Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category
It was bound to happen, an athlete was bound to “come out” and announce they were gay. While this has happened in women’s sports such as the WNBA (which no one watches), it had not happened in a major men’s sport. Now Jason Collins has “come out” as an openly gay NBA player. Collins is a backup and so while his story will make waves a while on the major sports venues such as ESPN or Fox Sports, it will die out because Collins is not a star. Now if Lebron James or Kobe Bryant came out as gay, that would make huge news.
My thoughts flow of course from my love for Christ and a biblical worldview so keep that in mind as you read this.
First, this was going to happen. Homosexuality is the “social” cause of the generation right now. It is their “civil rights” era. It is their fight. Liberal media groups wanted an openly gay athlete and had been asking for this for years. I remember hearing of this “coming out” by players several years ago while listening to ESPN radio one night. Even five years ago ESPN was pushing for a gay athlete to stand up. They wanted to show homosexual groups (and especially those who oppose them) that there are gay people even in major sports. Collins, while a story they will no doubt jump on, is not a star. He never will be. In fact, I have long said that for some of these “gay” players, it will be nothing more than a desire to either remain in the league (how do you cut Collins now?) or for money.
Secondly, when it comes to major sports, teams just want to win. I don’t think that the Lakers or the Yankees care if you are a homosexual. They want to win. Their fans want to win. Sadly this is where most people are when it comes to morality and sports. They will tear up a Tim Tebow for his faith while defending wife beaters and drug felons simply because they win. When Michael Vick was in trouble in Atlanta for dog fighting, I remember people in Atlanta saying that it was no big deal and that we should just drop the issue. Vick went to prison for his crimes (while abortion doctors every day slaughter unborn babies in their own mother’s wombs) yet Vick is still attacked regularly for his sins. Tebow as well yet Tebow has not sinned. He just is a good man.
Thirdly, no one is allowed to say that homosexuality is a sin. Former South Carolina Gamecock Chris Culliver, with the San Francisco 49ers, was asked during the week of the Super Bowl about homosexuality and he said that he wasn’t “down with that” and the media went crazy. Culliver shared his own opinion after a question was posed to him yet the NFL required Culliver to take sensitivity training following the Super Bowl for his critical remarks. Why? Because Culliver stated his opinion? He is now a bigot? The NFL, MLB, NHL, and the NBA all follow the same line of reasoning: don’t speak out on cultural issues unless your views are in favor of the views of the culture. Players cannot say that a homosexual is in sin or that he must repent or perish. They are to stay quiet on the issue or face dire consequences.
Lastly, more and more players will start “coming out” because this will do three things for them. First, if they are the first say in the NFL, they will get a book or a movie deal. Then they will be harder to cut for teams. This allows players to remain in the league a bit longer such as Jason Collins who no doubt will land with a team now that he is openly gay. And thirdly, their “coming out” will produce money for them as they will be asked to speak here and there and will be featured on magazines, blogs, TV interviews, etc.
For the Christian, homosexuality is a sin. Like all sins, it can be forgiven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and a person who struggles with homosexuality can be set free from their sin (John 8:34-36; Romans 6:1-4). The grace of God enables the disciple of Jesus to overcome sin (Titus 2:12) and there is no sin that God cannot empower us to overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13). We all struggle with our flesh (Galatians 5:16-17) but we can be free through Christ (1 John 1:9; 3:6; 5:18). This doesn’t mean that we don’t still face temptation but we have the power of the Holy Spirit now to help us be free from sin’s grip. Praise God for His liberating power and His precious gospel (Romans 1:16-17).
Here is a good article from brother William Birch on the tragedy at Boston. There are no easy answers for evil. I do think that the Arminian’s defense that God is good and loving and that He does not cause evil nor causes people to sin (James 1:12-15) is a solid beginning for making sense of suffering and evil. We live in a fallen world full of sin. People make evil choices each day whether it be to murder a human being, to abort a human being in the mother’s womb, or to hate someone for the color of their skin, people are simply evil. Scripture says that evil is our nature (Ephesians 2:1-3). It is not that we are all as evil as we could be but we are still evil in our hearts apart from the regenerating work of God. Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’?” Apart from the Spirit of God, we would choose sin (Romans 3:10-18).
Thankfully through the grace of God we can overcome sin (Romans 8:1-4; 1 John 3:6-10). God’s grace teaches us to say no to sin (Titus 2:11-12). God’s grace empowers us to be holy and to live pure before God (Titus 2:14). Jesus told the woman caught in sin to go and sin no more (John 8:11). We are to be a people of holiness (Hebrews 12:14) as God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). Our passion and delight should be in obedience to the King of kings (Luke 6:46-49; 1 John 2:3-6; 5:1-4).
Let us vow to be holy (Matthew 5:48) and to pray for God to take this evil in Boston and bring sinners to salvation through the preaching of the gospel of His grace. God can use evil to turn hard hearts from sin toward Himself. I pray that He does this for His glory (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
I have no doubt that the United States Supreme Court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage this week. I would be utterly shocked if the high court ruled against the issue. At the heart of the debate is Proposition 8 in which the measure was passed twice by the residents of the state of California to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court will hear the case of whether this is unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court rules against Proposition 8 they will in essence abolish state bans on same-sex marriage or will overturn the 31 states who have written into their state constitutions that marriage shall be between a man and a woman. It would be a landmark win for the homosexual agenda and would almost overnight turn the United States into a nation that must permit same-sex marriage.
