4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land (Genesis 19)
The following two passages of scripture are very direct in their commands for God’s people to teach others the “Word of God.” In Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Jewish parents were told to teach their children, who would also teach their children the things of God. That teaching about God was to be about a total way of Jewish life. Christians are taught The Ten Commandments, but there were six hundred thirteen commandments of the Torah that parents taught their children. The following links discuss the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments).
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 New International Version (NIV)
Love the Lord Your God
1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
As Jesus spoke to his disciples on a mountain in Galilee, he commissioned them to “go, teach, baptize and teach.” The content of the teaching was to be, “everything that I have commanded you.” Jesus had taught the disciples, now it was time for the disciples to teach others the things that they had been taught. That’s where we, who are believers in Jesus, come into the situation. We have also been given the responsibility of teaching the teachings of Jesus, “to all nations.” We may not be able to go into “all the world,” but we have a world of unbelievers in our immediate presence. We also have family members, friends, and others of various terms of relationship near to us. Of immediate concern for us should be that for our family members. But, we will have to admit that if we don’t know the teachings of God’s Holy Word, “how will we be able to teach others.” Of most importance to us should be our children, or whomever else may be the closest to us.
Matthew 28:18-20 New International Version (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The church of Christ has been given very specific marching orders, as they relate to what God expects of congregations, and of individual believers. The order to the church is the purpose of the church, and is very clearly stated: “equip the saints.” That purpose is the responsibility of the church pastor. But, please let me say something that is also very obvious. No one can be equipped by attending church and Sunday School once a week, or even twice weekly. The responsibility that given to the Jews, in the Deuteronomy passage, is the only way that our children can be properly trained in the ways of Godly scripture; which is a daily teaching of our children. If we don’t equip our children with the teachings of God’s Holy Word, the ungodly educational system of public education is ready, willing, and able to fill that vacuum. The children of our presidents 42 and 44 have been taught that it is okay to take the lives of unborn children and that it is okay for members of the same sex to be married. It is amazing how liberal democrats in political office can offer their children on the alter of murder and perversion. But, let’s consider this fact. Just because two men have been having sexual relations for an ongoing period of time, that ungodly relationship does not equate to marriage. The same thing can be said of two women who have been having a similar sexual relationship.
Ephesians 4:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
“11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”
Believers in Christ should very seriously check out the information that is contained in the following linked articles. Please consider the news that relates to the following denominations. Presbyterian Church USA; United Church Of Christ; Evangelical Lutheran Church Of America; Episcopal Church; Unitarian Universalist Association Of Churches; United Methodist Church. The articles relate to those denominations and their acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexual ordination. Please notice that there are congregations who are splitting from the denominations who are in acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexual ordination. (Don’t say “gay”)
As we consider our children it is important to realize that if we don’t have them regularly in a truly Bible believing and teaching congregation, we are potentially rearing our own children to be liberals of tomorrow. If we don’t teach our children to honor God’s rules on abortion, marriage, and same-sex issues, the world of liberal public education will teach them that it is okay for a mother to allow her unborn child to be slaughtered in her womb, and that it is okay for a homosexual (male or female) to be the leader of a congregation, and that is okay for two members of the same-sex to be married. Folks! This is serious stuff! We must ensure that our children are taught by Godly people. For those who attend the denominational churches that allow same-sex marriage and allow homosexuals to lead their churches, and that it is okay to murder unborn children, PLEASE!” let me ask you: What in the world are you doing in such a denomination? Why have you allowed your children to be in such ungodly groups of people who claim to be born again believers in Christ? Consider the destiny of those whose lifestyles are in such opposition to the clear Word of God. Notice that lifestyles indicate a person’s relationship with God, not a one-time sin. As it relates to The Presbyterian Church USA and United Methodist Church, John Calvin and John Wesley would roll over in their graves if they knew the unholy things that are taking place in those church groups.
1 Corinthians 6:9 New International Version (NIV)
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men”
Revelation 21:8 New International Version (NIV)
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Please consider the following articles very carefully. As was said earlier in this post, it is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children. If you, as a parent, don’t know the teachings of God’s Word, you must become very intentional in learning God’s Word, and do so as quickly as possible. If you are not attending a church with your children, you need to do so. If you attend a church that is not teaching God’s Word, you need to make a change that will put you in a Bible believing and teaching church. If we are not careful, we can very easily have children who will become the subjects of the two above scriptures. It’s up to parents to make decisions for their children that will ensure that their children receive correct biblical training.
Where Major Religions Stand on Same-Sex Marriage
Where Christian churches, other religions stand on gay marriage
BY DAVID MASCI296 COMMENTS
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined other religious groups Tuesday in a vote that formally sanctions same-sex marriage. The 1.7 million-member church voted to amend its constitution to allow gay marriage ceremonies, a move widely anticipated after a step the church took last summer to allow its clergy to marry same-sex couples.
The debate within the church has already led some congregations to break away and join other, more conservative Presbyterian denominations, and the vote could prompt even more defections. At the same time, the church’s decision could influence other centrist and liberal mainline Protestant churches that have grappled with the issue but have not formally agreed to allow same-sex unions.
In the past two decades, several other religious groups have moved to allow same-sex couples to marry within their traditions. This includes the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.
At the same time, many of the largest religious institutions have remained firmly against allowing same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Jewish movement and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the Southern Baptist Convention and other evangelical Protestant denominations. (Pew Research Center has published a fact sheet on religious groups’ positions on same-sex marriage.)
Among the four largest mainline Protestant churches, the same-sex marriage debate has not been so simple. The Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church of America, which opposes same-sex marriage) have wrestled with the issue for years, often as part of a larger debate on the role of gays and lesbians in the church.
And while all of the major mainline denominations now allow gay clergy and welcome openly LGBT members, only two of these churches, the Presbyterians and the Evangelical Lutherans, have sanctioned same-sex marriage.
This is not the case for members of the mainline Protestant churches. A solid majority of people who identify as mainliners now favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed. In a survey we conducted in September 2014, 60% of mainline Protestants now say they favor same-sex marriage, up from just 34% a decade earlier in 2004.
Prior to Tuesday’s vote, both the Presbyterians and the Evangelical Lutherans had given their ministers the option of marrying same-sex couples. The vote Tuesday by the Presbyterians formalizes this policy by adding it to the church’s constitution. The decision, which will take effect in June, also allows clergy to opt out of marrying same-sex couples.
Of the two remaining major mainline Protestant denominations, the Episcopal Church has come closest to sanctioning gay marriage. In 2012, it passed an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions that largely resembles a marriage ceremony without officially being one.
The United Methodist Church does not allow same-sex blessings or marriages. But the United Methodists also have been intensely debating the issue, particularly in the past year or so, after a church court tried, defrocked and eventually reinstated Frank Schaefer, a Methodist minister who had performed a same-sex marriage ceremony for his gay son. Schaefer’s case has split the church, with some clergy flouting the rules and marrying same-sex couples and other, more conservative members threatening to leave if the church does not hold to its current rules prohibiting gay marriage.
The Presbyterian, Episcopal and Lutheran churches also have endured similar turmoil over gay marriage and similar issues, with some more liberal congregations and even bishops allowing actual marriage ceremonies (as opposed to blessings) in their churches and other, more conservative congregations and bishops officially leaving their national church to protest what they see as its growing acceptance not just of same-sex marriage, but of gay ordination and other related issues.
This is an update of a blog post originally published June 18, 2014.
A committee within the United Methodist Church has affirmed a proposal on accepting LGBT clergy and gay marriage.Ron Cogswell/Flickr
Gay clergy and same-sex marriage may be allowed at United Methodist Churches thanks to a proposal drafted by the Connectional Table, a respected international body of clergy members and lay people in the church. On Tuesday, the committee affirmed the proposal to remove church legislation that punishes clergy for being “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” or officiating gay weddings, the United Methodist Church News Service reported.
This was not a formal vote; the committee will reconvene in May, when the proposal will be held to an actual vote. If passed, clergy members would not face punishment, church trials or be defrocked if they officiated same-sex weddings or came out as gay.
“We’ve tried to allow some exercise of conscience, to allow for varying beliefs, to allow for varying practices within different contexts,” the Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, who serves on the Connectional Table’s legislative writing team, said in a statement. She describes the proposal as a “third way” between the two majority opinions on the issue. One calls for no changes to be made to church doctrine while the other pushes for the removal of all negative references to the LGBT community in church books.
This was the reality for United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked in November 2013 and reinstated last October after officiating the wedding of his gay son. While the church reversed its decision on technical grounds, rather than those related to its position on homosexuality, church leaders saw the reversal as a signal toward full inclusion of its LGBT members.
On Thursday, Schaefer told International Business Times he thinks there’s a “good chance” the Connectional Table’s resolution will be adopted later this year. However, it remains a small step until the church completely removes its negative language on homosexuality.
“It gave me as well as the LGBTQ community hope that something is moving with the denomination,” Schaefer said, pointing to the fact that the Connectional Table is an international body that gauges global movements within the denomination. However, the proposal “should only be viewed as a first small step toward granting full rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” he said.
The United Methodist Church welcomes LGBT members, though according to its Book of Discipline, same-sex marriages are “incompatible with Christian teaching.” LGBT people who are “self-avowed” and “practicing” homosexuality also are forbidden from being ordained. Homosexuality has been debated by church leaders for more than four decades. Some pastors have pushed for a schism within the church, which boasts 12 million members worldwide, over the issue, while others have encouraged reform on church law.
