Three Sermons that will get Oren arrested
Three Sermons that will get Oren arrested
Part One: Hate speech
Part One: Hate speech
Hello, and welcome to my latest sermon series, "Three sermons that will get Oren arrested." Now I can hear you asking "Oren, why do you want to get arrested?" I don't. I've no need or desire to stay in the "free hotel". I do, however, want to preserve two basic human rights: Freedom of speech and freedom of religion. People have gone to prison for what I'm going to say here tonight. They stood up for the truth, and they were punished for it. What I am going to say needs to be said, and if I am arrested for saying it, so be it. If, on the other hand, I can make a case for our freedoms, so much the better.
The world. What can we say about it? It's weird. It is beloved by God, yet it is at emnity with God. It honors those who do good yet prospers those who do evil. Those who seek its ill, it counts as friends. Those who seek its good are counted as enemies. It makes absolutely no sense. Why? Because the world is full of people, and people are full of perversity.
Now when I say "perverse", I don't mean it in the modern connotation of "sexually explicit". I mean it in the original sense: "Contrary". People will do the exact opposite of whatever God tells them to, even if it is for their own good. ESPECIALLY if it is for their own good. And it all started with one individual.
No, not Adam or Eve. It started with Lucipher. He had it all going for him. He was called the morning star. Highest of the arcangels. He was the chief of creation. Who here would mind being chief of all creation? I didn't think so. Had he been content to serve, he would have been in a position of honor as the chief steward of God's kingdom for all eternity. Instead, he defied God and made a grab for the throne. Now, he is despised and destined for eternal torment. There is not a nation in the world where his name is not spoken with derision and contempt. Yet remarkably, his behavior hasn't changed. He pursues short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term gain, and encourages everyone else to do the same.
In the garden of Eden, Satan passed his perverse nature to Adam and Eve, and it's been filtering down through countless generations ever since. At one time or another in our lives, each one of us makes the decision to disobey God's rules in favor of short-term gain. The sad thing is that God's rules invariably work to our benefit, so ultimately, we gain nothing. Not only do we offend God with our rebellion, we end up with less than we wanted.
Take the health laws which God gave the Hebrews. To the casual observer, they can seem arbitrary and even stupid. But you know what? They work. They kept the Jews healthy through the black plague. Many rules are meant for the good of the individual. "Wash your hands before you eat" keeps the individual from putting germs in his mouth which he may have gotten from handling dirty tools, washing his feet, or whatever. Others are meant to promote peace. If, for example, murder carries a stiff punishment, I can walk down the street relatively confident that I won't be murdered. My allowing my neighbor to live benefits him. His leaving me alive in turn benefits me. Still other laws are meant to enhance and protect our relationship with God. After all, God is a person, too. He has all the same feelings we do, and is just as capable of being hurt. He has every right to tell us not to use His name as a swear word, nor worship any other god or some graven image. All of these laws work together to keep us safe, healthy, and relatively happy. David certainly understood this. He called the laws of the Lord "Perfect", saying that they "revive the soul", "make wise the simple" and "give joy to the heart". He called them sweeter than honey from the honeycomb.
In large part, the world is forced to acknowledge that God's laws make sense, even if they don't like it. But then on occasion, they find one for which they can find no benefit, nor consequence for breaking. Most of us here are too young to remember the sixties. This was when the sexual revolution hit. Many people embraced the concept of "free love", which is essentially sleeping around with anyone you want. God tells us very plainly not to do this, and if the hippies had ever bothered to look at history or literature, they would have seen that this is a bad idea. As a direct result, sexually transmitted diseases spread like wildfire, and a large number of people grew up as half-orphans, full orphans, or worse yet, were killed before they could truly live. Half a century later, our society has still not learned its lesson. Instead of going back to God's rules of sex, we have plunged into a cornucopia of sexual perversity, going so far as to consider completely normal such things as fornication, pornography, adultry, divorce, prostitution and even homosexuality.
And there it is. That's the part that gets the preacher arrested. You can preach about just about any other sin, but you don't touch homosexuality. Even mentioning the word from behind the pulpit can be considered a hate crime in many "enlightened" nations, the United States included. That is not an exaguration. I could go to prison for what I just said, and this has happened to many pastors already.
