The Apple Of God's Eye

February 7, 2011

Was Jesus Really Tempted In All Things?

Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are (Heb. 4:15).

Yet we know He wasn’t crippled or handicapped. He didn’t live through old age. He wasn’t forced into retirement and then forced to try to make ends meet on a pension.

How, then, can Jesus understand all that humans go through?

What about the myriad temptations and problems with which this modern world confronts us? Jesus didn’t live in a society quite like this — far from it, in fact.

If we are to come boldly to God’s throne of grace (verse 16), how can we be sure that Jesus understands what we feel and mean? After all, He is God — an immortal, almighty spirit being — we are mere flesh, and very weak. If Jesus has never experienced the exact sufferings that we do, how can He understand our personal needs?

Sure, we realize that Paul said most trials are common to all (I Cor. 10:13). And in Christian fellowship we are often surprised and comforted to find someone else who has gone through similar difficulties as ourselves.

Yet we each have experienced unique pains, trials and sufferings that we feel no one else can properly understand. And we may even wonder whether God Himself can. Is God able to really appreciate the depth of troubles we go through?

Peter tells us that Jesus suffered for us, leaving us an example (I Pet. 2:21). In what specific sufferings did Jesus lead the way? What confidence can we have that He does understand the personal traumas of each and every one of His people? Let’s look at the facts. (more…)

May 2, 2010

Effective, Fervent Prayer: Deepening Our Relationship With God

denniscesone.blogspot.com

Praying is getting to know God because we communicate with Him. Christians should pray daily and as often as possible. Besides equipping ourselves with the armour of God, prayer is the essential element that keeps the armour strong. (Eph. 6:18)

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the great jewels of the Bible. Every verse has deep meaning and hows us how to pray effectively to have a life filled with the love, faith and power of God.

Tithe Your Time In Prayer

Luke 11:2-4 is what we commonly call the Lord’s prayer and shows how Jesus Christ gave His disciples lessons in effective prayer.

We should give God a tithe and offering of our time. There are 1440 minutes each day, which means 144 minutes each day to God – giving 48 minutes of prayer, meditation and study. Throw in an offering of 12 minutes, and we have 1 hour of each daily. A Christian needs 1 hour of prayer daily to win the battle against Satan, the world and himself. (more…)

April 10, 2010

Overcoming To Obtain Salvation

Breaking Free Of Sin - http://www.covenanteyes.com

Overcoming is one of the most vital keys to salvation. Only those who overcome are promised eternal life, and this promise is graphically emphasized in Revelation 21:7: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” It is also mentioned at least seven other times in the book of Revelation (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28, 3:5, 12, 21).

Because overcoming is so important to our eternal destiny, we need to thoroughly understand what it is.

What is overcoming?

Most of us as God’s people have understood overcoming to mean the process of rooting out sinful habits and conduct from our lives. We have thought of it as forsaking and conquering such lawbreaking practices as swearing, lying, cheating, drunkenness, smoking and other sins. (more…)

November 20, 2009

Catholic Church: Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned!

clericalwhispers.blogspot.com

The child abuse crisis in the Catholic church has been the subject of considerable attention, law suits and two major research projects. In 2004, the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People released a study titled, A Report On The Crisis In The Catholic Church In The United States.”

In addition, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York published empirical data on the nature and scope of the abuse problem in dioceses and religious orders across the country in its report: “The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and deacons in the United States 1950-2002, was also released in 2004.

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

According to this article in the Guardian.co.uk, the Vatican lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was “busy cleaning its own house” and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger. Defiantly, it said that the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that “available research” showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.

Yet, of all the world religions, Roman Catholicism has been hardest hit by sex abuse scandals. In the US, churches have paid more than $2bn in compensation to victims.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common. He also added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.”

Now that may be so, but many see this as nothing less than a damage control counter-attack — a feeble attempt to distance itself from controversy by pointing the finger at other faiths. It’s not working. The Vatican must be held to account, something it has been unwilling to do so far. It has not opened its files, changed its procedures worldwide, and openly reported ALL suspected abusers to civil authorities.

Sex abuse report pays special attention to homosexual priests

Looking further into the subject, I perused CatholicNews.com where it stated that when the bishops’ National Review Board issued its report on the causes and context of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, it paid particular attention to a long-controversial issue — the ordination of homosexually oriented men.

A four-page section of the report is titled, “Special Issues Relating to Sexual Orientation, which states that “81 percent of the reported victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy were boys, showing that the crisis was characterized by homosexual behavior. In light of that, it said, the current crisis cannot be addressed without consideration of issues related to homosexuality.

While the board found a homosexual dimension in the preponderant abuse of young males by Catholic clergy, one of the John Jay researchers (Louis Schlesinger) who specializes in issues of sexual anti-social behavior said the board was correct only in part. He said the real problem is in the disorder of pedophilia, adult sexual attraction to young people, not in the person’s sexual orientation as such. “Some married men prefer adolescent males,” he said, repeating “married men” to emphasize the heterosexual character of their adult relationship.

Gay subculture in Catholic church?

The National Review Board said that, “In the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, there developed at certain seminaries a ‘gay subculture,’ and at these seminaries, according to several witnesses, homosexual liaisons occurred among students or between students and teachers. Such subcultures existed or exist in certain dioceses or (religious) orders as well.”

The board said it believes a failure to take disciplinary action against that conduct “contributed to an atmosphere in which sexual abuse of adolescent boys by priests was more likely.”

Noting the current debate going on in the church over the acceptability of ordaining homosexually oriented men, the board said it spoke with some bishops who do not accept homosexual candidates and others who do.

Are homosexuals more inclined to molest in a chaste lifestyle?

The Review Board stated further: “For those bishops who choose to ordain homosexuals, there appears to be a need for additional scrutiny and perhaps additional or specialized formation to help them with the challenge of chaste celibacy.” The board quoted one of the bishops it interviewed: “Training for celibacy is different if someone is homosexually oriented or heterosexually oriented. The occasions of sin are different. The danger flags are different.”

So why hire those who have inclinations opposite those that the Bible teaches? Is homosexuality not deemed a sin in the Bible? In both the Old and New Testaments, male and female homosexual acts are denounced as abominable, unnatural, vile perversions. Please read Genesis 19:1-13, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Judges 19:22-24, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Timothy 1:9-10. In no scriptural reference is homosexuality approved!

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul speaks of a people who “deliberately forfeited the truth of God and accepted a lie…. Their women exchanged the normal practices of sexual intercourse for something which is abnormal and unnatural. Similarly the men, turning from natural intercourse with women, were swept into lustful passions for one another…receiving, of course, in their own personalities the consequences of sexual perversity” (Romans 1:25-27, Phillips translation).

I Tim. 3:1-4 says: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous…disobedient to parents, un-thankful, unholy, without natural affection…lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…. From such turn away” (I Timothy 3:1-4). God wants us to avoid unnatural and unholy things—especially those that destroy families. The Catholic church merely condones such destruction by hiring those of homosexual inclination.

God, therefore, commands us to avoid the serious sin of homosexuality—and the Catholic church which says it is the true church of God-should then follow that admonition, should it not? That is, IF it was the true church of God.

So now the question posed was, “Are homosexual men more inclined to molest in a chaste lifestyle?” First, the use of sex within marriage between a man and a woman is the only God-ordained pure expression of romantic love. Many people will disagree, but homosexual thoughts are perverted – God says so. Think about it: Why would a wise Creator God design humans to be attracted to a member of their own gender? He wouldn’t. The Genesis account shows that our first parents, Adam and Eve, had a natural attraction for one another. And any good high school anatomy class supports the fact that a man and woman are compatible physically and can produce offspring. It was God’s original intent and purpose for man and woman to be sexual partners—not man with man or woman with woman.

Anyone can be tempted by a fleeting thought to commit a wrong sexual act. That is a temptation. But it becomes a sin if it is given in to and allowed to stay in the mind. Homosexuality is a lust (of the flesh), just like adultery or any other sexual sin. And allowing lusts to continue in your mind is dangerous, because thoughts usually lead to actions.

Jesus Christ taught that it is a sin even to look at someone else in lust (Matthew 5:28). Lingering thoughts or fantasies about illicit sex (in a chaste lifestyle while around young boys) can develop warped feelings or desires and cultivate evil practices that are nearly impossible to break.

The Catholic church admits that the abusers were homosexuals, and it admits it hires them. Do their thoughts about men (or young boys) merely go away while being priests? A chaste lifestyle is unbiblical and merely leads to temptation and wrong sexual thoughts. God says to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).

Will the Catholic church accept blame?

While the Catholic church says child abuse is unacceptable, its actions and statements do not convey anything resembling repentance. In fact, the forthcoming statements more closely show defiance. Another CatholiccNews.com article featuring a 90-minute program broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network says that sex abuse stems from a crisis of faith and morality. Sounds great, but then it is said that: “This is a societal problem, not a Catholic problem,and the work of the National Review Board provides “a model for everyone else to do a self-examination of their own institution.”

So why try to shift the blame? Does it matter if the problem exists elsewhere? Is this not like a thief telling the judge at sentencing that he is a thief because others are also thieves? Can a murderer blame other murderers for his actions? Clean your own house and don’t worry about others! You are supposed to be (though I dispute this) the true church of God. This abuse is happening in YOUR house. Who cares, as board member William R. Burleigh emphasized, “Things do not happen in the church that are not part of general society.” Does that make it right, or less of a crime? It sounds more like the feeble excuse a seven year old child makes in blaming his sibling for his own actions.

How many priests abuse children?

A study done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York shows about 4 percent of U.S. priests ministering from 1950 to 2002 were accused of sex abuse with a minor. The 4,392 clergymen — almost all priests — were accused of abusing 10,667 people, with 75 percent of the incidents taking place between 1960 and 1984. During the same time frame there were 109,694 priests, it said.

The sex-abuse related costs totaled $573 million, with $219 million covered by insurance companies. The study noted, however, that the overall dollar figure is much higher than reported; 14 percent of the dioceses and religious communities did not provide financial data and the total did not include settlements made after 2002, such as the $85 million agreed to by the Boston Archdiocese.

FindLaw.com says the shocking and most telling of all was the statistic as to the percentage of abusers who were ever incarcerated — only 2% (3% were prosecuted and convicted but apparently, of those, a third either will not serve time, or have yet to serve time). I believe that it is primarily because the Church simply transferred the offending priests rather than report them to authorities. It made them a conspirator. That is why they have had such big judgments levied against them and why they have been advised by their own legal counsel to make such huge settlements. It shows a pattern.

Though the Catholic church likes to point fingers elsewhere to divert attention, other religions and institutions didn’t cover the problem and therefore receive front page news, by simply moving pedophile priests around the country for decades. They also didn’t threaten the victims with hell if they complained. This tells us the Church dramatically failed in its obligations to the public good. And it also tells us that one current “remedy” for abuse that the Church is still putting forward — more self-policing — will never work.

The United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops says that priests are not more likely to be child molesters than others simply because they are celibate, and that celibacy does not distort ones’ sexuality or attract a larger proportion of men with sexual problems. It states, “In fact, the sexual difficulties and inner psychological problems that give rise to child sexual abuse are largely in place long before a person enters into the formation process for a celibate priesthood.

So here we have the shift of blame again. It is NOT a celibate lifestyle (without the contact required of humans by male and female) that is to blame, but it definitely is thoughts previously harboured by men entering into the priesthood. So say the experts and so says the Catholic church. Proof enough?

While no mainstream researcher would suggest that there is any link between homosexuality and true pedophilia, that is, sexual attraction of an adult to prepubescent minors, the Bible says otherwise. It tells us that homosexual thoughts are “lusts of the flesh,” or the senses [Eph. 2:3].

Citing statistics that say most adults in society who sexually molest minors are not homosexually oriented is a cop out. The rejoinder to this is the fact that most victims of priests are young males, and this to me is not open to misinterpretation. A significant number of priests who sexually molest minors are involved with post-pubescent adolescent males, about 14 to 17 years of age.

The United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops will even admit that it appears to be true that many in this sub-population of priest child-molesters are homosexually oriented, but it then offers the lame excuse that “theirs is a particular kind of homosexuality, which one might call “regressed” or “stunted.” It downplays the significance of the problem by saying that homosexual men are emotionally stuck in adolescence themselves, and so are at risk for being sexually active with teenage males. The issue is therefore not so much homosexuality but rather their stunted emotional development.”

So therefore the problem is not that the church ordains homosexuals, but rather “regressed or stunted homosexuals?” That is, those who should not be blamed because of their own terrible childhood. Sounds like a large dash of liberalism to me. let’s give rights to the perpetrators because they themselves are victims. So therefore the solution, then, is not to ban all homosexuals from ordained ministry, but rather to screen out regressed homosexuals before ordination.

I can tell you this – a self policing of such sorts will never work. The sociologist and Catholic priest Andrew Greeley predicted long ago that the number of victims was probably on the order of 100,000. Decades ago, psychologist Richard Sipe, an expert on the issue predicted that as much as 6-8 % of priests sexually abused minors. Why are the numbers deemed so high? FindLaw.com says psychologists estimate that only a fraction of childhood sexual abuse victims ever come forward, anywhere from 5-35%. But let’s pity the poor regressed homosexuals, right?

ReligiousTolerance.org states: “Even if, as one researcher estimates, six percent of priests sexually abuse youth or children, then that still leaves an average of almost 19 priests out of every 20 who are non-abusive.”

Such language to me sounds pathetically weak. 1 in 20 is an astonishing figure! AllAboutReligion.com estimates there to be 400,000 Catholic Priests, worldwide. At six percent, that’s 24,000 pedophile priests that are molesting children — in the supposed true church of God.

Conclusion

While the Catholic church has recently taken some steps to tackle the problem, it also has gone into defensive mode and in my opinion, has not been repentant. Changes seem forced, purely because its sordid past has been revealed. This is proven by not accepting 100% blame and by the decades long cover-up.

In moral panics, as in wars, truth is often the first victim. Here we have the supposed church of God lying and breaking the ten commandments. We’ve witnessed a large number of priests – supposedly people of God – undertaking a crime so heinous, Jesus Christ would be aghast. In the true church of God, no cover up would be allowed. No such crime would be tolerated, and beyond the minimum time of proving the facts, accused priests should be removed from duty. The situation would be immediately remedied, as Christ loved children and God the Father is all about family. Yet this pope, and past popes, have known about the allegations for decades.

By taking upon itself to operate in a private sphere untouched by concerns with the public good, the Church by its own actions increased the number of crimes, pushed the numbers of victims to stratospheric heights and destroyed its own credibility on social and faith issues. My point – this is not the true church of God, as led by Jesus Christ as the head. By their fruits you shall know them….

September 15, 2009

Is It True Homosexuals Are "Born" That Way?

How do human sexual emotions develop? Why do certain youths develop into homosexuals or transvestites? You may be in for a surprise — or a shock! It does not automatically happen that a young man and woman become sexually attracted to each other. Nor does it automatically happen that they want to deeply love, cherish, marry and protect one another. These emotions or desires are not all inherited or innate in the human constitution.

Not Inborn

Heterosexuality — sexual desire toward a member of the opposite sex — is not altogether inborn. Nor is homosexuality — sexual desire toward a member of one’s own sex. Nor, for that matter, are other sexual feelings or fears about sex.
Human beings are not born with an inherited sexual orientation or sexual instinct that drives them irrevocably in a certain direction.

There is a reason why many homosexuals assume they were “born that way”; why they assume their sexual attractions and emotions are as natural to them as the color of their eyes. Genetics and hormones play a part in developing human sexuality, but not in the way many think. And individual responses to cultural, parental and personal experiences play a very big part in molding human sexual feelings. But, in addition, there is critical knowledge beyond biology and cultural studies that is missing in modern education about human sexual and emotional development.

Scientific sex research is late on the scene. It began just after the middle of the 19th century. Sex researchers have indeed gained certain knowledge and understanding about genetics, hormones and environment and their combined effect on shaping human sexuality. Yet, “the impetus behind the homosexual urge contained in the male bond remains unexplained,” writes psychologist C.A. Tripp in summarizing such research in his book: “The Homosexual Matrix,” page 53. But the missing impetus is explained in the pages of your Bible!

Humanity through the ages has rejected essential knowledge from the Creator. Researchers, rejecting revealed knowledge, are looking for answers to damaging human problems — sexual and otherwise — only by their own limited physical tools of discovery and reasoning. They look for answers in the physical makeup of the human body or brain when the major problem is a spiritual matter — a problem in the spiritual attitude, motivation and desires of individuals.

Researchers have developed theories to explain individual human sexual feelings, problems and motivations without understanding the true nature of human nature. We must understand this first. Then we can rightly use the added demonstrable discoveries of human sexual research.

Why has humanity been plagued with so many sexual problems? Why sexual fears and phobias? Why so many unhappy intimate marital relationships? Why so many damaging feelings among human beings and between the sexes?

The Great Deceiver

Since the beginning of time, Satan has worked in human cultures to pervert attitudes, emotions and relationships. He implants selfish moods and attitudes which humans believe are only inborn feelings. Some human minds, during early childhood, have allowed and accepted wrong moods or feelings of attraction to the same sex. This process starts so early in some that many homosexuals and lesbians think these are totally inborn human feelings.

Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden and from contact with God’s Spirit. Ever since, humanity, as a whole, has been cut off from God’s Spirit, which would have guided them in the right ways of living and to life itself.
Mankind was given 6,000 years to develop societies under Satan’s sway and experience the results. The terrible results are recorded in the Bible, and, frequently, secular history. Genesis, the introductory book of the Bible, alone records the experience and tragic consequences of almost every type of wrong human and sexual act — as a warning to humanity in all generations. But much of humanity has refused to learn. Human beings today are merely repeating these ugly experiences of previous generations — though we like to think of many of them as new.

Through the ages God has called a few people to walk in his ways. God gave his laws and inspired the Bible (II Tim. 3:16) so mankind would not be totally without knowledge of the way they should live. So they could, if they wanted to understand, find the cause of human problems.

Most humans though have rejected such knowledge. They have failed to heed the instruction of revealed knowledge from their Creator. Many educated don’t believe there are fallen spirit beings influencing and deceiving all humanity (Rev. 12:9); they don’t believe that Satan is the unseen ruler and god of this world (II Cor. 4:4).

But the apostle Paul revealed, contrary to the enlightened education of this world, how Satan injects his wrong attitudes, desires and emotions into unwary minds:

“Wherein in time past ye [now converted Christians] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”

With what results? “… [fulfilling] the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph. 2:2-3). There are no inborn limits or controls to what the human mind can entertain but that which an individual learns or chooses to restrain.

Here are the damaging moods, desires and attitudes produced by Satan’s “get” way in those who yield to them: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest … Adultery, fornication [sexual immorality], uncleanness [any physical, moral or sexual uncleanness], lasciviousness, idolatry … hatred … strife … envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like (Gal. 5:19-21).

Satan and his host inspire attitudes of rebellion, selfishness and lust in human beings. They can insinuate wrong thoughts and desires in minds that are vulnerable to them, even those of young children. But not everyone is equally vulnerable. How any one person responds to various thoughts or emotions depends upon his culture, upon his upbringing and experiences, upon his learning and internalized values, upon the strength of character. In short, the direction of an individual’s sexual feelings and values depends upon what thoughts and emotions are allowed in his mind and developed from infancy on.

How Sexual Sin Enters

Humans are born with sexual emotional capacity. If wrong and damaging emotional and sexual feelings take root in human minds, it is because humans allow and do not resist them. Perhaps they don’t realize they should. Perhaps they choose not to resist when they could. Perhaps certain temperamental or emotional weaknesses may make some more vulnerable to certain sexual temptations than others. Some wrong experiences leave deep impressions. Other misleading emotions, feelings and desires, repeated enough, become deeply learned and conditioned in the human mind.

“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables,” goes an old Spanish proverb. Satan well understands this deep conditioning in human minds and emotions. He works to thwart God’s purpose through them. Though many deny it, all humans have been deceived (Rev. 12:9). All become, in one way or another, the slaves of various deceptive sins, pleasures and feelings (John 8:34; Heb. 3:13). They can’t shake or escape them all on their own power.

It takes strong spiritual power from God, as well as high human motivation and effort, to break the damaging cables of wrong thinking and feeling and then learn the right thinking and emotions revealed in the law of God. A person’s most important sex organ is his or her brain!

If a person is properly guided in youth by proper role models, example and teaching, he or she will come to respect and desire to adopt the correct sexual identity. Each will develop respect and love of the opposite sex and develop a right heterosexual desire. Each will also prepare to serve and love, in a right way, other human beings of all ages.
But sex education and emotional feelings are not primarily learned by formal instruction. Sex education and emotional feelings about sex automatically start from infancy with the way parents and other influential persons treat others of their own and the opposite sex, and how they treat children. Additional verbal or formal instruction merely reinforces learning.

Wrong sexual feelings develop not only out of a wrong culture but also out of ignorance. Many parents have failed to teach their children age-appropriate knowledge about sex. Hush-hush about sex in homes has reaped a fearsome price. Many young people are not taught any right and wholesome attitudes about sex. They are taught no right standards of sexual conduct. They are not taught that certain sexual practices are wrong or damaging and why they are to be avoided. They may have had improper examples of what it means to be a loving, caring male or female. All this may distort a young person’s view of sex and right relationships with one’s own and the opposite sex.

The seedbeds of unfortunate emotional or sexual feelings may be laid in the earliest years of life. Many young persons do not understand their feelings and emotions because they lack proper association or communication with understanding or concerned parents who could help to evaluate their feelings. Without the proper parental example of love, concern and guidance, wrong or misguided affectional feelings toward others can begin to stir sexual feelings and start a wrong pattern of association in the mind.

Millions of individuals simply follow peer practices or any exciting erotic emotion or thought that crosses their minds. They seem “natural.” But what they may not realize is that wrong thoughts and feelings (adulterous, homosexual or otherwise immoral) can be learned not only from others, but from their own uncontrolled thoughts — and these thoughts are not always natural, but can be injected into their minds unknowingly by an evil spiritual source — by Satan or his demons.

Individuals may have allowed themselves to respond to such emotions or patterns so early in life that they become a “natural” part of the way they have always felt. They look back on their life and conclude they must have been “born that way.”

Misguided Choosing

Humans seek excitement — something to fill the void, emptiness or loneliness of their lives. What they need is a sense of worth to themselves and others. WheneWrong Sexual Feelings, ver wrong sexual or emotional seeds are allowed and cultivated in an attempt to fulfill these needs, they will grow — in youth or even after one is married. Scripture warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).

To some, extramarital involvement or homosexual thoughts or acts (a person may not even realize what they are) seem a way to find affection, gain attention, recognition, security or money. Maybe they seem a way of proving sexual prowess or masculinity. Maybe they seem the only option available, given one’s lack of confidence or misled desires, feelings or fears about the opposite sex.

One wrong thought, uncontrolled or accepted, leads to still more. Maybe a person doesn’t know he should resist temptation. Maybe he doesn’t care. Minds that feed on wrong emotional or erotic thoughts in various fantasies will eventually have them ingrained as desires and emotions. Too many cop out and totally blame others for their problems and emotions in life.

One’s society or culture may be partly to blame. Parents may or may not have set a right example in their relationships and teaching. Satan may have tempted. But individuals also repeatedly allow themselves to respond to wrong ways of living and thinking.

Godly Sexuality

God is very concerned about the cultural and family environments of human beings. Family and environment are where the foundations of human relationships and sexual feelings, values and ideas are established. A variety of forces in the world is trying to change the concept of family life and the social learning environment so that any sexual experience becomes acceptable.

God’s laws and awesome purpose for human beings still stand. Sin — the breaking of God’s law (I John 3:4) — damages, arrests, limits or prevents full human maturity and godly development. It restricts the proper development of values, outlook and goals in life.

Sin, and sexual sin in particular, distorts wholesome feelings to one’s own and the opposite sex. It subtly destroys health and minds. It works to destroy respect, appreciation and ability to successfully experience the God-ordained family unit. It undermines the proper example and teaching that adults should be giving to children and future generations.

Wrong sexuality opens the door to rapid degeneration and physical and spiritual disease of the human body, mind and spirit. The end results are greater and greater social evils. Only if humans follow God’s revealed laws about right relationships to God and between the sexes can true happiness, fulfillment and social stability be achieved.

The Real World of Sexuality

Many unfortunate human sexual and emotional feelings exist — some too obscene to describe (Eph. 5:12). All these warn us of the great varieties of sexual/emotional conditioning that can happen to improperly controlled minds and lives.

The majority of males in most cultures are heterosexually oriented. But even heterosexuals allow their minds and sexual feelings to be diverted by wrong desires. Some heterosexuals develop a degree of homosexual interest (some feelings of bisexuality). Heterosexual males with effeminate (female) mannerisms also exist.

Feminine heterosexual females again are the majority. But there are also masculine-mannered females. The latter, however, may still be heterosexual and maternal in interests.

There are many masculine-appearing (even super-masculine) male homosexuals and, at the other extreme, effeminate (or “swish” type) male homosexuals. There are all degrees in between. The effeminate type are usually only a small proportion of male homosexuals but, because they are more noticeable, are often erroneously stereotyped to represent the whole.

Female homosexuals (lesbians) are often typically feminine in outward appearance and manner. Others are very mannish (“butch” or “dyke”). There are all degrees between these appearances and mannerisms. In modern cultures, not all homosexuals are readily discernible from heterosexuals by outward appearances.

There are as many variances in appearances, shape, personality, temperament, preferences in attractions and professions among homosexuals as among heterosexuals. The vast majority of homosexuals of both sexes clearly identify themselves with their gender, but prefer their own sex sexually.

Other Unfortunate Conditioning

Transvestites are persons who cross-dress on various occasions. Research indicates most of these persons are males with heterosexual inclinations, although some have homosexual interests. The majority of transvestite males identify themselves as males but have learned to get an erotic or emotional kick out of wearing items of clothing of the opposite sex, or in passing as a member of the opposite sex. Some can function sexually only after doing so.

This distorted emotional condition can often be traced back to early repeated cross-dressing by parents, siblings or by the person himself at some time. Such dressing began to produce exciting emotional or sexual responses that were repeated and cultivated.

God commanded the law of Deuteronomy 22:5 to prevent such distorted emotions: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

The law of Deuteronomy 22:5 also is intended to discourage another human distortion: transsexuality – males or females who feel they have the mind and emotions of the opposite sex and are trapped in the wrong physical body. Often such feelings have been traced back to very early childhood upbringing that deprecated or ignored the child’s true sex or caused them to experience or value only the feelings and emotions of the opposite sex.

Effeminate mannerisms in males may be due to rearing in a totally, or nearly exclusive female environment. Maybe a male wasn’t allowed or encouraged to identify with a male and male outlook and thinking. The person picked up certain female ways of acting or feeling about things.

Effeminate mannerisms may also be a way of portraying non-aggressiveness or reveal that the male does not want to be treated or threatened as an ordinary male may be. Many of these males still have heterosexual interests.

Effeminacy is harmful because it damages a male’s proper leadership and thinking in a family unit. The learning and conditioning of human sexual interests and emotional feelings are strong. So strong, in fact, that a person assigned the wrong sex at birth for some sex organ abnormality and then raised as a person of that assigned sex, readily develops the expected heterosexual interests for that sex even though his or her true genetics and hormone levels are of the opposite sex. These rare occurrences are sometimes not discovered until puberty changes force the true sex to appear.

The book:  “Sexuality and Homosexuality — A New View” by Arno Karlen, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, contains other backgrounds and causes of damaging sexuality.

Sexuality Not Private

Human sexuality is more than one’s gender or a sexual act. It is not just a private matter as so many want others to believe. Human sexuality is a total way of thinking, acting and feeling. One’s sexuality affects the way one responds to his or her own and the opposite sex, to marriage, to the family experience and to every aspect of life. That’s why sex has so much impact on human lives and culture. It’s the reason why the Creator commands men and women to develop it rightly.

Source: The Plain Truth, July/August 1984

August 30, 2009

Explanation: "If Your Right Eye Causes You To Sin, Pluck It Out … "

Filed under: Sin — melchia @ 2:48 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

What does it mean: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out … ?” Once in a great while we may have heard a news report where someone has applied this scripture literally, by cutting off or poking out a body part. This is an example of someone who unfamiliar with the spiritual intent of this passage.

First, it is obvious that Christ did not intend this instruction to be taken literally. The eye and hand cannot, of themselves, sin. Sin originates in the mind. Therefore, a person who is totally blind or lame can still sin. Jesus was simply using vital parts of the body to illustrate a principle. He was explaining that a Christian should not tolerate sin as a part of his life.

If an individual has a sinful habit, he ought to totally eradicate that habit, even though the process may be as painful as losing an eye or a hand. If, for example, looking at something tempts someone to sin, he shouldn’t look at it — he should turn his eyes elsewhere. What Christ is saying is that it would be better to give up a sinful pleasure than to lose out on salvation (Col. 3:5-17).

February 27, 2009

Proof: Jesus Christ’s Killers Found

heartofwisdom.com/.../

heartofwisdom.com/.../

If I asked you straight out who killed Jesus Christ, would you be able to give a correct answer? Some say it was the Jews, others argue it was Pilate. Certainly no one involved would argue anything but their innocence. But as you read, let me throw a startling statement at you. There is evidence that you the reader killed Christ as surely as if your hands were on the spear that pierced His side. Not you alone of course, but every one of us is guilty. Here’s how!

Definite Proof

In Acts 2:5-36, it states that men from every nation dwelling gathered in Jerusalem (verses 9-11), to witness a great event. Most still talked about the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ; the great earthquake at the time of His death, and the rent in the great veil of the Temple. These were no ordinary circumstances. Indeed, some even said they had seen dead men, risen from their graves, walking the streets of Jerusalem.

So the buzz was in the air and the rumours were flying, until that Pentecost morning of June 18, 31 A.D., when a great rushing of wind sounded about the city. Running to the source of the sound, a crowd began forming around a house with an upper room. The door opened and the eleven plus one stepped forth — and others with them. There was a eerie silence as everyone held their breath waiting for an explanation.

Then, as those that came forth from the house began to speak, an amazing thing happened — every person, regardless of his nation or language, heard them in his own native tongue. You can guess that there was a lot of amazement and wonder at this? What did it mean? Between the confusing din, some even began to accuse the apostles of drinking too much wine — of being drunk!

It was time for an explanation and the man called Peter held up his hands, stilling the crowd. His voice, strong and powerful, boomed out to the crowd the first recorded sermon of the New Testament. He explained the circumstances and denied their accusations by preaching the Word of God, under special inspiration from God.

But do you suppose he tried to calm the crowd with soothing words? No, in fact, he started out by accusing the large group of crucifying Jesus Christ (verses 22 and 23). What a beginning, considering that these people from all over the earth had not participated physically in the crucifixion! Yet Peter said under inspiration, “You have taken, and [you] by [your] wicked hands have crucified and slain. He repeated himself for good emphasis in verse 36.

It doesn’t matter if we are not directly descended from these people, just as it didn’t matter to Peter that those gathered in front of Him had not physically participated in the killing of Jesus Christ. We are all just as guilty as the High Priest who blasphemed and condemned Jesus Christ to death (Mark 14:63-65); just as guilty as those who spat on Him; or as those who struck Him with fists, bludgeoning His face until it was raw and swollen. Yes, even as guilty as the man who scourged Jesus Christ with a cat-o’-nine-tails (Matt. 27:26) until His skin was ruptured and torn and His bones were exposed (Ps. 22:17), leaving Him just short of death.

At this point, Jesus Christ was not even recognizable as a human being. The scourging was preparatory to the most vicious death yet devised by man. Christ was nailed to a cross by nails that drove deep into the red, raw flesh, pinning His hands and feet to that stake. We also cannot escape blame for this act, nor the final indignity of thrusting the spear in Jesus Christ’s side. Then we helped raise the cross and dropped it into the hole, as Christ’s flesh tore on the nails when it hit bottom.

Are you confused as to how you and I individually participated in an event that happened roughly 2000 years ago? Let me explain. Are you a Christian, an atheist or something in between? Do you practice the faith of Islam, Judaism, Taoism or other religions? Or are you someone “morally” upright, yet never attend a church service? It doesn’t matter. Most people the world over, irregardless of religious leanings, beliefs, faiths and so on literally curse Jesus Christ every day of the year when they trample on God’s Holy Days, or His weekly Sabbath. They mock Jesus Christ when they fail to keep the law of God and spit in His face by trying to do away with the Ten Commandments altogether. Everyone, through their actions and words, is guilty of crying out “crucify Him” in a thousand different ways (Mark 15:13).

We have helped put to death the only Saviour this world has ever known! We have despised and rejected “… a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed. All we [all of us] like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:3-6).

Disobedience to God’s laws caused His excruciating death. Yet here is the love of God, that while we are going about our despicable deeds and evil behaviour, Jesus Christ was commending His love toward us. He died for us (Rom. 5:8). This sacrifice applies to all people, of all times. Can we comprehend what Jesus Christ – the former Word who was with God for all eternity (John 1:1) – endured? The God who had lived from eternity without beginning or end, without mother or father, without pain, and the very express image, brightness and character of the Father and His power. He sat down with the Father and made the plans to come to this earth and suffer that we might live!

This God of majesty, power and awesome splendour took the job willingly, predetermining to endure the cross that we might live (Heb. 12:2). He was made a mortal man to suffer death for you and for me! Think of how humbling it would be to come in the same weak flesh and blood as your creation, but with the ultimate purpose of destroying death, pain, sickness, disease and misery (Heb. 2:9, 14).

And while doing so, this great being was tempted just like we are tempted — conquering the downward pull of the flesh perfectly without sin (Heb. 4:15). It wasn’t without effort either, as He prayed and humbled Himself before His Father for strength, “… and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Those who deny Him fail to understand that all “nations [on earth] are as a drop in a bucket and are counted as the small dust of the balance ….” (Isa. 40:9-15). Think about that. What is your net value to God? When all nations in totality are only a drop in a bucket, how significant are we, who are counted as specks of dust? Yet this great God sacrificed Himself for us! That is almost incomprehensible.

What’s Your Reaction?

So how concerned are you, or am I, over this terrible death? We have a responsibility which must be taken literally. God says it is He who calls us (John 6:44), and desires we realize the seriousness of our crimes, repenting of them (Acts 2:38). This does not apply to those who sin or drift along, nor to the scoffers and those full of pride and vanity. Not if we keep sinning! Not if we just drift along, or are filled with pride and vanity!

God desires humbleness (I Pet. 5:5-6) and will resist all other forms of character. When we exercise true repentance of our past misdeeds and are properly baptized and, by God’s Spirit put into the true Church of God, the living body of Christ — then we have God’s complete forgiveness.  He is able to blot out our sins, our transgressions — no matter how wicked we have been (Ps. 51:1). And yes, this despite all having participated in the killing of Christ. We indeed have a God of love and deep concern.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.