Thursday, January 3, 2008

The world is changing. God's Word NEVER changes!

What does your church teach about homosexuality?

From the Chicago Sun Times...
Same-sex unions debut in New Hampshire

January 1, 2008
FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS
CONCORD, N.H. — Dozens of gay and lesbian couples entered into civil unions in New Hampshire in the early moments of New Year’s Day as a new state law legalized the partnerships after midnight.

Organizers said they checked in 37 couples for an outdoor ceremony on the plaza of the New Hampshire Statehouse — the building where the law was adopted and signed in 2007. Participants bundled up against below-freezing temperatures.

‘‘We’ve been together 20 years; we’ve been waiting for this moment for 20 years; finally the state will recognize us as we are,’’ said Julie Bernier, who posed for photos on the Statehouse steps with partner Joan Andresen before the ceremony. Bernier and Andresen, who both work at Plymouth State University, never sought a commitment ceremony or other symbolic recognition of their relationship before Tuesday.

‘‘I didn’t believe in doing it until it meant something,’’ Bernier said. (my note, it meant something, meaning they get financial rewards now!)

As ceremonies go, the outdoors event that began at 11 p.m. Monday was equal parts political rally, party and personal triumph.

‘‘We really didn’t believe that we’d be able to see this accomplished within one year but it has happened,’’ state Rep. Jim Splaine, a sponsor of the civil unions bill, told the cheering crowd of about 200. ‘‘One thing we have to keep in mind is that there is much more to do. We have to continue the journey to make sure that we have marriage equality, full marriage equality — with the word marriage — soon.’’ (my note, they are going to be very active in pushing this even further into other states)

New Hampshire’s civil unions law — enacted by the Democrat-dominated Legislature early last year and signed by Democratic Gov. John Lynch in May, gives same sex couples the same rights, responsibilities and obligations of marriage without calling the union a marriage. New Hampshire is the fourth state in the nation to allow civil unions.

‘‘We are a citizen legislature and we legislated this into being,’’ said state Rep. Gail Morrison, a Democrat and co-organizer of the event who entered into a civil union with her longtime partner. (my note, and people wonder why Christians are very serious about not allowing someone who is gay, to lead a congregation!) John Davey and Mark Brodeur brought gold wedding bands to exchange during their ceremony. Together 10 years since meeting online, Davey, 34, and Brodeur, 48, held a commitment ceremony with friends several years ago, but became the first couple to seek a civil union license in their hometown of Stratham when they became available last month.

‘‘That was just for to say that we loved each other, that we’re committed,’’ Davey said of the commitment ceremony. ‘‘This is to show the world this is who we are, this is finally recognized in New Hampshire.’’ (my note, it also shows the world, we can do whatever we want regardless of what God says about it. We are going to shove it in your face!)

There were no protesters at the Statehouse, though one man, Michael Hein, said he drove 180 miles from Augusta, Maine, so he could ‘‘report to the people of Maine that this is going on next door.’’ Hein also passed out statements from his group, The Christian Civic League of Maine, which denounces homosexuality.

‘‘Without our vigilance in Maine, (civil unions are) something that could occur as soon as next year,’’ Hein said.

After making brief group vows together, couples walked through an archway decorated with rainbow ribbons and a ‘‘just married’’ banner to meet officiants for individual ceremonies. As they walked through, fireworks from the city’s New Year’s celebration lit up the sky.

New Hampshire follows Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey in allowing civil unions. Massachusetts is the only state that allows marriage. New Hampshire estimates that as many as 3,500 to 4,000 civil unions will be performed this first year.


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There you have it. A fifth state has entered into gay marriages. That now makes 10% of our nation's states have made it legal for gays to be married. That might seem like a low number but think of it this way. Look at which states have done it so far. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey along with Massachusetts. Where are these states located? All in the upper Northeast part of the country. That is a very liberal part and will play a big part in the primaries and caucuses that will determine who will be running officially for President come November. Just as the lady that was the co-sponsor of the bill ended up celebrating her union with her girlfriend, all it takes is for a political person to be elected who is in favor of this. Then watch out! It will spread so fast. It seems that the majority of the people do not have a voice in our government like it was intended to be. Now it is the group that cries out the loudest that gets their way. If you are a Christian, your voice does not count. You need to be diverse and accepting of their ways. Maybe I can't stop the Gay marriages from happening. What can I do? I can hit the streets preaching the Word of God. Not just in a church, no, it must be out in the streets. The people who NEED to hear the Word are the people who are not coming to church. They just think it is nonsense. We must warn them of why they need a Savior. Point them to the Law of God. Ask them where they think they will go when they die. Get them to say heaven or hell. Ask them why they are going there. Ask them how they will get there. Ask them who can get them there. Ask them if they think they are a good person. Then take them through the Law of God. Have they lied, stolen, lusted, hated, coveted, always loved God first. Then show them that they just admitted to doing all of the things listed and that they will have to face God. He will find them guilty and they are destined to hell. Tell them what they need to do. Repent of their sins. Who do they need to trust and put their faith in? Jesus Christ! We might not be able to change legislation, but we can change our own attitudes about witnessing to people out in the streets. Let's get out there and be faithful to God. One person at a time. We give them the Word and let God do the rest! If we are only going to sit back and just throw our hands up in the air and give up, then we are not acting as a Christian should. Fight for your faith. Fight for doing what is right. Fight for the name of Jesus Christ. God is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He never changes and His Word is always true. Homosexuality is a sin. Always has been and always will be. Without repentance the people engaging in it are headed for hell. The world might say it is okay to be gay. But God says NO!

8 comments:

speaking_as said...

"Homosexuality is a sin. Always has been and always will be. Without repentance the people engaging in it are headed for hell. The world might say it is okay to be gay. But God says NO!"

Amen, Brian... just reading this article made me sick to my stomach. These sodomites are trying to take over our lives. Another reason I removed all sources of secular entertainment from my home; for years, television and movies have been trying to push the very idea you speak of- it is okay to be gay- on us. NO IT IS NOT!!! I pray for these people to turn away from wickedness, but I agree, we must go out on the streets. Preaching to the masses in church is not enough, something more must be done! Mike Huckabee is the only gentleman I would vote for, and he has a record of anti-gay issues. You should look in to him, Brian. Although, I trust you already have. Take care.

pastorbrianculver said...

the sad thing is, little children in 2nd grade and younger are being taught that it is okay to be gay. I was watching something with me grandson a while back and a guy hugged and kissed a girl, and then another guy said where is my hug? and they hugged. Not a brotherly kind of hug if you know what I mean! My grandson said that was "gross!" 3 years old and I am so proud of him!!!!!

Question of Identity said...

I do believe that it is possible to befriend and show love to homosexuals and lesbians and at the same time take what will be considered as a conservative view of the Bible's scriptures.

When working at St George’s Crypt, a Christian outreach for homeless a gay man aged in his early thirties once, retorted ‘but Christians hate homosexuals, don’t they?’ There was anger in his voice. I looked at this man, stunned into silence by his accusation, stuttering hopelessly to find any words, since I knew that he knew my conservative evangelical stance. Eventually, I found some words to show that this shouldn’t be the case, that if we are following Christ’s example, we should be offering only love .. to especially those who are considered by others, to have a lesser standing in society.

As our relationship built up, in serving this man and hopefully without patronising him, I tried to show him the love of Christ. First, I attended to his immediate physical needs. He was hungry and homeless, he needed food. And then I listened to his heart rendering life story, the abuse given by his father and his brothers, felt his pain as he described his seeking for love as he blundered into one relationship after another. I found cause to squirm ashamedly as he described the apparent hatred shown towards him by some so called Christians, when he tried to go to church.

Yet in all this, John was a spiritual searcher, who eventually showed that he wanted to explore God’s Scriptures with me.

How easy it would have been to visit first of all, the prohibitive texts: To discuss with John, the evil deeds of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Leviticus texts which could show ‘beyond doubt’ the seriousness of which God takes on the position on homosexual activity. And then there’s Paul’s writings in the New Testament, which appears to exclude non-repentant practising homosexuals from God’s kingdom. We could have spent hours, looking at the debates on these texts, asking questions like: Does God mean to exclude covenant homosexual practice, as well as homosexual prostitution? To jump into the discussion with the aim of debating with ‘them’ ‘what their sins are’ is one possible approach, but surely it wasn’t Jesus’ way.

Perhaps we may have headed to the parts of the Bible that shows God’s positive attitudes towards marriage, showing that clearly God wants to bless sexuality when expressed within this institution. But this would not have met this man where he was.

Alternatively we could have kidded ourselves that everything is ok, that Jesus told us to love our neighbour and that any sexual expression of love will do. I wonder though (regardless of our theological position) if this would have only added to his problems, since it did not address the hurt and pain caused by multiple relationships.

And so our first port of call, was in John’s Gospel, where Jesus met a woman at a well. Many times divorced, she was presently living with a man outside marriage. She was a woman cast out of her own society, which itself was seen as an underclass society by the Jews. In short the lady at the well was not seen so much as a lady- more so as someone who was beyond the pale.

She didn’t have to tell Jesus her life story, for he knew her predicament and he could already feel her pain. But he did not condemn her by taking her straight to the prohibitive texts. Nor did he give cheap platitudes excusing her for all she done, since this would not have dealt with her pain. Instead, he deals first with the problem, her thirst for true love and a quality of life.

‘Everyone who drinks from the water in the well, will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

There will always be those who accuse some Christians of homophobia by the sheer fact that they believe that God says homosexuality is wrong. The only antidote to this accusation is to be fundamental in love as well as fundamental in Scripture.

I would say that I only became sure that I had succeeded in showing this man non-patronising Christ like love when he started to trust and to be equally-loving in his actions toward me. It was in listening to this man, his hurts and struggles that I managed to befriend him. It was in serving him and helping him to understand God’s grace first, which God would rather show than his judgement, that he was able to eventually to relate in some way to my beliefs.

It is important that evangelical Christians are not a clashing symbol and a clanging gong. The conservative evangelical wing of the church doesn’t have to win an argument. Instead they need to show a listening ear and servant heart – this is at the heart of the grace transforming Gospel. Jesus, the great befriender of those put on the outside of society, wouldn’t have it any other way. It is only the grace of Jesus that transforms and heals!

God bless your ministry pastor Brian.

Neil

speaking_as said...

HAHAHAHA, great story Brian! That's great that your grandson is already being raised to hate those people. You obviously raised a good son/daughter who in turn is raising them well. I can't wait to be a grandfather myself!
I haven't had a television or a radio in my home for years, since I left Los Angeles, so it was somewhat easier raising my son without the negative influences of secular entertainment. (We have a computer for work purposes, but it was always under use under strict watch.) Yes, I'm sure he probably watched television and movies at his friends houses over the years, but he still turned out to be a great Christian young man.

pastorbrianculver said...

I understand what you are saying. The only thing I have to ask you is this...

you said, "Does God mean to exclude covenant homosexual practice, as well as homosexual prostitution? To jump into the discussion with the aim of debating with ‘them’ ‘what their sins are’ is one possible approach, but surely it wasn’t Jesus’ way."

Actually, Jesus did use the Law in dealing with people. With the woman at the well, he brought up the extra husbands and the fact she had another man. Adultery is Commandment number 7. He showed her what she had done and by Him telling her, she knew he was someone special. With the rich man, he mentioned several of the Commandments to the man. And when the man said he had kept all of them since his youth, Jesus then told him to sell all he had and to come follow him. The man went away sad because his money was his god. Jesus knew that. We don't need to point a finger at people and say, "you're a sinner." But if we do it properly, we can get them to "admit" they are a sinner and in need of a Savior.

I am sure when you mentioned love of neighbor that you know it does not mean a physical, sexual, attraction kind of love. right?

you said, "It was in listening to this man, his hurts and struggles that I managed to befriend him."

I agree, we should always listen to the other person.

you said, "It was in serving him and helping him to understand God’s grace first, which God would rather show than his judgement,"

If that were true, Jesus would not have spent twice as much time talking about hell as he did talking about heaven. Any time Jesus spoke with people in the Bible, it was ALWAYS Law to the proud, grace to the humble. without fail. You see, the cross is foolishness to them that are perishing. Unless a person knows WHY Jesus died on the cross, it will not make sense to them. If you want them to understand love, the love that comes from the cross, it is much better to show them that without the love of God, they are destined to hell. We need to show them that they (and us) are all exceedingly sinful. It is that sin which will send us to hell. A liar is headed to hell just as much as a homosexual. The one thing that I never read in your comment was whether the man repented of his sins. Because without repentance, he is headed to hell. If he does not repent, just telling him that God loves him will not do it. He MUST repent of his sins. When he sees that his sin is going to send him to hell, then you tell him the good news of what God did. He sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins. That whoever believes in him shall not perish, but he who does not believe will perish. The unbeliever is an unrepentant person (not obedient to God's Word) (which describes the gay man). He who believes is obedient to God's Word. The world is so politically correct that we feel we cannot hurt people's feelings with the Word of God. The truth is we need to present the Whole Word of God so that they can be convicted of their sins.

pastorbrianculver said...

He's not going to "hate" them, he just won't be influenced to accept that behavior as being normal or godly. He will feel the same for them as he will for a person who has a habit of lying all the time. Just another sinner who needs to repent of their sins. I am proud of my son and the way they are raising my grandkids. I hope your eventual grandkids bring you as much pleasure as mine have.

speaking_as said...

Brian, I spoke foolishly, using a word such as "hate" like that. After all, having hatred in one's heart is a sin. No one should be raised to hate someone, even if they are living an evil life (and they are.) My nephew is a sodomite, and his selfishness and hatred for Christ caused quite a rift in that side of the family. I guess I just become angry about these things. But I apologize. I am sure that your grandson will grow up to be a wonderful Christian. He certainly seems well on his way!

pastorbrianculver said...

I can tell it caused some problems with you. It would really have bothered me if my son was like that too. Thankfully, he has always liked girls. 25 calls a day from different girls when he was a teenager pretty much attest to that fact!! I will have to watch my grandson though, whenever he sees a pretty girl on tv he always says, "that's a pretty girl!" I am happy when he says that, but at the same time, I worry that when he gets older it might become a lust issue. But for now, I am happy with it!!