Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ethics: Pastor Admits to Homosexual Orientation

My friend JohnMark runs and hosts a weekly feature called Ethics/What-Would-You-Do Wednesday.
I emailed him an idea I had and he graciously put it up on his site today, as follows:

Your main preaching pastor is about to offer a Sunday morning pastoral prayer. Before praying one of your associate pastors steps up to the pulpit to make an important announcement and asks everyone for prayers on the issue.

He begins.
As you all know I’ve served as a pastor here for several years. You also know that I have remained single the whole time. What I am about to tell you is not easy to openly admit. The fact is that my sexual

But please hear me out. I am fully convinced, and profess to you now, that the only justifiable and acceptable sexual expression is heterosexuality within a heterosexual marriage, one man and one woman committed for life.

I have put specific guidelines in place to protect myself and the whole congregation. For example, I always leave the door open when counseling people. I am accountable to other pastors about this issue and I even have internet filtering software on my computer.

Finally, it is important for you all to know that I have not engaged in any illicit sex and have no plans to. I also meet with a Christian counselor about the same-sex attractions.

Please stand with me in prayer on this issue. Thank you.
This pastor serves the church faithfully and has a great relationship with everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Action vs orientation

I used to be oriented away from enjoying coffee. Now I'm oriented toward coffee. My orientation and preferences changed, and it was a complex process because human psychology is complex.

However, every time I drink a cup of coffee, I choose to drink it.

Similarly, every time someone engages in a consensual sexual act, one has chosen to do so (by definition).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Reply to a Rape Victim

A woman and rape victim left a heartbreaking comment in one of the Abolitionist Society's older posts. I would like to post a reply here:

My heart breaks to hear about the horror you have undergone, and yet I am thankful to hear that your child lives, that you chose life when you were not legally required to, and that you are not writing from a position of regret about a choice to abort that can never be undone.

I know that these may just seem to be words on a page, but I hate what has happened to you. At the same time, I stand in horror of the darkness that lives inside of me. I have been rescued from that darkness by someone who hates it far more than even you hate it. That someone is Jesus. He hates sin so much that He was willing to leave the glory of Heaven, walk streets crusted with dust, thorns, and camel manure in order to share a message that most people would reject, show great love to people who hated Him, and then be put to death in a horrible way on the cross by those very same people He came to save. He did all this so that we all could have forgiveness for the dark things we have done, and so we could have eternal life with Him in Heaven.

Yet because of His great generosity and love, He offers us as this forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift. I urge you to examine your life in light of God's law. Have you ever lied to someone? If you have, are you not a liar? Have you ever been greedy or selfish, wanted something that doesn't belong to you? Then you are a thief at heart, malcontent with the many blessings God has given you. We have all broken God's law. I have broken God's law. We are all guilty. You are guilty. I would like to ask you to consider that you can not live a good enough life to please God. Fall on Jesus, beg Him to forgive you and give you eternal life, turn from your lawbreaking. He will give you a new heart with new desires. Then read the Bible and obey what you read.

The day is coming when Jesus will redeem everything and will wipe away every tear from the eye of every one of His people. I pray you will be among His people, because then you will experience full healing and redemption of the horror you have undergone. You will even be given vision to see how even the worst of experiences was woven seamlessly into His plan, and you will rejoice. Imagine rejoicing!

If you are not among His people, you will experience total loss. It doesn't matter whether you are rapist or victim, in that case. Nothing will be redeemed for you. No comfort will you know. No joy, no peace, no love.

Please, consider the two options. Choose life.

As for the issue of abortion after rape, we have discussed that at length already, and I would like to ask you to read what has been written with consideration and open-mindedness.
Let me reply to a few specifics in your comment (which I thank you for posting):

You all speak. About this topic with such passion, as if you really know what you are talking about.

I'd like to ask you not to generalise. You think no abolitionist has ever been raped? Think again.
There are also among us those who are survivors of abortion.
There are among us those who adopt previously-unwanted children.
Many of us have given money and dozens of man-hours toward helping pregnant women in difficult circumstances.
Also, whether any of us have ever experienced difficulty in this life or whether we have all had silver spoons in our mouths our whole lives, this is irrelevant to whether we are correct in our arguments and position, that human abortion must be abolished.
Please reconsider.

the emotionally hell that comes with looking back and wondering if it would've been better for your child if they had been aborted.

Could I ask you to consider this?
The way it went, your child has life, opportunity, breath. Yes, there is struggle. Yes, there is difficulty. Yes, there is pain in this life, but that is life.
You don't get to make the decision "yes, this person should live" or "no, this person should not live". That's not your prerogative. Of course it is better to live!

I am now struggling...financially

We are willing and perhaps able to help you.
Please contact me. Click on my profile page and email me.
Also, Jesus taught us that sometimes we undergo financial hardship and difficulty so that we may learn to depend fully on Him, and not on ourselves, our earning power, or our savings accounts. Life comes from Him, in all aspects.

You have no right to tell a woman that she HAS to watch her belly grow and cry every night knowing how she got in that position

It may surprise you to learn that I agree. I do not have the right to tell anyone what to do.
I am, however, commanded and responsible to tell you that Jesus does have the right to tell you what to do. He created you. He is your Master. He is far more intelligent and far wiser than any of us. We must listen to Him and obey Him, for He knows what is best.

It is her choice which decision is right for her

Let's think about this on your terms. I'm sure you would also argue that it is my choice to do with my body more or less what I want, unless and until I decide to do something that injures someone else, right?
That is precisely what you are proposing here. Just saying for the sake of argument that the woman does have the right to do with her own body what she wants, if she chooses abortion, she is infringing on the most fundamental right of her child - the right to life. The mother's rights stop at the baby's body. The baby's life must be respected, because just as I would not act to stop or infringe upon, for example, the rights of a group of Muslims or Satanists to assemble peaceably (for their right to assemble is my right to assemble), so is the baby's right to life identical to your right to life.

Jesus has commanded us not to murder, and to take care of the weakest and most neglected members of society. How great a sin we commit if we ignore the very weakest! Shall we walk around and kick beggars in the face too?
Abortion is a violent act of murder in which the abortive woman generally participates at some level. The solution to victimhood is healing and redemption in Jesus, not becoming complicit in violence herself.
The rapist is the guilty party in rape. The baby is innocent. Please consider - we must not apply the death penalty to the innocent child of a criminal!

unless you are going to help us raise these children

We are. We are abolitionists.
We are not anti-women or anti-women’s rights. We are pro-life, pro-women, pro-family, pro-adoption, anti-death, anti-destitution, anti-dissolution, anti-abortion. We desire to abolish the legal practice of human abortion, not punish the women already abused by its legality. We desire to confront and destroy the entire system of female subjugation and objectification which slyly encourages and often attends abortion's unbridled occurrence (Eph 4:14).

You are obviously hurting, and my heart goes out to you, as do the hearts of my fellow abolitionists. I am posting this publicly, but I invite you to talk to us privately. Let us seek the Lord Jesus together and let us wait patiently for His healing, both in the now and in eternity.

(Please leave any comments at the cross post at the Abolitionist Society blog.)