Posted in Christianity and Culture

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

By Glenn Jobe

Dear Mr. Trump,

I praise you for your courage to stand up against Islam and your attempt to warn the American people of the dangers that have now infiltrated our borders. I know that you are under much criticism at this time from the politically “correct” and by those who are more interested in advancing their self-serving programs over that of protecting the American people.

I assure you that you are right in restricting Muslims and you have the First Amendment on your side. The First Amendment no more protects the practice of Islam in this country than it does those who would offer human sacrifices in the name of religion. I will explain how that is true shortly.

The American people have never received an answer to one question: Why do “radical Muslims” hate us? Other questions follow: Why do they want to kill us? Why do they blow themselves up?

What is common to all these “radical” Islamic groups? The answer is simple: you and I, everyone in this country (and in all other countries who do not come under the control of Islam) are “heathens, pagans, idolaters, unbelievers,” and according to the Koran, are slated for death. Not only does the Koran authorize the taking up of arms in order to defend Muslims, Muslims are explicitly instructed to kill all unbelievers in Allah. The Koran, itself, so indicates in several places. For instance, in 8:59-62, is written:

Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power so to do. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them who are unknown to you but known to God. All that you give for the cause of God shall be repaid to you. You shall not be wronged [emphasis mine].

Observe that carnal warfare is to be exacted against two kinds of offenders: “the enemy of God” (i.e. unbelievers in Allah), and “your enemy” (i.e., those who do not keep treaties, attack Muslims and do Muslims wrong). This is opposite to the religion of Christ (Matt. 5:43-48; Rom. 12:14-21). The Bible reserves judgment for the afterlife. Islam calls upon those who do not believe in Allah to be killed in this life by those who do! It is impossible for Muslims who follow the Koran to live in this society. Indeed the prophet Mohammad wrote immediately prior to the previous quote, “Make war with them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme” (8:39). Any person who believes not in Allah is classified “idolater.”

On the next page, the divine instruction continues (9:3-8, under “Repentance” At-Tauba):

God and His apostle are under no obligation to the idolaters. If you repent, it shall be well with you; but if you give no heed, know that you shall not be immune from God’s judgement.

Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers, except to those idolaters who have honoured their treaties with you in every detail and aided none against you. With these keep faith, until their treaties have run their term. God loves the righteousness.

When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.

If an idolater seeks asylum with you, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God, and then convey him to safety. For the idolaters are ignorant men.

God and his apostle repose no trust in idolaters, save those with whom you have made treaties at the Sacred Mosque. So long as they keep the faith with you, keep faith with them. God loves the righteous.

[All quotations are from The Koran, translated by N. J. Dawood (New York: Penguin Books, 1993). Though there are a number of translations into English, all references to The Koran are taken from this source. Since verse divisions in all consulted translations are ambiguous, verse numbers as here cited are intended as only approximate.]

I am a minister for a Christian church and have had to deal with this situation on several occasions. Just before 9/11 I had read the Koran and one evening while participating on a live community access television program in Lake County Illinois, our panel dealt with the teachings of the Islam and the Koran. An angry Muslim called accusing me—after I had read these and other quotes—of taking the Koran out of context and of depending on a translation. I do not read Arabic and thus have to depend upon a translation, but my response was quick and accurate: “Evidently, those who study the Koran in Arabic have come to the same conclusion because jihad is going on all over the world, including the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York.” He could not respond to that. There is no such thing as “radical Islam.” Terrorists are practicing Islam; they are carrying out what their holy book is telling them to do—murder unbelievers!

This country has always been at war with Islam, even as far back as the American Revolution. It is the reason why America developed a navy (see the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797).

How, then, can this country refuse Muslims into this country and shut down their mosques? Because Islam is a violation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. Islam denies it—convert or die! Here’s the argument:

  1. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion and any religion that does not allow freedom of religion is not protected by the First Amendment.
  2. Islam is a religion that does not allow freedom of religion.
  3. Therefore, Islam is a religion that is not protected by the First Amendment.

To guarantee Muslims freedom of religion in this country makes as much sense as allowing Donald Trump to run for king. The Constitution makes no provision for either.

