Sin

Throwback Thursday ~ 9 Things that Are Still Sins Whether We Agree or Not

Originally published June 19, 20159 still sins

 

I do it all the time, Mother, and I’ve decided something-
it’s not a sin.

I heard this line several years ago on a popular sitcom, spoken by an adult daughter to her Christian mother about a behavior the Bible unambiguously calls a sin. I mean, it’s right smack dab in the middle of the Big 10; “thou shalt not” and everything.

It’s one thing to say, “I know it’s a sin, but I don’t care. I’m going to do it anyway,” but how depraved is the world when they think they – in God’s place – are the ones who get to define what sin is? And what’s even worse is that the church has begun to adopt this audacious depravity as well, whether approving of sin by fiat or by simply ignoring God’s word and letting sin slide without rebuke.

When it comes to what’s a sin and what’s not, God made up His mind a long time ago. And He’s not changing it, regardless of what you or I or Joe Politician or Jane Celebrity might think. Maybe we all need a remedial course in hamartiology, so let’s start with the basics. These things are all still sins whether the world and the church agree with God or not:

1. Homosexuality

Let’s just get it out of the way right up front. I don’t care how many celebrity “pastors” and “Christian” authors twist God’s word to say otherwise, or how many people declare themselves to be (unrepentant, practicing) “gay Christians,” or how many homosexuals declare that God made them that way, God’s word is clear: homosexual lust and behavior are sins.

2. Abortion

Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life. We don’t murder people because they’re small or sick or inconvenient or will hinder our sucess. God didn’t say, “You shall not murder, except when…” He said, “You shall not murder.” Period.

3. Extra-Marital (Heterosexual) Sex

Adultery, fornication, whatever form it might take, if you’re not legally married to the person you’re engaging in sexual activity – up to and including actual intercourse – with, you’re sinning.

4. Cohabitation

See #3. And don’t try to whitewash it by saying you’re living together but not sleeping together. A) The Bible says we’re to flee temptation, not move in with it, and B) we’re supposed to avoid every form of evil, even the appearance of it. If you call yourself a Christian and you’re shacking up, you’re living in sin (that’s why they call it “living in sin”). Repent and move out or marry up.

5. Divorce

Yep, still a sin, except in two cases: unfaithfulness or an unsaved spouse leaving a saved spouse. In those two cases the spouse who was wronged is not sinning and is free to marry again.

6. Swearing

The air is saturated with it. Foul language coming from our TVs, music, movies, social media, and the people we’re around all day. But expletives have no place in the vocabulary of a Christian. Is your potty mouth on Saturday the same one you praise God with on Sunday?

7. Taking God’s Name in Vain

It’s gotten to the point where we think so little of casually punctuating our sentences with, “Oh my G-d,”  or using the name of Jesus as an exclamation that pastors are even doing so from the pulpit these days. God’s name is high and holy and should be spoken only reverently and worshipfully. How can we look people in the eye and call them to repentance and faith in a Person whose name we use as a cuss word?

8. Gluttony

We have almost completely amputated gluttony from the spiritual realm by cordoning it off as merely a physical or medical issue. We’ve renamed it “overeating,” but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a sin. God created good food for us to enjoy, but just as with all the other good gifts He gives us, He expects us to exercise Spirit-enabled self control when we receive it.

9. Female Usurpation

God makes it abundantly clear in His word that women are not to instruct men in the Scriptures or hold authority over them in the church. Women sin when they pastor churches, preach sermons in church, teach men in Sunday School classes, and hold other positions of authority over men in the church. Men, however, bear the primarily responsibility for this when they sin by failing to rebuke usurping women, or when women feel they have no other choice but to take on male responsibilities in the church because men are shirking their own duties before God.

 

We don’t get to decide what sin is. That’s God’s job. And all of us – whether we’ve committed one of these nine sins or not – are guilty of sinning against Him. That’s the bad news.

But, in Christianity, we never give the bad news without following it up with the good news. And, oh what wonderfully good news it is: forgiveness. Jesus paid for our sin at Calvary so that if we will only turn from it and trust Him, He will forgive us for all nine of these sins and countless others.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

Abortion, Movies

Movie Tuesday: Babies Are (Still) Murdered Here

 

What’s really going on behind the scenes in the pro-life movement? Why incrementalism instead of abolition? What’s the real solution to the tragedy and outrage of abortion?

Recently released from Apologia Studios, Babies Are Still Murdered Here is the follow up documentary to Babies Are Murdered Here (see below – you may want to watch it first if you haven’t already seen it). It explores the inner workings of pro-life politics, explains more efficient ways to work through the system to end abortion, and demonstrates why the gospel is the real solution to abortion. You’ll hear from pastors and politicians, parents and practitioners, as they point us to the urgent need to do away with abortion altogether, now.

Babies Are Murdered Here was released almost six years ago. It is an overview of abortion culture, BAMH clinic ministry, and a biblical response to abortion.

(For those like me who have a more sensitive nature, there are no visual images of aborted children in these films. There are a few, very brief verbal descriptions of abortion technique and a brief news clip of the Kermit Gosnell story.)

To find out more about these films and how you and your church can get involved in helping to completely end abortion in your community, visit End Abortion Now.

Abortion, Guest Posts

Guest Post: On the Subject of Abortion

If your theology pretty much matches up with mine (as outlined in the “Welcome” and “Statement of Faith” tabs) and you’d like to contribute a guest post, drop me an e-mail at MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com, and let’s chat about it.

On the Subject of Abortion
by Lisa Matthews

A Brief Word from Michelle:

When Lisa first contacted me about writing a guest post on abortion, she sent me this video of a speech she made at a recent pro-life rally. I thought it was so powerful and inspiring that I wanted to include it with her article. Lisa’s speech starts around the 16 minute mark.

 

We are the only creation of God’s with “choice” or free will. Our animal friends have natural instincts and generally do not have the mental capacity to change their behavior. Human beings do. We make decisions and act based on those decisions. As believers, we understand that our behaviors should freely be submitted to the will of God. However, in our society today, we are led to believe that all choice is autonomous; in the world’s view we are under our own authority. This is one of Satan’s many lies.

Unbelievers have not placed themselves under the subjugation of the Lord. They are blinded and live as subordinates to the god of this world, that god being Satan. Dear brothers and sisters, we must not be blinded; we are children of the King and must live as such. Our birthright establishes freedom in Christ and freedom from the bondage of the lost. Therefore, you and I are required to manifest outwardly what we have inwardly become.

The church overwhelmingly assists the poor, hungry, widowed and homeless. We have school supply drives, Thanksgiving dinners and celebrate our Lord’s birth with gifts to the fatherless and single mothers. We exist, in part, to show the love of Christ to a dying world. However, on the subject of abortion, our silence is deafening. The third Sunday in January is “National Sanctity of Life Sunday”, but a drive around my large city sadly reveals a mere handful of the more than 1,500 churches participating in this solemn day. The scourge of abortion has ravaged our world and has silenced our church. Where are we? As a body, do we even know the “National Sanctity of Life Sunday” exists?

Abortion is unquestionably the murder of the unborn; it is the biblical equivalent to the children sacrificed to the pagan gods. It is a life created by God and taken unlawfully by man. The 6th Commandment states, “Thou Shall Not Murder” (Exodus 20:13). It seems straightforward as Christ followers to recognize the cruel and vicious act of abortion. Sadly, our inactivity is revealing; it’s revealing of our hearts and our relationship with Jesus. How can we justify what God condemns? How can we remain silent when the blood of innocents cries out?

I come from a place of experience and not of condemnation. I was a young woman afraid and ashamed. That shame silences many of us and the guilt keeps us in the shadows when we are given the opportunity to stand for life. False teachings and the church’s unresponsiveness to the harsh reality of abortion provide justification. Our guilt and shame stems from being complicit. We have family, friends and church members who have played a part in the death of an unborn child. We hide our faces in humiliation and remorse. We’ve also suffered trauma and consequences stemming from our actions. I admit and accept responsibility for the sin of abortion. Thank God for His grace, mercy, forgiveness and a post-abortive healing Bible study.

