Archive for May, 2012

Expectations

Posted by on May 31, 2012  |  No Comments

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103: 8-12

As we walk this complex earthly road, we often become insensitive to human lives even while we claim to walk with God. Humility is continually put before me. I believe for far too many years I sought to protect myself from unnecessary pain.  I developed and lived in self proclaimed truths. I looked for love in all the wrong places and usually ended up disappointed or camouflaged with temporary fixes.

Sometimes I just partied and lived oblivious as best I could to contemplating truth and its consequences. I wasted years in frivolity and deceit.

And then I met Jesus face to face. Before me, He revealed my imperfections and made clear my great need for Him.  How could I possibly make up for lost time?  …. I couldn’t.  And He doesn’t expect me to.  He presented Himself before me on the cross. Dying, shedding His blood for all my wrong choices and actions. What a humbling and heart wrenching conviction took place.  Not knowing anything about my future, I gave myself to Him and just asked that He take complete control of my life.

Knowing how I had lived in vain for so very long, I was certain that putting Him first in my life would be celebrated. I was not prepared for the skepticism, judgment, insensitivity and disbelief I was about to encounter.  Satan was angry. And from those who I expected the most, would come the strongest tests of my new found faith in Jesus.

From the most unlikely of places, Satan continues to shoot arrows of doubt, accusations, and less than forgiving individuals.  We all disappoint each other when we fail to meet the expectations we have.  But in Christ we are to live in the spirit of forgiveness. Not just once or twice. The nature of Christ of which we are to emulate, is one of continual forgiveness.  Oh to have the continuous sweet love of Jesus in us. What a blessing we could be with His spirit reflecting and drawing with gentleness.

There are times today when I realize why some grow cold from the treatment of Christians. Because not all Christians know Christ. It is disheartening the words and actions that occur.  I sometimes witness Christians slighting each other and feeling justified in doing so.  I fear I have fallen victim when ugly pride has surfaced.

Without a continual focus on Jesus, we are set up for disappointment, discouragement, bitterness, rejection, alienation  and plenty more.

I have met some with tremendous knowledge and even practical teachings of how to live like Jesus.  Such teachings almost turn sour when the resemblance is not seen.

But praise God, He will continually supply us strength.  He shows His very own compassion. He forgives when we fail Him. He does not hold it against us, threaten us or isolate us.  Oh what love He demonstrates.  Oh to be more like Him.  Each day I pray to fall deeper in love with Him and reflect that love to those I come in contact with.  As difficult as it gets, He promises to supply all the strength we need.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

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Ignorance – A Fatal Sin

Posted by on May 28, 2012  |  No Comments

 

“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.” – Maya Angelou 

“It is harder to conceal ignorance than to acquire knowledge.”  – Arnold Glasow

Inexcusable silence in the service of God has to have some severe consequences.   Mark 16: 15-18 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Do you make other plans for church when you find out that the topic of next weeks sermon is “homosexuality?”  As a pastor, do you make it a point to never develop a sermon that offers God’s forgiveness and healing to those afflicted with same-sex attraction because  it’s just too uncomfortable to talk about? 

All my life I have heard “shhhh …we don’t need to talk about that.” and “that’s just too disgusting to bring up.” And look what’s happened. In the deadly silence, an entire lifestyle and culture developed.  Do you think Jesus will hold anyone responsible for not having offered His “Good News” to “that kind of sinner?” 

During my many years of living a gay lifestyle, I met many many arrogant and self-righteous people. But what kind of person withholds life saving information to someone who is lost in a sea of deep unexplainable feelings that are shaping their lives? 

It’s rather ironic that suddenly many denominations and church leaders have decided that “homosexuality” is not really sin after all.

What? After all these decades of holding it up as the unforgivable sin, the crowning sin… it’s not even sin at all? What happened? What Bible are you reading? Could it be that to avoid the uncomfortable discussion, we’re just going to neutralize it? Is the pressure too hot and heavy from the gay activists to actually stand firmly on the gospel and profess God’s truth and while we’re at it … prove His love?

What a beautiful gift God gave us. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path. He gave us talents, just as outlined in Matthew 25. Are we hiding His gospel… keeping it safe?  Are we wanting to make sure that no one tries to taint it simply by not even offering it?  Will Jesus know you as He descends to take His precious children home? 

Can you afford not to look the other way on homosexuality, prostitution, adultery and other sexual sins?  Do you think Jesus is ready to come and take you home with Him and simply ask why you never got around to offering His love and redemption to these confused souls? What kind of arrogance is this? Isn’t this the epitome of self-righteousness?

When I was convicted in my heart that I was living in sin and not living for God, I allowed Him to take over my life.  It wasn’t long before I recognized that I was still considered the outcast I had been as a child.  So who do you think God commissioned to try and enlighten and teach those who can barely utter the word “homosexuality?”  In fact there are some who can’t even say it. And so we have developed the palatable phrase “same-sex attraction.”

I am constantly reminded that as He has declared: “There will be a people.”  But these people don’t hide. They don’t cover up and they don’t cower from the beauty of the gospel. The very same gospel they accepted.  Are there white sins?  Are there sins that don’t repulse God?  Have you seen the sin bartering taking place in churches?   That’s not so bad, because so and so does this.  Or… since you won’t acknowledge pride as a sin, I’m justified in my homosexuality.  Can you see the danger?

Have you noticed lately how everyone is basically saying, “look at me.” ” I need this…”  or “because of that…” or  “it’s not fair?”  Can you see the effects of a watered-down gospel?

I’ve wondered lately how we can be living in a time that is in more need of Jesus than any other time in history, and yet see evidence everywhere we turn of His Word being neutralized.

God comes back to earth to take home His people who accepted His gospel and allowed Him to change their lives here, not to change them after they get to heaven.  Philippians 2:5 tells us to let this mind be in us which is also in Christ Jesus. Not when we get to heaven… here… today… now… reflecting the same saving grace He offered to each one of us …to others who are in dire need of seeing the beauty and clarity of His truth and pure love.

You can’t afford not to know about “homosexuality.”  You can’t afford to be pious. You can’t afford to think that that sin is worse than your own.

This kind of ignorance is fatal,… not bliss.

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Celebrating Life In Recovery Video

Posted by on May 27, 2012  |  No Comments

3ABN interview with Cheri Peters on Celebrating Life in Recovery.

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Are You a Doubting Thomas?

Posted by on May 23, 2012  |  No Comments

 

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11

Is it possible for someone who has lived an intense gay life to be redeemed by the blood of the lamb and claim complete victory?  It depends on who you ask. But 1 Corinthians 15:57 says “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Surprisingly some who have preached and studied God’s Word all their lives seem to have a significant amount of doubt. In fact in doubt and skepticism many are inclined to believe the “gay Christian” because they’re still living in what comes natural to them.  A “redeemed” gay would not continue to claim a “gay” identity.  That would still be a hanging on to the past and identifying with temptation and not the “New Creation” God promised and gives us in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Perhaps the signficant and visible doubt from some religious figures come from not experiencing victory over some of their own natural sin inclinations. This would lay the ground work for questioning the victory others are proclaiming.  The evidence of victory in God’s dedicated children should be a catalyst of rededication by all make God’s will a priority in their life.  Doubting the work and conviction of the Holy Spirit must sadden and disappoint our Heavenly Father.  We are capable of falling. Not just the person who has suffered from same-sex attraction. Yet this high ranking sin gets undue attention. The “fear factor” seems to weigh down any believable deliverance by many of whom have been declaring that such victory can be had.

In my walk with Christ, over and over it has been proven to me that I am held to a higher level of perfection. And in the “living proof”  that God has made in my life, the doubt many seems to muffle the praise of rejoicing.  I love Jesus and all that He teaches me and the relationship I have developed with Him. I sometimes find myself speechless by the observation of many who will not even speak to or communicate with me. I remain an untouchable to them.  A modern day leper. Many who identify as representatives of Jesus may succumb to a more believable “Jesus” association from those who are outwardly living according to their feelings.  A least in that mode, there is no question as to whether or not they are living sexually pure… a redeemed life.

Our God is so amazing in that He follows through with any promise He has made, providing we believe on Him, submit our will to Him, and walk continually with Him.  Matthew 8:26 “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”   There have been those who have professed  to have “the cure.”  Those who have talked healing, yet continue to walk with the devil in the gutter.   They have returned to vomit such as dogs.  But the opposite must certainly be believed as well. They should be valued and utilized and held accountable.  As there are those God has called who live as He guides and directs. These dear believers are living in Christ in the face of adversity.

I believe Jesus is saying…  please dear men of God .. .will you not believe in my healing and victory of which you yourselves preach?  Living examples of God’s great handiwork are at your fingertips in which you can say .. these are believers whom God is well pleased.  And yet they cower and hide from that which has been so conveniently kept silent for so many decades.   This can be nothing more than doubting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Every one of us are called to self denial.   Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,”

A current and much needed call to spiritual reformation is being heard, yet why are we failing to believe the “redeemed”  living examples of those God has put before us.  I don’t know of many heavier crosses than the one a person carries who used to live according to the natural inclinations which are products of our fallen nature.   These are examples of what Christ has promised every sinner.  This life calls for a continual casting off of self.   It culminates in the promise of  freedom He gave us by burying of our sins at the cross. Romans 8:1

When the demoniacs were set free they were told to go back to where they lived and tell of what Jesus had done for them. I can think of no other sin that has had  so much darkness around it, yet when redemption has occurred, the deliverance is kept just as quiet as the sin itself has been within the church for all these years.

I see ministries regarding many other aspects of God’s Word filling the airwaves daily. Yet rarely do you hear of the high ranking sins we seem consider to be more grevious and uncomfortable to mention.  Time is precious and so are lives.  The silence regarding homosexuality can be deadly. And many are leaving churches to join the world of acceptance due to the fact that no one is reaching out to them and helping them understand what they are supposed to be doing with their feelings.  How can we let them go?  How can we believe that God is pleased with our ignorance and lack of willingness to address all that He has provided solutions for?

I am so very grateful for the opportunities God has provided. There are a small number of God’s own who don’t seem to be ashamed of the gospel. They have heard and responded to the voice of God.  Too many are comfortable sitting in silence. Doesn’t this equate to the parable in Matthew in which precious talents were distributed?  What are we doing with God’s valued advice and promises of victory and healing?

Will He one day say to you… “I don’t know who you are … you wicked lazy servant.”   There is no shame in proclaiming the power of the God you serve! How well do you know Him? Does He have victory in your life?  It’s yours!!!! He promises it to everyone who will believe. Claim your freedom in Him today. Engage in a continuous and intimate relationship with your Creator.  He is our AMAZING God!

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Blinders

Posted by on May 20, 2012  |  No Comments

To many, ignorance still seems to be bliss.  Homosexuality and the acceptance of the behavior has reached a new high even in evangelical circles. “Gay Christians” are making advances with a new theology. A self theology. It runs along side the current trend of “affirming theology.”  These are tactics and self declarations are basically seeking to rewrite God’s Word based on feeling rather than on Biblical truth. They are clearly exemplified in the YouTube video of  Matthew Vines who mutilates God’s Word over the course of an hour.  At this writing, the video has 136,000 hits and only 122 dislikes. This tells me there are few people paying close attention to God and taking Him at His Word.

Additionally a film “Seventh Gay Adventists” has emerged whose producers do not believe that homosexual behavior  is sin. The goal of them film as stated by the producers, is to put gays in touch with dialoging with the Adventist church. The characters of the film have experienced less than honorable behavior from the church.  I also had such experiences before declaring an open gay lifestyle. They are heartbreaking stories. But the church cannot heal the heartache. It didn’t heal mine. Only Jesus is capable of healing. It is Jesus that gays need to meet. The gay majority are not willing to take God at His Word, recognizing that acting out on same-sex desires is sin.

While God’s Word has been provided as a guide, resource and cure for the sin condition, many today are seeking to explain away scripture to accommodate the very sin God has warned about.  The producers of Seventh Gay Adventists are also on board with a national campaign created by Dan Savage called “It Gets Better.”  This is another platform that blatantly focuses on self rather than on Jesus and all that He promises. Dan Savage blasted God’s Word and blasphemed God in a rant he presented in front of high school students who jeered Jesus while a few offended students walked out.”It Gets Better for Adventists” is part of this campaign.

I see these loud declarations as a cry from broken people. Enduring pain an injustices alone can kill. Many of the participants in these campaigns have considered suicide. But does pain and suffering  justify the rewriting or reinterrupting of God’s Word? Aren’t these declarations really a cry for help? Many are confused about what is offered for their heartache and who lived and died for them so that they need not suffer.  Matthew 11:28 says “Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

As Christians we have wandered and focused on the Bible in ways that God likely did not intend. For years and years the focus was on right doing. A check list approach to acceptance by Jesus.  It became vividly clear that this was a rather Bible banging approach. Change began to occur and love messages took over. Many which left the listener feeling good about themselves. Messages that pin pointed sin and it’s solution were no longer on the church radar.

A view of the Israelites, helps put things in perspective in relation to the Christian society over the last several decades. Christian writer Ellen White states that the reason we don’t see any persecution of Christians today is because they are not easily decipherable in the world at large.

Homosexual sin has lived under a rock. We either don’t mention or we have simply whispered about it or discussed it outside of the church congregations. And so the complexity and popularity of the sin has grown and grown.  So much so that now those who were lonely, discouraged and suicidal, have joined forces with other like-minded individuals. The gay culture now represents millions and millions of unchurched afflicted souls.  In desperation, yet seeking God’s approval, they have defaced His Word and accommodated Him to them, instead of discovering His solution to the sin problem by humbly repenting sinful behavior and seeking the healing He promises any sinner. He does not promise to make the gay person straight. He did not create “sexual identity.” Sex was never intended to be an identity.

God gave Adam and Even a gift of intimacy that was never intended to define who they were. But simply  a beautiful enhancement of the perfection God had created in them which would provide them with children to love, enjoy and also engage with Jesus. Sex was to glory God, not degrade man. Satan, created as the angels, had great anger for God in not giving him the ability to even know what sexual expression is. In his desperate attempt to distort God’s purity and gift of life to us, Satan has distorted, confused and destroyed sexual expression in what seems to be endless and reckless havoc.

So in our Sodom and Gomorrah, God is commissioning us to reach out with His truth and His love. He asks us to reflect both His love and His truth and make the ground fertile for the work of and conviction of The Holy Spirit. We can’t change lives. We don’t have the power or the right to change lives. But Jesus promises anyone who will listen and kneel humbly before Him that He will bring us into a right relationship with Him.  Again… this is not changing from gay to straight behavior. There is no honor in that. That may simply change your sexual temptations.  God is asking us to enter into a relationship with Him that leads one to holiness. Seeking to do His will and not our own. Living surrendered to Him throughout every moment of every day.

We are not faced with a homosexual problem. We are face with a gospel issue. How are we as Christian representing Christ?  Today God has chosen me to express this message of hope to His family of believers. Education has to take place in order to see the errors we have committed and recognize the need of our own humility and the need to seek forgiveness from those we have not shared the light that heals and restores any sin tempted or sin sickened soul.

If we are truly seeking Christ; whether we are a believer or a sinner, we must be humbled before one another and seek God’s help and guidance. Healing is available to all. Inside or outside the church. But if we don’t recognize our need for healing… we begin to be deceived and take on the characteristics of the deceiver instead of the healer.

Don’t shy away from the value of such educational tools. God is providing opportunities for all of us to learn and to seek continued healing and victory in Him. We are all inferior and sin stained. We are all in need of The Great Healer and Redeemer.  We can’t shy away from recognizing the sin problem and the sin solution.  We can’t wear blinders on our way to eternity by ignoring those who He has sent us to rescue from their iniquity.

I have looked to the advice of James 5:16 many many times. Confess your sins one to another and pray for one another so that we may be healed.

God is waiting for us to be willing to finish this last message of hope and healing so that He can come and take us to our heavenly home while declaring “Mission Accomplished.”


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Margins

Posted by on May 17, 2012  |  No Comments

I’ve been seeing the term “margins” show up a lot lately right along with “affirming theology.”  Somewhere a huge departure from taking God at His Word has taken place. Many are willing to risk salvation as “self” is glorified instead of God. Another term showing up in association with these other two is “traditionally.”

What I’m picking up from this new way of speaking around and and about God’s Word is that some are not sure if His Word means what it says and so they are going to hang out in the “margins.” At the same time they tend to be fans of “affirming theology” which says you’re fine just the way you are and there’s no need for any change. This often translates in to “feel good” sermons rather than a sermon that points to the request that God is delivering to us to lay down our evil ways and pick up our cross and follow Him.

Than opens the door for the use of the word, “traditionally.”   It is being used by theologians as well as lay people when an excuse is being sought for generalizing behavior that is not biblical as stated in God’s Word.  The idea is that somehow His Word through translation has not conveyed the intended biblical application in the way we are to perceive it.  Thus we are counting things as sin that really are not.  But God’s Word was written for all time. and God has said that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

While times have certainly changed, there are certain customs regarding sin in the way of punishment that we don’t follow through with today. Some of that is because of what Christ did for us by dying on the cross. Some has to do with culture and time alone.  But there are many core values, commands, declarations and truths that have carried over into the New Testament which God has provided to show that His commandments remain for all time. His principles and character are constant. There are examples of what He has given us that require an “It is so” acknowledgment rather than looking for the counter example or questioning God.

Many are failing to see how by generalizing and looking for loopholes, they are presenting in much the same fashion as Lucifer did just prior to his fall. We sometimes look for a scapegoat to burden with our sins. Or we seek a way of escape through rationalization.  But we know where sin came from and we know that we are all afflicted with it.  This type of thinking  conveys that we don’t need God. But for appearances some want to place their own stamp of approval for Jesus, by simply wearing Him around their neck like some iconic figure without the experience He offers us.

The beauty of Jesus is that throughout His Word He frequently points us to the way of escape from sin. Directly through the blood of the lamb. In that submission to Him, He then teaches us and heals us and holds us close to Him with His dear love for us.  Look to Jesus for what He can do, not what we can do.

As you observe all the theoretical dissolving of God’s Word, you have to wonder what are the values of those participating in this water-down theology.  What is the relationship like with Jesus to those who have this belief structure?  Are they seeking daily what they can do for Jesus? Or are they looking for yet another loose end or twist to relinquish them from God’s perfect plan? Are they acquainted with the real love of Jesus that breaks your heart and reveals your brokenness before Him?

I see dissolve instead of strength.  As I seek to have a continued abiding relationship with Jesus that is one of constant submission, it is hard not to doubt the one who is looking for excuse.  That in and of itself requires returning to Jesus and being humbled. Remembering that He also has looked upon me and has seen my doubt and lack of faith in Him at times.  But He kept loving me, treating me with kindness and wooing me to Him.  He never gives up on us.

While there is life there is hope. I want so much to look past my observations and see what He sees. A soul in need of love and understanding. One that through the right reflection of Jesus will be drawn to Him and see their need.  John 8:32 is beautiful because it tells us how the truth will set us free. Jesus is that truth. He loves us so much that He provided His Word for us to guide us to Him. He promises that His character can be in us.  He is a jealous God and asks that we seek Him first.

I would not want to live in the margin. I see His call to reformation rather than affirmation. “Traditionally”.. God and His truth have always prevailed.

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What Is L O V E ?

Posted by on May 6, 2012  |  No Comments

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John 4:8

Nothing compares to the love of Jesus. Anything other than His love is a distortion.  We all say we love this or that. We say “I love you” to someone we “love.” But any pure love is from Jesus Christ. How we apply His love is, we will certainly answer for on judgment day.  When we distort it with self and applications that He clearly disapprove of, we are then more involved with self and Satan’s lies and deceptions then we are with genuine love that is from God.

True, unadulterated love draws us to Jesus. What a patient God we have that allows us to misrepresent and twist His love. He waits for us to understand and be drawn to its origin.  Loving one another essentially means sharing Jesus’ with each other.  Truth is derived from love.

God loves us so much that He provided us with His inspired Word which is truth. Today there are many who are questioning inspiration and truth, thus question God’s authority.  By doubting God’s Word, we begin to degenerate and deteriorate our relationship with Jesus and we become at risk of being held captive by the enemy.

For many years I searched and searched for love. Thinking that love was in some one… or with someone. Because of God’s plan for this world, we are allowed to freely explore all we desire. But we don’t need to. From the beginning He has made it vividly clear that if we will trust and believe in Him and His Word, we will not need to suffer the consequences of straying far from Him.

Yet being “love” Himself, He is patient and merciful and forgiving. Some of us who don’t experience pain in searching for love, will claim to actually have found love. But without recognition of God’s pure love in someone else, we become more focused on self than on Jesus. Then it is a sharing of self rooted desires, rather than a focus on Jesus and being drawn to His love and truth.

Self begins to reign and truth becomes less important or even unimportant.   A deceptive fog is before our eyes as we drift from the importance of God and His plan for us. Feelings take control and truth is almost unrecognizable in the progression of the desires of self.  What a wicked web we can weave, right?

But Jesus patiently waits and sends His Holy Spirit to speak to hearts that do not harden toward Him. He pleads with us to deny self. “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.

Wow! Look at what is possible.  Consider what He is waiting for us to recognize. If we continue to think that we know what love is and satisfy self rather than considering His truth and submitting to His plan, we are in grave danger.

This is the consideration that I would ask gays, homosexuals and their supporters to think about. How can people believe in something that is not founded in God’s Word? Can’t you see the request of Jesus to deny self and believe in Him and His Love? Don’t you see how His love is so pure and full of promise?

It was an ordinary morning like any other when He gave me this realization of His love, His truth and His call to me to invest in an intimate relationship with Him. That is what He created me for.  He created life, but we all arrive with a stain of sin. Yet He offers to make clear to each of us that even in that sinful state, He has given us a choice to live according to sinful self, or to surrender to Him and let Him cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14

Wow! Do you see that?  What an incredible promise!  What an awesome God!  All He asks us to do is surrender and He will heal and protect us by our continually submitting ourselves to Him.

On that ordinary morning I contemplated all those who had gone before me.  Many dying in the midst of self gratification.  Jesus had heard my prayers. He had preserved me. He gave me a choice to answer His call and I fell to my knees and begged His forgiveness.  In that moment He said this… oh what an amazing God… “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

Today, I have ten years more life than any of my gay friends who succumbed to AIDS. I am HIV negative… disease free. Jesus knew I would respond to His call. He has blessed me and I am so unworthy.  But today I live for Him and I pray that He continually opens doors for me to share His victory and healing with all who will respond to His patient, enduring and everlasting pure love.

Thank dear Jesus this blessed new year of life you have abundantly given me.

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Seventh Gay Adventists – Movie vs God’s Reality

Posted by on May 2, 2012  |  14 Comments

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:7-10

Regardless of your position as individuals in the film, Seventh Gay Adventists, I commend you for your honesty and boldness in sharing what has undoubtedly been a difficult walk for each of you. Without question God loves you. And as a child of God, I love you with His love also.

The fallout from the church’s silence on this biblical issue has been devastating.  I was a victim of Satan’s lies and deceptions as well. There was no hope or help delivered from the church during my childhood, teenage years and adult life. Because of this silence I was propelled into a sensual abyss. I desperately wanted to be wanted, needed and loved.  Yet in the midst of Christ’s believers, I was isolated, alienated and rejected. The loneliness was overwhelming and it took very little to tempt me with the feelings that resulted in “acceptance” by the gay community.

In the spring of 2009, I was struck with a contemplation one day that was inspired by the Holy Spirit without any question whatsoever. God spoke to me and asked me to consider the relationship that He had desired from me all along.  Unquestionable clarity was revealed to me. It was not about me. I had had it all backwards. It is about Jesus Christ, my redeemer and creator and how to live according to His plan. Not mine.  As I surrendered fully to Him, He revealed truth after truth and gave me strength to begin to continually abide and depend on Him. Each day He revealed more and more of His love to me. As I studied and prayed, I wondered how I could have missed what He had wanted to convey to me since childhood. Satan had deceived me with lies of being unwanted, unloved and unimportant.  My day of rejoicing had arrived.

I gave myself to Jesus Christ and became a “New Creation” in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17. This requires dying to self daily.  I didn’t have any idea that the church still seemed to be in the dark regarding how to reach out to those with same-sex attraction.  We need to consider here that there has been a hundred and fifty year history of silence and ignorance.  What we don’t talk about, grows like a bacteria in the dark. In fact during the silence, an entire culture and community of gays developed.

Emerging victorious in Jesus, I began to openly share the clarity revealed to me by God and His Word. Now if we don’t believe that God’s Word is inspired by Him, we are at great risk. We then might as well believe in anything. But God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Matthew 24:3, Hebrews 13:8.   If we don’t believe God’s Word, this is where the danger begins.

In the fall of 2009 I was invited to share my testimony at Andrews University during the conference on Marriage, Homosexuality and the Church. Daneen Akers and Stephen Ayers, (producers of Seventh Gay Adventists) were present at the conference and their work had begun on the film.  They heard my testimony and I had contacted them about the film, not realizing the intended angle. By January, it seemed apparent that they were not seeking any testimonies from same-sex attracted individuals who have been redeemed and are choosing to live sexually pure through Christ.

I wrote an article for The Adventist Review which appeared in the April 15, 2010 issue conveying my concern that the film would not represent those who have given their lives to Christ and live sexually pure.  The film’s producers contacted me and the Review’s editor asking for a retraction to be printed. Since this film is about loving those who are same-sex attracted, my question is why haven’t they given a voice to those who also suffered so many years of alienation by the church, but have returned to worship God and interact with His family while living a sexually pure life?

So this brings us to the core of what the film is about:  God’s approval or disapproval of homosexual sex.  If you read His Word there is no question as to where God stands on this issue.  I was recently contacted by a “Gay Christian” who pointed out to me that God loves him and his same-sex partner just the way they are, and that they are familiar with the nine “hate verses” regarding homosexuality in God’s Word.  Our God is a God of love and He has not compiled “hate verses,” but has given instruction on sins that are displeasing to Him.  Due to the fact that gays and homosexuals have not seen the reflection of God’s love in His people, one can begin to realize why more and more alienated souls have gathered together in their spiritual darkness and created their own truths and are seeking to manipulate God’s approval.

But God’s Word is clear about His desires. He asks that we cast all our burdens upon Him. He asks for our trust and our faith regardless of what our feelings are telling us. There are a lot of feelings that come naturally to people that wouldn’t meet God’s approval much less man’s approval. But for some reason, many are seeking to make an exception for this clearly defined sinful behavior.

With such strong feelings of desire, lust, love, etc., Bible-banging is not going to make any of those feelings less intense.  So what actually brings a soul into living according to God’s will?  We have got to see the reflection of the love of Jesus in those who claim to be His children.  Leading a soul to Christ must be done gently and lovingly under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

John 8:32 says: “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  It doesn’t say your feelings will set you free. But if we are not personally and intimately connected to Christ, we are not likely going to be able to help a struggling soul engage with Him in the relationship He intended.

Jesus loves each and every one of us as His own precious child– A child for whom He shed blood and died for while we were still sinning. Romans 5:8  What are we willing to give up for Jesus? Every mention of homosexuality in God’s Word is in a negative connotation. There is no sanctified instruction from God for homosexual unions as there are for unions between a man and a woman. Why would one even venture to take over for God?  Doesn’t this sound much like Lucifer saying that he knows better, or has a better plan?  Do you see the terminal risk involved?   Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We cannot afford to trust our feelings, especially under the duress and deception of Satan.

Sin is natural. We were all born with it. Choosing Christ is unnatural. It is everything that Satan claims is impossible.  We are at the end of this great controversy between Christ and Satan. We are exactly where Christ has told Satan there will be a people who will remain steadfast in truth and trust regardless what they feel.  Psalm 40: 1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.”

Without self-denial and without a love-relationship with Jesus stemming from humility, we will fail to see His plan for us.

Dear precious children of God, this is not a constructed prayer that begs for the same-sex attracted person to miraculously become straight. This is a humbling of ourselves before our Creator and asking Him to help us fall more in love with Him each day. Thy will, not my will. Lay your heart in His hands. Surrender completely to Him and let Him make you a “New Creation” in Him. Allow the change to be one that draws you to holiness.  Then listen as He guides and directs you. Yes… it’s possible. He may want you to live a celibate life for Him, whether you are attracted to the opposite sex or the same sex. But let Him decide what He wants for you that is in accordance with His Word. Insisting that we know better than Him will only align us with the enemy.

Is it painful? Sometimes. Sometimes my carnal nature just wants to be next to warm flesh that says I love you. But Jesus would rather that I know He loves me. His love, and my trust in that love, brings eternal life and a relationship that will grow forever and ever. Shaping my relationships around what currently feels or seems good, ends here. God is seeking those… those precious few who will make Him their God and obey Him out of love. These are the ones He wants to spend eternity with.  Do you see the difference?  Can you see how always putting self first is too dangerous for God to allow?

I want you to know with all my heart, that with Christ all things are possible to them that love Him. Philippians 4:13  (all things that are according to His plan… not ours)  Job endured horrendous trials and mental pain.  As we have been given Job as an example, how can we seek our own pleasure in this modern age? How can we not come to God and say …”Lord .. I am yours; do with me as you will. Make me a servant of yours?”  If that sounds impossible to you, think about it. Pray about it. Invite Him to take control of your life. He’ll do it!  I promise! There isn’t anything that He won’t do for you that is better than what you can possibly imagine for yourself.  But be careful not to play God. Be careful not to listen to the power of suggestion rather than the love and truth of Jesus.

Experience this:  “…you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9  He deeply desires a one-on-one intimate relationship with you. He died to save you. He knew you and chose you … before you were born.

I am passionate about God’s love and redemption regardless of the sin.  I want to ask you… whoever might be reading… whether you have been in the church your whole life or if you have shaped your life around your own truths and feelings, to consider this:  Forgive… and seek forgiveness. Everyone of us are ignorant. We have much to learn. Let’s heal together. Not a single person on this earth can claim perfection in and of their own. Jesus offers us His righteousness if we will accept it. It is a lifelong transforming process. But He asks us to model ourselves after Him. Live as He lived. Resist temptation. Surrender. Abide in Him.

As for the film “Seventh Gay Adventists,” ask God to put love in your heart that will draw ALL sinners to Him, not condone their sin.  Be careful not to put your own salvation at risk by sympathizing with the sin rather than the sinner.   Love deeply with the love of Jesus. Love is a two-way relationship. Because of our love for Christ, He will grow us and we will want to obey His commands. He is righteous and He is just. He is the Almighty.

If you are a pastor, leader or teacher and you are interested in presentations that exemplify the changing love of our beautiful Savior through those He has redeemed, please do not hesitate to contact me. Four ministries under the umbrella, ‘Coming Out’ Ministries, are available to come to wherever you are. We give weekend presentations, week of prayer, and college presentations that bring to light the changing power of God. mrwayyne@comcast.net www.knowhislove.org

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Crowning Self

Posted by on May 1, 2012  |  No Comments

Satanic forces are taking a bolder approach. Homosexual advocate and creator of  “It Gets Better,” Dan Savage, filled the airwaves with blatant statements of adversity to God and His Word… while some so called “Christian Gays/Homosexuals”  buy heavily into his campaign.  Self screams out with its passions and desires in hopes that God will understand the need to add to or change His divine guidance.  This campaign blasphemies God.

Another campaign by a young Methodist man is via a YouTube video inside a Methodist church. He mutilates God’s Word starting with Genesis and moving throughout the Bible stating that we “traditionally” have thought it to mean thus and thus. But what is really meant is so and so. Every comment devaluates and waters down God’s Word until it is comfortable enough not to bring about any change from man… but simply wraps God around the desires of  man. The video and his ideas are receiving a huge amount of attention and approval from the viewers.

This evening I tuned into Elder Raymond King’s weekly program on Blog Talk Radio. His guest, Brooke Smith, shared the victory and redemption she has experienced through Jesus Christ over Lesbianism. She has been out of the lifestyle for sixteen years.  In defense of  living as a homosexual, a caller openly and blatantly challenged Elder King to serve Satan and abandon His belief in Jesus. Meanwhile I carried on a conversation in the associated chat room with a man who said we were turning against self and how we were born. He kept insisting that he does not believe in God or the devil and believes in and will only live for self.

He stated that if we were hearing the voice of God… that people who hear voices are schizophrenic. I plead with him to give God a chance. But he insisted we were fooling ourselves.  He continued in strong opposition to everything that was being said by Brooke, even though it was her experience and her life that she was talking about.  He said we should stay out of government issues.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12   This was abundantly clear this evening.

While Satan continues to grab lives, many Christians and churches are silent claiming that there is over-reaction to the gay and homosexual agenda. That not that many are being affected. Or that homosexuality doesn’t have much of a presence in Christianity. Who are we fooling?  Jesus calls us to be bold in the gospel.  Silence has laid fertile ground for the deceptions that draws those away who might have be secured by the blood of Jesus if we had shown love, support and exercised power over the evil one.

If you struggle with sexual sin, I urge you to ask God to reveal Himself to you and lead you to all truth. Lay down your life before Him and submit your will to Him and tell Him you want Him to take over your life. This doesn’t mean that you become straight. This means that you allow Him to exercise His will in your life. To live purely and in accordance with the light of His Word. He will reveal His will to you as you let Him lead. But we must be so very careful not to influence His will by our sinful desires.

It’s not any easy road. It was not promised to be easy. But He promises that by trusting and believing in Him, He will never leave nor forsake you. It’s the giving over of self.  It’s humbling. But He will comfort you and make His presence known in your life.

As a believer in Christ, I ask that you engage with Him. Experience Him throughout every day by submitting your will to His and abiding in Him. Talk to Him. Invite Him to be continually present. Let Him influence your decisions. Pray and know that He is listening to and answering every word you utter.  Fanaticism?   No. Belief, trust and obedience. All that He requests of us. But there is no point in doing anything if we don’t know why we are doing it, or we are not involving ourselves in getting to know Him.  Jesus is personal!  When we fall in love with Him we will desire to do all that He asks of us.

His grace is present and amazing. We may fall or fail. Especially in the early stages of turning our lives over to Him. But when you give way to His power, you can expect amazing things. His promises are bold and truthful. They are not feeling based. They are fact based and backed by His Holy Word.

Give consideration to His directive…. “Choose Ye this day whom ye will serve… and let it be the Lord.”    There is a great controversy taking place.