No compromise, enough of the lies,

Yet again another church is planning to vote on Gay Marriage, this time the Church of Scotland and it looks like they may succeed in passing this through.  I for one am praying for big changes in mindsets this week before they vote. Is anyone else getting weary of this roundabout, of let’s water down our faith for fear of being seen as homophobic?

God tells us in his word that homosexuality is wrong.  Why then are we bowing to pressure from secular society to allow gay people to marry in church?  People, this is our faith, this is what our God calls us to, to be obedient, to teach the truth, to save lives for his Kingdom.  #nocompromise

 #NOCOMPROMISE

No compromise, enough of the lies, enough of us bowing to secular pressure, no more, speak up and speak out, this is our faith, God is not to be taken for a fool, he has given us rules to live our lives by, wake up, smell the coffee, it’s Satan who lies, he seeks to infiltrate our lives, our church, stand strong, don’t allow him a sphere of influence, don’t let him create an ambiguous message that leaves our generation in a mess, giving them more and leaving them less, it’s not about free grace, it’s about seeking God’s face, Jesus never said it’d be easy, stop looking for easy answers and start asking questions, God how can I be a blessing to this generation who have their eyes on the destination but their hearts on earthly lusts, how can we show them to trust in your word, let us speak truthfully, give us the ability to reach out to those we see struggling with unanswered questions, give us patience as we repeat ourselves over again, each time the bible is brought into question let me never fail to mention that this is it, this is the God breathed truth, my working manual, my guide, don’t let them ride roughshod over your word, let my voice be heard, as I stand up for your word, if you want to be a child of God sometimes it’s going to be quite hard, sometimes you’ll need to change your ways, obedience is all he requires, and God is all my heart desires

Reclaiming the rainbow, our promise from God

I’m writing a book at the moment and I have a working title, however over the last couple of days I feel like God has been saying to me call it “Reclaiming the Rainbow”.

In Genesis God promised never to destroy the earth by flood for the judgment of sin and he sent the rainbow as a symbol. The rainbow shows more than that though. It shows God’s glory and His faithfulness, it reflects God’s glory, the radiance of his beauty, holiness, and perfection.

Genesis 9:11-17 – I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.  The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.

I was thinking about this title and it threw up some interesting reflections.  Yes, I do believe we need to reclaim the rainbow for God, as in we need to reclaim his laws, his teaching and his design for human sexuality.  But I also believe that God cleverly stays close to those communities who need his love and is the rainbow symbol a subtle way of showing that God is close and able to love this community the same way as any other?  So do we need to reclaim the rainbow or did it ever go out of God’s possession in the first place?

RECLAIMING THE RAINBOW

Reclaiming the rainbow, our promise from God, a promise made to every living creature, a symbol of God’s glory and faithfulness, reminding us of his greatness, his capacity to love, to forgive, his desire that we should live, his hunger for all to be saved, a reflection of the radiance of his beauty, the rainbow an image of his holiness, his utter perfection, a promise never to destroy for the judgment of sin, a promise that comes from within his heart, his love for us so immense, his sorrow for that loss intense, God’s symbol increasingly recognised by mankind as a symbol of homosexual sin, a flag of pride, held high,  God’s symbol a promise to all mankind and it’s kind of ironic that those who have rejected him have chosen this design as a sign for their movement, and then I get it, God’s staying close to the ones whom he loves, for he loved the outcasts and the sinners, he wasn’t all about saints and winners, so as that flag flies above their rallies, God’s really saying I will forgive, I will love you unconditionally, I will always be there for you and when you need me I’ll be there, not a God of anger but a God of love, not a God of unforgiveness but a God who wipes the slate clean when any one sinner turns to him, so as that rainbow flies in the sky, I see that it has been reclaimed by Jesus who died so all could be saved.

Avoid the temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval

Are we scared to speak out?  Are there times where someone says something about Christianity and we try and merge into the background, not wanting to comment for fear of judgment or ridicule?  Are there times we avoid those conversations altogether, steering the conversation away from anything challenging?

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats refuses to answer directly the question, does he think homosexuality is a sin.  Tim is a Christian politician and avoids the direct question by answering that we are all sinners, which is indeed the truth.  But how much stronger would his message be if he spoke out about his beliefs and the word of God.  God tells us it is a sin and if we are followers of God then we are called to be obedient to his word.  More important than calling out people’s sin is the message that we should not judge, God calls us to love others as we love ourselves, to forgive others as God forgives us and to be salt and light in this frail world.

I’m not condemning Tim, indeed he has been open about his faith, I’m just maybe a tad frustrated that we are so beaten down by the secular world we seek to fit in with their views rather than shout out God’s message of love and salvation from the rooftops!

