Friday, December 28, 2012

Praying with Confidence

I John 3.21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

Too often we come before God with reasons why he shouldn't answer our prayers ringing in our ears. Often this is Satan's work of condemnation even as we approach the very throne of God. he knows that if he can errode our confidence and boldness we will be hesitant to ask for what we do not deserve. And of course, we do not deserve anything good- hence the concept of grace.

But there is another aspect to this lack of confidence in our approach to God. It is the voice of our own conscience condemning us for half hearted obediences and lazy pursuit of the holiness of God. The context of the verse above is the role of sin in the life of the believer. We are too often lazy in walking out God's holiness. Don't get me wrong, God is not demanding perfection. We will always need to lean upon his grace in our approach to God. But when we come before the Lord we must remember these things...

1) Jesus is our advocate. The finished work of Christ alone makes us worthy of approach to the throne of God. And we should approach with a holy boldness.

2) We are living for Jesus! This promise of "whatever we ask" is not for the half hearted , fairweather beleivers. It is for those whose heart does not condemn them. This is the definition of praying in faith!

3) Our obedience is never perfect but it is growing into a habitual pleasing of God.

Knowing the grace of God, knowing our lifestyle of faith, knowing the willingness of the Lord to hear our petitions... Let us approach with faith.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Knowing the Season

Prov 24:27 Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that build your house.

Wen my kids were little I determined that we would not sit inside all winter and hope for spring. So we went sledding in the winter, and skating and eventually the kids took up figure skating and hockey. Winters became a season of fun rather than staring out the window and wishing for warm weather.

The point of the proverb above is that certain seasons in life have specific priorities. When you don't know what to do, or you don't know what should take priority in your life it's likely that you have failed to discern the season. Too many Christ-followers find themselves in this place! Diligence and duty are misplaced or worse -disobedient- if you don't know the season that you are in.

And each season has, along with its priorities, stumbling blocks and hardships. For instance, the season of singleness  has the hardship of loneliness, yet Paul spoke of the opportunities for growth and ministry that happen when you are single. The season of child rearing is exhausting. Homework with the kids, shopping for school supplies, up all night with a sick child, etc. Yet some of our greatest impact happens in the shaping of young lives. The season of the empty nest has a seasonal priority of reconnecting with the spouse you live with but have grow apart from. But it can be trying snd frustrating too.

There are other seasons beside those of chronology. There are seasons of growing in bible knowledge, or developing in faith, or learning to love like Jesus, or developing ministry skills. Each season has its advantages and disadvantages . Don't grow weary chasing the wrong priorities. The season defines the priorities. And when it becomes arduous in that season remember that each season has its benefits too!

We can become weary of a season...we all do. But remember this...seasons DO change!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quench Not!

Reading through 1 Thessalonians 5 the other day and I came to the flurry of last minute one sentence commands from Paul to the fledgling church in Thessalonica.

12We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,£ encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
Some of these are easy to understand. Rejoicing is important to the general moral of the church. (Nothing good comes of the fault finder who can't find joy in the moment!) Being thankful... I think we get that. Abstaining from evil (not the appearance of evil as one translation says. This has nothing to do with how things look, rather, every appearance of evil is literally "every where evil appears"!) But then we come to DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT. What? What kind of church would want to be the kind of church where the spirit is quenched? Who quenches the Spirit?
1. People who have grown cynical. Sometimes they say "Don't rely on emotions!" but the message they are really saying to the zealous is "calm down you will again be disappointed and grow callous and cynical as I have". This is really unfair to the person who has zeal. Rather than squash someones zeal we should add knowledge. Proverbs 19.2 says "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. " Rather than squash someones passion for Jesus, if you are concerned that it is strictly emotional, wait for the teachable moment and point them to the truth of the Lord. For instance, if someone is buring hot for God our message is not "calm down" but rather at the moment when the fire seems to wane a little stir them on to serve irrespective of emotion and zeal. God's work can be furthered rather than hindered.
2. People who are convicted. Often we are provoked by anothers fire. It actually casts light on the shadowy areas of our own lives... and we don't appreciate that when we are trying to hide our lukewarm hearts.Oswald Chambers writes in the Classic My Utmost for His Highest, "... if in sharing your personal testimony you continually have to look back, saying, “Once, a number of years ago, I was saved.” If you have put your “hand to the plow” and are walking in the light, there is no “looking back”— the past is instilled into the present wonder of fellowship and oneness with God (Luke 9:62 ; also see 1 John 1:6-7). If you get out of the light, you become a sentimental Christian, and live only on your memories, and your testimony will have a hard metallic ring to it. Beware of trying to cover up your present refusal to “walk in the light” by recalling your past experiences when you did “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7). When-ever the Spirit gives you that sense of restraint, call a halt and make things right, or else you will go on quenching and grieving Him without even knowing it."
3. People who are living contrary to the will of God. We surely can learn a great deal from others, but only if our hearts are submissive to truth. There needs to be a cultivation of humility and submission to the truth of God in our lives. Otherwise, we will try to dampen anyone's fire because it stir up conviction and because it infuriates the rebellious nature of our flesh. People who practice gluttony don't like to hear about self control! And when that rebellion gets stirred up it often lashes out at the spiritual person nearest us. A Spouse, a Friend, a co worker can have their spirit's fire quenched when rebellion stirs.
4. People who are confused because they haven't had the experience. Sometimes I hear people warn me regarding getting too spiritual. (Is that even possible?) I find that it is often because I am walking where they haven't been before. Spiritual experiences are otherworldly that is true but God is a God who leads his children from glory to glory! Don't fear the things of God... pursue God and he will lead you into truth!
 5. People who don't understand the need. The task given the church is large and gradiose that it is impossible unless we have the spirit's fire burnign bright. When we lose sight of our need for the miraculous intervention of God then we eventually don't see the need for this spiritual fire. In fact, we cannot be half of what the Lord has called us to be without the fire of God!
Let's determine to stoke fires rather than put them out. To feed the flame rather than steal the heat. To Burn brighter than ever before...Because we have a world to win for Jesus!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Lead or get out of the Way

The great hunger in every arena of life these days is for leadership. It is especially true in the church. For lack of leaders the church flounders in its mission. The church model we follow here at CLC is one that is based upon the book of Antioch model. Various ministries were called out of the Antioch church. These were assigned by the Holy Spirit to different leaders. They each gathered teams of ministries and began to do what God called them to do. For Paul and Barnabus we read that the Holy Spirit separated them to the minsitry of church planting through out the unevangelized gentile world. They gathered teams of ministers to follow them. Among Paul and Baranbus served Luke, Silas, Timothy, Titus, and a number of other lesser known spiritual leaders. We recognize that they leadership style they saw imodeled n Paul was implimented and mimiced in the their later ministries.

