President Jimmy Carter & Women in Ministry
I am once again happy to see that President Jimmy Carter is in the news. But not for his political views. At least not concerning the U.S. Government. But his views as far as the Church are concerned. He has been a member of the Southern Baptist for many decades. After (60) sixty years he has taken an adamant , publicly visible stand and decided to part company. He does not subscribe to many of their doctrinal beliefs.
There is a belief among the leadership of the Southern Baptist clergy that women are to be restricted and forbidden to be ordained. They in fact believe that our position as women is to basically appease our husbands, be subservient and attend to the non leadership issues that arise as a subordinate. I have always found this interesting. I have in the past regularly attended their services. But have always been concerned with this very issue. As women you can participate in the “Women’s Ministry” teach Sunday School, work with the youth , usher, talk about the Lord but you cannot become an ordained minister.
I find this so very interesting because this does not only exist in the Southern Baptist it existed among the Traditional Baptist as well where we attended FAITHFULLY and generouly supported for many years. It has changed among Baptist somewhat in some places. But there is a definite discrimination that takes place I know this firsthand. To keep women in their place or else. You can be a Minister at home? The C.M.E. Methodist have allowed women to the forefront because they are losing ground and dwindling in numbers. They allow women to become ordained but are still quite controlling. The male clergy in general tend to be very ritualistic, condescending and dominating they allow women to participate by doing the things they deem appropiate.
Is it not God that calls us or anyone for that matter to ministry? Is He not “a respecter of persons?” The Word says “He will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh.” Male or female! Did not the Lord use a donkey to speak to Balaam his prophet who was overcome by his love for the world and money? Balaam according to the Word taught Balak “to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality…” ( See Revelations 2) Balaam allowed himself to be used by baal and caused 24,000 people to be killed. The point is; The Lord can use whomever He pleases. Certainly if the Lord used a donkey to warn his prophet of his sudden death if he continued to proceed; He can use women inside or outside of the walls? I could go on but my point is God never intended for the Church to just be housed in a building of brick and mortar. The building is a dedicated place to come to gather or assemble! God’s Church is the Universal Church of believers who are people throughout the world from every tongue and nation.
I can testify first hand to the underhanded discrimination and outright mistreatment of women within the Church that President Jimmy Carter is standing “UP” for! If you choose to participate then you must subject yourself to the whims of the “man in charge!” Who makes it clear that it is his call and vision you serve? I have personally found it to be true what President Carter stated in his essay
“At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”
And, later said
“The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. “
When I finished Seminary there was no women being ordained in ministry within our congregation. You could teach Sunday School, be a clerk, become a Trustee, or sing in the choir, or be a Deaconess? There was only one ordained female minister in the whole entire city that I knew of at the time. She had at one time been the choir director but was not allowed to sit in the pulpit were we worshipped whenever she returned to visit. It has changed to some degree. But many of the same chauvinistic issues are still there. It was not out in the open most of the time for all to see. I was just blacklisted and overlooked and labeled. Hmm like jealous, unyielding, wanting to be… as well as unteachable, self serving and …. which is so far from the Truth!
To some degree a few of my supposed “sisters” in the Lord were used to oppress me and make sure I was limited since I did not bow to the authority to the “man in charge.” They were used as examples to me and show me what was possible if I went along with the head. But they could do as they pleased because they would do whatever it took even if it included … Of course I could participate in the “Women’s Ministry.” And yes many would seek me for counseling still. But there was a definite unspoken no to limit me in ministry. So I calmly protested silently. Instead I opted to support my own husband within the ministry and just made a point to Worship and Praise the Lord in “Spirit and in TRUTH.” They were vigilante in their efforts to isolate and discredit me. No doubt my husband was also penalized within ministry because of my position. I can boldly say I have acquired much Patience and have great Peace knowing that the Lord knows my sincere intentions as well as the TRUTH!
After I graduated seminary I was ordained by the University’s Chancellor who confirmed my call. Who too wanted me to support him and just become his assistant. Therefore my husband and I continued to attend were we worshipped for a while faithfully and eventually founded and embraced the concept of “Ministry Beyond The Walls.” It is so true “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is LIBERTY.” I say this because I know first hand. I have lived it! But through it all my fervor, steadfastness, personal and public love for the Lord and devotion has grown tremendously! I can truly say I love the Lord more each day. Their oppressiveness just showed me where I did not want to be. I even tried to support those who wanted to participate in the “Center Stage ” of it all. (That is another story in itself) I also realize that once we ALL have completed this course of life we will have to give an account to the Lord for our actions. Praise God!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter for taking such a noble Stand. As a woman I hold ALL of the Lord’s Word dear to my heart. Inside and outside the walls. I can say that I love being “His child” and a Minister of His GOSPEL! No need to sit in a high chair. I Peter says; “… For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Wives , likewise, be submissive to your own hubands, that even if some do not obey the WORD, they without a word,may ne won over by the conduct of the wives, when they Observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear…”
I love this scripture because I know who my Shepherd is. “The Lord is My SHEPHERD!” I have no problem with authority! I have no problem with submitting when it does not go against the Lord ‘s Word as well as obeying the laws of the land! If you read the passage of scripture in I PETER slowly again it says to be subject to your own husband not everyone else’s! Think about that for a moment. When Peter refers to us as the “weaker” vessel this is not at all to infer that we are weaker Spiritually. Ephesians assures us “We can be Strong in the Lord and the Power of HIS…..”
The Bible speaks of the women as the “weaker” vessel because we are built differently and naturally tend to be more emotional. I love being a woman and all it entails! If you listen closely you will see that this is a position of STRENGTH as we embrace self control we are able to do this through His Holy Spirit! When a husband does not obey the Lord you can win him over… Without even speaking if need be. The husband prayers are hindered when he mistreats his wife… Read this passage slowly and again if necessary. This is Powerful! By the way this does not mean using manipulation! God truly is awesome!
We live in a nation and a world that is constantly shifting away from God’s principles and many within God’s Church have enlisted and embraced worldly ways, concepts and methods in their attempts to control and dominate God’s people! Lord Help US!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter because he has brought an issue to the Light that many skirt or avoid. The question for Carter — and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership — is, when a group you’re deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit?
This is the question that each individual must deal with it may be considered spiritual suicide to go against the ideology of an organized religion. But when you really think about it this is how and why we have so many denominations! Some things will just not be understood on this side of HEAVEN! Protesting by sitting down or moving away from oppression can help you move closer to a growing rewarding inner satisfying relationship with the Lord. It frees you to live each and every day for the Lord! Especially when you know that Christ is not coming back for a church made by hands. But He is coming back for HIS CHURCH! Because according to the Lord’s Word there is still “One Lord, One Faith … and One Church which by the way belongs to Him! To GOD Be The GLORY!
FORGIVING Does Not mean FORGETTING
“Darkness TO LIGHT” An Evening with RWANDAN FRIENDS
Many of this world’s inhabitants go a whole lifetime before they ever realize what is really essentially important? Is it the house you live in, the car you drive, your career, how you look, how much money you have, or is it what others think about you? Nothing is really wrong with any of the above. They do have a place in life somewhat. But can you really depend on…
We are living in some very interesting times? In this 21st century you just never know… No matter how much you plan ahead, you still never know what to expect? The world is so very interesting. Many just adapt or conform to what ever the world says is okay. Others live very non confrontive lives and avoid conflict or they just go along with whatever. Sort of like don’t rock the boat, although you are not sure where its going. Or they settle for a dual lifestyle or simply change like a chameleon. In this day and age just about anything goes… pandemonium is possibly right around the corner.
I want to encourage you to set aside and spend some time really thinking about what if any one or all the above were taken? What would you do? How would you feel?
God our Creator who created us has a particular plan for each of us. Life is full of mountaintop and “”down in the valley” experiences. God can give you an unexplainable PEACE and contentment that only comes from Him that surpasses the understanding of man. No, its not living in denial and thinking everything is okay when it not! Nor does it mean that you don’t care… It does mean that at some point you know, trust and believe that the Lord will work things out in your behalf…
To the degree we discover and follow what His plan is we embark on an adventurous, rewarding, sometimes awkward, at times dangerous, lifelong journey. We begin to travel the path of “the straight and narrow” that leads to Him! The truth is the Word says: few hardly “ever find it” nor really understand the exceptional, significant, spiritual, life sustaining benefits and security that it yields when traveling this path.
What is really important in life is where you are with God. God knows all about you! He knows where you really are?
When you accepted or accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior; It means that you now want to live a life that pleases the Lord rather than to just please yourself or do what feels good to you. You now have and can elect to call upon Jesus to save you from the power of sin?
