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J.D. Greear and Gender-Neutral Pronouns

J.D. Greear and Gender-Neutral Pronouns

J.D. Greear (courtesy of jdgreear.com)

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time and just have not gotten around to it. But it was widely reported back in November 2019, that Southern Baptist Convention President, JD Greear, has called for the use of Gender-Neutral Pronouns to be more hospitable to those who call themselves transgender.

When I first read this I assumed it must be some sort of joke or satire. But it was not. It was published on Greear’s website as well. So I decided to look more into what Greear actually has said and what he is advocating for.

First, he does state that gender is determined by DNA:

The real answer is genetics: However things look on the outside, sex (male/female) is hardwired into our DNA.

J.D. Greear

However, Greear qualifies this by going into modern-day qualifiers that muddy the waters. He then goes on to describe intersex individuals, which is a known anomaly but definitely not the normal course of events in human DNA and makeup.

And finally, he gets to Gender Pronouns. What are we to do with pronouns for people who refuse to acknowledge, or are confused about, the sex that they have been given by God? Here is what Greear says:“When we apply Paul’s linguistic approach to the pronouns we use about transgender people, I believe we arrive at a posture of pronoun hospitality: a willingness to accommodate the pronouns of our transgender neighbors regardless of our own views about the Christian ethics of gender identity” (11.10).

Based off of Acts 17

J. D. Greear

So Greear goes the “hospitable” route on gender pronouns. But why? Why should we do this?

In this position, Greear misses the mark of biblical fidelity. If we allow people to use preferred pronouns, as opposed to the pronouns that actually describe their gender, we are allowing them legitimacy in their sin. People who support this viewpoint can say that is not the case but it is. Why would you let someone continue in the lie that they portray every time they say they are something that they are not? There is simply no justification for it other than to say you have sold out to the culture.

2019 In Review

2019 In Review

As I am writing this we are just 24 hours away from the start of a new year. Much has happened this year. We have seen another denomination battle it out over LGBT in the United Methodist Church. We have seen a mother try to force her little boy to be chemically castrated and “transitioned” to a “girl.” And we have seen the impeachment of another U.S. President.

The year has shown that humanity is declining further into sin. Biblical literacy is falling among evangelicals. Times are perilous.

As I reflect on 2019 I continue to see the need to call for a new reformation. We need to take a stand as Christians for the truth of Scripture. Scripture needs to return to prominence as our final authority. We need to stand against leaders in the church who would take us away from what Scripture says to find another way in this world. We need to boldly proclaim the Gospel.

In 2020, let us take our stand. Let us lift the name of Jesus with the truths of Scripture. Let us not bow down to the culture and surrender. Let us be ready for the fight. Let us proclaim truth. Let us not be afraid to offend because the truth is offensive as darkness hates the light. Let us not worry about being politically correct. Let us worry about the Truth and let us proclaim it with bold authority.

See you in 2020!

Merry Christmas 2019!

Merry Christmas 2019!

Christmas nativity scene.

It is hard to believe that we have arrived at another Christmas Eve. There is much going on in the world. The U.S. President is under impeachment. War still rages in the Middle East. There is still the atrocities of terrorism. There is disease and famine. It is not a peaceful time by man’s standards.

However, today we look back 2,000 years to remember a night of great joy. A night when the angels appeared to the shepherds to say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill, toward men.”

What if we, the church, recapture that spirit, that moment? Can you imagine the shepherds in that field that night? They were terrified according to Luke 2. Who wouldn’t be? But at the same time, they were awestruck by what they saw. Again, who wouldn’t be?

But what did the shepherds do? They listened. They followed the instructions of the Lord’s message and went to see this amazing baby. They went to see the Savior.

Christmas reminds us that God came in the flesh (John 1:14) to live here among us. He came to live as we did, to experience what we experience, to know what we know and feel what we feel. And, most importantly, He came to take our place on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice. He was the substitute for our condemnation. He died in our place.

That is what Christmas is truly about. It was the start of a 33-year story. A story that is the greatest story ever told. A story that shows how God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but he will have eternal life.

Merry Christmas and, in the words of that famous character, Tiny Tim, May God bless us, everyone.

The Insane Child Abuse of LGBT

The Insane Child Abuse of LGBT

Back in October I mentioned the case of James Younger in my sermon on Reformation day. For those who do not know, James is a 7-year-old boy who has a divorced mother and father. His mother is trying to transition James into a girl named Luna by chemically castrating the boy and giving him hormone therapy. There is no indication that James wants this done or feels like he is a girl. Even if he did exhibit that, it doesn’t change the fact that he is a boy and should be raised and treated as a boy.

At the time of my sermon in October, a jury had ruled in favor of James’ mother that she should have sole custody over James and all decisions related to his life and health. A judge overruled the jury and put a stop to the ruling.

Now, Christian Post reports that the judge is being removed from the case. The removal of the judge was due to much political maneuvering and some twisting of facts, and the denial of the judge’s right to free speech. All of that is for another discussion at another time.

But the real issue here is what is going on with James and his parents. His father rightly wants him to be treated as the boy he is in reality. His mother is living in a fantasy world where she wants a little girl. It is abusive to pump chemicals into a child to try and change who they are biologically. This is true child abuse yet the liberal left celebrate this as progress? It is disgusting, it is sinful.

As believers, we should not be surprised by this. Romans 1 says they are going to be given up to their dishonorable passions. This is what is happening in the case of James Younger. The culture is going to what is dishonorable. It is leaving the natural order and defying God.

My heart breaks for little James and his Father. Pray that truth and justice prevail in this sad story.

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

It is hard to believe that we are at another Thanksgiving Day. 2019 has flown by. On this day we stop as a nation to give thanks for all that has been given to us. We are thankful for health, friends, family, jobs, homes, food, and many other things.

But what I find interesting is that we often take these things for granted the rest of the year. We do not live with the spirit of thanksgiving all year round. Why is that?

Why do we become so complacent with what we have that we forget that it could all be taken away in a second? We are guaranteed nothing in this world. We are not even guaranteed that we will be walking on this earth another day.

So as we go through the rest of 2019 and into 2020, let us remember to give thanks every day.

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2 English Standard Version
Do Not Offend

Do Not Offend

In today’s politically correct culture we are often told that we should make sure we do not offend people when we are speaking the truth of the Gospel. We are also told that we need to make sure we are speaking the truth in love. But what does that mean? Does that mean to not offend? Does that mean we should do everything to make sure that feelings are not hurt? Are we really supposed to go about our preaching and teaching in such a way that nobody can take offense? The answer is NO!

The idea that we are not to offend people does not come from Scripture. This is the construct of a culture that is obsessed with being politically correct. A culture that believes there are no absolutes and that everyone can believe what they want to believe and that is true for them, except Christianity. The truth is this, the Bible is an offensive book to those who do not follow it. The truth is offensive to those who wish to reject it. And, could it be, that when feelings are hurt by hearing the truth it isn’t really their feelings but their conscience tugging at their soul because they know they are in the wrong?

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“You Should Have Been Aborted!”

“You Should Have Been Aborted!”

I was heartbroken today to read an article at Pulpit and Pen about a man who yelled at little 4-year-old Quinn Ross that she should have been aborted before she was born. Quinn is in a wheel-chair with a disease called Perthes Disease.

What is troubling is the fact that this man thought it was not only ok, but necessary, to attack a little girl who is obviously suffering in this world enough. What has the culture become?

The abortion culture of death in the United States is appalling. It is disgusting and the fact that millions of children have been murdered in the womb is a stain on our nation. It is even worse that some Christians believe this to be compatible with the Scriptures.

A poll done by Pew Research in 2014 showed that an average of 36.4% of Evangelicals believe that abortion should be legal in all/most cases. That number is staggering. The people who should be the most ardent defenders of life have 1/3 of their people saying there is nothing wrong with abortion.

It is no wonder that this man thought it was okay to tell little Quinn that she should never have been born. If the church will not lead the charge for life, why do we act surprised when the culture turns to death?

So what does the Bible have to say about this?

First and foremost, we know that Scripture says we are not to murder (Exodus 20:13). It does not get any more clear than this. Murder is wrong. Period. But the Government says that a child in the womb is not a human and therefore it is not murder. But why do we allow the Government to dictate our theology?

There are many examples in Scripture that God knew us before we were even born. That he fashioned us together in the womb of our mother. Psalm 139:13 is a great example of this, but it is not the only example. However, this clearly shows that God thinks that we are humans, persons, in the image of God, before we are born. It doesn’t matter what the Government says, abortion is murder in the eyes of God plain and simple.

To little Quinn Ross and her family, I am so sorry that you had to endure this obscene and despicable act by this individual and it is my hope that justice is served in this case.

The Lost Art of Writing Letters

The Lost Art of Writing Letters

What I am writing about today isn’t so much about theology but it is something I believe is important. That subject is the discipline of writing letters. Unfortunately, in the age of technology, letter writing is something that has been lost. We go to our mailboxes and all we see are bills, political ads, and credit card offers. We get plenty of junk in our postal mail just like in our email. But what do you feel if you get an actual handwritten letter? Or even a typed letter from someone you know? It’s exciting!

I have been trying this year to be disciplined in writing regular letters. Emails are great, but they are not the same thing as receiving a letter. We also know that the written word is powerful. It can build up, or it can tear down. So here is some of the types of letters I have written this year.

  • Letters to the sick
  • Letters to the discouraged
  • Letters to political leaders
  • Letters to churches
  • Letters to church leaders
  • Letters of encouragement
  • Letters of question
  • Letters of rebuke

What I have found in all of these is that people are appreciative of the written word. Ok, maybe not so much from the letters of rebuke, though I have received written responses for those as well. Emails are cheap and can be very impersonal. But a letter shows that someone cared enough to spend time, effort, and money to send them something personal.

I don’t think this is a coincidence. After all, the majority of the New Testament was delivered to us as letters. Letters are powerful. My encouragement to you today is to think of someone you have something to say to and sit and write a letter. It will be a great experience. Rediscover the lost art (and joy) of letter writing.

Bishops Continue To Defy Scripture

Bishops Continue To Defy Scripture

On Reformation Day I sent a letter of rebuke to the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. It is time that the Bishops either enforce church policies and uphold Scripture, or the Council needs to be done away with. They must be disciplined. But over the weekend, instead of moving back towards the Scriptures and enforcing the policies of the church, five Bishops have said their conferences will be a safe haven for LGBTQ.

It is no surprise that this comes out of the Western Conferences of the United Methodist Church. After all, in the Mountain Sky Conference they have Karen Oliveto, the first openly homosexual Bishop of the church.

As I said in my letter on October 31st, every day that Oliveto remains on the Council of Bishops makes a mockery of the church and defies Scripture. She must be removed immediately. The church must immediately hold trials and enact church discipline against Oliveto and other Bishops that are “championing” this cause.

The Bishops seem to act as if they are surprised that the UMC is barreling forward towards a denominational split in May. Why should this be a surprise? They are defying the Scriptures. If anything, they should expect this.

What is worse, Kenneth Carter, the current President of the Council of Bishops, has suggested that there be an immediate moratorium on trials against LGBTQ issues and that there should be a future conversation on the relaxation of the trust clause.

The real tragedy in all of this is that it is obvious this could all be about money. Let’s face it, the Bishops want to force churches to stay. If they lose churches, the denomination loses income. If the denomination loses income, who will fill the purses of the Bishops? By the way, Bishops make over $100k a year!

They ignore Scripture. You cannot legitimately claim that Romans 1 is discussing a cultural issue. Paul clearly states that homosexuality is against God and the laws of nature. Yet, here we are with a major church pushing to accept sin as normal. This must stop!

Reformation Day 2019

Reformation Day 2019

Today we celebrate Reformation Day. 502 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Contrary to popular belief, this was not an act of defiance against the church. Luther simply wanted a debate. He had no idea that he was about to spark the Protestant Reformation.

What Luther did not anticipate was that his theses would be translated by some students from Latin, the language of scholars, into German, the language of the people. Once this happened, there was no turning back.

In the 16th Century, Pope Leo X had continued work on St. Peter’s Cathedral that had been started by his predecessor. However, the church was out of money. So the Pope made a deal with Albert of Brandenberg who was seeking another Bishop position in the church. The deal was an indulgence to pay for St. Peter’s and to free souls from purgatory as a result.

John Tetzel was commissioned to sell this indulgences throughout Germany. His famous line was, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.” It was this background that prompted Luther to call into question the practice of indulgences sparking the Reformation.

The Reformation was a call to action. A call to Scriptural fidelity. A rediscovery of the truth that we are justified by faith alone.

Today, 502 years later, we are desperately in need of another reformation. I spoke about this on Sunday We live in a culture today, and even churches today, that want to bow down to sin. Two at the forefront are LGBT and Abortion, not to mention science. We are told that we are to filter scripture through the lens of these agendas. However, that is not how we are to go about our lives.

As Christians, we are to filter everything through the lens of Scripture and Scripture alone. It’s not supposed to be the other way around. Christians need to take a stand today with the boldness of Martin Luther. Stand on Scripture, not on culture.

Soli Deo Gloria