DJ Gorena

Life as I see it

Month: May, 2013

The Sexual Revolution

The sexual revolution. When did it begin? How have we as a society come to the point that we have so many gender-related issues and issues of same-sex marriage? These questions have been rolling around in my head for quite sometime. The more that I hear the more disheartened I am. I am not disheartened at the fact that our culture and society are at this point. It stands to reason that when you excuse God from being a part of a society that this sort of thing will eventually come about.

“Yeah, yeah! We’ve heard it before!” you might exclaim.

But when was the last time that you really wondered where all of this began? Some say that the sexual revolution began in the 1960s here in the United States. Others will say that the paradigm shift in America has followed the way of Europe. The reality is that man is simply doing what man does. What I mean by this is that man will do what seems right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25) especially when there is no fear of God in man’s eyes (Romans 3:18). It should come as no surprise to us that this revolution has been raging not just since the 1960s, but since the beginning of mankind.

In Genesis 3, the first man and woman are caught in sin. It was not sexual sin, but nonetheless, it was sin. God had forbidden the man and woman from eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the day that they ate of it sin and death was ushered into this world and this sin spread to all (Romans 5:12).

After sin entered into the world, Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. They had two sons, Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-8). Cain killed Abel and after the Lord had told him what his punishment was he moved from east of Eden to the land of Nod (Genesis 4:16).

Cain then has relations with his wife and she conceives and gives birth to their son Enoch (4:17).

Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech. Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was thef ather of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. (Genesis 4:18-22)

Did you see where the sexual revolution began? Free love? It was when Lamech, the son of Methushael took for himself two wives: Adah and Zillah. It was God who said that it was not good that man should be alone so He made him a helper–one who is the perfect complement to him. This he did in the Garden of Eden for Adam when He brought him Eve. This is how it is written:

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:18-22)

The ideal situation is one man, one woman in relationship to each other and with God. Adam saw this created woman after the Lord woke him up and he realized that she was his complement. Now it is obvious to note that there was not another woman there at this time. It was just Adam and Eve. But the institution that God ordained from the very beginning was that the man would leave his father and mother behind and cleave to his wife (singular).

After Cain left Eden and settled in the land of Nod, his descendants filled their lives full of everything under the sun rather than filling their lives with the Lord. Of course this is the case simply because Cain did not lead his life nor his family to follow after the Lord. Rather, they began to fill up their emptiness with things such as music, arts and even sexual sin. This is the case with Lamech, the son of Methushael, who took for himself two wives. This is against the natural order that God has established in Genesis 2.

Throughout the Scriptures you will read other stories of men falling into sexual sins. David with Bathsheba, Solomon with 700 wives and 300 concubines, Samson with Delilah are some examples. In the New Testament you will find that there was a man in the Corinthian church that was proudly committing adultery with his father’s wife, his stepmother.

Moreover, you will find that Paul the apostle addresses these sexual sins and includes homosexuality as sin (read Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The sexual revolution, in other words, has been raging for thousands and thousands of years.

So how do we as Christians address these issues? Let me make a few suggestions. First, we need to approach people with love. Jesus made it clear in John 13:34-35 that if we do not have love for each other and for others that those who are not believers have the prerogative to judge us based on the lack of our love. We cannot win someone who is involved in sexual sin by simply bashing them with Bible verses and our views. Rather, we need to love them enough to speak the truth of the sin and let them know that there is still room for God to forgive them and save them from their sin.

Second, we need to be careful with what we do with these relationships with our family and friends who are involved in sexual sins. Relationships are important to the Lord Jesus. After all, His desire is that we be in relationship to Him and to be in right relationship with others as well. Relationship is everything and if we can bring one to the Lord to be their Savior then we have helped someone to be saved from their utter destruction.

Finally, we need to really consider ourselves. We need to speak the truth in love. Do we really love those who are living in sexual sin? What loving anyone else in any other kind of sin? Sin is sin. All of us have sinned in one way or another. Moreover, we need to realize that when we speak the truth in love it is not being judgmental. Rather, we are simply speaking the truth and we are to do it loving those with whom we come into contact.

The sexual revolution has been around for a long time. The issues we face today are nothing new. There is nothing new under the sun. Let’s bring people hope in our Lord Jesus Christ by letting them know that they can be freed from the bondage of sin–even those who are part of the sexual revolution of today.

When You Attack One Muslim, You Attack All Muslims

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon Bomber

It was just a few weeks ago that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off two bombs during the world-famous Boston Marathon. A number of people lost their lives due to the heinous attack that these two brothers perpetrated upon innocent people. Tamerlan was shot and killed after a car chase with police. Moreover, his younger brother, Dzhokhar, ran over his brother’s body after being riddled with bullets from the police. Dzhokhar was injured in the shootout as well but managed to survive the shootout while hiding in a boat in the backyard of a Bostonian. Inside the boat, after being arrested and treated for his wounds, it was found that Dzhokhar had written a note admitting that he was one of the Boston Marathon Bombers. What was his reason? He and his brother did what they did because of America’s involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq stating, “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims.”

As I think about these words that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote, I cannot help but think about those who attack Christians. It happens all the time all over the world. Read a couple of stories from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM; http://www.persecution.com):

NIGERIA: WALKING CORPSES

VOM workers say Christians in northern Nigeria are facing unprecedented trials and fierce persecution. It was therefore a special privilege for VOM workers to distribute the gift of 37 bicycles, 15 motorcycles and 50 megaphones to pastors and Christians workers in the north recently. These simple tools will help them evangelize and preach the gospel in northern Nigeria.

At a distribution in Gombe state, one of the hardest hit areas in the north, at least 2,500 Christians gathered for a worship service. Widows, orphans, pastors and entire families from all over Gombe came together to hear a pastor preach about loving their neighbors. The pastor reminded worshipers that they must not hate their attackers and that martyrs like Stephen forgave his attackers.

“At this point, I began to realize the weight of love,” a VOM worker at the distribution said. “This made everyone focus on the Lord’s intent and design for us, which surpasses all understanding.”

Christians are targeted and “butchered like animals” nearly every day in northern Nigerian cities, with little alarm sounded by the international community, according to the VOM worker. Christians are targeted in their homes, at their businesses, on farms, while traveling on highways and even in their churches.

“These Christians are imprisoned — though there may not be physical walls barricading them — but they are confined to one fate which is death by bombing, bullet, fire, cutlasses, machetes and economic hardship,” the VOM worker said. “Christians are not allowed to go to markets or farms, all for the sake of their faith in Christ Jesus.

“These Christians live as if every day were their last. Someone told me in one of the cities, ‘We are just but walking corpses on the street waiting for our burial days.’ And although seen as second class citizens, these Christians [in northern Nigeria] remain strong in their faith and only wish to advance the gospel.”

The gift of bicycles, motorcycles and megaphones will help these faithful believers in northern Nigeria continue to advance the gospel in a hostile land.

Here’s another story:

IRAN: ARREST DETAILS REVEALED

Farshid Fathi, an Iranian Christian pastor, is beginning the third year of a six-year prison sentence on a conviction of “being chief-director of foreign organizations in Iran and gathering funds for these organizations.” Farshid is one of several believers arrested over the past few years in the Iranian government’s attempts to suppress Christianity. The details of his arrest were only recently released.

At about 6 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2010, security officials wearing plain clothes surrounded the home of Farshid’s father. When Farshid’s father opened the door to go to work, they forced their way into the home. They woke everyone in the house, including Farshid and his family who had stayed there Christmas night.

The authorities began a thorough search of the house. They questioned everyone present and, after completing the search, allowed Farshid to take his daughter to school.

“At the same time, another group of government agents attacked Farshid Fathi’s own house to arrest him, not knowing they were not home,” a source told Mohabat News. “They broke into the house illegally, destroying the entrance door, and searched everywhere confiscating whatever they thought could be used as evidence against Mr. Fathi, including his photos, flash drives, camera memory cards, the hard drive of his PC, laptop, documents, and even some money and his gas card.”

After authorities from the two raids communicated, they realized they had accidentally allowed Farshid to leave his father’s house. Livid over the mistake and sure Farshid had fled, the agents threatened the family with “harsh consequences” if he did not return.

But an hour later, Farshid did return. Authorities then beat him, insulted him and handcuffed him before transferring him to the Ministry of Intelligence building in Tehran. From there, he was taken to Evin prison, where he spent several months in solitary confinement.

A Christian prisoner who was Farshid’s cellmate for a few weeks asked Farshid why he returned home, knowing that the agents were waiting to arrest him. “I couldn’t leave my wife and children alone,” he replied.

Farshid’s faith remains strong even in prison. In December, he responded to the Newtown, Conn., tragedy by writing the following letter to parents of the victims:

To the fathers and mothers who lost their precious children in the Connecticut tragedy,

I really don’t know what word in the world could comfort you, what relief could be helpful for your broken heart, and which hand could clean the tears which fall from your cheeks. I just want to say: I am so sorry and you are in my prayers.

I am sure these high walls cannot stop my prayers for you. Before this tragedy happened, I was thinking about my suffering that I’m going through because of my Lord Jesus Christ, especially being far from my lovely kids. But when I imagine how hard your pain is I forget my sufferings. Because I know by God’s grace I will see my kids at the latest in 2017 when I come out from prison. But unfortunately you have to wait a bit longer. So I would like to express my deepest sorrow for your loss.

I believe we will have enough time in heaven with our lovely children forever. There is no gun there, there is no prison, and there is no pain.

In the hope of that glorious day.

Your Brother in Christ from prison in Iran,

Farshid Fathi
17 December 2012

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not taken these stories into account. Nor has he taken into account that when a Christian is attacked that it is not just “all Christians” who are attacked but it is the Lord Himself that is attacked. Read what Luke records in the Book of Acts:

Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him [Stephen] to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. . . . Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-9)

What the Tsarnaev brothers failed to recognize, as other homicide bombers fail to recognize, is that when a Christian is attacked then it is Jesus Christ who is attacked. Another thing that these two brothers fail to recognize is that Jesus Christ is the Victor over death, hell and the grave. Nothing they do against Him will ever stop others from loving Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul and mind. Nothing people like the Tsarnaevs do to Christians will lessen the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

For the remaining brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, I pray that he will come to the realization that Saul did: Jesus Christ cannot nor will He be conquered. Rather, Jesus Christ has already won the victory for those who believe in His Person and Work. I pray that someone who has access to Dzhokhar will tell him the Good News that true salvation awaits him if he will only believe.

The Problem with Belief

I had a great opportunity last evening to spend some time with a group of college-aged co-eds. It was an interesting conversation that we had as we delved into various topics with which our society and culture are enthralled. These young adults are dealing with a bunch of stuff nowadays. As a matter of fact, all of us are being affected by the culture around us as it is changing at such a rapid pace. Moreover, we are being told as Christians that we are “bigoted” or “intolerant” of others because we think that we are “holier than thou.” With this post, I want to explain a couple of problems that we as Christians have with the belief we say that we have.

First, we have a problem with believing that we are right and others are wrong. Society tells us that we are wrong because we have not progressed or evolved with society or the culture around us and we are so judgmental of others and their lifestyles, whatever they may be. In many ways this is the case but in many ways this is not the case. It is the case that Christendom for the most part still believes the Bible to be the Word of God and that does not change. For those of us who have been Christians for a long time our views change as we grow in our understanding and knowledge of the Scriptures. We find in the Bible that God says very plainly that all men need Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And when we come to the point that we believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess with our mouths that He is Lord then we believe one can and will be saved. It is by faith that we believe this to be true and it is available to all who believe. The point is that we have not progressed in the sense that we believe that “all roads lead to heaven.” No, Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). As Christians we believe this to be the only truth that saves someone from their state of sin. This is not a judgmental statement by any means. Rather, it is truth-telling at its finest.

