Thursday, March 01, 2012

Apology And Hypocrisy By Barack Obama

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Yesterday I received the following message from pastor Valerie Hartwell. She and her husband Roy Hartwell are pastors of a church in the Olympia area.


It is not uncommon for me to hear from pastors and leaders on a wide range of issues. I always appreciate their in put and suggestions.



Valerie wrote:
"I don't normally make requests on what one writes on their blog... yours are always exceptionally good, btw. But on this emergency issue of a fellow pastor - an Iranian pastor currently imprisoned for his faith about to be hanged for not denying our Lord and Obama joining the international community condemning this (holding our breath!) execution - I can't help but ask you to blog on the hypocrisy of Obama and his administration for putting forth policy in America currently being done to persecute pastors and Christians for their Christian beliefs here in America, e.g. not defending DOMA - a fundamental Christian belief - while at the same time condemning Iran for not allowing this pastor to have freedom of his religion is the height of hypocrisy and shame to Obama."

I said, why don't you share some thoughts on the subject and I'll make it a guest column for Thursday.

This is her response:
We pray to God for this pastor and his family that he is not executed for not denying his faith in the Lord. Yet, I hope this is a resounding wake-up call and an embarrassment to Christians in America who have been cowardly squandering their faith and unwilling to take a stand personally and in the pulpit for our Lord e.g. - afraid to sign a petition opposing homosexual marriage for fear "names, reputations (political and personal) or businesses will be exposed, afraid to speak boldly in the public about turning ones life back to the Lord, or being afraid to exercise our constitutional right to freedom of speech in public conversation on the issue of homosexual marriage for fear they will be rejected or scoffed. I have already done this (not in an adversarial way - just talking) while doing a simple thing like getting my nails done and have witnessed so-called Christians embarrassed about bringing this issue up and trying to shush me instead! Of course, I didn't stand for it, but is this what our American Christian brethren have come to?

I would like you to read an article by Jennifer LeClair, linked here.

What I see has been happening in our country is that the homosexual has "come out of the closet" brazenly expressing their homosexuality while the Christian (who should be shouting their faith from the housetop) have withdrawn into their closet afraid to come out. This is a travesty. I preached this once at our church. In the last chapter of Revelations the Lord talks about cowards. We as professing Christians should not leave it up to public pundits, brave Christian politicians, or the nightly newscast to dissect this, but should take great courage and stand together unapologetically for our faith now in THIS country. The curtain has been drawn back and the line has been drawn in the sand as to which side we are going to stand. As this bold faithful pastor unashamedly proclaimed his faith let his witness be a stinging testimony to our Christian conscience and dis-ease our comfort so that we may boldly proclaim our faith.

Just read today that the US House to vote on demanding pastor Nadarkhani's release...

God STIR us to STAND!

Thank you, Gary... Valerie Hartwell

And, as you say in your blogs, Gary, May God help us....

___________________

May God help us indeed.

If you have not yet signed up to help circulate petitions in defense of marriage please do so here.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.

21 comments:

  1. Valarie just doesn't see things clearly the situations are identical:
    DOMA is a the Feds forcing one religious view on others that don't necessarily share it, and Iran is doing the same. Fortunately that is unconstitutional here in the US, not so much in Iran.

    As she and you know there are many Christians that bless all marriages just as there are states that license them. You have a right to practice your religion, everyone else has a right not to practice yours and the government is supposed to treat all citizens the same regardless of what religion they practice.

    Giving others religious freedom even if their religion isn't ours is one of the things that differentiates us from Iran, complaining about it says more about you than it you might want to admit.

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    1. There are no Christians that bless same-sex unions as they're not marriage per biblical standards. They follow a Gospel diametrically opposed to the Bible, another words a false gospel of man. They have no claim to Christ. Jesus said "you will know a tree by its fruit". The only fruit they bare is calling what is an abomination good and what is good evil.

      DOMA has not been ruled unconstitutional last time I checked. That means it is constitutional and must be defended by the Justice Department.

      One can disagree, but its the law of the land until such time, heaven forbid, it's overturned.

      You don't have a religion, so what's your beef?

      Craig in Lacey

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    2. Of course there are Christians who bless same sex unions, the ones that have accept Christ's Law, that have given up the yoke of the old Law that has passed as they were commanded, realizing it is God's grace that fills his children and not the task of Christian to question this.