Thus, if the Koran is their holy book and they must revere and follow the teachings of the Koran, they cannot be “peaceable Muslims” in the midst of those who do not adhere to Islam. To speak of a “peaceable Muslim” is like talking about a “married bachelor”—they are contrary expressions. Islam is more dangerous and militant that Nazi-ism ever was. Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, found out too late that peace with Nazi Germany was impossible.

What must our State Department do? They must require self-professed Muslims to deny part of the teaching of their Koran. Individual mosques, as they represent those who are associated with each mosque, must publicly announce that they do not believe that people of other religious persuasions must be killed, made war against, ambushed, arrested or besieged.

This move will pit Muslims against their Koran if they want to remain in the United States and practice their religion. It will also put them at odds with other Muslims, for true Muslims will want to kill them as they do so openly in other countries. To merely desecrate a printed copy of the Koran brings death!

Islam is not peaceable. When they feel that they have the upper hand, even with less than 25% of the population, they feel emboldened and will take over this country as they have in other countries (e.g. Iran and Egypt). Then we will have outright war in our streets. Where I preach, we had a refugee family here at the church from Iran. The father of the family had converted to Christianity. If he had stayed in Iran, he would have been hanged. He cannot return to his native country. In other Islamic countries the penalty is beheading.

Please, Mr. Trump, in your speeches and debates, educate the American people that you are the only candidate who is looking out for their rights as American citizens. To speak against what is morally wrong is not “hate speech.” Have your staff do the research on Islam, what it has meant in other countries, and what it will mean to the United States if it is not openly opposed. You are campaigning for the Executive Office of the United States which is to enforce the laws that Congress passes. If elected, you will have the awesome responsibility of protecting the citizens of the United States. I see no other candidate of either party committed to that. You give the American people a choice. Thank you for your efforts.

Sincerely,
Glenn A. Jobe

December 9, 2015

Posted in Christianity and Culture, Nature of Man

What Is Man?

By Weylan Deaver

“O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?” (Psalm 144:3, ESV). How we define ourselves—the human race—is tied to worldview and greatly affects how we live now, not to mention what we believe about the future. Notice the question is not seeking a definition as much as it is asking God why he cares so much for us. To the Psalmist, it was a given that God made man. Sadly, to many now, it is not.

Man is not a great ape, and it is not best to define us in terms of opposable thumbs, large brains, upright posture, tool use, complex societies, etc. The truth is far nobler and impressive: man is the only terrestrial creature made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) who will live eternally in heaven or hell (Matt. 25:46; 2 Cor. 5:10). Man is also the only being on earth who can be described in relation to his personally named original ancestor. That is, mankind can accurately be defined as the descendants of Adam.

So many things separate us from all animals. Humans are self-aware. This is more than being alive; we can think about the fact we are alive and have individual, personal existence. Humans are able to ponder their own origin. No kangaroo wondered where the first kangaroo came from, or how Australia got here. Cosmology is not considered by canines and cattle.

Humans have an innate capacity to appreciate and reflect on beauty, whether it be outer appearance, personality, music, a work of art or a dazzling Texas sunset. Poetry and prose are not the province of the finned or four-footed. No aardvark has given us a treatise on aesthetics.

Humans ask about the right thing to do. Even if we sometimes arrive at the wrong answer, it is still because something in us seeks to define right from wrong. Dolphins do not have penal codes, courts of law, or crime statistics. Elephants do not philosophize on ethics. Animals operate on instinct. Calling people animals cannot nullify that we reason and behave on a higher plane, which gives the lie to our being labeled animals.

Humans have to do with time. We can ponder the past and plan for the future. Hounds do not study history, but people do. We are keenly, uniquely concerned with time. Squirrels may stash nuts for the coming winter, but they are not worrying whether there will be nuts left for their offspring twenty years from now. People, on the other hand, can plan long-term. Some of us even plan our own funerals and we leave behind wills to make sure our wishes are carried out when the clock no longer affects us.

And, humans think about what follows death. Even those who disbelieve the Bible still wrestle with the future and come to some conclusion about it—accurate or not. No horse ever entertained the concept of whether there would be divine judgment on its life, or decided it did not have a soul. It takes a human to grapple with such ideas. Eschatology is the field that studies last things, such as death, judgment, eternity, the end of the world. It is one more of the many areas where animals have no concern, and lack any capacity to have concern. Why is it we think on such things?

These facts, and more, should help us realize we are neither animals nor relatives thereof. To be human is to be different from every creature on earth in striking, undeniable ways. We can admit it and seek the One who made us like this (Acts 17:26-27). Or, we can kid ourselves in futile effort to deny the obvious. But, wherever the skeptic runs, he cannot get away from his own shadow. He, too, is man.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4). Here, again, is the question. The Psalmist begins to describe man, not in terms of physical traits, but that he is “a little lower than the heavenly beings,” and “crowned…with glory and honor” (v. 5). God has given man “dominion” over the whole of creation, including “beasts of the field” and “birds of the heavens” and “fish of the sea” (vv. 6-8). The conclusion? “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (v. 9). The right answer to “What is man?” should lead naturally and inevitably to praising the Lord’s majesty. If God is not worshiped because of our conclusion to the greatest question, then we have the wrong answer.

Posted in Christianity and Culture, Racism

Race and the Bible

If you are human, your ancestry goes back, initially, to Adam and Eve. Later, every one of us descends from Noah, and there were only eight people aboard the ark (1 Peter 3:20). The apostle Paul said that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26, ESV).

We are all kinfolk, all created in the image of God. That is why all human lives matter. That is why no animal life will ever be as important as any human life. That is why God himself said, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6). As the children’s Bible song goes, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.” Jesus died on the cross “for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9), and God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). No skin color has a claim on divine favoritism.

Behavior is another matter altogether. Among things that the Lord hates are “hands that shed innocent blood,” and “one who sows discord among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19). It will always be wrong to equate a behavior (e.g. homosexuality) with skin color (which has nothing to do with behavior) in the interest of fostering equal treatment for aberrant behavior. Wrong behavior has no inherent connection to race, and Americans are naive to be tricked into thinking civil rights based on being human are akin to civil rights granted for being perverse.

Black lives matter, as do brown and white. Fill in the blank with any other hue. Unborn lives matter. Everyone matters, not because of any particular skin pigmentation, but because we are all in God’s own image. To despise or mistreat a man because of his color, is to sin. We cannot get out of the skin we were born with, and there is nothing inherently better about a certain variety. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). Importance is in the kind, not the color. Paul writes that “not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish” (1 Corinthians 15:39). Those who believe people are just sophisticated animals (as evolutionary theory teaches) will never grasp the God-designed, inherent distinction between humanity and other creatures, and the value God places on human life.

Skin color pales in comparison to spiritual condition. Ethics trumps ethnicity. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). On that day, no one will be concerned with skin tone. Meanwhile, failing to love a brother made in God’s image is just one more crime for which we will answer at God’s judgment bar, if we are guilty of it. “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Romans 13:9).

Posted in Christianity and Culture

Liberal and proud of it!

By Ron Thomas

The confusion of what is moral and what is not is illustrated in the quote by our former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich:

“The moral crisis of our age has nothing to do with gay marriage or abortion. It’s insider trading, obscene CEO pay, wage theft from ordinary workers, Wall Street’s continued gambling addiction, corporate payoffs to friendly politicians, and the billionaire takeover of our democracy.”

This was a Facebook post by one of my friends on the social media page, taken from the page for a group called Liberal And Proud Of It (for actual quote, see https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/posts/819661468046451).

If these words that are attributed to Reich are accurate, then is there any wonder there is moral chaos in our society? Is it really the case that liberal ideology equates, yea, values more the dollar bill and its distribution in society than the sacredness of life in a child or the sacredness of an institution that perpetuates societies? It must be. I replied to these words with “Really?” My friend on Facebook said she was in complete agreement with the sentiment (though she is personally opposed to abortion).

I don’t believe she is atheist or anything close to that, but this is exactly the way an atheist would argue. This is nothing but an ideology associated with hedonism. Hedonism is a philosophy that subscribes to a way of thinking like this: ethics pertains to that which gives one the greatest pleasure. Whatever it is, it is to be pursued. Thus, it is moral. This could be altruistic desires or a denigrating form of selfishness. In both cases, and even including that which is between, hedonism is a philosophy that has its origin in man.