When someone says that we Christians have not evolved with the society or culture around us this is not true. Just look at the people who attend church. There are so many people in the church that look and act like their secularized counterparts. What may look Christian to some is not Christian at all. What we find in some churches is that we have music that attracts a certain “clientele” if you will. The music has lights and some churches even have smoke machines to make it seem as if you are attending a concert somewhere. We call this “worship” because it appears that we are worshiping when we raise our hands and sway with our eyes closed. In this regard we have changed to more of an emotional type “worship service” than a “here’s the facts of what God’s Word is saying” type of service. We have changed in the sense that we want to help people through a “12-Step Program for a Happy and Healthy Home” or “3 Things to Help Your Finances.” Moreover, we no longer disciple people but we “mentor” them instead. The point is this: we have changed with society and the culture around us to look more like a place for you to get charged up so you might be able to make it another week with your family or with your job or with whatever else. The sad reality is that even the message in many ways has changed to fit those in our society and culture. In this regard we are no longer judgmental as some still say. But understand from where I am coming: I believe that this has been detrimental to the church of today.

Second, we have a problem with believing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. What I mean by this is that there are people all around us who need to hear and know the Gospel of Jesus Christ but we are unwilling to tell them the Good News of salvation for fear that we will be rejected by them or that we will be downed by them. “Religion is a personal “thing” and each individual has a right to believe whatever it is that they want to believe,” is what I have heard so many times. But is this really the case? I want to suggest to you that it is not the case at all. I am sure that if you asked the rich man who died and went to hell if believing whatever you want is alright his answer would be an unequivocal “No!” (Luke 16:19-31). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone for all time. If it is merely something that we believe but we never tell anyone about it, then are we really exercising true belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior? If we truly believe that the Gospel is for everyone then we should openly confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and help others to come to know Him in the same way we do.

Moreover, we have a problem with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in that we think that it is going to solve all of our problems if and when we believe. But this is not the case necessarily. I believed Jesus Christ for salvation when I was nine years old and now at my age I have discovered that I still have issues that come up in my life. This should come as no surprise to anyone though; after all, Jesus even tells us that we will face trials, tribulations and persecutions for His name’s sake (Mark 13). The problem that we have with believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we think we only have to believe it once and all is good after that. Let me suggest to you that we need the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily! No, this does not imply in the least that we have to be saved over and over again, but it does imply that we need to go back to it daily. In doing so, we will realize what it is that He has truly done for us by dying on the cross according to the Scriptures, being buried, and being raised from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

The problem with belief: what are we to do with it? First, it is absolutely essential that we believe that which is truth. Truth is something that is factual, something that we think about. Truth is something that stands the test of time and is for all generations past, present and future. Truth is something that is absolute and it never changes; it is firm. But where do we find truth? Again, Jesus Christ said that He is the truth. Believing Him to be Truth helps our belief in the sense that we know that He is solid, sure, proven and tested. There is no error in Him nor is there any wavering or waffling in Him. What He says is by necessity true because He is Truth. Moreover, it means that He is totally trustworthy at the same time because He is Truth and His every word is true.

Second, we need to understand that there are absolutes. This society and culture is telling us that there is nothing sure any longer, that there is nothing that is absolute. Let me ask you a question, have you ever seen a dead person? It is absolute truth that when a person dies that they are no longer alive. What about this question, have you ever added 2 + 2? It always equals 4. That is a universal truth everywhere you go. What about the speed of light? It is traveling at 186,282 miles per second and is constant. In other words, the speed of light is inherently the same all of the time which means that it is absolute. What is absolutely and infinitely true is Jesus Christ. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Because Jesus Christ is Truth we can claim that what He says is absolute, infinite, proven and tested truth.

Finally, we need to understand that there are consequences to our belief. There is the consequence that people will reject us because we believe Jesus Christ to be “the way, the truth and the life.” There will be those who choose not to be our friends or they will ridicule us; for some, death will occur for believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will be hated and called all sorts of names such as “bigots”, “homophobes”, “hate mongers”, etc. And all of this will happen because of the name of Jesus Christ and our belief in Him for salvation. But we need to remember, if the Gospel is true and it is for us then it is also for those who will bring us trials, tribulations and persecutions. Jesus Christ faced it in His day and He said that we, too, would face it in our day.

“Truth is immortal,” Balthar Hubmaier said. Jesus Christ is immortal because He is Truth. I believe this to be true not because it is “my truth.” It is true because it comes from the Supreme Truth, Jesus Christ. When we believe Jesus Christ for salvation and we believe His word to be true because He is Truth and we believe Him to be trustworthy because He is, then we are immortal when we believe Him and trust Him and His message.

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