Category Archives: morality

Memories Pizza, Indiana, Christianity, and How Not to Win Spiritual Battles (Part 4)

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These are the specific verses relating to homosexuality: Leviticus 18: 22 – 30; 20: 13; Romans 1:26 – 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; and 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but what does that mean for us business people who are faced with the possibility of providing services for same-sex weddings?

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the sexual immoral of the world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler — not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)

In Chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians, Paul deals with what the church should do about a sexually immoral member in the Corinthian Church, but he specifically gives an exception to people who are outside the church. His words imply that we can associate with sexually immoral people, which has to mean that we can do business with them, right?

Now, maybe you consider gay couples who are planning to be married as enemies of Christianity. If so, what about these scriptures?

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45)

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. (Romans 12:20)

I can find no scriptures that justify Christian business people denying services to gay couples for their weddings.

You see, our businesses are in the world and have to participate as members of the world system. We are called to be witnesses in the world of the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord to all people, not squishy, wishy-washy wimps who hide behind statements like, “It’s against my religious beliefs.”

Get a clue!

Jesus came to save the world, not condemn it and we are called to be like Him.

So, who is really behind the Christian businesses versus same-sex weddings wars?

(Continued in Part 5)

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“Everyone Pushes Their Version of Morality” by Joseph Farah

 

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The following appeared in Joseph Farah’s Between the Lines Commentary on WND (March 27, 2013).

I got an interesting letter from someone going by the name of Jack O’Scratch recently.

“I know you won’t reply because that is the way you people deal with criticism, but why can’t you just let people live their lives?” he asked rhetorically. “Why must you continue to PUSH your morality on the rest of the world? Do you honestly think your god is so intolerant that he will punish YOU because other people don’t follow YOUR god? Thanks again for reinforcing my belief that I did the right thing by renouncing your evil, pathetic religion.”

I’m going to surprise Jack by replying.

Jack begins by saying he doesn’t like the way “you people,” meaning me, I presume, deal with criticism.

That, of course, acknowledges that my views are often under criticism.

The way I respond, when I think I’m right, is to defend my views – something I would expect everyone to do.

He asserts that I am not letting people live their lives.

Let the record show I have never taken the life of anyone. Neither have I forcefully obstructed people from living their lives the way they want – unless they were threatening the lives of others. I believe in treating people the way I would like to be treated as Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

I have been in error at times in my life. I’m thankful to those who offered me correction. And I try to offer correction to those who are straying from the teachings of their Creator. That strikes me as the loving thing to do.

I don’t want to see people lost. I don’t want to see people miss out on the rewards of obedience to God. I don’t want to see people separated from the love of God for all eternity because of bad decisions they made.

That’s the spirit in which I approach what the Bible defines as “sin.”

I’m not pushing my morality on anyone. My morality is weak. But I do try to promote the morality of the One who defined right from wrong for us.

And make no mistake about it: Everyone involved and engaged in debating social issues is pushing some form of morality.

Every law passed in the history of the world, whether by king’s edict or through the votes of elected officials, is the reflection of someone’s morality – be it a highway speed limit, a seatbelt law, a law involving restrictions on firearms or the very definition of when life begins. Tax laws are reflections of morality. Deficit spending decisions are reflections of morality. There’s just no such thing as a law or regulation that is not a reflection of someone’s morality.

Take another look at Jack’s criticism with that in mind.

Who is pushing his morality?

He rejects God.

Atheists have their own morality, too – and they are among the most vociferous advocates of their view of right and wrong.

Do I push morality? Yes, I plead guilty as charged. But I don’t enforce it. I don’t coerce anyone to follow my view of morality.

Interestingly, I find the very people who attack me for advocating a certain moral worldview attempt to do just that – force their morality on everyone else.

They do it through legislation. They do it through court edicts. They do it through bullying. They do it through heavy-handed pressure tactics. They do it through violence. They do it through intimidation and coercion and name-calling.

So what I’m asking Jack to do today – along with all those who think like Jack – is to take a look in the mirror. He might also want to re-examine that Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

You might also want to contemplate Leviticus 19:18: “[T]hou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

What’s the best way to love your neighbor? Is it not to share the truth? Is it not to save them from death? Is it not to provide them with the key to everlasting life?

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Swimming Upstream: “What’s With Men?”

Matt and Mike

Unless you have your head buried in the sand, the church has a big problem. One which books have been written about, conferences and seminars held and marketing surveys conducted.

The problem: men are not attending churches.

Those men who do attend church have been surveyed and the results were rather alarming. Most said they went to church because of a wife, a girl friend or family. And if this had not been the case, they would have sooner stayed home.

