C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Comment Policy: No profanity or blasphemy will be posted. You do not have to agree, but if you would like your comment posted, you will have to adhere to the policy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

F- Biology Confusion

The Bing search posted the other day on the front page of MSN read, Another Pregnant Man.

It further states, ‘The man is Scott Moore, who grew up as Jessica. His parents helped him make the transition to being male at a young age.’ According to the New York Daily News, Scott (aka Jessica) apparently told his/her parents that (s)he ‘realized he wanted to be a man’ around 11 years old. But, because (s)he is actually a female, (s)he had to start taking male hormones when (s)he was 16 years old. Although they did remove some female anatomy, the cost of surgery meant (s)he could not have the ‘full sex reassignment surgery’; therefore, (s)he ‘still has female reproductive organs’.

Moore’s partner Thomas, was born as the female named Laura, but ‘underwent sex reassignment surgery last year’. Thomas has two children ‘from a previous relationship with a woman who has since passed away.’

This story is just so bizarre, and apparently is not the only one of its kind. Just looking at the facts presented, how can one claim such is natural, normal, or suggest it should be considered even remotely similar to marriage or the proper natural relationship of a man and a woman according to nature (not to mention the Holy Word of God)?

We have, according to the articles, two people born female who desired to be likened unto males. The one (Thomas, aka Laura) that was able to have the sex reassignment was once already in a relationship with a woman. That by definition is homosexuality. The other (Scott, aka Jessica) was born female, did not have sex reassignment, and is now using her female reproductive organs to carry a child, all the while claiming to desire to be male. This too is homosexuality, with even a more perverted twist. Being both females, they could not biology produce a child, so (s)he ‘got pregnant using the sperm of a friend in June 2009, the Daily Mail reports.’

But, yet there is even more confusion to the story. Not only do we have (1) two females wanting to be males; (2) with one female wanting to be male, yet carry a baby as a female; (3) they are ‘legally married’ because Scott (aka Jessica) still uses her female birth certificate to do so.

It is amazing at what lenghts people will go to try to justify their love of sin, and not only with such cases as these, but with many other sins we have and are guilty of committing ourselves. May we be moved by the Holy Spirit unto conviction to repent of sin, and put our faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for your children and those you know, for such stories may surely become the 'norm' should those who despise the Light have their way...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Parents Know Your Children - Church Know Their Parents

Granted, I haven’t really stayed up-to-date with all the news surrounding Rifqa Bary, who has seemingly been labeled the Christian Convert in more than a few articles, but in reading a few reports today of her apparent runaway with the help of church leadership, I couldn’t help but consider a few thoughts in regards to the situation.

1. One article states that Rifqa met the persons of Global Revolution Church through Facebook. This brings up the question; do we know what our children are doing on the internet, and who they may be conversing with online? What are they searching for or being presented with, and what types of topics or activities are they taking part in? Are they beneficial or harmful to the mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of our children? We can’t and won’t know, unless we take an active role in the personal lives of our sons and daughters. This is not limited to just the internet or cell phone contacts, but also such communication with others from family, church, school, and the neighborhood.

2. There is also the mentioning that Rifqa was apparently previously baptized without the knowledge or consent of her parents. As one who is a member and attends a local Baptist church, I believe we need to remember the biblical God-given leadership of the home as being to the father, as the legal given to the parents, and not try to usurp authority over such. I believe it is more important to try and reach the parents, rather than create animosity or separation between the parent and the child (especially under 18). Conversion takes place in the heart/spirit/soul of an individual and the Holy Spirit, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ; whereas baptism is merely the outward act of obedience of a good conscience toward that faith, and could be delayed if necessary.

3. It appears that the church leadership based their judgments of coercing or helping the girl to run away from home on the words of Rifqa herself, but I can’t help but wonder if possibly preconceived ideas from the mass resources on negative Islamic faith and practices from the news media and elsewhere played a part in their reasoning also. Again, are we not to at least attempt to contact the parents of a child of whom we have confiding in us, or try our best to investigate the claims to see if there is any merit to them? There have been plenty of stories children have told to only later find out they were somewhat misunderstanding the complete story and some outright lying, so should we not be hesitant in making judgments regarding children and their parents till we searched out the truth and find support for the claims we are given?