You really should begin to study His Word and apply His principles. The wisdom and the attainable life lessons that are gleaned from His Word are important. This does not mean at all that you adopt a legalistic rigid approach to life. You begin to “walk in the Light” of His Word! You begin to experience a fresh responsible freedom. What is really important as a Christian is that you get to know the Lord personally. You begin to spend time with Him. As you do this your understanding is broadened and the path narrows. You seek to be filled with His Holy Spirit that brings unexplainable comfort even in the most difficult situations. You begin to grow stronger spiritually and emotionally as you move toward wholeness!
Becoming a Christian does not mean that you just “go to Church.” No more than going to the beach make you a grain of sand. You realize you are a part of His Church wherever you are. When we come together for worship or assembly as a congregation, wherever that might be, the primary purpose should be to worship, praise the Lord, bring others to Jesus, fellowship, and edify the Body of Christ which is His Church.
In actuality we who say we have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are the “Church!” Just saying you believe does not make you a believer. It goes SO much deeper than that, that’s just the beginning. Now you have to begin going through life utilizing an implementing His Word which is our spiritual sword. You truly value life and all that it has to offer. But your first and foremost priority is NOW to please the Lord and that His will is done in your life.
God’s Word is so very powerful it cuts both ways. When used skillfully it does spiritual surgery. It begins to remove the old nature and reveals or makes way for your God given inborn, intrinsic temperament! You are able to see life from a much deeper perspective! God is Omniscient! When He created you way back when He knew everything you would need in order to live successfully as His child.
I am so very thankful that the Lord has allowed us to share and go through many wonderful, adventuress and life changing experiences… I want to share with you a very rewarding experience my husband and I shared together with many others. It was so thought provoking and enlightening that I hope it inspires you to really think where you are and what is most important to you?
First, a little background history on Rwanda. Rwanda was comprised of three tribes when the Belgian colonists arrived in 1916. The Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa. The Belgians manipulated and divided the tribes by deeming one more superior than the other. They then issued them identity cards stating their appointed tribe. The Tutsis were discriminately favored and given better jobs as well as superior educational opportunities.
This division caused further animosity and bitterness. Eventually in 1962 after Rwanda was granted independence, the majority of Hutus took power. After the death of the president of Rwanda in 1994 the horrific genocide began. His plane was shot down and shortly after recruits were disbursed and the atrocious, vigorous brutal slaughtering of Rwandans went on for approximately 100 days.
If someone has hurt you deeply, if you have been carrying hatred in your heart. If you are unable to forgive or you feel that you have been wronged or mistreated. If life does not seem to be going your way. I want you to take some time and ponder on what happened here in Rwanda. You will find out that “With God ALL things are possible.”
ow I want to take some time and share with you what they shared with me.
We had such a memorable, extraordinary, marvelous evening with our Rwandan friends from PHARP –Rwanda. they worked effortlessly as a team. PHARP stands for Peace building, Healing, and Reconciliation Program in Rwanda. They openly and sincerely shared in graphic detail their heart wrenching experiences during the Rwandan Genocide. It is now reported that there were actually closer to 2,000,000 lives brutally taken during the 100 days of the Rwandan Genocide! We will be forever grateful for the experience. Our son along with the Horizon Community Church were able to actually go to Rwanda and minister to them. They forged ahead diligently amidst the transitioning community of Rwanda to help facilitate their mission to bring about healing, restoration and reconciliation. Pastor Anastase can be reached www.pharp.org
During the 100 days of genocide between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped. More than 67% of those women were purposely and systematically infected by HIV+ men as a weapon of genocide. One Pastor shared how his wife, children, and mother along with a total of 46 relatives were massacred. He had to hide out in the swamp for 41 days without food. He only had contaminated swamp water to sip.
Please stay with me for a few minutes and ponder these facts in your heart! Here are a few more of the many statistics resulting from the aftermath of the genocide:
*There are 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of the genocide.
*Nearly 100,000 survivors are aged between 14 and 21, of which 60,000 are considered as very vulnerable.
*75,000 of survivors were orphaned as a result of the genocide. Over half of these children have become impoverished, traumatized and have stopped going to school.
*There are 10 times as many widows than widowers – almost 50,000 widows of the genocide.
*40,000 are still without shelter.
*7 in 10 survivors earn a monthly income of less than 5,000 Rwandan Francs, which equals to $8.00 in American Dollars.
*These statistics are complied at www.surviors-fund.org.uk
The Rwanda genocide was real! Thousands of homeless and orphaned children. Yet these children of God stand tall, firmly and purposely in their concerted efforts to bring about the ongoing process of “Forgiveness and Reconciliation.” They have come here to America to share a powerful message. The Country of Rwanda is in the continual much needed ongoing process of healing and restoration. Many of those who participated in the genocide have been released from prison and are now back in the community. Many have accepted Jesus Christ. Today there are no longer identity cards they are all called Rwandans! They are committed to moving forward in overcoming the barriers of the past.
This dedicated team, along with many others are dedicated to assisting and empowering the remaining Rwandans. This is not without its challenges. Keep in mind that within the Church there, many pastors face the dilemma of having survivors and those perpetrators of genocide within the same congregation. They are diligently working to make a difference. They are reaching out and helping to rebuild a country that has been devastated. Trauma Counseling and healing, peace building, reconciliation, self-help groups, youth programs and vocational training and income generating projects are inclusive along with much prayer, worship and praise! We support, pray for and solicit your prayers for all Rwandans as well.
It is important to know that the family of God consists of a plethora of people throughout the world. We all come in different sizes, shapes, colors, races and cultures. There is not going to be a corner in heaven that’s designated for Blacks, one for Whites, one for Reds, Browns, Yellow or multicolored people. It goes so much deeper than the color of one’s skin, how they look, who they are, where they have lived, what one has or does not have nor their varied diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. God knows who His children are.
It is important to know that God is alone Sovereign! He does not need us! We all need Him! He places and arranges the members in the Body of His Universal Church as it pleases Him. He knows where each and every one of us are in our spiritual growth and development. He has given us the necessary talents and gifts to accomplish whatever He has created us to do. In many situations in the Church here in America, on various levels worldly methods have been adopted. The ways and methods of the world’s reasoning and social divisiveness has resulted in much division. Manipulation has been erroneously embraced by many of God’s people.
It is very important to know the Word of God firsthand. We as His “children” are to consistently spend time with the Lord developing a vivacious strong ongoing, endearing ever growing transparent relationship with Him and come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior! This way you will not be “tossed to and fro by every of doctrine.” You do not have to strive to control or dominate anyone. This only displays and reflects one’s own insecurity. Quite the contrary. God is ultimately in control! Jesus led by example. Our purpose is to daily live out God’s principles and foster a desire in others to want to come and know Jesus as Lord and Savior as well. Ultimately it is your solid, committed relationship with Him, that will sustain you as you go through any of life’s many challenges.
In spite of all that has happened to them, these Rwandan’s have come to share their “Mission of FORGIVENESS & RECONCILIATION” of genocide! To impart the valuable knowledge they’ve learned. Webster defines forgiveness as: to give up resentment of, or claim requital; forgive an insult. They know the value of confronting the truth of whatever has happened. Contrary to what is often said forgiveness does not mean you forget. It means to lay aside any ill will and pardon the wrong that was done. When people have wronged you they often feel guilt and fear retaliation. The Fruit of God’s Spirit will flourish in your life when you elect to embrace and implement His principles in your life. True forgiveness comes from God. Joy & Peace are by products of His Fruit! Knowing the Lord, having a relationship with Him and applying His Word makes all the difference in the world.
Through their heartfelt sharing our love, faith, trust in God, and our commitment has been greatly enhanced. It has personally added to my spiritual wellspring. They are truly walking in the “Light of His Word.” As a child of God I know whole heartedly that God is able! Being a Christian is a lifestyle. It is amazing to know and realize that absolutely nothing goes on with anyone or anywhere that God is not aware of. The Rwandan genocide is mind boggling. In our little finite minds we will never fully comprehend the “why” of a lot of things. But I do know that ALL His WORD is true. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (and sisters) … Romans 8 God did not say that it all would be good. But, He did say that He would work it out for good. Is your purpose really His purpose?
The eyewitness account of the Rwandan genocide was enlightening and life changing. Their God given joy was evident and shined forth from their countenance as they each shared their amazing testimonies. They without question, are definitely walking in the “Light of His Word.” They truly have come from “Darkness TO LIGHT.” They reached out, above and beyond what they had suffered and shared a wealthy message of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement and hope to bring about healing. It is quite evident that God has equipped them to help others overcome barriers, to unite and reach out to build peaceful communities for the future. Not only in Rwanda but throughout the world! “Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5 The POWER of GOD was evident beyond words! I can go on ….. But instead I will say; PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD! To God Be the Glory!
God gave us healthy Christian marriage boundaries in which one man and one woman should live together. Marriage is still ordained by God. As the Originator and Creator of life God designed marriage to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. For the last couple of years I have been journaling about the significance of a committed CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE!
Many Christian leaders and congregants have fallen prey to infidelity and adultery. Sex practiced outside the confines of marriage is rampart in the Churches as well as in the world. LORD Help us! I have observed how this has resulted in a real breakdown in the overall quality of relational dynamics in many marriages. Over the last couple of decades the significance of marriage has been slowly watered down. This has allowed strange and disturbing beliefs about marriage to come to the forefront. There has been a steady but sure deliberate attempt to redefine marriage. There has been a successful evolutionary transition to blur the once clearly defined lines of marriage and minimalize the need to reinforce its healthy boundaries. Allowing its boundaries to become grayed and frayed by encouraging open marriages, unisex dress, the acceptance of male to male and female to female relationships and gender choice lifestyles.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life committed to the ways of our Father, was crucified, died and was buried. But that was not the end. He arose with all power! When He ascended to heaven He left us His Holy Spirit, His Comforter to come and reside within us. To help us live victoriously over sin. Sin is what separates us from God. God knows us inside and out. He knew us before we were even formed in our Mother’s wound. He knows what is best for us. He could have made us robots and forced us to be a certain way. But because of His graciousness and His mercy He allowed us free choice. He gave us healthy boundaries because HE knew not everyone at all times would adhere to His will and His way. His Holy Spirit is readily available to help us make proper life choices that please Him. For a man and woman desiring to live together marriage is His way. Galatians 1 tells us that Jesus Christ gave Himself; “for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever…”
It is becoming increasingly clear that the world in which we live wants to ensnare and entrap the children of God. To offer any and every smorgasbord or appetizer that the flesh desires and present it as an alternative way to live. I encourage you to really take some time to “Be still and know” to take a personal self evaluation. To deeply gaze internally where no one but GOD sees and examine where you are spiritually. Not in respect to someone else but to see if you really are growing spiritually. Is the Fruit of His Spirit apparent in your life? Not just on a surface level for others to see. I mean are you really walking closely with the Lord? Be honest with yourself because God already knows! If you truly are you can expect some type of persecution. This is why it is so very important that you know the WORD of God for yourself. So you can distinguish, recognize and discern when something is not of God.
Many have abandoned the Faith and now embrace a liberality that is not God sanctioned. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been evaded by encouraging the acceptance of perverted lifestyles that are sanctioned and practiced by many Christians. Perverted meaning to change what was once considered unnatural or abnormal to normal. PLEASE slowly but surely read and ponder on this passage of GOD’S WORD expressed in Romans 1 “Therefore GOD gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the TRUTH OF God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised, Amen. Because of this GOD gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged NATURAL RELATIONS for unnatural ones. In the same way the men 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…” What or who do you believe?
Marriage how God designed it is becoming increasingly unpopular! This is why it is so important to STAND UP for Christian Marriage! Paul vehemently expounds on the necessity to not “trying to win the approval of men.” Paul constantly throughout the Scriptures rebukes the Church to stand on God’s principles.Paul knew that by taking this very unpopular stance some would attempt to negate his credibility. He knew that they lay in wait to discredit him. But he also knew that God knew the TRUTH!
There is no spiritual value whatsoever in using the Scriptures to justify something that God has not ordained nor sanctioned. Slowly but surely many continue to allow the healthy boundaries that God designed for marriage to be treaded upon by the unacceptable desires of the flesh. This does not have to be! Allowing the sanctity of MARRIAGE to be reduced to a relationship between same sexual partners who want to justify a relationship contingent on their personal sexual preferences. LORD HELP US! Why not simply call it something else? Why redefine the definition of marriage. Why take something that was meant to be HOLY MATRIMONY and make it totally UNHOLY.
Many marriages have gone shipwrecked. The fulfillment of the flesh has taken the forefront and many will do whatever is necessary to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Many Christians are evasive and negligent at discussing sex openly in a healthy manner, although we know that sex outside of marriage is widely practiced within the Church. Many relational issues are skirted and the financial concerns have in many cases become the dominant priority. Divorce, adultery, infidelity, promiscuity, pornography, living together, same sex relationships are on the rise. Pandora’s Box has lost its lid and just about every and anything goes. Family values for Christians are continually laid aside. Relinquishing and abandoning the principles that God originally intended. In many instances many of us who have been charged to proclaim and live out the Word of God have sat on the fence and allowed any and everything as acceptable and hidden it under the trendy term “unconditional love”. “GOD is LOVE”. Study I Corinthians 13 here you will find a description of what HIS LOVE really entails. Self Control is a part of His Fruit!
God’s Holy Spirit was intended to give us the ability to overcome sin in the flesh and live out our lives to please Him. Today you can find a support group for just about anything you want to help you find some comfort to indulging the weaknesses of the flesh. It’s sad to say but true; it’s as though for many going to worship has merely become a social club. Just join, pay your 10%, do as told and you can do as you please, acceptance, no problem. Many just go to Church then go right back home to live very worldly lifestyles. LORD HELP US! Jesus dying on the Cross paved us a WAY TO THE FATHER! Grace and peace is acquired through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We the Church, His Church is supposed to be His Bride.
We are also called as Believers! Do you believe the Word of God? Do you believe in Marriage? What do you really believe in, or do you even know? God wants us to surrender every aspect of our lives over to Him. When you do, just know that there is a vehement attack lodged to discredit the testimony of faithful believers who have sincerely committed to the “Narrow Road” lifestyle. HALLELUJAH anyhow! It goes much farther than singing, shouting, talking and preaching about it. We must make a sincere effort to live out our lives pleasing God daily. The CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST! Think about this for a moment or should I say for a while. This is really deep stuff!
The enemy has really pulled out all stops to deceive, distract, camouflage and get a stronghold on the people of God. God’s standards have been compromised and the ways of the world have been embraced. This is what I mean when I say that the “world is now within God’s CHURCH.” In man’s unquenchable thirst for power, bigger sanctuaries, larger congregations and wanting to control others, there has been a huge shift in spiritual priorities!
Many have subscribed to undercover manipulation, worldly ways means and methods and allowed them inside of God’s House of Worship. All too often just to gain a position. The most important position spiritually is your position in Christ! God knows the posture of our hearts. God has given us guidelines to live by as Christians. Marriage is one of those guidelines.
There is but one CHURCH and that is the one that Jesus is coming back for! Did not God say “BUT Seek ye first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well…” What does this mean that we are to seek HIM first for EVERYTHING? What is anything anyway without Him? According to His Word when we “seek Him first” something will happen. This means that we should seek to do things His way. Marriage is His way for the believer to live together as man and wife. We cannot change what has been done. But stop right where you are and see where you are? What and who do you support? Who do you really live for? God’s way or man’s way? Be honest with yourself because God already knows!
We must pray for our young people. The world has any and everything to offer them except Jesus! “Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the life!” Think about it; They are now encouraged to “dress down” for Jesus and “dress up” for prom? God has given us His Holy Spirit to lead guide and protect us. Have you really thought about what eternal life means? It all does not happen on this side of heaven. But while we are “still here” we need to get busy living to please Our Heavenly Father. Proverbs 22 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” He did not say may? He said won’t depart!If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything. ALL God’s Word is true! He does know what is best. His inheritance according to I Peter 1 “can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in HEAVEN for you, who through FAITH are shielded by God’s power…”
Where is your FAITH? WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM! For Christ sake we will suffer in this world. Trials are a part of His refining process. They yield and teach us patience. There is no greater gift that you can give your children as a model of a committed monogamous Christian marriage! God wants us to follow His moral standards. “As obedient children, do not conform to evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. BUT just as HE who has called you HOLY, so be HOLY in all you do; for it is written; “BE YE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.” Being HOLY means to be set aside for His purpose. Not to blend in for the sake of acceptance. Hallelujah! His unspeakable joy is available! God’s plan for mankind was set in motion way back in the beginning. We who claim to be Christians need to really begin to live as though we really believe that Jesus is coming back! We really do need to consult embrace and support His view for marriage. Don’t give way to anyone’s false teaching. It is never too late to start. Please begin to spend some quality time getting to know the Lord through His WORD. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the GOSPEL OF GOD!”
MARRIAGE = ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN = GOD’S WAY = HOLY MATRIMONY!
PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.
There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!
Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.
Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!