So, what’s your views on this problem? Why are men staying away from churches? What will it take to get them back inside churches? Another calamity like 911?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Religious Rules Bug Me!”

A few months ago, I was invited to read and give my opinion on a post written at a web site. The subject of the post was prophets and prophecy.

It was a well-written article…except one sentence disturbed me:

“God does not send lone-wolf prophets into cities anymore, but rather, He dispatches prophetic teams to work with the churches of that city.”

Not being the timid sort, I pointed out the sentence and stated that it was not scriptural.  (Keep in mind, this was a long,  long article, and I disagreed with one  sentence. And actually, I only disagreed with the phrase – God does not send lone-wolf prophets anymore.

Now, one would have thought I had blasphemed the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit with the reactions my comment received. A major author and other writers joined in the discussion, pointing out the error of my thinking.

“God is a team player. He works with churches and not outside of their areas of authority. The only exception would be if the churches of the city are rebellious and disobedient,” they declared in comment after comment.

I disagreed with their conclusions. There were no scriptures to back up their statements. None. Zilch. Zero. My personal belief is that God is Boss! Period.

And if God decides to send one person – or a herd of people – to proclaim His words to the citizens of a city, it’s His choice, not ours. He’s the Big Guy. The Boss. The Lord God Almighty.

God does not have to work within our religious rules or systems, but we need to work within His agenda if we want see changes in our nation.

But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you even be found to fight against God. (Acts 5:39)

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Sometimes The Lord Is Quiet…So Just Wait”

Right now, in my life, the Lord is quiet. Very quiet.

I don’t think it’s a sin problem on my part; or that it’s a lack of my seeking Him. How can I be sure, right? I have peace in my spirit; there is no churning restlessness within me. Just peace.

Why is the Lord quiet? Over the years, I have learned that when He is quiet, He is about to do something in my life. Maybe change or rearrange something within me. His quietness is sort of like the still before a storm.

Does this mean my life is in perfect shape … with no problems? Oh heavens no! Everything is up in the air. There are loose ends all over the place. Disaster awaits us just ahead if He doesn’t answer our prayers, but what’s new, right?

And yet, He is quiet.

So, what do I do?

Be still, and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:10)

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “What About The Apostle Peter’s Wife?”

What do you think the Apostle Peter’s wife said when he came home and told her he was dropping everything and following a man named Jesus?

Maybe, something like: “Are you nuts? What about the fishing business? Who is going to run it? And what about my mother? And me? You can’t be serious, right? We’ll starve, won’t we?”

Now, we Christians read scripture and gloss over facts without ever putting our brains in gear. We just assume the Prince of Peace waved His magic wand over Peter’s household and everything fell in place. All nice, neat and tidy. Right?

Maybe, when Jesus healed her mother (Mark 1:30-31), it helped convince Peter’s wife. And also, the other healings at Peter’s house that evening (Mark 1: 32-33) probably helped some, too.

But my guess is that Peter and his wife struggled with his apostolic calling.  As in STRUGGLED!!

After all, they were humans just like us, and guess what? We humans who are married struggle with whatever calling the Lord has placed on us versus what our mates expect from us.

Jump to the back of the book of Mark to where Peter denied Jesus (Mark 14:72). Try to imagine how Peter’s wife handled the Crucifixion and Peter’s self-destruction.

Maybe, she said things like, “I told you so. Didn’t I? But no, you wouldn’t listen, would you? You believed everything He said, didn’t you? Now, look at yourself!”

But out of all their possible struggles over Peter’s apostolic calling, we can eventually be encouraged:

Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? (1 Cor. 9:5)

Peter’s wife joined him in his apostolic ministry.

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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Swimming Upstream: “Who’s True Confessions!”

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Okay. Okay. So you want the truth, huh? We’ll, it ain’t pretty, but here it is:

You see, I’ve been a pizza delivery driver for the last eighteen months. That’s right!

I know. I know. My about states I am a businessman, real estate agent, dreamer and more. And also, my web site lists a bunch of glamorous sounding jobs that I’ve held in the past. Repeat: the past.

But right now, I’m a pizza delivery driver. Period.

And you might as well know the whole truth, okay? That is, if you can handle it.

I don’t listen to Hillsong Worship music while I’m driving my truck on pizza deliveries. In fact, no Christian music at all.

“Oh no!” you are probably ranting at this very moment. “What pagan stuff do you listen to on your MP3?”

Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, Yo Yo Ma, Sissel, il Divo, Irish Tenors, Mario Frangoulis, Placido Domingo…and a smidge (an itsy-bitsy smidge) of Bob Seger (Like a Rock), Neil Diamond (Pretty Amazing Grace) and Allison Krause (Gone, Gone, Gone).

There you have it. Whew! I feel better. What about you?

And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

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