Friction in a Dream (About Homosexuality)

Yes, it is 3:00 in the morning and I awoke with a struggle, a war inside my mind. Yesterday at DePelchin we talked about loss and the grieving process, and I came face to face with an aspect from my childhood. In the homework we were to discuss the losses that we have experienced in our life. One of those experiences was with my father leaving my mother for another man.

I was only about four years old when it happened and didn’t fully understand the extent of it until I was about nine years old. I was trying to figure out why he left and was told more about what happened at this point. Sooner or later the information would have come out anyway because of meeting my father’s significant other. I think that this is when the seed of hatred for the gay community started in my life. After all they had taken my father from me. (Please give me the chance to finish before you pass judgment.) Different things in my life fed on this hatred until I could have been called a bigot. Yes, harsh words to describe oneself.

Later, I became friends with someone at The Art Institute of Houston when I was going for my CAD degree. One of the classes that I had to take was speech. This is where I found out the person I was becoming friends with, was gay. He talked about his significant other and their pet ferret. I will always remember that for some reason. There was warmth in his heart and it started to soften mine. His friendship became my first positive confrontation with homosexuality.

As life went on, my best friend started bartending for a local night club and became friends with one of the other bartenders. We found out quickly that he was a gay man. He did not have anyone special in his life at the time, but MAN could he cook! Michael (my best friend at the time) and I would go over and have wonderful meals and enjoy each other’s friendship. His friendship was the second positive confrontation I had with homosexuality.

My mind was changing. I do not quite understand the draw for them; to want someone of the same sex, but at this point I no longer hated them.

Yesterday at DePelchin there was a gay couple that is looking to do Foster Care. To be honest I really don’t know what to think about it, but was confronted once again with my past experience.  This is really where the friction starts. The positive rubbing up against the negative until something is burnt up. That was my dream. This couple was in my dream and they were helping me with various things on a ship. I believe my mind was struggling with what I should believe about them and the warmth and friendship that they displayed. Their laughs, their camaraderie, their help and generosity were all on display. However, there were creatures in the dream as well. If these creatures came into contact with you the friction of their touch would consume the person that they came in contact with.

I think that ultimately my mind was trying to cope with the warmth of the people with the thought of their lifestyle and what scripture says. Scripture states:

Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV).

These are harsh words, just to name a few. But I really believe it comes down to the word SIN. God hates sin! We have all sinned or done something in our life that we can agree has hurt someone in some way. I believe that this is what sin really is: “Something done at the expense of someone else to the rearing of some sort of hurt in that person or thing.” I also believe that this is why God hates sin so much (the hurt that it causes). Above are harsh words, but I believe that God truly wants our best interest.

Now comes the friction once again. Ultimately I believe that Homosexuality itself is destructive and I have my reasons stated above. However, I also have seen the love that can come from the people themselves. I have heard the statement “Love the people, but hate the SIN.” This comes to heart with me. I confess the hatred that I used to have in my life toward them and hope that they understand why I believe the way that I do. This hatred was sin in my life and I ask  the gay community to forgive me for that hatred. I cannot, because of my life’s experience, agree with the lifestyle but my attitude is very different now and I am thankful for that.

My calling is one of warning, as a watchman on the tower telling of the incoming battle (Ezekiel 3). Sin is destructive and I will sound the alarm as best that I can. Hopefully I will warn the people in a loving way and not a destructive one myself as many people (not only in the gay community) have encountered. It is up to the people to decide what they will do with what I have just said, but hopefully they will understand my heart and why I believe the way that I do.

Repent – For the Kingdom is at hand

 1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matt 3:1-2 (NASB77)

These are the first words recorded in Matthew of John the Baptist, however, do we  really understand what it means to repent?

As Christians we talk to unbelievers as if we are talking another language and still expect to connect with them. In many cases, I believe that many Christians do not understand the concepts them self, let alone try to explain it to someone else. With many churches embracing a selfism or consumerism “what is in it for me?” mentality, it seems that repentance is getting the second seat; if any seat at all. It is the only way through Christ that leads to the saving grace that is given by God to us. It is not about us, it is about Him!

Repentance needs to be a focus for the Church. After all John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), Peter (Acts 2:38), Paul (Acts 17:30), The Twelve (Mark 6:7-13), and many others all began their ministry with this message. You would think that we would get the hint of how important that the message of turning to God is. Jesus was even more concerned about the soul of a paralytic, then from his ailment in (Mark 2). Repentance should be a big focus of our churches today.

Basically repentance means, to turn 180 degrees. Pastor Fowler from Christ Church Assembly of God used to say, “You cannot turn 179 degrees and expect to end up in the same place. It may work for a while but eventually you will be way off track.” I always think back to this sermon when I think about repentance. However, it never really sunk in until recently when I took a class with Dr. Rodney Woo for “New Testament 2” at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, what true repentance is. 

We talked about the difference between Godly Sorrow and Worldly sorrow. It is discussed in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 followed with the seven marks of true repentance.

9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. – 2 Cor 7:9-11 (NASB77)

Understanding the difference between Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow is the key to repentance. It is Godly sorrow that brings repentance that leads to salvation while worldly sorrow only brings death. Here is the difference:

  • Worldly sorrow is self centered and could be summed up with the statement, “I am sorry because I got caught.” However, worldly sorrow doesn’t bring real repentance because there is no real want for change. Most of the time, when it does deal with changes, it is because they don’t want to be caught again. Worldly sorrow cannot sustain itself because it doesn’t have enough gas or energy to have any staying power. It is always looking for a way out, or how close to the line they can get without getting into trouble.
  • Godly Sorrow is God centered. David said it beautifully in Psalms 51:4, “Against you and you alone have I sinned.” The sorrow is a sort of “soul anguish” because of the hurt that we place on God by our disobedience. The difference is that this kind of sorrow bring about real change because we don’t want to hurt our heavenly Father. It produces “repentance without regret, leading to salvation.” Real repentance only happens when we realize the hurt we have done to God.

I believe this is why so many people can come to Christ, live years trying to do the right thing, but ultimately lose their faith. It is because they never truly repented. Fruit is not about what we do, it is about who we are. It is time that we learn that repentance is brought about by Godly sorrow through the action of changing our mind and heart to reflect that which God has intended: a life fully devoted to him. That is basically the definition of a disciple and it shows in the fruit of change in our lives.

Christ in the Passover

I wanted to share a video. It is a video that we watched in my “History of Israel” class and in “Old Testament”. With the Easter holiday coming up I thought it would be a good thing to talk about. The Video is “Christ in the Passover” and you can find it at:

But be warned it is 40 minutes long – but it is well worth it.

Abstinence is Possible

I know that I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks now, but it hasn’t been because I didn’t want to. School has been heavy and the reading extreme, but I was looking on my blog and I saw a link to this one on CNN:

 

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/02/17/abstinence-is-not-realistic-palins-daughter-says/

 

It is quite amazing that when someone agrees with the news that they give it high praise; while when it is contrasting to their view, it is something to attack.

 

So Palin’s daughter has stated that “abstinence is not realistic.” So I decided that I would discuss this a little from my perspective.

 

When I was a child, I accepted Christ as my Savior and wanted a pure life with my future wife. So I decided that abstinence was the way that I wanted to go. As I graduated High School I had achieved my goal and decided to go into the Military. I managed to make quite a few friends that helped me go to bars (the kind that clothes tends to disappear in) and drink and do all the things that I grew up believing to be contrary to what God had called me to do. However, I still maintained purity in sexual relationships with women that I had dated. Yes it was difficult and I lost a couple because of it. Then when I was around 25 years old I met a girl whom I loved very much and decided that she was the one for me. I thought it doesn’t really matter anymore because this is the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Besides I had waited 25 years and I was tired of waiting. Little did I know that shortly after we did “THE DEED” we broke up and my heart was broken. I had given up something that I could no longer give to my future wife. It was a few years later that I met my wife. 

When I met my wife, she told me that God had convicted her to, “Not date anyone that she had not known for at least a year.” Confusing me, especially in this day and age, but at the same time it intrigued me. We decided to be friends and to just do functions with mutual friends and eventually realized that what we were doing was courting. It became a conviction of ours that we would not even kiss until we had at least past that year mark.

Titus 2:11-15 (www.biblegateway.com)
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority Let no one disregard you.

One year after we met, we went on our first date. This was 4 months after I had asked her to marry me. It was quite a shock to people when we didn’t even kiss when I asked her to marry me. Now 4 months later we could date – according to her conviction, but we decided at this point we only had a couple more months before we would get married and decided that we wanted our first kiss to be at the alter. This is pretty extreme I know and very difficult at that. Either way we were able to go from the beginnings of our relationship to our marriage with a pure relationship. I have mistakes in my life, but I will never regret this decision and I have a true blessing in my wife.

Now we have been married for almost 7 years and I love her more today then yesterday. I did not think it possible, but it is. My point is that purity can be a choice but the road will be hard and it is also possible. Is it realistic, “Yes” and yes I messed up before my wife, but our relationship this time encouraged many people that it is possible! The question is then, “If it is possible, would it then be realistic?” Well that is something that you will have to decide, but either way “know that it is possible!”

Romans 13:11-14
11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Heart Breaking News!

Recently I read a couple of blogs online that seem not only to reject the God that created them, but also to chide those who embrace him. I know that persecution is not that strong in the United States, but it is in other countries (See Voice of the Martyrs), but it still doesn’t take away the fact that these people are rejecting God. It is heartbreaking news to know that someone is outright rejecting God – that is heartbreaking enough, but to know that they reject and hatefully go after those who do, is even more heartbreaking.

I used to be the type that would argue my point until I was blue in the face. Then I realized that it was going to do no good when they closed to the idea that Christ died for them so that he could spend an eternity with them. This is when Matthew 7:6 came more to light for me.

Matthew 7:6 (www.biblegateway.com)
” Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:5-7 (in Context) Matthew 7 (Whole Chapter)

The “Good News” (Gospel) that we have is a precious pearl and treasure to the Christian. It brings hope. It brings life. It brings joy (notice I said joy not happiness there is a difference). It brings us closer to a God who loved us enough to send His son to take on the penalties of our wrong doing (Sin).

Romans 5:8 (www.biblegateway.com)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-9 (in Context) Romans 5 (Whole Chapter)

But your faith will also bring persecution. They will turn on you and trample you, but just like Paul you have to brush yourself off and continue in the Faith. It is not always easy but it is always for the good.

Now I read things like this with a saddened heart and maybe or maybe not leave a comment, then I move on. It is heartbreaking to leave them as they are, but we have to remember, “Just like the people complaining to Moses, it wasn’t him who they were rejecting.” We cannot give up on sharing the gospel, but remember Matthew 7:6. Give what information that you can in love and pray for those who persecute you – but don’t throw your pearls before swine for they will turn on you and trample it underfoot.

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