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Sunday’s Coming!

Posted by Rick on June 20, 2008

There has been a lot of TV and News stories this week about “Gay” marriages being legalized in California. There seems to be a new tolerance and even acceptance of homosexuality as a “normal” lifestyle choice in our society. Join us Sunday, as we take a look at what God has to say about this in Romans 1:18-32 as we look at “A Convenient Morality”.

Sunday evening, we’ll continue our study of Ephesians looking at chapter 2:11-22. I’m calling this sermon, “God’s Household”.

Be sure to invite someone to Sunday School!

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12 Responses to “Sunday’s Coming!”

  1. keltic said

    It sounds like an interesting sermon for Sunday morning. Will you be talking about how Paul uses Romans 1 to “set up” the Jewish Christians and get them on his side as he points out the impurities of the Gentile Christians? Paul talks smack on the dirty Gentiles, saying they even engage in same sex behaviors. I hope you’ll continue beyond ch. 1 and point out how Paul turns the tables on the Jewish Christians; how he shows them that their rituals do not make them sinless, and that judging the Gentiles is wrong. Gentile idolatry may have caused them to do distasteful things, but Paul points out that the Jews’ rituals concerning purity did not prevent them from sinning in the same was as the Gentiles.

    I’m not sure what those verses have to do with gay marriage though…..

  2. Matt A. said

    Paul really was gifted at rhetoric, wasn’t he? Tar the other side so well that people can’t help but agree, then turn it all upside down in a sentence. (Romans 2:1, in this case) Paul’s audience (the baby Christians at the baby Christian church in Rome) didn’t know even what hit them.

    Kudos to you, Bro. Rick, for joining the growing choir of theologians who question the most readily accepted eisegesis of our time!

  3. Bro. Rick said

    Keltic & Matt,

    Thank you for your comments on our church website. I sincerely hope that take a look around. You will find my previous sermons online by clicking on the tab above.

    Thank you for your suggestions regarding my sermon. Since I’ve not had any interaction with you before, I took a look at both of your blogs. (and SoulForce) While your suggestions are appreciated (but unsolicited), I must take a look at your motives for making the suggestions.

    You can pretend that homosexuality is not a sin all you want. I will say it is no worse than gossip, lying, cheating, adultery, or murder. But it IS sin. You can pretend that God is not displeased with it. Again, you can pretend all you want.

    I don’t hate you. (For goodness sake, I don’t even KNOW you!) But I do hate your sin (just as much as I hate my OWN sin). I try to treat all sin the same, but I do not want to make any sin acceptable in our society. I would hope that I could never be accused of hating anyone. I will, however, agree with God and say that homosexuality, along with other forms of fornication, is sin.

    I want you to know that I’m judging your lifestyle in the same way that I would judge the lifestyle of a TV preacher who goes looking for prostitutes in his free time. You both enjoyed pulling out chapter 2 of Romans, and rightly so. But don’t stop there. Take a look at the whole of the Word of God, not just choice passages that make your point.

    If we decide that homosexual marriage is not a sin and should be legal, why not make polygamy legal as well? How about child prostitution? Why not legalize all forms and expressions of sexuality? Inasmuch as you will say that I have no right to judge, I will also say that I will refuse to give “hearty approval to those who practice” these things.

    The final question we must ask ourselves of our own motives is “Does it bring glory to God?” You are only fooling yourself if you think the answer to homosexuality and homosexual marriage glorifying God is “yes”. If you can’t see that, then take a long hard look again at Rom 1:26-27.

    I refuse to “tickle ears”. (2 Tim. 4:3)

  4. Matt A. said

    I don’t know about Keltic, but I wasn’t making suggestions (leaving the post open for comments is generally accepted as accepting input), I just misunderstood your point of view. Darn.

    Rest assured, I’ve spent a good long time in Romans and the rest of the clobber passages, and the rest of the Bible for that matter, and I know Whom I have believèd.

    But the biggest issue (to me) isn’t whether homosexuality is a sin or not.

    I’m interested in Christians doing what Jesus told us to do, and not just when it’s convenient or publicly accepted. I’m interested in people like me being welcome in God’s house, just like people who have gossiped, lied, cheated, committed adultery, murder, or any other thing you might identify as sin. And I have a sneaking suspicion that people like me wouldn’t be so welcomed.

    I get that suspicion from your comparison of homosexuality to raping children. A common and rather disgusting ploy, and I hate to see it coming from a supposed man of God.

    By the way, you mentioned that you were judging my ‘lifestyle’. But I haven’t told you what my ‘lifestyle’ is. What do you presume to know about me that you may judge me lacking, and why do you so presume?

