And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 26 July 05, 2009
In this issue:
We recently wrote about President Obama’s pronouncement of June, 2009 as Gay Pride month (“LGBT Pride Month: An Abomination to the Lord”, The Spirit’s Sword, June 7, 2009). Now, we are compelled to report and analyze the LGBT PRIDE MONTH RECEPTION held in the East Room of the White House on June 29, hosted by President Obama (see http://tinyurl.com/kuavrw for complete text).
President Obama began with the customary acknowledgments: “I've got a lot of friends in the room, but there are some people I want to especially acknowledge. First of all, somebody who helped ensure that we are in the White House, Steve Hildebrand.” Steve Hildebrand was deputy national campaign director of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, and is openly gay. After Hildebrand, the president introduced the following:
* John Q. Easton, Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, “the nation’s engine for educational research, evaluation, assessment, and statistics” according to Timothy Knowles (“Lessons Learned From the Chicago Public Schools”, edweek.org). (I could not find any reference that he is homosexual. However, it is telling that a leader in setting education policy for our schools would be at such an event. All others recognized are of the LGBT community.)
* Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination (Episcopal Church). This led to a division in that Church. President Obama called him one of his “special friends”.
* Ambassador Michael Guest. Guest was a member of the Obama transition team and the first publicly gay man to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a U.S. Ambassador (Romania, 2001-2004).
* Ambassador Jim Hormel. Hormel received a recess appointment as ambassador of Luxembourg in 1999 by President Clinton. [“The James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library is the gateway to collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) history and culture, with a special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area.” (Wikipedia)]
* Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. She identifies as bisexual and is the highest-ranking bisexual politician in the United States. She is first in line to be governor of Oregon. (Wikipedia)
President Obama told these and others from the LGBT community that progress has been made to overturn “unjust laws” and “unfair practices” against the LGBT community, and that he would be doing more to advance their cause.
The President referred to opponents of LGBT conduct as those who “still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes”. Let’s consider that for a moment.
First, who says opposition to homosexual lifestyle consists of “worn arguments”? Well, its proponents and defenders, of course (including Pres. Obama). But that does not make it so. Heterosexual marriage has been the foundation and bedrock of the home since the beginning of time. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27). God created Eve from man’s rib and brought her to the man, forming the first and model of marriage for humanity (Gen 2:22-24). Jesus affirmed that “from the beginning” it was God’s will that marriage between man and woman not be sundered by the whims of selfish lust (Matt 19:4-6).
Pray tell, what is “worn” out about the purity and exclusivity of marriage between man and woman? It is lustful men who have perverted what God joined together (Rom 1:24-27). From the adultery of taking multiple wives (Gen 4:19), to the sin of taking other men’s wives (Mal 2:13-16), to the perversion of taking same-sex partners (1 Cor 6:9-10; Jude 7) – all violate the undefiled marriage bed approved by God (Heb 13:4).
Pray tell, what is outdated (“old”) with the attitude that calls homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender conduct what it really is; sin and a perversion of holiness? Only those who oppose the God-given directive of sanctification reject as “old-fashioned” God’s restraints upon sin. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Ths 4:3). Do you believe it? If so, the President says you are holding fast to “worn arguments and old attitudes”. But, the apostle Paul exposed the underlying problem of those who refuse God’s will on sexual purity: they reject God Himself! “Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God…” (1 Ths 4:8). As President Obama and his guests celebrated LGBT behavior they displayed their rejection of God and of His will for all to see.
President Obama gave the LGBTs optimism for the future; he intends to advance their cause. One way of doing this, he said, was by passing hate crimes legislation. The present hate crimes bill, if passed, would indict religious teachers as the instigators of hate crime for teaching what we have just taught here. If someone reads this article and uses it as their motivation to commit a crime against gays, this author could be held criminally responsible if this bill passes. Now, let me be clear, we oppose violence against LGBTs; such is sin (Matt 5:43-44). But, to attempt to silence objections to homosexuality with the threat of prison is a strong arm tactic and an outrage against religious liberty and the freedom of speech. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge” (Acts 4:19). We will obey God rather than men and continue to oppose the sins of LGBT (Acts 5:29).
Christians are obliged to “submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors…” (1 Pet 2:13-14). Yet, we must obey God first. We will continue to urge sinners and the leaders who support them to repent, “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way” (Psa 2:11-12).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: John 17:20-23
6,000 in USA and over 33,000 denominations worldwide.
I. PRAYERS AND PLEAS FOR UNITY, Jno 17:20-23 (1 Cor 1:10).
God wants Believers to be One (21, 23).
II. WHY SO MANY CHURCHES?
Not Content with (Committed to) God’s Way, 1 Sam 8:19-20; 2 Tim 4:3-4 (Jer
6:16-17); 2 Tim 3:16-17.
III. WHAT IS THE REMEDY FOR SO MANY CHURCHES?
Respect and Have Bible Authority for All Things, Col 3:17.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:24-30
used parables to teach about kingdom, Matt 13:10-12 (hard and open hearts,
13:13-15, 9, 16).
I. THE PARABLE EXPLAINED, Matt. 13:36-43.
The Field is the World, 13:38 (24, 27); 1 Cor 10:26 (Psa 24:1).
II. LESSONS FROM THE PARABLE.
God did not Introduce Evil into World, Gen 1:26-27; Eccl 7:29
The Bible is Not a Coded Message
Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, was a cipher enthusiast. (A cipher is a coded message that must be deciphered in order to be understood.) He often corresponded with fellow enthusiast and friend Robert Patterson, a mathematics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1801 Patterson sent Jefferson a cipher that he said was nearly flawless. “‘The art of secret writing,’ or writing in cipher, has ‘engaged the attention both of the states-man and philosopher for many ages,’ Mr. Patterson wrote. But, he added, most ciphers fall “far short of perfection.’” (“Two Centuries On, a Cryptologist Cracks a Presidential Code”, Rachel Emma Silverman, wsj.com) Jefferson never solved the cipher. Now, 200 years later, Dr. Lawren Smithline, a 36-year old mathematician has through computer algorithms and some “educated guesses.” Patterson’s elaborate cipher was the Declaration of Independence! (I guess the joke was on Jefferson!)
Aren’t you glad God did not produce the Bible in code form? I know, I know, some claim there are codes in the Bible and without their “key” you cannot decipher its true meaning. These modern-day Gnostics (holders of hidden knowledge) reject the plain truth of God’s word in favor of their false enlightenment. Everything from swine flu to assassinations to nuclear holocaust is said to be in the Bible – once you know and use their Bible Code.
This is madness! The Bible is a revelation of truth, not a concealment of it. By reading we can understand apostolic knowledge of God’s revealed will (Eph 3:3-5). It does not require a code to know the Bible; it requires study and a will to do God’s will (2 Tim 2:15; Jno 7:17; 2 Pet 3:16-18).
All wisdom and knowledge are stored up in Christ; not in the empty pledge of codes to decipher the real meaning of Scripture (Col 2:2-4).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 07/06/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA