Human Rights Campaign

Our action as a nation don’t exude being Christian

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is america a christian nation
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

The battle over America ’s beginnings muddles wishful hero worship with efforts to commandeer America ’s past so to steer her future. The most vocal proponents of Christian America and their counterparts advocating a completely secular state necessarily cherry-pick data to prove exaggerations while discarding inconvenient details.

By transforming our Forefathers into faithful servants of Christ the Religious Right risks compromising the biblical message. Baptist theologian Al Mohler warns advocates of Christian America have “confused their cultural heritage with biblical Christianity.” While Believers must exercise their views, cheapening what constitutes Christianity for political gain profanes the Gospel.

Moreover, Believers should refuse Big Government operating in Christ’s name. As empty pews in Europe testify, politicized religion impedes ministry. Beautiful cathedrals dot the Old World , but with scant congregants, they memorialize a funereal dearth of faith coming from state sanctioned pulpits.

Ps 33:12
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” (NKJ)

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” Ps 33:12

Recently a national Radio Talk Show Host and a call-in listener were talking about Christianity in America.

As the conversation continued, the host, who is an avowed agonistic, said, “Why do Christians think they had anything special to do with the founding of this country… Anybody who reads history books knows that Christianity was no more involved in America’s founding than any other religion.”

Unfortunately and inaccurately that seems to be the prevalent thought of many Americans today. But the truth of the matter is we are a nation that has been shaped by the Judeo-Christian ethic found throughout the Bible. We are a Biblical nation from our very roots.

But are we a Christian nation? To answer that question we must define the meaning of the question itself. If being a “Christian nation” means that everyone is a Christian, then we are not a Christian nation.

But if it means that Christianity was the religion of the overwhelming majority of our nation’s Founding Fathers and if its influence is undeniably seen in our nation’s Founding Documents, and that Christian ethics and moral codes were accepted as the rule for our social order, then yes, we are a Christian nation!

Certainly those throughout America’s history were not timid about this fact.

The Legislature of New York declared in 1838:
“This is a Christian nation. Ninety-nine hundredths, if not a larger proportion, of our whole population, believe in the general doctrines of the Christian religion.”

It was the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court in the year 1892 that declared in the court’s opinion the United States was a “Christian nation.”
(Refer to APB pg. 448)

Our nation’s twenty-eight president, Woodrow Wilson in his famous address, “The Bible and Progress,” stated the following,

“America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.” (Refer to APB pg. 1278)

Today let’s look at America in the context of Christianity’s influence upon it.

I. AMERICA’S BEGINNINGS
It is safe to say that the Christian faith was involved in practically every aspect of our nation’s beginnings.

Christopher Columbus in 1504 wrote his reason for setting forth to discover a new land to be:
“I was led of the Holy Spirit to carry the message of the Gospel to undiscovered lands.”

The purpose of the Pilgrims in coming to America was to establish a political commonwealth governed by biblical standards. The “Mayflower Compact” stated that they had come for “the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”
(Refer to APB pg. I-6)

The Puritans, realizing the backslidden state of the Church of England set forth to America for the stated purpose of showing how a nation could prosper it citizens lived under the laws of God.

(1) Plymouth Charter says the Colony was established: “To advance the enlargement of the Christian religion to the glory of God Almighty.”

(2) Delaware Charter defines the purpose of their Colony, “To further propagate the Holy Gospel.”

(3) Virginia Charter
assures the right for people to live in “Christian peace” and instructs the people to: “Propagate the Christian religion to such people who yet live in ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.”

(4) The Rhode Island Compact: “We submit our persons, lives, and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

On July 4, 1776 Continental Congress signed the “Declaration of Independence” which states their belief in Creator God. Before signing they called the signers to prayer and fasting to the God of the Bible.

Now think of the role the Christian Church and its pastors played in America’s early days.

A Preacher named Frances Bellemy wrote our “Pledge of Allegiance.”

Another Preacher, Samuel Smith wrote the Hymn “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”

John Leland another Preacher wrote the introduction of the first Amendment to the Constitution.