As a Christian and a Black American, it’s personal to me. In the United States of America 36% of abortions are performed on Black women while they make up less than 7% of the population (source, source). The act of abortion in our nation would be considered genocide in any other context. Our children are being murdered at an alarming rate; we can no longer remain silent or indifferent.

On June 4, 2019, the fourth abortion mill was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. This Planned Parenthood is located squarely in a historically Black neighborhood. Today, Planned Parenthood is continuing the racist and eugenics policies of their founder Margaret Sanger. In New York City, more Black children are aborted than born.

Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgives of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” There is hope! We can turn from our sin and stand in the gap for the unborn. We can reject the sin of indifference and join our hardest hit communities and protest. The body of believers does not have the option to be reticent. Titus 2:3-5 tells older women to teach to younger women. The truth about abortion is no exception. We are tasked to speak to our sisters and friends, our daughters and neighbors, our discipleship partners and mentees. The testimony of our lips should mirror the testimony of our lives.

With regard to abortion, society of today’s message is loud, forceful, unrelenting and false. Pray that our message continues to be hope and love solely based on the gospel. When our hearts and minds agree with God, He will equip us for every task He places before us. In Esther chapter 4, Mordecai warned Esther about being silent. We too, are in precarious times. As residents of the United States, we live in a constitutional republic. We are afforded rights and access to real participation in government. Use your voice to speak for the voiceless, comfort the broken-hearted and vote for protections for our unborn children.

If you have been through the trauma of abortion, thankfully, you are not alone. If you have an unexpected pregnancy, want to get involved in the pro-life movement or need healing for post-abortive trauma, there is help. There are many godly organizations and resources available to you.

Surrendering the Secret, founded by Pat Layton, directs those heart broken by a past abortion to Biblical healing. God’s Ballot provides a resource for Christians “to honor God with their votes during every election.” Love Life is committed to “creating a culture where families stop running to abortion centers and start running to the local church.” Lastly, Care Net provides a national directory of pregnancy resource centers. Local pregnancy resource centers provide real alternatives to abortion and connect expectant mothers with churches, individuals and other organizations to assist with any needs that may arise in their lives.¹

Jesus was clear in Luke 12:48, “Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required…”. Our salvation and adoption into the family of God is a tremendous gift. It’s more than we deserve and more than we can ever repay. Jesus has paid our debt; out of gratitude we live a life of service. Please join me in supporting the broken, protecting the unborn and appointing legislators who respect our God’s design.


¹Note from Michelle: I am not very familiar with any of these organizations/resources and do not endorse any of them which deviate from Scripture or my theology as outlined in the “Welcome” and “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page. As with any organization/resource, please thoroughly vet the theology of these before joining or using them.

Lisa was a single mother for 15 years before meeting her husband of 7 years, David. They are parents to one adult daughter. A Volunteer Chaplain at the Mecklenburg County Jail, an Area Coordinator for the Search for Jesus Internet Evangelism ministry, President of the Mecklenburg Black Republican Club and a Voter Registration Chair for the Mecklenburg County Republican Party.

Abortion, Forgiveness, Relationships

Throwback Thursday on Friday ~ Aborting People

Originally posted July 24, 2014Aborting People

Cut the negative people out of your life.

Don’t lift a finger for people who won’t lift a finger for you.

Don’t allow people in your life who don’t deserve to be there.

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Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see something like this on Facebook. Clearly, there are people who are violent that we need to stay away from for our own physical safety, and marital problems absolutely must be resolved, but those aren’t what this line of thinking seems to be addressing. It’s talking about the difficult people. We all have them in our lives. You’re probably thinking of some right now.

The constant complainer.

The drama queen.

The narcissist.

The annoyance.

The just plain unlovely.

Maybe it’s a family member, a neighbor, or a co-worker. Somebody who’s in your life for some reason, only you wish she weren’t.

The world’s advice: abort people. If they’re negative, if they don’t further your success, if they drain you, if they’re somehow undeserving of your time and attention. Just cut them out of your life. Abort them.

