God & HIV: Closer to the Cure

There was an article of a man who they think may have been ‘functionally cured’ of HIV. I did not read the entire article but apparently he went through an extreme procedure. I pray this really means they have found a cure to help the many, many people affected by it. The issue of HIV/AIDS is one that is very close to my heart. It is not just an issue in the gay community but in the entire world. In many countries where HIV is extremely prevalent, people with it are cast out of society like those in biblical times with leprosy. One Christian I know got to visit such a camp of people affected by HIV that was set up by a group of missionaries to take care of them. He told me that they are so starved for human contact that even simply touching them was like giving a fountain of water to a man in the desert. These people are thought to be below human in the eyes of their society, and still people in our own country wonder if HIV is God’s judgment on people. IT IS NOT! For anyone who thinks HIV is God’s judgment on the gay community, it is ridiculous. God does not reserve punishment for one people and not another. All humans are guilty and deserve judgment. “For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:11) HIV just like all other diseases and sicknesses is a product of the fallen world we live in. Therefore, we, as Christians, need to continually pray for those affected by it both for their physical and spiritual health. And we need to go beyond pray when possible, looking for ways we can aid in the endeavor to help those in need. It is not just a job for the missionaries and healthcare workers. All of us are called to help those in need.


Hollywood Biased Against Conservatives? Never!

Of course, the title is a joke because no one can deny such a statement as that which says Hollywood is biased against conservative. I try very hard to stay out of the whole conservative vs. liberal war because I am Christian and neither conservative or liberal. Obviously being a Christian, my views parallel those of the conservative more than liberal. I won’t denied it. Yet, I just had to post something about this article. It talks about a bunch of interviews with TV executives who admit on tape there biased feelings towards conservatives even to the point of refusing to hire them. I have to say that I think this is really ironic because of how much liberals push that conservatives are racist, sexist, and homophobic. Of course, both parties are very prideful. Who isn’t? We all deal with pride as probably the center of the human fallen nature. In the interviews shown, an illogical idea that the more liberal you are, the smarter. Such as one statement by Susan Harris, the creator of “Golden Girls” and “Soap”, saying: “At least, you know, we put Obama in office, and so people, I think, are getting — have gotten — a little bit smarter.” I mean that is a pretty ridiculous statement. I don’t say this because of any disagreement I have with Obama. It would be just as illogical and ignorant for a conservative to have said, “People in our country are getting smarter because Bush was elected twice.” Of course it is not limited to the liberal party. People of all groups act really stupidly. I continually see Christians saying things that just sound ridiculous. Many times I am one of those Christians.

There are two reasons why I decided to post this. First of all, we can complain as much as we want with the current state of Hollywood but it will only begin to change when someone decides that they are not going to let it stay that way. Some people are starting to step up to the plate such as the makers of “Fireproof” and the new movie coming out in September called “Courage”. The second reason is that we as Christians need to make sure we do not gain such an attitude. Everyone falls into it at some point. The first step on the road to humility is realizing how prideful you really are. It is the sin of judgment and pride as you think, “O those awful non-Christians. Well at least we are better than them.” We are not better than them. We are all sinners just the same the only difference is that our sin has been taken away by the Lord Jesus. Praise God.

The World’s Last Night

This whole prediction made by Harold Coming on the end of the world has made nationwide news especially  as the day came and left like every other day. End times prophecies is a very touchy subject in both Christian and nonChristian circles. Many Christians fall into one of two issues man times which both cause problems. Some become obsessed with prophecy as they attempt to decipher every little detail while others end up neglecting prophecies all together.

I have never found another holy book which emphasized the end times as much as Christian Scriptures. We, as Christians, cannot deny its importance in our faith. An entire book of Scripture deals with it for goodness sake. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 says, “Don not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.”  In this way we fall into the rut with people who say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” This can cause many problems such as blinding people from the reality of certain Scriptures and drain the emphasis out of the urgency for evangelism.

The other end of the spectrum is equally as dangerous. Many people spend days and years arguing over views on how to interpret prophecies. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:23, “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” In this way we turn away nonChristians who see how pointless and stupid it is to argue how many fingers the Antichrist will have. In this over occupation on prophecies, we also lose the point of the prophecies all together. The point of it all is to bring hope and judgment. They are all about Christ returning and therefore how are we going to live. “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,” 2 Peter 3:11. Jesus will return and we will be judged, and not just nonChristians but Christians as well. I do not mean judgment of salvation, but Scripture does say our deeds will be examined. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 says, “each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” Therefore even we Christians need to have a healthy fear of judgment day.

The prophecies also are meant to bring hope to Christians. Revelation was originally written to persecuted Christians to give them hope that one day judgment would come and their persecution. Yet it does not only give hope to persecuted Christians but all Christians. Romans 8:23 explains, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. ” I myself wait eagerly for the day when Christ will come back and release me from this body and sinful desires. It could happen at any moment and I say the sooner, the better.

So let us look forward to the day when Christ will return with eagerness and caution. It could come any second for the Lord isn’t slow to fulfill His promises.

Paradise Lost – Serving God Willingly or Unwillingly

Currently, I am reading Paradise Lost which is an amazing book and I great recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is a hard book to get through but a great accomplishment when you do so.  While I do not believe John Milton was a Christian because he denied the doctrine of the Trinity (this is not judgment on his character but on his doctrine which should be judged), I still am learning a lot about the nature of evil and human depravity. Through the beginning of the book you are taken on the journey of Satan’s fall to Hell and attempt to get revenge on God, and in it you find sympathy for Satan. This may sound crazy but you understand when you read the book for yourself. The crazy thing is that afterwards I realized “WOW! I just found sympathy for the devil! How depraved can I be!” It shows you the reality of human wickedness. How far from God must we be in order to find sympathy and identification with Satan. This was Milton’s point. God knew how evil humanity would become yet still He decided to create us and die for us! How great of a love is this! Nothing can match it or find equality with it!

The other interesting thing I found was through David Platt’s sermon on Angels and Demons which I have been listening to at the same time as reading Milton. He showed that as Satan has attempted to become equal with God, he has instead become the very opposite of Him. The only way to become like God is to become humble and therefore submit to Him. Desire for equality with Him only leads to becoming the very opposite of His essence. Isn’t it crazy how God works in this way! His sovereignty is also amazing because Milton points out that even in rebellion are doing God “mightier service as His thralls.” No one can escape His ultimate will. You will either work according to His plan in rebellion against Him or in service to Him. I do not necessarily mean that God predestined people to rebel. We all have the free will do choose between serving God willingly or in rebellion. No matter what you do though you cannot leave God’s control.

Religion and Science?

Is there any real conflict between science and religion?

Born This Way?

Honestly, I think the debate over whether people are born gay or develop a homosexual orientation has very little relevance or weight on whether or not it is possible to change or on whether you can live openly gay as a Christian. Yet it has become such a major issue that I felt I needed to address it here. First of all, what do scholars believe develops homosexual attractions in a person?

The American Psychology Association itself has stated,

“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”*

While I disagree with the APA on many things and many actions of theirs, I think I agree with almost all of their statement here. I question what the last statement means when it says, “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” If they mean that people do not experience a choice in the original development of their attractions then I agree. An orientation is much more than simply the attractions though. It is an identity and is therefore a choice even if it is strongly influence by those around the person. We all choose our identity.

It is very unlikely that attractions are developed solely through genetics or experience. There have been many cases of identical twins who turn out to have different sexual attractions. Yet there are also many cases of siblings who go through the same experiences and environment yet end up with different attractions as well. Therefore, most likely it is a mix of many factors. My own theory after much study is that there are genetics that make individuals more likely to have same-sex attractions, yet a majority of it is developmental and social.

I probably have a lot of Christians shocked that I said there is probably a genetic factor. What does it matter? There is this idea in our society that if it is natural then it is good. Most of that comes from the Renaissance which began glorifying things of natures. This is good in some ways but nature is not perfect especially in humans. Actually, it makes a lot of sense from the Christian perspective for there to be a genetic factor to homosexuality. Romans 5:12 says that we are naturally evil because of Adam. Genetics are flawed and many issues can have genetic causes such as alcoholism. Yet biology and genetics can be shaped.

“But why would God put it in your genetics if it is sinful?” Well first of all, God does not only control genetics but he also controls environment and development. Yet we do not hold him accountable for those things. Romans 5:12-17 shows us though that it is not God’s fault for our sinful nature but Adam’s.

We also need to spend less time pointing figures and more time taking responsibility for what has been given to you. A millionaire may end up spending all his money and therefore leave his children broke after dying at an early age, but the children are going to get no where while they complain about being given a rough hand. Instead they need to decide what they will do with the hand they were dealt. I do understand that we need to figure out where we have been to figure out where we are going to go, but after a while you need to just head forward. Fight the good fight and finish the race.

So to answer Lady Gage, I was born a sinner but I have been born again as a follower of Christ. I may still deal with my sinful nature, but I am being sanctified and looked forward to when I no longer struggle with any sin after I die.

Was Jesus Tempted With Homosexuality?

The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way yet did not sin and therefore he can relate to us in our struggles. But the question is, does that mean Jesus was tempted with homosexuality? John Piper gave an awesome answer here that I wanted to share with you guys.