So how can you tell if you are a leader. Here are a few simple litmus tests that EVERY leader will live out.

Leaders lead out of their own God encounter. They are not dependant upon being spoon fed or entertained into the will of God. Jesus ministered out of his time with Father. Where ever he went he brought people to God. In the synagogue, on the dusty Jerusalem trail he "brought people up". To many of us are waiting for the next spiritual fad to tickle our carnal fancy. Leaders lead because they know where they are going. Is this pressure? You better believe it is!
Leader challenge people to purpose. Spiritual leadership is defined by great sacrificial generosity. Real Spiritual leadership calls people to follow but doesn't demand uniformity. Each of us have a purpose that is different and God inspired. Leaders aren't interested in recieving as they sit in the church as much as they are interested in giving out and mentoring others.

Leaders are out front and available. You can't take people where you haven't been and you can't lead people when your not out front. At CLC it is expected that Spiritual leaders will be available to lead. They don't have all the answers but they are their to push beyond the question. Leaders can't always leave service early, or be absent from their assigned place of ministry. To be Christ like is to be present at the moment of need.

Leaders work for transformation. They're goal is not to put on a slick service but to work for life transformation. Spiritual growth and spiritual health is foremost in their mind.It is their passion and their hunger; but not because they need the applause or accolades of men or titles, but because they are following Jesus.

Leaders raise the core temperature of the places that they go. Their presence should cast vision. Their life should be a challenge. They should smell of hope and sound like transformation. They should be walking billboards for what God is doing in these days. And they should be looking forward not backward at the past.

The Leaders authority comes out of the God encounters that they have not the titular recognition by men. In other wards a servant is a servant because he serves... whether or not he has the title of deacon. A pastor is a pastor when he sheperds, irrespective of his position in the church.

Fire came down to the Israelites in the desert to lead them in the Exodus. In the same way, we must pray that the leadership of the church expereinces the fire of God, that they will lead us out. Otherwise, we will just wander in circles around the mountain of the Lord.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dealing with Tough Times

Okay, so the stuff hit the fan. Times are tough. You need to hear this- "Tough times don't last, tough people do." Go ahead say it out loud. It's not's true. Here are three steps that will help you through the tough times.

1. Deal with the things that can be changed.
     Some things that we go through can be changed. You can adjust to the downsize. You can pick up a part time job until the right full time one comes along. You can find a way to change the circumstances. It may require schooling, training, and sacrifice. Granted you probably don't want to go back to school, or to self train on IT infrastructure, and no body likes to sacrifice. But you can deal with it.
     Changing the things that challenge you is a expression of your power as a person. God will give you the wherewithal to overcome the obstacles you face if you will seek Him and listen. Don't use precious prayer time to moan, grumble and complain about your disappointment. Suck it up and think through the issue in the presence of God and you will find a way to change that which is your challenge.

2. Deal with the things that can't be changed (by you).
     Not everything can be changed. You don't have control over the national economy, or the price of gas, or bring rain in a drought. Discerning what is change-able is the first step. When you are left with these things that cannot be changed you will have to do one of the following;
                  Find a Work Around- If there is a way to circumvent the issue, take it.
                  Accept the Reality- It doesn't have to be something that haunts your every waking moment
                  Change your Thinking- Changing the way we think is a part of the act of growing. If it can't  change then you must. That starts with you way of thinking about the circumstance.

Remember, God can change things. Pray, without obsessing, about the situation. Be mindful that often when we pray for God to change things, we are one of the things that gets changed!

3. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
     The world, your family, your coworkers are all looking for someone to step up and lead. Panic is for the weak. Rise up and make the adjustments and move forward. Others will follow your way out of the darkness and you will find a purpose in having a great testimony to share of God's provision of the exodus! Anyone can complain. Anyone can wallow in self pity. Anyone can bemoan the facts of tough times. But few will seize the moment to make a difference.

Tough Times don't last, Tough People do.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Place of Blessing

What does it mean to be in the place of blessing? And what must I do to make my life into the type of life the God desires to bless? As I thought of these questions I became more and more convinced that there are some important steps that I can take to insure blessing on my life. Like you, I want my life to be a life that is a place of blessing.

1. Do I have a Heart Condition?- I recognize that God is looking beyond my outward appearance, beyond my externals, and looking into my heart. I am not always comforted by this prospect as I know that my heart can be "deceitfully wicked". But God sees down to the core. Amazing, isn't it? God looks beyond even the current manifestation of my own sinfulness and into my heart. In less than a second God has me sized up. He knows if my heart is entertaining grievous thoughts, if my heart is resistant to him or compliant, if my heart is soft and mold-able or hard and rebellious. If I want the blessing of God on my life I need to be consistently monitoring the "garden of my heart". Do I find myself resisting his commands? Do I demand they are completely understood by my limited, finite mind before I obey? Do I fight the will of God? Am I stubbornly resisting or am I yielding to his direction?

2. Am I a giver?- One of the reasons God asks us to give is to demonstrate the trust we have in him. Seriously, a lot of people talk a good game but few people practice the art of giving. Do I practice giving my money to the needy and the poor? Do I give habitually? By that,  I mean is it my regular practice to tithe (give a 10th) as the scriptures demand? Am I giving beyond the requirements of the Pharisees (Luke 18.12 and Matthew 5.20)? Do I care to support the ministry of missionaries around the globe? Do I give beyond my comfort level?

3. Am I a servant?- Do I practice the art of service? Do I see myself as one who has come to serve or to be served? Jesus viewed himself as a servant (Mark 10.45) do I expect that I should have a higher view of myself than my Lord has of himself? And if I do then is he really Lord of my life? When I do serve am I compelled to complain or am I challenged to find the things that God is teaching me in that act of servitude? Do I only serve those who can repay me, or is there a portion of my service that is offered up to God alone?