It is apparent that preserving life does not warrant the moral level of status that the procuring power of the dollar gives. Moreover, for some, it is pleasurable (moral) to pursue the means of commerce, but not the sacred preserving of life given by God.

It is not likely that the above paragraph will find concurrence from liberals, progressives and secularists, but if there is complete agreement with the sentiment above by Robert Reich then this is exactly the force and implication of those words. The argument is: there is no inherent value in the life of a child (at least as long as it is not your own child!), but there is value in the dollar’s placement in the hands of people.

Hedonism is an evil moral ethic. “Without hedonism, there would be no point or meaning to our moral decisions” (Joe Barnhart in The Warren-Barnhart Debate on Christian Ethics versus Utilitarian Ethics, November 5, 1980, Denton, Texas).

No matter the identifying moniker of a particular moral philosophy that an atheist or secularist adopts, it all boils down to hedonism. That which a person wants (desires), and finds the greatest pleasure in, is to be pursued.

The Lord addressed this philosophy.

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:20-31, ESV)

Posted in Christianity and Culture

Failing marriages and the never-failing scriptures

By Marlin Kilpatrick

It is a known fact that marriages can and often do fail. The failure rate among all marriages being performed today is about 50%. With such a failure rate in marriages, there are also a number of people who are living together without the bonds of matrimony. Consequently, we have an increase in the number of births out of wedlock. Failing marriages and births out of wedlock are real problems facing the Lord’s church.

There are numerous reasons why marriages fail. It appears that many men and women enter into a marriage with a flippant attitude toward any long-term commitment: “Oh, well, if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just divorce and try again.” I refer to this as marriage, Hollywood style. I realize this isn’t entirely true of every marriage among movie celebrities, and some Hollywood celebrities have been married for over 50 years (which is very rare even in normal society).

Another reason that marriages fail is too high expectations on the part of one or both spouses. Money and sex make up a large part of this category. If the wife is unhappy with the amount of money she has at her disposal for household expenses and her enjoyment, she may blame her husband for his inability to adequately provide for his family. A husband’s expectations for intimacy with his wife might be unreasonable. A good dose of common sense will go a long way toward a compromise on the part of both spouses. Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. Marriage is a 100/100 per cent commitment on the part of both mates. If just one mate is not totally committed to the success of it, the chances for the marriage surviving are drastically reduced.

In the state of Florida, where I was born, at one time, before one could get a divorce, a spouse had to prove in county court that his/her spouse had committed adultery or fornication. Only upon such proof could a divorce be obtained. Today in Florida, no proof of marital unfaithfulness (i.e. adultery or fornication) is required. Now all one needs to do is to go before a county court judge and declare his/her marriage is irretrievably broken. The judge then grants what is called a “Dissolution of Marriage.” How convenient! Something has changed, but God’s word has not changed. Society’s attitude toward the sacred scriptures has changed.

Precious people, regardless of what a county court judge may declare, your marriage cannot be dissolved unless your spouse is guilty of fornication (cf. Matthew 19:9). A return to the never-failing scriptures is the answer to all of our problems, including marriage difficulties. The never-failing scriptures are always right, but men are often wrong. Think about it.

Posted in Christianity and Culture, Church and State, LGBTQ

What the Supreme Court did not change

By Weylan Deaver

The Court declared homosexual “marriage” a Constitutional right in a 5-4 decision on June 26. With fallout still to be felt, the decision did immediately change Texas law, gave sin a victory, made a mockery of marriage, and opened a door that may be impossible to shut to further imaginary rights of groups who define themselves by their deviant sexuality. For example, if marriage is not gender-dependent, why must it be number-dependent (enter, polygamy)? Why must it be age-dependent (enter, pedophilia)? Why must it be species-dependent (enter, bestiality)? If God, who created marriage, is not the grounding factor in our concept of the institution, then there is no rational argument against an ever-evolving definition of it. Yet, despite such a monumentally mistaken decision, growing out of colossal confusion, some things remain as they were. First, the Court cannot alter God’s definition of marriage (“…a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” [Genesis 2:24, ESV]; “…each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” [1 Corinthians 7:2]). Second, the Court cannot change who God joins. “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?… What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6). God joins no couple in marriage out of harmony with his own marriage law, which excludes all same-sex relationships, as well as all adulterous ones. Third, the Court cannot change what the church teaches about marriage. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). That should scare us. Divine law is not nullified by misguided human efforts—no matter how popular—and those who respect God will not be swayed by evil practices cloaked in legal respectability. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Posted in Announcements, Christianity and Culture

Miscellaneous and a brief analysis from Florida

Biblical Notes has a brand new look. It is very minimal and will hopefully prove easier to read. Past articles are not completely uniform in font, but, going forward, the type should be better.

