I’ve seen drug addicts overdose and die. I’ve seen hurricanes devastate entire communities. I’ve seen young people choose suicide. I’ve seen broken families, hopeless people. These are the effects of sin. So we can only understand the weight of what Christ has done when we understand the full horror of sin. But it’s much more personal than that. See each of us have been enemies of God. We were rebels, and one day we decided to set down our weapons, and stop tearing apart the world He gave us.

"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation“ -Colossians 1:21-22

I know Christ has purchased my redemption, yet I feel the sorrow of the fact that I fall short of God’s righteous standard. I love God’s standard. I love His holy nature. I love his laws and his commands. I love the savior Jesus Christ. And for those reasons, I lament my nature, and how I live my life, even today. Especially today. Having been given the Holy Spirit to be with me, I feel it now, everyday.

If you constantly feel like you fall short, that your sins drive you nuts, because you love God and you want to obey His way, that is a very good sign. That is a sign that your saved. Romans chapter 8 says We all groan internally, along with nature, creation itself, because of the sin problem. We feel the sorrow of it, we groan and eagerly await the perfection of all things.

If your constantly worried that you might lose your salvation, that you fall short of God, that your weak and trapped in the flesh, then stop worrying, God isn’t going to lose you. He is going to uphold you along the journey. Nothing can separate us from Christ. Our part is to remain in faith. Keep nurturing your faith, keep attending church, and you’re gonna do great. This is a lifestyle. And if sin upsets you, that means your growing closer to God.

Because as the famed preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “The nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart.”

Yet it is right that we should tremble before a holy God. The only reason every single one of us don’t go into outer darkness is because Jesus Christ did something very special for us. Because we are all justly exposed to the wrath of God. The justice of God was justly raised up against us because of our many, many grevious sins. And I love the justice of God, within I want His justice to reign.

We’ve each fallen short of God’s standard. And to me, when I’m feeling the depths of my own sinfulness, I know I deserve hell. I know it. In fact it would be just for God to send me there, apart from Christ.

Jesus said that the faithful and the unfaithful will be separated, the faithful will go to eternal life and the unfaithful will go to eternal punishment. So we should always seek to be found as one of the faithful.

Don’t give up. Don’t stop walking the walk. It is common for us to feel discouraged along the way, I’m encouraging you to not grow weary, but to continue. God will not forget your hard work. It’s all building up, as treasure in heaven.

So we are called to speak for Christ. To be called to carry His gospel, the good news of his life, death, and resurrection is an overwhelming concept. To live missionally seems overwhelming. It seems like too much at times. Why? Because of my own weakness. Because when things start going well for a while, I tend to begin to push Jesus aside. I tend to want to do things my own way. As much as I try to forsake myself and live for Christ, my own selfishness always seems to be pushing in.

But the amazing thing is that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. That’s exactly how God set it up. In fact the Apostle Paul was asking God to remove a burden from him, something that made Him feel weak, and God said to Him, “2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV) “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Our own weakness, neurosis, and instability is in fact a gift from God, the result being that God is glorified through our weakness. Why? Because in our infinite weakness we know we are in desperate need for God to sweep in and save us time and again. Christ’s power rests on me in my deepest weaknesses and in my worst burdens. And it’s the same with you. He is glorified through our struggles.

Well we could ask, why do we have to have all these struggles? Why can’t the world just be ok? Well, the human race at the beginning chose to rebel against God. And part of the consequence of that fall was creation being cursed. And the fact is, the way we struggle with creation: our car breaks down, we catch the flu, a loved one betrays us, our spouse argues with us or our boss is harsh with us, all of these effects of the curse of sin are actually God showing us how it feels for Him to have to deal with us. The curse upon earth, nature, ourselves and other people is a reflection, something that shows us how it feels for God to have to chase after us. Probably one of the starkest reminders of this is trying to raise children. They’ve got that sin nature just like we do, and often they just won’t play by the rules.

I was just at camp, and some of those kids were a bit naughty. They’d find ways to be disruptive, and push the buttons of their counselors and leaders. They need Jesus, because of sin. Just like we need Jesus because of sin.

Thankfully Jesus Christ reveals himself to us, and to the children. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with the children during the morning session at camp. And I asked for hands to be raised if kids wanted Jesus in their hearts and lives, and dozens of hands went up. Again that evening I saw the children huddled at the altar at camp, praying, crying, I saw cheeks flush with tears over sin and struggle in their lives.

Here are pictures from that evening.

This is amazing grace, I thought to myself. That I get to witness things like this. That I get to be a part of stuff like this! I got down on my knees after that, and cried to God, saying Lord why me, how could you be so good to me, a sinner, a drug addict, Lord I’m not anyone special, I’m just some guy, some average joe and Lord you’ve given me the chance to carry your gospel, to preach to children, and to watch them kneel before you and call out to you in need. Lord, thank you so much.

That’s all my soul can do is cry out “thank you!” He paid the debt of all sins on the cross, Not only that but he caused me to be born again to rise up out of a 2 dimensional dark world of delusion, drug addiction, caught in the same repeating loop of self destruction. And for me, someone so undeserving of mercy, He not only grants mercy, the remission of sin, He also grants grace, which is relationship with God almighty the sovereign father of life, the mighty Holy Spirit of God living in my very own soul, Jesus Christ as my own personal friend and savior, and even a calling to ministry, to serve and carry the wonderful gospel of salvation. What could be more important? What could be of greater meaning and value? Nothing else. There is nothing else in life. There is nothing but Jesus. Everything is about Jesus.

I encourage you in your life. Do you see everything in your life through the lenses of Jesus Christ and the living gospel of Christ? We’ve looked at Truth, society, philosophy, government, history, and eternal future. Do you see Jesus in everything? Jesus Christ our glorious savior is alive right now. We could see the holes in his hands and feet from where he bore my sin, our sins, on the cross. They were nailed to Him, though He was perfect. God stepped in to take my sin and transmitted it to Himself, and transmitted His righteousness to me. All of this through the conduit of faith. Faith is the pipeline that traffics Christ to us, the Spirit to us, and our sin to Christ on the cross, where it is fully eliminated.

They call that penal substitutionary atonement. Penal, in that we were subject to the penalty of damnation because of our many sins. Substitution is that Jesus Christ the God-man stepped in to take the punishment for our sins. And atonement in that Christ’s sacrifice of dying on the cross, forsaken of God, deleted the list of sins standing against us in eternity. We would’ve been subject to judgment, but Jesus Christ stepped in and received the penalty for us.

Finally, given that Jesus has done it all, given that Jesus holds all things together, and that everything in life is about Jesus, we ought to live missionally. This world is not all there is. Sadly most people in or out of church still live like this world is all there is. They’re busy living for themselves and they aren’t living for Jesus. Don’t be one of those people. Really live for Jesus, really live missionally. Show up to church every Sunday, if your out of town, find a church wherever you happen to be. That’s what I do. Make sure you do pray twice a day and that you’ve got a daily devotional and a good study Bible that you read from regularly. Most importantly, carry the gospel. Think of yourself as a one man, or one woman army for Christ. You’ve got people in your sphere of influence.

Bob our CSM works at McDonalds, one might think how could I possibly witness at Mcdonalds? Bob does it all the time. He’s prayed with people, he’s listened to people when they were lost and upset. He’s been a closet prayer warrior, praying people into the kingdom from the shadows. You can do the same thing. You can be a soldier for Christ, living missionally. Basically, living as if Jesus Christ is alive right now. Good news, that is actually true. Live in light of the fact that people around you are doomed to hell, because they’ve sinned against God. Realize that, pray for them, everyday, hand out Bibles, leave tracts around town, and talk to people about God. Share your faith. Everything is about Jesus Christ, so our lives should reflect that. 

In conclusion, the Apostle Paul wrote in our scripture today: “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” -Colossians 1:20-23a

Once we were enemies of God, now we are His friends. Therefore stand firm in the faith. Everything is about Jesus. 

