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Gold Bands Showing Eternal Commitment

Recently, I was given the opportunity to respond to an 8th grade student who had written a paper for her American History class favoring same-sex “marriage.”  Anya began her defense of same-sex “marriage” by praising Harvey Milk, “an openly gay politician in California who was only in office eleven months before he was assassinated.  Harvey “opened the door for us to now be able to talk about gay rights issues.”  Anya explained that “Mr. Milk started a revolution . . . If Harvey Milk wouldn’t have fought so hard, gay marriage may not be legal.  It needs to be legal.  It is a basic human right to love and marry who you love.” 

In conclusion Anya wrote, “Love who you love, marry who you love, and love your life, because it is your Constitutional right. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’”

What follows is my response to Anya.

Dear Anya,

Thanks for letting me take this opportunity to respond to your paper on same-sex marriage.  I’m a woman who is involved in our present-day culture as a national speaker, author, and advocate for human life.  I respect people, no matter their differences of opinion.  I care enough to ask questions, listen to the responses, and remain someone’s friend even when we don’t agree.

As you are learning in American History, men and women—human beings in general—will always have differing perspectives on what we should and should not do.  Whatever the faith or worldview of a person might be, it should influence that person’s decision-making and actions.  Perhaps one of the best things about a nation like the United States is that it allows for different faiths or worldviews to be expressed, lived, and judged as helpful in building up—or tearing down—society and the nation.

America is truly “exceptional” because it defends the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  But what is the origin of those “rights”?  Did we give them to ourselves?  And from where does life come?  Is it an accident, or by design?  Who ultimately defines liberty and who grants it?  Does the pursuit of happiness mean that every citizen gets to do anything we darn well please, or does it mean that we have the opportunity to pursue right things for the benefit of not just ourselves, but our family and neighbors, too?

Sexual Revolutionaries: Good for Society?

As you report, Harvey Milk was an openly gay politician.  It is a crime against humanity that he was assassinated.  Someone took it upon themselves to deny him the “right to life.”   Murder—be it the murder of an adult man like Harvey Milk or a pre-born child residing in his or her mother’s womb—is never right.  Harvey has been remembered by some as the man who opened the door for this country to talk about “gay rights.”  But two questions should be asked by any critical thinker.  1) Is a human being defined by their sexual behavior, or something more?  And, 2) If homosexuality is “normal” and “good,” why is sickness and a shorter life span associated with its practice?  Harvey Milk may have had the freedom to express his thoughts and beliefs, but like all of us, he also bore the responsibility of proving why those beliefs would be helpful to himself, his neighbors, and the future of the country in which he lives.

No matter what one’s opinions or religion (i.e. secular humanism, atheism, Islam, New Age, Buddhism, or Christianity) might be, the holder of that belief bears the responsibility of allowing it to be put to the test.  When a person like Harvey Milk proclaims his belief, he must be open to discussing the consequences of that belief.  He must show why calling the union of two men or two women “marriage” when it was not instituted as that (nor ever could be that) is in the best interests of an entire society.

It is always appropriate for citizens to hear someone’s opinion or belief, discuss it, and choose to act or not act upon it.  Whether we agree or disagree, we owe one another the honesty of facts rather than emotion, kindness rather than meanness, general welfare of neighbors rather than “me, myself, and I,” and long-range perspective rather than “all I care about is right here, right now.”

Alfred Kinsey is another person in our American history who started a revolution.  It was the revolution, in fact, that opened the door for men like Harvey Milk.  Alfred Kinsey was a practicing homosexual, pedophile, and perpetrator of hideous crimes against humanity.  His theory was that “children are sexual from birth,” and to make that claim stick, he knowingly allowed convicted pedophiles to sexually abuse and experiment with children, ages six months to 14 years of age.  He took the “statistics” gathered from those experiments, called them “science,” and used them to prove that children and adults alike should be permitted to participate in any kind of sex if it brought them pleasure.  After 30 years of research and study of Kinsey, Dr. Judith Reisman and others proved that Kinsey had abused science in order to change public opinion on sex and the teaching of sex to children.  But it was too late.  Kinsey, a zoologist with absolutely no respect for women, had changed the way we view men, women, and children.