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Christians are on the front lines of the battle against literal abortion. “Every life is precious,” we say, and that’s as it should be. But somehow, the world’s abortive mentality has crept into our thinking when it comes to the relationships we have with others. Babies are being killed because they’re inconvenient, they’ll hinder someone’s pursuit of success, or they have a disability, and we’re – rightly – grieved and outraged, but do we have any pangs of conscience when it comes to throwing away that inconvenient friend or that personality-handicapped family member? Is every life really precious?

We serve a Savior who loved the unlovely. Took time for the inconvenient. Invested in the drains. He felt their loneliness and rejection and knew the pain of being scorned.

Because He was one of them.

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2b-3

Jesus stopped along the roadside, not for those who would further His success, but for those who were needy. He called the awkward and personality impaired “brother.” He called a betrayer, “friend.” Even those who wielded the whip, embedded the thorns, and drove the nails didn’t hear, “Go to hell,” but, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Yes, there are people who are so difficult that we may have to love them from afar, taking time between each encounter with them to pray, recover, and forgive.

But we must remember who we were called to be.

I love, not because people deserve it, but because He first loved me.

I am forgiving because I have been forgiven much.

I am kind because God has been so kind to me.

I lay down my life for messy people because Christ laid down His life for the biggest mess of all- me. 

Extend grace. Because in God’s eyes, every life is precious. Even yours.

Bible Study, Biblical Resources, Favorite Finds

Favorite Finds ~ February 19, 2019

Here are a few of my favorite recent online finds…

I’ve recommended my friend Kesha’s ministry, Bible Thinking Woman,to you in the past. Now Kesha has put together another resource I think will be very helpful to you. It’s a Facebook support group for sexually abused women. Kesha says, As a victim of sexual abuse, I know all too well the damage and destruction the trauma of abuse has. Yet, I also know the healing, freedom, and victory that we have in Jesus Christ. If you’re a Christian woman who wants help, prayer, guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear, please consider joining our private Facebook group, Support for Sexually Abused Christian Women. Even if you’ve never been abused, personally, I would encourage you to reach out to Kesha if you’re helping a friend or loved one through the journey of healing.

 

Need recommendations for a good concordance? A systematic theology? A set of commentaries? The Master’s University has you covered. Check out this extensive listing of biblical reference works. You probably won’t need all of these books, and the ones you do need you might be able to obtain less expensively by purchasing them via e-book, or checking your local public, church, or seminary library (your pastor might even be willing to lend out his copy of the volume you’re looking for).

 

Let’s go to the movies! I’ve heard about two movies recently that I’m really interested in seeing. Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy will be in select theaters March 14, 16, and 19. It’s a documentary on Moses as author of the Pentateuch. I saw the first movie in the Patterns of Evidence series – Exodus (you can rent it on Amazon Prime) – and it was phenomenal. I’m hoping Moses will be as well.

Roe v. Wade is a secular movie (so it’s probably going to have profanity and other sinful content in it – don’t go see it if those things violate your conscience) on the history of the original 1973 Supreme Court decision. If you can wade (pun intended – I like puns. I always intend them.) through the left-leaning worldview of this WaPo article, you’ll find that Roe v. Wade boasts a cast made up of “a veritable who’s who of conservative Hollywood” and other info. about the film.

Just a reminder – as of today, I haven’t seen either of these films, so I can’t vouch for their contents. I’m just saying I’m interested in seeing them and I thought you might be, too.

 

Need some help memorizing Scripture? David Mathis offers us 5 Tips for Bible Memorization that are sure to come in handy.

 

 

People are always asking me about Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). Is there anything good out there? Which songs or bands should be avoided? To be honest, CCM, even the doctrinally sound stuff, is not a style of music I enjoy. I don’t listen to it, so I’m almost completely ignorant of what’s out there, as I explained in my article, False Doctrine in Contemporary Christian Music. So, I’m glad to have another resource to recommend to you. Reformed Fellowship Church just kicked off their Christian Music Review on YouTube. Here’s their first installment: