Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Missing Gene and Ray Boltz: The Theistic Argument, Did God Make Him This Way?

We have recently established that there is no "Gay Gene." Some of the worlds brightest scientist have come to this conclusion. In fact, as I previously pointed out, even homosexual activist affirm this scientific fact: there is no gene that makes one a homosexual. What is at stake here is the argument of orientation.

The argument goes that if homosexuality is something one is born with then it becomes a civil rights issue, not a moral one. Therefore, the homosexual community has done everything it can to find this proof. And, as expected, they have failed. It is time to give up this quest.

Recently, best-selling and award winning Christian singer and songwriter, Ray Boltz, came out of the closet. I have already commented on the situation and so I will not go into more detail here. What is important to know is that Boltz has returned to this old fallacy, only with a theistic twist: God, he argues, made him this way, therefore God wants him to live this way.

But I must ask, what Biblical or scientific fact can Boltz point to? Truth is, only experience. I have no doubt that Boltz and persons like him really believe that they were born this way. And yes, I believe that Boltz has struggled with this for years. I believe that he has tried to overcome this temptation with all of his effort, strength, and heart. But does this argument work? Certainly the evidence doesn't support it.

Bob Stith, the Southern Baptist Convention’s National Strategist for Gender Issues, on Dr. Richard Land's, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Council of the Southern Baptist Convention, website has written an excellent article making this same argument. Though there is much repeated from what I have said here and elsewhere, it is a good read nonetheless. As I have said before, I do not believe that the best response to Boltz is hate on him and call him a liar. That would not be Christan. The Christian response is to love one to the cross which entails repentance and reconciliation. And I pray that we do that with sincerity and urgency.

“If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live,” Christian singer Ray Boltz said in a recent article disclosing his decision to divorce his wife and live as a homosexual.

But did God really create Ray Boltz as a homosexual? The media certainly would have us think so.

Time recently ran an article (“What the Gay Brain Looks Like,” Jun. 17, 2008) attempting to demonstrate the “science” supporting a “gay gene.” Interestingly, the article referenced a study done by Simon LeVay in 1991. The study had major gaps in its methodology, and even LeVay, a homosexual neuroscientist, has said that it didn’t prove what he hoped it would.

An article such as this demonstrates the difficulty of speaking truth into our culture today. Studies attempting to normalize homosexual behavior are introduced with much fanfare, and we hear about “important” new discoveries that are accepted as facts. We don’t hear, however, about the scientists who strongly disagree and the studies that reach a different conclusion.

For example, in 2003, the International Human Genome Consortium announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project, which, among other things, identified each of the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA. The press release read: “The human genome is complete and the Human Genome Project is over.”

While this accomplishment was widely reported, almost no one reported the words of Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the project. Collins, arguably the nation’s most influential geneticist, said, “Homosexuality is not hardwired. There is no gay gene. We mapped the human genome. We now know there is no genetic cause for homosexuality.”

Somehow the major media missed that little tidbit. Collins and others acknowledge that genetics can predispose but not predetermine. This supports other studies that clearly document the possibility of change for people who struggle with unwanted homosexual desire.

The need for Christians to be prepared to deal with this issue is shown in another comment by Boltz: “I guess I felt that the church, that they had it wrong about how I felt with being gay all these years, so maybe they had it wrong about a lot of other things.”

Notice the emphasis on “how I felt.” Far too often we allow “feelings” and the validity of each person’s “story” to trump the authority of Scripture. In Boltz’s case, his struggle with homosexuality apparently caused him to doubt other tenets of the faith. Beliefs to which he had held all his life were reconsidered. This is not uncommon among strugglers from Christian backgrounds. When we fail to help them deal with this issue, other fundamental beliefs are questioned.

Another sad byproduct is that his former wife has joined a pro-gay advocacy group. I’ve often thought that many people turn to various pro-gay groups because the church was not there at the time of their crisis. The end result is that not only is the struggler lost, but family members as well. Tragically, they often become very effective instruments in the hands of homosexual activists.

I grieve for the loss of the testimony of Ray Boltz. I grieve for those who will follow his example. I grieve for his family. I pray that one day Ray will realize that God did not create him a homosexual and that there is a way out.

We are in desperate need of children of Issachar, who understand the times and know what to do (1 Chron. 12:32). Far too many in Southern Baptist churches are struggling with a temptation they neither seek nor understand, but they are terrified to ask for help. Ray Boltz said, “I read every book, I read all the scriptures they use, I did everything to try and change.”

Those with long experience in this ministry will tell you that very few people have left homosexuality without the support and involvement of others. But the fear of being found out keeps many in bondage, and that bondage is intensified when the world continually trumpets, “You’re born that way. Just accept it.”

I pray for the day when all of our churches take seriously the need to train their leadership to redemptively provide the tools needed for the people like Ray Boltz in their midst. I long for the day when every community has Christians who are prepared to present a positive, joy-filled alternative to the lifelong struggle he has endured.

Are your church and your community prepared? Are you?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Do You Party A Take Party B?... California Redefines Redefinition

A secular society fears clarity in it's speach. A postmodern society deconstructs it. Mix the two, and you get California's ban on using words like "husband," and "wife" on their marriage licenses and have now replaced them with "Party A" and "Party B."

Need we any more evidence of the death of language and the vanity of redefining anything like marriage in a culture that fears certainty? In a culture, especially in a state like California, that has radically redefined marriage to be something that it is not, has resulted in robbing language of any meaning. In this case, if anyone wants to be identified as a husband and wife, they will be forced to go out of state to get married. If they don't, they will be identified as simply Part A and Party B.

We fear offending someone more than standing for something. As a result, we rob language of it's clarity and rob marriage of it's purpose. Marriage has become nothing more than a certificate, rather than a covenant. No wonder. A depraved culture will do everything in it's power to normalize, legalize, and enforce it's own depravity onto the rest of us even if it means resulting to utter nonsense like referring to two married partners as Party A and Party B.

I am beginning to wonder, when we will introduce the world to Party C? Without clarity in language, there is no limit to what we can make it mean. A depraved culture, again, will stop at nothing to satisfy it's rebelling sin. As I have argued before to redefine something like marriage leads to the fear of actually coming to a conclusion of what we are redefining it to. The argument is now being made to allow things like polygamy. Why not? Who are we to be judgmental? Who are we to legislate what goes on in some one's bedroom? In their own privacy? Sound familiar? Now we can add one more argument: religion (Mormonism and Islam).

What is going on here is more than just robbing language of it's purpose, it is an attempt to satisfy all customers. California fears hurting the feelings of the depraved rather than defending the foundations laid by our founders. I guess marriage is just one of those issues we will have to be willing to be hated for.

Let the bigotry begin.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Plug It In, Plug It In

With winds reaching up to 80 MPH in some places, Hurricane Ike took Louisville, Kentucky and many of the surrounding counties by surprise Sunday afternoon. While much of Louisville received little or no rain, the damage caused by wind was reminiscent of Louisville's devastating 74' Tornado.

While early estimates claimed that sixty percent of LG&E's power grid went down Sunday--301,000 homes, and others at 340,000 homes, current statistics place it at 171,000 homes, with 130,000 homes back on the grid after enduring two days of the city's sporadic blackout.

After nearly 48 hours without power, on campus residents at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary may now plug in and recharge. While classes have been canceled until September 22, many students are using the time off as an opportunity to serve the community. For more information on when the power will be restored visit LG&E's customer service center or call 1-800-331-7370.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Anchor Holds? Stability in the Midst of Confusion

By now, many of you have probably heard about Ray Boltz' startling announcement of his hidden struggle with homosexuality, and his embrace of two prominent LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender) congregations. If not, an article by Christianity Today and a glance at Boltz' official website will bring you up to speed with what was announced Friday by Boltz.

Further, many of you may recall some of the--now famous--songs written and mass-produced by Boltz, including, "Thank You", "Watch the Lamb", "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb", and "The Anchor Holds".

In light of how the Lord has used Boltz throughout the years in his worship gatherings, and through the writing of many popular Christian songs, how might we sort through this new situation that we now find ourselves in? It is certainly a dilemma for Christians. We will discuss more on this topic at a later date, for now, I believe a short homily from the late great Charles Haddon Spurgeon will remedy our tensions, lest we just be tempted to doubt whether or not, "The Anchor Holds".

"There were also with him other little ships."
-- Mark 4:36

Jesus was the Lord High Admiral of the sea that night, and his presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship.

When we sail in Christ's company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat.

If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as he fares; and when the waves are rough to him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as he did before us.

When the storm swept over Galilee's dark lake all faces gathered blackness, and all hearts dreaded shipwreck. When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Savior arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest as well as that which carried the Lord.

Jesus is the star of the sea; and though there be sorrow upon the sea, when Jesus is on it there is joy too. May our hearts make Jesus their anchor, their rudder, their lighthouse, their life-boat, and their harbor.

His Church is the Admiral's flagship, let us attend her movements, and cheer her officers with our presence. He himself is the great attraction; let us follow ever in his wake, mark his signals, steer by his chart, and never fear while he is within hail. Not one ship in the convoy shall suffer wreck; the great Commodore will steer every barque in safety to the desired haven.

