Saturday, February 28, 2015

Homosexual Agenda Strikes Again

Homosexuality has infiltrated yet another television series—The Walking Dead. As usual, the homosexual agenda is displayed in all its depraved corruption. Season 5 episode 11 introduces us to two men who have been watching, listening, and following the main group of characters. These two men are apparently out to save the group and bring them to a safe, well-protected community. These two men? Gay.

In typical homosexual agenda fashion, the homosexuals are portrayed as the good guys—the heroes—who want nothing more than to help everybody. This is the only face of homosexuality that homosexuals and the media want the public to see, and it is a complete façade. Certain homosexuals do their darnedest to keep the true face of homosexuality out of the media and out of the lime light as best they can. They want to brainwash and manipulate the public into believing that homosexuals are upright citizens that never do any harm. They want to brainwash and manipulate the public into accepting and approving of the perversion that is homosexuality.

Have you ever noticed how not one single homosexual in television or movies is portrayed as a bad guy? You have bad guy Arabs, bad guy Orientals, bad guy Africans, bad guy Caucasians, bad guy just about everything else, including bad guy women, but never are there any bad guy homosexuals. Christians are always portrayed as crazy, fanatical, religious nut jobs while every other religion (including Catholics) is portrayed as normal and acceptable. You may even see a Christian portrayed as a bad guy (which, if the person were a genuine Christian, would be an impossibility), but never will you see a homosexual bad guy. It harms their agenda to brainwash and manipulate the public.

Everything portrayed about these two gay men in this episode of The Walking Dead is a complete fallacy and contradiction to the truth of reality and what homosexuals are really like. As usual, they portray homosexuals as loyal, loving, faithful, monogamous couples, which simply is not the case. Homosexuals are known for their many and fleeting sexual encounters, including orgies. Some heterosexuals are guilty of the same sins, and that does not excuse what they are doing, but homosexuals are well known for such things (even throughout history). Ask just about any ex-homosexual or person raised by homosexuals and they will confess the sick sexual practices of these individuals. Sex is meant to be enjoyed only within the confines of marriage and only between a husband and a wife. Anything outside of this is wrong!

This episode does everything to glorify homosexuality and put the homosexual agenda on full display, brainwashing and manipulating people into believing that homosexuals are the good guys—the heroes. If The Walking Dead were to end with this season, what a way for the homosexual agenda to win a victory than for two homosexuals to be displayed rescuing the group and returning them to a safe compound where they can all live peacefully.

I have nothing against homosexuals. They are human beings just like the rest of us. But what they practice is a perversion of human and sexual natures. It is sin and it is a mental disease to believe that it is in any way, shape, or form natural or normal. These people are just as mentally disturbed as the pedophile, the rapist, the child molester, the zoophiliac, the necrophiliac, etc. If you do not think that the homosexual agenda is the first step toward every other sexual perversion seeking sexual "rights," wake up and smell the coffee!
  1. Pedophiles Want Same Rights As Homosexuals
  2. Those Who Practice Bestiality Say They're Part of the Next Sexual Rights Movement (6 pages)
Both articles are contained below for your own education and enlightenment (in case something were to happen to the original links).

Pedophiles Want Same Rights As Homosexuals
Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.
Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. “Gay” advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.
In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. A group of psychiatrists with B4U-Act recently held a symposium proposing a new definition of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the APA.
B4U-Act  calls pedophiles “minor-attracted people.” The organization’s website states its purpose is to, “help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma and fear.”
In 1998 The APA issued a report claiming “that the ‘negative potential’ of adult sex with children was ‘overstated’ and that ‘the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from  childhood sexual abuse experiences.”
Pedophilia has already been granted protected status by the Federal Government. The Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act lists “sexual orientation” as a protected class; however, it does not define the term.
Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation;” however, the amendment was defeated by Democrats. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fl) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law. “This bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these ‘philias’ and fetishes and ‘isms’ that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule.”
The White House praised the bill saying, “At root, this isn’t just about our laws; this is about who we are as a people. This is about whether we value one another  — whether we embrace our differences rather than allowing them to become a source of animus.”
Earlier this year two psychologists in Canada declared that pedophilia is a sexual orientation just like homosexuality or heterosexuality.
Van Gijseghem, psychologist and retired professor of the University of Montreal, told members of Parliament, “Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offense from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality.”
He went on to say, “True pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation. He may, however, remain abstinent.”
When asked if he should be comparing pedophiles to homosexuals, Van Gijseghem replied, “If, for instance, you were living in a society where heterosexuality is proscribed or prohibited and you were told that you had to get therapy to change your sexual orientation, you would probably say that that is slightly crazy. In other words, you would not accept that at all. I use this analogy to say that, yes indeed, pedophiles do not change their sexual orientation.”
Dr. Quinsey, professor emeritus of psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, agreed with Van Gijseghem. Quinsey said pedophiles’ sexual interests prefer children and, “There is no evidence that this sort of preference can be changed through treatment or through anything else.”
In July, 2010 Harvard health Publications said, “Pedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges.”
Linda Harvey, of Mission America, said the push for pedophiles to have equal rights will become more and more common as LGBT groups continue to assert themselves. “It’s all part of a plan to introduce sex to children at younger and younger ages; to convince them that normal friendship is actually a sexual attraction.”
Milton Diamond, a University of Hawaii professor and director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society, stated that child pornography could be beneficial to society because, “Potential sex offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex against children.”
Diamond is a distinguished lecturer for the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. The IASHS openly advocated for the repeal of the Revolutionary war ban on homosexuals serving in the military.
The IASHS lists, on its website, a list of “basic sexual rights” that includes “the right to engage in sexual acts or activities of any kind whatsoever, providing they do not involve nonconsensual acts, violence, constraint, coercion or fraud.” Another right is to, “be free of persecution, condemnation, discrimination, or societal intervention in private sexual behavior” and “the freedom of any sexual thought, fantasy or desire.” The organization also says that no one should be “disadvantaged because of  age.”
Sex offender laws protecting children have been challenged in several states including California, Georgia and Iowa. Sex offenders claim the laws prohibiting them from living near schools or parks are unfair because it penalizes them for life.

Those Who Practice Bestiality Say They're Part of the Next Sexual Rights Movement
During his sophomore year in high school, Cody Beck finally got fed up with hearing homophobic cracks. If his classmates thought being gay was weird (Beck was openly bisexual), he had a confession that would blow their minds. He told them he is sexually attracted to dogs and horses.
"I just couldn't keep it in anymore," Beck says. "Just for the hell of it, I figured I'd throw it out there and have them make fun of me even more." Which they did. An 18-year-old from Arizona who graduated from high school this past year, Beck says classmates taunted him by calling him "Bestiality Dude."
Being a "zoophile" in modern American society, Beck says, is "like being gay in the 1950s. You feel like you have to hide, that if you say it out loud, people will look at you like a freak."
Now Beck believes he and other members of this minority sexual orientation, who often call themselves "zoos," can follow the same path as the gay rights movement. Most researchers believe 2 to 8 percent of the population harbors forbidden desires toward animals, and Beck hopes this minority group can begin appealing to the open-minded for acceptance.
But if those like Beck are to make the same gains as gays, it's apparent they will have to do so without the help of gay rights groups, which so far want nothing to do with a zoophile movement. What's more, they will have to wage battle with well-funded and politically connected animal-protection activists.
And the most difficult task will be to take possession of their public image. In an internet age, zoophiles are more exposed than ever. Bestiality-themed websites are a Google search away. Hometown newspapers have learned that police reports of sex with animals become the best-read stories on their websites.
State lawmakers across the country have taken their cues by proposing anti-bestiality laws. In Florida, state Sen. Nan Rich of Sunrise proposed legislation earlier this year that would make bestiality a felony. Her bill was in response to news reports from January 2007, when a man from Mossy Point was suspected of sexually assaulting and strangling a female goat; he was arrested months later in the abduction of another goat. Rich's bill unanimously passed in the Florida Senate but died in the House, where conservative legislators might have been bashful about devoting time to a bill about sex with animals.
A similar bill was proposed this year in the Alaska Legislature, where it was known derisively as "The Ididadog." That bill failed for similar reasons — certainly not because of organized opposition. In Arizona, police arrested a Mesa deputy fire chief in 2006 for sex acts with his neighbor's lamb, which spurred state legislators to make such acts a felony. That same year, Washington state finally made bestiality illegal, inspired by a man in Enumclaw who was killed while having sex with a horse — a case that also prompted a bill last year by a Tennessee legislator. The past few weeks have brought perhaps the most famous animal sex case — a South Carolina man charged for the second time with committing buggery against the same horse.
Of course, the internet has a way of turning exposure to strength. It has allowed zoophiles from around the world to interact — not only to swap erotica but also to form a community and rehearse their arguments for the political stage. The internet also makes zoophiles accessible for the first time. They can be found in chatrooms, through websites that advocate their cause, and virtual-reality meetups.
As this group gains confidence, zoophiles figure to be more open and then more outspoken in their demands for personal liberty and against discrimination. Improbable as it may seem, zoophiles might yet prove the new frontier in the battle for sexual civil rights.

