Here I Stand…

I want to make something clear. I am a born again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. This means I believe I was born a sinner and that my actions put me at war with God. Because of that, God will judge me for my sins and condemn me to Hell. Yet, in His mercy, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect life I could not live and to die the death I deserve. Jesus rose from the grave three days later, giving me a promise of eternal life. By turning from my sin and trusting in Jesus, He takes on my sins and I receive His perfect righteousness. I have been granted eternal life and will one day be with Him forever in Heaven.

As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. That means it is the direct revelation of God to man. This means I believe everything it says. Everything. When it says something is a sin, it’s a sin. What culture says about it today is irrelevant. No matter how we try re-work or re-word what God has already said, His truth remains. I will not bend, I will not yield, I will stand. I will proclaim God’s word, all of it. I may be called arrogant. I may be called ignorant. I may even be called a hateful bigot. But no matter what the world thinks of me, I care more of how I am viewed by my Savior than by anyone else. Jesus paid my fine with His life’s blood. I owe Him nothing less than my total love and obedience.

Because I trust in Christ for my salvation, and because I believe God’s word is true, I will proclaim to the world that it is in sin against God. I will proclaim that through Christ and Christ alone is their salvation. I will do this because I love people far too much to leave them in the delusion that they are “OK” with God. I love them enough to warn them of the judgment that is coming. I love them enough to risk being hated by them, and even have them turn against me. If I am willing to risk my life to save a drowning man, or a child trapped in a fire, how much more must I be willing to risk my standing in people’s minds to try and rescue them from the fires of Hell. It matters not if a blind man does not believe in the cliff he is walking toward. Thus, I cannot and will not stop my warnings because people do not believe as I do. I love them too much to stop.

I make this declaration today because I believe the world is beginning to openly war against Jesus Christ and those who follow Him. I make this stand today to make it known I will stand for Him no matter how tough the opposition may be, and no matter what it may cost me personally. I declare this to let you all know that I believe the greatest love I can possibly show is to point to the way of salvation, not to allow people to remain comfortable in their sins.

In the words of the Reformation preacher Martin Luther, “Here I stand. I can do no more.”

50 thoughts on “Here I Stand…

  1. Amen, brother! I feel exactly the same way… to the point of literally “takin’ it to the streets” through the bold, public proclamation of the Law + Gospel in Brazil, Africa and America. If you want to see how disrespectful an unbeliever can be toward the God who created him or her, try preaching in the middle of Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday! Haha! But God still was and is glorified, even in that den of iniquity!

  2. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Thank you guys. I posted this because the world is making it clear, we as Christians either capitulate to their demands, or we will be considered the enemy. We must make a stand. But rather than be defiant “just because,” we Christians must stand because we have the greatest news in the world, that God saves sinners! May our boldness to stand against the world be tempered with the compassion and love of Christ in the proclamation of the gospel!

  3. Chris,

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post. So wonderfully said, and such a great encouragement. Because it can be very discouraging at times. When people are confronted with their sin, and they are heading for that cliff that you mentioned, they will turn it all against you, and hate you (as you’ve rightly said). It would be so easy to take the easy way out, say just nice things and be well thought of. So I admire anyone who is willing to get in there, take the abuse, call them to repentance because you love them and know the seriousness of one’s eternity.

    “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt.5:12

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9

    May the Lord bless you greatly brother.

  4. Todd says:

    Chris,

    Sweet thoughts in this post. Reminded me of one of my favorite hymns….

    While all our hearts and all our songs
    Join to admire the feast,
    Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
    Lord, why was I a guest?

    Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
    And enter while there’s room;
    When thousands make a wretched choice,
    And rather starve than come?

    ‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
    That sweetly drew us in
    Else we had still refused to taste,
    And perished in our sin.

    Pity the nations, O our God!
    Constrain the earth to come;
    Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
    And bring the strangers home.

    We long to see Thy churches full,
    That all the chosen race
    May with one voice, and heart, and soul,
    Sing Thy redeeming grace.

    Todd
    Texas

  5. Merville says:

    The best statement of faith and belief that I have ever seen on this site ……
    and to me, the most challenging.

  6. julie says:

    Amen! Well said.
    I have been trying to gather my thoughts and write something similar to this in my personal bible and hope that someday one of my children or grandchildren will see it and appreciate what Christ has done (died for my sins when I deserve hell) and how much His Word means to me (it’s my life compass!). May I borrow some of your words to put in my Bible? Your words speak wisdom…..you are right on the mark when you talk about how some think that they are OK with God . We must pray for them and the good news of salvation and the bad news of an eternal hell.

  7. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Julie, by all means, please do! My hope in this article is that it may serve as a kind of rallying cry for Christians to make our stand here and now in this world. So often we rally behind political figures, or laws, or even just causes, but fail to bring the gospel, thus fail to show the true love of our Savior. I pray these words are helpful to you and to those you choose to share it with.

  8. If you were to change God to Allah, Christian to Muslim, and Bible to Koran, the author of this very same post would read it and scream terrorism. You just don’t get it do you, Chris? You honestly think there is a ‘spiritual war’ going on. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at your delusions. But I also know I will never change your mind, so okay then, carry on Christian soldier. Perhaps you should start by selling all your possessions and giving the money to the poor. After that, begin walking, barefoot across the land, and don’t stop witnessing to the most wretched and lost until you’ve drawn your last breath and been welcomed into God’s special kingdom above, created just for you. Then I think you might actually be living like a true Christian. Otherwise it’s all just lip service.

  9. Aram, it’s interesting how often those who aren’t Christians want to dictate what Christianity should be. It just about always involves doing enough good works to satisfy God, which misses the whole point — God’s grace. Neither you, nor Chris, nor anyone else, could ever be good enough. The key is forgiveness, complete forgiveness. Chris isn’t saying he’s good enough, he’s saying God is good enough to forgive him, and that he should tell others that God will forgive them, too.

    That includes you, Aram. If you will come to God for forgiveness, putting aside your anger and rebellion against Him and everything else and call on Him to be merciful and make you righteous, you can be forgiven, too. It doesn’t matter how bad you are or have been, He can sort it all out. That’s the whole point.

  10. Anger and Rebellion? Hard to be angry or rebellious towards an imaginary thing. Now there may well be a God of some sort out there, but in no way is it the God of the Bible. I spent half my life in the church. I know what Christianity is supposed to be. I also know that if you hadn’t won the lottery of birth you would be living in a much more difficult reality right now, perhaps in India, and believing in Hindi as strongly as you now believe in Christianity. I realize you will argue about ‘free will’ or ‘doctrines of grace’ or ‘they can find the truth in the stars’, but the fact is that we are products of our culture, and indeed we can be easily deluded by it. And, incidently, I absolutely agree that forgiveness is one of the most important ways to heal and move forward in this lifetime, but I don’t equate it to some fantastic creature in the sky. Now, I have no problem with people across the globe having their beliefs in YHWH or Allah or Zeus or Jove. Peace be upon you. What I have a problem with is when people, like the author of this post, start to fantasize about some ‘war’ going on. This is the beginning of religious beliefs turning dangerous, and I have no patience for such pointless lunacy.

  11. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Aram, first off, thanks for taking the time to write. Your comments are always welcome. Secondly, please understand my purpose in taking this stand. I am not declaring war on anyone here. The war has been declared by our culture who hates everything Jesus Christ stands for. And those who follow Him are declared extremists, just as you have said about me. The truth is I have no animosity toward you. In fact I genuinely care about you, because apart from Jesus Christ, you have no hope in standing before a just God who knows every evil thought and every deed you have done in darkness. No sin escapes His sight. But no this, I am no better than you. In fact, it is possible that if we were to compare our good and bad deeds, you might be a better person than I. But the issue is not how we compare to one another. The issue is how we compare to a perfect, holy God. Neither you or I are without sin. And no matter how you attempt to excuse it away, your sins are an affront to God. You are a rebel in His sight and will one day be judged.

    But the reason I take this stand is not to say how much better I am. It is to serve as the guidepost to Jesus Christ, who died to take the very judgment you deserve. Christ is perfect, something you could never be, not even for a minute. Yet, in His love for you, He took the just wrath of His Father so that you could recieve eternal life. He calls to you today to turn from your sins and to trust Him alone for the forgiveness of your sins.

    Aram, I don’t want you to go to Hell. I want you to receive eternal life in Heaven! Please, don’t mistake my passion for Christ as some misplaced extremist cult mindset. It is a passion that comes from knowing how terribly sinful I am and that I have no hope of saving myself from the judgment I deserve. It is the passion of one who has found freedom in my Savior who shed the blood I should have shed. It is the passion of a man who wants nothing than to lead other condemned men and women to freedom. It is the passion that has led me to write to people like you. It is the passion that has led out on the streets to talk with people about the things of God. It ia the passion that leads me to pray for your soul.

    Again, Aram, I truly thank you for writing me. I pray that you consider what I have said.

  12. I felt a similar passion when I finally emerged from the church. It was as if my eyes had finally opened, for real, and I could see that all my paranoia and supernatural concern was for naught. Hence I want to help others see how beautiful the world can be when you, ironically, leave the circular bubble of the faith. However, I do understand it is an emotional bound and not an intellectual one, and therefore I do not write this with any hope or thought that you will agree. I simply write to share the other side. I don’t hate what Jesus stood for. From what I’ve read it’s not even certain that Jesus lived at all. Certainly Paul wrote a lot more theology and Jesus’ story expanded incredibly from Mark to the newer gospels. But what Jesus allegedly said is most beautiful in many ways. I also don’t hate what Confucius wrote, or what Emerson stood for. All had good points and bad points. There are universal truths in many works of philosophy, not just the book called Bible. To ignore the rest is to close yourself off from a fuller understanding of what we as human beings can learn from each other. But, again, I know this will not sway you one iota, just as your heartfelt writings will not sway me. I do not believe in the God of the Bible. I have no fear of a hell which does not exist (the Israelites simply picked up the concept of it while they were in exile after all; cultures borrowing from cultures, as we continue to do today). And I say again that there is no war on you. No one is persecuting you. In fact it is the church who has continued to declare war on gay people, refusing to believe that they were naturally born that way. And never mind that Paul is twenty times more adamant against divorce than homosexuality, and yet Christians divorce just as often as non-Christians. It is the church who has declared war on other beliefs in general, not allowing that other cultures developed other system of faith, and by default condemning over half the earth’s population in a single easy stroke, just as some of the other’s do in return. And no one sees the paradox. Indeed, it is the church who used the Bible to support slavery when it worked for them, something conveniently forgotten today, though certainly the Bible does discuss the merits of using people as property. In any case, I say again that I know my words will not make a dent and I shall leave you to it. Big hugs to you all. I do appreciate that you seem to be peaceful minded for the most part. Please carry on with that peace.

  13. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Aram, thanks for your response. I appreciate the candidness of your statements. While many of those supposed refutations have been dealt with time and again, I appreciate that your were direct rather than slanderous in your statements. At least that is the basis for an intelligent conversation. I also find you to a be a pleasant writer as compared to some who have commented here. I thank you for that.

    We could go through the various objections you raised, but, as you said, you have no intention of being convinced. Fair enough. But simply let me say this regarding the existence of Jesus Christ, even Bart Ehrman, who is no friend to Christianity, admits that there is no serious scholar who denies the existence of Jesus Christ. If you really want to hang your hat on that one, go ahead, but even one of your own says you are wrong on that point.

    On a second note, I would once again state it is culture that has turned against Christ, not the other way around. Consider that 2000 of western civilization can trace it’s culture, art, laws, philosophy, etc, to Christianity. Today, our culture has decided that suddenly, Christianity has nothing to offer and wants anything we say to be declared as hateful and intolerant. That is a reversal of 2000 years of history. Biblical Christianity has remained consistent in its beliefs, culture is the one who has changed and now wants Christianity to change or be quiet. I never claimed to be under any kind of direct persecution. But I intend to state categorically that I will not bend when culture wants to change what God has said to fits its own desires.

    Aram, please understand this as well, I have nothing against anyone who is gay, straight, bi, etc. I love these folks. But I love them enough to tell them the truth. And I would tell someone who was a thief, a liar, a murderer, the same things. Sin is sin, we cannot excuse it away. Even if culture wants to be more accepting of these things, and most certainly that is happening, God has not changed. I do not wish to round up those whose beliefs are different than mind and throw them into some sort of gulag. I only want them to understand that they are warring against God by remaining in ongoing sin against Him. Yet, there is hope for deliverance through Christ. That is my message and the message of the Bible.

    You can most certainly denounce what I have said and be happy that you have slapped down the “arrogant/ignorant” card on me. But that would not address the statements I have made. My challenged to you would be to check out what I have said and see if it is true. Don’t rely on your past experience in the church, investigate it here and now. See if Jesus really existed. Look into the historical accuracy of scripture. Look at scholarly works. Whatever you want to do. But don’t ignore it because you just think yourself smarter than I because you are agnostic. That’s not intellectual high ground, that is simply placing blind faith in your agnosticism.

    Ultimately, you have a decision to make. Am I right or wrong? If I’m wrong, than all you did is waste your time. If I am right, it has far bigger implications. Then you better decide what to do about that.

    Thanks again for writing here Aram, I really appreciate your input.

  14. Dear Chris,

    Do you honestly think that in 2,000 years Christianity has not changed? One only has to go back to Oct 31, 1517, the day Luther is said to have nailed his ninety-five theses to the door All-Saints Church, to see major changes in the Christian belief structure happening. That’s now less than 500 years of your idea of what you believe in being unchanging. And of course the number of Protestant denominations today is somewhere around 10,000, which to me speaks volumes of a great diversity and change in the way Christianity is believed. And even Martin Luther himself was so anti-semantic by the end of his life (brought about the fact the Jewish people refused to convert to his beliefs, and he began to hate them for murdering Christ but refusing to change their ways) that the Third Reich happily used his writings as propaganda for their ‘Godly’ expulsion and murder of Jews.

    And why do you call this Bart fellow, ‘one of my own’? I am not a part of some group. I have come to my own conclusions. I am not relying on my past in the church. I read everything and anything, and the more I research the more I am convinced of the bits made up here and there which have become believed to be truth over the centuries. For example, there is a wide-spread belief in the church that Christians were daily eaten by lions in the Coliseum. Are you aware that this myth was made up by a Pope Pius V (1556 – 1572) who told the righteous to gather sacred sand from the arena as it was saturated by the blood of saints? Never mind that Pope Sixtus V who followed him (1585 – 1590), thought so little of the ‘sacredness’ of the sand that he had made plans to turn into to a woolen factory to provide work for former prostitutes. Unfortunately Sixtus V died prematurely, and the idea of imaginary martyrdom continued to stick instead.

    On this same strain of thought, do you know that many of the original Christ-culters would actually insist on being martyred, believing that it was the instant path to immortality? “What would Jesus do?’ took on a whole different meaning back then. He died, after all. Many emperors refused to allow Christians into public events as they would often goad and insult the spectators until the crowd was basically begging for someone to kill them. One emperor is recorded as being so exasperated by the early Christians incessant desire for death that after obliging a few of them he finally said, ‘Are there not cliffs to jump off or trees to hang from?’ and refused to kill the rest.

    Now of course there was some real persecution of early Christians until Constantine made it his pet religion in 313 AD, but it was sporadic and depended on the various political climates of different areas. (For example, Nero blamed them for the fire he likely started himself to get some prime land in Rome, but only as an easy scapegoat.)
    But they weren’t the only cult being persecuted during these first 300 years since the day of Jesus. Other included Judaism (of course), and one in particular I find bizarre called Magna Mater, which involved crazy music and provocative dancing, overseen by self-castrating Priests. This was heavily suppressed by the Roman Empire as well, and surprisingly hasn’t caught on again in the mainstream.
    In any case, the cause for this sporadic persecution was because the majority of Romans believed in their original ‘true’ Gods, and blamed the troubles befalling the Empire from time to time as a result of the Christians refusing to sacrifice to their older Gods. Do you see a parallel to the present opinion in the USA, including your own?

    I bring this up to give you an idea of how history and stories have very much changed over the last 2,000 years, and to state that Christianity has remained unchanged is indeed, with all respect, ignorant.

