Month 10:16, Week 3:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year:Day 5940:282 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 14 January 2017
Two Baptist Churches
Dealing With Sexual Immorality
Since a seasonal bug has decided to climb on board and cause trouble with my other medical issues I have had to shelve two big projects for a bit while I recouperate. Since idleness is not an option (thanks to one of my conditions) I thought I would take the opportunity to throw out a few thoughts that have been laying on my heart and hope that these will be a blessing to someone out there.
Aftermath of the Presidential Election
I have not commented much on the aftermath of the US presidential election and don't want to say very much now other than to note, as must be obvious to most, that the West itself is now going through an accute period of political and social instability and anguish. Eight years of Obama has caused irrepairable damage.
Shaking of the Élites
As predicted, the élites are activating all their emergency contingency plans in a bid to halt the spiralling exposés of all the the wickedness have been doing behind the scenes, something they cannot now reverse, thus forcing them to take desperate measures to stay on schedule with their diabolical plans. This will be a painful process for your average citizen and like all totalitarian despots they will not yield quietly - in fact, they will not yield at all.
The Dark Work of Generations
There are many reasons for this, not least because they are driven by demonic powers. Remember, Satan has his agenda and human welfare is not part of it. At stake is the work of centuries - perhaps even millennia) - of planning and subversion. More obviously, the necks of the élites are on the line if they fail as the Illuminati is not known for its kindness, no more than the totalitarian systems they promote outwardly like communism, fascism and radical Islam are. A lot of blood has already been spilled and, sadly, a lot more yet will be, but this time within the élites' own hidden lairs as they war with each other. The Judgments of Yahweh are most definitely underway.
But this isn't what I want to talk to you about right now, though. My message concerns the Body of Messiah which is itself becoming more and more polarised, mirroring, in many respects, the political landscape itself. The charismatics and penetecostals are going wild with counterfeit revivals with miracles stacking up as immature believers lunge after the showy things as the early Corinthians once did. Some of you may have heard about the so-called 'Nakuru Revival' in East Africa and will have heard about parallel goings-on in West Africa, both of which are completely lawless and driven by unclean spirits. They're saying Yah'shua (Jesus) is about to return any moment.
Two American Baptist Churches
In America, you have the two extremes of the political spectrum currently manifesting in the churches. At one end, you have the oldest Baptist Church in Washington DC (Calvary) appointing a lesbian couple as co-pastors promoting the left's social agenda, and at the other, a radical fundamentalist KJV-only Baptist in Tempe, Arizona. The latter is spot on theologically when it comes to Zionism, the Rapture, evolution and a number of other doctrinal and scientific questions. But he has a lot of other things fundamentally wrong, like the Torah and Bible translations, to name but two, but I can live with most whose theology is off-beam here and there provided they manifest the fruit of the Ruach (Spirit):
Wishing Death on Sinners
"...ahavah (love), simcha (joy), shalom (peace), patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal.5:22-23, NIV).
I can easily get on with people who manifest these, as indeed I do with many of my family and friends who are Baptists and have clearly been spiritually regenerated. There's just no denying it. But I cannot abide this Baptist Pastor in Arizona who is wild-eyed, mean-spirited, nasty and filled with unabashed hatred for certain kinds of people with major sin issues. He has openly prayed that Obama would die and go to hell, forgetting the admonition to pray for our enemies. He takes a special pleasure in cursing those with same-sex issues and wishing they could be executed, forgetting that the penalty for capital Torah breaches has been nailed to the Cross. It's plain that certain kinds of people, even if they sincerely want to change, are not invited to pass through his church doors.
Salvation for the Lost
Our world is in a mess. Things we took for granted when I grew up no longer are. People no longer know who they are any more. Never have people been so lost. But here's the thing - no person, who sincerely repents of sin and wants to change, is past redemption. That's not to say there won't be consequences in their lives for having living lives of rampant sin because there most definitely are but it is to say that as far as Yahweh and His people are concerned there is forgiveness and acceptance...our Elohim (God) most certainly does wipe clean the slate of anyone who surrenders to Yah'shua (Jesus) and sets about obeying the mitzvot (commandments).
Tremendous damage has been done over the last 40 years in the area of gender identity. The visible evidence of those appendages that lie between our legs is no longer regarded as the litmus test as far as gender is concerned. But that is, however, the starting point, and if there is a discrepancy between internal and external anatomy, and what is going on in people's heads or in their hearts, then the issue lies in the invisible realm of thoughts, feelings and will. Minds and hearts can be, and are, changed but there is no surgical proceedure that can biologically alter gender - and once certain parts have been whipped off, there is no way they can be restored .
Yah'shua Never Cursed the Lost
Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) never screamed at or cursed the lost as this Arizionan pastor does and neither should we. At the same time He did not mince His words when it came to telling people about the consequences of unrepented sin and unchanged sinful lifestyles. "If you are willing" to repent, Yahweh says good things will happen to you "but if you resist and rebel", then you must expect to be "devoured" (Is.1:19-20, NIV). Or as J.A.Wood puts it:
The Divine Physician and His Nurses
"Yahweh, in infinite mercy, has instituted a way of salvation by which wicked men may be redeemed from sin, but never in sin."
All sin is revolting but no sinner is unredeemable, save he cross that final line and openly deny the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) after he has had a full revelation of the emet (truth). It's why Yahweh sent His Son down to earth to die, so that sinners might be delivered, set free, and set upon the path that leads to simcha (joy) and productiveness living the heavenly lifestyle. The local congregation - the assembly or church - was created for all who are sick and lost and who want to be found. What do believers suppose the local congregation is for if not to be what one minister described as a "spiritual intensive care unit"? It wasn't desiged as as a place where those without issues could assemble and congratulate one another for not being sick or lost. If Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Divine Physician, then what do you suppose His talmidim (disciples) are supposed to be? The last time I was in a hospital, the physicians were assisted by nurses.
Two Opposites Outside the Pale
The trouble is, both these Baptist churches - the one in Washington DC and the other in Arizona - believe they are preaching the Besorah (Gospel), both believe they are teaching true doctrine and both believe they are loving people the way the Master did. One of these churches is led by two social justice warriors who sport a large 'some-people-don't-completely-accept-and-celebrate-our-lifestyle-choice' chip on their shoulder and the other by a man who, when he isn't preaching wild-eyed, foam-spitting sermons from his pulpit, is too busy spewing pure, blind, vitriolic, white-hot hatred at a community of lost people who for the most part don't know who they are or what they are doing.
Who to Judge, Who Not to Judge
There are those believers who passionately insist that we should let other believers choose their own sexual lifestyle and that we should not judge them. Then there are those believers who passionately believe that we should judge all unbiblical sexual lifestyles practiced by all people everywhere. Scripture disagrees with both these positions and therefore with both the Baptist churches I have cited:
Who to Embrace, Who Not to Embrace
"What business is it of mine to judge those outside the messianic community (church)? Are you not to judge those inside? Elohim (God) will judge those outside. 'Expel the wicked man from among you'" (1 Cor.5:12-13, NIV).
It is none of our business what others do consentually outside the messianic community (church) but it very much is our business, as Paul says, to judge those who claim to be representatives of Yah'shua (Jesus) and the Besorah (Gospel) when they preach falsehood and live immoral lifestyles. But we are to keep no one away who is genuinely seeking salvation, whatever their issue. Thus anyone who has truly been regenerated or born again, and demonstrates it by producing the fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) mantioned earlier, is saved:
Helping the Overcomers
"Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor.5:16-17, NIV).
Those who are saved - having exchanged their old lives in the flesh for their new lives in Messiah - will have no desire to sin. And we are to help those making this exchange, helping them through their struggle, helping them overcome the lies they believe about themselves and others through constant brainwashing, so that they may be "transformed by the renewing of [their] mind" (Rom.12:2, NIV).
Feelings Aren't Truth
What if they refuse to struggle anymore or change their ungodly lifestyles, declaring the lie they were 'born' that way and cannot help themselves? Well, for one thing, our own 'feelings' are meaningless because feelings aren't emet (truth) - feelings may as easily be generated by lies as by emet (truth). We are not given the licence to give into feelings that would lead us into sinful behaviour or sinful lifestyles.
The Truth Costs
There is a cost - oftentimes painful - to following Yah'shua (Jesus) and that cost is relinquishing such feelings and urges that arise from the fallen Adamic nature. Yah'shua (Jesus) made no exceptions when He said:
"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23, NIV).
And if we refuse to "come after Him" by refusing to give up an unclean lifetyle, then we aren't 'coming after' Him - we're not 'following Him', we're not 'followers', we're not talmidim (disciples). What then are we? Simple - we are unbelievers in rebellion.
The Christians Who Aren't Christians
We have to choose: do we follow Him or do we not? Do we live according to His mitzvot (commandments) or do we not? If we do not, and know what the plain Scriptural emet (truth) is, then we are not Christians or Messianics, no matter how much we may say we are, or attend a congregation where others who say they are believers attend, or even if we are the pastor of that congregation! Then labels and positions mean absolutely nothing at all.
A Straight Choice
So we either choose emet (truth) or we choose our carnal appetites. You can't choose both.
Dealing With Unrepentant Sexual Sinners
If a believer chooses to unashamedly and unapologetically follow their own carnal appetites, then Scripture tells us that the Elders and pastors are to appropriately deal with them:
Are 'Loving, Life-Long Commitments' Enough?
"I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside Elohim (God) judges. Therefore 'put away from yourselves the evil person'" (1 Cor.5:9-13, NKJV).
There is no ambiguity here. The fact that an unrepentant adulterer may 'remarry' and enter into a 'loving life-long committment' with his or her new partner, or a pedophile enter into a 'loving life-long commitment' with a child, or any other 'loving life-long commitment' arrangement which is not according to Torah, does not make them righteous or acceptable simply because they are being 'loving' and are 'commited' - they are still dead in their sins, they are still rebels. And what man says is 'loving' may not be what Yahweh says.
We are nowhere given the licence to overlook sexual immorality in the messianic community (church) but neither are we permitted to scream hateful threats of hellfire and damnation or to wish them dead. Those believers with sexual issues, who are genuinely seeking to resolve them, are to be treated with respect and love, even if it is 'tough love'. And what the world chooses to do is none of our business so long as they don't try to force us, or our children, or anyone else who does not want to imitate or promote them, to be like them or to endorse them. You don't have to agree with someone in order to 'live and let live' - you just have to be mature.
 I can highly recommend former transgender Walt Heyer's books, Perfected With Love (Xulon Press: 2009), Transgender's Faith (2015), Kid Dakota and the Secret at Grabdma's House (2015), Paper Genders: Pulling the mask of the Transgender Phenomenon (Make Waves Publishing: 2011) and Gender, Lies and Suicide: A Whistleblower Speaks Out (2013)
 Donna Wasson, Schizophrenic Heresy