4. Do I walk in love?- It is hard to measure love. It certainly goes beyond a feeling in the recesses of my heart. Are my actions those of Christ's love or are they marred by self interest? Is it all about me, or is it about others? Am I convinced of God's love for myself so much that I feel constrained to love those around me, even those whom society has rejected? Do I go beyond what is expected?

I am sure there is more to having my life being a "place of blessing" but certainly there is plenty here to begin the soul work necessary to be blessed. If we understand it correctly the blessing of God on our life will not only enrich us but will flow through us to others and to the glory of God. Lord, make us a truly blessed people. Amen.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Trouble with Compromise

We all do it from time to time. We compromise what we know to be good and right. A little lie, a half truth here or there, an act of disobedience that is in private, you get the idea. What we are talking about is going against your conscience. You know that you are supposed to be one way and you behave another. Human beings often overlook the little compromises in our behaviors but they are not without consequence. No, there are tragedies that exist today because of small compromises in the past. Marriages fail long before adultery happens, they fail when the Biblical standard is compromised. Businesses fail because of small compromises in the past. Ministries struggle today because truth has been compromised in the past.

Compromise is dangerous because it removes us from the place of God's obvious blessing, and because it erodes our foundation, and it jeopardizes our trustworthiness and calls our character into account. There once was a man who was in the  place of temptation. Family members were playing to his greed and telling him that a small compromise would make him money...lots of money. "Pastor what do you think?..." he began to ask me. Holding up my hand I told him this truth. "Don't compromise your soul". Unfortunately for him, he didn't listen to me. The temptation proved to be too much. And today he pays the price for his trifling with sin.

Carpenters will know this truth. If you are putting in a chair rail or cabinets, every step must be checked to insure that it is "true" to the level. Otherwise when all the work is done  and the rails go around the room, they will not match up. Your failure to stay true will be seen by all. The small compromise will eventually become obvious!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


From a friend "What did Jesus mean when he said 'the meek shall inherit the earth'?"

Some people think this has to do with a sort of effeminate weakness. But in the Greek New Testament, “meek” is from the Greek term praus. It does not suggest weakness; rather, it denotes strength under control. The ancients used the term to describe a wild horse tamed to the bridle.

So the promise is that the earth will belong to one who has channeled his strengths into the service of God. This is Spiritual discipline! Show me the person who has the discipline to refrain from acting out in anger, passion, lust, or intimidation and I will show you a person who will be respected by those who work with him or those who know him.

The question is is this a future blessing that is described or a present reality. Context seems to indicate that this is a present reality. God's blessing on those who have channeled their strengths into service of the King will find blessing on this earth. In a sense, the earth is theirs because they have this blessed spiritual discipline.

Is there a future blessing involved? Certainly, there is the millennial kingdom to consider. Those faithful in this life will be given future blessings, responsibility, leadership and authority. But we must not diminish the present reality either.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Fellowship of Shamed

Dear friend,

What happened? I saw you the other day and your eyes darted away from mine in shame. You have separated yourself from people who care about you (however imperfectly) and find yourself cut off from God, his people, and most tragically his grace. You have joined the fellowship of the shamed.

It probably started with a compromise, it almost always does. Maybe you felt slighted, hurt or wounded and you could justify your compromise with sin. Now, many small compromises later you are walking in shame. Your friends and family members are concerned. They see your anger and your sin because you have changed. You probably don't think you have, but it is true. I was looking through a stack of photos and found a picture of you when you walked with the "unashamed". You had that radiant joy! You had such a beautiful hope and sense of promise.

I am praying that God will bring you back. Restoration is preferable to destruction. And make no mistake, destruction is on the horizon. That is the way it is when we walk away from truth. Please, please consider your life...the step back is hard, I know. But it is altogether simple. Repent. Earnestly ask for God's forgiveness. He can restore the broken. A bruised reed he will not break.

I write this not to further shame have enough of that already. I write to remind you of the way back home to Father's house.

We miss you,


Friday, July 06, 2012

Epic Failure

When ever a pastor, a minister, or a ministry leader fails it can come down to a single issue. We have seen over the years great men and women of God have failures. Often they are moral failures. Occasionally they are financial failures.  Frequently there are failures to honor the vision God deposited in their hearts. And less often they are failures to launch into ministries that God has called them to. The ultimate cause is a failure to believe the gospel of Jesus.

I know that seems too sweeping a judgment but I have found it to be true in my 3 decades of ministry. At the very core of the gospel we know that we are charged with one work. Jesus said that our work was to believe on the Son. That means to believe what he says about us, to believe what he says about our purpose in life and ministry, and to believe (and practice!) what he says about others. I cannot think of a single failure in ministry that doesn't spring from this failure to believe.

For instance, when a church planter hears the call of God to launch a church in some locality that God has chosen he or she must launch into a faith walk. 2 years later, having encountered severe headwinds, and being buffeted by life, Satan, and countless other resistences... they suddenly "hear a call" to leave this calling. Failing to endure has little to do with the strength of purpose... It, more often than not, reveals a loss of trust in God for the fruit. Or when a ministry flounders from vision whiplash it is usually a sign of deserting the vision that God put in the heart of the ministry leader.

This tells us that every ministry leader needs to examine his heart to find out if he or she is still in the faith. This internal examination is biblical and necessary if we are to have healthy business. A significant portion (THE significant portion?) of ministry is the examination of my inner world, looking at my heart to ask myself significant questions about my faith.

Do I still believe that God will provide?
Do I still believe the vision that God has deposited in my heart?
Am I still trusting that I am destined for failure if I rely upon my flesh?
Do I still believe that God can truly redeem the lives of others around me?

The answers to these and deeper soul searching questions require outward manifestations in my behavior. I must demonstrate that confidence, kindness, and compassion toward others. I must arise from the prayer closet with an answer rather than a list of more questions. I must take the next step in ministry with absolute trust. These externals are reflective of faith on the inside.

If I fail to live with introspection, I will fail. So guard your hearts, saints...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Designer Worship?

 I read recently that most evangelical pastors believe that tithing is not required for NT believers. It seems that we have become a people of strange fire. We like to design our worship to satisfy ourselves. But God's standard never changes. Cain and Able brought offerings (long before the Law) as a way to honor God. Worship always involves giving... even if that makes your flesh uncomfortable. The tenth (1/10 or 10% or tithe) has fallen out of fashion with American Christians. Why am I not surprised? Jesus warned us that we cannot serve both God and money!