Yes, Kinsey had freedom to express his beliefs.  But he did not have the freedom to abuse science, use deceit, or do harm.  The duty of the American public was to question Kinsey.  Not to call him names, or belittle him, or deny him the right to speak, but to ask him to show the source of his “science,” reveal the methods used for research, and verify his data.

The same is true with same-sex “marriage.”  Anyone who demands that marriage become what it was never intended to be should be asked to give evidence of why non-traditional, two men or two women, and intentional non-procreative marriage is healthy, sustainable, and in the best interest of family, society and civilization.  In Rome, it was common for a man to have a sexual relationship with a young boy, but even Rome never legalized same-sex “marriage.”   Why?  Because Romans knew that marriage, and the stability of the family, was foundational to Rome’s existence.  For this reason, when a boy was old enough, he was expected to marry a woman and father children for whom he would be responsible.

Marriage: To Anyone I Love?

Marriage does not intrinsically mean uniting oneself to someone you love and who makes you “feel good.”

That brings us to the now popular thinking that “as long as you love someone, you should be able to marry them.”  I love my dad.  I love my brother.  I love my son.  I love my niece.  I love my best friend, Jane.  Can I love them so much that I want to marry them?  Maybe.  But is it in your best interest that my “right” to marry my son becomes the law of the land?  Is something in jeopardy here?  And what will be the cost?

Marriage is not founded on someone’s concept of love.  Human concepts and ideas of love are changing all the time.  Today, I love you.  Tomorrow, I don’t.  Or, I love you because you make me feel good about myself.  But when you don’t make me feel good about myself, I won’t love you anymore.  And so on and so on.

Here’s where love needs to be put to the test, too.  Love is about more than feelings.  It is about patience, kindness, selflessness, and perseverance in good and bad times.  Marriage requires this kind of love.  Marriage also requires one man and one woman, two different genders, because it makes biological sense!  Not only do male and female fit together perfectly to create new little humans, but they also mentor male and female characteristics… both needed by a son or daughter.  Even if two men or two women (who call themselves “married”) don’t have children of their own, but adopt or use a surrogate mother or in vitro fertilization, it is unfair and actually quite selfish to intentionally deny any child the right of both a mother (female) and a father (male).

For many years, I have kept a file of the testimonies and true stories of women who thought they were in love with another woman and so took up the lesbian lifestyle, or men who thought they were in love with another man so took up the gay lifestyle.  The relationships did not last.  Why?  Because they were built on an idea of love, and not the truth and faithfulness of love.

Have you ever noticed that even in a same-sex relationship, one plays the role of “husband” (or the male) and one plays the role of the “wife” (or the female)?  It’s true!  A young friend of mine “married” a woman.  Her partner took on the role of the “man” and she took on the role of the “woman.”  My young friend became pregnant by way of in vitro fertilization and she stayed home to be the “mom.”  Her partner went outside the home to play the “male” role of “provider.”  Now, years later, my young friend is hurting.  She is in conflict with herself, with nature, and with the God she says she believes in.  She might be wondering: What am I teaching my little boy about the value of becoming a man?  How can I help him learn about manhood when he’s being parented by two moms?

Alfred Kinsey and Harvey Milk may be commended for their courage in speaking up about things they believed to be true.  But can we see the consequences of what happens when all ideas are considered “equal” and valid?

People are equal, yes! 

People of different colors, nationalities, and cultures are equal, yes! 

But not all ideas, desires, and practices (sexual or otherwise) are equal.  They must be questioned and put to the test.

Anya, that is the responsibility of people like you and me.  It is ok to differ in thought and behavior.   But with concern for more than just ourselves, we must wisely consider the consequences of each thought and every behavior.