Schaefer isn’t the only Methodist pastor to question the church’s stance. Last October, 36 ministers from the United Methodist Church blessed a same-sex wedding in Philadelphia to show support for Schaefer’s actions. In January, a Methodist minister from Alabama told his 560-member congregation that homosexuality is not a sin.
“Sin is based on choice, when we choose to defy God’s will. How you’re made, that’s not a choice. It’s like being short or tall. If it’s not volitional, it’s not a sin,” the Rev. Wade Griffith of Liberty Crossings United Methodist Church in Birmingham told AL.com.
Every four years the church holds a General Conference to revise church law, adopt resolutions and approve plans and budgets. The next conference will be held in Portland, Oregon, on May 10, 2016. Supporters hope the church will reform its stance on the LGBT community then.
“If the United Methodist Church wants to survive, if it wants to stay relevant in the Western world, our aim at General Conference 2016 ought to be to strike out of our law book the discriminatory laws and harmful language toward our LGBTQ community,” Schaefer said. “We cannot for compromise’s sake stand on the side of injustice and discrimination — it is immoral and against the teachings of Christ.”
Methodist Denomination Caving to Gay Pastors in the Pulpit
9:30AM EST 2/18/2015 JENNIFER LECLAIRE
The United Methodist Church could have openly gay pastors and pastors could officiate at same-sex marriages if a proposal affirmed by denomination leadership prevails.The United Methodist Church could have openly gay pastors and pastors officiating at same-sex marriages if a proposal affirmed by denomination leadership prevails. (Drama Queen/Flickr)
If you haven’t noticed, there’s been a mass exodus of Bible-believing congregations from the Presbyterian Church USA since the denomination voted to allow its ministers to perform gay weddings in states where it’s legal last summer.
Apparently, the Methodists aren’t getting the hint. The United Methodist Church could have openly gay pastors and pastors could officiate at same-sex marriages if a proposal affirmed by denomination leadership prevails, according to a report from Methodist headquarters.
Instead of embracing the truth espoused by the Trinity, the denomination’s “Connection Table”—a United Methodist body of clergy and lay people that acts as a church counsel for the denomination—is working to draft legislation that could serve as a “Third Way” in the church’s debate about homosexuality. The group has already voted to remove language that makes it a “chargeable offense” under church law for pastors to be “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” or to officiate at same-sex weddings, according to the report.
“We’ve tried to allow some exercise of conscience, to allow for varying beliefs, to allow for varying practices within different contexts,” Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, who serves on the Connectional Table’s legislative writing team told the Methodist publication, “and to open a space for grace where people can live together in unity with their different beliefs.”
A Heretical Pattern
This is not surprising, given that last summer Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son’s gay wedding, was fully reinstated. That wasn’t the only such case. Retired Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert performed a same-sex union in another bishop’s territory, ignoring the protests of denomination’s Council of Bishops—and also got a free pass. Oh, then there were the 36 Methodist pastors who blessed gay weddings without rebuke.
Speaking of this “Third Way,” Rev. Fred Day, the top executive of the denomination’s Commission on Archives and History, told the Methodist news outlet that his table supports the option.
“We think it is a powerfully important middle way,” he said. “In its own way, it says the Spirit is not done with us on this matter yet. It’s clear because of our disagreement we need to allow for us to gain a sense of clarity for how the Spirit is leading.”
How the Spirit is leading? I am certain the Spirit of God is not leading any Christian to perform a same-sex wedding or any Christian denomination to embrace gay pastors as leaders of churches. God does not speak with a forked tongue. Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:10 and other verses of Scripture dealing with homosexuality and church leadership reveal the mind of the Spirit on this matter.
The Great Apostasy Upon Us
Saints, we’re seeing 1 Timothy 4:1 playing out right before our very eyes. It’s called the Great Apostasy and it’s well underway. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons … .”
Back in 2012, I wrote an article titled, “Is the Great Falling Away Already Underway?” In it, I explained that some have indeed departed from the faith because they have engaged with deceiving spirits and embraced doctrines of demons. We’ve witnessed more than one man of God with a major ministry platform bow a knee to doctrines like universalism, deceiving and being deceived with this deadly heresy. Despite many in the church lifting their voice against heretical teachings, these deceived ministers hold fast to their demonic doctrine.
What I said back then bears repeating: Before each of the last Great Awakenings, people of God thought it was hopeless—and they didn’t see the half of what we’re seeing. But I am convinced God wants to turn this around—and I am convinced God can turn this around. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). A Great Awakening is our only hope for this nation. Will you join me in praying for another Great Awakening?
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and Satan’s Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
Consider the split that has taken place within the Episcopal Church over same-sex issues.
Episcopal Split as Conservatives Form New Group
The conservatives have named theirs the Anglican Church in North America. And for the first time, a province would be defined not by geography, but by theological orientation.