Menu items run across the top of the page, including drop menus for audio sermons, video lessons, and book info.

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Newer articles will be on top, as usual, but scrolling down will get you to previous posts. For a specific topic, you can type a keyword into the search box (for example, to locate a post from three years ago on a particular subject). Or, you can use the drop-down categories box.

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Finally, here’s a short take on recent events from staff writer, Marlin Kilpatrick, who preaches for the Lord’s church in Fruitland Park, Florida. Marlin writes the following about “the change that’s needed”…

Someone has said, “Times, they are ‘a changing.” Indeed! But, not all change is for the better.

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court determined that “same-sex marriage” is now the law of the land. The court’s decision is definitely a change, but not for the betterment of mankind. Homosexuals and lesbians are now encouraged to pursue immorality. How disgusting before our fellowman and God, can we be!

Politics plays a significant role in promoting the various changes in the laws of our country. A prime example is seen in the recent tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina. The killing of nine innocent black people is not condoned by any sane person. But I am amazed how, before the senseless killings in the Methodist Church in Charleston, not one politician of whom I am aware was clamoring for the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol building, where it had flown for some 54 years. It would be interesting to know how many speeches the governor of South Carolina made, pleading for the removal of the Confederate flag, BEFORE the tragedy in the Methodist Church. So, we must make a change! Take the Confederate flag down! But will removal of the flag from all government buildings in South Carolina eliminate racism? No. Will it eliminate bigotry and hatred among the races? No. Only to the extent that men and women change their hearts (minds) will racism be eliminated.

The message of Jesus Christ is the only real answer to life’s problems, because it requires, not only faith, but also repentance. Repentance involves a change of the mind (i.e. our will). We must develop a different mindset toward sin. We must hate all sin, including the sin of prejudice.

When one obeys the gospel of Christ, he becomes a new creation in Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). This is the change that is needed, if we truly want to eliminate racism.

Posted in Christianity and Culture, Church and State, LGBTQ, Marriage

I Am Ashamed

With the absolutely absurd recent decision rendered by the United States Supreme Court with regard to marriage, I am ashamed.

I am ashamed because the nature of marriage entails heterosexuality as any right thinking person should know. One does not have to be a Bible student in order to determine that in nature itself human sexuality is to be expressed between males and females. Such knowledge does not require the Bible nor a preacher nor a course in a Bible College. It requires only the knowledge of anatomy and a reflection upon it. High I.Q. is not prerequisite to this knowledge. The Bible, of course, reinforces this truth obtainable through nature itself. Perhaps if more Americans still lived on farms and ranches, more children growing up would not venture to disgrace themselves in adult life by attaching their intellects to such pathetic conclusions as that recently reached by the highest court in our land. Evaluating animal behavior perhaps could bolster the right concept of human sexual behavior if, for some reason, the concept had grown vague or fuzzy in little minds.

Furthermore, since child conception is in humans restricted to heterosexuality, that in and of itself should inform confused people of the fact that sexual expression is natural only among heterosexuals. The continuation of the human species is tied in nature to heterosexuality. The species can continue with no homosexuality whatever. However, the reverse is not true. If all contemporary adults practiced homosexuality from the initiation of their adulthood, the species would die out. Does that not say something to us about the proper direction of human sexual expression? This by itself shows that homosexual activity is not natural.

But what if a homosexual’s response to the foregoing paragraph went something like this? “I admit that the species would die out if all men and all women exclusively practiced homosexuality, but who is to say whether human sexuality is simply for the purpose of child conception? Practicing homosexuals are not practicing such for the purpose of child conception anyway.” In response to such thoughts I would offer the following: I am not saying that child conception is the only purpose for sexual intercourse, but I am saying that by the fact that child conception comes via heterosexual human intercourse, such provides us with the knowledge that since conception can only take place within the confines of heterosexual expression, then whatever other purposes there can be for sexual intercourse are purposes that are ontologically correspondent to or related to a heterosexual relationship, as child conception shows. Since child conception is natural only in heterosexual intercourse, nature is saying that any other legitimate purpose or purposes of human sexual activity are restricted by nature to expressions of heterosexuality.

I am ashamed because that since my first point is true, the nature of marriage should never have become a political issue in the first place. It is only to the fundamentally and radically confused that such an idea that two women could actually “marry” each other or that two men could actually “marry” each other would appear as a legitimate possibility. It is the depth of depravity and the extreme of irrationality for anyone to attempt to uphold the concept that marriage is for those of the same sex! What are citizens (who practice normal sexual behavior and who have not caved in to “political correctness” regarding homosexuality) to think when the highest court in the land decides (albeit by a close vote) that marriage cannot, after all, be restricted to husband and wife?

It is enough almost to make one ashamed to be an American. How can our culture have reached such moral depravity to produce justices who would attempt to attack nature in the name of law? But it is no more possible for two women to “marry” one another or for two men to “marry” one another than it is for a man to marry his dog or that two dogs can “marry” one another. Will animal rights activists at some point call for the legalization of “marriage” among animals? Calling the relationship “marriage” in no way secures it as real. A merely legal redefinition of what marriage is or can be in American society does not attack its actual standing in reality at all. Such simply cannot be accomplished by any set of judges. American law currently stipulates that if a person is missing for so many years, that person can then be legally declared “dead.” Such a declaration, however, with all of its legal ramifications, still has absolutely no bearing whatever on whether or not the person is actually dead! A man declared “dead” by such procedure can be on the one hand legally dead, and on the other hand actually very much alive. This much ought to be clear to all of us. Legal definition and actual condition are not always the same!

Why not let the high court go on and redefine “sisters” and “brothers”? If a real marriage can exist between two men or between two women, why can’t the high court redefine “brothers” (plural) and redefine “sisters” (plural)? In other words, why can’t the court simply say that “brothers” can minimally mean not only two males born to the same parents, but that it also can legally entail one male and one female born to the same parents? And why can’t the high court redefine “sisters” so that it at least minimally applies not only to two females born to the same parents, but also to one female and one male born to the same parents?

If it is simply a matter of legal definition, what is the limit? Where does it stop? Language becomes meaningless as concepts entrenched in nature become distorted.

It has taken us well over two hundred years to reach this absurd historical moment, but it is pitiful beyond proper description that the moment arrived at all. The nature of marriage cannot be altered by mere human vote, even if the vote is unanimous! A horse cannot become a cow and a cow cannot become a dog by vote! And humans cannot become non-humans and non-humans cannot become humans by redefinition, by constant declaration, or by a vote! And being human entails certain characteristics, which characteristics do not disappear or subside by what a society says. Legal declaration is no substitute for natural existence and cannot affect it at all!

As technological advancements have characterized our country for years, our morals have lagged far, far behind. The Supreme Court decision sanctions sexual abomination and degrades the concept of marriage. The New Testament tells us to honor marriage. The Supreme Court now stands in outright violation of that biblical obligation and in the unenviable position of having attacked marriage, which God himself arranged for man’s welfare on the earth. Many have been in our time dishonoring marriage by the immoral practice of licentiousness, fornication, and adultery for years. The high court, however, has now attacked the institution of marriage at the point of concept. And that constitutes a more fundamental attack since it is an attack on the nature of the institution itself.

I am ashamed of a court, supposedly comprised of relevantly informed people, that voted five to four in favor of attempting to change the nature of marriage in the country. In one sense, one might think that at least four people voted with reason and nature. But to think that five did not is mind-boggling! Why in the name of common sense, did anyone vote in favor of attempting to legally give sanction and dignity to that for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexuality is and always has been a distortion of human sexual expression! It is not a natural condition.

If one were to argue that we cannot depend on the Bible for truth regarding Sodom and Gomorrah, much less the nature of marriage, I would respond by saying that if God is removed as the originator of marriage, then, morally speaking, we need not concern ourselves with marriage as a morally binding relationship at all anyway ever. If there is no God and if God has not defined what marriage is, then “marriage” can be what men want it to be, but in their determinations, they cannot ever make of it anything that is morally superior to fornication and adultery. “Adultery” ceases to be a morally meaningful concept when marriage is reduced conceptually to a merely human construct! If God is not the divine arranger of marriage, then there is no dignity to it that raises it above the moral level of fornication, adultery, and sexual relations among animals. And if that is the case, there is no “dignity” in the marriage arrangement worth the perverted pursuit of it that homosexuals have been giving to it for years.

If one had been living in Sodom during the days of Abraham, he would have found that homosexuality was indeed normal behavior in that it was widely practiced and socially accepted. But it was never natural behavior! That is, the practice of homosexuality was the norm to and among many, but it never redefined what was natural. The God who created nature does not make homosexuals and then condemn them for what at birth they could not help, any more than he would by nature’s laws arrange for a genetically identifiable Anglo-Saxon baby born to Anglo-Saxon parents and then condemn the child for his Anglo-Saxon heritage! Such is absurd, but such absurdity evidently escaped the notice of our high court.

Perversity of human sexual desire may well begin very early in human experience, but no one should ever blame such an unnatural desire upon God or the nature that God has made. God is the father of our human spirits and the original creator of the earth from which the human body was taken. We surely should realize that temptation to sin, including the temptation to practice

sexual deviation, does not arise ontologically (that is, in the nature of being itself) from our human spirit or from the body in which it is encased. Something must happen in order to redirect the proper channel of human sexual expression. And when humans are redirected in a perverse way, they stand in need of help. They do not need their deviate desire to be dignified and protected as though it were something natural. Such people should be pitied and helped. And when society attempts to “help” them by sanctioning their deviation, it is providing no help at all, but rather encouraging them to feel “natural” when they are “unnatural.”

Voting cannot turn nature into non-nature; it cannot change non-nature into nature. When two non-natural persons (homosexuals) are told that they can “marry” and they attempt such, they and the society that encourages them, face the impossible situation of trying to take two non-natural persons (persons with non-natural sexual desire) and form one legitimate natural relationship. It simply does not and cannot happen! If a man develops a sexual desire for his pet dog, no court in the land by changing the definition of “marriage” can provide legal cover that actually dignifies such a relationship so that the man can attempt to “marry” his dog. If a person cannot grasp this concept, then he is unreachable on rational grounds with regard to the comprehension of what marriage is.

If a trial had been held in Sodom over the legitimacy of homosexuality as a proper and natural route to human sexual expression, the vote perhaps would have been unanimous. It gives me little comfort to think that our court was divided. That the vote was close gives me little encouragement. Over something so basic to human existence and to society, it is appalling that anyone on the court could have voted in support of an effort to reconstruct the nature of marriage at all. It requires much ignorance and no little arrogance to attempt such. As Jesus once told Pilate, Pilate would have no power against Jesus unless God had given power to him. His sin, therefore, was indeed “greater.”

Our Supreme Court has sinned against God and this country in rendering their five to four decision which attacks the home and seeks to legally sanction abominable immoral practice. The confusion of the high court should be evident to most Americans. That it is not evident to all Americans, and given the fact that the decision is now celebrated by quite a few Americans, it is clear that America is, as a country, losing its moral and intellectual direction. Our national law is becoming hostile to God and family, and by such hostility, it is becoming its own destroyer. The Bible still declares that it is righteousness that exalts a nation and that sin is a reproach to any people. And while Christians are under obligation to pray for our government, I shudder to think what it has already become. Yet, we will continue to pray for it and for the welfare of our heretofore divinely blessed country.

But I am ashamed of the repulsiveness characteristic of the Supreme Court in its ridiculous decision regarding the nature of marriage. Those of us who respect the Bible as the inspired, infallible, and all-sufficient word of the living God, will continue to live our lives before God with the proper concept of marriage in mind, which concept corresponds to our divinely provided human nature. Our high court has attempted to redefine what marriage is, but it can no more change the nature of marriage than it can reconstruct by redefinition human nature itself.