A Philosophical Transformation Series
1. What is Truth? A Battle of Worldviews
2. Science & Faith: The Existence of God
3. God's Overarching History: The Big Picture
4: Theology: Understanding God
5: Sociology: The Divine Image, the Family & The Social Order
6: Redemption of Man: The Cross (Paradise Regained)
7: Practicing our Faith: Principles to Live By
8: Government & Law: The United States: A Dream Realized
9: The Future Destiny of Man: The New Heavens & New Earth
10: Everything is about Jesus

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  4. To Carry the Gospel: Am I Called to be a Pastor?
  5. Tripping to the Bottom: Darkness, Delusions, and Trauma
  6. Government & Law: The United States: A Dream Realized 
  7. A Movement of Millennials: The last hope of Western Civilization
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Five Powerful Sermon Videos

I love to watch sermons and apologetics presentations on You Tube.  It's all part of keeping the Christian worldview growing and developing in my mind.  I need to learn the scriptures and how they apply from quality Christian leaders.  I'm a visual learner, that's how I learn best.  I read and listen as well.  But I'm very visual.  So if that's you, I hope these sermons/presentations help you grow in your Christian faith.  

1. Homosexuality and Transgenderism | Dr. Voddie Baucham

2. Temple University Open Forum: Does Truth Matter? | Dr. Ravi Zacharias

3. The Origins of Political Correctness

4. I Used to Be Gay | Dennis Jernigan

5. Doctrine: Revelation, God Speaks | Pastor Mark Driscoll

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  5. The War on Principles & the Hope in our Worldview 
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

God's Design for Marriage: Defending the Biblical View

Jesus Christ was once asked about marriage and divorce.  He replied in this way:

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” -Matthew 19:4-6 NIV

Jesus was saying essentially that the bond between husband and wife is a sacred union.  Jesus made it clear that God's design for marriage is sacred, permanent in this life, and not subject to change.

The biblical formula for marriage is between one man and one woman. The scriptures are abundantly clear about that.  God's design for marriage is beautiful, artistic, and a wonderful joy.

Unfortunately there is a progressive element in the world today that seeks to redefine and change things in society to reflect the subjective views of a select few of elite social engineers.  Increasingly there is a faction of society in the west that wants to change and "evolve" society as they see fit. There is a lot of money and support behind this movement. Today, there is mounting pressure in Europe, Canada, and the United States for Christian organizations to turn coat on the issue of marriage, gender, and other concerns.

In recent years some Christian organizations and denominational movements have made moves to change their marriage doctrines to allow for gay marriage to be practiced.  The arguments have been that this is about love, inclusion, tolerance, and equal rights for gay couples.  The results have overwhelmingly been that there is a mass exodus from the movement.  And with the core principles of the churches compromised, soon other compromises come about, and the movement dies off completely. 

We must never, never, never endorse a practice that the scriptures show clearly to be sinful. So in your life and witness, you may come across Christians or groups of individuals, or activists who will be working within your church movement to get the movement to embrace gay marriage, gender ideology, and other non-biblical positions on issues of the day.  I'm encouraging you today to boldly stand up against these attempts to circumvent God's word.  I'd like to arm you today to contest with these activists and show from God's word the plain truth of God's design for marriage.  Let's take a look at some scriptures.  

Regarding homosexuality, the New Testament writer, the Apostle Paul addressed this issue in the flagship book of Protestantism, the book of Romans.

Paul was writing regarding those who disbelieve in God, who refuse to obey His standards when he wrote: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."
-Romans 1:21-27 NIV

Critics say that this scripture doesn't apply because the context is that it's addressing idolatry. It is true that the context is how God deals with idolatry, which is that he then gives people over to indulge in sin. It makes sense, if people don't want Him, then he turns them over to their own desires; desires which God defines as sinful. And God indicates that these sinful desires include homosexual activity. Which means despite the context being idolatry, implicit in the scripture is the clear truth that homosexual practice is indeed sinful. Another attack on this scripture is saying that Paul was addressing the pedophilia practiced by men in Rome. But Paul doesn't say children, he says men. Which means he's talking about adult men. And he also talks about women indulging in sinful behavior with women. How could that have to do with pedophilia? Paul wasn't addressing pedophilia. He was addressing idolatry, and implicit in his description of idolatry is the truth that homosexuality is a sinful practice.