    And as for the existence of Jesus, Bart is welcome to his opinion, and from what I can gather there may well have been a person named Jesus who was preaching in the Israel area 2,000 years ago. Jesus was certainly a common name and wandering teachers were plentiful back then. One can’t help but think of the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. He preached a very similar ideology to Jesus, yet lived 100 years before him. In any case, what I mean in regards to Jesus, is that whether he was real or not is a moot point to the argument of how much of his story was actually embellished and rewritten in the years that followed. Why not mention the virgin birth in Mark? Was it somehow not important enough to mention until later? Or was it Paul looking at the Old Testament prophecies and adding bits and pieces to make Jesus fly better? And of course the mention of Jesus in the writings of Josephus is one of the most blatant forgeries ever. You see what I mean?

    And in a somewhat related point of fact, how about the simple fact that the Gospel of John and The Book of Revelations are so obviously the work of different men? As a writer myself, I assure you that in no way is the prose of the two from the same person.

    I am not here trying to prance about saying I am smarter or whatever, but rather I am telling you honestly what my conclusions are continuing to show me. We, as human beings, are emotional and even spiritual creatures. The problem lies in taking one book from so many and saying ‘this is it!’ done and dusted. We have the one truth. This is indeed, again with respect, a truly arrogant thing to say. And yes, I hold the followers of Islam just as guilty of this arrogance. However, it is a Christian culture I come from, and hence it is the religion I address in my day to day.

    And finally, to say that you ‘have nothing against gay people’, immediately followed by comparing them to murderers! Um, that is a huge paradox of opinion. I’d honestly respect you more if you simply wrote that they creep you out and you think them unnatural. Anything less is double-speak and hypocritical to say the least.

    Now this is your blog Chris, and I don’t mean to fill your comment section up with arguments you likely have heard and dismissed many times before. I will leave it at this. However, I say unto you, with an open mind I have explored religion and history and legends and myths for many years since living the church, and I will continue to do so. And as of this moment, every new thing I read only clarifies further that the Bible God is a creation of man, and not the other way around.

    Sincerely yours,
    Aram

    ps Pascal’s Wager is a mathematically unsound and unpersuasive argument, based as it is on a near impossibility. You lose living this life fully, you see, if you’re wrong. You don’t lose nothing.

    ————-

    Have you blocked me?

    ————

    Oh I see, maybe not. Well, I wish you all the best in any case. I imagine we both probably have better things to do. But I appreciate your willingness to discuss and post my comments. Surprisingly, many Christian blog sites don’t allow dissenting opinion. To you and yours, a grand summer ahead. Ciao

    ————-

    And I meant ‘anti-Semitic’ up there. As opposed to anti-semantic. Whoops. Yes, you’re all welcome to chuckle. Okay, I shall leave you to it. Cheers

  15. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Aram, I guess you missed a couple of the things I responded with. So I will simply address those issues. First off, I said “biblical Christianity” has remained consistent. A study of church history will show you that the Roman Catholic church’s beliefs were corrupt and that throughout their rise to power, there were a great many people who attemtped to sound the alarm and return believers back to scripture. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses sparked a powder keg that had been going for about 1500 years. So I stand by my original statement. Additionally, while there have been denominational splits over the years, the core of the Christian faith remains. Some denominations split over issues such as when to be baptized, or over issues like end time revelations. However, the message that man is inherently a sinner, condemned by a righteous Judge, yet can be redeemed through Jesus Christ’s death and ressurection has always been there.

    Secondly, you completely mischaracterized my statements regarding homosexuality. I did not compare that act to murder. I attempted to explain that I would share the same information that their sins carry an eternal judgment. In the same vein, I would tell the same thing to anyone else and used three different sins (murder, lying and theft) as examples of different sins. Please, don’t twist my words out of context.

    Fnally, I appealled to you sense of reason by pointing out that Mr. Ehrman, a scholar that many atheists and agnostics appreciate because of his consistent efforts to decry the accuracy of scripture acknowledges Jesus’ existence. While I find many of Mr. Ehrman’s scholarship lacking, the point is that even he, who does not believe the Bible, recognizes the historicity of Jesus. My reference to him being “one of your” own was not directed as an insult, but an effort to explain his stance with regard to Christianity. My apologies for any offense that may have resulted. I assure you, none was intended.

    Also, differing views are always welcomed in the comments, provided writers follow the rules of engagment, which you have done. I welcome you to comment on my articles anytime.

  16. Homosexuality is NOT a sin. This is what I meant by your ‘I have no problem with it’ being bogus.
    And regarding your statement that the Bible teachings have never changed in 2,000 years; how do you know? Were you there in the beginning? Do you know how people interpreted the Bible back then? Do you honestly know who wrote what book with certainty? Whose to say Paul didn’t make up his own religion based on the back of some wandering teacher of the time named Jesus?
    This is the point I was trying to make in the above statement. That the ‘truth’ of history is debatable in so many ways. And the Bible is rather like a person in the sense that if you torture it enough you can get it to say anything. Hence the different interpretations over the centuries, and no way for anyone, yourself included, to state that it has NEVER changed. I bring up points of contention simply to show you examples of this constant shift in human reaction to old books. And let’s not even start on the human choices for the canonization of the Bible, etc.
    Now I understand you are not going to be swayed. It is only for the sake of clarification I respond to you now, one last time. I wish you a good life. Sincerely. And I do not threaten you with hell as a postscript to my good wishes. Take care

  17. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Aram, let’s boil this down to brass tacks. These various objections you throw out are not the real issue. They are the surface level arguments you hold onto to justify your hatred of God. You don’t want God to exist because you don’t Him telling you what to do. You don’t like the idea of God holding you in judgment for things that you don’t want to be a sin. That’s why you won’t be swayed. You simply don’t wan sin to be considered sin.

    But no matter how many times you try to obfuscate the matter, God is clear. Any thought, word or deed that is not in concert with His moral law is sin. Any effort to justify it is simply rebellion. God will hold all rebels accountable on the day of judgment. I’m not threatening you with Hell, I’m trying to warn you about it. I’m trying to point you to the only means of safety!

    Aram, you can reject this if you want, but that will not keep you from the consequences of your sin. I am pleading with you to stop putting up smokescreens and get serious about this. The real question you are avoiding is where you stand with God. Based on your rejection of Him, you currently stand at war with Him. Please repent and trust in Jesus. I don’t want to see you facing God’s wrath. I want to see you forgiven and being given eternal life.

  18. Hating God would be like hating Santa Claus. I do not believe in either. Nor do I believe in Hell.
    I do understand that your concern is truly genuine. That does not, however, make it true.
    I shall leave it at this Chris. If one day I am ‘miraculously’ convicted of your ‘truth’, I will let you know. Until that day, assuming it will ever come, be well.

  19. Chris Hohnholz says:

    I pray that day comes very soon as none us of knows the day we will step out of this life. I am greatly appreciative of the time we had to discuss this. Feel free to contact me anytime.

  20. I’ll just add my two cents worth here. First, since homosexual practice is referred to as an abomination and carried the death penalty in Leviticus 18 & 20, you can’t say it is not a sin… according to the Bible. After all, Paul reiterates the OT view on it by saying no “arsenokoitai” (literally, “man-lay/bed” based on the Greek Septuagint translation of Lev. 18:22) will inherit the Kingdom of God. Of course it’s a sin, Aram.

    Second, your issues with the NT books is rather comical. How do you treat other works from antiquity? First, you have to give the benefit of the doubt regarding authorship to what the document claims about itself, until proven otherwise. What proof do you have? Second, the NT beats out any competitors when it comes to the interval between the original and the oldest copies we may have in hand… by several hundred years! Third, the quantity of copies we have beat out Homer’s Iliad, the second place document, by something around 24,000! Add to those copies (to be fair, Aram, may are several centuries younger than the earliest ones) the fact that nearly all the NT was copied and commented on by the Early Church Fathers (some from Jesus’ time) adds to the evidence that the NT we have in hands today can be safely estimated to be over 98% faithful to the original… and the 1.5 or 1.6% that is in question affects no important doctrine of the Christian faith.

    Just thought you might like to get a response to your comment, although I totally agree with Chris that the real issue is that of a creature that doesn’t WANT to entertain the thought of God’s existence in order to be free to “do your own thing.” I do pray God will pour out His mercy on you and rip out that hard, deceitful heart (Ezequiel 36:26) you’ve got so that you can come to true repentance and faith in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

    God bless!

    Bill

  21. and saying that homosexuality is a sin because ‘the Bible says so’ shows a total lack of understanding about what homosexuality actually is. Now of course I can’t argue that it’s not a sin ‘according the Bible’, however, what I meant by my statement is that it’s not wrong or evil or anything like that, and to spew vile towards it simply because some old book says to, is pure close-minded folly. Blind hatred really.

    The Bible also says a lot about divorce being an evil thing, to a much higher degree than it mentions hatred of gay folks. And yet what is the current divorce rate in the Christian circles? Oh right, 50%. Same as the secular world. And can you say with certainty that every one of those divorces came about because someone committed adultery? I don’t think so. Hence, I guess we got ourselves a lot of divorced Christian couples to stone alongside them their dirty homosexuals of your imagination.

    And as for all of these copies of the ‘good book’ lying about since olden days, all this means is that there were religious zealots back then, just as there are now. And that is why I say the people back then were smarter than we are today; because they didn’t know what we know now, and therefore had an excuse for their ignorance. By the way, what makes Paul so infallible? He was, after all, just a man. He wasn’t Jesus. So how can his words be trusted, when so many other men have failed to not make mistakes?

    I appreciate your concern for my ‘creature’s…hard deceitful heart’, Bill, but it’s ticking along just fine the now. Here’s hoping it doesn’t get ‘ripped up’ any time soon. We all know how that ends. Cheers (I tilt my hefeweizen).

    ps I am only responding to comments directed at me. Otherwise I shan’t offer any more opinions on here without being directly engaged. All the best

  22. Aram, are you sure the practice of homosexuality is not wrong? Just look at the issue from a purely biological standpoint. The rectum was not meant to have things inserted into it. That’s why a relatively new disease has appeared – Gay Bowel Syndrome – where the wall of the rectum is opened due to anal sex and bacteria from feces gets introduced into the abdomen. It is biologically obvious that the penis was intended to be inserted into the vagina, period. The Bible doesn’t spew hate, unless we’re talking about God’s hatred toward our sinful rebellion (Hebrews 1:9) – of which homo-sex is a part. Yes, God hates divorce and a lot of other things (like lying, injustice, false scales, etc.), but that doesn’t take anything away from His hatred for the practice of homosexuality, does it. God can hate lots of things – and does! By simply informing people, homosexual or straight, of God’s hatred cannot be interpreted as hatred on the part of the messenger, right? “Hatred” towards gays would more appropriately be demonstrated by silence, don’t you think? A hater would deduce, “God hates homosexual sin and has promised to punish the homosexual offender by sending him or her to hell. I want them to get what’s coming, so I’m not going to warn them lest they repent!”

    More on “Christian” divorce. I totally agree that such a term is an oxymoron. Yet it happens… a lot! Chalk it up to cultural influences, the absence of expository preaching in our churches, a false gospel being preached by many, etc… and, POOF, you’ve got “Christian” divorce. But let’s compare apples to apples here. God hates divorce, and homosexuality is an abomination to God. However, it is the latter that carried the death penalty; and it is the latter that is on the list of those who won’t inherit the Kingdom of God (i.e., go to hell instead). Apples to apples.

    Paul is not “infallible,” but his letters are understood to be “inspired” (God-breathed) due to various factors, including their historical and theological content, their source (Paul had a personal encounter with post-ascension Jesus, who taught him the gospel he was to preach.), their absence of historical and theological error, their recognition of being inspired by the churches that received them, etc.

    As for your heart, Aram, you really do need a transplant. You need to let God take out your old, sin-diseased heart and place a new, pure heart… in fact, the heart of Jesus. You need to become a NEW creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) vs. continue living your rebellious excuse for a “life!” God created you for a purpose, and until you align yourself with that purpose (to bring glory to your Creator), this brief journey on earth is as good as it gets for you…

    Where are you from, by the way? Scotland?

  23. British Columbia, huh? By “passive-agressive” do you mean I try to come across as “passive” but show occasional flashes of “agressive?” You should see me when I’m out preaching on the street! Haha!

  24. I’m from Van Isle aye, but funnily enough did live in the Scottish Highlands for three years. Beautiful spot. As for our conversation, I shall let you have the last word. As Chris mentioned in a different post, I realize that we could go around in circles all day, but since all I have is this one little life while you have an eternity of…well…sitting around with Jesus and…um…talking and…hanging out with people, many of whom I imagine you don’t even like here the now…but uh yeah, fun times…you can waste this little life all you want. But I’ll take the ephemeral nature of life any time. Makes it much more exciting, if you ask me. Okay, I guess I lied when I said I was giving you the last word, my bad. In any case, something for your definition handbook, as copied from Wikipedia because I’m lazy that way.

    “Passive-aggressive behavior is dealing with expectations in interpersonal or occupational situations in an obstructionist or hostile manner that indicates aggression, or, in more general terms, expressing aggression in non-assertive (i.e. passive or indirect) ways.”

    Your constant attack on the state of my heart, disguised as being loving, is an example of this behaviour, despite how I imagine you think it comes across. That is why I made the comparison. I can imagine you’re quite a fiery street preacher.

    By the way, unrelated but not really, why do so many people comment on here with fake names or only one name. Like you, Bill. Bill who? I am open to find in the real world because I have nothing to hide. And yet so many others seem to be in the closet as they rail against me. Just something I noticed. I suppose your answer will be something along the lines of ‘identity-theft’, but we both know that is a lame excuse.

    Okay, one last thing as my inability to stop typing has taken over. Incorrigible, my step-father used to say. But in regards to your delightful discussion of anal sex. How many heterosexual people do you know who also enjoy this practice? Hell, I bet you’ve thought about it once or twice yourself. To look at things from a purely biological perspective may well lead you to your conclusion that homosexuality is wrong. But since when are we purely biological creatures? Your utter devotion to a supernatural entity you can’t prove is surely an example of how much more than just physical we are. Call it spiritual, if you want, just like you claim to be. Say that in these people’s DNA it is a spiritual connection of love they have for each other, but then, like all of us, they desire to bring that connection closer through a physical act. Does this act cause medical problems sometimes? Sure, though not so much as you desire to make it sound. Heterosexual sex (leaving out the very common use of the backdoor play, even with them) can also cause medical problems with the vagina and penis. Hell, oral sex can cause someone to puke if done over-exuberantly. Should we call it biologically wrong too?

    Yeah Bill, I know you’re utterly convinced of your rightness and your way of life being the only acceptable one, but really all this shows is that you have not truly experienced empathy. What you exude is empathy with restrictions, and quite frankly that is not empathy at all.

    Now I won’t even get back to the divorce issue. You know as well as I do that Paul mentioned it 20 times more adamantly against it in the NT. And if you want to resort to the OT to prove your point of death and such with the gays. Well then, I guess you better explain the whole father being allowed to sell his daughter as a slave if the need comes up. Just for starters.

    You live in a hugely contradictory world, Bill. And as free as I know you honestly believe you are, the irony is that it is you who is trapped in a bubble of unacceptance towards the genuine differences of other human beings. It is you trapped in selfish judgement disguised as love.

    And for all those Christians who say they fell sorry for me, you may find it hard to believe that in fact I too feel deep sorrow for you and your chosen path as well. Like children trying to behave so that Santa will bring them a present on Christmas, so too the religious man lives for tomorrow, not today. What a waste.

    Sincerely yours,
    Aram
    ____________________________________________________________

    I wrote you another reply Bill, but as I wait for it to appear here I clicked on your name and saw that you are in fact open about who you are through your link to a page about Africa. Interestingly enough I spent quite a bit of time there myself, and was also in an orphanage in Uganda for a spell, not too far west of Lake Victoria. I have to admit that this incredible, dare I say, life-changing experience did nothing to make me believe in God. Rather it made me nearly incapable of ever being able to complain about my life again. Being born in Canada made everything possible for me, in ways that so many others can never know. Just as you have the luxury to wax lyrical about how lucky you are to have God in your life (purely for being born one place instead of another), so too I feel privileged to have been afforded the chance to be educated beyond the need for a reliance on superstitions in my life, as brought about most often by suffering, hardship, and ignorance in an unpredictable world.
    Having said all that, I can appreciate what you are trying to do over there, Bill. And as such, I commend you. Though I do hope you focus more on physical aid over spiritual fears.

  25. A couple last things, Bill. Based on our emphasis here on homosexuality, and the random bringing up of Uganda based on both our times there, does this mean that when you hear about the law they’re trying to put in place in Uganda, the one where they want to make homosexuality a capital crime, does this make you cheer? Are you stoked to hear of this denial of basic human rights because your Bible agrees that homosexuals should be killed?
    And secondly, something that came to me as I was out walking yesterday. Based on your synopsis of biological compatability and possible disease etc, it would seem to me that lesbians are the best suited people to be together. No chance of any harm there. Perhaps this is how God intended us to be, lovingly spooning, without any chance of biological harm.

  26. The death penalty law proposed in Uganda did not make homosexuality a capital crime. That was, I believe, for aggravated cases of homosexual rape and homosexual statutory rape. I would support such a law, but it should also apply to heterosexual rapes. I do not know whether Ugandan law applies the death penalty for heterosexual rapes. It would be hypocritical to apply it to one but not the other.

    I do not believe the death penalty is excessive for rape (hetero or homo), especially the rape of a minor or rape by someone who is HIV positive.

  27. No, Aram, I am not in favor, personally, of the death penalty for the practice of homosexuality, although I can attest to the fact that I only saw one man dressed as a woman during my 5 weeks there last year. Not sure how he fared after I saw him, however! I mention this because it is amazing how a serious punishment can affect immoral or illegal behavior. For example, as a general rule Ugandans don’t steal? Why? A Ugandan told me this phenomena goes back to Idi Amin’s days. Whenever a person was caught stealing, he had to eat what he stole! After having to eat a camera or a car, yes, I would think a person would think twice about stealing. What’s amazing is the ongoing impact of Amin’s policy.

    I appeal to Jon Gleason’s explanation above. Apparently the death penalty kicks in only with violent homosexual rape. The following Wikipedia article would appear to support Gleason’s explanation… with some additional situations calling for the death penalty:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill

    As for “my bible” advocating the death penalty (e.g., Leviticus 20:13), yes, that is true. However, we have to take into consideration the context. At that time Israel was a theocracy, where God establishes the rules and the penalties for breaking those rules. Uganda is a democracy, which means that a pluralistic society can’t insist on the one religion’s laws. For example, Uganda is 10% Muslim. There is also a lot of animism in the culture, which includes witchcraft with its animal and human sacrifice. So, no, Uganda can’t appeal to Lev. 20 for its law. I don’t either.

    I see your point regarding lesbianism. My point was to show how unnatural, from a biological standpoint, male homo sex is. By the same token, although disease may not be the issue, lesbian sex is just as unnatural. [Comment edited by moderator due to content] I think it’s safe to conclude lesbian sex is unnatural. [Comment edited by moderator due to content] something’s wrong. When a lesbian has to ask a male friend to impregnate her in order to have a child raised in a lesbian household (or resort to a sperm bank), that’s pretty unnatural, right? Why, when infertile hetero couples use sperm banks all the time? Because 100% of the time a lesbian will be unable to get her partner pregnant.

    Have a nice evening.

  28. Aram,

    Christians do not celebrate when laws are passed to try and curtail sinful behavior. Passing laws will not change an unregenerate, preaching the Gospel is the sinner’s only hope.
    When a sinner dies without Christ, it is most heartbreaking because we know the moment they die, they are in utter terror and unexplainable fear. We understand the terror of the Lord, that is why we warn sinners to flee from sin and cry out for God’s mercy.

    God has been gracious to me and freed me from my bondage to sin, my sin of choice was lesbianism. To think that I deliberately chose to sin in such a disgusting way against my God weighs heavy on my heart, but I truly believe and know the Lord Jesus Christ has atoned for ALL my sins. I am free from wrath, free from punishment and have been reconciled back to my Father, praise be to God. I no longer run from God, nor do I deny His existence or ignore His truth like I once did. He drew me to Him and saved me, all for His glory.

    Bill,
    I appreciate your fight for truth, but you could have spared us such horrific and graphic language concerning lesbianism. I do not believe it is necessary to go into such detail concerning the actual act of their immoral behavior.

    Lyn

  29. Dear Lyn,
    It breaks my heart to hear that you have given up who you naturally are, purely because of some old theology based on the myth of original sin and an all too human fear of death. I hope you will manage to break out of the brainwash you are in, in time to fully enjoy the rest of your life, free from shame and guilt, content to be who you were born to be.
    And as for Bill, I can see that you are a lost cause who more than likely fantasizes about male on male action and then wakes up to whip himself, ashamed to have experienced something his grandpappy always told him was evil.
    I won’t be commenting on this site again. You people depress me mightily. Your faith is indeed blind, and I cannot treat it with any more respect for another minute.
    I do wish you all the best in your chosen paths. I hope at least some of you were learn that we’re all born differently and we need to embrace those differences, not fear them.
    I send you a big hug, Lyn. You’re beautiful just the way you are. No matter what these people’s words have convinced you of otherwise.
    Ich kann nicht mehr.
    Sincerely yours,
    Aram

  30. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Aram, I have always appreciated your comments here, but your mischaracterization of Bill was uncalled for and out of line. You have been welcome to post your questions and objections without alteration or deletion. Howver, name calling because you don’t agree with someone’s statement is the lowest form of argumentation, and in fact is the sign of a failed argument.

