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“WHEN THE VOW BREAKS”

I do not need to tell you that our society has embraced divorce,,, did you hear the one about the woman who was married 4 times? First, to a Millionaire, Then to an Actor, Then, to a Minister, Then, an Undertaker; “One for the money, Two for the show, Three to get ready, and Four to go”
(yeah, I thought this one was corny too)

But sadly, The effects springing from Divorce, are really huge! All kinds of problems result and let’s just face it, men aren’t designed to live by themselves because after just a few months, all the houseplants are dead –- but there’s something growing very successfully in the refrigerator.

STATISTICS: What are the RIPPLE effects of Divorce?
For the Divorcees:
#1. Divorce is the #2 greatest cause of stress,,, with the death of a spouse being #1. (This places it way above the normally recognized stressors, such as: loss of a job, financial failures, a prison sentence, etc.)
#2. Men who are divorced suffer an increased rate of cancer equal to those who are smoking a pack of cigarettes per day
#3. Divorce is like death of a spouse, only it carries the increased stress associated with rejection
#4. 10 years after a divorce, only 10% of divorcee’s say that their life has improved!
#5. 80% of divorcee’s report that they regret their divorce!

RIPPLE effects…
For the Children:
#1. The children of divorce are most certainly the biggest losers
#2. Divorce is destroying the kids… According to Dr. Judith Wallerstein, Family law, author of “Second Chances;” Long-term psychological devastation results in the kids of divorce and there are greater incidences of injury, asthma, headaches, and learning disabilities.
#3. They are involved more frequently in crime and drug abuse, and have higher rates of suicide.
#4. 70% more likely to be expelled from school
#5. 12 times more likely to be sentenced to jail
#6. Much more likely to have divorce in their own lives
#7. Fatherlessness is the #1 predictor of violent, antisocial behavior among children.

RIPPLE effects…
For the Finances:
#1. Divorce is a recipe for Poverty.
A. Time Mag. reported that in 2000 the average total household wealth of those Americans aged {decade} between 51 and 61 was $132,200 if married – If divorced, $33,700
B. Ohio State University researcher, Jay Zagorsky says that “divorce looks like one of the fastest ways to destroy your wealth. Getting married for a few years and then getting divorced is clearly not the path to financial independence.”

RIPPLE effects…
For Re-marriage:
#1. Re-marriage has its own set of dynamics and problems
• kids from the other marriage
• dealing with ex’s
Dr. Laura Schlessinger says that: “Of those who divorce in order to marry someone else, only 10% will actually marry that person, and 70% of them will divorce, i.e; only 3% of remarriages will experience a lasting marriage.

One poor husband in a re-marriage situation was doing his best. He really tried to do everything right – to be romantic with his second wife. He tried to remember all the right dates (birthday, anniversaries), but usually messed up.
One time he actually remembered – all by himself! He was so proud! He went out and bought a big spray of flowers and came into the house bellowing: “Happy 5th anniversary, dear! Bet you’re surprised I remembered!”
She was quick to respond: “You’re right! I am surprised, considering this is the anniversary of your first marriage.”

According to research, “the #1 factor in marital longevity is Endurance.”
1. Greater happiness was found by working through marital difficulty rather than running from it.
2. IN a Study conducted by Dr. Mavis Hethering, of the University of Virginia, “Out of 144 couples who had been divorced one year:
63% of the men, and 73% of the women confessed that they made a mistake by getting divorced. They stated that their marriages might have been saved if they had put in greater effort to just solve the problems instead of leaving them.
3. Another Study: After 10 years of divorce, only 10% of the divorcees said that their life had improved or that they had greater happiness since their divorce.

BUT, SADLY, PEOPLE JUST GIVE UP!
1. During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s, the Iraqi air force was equipped with the Russian built MIG 29 one of the most technologically advanced planes of all time. Even though it was an excellent plane, they suffered a remarkably high loss rate. This was especially odd since Iran had inferior planes.
Here’s what happened. The Mig-29’s were equipped with an alarm that warned the pilot whenever a guided missile had locked on to their plane. The alarm was designed to allow the pilot to take evasive measures, which were often quite successful.
But, the Iraqi pilots would eject rather than fight whenever they heard the alarm. They bailed out rather than fight.
So the Key is: NEVER GIVE UP
Dr. Paul Meier, an experienced Christian counselor, says he has never yet seen any marital conflicts that were not solvable – if both partners were willing to work at it.

2. Researchers at the University of Chicago reviewed data on 5,232 marriages. They discovered that 2/3 of those who said they had been unhappily married, but chose to keep trying, reported 5 years later that they were happily married.

Translation: “Divorce is rarely ,a legitimate, or logical solution.

Which brings up the inevitable question of: ” Where does the Divorced person stand with God?”

FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS:

TRUTH #1: God hates Divorce
A. Mal 2:16 “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel…..

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t’ hate it! Divorce is ALWAYS a terrible solution, much like Amputation is ALWAYS a terrible solution… but sometimes, that’s all that can be done.

TWO AMAZING FACTS:
#1 GOD INVENTED DIVORCE
He instructed Moses to write:
“If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house” (Deut 24:1)
a. Hardhearted men were kicking their wives out of the home, without divorcing them, then marrying their next victim
b. Kicking them out w/o a divorce meant the wife was still married – SHE COULD NOT REMARRY!
c. This created tremendous suffering because women couldn’t survive in that culture without a husband because women weren’t allowed to get jobs in those days, but because her hubby hadn’t divorced her, she couldn’t remarry and they were stuck in abject poverty, and if no one took mercy on them, starvation — or prostitution — were the only options
d. So, in God’s mercy, He created divorce, even though it was against His will
So, if husband decided to kick her out, God’s Law required him to give her a “certificate of divorce” (Deut 24:2) “and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man…”
Notice, she became another man’s “wife” – God recognized her new marriage
e. Clearly, the certificate of divorce had the effect of freeing her to re-marry

Even though God hates divorce, he invented it to protect women from men who would abuse the covenant of marriage!

AMAZING FACT #2:
DID YOU KNOW THAT GOD, IS A DIVORCEE, HIMSELF?
1. God had entered a marriage covenant with Israel
2. God considered Israel to be His bride, and expected her to remain faithful to their marriage bond……just as in a human marriage
3. He didn’t want a divorce any more than any of us would want a divorce, but it happened — Don’t think that God loved Israel any less than you love your spouse
4. Israel was unfaithful to her Husband, and “prostituted” herself with idolatries
5. Jer 3:8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.
6. So….God, Himself, has experienced the pain of being rejected by an adulterous spouse…..and the suffering of divorce.
7. He knows what it feels like to be divorced – he’s been there!!!

TRUTH #2: GOD SEES MARRIAGE AS A LIFE-LONG COMMITMENT

QUESTION #1: Mat 19:3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
a. Divorce was a hot issue in the first century, just like today
b. They all had their own interpretations of what Moses wrote:
c. “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of
divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house” (Deut 24:1)
1. The terms “displeasing” and “something indecent” are the basis of
their question i.e; What is “indecent” or “displeasing”?
2. There were two schools of thought among the Jews:
a. Shammai: Only adultery could bring about divorce
b. Hillel: Anything that displeases the husband, including a few new wrinkles, or talks too much,
3. Needless to say: Hillel’s teachings were by far the most popular!!!!
4. Under Hillel’s teaching, a man could divorce his wife if she burned dinner.

JESUS’ ANSWER TO QUESTION #1
(Matt 19:4-6) “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ (5) and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? (6) So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
a. Jesus looks back to creation of Adam and Eve
b. Jesus is saying that the creation shows God’s intention. Adam and Eve were God’s pattern for marriage
1 man
1 woman
For life
c. It’s not that hard to understand, but many government legislatures – and even churches can’t seem to pick it up!
—————————–

QUESTION #2
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” (Mt 19:7)
a. The Pharisees understood what Jesus was saying – – – That marriage
(according to God’s plan is “till death do us part.”
b. Now they ask: If that is so, why does Moses talk about a “certificate of divorce”? Are you saying Moses was wrong when he wrote Deut 24:1?

JESUS’ ANSWER TO QUESTION #2
“Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” (Mt 19:8)
A. Jesus Answer:
1. God’s standards are unchanged – – –
2. But because of the hardness of man’s heart, God permitted divorce
a. God permitted it to mitigate the disaster being caused by man’s hardness
b. He permitted divorce because men refused to come up to His standards, and God needed to protect the wives
B. “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital
unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Mt 19:9)
– – – Just to make sure everyone understands, he says it bluntly,
“So, lets say that you were having struggles with your spouse, you’re
considering divorce, and you wanted to know what you should do. So, you came to COUNSELOR, JESUS, and asked Him what you should do, what would he tell you???

TRUTH #3: GOD STARTS WITH EVERY ONE OF US, WHERE WE ARE

Consider how things were among the Jews in the first century: 1. As noted earlier, Hillel’s teachings had swept Jewish culture
a. The Pharisees – ultra conservative religious leaders – obviously clung to the teachings of Hillel
b. The common people followed suit
– – – People seem to rise no higher than the lowest acceptable level

Two Shockers:
Shocker #1: 90% OF THE JEWISH POPULATION OF JESUS’ DAY HAD BEEN DIVORCED AND REMARRIED 5 TIMES OR MORE!
a. Remember the Woman at the well???? (John 4)
Q. How many husbands did she have?
A. She had 5 husbands and the man she was currently with was NOT her husband
b. Divorce was far more prevalent than what we see today

Shocker #2: EVEN THE DISCIPLES COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT GOD
INTENDED MARRIAGE TO BE FOR LIFE
a. Remember the passage in Mt 19 where Jesus said God created Adam and Eve, and that we were not to divorce except for adultery?????
b. Do you know what the disciples said in response to this????
“The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” (Mt 19:10)
1. That’s Peter, James, John, and the other guys
2. They figured: If it’s one woman for life, it is best to stay single!
3. They considered being stuck with your first wife for life would be like being sentenced to a lifetime in the jail. There’s no escape from that woman!!!
4. “Esposa” = Spanish word for “wife” – also means “Handcuffs”
5. They were still thinking like their culture…..a long way from Christ’s thinking
6. I would not be the least bit surprised if Peter James and John and the others had been divorced and remarried…….
………..especially Peter!
c. BUT WHEN WE COME TO JESUS, WE COME “JUST AS I AM”
1. We come to Him as we are….
2. We would think that in an environment of divorce like we see in 1st century Israel, Jesus would say something like: “All you who were divorced and remarried must Divorce your current spouse and go back to your first spouse and anyone who has been divorced should have no part of the church, and anyone who is married to a divorcee is living in adultery and bound to hell …because that’s what preachers are preaching today!

BUT JESUS’ ATTITUDE TOWARD THE WOMAN AT THE WELL IS INSTRUCTIVE:

A. WHAT DID JESUS SAY TO THE WOMAN AT THE WELL?
John 4:16 “He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” (17) “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. (18) The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (Jn 4:16-18)
1. HE SPOKE OF HER 5 HUSBANDS, WHICH MEANS HE RECOGNIZED EACH OF HER SUCCEEDING MARRIAGES AS VALID
a. He did NOT say: “You had 1 husband and have been living in sin ever since”
b. He did NOT say: “You must divorce your current husband and go back to your first husband – or if that is not possible, live in celibacy all your life”
c. Since He referred to each succeeding man as her “husband” “…you have had 5 husbands….” He must have recognized her previous divorces and remarriages as real marriages
2. IN CONTRAST, JESUS DID NOT RECOGNIZE HER LIVING WITH A MAN AS BEING IN A MARRIED STATE – HE DIFFERENTIATED THAT FROM HER MARRIAGES.
3. MOST IMPORTANT: JESUS WAS NOT RUDE OR BITTER TOWARD HER. HE TREATED HER WITH DIGNITY AND LOVE
a. Even though she was living in an immoral relationship with her boyfriend, roommate, lover – whatever you want to call it
b. He still didn’t treat her with disdain as so many churches treat people today who are living in similar circumstances
c. Notice that Jesus did not ignore her past, but neither did He lock her into her past and allow it to limit her future
d. It’s good to stand for the sanctity of marriage – but we must balance our stand with a Christ-like spirit in accepting people from wherever they come
e. Jesus didn’t approve of her relationships, but He didn’t lock her into her past, either

WHAT SHOULD BE MY ATTITUDE TOWARD THE DIVORCED? SHOULD WE HAVE THE SAME ATTITUDE AS JESUS?
1. What a revolutionary concept!!!
2. Jesus upheld God’s plan of marriage for life…..
….He taught that plan plainly
3. But, at the same time, he loved those whose marriages had not lived up to that standard

CONCLUSION: Wherever you are at this moment, move towards the Cross.
A. God always starts with people where they are
1. If you’re divorced, you probably won’t be able to unscramble the results of your failed marriage
2. If you initiated a divorce for some illegitimate reason, what should you do? Move toward the cross
3. If you did your very best in your home, and your spouse cast you out of his/her life, what do you do? Move toward the cross
4. Jesus said: Jn 6:37b “…and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

B. WHO ARE YOU – WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
1. Wherever you are right now – whatever we have done – move toward the cross.

