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Posts tagged ‘Yes (band)’

Love the Gay Community as Jesus Would.


gays
How should Christians treat gay people? The love of God makes it clear.

There is no hierarchy on sin, as some in the Christian community seem to express by their extreme condemnation of gay people. The church is failing to demonstrate love partly because we think loving a gay person is an endorsement of their lifestyle. Somehow Jesus was able to separate a person’s sin and their value as an individual in how He related to them. This is something we in the church struggle to do.

My Experience at Harvard With the Gay Community

In the spring of 2011, I was part of a group of 10 speakers at a conference at Harvard University. Within two weeks of the announcement of our conference, the gay community came against us in full force. They did not want Christians on the campus. Their reason was that they believed we would bring bigotry and hate to their campus. Our conference was on the topic of social transformation and had nothing to do with the gay agenda. I was personally slandered across the Internet, as they tried to connect me to some legislation in Uganda that involved anti-gay legislation. They did this because I had visited Uganda, and the pastor who hosted me had been involved in the legislation. Because of this, they concluded I was supportive of that legislation. I was not.

At the conclusion of our conference, we invited several of the gay activists to meet with us and tell us why they were so against us. We calmly listened to their accusations, which had no basis in truth. I explained my position about the Uganda legislation.

The man who spread lies about me said, “I wrongfully judged you. Would you like me to publish a retraction in the Harvard paper?”

Yes, that would be great,” I said. “Thank you.”

During our two-day conference, one Harvard professor attended all of our meetings. At the conclusion of our time, we all shook hands, and we were very respectful to one another. We didn’t agree on certain issues, but we respected the right of each to have an opinion.

These activists experienced a different type of Christian—one who was willing to dialogue about the issues. The gay community concluded we were not like the rest of the Christian community that was closed-minded and judgmental. We still held our beliefs about what the Bible says about being gay, but we could have a healthy discussion about it and love them as people made in the image of God and deserving respect.

At the conclusion of our time, the professor who moderated our discussion turned to the gay activists and said, “Gentlemen, I have just gone through the entire conference and never heard one negative comment about gays. I found nothing offensive about anything they said all weekend. We would welcome this group anytime on the Harvard campus.”

I find that the gay community and the Christian community hold certain biases against one another that are based on the past behaviors of each with extreme judgmental attitudes. I believe many gays believe their lifestyle is a lifestyle they were born with by God. And I believe they must justify their behavior in order to explain it in a way that they can accept themselves as well as gain acceptance from others. To classify their behavior as sinful is very different than classifying it as the way they were made.

Jesus Hung Out With Sinners—Even Homosexuals

“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many gays and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples (Matt. 9:10, NIV).

No, that is not what the Scripture said. It was tax collectors Jesus hung out with.

“‘Which of the two did what his father wanted?’

“‘The first,’ they answered.

Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you’” (Matt. 21:31).

Let’s face it: Jesus got a lot angrier at Pharisees than He did at those living a sinful lifestyle. When Jesus saved the prostitute from being stoned, He didn’t discount her sin; He just told her to “go and sin no more.” My guess is that if Jesus were living today, He would befriend gays to let them experience His love personally in hopes they might embrace God’s love instead of Satan’s counterfeit love.

The Christian community has failed to embrace Jesus’ model of helping and loving those who, in many cases, don’t think they need Christ or a different lifestyle than the one they live. We all believed that before we embraced Christ. Unfortunately, when we embrace a life of sin, no matter what sin it is, we fall into deception. Moral compromise always leads to deceit.

The gay community has adopted the position, “You will accept us whether you want to or not!” The community seeks acceptance from the straight community, politicians and God. The problem is, they want endorsement of a lifestyle versus acceptance of them as people deserving of mutual respect. There is a big difference between these two concepts.

Christianity cannot, nor should it, condone sin in whatever form it is expressed. However, no sin is worse than another in the eyes of God. God hates pride, religion, pornography, divorce and homosexuality. But He never hates individuals. He does hate sin.

Editor’s NoteThis is Part 2 of a five-part series. Be sure to check back to Charisma News for the remainder of the series. Click here to read part 1.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Os Hillman is president of Marketplace Leaders and author of Change Agent and TGIF Today God Is First.

{ Day 116 }.


Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LordSong of Solomon 8:6, NAS

God‘s holy flame is relentless and consuming. It will eventually ignite one focused on Jesus with emotions of love for Him. However, if we are too busy to ask Him for this and to wait before Him for it, then this flame will be diminished. Even though our careless living causes this flame of the Spirit to die down, this does not mean God’s love has decreased toward us. The flame we are referring to here does not represent God’s love and affection for us; rather, it represents the passion and zeal that He imparts in us for His Son. We can lose our passion for Jesus without losing God’s love for us.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Yes, Father, the fire of Your love has caused a flame to arise within me that seeks to love You more and to know You more.

We must refuse to believe the subtle lie of the
enemy that says God’s love for us goes up and down
with our own vacillating spiritual feelings
and attainments.

By MIKE BICKLE.

{ Day 92 }.


Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. —Deuteronomy 33:12

Every time Satan comes to weight down your heart with his lies, speak what the Word says back to him. The next time your own heart points a merciless, judgmental finger at your own failings, listen to the loving voice of Jesus as declared in His Word that says, “We are pleasing and beautiful to Him. Yes, we have ravished His heart!”

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I hear Your loving voice, my Father, and it drowns out the depressing, lying voice of the enemy. I will not hear his voice; I will not believe his lies. You are my hope, my sustenance, and my joy.

When you hear the affirming words of your Beloved,
do not open your mouth to protest.
Accept them. Believe them. They’re really true.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Chinua Achebe: Death, Where Are Thy Claws? By Niyi Osundare.


By Niyi Osundare

Chinua Achebe is one of those epically unique individuals whose lives have been so full, so purposive and so impactful that we begin to pray that they will never die. But who doesn’t know that that is mere wishful thinking? To be sure, the Eagle on Iroko didn’t die young, but he left when we still need him urgently and acutely. He has gone, but he left so much of, by, himself behind…
Achebe shook up the literary world with Things Fall Apart when he was barely in his late twenties. He told Africa‘s story and gave humanity a song. Since that day in 1958 when that epochal novel intruded upon the world to this very day, hardly any week has passed without the author’s name being mentioned somewhere in this world of books and ideas.

But if the sheer force and range of Achebe’s fiction gave Africa a voice, the fearless truth of his critical interventions challenged so many myths and deliberate falsehoods about the most misrepresented and recklessly abused continent in the world. Achebe knew, and he tried to get us to know, that  Africans will remain mere objects of the stories told by others, until they, Africans,  have started to tell their own story their own way – without shutting out the rest of the world. Achebe challenged the 20th century philosophy of fiction as a pretty object d’art, arriving with works which foregrounded the human condition and told the wondering world that the clotheless Emperor was, indeed, naked! He entered a plea for the urgent necessity of an entity called ‘applied art‘ and emboldened us to look triumphalist Formalism in the face and demand to see its passport. Yes, Achebe told a world sold to the art-for-art’s-sake mystique that it is, indeed, possible to be an accomplished novelist who is also a teacher.

Controversy hardly ever parts company with a writer and thinker of his brand. He took almost as much criticism as he gave; for he was a man who never ran from a fight.

The world celebrates the LIFE of this distinguished story-teller and thinker. (Yes, celebrate, for to mourn is to concede supremacy to Death – and Oblivion, its Mephistophelean factotum).

Rest well, Chinualomogu. Rest well, Obierika, the man who thought about things. Posterity will never let you die. We regret your passing. We celebrate your Life.

Niyi Osundare
New Orleans.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Right words…right time…


“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
-Proverbs 9:9

I love wisdom. I love when people have the right thing to say at the right time. Here’s an example:

A teenager once said, “Dad, now that I’m 16, I’d like to own an automobile and so maybe you can get that for me.”

“Well,” said the dad, “if you can make straight A’s and then cut your hair, I think you’d be ready for a car.”

The boy came back nine weeks later with a straight-A report card, and he said, “Dad, I’m ready for my car.”

The father responded, saying, “Yes, but your hair still is atrocious, and I’m not going to get you a car until you cut your hair.”

“Dad,” said the boy, “I can’t believe you make such a big deal about my long hair. Even Jesus had long hair.”

“Yes,” said the dad, “and He walked everywhere He went.”

What a wise response! Yes, we all need wisdom.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that, by following you, through your word and your will, I will gain wisdom and strength to live life abundantly in each new day. Amen.

Reflection: Has anyone called you wise? What had you done to cause others to perceive you in this way?

By Steve Arterburn, Crystal Cathedral Guest Pastor

{ Day 250 }.


Incline your ear, and come to Me. … I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people. —Isaiah 55:3-4, NKJV

David was a lot like many Christians today. He didn’t just want to be a man of obedience and intimacy.

He wanted to see the power of God released in his nation and in his personal life. This pursuit pleases God.

The Lord at this very moment is searching for men and women whose hearts can be fully His. He is looking for that capital Yes in people’s spirits.

Some mistakenly believe that they must be without weakness in order to contend for and receive God’s power.

They imagine some perfect, totally righteous person being endued with the power of the Holy Spirit, but they never picture themselves doing great works of power for God.

They know their own faults too well. The good news from David’s life is that not only does God allow us to draw close to Him in intimacy in spite of our failings, but He also encourages us to pursue His power even when we are weak.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, give me Your eyes to see myself as Your mighty warrior. Let me confront the Goliaths in my life with David’s confidence, saying, “You come to me with human strength, but I come before you in the strength of my God.”

David’s life is a witness that weakness does not disqualify us from experiencing God’s power.

By MIKE BICKLE.

God’s Promise for Life’s Storms.


Romans 8:28

As we continue our series of messages under the heading: The If’s, Ands and Buts of the Bible … take your Bible and turn with me to Romans 8.  It’s here we find one of the great promises of God and of course when we talk about the “If’s” of the Bible .. we’re talking about those iffy promises of God.
Learn this about the promises of God: while most of them are conditional, all of them are trustworthy!  Our God is the original promise keeper!  He’s not only a promise maker .. He is a promise keeper.
We read in 2 Corinthians 1.20, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

And then in Titus 1.2 where we read, “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” In other words .. God says what He means and He means what He says!  You can believe the word of God!
Today we come to another familiar passage of scripture.  In fact .. it may be one of the most quoted passages of scripture second only to John 3.16.

But we’re going to see that not only is it one of the most quoted passages of scripture… it could be one of the most misquoted and misunderstood passages of scripture.
I’m afraid that a lot of the people claiming this promise have no business claiming it because it’s not for them and do you know why?  Because they’re not meeting the condition!
So what is this promise that has more claimers than it should and how can we all claim it today?  Well … it is …
God’s Promise for Life’s Storms
Romans 8.28
Verse 28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
The sooner you realize that being a Christian in no way exempts you from life’s storms .. the better off you will be.  The Bible says in Job 14.1, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” In other words .. if you’ve been born of a woman: your days are few and what days you have .. are full of trouble.
I have’em.  You have’em.  Adam had’em!  We all have’em!  The only people who don’t have’em are found today in cemeteries! And don’t think you get a pass because you’re saved.  In this life there are storms!
Now some storms are for CORRECTING.  That’s what happened to Jonah.  After three days at the University of Wales .. he learned that disobeying God never pays off.
Sometimes storms are for CONNECTING.  That’s what happened to Joseph and his family.  It took a famine to get them back together again.
Sometimes storms are for CONFORMING.
That’s what happened with the disciples on the sea of Galilee when a storm came up suddenly.  They weren’t in the storm because they were out of God’s will.  They were in the storm because they were in God’s will.
God allowed that storm to help conform them into the image of His Son!  There are CORRECTING STORMS … CONNECTING STORMS … …

By Dr. Ernest L. Easley

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