  5. Bro. Rick said

    Matt,

    It appears to me that you and Keltic, since you are both members of SoulForce, got together and decided to politely try to influence my sermon. I have links to my site coming from a SoulForce private message. Since you and Keltic63 are both active in that, with Keltic being a moderator, am I wrong in my assumption?

    I am sorry that you have judged me and my congregation before you have known us. You might be very surprised indeed in the welcome you would experience in our church. I certainly don’t preach hate; except that we are to follow God’s example to love the sinner, but hate the sin. This was the first time that I preached anything (I think) regarding homosexuality or gay marriage. Within that sermon, I made quite clear to everyone that God hates ALL sin, not just the sin of homosexuality. I included gossip, adultery, and murder, among others. I made it painfully clear that I do not hate people who are homosexuals, murders, or gossips; but I do hate the sin.

    You made quite a leap when you said that I compared homosexuality to raping children. If you will see, I placed it in the category of all sin. It falls within the “fornication” or “immorality” category, if there are actually categories. I think you are guilty of what you just accused me of doing. I mentioned homosexuality, then polygamy, then child prostitution. It would seem obvious to most people that I was using a descending values illustration to make a point. I feel it is both unreasonable and irresponsible of you to say what you have said for the sake of sensationalism.

    I presumed that you are homosexual based on your forum threads in SoulForce, using “We” when talking about GLBT issues. Am I wrong? If so, I sincerely apologize. If not, I think “thou doest protest too much.”

    I don’t know what else to say. This just seems to surreal to continue.

  6. Matt A. said

    I’m listening to your sermon right now. You’re making some sweeping generalizations from the pulpit. Among them, that gays* “live in fear” of disease and of their boy/girlfriends walking out on them. Both of which are weird to assume, but

    Ooh! You just mentioned me! (Congratulations, Keltic! Six weeks till the big day!) And again, you misread my first reply. I wasn’t trying to affect your sermon, I was happy that you were giving the whole truth. Only to find that you weren’t, and you totally miss the point of Paul’s letter to the baby church in Rome. Which totally bums me out.

    As far as hating my ‘lifestyle’ (I’ll get back to that in a minute) but not me, I question that. Strike that, I don’t believe you. Sorry, experience tells me otherwise. See, the only time I’ve ever seen or heard the phrase ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ is in regard to homosexuality. I only hear the claimed connection between the act of hate and the act of love when people are talking about gay sex. I don’t hear entire condemning sermons about gossip or adultery or gluttony (ahem), let alone sermons about those sins with the preacher saying ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’.

    And no, when you spend an entire sermon condemning me, you aren’t setting a Godly example, and you aren’t creating an atmosphere that I would find welcoming or holy or anything but hate-full. I wonder if you would present a sermon on divorce with the same attitude. (You might want to leave the car running if you decide to do so.)

    I did say I’d come back to the ‘lifestyle’ thing, didn’t I? Nowhere on or offline have I indicated that I am sexually active. You walked into the conversation assuming that I must be active, that I just must be sinning in this way. That’s not the assumption of one who loves the sinner, but hates the sin. (obligatory acknowledgment of the lie of homosexual sin)

    (Further on the sermon, you’re confusing the issues of civil marriage (what was legalized in California last week) and religious marriage (which was not at all related to the California ruling). And BTW, I agree that the Canada thing was way overreaching and hope that it’s overturned.)

    *Since you asked, the term comes from (IIRC) code words created in the early 20th century when homosexuals were so persecuted that they had to acknowledge fellow homosexuals with the question “Are you gay?” Outsiders heard the word ‘happy’, and they were allowed to live another day.

  7. Bro. Rick said

    Matt,

    Kudos to you if you are single and are not sexually active. I can appreciate that in any person of any age. If that is the case, you are the only person with whom I have had any contact who has “come out” and yet remains celibate. So, if you are not living the homosexual lifestyle, then I do sincerely apologize. It takes a person living in God’s grace to live a life of holiness.

    Sweeping generalizations? I don’t think so. I had two gay roommates in college. I saw how miserable they were then and see how miserable they still are 25 years later.

    Why do you think you have only heard the phrase “love the sinner; hate the sin” in regard to homosexuality? Could it not be because most people find homosexuality so vile that preachers and others have to say that so that the sinner and sin can be separated and the sinner can therefore be cared for? You might find interesting that the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention took it a step farther and says, “Love the sinner, hate OUR sin”.