As cave drawings will attest, there's a carnal desire in some humans to lie with beasts. And though many civilizations have tried, none has been able to eradicate it, much to the frustration of organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States.
"A bazillion cultures worldwide have prohibited this behavior," sighs Bernard Unti, a spokesperson. Indeed, for committing this ultimate taboo, people have been jailed, tortured, and executed, but until the recent wave of legislation, Western culture has let humiliation and social ostracism act as the primary deterrents.
By introducing bills that bring more formal punishment, policymakers have triggered a debate they might not have anticipated: the question of whether bestiality belongs with pedophilia as they assume or whether some acts of humans having sex with animals are victimless.
The Humane Society is preparing for that battle. "We have tried to reclassify 'bestiality' with 'animal sex abuse,' " Unti says. He's heard zoophiles compare themselves to gays who lived in a close-minded culture not long ago, but Unti says that argument ignores the role of human over animal. "The example of homosexuality may offer some comfort to such persons, but [human-animal relationships] are fundamentally unequal relationships... more akin to taking advantage of minor boys or girls." In Unti's estimation, animals — like children — are not equipped with a brain that can withstand the coercion of a human adult. He claims there's a "complex correlation" linking people who have sex with animals and those who commit violent acts against people. Asked for the scientific literature that supports such a link, Unti cites research that treats all sex with animals as a violent act, which will necessarily come out hostile toward zoophiles.
Piers Beirne, a criminologist with the University of South Maine and author of the recently published book Confronting Animal Abuse, deals with the moral questions. He says that because bestiality always occurs with domesticated animals, there's an imbalance of power. Those animals are "completely dependent on us for food, for water, for shelter, and affection," Beirne says from his office in Portland, Maine. "I think it's morally wrong for a human to have sex with nonhuman animals for exactly the same reasons it's wrong for him to have sex with human babies or adolescents."
Senator Rich's press secretary, when asked to supply the scientific evidence backing her claims in the media about the connections between sex with animals and pedophilia, furnished a list of researchers, including Christopher Hensley, a professor at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
But like those cited by Unti, Hensley's studies treat all human sex with animals as rape, based on the assumption that an animal cannot consent. Bestiality was the "strongest variable," he says, when it came to predicting violent criminal behavior.
However, his study was confined to prison inmates — an unusually violent demographic.
Hensley says his studies and analysis of past research leads him to believe the "graduation hypothesis." He believes "children who engage in animal cruelty graduate to humans as they get older." Hensley adds, "You see that in serial killers."
He agrees with Rich that there ought to be tougher laws against people who commit bestiality. But he suggests that waiting for the culprit to turn 18 is unwise. A budding sociopath, says Hensley, might be identified earlier. "When a child engages in animal cruelty, that serves as a red flag to the law enforcement community that there's a problem with that child and he needs some psychological help."
Of course, Hensley's ideas begin with the belief that bestiality equals animal cruelty — a premise no zoophile would accept. They describe sex that does not resemble descriptions of how serial killers raped and tortured animals. Their assertion makes it not an issue of cruelty but of morality.
Asked in March if this was a moral issue, Rich said her motivation was the desire "to protect anybody who would be victimized by sexually deviant crimes."
Having written her bill without consulting zoophiles, Rich might have been surprised to learn they too would have condemned the rape and strangulation death of the Panhandle goat that was the source of her bill. Zoophiles would have asked her to draft the bill to differentiate between those who rape animals and those who consider sex with them consensual.
But when asked whether the bill had opponents, it became clear that, to Rich, this was a question with a morally obvious answer. "How would anybody voice objection?" she asked incredulously. "Who thinks it's OK to have sex with animals?"

In fairness to Rich and to researchers who back her bill, it can be difficult to find zoophiles — it seems they prefer to find you. In March, after publishing a blog post that questioned whether bestiality was really linked with rape and child molestation, as Rich claimed in public remarks, I began an email correspondence with a zoophile who had found the article online. He soon decided I was open-minded enough to discuss the subject, but he insisted on some unusual conditions to protect his anonymity.
James (not his real name) was wary of a prosecutor's subpoena for New Times phone records. So he insisted we talk only through secondlife.com, an online role-playing game. Having created an avatar, I was asked to go to an uninhabited island where we could talk without bumping into others. James had a wolf's head and a big bushy tail, but he walked upright and wore a man's clothing. Speaking through microphones on our computers, he told me he was a middle-aged white man from the "upper Midwest."
I asked him when he had his first inkling of being a zoophile. "When you're a kid, you're not really aware of too much sexually," he says. "But I was always interested in animals, starting around age 10. It was an extension of my affection for the dog and of my discovery of sex. He's a male. I'm a male. I wanted to make him feel good."
His attraction to dogs in general — and Siberian huskies in particular — became stronger in his teens and stronger yet in his 20s. "For years, I thought I was the only one who did this," James says. "I felt like there was no one I could talk to about this. I definitely knew I wasn't going to be talking to my parents or my friends about this."
Not until he came across pornography from Denmark that showed a dog and a horse with three women did he realize he wasn't alone in his desires. Still, as he explored the pornographic world of bestiality, he recognized a difference between himself and a group that seemed bored with human sex and for whom animals were a thrilling way to spice things up. "This is not a fetish," James says of his attractions. "It's an orientation, a lifestyle."
Even if he had wanted to adopt more conventional tastes, James couldn't have. "The human body turns me off — women wear perfumes; guys sweat. It irks me. You can show me pictures of nude models and it doesn't turn me on. I think the human body is kind of stupid. A big-horned sheep, certain breeds of dogs, are much more physically attractive to me than a woman with big breasts or a man with a big penis."
James suggested I speak with his friend, a 44-year-old man from the western United States who also asked to speak under a pseudonym. Ron, as we'll call him, uses an internet connection and email that make it nearly impossible to track his IP address. Our interview occurred through Yahoo Messenger. Ron tells of a fantasy about horses when he was teenager, but acting it out seemed impossible to him. It remained that way through his teens and almost his 20s, "until the day I found by accident a porn site with pictures of men and women having intimacy with horses," Ron says. "I realized that it was possible, and I have not looked back since."
In fact, he has an attraction to several animals — among them: dogs, horses, and goats. Raised a Southern Baptist, Ron says his first struggle was with bisexuality and that after some soul-searching, he ultimately decided that "God is more concerned with how we treat others than what sex we have."
Both Ron and James interact with fellow zoophiles through websites, and neither has found patterns that typify the discovery of one's attractions nor commonalities in background or life experiences. James rattles off a long list of zoophiles he's known who occupy different demographic categories: "white, black, Asian, Mormon, Amish, Catholic, atheist, pagan, Jewish, male and female, and two who are legally blind."
Among the seven zoophiles I consulted for this article, all say that theirs is an orientation and that to meet the definition, one must not harm an animal. For this reason, a man who has sex with chickens, for instance, is not a zoophile because the act is sure to hurt if not kill the chicken. Zoophiles I spoke with say they are as opposed to forcing sex upon animals as the rest of society is opposed to the rape of humans.
In fact, a zoophile from Southwest Florida named Malcolm Brenner wrote Senator Rich a letter voicing support for the principles of her bill — if not for the assumptions that underlie it. "I said I agreed with her trying to prevent animal abuse, but I tried to point out that what gets reported in the news is not zoophilia," Brenner says. "These are instances of bestiality that have injured the animal."
Brenner, a 58-year-old freelance writer, says he hopes to publish a novel he's chipped away at for 30 years titled Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover. It's the fictionalized account of a love affair he had with a dolphin, named Ruby in the novel.
Around age 11, Brenner began to experience urges he knows now as "mixoscopic zoophilia" — the term for watching two animals have sex. Except in Brenner's fantasy, he says, "I was one of animals who were mating."
Though Brenner wasn't raised in a religious family, he knew he was exploring attractions forbidden by society. "I had a relationship with my family's dog, and I felt very ashamed about that. I hadn't developed an attraction toward women."
He tried, though. And Brenner says he almost convinced himself, except for the persistence of the dolphin. He met her in the '70s, as a teenager, while photographing dolphins in an amusement park called Floridaland, in Osprey. The photos were to be illustrated in a book by a family friend.
"The dolphin developed an attraction toward me," Brenner says. "And she had to work very hard to get me to respond to what she wanted."
It was a rough courtship. "When you're in the water with a dolphin, you do whatever they want you to," Brenner says. In this dolphin's case, he adds, "If you don't do what they want, they'll push you to the bottom of a 12-foot pool."
When that didn't work, Brenner says, the dolphin tried a gentler, subtler seduction. "She would take my leg very lightly in her jaws and run her teeth up and down my leg," he says. "It's an incredible sensation. I don't know if other people would find it erotic, but I certainly did."
That method overcame Brenner's resistance. He consummated his flirtations with the dolphin. "It was the most intense experience I've ever had," he says. "A transcendental experience. I felt I was completely wrapped up."
The power of it scared him, though. He didn't want to develop an attachment to her, not just because of their difference in species but because they were going in different directions: The dolphin's amusement park had closed, and she'd been sold to one in Gulfport, Mississippi; Brenner was attending school that fall in Olympia, Washington. "I felt bad about leaving her," he says of Ruby. "But quite frankly, I was weirded out. I felt I needed to get in a relationship with a woman."
When he returned a year later, he asked a friend how Ruby was doing. The friend casually mentioned the dolphin had died, probably from the stress of moving from her former park to the new one in Mississippi. The news threw Brenner into a depression that lasted five years. Ruby, he's certain, was the love of his life.
In the years since, it has been a battle between Brenner's attraction for animals and his desire to be normal. He was married to his first wife for 12 years, to his second for six. Through it all, he says, "Zoophilia was my fantasy life. Some would make love to their wife and imagine Angelina Jolie. I fantasized I was a wolf having sex with another wolf."

In the mid-'90s, Hani Miletski decided to devote her doctoral dissertation to zoophilia and bestiality. She was a student at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, and Miletski was drawn to the subject not only because it seemed bizarre and fascinating but also because it had received scant attention from researchers. In particular, she noticed researchers had not accounted for the motives behind having sex with animals. Surely there's some common experience, something more reliable than the genetic lottery to explain how some people such as the ones above become attracted to animals. So she set out to find these motives.
Miletski tried several strategies, but the one that worked best was an ad for volunteers she placed in her local alternative weekly newspaper, the Baltimore City Paper. The first zoophile who contacted her told a zoophile friend. Soon they arranged for Miletski to meet the international "zoo" community that had already formed within a still-blossoming technology, the internet. Miletski had hoped to find a few zoophiles to speak openly about their attractions and conduct a case study. She was astonished to learn how many zoophiles there were and that they were so eager to have their mysterious, forbidden sexual proclivities given a scientific study. In all, she had 160 volunteers and accepted 93 — of whom 82 were men — into her study.
The study was more notable for what it did not find. The zoophiles had no similar childhood experience. Those who grew up in the country around animals were no more likely to become zoophiles than those who grew up in the city without them. They cut across race, geography, religion, and profession. "I could not find anything that says, 'All zoos are this way or that way,' " Miletski says. Having been unable to locate clues suggesting some other motive, Miletski concluded the single explanation for the behavior was the conscious one that zoophiles offered: It was an orientation they were born with.
"They really loved their animals," she said of the research subjects. "To the point that some want to marry them and treat them as spouses."
Miletski's findings not only formed her dissertation but also turned into a book, Understanding Bestiality and Zoophilia, which remains the most authoritative modern text on zoophilia.
When told of Senator Rich's remarks about people who commit bestiality being a threat to children, Miletski says, "I think it's real bullshit for people to say that. There's no connection that we know of. If you said that to zoos, they would be so offended." That's because Miletski says nearly all the zoophiles she interviewed expressed moral revulsion for sex with animals that had not fully matured. In this respect, she says, they recognize the same values that underlie laws against statutory rape.
Miletski and a researcher based in Germany, Andrea Beetz, who conducted a similarly large study, argue that zoophiles are distinguished by their emotional relationship to the animals they love. Because they care for them, they would never consciously inflict pain upon them, even for their own pleasure. A minority of them, Miletski allowed, treat their animals as a "masturbation machine" — but she says that for these zoos, it's the same as casual sex between humans.
Based on her interviews with zoos, Miletski suspects that animals consent to sex with human partners. But she concedes there is no sure way to know.
Ron, the zoophile from the western United States, points out that critics of his sexual practices "can't agree if animals are sentient or are dumb. They can't be both. If [animals] are sentient, [critics] would have to admit that animals can decide for themselves if they want intimacy when and where they choose." Ron believes this to be the case, as do the other zoos interviewed for this article. If animals are not sentient, he continues, "they don't know the difference, and what is it hurting?"
Zoophiles say they act upon the same nonverbal cues for sex as humans do. Brenner, the zoophile from Southwest Florida, asserts that humans having sex are acting on their own animal instincts. And if so, it's silly to deprive another animal of those instincts on the grounds that the animal has a less developed brain.
James, the zoophile I met on Second Life, puts it in even more vivid terms, asking whether he deserves to be imprisoned for raping an animal when he's merely allowing his Rottweiler to mount him.
As upsetting as the comparison of zoophilia to pedophilia is to James, it's evident he's tried to understand those who make it. "When you look at people's relationships to pets in society, they consider pets to be their child," he says. "They'll baby their dog or cat, dote on it, but I think it's blinding them to reality because an animal is not a child with fur. People turn a blind eye to the fact that a dog is a sexual being."

It was one of the most politically explosive quotes of 2003. Then-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told a reporter for the Associated Press: "In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."
Instantly, gay rights activists recognized an attempt by one of the Senate's most conservative Republicans to define their partnerships as a perversion. They mobilized, denouncing Santorum with such force that it brought national attention to a U.S. Senate race in which Santorum was a heavy favorite but lost.
Cody Beck, the Arizona zoophile who came out to his friends, was 12 then and had only just come to realize he was a zoophile. In the years since, he's been thrilled by how activists' efforts have broadened minds about what qualifies as moral, socially acceptable sex. He recognizes the exciting implications it might have for zoophiles like him. But he's crushed by the gay rights movement's rejection of zoophilia as a similarly legitimate orientation.
"I really want to help that movement," Beck says. "But it really makes me feel like if gay people can't accept this, then I'll have to live my whole life having these feelings of alienation."
Rich Ferraro, a national spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in New York City, told me that he had never heard of zoophilia. When I explained it to him and explained how zoophiles hope to find an open-minded ally in the gay rights movement, Ferraro said, "That's very far from our mission." He refused to elaborate.
Brian Winfield, a spokesman for Equality Florida, a statewide leader for GLBT rights, was also unfamiliar with zoophilia. He asked for time to huddle with agency leaders before commenting on zoophiles' interest in political alliance. Last week, he told me: "We believe that most people are capable of distinguishing between committed relationships between consenting adults and forcibly having sex with animals. It's just not at all an appropriate analogy."
It's hard to blame leaders of the gay rights movement for wanting to distance themselves from zoophiles. After all, the movement's mission is incomplete, as evidenced by the passage of gay-marriage bans in Florida and California last November. And the addition of bestiality into the argument for equality might create a backlash similar to what Santorum predicted — that government shouldn't expand gay rights because then it would have to do the same for zoophiles.
"It's true in a warped sort of way," Beck admits. "But that's a good thing, not a bad thing."
The first zoophile rights group, called Equality for All, has roots in Europe and formed in the '90s. It was the subject of a 2006 documentary film called Coming Soon, but in recent years, it has gone underground, apparently based on EFA founders' fears they would be arrested. Today the group exists primarily as a website, equalityforall.net. Its webmaster spoke with me on the condition of anonymity.
The EFA webmaster, who wouldn't give his name, says he lives in the Czech Republic and he's in his 20s. In its current condition, with members wary of prosecution, the group can perform little political activism aside from sending email blasts to inform its international membership about legislation that lumps together zoophiles with sadistic forms of bestiality. EFA sent out a notice about Rich's proposed legislation in Florida, for instance. But as that bill's fate was being discussed, the group's online petition had only about 30 signatures.
For those same reasons, there isn't an EFA "platform" other than a requirement that members vow not to cause their animals pain. Asked about the group's reception in the gay community, the EFA webmaster says opinions are split. On the subject of zoophile rights alone, he says, "Some gays resent it because they feel it contributes to the insane 'slippery slope' argument and may interfere with their own efforts." But he notes that those who saw the documentary "see us all in the same boat" and acknowledge a slippery slope that goes in the other direction: "If you allow zoos to be persecuted, who next? Gays?"
Before zoophiles can gain momentum, however, they'll need to close ranks among their own kind. Ron, for instance, says zoos will never gain social acceptance. By asking for it, they're tempting an even more powerful backlash. James isn't quite that pessimistic, but he resents young zoos who clamor for rights. They lack the patience and temperament, he says, to effect social progress.
Beck believes these are expressions of fear that are natural in the early moments of revolution. "That's the story throughout history," he says. "People don't want to stand up for anything, because they don't want to get hurt." He draws some of his own strength from the recent movie Milk, in which Sean Penn plays the nation's first openly gay elected official, San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk. "If we all stand up at once, we'll share the load. What's the point of living if we have to hide who we are?"
Beck will start college in the fall and hopes to become a history teacher. I asked him whether he was sure he was comfortable with my using his real name in this article. "I have the privilege of being one of the only persons to stand up," he says. "That gives me pride."

The Responsibility of Christian Musicians

Christian music, just like church, is only for the sheep. It is only for CHRISTIANS!!! Those who believe!

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Christian musicians who desire to be mains tream in an attempt to reach the unsaved obviously have a lack of understanding about what their Bible teaches. Christian music, just like church, is only for the sheep—the believers. If a Christian musician wants the goats to enjoy their music, first lead them to Christ and then when they are born again from above they will enjoy the Christian musician's music. By trying to do it in reverse, the Christian musician ends up watering down their message and taking baby steps into darkness where they will end up loving the world and the things of this world. The purpose of Christian music is three-fold:
  1. To exalt (glorify) God,
  2. To edify (build up) the believers, and
  3. To evangelize the lost.
If the Christian musician's music is void of a clear and precise message of Christ Jesus and Him crucified, how can the Christian musician expect to lead the unbeliever, who might end up listening to their music, to Christ? There are only two ways in which an unbeliever can and will enjoy Christian music:
  1. Preach the Gospel to them and pray that God would save their soul, or
  2. Through the clear and precise Gospel message contained in the lyrics of the Christian musician's songs.
If the Christian musician chooses to use the first method, their music still needs to exalt God and edify the believer, which means the Gospel message must still be present in their lyrics. The moment the Christian musician's music ceases to speak of Christ and Him crucified is the moment their music ceases to be Christian, whether or not they themselves are truly Christian, and becomes secular. When I listen to Christian music, I want to enjoy the rhythm and beat while also worshiping my Lord and Saviour. I want to be preached to while enjoying the sound. That is the responsibility of the Christian musician. Their music must:
  1. Exalt (glorify) God,
  2. Edify (build up) the believers, and
  3. Evangelize the lost.
Romans 10:14 says, "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" The Christian musician's music might be the only "Bible" that a lost person ever "reads" or listens to. The Christian musician might be the only "preacher" they ever hear. The Christian musician's music is their ministry, with which their first objective goal should be to glorify God. If their lyrics never speak of Christ Jesus and Him crucified, how can the musician call themselves "Christian" or their music "Christian"? If I take a professing "Christian" musician's music and play it in a downtown club and nobody recognizes it as being Christian, demanding that it be turned off, how can that musician call their music "Christian"? The world hates Christians. Christians will never be accepted by the world (John 15:18-19). There is a vast difference between being a musician who may be a Christian and being a Christian musician. The latter seeks to glorify God while the former seeks acceptance and popularity with the world; and we all know what the Bible has to say about the former (1 John 2:15-17). To be an musician who may be a Christian means that you may or may not be Christian, but whether or not you truly are, your music simply is not. To be a Christian musician means that you are a Christian and your music reflects and reveals it. The term "Christian" characterizes both you and your music.

We can all agree that just because someone says that they are a “Christian” does not make it so. Likewise, just because something is labelled as “Christian” does not make it so. So how can we determine what is and what is not Christian music? For anything to be called “Christian”, it must follow these principles as set forth in God’s Word:
  1. Music must bring praise, honour and glory to God’s name (Ps. 9:2; 61:8; Heb. 2:12).
  2. Music must direct the listener toward God (Col. 1:18), both saved and unsaved.
  3. Music must be edifying to the listener and build the listener up (1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:16) by drawing the listener closer to God.
  4. Music requires understanding (1 Cor. 14:15; Ps. 47:7) and must not be confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). In other words, its message must be clear and precise.
Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 do not define the style or mood of Christian music; they speak of the purpose and content of Christian music. Christian songs should help us focus our thoughts on God and God’s truth (scripture and scriptural principles). In other words, the content of Christian songs will speak about God, Christ Jesus, salvation, the Bible, Christian doctrine and principles, our personal testimonies of how God saved us, and Christianity in general. For example, if a song says "I love my wife, I'll do anything for my family, we can make it...", you can easily identify it with biblical principles. Examine the hymns we sing and you will see that they follow these principles. The reason why Petra was such a great band, and the reason why rappers such as Cross Movement, Flame, Lecrae, Shai Linne, Timothy Brindle, Trip Lee, and Voice (to name a few) are great, is because their music follows these principles and they are not ashamed of Christ Jesus. Their music, while put to different styles, resembles what we witness in our hymns. They proclaim Jesus and His truths boldly and clearly. If an unbeliever comes across their music, there will be no mistaking the content of their messages. To call oneself a Christian musician and have obscure lyrics, desiring to be "main stream" by being acceptable to and popular with the world, reveals that these professing "Christian" musicians are ashamed of Christ Jesus (Mark 8:38).

If a musician is truly a Christian musician (as opposed to a musician who may be a Christian), they should be putting the Word of God to music in order to edify the believer and evangelize the lost. Martin Luther once said, “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.” That this is true is evident from Psalm 119:54: "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage." We evidence this in our hymns, we evidence this in the music of Petra, and we evidence this in the music of such rappers as Cross Movement, Flame, Lecrae, Shai Linne, Timothy Brindle, Trip Lee, and Voice (to name a few). The Great Commission says to "Go and make disciples" (Matt. 28:19). How can a professing "Christian" musician do this if their lyrics never mention Christ Jesus or speak of biblical principles?

When looking for genuine Christian musicians, one should ask: Do they have a “look at me” attitude or a “look at God” attitude? Do they appear to be seeking fame, money and self-glorification or do they glorify God and His Kingdom? Do they portray pride and arrogance or meekness and humbleness? Do they claim to know God but never sing about Him, His Kingdom and values? Is the musician pointing their life, ministry and performance to Christ? Anyone can say they are a Christian, know God and sing Christian songs, but does their life reflect Christ (1 John 2:6)? Hell will be full of people who honoured God with their lips but whose hearts were far from Him (Matt. 7:15-23; 15:8). If a musician's life is not in step with the Holy Spirit and characteristic of what the Bible declares a Christian to be, then they are not a Christian musician.

When listening to artists who are labelled as “Christian,” one should ask: What does the song say? Is the message clear? Can I understand it? Can I tell the group is singing about God and God’s truth (scripture and scriptural principles—God, Christ Jesus, salvation, the Bible, Christian doctrine and principles, our personal testimonies of how God saved us, and Christianity in general)? Does it draw me into a closer relationship with God and provide a desire to know more of Him? If it is lacking in all of this, it clearly is not Christian music. If people cannot identify the musician as being Christian from their music, then they are not a Christian musician, although they might be a musician who may be a Christian.

If you claim to be a Christian musician, then step up and man up. Preach Christ with boldness, conviction, and clarity, being unashamed. If you truly love Christ Jesus, then demonstrate it for all to see. Salvation is the greatest gift that you could have ever received, yet you feel the need to obscure this from the world. Quit straddling both sides of the fence and pick a side. If you want to be "main stream" and be accepted by and popular with the world, then put both feet in. Quit pretending to be a Christian while being in love with the world and the things the world has to offer. If you want to glorify Christ Jesus, then put both feet in. Let Him be proclaimed in and through your music so that both the saved and unsaved are directed toward Him. If I purchase a CD from a musician who labels themselves as "Christian," I expect to hear about Christ somewhere in the lyrics. If Christ and His truths are not present, it simply is not Christian music.

To hear a song that has the same concerns I have, you can listen to it here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Religious Entertainment

by A. W. Tozer

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth, and turn aside to myths!" 2 Timothy 4:3-4

The great god 'Entertainment' amuses his devotees mainly by telling them stories. The love of stories, which is characteristic of childhood, has taken fast hold of the minds of the retarded saints of our day, so much so that many manage to make a comfortable living by spinning yarns and serving them up in various disguises to church people. What is natural and beautiful in a child, may be shocking when it persists into adulthood, and more so when it appears in the sanctuary and seeks to pass for true religion!

So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called people of God. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theaters, where fifth-rate "producers" peddle their shoddy wares with the approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares raise his voice against it!

"Once you have lost the division between the world and the Church—the Church ceases to be truly Christian!" —Martyn Lloyd-Jones

"Pleasure, so called, is the murderer of serious thought. This is the age of excessive amusement. Everybody craves for it, like a babe for its rattle!" Charles Spurgeon

Friday, February 20, 2015

Complications With Daniel's 70 Weeks

24 Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to shut up the transgression, to seal up sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint a most holy.
25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah, a Prince, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.
First and foremost, it is important to declare the fact that these weeks are to be seen as a whole, just as every other prediction of time made by God (slaves to Egypt, wandering the desert, captive to Babylon, etc.), and that no imaginary "gap" exists: "The sing. is simply explained by this, that שׁבעים שׁבעים is conceived of as the absolute idea, and then is taken up by the passive verb impersonal, to mark that the seventy sevenths are to be viewed as a whole, as a continued period of seventy seven times following each other."1 Second, it is important to acknowledge the fact that there are many difficulties in interpreting this passage.

First Problem
Keil & Delitzsch state that, "The two parts of v. 25 contain the statements regarding the first two portions of the whole period, the seven and the sixty-two שׁבעים, and are rightly separated by the Masoretes by placing the Atnach under שׁבעה. The first statement is: "from the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem unto a Messiah (Geslbten), a prince, shall be seven weeks."2 If this is in fact true, that a period should be placed after the "seven weeks," as the ESV Bible has done, then there are two problems we encounter in attempts to interpret the prophecy correctly. First, if we are calculating these weeks as year-weeks, as is typically accepted, there is no way that Messiah was born or baptized 49 years after any of the decrees: the first decree given to Ezra was approximately 536 B.C. (2 Chr. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4); the second decree given to Ezra was approximately 519 B.C. (Ezra 6:1-12); the third decree given to Ezra was approximately 457 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26); the first decree given to Nehemiah was approximately 445 B.C. (Neh. 2).

Second, if we accept these weeks merely as a period divisible by 70, from the command until the Messiah, how then do we accurately determine the other weeks? Keil & Delitzsch state that "The 'sixty-two weeks' are not united antithetically to the 'seven weeks' . . . but are connected simply as following the seven; so that that which is named as the contents of the 'sixty-two weeks' is to be interpreted as happening first after the appearance of the Maschiach Nagid."3 So, after Messiah appears these things shall happen. They then go on to say, "That event which brings the close of the sixty-two weeks is spoken of in v. 26 in the words...Messiah shall be cut off."4 So, the sixty-two weeks last Jesus' entire life or entire ministry??? They end their section by saying, "the words do not refer to the building of the walls and bulwarks of the earthly Jerusalem which was accomplished by Nehemiah, but are to be understood, according to Ps. 51:20, of the spiritual building of the City of God."5 So, if 7 weeks times 70 gives us 490 years between the command and the Messiah (or some division of 70), following the same pattern, 62 weeks times 70 gives us 4,340 years before the fulfilling of the second portion of verse 25.

Apparently we have another 2,000 years for the expansion of the City of God before whatever Keil & Delitzsch understand "Messiah shall be cut off" to mean, which apparently is not the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. They state, "יכּרת does not denote the putting to death, or cutting off of existence, but only the annihilation of His place as Maschiach among His people and in His kingdom. For if after His 'cutting off' He has not what He should have, it is clear that annihilation does not apply to Him personally, but only that He has lost His place and function as the Maschiach."6 Now, this makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever since Jesus was, is, and will always be the Messiah, the Christ.

Second Problem
Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing. Some people interpret "after" to mean "immediately after" rather than "any time after." By taking it to mean "immediately after," they conclude the 483 year-weeks to conclude at the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. By doing such, they then need to introduce a "gap" into the context because nothing after the crucifixion, except the destruction of Jerusalem, fits the remaining information of the prophecy. However, three and a half years after the sixty-two weeks is still "after."

Third Problem
It is generally accepted that verse 25 and the first half of verse 26 are speaking about one and the same individual: the Messiah, Christ Jesus. But then verse 26 says, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Because of this, many people assume that verse 27 is talking about this second person. As a result of this assumption, they then need to introduce a "gap" into the context because they do not find a fulfillment for verse 27 in the actions of Titus. However, accepting the "he" in verse 27 as referring back to the last mentioned person in verse 26, "the prince," we encounter a further problem. If this "he" is "the prince" from verse 26, what do we do about this: and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate. This "one" is distinct from the "he." If it was talking about the same person, why not say "and on the wing of abominations he makes desolate"? The problem is, you cannot impose English rules of grammar onto another language. Both verse 26 and verse 27 have a division of two people. Why is it so difficult to consider that perhaps verse 27 is merely an expansion of information relating to verse 26? It would not be the first time we have seen such in the Bible. We see it in Genesis 1 and 2, and we see it frequently throughout Revelation.

My Position
I read Keil & Delitzsch's commentary on Daniel 9:24-27 and it just complicated things further as they gave no clear interpretation to the understanding of this passage. I have quoted just some of the confusion above. Overall, they seem to conclude that these verses find their conclusion at the end of the age. They do not believe in the eisegetical "gap" introduced into the context by Dispensationalists, but the information they provide is very confusing and only further complicates the difficulty involved with attempting to properly interpret this passage.

I do not believe placing a period after "seven weeks" is correct. It causes too many problems with the interpretation of the prophecy. I believe the text gives us two portions for a reason, because two different things occur during each portion. I believe the text is informing us that from the decree until the anointed prince, shall be two portions—seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. Why? Because the Messiah did not appear after 49 years. So placing a period after the "seven weeks" is preposterous. The expansion of Jerusalem would be built in the following 434 years, during perilous times (Greece and Rome taking control of the world after the Medo-Persians).

I believe verse 25 refers to the baptism of Jesus because He was not anointed until His baptism (when the Spirit came down in the appearance of a dove), and He was not known as the Messiah publicly until after His baptism. I believe the phrase "after the sixty-two weeks" does not mean "immediately after" but "any time after," and thus 3.5 years after His ministry Jesus was "cut off." I believe verse 27 is an addition of information to verse 26 as the only person who can erect covenants is God. Furthermore, nowhere in the entire Bible is there reference to the covenant erected in verse 27 being broken. This is eisegetical addition by Dispensationalists. It states that in the middle of the final week, sacrifices and offerings would cease. When Jesus was crucified, the veil was torn in two and thus sacrifices and offerings were no longer acceptable and no longer accomplished anything. They were finished as far as God was concerned because the sacrifice to end all sacrifices had been made.


1 Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, 9:718.
2 Ibid, 725.
3 Ibid, 730.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid, 731.
6 Ibid, 733.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

15 Churches Christians Should NOT Attend

  1. The Gospel-less Church: This includes the Roman Catholic Church, Kingdom Hall (the Jehovah's Witnesses' church), the Mormon Temple, the Seventh-Day Adventist church, the Christian Science Church, or any other false church. It even includes some Protestant churches.
     
  2. The Prayer-less Church: "And He said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER.'"" Matthew 21:13
     
  3. The Non-evangelizing/Non-discipling Church: "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15; "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you" Matthew 28:19-20
     
  4.  The Child-less Church: If there isn't any crying, the church must be dying. "But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."" Matthew 19:14
     
  5. The Licentious Church: This church has received a false gospel, one that teaches they are free in Christ to do whatever they want to do. The Grace Life Conference is part of this heresy. "Do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh." Galatians 5:13b.
     
