10 reasons why I’ve decided to become pro-choice.

image1). Although I am personally opposed to the practice, I do not want to impose my moral values upon others. So if someone else wants to hunt lions, then who am I to judge? My motto is: If you don’t like lion killing, then don’t kill one.

2). It’s clear that laws against lion hunting won’t stop lion hunting. It will only make lion hunting dangerous for the hunters because banning lion hunting will drive hunters into back jungles to seek unsafe hunting. We do not want to return to “back alley” hunting.

3). Anti-choicers sit atop their moral pedestals and dictate that others shouldn’t have safe and affordable access to lion hunting, proving they only care about lions and not the hunters.

4). What’s the harm? Lions are only blobs of tissue, cells, muscles, and skin. It’s just like killing a cockroach.

5). Lion hunting should be “safe, legal, and rare.” But in those cases when a lion is killed, just think of all the good things that come from its death. Just think of all the research that could be done with the lion’s harvested organs. Anti-choicers only care about lions, not the countless people who could benefit from the stem-cell research done on the harvested lion’s organs.

To see the remaining five reasons, continue reading here.

My Gay Conundrum

My Gay ConundrumCar

In many ways, I am a curmudgeon, refusing to cooperate with the culture on a host of issues. The push for euphemistic terms in all aspects of society particularly gripes me – from “sanitation engineers” to “gays”; I see no reason to go along with the subtle, evil scheme to redefine the terms that describe life.

Having said that, here’s my “Gay Conundrum”:

In 1999, I bought a used Ford Escort station wagon; it was purple (very much like the one in the picture). While my car was a deep, rich shade of purple – opposed to a light, soft shade – many in my circle of family and friends had fun telling me my car was “gay”. One brother in Christ gleefully called this car (upon which were several bumper stickers witnessing for Jesus) my “LAMBDA-mobile” (look up LAMBDA on the Internet if the significance of this term is lost on you).

In 2000, my employer was laying people off. A VP, with whom I was friends and related to in Christ Jesus, told me how he was pressured to “protect” homosexuals during the layoff as he was to do so with historically protected minorities. He joked that his best protection against being laid-off was to declare himself “gay”. I told him that I embraced the “gay” label – with the explicit acknowledgment that my use of the term hadn’t fallen into the Humpty Dumpty redefinition process. Coupled with my driving a purple car, how could I lose? At any rate, he and I both survived the RIF. I gaily drove on in my purple chariot, not offended by the comments of friends and family who made fun of my car. Dark purple, as any student of ancient history knows, was a sign of royalty and honor. And that little purple Escort wagon was the best car I had owned. And it had a luggage rack on the top!

Until the summer of 2006. A young woman, driving her first car, blissfully ran through a red light and smashed into the driver’s side rear of my beloved car, rendering it “uneconomically repairable” – with increasingly debilitating electrical failures.

As news of this tragedy spread, my dear friend who labeled my car “LAMBDA-mobile” told me I should file a “hate-crime” report with the police and the homosexual activist crowd. Certainly, this blatant attack on the public declaration of my gayness was a hate crime!

Here’s the rub: I do not subscribe to the Orwellian view of “hate crimes”. A.) What are non-hate-crimes to be called? “Love crimes”? B.) Motive should not be a constituent of the crime, but a consideration in the punishment. “Hate crimes” is a PC accommodation of Orwell’s infamous “thought crimes”. (If you have not read George Orwell’s 1984, correct this deficiency at once!)

So here I sit: a gay man whose LAMBDA-mobile was taken away too early. What’s a gay man to do? Sadly, my replacement car is a non-descript but tasteful silver – not “gay” at all. Has my identity been stripped from me? Has the “hate-crime” committed against me taken that away? No – a thousand times no! A man is not defined by his car. He is defined by his motorcycle!

Just kidding about that last part (although my dear wife of more than 30 years would agree that I spend too much time with my motorcycle).