We must ask ourselves the following questions if we are serious about being Christ followers and true worshippers in this world that we live in.

What standard of giving did God promise to bless in the Mal 3.10?
Does my 'self designed' giving pattern "exceed the righteousness of the pharisees"? (Matt. 5.20)
Do I give cheerfully? Generously? Weekly? Do I excel in the grace of giving? or am I cheap and selfish? (2Cor 8-9)
Do I recognize that my blessings are tied to my giving? (2Cor 9.6-12) 

Perhaps instead of "designer worship" we should be worshiping in accordance with the Designer!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scofflaws in Charge?

Frustrated with their inability to change the laws regarding marriage in Illinois fast enough, the establishment leadership has adopted a new tactic. Simply ignore the laws they don't like! They will do an end around the existing laws by seizing upon Pres. Obama's public flip-flop on gay marriage. Gay activist groups and the ACLU are suing the Cook County Clerk on behalf of 25 couples who were refused a marriage license. This mornings Tribune reports that the Cook County Clerk - David Orr is "hoping" that these lawsuits "are the last hurdle to achieving equal marriage for all". Uh, excuse me, Mr. Orr, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act prohibits marriage "between 2 individuals of the same sex". But it is clear that David Orr will lay down rather than fight for the law. The Governor of Illinois- Pat Quinn-has endorsed same-sex marriage and will not fight the lawsuit either. Pres. Obama has already instructed the US department of justice to stop defending any lawsuits against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Clearly, the Obama White House and the leadership of Illinois must feel that we ignorant slobs out here aren't smart enough to understand the implications of the current laws. But Civil Unions in Illinois gave all the legal benefits of marriage to homosexual couples. It seems what the gay activists are demanding is justification and full acceptance of homosexual marriage. But this end around the will of the people isn't going to lessen any rifts in our social fabric. If anything it guarantees a division (and maybe a political base for these scofflaws in high offices!)

So what is the electorate supposed to do when those in charge of defending the laws against these kinds of lawsuits  refuse to do so, so they can simply do an end around the legal process to ensure their political agenda is moved forward and their supporters appeased? The 32 states that have defeated proposed Same-sex legalization, are they to be ignored? This is scary... the laws are being ignored or circumvented by those who were elected to enforce them. What can the people, whose voice is being ignored, do?

Vote the Bums Out!!!!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Gay Marriage: Not a good idea

The institution of marriage is already reeling because of the effects of the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce and out-of-wedlock births. We have reaped the consequences of its devaluation.

Bill Bennett

We are engaged in a debate which, in a less confused time, would be considered pointless and even oxymoronic: the question of same-sex marriage.
Now, anyone who has known someone who has struggled with his homosexuality can appreciate the poignancy, human pain and sense of exclusion that are often involved. One can therefore understand the effort to achieve for homosexual unions both legal recognition and social acceptance. Advocates of homosexual marriages even make what appears to be a sound conservative argument: Allow marriage in order to promote faithfulness and monogamy. This is an intelligent and politically shrewd argument. One can even concede that it might benefit some people. But I believe that overall, allowing same-sex marriages would do significant, long-term social damage.
Recognizing the legal union of gay and lesbian couples would represent a profound change in the meaning and definition of marriage. Indeed, it would be the most radical step ever taken in the deconstruction of society's most important institution. It is not a step we ought to take.
The function of marriage is not elastic; the institution is already fragile enough. Broadening its definition to include same-sex marriages would stretch it almost beyond recognition — and new attempts to broaden the definition still further would surely follow. On what principled grounds could the advocates of same-sex marriage oppose the marriage of two consenting brothers? How could they explain why we ought to deny a marriage license to a bisexual who wants to marry two people? After all, doing so would be a denial of that person's sexuality. In our time, there are more (not fewer) reasons than ever to preserve the essence of marriage.
Marriage is not an arbitrary construct; it is an “honorable estate” based on the different, complementary nature of men and women — and how they refine, support, encourage and complete one another. To insist that we maintain this traditional understanding of marriage is not an attempt to put others down. It is simply an acknowledgment and celebration of our most precious and important social act.
Nor is this view arbitrary or idiosyncratic. It mirrors the accumulated wisdom of millennia and the teaching of every major religion. Among worldwide cultures, where there are so few common threads, it is not a coincidence that marriage is almost universally recognized as an act meant to unite a man and a woman.
To say that same-sex unions are not comparable to heterosexual marriages is not an argument for intolerance, bigotry or lack of compassion (although I am fully aware that it will be considered so by some). But it is an argument for making distinctions in law about relationships that are themselves distinct.
Even Andrew Sullivan, among the most intelligent advocates of same-sex marriage, has admitted that a homosexual marriage contract will entail a greater understanding of the need for “extramarital outlets.” He argues that gay male relationships are served by the “openness of the contract,” and he has written that homosexuals should resist allowing their “varied and complicated lives” to be flattened into a “single, moralistic model.”
But this “single, moralistic model” is precisely the point. The marriage commitment between a man and a woman does not — it cannot — countenance extramarital outlets. By definition it is not an open contract; its essential idea is fidelity. Obviously that is not always honored in practice. But it is normative, the ideal to which we aspire precisely because we believe some things are right (faithfulness in marriage) and others are wrong (adultery). In insisting that marriage accommodate the less restrained sexual practices of homosexuals, Sullivan and his allies destroy the very thing that supposedly has drawn them to marriage in the first place.
There are other arguments to consider against same-sex marriage — for example, the signals it would send, and the impact of such signals on the shaping of human sexuality, particularly among the young. Former Harvard professor E. L. Pattullo has written that “a very substantial number of people are born with the potential to live either straight or gay lives.” Societal indifference about heterosexuality and homosexuality would cause a lot of confusion. A remarkable 1993 article in The Post supports this point. Fifty teenagers and dozens of school counselors and parents from the local area were interviewed. According to the article, teenagers said it has become “cool” for students to proclaim they are gay or bisexual — even for some who are not. Not surprisingly, the caseload of teenagers in “sexual identity crisis” doubled in one year. “Everything is front page, gay and homosexual,” according to one psychologist who works with the schools. “Kids are jumping on it ... [counselors] are saying, “What are we going to do with all these kids proclaiming they are bisexual or homosexual when we know they are not?”
If the law recognizes homosexual marriages as the legal equivalent of heterosexual marriages, it will have enormous repercussions in many areas. Consider just two: sex education in the schools and adoption. The sex education curriculum of public schools would have to teach that heterosexual and homosexual marriage are equivalent. Heather Has Two Mommies would no longer be regarded as an anomaly; it would more likely become a staple of a sex education curriculum. Parents who want their children to be taught (for both moral and utilitarian reasons) the privileged status of heterosexual marriage will be portrayed as intolerant bigots; they will necessarily be at odds with the new law of matrimony and its derivative curriculum.
Homosexual couples will also have equal claim with heterosexual couples in adopting children, forcing us (in law at least) to deny what we know to be true: that it is far better for a child to be raised by a mother and a father than by, say, two male homosexuals.
The institution of marriage is already reeling because of the effects of the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce and out-of-wedlock births. We have reaped the consequences of its devaluation. It is exceedingly imprudent to conduct a radical, untested and inherently flawed social experiment on an institution that is the keystone in the arch of civilization. That we have to debate this issues at all tells us that the arch has slipped. Getting it firmly back in place is, as the lawyers say, a “compelling state interest.”