    It seems that homosexuality holds a special meaning to you. The reasons for which I will not speculate, nor is it any of my business. Simply stated, sexuality outside the confines of marraige between a man and woman, of any sort is sin. So are a great many other things, such as lying, lusting, blasphemy, coveting, unjust anger/hatred, murder, disobedience to parents, on so forth. All such behavior is rebellion against your Creator and you will be judged for that. Period. We don’t want that for you. We care about you. Turn from all these sins and trust in Christ alone for salvation.

    You are welcome to continue to post, but please refrain from mischaracterization and name calling. I suggest you read our Rules of Engagement for clarification on this matter should you change your mind and decide to comment again.

  31. todd3588 says:

    It’s sad to me that Chris’ declaration which began this entire thread has now been “digressed” to the subject of homosexuality.

    Todd
    Texas

  32. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Agreed Todd. However, I am certainly willing to allow the comments to discuss the nature of sin, whether a person a grees with it or not, provided the remain within the rules. Those who choose to make personal attacks will have their posts removed and continued actions will result in being banned.

  33. todd3588 says:

    That’s cool Chris. My comment above was simply my thought about how certain people who comment here seem to always deflect and swerve and vary and adjust the line of thought in threads into to transform the initial content of the subject into their own misguided, sinful patterns in order to avoid the discussion of sin and wrath and repentance and faith and salvation.

    It’s typical stuff on most threads, I guess. Just sad to me that your excellent thread has gone this direction.

    Todd
    Texas

  34. Chris Hohnholz says:

    I agree Todd, but that is often how the world will deal with the gospel. Rather than confront their sinfulness, they will attempt to obfuscate the issue. But that is why we must always press the issue of the law for the conviction of sin and the grace of the gospel for salvation.

  35. todd3588 says:

    I completely agree Chris. Some of the language, phrasiology, precision you use tend to make me believe you’re a Reformed Baptist….true?

    Todd
    Texas

  36. For what it’s worth, Chris, I took no offense over Aram’s words. You might say I have developed a thicker skin than many due to my open air preaching escapades, not to mention my YouTube debates with unbelievers. But rules are rules. I’ll try to watch what I write as well. Thanks!

  37. Chris Hohnholz says:

    Thanks for letting us know Bill. However, the rules are there to keep comments from turning into a name calling slug fest so we can have honest and intelligent discussion. I appreciate your desire to keep it that way :-)

  38. Aram, you think what I was in bondage to was is natural, this is not true. I was miserable when I was still in bondage to that sin, My life was a mess. As for being ‘natural’, you are dead wrong. We are all born with the natural desire for the opposite sex -’for even their women did change the natural {produced by nature, inborn} use into that which is against nature’ Romans 1:26. It is only when we suppress truth that we give ourselves over to such an abominable and destructive way of life. You send me a big hug {which I really do not need or want}, in turn, I cry out to God for mercy for you.
    I will not continue to debate on the sin of homosexuality on this thread, however, we can discuss it here – http://defendingcontending.com/2012/03/11/sermon-of-the-week-the-sin-of-sodom-on-display-in-america-by-voddie-baucham/ – after you listen to the sermon.

  39. The reason I focused on homosexuality is purely because it is one of the most obvious hate doctrines within your ‘faith’. Truth be told, the Phelps Family are being the most Christian of people when they scream that homosexuals should be put to death. Anything less is not truly Christian. I focus on homosexuality because it makes it very clear to me that your God is a God of hate, not of love and acceptance.
    And Bill, your idea that harsh punishment cuts down on crime has been disproved time and time again. I was, funnily enough, robbed by six guys with machetes during my time in Uganda. They tried to rape my girlfriend in front of me and nearly chopped my arm off. We survived because of a taxi randomly coming down the jungle road we were walking on. Do I say that God saved me? No, I don’t. Life is simply random. Five minutes either side, I would be dead today. The fact that I did not die that day does not make me special. The fact that you happened to be born interested in the opposite sex does not mean that those born interested in the same sex are wrong.
    Your faith reeks of Stockholm Syndrome.
    I apologize for any offense I may have caused. You have all caused me great offense and sadness with your judgments of others. Your lack of true empathy is appalling. And Lyn, how could you be against a hug? Hugs are the purest form of human connection. I meant nothing else by it.
    In any case, I will leave you all to your ongoing war.
    I have nothing more to say to you.

  40. Who said the Phelps family were truly Christian? They are an example of extreme radical faith, based on their own misinterpreted understanding of the Bible, they bear no fruit that they are truly born again by God. There are tons of folks claiming to be Christian but they are not.

    People are not ‘born’ interested in the same sex, it is like all sin, you choose your sin of preference. When a husband cheats on his wife and commits sexual sin, is that because he was ‘born’ to do this? Why is it when two men lust after one another it is considered ‘genetic’? Immoral sexual behavior stems from inward lustful desires, not bad genes.

    I am not against a hug, I see no reason for one. God saved me from what I deserve when I leave this world…His wrath. Instead, Christ took my punishment when God poured out His wrath on His own Son over 2,000 year ago. Christ died for the ungodly; those who see they are sinners, have done nothing but sinned against the very God who created them. God graciously brought me to Christ, revealed my sins to me and saved me. All are sinners Aram, including you. Just because you refuse to believe and see sin for what it is does not mean you not face the wrath of God when you die. The Bible commands us to repent and believe in the finished work of Christ…may God give you ears to hear.

  41. Aram, as I told you before, I have no hatred of any person, least of all a person who is homosexual. In truth I have a great love for people and am willing to risk having someone be angry with me in order to tell them the truth. But the problem is that in our world today, love means “let everyone do whatever they want” and hatred is “telling someone they are wrong.” Aram, I care a great deal about you and would never want to see you or anyone else having to face judgment before God.

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