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“Invited to a Gay Wedding?”

“Hey Pastor Alberta…I need some help!  I love my sister very much even though she is a lesbian and has rejected the Gospel.  But now she is getting  ‘married’ to her woman friend and I have no interest in going to her wedding.   Now the family is accusing me of being cruel and a very bad Christian for judging her etc.  What am I to do?  This is really upsetting!”

The above note is a composite of questions I have received over the many years I’ve served as a Pastor.  Even very recently.  So many evangelicals have faced this question.  So…here are a few thoughts:

FIRST:  I understand the problem.  The Word of God is very clear that homosexual activity is “abominable” in the sight of God.  All of Leviticus Chapter 18 addresses it.  Romans One and elsewhere it is re-enforced.  So, we recoil at a gay wedding with good reason.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of us and we sense that He will not approve.

SECOND:  We must watch our attitude in this because gay people are still made in the image of God and sinners to whom Christ is offered.  Yet, Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more!”

THIRD:  Family and others will not understand if you do not go.  Your concern is that you don’t want to invite anyone to think you approve.  But you can’t exactly go and walk around with a sign that says “I don’t approve.”  In other words, you cannot win in this situation.  Don’t be surprised if others find your concerns unloving.  But keep in mind that our Lord said:

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you because of me…”

FOURTH:  This is important!  You are NOT JUDGING HER!  God has made known His judgment of such behavior and all you are doing, if you choose not to go, is honoring God.  He has spoken.  Think of it this way: would you get drunk to satisfy someone else when you know that would be a sin?  Of course not.  BUT…those who don’t have Christ in them will probably call you narrow-minded and hateful.  Got it.

FIFTH:  You might ask your sister why she is asking to go if she knows that it will make you uncomfortable?  Would she like to be asked to participate in something that required her to compromise that way?

SIXTH:  If you do not go, tell her gently that you care for her and love her etc.  That you wish her and her friend well.  Perhaps give them a gift card.  Do not be hateful.  But you are entitled to say “No” to many of life’s invitations.  Just do it gently.

SEVENTH:  Pray for her/them and hope they will not proceed or perhaps they will change their minds.

EIGHTH:  Keep in mind that many Bible-believing folks think differently about this.  They have gone to gay weddings and think it was regrettable but since the couple was going to be married  anyway…they thought it best to try to be “nice” about it.  I respect that.  But, for what it is worth…I would not go.  And  I would  not expect all others to understand my thinking.

Invited to a gay wedding?  May the Lord give you great wisdom!  Blessings!

Pastor Alberta




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Why does God Allow Violence in the Schools? Is this not “Sowing and Reaping?” Let’s Face it…Ours is a Violent Culture!

A few years ago, I went with our oldest granddaughter to see “The Hunger Games.”  I left on the edge of nausea.  This remarkably popular movie, including among many Christian youth, was all about training kids to kill other kids until only one was left.  It was violent in the extreme and the audience, mostly young, seemed unmoved by the brutality.  I recall thinking “Something is really wrong here.”

A few days ago, seventeen kids were killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida.  Once again, our media and our neighbors and ourselves  are awash in helpless lamentations.  No one knows what to do.  I don’t either.

There are a zillion guns out there.  We will never get them back even if we want to.  I guess eventually every building in America will be a guarded fortress at every entranceway.  We will just get used to metal detectors and the sight of rifles cradled in the arms of security specialists.

How did this happen?  When did the line get crossed that separated occasional madness with guns to expecting regular massacres?  And, here is the tough question, is God allowing our culture to reap what it has sown?  Well…I recall thinking when Columbine happened in 1999, that perhaps God has allowed evil to ramp up and why not?  Since we kill about 2000 unborn children everyday, why are we surprised that life has become so cheap?  Kids who sit and play hyper-violent video games might just want, at some point, to act them out with real targets.   Why is that surprising?  Why, when the unthinkable…dismembering unborn children is allowed and even celebrated…why are we so shocked?  Is God allowing this because we demand the freedom to be violent?

And this disease  of wickedness has pervaded even those who say they oppose it.  No inherently political comment here.  Just a truthful observation.  On January 29, 2018 a bill to ban abortion after twenty weeks failed in the U.S. Senate.  Solid research shows the vast majority of Americans support such a measure.  But it failed 51-46.  After the vote, Senators Schumer of New York and Heitkamp from North Dakota rejoiced in the defeat of the bill.  They were actually photographed doing “high fives” after it was announced that the measure had failed.  Most of us thought that “high fives” are for a victory  when you and your partner win at bowling.  These legislators epitomize Isaiah Chapter Five: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…who put bitter for sweet and  sweet for bitter!” ( Isaiah 5:20)  Notice…”Woe” will be their recompense on Judgment Day.

Because God is allowing this violence does not mean He is indifferent.  In fact, why did God flood the earth in the days of Noah?  There was plenty of sin. Sexual impurity.  Lying, cheating , stealing.  All of it.  But how did God explain Himself?  We read:

“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.  God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.  So God said to Noah ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled…with violence…'”  Genesis 6: 11-13

And now it really is filled with violence.  Violent video games.  Violent movies.  Violent music.  Violence in our sports. Violence in the womb.  Sure.   Too many guns.  Too many totally unnecessary guns.  Bad politics.  Demon possessed kids.  Sowing and reaping.  And “High Fives” on the floor of the U.S. Senate…celebrating killing the unborn.

Blessings…offered sadly today.  Pastor Alberta





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Actually…Joy Behar “nailed it!” She said just what Paul said she would say!

“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you…that’s mental illness!”

In a recent blog post, we saw that Ms. Behar made this and other statements on  the popular TV show called “The View.”  I then suggested that she, and other critics of the Christian faith, really do not understand the Gospel that they are criticizing.  This prompted some thoughtful responses so I’d like to say just a little more.

Actually, Ms. Behar’s  remarks interface with the  theology of the Apostle Paul.  He told the church in Corinth exactly what she said twenty centuries later. Namely:

“The person 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.”

1 Corinthians 2:14

OK.  This is important so we need to pump some neurons.  Some translations say “the unspiritual person” as if to say “the non-religious person” … but Paul is talking specifically about the person without the Holy Spirit being unable to accept the things of the Holy Spirit.  He is talking about the unregenerate person who may or may not be religious but is not truly saved.  Paul is teaching us that the true Christian has not just a “belief system” but the Holy Spirit of God living inside of him or her.  But obviously there are religious people who are not Christians.  OK.

That is why even many religious people who are not Christians do not think like Christians either because they do not have the Holy Spirit in them.  Anyway, Paul is saying that the person WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT finds Christian truth to be “foolishness!” The word he uses here is the Greek “morai” from which we get moronic.  So, when Joy Behar rightly says, as a woman without the Holy Spirit, that our Christian faith seems to be mental illness…she may as well have said our Christian faith is “moronic!”  That is what it looks like to her.

We find other cases in the Word of God where the listeners thought the Christian person was simply crazy.  Consider Paul in Acts Chapter Twenty Six.  Paul was explaining the Gospel when a royal official named Festus shouted at him: “You’re out of your mind Paul!  Your great learning is driving you insane!” (verse 24).  So, Ms. Behar is really only sharing the opinion that many non-Christians have about us.

A few years ago, a non-Christian asked me to explain to him exactly what I believe about the Gospel and the whole “God thing.”  So I did. I said something like this:  “God made mankind to enjoy His creation but mankind disobeyed God.  He fell into sin and his moral being was corrupted so much that God Himself took on flesh to make salvation available.  God came to be among us in Jesus the Christ and allowed Himself to be Crucified to pay for our sins. He did this that we might be restored to good standing with him and have eternal life.  That was made complete when He was raised from the dead.  And he, Jesus, will eventually return and reign over the entire creation when he is ready to do so.”

My friend stared at me with wide eyes and said slowly “That is the craziest thing I have ever heard!”  Like Joy Behar, he nailed it.  So, Christian…be blessed when an unbeliever says you might be crazy or mocks your Christian faith as ridiculous.  As Jesus said “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me!”  (Matthew 5:11)  Here’s  the “Good News!” You’re not crazy!  (Well, you might be crazy but not because you are a Christian:)  Blessings!  Pastor Alberta



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My Apologies


My recent article “”The Gospel According to The View” was published in difficult hard-to-read unparagraphed capital letters.  I’m trying to understand how that happened and I hope you will find it tolerable.

Will also attempt to avoid whatever protocol I used resulting in that format.  🙂

Blessings!  RJA


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A test…

This quick note is a test regarding WordPress and its accuracy.

Please disregard.  Thanx!  RJA

Leave a comment

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The Gospel According to “The View”

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account!”

Matthew 5: 11

In a recent airing of “The View” the ever disrespectful Joy Bahar suggested that Christians are suffering from “mental illness.”  She reserved her most caustic and mocking comments for Vice-President Pence.  Her remarks were so vulgar and indecent even some liberal commentators rebuked her.  None of this surprised me.  Something else did.

A couple of nights later, the incident was discussed on a Fox News program where a liberal commentator was asked if she agreed that Ms. Bahar had gone over the top.  Surprisingly, she did.  But then she said something additional.  Namely, that in any case, if Vice President Pence was really a Christian he would talk and act like one.  Why would she say such a thing?  Why would she say that Mr. Pence has said far worse things proving, by the way, that he is not a Christian.  Huh?  She is talking about Pence’s opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

Many  critics who do not understand the Gospel have their own definition of it.  For them, it is essentially “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  They have no concept that the Gospel is really about the availability of an abundant life with a knowledge of God and His ways.  Thus, when Mr. Pence supported a gay marriage ban as the Governor of Indiana, he was labelled as a cruel and ignorant religious fanatic.

Does this matter?  Of course.  It  reflects the ONE CRITICAL AND FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH ABOUT BIBLICAL FAITH: it calls us to love God and His ways with an ever-present concern for His requirements!  The “Gospel” reduced to “Love your neighbor” has no room for sin and judgment.  It dismisses any  notion of Hell and repentance.  It fumes at the idea that Jesus is the exclusive way to salvation (John 14:6).  In short, this talk-show Gospel is an age-old attempt to redefine the reason Christ came.

Paul put that reason this way: 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)  “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.”  The Gospel according to “The View” says Jesus came to encourage us to love our neighbors and nothing more.  Ironically, loving our neighbors most importantly means sharing the Good News that Paul just gave us!  We are sinners in need of salvation.  Pray for Ms. Bahar and the guest on Fox that night.  Let’s consider them neighbors who need to come under conviction of sin and turn to the real Gospel and be saved.

Blessings!  RJA



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“Does Anyone Love Dr. Larry Nassar? Can Anyone Love him?”

Acts 22:22 (NIV)
22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”

The Jews who heard Paul that day hated him so much that they shouted “Rid the Earth of him!”   They despised him.  He repulsed them.  Their hatred was pure and unmitigated  by even the slightest portion of grace and mercy.  Bursting with rage and disrespect, they saw no reason why Paul should even take his next breath.  In an astounding display of gut-level contempt, they had no more concern for this image-bearer of God than if they were looking at a rattlesnake that had bitten hundreds and was finally cornered deserving only execution.

I thought of that kind of fury looking at the photographs of a once-respected sports doctor sitting in the dock in a Michigan courtroom.  A platoon of young women  testifying that he had abused them in the most vulgar and wicked manner…a  long sordid tale almost unbelievable  that went on for years.  No one hearing their reports had any doubt that he was guilty and the court responded accordingly sentencing him, in effect, to several lifetime sentences in recompense for his evil deeds.  He deserved it and then some.  Everyone agreed.  No pity was expected and even the most tender-hearted among us would say Dr. Nassar must be punished  for countless crimes against humanity and God Himself.  We can all relate to one father who said “I’d like to tear his head off.”  I get it.

Yet…I found myself looking  at  the man…his head hung down…a distant look in his eyes.  So lonely even the Devil would not keep him company.  Totally alone.  His spirit an empty shell.  Almost being put to death as he lived…thoroughly awash in shame and loathing.  Perhaps self-loathing.  Only he knows.  But I wondered…does anyone love him yet?  Is he anyone’s dad or brother?  Is he anyone’s son?   Was he not, in the photos, the most ruined  and forsaken of all men we’ve ever seen?

My colleague Pastor Chris Winans pointed out in a semon recently that we treat people according to how we perceive them.  Worthy or unworthy.  Interesting point.  I could only pereceive the accused doctor as little more than repulsive.  Just looking at him provoked a desire to turn away.

In the days ahead, Larry Nassar will be the object of industrial strength distain in prison.  He is perhaps already a dead man.  Yet…here is my question…my haunting and unsettling question:  is Larry Nassar, because of his sins, a valueless  human being not worth saving?  Do I really believe that  despite his cruel depravity that God actually loves him…even now?

How will  I respond if I hear in a couple of years that he has been born again and his sins have been washed away by the precious blood of Christ himself?  So… what if Larry Nassar lives out his earthly days confined to fifty square feet and left to contemplate his own deserved misery yet he is at peace because God has drawn him to Himself and actually loves him?

I shall pray for the women and their families for sure.  As a father and grandfather, I am deeply grieved at what he has done and I almost despise him.  I’m uneasy admitting that I probably hate someone I only know thru news reports.  Most importantly,  I sense I need to pray for myself that I would finally grasp that this man with his head hanging and the hopeless look in his eyes was created in the image of God… and that  God’s heart hurts immeasurably more than my own.  And God be praised for my sake and your sake for His offer of grace…and yes…I need to pray for Larry Nassar’s salvation.

When John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” he included the line about God who had “Saved a wretch like me.”  Many modern churches have changed that verse to read that God “Saved a ONE like me.”  But Newton would object.  He who had abused the women on his slave ships night after night whenever he felt capricious desire.  He rightly perceived his own wickedness. Newton would say “We are wretches!”   But God still loved Newton.  And He loves us.  You and me.  And hard to believe…God loves Larry Nassar.  God be praised.

Psalm 103:11-14 (NIV) 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

I pray for Mr. Nassar to come under a tidal wave of regret and conviction and then seek the mercies of God thru the Lord Jesus.  Join me?

Blessings!  RJA



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