Another attack levied against biblical marriage are ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. The objector will start listing off ceremonial and judicial laws from the Old Testament, mainly from Exodus and Leviticus. They say: "Do you eat pork? Do you eat shell-fish? Should you stone your wife if she commits adultery? Do you think a woman who is on her period is unclean? How can you pick and choose!"

The answer to this is that the levitical laws were ceremonial rules for the ancient nation of Israel, mainly for their health and safety. These laws were for an ancient nation 4,000 years ago, to help them stay healthy and to eat the right foods, and so on and so forth. We are not under the ceremonial laws. The judicial laws in exodus were for the ancient nation of Israel once again, as rules for an ancient people to begin to learn to obey their God. They were the very beginning of government laws for an ancient people.

The Bible is what we call a "progressive revelation." Meaning over thousands of years God interacted with people by slowly revealing His will and plan in ways they could understand. We still look back to the Old Testament at things like the 10 commandments in Exodus, because those commands are spiritual in nature. We still look back to the OT in other areas for inspiring stories and wise teachings, but the ceremonial and judicial laws are no longer binding. We are directly under the teachings of the New Testament today. And time and again homosexuality is directly prohibited in the New Testament (1st Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:26-28, 1st Timothy 1:10).

In fact during the spread of the early church in the book of Acts, the Jerusalem council meets to decide if Gentiles (non-Jews) should be required to keep the OT laws (See Acts 15:1-35). The decision is made that Gentiles must not be placed under the OT laws, because of the grace of Christ, but that the Gentiles should be taught to live holy lives, and it's specifically mentioned at the Jerusalem council that gentiles should be taught to abstain from sexual immorality. Included in the umbrella term "sexual immorality" is of course prohibited homosexual practices as described in the NT.

Look, I'm not trying to be mean, or judgmental, or unloving. But the Bible says what it says, and doesn't say what it doesn't say. And given the choice between the Bible and someones opinion, I'll take God's word every time. 

Here's the deal: When you debate with someone who is attacking God's design for marriage and pushing the gay marriage issue, especially within the church, if you debate with them long enough you'll notice that behind their objections is one prime factor: They reject the authority of scripture.  They don't really believe the Bible is God's word.  That is the problem. The solution is to rally people to His word and invite them to believe it.  

Let me be clear: That is the issue with people within churches.  For those outside churches, biblical arguments aren't going to have any sort of impact, because they don't recognize even partial authority in the scriptures.  They reject them as the creeds of evil men bent on misogyny and bigotry.  We know they are not that, but that's how they are thought of in modern culture.

There is a very simple question to ask: Is the Bible the word of God?  If the answer is indeed "yes" which it always ought to be, then we have absolutely no business encouraging that which God has forbidden. It's just that simple.

At the end of Romans 1 Paul also writes: "Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (v.32) Do we want to join the growing number who have decided to approve of those who practice such behaviors?  Of course not.  So I encourage you, take a stand for God's beautiful, wonderful design for marriage. 

Additional scriptures dealing with homosexuality: Genesis 19:1-13Romans 1:26-271 Corinthians 6:9;1st Timothy 1:10; Matthew 19:4-6

Articles regarding the Bible & homosexuality: 

Now, if you are looking for arguments and defenses for natural marriage when dealing with non-Christians then I highly recommend this presentation by Frank Turek, Phd.  He looks at scientific and logical arguments against gay marriage:

When we embrace gay marriage, or we simply ignore the issue, we turn people away from the healing power of Jesus Christ.  There are entire ministries devoted to helping those who are lost in gender confusion and homosexuality.  I participated with a church in my hometown of Wausau that had an outreach next to a gay bar.  And I saw several young men come into the church, repent, and get saved by the power of Jesus.  
Watch this testimony by Dennis Jernigan titled "I Used to Be Gay."  It will open your eyes to the redeeming power of Christ! 

This is a very tough issue.  Let me repeat that: this is a very tough issue.  The culture is quite convinced that anyone standing for natural marriage is on the same level as the most demented, backwards, evil bigot.  Human rights organizations have and will condemn anyone who dares to a take a stand on this issue.  Those who stand for natural marriage have been and will be called hate-mongers, bigots, homophobes, and discriminatory religious zealots. In fact government human rights organization called "religious liberty" code words for bigotry and hatred.  