2 Timothy 1:8 – So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

RUFFLE SOME FEATHERS

Don’t conform, born into this world not to fit in but to ruffle feathers, not born simply to indulge in earthly pleasures, born to fulfil a plan, born of man but a citizen of heaven, stand firm in your faith, avoid temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval, renewal of the mind is liberating,  negotiating life’s potholes not a problem when moving in the right direction, swimming against the tide it’s better to abide in God’s truth alone than stand with a crowd who will never know him, I have absolutely no desire to fit, refusing to let the world corrupt me, God didn’t make me different to be indifferent, he didn’t give me freedom so that I would join those beaten down by the need to conform, harmony with the enemy not part of my story, I will never influence the world by trying to be like it, never effect change if I remain silent, I won’t be compliant or anxious to match my opinions to earthly dominions, I am a Christian, proud of the Gospel, stand with me in truth for the fight is colossal.

Allowing Satan’s diseased thinking to shadow our thinking

I’ve been thinking about light and darkness today and how Christians are all little pinpricks of light on the earth, illuminating the area around us.  Some of casting a small light, others casting a vast light, all of us contributing in our way to lighting up the world.  I then got to thinking about Creation and how God created light and saw that it was good.  In the same way he sees our light and sees that it is good.

Before the fall of man, all was good, all was light and there was no evil.  It was through eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil that man came to a close acquaintance with the darkness.

That got me to thinking about our role as Christians to help keep the light shining into the darkness.  The example I want to use is based on my personal experience of being a Christian called out of a gay lifestyle.  Today a Facebook friend, a Christian, posted a picture of two men kissing with the comment “Love who you love! That’s what I’ll be telling my children”.  This was then agreed with by another couple of Christian friends.

My issue is that I believe every time a Christian promotes homosexuality, a tiny bit of their light goes out.  I’m not saying be homophobic or non-welcoming of homosexuals, that’s not what Jesus taught us, he taught us to love each other.  What I am saying is be clear on God’s teaching and let his light shine through us, do not let the darkness overcome, overshadow or taint God’s message of love and truth.

  • Genesis 1: 1-4 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
  • Genesis 3: 6-7 – When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

DARKNESS THEN LIGHT

There was darkness, then God created light, brightness illuminating every corner of the globe, strobes of light penetrating the shadows, the light turned on and the darkness fled, now we are the light of the world, anointed and called to speak of God’s redeeming grace, to light up space as beacons of hope, yet we walk a tightrope when we get lost in the darkness of our own making, faking it to fit in with secular beliefs, allowing Satan’s diseased thinking to shadow our thinking, the lights start blinking, not quite so bright now we’re masking the light, what’s right, what’s wrong, how long oh Lord how long before your people let this go, before they grow in maturity, before they gain clarity, your word unveiled, your word prevailing, no more bending Biblical teaching, no more watering down of their preaching, no longer desiring to placate the devil but ready to stand up against evil, there was darkness but you brought the light, Father God pour out your light on this nation, open their eyes remove the blinkers, may they be faithful witnesses, heavenly citizens ablaze with your Glory, their minds no longer bleary, standing up for the truth as faithful servants, Christian’s with a message, a belief and a purpose.

Satan’s a liar, how quickly he sucked them in

A friend referred me to Ezekiel 2 the other day and I have been reading this quite avidly this afternoon (plus reading on into Ezekiel 3).  There were two passages that stood out to me, the first as pointed out to me 2 v 7 and additionally 3 v 4 to 5.

  • Ezekiel 2:6-7 – And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.  You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.
  • Ezekiel 3:4-5 – He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel

Thinking in context today of all the hype surrounding yesterday’s debate in the Church of England synod about gay marriage and the depth of feeling on both sides, this spoke to me deeply.  Whatever we speak from God to a rebellious people will go unheard.  Despite these being “people of Israel” or what we would say to be “believers” they are still unhearing and unyielding.  We on the other hand must never give up speaking God’s truth.

DARKNESS

Do not be afraid, do not fear, their words are but words, their words are meaningless, empty, hollow, they say they follow Jesus but they fail to believe in all he said, they seek to follow the thoughts of man who has twisted the truth about God’s divine plan, man who interprets the Bible to suit his lusts and desires, we all know that Satan’s a liar, how quickly he sucked them in, how deeply he penetrates into their minds, rebellion leading to oppression, a deep depression amongst those who cannot determine God’s way because of all the lies these false teachers say, do not be deceived for you can believe all that God tells us, you can trust in the love of Jesus, God sends us to speak his words knowing that many will go unobserved, words falling on empty ears, on those who simply choose to hear what they want to hear, like thorns and briers they surround us, we live in rebellious times with rebellious people, speaking the unspeakable, touting their lies, perverting the truth of God’s gospel, a colossal misrepresentation, conning a nation, misleading a generation, yet we are the catalyst for liberation, anointed to proclaim freedom, to rescues the prisoners from darkness, to break the yoke and release from the harness, here I am Jesus use my witness, help me to bring your people out of the darkness.