    I hope you listen to the whole sermon and are able to get past your own emotions. I certainly didn’t spend the entire sermon condemning you. I never mentioned you once by name. In fact, I went so far at one point to specifically say I wasn’t talking about you. Matt, I don’t think you are a “bad” guy and I certainly don’t hate you. I do think you have a distorted view of God’s word. In a previous comment, you said you weren’t concerned whether or not homosexuality is a sin. That is a really big statement to make. You are certainly in support of it, and the lifestyle that follows. It appears that you have decided for yourself, in order to justify yourself, that God doesn’t care about this. Our sinful nature says that each of us are born with a tendency toward sin. For some it is sins of morality, some are bent toward sins of pride, others have a tendency towards violence. Some people embrace the tendency and it gives birth to sin. (I’m sure you’ve heard the expression a “natural-born liar”.) Where the decision comes is when the person either decides to give in to the “natural” tendencies, or goes the way of the Cross. Modern culture has gone so far to say that homosexuality isn’t a “sin tendency” but is instead an alternative life-choice. That is simply a suppression of the truth of God. Period.

    It has become quite fashionable to differentiate between civil marriage and religious marriage. That makes it much more convenient to define your own morality.

  8. keltic said

    I plan on spending some time with this later today, but I do want to make a few notes about the last comment from you, Bro. Rick. Am I to understand that you want to deny gay people the opportunity to commit to each other publicly and in a civil marriage ceremony, in essence saying that their love is worthless, THEN want to be able to hold out their promiscuity as proof that they should not be allowed to marry. The church has done this for entirely too long. Sadly, gay people have trusted the pastors who have said such things, and fulfilled exactly what has been expected of them by our RELIGIOUS leaders.

    The term “sweeping generalizations” sticks out for me, because as you use it, your proof of not making such is based on 2 people. Should I base my assessment of all heterosexual relationships on 2 people? I’ll pick my friend who is on husband #4, and my brother who is having an affair with a married woman. So my generalization is that marriage isn’t worth much to the straight population. I’ve downloaded the sermon and will respond later.

  9. Bro. Rick said

    Keltic and Matt,

    You guys knocked on MY door. YOU initiated this. You are the ones that conspired together to make comments on my church website.

    This is obviously an extremely emotional issue for you. From the very git-go, I simply made a post about my up-coming Sunday service. You guys got together and decided to say what you wanted. I’ve said what I’ve wanted and now you appear to be offended and angry about it. Now, you appear to be targeting ME. Remember, no one invited you to read my blog. You had to click on a link somewhere to get go it on your own initiative.

    You have read a WHOLE LOT into my last comment. You have taken it to the conclusion you have chosen to take it to. That is your responsibility.

    You aren’t going to change my understanding of God’s word and it looks like you have made up your mind on the issue, so why don’t we just drop it?

  10. Matt A. said

    When you make your site available to the public and allow comments, you’re inviting people to read and join the conversation on your site. That’s just how it works. As far as how who got where, you’re right, I got a message from Keltic (whom I’ve never met) that I might be interested in your blog because this is an important subject to me. We didn’t ‘get together’, and we certainly didn’t discuss replying.

    You aren’t going to change my understanding of God’s word and it looks like you have made up your mind on the issue, so why don’t we just drop it?

    Just to clear this up, that’s what I meant when I said that “the biggest issue (to me) isn’t whether homosexuality is a sin or not”. Not that it doesn’t matter (because it does), but that it isn’t the primary reason for my reply.

    On an unrelated note, you might want to turn off those automated links below your post. The first one, “new gspot”, is leading somewhere that I have a feeling you wouldn’t be happy about. I know I wouldn’t be.

  11. keltic said

    I’m sorry if you’re feeling attacked. That’s certainly not my goal, and yes, I did invite Matt to take a look at the site. As Matt pointed out, you made this site public, and it’s just as easy to make it private and allow only those who attend your church access to this site. But if you put it out there, in public, you can probably expect some response. As far as clicking on a link, well, wordpress brought it up on the tag surfer. I’m surprised you only got this response.

    Here’s the problem, gay and lesbian people suffer persecution often based on what is said from religious leaders. When I saw that you were preaching on the subject, I decided to reply.

    You, Bro. Rick, have a degree in psychology. You are probably aware that not only the American Psychological Association, but other professional organizations believe that a homosexual orientation is naturally occurring and unchangeable. How is it justifiable to deny people CIVIL rights based on your religious beliefs when the science says this is natural for some people?

  12. Bro. Rick said

    Keltic,

    There is an essential flaw in your argument. You assume that homosexuality is unchangeable, which puts those people into a protected class. This is simply not true, and you know it. It IS changeable. You are using a common intimidation argument by GLBT groups. Civil rights are reserved for groups of people based on race, gender, disabilities & age, but not sexual orientation. While there have been some gains by GLBT groups in this arena, you aren’t guaranteed civil rights based on your sexual preferences. So don’t go there.

    Matt,

    Thanks for your heads up on the links. I’ll turn them off.

    To all, since this is my website, I get the last word. Comments are now turned off on this post.

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