Bennett, William J. “Gay Marriage: Not a Very Good Idea.” The Washington Post (May 21, 1996).
William J. Bennett was Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Secretary of Education under President Reagan, and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Bush. The author of The Book of Virtues several other best sellers. His most recent book is The Educated Child: A Parent's Guide from Preschool Through Eighth Grade. He is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and codirector of Empower America. He lives with his wife, Elayne, and their two sons in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Copyright © 1996 Washington Post

What to think of "Gay Marriage"?

The arguments can seem persuasive to the compassionate heart. We all have friends or loved ones who are in the homosexual lifestyle. We hear the cry for "equal civil rights" with heterosexuals and are moved by our desire for fairness. So why would we not join in supporting "Gay Marriage"?

Marriage as an institution is suffering. What brought the institution of marriage into this place? Was it the easing of divorce laws in our culture? Or was it the fall out of the sexual liberation movement? Maybe we should just link it to our own sinfulness and infidelities that undermined marriage. Clearly marriage now is not what marriage was; and certainly not what it was intended to be. And that is the issue really. Marriage was intended to be something by somebody. Jesus taught that God had purpose in marriage. He defined it very clearly and intentionally in Matthew 19. 4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be untied to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are not longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Since marriage is the creation of God, he alone has the proprietary rights to define what marriage is. Jesus mentions only heterosexual marriage and makes clear that gender is a part of what makes marriage. Clearly, for Christ (and, necessarily, His followers) there is no such thing as same-sex marriage.

Now I would not support or encourage any unkind or unloving act against any homosexual. Neither do I think that their civil rights should be limited. But marriage is not defined by me or you or the constitutional scholars or congress. It is defined by the Creator- who clearly didnot have that in mind.

Five Reasons Christians Should Continue to Oppose Gay Marriage

reprinted from Kevin DeYoung

Yesterday, to no one’s surprise, President Obama revealed in an interview that after some “evolution” he has “concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” This after the Vice-President came out last Sunday strongly in favor of gay marriage. Not coincidentally, the New York Times ran an article on Tuesday (an election day with a marriage amendment on one ballot) about how popular and not controversial gay television characters have become. In other words, everyone else has grown up so why don’t you? It can seem like the whole world is having a gay old time, with conservative Christians the only ones refusing to party.

The temptation, then, is for Christians go silent and give up the marriage fight: “It’s no use staying in this battle,” we think to ourselves. “We don’t have to change our personal position. We’ll keep speaking the truth and upholding the Bible in our churches, but getting worked up over gay marriage in the public square is counter productive. It’s a waste of time. It makes us look bad. It ruins our witness. And we’ve already lost. Time to throw in the towel.” I understand that temptation. It is an easier way. But I do not think it is the right way, the God glorifying way, or the way of love.

Here are five reasons Christians should continue to publicly and winsomely oppose bestowing the term and institution of marriage upon same-sex couples:

1. Every time the issue of gay marriage has been put to a vote by the people, the people have voted to uphold traditional marriage. Even in California. In fact, the amendment passed in North Carolina on Tuesday by a wider margin (61-39) than a similar measure passed six years ago in Virginia (57-42). The amendment passed in North Carolina, a swing state Obama carried in 2008, by 22 percentage points. We should not think that gay marriage in all the land is a foregone conclusion. To date 30 states have constitutionally defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

2. The promotion and legal recognition of homosexual unions is not in the interest of the common good. That may sound benighted, if not bigoted. But we must say it in love: codifying the indistinguishability of gender will not make for the “peace of the city.” It rubs against the grain of the universe, and when you rub against the grain of divine design you’re bound to get splinters. Or worse. The society which says sex is up to your own definition and the family unit is utterly fungible is not a society that serves its children, its women, or its own long term well being.

3. Marriage is not simply the term we use to describe those relationships most precious to us. The word means something and has meant something throughout history. Marriage is more than a union of hearts and minds. It involves a union of bodies–and not bodies in any old way we please, as if giving your cousin a wet willy in the ear makes you married. Marriage, to quote one set of scholars, is a” comprehensive union of two sexually complementary persons who seal (consummate or complete) their relationship by the generative act—by the kind of activity that is by its nature fulfilled by the conception of a child. So marriage itself is oriented to and fulfilled by the bearing, rearing, and education of children.” This conjugal view of marriage states in complex language what would have been a truism until a couple generations ago. Marriage is what children (can) come from. Where that element is not present (at the level of sheer design and function, even if not always in fulfillment), marriage is not a reality. We should not concede that “gay marriage” is really marriage. What’s more, as Christians we understand that the great mystery of marriage can never be captured between a relationship of Christ and Christ or church and church.

4. Allowing for the legalization of gay marriage further normalizes what was until very recently, and still should be, considered deviant behavior. While it’s true that politics is downstream from culture, it’s also true that law is one of the tributaries contributing to culture. In our age of hyper-tolerance we try to avoid stigmas, but stigmas can be an expression of common grace. Who knows how many stupid sinful things I’ve been kept from doing because I knew my peers and my community would deem it shameful. Our cultural elites may never consider homosexuality shameful, but amendments that define marriage as one man and one woman serve a noble end by defining what is as what ought to be. We do not help each other in the fight for holiness when we allow for righteousness to look increasingly strange and sin to look increasingly normal.