God’s laws have been hurled as far as eat from west

I know that before I gave my life to Jesus I had a stronghold in my life that I hadn’t handed to him.  My sexuality was the overriding issue, a stronghold of the enemy that he was not wanting to give up without a fight. The simple question in a sermon, “Have you opened every door of your heart to Jesus” blew this wide open.  I now know the quote from A. W Tozer –

“You can’t truly rest until every area in your life rests in God”

How very true, it wasn’t until I handed that area to God and repented that I could even start to find the peace that I feel today.

How awesome to know that I have that rest and I am reminded of how special that is when I read this verse in Psalm 27.

Psalm 27:4 – One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

ASHES TO BEAUTY

No rest, mind in turmoil, like a coiled spring, nothing going out and nothing coming in, sin weighing heavy on my mind, difficulty finding my way, not wanting to say to God that this sin was hard to give up, this was me, my identity, my sexuality and I had difficulty recognising that I wasn’t born to be this way, I wasn’t born gay, I am a product of a fallen world, a sinful world where God’s laws have been hurled as far as eat from west, man thinks that he knows best, he laughs, he scoffs, he pays the cost, I was lost but Jesus found me, I was heading down the path of sin and shame but Jesus never pointed the finger of blame, his love for me incredibly gentle, he understood the fragility of my mental state, he offered me escape, with Grace he forgave me, with strength he made me capable of turning my life around, I have that promised rest and I ask one more thing of the Lord that I will dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, I praise him that I am alive and I can gaze on his beauty, truly I know that I am blessed, what I had then was nothing less than the lies of the enemy who sought to keep me chained and bound, yes I was lost but now I’m found, freedom from the ruler of the heavenly Kingdom, through the ashes I have come.

Stop saying yes when God says no

I was watching a panel discussion this morning and all the panellists had come out of a gay lifestyle and are now Christians.  One of the questions to them was around the process of transition.  One panel member stated that it wasn’t until her Father passed away that she was able to change.  The reason being her Father and his new Partner were so accepting of her lifestyle, to the extent of fully embracing and celebrating their “Gay” daughter that she was able to turn to them at any stage for endorsement.  It wasn’t until they were no longer there that she was able to receive the “love and truth” being spoken to her by her Mother. Her Mother (a Christian) had always spoken to her in love and truth, telling her she was “wrong” about her choices and she now appreciates that fully for how it saved her.  Her Mother never condemned her, never stopped loving her but was always open and honest about what her lifestyle meant for her salvation.

So the question I pose to you is this, by being accepting (permissive) of friends and family in a gay lifestyle are you blocking the way for your loved one to change?  Are you basing your support on human rules or God’s rules?

  • Isaiah 29:13 – These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
  • 1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’
  • Mark 8:36 – What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

FLAWED

We are all more flawed and sinful than we could ever believe yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope, we all fall short of God’s glory whatever our story but what are you telling your gay sisters and brothers about sin.  God shows us quite clearly we were not called to fit in with secular culture, but the vultures keep circling when you speak about this carnal sin, it’s like we are being pressured to give in and deny the truth of the Bible, like being a disciple of God is OK so long as you say it’s OK to be gay, but today I urge you to think this through, what can you do to make a difference to convince others that forgiveness and grace are freely given but also be clear that if you want to get to heaven then you’ve got to get it together, we are valued, God loves us but here’s where it gets tough, love is not enough, let me talk about the eternal consequences of continuing on the path of disobedience; that is, death and separation from God.  And OK yes it’s hard to hear and I’m not judging, just loving, I’m not preaching, just reaching in with God’s wise words tempered with kindness, don’t become blind to the mess, stop saying yes when God says no, our God does not lie, he wants you, he want me, don’t be afraid to do the one thing that sets others free, encourage each other, build up your brother as you walk together, speak freely as family, you want them set free right?  You want them to see the light then don’t hide yours under a bushel, don’t go along with the majority because you’re too timid to speak out, don’t think you’re doing me a favour by condoning my behaviour, love me unconditionally but help set me free from the lies that surround me, speak in honesty, speak biblically, speak freely so that I can see that the place God has ordained for me in eternity can become reality with my church family surrounding me with truth tempered with love, no more permissiveness, less of the anything goes, more truth, remember to let God’s love show.