362 items found for ""
- What Christians Need To Know About Homosexuality
In articulate, down to earth and humorous fashion, Guy Hammond, an evangelist from Nova Scotia Canada - and a friend, writes on the topics of homosexuality and same sex-attraction as it pertains to Christianity. Not only does he write to both the heterosexually attracted Christian and to the same sex attracted Christian, but he does so from the position of being a same sex attracted Christian himself, who once practiced homosexuality before he was a Christian and now has a loving wife and children. Truly inspiring is his humility, vulnerability, and courage ... and much needed. One of the things Mr. Hammond talks about is the common, but misplaced, position of Christians in the social/political arena in regards to gay rights. Indeed it is a hot topic in today’s western culture. Politicians and preachers alike are being asked the question; “what is your position on gay rights?” ... this is even before being asked their position on health care, poverty, or even Jesus himself. Christians take the view that homosexuality is a sin and that it is damnable to hell ... as if it is some greater or more grotesque sin to God than any other. Certainly the gay community feels the weight of the Christian ‘right’ viewpoint condemning them ... just ask. Homosexuality is undoubtedly a sin in the context of Christianity, and is indisputable for those that adhere to the Scriptures being the Holy Word of God, but this is not the point being made here. The point is that we as Christians collectively have come across bigoted, homo-phobic, prejudice, hypocritical, and simply un-loving in regards to the gay community. Jesus is not being portrayed by his followers accurately to this group of people, and it must change - we must repent! Even in the church, amongst the college students that I work with, the gay slander and “homo” jokes are far to common. In the older generation of the church, still stuck in the societal norms of yesteryear often act in a pious and self-righteous way that instead of offering the loving (and life-changing) power of Christ, simply keeps the gay community and the same sex attracted seekers of God out in the world, outside the doors of God’s house! This is further compounded by the Christian activism against the gay-rights movement. We protest same sex marriage and deny certain ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’ that people could have because of our religious convictions, but are unwilling to get to know these people, know where they come from, and offer genuine, un-bigoted love to them, so unlike Jesus. Shame on us!! Instead of political and social activism primarily (although these things are not wrong in themselves), our position should be one of prayer and love first and foremost (Jn 13:34-35). These are certainly difficult issues, and we must traverse gently, with love and genuine compassion. Even God fearing, spiritually mature people may come to different views on the specifics of how involved to be socially and politically in their personal faith, life, and community. But we must find a way to balance sincere love and strong conviction, accepting the person but not compromising the word ... and we can! For Christ Himself did not condemn the sinner, but loved them, and told them to leave their life of sin (Jn 8). Christ was never involved in the political or social arena of reform, for His was a kingdom not of this world (Jn 18:36); a careful study of the gospels actually shows His direct un-involvement at times (Jn 6:15, Jn 19:11, Mat 26:52-56, Mat 22:17-22). Homosexuality is no different than heterosexual sin, and whom of us can say we are pure in this regard in the eyes of God? (Mat 5:27-30) Let’s not be the ones throwing the first stone. (Jn 8:7) I feel as though I must make a corporate apology for all of Christendom. Not only to the gay community, but to the Muslims, the Jews, and every nation and people that has been attacked, slaughtered, and marginalized in the name of Christ throughout the centuries. Please forgive us, and may the Lord do likewise. #homosexuality #LGBT
- Pain of Growth
As I am training again for a for an ultra-endurance race I am being reminded of a spiritual truth: to grow means to go through difficulty and pain. And growth comes most in the times where we are wanting to avoid the pain, and so short-curcuit our growth. It is not the training sessions where I feel awesome when I think the most growth and improvement is happening ... the ones when I feel fresh and unstoppable, seeming to have more energy, strength and stamina than usual. It is the sessions where I feel anything but unstoppable, where it seems I have far less energy and strength than usual, and I don't give up but instead to push through with what I have that day ... these are the times I feel are most rewarding emotionally, and over time, are what add to my overall growth physically and athletically. I believe the same happens spiritually. Those times where we are tempted more than normal or seem to be weaker against those temptations, or have a harder time believeing the words and promises of God and thus act and walk in faith. It is by us not giving up that we actually make progress. Typically I think it is when I am feeling closest to God or having the best quiet times with him or achieving some great spiritual feat that I am the strongest and most spiritually fit. But I am often wrong. It's the times when we don't give up, even when we feel tired. It's when we resist even though we feel like we are hanging on by a thread. It's when we choose to believe God instead of ourselves, even when we doubt. It is when we fall, and decide to get up again ... it is trudging through these painful times that we often experience our greatest motions of progress. #training