Who Am I?

Since social media sites hit cyberspace I have occasionally joined groups and contributed to discussions, but after a rather interesting participation in one particular group, I realised that people are often not what they claim to be. Although I use a pseudonym on this blog (for reasons that will become evident shortly), I’ve always been pretty open and mostly honest with people. When you believe, as I do, that a benevolent Father is watching over you, it is difficult to disappoint Him by telling blatant lies. However, it seems people who believe they are on their own, people who have no sense of a Greater Reality, can be capable of the most unbelievable deception.

One of the groups I joined was on facebook. The group was called Creationism and I thought it would be interesting to discuss scientific issues relating to the creation/evolution debate with other Christians who were interested in this topic. I chose not to join an evolution group, as I’m not really interested in conflict, but I do enjoy discussing topics from differing points of view. The first thing I noticed in this group was that most of the posts were very negative towards creation science. Posts placed by the administrator were all rather airy-fairy and didn’t ever address anything to do with Creationism or present any scientific information relating to creation science. They centred more on positive thinking and being thankful for the beauty of nature. That did rather surprise me, but then I thought that perhaps the administrator was not well educated on the subject, even though s/he was a believer in biblical creation.sunset

I decided I’d contribute by raising topics of interest to biblical creationists, after all, that is what the term Creationism is all about. The response was unbelievable. The crude, personal assaults from anti-creationists were so disgusting it took my breath away. At one stage someone called Randy posted a photo of a piece of human faeces in a glass with a caption stating that this was a photo of my brain. It was after this incident that I decided I would try to remain more anonymous in cyberspace. Gradually, I came to realise that no one else in the group ever contributed from the creation side of the debate, and eventually, I was barred.

It finally dawned on me. In reality, the person who set up the group was an evolutionist. This person knew nothing about biblical creation and precious little about the science behind the theory of evolution. I was the only person to post anything that supported creation science, so I guess that’s why I was barred, people who posted anything resembling scientific evidence for creation were inevitably barred. I am now totally convinced the administrator was not a Christian, but rather, a particularly dishonest mischief maker. The group’s whole aim was no doubt to falsely represent Christians who believe in biblical creation, whilst opening them up to ridicule and personal abuse.

I have since come to believe that another site I have contributed to (God of Evolution (GOE)), may also be run by a person whose claim to be a Christian is false. Like the facebook group, this site appears to be dedicated to attacking people who believe in biblical creation. The owner of this site claims he is a believer, but once again, I wonder whether his motives are what he claims them to be. He is very fond of making claims about the so called beliefs of what he terms “young earth creationists” (YECs), and then attacking those claims. He presents straw man arguments, and as his readers seem to be generally ignorant of the true arguments creation scientists make for biblical creation, he effectively attacks his straw men, thus creating the illusion of having completely refuted any biblical creationist propositions by completely misrepresenting his opponents.

Image from Pirate Times

Image from Pirate Times

This person never attacks well qualified and trained creation scientists, instead he chooses less informed creationists and lay people to quote, people who are far less capable of presenting information effectively. He also uses sweeping generalisations, lumping everyone who believes in biblical creation together under his YEC banner and if one sneezes, everyone has a cold. Whatever one person has been heard to say (he seems to particularly dislike Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis) he uses as part of his data bank of “things all YECs believe” and fuel for yet another attack article.

The interesting thing is he doesn’t appear to venture into any specific scientific issues. He links to a number of evolutionist sites that claim certain scientific evidence points to evolution as the most convincing theory for the origins of all that is, but virtually all of these claims have been robustly answered many times over by reputable scientists who believe in biblical creation, and these rebuttals never see the light of day on his site. In fact his site appears to be set up for the sole purpose of denigrating people who believe the biblical account of creation, while having very little to say about evolution, other than it happened – full stop.

I find it difficult to believe someone of faith would want to spend so much of their time vehemently attacking specific individuals just because their approach to The Bible is different. There is no attempt to examine issues, it is people who are being attacked. This is character assassination on a grand scale, with very little promotion of the gospel. This is not something I can imagine Jesus doing and therefore I doubt this person is actually a follower of Jesus. Jesus reserved this sort of personal attack for hypocrites. Perhaps this site’s owner believes all YECs are hypocrites. However, after my earlier experience with facebook, I suppose I’m actually less naive, one might even say more cynical. I have recently begun to wonder just who the owner of this site actually is. Is he who he claims to be – a follower of Jesus? Is he even a real person? He may in fact be nothing more than an avatar representing a non-Christian group who hate biblical creationists.

This leads me to the issue I wanted to discuss in this post. Who are we? Am I the person I think I am, or the person my family thinks I am? Am I simply someone who was born of English, Irish, Polish and German stock, in the middle of Sydney in the middle of the 20th century; only to have 80 or so years (if I’m lucky) of life experience? How can we know who we really are? We appear to spend a great deal of our lives trying to be someone, but is that someone who we are essentially?

This question began to distract me in my teens and for some time I entertained the idea that we may be reincarnated, that we may have lived on Earth many times before and have already had a number of different personalities. After someone pointed out the mathematical difficulties with this concept I was less inclined to see reincarnation as a possibility. It is likely that the present population of people on Earth is equal to, or perhaps even exceeds, the total number of people who have ever lived on the planet in the past. Also, believing in reincarnation didn’t actually address the big question I had – Who am I anyway?

Our friend over at the GOE site states that:

When I engage with other Christians who disagree with me on evolution, I have never sensed in them much of a longing for nonbelievers to experience the joy and salvation of knowing Jesus. I more often tend to encounter a deep animosity and mistrust, especially toward scientists.

Is that me? It certainly doesn’t seem to have anything to do with me or any other biblical creationists I’ve met, particularly as a number of them are PhD scientists. So are we what others tell us we are? Sadly this can sometimes be the case. As a primary school teacher I worked with children who were having difficulties with reading. A number of my pupils had been virtually told by adults that they would never learn to read, and some of them began to believe this assessment. Other children I encountered had been told they were “thick”. These kids often decided that if they couldn’t be good at school, they’d be good at disrupting school – and they often were. This is frequently referred to as fulfilling negative expectations. My approach to this problem was to try to remove the negative expectations and replace them with positive, achievable goals. Thankfully, this approach nearly always had positive outcomes.

After many years of thinking over the issue of just who we are, I came to the conclusion that we must be either one of two possibilities. Either we are an accident, or we are a part of a bigger plan. Naturally (sorry about the pun), the accident adherents follow the creed of evolution, that is, we are all the product of random, unplanned, haphazard chemical reactions. Our life journey is simply a combination of what nature gave us genetically at birth, the environment into which we happened to be born and what we do throughout life with the cards we were dealt. Our personalities are nothing more than chemical reactions in our brains, and we have nothing to look forward to beyond the grave, other than becoming compost.

I find this a very depressing outlook and have wondered if it might be at the root of a lot of the depression that so plagues our modern culture. Is it possible that some children, who were raised with this sort of concept, somehow, through lack of use, turn off certain neural pathways in their brains that lead to hope and optimism? After all, what is there to hope for under this scenario? It is no surprise that so many people are working their way through a bucket list. If we are not born with genius or beauty, under this scenario we are simply part of the herd, striving to make a life amidst the chaos and confusion of the modern world. Some people do a better job than others at enjoying themselves and loving life and those around them, but ultimately, surely we are more than this small life we each live. Deep inside each one of us is a sense of so much more.

When we choose to believe the Creator’s version of life this is only the beginning of the journey in the opposite direction. We are no longer striving to satisfy personal needs (even if these needs may have included altruism or philanthropy), our attention is directed towards our Creator and His plans and purposes. This path is nevertheless a steep learning curve. My friend over at GOE opens his site with the verse:

“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” 1 Cor 14:20 (ESV)

No doubt he is inferring that a mature Christian would follow his way of thinking and believe in evolution, accepting a rather confused hybrid between my two possibilities. He doesn’t make much of an attempt at convincing us or explaining why we should believe in evolution; he simply informs us that everyone who is even slightly intelligent, and all the people he respects, believe in evolution. When I was an infant Christian, evolution is exactly what I believed in, but it seems very clear to me today that once one starts to really look at the issues, examine the evidence, and read both sides of the argument thoroughly, it is far more in keeping with rational thought to believe The Bible’s straightforward account of creation. To me this is far more likely to be the product of mature thinking.

Being a biblical creationist is counter-cultural; this is the journey that is less directed by culture and more by the Word of God. It takes a certain sort of determination to question the dominant cultural paradigm, but the journey once begun is startling in its clarity.

