Part 9: Values In Conflict

Our boast is that we are one nation under God. If we are one nation under God, why aren't we doing better? We have heard the Gospel and accepted it. Why aren't we making a stand? We must, as a nation, become praying people staying in the presence and will of God. Who decided, all things being otherwise equal, that he or she would embrace a lifestyle that incites hatred and ostracization from family, friends, community and even God? Nobody just does this. It simply doesn't happen, they make choices.

by Jeff Martin

Bottom Line: I am for God and for hating sin, because God commands it. I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I teach and preach God's word. God says we are to hate sin. I don't single out one sin over another. I don't believe that gays and lesbians are born that way, but I am not 100% sure. I don't think drug addicts woke up one morning and decided to throw their lives away, either: they made a series of choices. The same could be said of alcoholics, who, by the way, also say that they are born with a propensity to drink. Gamblers claim they are diseased as well. Some science says sexual predators can't be cured, that they are born that way. And so, in the history of my life, I have never met a man nor woman who just woke up one day and decided to be gay, a drug addict, alcoholic, gambling addict, sexual addict or predator. Who decided, all things being otherwise equal, that he or she would embrace a lifestyle that incites hatred and ostracization from family, friends, community and even God. You are right, nobody just does this. It simply doesn't happen, they make choices. I cannot take a scientific stance, for I am often at odds with what is considered credible science. I do not subscribe to the theory of evolution. I am very much aware that medical science is often flawed. What, in one year, is taken as fact, two years later is thrown out as inaccurate. But I do know that the word of God is not flawed, and so I must take a biblical stance as opposed to a scientific one.

I am aware of the gay agenda. It is against God and the church. Some of it is because of reactions to mistreatment from the church but most of it is that no one wants to be told what they are doing is wrong and that they need to change. I have seen many people who have left the church (who weren't gay but living a sinful lifestyle) when faced with the doctrine of change, of repenting, turning away from the sin that they are currently embracing and living a different way.

I cannot embrace gay marriage. It is not a lofty goal, God is not going to bless sin. Sin does not evoke God's blessings but His wrath. I would not want that for anyone. Regardless of what you call yourself (calling myself gay is not a sin), whether you believe you are born that way or have made a choice, it is the physical intimate act that is the sin, and one of the rights of marriage is intimacy. I believe that one of Satan's greatest weapons in our country is to defile God's original plan of marriage. And so I will actively fight for God's intended plan. In our society divorce is rampant, and I believe that is one of the largest reasons we are slipping into moral decay. God says he hates divorce, and as believers we should, too. So there is a time and place for believers to hate. That does not mean that I am to hate people. But God has commanded me to hate sin, not embrace it. I don't believe that someone who is born with a birth defect is living a life of sin. Sure, imperfection is the result of sin entering the world, but Jesus taught against birth defects being sin.

So what do we do with all of this?

Well we can sit back and rage against the church. There are always those who want to point out all of the problems but never want to help find the solution. We can throw stones and talk about how badly the church has handled this issue, or we can use our gift of time, energy, and intellect to prayerfully seek ways to do things better. In doing so we must stick with the word of God. We can't call a right a wrong or a wrong a right. Our job is to lovingly tell the truth. If I were to know of someone within the church who was committing adultery, I would lovingly confront them. If they did not repent from their sin I would bring a couple people with me and confront them again. If they still did not repent, then they would have to chose between their lifestyle or the church. I would do the same for anyone who is sinning.

Obviously we are all sinners. But this principal applies to those who refuse to try to change. It is not my job to determine science as I am not a scientist, but to preach and teach the word of God, to the people of God, and to call those that are lost unto salvation, because God desires that no one should perish. I wish everyone would accept Christ, but sadly some won't. Some will choose to love the things of this world and live a life of UN-repentance. I wish I could change it but I can't. God has ordained that we must all choose for ourselves, individually. Like it or not, Creator God sets the rules, He sets the standards and whether they chose Christ or not, I cannot water down the message to try and make it more appealing or appetizing to some or more condemning to others.

I believe that the biblical purpose of the church is for fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, ministry, and worship. Not in any particular order but all five constantly taking place. In the context of doing these things we must find a way to lovingly accept all people and bring them into a place where they have a biblical worldview and lifestyle, to see the world the way God would see it, and to live a life that God would approve of.

Jefferson Martin, Jr., Pastor
Open Bible Baptist Church
June 18 2005

by Dr. Henry F. Johnson

It is time that I must speak out. I have sat back and watched a moral and spiritual decline in our nation and remained quiet like far too many in the Christian community. Our moral and spiritual decline in America concerns me. We have sat idly by and allowed Satan to have his way. I have come to the point that every time someone says “God Bless America,” I counter the statement with this question, “Can God Bless America?" My focus in this essay is to wake up the sleeping giants and call them to action. Who are the sleeping giants? The members of the Christian Community are the sleeping giants. We are a majority in America, but we are taking the position of ease like Lot did in Sodom.

The most devastating effect on our future is the nightmare of abortion, as the death toll from legalized abortion reached 40 million. The civil rights of the unborn remain violated, in spite of public opinion and the visualization of the baby in the mother by ultrasound. With 40 million Americans missing 30 years of age and under, this group comprises the new American minority!

These are some lines from the petition to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency: It is our firm belief that it is unconstitutional to force one's thoughts of God, or a god upon another American. We have the right to religious freedom, as well as the right of freedom from religion. For those who are not believers in God, or a god should not have to feel as though it is a wrong belief due to the symbolism on our money. Nor should they be made to feel out of place due to the forcing of the idea of a god onto them. The American society has more faiths then Christianity and other deity-based beliefs, so the American citizens shouldn't be forced or stereotyped as being one.

On Aug. 5, 2003, a federal judge ruled that a Ten Commandments monument prominently located in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building had to be removed. On August 5, U. S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson issued an injunction that called for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to have the 5,280-pound granite sculpture removed within 15 days. His opinion suggested that the court could order substantial fines against Judge Moore should he fail to obey the injunction.

On Wednesday, February 4, 2004, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court cleared the way for lesbian and gay couples in the state to marry, ruling, on February 3, 2004, that government attorneys “failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason” to deny them the right. In a 4-3 ruling, the court gave the Massachusetts state Legislature six months to rewrite the state's marriage laws for the benefit of gay couples. The ruling by the court on the Massachusetts Constitution could set new legal ground, and drew quick reaction from advocates on both sides of the issue. Massachusetts' governor immediately denounced Tuesday's decision and said he would work for a constitutional amendment to overturn it. But an openly gay U.S. congressman from the state said the amendment couldn't come before the voters before 2006, and by that time same-sex marriages will be law. On February 12, 2004 in San Francisco, California, couples flocked to City Hall. Officials issued 95 marriage licenses to same-sex couples before closing for the day. The Associated Press reported that 87 couples were married on the spot. Officials told the remaining couples to come back Friday (February 13, 2004), according to the AP. As of Friday afternoon, 489 couples had gotten married, the AP reported. The first to be married Thursday were Phyllis Lyon, 80, and Dorothy Martin, 83, who have been together 51 years.

What is going to happen to this nation that pledges “One Nation Under God” if we, the people of God, don't make a stand? We talk the talk but we aren't walking the walk. These group who are pushing God and the principles of His Word out of America will quickly organize a rally and march for their purposes. Where are we? Wouldn't it be great if thousands of Christians went to Washington, D.C. to make a stand for the Lord? Have we gotten too comfortable in Sodom ( I mean America)?

I believe we serve a God of a second chance. The stipulation that comes with that chance is whether there are any righteous in the nations. The Bible gives the account of Abraham's questioning of God as He was preparing to go destroy Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:16-33.

The sinfulness of the city is very clear.

these men wanted to violently rape the angels and wouldn't accept anything less. The angels intervened by blinding the men and pulled Lot into the house. They asked Lot about his family in the city. I think this might have been their way of seeing if there were even ten who were righteous in the city. They found that only Lot, his two daughters, and Mrs. Lot were willing to leave. They made their way out of the city but Mrs. Lot had to look back. She was turned to a pillar of salt. In this city only three seemed to be righteous. Surely in America, there are some righteous. We have freedom of religion. We have numerous churches in every city of this nation. We have para-church ministries throughout the nation. We have great theologians. We have great television evangelist and preachers like Bishop Eddie Long, T.D. Jakes, Dr. Otis Moss Jr., Bishop Dennis Leonard, and Bishop G.E. Patterson who are proclaiming the Gospel. Our boast is that we are one nation under God. If we are one nation under God, why aren't we doing better? We have heard the Gospel and accepted it. Why aren't we making a stand?

I am sounding off from my heart in this essay because I am concerned. America is a great nation. I served in the US Army for twenty years to include a tour in Vietnam so I must love this nation. My love is still great for our nation but my concern is that we have allowed ourselves to be put into a position where God can't bless our nation.

I tell you I am concerned about today as well as the future. Our nation is drifting away from the very principles that made us great. We are turning away from our God who has been faithful and who has blessed us. We have turned away from His Word that was a light unto our path. In some of our pulpits, we have watered down the Gospel rather than preaching about sin and the need for true repentance.

I am not sure that God can bless America in our current state. There is hope! In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we find hope. It says, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (KJV) If we want the blessings of God, we must do as this verse says. We must humble ourselves. This means from the President's house to our house. We must humble ourselves before the Lord. We must pray.

I remember as a child the saying in the church was that a family that stays together prays together. I believe that a nation that will pray together will stay together. We must, as a nation, become praying people staying in the presence and will of God. We must pray! We must next seek God's face. This is simply moving from moral bankruptcy to getting into God's will and walking according to His ways.

The next step is to turn from our wicked ways. The Body of Christ must get back to the basics. We must worship, study, pray, praise, and not compromise. We must stand against the wiles of the Devil. We must not let any more compromise come into our nation. We must take back what the Devil has stolen in this time of our sleeping. We need to repent as a nation for our lack of action and relaxing of morals. We need to repent for our softening of the Word of God. We need to get back in our pulpits and preach like we have never preached before to call God's people to action and to a higher level of commitment to the Lord.

My dear friends, when we humble ourselves before the Lord, pray, seek God, and repent, God promises that He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and heal our land.

Can God bless America? He can't bless us right now because we are living in a mess. He can, however, bless us once we get right. We can only get right with God by applying the principles given in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
I am awake now....what about you? I have invited God back into America by rededicating my life and my ministry...What about you? Are you ready to do the same?

Just Keeping It Real.

Rev. Dr. Henry F. Johnson
Pastor, Greater Tri-Rock MBC
15 February 2004

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