Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘traditional values’

 

gay2

Gay is the new black.  It appears to be popular, fashionable, trendy, modern, and progressive.  It is also the current direction of our society.  Everyone wants to support these new and modern ideas surrounding sexual behavior.  Hollywood, schools, and multiple media outlets are advancing the idea across America.

A recent news story was pushed to the forefront of many news cycles.  The Topeka City Council voted to create a domestic partner registry for same-sex couples.

While the headlines proclaim equality and advancing rights, the story is very alarming.   The Topeka City Council has now created the legislative authority to define a “couple” or allow citizens to self identify as partners.

Competing definitions of marriage and relationships erode God’s plan for humanity.  Once you abandon the Biblical definition of marriage, any other definition is now fair game for acceptance.  Multiple definitions seem legitimate because relationships are now based on any behavior people may want.  In short, anything goes.

This won’t be comfortable for everyone reading, but try this on for size.  Five council members, a simple majority, can now amend a standing city ordinance to define a “couple” as three people in the city of Topeka.  Let that one soak in for a moment.  Maybe they would call it a “trouple.”  Five council members can now amend an ordinance to allow minors, those under the age of 18, to register their relationship.  This is not an old-fashioned marriage where you have to wait until adulthood.  It is a new, progressive, and cosmopolitan way to record relationships.  Right?

These two scenarios may seem far-fetched.  Your immediate default is to say “this will never happen” or “there is no way someone could do that.”  Why not?  If the traditional standard of marriage is no longer valid any definition can now be used.  The proverbial barn door is already open and continues to swing wide.

How can Christians compete with this contemporary message and share the truth of God’s Word?  The trend continues to grow, so it is time that Christians take a stand in the marketplace of ideas and share our values.  There needs to be a Christian response to the popular arguments out there regarding sexual behavior.  People also need to know God’s message for our lives and the message of salvation through Christ.  Here are some points that deserve discussion.

1.)  People are not born gay.

This is a behavior.  There is no gay gene.  While several studies try to identify chromosomes for this behavior, nothing can prove genetics solely determine homosexual behavior.  The “born-that-way” claim is one from design where people claim that “God made me with these desires, I am only acting on them.”  This overlooks the fact that we are all born with a specific gender.  Why are you following your desires instead of your gender?   Ignoring your desires may be uncomfortable, but ignoring the natural design of your body is unwise and often fatal.  Even if desires are not a choice, sexual behavior always is.  So even if a person honestly believes that he’s been born with homosexual desires, he is certainly capable of controlling his sexual behavior.  If you claim that he is not—that sexual behavior is somehow uncontrollable—then you have made the absurd contention that no one can be morally responsible for any sexual crime, including rape and incest.

2.)  Sexual behavior is not a civil right.

The comparison of homosexuality to race is totally off base and absolutely wrong.  How can you honestly compare slavery to sodomy?  Slavery was human trafficking.  Slavery was dividing a family and selling people on an auction block for profit.  Slavery was counting a human being as three-fifths of a person.  Slavery was forced labor and poor living conditions.  Slavery was banning an education.  Slavery was banning the right to vote.  Slavery was banning the right to own property.  There is no comparison!  Skin color is benign.  Sexual behavior is not benign.  There are serious health consequences for this behavior.  Furthermore, sexual behavior is always a choice; race never is.  You will find former homosexuals, but you will never find a former African, Asian, Caucasian, or Native American.  Slavery, segregation, imprisonment, and Jim Crow laws cannot and should not be compared to a ban on blood donations.  Trying to equate sexual preferences with skin color is demeaning and insulting to every American.

3.)  Agreeing with Scripture does not make you a homophobe.

You have a Constitutional right to religion.  Everyone in America is allowed to follow their faith.  Don’t allow this slanderous term to silence you in the cause for Christ.  This is trumped-up name calling at best.  Following Biblical values does not mean you fear or hate gays.  The Bible shares that:  God is our Creator, we are made in the image of God, we are made male and female, and God wants us to abstain from worldly desires and behaviors.  If one believes that immoral behavior is not God’s plan it does not make one phobic, irrational, or hateful.  This is God’s standard for holy and chaste living.  Strait people can also be immoral.  If I preach on immoral behavior does that now mean that I hate traditional families?  No, it just means that I support God’s standard established in the Bible.  Remember to speak the truth in love and follow the example of Jesus.  Do not succumb to their tactics with shouting and hate speech.  Demonstrate a loving faith and witness that glorifies the Father.  God loves us and wants all of us to turn from our past.

4.)  Our God of love is also a God of justice.

If you love someone and see him ruining his life with poor choices (stealing, lying, adultery, homosexuality, promiscuity) you get concerned, worried, and maybe even angry.  If a family member is an alcoholic wouldn’t you address the issue somehow?  You speak out because of your love for him, not out of hatred.  Anger isn’t the opposite of love, hate is and the final form of hate is indifference.  So the most loving thing Christians can do is warn people that they are living a life contrary to God and that jeopardizes where they will spend eternity.  God does not hate people.  Our worldly behaviors and actions displease God.  We are all sinners and are in need of a Savior.  The challenge is for us to repent and live.  Accepting Jesus as Lord reconciles us with God, for all past wrongs.  That means any sin, conducted for any length of time can be forgiven.  Love and justice can coexist through faith in Christ.  Scripture shares in Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

These points can help to form a Christian response to sexual behavior in our world.  It may not be popular, trendy, or fashionable, but it is faithful to our Heavenly Father.  While the world wants Christians to look like fools, remember to take a stand for Christ, speak the truth in love, and share how God’s Word can transform everyone into a new person.

 

Read Full Post »

AFA

This year has been a wild ride for Christians in uniform!

Troops were recently told that the American Family Association, a Christian ministry organization, should be classified as a hate group because it advocated traditional family values.

The brouhaha erupted on Camp Shelby when the American Family Association was listed along side domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and the Black Panthers.  Soldiers in the audience disagreed with the designation, photographed part of the training presentation, and reported what was being taught in the class.

The Army did the right thing by clarifying what happened at Camp Shelby and sharing that the AFA is not classified as a hate group.  The class material was not taken from official Army sources.  Nor was it approved by senior leaders, equal opportunity counselors, or the post legal office.  The Soldier in question conducted an internet search and came up with his or her own material for the class.

Unfortunately, several events like this have come to light.  Many in the military are concerned about recent events where traditional Judeo-Christian values seem to be under attack.  This incident represents the third time this year where a Soldier tried to classify Christians among domestic hate groups.  Earlier this year, an Army briefing came to light that classified evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics as people who practice religious extremism, behave like hate groups, and could be sanctioned for their beliefs.  Another event told Soldiers to watch troops who supported groups like the American Family Association or the Family Research Council because they do not support Army values.

I do not believe that there is some vast conspiracy out there trying to punish people of faith.  But I do believe that some individuals in the Army have cut corners, provided poor training material, and are not doing their jobs to the fullest.  The result is unfortunately generating unnecessary headlines and situations where groups may sue the Army for slander, libel, or defamation.  Perhaps there is another way forward.

Here are a couple of ways to fix the perceived targeting of those with traditional values.

1.) Ensure that the equal opportunity and religious accommodation training slides are reviewed by a supervisor, a chaplain, a JAG attorney or a combination of the three before each class.  This class is an annual requirement for Soldiers.  Having a second set of eyes review the product should eliminate the bulk of problems where individuals are adding new and or wrong material to the official slide set.

2.) Stop using the Southern Poverty Law Center website to identify or define hate groups.  This is a left-leaning organization that has its own agenda and trust me, it is not the agenda of the Army.  The Army should not rely on any liberal or conservative organization website to conduct annual training requirements.  Let’s use our own material and definitions for the class instead of delegating the responsibility to a third party.  This idea of using outside sources has created multiple problems and continues to give the Army a black eye.

3.) Update the equal opportunity annual training slides.  Presentations are generating bad press.  Worse than that, they are giving out wrong information.  Some Soldiers are not conducting the class to standard, going off script, changing the material, and or using third party websites for the class.  Clarify what needs to be taught, how to teach the class, and require that a new and improved version must replace all older versions.

The Army is a voluntary force with a diverse population.  As a plural organization where people choose to participate, we must respect the rights of everyone in a civil manner.  No one wants to be treated like second class citizens or equated to hate mongers.  There will be differences of opinion and disagreements.  But we can all agree to the basic tenets of the Golden Rule, especially when people challenge the values we hold.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: