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August 20, 2009

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L. Rathburn

"'It's our best attempt at trying to deal with the reality that over the years of our study our church has not come to consensus and is not likely to in the foreseeable future', said the Rev. Peter Strommen, a former bishop who chaired the sexuality task force."

"To ease concerns, the resolutions stipulate that congregations do not have to hire ministers in same-sex unions. On the other hand, congregations would be allowed to keep their openly gay pastor without fear of repercussions."
(Lutherans prepare to debate gay clergy: By Tiffany Stanley, Religion News Service-USA TODAY)

Okay, I should back up, and I am now asking myself, where have I been for the past few years of my life? Oh, that’s right; I’ve been raising my children; teaching ABC’s, 123’s and MORALS. I am the disciplinary figure, educator, counselor, and ect. The list descends on and on with parental responsibility; making the rules established, standards expected, consequences dealt, and unconditional love, MY responsibility with MY children. I believe it is safe to say, there are few that disagree with my above statement on parenting.

Well, I also believe that there are those who will disagree with this statement:
God created the world; creating all things living, under his command. The sun rises and sets according to the specific layout of God’s standards (God’s standards being the specifics of our evolution), just as circumstances in our lives are perpetuated by the hand of God; the lives we are given to live, are planned and established long before our existence (Col. 1:16 msg).

What you do with your life, what you make of yourself, how to interpret and manage relationships with various individuals, understanding/coping with loss, helping others, and on and on… All things we experience from day to day. The choices we make should reflect the Bible because it is the law- God’s law. Now granted, evolution has brought us to a whole different way of life, just as the Bible predicted, and we have witnessed throughout the book. This is all part of God’s perpetual plan for our lives. The Bible is to be used as a tool to educate us of the expected standards we are to live, expected standards being: God’s rules for our existence. It is that simple. However complicated, misunderstood, non-translatable, or whatever the excuse may be, there should be no reason why we as a society in this century can’t understand and live accordingly to the word of God.

The saving grace of Christ, a miracle in several ways for each and every believer (individuals experiencing the work of the Spirit within their daily lives), still has restrictions people! I believe the Bible is very specific in the laws God has established for our being. Jesus quoted, read, simulated through parables, and even sacrificed his life, to teach his followers, and us, the expectations of our heavenly Father. Thus including all subjects we find controversial today. They are only controversial today because we allow them to be. We have taken ‘free-will’ and mistuned it to accommodate our comforts or, our wants and desires, regardless of society’s perception, and more importantly, God’s expectations. This is sinning! We are all guilty of the above, myself included, however, there are consequences for those actions.

Just as a parent experiences turmoil or unacceptable behavior, discipline is mandatory in the learning process. God has proven that each day of living, we are to be educated, trained, expected, and exposed with the teachings of the Bible and Christ. Therefore, every thought process, decision made, and action taken, are all observed by God. If he finds the above unacceptable, we are subject to various types of discipline. Not many of us understand this, or if we do, we neglect to acknowledge it until its too late, and usually by then we are cursing someone or something. Once again, we are subject to God’s disciplinary process. This is an everyday, reoccurring event, it is legitimate, never changing, and extremely relevant to our spiritual growth and faith! We as a society today, and have in the past as well, have failed to learn from this mistake. We bend the rules to accommodate our lifestyle with the presumption that God will automatically forgive me, if I ask, demand, assume, and/or convince through a good deed. This is false.

Jesus Christ is called our Savior. No matter how undeserving we are, He is still our Savior, in God. Therefore, we are forgiven for the mistakes we make in our lives. Our God is a forgiving God because, He takes pleasure in our existence(Rev.4:11NIV). However, just as we do with our children, we expect the certain standards or norms of our society and also those of God, to be met to their fullest. If our child becomes deviant, or sins, we use a disciplinary process. God does the same for us. We are forgiven, but, there are standards that we are expected to live up to. What are those standards? Take a look at the 10 Commandments; within these rules, easily transformable to today’s society, are God’s expectations. You can easily base your life off of these. I am not trying to conceive the notion that you will perfect if you live these, because we aren’t, however, I feel that the core of our destruction such as homosexuality, can be linked to neglect of these rules.

Now, I don’t know if God is going to forgive those who have committed the sin of homosexuality. There are those who are convinced that society evolves, and so therefore, God’s rules evolve as well. Hmm, well, I have yet to read that in the Bible, but I have read the standards Jesus explains throughout the Gospels, and I don’t agree with the above assumption. Homosexuality has been ever-present throughout the Bible as well as prostitution and idolatry. God doesn’t take any of these things lightly, and in Ezekiel, we learn the consequences of these actions. Pure destruction! God has come a long way through the rest of the Bible, after the sacrifice of his Son but, he is still specific on his standards. Just because he doesn’t send down a multi-headed chariot to carryout complete and utter destruction among us, he is still ever-present, and Revelations proves it.

I am utterly disgusted personally, with homosexuality however, I do tolerate its existence; I maintain a fair level of respect for human life, regardless of their sexual tendencies, after all, it is none of my business. However, I am very offended with the acceptance of homosexuals taking clergy positions within a church. God have mercy on those who allowed this to happen! This is exactly what I am referring to with our tendencies to justify God’s pre-conditioned standards down to a standard that is more acceptable to us, rather its moral importance, which is at God’s discretion. Voting on a matter such as this, the whole congregation or denomination, using today’s social standards, which are justifiably changing God’s original rules is pathetic. This matter shouldn’t have ever been considered unless it was to establish its moral and ethical history, and its lack of position within a church or church staff.

Lastly, I don’t believe God allowed Jesus to die for our sexual preferences.
Regardless of denomination, God has set forth patterns, standards, and exceptions for our lives. The answers we have to our problems, or even societal standards should be evaluated with the tools God has provided for us. If an answer can’t be found supporting the issue then take it up with the big guy! He ultimately, is the one in charge and has the power to allow our ‘free-will’ to influence our daily lives on many different levels. However, he still leaves ‘growing room’ and discipline is part of that structure. All of our actions will be judged in his time, I would rather be forgiven for my accidental sins, and endure the consequences of my purposeful wrong doing, in the hope, that I am living within the standards God has already established, regardless of my society.

Cheryl Treece

Several weeks ago, I surfed the net to collect information on “Gay Christians”. Several sites were devoted on how to be a Gay Christian and justify to “Straight Christians” their sexuality preference. Some of these explanations were much too graphic for my taste.

In order for me to accept, their explanations would require me to compromise my beliefs/faith.

Johnny Crash

I believe that religion is a waste of time. Is it too far fetched to believe that there isn't anything after death? If (that is IF) there is a god, wouldn't he want you to love everyone no matter what? If that's the case aren't you all being just a little hypocritical? After all it isn't your place to judge other people now is it? Oh and how does one accidentally sin??? Religion is just a set of man made guidlines, to make us behave.
Or are you all just afraid that these "terrible" homosexuals, are bound for the same heaven as you? If god is so forgiving don't you think he would forgive gays, along with Hitler and everyone else who are just so evil(according to the bible pushers)? Anyone who decides to judge anyone else should be ashamed of themselves, and shouldn't label themselves as a christian. They should just be labeled as ignorant! Take a look at your own flaws and "sins" before you go speaking out about someone else!

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