With sincere respect for you as a person,

Linda

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supreme court gavelThis morning, when I woke up, nothing had changed. God is still in heaven and the Supreme Court of the United States is not.

Yesterday, June 26, 2015, a majority of nine men and women in black robes made an attempt to redefine marriage, but they cannot. God created marriage, therefore, only He can define marriage. That is just the way it is.

This morning, when I woke up, nothing had changed. I am still living in a fallen world moaning under the weight of sin. Here in this world, my neighbor might choose to call his dog a cat. But when he tells me I must do the same, I cannot join him in calling something what it is not.

Some of us may feel completely unnerved and shaken to the core. We ask: What now? How shall we live?

In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion for all nine months of pregnancy and for any reason. Black-robed judges made an attempt to redefine the killing of an unborn child, but they cannot. Some church-attending folks decided to accept the court’s decision and tolerate a practice they did not “personally support” so that women could have “the right to choose.” But many of us never accepted the decision even though we embraced the women who mourned their aborted children.

That is how it is in this world. Until Jesus comes to take us from this earthly place to our heavenly home, we will see wrong things called “right,” evil marketed as “good,” and what is contrary to nature called “normal.” That is how it is in this world when the truth of God is exchanged for a lie (Ro. 1:24-27).

So, how shall the people of God live here on earth under the court of this nation?

  • With continued trust in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some may say the Court’s ruling will draw down divine judgment; others may say the ruling is divine judgment but either way, we are called to a life faithful to God in every circumstance.
  • As people of God unafraid to be set apart or different as we speak what Jesus Himself said about marriage from the beginning (Matt. 19:4-6) and live in a way that may cause others to ask: Why do you do what you do?
  • With confidence that marriage is not government recognition of two people who love each other, but the complimentary union of one man and one woman. We can literally say that in this union part of man flesh joins with part of woman flesh to become the one flesh of a new life. This new life— son or daughter—is not the by-product of a sexually romantic relationship, but the connector of mom and dad in the institution created by God for that child’s benefit.
  • As men and women who strive to honor the covenant of our own marriages and seek after the best interests of generations of children.
  • As people who affirm the sanctity of all human life, including those who see themselves as gay, and who love our neighbor as ourselves, speak well of him, and no matter the disagreements, discuss everything in a kind and thoughtful way.
  • As praying people who ask God to turn hearts toward Him and nurture a desire to rebuild a culture of marriage and life.

Suggested reading:
The Failure of Sex Education in the Church:
Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity
(Amazon.com) Our Identity Matters

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parents teachingOn Memorial Day, we remember the men and women who died serving their country. With patriotic music in the background, we talk about them. We praise them. We applaud them. And then we return to life as usual.

We talk about their brave deeds. We praise them for their courage. We applaud their service. And then we return to the kind of lives that can only be lived because those men and women invested everything they had.

In my family, men left home to face America’s enemies in Europe, the Pacific islands, the jungles of Vietnam, and the mountains of Afghanistan. If they did not sacrifice their physical life, they certainly sacrificed their youth, their innocence, and relationships with loved ones. Why did they do it? Because they vowed to defend life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

On Memorial Day, we remember the heroes who looked in the face of evil and dared to triumph. Their lives were made difficult. There was pain. They suffered physically, psychologically, and spiritually. If they returned home, their lives were forever changed. They invested a great deal so that we might have a safer and more hopeful future.

And so we honor them with our words. But… do we really honor them with our actions? Do we honor them by raising the standards of our behavior and being better people?

A very high price has been paid by those who believed in the sanctity of life, marriage, family, honest labor, and freedom of speech and religion. But what is the price we are willing to pay? Are we willing to sacrifice for our children and generations of children?

Do we expect to receive prosperity, blessings, and personal freedom but invest very little ourselves?

Do we assume that we will always have freedom, or do we stand guard knowing that evil is always prepared to steal, kill, and destroy?

Do the choices that we make in our daily lives honor the ones who made those choices possible?

One of my uncles endured the hell of WWII in the Pacific islands. He lost the vibrancy of his boyhood. At age 97, he is still tortured by nightmares. He said to me, “When I look around and see the way so many Americans choose to live, I wonder if what I did for my country really matters.”

How do I respond? Does my life show that the price paid by my uncle really matters?

How do any of us respond? Do our attitudes and behavior show gratefulness?

Are we willing to speak against things that are wrong so that our children and grandchildren will not lose the freedom to do things that are right?

Memorial Day gives us opportunity to remember the sacrifices of others, but it is also an opportunity to ask ourselves: What is our role? What noble part do we play as fathers, mothers, grandparents, neighbors, workers, and citizens in a very blessed nation? In what way are we willing to respect life, defend liberty, and pursue the happiness that comes from helping others as much as we help ourselves?

Men and women who put on the uniform of their country are heroes, but I think they want us to be heroes, too. Heroes are soldiers in foxholes, but heroes are also moms and dads who maintain the fortification of their homes. Heroes are public servants who remain humble on the front lines of government. Heroes are teachers, doctors, lawyers, pastors, farmers, and tradesmen who stand at their posts without compromise of truth. Heroes are men and women who persevere with goodness and hope in the trenches of daily life.

It is not Hollywood or Wall Street or even the White House that shapes this country. It is you and me. In one way or another, we shape our families, neighborhoods, and communities by what we choose to do… or not do. I would like to believe that each of us values this “one nation under God” so much that we will choose to do the right things… the hard things… that strengthen America.

Men and women in uniform have believed that this country was worth dying for. I’d like to believe that you and I will not disappoint them.

Memorial Day 2015 at Union Cemetery, Iowa Falls, IA
Address by Linda Bartlett upon request of
the Hyman-Peavey Post 188 of the American Legion
Photo credit: gracefuledblogspot.com

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woman reading bibleSome might believe that Cardinal Francis George was prophetic when he said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.” Although blessed my entire life with religious freedom, these words challenge me to ponder civil disobedience. The reason why is explained by C.P. Krauth who said, “Error first seeks tolerance, then it seeks equality, then it seeks dominance.”

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue another ruling on same-sex marriage as it pertains to states’ rights. The Court could: 1) Leave the issue of same-sex marriage up to individual states; or 2) Rule that individual states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, or that states must recognize the same-sex marriage of out-of-state couples.

Do we who profess Jesus Christ really understand the implications of re-defined marriage? Do we understand the impact on our children, employment, church, community, and daily life in general?

Gay columnist Frank Bruni wrote in the New York Times that it’s time Christians get with the program and “take homosexuality off the sin list.” Bruni suggests that we free “religious people from prejudices that they can indeed jettison . . . rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity.” (Quoted by Eric Metaxas http://www.breakpoint.org 4-13-15). But I take my stand with Rev. Richard Eyer who writes, “It is not our human prerogative to redefine marriage for the sake of political correctness, social justice or as an accommodation to the changing times. As God does not change, but is ever faithful, so marriage does not change and ever proclaims the faithfulness of God to His people . . . Marriage cannot be whatever a society wants it to be. We as Christians bear witness to the truth, and the dark ages of sin will not change it.” (www.lcms.org/freetobefaithful)

I am free to take such a stand but, soon, will it require opposing Caesar? As laws on marriage, parenting, and hate speech are set in earthly stone, what will happen when I, as a follower of Jesus Christ, cannot obey them? What will happen when I’m told I can’t mentor a young woman at my local pregnancy center because, like the Navy Chaplain was told, it is “inappropriate counseling” to use God’s Word on sex outside of marriage or the practice of sodomy?

Black Americans once engaged in non-violent civil disobedience in the face of Jim Crow laws. If I would have been old enough, I think I would have joined them. I have joined the ranks of non-violent pro-lifers who rallied in public witness against legalized abortion. While we have opportunity, Christ-followers should speak with confidence and refuse to compromise biblical faith as a parent, student, employee, or business owner.

The Christian photographer, cake-baker, and florist did not compromise their faith. When asked to provide their services for the wedding receptions of gay couples, they refused to participate in something they believed contrary to God’s Word. Law suits quickly followed. We will see more of this as marriage deconstructionists and the media try to intimidate and silence Christians. But if the Supreme Court rules that individual states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize the “marriages” of same-sex couples from other states, will I urge my pastor to teach in the way of Christ and contrary to the Supreme Court even if it means his possible arrest? Will I continue to publicly mentor using God’s Word even if it means speaking against “Caesar”?

Silence is preferable to many Christians. “I believe in Jesus,” I’ve been told, “but my faith is a private thing.” Or, “I don’t want to know what’s going on out there. It’s too overwhelming. I just want to be left in peace.” A follower of Christ will find contentment on this earthly journey because of the Holy Spirit within him, but he will most surely never be at peace with a world that despises the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Why is it that homosexual activists who used to be somewhat libertarian (“all we ask is that you recognize our affection for the same-sex”) have become more boldly totalitarian (“participate in our wedding or we will shut down your business”)? Is it possible that in seeking friendship and peace with the world, Christian denominations that were already acceptant of child sacrifice through abortion and now ordain practicing homosexuals and bless same-sex marriages offer no resistance?

But when Christians refuse to submit, will the anger of those seeking dominance turn to persecution? Even genocide? It has in the past. It is today in Iraq, Egypt, and Kenya. It may be coming to America soon. And what then? My pastor reminds me that the Church grows stronger under persecution. Unlike with any other religion, hope abounds as people live for Jesus Christ.

Cardinal George said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.” Then he continued, “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization as the Church has done so often in human history . . . God sustains the world, in good times and in bad . . . only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, Savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb . . . are on the right side of history. Those who lie about Him and persecute or harass His followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up bringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing ‘progressive’ about sin, even when it is promoted as ‘enlightened.’”  (www.ncregister.com/blog/tim-drake/the-myth-and-the-reality-of-ill-die-in-my-bed)

Will I be willing to disobey Caesar if it means obeying Christ? I pray for courage to do so. For now, there are things I can do that don’t oppose Caesar. I can pay attention to my own marriage and, as Rev. Eyer says, “make it an example of truth.” I can openly discuss the fact that children do best, not with two dads or two moms, but when mentored by a faithful mother and father. I can point out that man and woman are distinct and complementary, yet they are one: so also are Christ and His Church (John 17:22-23). I can be active in my church and encourage my church to be active in the world through its members. “If we can’t be bothered to attend church when there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of doing so,” writes Rev. Peter Speckhard, “can we credibly complain if it becomes slightly more difficult to attend the church we weren’t attending anyway?” (www.lcms.org/freetobefaithful)

The error of redefined marriage demands tolerance and equality. But if the Supreme Court allows this error to dominate, then civil disobedience may be required. Jesus said, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21).

Marriage is of God. I must resist its counterfeit.

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Making Gay OkayIn his sane and sensible book, Making Gay Okay, author Robert R. Reilly reveals why and how Americans are being forced to consider homosexual acts as morally acceptable.  He explains the “power of rationalization,” the means by which one “mentally transforms wrong into right,” and the dynamics of tolerating sexual misbehavior.

LGBT activists here in the U.S. push hard for cultural acceptance of sodomy in schools, courts, churches, and the military.  We are labeled “intolerant” if we speak God’s Word that calls the act of homosexuality a sin.  We are labeled “homophobic” or even “hostile” if we voice concern for children, family, and the survival of a thriving society.