5. We are naive if we think a laissez faire compromise would be enjoyed by all if only the conservative Christians would stop being so dogmatic. The next step after giving up the marriage fight is not a happy millennium of everyone everywhere doing marriage in his own way. The step after surrender is conquest. I’m not suggesting heterosexuals would no longer be able to get married. What I am suggesting is that the cultural pressure will not stop with allowing for some “marriages” to be homosexual. It will keep mounting until all accept and finally celebrate that homosexuality is one of Diversity’s great gifts. The goal is not for different expressions of marriage, but for the elimination of definitions altogether. Capitulating on gay marriage may feel like giving up an inch in bad law to gain a mile in good will. But the reality will be far different. For as in all of the devil’s bargains, the good will doesn’t last nearly so long as the law.

Monday, March 19, 2012

why create people destined for hell?

This question was referred to me by a friend for his grandson. The question reflects the complications of the theological concept of omniscience. God knows all. We are taught this in scriptures like Psalm 139. God knows everything. He knows the reason for every thing and person's existence and he knows the end from the beginning. Yet, if some of his creatures will end up in eternal damnation, wouldn't it be better if they never lived at all?

Here are some reasons why it wouldn't be better for them to have not existed.

     1- Each person is created in God's image and is a unique expression of God's creative genius. To leave them uncreated would be to stifle the creativity of God. You are a live worth living... even if you choose not to follow God!

     2- Each person deserves a chance at fulfilling their divine destiny. God doesn't always get his way. That may come as a shock but God has limited his will and made it contingent upon the will of his creatures. No one will enter heaven against their will. God clearly says to us that his will is that "all men may be saved" 1 Tim 2.4;2 Peter 3.9. So to not create those who end up in hell, is to strip them of the opportunity of heaven.

    3- Some may be basing this question on the assumption that God has predestined some for hell. This is a theological error. God clearly wants men to be saved... but he will not kidnap anyone to bring them with Him to heaven. We are each given the right of choice and self determination- ie., free will. Otherwise heaven would be populated with automatons.

   4- Human existence, even if it ends up in damnation, is still worthwhile. Christians should be careful not to minimize the blessing of life in this flesh for the purpose of looking forward to heaven. 1 Tim 6.17 tells us that this life is a blessing from God and has been given to us to richly enjoy. Of course, life eternal is blessed beyond our ability to even understand!

   5-In a sense, God even gets glory from those who will stand on the last day and testify to his faithfulness in offering them the Saving Gospel (though they rejected it). God will shine forth as faithful. Even those who reject the gospel message will fall to their knees and recognize verbally his Lordship. Phil 2 says every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. The hellishness of hell may be that recognition that the opportunity to be with Him for ever is lost!

God knows the end from the beginning, clearly. But this doesn't mean he CAUSES a person to choose a destiny. That choice is left up to the individual. for instance, I may know that a child will rebel when I tell them not to touch the hot stove. I may give warnings, etc. But I am not responsible for the act of defiance that burns those little fingers. Though I suspected it would happen, I was not responsible for the event because I had warned against it. So too the choice is up to you. Who will you serve?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Gift of Tongues

We continue in our study of the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 with a discussion of the gift of tongues. There are many who see this gift as controversial. I say that when God heals a sick person, or gives a person a divine word of Knowledge it is just as revolutionary as this gift of tongues. Others have said that this gift is a lesser gift. But Paul doesn't mention any sort of hierarchy of the Holy Spirit's manifestations. What is at view here is the Spirit manifesting himself in the gathering of believers. (You will recall that what Paul writes about from chapter 11 through 15 is regarding their behavior and decorum when "gathered together"). These corporate manifestations are for the blessing of all. So what Paul has in view here, indeed, what the Holy Spirit is speaking about is the common expression of speaking in tongues in a corporate gathering. He is not speaking of personal prayer language, though, he does reference it in chapter 14, but here in chapter 12 he is mentioning the practice of one or another of the brothers or sisters in the fellowship being moved upon by the Spirit and speaking out in a language that they have never known. This may be a language from around the world somewhere (whether known or not) or the language of angels that he references in Chapter 13. I remember speaking to a dear sister in the Lord and she was at a Bible college where the gifts of the Spirit were not welcome (shame!) and a representative from Africa began to great the congregation in his native language. It consisted of clicks and pops and ticks. She confessed to me that she could only think amusingly that some poor soul had that prayer language!

Paul recognizes the power of a word form God irrespective of it's source and sets some guidelines in order. He wishes that all men would speak in tongues as he does, but recognizes that this isn't the case. He also encourages the leadership of the assemblies to welcome and not to forbid the speaking in tongues. He tells us in 14.2 that this language is distinctively for praise (though it is most beneficial when interpreted) because it is between God and man. (This, by the way, rules out the foolish understanding that God imparts supernaturally the language without learning for the purpose of preaching) No, tongues is God-ward and not towards man. In the case of the use of this manifestation gift in the gathered people of God it would be a sort of turbo charged prayer- that all believers would be able to say amen to- but only as it is interpreted. And so Paul's instance upon the gift of interpretation being practiced and demanded that this should be in place or the public use of tongues is of no value in the gathered assembly.

Of course, many of us have witnessed the distracting even self-seeking elements of the flesh at work in the church. God's purpose is to edify the body through these manifestations. Only then will they truly be gifts to the church.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sloshed in the Spirit?

Getting "drunk in the Holy Spirit" has been a popular concept in some churches. But is it biblical?

The following is an article by Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine

A few years ago a traveling charismatic minister from the West coast passed through Florida to conduct a series of renewal meetings. I'd never heard of the guy, but the rumor was that he carried a "special" anointing. It was unique, that's for sure-especially when he took the microphone, slurred his words as if intoxicated and leaned to the left of the pulpit as if he were about to fall over. Then, in between some bizarre spasms, he would shout what sounded like "Walla walla bing bang!"

His message didn't make sense. But if he had just said "Ding Dong Bell" or "Yabba Dabba Doo" over and over, some people in his meetings would have run to the front of the room and swooned, even though he never opened his Bible during his message. They wanted what this man claimed to possess—an anointing to become "drunk in the Spirit."

"Let's put the childish things behind us. It's time for us to grow up and sober up."