      And yes, those that have rejected Christ's Law, that haughtily proclaim a Godly right to judge with whited sepulcher hearts are preaching a false gospel. Being gay in and of itself is no more an 'abomination' than eating shrimp or wearing two fiber cloth all declared ritually unclean with the same hebrew word. The old Law is fulfilled and passed but those who are without Grace and reject Christ's Law are left bitter and alone desperately trying to thump their Bibles in beat to a holy tune they refuse to hear.

      And the Justice Department has said that section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional since the federal government can not pick and choose which totally valid state contracts it is going to recognized, either all of them issued by the state are valid or none of them are, pick one.

      And recognizing a federal law is unconstitutional and not defending it has happened over 10 times since 1946 alone so you are wrong that it must be defended even on these purely secular grounds.

      I've learned a lot since spending time with real Christians, and Christ's yoke is indeed light. When you see those filled with Grace and contrast them with the false ones filled with hate - well its pretty obvious who's walking in Jesus's footsteps.

      But I suspect we live in different worlds - using the Facebook tool that allows a person to easily check who of their Facebook friends signed Referendum 71, out of the several hundred I had only 2 had signed and they are the same ones that send out the 'Obama was born in Kenya' emails. What's the old saying, you can pick your friends but not your relatives? People of vastly different religious backgrounds with some attending church several times a week, others never at all, but they all almost to a soul know that equal rights is a good thing.

      So stop declaring who is a Christian and who isn't Craig, that's going to lead you down an unpleasant path in both short and long term, this issue and those to come. By their fruits shall you know them? Rotten and bitter just isn't the tree God wants people to cultivate.

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    3. I don't declare it the Bible does. As it says " in the last days there will be scoffers". If the fruit is bad the tree is.

      The ceremonial and food laws are passed because there is no need for a temple sacrifice as the Bible clearly declares, Jesus was and is the final sacrifice for sins. The moral code was never abolished. Taking God's name in vain, graven images, dishonoring your mother and father, stealing, lying, coveting, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, promiscuity, effeminism, greed, etc., are still sins and always will be. Old and New Testament declare them to be so, so whose fooling who, you don't get to pick and choose and neither do I.

      I hear God's word quite clearly and will contend for the faith as I've been commanded to do. I live under grace because the Law cannot save, but recognize that the Bible clearly says that we are not to use that grace as a license to do as we please. Bitter, not hardly, I'm at peace with myself and the world because the spirit resides within me. Rotten, you may think so, but I'm not the one buying the same line Satan told Eve 'did God really say'.

      Deceived and perverted isn't the fruit God wants people to cultivate.

      When did the Supreme Court rule DOMA unconstitutional?

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    4. You are mistaking the religions of heritage with the new populist feel good evangelical churches. They are the ones ignoring Christ's Law, puffing themselves up with pride and reverting to the role of the Pharisees.

      And you are mistaken about the codes of Moses, they are a unit and they come and go as a unit as Moses said and is repeated in James. All the old Law of Moses has passed, for it was all fulfilled by Jesus, this is again Christianity 101.

      Now some of the things you mention are incompatible with Christ's Law yet but that doesn't make any of the Mosaic dogma that was often contextually based relevant absent its context. Christ's Law are the Christian principles and gay people filled with grace can follow them just as easily as straight ones can.

      And since I have met people of grace and you exhibit none of those qualities here I have my honest doubts. It is those that cling to the old yoke that are deceived, those that think they have earned God's grace which is in reality freely given to all that ask are mistaken, and yes those that spend their time judging others and by doing so try to turn them away from God that are Satan's servants.

      Decieved and perverted qualities of the fruit of the are the modern evangelical megachurches - they are at best the rise of false populist religion that heralds the end.

      Oh and a law can be found unconstitutional by any legal authority, the Supreme Court is just its final arbitrating authority. Precedence says that the feds can't pick and choose state contracts they will acknowledge while leaving the contracts within the state intact - either they are all ok or they are all void - pick one.. That is why section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, it doesn't matter what civil contact you are talking about.

      The Justice Department is not enslaved to the legislature, they are in a different branch and are totally free to reach their own conclusions about any law and its constitutionality.

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    5. First, I don't belong to a populist church or the world would love me. Do as you please because everyone goes to heaven, all gods are basically the same, right? Wrong! Jesus said he was the only way. That's very unpopular.

      Second, I don't belong to to any megachurch preaching the health and prosperity gospel nor any megachurch at all. I belong to the church that preaches that unrepentant sin leads to hell, that Jesus alone saves, that you can't live like the world and escape consequences in this life and the next, that the Word of God is the only book for sound doctrine and practice of the Christian faith. You would do well to heed this.

      Third, I'm not an evangelical, just a Christian who has repeatedly said that it is by grace I"m saved not by works lest I boast, so where you came up with my supposed self-justification before God is a mystery. I think you're trying to justify your behavior when there is no biblical truth to back you up. You are convicted by your own mind, my friend. Homosexuality is forbidden in the New and Old Testament in all its forms. There isn't even one verse affirming it, nada, zero, zip. Let alone "marriage". Don't blame me or God. Humble yourself before Him and receive forgiveness and live for Him not your flesh.

      Fourth, as for my grace towards others, I'm exhibiting it here. I'm not calling for you to be stoned or imprisoned(pharisitical), but to repentance, as Jesus did. As for judgement, I'm called to judge those inside the body as Paul said, God will judge those outside. Peter judged the believers, so did Paul, Jude, John and most certainly Christ did.
      So I'm supposed to deny my Lord and listen to you?!!!! I don't think so, homey don't play that;) If people who claim Christ are preaching heresy and I remain silent I'm enabling. Go read Jude and Romans 1 about how God sees those who deny morals and approve of others who do so.

      You may call me whatever you like, its ok, I forgive you. That's grace in action, brother. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

      Craig in Lacey

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    6. Craig, you know that the Bible doesn't even mention homosexual conduct outside of that engaged in for idolatrous reasons in both the old and new testament. You are making sweeping generalizations. All the old Testament is a condemnation of sex acts performed in the Caanite and Egyptian temples with both men and women. Romans talks about religious practices of those that were worshiping animal headed goods, Corinthians is about those indulging in same by already married folks with Paul clarifying all the 'infidelity' loopholes that were part of the Roman sexual code.

      That same sex partners weren't mentioned is because there weren't any - Romans didn't categorized sex by sexual orientation and all men were required by law to marry women - how could a commentary about someone come up at the time? We do know that Jesus realized that sexuality is an essential part adult living, saying that the ability to go without it is a gift that not all can receive. And we know that sexuality is only of 'this world' since there is no sex in heaven. As to performing blessings, people of faith can ask God's blessing for anything - I saw on TV someone blessing ground just the other day. Couples have been in blessing ceremonies across this nation regardless of their sexual combination for years, nothing will change in that regard with or without the totally secular civil contract titled 'Marriage'. The blessing is for God to give, not you to decide.

      Christ's Laws is about how we are supposed to act, not a children's laundry list of 'don'ts' - one of the purposes of the old Law was to show the futility in merely following dogmatic rules and how it fails. Christians are now bound by its principles which again gay people can follow just like straights. It is why we have sex that can make it a sin but that is true of any sexual orientation.

      As your saying its a rationalization, that's obviously not true since the sound doctrine being used to reach the conclusions is the same one that allows many of the just as demanded and proscribed things of the New Testament to be re-exmained from the demanded garb and behavior of women, slaves, and more. Its not a sin to realize that much of what the Bible says was contextual and that it must be examined in its context, those with Grace don't have to repent having a brain and using it as they were taught and commanded by Christ.

      Being gay is no more intrinsically sinful than eating shrimp or working on the Sabbath. Christians in a mutually exclusive loving relationship is a good thing, better for them, better for society. and things that are better is what we are working towards.

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    7. Oshtur, you know that's precisely what you're doing. You've set your body up as an idol before God and using it in manner he abhors and telling Him you don't care what he said. The prohibitions against illicit sex are for God's people, Jew and Gentile alike. We have been warned time and again not to act like pagans, you know, acting out Christ's law. He said all the commandments hang on those 2. If homosexual conduct was ok with God within a loving committed relationship, He would have told the Jews so, as long as it wasn't part of a idolitrous ritual. He did not, nor did He say so when the Jews were in Babylon or under Assyria, or Greece.

      Actually, Romans speaks to the pagan practices of those who should have known better, like you. Even the Romans recognized that marriage was between a man and woman and it was one of the most deviant empires ever, so your argument falls flat.

      On a secular argument, 6000 years of recorded human history prove the importance of marriage between a man and woman. Societies have come and gone, empires rose and fell and all of them recognized marriage as such.

      Sex is a sin only outside the confines of what God created it for, the expression of love between a husband and wife and the bearing of children. I know that chaps your hide:), but thats why incest, adultery, promiscuity, homosexuality, bestiality, prostitution are all outside God's desire for humans.

      The reason there's no sex in heaven? We don't have bodies, makes it sort of difficult, don't you think? :)

      Craig in Lacey

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    8. Craig its isn't my argument, it is those of Christians. The Old Law as specific, every word it did and didn't say was by divine intent. If a blanket contextless condemnation of same sex behavior was intended there were other words that could be used other than 'ritually unclean'. That all the references are about temple prostitutes of both genders just punctuates this.

      You want this to be about a topic that it is obviously not - this was about religions, not about sexuality, but because we don't have many religions that have sexual rites around anymore you want to shoehorn it into some contemporary relevancy that just isn't there.

      That you would tell the divine what they would or should have said further shows how far you have strayed. And that you think there are no bodies in heaven just shows how much your beliefs have been corrupted by the Roman influence, it was the Greco-Roman culture that thought there was a dichotomy between the soul and the body, hence the various heresies that said Jesus wasn't human and the pointless invention of the immaculate conception to rationalize this demonization of the corporeal world.

      All are sinners and will always be so - they are forgiven not gone, and that you know better than God what is or isn't is so outside of Christ's Law its amazing you persist in insisting you do.

      Again, people filled with Grace accept their fellow Christians without regard for the gender of their spouse - that you don't is your choice which you have a right to make, but that doesn't mean any other Christian has to share it.

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    9. Lev. 17 speaks of ritually unclean practices,
      So do 21 & 22, 18 doesn't, it speaks of unlawful sexual relations. Jesus himself is giving these laws, the Lord your God. Nowhere in the chapter is there any mention of ritual uncleaness, only defilement, and God drove those people out of the land. Do you think Jesus has changed His mind concerning these practices? There is no mention of these sexual practices being of any religious ritual except offering your child to Molech and there is no sex involved.

      What does 19:18 say? Sound familiar? Christ's law is also in the Old Testament, did you know that?

      Lev. 20 is specific as to the punishments for sin, not ritual uncleanness. Most of these are sexual sins. Do you think these are now null and void? That these are no longer sins?

      You're fooling yourself Oshtur, it doesn't matter what Christians say, it matters what God's Word says.

      That's what happens when the church marries the world, people begin to question Gods commands. the lie Satan told Eve, "did God really say...."

      I'm not corrupted by the RCC, its the beast of Revelation, I wouldn't follow it for any reason, so enough with the gnosticism references. When I said no body in Heaven, I meant human body, we will have a resurrection body. The human body turns to dust, as the Bible teaches. We can't see God in our present form, it would kill us, remember Moses on Mt. Sinai? There is no need to be fruitful and multiply in Heaven, so no sex. The corporeal world is under Satan as He bragged to Jesus himself.

      Tthe Doctrine of Oshturism needs some serious work. Sin can be forgiven and is then gone. God said He would remember it no more, since He's eternal, that's as gone as it gets. "as far as the east is from the west", "washed as white as snow". Let me know when you get more than 1 adherrant to your gospel:)

      I would never claim to know better than God, I just read what the Word says and do my best to obey, unworthy of His Grace and mercy, I too am a sinner. I have never claimed to be anything else, but one thing I do, forgetting what is behind, I strive to grab hold of that for which Christ grabbed hold of me.

      Craig in Lacey

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    10. Craig there are no 'titles' in the real bible texts, 18 is about what 18 is about and verse 21 is about either masturbating as part of temple rites or sacrificing children and 22 says that sleeping with a man as a woman (in Torah tradition only referring to anal sex not homosexuality was called tovah, ritually unclean same as in Leviticus 20.

      Again, you are shoehorning your contemporary desires about what you wish statements would mean to be that are only relevant in the context they are mentioned - again, God didn't put any loopholes in the the Law to Moses, it said precisely what it was supposed to say and its context is precisely the one it was supposed to have.

      I 100% agree, ritual sexual activity of any sexual orientation is 'tovah', but that has nothing to do with two married people in a monogamous relationship.

      As to your comment about sin, yes it is gone I was speaking in that no context of no one remains sinless, our failure to uphold the Law is a continual process as the sermon on the Mount taught.

      And your question about Leviticus 20 shows what you have missed - "are these sins? " The test is the same for all Christians, do these flow from Christ's Law? Can you behave in this manner and still be of Grace, Love God and love your neighbors? That is the litmus test for Christian sin. I remind you of the example that happened in Britain where the married couple found out they were really brother and sister adopted separately at birth. According to the Old Testament they are most certainly sinful, but under Christ's Law we can evaluate it on a case by case basis.

      That is what changed with the coming of Christ, that is why Christ's Law is not the Law of Moses which has passed. That's why Christ's Law is a burden which is both light but hard - we are now told what we should do, not a childish laundry list of things we shouldn't.

      Can you do whatever you want? Of course not! But it doesn't mean that you are any longer proscribed from doing ritually unclean acts outside the context they were previously grouped. Yes you can eat shrimp, work on Sunday, wear two fiber cloth, and yes, even have a spouse that is of the same gender.

      That's why you are losing, that's why these referendums and initiatives are pointless - people that know gay couples know they can be just as Christian and servants of Christ as much as anyone else. This time or the next time, marriage equality will be the law of the land.

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    11. Oshtur, there are no "titles" on the Sermon on the Mount either, but that certainly describes the content. 18:21 is explicit, no mention of it being a religious practice of the nations God was driving out, only that it was their custom to do it, just like having sex with your neighbors wlfe or your aunt or your sister, on purpose, with knowledge aforethought. So stop with the British couple strawman, obviously they didn't know and knowing is the point. Yes, they can receive forgiveness, if they confess and repent(stop living as husband and wife).

      Now you're a proponent of Jewish tradition? Precisely what got the Pharisees taken to the mat. The meaning of HOMOsexual is having sex with the same gender, duh! That's sin, period.

      Do these flow from Christ's law? Absolutely, we should honor God with our bodies. We should use them as God intended, not pervert them. We should honor our sisters body, our aunts, our uncles, our friends.

      Actually I'm not losing, marriage overwhelmingly is recognized in this country as between a man and woman. Which will become evident on election night. I will leave you to your deliberations:)

      Craig in Lacey

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    12. Yes, 18:21 is specific - Jews aren't supposed to engage in the ritually unclean act of sex with men that was part of the Caanite temple practices. And I have no idea what the 'HOMOsexual' rant is about since that word doesn't exist in either ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, the three languages of the Bible.

      And your 'solution' for the british couple just shows how different you are from Christian beliefs that think the dogma of old Law is passed and they are bound by Christ's Law which is about how you are supposed to act with others.

      And we will see, reading the replies to the man who is emailing those R71 signers that shared their emails on the petitions I am heartened; yes some are paranoid and vicious, but many are heartfelt on both sides of the issue, some apologetic for signing, and one unaware they signed at all.

      Peace be with you, and may you find your path to Jesus someday.

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  2. Valerie. I agree with you completely, but how do we get our pastor to take a stand. It is difficult.

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  3. We should be ashamed of the way we take our freedoms for granted. If we don't excercise them we will lose them. I think we are losing them.

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  4. Yes, it is time for Christians to come out of the closet. Obama may pretend to care about that priest more than his muslem friends but we know the truth. We need pews in the public square not Adam and Steve.

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  5. Valerie is correct. Just as we have politicians who are Republican In Name Only (RINOs), we also have pastors and priests who are Christian In Name Only (CINOs). The latter are far more insidious because they enable the former.

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  6. I have friends that immigrated here and they are so wishing we would stand up.

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    1. Clearly Christians are being harassed into submission...this has been going on for over 25 years, and it began in earnest in the public schools in the 60's. Christian parents gave up turf there, when sex ed. was brought into the curriculum, when Bibles were banned from the classrooms and libraries....brazen censorship of "a book" that God-haters screamed loudly about when we tried to put blatant pornography under adult supervision for adults only! Their side is bold...our side is cowering everytime they throw a tantrum. When will it stop...hard to say!! My feeling is that we must pray against the "fear of man" and what men think of us when we quietly proclaim publicly...."Jesus is LORD....glory be to him and his WORD!!!" Frankly, I will know things are turning around when Christians bring "The Book" back into school libraries and classrooms....a right, I understand, that has been won in court....teachers can read from "The Book" in the classrooms of America without fear of reprisal...something that reportedly is being done in Russian classrooms without trouble!!???!!! CZ

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  7. Well said. This IS the line in the sand. Once gay marriage happens, IT WILL BE TOO LATE!!! We cannot let this happen. Jesus will lead us to save our state from RUIN! I will follow him or there will be NOTHING left for our children. We are Christians this can't happen.

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  8. I don't really care about the religious aspects of the concept of gay and/or gay marriage. Marriage is a legal contract first and foremost. If the people involved share love, or not, that's their business. But the contract is not about the people involved, it's about the responsibility and liabililty of caring for and nurturing children of that marriage. Gay's have no potential to have children naturally. They don't have to be married to adopt children. They have no reason to get married other than they want to stir the pot and celebrate their differences. Quite frankly, who cares?????

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