The Bible’s version of who I am is also uplifting in its purity. Through His Word our Father has revealed that He wants us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 4:18; 5:7), He wants to have a deep spiritual and personal relationship with each one of us – He created us for this very purpose. God has a definite plan for each and every person born onto this very special planet.

Master_Universe_by_ANTIFAN_REAL

Master Universe by ANTIFAN REAL

To begin with, there is good evidence to demonstrate that our planet is at or very near the centre of the universe. We are not living on an obscure little blue blob lost in a vast array of cosmic bodies. When God stretched out the heavens (Is 45:12; Jer 10:12), creating time and space, He was opening a new chapter in His eternal existence. He is the “cause” of all that is (Rev 4:11) and the reason we exist (Col 1:16). Our Father chose to create a family for Himself and consequently He created a stunningly breathtaking environment for us to physically inhabit.

When He created Adam and Eve in His own image as two unique individuals, He knew every single person who would come from their genetic material, as humanity filled the Earth (Gen 1:26-28). Each and every one of us is known to our Creator and He has an individual plan for each of our lives. We are no accident! We are the intentional, miraculous creation of the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent God, who has made it possible for each one of us to become part of His eternal family.

Image from The Exponent

Image from The Exponent

Who we are can only be fully realised in the context of who we will become when we are given the gift of eternal life. When we accept this gift, which cost the Father the life of His Son, we embark on a journey of discovery that will go on into eternity. During this journey we will find our true selves and be given our true names (Rev 2:17). No longer will we be the person we were told we are, or the person we think we should be, we will discover who our loving Father created us to be as His unique, individual, immortal child. As our brother John pointed out:

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know Him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. (1John 3:1-2)

This must be one of the most hope filled, life giving promises in The Bible. Not only are we assured we are the much loved children of the Creator of the Universe, we also know that we will be like Christ – we will be immortal, we will be sinless, we will be the objects of unimaginable love – and that love will rise up in us and become our very own nature. We won’t be clones of Christ, anymore than we have been clones of Adam and Eve, but we will inherit His righteousness. The sin nature we inherited from our natural parents will be gone and because we have been born again of the Spirit we will no longer be subject to this fallen nature. Thus we will be fit for God’s eternal kingdom (John 3:3, 7). The apostle Peter tells us:

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. (1Peter 1:2-6)

We can have great expectations because we are offered a priceless inheritance, and this inheritance is within reach of every person who has ever been born on this specially crafted planet. God is producing an eternal family and each one of us can be part of that family. That is what we can be, that is who we were designed to be. We can be immortal people living in a truly loving family with an omnipotent, omniscient, eternal Father who loves us and will care for us throughout eternity. He will enable us to realise our unique potential, and it is only through His Son that this is possible. To find out who we really are we must take hold of what we can be through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Peter explains:

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because He raised Christ from the dead and gave Him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. (1Pe 1:21-23)

Sincere love for brothers and sisters is not what I encounter when I go to the GOE site. This causes me to wonder whether the owner is the person he claims to be. He writes with such vehement animosity towards people he states are his brothers and sisters, people who happen to be biblical creationists, that I am forced to doubt him.

If he is a Christian I can only hope he takes the time to properly look at what he is attacking, not the people (we all have faults), but the substance of the scientific research. Then he might begin to understand why so many fellow believers have taken hold of creation science, having realised that the scientific evidence actually does point to biblical creation as the most convincing model for the origin of our universe. He too can join the Christian Counter Culture and stand against the great deception of evolution, with its naturalistic annihilation of human eternal potential. Perhaps then he will be a true follower of Jesus and express that deep love for his fellow believers Peter talked about. If he is what I suspect, another fabricator of elaborate lies, I can only pray he will find his hope in Christ, because then he too will discover his own personal, eternal potential and come to know who he truly is.

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Become an Agent for Change

When I look at newscasts and think about the horrific problems millions of people face because of violence in the countries where they live, I am compelled to wonder how we can make effective changes so that innocent people do not need to flee their homes. How do countries, who open their doors to refugees, help these violent countries develop justice, liberty and equality?

Violence arises from faulty thinking. To think we have a right to attack another person is faulty thinking. Some of this thinking stems from faulty ideologies, some from purely selfish thoughts (I want what you have) and some from the inability or lack of inclination to control violent impulses. God expects us to control our violent impulses, and if we can’t, He has directed civilised societies to create legal systems to deal with people who are a threat to others. Human beings have known from the beginning of time that murder is evil, and there is no doubt about it, we will all stand before our Creator and give an account for the things we have done in this life.

Anyone who has the mistaken belief that in our world today a deity would want them to murder another person, has definitely accepted an ideology that is based on faulty thinking. And yet a large number of the people who are displaced in the world today have had to leave their homes because this type of faulty thinking is being acted upon with, at times, genocidal outcomes. This faulty thinking says, “These people don’t agree with my ideology, I have the right to kill them.”

How do sane, rational people deal with this form of faulty thinking? How should the rest of the world attempt to prevent wholesale murder on the scale we are seeing being perpetrated by IS? I believe we have to directly attack this faulty thinking and it is imperative that this attack comes first from within the community that has given rise to these murderous people.

Outsiders simply pointing out to these people that their thinking is faulty will not prevent the insane violence that is being spread through hate. These murderers claim their scriptures tell them that people who don’t believe in the things they believe in are not only deceived, they choose to be deceived, and therefore their blood is on their own hands. We hear the occasional cry of defence from Muslim leaders who maintain murder is not part of their religion. And yet every day for the last 20 years we hear about Muslims killing people.

If this is not an integral part of Islam, then the leaders need to stand up and say so, loud and clear. They need to teach their children that killing someone else, for any reason other than defending oneself or one’s community, is murder – plain and simple! And they need to educate their young men to think differently. Hate is not conducive to world peace. But perhaps this is what they are actually all about. Their ideology may be based on the idea that the Mahdi will come to a chaotic world filled with hate and violence. They may mistakenly believe they are agents of some twisted sort of good/god.

© Jpegwiz | Dreamstime.com

© Jpegwiz | Dreamstime.com

There is no denying the fact that the majority of people who have found it impossible to stay in their own countries have fled to countries that were founded on Christian principals. Christians can attack the faulty thinking that has led to so much violence and human suffering. We need to attack from the front with prayer. Prayer is our most powerful weapon and we need to use it now, because this is a spiritual battle and we are called to arms. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12)

Christian communities have no problem identifying and condemning murder. Jesus has not given us a mandate for attacking other people, even if they disagree with us and hate us we are commanded to love them and pray for them. The Christian faith is based on peace (Luke 1:78-79), love (John 13:35), forgiveness (Mat 6:12), charity (Mat 25:35-40) and equality (2 Cor 8:13-14). These are the standards the leaders of the Christian church should be setting for their people. God has not called us to be prosperous in this world, He has called us to take up the cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34). Christian leaders around the world today need to speak out about these standards and demand them of their people. All those people who claim to be followers of Christ should be showing love to their Muslim neighbours. We need to be the ambassadors of Christ in the 21st century world.

If these standards are also claimed by other faiths then let their leaders stand up and be counted. Let them speak out and tell their people that this is what is expected of them. If these are not the standards set by their faith, then this faith should be seen for what it is, nothing more than a group of murderous people with faulty thinking. Any faith that promotes violence and hate is a false, evil religion, because we know that God is Love (1 John 4:8).

Why should the rest of the world stand by and pick up the pieces as country after country is racked by the ruinous doctrines of an evil religion. If murder and violence are not part of the doctrine of Islam then let the leaders shout it from their minarets. There are innocent men, women and children who have been born into this faith who have no freedom to choose to look rationally at it and reject it. Apostasy is another choice that is punishable by murder. Outsiders cannot reform Islam, it is up to Muslims to show the world that they really are promoting a religion of peace, if this is indeed what they claim. But this is not what is evident from 1400 years of history.

I can only hope that I am wrong, that I have looked at this situation and missed something. But I simply have to look at the news to see that even if a small number of misguided people are promoting violent aggression in the name of Islam, it is enough to cause immense and unpardonable suffering. Christians around the world need to identify this faulty thinking with compassion and attack it with prayer. This is a call to every Christian in the world today to become an agent of change. Pray brothers and sister, pray like you have never prayed before. Pray for the souls of the lost and deceived, pray that they will see the Light and come to the only true God, their Creator.

© Alistaircotton | Dreamstime.com

© Alistaircotton | Dreamstime.com

Christians of the world must unite and attack this faulty thinking on the spiritual level. The Body of Christ needs to be an agent for change in the world today. Christian people all over the world need to dedicate some time to prayer. We have the most powerful weapon in all the world and we can use it for God’s glory. We need to show the world “proof of our love” so that the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified (2 Cor 8:2-3). Brothers and sisters let us pray.

“Father, let those people who have been born into countries where faulty thinking is the norm hear Your Truth. Lord, open their hearts and their minds to the Truth of Your gospel and bring them into Your Kingdom. Father let them hear about the great love You have for them. Let them truly understand that You sent Your Son to die for them, that they might have eternal life. They have been told that they will live in paradise because they are prepared to kill for their god. Break down this false hope Lord and open their eyes to Your Truth. We know it is only in and through the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be granted the gift of eternal life. Father, reach out to them now we pray and touch them mightily. Amen.”

The Power of Love

I’m reading The Koran. Admittedly I can’t read it in Arabic, but then I would imagine many Muslims can’t read it in Arabic either, so I’m working my way through an English version. Right now I’m saying to myself, “Will the very fact that I’ve stated here in this public forum that I’m reading The Koran make some people want to harm me?” It’s a frightening thought. But a religion that encourages terrorism is a frightening reality, which I guess means that the terrorists have achieved their goal, we feel terrified. I’m still totally at a loss to understand how anyone can think the God who created the universe would want this sort of violent behaviour to be carried out in His name. But then I read passages in The Koran like:

Make ready then against them what force ye can, and strong squadrons whereby ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy.

And also:

Strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip. This, because they have opposed God and his apostle.

This God appears to be very different to the God the Lord Jesus Christ came to reveal. 640px-Bloch-SermonOnTheMountJesus taught:

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! (Luke 6:27-33)

I know many non-Christian people cite Old Testament passages to make the claim that Christianity also promotes violence, but that’s because they don’t understand what The Bible is all about. They don’t understand that there is a New Covenant and a New Commandment. Under the old covenant God was preparing a people and a place into which the Messiah would be born. Now we have a New Covenant and under this covenant we are learning about the power of love. This is a radical idea. I was once told by a Muslim that Jesus was a coward because He didn’t take up arms against His enemies. This man did not understand the power of God’s love. He also did not understand that it is this love that will ultimately be victorious.

Throughout history, some people who claimed to be Christians (see my article What is a Christian) also did not understand this important truth. In the 16th century a godly man called William Tyndale was persecuted and eventually hanged and burned at the stake by the religious leaders of his time. TyndaleAlthough these people claimed to be Christians, they appear to have completely missed the teachings of Jesus. Not only did they not follow His teachings, they worked hard to maintain control of the Word of God, while Tyndale was trying to get God’s Word into the hands of the “common” people.

Today there are people who claim to be Christian whose beliefs appear to me to be closer to the teachings of The Koran than to The Bible. They promote the idea of eternal torment. This teaching is found over and over again in The Koran. The gruesome details of the horrific fate awaiting the infidel is related many times, but one sentence in particular grabbed me.

He that feareth God will receive the warning, and the most reprobate only will turn aside from it, who shall be exposed to the terrible fire, in which he shall not die, and shall not live.

This is exactly what many Christians claim is the fate awaiting unbelievers. I can find no scriptural support for this concept in The Bible, yet people who choose to believe this idea do so with strong conviction. If we lived in Tyndale’s time I could understand such ideas being prominent, in those days people did not have access to God’s Word, but today most Christian’s can read God’s Word in their own language. And still they cling to this doctrine.

I believe that people who understand God as an omnipotent being, who is preparing eternal torment for a large portion of the human race, must surely make allowances for themselves when they lack love and compassion. Belief in this sort of violent retribution corrupts the soul. Even for the Christian love becomes a relative term. God is love, but this love must be understood in the light of the understanding that he will allow the torture of people for eternity. This is not the God of The Bible, this is the God of The Koran.

The God of The Bible expects His followers to live as Jesus did. John wrote about this concept and he also talked about people who claim to know God but don’t follow Jesus’ teachings. He wrote:

If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. (1 John 2:4-8)

May the darkness that accompanies this horrific doctrine be overwhelmed by the light and love that shines forth from God’s Word. And may people who believe terrorism is an expression of God’s will discover another way, the Way of love.

Candle bible

What is Love?

A few days ago I was asked to make a comment on a facebook page concerning a public venue that was about to host a Christian conference. Apparently some militant people, who label themselves LBGTIQ, swamped the page with hate mail, condemning the venue for giving breathing space to “hateful Christians who object to same sex marriage,” even though this topic was not on the agenda. We were asked to counter the attack with positive posts for the venue.

So many issues are touched on in this incident. The first is the apparent hypocrisy of people who say they have a right to believe what they believe, while insisting others with an alternative worldview should not be allowed to express it. These people say they should be allowed to “love” whomever they want, but what they actually mean is “have intimate sexual relationships with” whomever they want. Some even insist this is what Jesus meant when He taught that we should love one another.

loveEnglish is a rather limited language when it comes to the language of love. While homophiles, who are English speakers, claim Jesus’ encouragement to love everyone included same sex relationships, they conveniently ignore the biblical teachings on homosexuality. The ancient Greeks had five words that can be translated as love and three of them are in The Bible. The one Jesus mostly used is agape, and this has nothing to do with erotic love, which is what the Greek word eros is all about. Erotic love is always described in The Bible as being the physical expression of love between a husband and a wife. There is no other sexual love that the God of The Bible condones.

It is an insult to the Christian faith to claim Jesus condoned homosexuality. And it is a shame some Christians feel they can step outside biblical teachings and take it upon themselves to condone this practice. They are virtually condemning people who are attracted to partners of the same sex to far less than the Father wants for them.love3 God designed the uniquely complimentary sexual organs of His creatures and He gave clear instructions for their proper use when it comes to people. Just as He told us to keep our minds on godly things, He also expects us to use our sexual organs for activity within His clearly outlined, planned purposes.

The love Jesus was talking about is a very different type of love to erotic love. There is a word in the Old Testament that talks about erotic love and it comes from the Hebrew word to boil. The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament has plenty to say about this sort of love, but Jesus was talking about agape love, which is about benevolence and charity, mercy and compassion. This is the love that puts the beloved before self. This is the love God wants us to have towards our fellow human beings. The Christian imperative is to help other people see their desperate need for salvation. The most loving thing we can do as Christians is to share the gospel with others. This has nothing whatsoever to do with sharing another person’s bed.

Another kind of love the Greeks had a specific word for is brotherly/sisterly love, which the Greek word phileo describes. I find this is the love I have for most people to whom I am close. I can love my friends deeply; I enjoy their company and look forward to our times together, without ever needing to include sexual relations in the mix. I think it’s sad that when one of my girlfriends and I were particularly close other people thought we were gay. Why would others think that loving someone of the same sex necessarily leads to sexual activity? Perhaps the answer is that we live in an age where sex is worshiped.

Sex has become a dominant constant in a world that is constantly told we should believe in nothing more than biological evolution and the survival of the fittest. Sex is no longer seen as something private and special between a husband and wife. It is now presented as simply a biological imperative, not much different to hunger. In today’s world even afternoon TV shows, which have traditionally been time-slots for children, openly discuss sexual activity, while children as young as five are being accused of sexual harassment. What a tragic time we live in, innocence is being eroded by in-your-face eroticism.

love2The last Greek word for love I want to mention is storge, which is family love. Although this word is not in The Bible, this is the love that is at the basis of our human society. Family is not a human construct, it is a divinely designed institution. Human beings are distinct from all other creatures because God made us in His own image (Gen 1:26) to become His eternal children. From the very beginning, God designed human families and He intended them to function with the bond of familial love and trust we will share with Him throughout eternity.

God made Adam and Eve sexually complementary, He created them male and female and He blessed their unique union with children. Marriage is a divinely ordained relationship in which two people can produce the most miraculous of all human creations – another human being (Gen 4:1). God has designed marriage as the core of the human family and it is this relationship that God points to as the core of the eternal family.

Throughout The Bible, believers are referred to as the Bride of the Redeemer. It is the marriage covenant that God refers to when He describes His relationship with the body of believers who are brought back into relationship with Him through His Son. This is a relationship based on love, and it is this sort of love Jesus came to Earth to reveal through His life, death and resurrection. He loved us so much that He gave His life that we might have eternal life. To equate this with homosexual relations is an insult to the faith that has changed the world through its insistence that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

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