  6. The Cussing Church: This includes those churches where pastors cuss from the pulpit in an attempt to be "hip" or "cool" or "relevant," despite what the Scriptures say: "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29; "There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." Ephesians 5:4
     
  7. The Woman-led Church: "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." 1 Timothy 2:12; "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment." 1 Corinthians 14:33-37; "An overseer [pastor, elder], then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:2-7
     
  8. The Gay Clergy-led Church: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Leviticus 18:22; "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them." Leviticus 20:13; "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." Romans 1:26-27; "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
     
  9. The Seeker-driven Church: Worship is for the believernot the unbeliever. Unbelievers cannot worship God. Think about it; how can they worship someone they do not believe in? So why are these churches seeking to fill their pews with unbelievers who have not undergone a spiritual transformation?
     
  10. The Chaotic Church: "If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. ... For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." 1 Corinthians 14:27-28, 33a
     
  11. The Narrative Church: Where the pastor gets up in the pulpit, perhaps reads a verse or two, and then proceeds to tell story after story after story (or joke after joke after joke). "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." 2 Timothy 4:2
     
  12. The Music-centered Church: Church is not all about you—it is about God! If your church gathers people simply because of its music, then there is something wrong with your church. "But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"" Matthew 4:4
     
  13. The Para-church: Campus ministries are not churches! They are supposed to serve a church. In other words, they should be a ministry of a local church.
     
  14. The House Church: Yes, house churches existed in the New Testament, but they were led by strong spiritual leaders who were trained by the Apostles. Too many house churches today are led by people with little education or understanding in Scripture, and the lessons taught are left open to subjective opinions and feelings as to their interpretation. Unless a house church is a ministry of, and is subject to, a local church, it is best to avoid them.
     
  15. The English Ministry: An immigrant group begins an immigrant church for their own people in their own language. Their children develop an English-speaking youth group and begin having separate services inside the immigrant church.

"Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:25

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's So Special About Sunday?

by David Vaughn Elliott

Why do the majority of churches today have their most important and best attended services on Sunday? Where does that custom come from? Was Sunday a special day for the church of the first century? What meaning does Sunday have in your life?

Resurrection Day

The answer to all these questions takes us back to the most astounding event in history: the empty tomb. To correctly interpret the day of the resurrection, we must understand the numbering of the days of the week. Today, Saturday and Sunday are often called the "weekend," making Monday the first day of the "work week." However, from the time of the Roman Empire until the 21st century, Sunday has been and is the first day of the week. Just check your English dictionary.

Jesus often prophesied that after his death, he would "be raised again the third day" (Matt. 16:21; Luke 18:33). Not the third day of the week, but the third day from his crucifixion. What day of the week did this "third day" fall on?

Luke 24 tells of events "upon the first day of the week" (verse 1). Verse 13 says two disciples were walking to Emmaus "that same day." After they mention Jesus' death, the disciples add: "today is the third day since these things were done" (verse 21). Verses 7 and 46 mention Jesus' prediction: "the third day rise again." Carefully considering all five verses, we have irrefutable proof that the third day from the crucifixion was the first day of the week. Jesus rose on Sunday!

Matthew 28:1-8 and Mark 16:1-8 are parallel texts in which Mary Magdalene and other women visit the tomb around dawn "the first day of the week." On the way, they discussed who would roll away the stone so they could anoint Jesus' body. As Matthew reads, one can only conclude that Jesus rose from the dead precisely while the women were on their way. When they got to the tomb, the angel told them: "He is not here; for He is risen." Mark adds: "Jesus was risen early the first day of the week" (verse 9). Jesus rose the first day of the week: Sunday.

All history pivots around what took place that glorious Sunday. Jesus came out of the tomb never to die again. He did save Himself! He did it in a way far more powerful, glorious and meaningful than "simply" coming down from the cross. Neither the tomb nor Hades, itself, could hold Him! Jesus conquered death, sin, and Satan. This Good News has been proclaimed around the world for almost 2,000 years! Jesus is not dead! He lives! It happened on Sunday. Like a modern gospel song so beautifully expresses it: "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming!"

"The Lord's Day"

The apostle John wrote that he received the Revelation "on the Lord's Day" (Rev. 1:10). What day did he mean? There are three possibilities to consider: 1) Saturday (the Sabbath); 2) the final Judgment Day; and 3) Sunday (the first day of the week).

As for the first possibility, Jesus was in fact the Lord of the Sabbath while He walked this earth. But John received the Revelation 65 years after the death of Jesus. As Paul stated, by means of his death, Jesus was "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances... nailing it to the cross" (Col. 2:14). A few examples of those ordinances are given two verses later. Among others are the "Sabbaths." Jesus nailed them all to the cross! After that, the Sabbath could no longer be the Lord's Day.

As for the second possibility, various times in the New Testament, "the day of the Lord" refers to the Second Coming of Christ. But in Rev. 1:10, John says "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day," past tense. Since he is speaking of the past, he could not be speaking of the Second Coming, which even today is yet in the future.

This leaves only one possibility. John meant that he received the Revelation on Sunday. Sunday is the day on which the Lord Jesus Christ triumphed over all the forces of the evil one, rising from the dead. Sunday is the day He proved He was and is Lord. The first day of the week is, indeed, "the Lord's Day"!

Both the Romans of old and we in English today commonly call the first day of the week "Sun-day". Not so in Spanish. In Spanish the first day of the week is called "Domingo," which, coming from the Latin, means "the day of the Lord"!

The Lord's church and His New Testament became a reality on Sunday. It was at the Jewish feast of Pentecost (Acts 2). This feast was set by counting "the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days" (Lev. 23:16). The day after any Sabbath is the first day of the week. So, Pentecost fell on Sunday. Not only did Jesus rise from the dead on Sunday, but He started His Church on Sunday. It is the Lord's Day.

Rev. 1:10 speaks of "the Lord's Day" (Sunday). 1 Cor. 11:20 speaks of "the Lord's Supper" (communion). The Day and the Supper belong to the Lord. Let's see how they are related to one another.

"The Bread Which We Break"

"Breaking bread" has two meanings in the New Testament. In Acts 27:33-35, Paul broke bread for "health." That's the "daily bread" Jesus told us to pray for (Matt. 6:11). In 1 Cor. 10:16, the breaking of bread is "the communion of the body of Christ." This certainly is "the Lord's Supper."

In 1 Cor. 11:17-22, Paul admonishes the saints concerning what was happening "when you come together in the church." Using a question, Paul tells them where they should eat their daily bread: "Have you not houses to eat and to drink in?" Reproving them for not doing what they should have been doing in the church, Paul tells them that it should be "to eat the Lord's Supper." Therefore the pattern is: daily bread in their houses and the Lord's Supper when they came together as a church.

At the end of Acts 2, there are two references to breaking bread. A close look shows that they do not refer to the same thing. In 2:46, it is "breaking bread" "daily" and "from house to house." That would be "daily bread." But in 2:42,  "breaking of bread" is part of a list of spiritual matters in which the church "continued steadfastly." It must be the Lord's Supper.

All this should help to interpret Acts 20:7-12. "Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them. The disciples came together to break bread, and Paul preached a very long sermon. It all points to a spiritual meeting of the church. The natural conclusion is that the breaking of bread in verse 7 was the Lord's Supper.

But what of the breaking of bread in 20:11? One way to answer the question is to see what day it was. Paul was "ready to depart on the morrow" (verse 7). That would be the second day of the week. And, he did in fact leave at "break of day" (verse 11). So the text is clear that Paul left early Monday morning.

The breaking of bread in verse 11 was after midnight (verse 7), and before daybreak (verse 11). So it was on Monday. But the breaking of bread in verse 7 was on the first day of the week, Sunday. So, verse 11 is a second breaking of bread. The circumstances point to the breaking of bread in verse 11 as being a common meal, made necessary because Paul preached for such a long time.

The situation in Acts 20 is very similar to that in Acts 2. In each case the context points to a spiritual breaking of bread in the first mention and a physical breaking of bread in the second mention.

"On the First Day of the Week"


Common meals are eaten daily. But how often is the spiritual "breaking of bread" to take place? 1 Cor. 11:26 says "as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup." Acts 2:42 says that they "continued steadfastly... in breaking of bread." No schedule is given in either text, but the wording leaves the impression it was done frequently. How often?

The text most commonly quoted is Acts 20:7: "Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread." We have considered the evidence that this is the Lord's Supper. This is not a command. It is rather an example under the watchful eye of the apostle Paul. The natural sense of the wording is that this was their custom.

Also consider 1 Cor. 11:20: "when you come together therefore in one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper." Paul is saying they are not doing what they should be doing. They are not eating the Lord's Supper in the proper manner when they come together in one place. The wording gives the idea that the Lord's Supper was a regular part of what they should do when they come together in one place.

Does this same book give any idea of when that was? Indeed it does! Read 1 Cor. 16:1-2. Some people interpret verse 2 to mean the brethren were supposed to set aside money at home. The fact is that scholars have had trouble translating the middle part of verse. That can be seen by just comparing several versions.

But verse 2 must agree with itself. Scholars are agreed on the latter part: "that there be no gatherings (collections) when I come." Now, if everyone set aside money in his own house each week, then all that money would still have to be gathered when Paul came. But that is precisely what Paul wanted to avoid.

Paul wanted the collections made before he came. The only meaningful way and place to do that would be "when you come together in the church... when you come together therefore into one place" (1 Cor. 11:18-20). When and how often was this to be done? Scholars have no trouble with the opening words of the verse: "Upon the first day of the week" (1 Cor. 16:2).

When we combine the information in chapters 11 and 16 of 1 Corinthians, we come to the conclusion that the early church met together every Sunday. Among other things, they broke bread and had a collection/gathering.

Did the Catholic Church Change the Sabbath to Sunday?

Sabbath keepers reject these arguments for Sunday. They claim the early Christians kept the Sabbath. They say the Catholic Church and the Emperor Constantine started worship on Sunday in the Fourth Century. Is this true?

Did the Catholic Church initiate the observance of Sunday? Roman Catholic sources can certainly be found which make this claim. But, we must understand what the Catholic Church means when it says that it changed Saturday to Sunday.

