“Facebook, Gay Marriage and Persecution?!”

The Lord Jesus Christ said these words: Matthew 5:11  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12  Rejoice and be glad…”  “Blessed” means “You are being blessed” or “You will be blessed!” “Rejoice” means…”rejoice!”  It literally means “Be glad!  Celebrate!”  “Really Lord Jesus?  Please help me here…when people I know …even people with whom I have a relationship …family or friends…when those people attack me and mock me and say all kinds of false things about me and call me a thoughtless and cruel bigot…I should celebrate?  Like when I had my first child and I bought a bracelet to commemorate that event…and when people say to me ‘Oh I like your bracelet’ and I say ‘Oh thank you!  I bought this to celebrate the birth of my fist child!’  So…I should buy a ring or a necklace and when people say ‘Oh I like your necklace!’  I should say ‘Yes thank you!  I bought this to commemorate the time several of my friends told me that I was hateful and wicked and very, very ignorant!  They told me I was a stupid bigot!  I was so blessed to hear that! I just rejoiced!”  Ahh….does anyone really live that way?  Maybe not.  But Jesus said…we should.

Years ago, there was a television series called “Mission Impossible.”  It was clever. The plot was always the same.  Some sort of secret agent was told about an incredible mission to infiltrate a group of very bad guys…or pull off a kidnapping of some agent of evil.  The job was always extremely daunting yet the Mission Impossible agent accepted it.  The Head Agent always began the show with these words: “Here is your assignment …if you are willing to accept it!”  He wanted it to be entirely clear that the assignment would be dangerous and very, very difficult.  And he wanted it to be totally clear as to exactly what the assignment was.

I think the Word of God in the New Testament is saying to us as Christians: “Here is your assignment if you are willing to accept it…tell the world of Christ and speak up for God’s righteousness and expect to be persecuted and misunderstood and even hated.  That is your assignment.  Are you willing to accept that?”

Many of you who enjoy Facebook have been badly outnumbered by those go do not fear God.  I have spoken with several people, especially some of our younger people, who have tried to defend the Biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman.  And for their trouble they have been mocked and treated with hatred.  People they thought were their “friends” and even family have called them bigots and backwards and out of touch with the times.  And I am not surprised.  A few thoughts.

FIRST: GAY MARRIAGE WILL BECOME MORE AND MORE ACCEPTED IN OUR SOCIETY.  But no matter what you hear, it is not Biblical.  It never will be.  The Bible makes it abundantly clear in both the Old Testament and the New Testament that homosexual activities are abominable to God.  No matter how many people who say they are Christians say otherwise, they are simply wrong.  That includes clergy.  From the very beginning of the Word of God we see only marriage between man and woman as the pattern instituted by God. We read in Leviticus:

Leviticus 18:22 (NIV) 22 “’Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”  

“Detestable” is the Hebrew word “Toy-eh-bah” and it means morally disgusting and abominable.  If the Bible is the Word of God then it is impossible to say that God approves homosexual activities and behavior.  Some people admit that homosexual activity is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments but insist that Jesus never condemned homosexual activities.  We need to remind them that the Lord Jesus never condemned abortion or kidnapping or wife-swapping. But no one would suggest that he was fine with those behaviors.

In addition, the Christian needs to respond to another argument raised by those who hear us quote Leviticus.  They make a fair point.  Namely this: Leviticus also condemns many other behaviors such as wearing the wrong clothing or clipping the edges of a man’s beard [Lev. 19].  They will then suggest that we don’t concern ourselves with those laws or rules so why the obsession about homosexuality?  Fair question.  It’s helpful to remember that ancient Israel was a unique nation unto God with some behavioral rules that would not be trans-cultural.  The sensible question seems to be “What moral rules can be understood as trans-culturally normative?  And on what basis should those rules be assessed?”  Perhaps just plain common sense must be applied?

Some who dismiss the Levitical regulations stumble over themselves by arguing for wholesale distain towards that third book of Moses.  They would dismiss the Levitical rules against homosexuality but would they want to dismiss the other Levitical rules against sexuality within families or with animals?  True, some of those ancient regulations spoke to fabric choices and haircuts, but would they dismiss this one?

Leviticus 18:7 (NIV) 7  “Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.”  

Actually, much that is found in Leviticus Chapter 18 will be perfectly reasonable and acceptable to modern ethicists.  So, they might say “Well, of course we agree that the prohibition against sexual relations with your mother were and are appropriate.”  But why?  On what basis are such advocates of dismissing the prohibition against homosexual activities free to not dismiss other prohibitions?  Common sense?  It must be admitted that at some point simple moral judgment is applied.  My point is only that dismissing the Holiness regulations of Leviticus ends up being a subjective exercise suited to one’s current view of things…especially homosexual activities.

Beyond that, the point is that the sexual purity rules of Leviticus were carried over as a given into the New Testament era.   But most modern people disregard the New Testament as well.  It speaks of homosexual activities as sin and wickedness before God.  Paul says by the Holy Spirit, for example, that because of man’s wickedness God actually gave man over to such evil actions.  We read:

Romans 1:21-25 (NIV) 21  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.  

Yes, there has always been homosexual activity in the world since sin entered in.  But this portion of the Bible reminds us of something we should not forget.  That when it becomes rampant God actually allows it to increase so that when judgment comes his case against man will be incontrovertible.  Now this text says it was their idolatry that caused their darkness and brought on the degrading of their bodies.  Christian: be certain of this.  We are living in an age of idolatry!  Modern people in their affluence and post-modern thinking have turned away from God and passionately replaced him with an idol.  That idol is self!

Remember, post-modern thinking says that everything man did up until the middle of the last century was ok but now the time has come to set those things aside.  It says that very little can be certain and that man is free to create his own set of values.  Above all, tolerance must prevail. That there is no outside force…no God to whom we must give an account.  We are to be our own judges and we do not want to be told we are wrong.  In fact, there is no such thing as wrong…just different opinions.

Of course, these folks are actually among the most intolerant because if you disagree with them they will condemn you.  And the one thing that is absolutely intolerable is Biblical Christian morality.  Ironically, some will even condemn you and say faithful gay relationships are themselves Biblical!

I recently I heard one of these folks say this:  “You are a Christian saying you oppose gay marriage.  But other Christians are fine with gay marriage.  Therefore, you are hiding behind what you insist the Bible says but really you are just a terrible bigot!” But the Bible does say it is abominable and anyone who says it does not is simply wrong.  Gay marriage will become more and more acceptable and it is a symptom of an increasingly darkened society.  Any nation that is not ashamed to put a million and a half unborn children to death every year will certainly not be too troubled by gay marriage. Their thinking is darkened.

SECOND: HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO BEING PERSECUTED FOR DEFENDING BIBLICAL MARRIAGE?  

We should not be surprised.  This is why the Lord Jesus Christ said:

4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 

We are the people who have Christ in us and we are, in this life, in an ongoing state of mourning.  We are mourning for a lost world that has turned away from God and we are hungering for a world that loves God and lives accordingly.  In other words, we are exactly where we should be as Bible-believing Christians.  We simply do not fit among the nations that hate God.  We will eventually be comforted but for now we should expect to be attacked and mocked.  The Apostle Paul  warned us about this reality:

2 Timothy 3:12 (NIV) 12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…

We should also keep in mind that such attacks are almost always what are called “ad hominem” attacks.  Here is what we mean by that if you are not familiar with this concept.  “Ad hominem” literally means ”to the man” or “against the man.”  In other words, if I cannot discredit your point of view or your argument I simply discredit you personally.  I have spoken out respectfully for the Biblical teaching about homosexuality and been called a Bible thumper.  So, then I have spoken out against homosexual behavior from a medical viewpoint.  I have pointed out that the morbidity rates among active homosexuals, especially men, are terrible.  Increased cases of cancer and suicide…shorted life pans.  These ideas cannot be contradicted but then I’ve been called “homophobic.” These are “ad hominem” attacks not against my arguments but against me.

Those of you who have been shocked by what some people have said to you or about you….join the club.  Darkened people who do not know God actually think they are being kind and generous and thus you must be cruel and hateful.  So, they call you a bigot.  A word that has come to mean a hateful person who simply hates people who don’t agree with his or her point of view.  The irony is that there are millions of people who really are bigots against evangelical Christians.  They are quite certain that we are ignorant and hateful without cause.  Do not be surprised.  We should react by not being surprised and we should remind ourselves that following Christ will cost us something.  But we are blessed.  Jesus said:

10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  

THIRD:  SHOULD WE SIMPLY STOP SPEAKING OUT AND LET THE WORLD JUST RUMBLE TOWARDS JUDGMENT WITHOUT WARNING THEM?

We should speak out for several reasons.  We have to raise kids in this society and we have a right to oppose evil that will seep into their lives.  But when we speak out, we should keep in mind that God does not really need us to defend his honor.  He will take care of that.  We speak out for love of God for sure.  But he is not biting his nails over this and he is sovereign.  We should pray the court does the God-fearing thing and we should pray that America enters into spiritual revival.  But we should also know that when we speak out, we are playing the part of a prophet.  Someone who is speaking for God.

We should speak the truth in love and never lapse into cruelty or hatefulness.  But we should be prepared in the same way the prophets of old were prepared.  What do I mean by that?  Consider what God said to the Prophet Jeremiah when he sent them to warn the people of Judah in about 650 BC.  Notice what was said by God to him:

Jeremiah 7:27-28 (NIV) 27  “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28  Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.

We must grasp those words: “They will not listen to you! Truth has vanished from their lips!”  Now, we do not  know if God will yet have mercy on America and bring it under conviction for killing the unborn and for gay marriage.  Perhaps America will listen.  But here is the point: when you speak up for righteousness, don’t do so for the results that you’d like to see.  Do so as a prophet speaking for God.  He wants his people to speak out in love so that the message is given.  But it’s like sharing the Gospel.  We share it but we know that we cannot talk anyone into believing; that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

One other point.  If wrestling with the world and its darkness wears you down, take a break.  You don’t have to fight every battle on Facebook or in the press.  A good formula is to remember that God wants his own to have the fruit of the Spirit.  Sometimes in our zeal we can become totally joyless and angry and then we can become hateful.  Don’t let your zeal cost you this:

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) 22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness and self-control.

If you are losing that fruit you are arguing too much.  The Evil One loves to draw God’s people into a state of spiritual fruitlessness.

One other thing. Remember that people who are unsaved and without the Holy Spirit cannot share your views about what God requires.  Again, Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) 14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This may lead you to conclude that some of your “Christian” friends are not Christians at all.

FOURTH AND FINALLY: WHY IS GOD ALLOWING SUCH WICKEDNESS?

In my view,   judgment on America has begun.  I have long wondered when God would punish a nation so blessed that has become idolatrous and greedy and totally taken with pleasure and excitement.  Godlessness is among us.  Thus, we have wholesale violence  in our media and non-stop sensuality everywhere we look.  Interesting that those who own guns are currently buying up all of the bullets.  Even unspiritual people sense that disintegration is on the way.  God allows these things as Paul explains:

Romans  2:5 (NIV) 5  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Much of what we are seeing is the work of God “storing up wrath for the day of judgment.”  Christian, you do not have to win the argument.  You need only to follow Christ and remember Paul’s other great explanation:

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV) 14  But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

This is our assignment:  to be the fragrance of life to those who are being saved and the stink of death to those who perishing.  Are we willing to accept it?  Are we willing to rejoice…and accept it?

8 Comments

Filed under Homosexuality

8 responses to ““Facebook, Gay Marriage and Persecution?!”

  1. Reading this was so helpful to me, and two parts were particularly helpful: 1) “We are mourning for a lost world that has turned away from God and we are hungering for a world that loves God and lives accordingly.” 2) “But here is the point: when you speak up for righteousness, don’t do so for the results that you’d like to see. Do so as a prophet speaking for God. He wants his people to speak out in love so that the message is given.” This takes a big weight off my heart. I always benefit from reading the sermon, as well as listening to it. I get so much that way. Thank you. Blessings. 🙂

  2. Jody Rudolph

    Amen! I am so glad I read this. I have to admit that the assignment is hard. It’s hard when people you respect reject you for your beliefs, it’s hard when your kids don’t get invited to a party because they innocently shared an “opinion”. But I love my Jesus and his reward is greater than anything this world has to offer. So I pray that God keeps our heart soft for those lost in sin. They really aren’t rejecting me, they’re rejecting Jesus.

  3. Mashal

    Hello. I’ve been informally following your blog and I love God very much and just wanted to offer advice in an informal way. God is so worthy of our worship, this is me defending his nature. I also love Jesus and I want to defend his nature, because Jesus would have abhorred the ideas implied in this article. Jesus cannot be God because this is an issue of salvation.
    First, God cannot be born. God did not come into existence. He has always existed. He did not come into existence from nonexistence. He was not born, he was not created. He has always been before there was even a thing called time. As we all know, Jesus Christ peace be upon him, was born. He was born without a father. Yes indeed that was one of his true miracles. But he was indeed born. He was in the womb for nine months and he was indeed born. Jesus, peace be upon him, had a beginning. God has no beginning and God has no end.
    Second, there are no explicit verses in any scriptural texts, especially the Bible, that say so, that is, that Jesus is God. Now God, when he speaks of things, when he talks of his own characteristics, and who he is, he is very, very explicit. For instance in Isaiah, 46:9, God says, “I am God and there is no one like me.” Also the verses that Jesus quoted, which is one that is quoted in Jewish synagogues every time they have service, “Hear o Israel the Lord our is our God the Lord is One…and there is no other but He.” You can read about God’s characteristics when he describes himself, and they are all explicit. Now there are some verses in the New Testament, which can be implicitly interpreted as Jesus having claimed some type of divinity, but if that was such a big characteristic, if it was such a big deal that Jesus was God, if this was the way of salvation, that he was God in the flesh come to sacrifice himself for the sins of humanity, then that is something God would have been explicit about because it is an issue of SALVATION. God does not beat around the bush about these types of issues when it comes to who He is. He is very clear with the Children of Israel, I am God there is no one like me. Do not worship anything else, period. And Jesus came and quoted these same very verses. So if it would have been an issue of salvation that he was God, he would have very clearly stated that I am God. He would not have told the Jews when they said that you call yourself God he said you say that I am. He would have very clearly said Yes, I am God, and I’m here to save you from your sins. He never stated that in anywhere and it’s never referenced in any scriptural text of any religion whatsoever, so therefore if God was so explicit about his nature, why when it comes to him becoming a man did he not explicitly state so. Explicit means clear-cut and unequivocal. It’s not something that you need a scholar to interpret. If God’s nature was that he was coming in the form of a man, he would have made it so even a five-year-old child could understand that. Jesus never said, “I’m God.” Jesus never said, “Worship me.” No explicit statement, ever.
    Thirdly, the Bible says by God’s own word that no one has ever seen God at any time. This is very clear. In John 1:18, it says no man has seen God at any time. In first John, no man has seen God at any time. Even Jesus’s own statement in John 5:37, Jesus says and the Father himself has sent me, and borne witness of me, and you have neither heard his voice, nor seen his face at any time. And Jesus was standing right there amongst them. So had he been God, why would he say, you’ve never seen God at any time. If he were God he would have said, “You’re looking at God right now. You want to see God? Look at me.” And there are some verses that someone can reiterate and can say, ok, we said anyone who has seen me has seen the father. If you’ve seen me then you’ve seen the father. Or, “I and the father are one.” But if you read the context of these verses rather than just taking the sentence out, you’ll see that he was speaking about being one on purpose. Even the one when he said, I and the father are one, he was speaking about that just as no one can pluck the children of God out of God’s hands, no one can pluck them out of my hands because I and the father are one. Meaning that we are one on purpose. We have the same exact mission. I am God’s representative. And anything that He wills, is what I want.
    Fourthly- this concept was not taught by Jesus, nor his disciples, nor was it believed in by the early followers of Christianity. As we see when they found the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran, we see that the early Christians were still a part of Judaism. For instance when, if you read the book of Acts, when Jesus Christ had departed from this Earth, the disciples still attended the synagogue everyday. They still went daily to the temple of Jerusalem and worshipped as the Jews worshipped, because this is what Jesus Christ brought. He brought the renewal of the laws of Moses. So if the disciples were running around teaching people that Jesus was God, they would have been banished out of the temple the day they walked in. Or, they would have started their own church. Jesus went to the temple HIMSELF. He did not build his own church anywhere and say worship me. He went to the temple and worshipped God in the same way that Moses worshipped God. The same way that Abraham worshipped God. The same way that David worshipped God. The same way that Zachariah worshipped God. You know he did the exact same thing and his disciples followed him, and if you look at the first, second century Christians, they did the same thing. The people of Qumran, those who wrote the dead sea scrolls, they were also apart of Judaism, they considered themselves practicing Jews who followed Jesus as their prophet. So we see that nothing had changed. This whole concept of trinity did not come about until the third century of the church and it was not formulated as a doctrine that must be believed in until 325 AD at the Council of Nicea when all of the bishops and the scholars of Christianity started to form into Christianity after Paul, came together and said ok this is a doctrine that we must believe in. And the first person to expound this doctrine was Paul, who never saw Jesus Christ himself, never walked with him, never talked to him, never saw him, never ate with him, never learned from him. It was something that he formulated off a vision that he said he had while he was on the road to Damascus to actually persecute Christians. So he was the first person to ever come up with this title of Christian, to ever come up with this title of trinity, to ever come up with the God ship of Jesus Christ, or only begotten son, all of these things came with Paul the apostle.
    Is the word trinity ever mentioned in the Bible? No, it does not exist and there’s only one verse that even barely mentions it, it’s first John 5:7, there are three that bear record on earth, the father, son, the Holy Spirit, and there are three that bear record in heaven, the blood, the water, but if you go and research that verse almost all biblical scholars have removed that verse from the Bible because it is not a verse that was ever in the Bible. If you go get a revised standard version of the Bible, a new standard version of the Bible, all of those have removed that verse because it is explicitly not apart of the Bible, it is not found in any manuscript before 1200.
    God is one. Not three in one. Jesus never taught the trinity. The word trinity appears no where in the Bible. This is something man made.
    Fifthly, Jesus ate, slept, and prayed. And we know God, by his very nature, is self-sufficient. He does not need anything to continue his existence. God does not need to eat. God does not need to sleep. God does not need to pray. God is not in need of anything because if he was in need of something, he would not be God. He would need something else other than himself to exist, that therefore would take away his God ship. And we know that Jesus Christ was born, we know that Jesus ate, we know that he slept, and we know that he prayed. Had he not ate, slept, or drank any water, he would have died. Therefore he was not self-sufficient. He needed something to continue his existence. Therefore by his very nature of not being self-sufficient, and God being self-sufficient, those two things can’t mix. You can’t be self-sufficient and not self-sufficient all at the same time. And then Jesus prayed. He was in need of prayer. And anytime he had an issue, he would pray. He would tell the disciples, I need to go pray. Wait here while I pray, wait here while I pray. He would go to the temple, pray. Prostrating on his face, on the ground. This in his very nature shows that he was in need of something greater than himself. Because that is the essence of prayer, is showing that you’re in need of someone who is greater than you. Even people who worship idols, they believe that the idol is greater than them, therefore they pray to it. So if Jesus was God, what was the need of his prayer? He would have been telling to people to pray to him! “You need to pray to me. I don’t need to pray to anyone.” So therefore by his very nature of necessity, of him being in need of something else, he cannot be God.
    Sixthly, Jesus claimed that God’s knowledge was greater than his. When he was asked about the hour, the Day of Judgment, he said of that day, no of no man, no of angels in the heaven, nor the son, but only of the father that has knowledge of that hour. So if he would have been God, he would have known that. If the trinity was indeed true, and God was god, Jesus was god, and the Holy Spirit was god, they’re all the same person, that means how does one not know the same information the other one knows if they are the same person. If God knows the hour, Jesus should know the hour. The Holy Spirit should know the hour. They should have all known that thing but even Jesus said in another verse, in John 14:28, he said, the Father’s greater than I. He admitted the Father is greater than I. So if they are equals, how can one be greater than the other. If they are both indeed God, how can one be greater than the other. So showing that Jesus did not have the exact same knowledge that God has, how could he be God. You see these are statements that are very explicit and if you weigh all of these statements against the ambiguous ones, which ones are going to weigh out more? Point-blank, explicit, to-the-point statements, or statements that could be interpreted this-way, that-way by any one who wants to and wants to give them an interpretation. These cannot be interpreted any other way than Jesus was not God. He was something less than God. You don’t have to be a doctor, a theologian…the layman can understand this.
    Seventhly, everyone should be able to understand this. This concept of trinity cannot be explained to a child. Let’s take a six, seven-year old child and explain to him the trinity. He would never grasp that concept. And God’s way of life is something that is for EVERYONE. It should be able to be explained to something who is ILLITERATE, it should be able to be explained to someone who has a PhD in Rocket Science, it should be able to be explained to someone from Bob Jones University, it should be able to be explained to someone from anywhere in the world, it should be be able to be explained to a child, it should be able to be explained to a deaf person. But you cannot explain this concept of trinity. There was a British professor named Richard Parsons. And he was debating this concept of trinity with a friend of his who was a Trinitarian. And they were debating this issue, and a carriage came along. And it had three people in it. And the friend, the Trinitarian said, “Look, look. There’s a good example of the trinity. One carriage, three people in it.” He said, no you want to show me the trinity? Show me one person in three carriages. One person in three carriages, then I’ll believe your trinity. Show me one person, the same person, in three different carriages. Then you will have explained to me the trinity. That means nothing to me. I thought that was very interesting because it’s a concept that you can’t explain. It’s unexplainable. All these things, the egg with the yolk and the coat with the shirt, these are things that are not understandable by anybody unless you have some rocket science PhD and then they would even be confused. And even in the Bible, even in the Bible, God says he is not the author of confusion. So if that is confusing, then someone else must have authored this whole idea. But when you tell that same child, worship him alone, he’s the only one that you should worship, they can understand that. One God. He’s not like a pie that you can split up.
    Eighthly, Jesus explicitly states that he is not God. Now we think that Jesus implicitly states that he is God, there are some ambiguous verses, but what about where he explicitly states that he is NOT God. For instance in John 17:3, he said, “And this is life eternal. This is the way to eternal life, that they may know you, the one true God, (note: one, true, God), and Jesus Christ whom you have SENT (note: SENT).” As a messenger. He said this is, in a nutshell, what I have come to teach. That they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. And also in the Bible when he ascended to God, he told them he said, I ascend unto my father, your father, my God, and your God. He very clearly equated her God (Mary Magdelene’s God) and his God as being one in the same God. He didn’t say I’m going to ascend to myself, and to your God, and to me. This doesn’t make any sense. Even if someone would have said that he would have taken him as a fool and a half, if he’s saying I’m going to ascend unto myself, i.e., “Your God is me and I’m going to myself.” But he very clearly stated, the one true God, and “I am ascending to your God and my God.” Point-blank clear. Those things can’t get anymore simple. You’ve got to be honest with yourself. This is something that goes with your innate nature as a creation/human being, not against it.
    Ninthly, even when you get to the title, “Son of God,” even when you get the title only begotten son of God, this is not an exclusive title to Jesus Christ which many people think. There are many, many, many, MANY instances where the word “Son of God” was used. And if anyone would study Jewish culture, especially ancient Jewish culture, orthodox Jewish culture, to be called a “Son of God” is a title of esteem, and a title of prestige and honor. Even being called “Lord.” Someone would come to their rabbi and they would refer to him as Lord. This is something that is known by Eastern Europeans also. They refer to people as Lord. So this title is not exclusive. And Jacob, Solomon, and Exodus are called sons of God. Adam is called son of God in the New Testament. Common people are called sons of God in the new and old testament. So these are not something that is an exclusive title. And I had a discussion with a pastor about this and he said, yes but Jesus wasn’t the only begotten son of God. And I said, OK, what gives him that exclusive title. What is the characteristic that gives him that exclusive title. He says the New Testament says that. I said yes but there must be a reason why he has this exclusive title. And he says because he was born miraculously without a father and in Jewish culture, your lineage was from your father’s side, you would be the son of your father, of his father, that’s how your lineage was traced. Not through the mother. So therefore since his lineage stopped at Mary, he had no father, therefore God must be his father. I said, OK that makes sense. That would make sense to an average human being. I said but if that is the characteristic for his exclusive son-ship, that he has no father, then what about Adam and Eve? They had no father nor a mother, they were fashioned as God says by his own hands out of dirt. And he just made them, out of nothing. Nothing existed other them creation. And he made Adam, and out of him, made Eve. From him he took the rib out and made Eve. So if anyone had the exclusive title to be the only begotten son of God it should have been Adam. Because not only was he without a father and mother, he was the first creation. Therefore why does he not have that title. Why are we not worshipping him as the exclusive son of God. And he had no answer to that. And it was not to bash him. It was just to say that this was not an exclusive to say, oh because he has no father, he is God’s exclusive son. This was the extreme MIRACLE that was exclusive, that was one of the exclusive things to the Children of Israel about Jesus Christ, was that he had no father. He had no father at all. He came directly from a virgin, who had never touched another human being, and that was his miracle. In fact, according to the Quran, the holy book of Islam, when Mary brought the child, they accused her of adultery. But the miracle was that God made Jesus speak in the womb. He made him speak as a baby and say that I am the messenger of God. Are you SURPRISED that God can do this? God can do ANYTHING. That’s why Jesus was giving more miracles than almost any other prophet. He was giving physical miracles to soften the deadened hearts of the Children of Israel at that time. That’s why he was given such great miracles to heal the blind, to heal the sick, to bring people back to life from the dead, being born of a virgin, all of this was because this was one of God’s last messengers, he was the next to last messenger to be sent to the Children of Israel and they rejected him. That’s when God decided to send Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, as a mercy to all the world, cause we even know that Jesus was not sent to all the world, he was sent to the Jews. Even in his own statements, he said I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He’s not a prophet that was for everyone. He was a prophet that was exclusively for their people, as was every prophet before him. Every nation was sent a messenger. The Children of Israel were sent more than anyone. But finally, God decided to send one for the blanket of humanity, and that was Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. If you want to read the nativity story of Jesus, go read Chapter 19 of the Quran. It will make you cry. It WILL make you cry. Because it’s NOTHING like the Bible. Remember: God doesn’t die. Just as dogs have puppies, cats have kitties/kittens… God doesn’t have baby Gods. God doesn’t have human needs.

    Tenthly, God cannot change. In Malachi, there is an explicit statement that is directly attributed to God, whether it’s from God or not, who knows, but this is a statement that is attributed directly to God, God says, “I do not change.” Therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed. He was stating that I do not change in my nature. I don’t be happy one day, sad the other day, angry the next day, his nature does not change. Therefore, God cannot be subjected to the same laws which he created. For instance, God created time. Therefore, he cannot be subjected to time. He does not pass through time. He doesn’t get old. He doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t get sleepy. He doesn’t go through the same stages of time that we go through. He created air, therefore he doesn’t need it. He created the Sun, therefore he doesn’t need its warmth. He doesn’t get hot, he doesn’t get cold. These things do not happen to God. God cannot put himself into a human body, come on this Earth, be subjected to time, be subjected to hunger, be subjected to tiredness, be subjected to being whipped and beat and hurt, these are things that God CANNOT, by his very nature, be. Some people say that God can do anything. And that is not a correct statement: God can do anything that is amenable to his nature. For instance, God CANNOT go to hell. God cannot go to heaven. God was not born. God doesn’t eat. There are certain things he CANNOT do because it would be AGAINST his nature. It would be against God-ship. It would make him less than God, so God can do anything, except that which would make him less than God. Any attribute that can be attributed to human beings, is something that cannot be attributed to God. Things that are attributed to God, like mercy, can be attributed to us. But anything that is attributed to us, cannot be attributed to God, cause it would make him less than God. God has no beginning. God has no end. God is most just. He cannot be unjust. God is most truthful. God cannot lie. All of these things that we do that make us less than perfect, God cannot do because he IS perfect. Anything that would subtract from his nature of being God, he cannot do. If something makes him less than God, then he cannot do it. Natures that are not God-like cannot exist in God. They can only exist in his creation. Because he created those very natures. Therefore God cannot have them. God does not change. That’s another reason why the trinity cannot exist: He does not change in the middle of the whole scenario and say you know what, I’m going to change the whole method of salvation. God is consistent. God does not change, therefore we know that he’s not going to change His method of salvation. The method of salvation has always been the same is that you have to go to God directly by showing that you are worthy of forgiveness, by working and earning forgiveness, and therefore HE forgives YOU. And then doing good deeds. That’s the way it’s always been. That’s the way it’s always going to be. God does not change. God is CONSISTENT. God ALWAYS has delivered, will deliver, and currently delivers. This is going to be the method of salvation. And when Jesus Christ RETURNS, he will make these things, once again, crystal CLEAR. First thing he will do is he will break the crosses, saying to the world, I was not crucified. Second thing is he will kill the swine, saying I never broke the law of Moses. I came to teach the law of Moses, therefore I never broke it. These are all the things that he will come to explain that I am not God, I am not the son of God, do not worship me, I did not break the law of Moses, I came to FULFILL the law.
    Lastly, the number one reason why Jesus, peace be upon him, cannot be the creator of the heavens and the earth: Jesus cannot be God because God is the essence of worship: deciding what God wants from me, that is what I’m going to do. And that’s what Jesus Christ did his entire life. If you research his entire life, it was entirely whatever God wanted from him, he did it. The most number one reason why Jesus cannot be God: God is the ESSENCE of worship. God is the OBJECT of worship. God is the one whom we worship. No matter what religion you follow, whomever they call God, is their object of worship. It’s who they give their devotion to, it’s who they make their prayers to, it’s who they make their sacrifices to, it’s who they pay their charity in the name of, God. Had Jesus been God, he would have told people to worship him. But in fact, in Matthew 15:18, he did the exact OPPOSITE. He told people, “In vain, shall you worship me. And teach as doctrine the commandments of men.” That means you will teach as doctrine the commandments of the trinity, which come from MAN. You will teach as doctrines, that I am God, which will come from, MEN. You will teach in doctrines that throw away the law of Moses and the law of God, which will come from MEN. But the worship you give to me shall be in vain. “Why do you call me master? You don’t do my father’s works.” Jesus ALWAYS denied that worship. When anyone would try to worship him, he would DENY it. Some people may have called him Lord, and he didn’t rebuke it, because it was a title of respect, not of divinity. (The word “God,” by the way, did not come into language until about 600 years ago).
    Let’s go back to the fundamentals. Adam worshipped God alone. Abraham worshipped God alone. Moses worshipped God alone. Noah worshipped God alone. David worshipped God alone. Jesus worshipped God alone. Mohammed worshipped God alone. Did they call upon Jesus? Did they call upon any human being? Did they invoke man? Love for your brother what you love for yourself: leave off worshipping men. Love Jesus, as he ought to be loved as a mighty messenger of God. Because as Jesus preached and practiced: God is not a man and cannot be a man. It is against his nature. It is against his God ship. Just remember: God cannot make sacrifices to ANYONE. God cannot make sacrifices. It is AGAINST his God-ship. WE make sacrifices to God. At the end of the day it comes down to worshipping the Creator and not His creation.

    My personal sadness: God gives man food, warmth, love, etc. and man has no clue who He is.

    • rjalberta

      Sunday June 16, 2013 9 PM

      Dear friend,
      Thank you for your thoughtful note regarding my blog. As I am preparing to leave on a trip for the next two weeks, my reply will be brief and I cannot interact with all of your thoughts. However, I would to offer some observations that have helped me to understand why the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be Divine or Deity or part of the three person Godhead. My sense is that you have rejected this orthodox view but perhaps my comments will be “food for thought.”
      First, let me say that you are correct. Jesus never said, as we might say in our age “Hey…I am God!” But that is understandable. In ancient near east culture such an assertion in that form would be unthinkable. Rather, he said it is so many ways. In the fourth century the councils at Nicaea and Chalcedon wrestled with these issues about the three persons who comprise the one God. Their great conclusion was the “Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God.” He was entirely human born of a virgin….thus the human sin nature was not passed down to him; he was fathered by the Holy Spirit. Because of that, the human nature of Jesus the person was able to live without sin. Only God does not sin. If Jesus is not both fully human and fully Divine then his death of the Cross cannot pay for our sins. He must be sinless to save us; he must be God in the flesh to be sinless.
      This is perfectly consistent with John’s explanation of the “logos” …the Word of God becoming flesh. He is referring to “The Christ” who has existed from all eternity and who came to dwell uniquely in Jesus of Nazareth. Fully man and fully God. Then Jesus does something perfectly human; he falls asleep from fatigue in the boat. Then he does something perfectly Divine; he gets up and stills the waves. I refer you to John One:
      John 1:1-5 (NIV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:14 (NIV) 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

      You said that Jesus never claimed to be God? Of course he did. Consider these statements:

      John 8:46 (NIV) 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? [Only God is without sin….]

      John 8:57-59 (NIV) 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. [Check out the “I ams” especially Ex. 4]
      FRIEND: If Jesus was not claiming Deity…why in the world was he crucified? Those who opposed him took him that way. They said that he claimed to be God! They certainly thought that was what he meant. Consider:
      John 10:31-33 (NIV) 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

      I could go on and on. Allow me to suggest that only Jesus can give you the new birth and only he can do that because he was and is the Son of God…that is, the Christ….the second person of the triune God. Have you been born again? Born of the Holy Spirit? [[John 3]

      One other thought:

      The Holy Spirit must be God or the comments in Acts would make no sense:

      Acts 5:3-4 (NIV) 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing. You have not lied to men but to God.”
      I pray these things are helpful to you. Let me know if I may encourage you to do further study. Blessings! Pastor Alberta

      • Dear Sir,
        I’m glad you have taken a biblical stand against gay marriage. I wish you were as biblical about creation. I truly didn’t think you had it in you, and that’s why my family moved over to the PCA community. Like the Gnostics of old, foolish can be pride masquerading in noble attire.

      • rjalberta

        Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014
        Friend,
        Allow me to reply respectfully that, in my view, I am thoroughly Biblical about creation. If you’d like to know why I take a non-literal position on the creation days, please visit the cornerstoneforlife.com website where my views are explained. Allow me also to suggest that a range of views on the interpretation of the days can be found throughout the history of the church. In any case, Blessings! Pastor Alberta

        PS: if you check you will find that the official position paper of the PCA allows for my understanding. In fact, one of their lead scientists Dr. Greg Davidson, a PCA Elder, has spoken at Cornerstone and he holds to an old earth position.

  4. Mashal

    Thanks for taking the time to review my response and get back with me. I appreciate you taking the time to write back and apologize for my late reply. Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him (PBUH), never claimed to be God, nor the son of God, in the sense in which some misguided people believe he did. In the 58th verse of the 8th chapter of the Gospel of St. John, is a statement attributed to Jesus, which has sorely puzzled Bible readers and commentators, but which is a plain, unequivocal statement of all that Jesus (PBUH) claimed to be, when it is properly translated from the original Greek. It reads thus: “Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was I am.’” As the verse stands, it is an ungrammatical absurdity, and means nothing. The correct translation into English would make it read thus, “Verily, verily I say unto you, I am what Abraham was before me;” that is to say, an inspired Prophet like Abraham. Why would Jesus (PBUH), make any claim to divinity when he had come to fulfill the law of that conveyed by Abraham, by Moses– by all those before him– that is, fulfill the law of God? Jesus (PBUH) came to fulfill the law, not to break the law. If Jesus (PBUH) came to fulfill God’s law, why would God want someone whom he sent to the Children of Israel to die a death of crucifixion, which during its time was reserved for the lowliest members (i.e., criminals) of society, and the ground around it which was forever cursed? Jesus (PBUH) did not die a horrid death of crucifixion. God, of course, saved Jesus (PBUH) from such a horrid end, and raised him up to heaven. It is not that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus (PBUH), because they could have just killed him. Rather, they wanted to disprove who he was. He (PBUH) said he’s the Messiah. They wanted to disprove it. They knew if one could crucify Jesus (PBUH), he could not be the Messiah. The Jews argued, he could not be our Messiah if one could crucify him. And even if he is, if one could still force their crucifixion on him, one could detriment his message. They understood this and this is why they wanted to crucify him. And this is why God saved Jesus (PBUH) from the crucifixion. That is, this was part of the law that Jesus (PBUH) came to fulfill, that is, that he could not be cursed according to this law. Jesus (PBUH) said, I have come to fulfill the law; therefore he couldn’t be cursed according to it: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus (PBUH) warned not to misunderstand why he had come. “I did not abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. And this is precisely why he went to the garden of Gethsemane and asked God to remove this from him. That is, because he knew how detrimental this was to his message. Jesus (PBUH) never died because God saved him by taking him up to heaven, alive.

  5. Dr.Alberta,
    Great article.
    I also find this an important subject.
    http://wp.me/p1Lr49-1aZ

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