I believe the court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage for several reasons. First, we are under the judgment of God and according to Romans 1, homosexuality is one of the evidences of this judgment. How can God not judge the US with the millions of unborn that we have murdered? We tolerate violence in popular culture and we give approval to all forms of ungodliness. If you read Romans 1:18-32, you’ll no doubt know that we are there. Our culture is full of sin.
Secondly, the rise of acceptance of homosexuality has been nothing more than staggering. We have gone from the early 1990′s when homosexuality was tolerated but to be kept behind closed doors to full-blown acceptance and even viewing homosexuality as a better life style than heterosexuality. Lots of things have contributed to this acceptance including Hollywood and secular media to postmodernism and the idea that there are no absolutes, no boundaries to cross. Anything goes and YOU decide what is best for you but you must not push what is best for you upon others unless what is best is also deemed best by the culture. In this case, homosexuality is deemed a good thing by culture and so culture wins. The Supreme Court will listen to the culture and will ignore the Bible and thousands of years of civilization to establish a new “class.”
Thirdly, the failure of the Church to preach the gospel. The seeker church led to the emergent church and in turn has produced nothing but liberalism all over again. The true Church of Christ must stand and preach the gospel but the seeker church, with her eye on power and money, has produced nothing. Therefore, we reap what we sow and thus we are now reaping 30 years of seeker church methods and teachings. The result: sin accepted by the culture and by the compromising church.
What should true disciples of Christ do? I believe the answer lies in being a true disciple of Jesus. Titus 3:1-7 should be our text. We read:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We must recognize that our world is under the power of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). Our battle is not with homosexuals or with liars or with thieves. Our battle is with spiritual forces at work in our world to corrupt people and keep them from Christ (Ephesians 6:12). Our enemy is not a certain group of sinners but is the father of lies himself (John 8:44). The world lies under the control of the enemy and people blindly follow his commands. By nature, all flesh is corrupt before God (Genesis 6:5) and we are children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) apart from the grace of God (Ephesians 2:6).
Paul says in Titus 3:3 that we ourselves were once just as sinful as the people around us. We are saved from sin only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are not saved because we chose to stop sinning. We are saved from sin and its power only by the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16). In fact, Titus 3:4 reminds us that it was God our Savior who saved us by His own mercy. We are now regenerated by the Spirit (John 3:3) because of the work of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30) and not by our flesh. Sin is so powerful that it takes the supernatural power of God to break us and save us.
Is this not the sinful world around us? Our world is so sinful, so corrupt. Yet we too once were lost in this world. If you are a disciple of Jesus you can testify that you once were bound in your sins and without hope. You didn’t go seeking after Christ. He came seeking after you (1 John 4:10). It was the grace of God that intervened in our lives and this is why we are saved.
Our reaction then to this sinful culture should be to preach Christ. Christ is the hope. I don’t believe the answer lies in politics or in the Supreme Court or in the White House but in the gospel. The cure for the United States (and all nations) is the gospel. Our hope lies not in a leader or a group but in the gospel. The Church must preach the gospel to all sinners and we will see the glory of God as He saves sinners by His grace. Our battle is not with any one sin. Our battle is against Satan and thankfully he is a defeated foe (Hebrews 2:14-15). Let us preach this truth, that Jesus saves sinners and we will see a mighty revival in our world.
I was sad to read today from Christianity Today of the passing of Dr. Howard Hendricks. A great man of God has received his reward (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Dr. Hendricks was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary for many years. I used his book, Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible, with teenagers back when I worked with teens. His book was an easy to use basic biblical interpretation book. His wisdom and wit were well-known and his books reflected that. While in college I had to read his book, Teaching to Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive. At the time, I didn’t think that the book was very useful but boy have I learned from it since.
Praise God for godly men such as Dr. Hendricks. He is now resting in the Lord’s presence and worshiping his King.
Today is inauguration day in Washington DC. President Obama will be sworn in publicly as the President of the United States. I want to encourage Christians today to pray for President Obama and his family. Pray specifically these things:
- His salvation along with the salvation of his family (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
- Pray for God to grant him wisdom to lead (Proverbs 21:1).
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict him of sin when he sins or when he seeks to pass legislation based on greed, politics, or corruption (John 16:8-11).
- Pray for his eyes to be opened to the sinful decisions he has already made about abortion, homosexuality, and many other issues.
- Pray for God to be glorified in Obama’s second term as President (Daniel 4:32) and rejoice that God’s kingdom will crush all kingdoms including the kingdom of the United States (Daniel 2:44).
- Rejoice that Jesus is still Lord of all despite Obama being in the White House and He shall reign forever and ever (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
- Pray for the Democratic Party to turn away from a platform based on Romans 1:18-32 and its full rejection of God. Pray for God to have mercy and for Obama to turn the party away from ungodliness toward righteousness by the sovereign grace of God (Titus 1:1).
I also urge you to intercede for Congress and for state and local leaders taking office across the United States. Pray the same for them as above. Most important for the disciple of Christ is the understanding that Jesus is Lord of all (Romans 10:9-10) and He will crush all kingdoms by His own power and in His own timing (Acts 1:7).
President Obama today argued that we need reform in the United States regarding the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms. He argued that we as a nation must do what we can to protect our children and keep them safe.
Unless it comes to abortion. There President Obama and the entire Democratic Party stands for Romans 1:18-32. They approve of the wretched practice of murdering babies inside of their own mothers.
Someone said it best today, if you want to end abortion, require the doctors to use guns to blow their brains out instead of a vacuum and then abortion would end (since it was performed by a gun you see).
Face the facts, Obama is a hypocrite to call us to protect our children and do all this possible to keep them safe while he endorses murdering institutions such as Planned Parenthood and other murder clinics.
Exodus 20:13 Mr. President.