Monday, June 30, 2008

Lesbians at the Ball Park - Part 4

In my June 23 post I wrote:

"Homosexuality is wrong. If no one ever tells these people that, won't they continue to think it's okay?"

Even as I wrote those words I was thinking there is a part within every human being that knows when he or she is doing wrong. We may ignore it. We may tell it to be quiet in order to make it go away. And if we do that often enough for long enough, we can successfully silence it. But it is still there.

It is as if each incident of ignoring or silencing that voice within burns that spot within us that is sensitive to the sin. If that sensitivity is burned enough, it will lose sensation.

Did you know that a third degree burn doesn't cause pain? A first degree burn turns the skin red and is painful. A second degree burn is red with blisters and is very painful. A third degree burn is black and charred and produces no pain because the nerves have been burned and destroyed.

The good news is that if a person wants to restore that part of him- or herself that whispers to our minds when something is wrong, it can be restored. God can heal the seared conscious and restore its sensitivity.

"...the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them."
Romans 2:15, NIV

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lesbians at the Ball Park - Part 3

Do you think we're responsible to speak up when we see something wrong going on? Do you think it is our responsibility to say something when we see people in our society engaged in sin? What do you think the Lord will say to us about whether or not we speak up?

When God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel, He told him in plain, straightforward terms what would happen if Ezekiel didn't speak up about sin in his society. Here's what God said to Ezekiel:

"'Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, "You will surely die," and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
"'Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.'"
Ezekiel 3:17-21, NIV

Are you thinking this doesn't apply to you because you're not a prophet? All Christians are "prophets" in the sense that a prophet's job is to speak the truth of God--and we are all called to speak God's truth at every opportunity.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lesbians at the Ball Park - Part 2

We've had a couple good comments on my last post about loving the sinner while hating the sin. Which brings up another question. What does "love" look like?

Some people will think this is mean... or at the very least that what I'm about to say is not the right thing to do... but I think sometimes the best way we can show love is to let it show that this behavior (or whatever behavior we're witnessing) makes us sick.

Homosexuality is wrong. If no one ever tells these people that, won't they continue to think it's okay? Or that we condone their actions? And then aren't we to blame before the Lord?

The most loving thing we can do is to tell them the Truth. Jesus didn't hold back when talking to the Pharisees or turning over the tables of the money changers who were rip-off artists at the Temple. Why do Christians think the only right way to act is to be all sweetness and sugar?

Christianity is about Truth. Not being nice.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lesbians at the Ball Park -- What would you have done?

I have something eating away at me, and I could use some input.

A few evenings ago, Bill O'Reilly, on his Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor, told about an incident that had taken place at a professional baseball game. Two lesbians were kissing, and a mother of young children complained telling officials at the ball field that she didn't want her children to see that.

If I remember the facts right, the officials talked to the two lesbians, they refused to stop saying something like they had the same rights as anyone to express their love, and then were asked to leave the ball park. The discussion on the TV show was about whether or not it was legal for the ball field officials to "kick them out." It was said that these two women were not making a big public display, but were just kissing like any couple in love.

Now, kudos to that mother who complained! But here's my dilemma: Put yourself into the picture. Imagine that you are sitting at that ball field within earshot of what's going on. You're not the mother. You're not one of the lesbians. You're just another fan at the ball field watching this go on. You're a Christian. What do you do? Anything?

Honestly, if I had been at the ball park that day watching this, I probably would have sat there and watched, and secretly been cheering for that mother who said something. But I doubt I would have said anything. And I'm ashamed of that.

So, for future reference...for a future incident that may (or mostly likely will) occur, what do you think we should do?

Have we been so conditioned to think that we can't "discriminate" against anyone, that we have to be tolerant of people who don't believe the same as we do, that we've been silenced?

My husband says, "I'm not going to call it 'gay' anymore. I'm not going to call them 'lesbians.' It's homosexuality. Let's call it what it is."

What would have happened if we were at the ball park that day and one of us stood up and told those lesbians, "What you're doing is wrong. Homosexuality is immoral"? And what if we would have told the ball field officials, "You shouldn't let this continue. It's wrong"?

Do you think it would have caused a ruckus? Do you think we would have been asked to leave the ball park? Would you be willing to give up your seats that you paid for, and the fun afternoon at the ball game that you anticipated, and risk ruining your family's day out, to speak up? What if you ended up on national TV because of it? What if you were booed, or harassed, or sued?

Is it the fear of these things that keeps us silent?

Which is right and which is wrong?:
To stand up and say, "That's immoral. That's wrong."
Or to not stand up and say, "That's immoral. That's wrong."

Have we lost our courage? Shouldn't we say, "That's immoral. And I don't care if you don't like it, I can't watch it and pretend like it's okay. It's not okay. And I have to say something."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Governor signed Senate Bill 200

I checked Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's web site and found that he signed Senate Bill 200, "Expand Discrimination Prohibitions," into law on May 29th, 2008.

You can find the Governor's web site here:

To see which bills he has signed, click on "Governor Ritter's 2008 Legislative Decisions." A form comes up in a pop-up window that shows all the bills that have come before him, the decision he made, and the date.

Thanks to all of you who voiced your opposition and urged him to veto this bill. I heard from many of you who said you had called, e-mailed, or both, and who had sent a message to your e-mailing list asking your friends to do the same.

I keep getting the feeling this Governor is passing all kinds of things that we don't even know about -- some of it very quietly. I get the same feeling about our national politicians.

It's hard to keep up. But then maybe that's the point.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What Must People Think of the Church? - Rev. Wright is Wrong - Part 5

Another thought that just causes me to cringe is, when people see clips from people like the Rev. Wright's and Father Pfleger's rantings from the pulpit in church, what must then think?!

What impression of the Christian church is Rev. Wright, Barack Obama (by virtue of him apparently not having a problem with any of this...until it affected him politically), or Father Pfleger giving people?

For those who do not go to church, do they think this is the usual happenings every Sunday morning in churches across the nation?

For the enemies of the church, doesn't this just confirm who evil the church is and how evil Christians are?

When people see these clips coming out of Trinity United Church of Christ, what must people think?


One thing I know: On judgement day, I hope I'm not standing anywhere near Rev. Wright or Father Pfleger!

Friday, June 6, 2008

What is the Church for? - Rev. Wright is Wrong - Part 4

This craziness coming out of Barack Obama's former church, Trinity United Church of Christ, brings up the question is this what the church is for? Or, just what is the church for?

There may be different opinions on that--even among church-going Christians. But I have some pretty definite opinions on what the church is for:

  • The Christian church is to be a place where people can come to worship the one true God.

  • The Christian church is to be a place where people can come to learn about the one true God.

  • The Christian church is to be a place where the people of God can serve the one true God.

That does not mean I think politics or important issues of the day should not come up. Not at all. The fact that one true God exists affects all of life -- every issue, everything we do, everything we are. And we carry that knowledge and the consequences of that truth wherever we go. This is why politics cannot be separated from religion, or church cannot be separated from state, or Christian cannot be forbidden to carry their faith into public office or anywhere else.

But when the church service degenerates into rants about questionable political opinions, or about promoting conspiracy theories that have no founding in facts, something is terribly wrong.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rev. Wright is Wrong - Part 3

To continue with my thoughts on Rev. Wright, the former pastor at Barack Obama's church...

(Well, after this weekend, I guess it's now Mr. Obama's former church.)

...I have a question about Barack Obama, and Rev. Wright, and now this Catholic Father's whose ranting preaching in the same church has been all over the TV the last week.

My questions is: Do they really know the gospel?

After the first story with Rev. Wright came out, I heard people defending the Reverend and the church. Some of them said the news media was being unfair by playing the clips over and over. If you heard the whole sermon, one man said, it was a really good gospel message.

Gospel message?

Okay, granted, I haven't heard the whole message. But I have a hard time imagining how the gospel message could be worked into what I did hear.

You see the Gospel has a very narrow definition. A "gospel message" is not just any ol' message. The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. The literal translation of the word "gospel" is "good news," and always in the Bible (where the term came from) it refers to the good news about Jesus the Christ.

Has the word been hijacked by people like Rev. Wright and others to mean something else? Do some of the people in the pews at Trinity United Church of Christ think a gospel message is an inspiring talk? An emotional appeal? Any rant?

The gospel message is that Jesus Christ is God come to earth in human flesh to become the atoning sacrifice that makes us right with God. Anyone who embraces what Jesus did on our behalf and claims it to cover his or her own sins, receives salvation from eternity in hell and will live for ever in heaven with God. That's the gospel message, the good news about what Jesus Christ did for us in God's sight.

In the clips I've heard coming out of Trinity United Church of Christ, I've never heard anything like this. I don't believe I've even heard Jesus Christ mentioned. I've heard God the Father mentioned, but not in a nice way (only saying that He damns America, which ain't true).

When I hear the rantings of Rev. Wright... or as I've now heard this new clip of rantings from guest speaker at this same church, Catholic priest Father Michael Pfleger...I have to wonder if Rev. Wright, Barack Obama, Father Pfleger, or any of the people cheering from the pews even know what the gospel is.