4. Rifqa’s father claims he loves her, and that she is free to practice any religions she wants. He also states that she has been labeling herself as a Christian since 14 years old, so why would Rifqa now believe or declare a fear of physical harm from her father? As a father, it would break my heart to hear my daughter claim she feared for her safety or life because of me. We are supposed to be the protectors of our children, with our homes a safe haven for them to run to when the whole world seems to be falling down around them. If our children feel they have been rejected by all, they should know we as their fathers (and mothers) are here for them. Even in poor judgment and at times they need correction, they should know it is done in love and for their benefit.

My points here have less to do specifically about the situation with Rifqa (for I am far lacking in information to judge all the factors of such a case), and more as a thinking process of what would/should we do if we were presented with a similar situation within our home or at our church. Parents – we should know our children! And church members – we need to know the parents of the children that may come to our church or contact us without their dad or mom. We are to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves; therefore let us pray and act upon intelligent decisions.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: Judgment or Prophecy

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Haiti, namely the enormous earthquake which has sent many a souls out into eternity, the notable Rev. Pat Robertson made the following comments according to CBS News.

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," Robertson said. "They were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.'"

The article then quotes Rev. Paul Raushenbush's words directed at Rev. Pat Robertson: "Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better," he wrote. "Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God. Haiti is suffering a catastrophe and you offer silliness at best, and racism at the worst."

So, we have a professing Christian declaring the judgment of God upon a nation he believes is reaping what they have sown by making ‘a pact to the devil’, while another Christian declares the judgment of God upon the first to send him to hell for his comments. Do we see that each of these individuals, while claiming Christianity, take the same ideals, with both having a seemingly lack of compassion? So, who is the better role model, declaring the ideals of Christ they both profess to believe and exercise? Is it the one who condemns the Haiti people to hell, or the one who condemns a fellow believer to hell? I scarcely can choose…

The scriptures are pretty clear about reaping and sowing, both in the positive and negative sense, regarding sin and good works. Yet, the scriptures equally reveal in the latter times there will be wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, etc. Scripture also speaks (in John 9) of a man born blind, whereby the disciples questioned Christ as to whether the meaning of the man’s blindness was due to the sin of himself or his parents. In this passage the disciples (i.e. believers) specifically asked Christ was the reason for the man being born blind due to the judgment of sin (whether his own or his parents). Christ’s answer was, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.’ Christ’s response was not to say that the man nor his parents had never sinned, but that the man’s blindness was based on the sovereignty of God and not sin.

I used to easily cast judgment myself, as similar circumstances such as Hurricane Katrina struck hard the city of New Orleans and elsewhere, but I have come to rather be more cautious in reserving my opinion of what may and may not be the judgment of God upon a person, people, or place. For it is true that individually whosoever ‘soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption’ and that ‘the wages of sin is death’; and though there is forgiveness of sin through Christ, there is still the chastisement of the Lord and consequences of sin which may affect us the rest of our days. And ‘we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together’ because of the sin and death upon the world because of corruption, along with the appointed ‘acts of nature’ the scriptures prophecy shall be and come.

Therefore, I must conclude, that we (as man) cannot so easily judge a person, people, or nation regarding the punishment of God; for it seems to me, there are those things which come upon us because of our sin, and there be those things which come because they must needs be to declare ‘the works of God’. This is not to say that we cannot see sin as sin, whether in ourselves or others, by the principles of the scriptures, but I am doubtful we can judge tragedy and death is always connected to the apparent sin or rejection of God by a certain person, persons, or place.

Case and point is thus: Take the homosexual, along with a faithful pastor. Both find themselves in the hospital, as the doctor declares to them they have inoperable cancer. The church prays fervently for their pastor, while there are no believers who even know the homosexual to pray for. The time comes; whereby the homosexual and the pastor die, and go out into eternity. Judge ye: if thus was judgment upon the one for the sin of homosexuality, what was the reason for the non-healing of the pastor, and how does one determine the difference?

So, in conclusion, if this earthquake is the judgment of God: is that to say that even the non-Haiti and professing Christians who perished, was because they too (or their forefathers) 'swore a pact to the devil'; they were just in the wrong place and the wrong time; they were being punished for helping the Haiti people; or when God judges He doesn't differentiate between the just and the unjust?

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

Click below to read the full Manhattan Declaration.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Health: Renew Marriage Commitment Rather Than Divorce

Today, I came across an article at MSN.com, apparently provided by Redbook, entitled ‘Can You Spot the Hidden Heart Dangers?’. What caught my eye was not so much this title, but the included subtopic, ‘3. Your marriage’. They propose, ‘It's normal to have your share of tiffs with your spouse, but if your relationship with your partner is marked by constant stress and strain, your risk of heart attack increases up to 34 percent, according to a 12-year study of more than 9,000 men and women published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.’

This really got me thinking. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are approximately at a divorce rate of 3.5 per 1,000 population in the United States. (see data) The Christian Science Monitor claims, ‘The divorce rate fell 4 percent in 2008 to 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women, according to Census Bureau data. It had previously been on an upward path, rising from 16.4 divorces per 1,000 married women in 2005 to 17.5 in 2007.’

By some sources, we boast over 50% in our divorce rate here in the United States. I say boast, because I don’t see much (if any) remorse or humility with such a standing in the world from us. Even with the cry over the ‘Sanctity of Marriage’, according to The Christian Post, ‘Among all born again Christians, which includes evangelicals, the divorce figure is 32 percent, which is statistically identical to the 33 percent figure among non-born again adults, the research group noted.’

Today, there are many reasons people give to justify divorce. Even as Christians, we tend to bend, twist, and even ignore the very Word of God we claimed to be our source of Truth, just to allow ourselves, family, or friends to escape the feelings of remorse or guilt for desiring to leave their spouse. I am fully aware of the few (and I stress a couple, realizing opinions vary with this topic) Biblical reasons for divorce, but far too often we as Christians are merely grasping at straws trying to pull God into our corner to justify our sinful lusts and covetousness. God is not fooled, nor does/will He excuse our sin.

What this article caused me to ponder is will this be yet a new reason for Christians (or others) to give to try and validate their wish to divorce their spouse? ‘We need to divorce, because my health is being affected.’

I am grateful the article actually posed a positive solution, by stating, ‘To avoid a heart attack—not to mention improve your marriage—consider going for counseling, says Georgiades.’ Now, I am not suggesting every couple that is having problems needs to run out and see a counselor. What I do agree with, is every marriage should seek reconciliation rather than separation, a reason to work at renewing the marriage commitment rather than seeking divorce.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Resolve To Better Actions And Reactions

As we wave goodbye to 2009, we are forced to welcome in 2010. I say forced, not that it is a bad thing, but we really do not have a choice whether or not to embrace it. What we do have a choice to embrace is how we will act and react to all the circumstances that may surround us this year.

Quite often each January 1st, we enlist a good number of resolutions which are seldom kept the entire length of our promise. For different reasons, possibly some within our control while others outside of it, we find our commitments lacking as the days stroll by. Even though we frequently choose to spotlight such self improvements as weight loss, eating habits, better job, do more, quitting things, etc., the initial enthusiasm seems to fade with the seasons.

How about this year, we focus to be more resolute in being a better person not only to ourselves, but also to others? Possibly, we could reach out to family and friends we haven’t spoken to in years, whether because of the miles or grievance. Instead of being simply a silent witness or introvert, why not allow ourselves to have fellowship with the church members and co-workers we see on a daily or weekly basis? What if we take the preliminary steps to reestablish torn or struggling relationships, by allowing ourselves to forgive and be kind to others, whether or not they ask or seek our forgiveness or restoration?

May we all be resolved this year to not only desire better actions of ourselves, but also better reactions to the actions of others. It will be difficult, and most assuredly push us uncomfortably from our comfort zone, but through our patience and consideration of what is right (based on Truth and not the actions of others) how can we not arrive at 2011 a better person with more character?

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.