U.S. Embassies across the world—in Pakistan, Kenya, Laos, and Prague—have been instructed by the Obama Administration to legitimize sodomy and promote same-sex marriage.  U.S. foreign policy seeks to change the laws of other countries, but there is resistance from nations where homosexual acts are illegal.

Reilly explains, “When the acting ambassador in El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, wrote an op-ed in a major Salvadoran newspaper, La Prensa Grafica, implying that the disapproval of homosexual behavior is animated by ‘brutal hostility’ and ‘aggression’ by ‘those who promote hatred,’ a group of pro-family associations fought back.  On July 6, 2011, they wrote:

Ms. Aponte, in clear violation of the rules of diplomacy and international rights laws, you intend to impose to [sic] Salvadorans, disregarding our profound Christian values rooted in natural law, a new vision of foreign and bizarre values, completely alien to our moral fiber, intending to disguise this as “human rights” . . . . The only thing we agree with from your article, is to repudiate violence against homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, etc.; against these, just the same as against skinny, fat, tall or short . . . . This of course does not mean accepting the legal union between same sex individuals or to add new types of families like bisexual, tri-sexual, multi-sexual and the full range of sexual preferences.  Not accepting the legitimacy of ‘sexual diversity’ does not mean we are violating any human right.  There can be no talk of progress if this is how ‘modern’ is defined.  We prefer to feel proudly ‘old fashioned,’ keep our moral values, preserve our families and possess the clarity of what defines good and evil.”

As for me?  I stand with the pro-family groups of El Salvador.  I pray that I will fear, love, and trust God so that I might love my neighbor without accepting evil as good.  Does this mean that I will be called to discriminate?  Isn’t discrimination bad?  No.  As Reilly brilliantly writes, “The ability to discriminate is, of course, essential to the ability to choose correctly.”

It is not too late to choose correctly.  Bizarre values are not “human rights.”  Inspired by my neighbors in El Salvador, I will persevere for marriage and family.

Making Gay Okay by Robert R.  Reilly,
p. 203, 214

 

 

 

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Eric Metaxas from Breakpoint (10/28) brings something to Ezerwoman’s attention.  Having been concerned about the separation of procreation from sex here in the American culture, I find the following worthy of our attention.  Eric Metaxas writes:

Long-time BreakPoint listeners know about Japan’s catastrophically-low birthrates: by 2060, Japan’s population is projected to fall by a third, the same percentage killed by the Black Death in 14th-century Europe.

Japan’s demographic decline has spawned some creepy adaptations, such as lifelike talking dolls for elderly Japanese without grandchildren, or the borrowing of other people’s grandchildren for a day.

Attempts to encourage child-bearing through economic incentives have failed, as they have in other countries with low birth-rates. Younger Japanese aren’t interested in reproducing themselves.

And now, according to a recent article in the UK’s Guardian, they’re increasingly uninterested in sex, as well.

A 2011 survey found that 61 percent of unmarried men and 49 percent of unmarried women between 18 and 34 were not involved in any kind of relationship. Another survey found that a third of those under thirty had never dated.

Daily_Commentary_10_28_13MMore ominously, a study by the Japan Family Planning Association revealed that 45 percent of all Japanese women between the ages of 16 and 24 “were not interested in or despised sexual contact.” More than a quarter of their male counterparts felt the same way.

As the Guardian puts it, “Japan’s under-40s won’t go forth and multiply out of duty, as postwar generations did.” Why? Part of the reason has to do with Japanese attitudes to women in the workforce. As one 32-year-old woman told the paper, “a woman’s chances of promotion in Japan stop dead as soon as she marries.” The assumption is that she’ll become pregnant and have to resign.

While that helps to explain why her generation isn’t having children or even getting married, it doesn’t explain the lack of interest in sex. And it certainly doesn’t explain why an increasing number of Japanese men aren’t interested in it either.