By faith we will slip our cable for another day's cruise, and sail forth with Jesus into a sea of tribulation. Winds and waves will not spare us, but they all obey him; and, therefore, whatever squalls may occur without, faith shall feel a blessed calm within. He is ever in the center of the weather-beaten company: let us rejoice in him. His vessel has reached the haven, and so shall ours.

In yet another day of tempest and storms, will we ever follow in the wake of our Admiral, making Him our anchor, rudder, lighthouse, life-boat, and harbor? Or, will we shipwreck ourselves by following our soul's own compasses? Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." (Jn. 15.4) He also said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

Does the anchor still hold? Are you abiding and obeying? If so, then the answer is a resounding, "Yes." "The anchor holds, in spite of the storm."

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Threat of Trig Palin: The Return of Life Worthy of Life

Whoever wins in November, one thing is very clear: this is going to be a historic election. On the one end, we have a black candidate. If he wins, he will become the first black president in American history. What an honor! On the other hand, if the other side wins, we will have the first female vice-president in history. And it must be assumed that at the end of her running mates term, she will likely run for president and have a chance to become the first female President.

Regardless, this is going to be historic. And that is a great thing for America. It is clear that many barriers are being knocked down that have stood in our way for many years. Let us rejoice knowing that we are all watching and have our part in history!

But there is one major problem with Sarah Palin's candidacy if she and John McCain win the Whitehouse: Trig Palin and what his very existence will mean for the culture of death. I was waiting for it to come out, and now it officially has arrived, if Palin gets in the Whitehouse as the VP, having her Down Syndrome baby will likely lead to a decrease in similar babies with Down Syndrome from being executed. And that is a problem for the culture of death.

Decrease in death used to be a good thing, but with our culture of death always seeking the blood of our young ones, the candidacy of Sarah Palin puts all of that at risk. Dr. Andre Lalonde fears that Canadians, and no doubt Americans, will follow the example of America's vice-president, if she wins, and refuse to kill their unwanted baby. The life unworthy of life as Hitler would have it.

And why would that be? Why would Americans and Canadians, and anyone considering aborting their baby with Down Syndrome or any other condition for that matter, reconsider killing their own? Because they are seeing with their own eyes that it is worth it! Suddenly, millions of people find that they are not alone. Palin offers what we all crave for in these situations: hope and a promise that it is worth it. Every life is worth preserving regardless of one's condition, appearance, and difficulties are.

I want to look at his argument briefly. First, the doctor is concerned that "not every woman is prepared to deal with the consequences of Down babies, who have developmental delays, some physical difficulties and often a shortened lifespan." I have to ask myself, should a child be punished for their parents incompetence? Since when was murder an option for foolish mistakes? Why don't we apply this to every area of life? If something is too difficult or challenging, why go through it, just kill it. Is that the message we are getting from persons like Dr. Lalonde?

The length of a life does not mean we should cut it short. Dr. Lalonde points out here that many of the babies born with this, and others like it, disease might live a short life. Therefore, he seems to argue, it is best to get it over with now. Again, why not apply that beyond infants. We are all going to die, why not end it now?

He goes on to say that he is concerned that, "choice of abortion and that greater public awareness of women making choices like Palin to complete a pregnancy and give birth to their genetically-abnormal baby could be detrimental and confusing to the women and their families." Again, the solution to the confusion and hardship, at least in our culture of death mindset, is to eliminate the problem rather than persevere. Why take on the challenge whenever murder is a viable option?

It amazes me the lunacy of some in this country. Freedom meant equality for all life, including the unwanted, the young, the handicap, the forgotten, and yes, even those with Down Syndrome. We all declare that we have the right for this and that, while at the same time, deny the right for others to live just because they might bring a greater challenge to society. Hitler had an answer for such persons: kill them! And it seems that we are falling in suit of that legacy. And you thought that World War II was over!

It is a crying shame to listen to the words of persons like Dr. Lalonde who fear that less people will kill their own children just because one woman in a powerful position decided not to kill hers. It says something about our cultural conscience. Both that it has been severed sered, and at the same time, has hope of return. Let us pray that people see Sarah Palin as more than the first vice-president in American history, but also an example that in all things family comes first and even the unwanted are worthy of life.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Other 10%

Every knows that vice-president hopeful, Governor Sarah Palin has a five-month-old baby, Trigg Palin, born with Down Syndrome. Even though 90% of babies diagnosed with this condition while in the womb are aborted, the Palin's put their convictions to action and refused to murder their infant son.

Recently, Palin gave her speach at the Republican National Convention accepting her nomination on the McCain ticket. While the speach was going on, one of the daughters of Todd and Sarah was holding Trigg began grooming the little guys hair.

Here is the video:

And to think, most people murder such infants. In the mind of the Palin's, Trigg is just as worthy to life and as any other human being. He is even worthy to have his hair groomed.