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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Christian pastors- hear me

Today I was hearing a discussion on the SCOTUS's upcoming looking into same sex marriage.  Before I get into what I have to say, let me preface.  If same-sex couples want to get married, fine.  Their sin is on whatever conscience they have.  If they want to do it in a Church, fine again.  There are a lot of fallen denominations out there that will be happy to help.  The Episcopals will, I believe, and I think the United Methodists will unite just about anything.  However, I feel that true, Bible-believing Christian Churches, who still teach that homosexuality is a perversion and an abomination as God taught, should have the right to refuse to provide the service.

But on the radio on the way home tonight, I heard that the spectre of tax-exempt status is being floated like a sword of Damocles above the heads of Churches that will not bend to "society's will".  Would they actually do that?  Well, one argument I am told was brought up by Justice Breyer compared refusing to marry homosexual couples is comparable to apartheid and Jim Crow segregation laws (which, BTW, was based on the Court coming up with "separate but equal").  The commentator pointed out that both of those were regional in scope and limited in time, where marriage has been "one man-one woman" for millennia- or to put it his way, "This isn't comparing apples and oranges, this is comparing apples to bricks."  Another argument being floated by one of the lady Justices was to bring up a Louisiana case from ages ago that held the man should get all property in a divorce.  What does that have to do with it?  The lady Justice claimed that "This proves that the concept of marriage has changed over the years."   No, it proves that legal distribution of properties has changed.  Marriage hadn't changed.


So, what is my point?  If you think for one minute that this sword of Damocles can't fall, Christian churches, you are WRONG.  THey can, and someday will, yank tax-exemption from you, and then where will you be?  The great palatial megachurches, from Blackhawk and Grace Gathering in Fort Wayne, to the great palaces in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Atlanta where your favorite TV and radio preachers hold forth, they will get hit first.  Do we downsize, sell, go bankrupt, get rid of our missions, food banks, and social services?  And the small ones, too, who don't have the Daddy Warbucks congregants to cushion the blow and function on a shoestring?  Their choices will likely be "all of the above."

This should send out a signal message- the day of the institutional Church may be coming to an end.  And don't expect that the government that pulls tax-exemption is going to give you a break.  In my opinion, pastors should be training up people to lead small, home based meetings in lieu of traditional services, because that will be the state of the Church sooner rather than later.  We should be ready, and willing to accept tomorrow's church will meet in 10s and 12s at George's house, or around a table at IHOP.   Now, some people might be saying, "Well, our church already does a lot of small-group stuff, it won't be that big of a transition."

Really?

Is your group leader fully trained, able to find a Bible verse at the drop of a hat?  Has he been asked all the questions that he is likely to need to know the answers to?  Has he been prayed for and prayed OVER- extensively?  There's a big difference between what these microchurches will need and, "Hey, Jack, Pete didn't show up, can you run adult Sunday School?"  Believe me, because I've done that before.  Men will have to stand in the breach like never before.  Is your group leader prepared for if the game gets serious?

I've said this before- we have to be ready for the day when Rome no longer hears the appeal.  Pastors, you cannot afford to wait on this!  The world you know could be drastically changed come June.  Do you have men that could help on a moment's notice in a month's, 3 months' six months' time?



20 comments:

  1. Chris:
    I've been one of "those men" at a church I attended back in Philly.
    You do what is asked, and trust in HIM.
    Loved the spiritual intimacy of he congregation as well as the Pastor and his way of making ANY situation one for praise to HIM.
    I agree totally with the way things are headed and your point about Jim Crow shouts volumes.
    "Apples to bricks"...excellent comparison.
    Let's not hope we ever become those huddled in some dark corner, afraid to bring HIS light into a world getting progressively darker.

    Very good call.

    Stay safe up there, brother.

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    1. I agree. I get mistaken for a rat in dark corners.

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  2. I do agree that churches should be able to deny or allow marriages as they see fit, based upon their beliefs. I do not believe in hurling hateful things like "abomination" around the way people do. When did homosexuality become the biggest baddest sin of all? Nothing in Jesus's teachings says that it is. We are all sinners in one way or another, in large ways and in small, and it was the sinners that Jesus called to him and accepted. Perhaps these churches that are allowing the same sex marriages are hoping that by showing love and acceptance and forgiveness, they might educate and later add a few more decent Christians to their number, rather than filling themselves up with people who wouldn't know the real messages of the new testament if Jesus himself slapped them in the face with a bible.

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    1. It doesn't really matter what the church wannts to show... and let me explain that. To accept the sinner is not a problem- IF the sinner wants to repent. And I agree, the only thing that makes this sin any bigger than the rest is the politicizing. BUT, and it's a big but, a true Bible based church CANNOT allow the condoning of the sin by marrying the sinners. They are by definition unrepentant in that case. And "abomination" is the word used in the old testament, which Jesus said not a jot or tittle would be changed in the law.

      There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven- rejecting salvation. But a Church needs to hold itself to Biblical standard, or else it's just a social club. Some churches- to which I belong, reject dancing at weddings because of "appearance", despite the fact that David danced before the Lord in a way his wife found "shameful". Too many are worried about appearance. If they want to exclude a person from their church based on homosexuality, I think they are on questionable ground. But I and Laurie found ourselves on questionable ground because we became house mates (withOUT benefits). And because of that, I wasn't allowed to lead prayers, teach Sunday school, etc. A similar thing would and should happen to an unrepentant homosexual. But the Church cannot sanction the sin by the service.

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  3. I wish I understood this stuff, Chris. I think I agree with you, but I'm unsure. My brain doesn't process things like non-profit vs for-profit (I've worked for both, and both have gotten their money the same way - from the state or Feds, so I don't understand). When I interviewed for Catholic Charities years ago, I had to either lie or agree that I'm anti-birth control. I wouldn't say that, so I didn't get the job. This is wrong to me, but it's certainly legal. Some rabbis marry same sex couples, and some don't. In my mind, they all SHOULD. If they chose not too, thankfully, couples have other options. I'm not sure how this fits with your argument. I don't think the "exempt" vs "non-exempt" label should dictate what a place can or can't do, though I understand that's the case.

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    1. Actually, the tax-exempt part is but speculation on my part. My concern is with the Church unprepared for a world about to turn on it.

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  4. I want to comment but then I don't. I respect you and really enjoy our friendship and I guess I fear that you will change your opinion of me. I truly consider myself a Christian who has given themselves over to GOD . I stay in prayer loyally and I have strong faith. With that, I don't have any problem with same-sex marriages. Much like your comment above, that's up to them and their conscience. I feel that who am I to have an opinion and say I have more rights then these thousands ( millions) of others who are homosexual. At the end of the day, I believe we will be surprised when we get to the pearly gates and see who all will be there to greet us.

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    1. Look, you never have to worry about saying anything here. For the reasons I gave to Mich, we disagree. Do I think all homosexuals go to hell? No, and I don't think all drunks, murderers, etc. will either. But it boils down to what's Biblical and what ain't. What is sanctioned by God in His word and what ain't. And yes, I believe that there will be surprises on both sides of the rope in heaven. Because a) He is a BIG God and we have small intellects, and b) His black and white may not be the same as our black and white. But He did give us His word, told us what is sin and what is not, and we have a duty to obey that.

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  5. What might happen is that the government's greed will seize on same-sex marriage as an excuse to do what they've been wanting to do all along: tax the churches. If that happens, many of the smaller churches will fold. The mega-churches will have to adjust their budget. Multiple cases will be filed with an eye on the USSC, and their ruling is unpredictable.

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    1. The bad thing is, I'm afraid that the budget-adjusting will come at the expense of the things that should be the last things to go. And yeah, I think that the court battles will be long and bloody.

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  6. We're of like minds here. I don't care who your dancing partner is. If you're a dude who wants to "marry" another dude, knock yourself out, Cupcake. You'll eventually have some 'splainin' to do. But, to hold the "sword of Damocles" over the heads of those who are true to their religion with the threat of losing tax exempt status...? Oh, I can see it. Because the new religion of Progressivism compels you to adhere to the morals of the State. You are so right.
    I wonder (and this is just a wonder), do mosques have tax exempt status (I'm sure they do and they should) and, if so (like I said, I'm sure they do), will they lose it if they refuse to sanction "marriage" between Ahmed and Ibrahim?

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    1. The internet tells me they do. Will it become an issue? Why would it? The issue is being driven by people who's minds are for the most part clouded by Satan, and he's as happy with unrepentant sinners as he is pagans.

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  7. No one can know what will happen, but it's safe to say change is coming. My hope is that the church, in spite of any changes, will remain. It's not a building, in the end. And none of society's arguments ends with eternal life. God's got this.

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    1. " And none of society's arguments ends with eternal life. God's got this." In a post full of great comments, one line says it all.

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  8. You know what I read this post 5 hours ago and I am only now getting around to commenting this is because I went out with mum to the nursing home before I had a chance to comment this morning and after getting home, having lunch seeing to the laundry and stuff it is now time to try and spend an hour blogging before I have to go out again. Anyway what was I going to say, well I don't think anyone has the right to force a church to perform a marriage, I have no problem with same sex couples getting married if they want to but I do not think it should happen in a church.

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    1. With all the stuff you have to do in a normal day, I don't even know how you find energy to blog! Thanks for the comment.

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  9. The narrow path keeps getting smaller ... and the broad path keeps widening. It's all making sense now ...

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  10. I think Cherdo is right, change is coming whether we agree with it or not. Somehow, the majority votes got lost along the way and those that squeal the loudest get their way. Until people who are angry about the change that's soon coming say and do something, I think this trend will be here to stay.

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    1. You know, my first big set-to with an atheist was over how he thought that the government was there to serve the minority interest rather than protect the minority and serve the popular interest. Not surprising as he was both atheist and gay, a condition I run into with alarming frequency.

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