One 31-year-old man spoke for many of his peers when he said, “I find some of my female friends attractive but I’ve learned to live without sex. Emotional entanglements are too complicated . . . I can’t be bothered.”

“Can’t be bothered.” Or mendokusai in Japanese. (Didn’t think I could speak Japanese, did you? Well, I can’t.)

Most of the other possible factors the Guardian cites, including “the lack of a religious authority that ordains marriage and family,” are only partial explanations. Japan’s “precarious earthquake-prone ecology that engenders feelings of futility, and the high cost of living and raising children” don’t explain the increasing lack of interest in sex. But here’s something that does: it’s the lack of interest in having children. The assumption of the sexual revolution was that, having severed the link between sex and procreation, the result would be “better sex.”

Newsletter_Gen_180x180_BBut the Japanese experience suggests that the opposite may be closer to the truth. Having stripped sex of one of its God-ordained purpose, we turned it into just another pleasurable human activity, albeit one that often comes with complicated emotional entanglements.

Since the “urban pastimes” available to younger Japanese provide pleasure without the entanglements, sex can seem like a bad investment of time and energy. Mendokusai.

The Guardian calls Japan’s separation of love and sex “pragmatic.” But the evidence strongly suggests that there is nothing “pragmatic”—as in “dealing with things sensibly and realistically”—about that separation. We human beings simply aren’t wired that way.

In some important respects, the difference between Japan and us is one of degree, not kind. It remains to be seen if a generation of young Americans will one day replace “whatever” with “mendokusai.”

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Bill O'ReillyMany people attempt to speak for God.  But it is a dangerous thing to play fast and loose with God’s Word.  Bill O’Reilly, who consistently reminds his listeners that he attended Catholic school, is one example.  He recently told his guest, a priest, that the whole homosexual thing doesn’t trouble him.  Really?  And, I wonder, why might that be?

Two thoughts come to mind.  O’Reilly is a deceived creature who has raised himself above the Creator. He dangerously follows the example of Eve who, after putting herself in God’s place, spoke for Him.  When Satan asked, “Did God really say . . . ?” Eve responded, adding words that God never spoke (compare Genesis 3:2-3 with 2:16-17). Does O’Reilly doubt that Jesus Christ is The Word (John 1:1-5, 14)?  Jesus, who is God, calls homosexuality a sin in both the Old and New Testaments.

Second, it’s quite possible that O’Reilly has no difficulty with two men or two women living a gay or lesbian lifestyle because of another deception.  It is much easier to accept homosexuality as just a personal form of sexual expression when we are deceived by false identity.  That false identity is sexuality.

Identifying humans as primarily sexual beings is what motivates women to aggressively support “reproductive rights” and an American president who blesses Planned Parenthood.  But with little or no fear of God, men and women worship the created rather than the Creator.

Once we have been deceived to see ourselves as “sexual from birth,” our thinking, speech, clothing and behavior soon reflect the lie.  When we celebrate our sexuality — rather than the God who made us — we are more easily captive to the flesh.  We may, indeed, proclaim: This is who God made me to be!

Homosexuality is accepted when we believe the lie: “my body, my choice.”  At the core of all issues of life — abortion, marriage, homosexuality and euthanasia – is identity.   We will most certainly have an identity problem when we deny or doubt the Word of God.

God identifies us not as sexual beings, but as holy beings.  God is holy.  He calls us to be holy.  Holiness means seeking after the things of God, not the things of the flesh.  It means denying self and, instead, being a vessel for noble purpose.  This goes against the grain of the world’s thinking.  “Express yourself,” we’re told.  “Satisfy your natural desires.”  And, in this present culture, what could be more natural than expression of our sexuality which appears to be the sum total of who we are.

O’Reilly (and the rest of us who call upon the name of Christ) should take care.  It is a dangerous thing to play fast and loose with things of God.  Our identity – and with it, our behavior – is defined by God.

To everyone who is called by God’s name, who has been created for His glory, He says, “. . . I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1, 7).

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