HERE IS MCC’s POSITION PAPER ON DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
Mid-Lakes Christian Church

The Bible says that the institution of marriage was created by God (Gen. 2:21-25). Therefore we believe God’s Word should be our source of authority for defining marriage and setting the boundaries for the marriage relationship. The Bible says that God intends for marriage to be a monogamous, life-long, loving relationship between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:6). Marriage is the highest of all human relationships, provided by God as the best environment for relational intimacy (Gen. 2:18, 25) and child rearing (Gen. 1:27-28). The love between a husband and a wife is to be an illustration of the love and faithfulness between God and his people (Mal. 2:13-16; Eph. 5:22-33).

God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16), but because of the influence of sin in the world (Jesus called it “the hardness of your hearts” in Matt. 19:8), the Bible makes some concessions for divorce and remarriage. The Scriptures give two justifiable reasons for divorce: adultery (Matt. 19:9) and abandonment (1 Cor. 7:15). Divorce is allowable in the case of marital unfaithfulness because the marriage covenant has been broken, but this is a concession and not a command. God still hates divorce, and if at all possible, if the unfaithful spouse shows signs of repentance and a willingness to recommit, we encourage the innocent party to seek forgiveness and restoration.

The Mid-Lakes elders have identified five scenarios under which a person who has been previously married may marry again. Any Mid-Lakes member desiring to be remarried by one of our ministers or in our building must meet one of these five criteria:
The former spouse has passed away (1 Cor. 7:39).
The divorce occurred prior to salvation (2 Cor. 5:17).
The former spouse has remarried (Deut. 24:1-4).
Abandonment by the former spouse (1 Cor. 7:15).
Adultery broke the marriage covenant (Matt. 19:9). When the one desiring to remarry was the guilty party, there must first be signs of repentance and a desire to reconcile with his or her former spouse. If the former spouse is unable or unwilling to reconcile, then after prayer and godly counsel we may allow the person to remarry.

We recognize that these biblical parameters do not allow divorce under other circumstances where divorce might seem warranted. The Bible does make a distinction between physical separation and divorce (1 Cor. 7:5), so we would counsel people in certain difficult situations that physical separation may be warranted until a godly counselor advises otherwise.

We counsel those who recognize they were remarried outside of the biblical boundaries to repent of their pattern of divorcing and remain faithful to the one to whom they are currently married (Deut. 24:1-4). The grace of Christ can be extended to those who have been divorced for unbiblical reasons. Those who have made wrong decisions in the past cannot undo their mistakes, but must be faithful to Christ in the situation in which they currently find themselves.

Questions often arise as to whether a person who has been divorced is eligible for a leadership position at Mid-Lakes. Because the Scripture says that an elder must be “the husband of but one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2 – literally “a one-woman man”), some contend that a person desiring to be an elder or pastor in the church must not have been divorced. It is our position that a divorce in a person’s past does not automatically exclude him from future church leadership. The passage in 1 Timothy 3 also says that an elder must not be given to drunkenness or violence. Most Christians agree that if a man got drunk or was in a fight many years ago as a youngster, that event should not disqualify him from leadership. The nature and circumstances of the offense and the length of time of proven credibility are all taken into account in determining whether a person is qualified for a leadership position. The same should apply to a person’s past divorce. If murder didn’t disqualify Paul from becoming an apostle and missionary after a decade of proven credibility, a divorce in someone’s past shouldn’t automatically disqualify that person from serving as a church leader.

We have instituted several policies and practices to help protect the members of our church from the trauma of divorce and to hold high the ideals of biblical marriage and sexual purity. We frequently preach about marriage, and we provide frequent classes, to our church attendees. We confront and counsel those whom we know are unfaithful to their spouses. Unmarried couples who are cohabiting are asked to repent of their sexual impurity and separate before they may be married in the church or by one of our ministers. Cohabiting couples desiring to become members of the church must separate or get married before membership is granted.

According to Jesus Christ’s instructions in the Bible, Christians must live in a manner distinct from that of the world. Christians are commanded to hold to a higher standard of moral virtue and purity, guided by the principles of God’s Holy Word. We have instituted these guidelines and practices in an effort to help our members to reflect Christ’s love for the church in their marriages.

“WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY ABOUT….?

As we shared with you last week, we have re-launched a series from last year, entitled: “HOT TOPICS!” (Yup, more controversial stuff from Mid-Lakes)
The beauty in doing this though, is how we have a much larger blog family than last year and there are even a few who say they are anxious to re-visit the topic’s as well. Soooo, we’re diving back in and addressing issues that in many cases, have become very difficult for people to deal with and may even find embarrassing,
But the thing to remember, is as we strive to become more like Jesus,,, these issues must be addressed.
Are you ready?

BTW, this information was stolen from the Pastor’s notes, on the Message Series entitled: “Hot Topics” as it was taught by Mid Lakes Christian Church Senior Pastor; Doug Dykstra last year. (See what you missed?)

Let’s begin:

A very proud Dad is attending his son’s graduation from Marine basic training… Dad has some time to kill before the festivities, so he visits the base’s PX. There, he sees a tee shirt that was folded for display and he liked the color, so he bought it.

He put it on, and without realizing it, walked all around the base with a Tee shirt that read: “My boyfriend is a Marine” on the back of the shirt.

Our culture has changed drastically in the last couple of decades, homosexuality is a huge emotional football, evoking all kinds of emotions from fear, to anger, and even hatred. It is causing many parents to grieve, and many, who are caught in homosexuality have shame, sorrow, despair, and heartache, while others claim to have great joy.

Sadly, some pharisaic “Christians” are showing hatred and their attitudes show them to be out of touch with Jesus. On that note, homosexual hatred is being returned in kind, believe me.

CERTAIN CONTROVERSY

I don’t know any topic that creates more vehement reactions in people – even in the church! (Except perhaps the current MCC controversy over Hawaiian Shirts!) inside joke…

Oddly, there are many people who view homosexuality as harmless – they believe everyone should be tolerant of anything that goes on. Others are facing self-doubt about their own passions, while others, who are in same-sex relationships, have much to say about it, that’s for sure

Then there are the many Kids, who think homosexuality is cool and are considering experimenting with it. This has clearly become much more than just one of the more controversial and divisive topics in the church and even in society at large.

WE FULLY REALIZE THAT NOT EVERYONE WILL BE SATISFIED WITH THIS ARTICLE, But, when you are done, at least you’ll know what the Bible says on the subject in spite of the fact that there may be many who don’t care. I can’t control your response, or even how you feel about the subjects, but as a minister of the Gospel I have a responsibility to tell the truth, and that, I will endeavor to do.

MY GOAL….

To present this topic with truth, hope, and grace… When I’m done, you can get alone with God and sort out the issues with Him.

Now, let’s try to view objectively the Bible’s teaching on this controversial subject

HOMOSEXUALITY THROUGH HISTORY

1.      The Bible tells us that early in man’s history, a whole city, Sodom (and others, too) had a full-blown case of homosexuality and a variety of other sins, as well.    (Genesis 19)

2.      The Greeks were notoriously homosexual.   They had a school for girls on the Island of Lesbos, which is where we get our term for female homosexuality, “lesbian”

3.      Roman Empire was committed to homosexuality (14 of the first 15 emperors)

4.      In the early 1900’s, Freud and others declared homosexuality to be a result of environment of children as they are raised – They considered it a mental illness

5.      Then a few decades ago, other psychologists determined it was a genetic thing.

6.      Finally, homosexuality got “cured” overnight-by a simple vote.   They got the American Psychiatric Association to say that same-sex sex was “not a disorder.”   It became merely “a condition” – as neutral as left-handedness.

7.      They actually managed to normalize it

8.      But, today, after a huge effort by the homosexual activists, we see homosexuality is actually being pushed on the population

a.            A high number of gays are now all over the television, movies…

b.            Today, it’s being pushed in classrooms as young as middle-school through college with pro-homosexual diversity training

c.            There is a lot of social pressure to make sure that no one speaks out against homosexuality.   (That’s just not PC any more)

1.      The Christian football player, Reggi White lost a lucrative advertising endorsement because he publicly spoke out against homosexuality.   He’d have been more than safe if he had spoken out against Christianity, though.

2.      The Christian world-view and the world’s viewpoint will constantly be in conflict with each other.

3.      Those who don’t embrace the Bible are expecting the church to be tolerant of every wind of teaching that the world wants us to meekly accept.    They resent us when we remind them of sin

d.            If the church doesn’t accept their life-style, it is accused of being bigoted, self-righteous and homophobic

e.            But the truth is that the Bible does condemn this sin – along with all other sins – and nothing that they say will change that

f.            Unless the Bible recants it’s position, we cannot be budged from ours

g.            People tell us that we should be “tolerant” –  but, tolerance is the easy virtue of people for who don’t stand for anything….

TODAY, EVERYONE IS VERY AWARE OF THE ISSUE

1.      It’s all over the news

2.      It’s on everyone’s mind today

3.      Chuck Lee, assoc min at one of our churches went to airport to pick up his wife.   He was carrying a dozen red roses.   Three ladies walking past him on the sidewalk:   “Oooo, Lucky gal”

Chuck said:  “No!  Lucky guy!”

And the three women gasped….

  • He meant of course, that he was a lucky guy for having his wonderful wife

BUT WHAT REALLY SHOCKS ME IS THE CHURCHES OF TODAY

1.      If the church – the nation’s moral anchor – has lost its hold, where will the nation be?

2.      In an attempt to appear “relevant” to our world, many churches have compromised biblical standards

3.      Rather than becoming the salt of the earth – churches are trying to be sugar.

THE PICTURE THAT THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY IS TRYING TO PAINT

1.      Homosexuals try to convince us that they are committed to stable, monogamous relationships, but the Institute for Sex Research paints a different picture.

a.            Only 10% of the homosexual community could be even relatively considered monogamous.

b.            Therefore, 90% are promiscuous

3.      Certainly, heterosexuals aren’t all monogamous, either, but a much higher percentage than homosexuals are!

PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES OF HOMOSEXUALITY

HOMOSEXUAL MEN:

1.      ARE 6 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE than heterosexuals

2.      AVERAGE AGE IF HOMOSEXUAL DYING OF AGE IS 39.

3.      AVERAGE AGE OF DYING EXCLUDING AIDS IS 41

4.      THE AVERAGE HETEROSEXUAL MAN WILL LIVE TO 75

5.      ONLY 1% OF HOMOSEXUAL MEN DIE OF OLD AGE

WHY?

1.       43% OF HOMOSEXUAL MEN ADMIT TO 500 OR MORE DIFFERENT SEXUAL PARTNERS

2.      28% BOAST OF OVER 1000 SEXUAL PARTNERS (obviously they are nearly all strangers)

3.      AT ANY TIME, 78% OF HOMOSEXUAL MEN ARE CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM AT LEAST ONE STD

THEIR PASSION AND RESTLESSNESS ARE FREIGHTING

1. It’s not a life-style —  it’s a death-style

2.      Most people thinking smoking is deadly

a.      But, the average smoking male dies at 66

b.      The average homosexual dies at 41.

c.      Meaning, a smoker will live 25 years longer than the homosexual even if he doesn’t contract AIDS.   And the non-smoker, hetero will live 34 years longer

3.      Homosexuality isn’t a life-style — it’s a death style!

GET THIS:    HOMOSEXUALS ARE ONLY 2% OF THE USA POPULATION, BUT THEY ARE INFECTED WITH 50% OF ALL STD’s

HOMOSEXUAL WOMEN

AVERAGE AGE AT DEATH IS 45, COMPARED TO 79 FOR NON-LESBIAN WOMEN

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

A.            NOTHING!  ….  AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT HOMOSEXUALS SAY.

1.      The truth is that, as homosexuals gleefully point out, Jesus didn’t say one word about it.   They believe this shows Jesus’ approval

2.      Actually, Jesus may have said something, but not recorded.   John tells us that;

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.    (Jn 21:25)

B.            BUT, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT JESUS SPENT HIS ENTIRE MINISTRY AMONG THE JEWS

1.      The Jews had a “zero tolerance policy” toward homosexuality. Homosexuality didn’t exist there. So, it was one of those topics that just didn’t come up

2.      But, beside that, making an argument from the Bible’s silence is not very compelling:

a.      To use their logic, we could say that Jesus approved of rape, wife beating, child molestation, incest, bestiality – because nothing He may have said about those things is recorded either.

b.      The truth is that every time Jesus discussed legitimate sexuality, it was always heterosexuality

c.      And he spoke only of celibacy as the only alternative to marriage.

C.            SO, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

1.      “ ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.    (Lev 18:22) ~  In Lev 20:13, God says the penalty for such sin is death.

2.      In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.   (Jude vs 7)

~            Here Jude is reminding us of the terrible destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19:1-8.    God totally destroyed their city for a sin whose name continues to this day – sodomy.

3.      Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.   Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.    (Rom 1:26-27)

C.            WHAT IS JESUS’ ATTITUDE TOWARD THE HOMOSEXUAL?

1.      We all know the answer to that – He loves them

2.      He loves adulterers, liars, murderers, too

3.      But that doesn’t mean that He approves of their behavior

4.      But, love is different than salvation

III.        WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY….

A.           WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY TO STRAIGHT, OR HETEROSEXUAL INDIVIDUALS

1.            DO NOT EXPERIMENT

a.     This is sin – and all sin is contagious

b.      The reason people are enslaved to homosexuality is because it was fun at first for them. But sin starts out as fun…becomes enslavement…and ends in death

c.      There’s nothing glamorous about becoming a slave to sin

d.      There’s nothing glamorous about the diseases you will in all likelihood contract

2.            CLING TO THE TRUTH

a.       We must find the proper balance between : “love” and “truth”

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  (Eph 4:15)

b.      But, love doesn’t mean we’ll back off on truth – In fact, love demands the truth!

Especially with so much at stake

c.       Sometimes, in an effort to be “nice,” the church does not stand as strongly as it should against sin.

1.      I agree that we should be nice. We have a loving God; we should be loving people.

2.      But we need to understand that we do not love people, when we tolerate their sin. We are not doing them a favor when we say, “everything is fine,” when everything isn’t fine.

3.      That is not love; that is just cowardice. We are afraid to say the truth.

4.      Sometimes the church is afraid to say the truth, and that is sad because if there is one place in our society where we ought to speak plainly – not cruelly, not harshly – but plainly, it is in church.

5.      And homosexuals need to understand that it’s not “gay-bashing” to tell the truth

e.       Don’t allow our society’s standards to dictate your position on anything

f.        Even once conservative groups are caving in.

Recently, at Calvin College (CRC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, great turmoil was raised as an anti-homosexual rights speaker arrived on campus. More than one thousand students attended his speech, so the school’s administrators decided that they must also present the pro-homosexual view.

The problem is that homosexual activists (and our P.C. society in general) want the church to say that homosexual patterns of behavior are not sinful.  They want us to say that it is all right for them to live that sort of lifestyle.   And we cannot do that.

If a serial killer commits 25 murders, we will not say:  That’s all right, you are just living an alternative lifestyle, Right?

We won’t say to someone, like John Dillinger, that it’s ok to go around robbing banks and shooting cops, Right?

If someone is doing drugs, that is not all right – and we need to say that.

Homosexuals are the only group which demand that the church accept their sin without teaching them to repent.

3.      BE LOVING TO ALL– there is no difference

Remember:   Just because you’re not tempted in this area doesn’t make you one bit superior and loving people who are caught up in sin is not the same thing as compromising the truth. We aren’t abandoning Christ when we treat homosexuals with grace – we’re fulfilling His commands, giving acceptance is not the same thing as giving approval

In an interview Hugh Downs had with Billy Graham on the 20/20 program, the subject turned to homosexuality.   Downs asked Billy:   “If you had a homosexual child, would you love him?”

Graham answered:   “Why, I would love that one even more.”

The only difference is Jesus can’t love anyone more than He already does – He loves each of us as far as love can go.

4.      RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PREFERENCE AND PRACTICE

It’s not a sin to experience homosexual desires, being tempted is NOT sin!

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.  (Heb 4:15)

The term “high priest” refers to part of Jesus’ ministry towards us;

2.            Notice, He was:   “tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was

without sin”

c.            Homosexuals / Heterosexuals – everyone has temptations:

  • Alcoholics,  compulsive gamblers,  Eating disorders
  • No one has bragging rights

Even Homosexuals who have come out of it still will struggle, as anyone with an addiction does….

1.    Their passions still surface?                                    Yes             That’s called Temptation

2.    Can they be overcome?                                               Yes            That’s called self-denial

3.    Can desire for the opposite sex be rekindled?       Yes            That’s called the transformation of                                                                                                                           the Holy Spirit

WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY TO THE “HOMOSEXUAL”?

1.        OPEN UP TO THE TRUTH

a.        The first step is to hear the word of the Lord

b.        Many homosexuals are in a state of denial

1.      First, they won’t even admit that they have a spiritual problem, or that the Bible even speaks on the problem

2.      Second, they say that it doesn’t matter if it is a sin – that’s how God made them and they cannot change.

Elizabeth Birch, former director of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender advocacy group in the nation says that: “Biblical teachings against homosexuality are the equivalent of prohibitions against eating shellfish.” She also objects to the idea that homosexuals can change. She believes that homosexuality is an immutable, natural characteristic, and can never be changed.

2.      UNDERSTAND THAT YOU MUST CHANGE

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

(I Cor 6:9-10)

Repentance is key

God doesn’t necessarily have a plan for the homosexual to turn around today, and then tomorrow get married, and have a family. Some, if not most, will fight this temptation all their days – every day.   Just as we all fight temptation – every day. But God is expecting that we all must develop self-control and not act on our lusts, like the rest of mankind

3.            UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN CHANGE

Homosexuals want to believe that their orientation is genetic, the logic being that if God made me this way, I’m not responsible – and I can’t change – besides, I don’t need to change because it’s not my fault. Therefore, only bigots would expect me to change my lifestyle.

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were.   But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.   (I Cor 6:9-11)

Homosexuals must understand that they may have those same sex desires the rest of their lives… But they must also realize that everyone has their own problems and temptations to overcome.

CHANGE OR DIE!

Get in touch with Celebrate Recovery here at MCC!

Call:    EXODUS INTERNATIONAL www.exodusinternational.org/

IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE MOVE

a.            It’s time to take the risk and make the decision to change

b.            It’s time to trust the church to love you anyway

IN FACT, IT’S TIME FOR ALL OF US TO MAKE THE MOVE!

Below is a copy of MCC’s position paper on the subject of homosexuality.  We have this pamphlet available in the foyer in the booklet called:  “WHERE WE STAND ON THE HOT TOPICS”

HOMOSEXUALITY

Mid-Lakes Christian Church

Mid-Lakes Christian Church is an evangelical church, maintaining that the Bible is God’s Word and our final source of authority in doctrine and practice.  Therefore, it is the stance of our church that homosexuality is a sin against God but is not an unforgivable sin (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:18; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).  We believe that God calls those engaged in homosexual behavior to repent of their sin and commit to celibacy.  Christ said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).  In the same way, Christ calls those engaged in homosexual sin to repent and accept Christ’s love and forgiveness.  Paul reminded the Corinthians that those engaged in certain behaviors, including “homosexual offenders,” who refused to repent, would not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But then he added, “such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).  The wonderful message to the person engaging in homosexual behavior is that through the power of Christ he or she can change.  The temptation may remain, but the Holy Spirit can give you the power to remain celibate and pure.

Christians should therefore reach out to those engaged in homosexual behavior with Christ’s message of love and forgiveness without endorsing the behavior.  If you discover that your child is addicted to drugs, the loving thing to do is to express compassion and understanding, and to help him overcome his addiction.  The same should be our attitude when we discover that a loved one is addicted to a sexual sin.  Mid-Lakes Christian Church recommends ministries that reach out to those struggling with homosexuality, including Crossover Ministries and Exodus International.

Those engaged in the homosexual lifestyle are encouraged to become part of the Mid Lakes Family, to attend services at Mid-Lakes Christian Church. If a person expresses a desire to commit to Christ or become a member of the church and is involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship, whether homosexuality, adultery, cohabiting without marriage, or other, he or she will be encouraged to commit to a life of sexual purity.  Any person willing to make such a commitment can be baptized and synchronously accepted into membership.

If a Mid-Lakes member is found to be engaged in sexual sin, he or she is asked to repent and commit to sexual purity. Those willing to repent are guided to counseling services and support groups that are available to help them overcome their temptations. Those unwilling to repent are not asked to leave, but are asked to withdraw their membership.

Just as a loving parent should extend mercy and truth to a child addicted to drugs, so we believe a loving church should extend both mercy and truth to those who have been engaged in homosexuality. Anyone struggling with this area of his or her life needs to know that Jesus Christ offers forgiveness and access to power through the Holy Spirit to live a life of freedom and sexual purity.