A SIN PROBLEM WITH A JESUS SOLUTION

All in all, after everything has been examined and argued, dissected and debated – whether in matters of war and peace, religion and politics, gender and race, crime and justice, health and education, economy and environment, marriage and family, pride and prejudice, gossip and greed, arrogance and ignorance – it all boils down to this one thing: we have a sin problem with a JESUS solution. So until we get this right, and until He returns to make everything right again, we will continue to live in this world of hurt.

IT CAN’T BE A MATTER OF SEX…

So God created human beings, making them to be like Himself. He created them male and female, blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals.    Genesis 1:27-28

 

Lets just state the obvious, which should be pretty much apparent to anyone with even an ounce of common sense – it can’t be a matter sex, sexual identity, or sexual orientation because in other words, “that dog don’t hunt.” I’m referring to this latest homosexual, bisexual, transgender, etc… movement going on that appears to be gaining many enthusiasts. Men with men, women with women, and changing genders just don’t work. These are mistakes and misuses of how human beings have been created. It’s forced, it’s unnatural, and it’s vulgar. Forcing body parts into places where they don’t belong, forcing foreign apparatuses to arouse and whatever else, forcing doctors to change one’s sex is absolute madness. Women were made for men, and men were made for women by the great GOD who created us to be either male or female for a reason.

 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” …Then the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh. He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. Then the man said, “At last, here is one of my own kind— bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. ‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.”  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.   Genesis 2:18, 21-24

 

Only GOD has the right to determine how sex works and where sex belongs, and we have really messed this up – big time. If the human race has fallen so far that we can’t even get male and female right, we’re in major trouble, as nothing is more plain and clear than this is. As a society, we’ve got to learn that sex doesn’t make the world go around and we must take sex out of those places it doesn’t belong. Sex works well and right in the one place where it has always been intended to be – in the marriage between one man and one woman. There really is no such thing as a “same-sex marriage” since there is nothing to “marry” together between a man to a man, or a woman to a woman. The same substance cannot be “married” into the same substance since that’s what it already is.

 

Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.       Hebrews 13:4

 

 Yet sex is and has been human being’s demise and default through the ages, so this current push to mainstream anything and everything sexual should come as no surprise. But if sex is removed from this homosexual and transgender craziness (since it doesn’t work anyway), what are we left with? Something called friendship – pure and simple friendship. Friendship is a wonderful thing as it gives meaning to life in a variety of ways. People don’t need sex to survive, but we do need other people.

Sure, many people have forced themselves into believing they are something and someone other than what the facts tell them, and the term for this is called cognitive dissonance, which is well defined in the book titled Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), by authors, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, (Copyright 2007, A Harvest Book, Harcourt Inc., Orlando, FL) who write:

 

“The engine that drives self-justification, the energy that produces the need to justify our actions and decisions – especially the wrong ones – is an unpleasant feeling…called “cognitive dissonance.” Cognitive dissonance is a state of tension that occurs whenever a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent, such as “Smoking is a dumb thing to do because it could kill me” and “I smoke two packs a day.” Dissonance produces mental discomfort, ranging from minor pangs to deep anguish; people don’t rest easy until they find a way to reduce it… Dissonance is disquieting because to hold two ideas that contradict each other is to flirt with absurdity and…we humans are creatures who spend our lives trying to convince ourselves that our existence is not absurd.” (Pgs. 13-14)

 

Cognitive dissonance is what allowed people to participate in things like the Holocaust in Germany, the slavery of Africans, and taking the land and way of life away from Native Americans in North America. Cognitive dissonance is what drives people to believe that if they don’t have a strong attraction to the opposite sex, or fit the stereotypical and popular characteristics of most others of their gender, they must be homosexual or should attempt to change their identity. Cognitive dissonance is what leads hurting, wounded, lonely people, who feel isolated and alienated, and who don’t have the support of family and friends, to do just about anything to cope with their pain and try to feel better about themselves. When people believe they don’t belong it creates many problems – things like joining gangs, engaging in unsafe sexual activity and prostitution, abusing drugs and alcohol, over-working, over/under-eating, over-spending, over-medicating, etc… and even convincing themselves that they must be gay, lesbian, or the other gender. But they have it all wrong.

And since this movement can’t be a matter of sex or sexual identity or sexual orientation, it’s really about the basic human relational and emotional need of belonging. Everybody needs a place to belong. Everybody wants and needs proper and healthy amounts of affection, attention, connection, and correction. Everyone wants and needs to be accepted, affirmed, and approved of by other people. Everyone wants and needs to feel welcomed and valued. This is why GOD has gone to such great lengths to save people – to give everyone a place to really belong – no matter how messed up and empty one’s life may seem to be, or how much other people have abused, neglected, rejected, and disappointed us.

GOD welcomes us into His family and makes us His own sons and daughters when we exercise faith in His Son, JESUS, the Savior of the world.

 

“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.      2 Corinthians 6:18

 

Yes, the real matter is not sex, but belonging. Being alone and isolated, feeling outside and alienated is a maddening, depressing, and hopeless place to be. But JESUS has provided a better way, a good and safe place to belong, find love, and have real true life.

 

We know that we belong to God and the whole world belongs to the devil. We know that the Son of God has come. He has given us a heart to know Him who is true. We belong to Him who is true, because we belong to His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God. He has the life that will live for ever.      1 John 5:19-20

 

And with JESUS, there is no forcing required.

OPINIONS MATTER

There is a barrage of opinions being aired everyday about everything and this is good. Everyone is entitled to both have and to voice their own opinion about the various issues, items, and happenings going on, and everybody’s opinion is a valid one. Some opinions are right, some are wrong, and some are totally irrelevant, but still, opinions do matter. Differing opinions are not a problem, people should have different opinions about various matters because we are different – we have different needs, we have had different upbringings and experiences, and we view the world in different ways. Differing opinions drive people to talk, to test, and to try new approaches.

Yet few things in life are worse than having an opinion without knowing why you have it.

Problems arise from people without their own opinions who attempt to silence those opinions which oppose theirs. These people can provide no reason of their own for supporting the opinions they have adopted because their opinions belong to somebody else, i.e., they have an opinion without knowing why they have it.

Thus, these people are threatened because they know they cannot accurately explain or defend their opinion, since they have never really thought it through, so they resort to using force, generating fear, employing terror, and/or playing the role of the victim to accuse those who differ in opinion as being haters.

Really? Because I have a different opinion about a matter means that I hate? How and why can I hate people I don’t even know?

GOD-FEARERS & FOOLS

The wisest and richest human being who ever walked this earth, King Solomon of Israel, said these things:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.   Ecclesiastes 12:13

King Solomon’s father, King David, who is known as “a man after GOD’s own heart” and also a great leader and warrior, said this:

Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.” They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right.   Psalm 14:1

Thus, human beings who inhabit our planet can be broken down into pretty simple groups: We have males and females, and we have GOD-Fearers and Fools. The differences between males and females used to be as obvious and basic as anything can ever be, but even now that is being dissected, debated, and determined by high courts and science laboratories. So this post will focus on the main differences between GOD-Fearers and Fools:

  • GOD-Fearers acknowledge GOD as GOD and His Word (The Bible) as truth. They proclaim that He is the One, True, Triune GOD who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; our Creator, Savior, and Sustainer of life.
  • Fools make up a god of their own by forming an image, fabricating a notion, or formulating a scheme within their own imagination.
  • GOD-Fearers attribute all that is good, right, beautiful, and true to GOD.
  • Fools give credit to Mother Nature, Father Time, Lady Luck, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy – just to name a few.
  • GOD-Fearers admit dependence upon GOD, openly surrender control to Him, and yield their free will to His will.
  • Fools boast of their independence, strive for power, and force their will upon others.
  • GOD-Fearers accept that GOD is sovereign in all matters – the good, bad, and ugly, as well as life and death. They allow and invite GOD to work through all things for their good and His glory whether or not they agree with or understand why.
  • Fools panic, complain, and attempt to control and manipulate situations and circumstances in order to “fix” things and “avoid” all pain and strain, so they forfeit their opportunities to grow and develop through such happenings.
  • GOD-Fearers worship GOD. They give Him thanks and praise for who He is and for what He does.
  • Fools worship and praise the things GOD created – nature; people who are popular, powerful, and peculiar; and themselves.

So what group are you in – GOD-Fearers or Fools?

COURAGE, COWARDNESS, OR CRAZY?

There is a lot being said these days in respect to courage. Bruce Jennder, or, I guess it’s now officially, Caitlyn, is being praised and promoted by many media and special agenda groups as being courageous. But is this really what courage is? When did courage become a matter of constructing oneself to the feelings he/she might be having in a given moment, or even over a longer period of months or years?

Feelings certainly play an important role in our lives, for they give us insight into where we currently are physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually; but when feelings are allowed to take control, and become the driving force in our lives, the result is usually something closer to cowardness or craziness, certainly not courage.

For example:

Whenever someone says: “I feel _________” (fill in the blank).

The next question that should be asked is “Why?”

“Why do I feel this way right now?”

“Why do I feel ______ (fill in the blank) about this or that?”

“Why do I feel ______ (fill in the blank) about him or her?”

“Why do I feel______ (fill in the blank) about myself?”

Generally speaking, our thoughts produce our feelings which result in our behaviors. Our feelings are always legitimate, because they are what they are for whatever reason, and we certainly have the right to feel what we feel when we feel it.

Our feelings are neither right nor wrong, but the critical issue is what we do with the feelings we feel? It is important to be aware of them, to explore them, and to understand them; yet to go ahead and act on our feelings can be downright crazy, since this can cause all kinds of problems for us. Plus, our feelings are constantly changing.

Feelings come and feelings go. And our feelings are determined by so many factors like: who we are, what we are thinking about, where we are at, who we are with, what we are doing, what we want, what we need, etc…

Also, our feelings often work through our senses as the things we are seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting can all have an influence on what we feel.

Problems arise when people fixate on their feelings and allow them to control their thoughts and behaviors, without first questioning the feelings in a logical, reasonable, common sense approach. For unchecked feelings can give a person an inaccurate assessment of a situation. Here’s how this can work in some people:

When a person’s true or perceived emotional/relational needs are not being met in an adequate way by the significant people in his/her life, it can generate feelings of insecurity and inferiority, which then may lead the person into thinking he/she is unappreciated, unrecognized, unloved, and unwanted (and feeling these things too). So instead of questioning the feelings and communicating them to others (which would be the courageous thing to do), the person caves in to the feelings out of cowardness and often does something totally crazy.

Where can one turn when there is conflict and confusion between our thoughts and feelings? Where can we find a point of reference – a true north, an accurate measure, a proper gage?

The Word of GOD, The Bible. This timeless, best-selling book contains the standard operating procedures for human life, including all the basic instructions for making sense of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

There’s nothing like the written Word of GOD for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is GOD-breathed and useful one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live GOD’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks GOD has for us.     2 Timothy 3:15-17 (The Message)

THE SPECTRUM OF…FEMININITY AND MASCULINITY

There is a line. At one end is absolute femininity, at the other end is absolute masculinity. You, I, and every person on planet earth falls someplace – at our own unique point on this line. There is no right or wrong place to land – only our own place. This is who we are right now. Men and boys have some combination of masculine and feminine traits. Women and girls have some combination of feminine and masculine traits.

Then GOD said, “Let Us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So GOD created human beings in His own image. In the image of GOD He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27

GOD is neither male nor female, GOD is GOD. But GOD’s image, His likeness includes both masculine and feminine traits. Together, male and female, represent a better image of GOD than male does alone or female does alone.

Different people depict different styles of femininity and masculinity. Consider these females: Oprah, Madonna, Ellen, Miley Cyrus, Hillary Clinton, Danica Patrick, Taylor Swift, Serena Williams, Gisele Bundchen, and Queen Latifah. Now consider these males: Payten Manning, Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, Franklin Graham, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Anderson Cooper, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kanye West, Tiger Woods, and Gov. Chris Christie.

Where on the line do you fall in the Spectrum of Femininity-Masculinity?

<—————————————————————————————->

Femininity                                                                                                       Masculinity

 

Many factors have shaped and influenced this for all of us. The environment we were raised in as a child; the male and female role models and mother-father figures we had or didn’t have; the experiences we have gone through; our own distinct personalities; and our individual bents, leanings, and desires. Thus, based upon these factors, we all have certain people we relate best to; those we feel most comfortable being around; those whom we fit in with the easiest; and those we find ourselves attracted to.

Yet here’s the dilemma. Our uniqueness – our individual expression and presentation of our femininity and masculinity is one thing. Sexual activity is another thing. So why do so many people force these two things into the same package? Why can’t we leave sexual activity in the one place it was created for and should be reserved for, in marriage = one man + one woman. Sexual activity just doesn’t fit or belong everywhere and in everything we have forced it into. Human beings can survive and even thrive without being sexually active. Friendship is a wonderful invention in and of itself, that doesn’t need to be complicated or coerced through the madness of sex.

Thinking, feeling, and being different doesn’t demand that one must make it a license nor an excuse to twist, pervert, and change the truth about one’s self. But rather, it is a call and a challenge to develop and display one’s own style of femininity and masculinity – wherever it my fall along the spectrum – in a way that is honorable, respectful, dignified, tasteful, and fun. Boys are boys; girls are girls; men are men, and women are women – and each of these come with some standard operating procedures.

The greatest expression of love is to deny one’s self – through sacrifice, service, and sharing. But we live in a society where everyone is defining his/her self and his/her happiness through their sexual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors – which are being called love and confused as love.

Then He (Jesus) said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Jesus asks us to deny ourselves, rather than to defend ourselves. So let’s admit it, each one of us is a mess. Let’s invite Jesus into our lives and allow Him to re-make us into our true selves. Over time Jesus can and Jesus will change all the things that are in us that are not of Him and not like Him. I personally don’t know what that means for you, as He has His hands full with the work He is doing in me.