The Official Baltimore Catechism, Number 3, published in 1949, under question #235, says: "The early Church changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday on the authority given to it by Christ. The New Testament makes no explicit mention that the apostles changed the day of worship, but we know it from Tradition." According to this Catholic Catechism, it was the early church that changed the day of worship to Sunday. In fact, so early, that it was the apostles of Christ themselves who effected the change. Who can argue with the apostles?

The Roman Church, of course, claims to have been founded by Christ. But, Sabbath keepers agree with us that the Catholic Church did not exist in the first century. Since the Roman Catholic church did not exist when the change took place, then certainly the Roman Catholic church did not make the change.

And what about the claim that the Emperor Constantine, in A.D. 321, instituted Sunday as a day of rest? Yes, he did. But this is a very different matter from instituting Sunday as a day of worship.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, in the article on Sunday, mentions "a constitution of Constantine in 321 A.D., enacting that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday." What does the decree establish? That all "should rest on Sunday."

Constantine, for the first time in history, legalized Sunday as a day of rest. He originated "blue laws." This was his idea of how to help the Christians do what they had already been practicing for three centuries: assembling for worship on Sundays.

Second Century Christians Speak

Let's listen to Christians of the second century, who lived before Constantine, and before the Roman Catholic Church. They were not inspired, but they tell us what the Christians then believed and practiced.

Ignatius lived from about A.D. 50 to 110. He was a disciple of the apostle John and died a martyr's death about 15 years after John wrote Revelation.

In Ignatius' Epistle to the Magnesians, (long version), chapter 9, Ignatius writes: "Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner... Let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection day, the queen and chief of all the days... on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ."

Notice that Ignatius speaks against keeping the Sabbath. On the other hand, he identifies "the Lord's Day" as "the resurrection day." Earlier we considered the Biblical proofs that "the Lord's Day" is the first day of the week. Now we have a companion of the author of Rev. 1:10, who identifies "the Lord's Day" as the resurrection day, thus the first day of the week (Sunday)!

Justin Martyr is a famous Christian writer of the second century. He was born about A.D. 110 and became a martyr about A.D. 165. Justin wrote: "But the Gentiles, who have believed on him... they shall receive the inheritance... even though they neither keep the Sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts" (Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew, chapter 26). Justin thus places Sabbath keeping in the same category as circumcision.

Justin also wrote: "On the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memories of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read... when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought... and there is a distribution to each... and they who are well-to-do, and willing, give what each thinks fit... and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because... Jesus Christ our Savior the same day rose from the dead" (First Apology, chapter 67).

Justin is not just writing personal beliefs. He wrote this to the Emperor of the Roman Empire, explaining what the Christians in general were doing 50 years after the death of the last apostle. They were not Sabbath keepers. Rather, "Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because... Jesus Christ our Savior the same day rose from the dead." Among other things, in the assembly every Sunday, they partook of the Lord's Supper and had a collection!

Neither Constantine nor the Church of Rome changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. On the contrary, the Church of Christ, from the days of the apostles to the present time, has always gathered together the first day of the week, the day of the Lord's resurrection, in order to commemorate His death in the Lord's Supper. Every Sunday. Fifty-two times a year!

Sunday Is the Lord's Day

Sunday is the day our Lord rose from the dead. Sunday is the day the Lord's Church began. Sunday is the day the Lord's Supper is eaten. Sunday is the day the Lord's people give to help others. Sunday, in a word, is the Lord's day.

The true church remembers the death and resurrection of Christ 52 times a year. It has done so for 2,000 years! It will continue to do so till He comes!

If Jesus is your Lord, you will gather with the Lord's Church to partake of the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Baptism: Quick and Biblical

Too many churches today practice what they call "believer's baptism." I am sorry, but, biblically speaking, there is no such thing! It is biblical to baptize very quickly. On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people were baptized moments after they heard Peter's Gospel sermon preached (Acts 2:41). The family of the Philippian jailer who heard the name of Jesus for the first time shortly after midnight, were all baptized by dawn (Acts 16:25-35). It is important to note that in the Greek, the belief is singular while the baptism is plural; the jailer believed and his entire family was baptized (including children). The Ethiopian Eunuch heard the Gospel and then minutes (at most, hours) later was baptized in ditch water by the side of the road (Acts 8:36-38). After hearing the word of the Lord from Ananias, Paul got baptized before breaking an absolute fast that he had observed for three days (Acts 9:9, 18-19).

Those who claim we should exercise caution as to whom we should baptize have no Scriptures to support them. Simon Magus was baptized in Acts 8:13, though he quickly proved how unworthy he was when he tried to buy the ability to give away the Holy Spirit. Peter essentially told him to go to hell (Acts 8:20). Likewise, Demas, who had been a fellow-labourer of Paul's, proved how unworthy he was when he left Paul for the things of this world (2 Timothy 4:10).

The reason people believe we should exercise caution when baptizing is because they do not understand the meaning and purpose of baptism. If they practiced baptism the way we see it done in the Bible, not only would they understand this, but they would also understand infant baptism. Except for the outward practice, everything about circumcision and baptism is exactly the same: Both are initiatory rites (Gen. 17:10-11; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38-39; 8:12-13); both signify an inward reality (Rom. 2:28-29; Col. 2:2-12; Phil. 3:3); both picture the death of the old man of sin (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11-12); both represent repentance (Jer. 4:4; 9:25; Lev. 26:40-41; Acts 2:38); both represent regeneration (Rom. 2:28-29; Titus 3:5); both represent justification by faith (Rom. 4:11-12; Col. 2:11-14); both represent a cleansed heart (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Isa. 52:1; Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5-7); both represent union and communion with God (Gen. 17:7; Ex. 19:5-6; Deut. 7:6; Heb. 8:10); both indicate citizenship in Israel (Gen. 17:4; Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 2:12-13; 4:5); both indicate separation from the world (Ex. 12:48; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 2:12); and both can lead to either blessings or curses (Rom. 2:25; 1 Cor. 10:1-12; 11:28-30). Baptism replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the covenant of grace. This fact is seen in Colossians 2:11-12 where Paul refers to "circumcision of Christ" as "baptism": "In [Jesus] you were also circumcised . . . having been buried with Him in baptism..."

You see, a person's baptism acts as a testimony for or against them, just as circumcision did. In the cases of Simon Magus and Demas, their baptism was a testimony against them that they were covenant breakers. If a church does not want to baptize infants, that is their choice, but do not claim that such a practice is not biblical based on your own ignorance and subjective opinion. "We must confess that some bring their children for this sacrament because of the sweetness of the ceremony, or because of the traditions of family and church, or even with the misguided expectation that somehow 'holy water' will magically protect their child from hell. Yet neither sentiment nor tradition nor superstition is sufficient reason for believers to bring their children to be baptized. And, thankfully, such reasons are not the basis of our church's practice. We baptize infants because we believe that the Bible teaches us to do so." (Bryan Chapell, Why Do We Baptize Infants?: Basics of the Faith, p.1)

Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Romans 2:28-29, wrote: "He is not a Christian that is one outwardly, nor is that baptism which is outward in the flesh; but is one inwardly, and baptism is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men but of God." Baptism, whether by sprinkling, pouring, or dunking, is merely an outward demonstration of one's being dedicated to God for His purposes and uses. Yes, Scripture supports sprinkling, pouring, or dunking as baptism. Study the individual words out (baptizo, βαπτιζω; baptisma, βαπτισμα; baptismos, βαπτισμος; baptistes, βαπτιστης; bapto, βαπτω) and their usages and interpretations. How can you baptize a table (Mark 7:4)? Baptism does not save, does not regenerate, and does not mean the individual truly belongs to, or will belong to, the Lord. Baptism is not a public declaration of one's faith, as we have proven with Simon Magus and Demas, and we have witnessed rampantly throughout the North American churches.

When you were born, were you born as a full citizen of your country with all the rights and responsibilities thereof? Yes, you were. However, because you were young, you did not know of these rights and responsibilities and could not appropriate them. You had to be taught them. When you were older, you then either embraced them as your own or rejected them, which is treason and demands you leave your country. The same is true concerning circumcision and baptism. The son circumcised on the 8th day had no faith of his own. He knew nothing of the covenant promises and had to be taught it. As he grew, he could then embrace what he was taught by faith and appropriate the blessings unto himself, or reject what he was taught and appropriate the curses unto himself. The same is also true of baptism, which people would see and understand if they practiced it in accordance with what we see in the Scriptures.

What these churches should be doing when they baptize quick and biblical, is warning the people about the seriousness of the commitment they are making. Even Jesus warned potential disciples that following Him was a life-changing (even life-sacrificing) decision, telling them to count the cost of their decision. He said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Frequently, Jesus' strong words seemed determined to drive people away who were less than whole-hearted in their decision to follow Him and obey His commands (Luke 9:57-62; John 6:53-66). When we evangelize, we should be doing no less. We should not be watering down the Gospel and presenting an easy-believism in order to gain numbers.

Baptismal candidates should be baptized quickly, but not without first being warned of the seriousness of sealing forever their decision to follow Christ.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What Is Love?

by Paul Tripp

LOVE IS... being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.

LOVE IS... actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

LOVE IS... making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

LOVE IS... being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.

LOVE IS... being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

LOVE IS... a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

LOVE IS... being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

LOVE IS... making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

LOVE IS... being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

LOVE IS... being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.

LOVE IS... being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

LOVE IS... being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.

LOVE IS... recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

LOVE IS... speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person's character or assault their intelligence.

LOVE IS... being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to coerce the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

LOVE IS... the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.

LOVE IS... a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.

LOVE IS... staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn't seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.

LOVE IS... the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.

LOVE IS... being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

LOVE IS... refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

LOVE IS... daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God's protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Marriage: Fornication and Adultery

"You shall not commit adultery." Ex. 20:14
This command is clear and understandable. However, there seems to be a disconnect among people with regard to precisely what adultery entails. Most people, when they hear the term, automatically think about marital infidelity. But is this the only adultery made known in the Scriptures? No, it is not, as we are about to see.

THE CONVERSATION
Most Christians, when regarding the issue of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage, ignore what all the passages say as a whole and focus only on the two found in Matthew, latching onto the phrase "except for fornication" at the cost of the rest of the context. Let's break Matthew 19 down into a conversational script format so that we can understand the context clearly:
Pharisees: "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"

Jesus: "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no man is allowed to separate."

Pharisees: "Then why did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND HER AWAY?"

Jesus: "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way."
When we read it this way, there is no mistake as to the flow of the conversation and precisely what is being said. Moses was merely regulating what they were already doing because of the hardness of their hearts in order to preserve purity. If the supposed "exception clause" is as most Christians understand it to be, then why does it appear only in the book of Matthew and not in any of the other books? For more on this, please read a previous blog entry of mine entitled Divorcing Divorce. It is important that Christians understand the correct teaching on this important issue and that they live it out practically with the help of the Holy Spirit. More on this conversation in the section The Issue of Re-marriage.

THE GUILTY
In the New Testament, all parties involved in a divorce situation are guilty of adultery, as we shall soon see. We shall begin this examination by looking at the four persons involved:
  • Husband of "A"
  • Wife of "A"
  • Man "B" (whether single or divorced)
  • Woman "B" (whether single or divorced)
Because the issue Jesus is discussing is divorce, adultery, and re-marriage, we will identify the final combination of these persons:
  1. Husband of "A" marries Woman "B"
  2. Wife of "A" marries Man "B"
  3. Man "B" marries Wife of "A"
  4. Woman "B" marries Husband of "A"
Let's look at each passage in turn to determine precisely what Jesus is saying about these people. For the time being, we shall leave the "exception clause" out and deal with it later.
"Everyone who divorces his wife...makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." Matt. 5:32
According to this passage:
  1. Husband of "A" marries Woman "B"
  2. Wife of "A" marries Man "B" ------------ Guilty of adultery
  3. Man "B" marries Wife of "A" ------------ Guilty of adultery
  4. Woman "B" marries Husband of "A"
"Whoever divorces his wife...and marries another woman commits adultery." Matt. 19:9
"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery." Luke 16:18
According to these passages, including the one we have already looked at:
  1. Husband of "A" marries Woman "B" --- Guilty of adultery
  2. Wife of "A" marries Man "B" ------------ Guilty of adultery
  3. Man "B" marries Wife of "A" ------------ Guilty of adultery
  4. Woman "B" marries Husband of "A"
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." Mark 10:11-12
According to this passage, including the ones we have already looked at:
  1. Husband of "A" marries Woman "B" --- Guilty of adultery
  2. Wife of "A" marries Man "B" ------------ Guilty of adultery
  3. Man "B" marries Wife of "A" ------------ Guilty of adultery
  4. Woman "B" marries Husband of "A" --- Guilty of adultery
As you can see, according to the Bible, re-marriage after divorce is committing adultery. In fact, the Greek word translated "commits" and "committing" is in the middle voice, which is present tense continuous, meaning a constant state of adultery. Whether a marriage partner is active or passive in divorce proceedings is irrelevant. The reason why the passive partner is guilty of adultery is because they are forced to commit adultery when they re-marry. This act renders them actively unfaithful to their first spouse upon re-marriage.

THE ISSUE OF FORNICATION
There is a difference between fornication (porneia [πορνεια]) and adultery (moicheia [μοιχεια]). Unfortunately, many false teachers lie and claim Jesus provided an "exception clause" for divorce with regard to adultery (marital infidelity). If this were so, why then does Jesus use the word porneia in this "exception clause" while every other reference to adultery He uses the word moicheia? Because of this glaring problem, these false teachers lie further and claim that the word porneia includes adultery. If this were so, why are there so many passages that use both words side-by-side (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; Gal. 5:19; 1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 13:4)? If adultery were included in the word porneia, it would be redundant to add the word moicheia. So let's get our terms accurate:

Adultery = Illicit sexual acts committed by married persons. (Post-marital)
Fornication = Illicit sexual acts committed by unmarried persons. (Pre-marital)

It is imperative to know that the Bible does not combine all sexually immoral behaviours, such as homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, prostitution, harlotry, etc., into the word "fornication." This is a false claim by many Bible teachers. Look up the 7 occurrences of porneuo, the 10 occurrences of pornos, and the 25 occurrences of porneia in the Bible and let the Bible define the meaning of these words. Therefore:

Adultery is only applicable to married persons.
Fornication is only applicable to unmarried or single persons.

In the Bible, divorce was allowed only if it was found that the spouse had not been a virgin when they married, as they should have been and ought to be. Now, some people might look at that and devise a scheme (demonstrating just how wicked they truly are and revealing that they likely are not Christian to begin with) wherein, after # years of marriage, they will attempt to divorce their spouse because of this very fact. However, if you knew your spouse was not a virgin when you married him/her, yet you chose to marry them anyway, accepting their past indiscretions, you are without excuse and the divorce card is off the table. Let's see what the Old Testament has to say with regard to fornication:
"If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, 'I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,'" Deut. 22:13-14
Here we see the development of a "he said/she said" situation.
"then the girl's father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl's virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. And the girl's father shall say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, "I did not find your daughter a virgin." But this is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.' And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him," Deut. 22:15-18
After having married his wife, and realizing that perhaps he made a mistake, this man accuses her of not having been a virgin after consummating their marriage. He desires to rid himself of her. Now it must be proven that she was a virgin when she married. If the husband's accusations are proven to be false, he might be wondering if he cannot simply divorce her anyway.
"and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl's father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days." Deut. 22:19
The answer is a strong denial. He cannot divorce her all the days of his life. Malachi 2:14 provides a stronger case should a man divorce his wife without just cause: "Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant."
"But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel, by playing the harlot in her father's house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you." Deut. 22:20-21
If she is found to have not been a virgin, this leads us into our next section...

THE DEATH SENTENCE AND RELEASE
What we have just read in Deuteronomy 22:20-21 is applicable to Mary and Joseph's situation. Even though they were not married, they were referred to as husband and wife. When Joseph found out she was pregnant, he had thought that she was guilty of fornication and thus he was going to divorce her. In light of the Deuteronomy passage and the "exception clause" Jesus gives, had Joseph divorced Mary he would have been just in so doing. That is precisely what Jesus is informing us.
"If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." Lev. 20:10
With this verse and Deuteronomy 22:20-21, once the adulterer had been stoned to death their spouse was free to re-marry. We can see further evidence of death being the only dissolution of the marriage union in the New Testament as well.
"So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man." Rom. 7:3
"A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." 1 Cor. 7:39
In the New Testament, because capital punishment by stoning no longer exists, thanks to grace and mercy, we see a different scenario. Paul explains this when he gives his exposition on the subject.
"To the married I give instructions (not I, but the Lord)," 1 Cor. 7:10a
 Paul makes it clear that what he is about to say comes directly from God and are not his words.
"the wife should not divorce her husband (but if she does, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife." 1 Cor. 7:10b-11
The only dissolution of the marriage bond given in Scripture is that of death. The Bible never says that divorce is allowed on the grounds of marital infidelity. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, a picture of the Gospel, a picture of forgiveness and reconciliation. The Bible says, “‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel” (Mal. 2:16). Are we to understand that Jesus, Who is God, Who hates divorce, turned around and provided a cause for divorce? When the Christian commits spiritual adultery against Christ Jesus, should He divorce us for doing so and not offer us forgiveness and reconciliation once we repent of our sins? How can Christians expect to teach the world a better way when they corrupt what marriage represents?

Here is something to think about: Why do we no longer stone adulterers and adulteresses? The answer is simple: Because they would not be able to repent. If you pay attention to everything Jesus has said and taught throughout the entire New Testament, He is essentially saying this: "You have heard it said, THE ADULTERER AND ADULTERESS SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH. But I say to you, forgive him/her and reconcile with him/her just as your heavenly Father has done for you in the case of your sins against Him."

THE ISSUE OF RE-MARRIAGE
When we began this examination, in the section The Conversation, we said that we would return to the conversation later. With regard to Matthew 19:10-12, there are two lines of thoughts: (1) This passage has to do with marriage, in light of everything Jesus had just said, and (2) This passage has to do with re-marriage, in light of everything Jesus had just said. In the first case, the disciples are commenting on the fact that if the marital relationship is not ideal and divorce is prohibited, then "it is better not to marry," to which the comments about eunuchs have to do with those who are able to remain celibate without ever marrying. In the second case, the disciples are commenting on the fact that if re-marriage constitutes adultery, then "it is better not to marry," to which the comments about eunuchs have to do with those who are able to refrain from re-marrying. Since this passage follows on the heels of what was said in verse 9, we will assume that it is speaking with regard to divorce and re-marriage (although I am prone to believe it is with regard to the former, as I will discuss shortly). Immediately after everything Jesus had stated in response to the Pharisees, here is what follows:
"The disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."" Matt. 19:10
The disciples understood exactly what Jesus had been saying, which is why they say, "It is better not to marry." They reason that if a man obtains the desired divorce, it is better that he not re-marry so that he will not be found guilty of adultery. Jesus does not disagree with their solution, but points out the problem with it:
"But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it."" Matt. 19:11-12
Jesus uses the word "eunuch" to make a point of permanence, adding finiteness to His former statement, indicating that there will be no further discussion on the subject of re-marriage. Let's look at the three examples Jesus provides:
  1. "...born that way from their mother's womb": In this case, the person has never had a desire to be married since birth. Their first marriage was likely done primarily to satisfy family members and friends and, given the choice initially, they never would have married in the first place. We occasionally see this happen today.
     
  2. "...made eunuchs by men": In this case, intervention takes place to prevent adultery from occurring. This is the most common scenario in our culture, but it depends on whether the divorcée obeys and submits themselves to the idea or not. Some will accept it, others will not, which is what Jesus stated. You might also consider the Catholic church where celibacy is imposed upon priests and nuns.
     
  3. "...who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven": In this case, some people will not re-marry because they desire to commit their lives entirely to the ministry, overriding their natural tendencies and desire for a second mate.
Just as today, the disciples realized that many, if not most, divorced people will not adhere to any of the three cases above. They will generally have the desire to re-marry. Remember, every single one of Jesus' statements were difficult to accept. They revealed just how narrow a road it truly is and how only those who do the will of the Father Who is in heaven will receive eternal life and inherit the kingdom of God. Even amongst professing Christians who believe they have received salvation, as we witness from Matthew 7:21-23.

THE ALTERNATIVE UNDERSTANDING
As I said above, I am more prone to believe that Matthew 19:10-12 has to do with marriage, in light of everything Jesus had previously said. The disciples are commenting on the fact that if the marital relationship is not ideal and divorce is prohibited, then "it is better not to marry," to which the comments about eunuchs have to do with those who are able to remain celibate without ever marrying. I will provide Matthew Poole's commentary and Matthew Henry's commentary in answer to these verses:
"The disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."" Matt. 19:10
"This is a very strange saying, and discovers to us both the imperfect state of Christ's disciples, and also the tyranny of a sinful practice grown up into a custom. The Jews had assumed a liberty of turning their wives out of doors upon every light and trivial offence or dislike; the disciples think, if this licentiousness may not be allowed it is not good to marry. So a holy institution of God, ordained for the propagation of mankind, for the restraint of extravagant lust, and for the solace and comfort of man's life, should be despised, rather than those unquiet lusts and corruptions mortified, the mortification of which would have made those irregular separations both needless and undesirable. Surely they should rather have said, If the case of a man be so with his wife, then both husbands and wives had need to learn to deny themselves, to comply each with another, to silence their brutish and boisterous passions, that, being the same flesh, they might also have one and the same spirit, and not be like a diseased piece of flesh, where humours so quarrel that one piece need be cut off to preserve the other. But the best of men have their infirmities; and, as the Hebrews said, Spiritus Dei non semper tangit corda prophetarum, The Spirit of God was not always upon the hearts of the prophets; so it is as true, Spiritus Dei non semper et ubique tangit corda fidelium, All that the saints say is not gospel. Their flesh hath its turn to speak, as well as the Spirit in them. A sinful liberty conceded, indulged, or connived at, by the laws, or by the rulers of a church or place where we live, for a long time, is not easily restrained, and even good men may for a time be carried away with the error of it, so as they cannot discern it, be convinced of it, or be brought clear of it to a conformity to the will of God." —Matthew Poole

"Here is a suggestion of the disciples against this law of Christ (v. 10); If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is better not to marry. It seems, the disciples themselves were loth to give up the liberty of divorces, thinking it a good expedient for preserving comfort in the married state; and therefore, like sullen children, if they have not what they would have, they will throw away what they have. If they may not be allowed to put away their wives when they please, they will have no wives at all; though, from the beginning, when no divorce was allowed, God said, It is not good for man to be alone, and blessed them, pronounced them blessed who were thus strictly joined together; yet, unless they may have a liberty of divorce, they think it good for a man not to marry. Note, 1. Corrupt nature is impatient of restraint, and would fain break Christ's bonds in sunder, and have a liberty for its own lusts. 2. It is a foolish, peevish thing for men to abandon the comforts of this life, because of the crosses that are commonly woven in with them, as if we must needs go out of the world, because we have not every thing to our mind in the world; or must enter into no useful calling or condition because it is made our duty to abide in it. No, whatever our condition is, we must bring out minds to it, be thankful for its comforts, submissive to its crosses, and, as God has done, set the one over against the other, and make the best of that which is, Eccl. 7:14. If the yoke of marriage may not be thrown off at pleasure, it does not follow that therefore we must not come under it; but therefore, when we do come under it, we must resolve to comport with it, by love, and meekness, and patience, which will make divorce the most unnecessary undesirable thing that can be." —Matthew Henry
"But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it."" Matt. 19:11-12
"Our Saviour, knowing the sinful custom and practice of the Jewish nation now for many years, and giving some allowance for that, and his disciples' infirmities; so he doth not answer them severely, as what they said might deserve, but reproves them gently. What he saith amounts to thus much: You do not consider what you say. All men, without sinning against God, cannot abstain from marriage. An ability to live chastely without the use of marriage is a peculiar gift of God, and your saying hath no place in persons to whom God hath not given that gift, for it is better to marry than to burn. There are some whom God by nature hath made unfit for marriage. There are others whom men (wickedly) make unfit for it, that they may gratify their own jealousy. (Thus several courtiers were made eunuchs, and so betrusted with the care of princes' wives and concubines.) And there are some who have made themselves eunuchs, not castrating themselves, (that is wickedness,) but abstaining from marriage, and yet living chastely, (having mortified their lusts, and brought under their body,) that they might be less encumbered with the cares of the world, and be more free for the work of the ministry, or be able more to give up themselves to a holy life and spiritual conversation. But God, who by his ordinance of marriage designed to people and continue the world, hath given to persons different tempers and constitutions; so as possibly the most of men and women cannot without making use of marriage govern their lusts. As to these, marriage is not a matter of choice and deliberation, and they may and ought to use it as an appointment of God, for the ends for which he hath instituted it. If there be any who can receive this saying, who can without marriage bridle his lust, and so live in a solute and single state as not to sin against God by any extravagancy of lusts, and impure desires and affections, and desire, and shall do so, that he may be more spiritual, and serve God with less distraction, and be a more fit instrument to promote the kingdom of God in the world, let him do it." —Matthew Poole

"Christ's answer to this suggestion (v. 11, 12), in which,
1. He allows it good for some not to marry; He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Christ allowed what the disciples said, It is good not to marry; not as an objection against the prohibition of divorce, as they intended it, but as giving them a rule (perhaps no less unpleasing to them), that they who have the gift of continence, and are not under any necessity of marrying, do best if they continue single (1 Cor. 7:1); for they that are unmarried have opportunity, if they have but a heart, to care more for the things of the Lord, how they may please the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32-34), being less encumbered with the cares of this life, and having a greater vacancy of thought and time to mind better things. The increase of grave is better than the increase of the family, and fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ is to be preferred before any other fellowship.
2. He disallows it, as utterly mischievous, to forbid marriage, because all men cannot receive this saying; indeed few can, and therefore the crosses of the married state must be borne, rather than that men should run themselves into temptation, to avoid them; better marry than burn.
Christ speaks here of a twofold unaptness to marriage.
(1.) That which is a calamity by the providence of God; such as those labour under who are born eunuchs, or made so by men, who, being incapable of answering one great end of marriage, ought not to marry. But to that calamity let them oppose the opportunity that there is in the single state of serving God better, to balance it.
(2.) That which is a virtue by the grace of God; such is theirs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. This is meant of an unaptness for marriage, not in body (which some, through mistake of this scripture, have foolishly and wickedly brought upon themselves), but in mind. Those have thus made themselves eunuchs who have attained a holy indifference to all the delights of the married state, have a fixed resolution, in the strength of God's grace, wholly to abstain from them; and by fasting, and other instances of mortification, have subdued all desires toward them. These are they that can receive this saying; and yet these are not to bind themselves by a vow that they will never marry, only that, in the mind they are now in, they purpose not to marry.
Now, [1.] This affection to the single state must be given of God; for none can receive it, save they to whom it is given. Note, Continence is a special gift of God to some, and not to others; and when a man, in the single state, finds by experience that he has this gift, he may determine with himself, and (as the apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 7:37), stand steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but having power over his own will, that he will keep himself so. But men, in this case, must take heed lest they boast of a false gift, Prov. 25:14.
[2.] This single state must be chosen for the kingdom of heaven's sake; in those who resolve never to marry, only that they may save charges, or may gratify a morose selfish humour, or have a greater liberty to serve other lusts and pleasures, it is so far from being a virtue, that it is an ill-natured vice; but when it is for religion's sake, not as in itself a meritorious act (which papists make it), but only as a means to keep our minds more entire for, and more intent upon, the services of religion, and that, having no families to provide for, we may do the more works of charity, then it is approved and accepted of God. Note, That condition is best for us, and to be chosen and stuck to accordingly, which is best for our souls, and tends most to the preparing of us for, and the preserving of us to, the kingdom of heaven." —Matthew Henry

A FEARFUL REALITY
We have just learned that, apart from the death of a spouse, anyone involved in a second marriage is guilty of being in a constant state of adultery. Does the Bible have anything further to say about this? It sure does. Observe:
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9-10
"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal. 5:19-21
"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." Heb. 13:4
As we can see, adulterers are forbidden from entering the kingdom of God. How then can a professing Christian guilty of adultery due to re-marriage ensure they will inherit eternal life and enter the kingdom of God? They need to repent of their sin, which means they must leave the unsanctioned second union. This union is not a marriage in the eyes of God, and He will not honour it in the least. The Bible does not say things just for the sake of saying them. It actually means them. Do not presume on the forgiveness of God, or presume on your salvation when you are living in willful, deliberate, habitual sin. The Apostle John says in 1 John 3:
"No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:6-8
The Greek word for "practices" indicates a willful, deliberate, habitual state of sinning. John is saying, "Do not deceive yourselves. If you continue to live in sin, you are not saved." This is obvious because:
"No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:9-10
 John continues with this sobering declaration:
"We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him." 1 John 5:18
Statements like this are made consistently throughout the entire New Testament. Unfortunately, most Christians have been lied to and fed a false gospel that has convinced them, in contradiction to what we can plainly read from Scripture, that God will love them no matter what and forgive them even while living in willful, deliberate, habitual sin. The Apostle Paul informs us that this is simply not the case:
"For if you are living according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." Romans 8:13-14
The Apostle John informs us that:
"By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments." 1 John 2:3
 Jesus had made similar statements earlier:
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." John 14:15
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." John 14:21
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.'" John 14:23-24
CONCLUSION
We vow to love each other, by determination—not by mere emotion, "Until death do us part." The Bible addresses the seriousness of vows:
"When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." Eccl. 5:4-5
The truth of everything we have just discussed can be witnessed from two examples in Scripture.
  1. Bathsheba is never referred to as David’s wife, but always as Uriah’s wife (Matt. 1:6). Had Uriah died naturally and then David married her, she would have been called David's wife. But such was not the case.
     
  2. When Herodias divorced her husband Phillip and married Herod, John the baptizer referred to her as “Phillip's wife” (Matt. 14:3-4; Luke 3:19). In God's eyes, you are still the husband/wife of your divorced spouse because He never annulled that marriage.
A person can only re-marry if their spouse has died. If a person re-marries after a divorce has taken place, they are guilty of committing adultery and being in a constant state of adultery for as long as they remain in their second union. A person in this state will not enter heaven. They must first repent by leaving this second union, confess their sin to God, and obey Jesus' commandments. A divorced person has one of three options:
  1. Remain single for the rest of your life,
  2. Reconcile with your spouse, or
  3. Wait until your spouse dies before you can legitimately re-marry. (In this case, for those wicked enough to contemplate it, murder does not free you to re-marry. It would be similar to David's case with Bathsheba, except instead of killing someone else's spouse, you kill your own. They are still your spouse and you are to remain single for the rest of your life.)