Homosexuality

Homosexuality Brings Death!

Homosexuality brings death! The entire testimony of sacred Scriptures attests to this fact. St. Paul writes that they “dishonor their bodies among themselves.” Yet our culture continues to live as if it is simply a choice like any another. But some choices bring life, and others bring death. Again, homosexuality brings death!

This became even clearer to me today. As I began editing some work this morning at the office I received a phone call from a man I will refer to as “Bill.” Bill found our Church’s name when looking for a Reformed congregation in Pensacola. Over the years our small congregation has received a fair amount of traffic due to its status on google search as one of the first two churches listed under “Reformed/Pensacola.” I am thankful for this visibility. It has afforded me various opportunities to meet new people and interact with them on-line.

If you know anything about the Bible belt is that explicit Reformational churches are few in number. Bill comes from Los Angeles where the Reformed influence is even less. But by God’s grace, due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, he found himself in Pensacola for a day. He called wanting to talk to a brother. I listened attentively. Having exposed myself to a fair number of professional panhandlers I knew this one was different. Bill’s story was sincere and it offered no hint of deceit.

With my deacon being away and my associate pastor not available I called and told him that I would pick him up. I attended the funeral of a dear neighbor with my wife and left to meet him right afterwards.

As I arrived I immediately identified Bill. His 50 year old body could easily be mistaken for a 70 year old man. The truth is Bill is dying. He once was 250 pounds, but now he only weighs 130. Bill has AIDS and the doctor told him he only has six months to live. I introduced myself, helped him with his bags, and offered to buy him breakfast. He readily accepted, though adding he will most likely throw it up later. His body can no longer digest well.

He wanted to eat at Waffle House. We found the nearest one and sat to eat. “I want three very, very crunchy pieces of bacon,” he asked. “Sure thing, sweetie,” replied the waitress in what must be a universal Waffle House lingo. As we waited we talked. I asked him all sorts of questions. “How in the world did you end up in a reformational church in California,” I asked. Bill attends a very small congregation started by a Master’s Seminary grad from Scotland who happens to know–as Bill refers to–“brother Ferguson” personally. “Sinclair Ferguson!” I replied? “Yes, that’s him!” Bill happened to run across a passionate evangelical at Starbucks one day and the two became friends and began to talk on the phone regularly. The young man was 29 years old and suffering from serious health issues. In the process he was able to introduce Bill to Reformed literature. One day Bill fell on his face and asked God to save him. “I knew at that moment that I was no longer a homosexual,” he said. The friend who introduced him to Christ died soon after, but not without changing Bill and his life.

Bill said that J.I. Packer’s book Knowing God was his all-time favorite. “I met J.I. Packer,” I proudly stated. His eyes lit up. “I also read R.C. Sproul…lots and lots of his books.” ” I also met him and sat under his preaching many times,” I said. “You don’t know how blessed you are,” he said. The truth is I don’t. I take so much for granted.

So here I was in Pensacola sitting across a former homosexual who dedicated his entire life to the abuses of a lifestyle that he himself describes as “deadly from the start,” and this same man–who only has six months to live–has a goal to re-read Calvin’s Institutes this year. “The sovereignty of God changed my life,” he said. He only has little time left and now is consuming whatever Reformed literature he can find. Beyond that, this same man is preaching the gospel to his former homosexual community who now shuns him. “They want me gone in L.A….they don’t want to hear my message,” he says. But Bill is a changed man. He is not going to stop now. His life is vanishing little by little, but he still finds the gospel invigorating and refreshing to proclaim.

Afterwards I took Bill to his motel and bid him adieu! “God bless you and thank you,” he uttered. God bless and thank you, Bill. Homosexuality brought and will bring you death, but Christ gave you a new life in this world and in the world to come. Amen and amen!

The ESV Controversy in the Episcopal Church

John Stonestreet reports:

According to John Burwell’s report from the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, church delegates got an unexpected education when discussing a resolution to include the English Standard Version of the Bible to the list of officially approved versions for the denomination.

But controversy arose when one delegate discovered that the ESV’s translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 clearly includes those who unrepentantly practice homosexuality among those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Immediately, a new vote was called for and the ESV was rejected.

Anyone who thought that the matter was now concluded was disappointed when someone discovered overnight that the exact same wording is found in the RSV, the NIV, the CEV, and several other versions already approved for use in the Episcopal Church! As Burwell wrote, “Who Knew?”

The decision was then made to send the bill back to committee for further study. Wonder what they’ll find in there next?

Douglas Wilson’s Sexual by Design Talks and Q&A

These lectures and Q & A are a must for those who want to understand the rationale (or lack thereof) of the homosexual agenda. The Christian cannot compromise on those foundational presuppositions of Orthodoxy. The Bible is authoritative, and even our arguments need to submit to this reality. I highly commend these videos.

Here is a trailer:

 

John Piper on the Myth of Same-Sex Marriage

PermalinkIn his recent sermon, which has caused some misunderstandings, John Piper explores the myth of same-sex marriage. He asserts that in fact “there is no such thing as so-called same-sex marriage.” He elaborates further:

The point here is not only that so-called same-sex marriage shouldn’t exist, but that it doesn’t and it can’t. Those who believe that God has spoken to us truthfully in the Bible should not concede that the committed, life-long partnership and sexual relations of two men and two women is marriage. It isn’t. God has created and defined marriage. And what he has joined together in that creation and that definition, cannot be separated, and still called marriage in God’s eyes.

An Official Letter to Mayor Ashton J. Hayward III of Pensacola, Florida

Note: The Pastors of Providence Church have faxed and e-mailed an official letter to the Mayor’s office and Pensacola News Journal regarding the mayoral proclamation found here.  If you would like a copy, please e-mail me at uriesou@gmail.com

To the Honorable Mayor Ashton J. Hayward III of Pensacola, Florida:

It is with great sadness that we, pastors of Providence Church in Pensacola, Florida write to condemn your endorsement of the Pensacola Pride Festival Week, and also the approval of accompanying activities, which are designed to give further affirmation to the homosexual lifestyle, which is contrary to the words of the Apostle Paul. Your signature on the Pensacola Pride Festival Week proclamation of the First of June, 2012 officially unites the city of Pensacola with those practices, and elevates them as something to be admired and encouraged.

This country continues to incur the wrath of the God of Scriptures who reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit by continually despising and scorning the Name of Jesus Christ, which is above every name. A nation that does not humble herself before God, who perpetually turns to wicked ways, will not receive the forgiveness of God or be healed by the One who made heaven and earth.

Mr. Mayor, marriage is grounded in Creation. God established that a man and woman must unite for the sake of companionship and procreation. It is a divine decree, which must not be ridiculed or made to be one of many competing ideas. This covenant between a man and a woman is the most sacred of vows; the foundational stone for a stable and prosperous society. Your signature undermines this foundation, which is tantamount to an approval of sin and its dire consequences.

We humbly beseech you by the mercies of God to turn away from your endorsement, and to pursue righteousness in this city; to strive to please God and His commandments in all things, and to not sacrifice purity for the sake of plurality.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Sincerely,

Pastors

Uriesou Brito and Alan Stout