Spiritual intoxication has been a trend in charismatic circles for a while. Some respected preachers, citing Acts 2:13, defend the concept that Christians might feel drunk when they are filled with the Holy Spirit (because the early disciples were accused of being drunk when they spoke in tongues). This teaching led to lots of disorderly conduct in revival meetings—including nosebleeds, bruises and more serious injuries.

Some people began to manifest what looked like seizures during renewal services, and the bizarre behavior was defended as "manifestations of the Spirit." Some pastors even encouraged wobbly saints to find "designated drivers" if they felt too drunk to operate a vehicle when it was time to go home. Meanwhile, some worship leaders introduced "Holy Ghost drinking songs" that encouraged people to slosh around in the joy of the Lord while uncorking more of His new wine.

The spiritual drunkenness craze led to other charismatic fads, including an infatuation with angels, an obsession with golden dust and the strange teachings of John Crowder—a confessed "new mystic" who compares the infilling of the Holy Spirit to smoking marijuana.

Crowder, who is planting a church in Santa Cruz, Calif., this fall, sometimes calls his meetings "sloshfests" and refers to himself as a bartender for God. He teaches that God wants all Christians to be continually drunk in the Holy Spirit—and he provides resources to help you do just that, including an electronica recording that will help you, in Crowder's words, "trance out," and a teaching that encourages stigmata and levitation.

I'll let the theologians sort out all the obvious reasons why Crowder and other "new mystics" are treading on dangerous ground. Meanwhile I have a less complicated concern. With all of this emphasis on Holy Ghost intoxication, did anybody notice that the Bible clearly commands us to be spiritually sober?

If soberness wasn't mentioned in the New Testament, then I wouldn't be beating this drum so loudly. But I find numerous references, from both Peter and Paul. "But you, be sober in all things," is Paul's admonition to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:5, NASB). He tells the Thessalonians, "But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation," (1 Thess. 5:8).

Peter hammers the same point. He wrote, "Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:13) and "The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer" (1 Pet. 4:7).

The soberness here is not primarily a reference to abstaining from alcohol (although it's worth mentioning that believers who drink will find it more difficult to obey these commands). To be sober can be defined "to show self-control," "to be sane or rational," or "to be free from excess or extravagance." A sober Christian knows the heights of God's inexpressible joy, but he is never ruled by emotions, passions, lust or any other category of temptation that has the power to dull the spiritual senses.

When I look at the state of our nation today, and consider our spiritual challenges, it's obvious the last thing we need are Christians who are so sloshed in emotional euphoria that they can't pray intelligently and work diligently.

This is not a time for God's people to be incapacitated. We need to be thinking, planning, strategizing, researching and building—all using the Holy Spirit's wisdom. Yes, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit like never before—but He is not going to fill us so we can act like giddy freshmen at a frat house keg party. Let's put the childish things behind us. It's time for us to grow up and sober up.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. You can find him on Twitter at leegrady.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Komen Mess- the Pink Stink

Susan G Komen dropped its support of the Planned Parenthood because they have an internal policy that prohibits supporting groups under congressional investigation. Since Planned parenthood is under investigation the charity dropped its support. Then turned around based on the angry response from the Planned Parenthood crowd. Exaggerated claims of help PP being the "only place for women's health" began to make the rounds. Threats were abundant on Twitter and FB. Suddenly Komen anounced a reversal. They have succeded in angering both sides of the argument. Today heads began to role. I think that we should avoid the pink stink until they get their story straight.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spiritual Gifts- Healing

We come to the gifts of healing in our study of the charisms of the Spirit. Once again, we remind ourselves that the context of these verses is the church gathered. Beginning in 11.2 the Apostle has been talking about propriety in worship as the church gathers. it is in this context, that he has mentioned the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Paul sees these as equipment that the individual believers have distributed upon them by the Spirit so that they may minister one to another. In the same way that the other gifts are not the sole property of the one on whom they have been distributed, neither is the healing gift the express possession of one individual.

Interestingly enough, when we look at the verbiage we recognize the plural in both the word "gifts" and "healings". What is the significance of this? Some have  recognized that the gifts of healings refer to various healings of various diseases. The thought being that there is a variety of proficiencies in healing various diseases. But T. Holdcroft implores us to look deeper than that saying"... the Bible by no means restricts its presentation of God's provision for human healing to a limited scattering of gifted healers..." Truly, the gifts of healing may "shine forth" through many as the church gathers. God has given us direction in James 5.14,15 for the sick to call the elders of the church for prayer and anointing with oil. But any can used in healing, if they are open to the Holy Spirit's manifesting himself in such a way through them.

That these gifts are often attached to evangelists is of no surprise. Mark 16.17,18 reminds us that these signs shall accompany the proclamation of the Word. For we often see the celebration of healing and forgiveness in the same breath (Ps 103). We see these gifts in the lives of those apostles in the book of Acts. But these gifts of healing and other miraculous signs are not limited to those who are apostles as some have said. Philip, for instance (Acts 8.6) did many miracles in Samaria and Barnabus (Acts 14.3) had the word of grace confirmed by signs and wonders. Here in 1 Corinthians Paul is reminding them of the significance of the diversity of the Spirit's manifestations among them when they gather. We ought to be pricked to measure our gatherings against those of the Corinthian church, and to seek the gifts of healings and make room for them among us, realizing that we are given these gifts to compliment and equip the body of believers.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A wrong view of Marriage