I am struck by the insanity of defining crimes by attempting to see into the perpetrator’s mind and make his mental state a crime unto itself. Does one man’s hate for another make the taking of life or property any worse? In our post-modern culture, where the only truth is that perceived to be truth by hearer, it’s nigh impossible to convince any authority that facts matter more than perceptions. This is the fundamental reason so many churches are awash in false teaching and why education is a train wreck. People have lost the ability to think, the schools have not been teaching children to critically examine anything. This environment cannot help but give birth to “zero tolerance” policies that criminalize boys who “shoot” one another with their fingers or a banana.

Co-opting the word “gay” to mean homosexual is another symptom of this mindset. People taking offense at anything they would rather not hear is another. All these things – hate-crimes, “gay” conversations, zero-tolerance, thin-skinned offended folk – are the outworking of a post-modern mindset where meaning is assigned by the receiver of the information and no moral absolutes exist. This brings me to an interesting quote I saw on the Internet recently – with no idea who said it. But it pulls all this gay conundrum of mine into perspective and brings it full circle.

To be offended by what someone else says is your own choice, as you don’t have to care about what other people think, and nothing has actually happened to you. Information merely passed from their [sic] mind to yours.

In other words, you actually want to stop certain information from being communicated. You must believe that you have some sort of right to dictate not only what people can and can’t communicate, but they can and can’t think.

To be offended is to take the first step in being a totalitarian megalomaniac.

If any of us were honest, we would admit to holding to one or more ideas that fit into that ugly picture painted in the quote above. The recent hub-bub about florists and pizza parlors that refuse to service homosexual weddings shows how many “conservatives” have fallen into this unfortunate world of political correctness. These well-meaning people have drawn their line of support for these businesses based on religious expression and the freedom we have in that arena. They ignore the fundamental rights being trampled on – freedom of association and ownership of private property.

20 or 30 years ago countless businesses had signs displayed notifying patrons of the store owner’s right to refuse service to anyone. The market taught them which policies were beneficial. Now, “conservatives” ignore the Constitutional issues, agreeing that government ought to enforce “anti-discrimination” – meaning businesses cannot refuse service to anyone. The government should not discriminate – they are funded by everyone. Privately owned businesses are free to discriminate (even though we have laws that forbid it); yet the only discrimination allowed in this new version of Wonderland is against those who are accused of having historical advantages – either real or imagined. Facts don’t matter. The inferred or assumed injury is judged by how serious or outrageous it sounds, not by the facts of the matter.

When it’s all said and done, I am not as gay as I was 10 years ago. This world has lost its mind and I’m weary of it. But in the larger scope of eternity, that’s a good thing – for all who are truly in Christ, this world is not our home. The trials and craziness we experience here serve mainly to remind us of the Fall and how serious sin is – that which infects us and that which we do. So the message for my fellow saints is simple – fix your eyes on that which is unseen, remember His words, from John 14:1-3 (ESV) “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” And that’s really good news for all those who are in Christ Jesus.

Don’t Quit

Sometimes I wonder why God still bears with me when I still struggle so much. After so many years of serving Him and seeing His hand at work, there should never be a time that I doubt Him. But then I don’t think I doubt Him as much as I doubt myself. Even in that, I am constantly learning and hopefully growing. I expect this will be the case until He takes me Home.

God said that He would not strive with man forever (Genesis 6:3), but the Psalmist noted that God will not despise a broken and a humble heart (Psalm 51:17).  We will never be perfect this side of Heaven (although we need to continually strive to be so); yet, when we fall, we must be quick to humble ourselves, admit our failure, get up, and try again. The Bible is full of imperfect people that God used but He knew their hearts were turned toward Him. If we never struggled, we may become full of pride, at which point we would be totally useless.

qualified

If you are struggling today and feel like a failure, ask God’s forgiveness. Realize that the enemy is trying to bring you down in order to render you totally ineffective for the Kingdom. I wish I knew who said that “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” That is definitely true in my life, and I expect it is in yours too.

So today, I just want to encourage you: Don’t quit. Keeping running the race. Do the best you can to faithfully do what God has called you to do. If He wanted it done perfectly, He could do it without you. All you need to do is do your best and let Him take care of the rest. Thank Him that He still has a work for you to do. After all, if He didn’t, you would not be here.

Finding God’s Will

The last few nights, I have not slept well. Last night, I was really tired but I expected it was going to be another long night. I was thinking of different things I could do to help me relax and rest my mind. I was thinking of turning on some music when I thought of Times Square Church. I used to listen to their messages when I couldn’t sleep but I’ve not done so in a while. I went to my website and saw the title of Pastor Carter Conlon’s message, “Finding the Will of God.” I knew then that it was definitely God who directed me, and I highly recommend this message to everyone who is willing to take 45 minutes to hear a message from the Lord.

Recently, I have been evaluating my life: laying hold on what I know is God’s will and praying for wisdom in areas I’m not sure about. Sometimes I think I am so obsessed with knowing God’s will and scared of stepping outside of it that I become paralyzed and end up wasting time that I could spend just following Him. That probably sounds stupid if you’ve not experienced that feeling, but a couple years ago, I realized God’s will is not always as complicated as I think it is. Last night, I was reminded that God’s Word is very clear what His will is for His people. It may not tell us where we are to work or who we are to marry but it tells us how we are to live. If I am not doing that, I am kidding myself to think that God will entrust me with greater things. If I am living the life He has commanded me to and drawing near to Him on a daily basis, I must trust Him to direct me. Until He does, I continue to do what I know He has called me to, at least for the time being.

gods-will

I think one of my concerns is that it’s easy for me to get in a rut and do things just because that’s what I’ve been doing. I do not like change and so I tend to fight it. God has brought me a long way in the 23 years I’ve been serving Him but I am still constantly learning and hopefully changing. I desire to take the whole written Word and apply it to my life so that I can hear His voice when He desires to redirect my personal life.

I encourage you to focus on this too. No task is too small. “Little is much if God is in it.” If you’re doing what He has called you to, it is important, and all He requires of you is to do the best job you can. Your calling may be to raise children who are going to impact the Kingdom in a powerful way. It may be to do the behind the scenes work for a ministry that God is using in a mighty way. Maybe you are not the one speaking and writing but you handle the schedule, filing, mail sorting, whatever. This is not small in God’s eyes. It takes the whole Body working together to accomplish God’s work.

The world measures success by how well you’re known, how many degrees you have, etc. God measures success by how faithful you are in the work He gave you to do. That is what He has equipped you for.  Nothing else is important to Him, and He is the only one you have to please.

Take some time this week to study what the will of God is for every Believer. If you have been wondering what God’s will is for your life, this is a great place to start. If you are settled in knowing that you are doing God’s will, it still won’t hurt to make sure you are in His will in every area of life.

Is Your Life in Line With God’s Will?

A friend sent me some Scripture verses this weekend. I have been reflecting on all of them but one she sent was Proverbs 16:2: “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” I especially noticed the first part of this verse: “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes.” That is scary, Folks! The “if it feels good, do it” mentality is not Biblical. It brings to mind another equally scary verse: “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of iniquity'” (Matthew 7:22-23).

It is sobering to me to think about how many people think they are serving the Lord when in reality they are simply serving self. They are living a life where all men think well of them. They shrink at the slightest sign of persecution. They are too busy serving God that they no longer have time for the God they claim to serve.

servinggodbyserving

In Luke 19:13, Jesus told a parable about a nobleman who told his servants, “Occupy till I come.” I believe this is God’s word to us today. It goes along with His call to His disciples: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Just because you are doing good things does not mean those are the things that God has called you to do. It is so vital that we draw near to God, hear His voice, and obey Him. This week, I am praying over the things I am doing and trusting God to show me those things that are fulfilling my calling and those things that aren’t. This may entail a job, a relationship, people I hang out with, etc. If there is anything that is right in my eyes but not in God’s, I pray He shows me those things so that I can switch gears. It is never too late to do this.

What Does John 3:16 Teach?

The following is part of the book I am writing, from a section on the gospel which is a necessary element of a biblical church. th

There are truths in God’s Word that rub our flesh the wrong way; predestination is one of them. I refer the reader to Appendix 5 for a biblical defense of this doctrine. We must embrace the truth of Scripture, even if it goes against what we’ve learned from me. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) God’s Word is sharp and, as wielded by the Holy Spirit, cuts like a scalpel, bringing healing to our broken souls. False teaching is seen as less threatening, like a butter knife. And it works the same way – tearing the flesh as it pierces, bringing destruction rather than healing. Good counsel presents the truth of Scripture; this is biblical love – even though our beloved traditions may have to be abandoned.

Many who disbelieve predestination run to John 3:16, as if this verse disproves it. Let us briefly examine this verse to see what its message truly is. Here’s the verse, from the King James: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That settles it for many, who do not stop to see if the words may have had a different meaning when written 500 years ago than they do today; including Baptist preachers who ought to know better. But contrary to a popular hermeneutic which declares, “when the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense”, the plain sense of Scripture often contradicts the true meaning of Scripture and our common sense often makes no heavenly sense. The genre of the text we are reading will indicate how we are to read it – poetry and apocalyptic books cannot be taken literally, and even historical narratives are full of word pictures that must be interpreted rightly to get God’s view of His Scriptures. The Jews of the first century had common sense and they took certain prophecies in the plain sense. This caused them to look for a king like David – a man of war – and miss the true meaning of their own Scripture.

In regards to John 3:16, let’s examine a couple of key words upon which the meaning of this verse hang. In English, the word “so” can be either an adverb or an adjective. We see it in verse 14: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up (KJV). Here, the word “so” is an adverb, meaning “in like manner” or “in the same way” – describing the nature of something. Many people think the word “so” is an adjective in verse 16 – describing the degree of the thing that follows: God loves the world SO much. The problem with this view is that the Greek word translated as “so” in English (houtos – Strong’s #3779) is rarely used as an adjective. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionary defines it only as an adverb. Houtos shows up more than 200 places in the Greek New Testament. In only four occurrences it is definitely an adjective: Galatians 1:6; 3:3; Hebrews 12:21 (houto); and Revelation 16:18. In more than 97% of the uses the word houtos is an adverb. (http://www.brenthobbs.com/index_files/john_3_16.php accessed 25 May 2015) Now looking back John’s gospel, let’s read a little more for context:

John 3:14-16 (KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Is there a compelling argument that John’s use of houtos changes from the common adverb in verse 14 to the extremely rare adjective in verse16? If its use in verse 16 is as an adjective, the Bible tells us God loved the world to a great degree that He sent Christ to die for the same world He said we are not to love (1 John 2:15). Since Jesus said Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35) we must interpret Scripture with Scripture and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), even if the plain sense makes common sense to us. Our common sense is our understanding, not God’s. I don’t have space here to examine “the world” and how it’s used; but since not everybody at all times in every nation, tribe, and tongue has been forgiven, it’s reasonable and in keeping with Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17 that Jesus did not come to save the whole world in the comprehensive sense some assert. As noted in Ephesians 5:25, Jesus gave His life for the church, not everybody in the world. And since “the world” often means a region (Luke 2:1; John 12:19), or the system which lies under Satan’s rule (John 15:19; 17:13; 1 Corinthians 2:12), we have no reason to assume this term means everyone everywhere as regards salvation, as the Lamb of God died for the redeemed, not the damned.

The argument is not whether or not the death of Christ is sufficient to save everyone – His death is more than sufficient for the entire human race. The question is, did Christ die for all men – is the atonement universal? One English Bible translates this phrase, “in tasting death He should stand for us all” – those for whom Christ stands are the redeemed. The word, man, is not in the Greek text, meaning the original phrase would be “should taste death for the whole” – the whole body, the church for whom Christ gave Himself (Ephesians 5:25); Jesus died for every son God brings to glory. God the Father chooses only some to be saved – election is not universal. God the Spirit regenerates only some to bring them to new life, He only seals those who are born again – the Spirit’s work in saving and sealing is not universal. For Christ’s death to be universal, it would mean that some of His blood, some of His trials and suffering under the wrath of God the Father, was for those who are spending eternity under God’s wrath. Any blood or work done by Christ on their account would be wasted! And if the death of Christ was universal, it would put Him at odds with the Father and the Spirit, because their work in salvation is particular, not universal.

Let’s read the passage from John 3 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

This is more in line with the common use of the Greek and keeps consistency within the passage and with the whole teaching of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus.