June 2015

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Clearnote Pastors College Commencement, 2015...

Two weeks ago, we had the commencement of Clearnote Pastors College. Our speaker was Dr. Harry Schaumburg, author of two excellent books on sexual sin titled False Intimacy and Undefiled.

Here's a pic taken after the ceremony (left to right, front to back): Pastor Joseph Bayly (CNPC Board Chairman), Dr. Harry Schaumburg, Pastor Nathan Harlan (CNPC Board member), Mr. Brian Bunn (grad), Dr. Benjamin Burlingham (grad), Mr. Forest Gafford (grad), Pastor Jacob Mentzel (CNPC Board member), yours truly, Mr. Thaddeus Walker (grad), Mr. Dewayne Pinkney (grad), Mr. Nathaniel Crum (grad), and Pastor Stephen Baker (CNPC Principal and Board member).

If you are interested in being trained to serve as a pastor, check out Clearnote Pastors College.

Homosexual desires are sin...

[This post is third in a series (the firstsecondfourth, fifth, and sixth) working through Pastor Scott Sauls and Christ Presbyterian Church's "Same-Sex Attraction Forum." More will follow.]

Under the post by Pastor Andrew Dionne yesterday, second in a series on the forum Pastor Scott Sauls sponsored on being willing to come out as gay within the church, there was a comment that deserved a longer response. Thinking the response might be helpful to those not following those comments, here is part of the comment and my response:

COMMENT: My pastor, who is a Tim Keller fanboy, put it like this: "we have [self-identified]gays and lesbians in this church who remain celibate because they know that this is what God asks of them".

What this post is saying, if I have read it right, is: it is not enough for people in this situation to remain celibate; they must move past the desire as well. As I have observed before, too many pastors think it achievement enough to get someone in this situation into living a celibate life; they then put the 'orientation' question into the too-hard basket.

Maybe I'd want to quibble over the way you put it—"it is not enough for people in this situation to remain celibate; they must move past the desire as well"—but not much. If I meet with a man or woman tempted by homosexual desire, my counseling method would not be simply to demand, "you must not only abandon same-sex relations; you must also abandon same-sex desires." Desires hit us from the side, the back, and under the belt. They are sneaky and momentary, as well as pertinacious and stolid. Desires, then, cannot be handled with brute force as sexual relations can. It's a lot easier to tell a woman she may not drink than she may not desire a drink. But what lover of a man or woman's soul would tell her to publicly identify by her sinful desires; to identify herself to everyone by her lust for same-sex flesh; and following that, to tell her, also, to limit her pursuit of holiness merely to making sure she never acts on that desire by actually getting into bed with a woman?

When a male opera singer or woman basketball player tells me of their line of work...

How should the church approach homosexuality (II): the removal of masks...

[This post is second in a series (the firstthirdfourth, fifth, and sixth) working through Pastor Scott Sauls and Christ Presbyterian Church's "Same-Sex Attraction Forum." More will follow.]

"...and the good news is that Jesus came to take away our masks." -Stephen Moss, featured speaker at Christ Presbyterian Church's "Same-Sex Attraction Forum"

Stephen Moss used to wear a mask. He says he wore the mask in order to hide himself from his parents, his church, and his friends. His mask helped him portray his life and character as that of the "evangelical poster-child." He wore his mask to please others, but behind that mask was the real Stephen Moss. He was always a young man tempted by homosexual sin. The mask, says Stephen, had to be removed. He needed to be known as he really was:

And so that's really why one of the main reasons why I decided I needed to take off the mask is because I knew I was loved but I also knew I was not fully known, and so it was comforting yet superficial. I knew I was loved but I didn't really feel it because I thought "well, these people just love my mask.” 

Stephen needed people to know his real self—that he is a person with romantic and sexual desires for men. Until others knew this, they couldn't truly love him.

There is another reason he had to get rid of the mask: opening up about his truest personhood and desires would allow him to address the topic of gayness with authority and that would be helpful to a church struggling to figure out how to live in a culture that has changed its convictions concerning the sinfulness of homosexual identity and relations: 

But I realized I couldn't really do that [speak up] very effectively while still trying to say "well, you know what I think about this" or "I think someone who's same-sex attracted would maybe think..." (laughs) and that didn't work too well, so I finally realized that if I'm really going to be able to speak up and share my heart in this conversation I need to be able to be honest that it's where I'm coming from as well. 

The third reason Stephen had to remove his mask...

Adoption behind bars...

Here's a good Father's Day story. (Thanks, Mick.)

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Rachel Dolezal and Bruce Jenner: transracial, transexual, and transable...

Think about it with a Christian mind. Rachel Dolezal first sued historically black college, Howard University, for discriminating against her as a grad student because she's white. She said her whiteness caused her to be treated unfairly in the issuing of scholarships and the awarding of teaching assistantships. But this was back in 2002 when she still lived at the station in life God placed her by birth: Caucasian. In time she learned her lesson and, deciding to forsake her God-ordained station, started claiming she was African American. Not surprisingly in North America today, her new identity proved lucrative, allowing her to become an agent provocateur for African Americanism. They say Dolezal is "transracial."

Bruce Jenner first won the gold medal in the men's decathlon competition at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, setting the world record. Back in 1976 Jenner still lived at the station in life God placed him by birth: male. In time he learned his lesson and, deciding to forsake his God-ordained station, started the morbid defacement of his sexuality, and now claims he is a woman. Not surprisingly in North America today, his new identity is proving lucrative, getting him on the cover of Vanity Fair in a bustier...

Woman knows not her time: Elisabeth Elliot, 1926 - 2015...

Just heard Elisabeth Elliot Gren died and now is with the Lord. In my life, I'd had few famous heroes, and even fewer famous heroines. Betty was one of them. From my childhood when she would visit and she and Dad would argue during the meal; through our move to Bloomington when we invited Lars and Betty, along with Betty's brother, Dave Howard, to come and speak to our church; to the first national Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Conference in Dallas back around 1999 when I invited Betty to speak to the women, to later in her life when letters (from Lar) were infrequent but treasured, Betty remained a heroine to me, as to many others.

In commemoration of her faithful service to the Lord, here is an interview of Betty I posted here back in 2009. May God comfort Betty's loved ones...

Dr. Tony Campolo comes out of the closet...

A couple days ago, Evangelical superstar of the eighties and nineties, Dr. Tony Campolo, came out in support of the homosexualist agenda. For years Dr. Campolo's feminist wife, Peggy, has been promoting sodomite marriage while Dr. Campolo has quietly demurred, saying this is a matter over which he and his wife disagree. It's very sad, but pertinent, that the Campolo's son, Bart, apostatized a few years ago and now serves the University of Southern California as their "humanist chaplain."

So twenty-five years ago, Dr. Campolo was easily the most popular chapel speaker at Evangelical colleges like Wheaton, Gordon, Westmont, and Taylor. College students loved him. And now Evangelicals' ageing silver-tongued orator has issued this statement denying gays the gift of repentance. His new motto should be "Abandon all hope, ye who enter queer."

Tony Campolo: For the Record
June 8, 2015; Tony releases a new statement urging the church to be more welcoming.

With his subtitle, Dr. Campolo calls us to our better selves, urging Christians "to be more welcoming." We're softened up, then softened up some more:

As a young man I surrendered my life to Jesus and trusted in Him for my salvation, and I have been a staunch evangelical ever since. I rely on the doctrines of the Apostles Creed. I believe the Bible to have been written by men inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. I place my highest priority on the words of Jesus, emphasizing the 25th chapter of Matthew, where Jesus makes clear that on Judgment Day the defining question will be how each of us responded to those he calls “the least of these”.

Dr. Campolo is perfect pitch, speaking to Evangelicals as the Apostle Paul spoke to his fellow Jews: "...circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless" (Philippians 3:5, 6). Dr. Campolo reassures his readers that he surrendered his life to Jesus and trusted in Him for his salvation. He's a "staunch evangelical," although for decades, now, no Evangelical with Biblical discernment has agreed with his self-designation.

But then notice how Dr. Campolo speaks of Scripture...

Ash Carter adds sexual orientation...

I've had three Christian friends who served as military chaplains. Each had served in the Armed Forces prior to entering the chaplaincy. None of them were cowards.

My children will not have any Christian friends who serve as military chaplains. Why not?

Because the military no longer allows its officers to live according to anything approximating a Christian conscience.

But yesterday it got worse when Defense Secretary Ash Carter added sexual orientation to the list of the Armed Forces nondiscrimination protections. Fr. Bill Mouser comments...

Where is Governor Pence's Universal School Choice law...

Here's a National Review piece on Nevada's new Universal School Choice law just signed this week by Governor Brian Sandoval. This is our nation's first real strike against the universal monopoly over the education of our children the National Education Association has had through each state's public school system.

Why hasn't Governor Pence seeded to our Indiana legislature a similar act of simple justice? Why should Christians have to pay for the education of our children twice—first when we pay our real estate taxes, income taxes, and even sales taxes; then second, when we pay the tuition for the private schools we start and run in order to keep our children out of the hands of the products of Indiana University's School of Education (widely referred to here in Bloomington as the "School of Propaganda").

Here's an excerpt from NRO describing Nevada's new law...

Heartwarming...

This pic warmed my heart.

Gays: can you see the real me, can you, can you...

When they hold a "gay pride" parade, don't ever forget what God Himself says about "gays." He doesn't tell them they're happy or should be. He doesn't assure them they have found their destiny. He doesn't tell them to have the strength to be who they really are...

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