Pastor's Corner

18 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

The attack on gender continues in our country.  Last night we learned President Obama commuted the sentence of transgender former intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who now goes by the name Chelsea.  While serving in the military Manning stole intelligence documents and gave them to WikiLeaks.  Manning was sentenced to 35 years for the crime.  The news of the commuted sentence has both political parties upset with Obama’s decision citing Manning as a traitor.  Others point out that the decision has more to do with Manning’s transgender issues than with leaking classified information.  This idea makes more sense given President Obama’s pro-transgender stance and his harsh statements on the actions of other military and government individuals who also leaked classified information. 

If Mr. Obama did make his decision on the bases of gender it would be in line with the cultural movement to minimize the importance of birth gender.  We already know of colleges in Missouri and Tennessee that have created diversity offices with the expressed purpose of teaching gender neutrality (http://www.utk.edu/diversity/). Students are asked to use gender neutral pronouns to encourage a more inclusive campus.  http://wate.com/2015/08/27/ut-knoxville-encourages-students-to-use-gender-neutral-pronouns/

The changes have not stopped there.  It was reported this week that two well-known divinity schools have taken steps to minimize the use of gender by their professors.  Not among students, but when referring to God.  Duke and Vanderbilt Universities have instructed their professors to start using more “inclusive” language when referring to God because the masculine pronouns “have served as a cornerstone of the patriarchy.”  You might respond with yes, why is that a problem?  Vanderbilt tells professors to give “consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the Divine,” because the school “commits continuously and explicitly to include gender as an analyzed category and to mitigate sexism.”  Okay, you might respond with no problem there, who does not want to mitigate sexism.  The problem is, as Katherine Timpf reports in her excellent article on the subject, if we are talking about the Christian God, the God of the Bible, it has already been settled that He is referred to as male.   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443878/top-divinity-schools-use-gender-neutral-language-refer-god 

You can attempt to get all spiritual and claim that God is neither male nor female because He has no form, but you cannot escape the fact that Jesus calls Him Father and He tells us to call Him Abba Father.  Nor can you escape the fact that if you are a Christian and believe the Bible to be the communication piece of God (which Christianity has taught for thousands of years), God Himself settles the issue of gender when He tells us that He created them male and female (Genesis 1:27;5:2).  As a Christian, the subject of gender should already be settled by what the Bible tells us about people.  We are born male or female.  We are never told that boys grow up to be women or girls one day might become a man.  The Bible calls all such gender distortion sin.  The Bible tells us that anything we do that is contrary to the will of God is sin.  Since God gives so much attention to gender in the Creation story it makes sense that after the Fall Satan would want to tempt and attack people in this area.   

Transgenderism is (as are all rebellious acts) not genetically based, and it is not simply a psychological disorder; it is rebellion against God’s plan. But following this realization is good news: sin can be forgiven and lives can be changed through faith in Christ.  This is what the Bible teaches.  This is what God tells us about our condition and the work of Jesus to bring His order back into being.  God does not leave us to ourselves to discover these truths.  The answers are right there in His word if we will simply subject ourselves to its truths. 

In your compassion for others don’t fall victim to the lies of Satan and dilute the Word of God.  God loves all people and He wants them to come to understand our sinful condition.  More so He wants everyone to come to know Jesus as Savior.  He uses His people to show His love and true love never minimizes what God holds so dear.  Those that struggle with these issues need to experience God’s true love for them while understanding He cannot ignore sin.  Our job as Christians is to communicate truth in love, not make excuses or minimize sin.     

This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  1 Timothy 2:3-4 

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

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