I am responding to an article written by James Peron.
One of the more prevalent arguments waged against marriage equality is historically equivalent to creationism. Creationists ignore science and argue, based entirely on their reading of Bible mythology, that the world is 7,000 years old and that species don't evolve. For them, reality has to fit their theology, not the other way around.
Here, of course, James is demonstrating his ignorance of creationism. Not all of those who believe in that the earth has God as it's author believe that the earth is 7000 years old (actually none of them believe that! since Moses was likely writing in the 12th century BC!) and certainly many who actually look at the sciences of cosmology seen likely evidence in things like the cosmological constant and various other scientific evidences that point to the possibility of a creator. For the Christian truth (be it scientific or theological) is absolute and will always be consistent within itself.
One of our projects at the Moorfield Storey Institutehas been the fight for marriage equality. To do that, I've had to do something that opponents of equality fail to do: research. I've read a dozen or so decent histories of marriage, countless papers on the situation regarding the laws, and contemporary looks at what really does happen when marriage equality is realized.
OMG he can read! Seriously, is he honestly saying that people of faith are ignorant of the history of marriage?
In that study I realized that marriage and the origins of life are similar. There are two basic views. One assumes that marriage was created pretty much as it supposedly existed in 1950s America. There was a husband, who was a wage-earner, with a stay-at-home wife and 2.1 children. For good measure, there was a dog, a cat, and grandparents who provided babysitting when Mom and Dad had to attend a business dinner.
Of course, actual marriage in the 1950s wasn't even like that, but then marriage has never been like that. Faith-based history is different. Focus on the Family claims that "God created marriage as a loyal partnership between one man and one woman." The Protestant Reformed Churches of America, a Calvinist outfit, claims that "God created the family in paradise as the first institution He made." They are also quick to tell you that "woman is not man's equal (except in terms of their salvation)."
Here James pseudojournalism is clearly mistaken. Jesus  and Paul was an advocate of equality between the sexes. many of his followers were women, they advocated the empowerment of women into spiritual leadership, and assured their followers that "in Christ there is neither male nor female". Evangelicals today clearly recognize that there is equality, but we also recognize a distinction between the sexes. This is something that the liberal left has difficulty recognizing (except between the sheets).
The creationist view of marriage is that a divine being magically made marriage appear one day by creating a man and a woman and having them make a family (which always raises the question as to the sexual partners of the children of that first couple, especially as the Biblical account has Eve giving birth only to sons).
And the view of Peron and his ilk is that men and women magically appeared from some prebiotic soup mixture (that also magically appeared) and through millions of years of accidental mutations a man and a woman popped out of the soup and mysteriously knew what their penis and vagina were for! And thus the species was able to propogate!(though the thousands of ooppsies and tragically misformed left not a single fossil as evidence of their existence)
However, not even the Old Testament verifies what the creationists argue. It showed marriages to be anything but the Focus on the Family version of a loving couple and their loving children. The men of the Old Testament, including patriarchs of the Bible, often had multiple wives. Abraham supposedly had relationships with Sarah and Hagar. If the Book of 1st Kings is to be believed, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines -- which really does sound like male bravado more than anything else.
OT is describing the fall from God's ideal as it records these things. In it's recording of these things it is not endorsing the actions. Jesus came to restore the ideal of marriage as a man and a wife for life in Matthew 5.32; 19.9 etc. If one can read the texts for themselves they can  see that Jesus is restoring a standard that is higher that the one being lived out. Surely even James Peron can read that... if he dares!
When you look at the real-world history of marriage, you don't see any evidence for this creationist view. What you see is that marriage evolved and has kept evolving. At different times, in different places, marriage filled different functions. The functions marriage filled determined the nature of the marriage at the time. Form follows function.
When land was the major means of production, marriage was intimately tied to the acquisition of land. Under Old Testament law, a man was obligated to marry his brother's widow, as it helped keep land in the family. Where land was a prime consideration, marriages were often arranged, and marrying close kin was common.
Clearly - James must have misread this. The purpose of the levirite law was to propogate the lineage of the deceased brother. In fact, Israel was not a land owning society. The Israelites were nomadic peoples at the time of that law being written. Sorry James!
In Imperial Rome, families that ruled the city were very concerned with the politics of marriage. Alliances were formed or dissolved through marriages and divorces. Meanwhile, the husband wasn't expected to necessarily love his wife, or desire her. No one was horrified if he stepped out on her with a mistress, or even a male lover, provided that rules meant to preserve the social hierarchy were followed -- at least in public.
While this is true, there were many that were horrified (even in Rome) at the dissolution of the family and wrote to warn that the fall of the family unit and marriage in particular would end in the collapse of the Roman empire.
Marriage, at other times, was primarily about household production. The natives of North America had male functions and female functions. Various tribes allowed same-sex relationships, provided that one of the partners took on the role assigned to females. In addition, they often ascribed mystical powers to this individual as a "two-spirit" being, encompassing the spirits of both genders.
The further one gets away from the divine understanding of marriage as a God inspired institution the more utilitarian and empty it becomes. Respect for others and honoring within the family unit and marriage itself is the cornerstone of the family.
For most of human history, marriage was not about love at all. The idea of marriage being about loving couples is very much a modern idea. Of course, once love and mutual nurturing became a prime function of marriage, it opened the door to same-sex marriages, as well.
Rome's ruling families saw marriage as politics, not love. Marriage was to insure that a political elite held power. Romance was found outside marriage. Sexual satisfaction could be found there, as well, with partners of either sex, with little disapproval. A homosexual Roman gentleman could still have his romantic interest, because that was not the function of marriage.
What was on display was rampant hedonism not a display of marital commitment as it should be. Even those who acted out homosexually were smart enough to know that 2 people of the same sex cannot create children. Therefore, the marriage was entered into to create a family.
The moment someone tells me "marriage has always been" something or another, I know they are ignorant of the actual history of marriage. It has never "always" been anything. It has taken different forms, with different social rules attached. Those forms and rules changed as the function of marriage changed.
Not true- Marriage has always been about the propogation of a legitimate family. Hence the creation of terms like "bastard child" and "illegitimate child".
In our world, the function of marriage is not about land, politics, or even procreation. It is about love and mutual support between the spouses. Given the modern function of marriage, it is hardly surprising that gay couples want to be included. They have the same needs and wants as other couples, and marriage provides them the same benefits and serve the same functions as it does for straight couples.
Marriage is not a stagnant institution. It is a vital, evolutionary institution constantly changing forms as the functions it fills adapt to new circumstances.
In fact, the idea that loving homosexuals should marry is undone my Mr. Peron's argument. Marriage isn't about love but about legitimizing family. Since homosexuals are incapable of having children themselves there isn't any need for them to be married. Well, except the real one behind the homosexual agenda... that is the social legitimizing of homosexual relationships. The reason the gay agenda has so soundly embraced this marriage idea is that they want to be legitimized in society. They want to be seen as the biological equivalent of the heterosexual couple- but alas, they cannot be what they are not. I do not endorse violence or hatred of homosexuals, nor do I endorse prejudice or somehow keeping homosexuals from their civil rights. But marriage is not a civil right of the homosexual as it is biologically driven- hardwired into the species.
My suggestion is that James Peron... do a little more research!