Prior to the War Between the States, 90% of all of America’s College Presidents were Preachers of the Gospel.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, William and Mary and Columbia were founded by Christian preachers and church affiliations with the expressed intent to educated youth for Christ.

John Harvard a Pastor in Charlestown, Massachusetts and the man for whom Harvard University was named stated that the purpose of the University was, “That every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main ends of his life and studies: to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the foundation of all knowledge and learning, and see that the Lord only giveth wisdom. To let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek Christ Jesus as Lord and Master.”

Even Harvard’s original seal, which can be seen on the campus today, states these words, “Truth for Christ and the Church.”

Columbia University wrote that it was founded for: “the chief things that are aimed in this college are to teach and gauge the children to know God and Jesus Christ and to love and serve Him in all sobriety.”

American’s first schoolbook was the “New England Primer.” It has the Lord’s Prayer on its cover. It taught the alphabet in Theological verse.
A. In Adam’s fall we sinned all.
B. It’s Heaven to find, the Bible’s mind.
C. Christ crucified for sinners died.
(Refer to APB pg. I-22)

Hold in your hand a one dollar bill. On the back is the Great Seal of our nation. On the seal is an unfinished pyramid. Above it is the eye of God. It is surrounded by the words in Latin, “God has smiled upon our beginnings.” And since 1865 purposefully printed in the center of our currency are the words,” In God We Trust.”

The Influence of God upon the founding of our great nation is so evident that no one who was a student of historical accuracy would reasonably deny it.

And where has this denial of God brought us as a Nation? Think with me for a moment.

II. AMERICA AT THE PRESENT.
Of course there is much that is good about America; she is still the greatest nation on earth. But even so we have much to be concerned about.

(Insert current examples for concern. Such as Abortion, Gay Marriage, Education, etc.)

III. AMERICA’S HOPE
Good sense would tell us that if we were once great as a nation then it would behoove us to return to that which made us great in the beginning.

But what are we to do? Can we really make any difference? Indeed we can.

(Refer to APB’s “Call to Action” article for the material below)

1. We must Pray.

2. We must work within the Process.

3. We must Participate.

4. We must Persevere.

2 Chronicles 7:14
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (NKJ)

Ps 33:12
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” (NKJ)

Pray for your enemy

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If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

James Madison

Korean church leaders are asking Christians worldwide to pray for their country amid increased war threats and combat preparation by North Korean military officials.

Prayer for beleaguered believers in North Korea is more important than ever, says Open Doors, an organization that supports persecuted Christians in 60 countries.

According to underground Christians, there is a war-like atmosphere in the country:

“We are to meet the decisive battle with a gun in one hand and a hammer in the other,” summarized a Christian leader about the message the North Korean people recently received from the “high command.”

“The military army, navy, air force troops, strategic rocket troops, the red guards and the red youth guards are already in combat mode. Urgent meetings are being held everywhere, regardless if it is day or night. At those meetings, officials make decisions on what needs to happen in case war breaks out and everyone, including women, needs to be combat ready.”

According to Open Doors sources, many cars on the roads are covered with camouflage nets. Also, soldiers are wearing hats with camouflage dried branches and carry guns. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un released a statement to his people, saying that “If war breaks out because of the actions of the U.S. and puppet South Korean’s unpardonable behavior, they will end up with a disgraceful downfall, and our people will greet a brilliant new day of reunification. The day has come to show off the power of ‘Military First’ and our great nation to the whole world.”

However, Christians and other citizens fear war and its consequences.

“Many people are in a hurry to purchase emergency food supplies and daily goods just in case. The prices of goods, including food, are skyrocketing,” tells one believer in North Korea.

North Korean Christians are grateful for their fellow believers in the West and request their urgent prayers.

“I would like to thank the many brothers and sisters around the world for their continuous love and support,” says the Christian believer. “We know that our journey will not be an easy one, but we are sure that our faith, desperate hope and passionate desire will some day bear many fruit. No matter how difficult life is for us, we never blame or complain about our circumstances. God has promised us in the Bible that if we seek His Kingdom first, all other things will be given to us as well. Please pray for us.”

Jerry Dykstra, a spokesman for Open Doors USA, adds: “Beneath the surface of the all the rhetoric of war and the possible launch of nuclear missiles are the suffering and persecution of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 Christians in North Korea. Also, an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 Christians are in harsh political prison camps. The government has been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians for 11 years in a row, according to the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List (www.worldwatchlist.us).

“We must respond now to the Christian leaders’ request to pray for them. Pray for Kim Jong-Un; that God will work in his heart and he will pursue peace and not war. Pray for wisdom for leaders in the United States, South Korea and China. Pray for Christians who are put in even more danger due to war preparations. Pray families will find food to feed their families. Finally, pray that no matter what happens Christians will remain strong in their faith.”

For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.Korea

The crimes of the system and the reform we need; Wake up People!!!

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One ever feels his twoness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two reconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

W. E. B. Du Bois

I contemplate often the choices I made that are so in my past, but I fall daily to the harassment of the enemy of my soul due to the social and economic challenges that face so many of my people. There are many new and innovative practices to disqualify you as an individual and race of people. It is my hope that someone reads between the lines and gets motivated to continue to fight with their minds and not their hands.

I hope as you take a look at this post it synergize you into getting clean of all drugs and ill behavior to position yourself for success. We have so many achievers and over-comers who strived through  much more hideous acts of racism and oppression that there is no justifiable reason for you to stay ignorant of the enemy  devices. Players,  pimps, and drug dealers are just commercialism tactics to sway your behavior to oppress your own people or another human being. I want to introduce you to some information that may have missed your gaze.

“The young man was shot 41 times while reaching for his wallet”…“the 13-year-old was shot dead in mid-afternoon when police mistook his toy gun for a pistol”… “the unarmed young man, shot by police 50 times, died on the morning of his wedding day”… “the young woman, unconscious from having suffered a seizure, was shot 12 times by police standing around her locked car”… “the victim, arrested for disorderly conduct, was tortured and raped with a stick in the back of the station-house by the arresting officers.”

Does it surprise you to know that in each of the above cases the victim was Black?  If you live in the USA, it almost certainly doesn’t.

Think what that means: that without even being told, you knew these victims of police murder and brutality were Black. Those cases—and the thousands more like them that have occurred just in the past few decades—add rivers of tears to an ocean of pain.  And they are symptoms of a larger, still deeper problem.

I. The Real Situation

Conventional wisdom says that while some disparities remain, things have generally advanced for Black people in America and today they are advancing still. People like Obama and Oprah are held up as proof of this. But have things really moved forward? Is this society actually becoming “post-racial”?

The answer to that question can be found in every corner of U.S. society.

Take employment: Black people remain crowded into the lowest rungs of the ladder…that is, if they can find work at all. While many of the basic industries that once employed Black people have closed down, study after study shows employers to be more likely to hire a white person with a criminal record than a Black person without one, and 50% more likely to follow up on a resume with a “white-sounding” name than an identical resume with a “Black-sounding” name. In New York City, the rate of unemployment for Black men is fully 48%.

Or housing: Black people face the highest levels of racial residential segregation in the world—shunted into neglected neighborhoods lacking decent parks and grocery stores and often with no hospitals at all. Black people, as well as Latinos, who had achieved home-ownership had their roofs snatched from them. They were the ones hit hardest by the subprime mortgage crisis after having been targeted disproportionately by predatory lenders—resulting in the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history.

Or healthcare: Black infants face mortality rates comparable to those in the Third World country of Malaysia, and African-Americans generally are infected by HIV at rates that rival those in sub-Saharan Africa. Overall the disparities in healthcare are so great that one former U.S. Surgeon General recently wrote, “If we had eliminated disparities in health in the last century, there would have been 85,000 fewer black deaths overall in 2000.”

Or education: Today the schools are more segregated than they have been since the 1960s with urban,

predominantly Black and Latino schools receiving fewer resources and set up to fail. These schools more and more resemble prisons with metal detectors and kids getting stopped and frisked on their way to class by uniformed police who patrol their halls. Often these schools spend around half as much per pupil as those in the well-to-do suburbs.

Or take imprisonment: The Black population in prison is 900,000—a tenfold increase since 1954!—and the proportion of Black prisoners incarcerated relative to whites has more than doubled in that same period. A recent study pointed out that “a young Black male without a high school degree has a 59 percent chance of being imprisoned before his thirty-fifth birthday.”

On top of all that, and reinforcing it, is an endlessly spouting sewer of racism in the media, culture and politics of this society—racism that takes deadly aim at the dreams and spirit of every African-American child. And who can forget the wave of nooses that sprung up around the country, south and north, in the wake of the 2007 struggle in Jena, Louisiana against the prosecution (and persecution) of six Black youth who had fought back against a noose being hung to intimidate them from sitting under a “whites only” tree at school?

All this lay beneath the criminal government response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For reasons directly related to the oppression of Black people throughout the history of this country, and continuing today, African-Americans were disproportionately the ones without the resources to get out of the way of that storm, as well as the ones concentrated in the neighborhoods whose levees had gone unrepaired for years. Far from “mere” incompetence, the government responded with a combination of gun-in-your-face repression and wanton, murderous neglect. People were stuck on rooftops in 100-degree heat for days on end, with nothing to eat or drink. Prisoners were left locked in cells as waters rose to their necks. The protection of private property and social control was placed above human life. The governor of the state ordered cops and soldiers to shoot on sight “looters”—that is, people trying to survive and to help others. On at least one occasion, people trying to escape the worst-hit areas were stopped by police at gunpoint from crossing over to a safer area. When evacuations finally were carried out, they were done with the heartlessness of a cruel plantation owner. Families were separated, with children ripped away from parents. Tens of thousands were scattered all over the country with one-way tickets, sometimes not even told their destinations. Back home, bodies were left floating in water, or lying on sidewalks, underneath debris, decomposing and mangled, for months.

Through it all, politicians and commentators spewed out unrelenting racism. Who can forget Barbara Bush herself, the president’s mother, and her remark in a shelter for refugees from Katrina—some separated from their families and having lost everything, including dear ones—that “[S]o many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.” 10-term Congressman took the prize for declaring, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

Since then, the first…the second…the third anniversary of Katrina passed with many parts of New Orleans still uninhabitable ghost towns. In the mostly Black 9th Ward, blocks of devastated houses have been razed—a vast wasteland now dotted with occasional concrete steps going nowhere. When Black people have fought to stay in the projects which are still habitable, they have been driven out—and when they have protested at City Council, they have been pepper-sprayed and beaten.

Oil rigs and tourist areas are long since back up and humming, while rebuilding schools, hospitals, and childcare centers are pushed off the list. Through it all, cops and national guards continue to occupy poor neighborhoods like enemy territory.

Does all this look like a “post-racial” society to you?

The answer is clear. And while more Black people than ever before have been allowed to “make it” into the middle class, two things must be said.

First, even for these people their situation is still tenuous. To take one stark example: In opposition to the widespread notions of the “American dream,” where each successive generation “does better” than the previous one, the majority of the children of middle-class Black families have been cast, by the workings of this system, onto a downwardly mobile path. And every Black person—no matter how high they rise—still faces the insults and the dangers concentrated in the all-too-familiar experience of being stopped for “driving while Black.” As Malcolm X said over 40 years ago, and as is still true today: What do they call somebody Black with a Ph. D.? A “nigger.”

Second, and even more profoundly, for millions and millions of Black people things have gotten WORSE.

It will not help—in fact it will do real harm—to believe in this “post-racial” fantasy, or even the “less ambitious” lie of steady improvement. The cold truth of the oppression of African-American people must be squarely confronted and deeply understood, if it is ever to be transformed.

II. Shining a Light on the Past to Understand the Present—and Transform the Future

If you go to the doctor with a painful condition, she’ll ask you to describe the symptoms. If she’s any good, she won’t just prescribe a few pills and send you on your way—she’ll try to figure out the cause of your problem, where it came from. She’ll order some tests, and then she’ll do more. She’ll ask you when the symptoms arose. She’ll take your family history, asking about your parents, and even your grandparents. And that’s what we’re going to do—go through the history of America to discover the source of the profound problems we have sketched out here.

The Rise of Capital—on a Foundation of Slavery and Genocide

This country was founded on the twin crimes of the genocidal dispossession of its Native American (Indian) inhabitants, and the kidnapping and enslavement of millions of Africans. But this essential and undeniable truth is constantly suppressed, blurred over, distorted and excused—all too often treated as “ancient history,” if admitted at all. But let’s look at its implications.

Modern capitalism arose in Europe, when the merchant class in the cities—the newly arising capitalists, or bourgeoisie—began to set up workshops in which they exploited peasants who had been driven off their land, as well as others who could not make a living any longer other than by working for, and being exploited by, these capitalists. This was the embryo of the modern proletariat—a class of people who have no means to live except to work for someone else, and that works for wages in processes that require a collectivity of people working together. The early capitalists, like their descendants, would take possession of and sell the goods thus produced, paying the proletarians only enough to live on, and thereby accumulating profit. They did this in competition with other capitalists, and those who could not sell cheaper were driven under; this generated a drive to gain any possible advantage, either through lowering wages and more thoroughly exploiting the proletariat, or through investing in more productive machinery, or both. This twin dynamic of exploitation and competition drove forward the accumulation of capital in a relentless and ever-widening cycle.

But this was not some linear or self-contained process. In fact, capitalism in Europe “took off” with the development of the world market, and that in turn was fed and driven forward by the slave trade. Ships would sail from London and Liverpool, in England, filled with the goods sold by the capitalists. They would unload these goods for sale or trade in the coastal cities of Africa, and fill their holds with human beings who had been captured in raids in the African countryside. They would then take this human cargo to the Americas and the Caribbean, to be sold as slaves. Then the ships would take the sugar, cotton, rice and other goods produced by the slaves in these colonies back to Europe, to be sold for use as raw materials or food. And so on, every day, year in, year out—for centuries. This slave trade and the slave economy that went with it—along with the extermination of the Native peoples of the Americas (the Indians) through deliberate slaughter, disease, and working them to death in silver mines—formed what Karl Marx called the “rosy dawn of the primitive accumulation of capital.”

The crime was enormous. Between 9.4 and 12 million Africans were kidnapped, sold and sent to the Americas as slaves. Over two million more died in the voyage from Africa, and enormous numbers perished in Africa itself, through the slave-taking raids and wars, followed by forced marches in chains to the coastal African cities to feed this market. At least 800,000 more died in the port cities of Africa, locked down in prison (the barracoons) awaiting shipment. Once in the Americas, slaves were sent to “seasoning camps” to “break” them—where an estimated 1/3 of the Africans died in that first hellish year.

Take a few seconds to think about the reality behind those numbers. THOSE WERE HUMAN BEINGS! Numbers alone cannot hope to capture the agony and suffering all this meant for over three centuries; the best these numbers can do is give a sense of the sheer scale and scope of the barbarity. But even today this is very little known, and what went into the foundation of American history is barely taught, if at all, in the schools, or recognized in the media and culture.

Those Africans who survived this hell were then forced to toil as slaves, doing the work to “tame” the Americas—to develop the agriculture that would form the basis for the new European colonies. A respected historian put it this way: “Much of the New World, then, came to resemble the death furnace of the ancient god Moloch—consuming African slaves so increasing numbers of Europeans (and later, white Americans) could consume sugar, coffee, rice, and tobacco.” Within Africa itself, the slave trade caused tremendous distortions in the development of Africa and gave rise to the major African slave-trading states in west Africa, as these states traded slaves to the Europeans for commodities that included guns. I am not going to put that much more on the history, but I am going to say read for yourself and change the way you live and act.

W.E.B. Du Bois, Gelatin silver print c.1911,
W.E.B. Du Bois, Gelatin silver print c.1911, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963).  The Souls of Black Folk.  1903.
The After-Thought
  Hear my cry, O God the Reader; vouchsafe that this my book fall not still-born into the world-wilderness. Let there spring, Gentle One, from out its leaves vigor of thought and thoughtful deed to reap the harvest wonderful. (Let the ears of a guilty people tingle with truth, and seventy millions sigh for the righteousness whichexalteth nations, in this drear day when human brotherhood is mockery and a snare.) Thus in Thy good time may infinite reason turn the tangle straight, and these crooked marks on a fragile leaf be not indeed

Thank God for the Boy’s Scout stance on representing “The Real Law.”

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Anti-ACLU
Anti-ACLU (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.

Abraham Lincoln

When I began to hash this issue out with myself and others I struggled. Felons break the contract of life when they commit any crime. Gay people break the Law of God and want to be a protected group. How is the Law of the land more important than the Law of God? Whales and other endangered species have rights, but certain human beings created in God’s image, prone to failure can not get any one to speak up for their rights.

I am excited by what I see going on in this world, for I know that it’s not over just because some Judges feel they have the power to render sound decisions, i am glad when I see these things that are against my Lord’s way of doing things, because I am assured of Him coming soon. I know what my bible says and it’s not over my God I am not looking at these injustices as the way they will forever be.

I want to take a look at the literacy of God rites;

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 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. NIV

Because this passage starts with “…because of this”, we must go back to where this begins at Romans 1:18 to find out what Paul was addressing. From 1:18-23, Paul is addressing that the wrath of God is against…

  • all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness
  • they [who] knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him
  • they [who] became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles

Romans 1:29 and on goes on to state that they are

  • filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed and malice
  • full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite
  • they are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God
  • they are insolvent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in the wickedness and rebellious towards their parents
  • they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless

Paganism, sensuality, idol worship, sin and lust were of part of everyday society in ancient Rome and a problem faced by early Christians. Paul’s letter to the Romans addressed the first century realities of Roman idolatry, fertility goddess worship and shrine prostitution. Romans is not theoretical. It is practical and focused on what Roman Christians encountered every day they lived in Rome.

Now, Romans 1:27 is speaking of perversion. What does this term mean? Perverting something is to twist, misuse or deviate from the norm. If one “exchanges natural relations for unnatural ones” or “abandons natural relationships”, it’s basically saying Paul disproved of sexual behavior contrary to a person’s nature. As it is normal for a heterosexual person to be attracted to a person of the opposite gender, it is normal for a gay or lesbian person to be attracted to a person of the same gender. Paul may be considering abnormal sex to involve sexual activity which is in violation of a person’s basic nature – something that goes against their sexual orientation. Or, as As C. Ann Shepherd writes:

When the scripture is understood correctly, it seems to imply that it would be unnatural for heterosexuals to live as homosexuals, and for homosexuals to live as heterosexuals.

The word “unnatural” in verse 26 is the Greek word “phusis”, meaning natural production or extension (i.e. having children) and it is likely that Paul’s concern was that the temple prostitutes who were female, were not getting pregnant (due to bodily damage and syphilis). Many people in the world have sex without the ability to re-produce. We no longer see that as unnatural or a result of sin. The word “natural” (referring to men) is the word “phisukos” and refers to instinct. Paul saw both slavery and sexual abuse of males non-instinctual. But what about gays and lesbians? Same-sex fulfillment is natural and instinctual. The key word is “unnatural”. Roman sexuality did not see same-sex practice as “unnatural”. In fact, to the Roman world it was very, very natural, even a part of growing up.

Over and over again, we see the Bible condemning orgies, molestation or sexual acts outside of a monogamous committed relationship. Who is to say this applies to modern day loving same-sex couples? Because God is the same yesterday and today and forever more.

Boy Scouts Maintains Gay Ban, But Accepts Convicted Criminals

The Boy Scouts of America might be adamantly against including gay members, but convicted criminals are another story.

The Human Rights Campaign recently obtained a Boy Scouts employment application and discovered that a criminal record apparently does not immediately preclude hiring.

“HRC obtained a copy of their job application, which says: ‘The Boy Scouts of America will not employ… known or avowed homosexuals,'” writes HRC. “The icing on top? ‘Conviction of a crime is not an automatic bar to employment’ according to the application. That’s right – a person’s sexual orientation is more of a red flag than their criminal record.”
Now, HRC is asking supporters to send letters to the Boy Scouts board demanding the organization end its policy of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually permissible in a number of states across the nation, including many in the Bible Belt — Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, to name a few. No federal law protects LGBT individuals. The Human Rights Campaign notes on its website that, in 29 states, it is not explicitly illegal to fire someone for being gay ; nor is it illegal, in 34 states, to discriminate against an employee over gender identity.

On Feb. 6, the Boy Scouts announced it will maintain the ban on gay members and leaders while it examines the issue ahead a decision in May. The group was supposed to come to a decision in February but has reasoned the delay is due to “the complexity of this issue.”

Gay rights groups are not buying it. GLAAD, for one, thinks the issue is clear-cut: “An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement.

I am one that likes to foster beliefs, that drive actions, that produce the ultimate competitive advantage. As we delve into deducing this predicament we will encounter those who feel they are God, but not I,

By considering verses 26-27 in isolation from their surrounding context, we could easily make the mistake of believing that the subject of his message was homosexuality. In fact, this was not the case. When homosex sexual intercourse was mentioned, it was specifically related to his message concerning people who were thwarting the revelation of God by engaging in idolatrous practices.

In verse 18, Paul transitioned into a discussion about a certain group of people against whom God’s wrath was revealed. He described the effects of their sin in verses 19-22, and then identified the group in verses 23 and 25. He was speaking about idolaters—people who changed the glory of God into fashioned images that resembled men and animals. These images are called idols, and it is from the worship of these idols that we get the word “idolatry”. And the worship of idols was exactly what the people Paul was referring to engaged in (v. 25).

Now that we’ve determined the context of Paul’s statement, we’re in a much better position to interpret and apply his words in a manner consistent with the original intent. Ultimately, the accurate interpretation boils down to the answer to a simple question: Does Paul’s condemnation of homosex sexual acts in verses 26-27 apply to any such acts in general (a moral pronouncement that is universally applicable), or does it only apply to such acts engaged in within the socio-religious framework of idolatry?

Most people will be quick to answer this question one way or the other, depending on where they already fall in their theological beliefs concerning homosexuality. They’ll choose to interpret the passage in a manner consistent with their existing beliefs. But, such an approach won’t serve us here because rather than looking to validate existing beliefs, we want to allow Scripture to speak for itself. Consequently, we have to look into the text itself to see if it provides any hints as to the answer to this pertinent question.

Such interpretational problems are a perfect case in point. Scripture is not to be used to validate doctrine. Rather, we should use it to formulate doctrine (2Timothy 3:16). If we start off reading a passage with an absolute certainty of what it means, it is ever-so-easy to read into the text a validation of those beliefs—whether the text itself actually supports those beliefs or not. I strongly encourage you to remain mindful of this when engaging in biblical study, especially when it involves issues with implications as serious as those surrounding sexual orientation.

So, which of these interpretations is correct? The only way a certain answer can be derived is by examining the text itself, as well as related passages, for clues. One very important rule of interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture. Let’s employ this rule and determine exactly what Paul is condemning.

The first thing that must be acknowledged is that the subject of this passage was, indeed, idolatry, not sexuality. Not only is this borne out by the verses preceding verses 26-27, but also, Paul made an explicit link between the idolatry that was his subject matter and the homosex sexual activity. In verses 23-24, Paul identified these people as idolaters (verse 23) and then said, “wherefore” (or “therefore”) in relation to God giving them up to sexual uncleanness (verse 24). Clearly, he was saying that their same-sex sexual acts were a result of their idolatry.

This isn’t where the connection ends, though. It’s interesting that people love to read verse 26 in isolation from verse 25; yet the very beginning of verse 26 states, “For this cause” (or “for this reason”). Well, for what reason? Seeing that God gave them over to “vile affections” (which were identified as same-sex sexual affections), what exactly was the reason? Was it because they were born that way? Was it because they were molested during adolescence? What exactly was the reason these people engaged in same-sex sexual activity? Well, if we back up to verse 25, we discover the reason. Paul explicitly told us that they “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” Again, Paul identified idolatry as the cause of their same-sex sexual activity.

I hope I have raised some spark of understanding within you about how awful this thing is in God’s eyes and for us as a nation.

Aaron