But it's worse than that. Sadly gay activists have taken to suing Christian businesses, slandering Christians who take a stand, and getting Christians fired from their jobs for standing for their religious values in the public square.  Some in the government wage a war on religious liberty, demanding that Christian business owners be forced to participate in gay marriage ceremonies or be shut down and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.  That could very soon continue forward into the area of ministry and pastoring.  
The Obama/Loretta Lynch Department of Justice was demanding that gender be redefined and that all public schools and public institutions be required to have a transgender bathroom policy.  Thankfully the Trump/Jeff Sessions DOJ reversed that edict. But it's clear that many along the political spectrum see it as the government's job to socially engineer culture and require that Christians be forced to come along for the ride, and if they resist, they will be fined, charged with crimes, or put in jail.  Even if you don't have any interest in politics, watch out, because politics is taking an interest in you.  

Many top companies in the U.S.A. have taken to bullying states to push forward the redefinition of marriage and gender.  National companies may boycott you or your entire state, as Indiana was boycotted for attempts to protect religious liberty and how North Carolina was boycotted by musicians, employers, and over 120 different major U.S. companies.  Some of the companies involved included: The NFL, the NBA, Paypal, Starbucks, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Pepsi, Whole Foods, Hyatt, and many others.  We may find ourselves attacked, boycotted, and slandered for defending natural marriage, but who do we want to be?  God's people or the favorites of the world? 

God is real.  He is active in the world.  God's Bible is real, true, and infallible.  It is the description of God's timeless truths.  Thus when the Bible tells us something is sinful, we must never call it anything but that.  There have always been heavy pressures from the cultures we engage in.  

Should we change our marriage stance?  Should we encourage that which God has forbidden for the affection of the LGBTQ community, for the acceptance of U.S. businesses, for the sake of "equality and inclusion?"  Never.  Because it doesn't matter what happens to us, live or die, fired or labeled haters, none-the-less, Christ lives!  And though heaven and earth pass away, His word will never pass away.  It's truth is eternal.

In conclusion, let me encourage you to rally support within your church movement or organization for God's design for marriage.  Take a stand against those activists who are attempting to push their unbiblical ideology.  Gather together like-minded individuals and begin to organize.  Seek out those elements within your churches that are attempting to lobby for the redefinition of marriage and gender.  Encourage them from the scriptures to embrace God's design for marriage.  If they will not agree with the scriptures when going to them directly, then go with one other (perhaps a leader) and if they still refuse, expose what they are doing to the entire church. If they still refuse to repent, they should not be welcome any longer (Matthew 18.)

When debating with non-believers remember to be wise, kind, and polite.  As 1st Peter 3:15b says "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..."  When dealing with a secular non-believer remember to make it clear that God wants all to come to repentance and to be found in the love of Christ.  Homosexuality is a sinful practice, but it's not a special sin.  Many wonderful former-homosexual individuals are now shining witnesses to the power of Christ, just as I try to be a shining example of how Christ loves and redeems drug addicts.  Check out the Facebook page "Ex-LGBT Through Jesus Christ." When talking with a person who identifies as LGBTQ remember that you are dealing with someone made in the image of God.  Invite them to know the love of Christ, invite them to church, and invite them to repent of their sinful practices and embrace Christ.  Christ forgives all when we repent and come to Him!

Our application of God's word adapts to the culture as it shifts.  But the eternal truths found in God's word do not change.  Marriage is a sacred union between man and wife, to the exclusion of any other combination.  Let's carry the message of the gospel in the fullness of grace and truth, standing firm in His word despite what the culture demands. Here we stand, we can do no other.

Here are some good Facebook pages to share content from regarding biblical marriage:
Marriage Conservation
1,000,000 in support of Traditional Marriage
Institute for Religion & Democracy
Family Research Council
Protect Biblical Values
The Public Discourse
The National Organization for Marriage

Please feel free to share this article and the pictures.  Please consider being an active advocate in your area for a biblical foundation of marriage, family, and core theology in your church, organization, or movement.  We need voices like yours, standing firmly for the truth.  Thank you! 

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