Posted in Christianity and Culture

Unreal Reality

By Weylan Deaver

The fact of God is the ground of all truth. Reality is what it is because God made it. Truth is what corresponds to reality. Take away God and you take away the anchor for truth, morality, purpose, value, beauty and obligation. God’s book—the Bible—explains where we came from, why we are here, where we are all headed, and how to prepare for judgment. Reject the Bible, and you are left a life without substance. Early on, people “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25, ESV). That old bargain never gets better with time or technology. But it does explain where our culture is today, when anything goes and each person (or group) determines his own “truth,” as though human thought is the deciding factor for what is real. It explains why so many believe that humanity descended from lower life forms. It explains why so many think it is right to take the life of an unborn baby. It explains why so many now see nothing wrong in men sleeping with men, or two women who want to “marry” each other. It explains why so many applaud a man who decides he wants to be a woman. It explains why so many think all religions are equally valid (or, equally invalid). But, to embrace the unreal as real is to labor under a “strong delusion” and “believe what is false” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Feeling good about a belief does not make it true, just as drinking grape-flavored poison does not make it safe. Fantasy is not made fact by wanting it badly enough, or thinking about it long enough, or getting enough people to agree with it. Lies cannot save. Jesus still says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Visit us at the church of Christ, “which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

Posted in Christianity and Culture, Gender, LGBTQ

“Transgenderism” and the Bible

“For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.” That’s what former Olympian, Bruce Jenner, told Diane Sawyer in a much-hyped two-hour interview aired April 24 on ABC’s “20/20”. Jenner is 65, has been married to three women, has six biological children and four stepchildren. He thinks he has crossed from manhood to womanhood. “Transgender” is identifying with a gender other than the one a person was born with. The first known use of the word dates to 1979. It seems American culture is eager to embrace the most outlandish claims, as long as biblical morality is eroded in the process. Instead of new categories of gender expression, what we need is divine instruction (cf. Mark 6:34). What Bible truths can be brought to bear on this subject?

First, gender cannot be changed verbally. A man’s claim to be a woman does not make it so. The idea that men have a feminine side (or, that women have a masculine side) is without foundation in the Bible. Likewise, the idea that a man could have a body with one gender, but a mind with the opposite gender. God is the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9), but not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Jesus highlighted human inability to do such a small thing as “make one hair white or black” (Matthew 5:36). If we cannot even alter hair color (without temporary, artificial means), surely we cannot change as fundamental a thing as the gender with which we were born.

Second, gender cannot be changed behaviorally. David “changed his behavior” on one occasion and pretended to be insane (1 Samuel 21:13). Acting insane did not make him insane. Nebuchadnezzar, for a while, lived outdoors “and ate grass like an ox” until his reason came back to him (Daniel 4:33-34; cf. Jude 10). He was not pretending. But, his behaving like an animal did not make him an animal. Behavior is not identity. A man who wears a dress does not become woman thereby. Moreover, he sins in so doing. “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 22:5, ESV). The New Testament, as well, is plain on the distinction between men and women, and clear about their God-given roles.

Third, gender cannot be changed medically. No person is just a surgery away from becoming the opposite gender. “Sex reassignment surgery” (as it is called) is simply the severest form of playing make-believe. It is the drastic resort of desperation to be what one can never become, and thrives on the money of the mentally ill. Whatever surgeons may cut off or stitch on will never change a person’s DNA. Nor is genetic makeup changed by taking hormones. God asked, rhetorically, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?” (Jeremiah 13:23). Some things are not subject to surgery. Jesus did say, “there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:12). On being taken captive, Daniel may well have been made a eunuch (cf. Daniel 1:7), but, if so, he was still a man. The Ethiopian officer baptized by Philip in Acts 8 was a eunuch, but he was still a man. Gender is more than anatomy and hormones, and surgically altering anatomy does not change gender.

As Jesus stated about the sexes, “he who created them from the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). He did not say that God made them male, female, transgendered, confused, or undecided. Veering from Scripture is never the path to spiritual prosperity. “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28). “Transgenderism” is a manmade concept, and those who respect the Bible ought lend it no endorsement.