There is a powerful, even violent push by the gay community to get homosexuality accepted as mainstream and normal, to such a degree that they are willing to murder those who are unwilling to condone it. I am, of course, speaking in general terms. Not every gay person is violent. I am speaking of the net result of their combined sentiments. There have been Christians stoned to death by homosexuals at the door of the church while the police just sat and watched.
How shall we respond? Shall we go out and kill as well? Take an eye for an eye? No. That's not our way. We take the lives of our enemies only when we are completely out of other options, and we do it in a morally and legally acceptable manner, at the command of those whom God has given the authority to make the decisions concerning life and death. Let the military and law enforcement slay the sinner. Our fight is not so corporeal in nature. In reality, what I'm saying isn't hate speech at all. I'm simply saying that those practicing perverse sexual acts should stop.
Now, of course, you've all heard the argument "God made me this way." The man who wishes to be a practicing homosexual will argue that there is something in his DNA that makes him gay. And you know what? This may be true. I know that my DNA makes me desire women. At the end of the month, I just about go crazy from the desire that comes from within my own body. And it is absolutely true that God made me this way. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable for me to go hire a prostitute and get laid, right? WRONG! Okay, so... I am justified in forcing my intentions on an unwilling woman, right? YEAH, RIGHT! So... What should I do? Ask a relative to meet my needs? Make love to the family pet? I think all of you will agree that these ideas are sick. Not one of them is justified or permissible, and if I perform any of them, I will be held responsible by those aforementioned authorities, and probably put in a correctional institution. But why am I held responsible for my actions if I am born this way? It is because I am the one who chooses what I will do. The upside of this is that if I do NOT do any of these things, I am completely innocent. I am not a rapist, nor a john, nor a zoophile no matter how bad the temptation may get.
No one is born a rapist, nor incestuous, nor an adulterer, nor addicted to porn. These are the result of our actions, not the temptations we face. Likewise, no one is born a homosexual. Maybe your DNA is different, I don't know. It really doesn't matter. Consider 1 Corinthians 10:13.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
If you are drawn to homosexuality, you have three options. Marry a woman (or if you're female, a man) and learn to be content, be chaste and relieve yourself privately, or be completely celibate. I do not recommend the last choice, as not everyone has that gift, though for some of us, it is the prefered option.
How many of you have heard of Little Richard? There's a man for whom I have a newfound great respect. Little Richard considers himself flamingly gay. However, he knows that this is not something he should be engaging in, so he has chosen not to. Little Richard is celibate, despite his temptations.
Of course, someone will say "What's wrong with being gay? Who does it hurt?" I can answer that easily, and in the past, I have. There's really no point to it, however. People asked the same question about free love, and the result is painfully obvious when you look at the face of the victim of AIDS. God gave us His rules for sex. He doesn't need to justify them. We can trust that they exist for a reason.
As for the rules themselves, I went through the bible and looked them up. Here is what I found.
1. Marry and mate with only one person, and stay with that one person. When that person is dead, you are free to seek another. The one exception is when it is necessary to sire children for a kinsman.
2. That person must be of the opposite gender.
3. It must be a person and not a beast.
4. It must not be a blood relative. This does not apply when the population of the species is extremely low.
5. Once a sexual relationship (marriage) is entered into, husband and wife are responsible to satisfy one another. To refuse to do so is a sin.
6. Sex may only be taken when it is offered. It must never be forced.
7. If you don't wish to marry and mate, you don't have to.
That's it. Six rules and one freedom. There are a lot of rules man has added, and some of them are a good idea. Some aren't. The good ones are generally extentions of the seven found here.
My challenge this week is as follows. Examine yourselves and ask whether you are obeying God's plan or are being perverse. Most of us can find at least one area in which we can improve. We are the saints. This. Us. Right here. We should not be holding ourselves to the world's standards. You wouldn't build life-saving medical equipment to the standards of a household speaker. Neither should we live by the low standard of the world. We're called to better things. Is there any area in your life on which you can improve to come into compliance with God's rules for sex?
Of course, my challenge to the unsaved is the same as it always is. Understand that God makes rules because He loves you. He wants the best for you, and He wants to be your friend. If you accept Him as Lord and savior, He will guide you into a rich and wonderful life which is full of rewarding experiences and where the troubles, though they will come, are managable, and the rewards well worth the pain.
Today's reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted