A Response to John Pavlovitz…If I Have Gay Children

Recently John Pavlovitz, a self professed 17 year ministry veteran recently wrote a blog called “If I have Gay Children”.  Pavlovitz’s ministry experience is unknown but given that his “About” page states, “generally trying to live-out the red letters of Jesus” and “I welcome you to say what you believe needs to be said in response, knowing that ultimately the truth is somewhere in the middle.” He is, in all likelihood, a liberal Christian if regenerate at all.  His article also helps to make the point of his theologically liberal perspective evident.

I have included a link to his page so that you might read the entire article, but thought I would go through the paragraphs point by point.

Why take so much time to analyze the writings of an unknown ministry leader?  Because these small potatoes leaders are truly the ones deceiving people by replacing the BIBLE with emotionalism.  The little guys are the ones that go unopposed in their infectious worldview.  As a Christian, we must expose all wolves in sheep’s clothing, not just the ones that have best selling books.

PAVLOVITZ’S ARTICLE

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/09/17/if-i-have-gay-children-four-promises-from-a-christian-pastorparent/

Let’s take a look at the paragraphs and put his well written and very emotional article into perspective. Pavlovitz makes four points.


 

Point #1 – “If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.”

His point is that if he has gay children he won’t try to cover it up.  No major issue with this point except he states the following”

“most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable.”  

Really?  Is this true?  In a society that not only embraces homosexuality but celebrates it, I find it hard to believe that MOST gay children feel uncomfortable. If they do, one might point to Paul in Romans Chapter 1 regarding the suppression of truth.  They feel guilt because they are guilty; we all are!  The Christian knows his or her guilt and looks to Christ for salvation from the guilt.  The Christian doesn’t justify his guilt nor build his identity around it!  There is, however a larger point here.  Homosexuality is about sexual identity.  Should a child have such an identity; either homo or hetero?  Should children not be playing with friends at the park, riding their bikes and playing with American Girl dolls?  If a young child has a sexual identity, one must look at the parents and ask why?  What are you teaching your children if they have a sexual identity at such a young age?   


 

Point #2 - If I have gay children, I’ll pray for them.

Certainly no one would disagree with that!  We should be praying for our children no matter their sexual orientation, however my definition of prayer is vastly different than his.

“I won’t pray for them to be made “normal”. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that is their normal.”

That’s nice, this Christian ministry leader has placed his definition of “normal” above that of God’s definition.  The bible defines homosexuality as abnormal and against nature (Romans 1). This “ministry leader” believes that God is wrong and he is correct so he won’t pray for God’s hand in his childrens lives but instead:

“I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them,”

He will pray that those who believe in God’s word will be stopped from speaking the truth of God in the lives of his children.  He will pray for his children to continue to live in rebellion against God and ask that God will protect them from the violence that is thrown at them.  Excuse me Mr Pavolvitz, what violence are you referring to?  Where is all this violence and hatred that you speak of?  Over the last few years EVERY case of violence of intimidation against homosexuals has been shown to be false! I know I hear all the time about all the churches in the world getting all it’s ignorant members together to beat up gay people!  You sir are the ignorant one!  You are the one replacing God’s holy word and plan with your own feelings. That is I G N O R A N T and bigoted.  I think honosexuality is a sin and you call me ignorant and hateful. How is calling those who stand on the shoulders of giants for 2000 years the ignorant ones?  Are we to believe that 2000 years of theologians have gotten it wrong, but YOU became magically enlightened and have it right?  Doesn’t that sound just a tad arrogant?  Another win for liberal tolerance and liberal thinking.

Think about it, he presupposes that God is not powerful enough to redeem a gay child for His glory so why bother praying for it?


 

Point #3 – If I have gay children, I’ll love them. 

Well, Mr Pavolvitz, I will love my children too, but the difference between my love and yours is that I will apply God’s definition of love, not my own emotional definition.  God’s love is defined in the cross.  God showed true love thought self sacrifice and this sacrifice requires us to be obedient to the Word of God! You defination of love is self gratification.  As long as your kids are “happy” you have all you need to justify their sin.

You say you would:

“I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it.”

I will love my children because they have intrinsic value to God and He is sovereign over them.  I won’t accept their sin, but rather fall on my knees that God’s will be done in their lives.  You want to replace the true and living God for the purposes of appearing tolerant to your liberal friends, I will be obedient to God’s word no matter the cost.  This sacrifice is true love.


 

Point #4 – If I have gay children, most likely; I have gay children.

“If my kids are going to be gay, well they pretty much already are.

God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that He, “stitched them together in their mother’s womb”. The incredibly intricate stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells.”

As I previously stated he presupposes that God is not powerful enough to redeem his children from homosexuality, but now he assumes that God created his Children gay.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe God predestined such actions, but that does not mean that being gay should be celebrated.  God created me with a desire to sleep with every female that walks the earth, but he put limitations on my use of sexuality to a marital relationship.  I was “born to have sex” so am I to assume that if my wife looks down upon me for sleeping with my neighbor that she is intolerant?

His reference of Psalm 139 only works in this context if you assume that God creates people gay and there is no other factor in creating sexual identity! Furthermore, he assumes that anything as part of this creation is to be celebrated without boundaries.  Where’s the evidence for that from within scripture or science?  I, on the other hand, have the Bible to make my point:

“Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you WERE. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

We see from this passage that God doesn’t like sexual sin (among others) but He redeems it through the cross.  Now why would God need to redeem something that He celebrates?  Furthermore, contrary to Mr. Pavlovitz, God appears to believe that He has the power to change people from gay to straight!  “Theses WERE some of you”.  Lots of “weres” in that passage, not so many “ares”.


 

I think all of this can be put into one paragraph that is the caveat to his theology (or lack thereof):

“As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, or clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send me, or praying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic… but with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster; I really couldn’t care less.”

This man is not seeking the truth of God. He believes he has it all together.  He would rather commit societal child abuse by teaching his children that homoexuality is good, right, normal and godly than teaching them the true the living faith.  He would rather contribute to the culture of death that is homosexuality than give his children the word the brings life.   Though his article seems good, loving and tolerant, in reality it is an attack on the living God.  He preaches worldly tolerance while calling 2000 years of believers ignorant, and hateful.  We should see him through the lens of Christ and call him to repentance.  How dare such a man call Jesus Christ, His apostles and his church hateful and ignorant?  Do you not see the irony of such a statement?  God got it wrong for 2000 years but now thanks to liberals, we are enlightened!

I will love, pray, and accept my children just as Pavolvitz will, but the love I show will be in Christ, not apart from it.  Mr Pavlovitz, I will do something else as well.  I will pray that the living God will protect your children from you.  That He is more powerful than your rebellion and that in spite of you, your children will find the true and loving God what patiently knitted them together and predestined them to glory (I hope).

Why I hate Calvinism

I have spent a great deal of my adult life studying theology. I take my faith seriously and read, study and watch debates on a regular basis.  In all of my study, there s one form of Christian theology that is repugnant to me.  The system is called Calvinism.

Calvinism hurts my heart.  The thought that God could possibly predestine some to heaven and others to hell, goes against my human understanding of love and how I see and interpret how God interacts with me.  It is absolutely not fair for God to take only some to heaven (especially if man has no vote in the decision).  God having the power to override my freewill for His purposes certainly doesn’t ring true in my observation of the world.  I make free choices all the time.  I remember making the verbal profession of Jesus 15 years ago.  I made that profession, I certainly did feel any spiritual tugging to say the prayer and enter the kingdom of God.  Furthermore some decision are inconsequential to God.  Why would He spend time predestining little things?  Why would God predestine what type of toilet paper I use; why does he care?  Philosophically speaking, it makes far more sense that God and man work together in the compilation of God’s plan to provide a path to salvation that is open to everyone.  This universal call to salvation is simply more fair.  That’s the type of God I want to worship!   I like a God that looks a lot like me.

Here’s the problem I have.  The bible doesn’t teach anything I spoke of above.  There is no freewill in the bible. There is not synergy for salvation between God and man. My desire to tailor make God into something that makes me feel better about Him is not of consequence in God’s economy.  The Bible teaches something very different than what I described above. It teaches a different God because my sinful flesh is not equipt to see and follow the true God apart from the Holy Spirit and spiritual obedience to His word.  The bible, not I says:

(Romans 8:29-8:30)

God – Foreknows – He has perfect foreknowledge of who we are .  Foreknowing is active not passive.  God is active in developing us into who we are

God – Calls – Call supernaturally calls us to Himself.  If we have been called we are one of His sheep and we hear His voice

God – Justifies – God not man makes us right with the Father.  Jesus justifies us, we don’t justify ourselves through some profession of faith

God – Sanctifies – God is active in conforming us into the image of His son.  We do not sanctify ourselves

God – Glorifies – God raises us on the last day to glory in Christ.

The bible teaches that God perfectly atoned from the sins of man on the cross. It does not teach that Jesus provided a path to salvation on th cross but saved no on on the cross. (Isaiah 53:5)

God say the NO ONE can come to Jesus unless they are drawn by the father.  Jesus loses NONE of them but raises them up on the last day. (John 6:44)

God says he creates from people for holy purposes and others for destruction so that God’s glory can be seen in both good and EVIL (Romans 9:21)

God says that what Joseph’s family intended for evil, God intended for good. (Genesis 50:20)

God says that His creation of man was “very good”; uttering these words with full knowledge our fall.(Genesis 1:31)

GOD’S CROSS IS NOT A CONTINGENCY PLAN!  If God is not sovereign, then the most pivotal moment in history is in fact a back up plan that God had to throw together after we disobeyed Him in the garden.  Am I to seriously believe that Paul could have rejected Jesus on the road to Damascus? (Acts 9)  Am I to believe that David could have said “Sorry, I’m not fighting no giants today”? (1 Samuel 17)  Was it up to Moses when he lead the Israelites out of the promise land? (Exodus 3:3)  Did God not predestine Moses’ life through an evil act of killing in Egypt? (Exodus 2:12)  Did Nebakanezer have the ability to say, “I’m not going to be eating grass in the field today”? (Denial 4:33)  Did Lazarus have the ability to tell Jesus he’s good with being dead and doesn’t want to come back to life? (John 11)  How dare God get in the way of Johan’s freewill by swallowing him with a giant fish! (Jonah 1:17)  Am I believe believe the the valley of the dry bones could resurrect themselves? (Ezekiel 37).  Does the Bible teach that Pharaoh harden his own heart or did God do the hardening? (Romans 9)  Simply put the God of the Bible is not the God I want or feel comfortable with. The God of the Bible is who He is and just because I feel I could do better than He can with the world doesn’t mean that my idea of a perfect God is the true, one and only God of the universe.  My flesh is strong but God is stronger.

I hate Calvinism!  Calvinism goes against every bit of belief and tradition I have regarding the nature of man and the nature of who God is.  I hate Calvinism, not because it isn’t true but because if I were God I’d do it differently.  I would let every good person into the kingdom.  I would let man decide their future.  I would make very one prosperous, rich, healthy, and wise.  I would be much more tolerant than He is for certain.  The problem is, I don’t have the right to be the judge of God’s word.  As a Christian, it is my job to be obedient to the word and that word tells me that God is sovereign and in control and man is – well – not.  So I am a Calvinist and I my flesh grieves that I am (but God rejoices).

Arminians tell us that Calvinism turns man into a robot by predestining every move we make.  Okay, so what?  Arminianism turns God into an algorithm by stating that If man acts, THEN God can save.  We are no further in determining the truth of God unless we look at His holy word.

The sign of a true Christian? – Tim Guthrie’s Attack on Dr. James White

Open LetterAfter reading Tim Guthrie’s article regarding a conspiracy by Dr James White to hack into his computer files and steal stuff, I got to thinking as to how we can reconcile such a crazy, libelous article with scriptural Christian conflict.   One would expect this type of behavior from a politician, atheist, or other unregenerate group, but Christians have a supernatural component to their lives.  The Holy Spirit is living within us.  This begs the question, how can or would the Holy Spirit allow such a thing to occur?  Is the Holy Spirit just a morbid Fightclub advocate that likes to see scraps between Christians for fun?  I think not.  That leaves only two other possible explanations for such a brutally untruthful attacks.  Either Christianity is false and our hope is in a lie OR the Holy Spirit is not involved in the life of the individual making such claims.   Perhaps I’m missing something here but I thought that Christians were in the business of seeking truth through God’s word, not being “right” at all cost.  I could be missing something though and – as Dr White told me a few days ago – it is not our job to judge the hearts of these men, but it does make one question why someone would do such things if the Holy Spirit is guiding them.  Of course answering this question is far harder for a Calvinist like me than for an Arminian like Guthrie.  Guthrie can simply right off such thing under the guise of quenching the Holy Spirit (not listening).  I can’t make such a claim and thus I am vastly more limited in my ability to justify sin than an Arminian is.  Below is a link to the article written by Guthrie.

READ ARTICLE

(http://timguthrie.blogspot.com/2014/08/an-open-letter-to-pastors-stop-ministry.html)

 

How this youth pastor has embraced the very argument he is trying to avoid…

I saw this article on Facebook and gave it a read.  It was interesting not in that I agree in any sense, but because it tells a story about much of the youth pastors in the USA. 

http://intheparlor.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/what-you-believe-about-homosexuality-doesnt-matter/

What strikes me immediately is that this is yet another youth pastor who has embraced relativism.  The youth pastor in question is named Tyler Smither and according to his blog he is with the  United Methodist church in north Mississippi.  In his post he states:

When faced with the choice between being theologically correct…as if this is even possible…and being morally responsible, I’ll go with morally responsible every time.

Immediately you should recognize that this is pure relativism.  Who gets to decide what is morally responsible?  Is it him who decides?  How about the government?  Maybe public opinion?  Certainly it is not the word of the living God because that would mean theology dictates morality and he has precluded that from being an option.  It is clear that this youth pastor’s god is pragmatism!  He is simply stating that being theologically correct leads to youth suicide so we need to scrap theology and instead embrace a practical response.  I think he needs to brush up on the Law of Excluded Middle.  In fact we need both Tyler. One does not beget the other!  This is, in fact the same thing that so-called Christian politicians do.  They reduce religion down to a personal, non-public fairy tale that just gives you a smile on your face but doesn’t and should dictate public policy.  It is pure unadulterated ignorance.  In reality we need to strive for theological correctness because it is by that and that alone that we can judge moral responsibility!  If it is not an objective standard then it is no standard at all!  If God is not in charge of morality, then no one is and it comes down to the man with the biggest gun to decide.

There is another issue with his argument that is far more amusing.  He states:

I’ll go with morally responsible every time. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian during World War II. He firmly held the theological position of nonviolence. He believed that complete pacifism was theologically correct. And yet, in the midst of the war, he conspired to assassinate Adolf Hitler; to kill a fellow man. Why? Because in light of what he saw happening to the Jews around him by the Nazis, he felt that it would be morally irresponsible not to. Between the assassination of Hitler and nonviolence, he felt the greater sin would be nonviolence.

Ironically he has embraced the same argument Hitler used to commit genocide.  Hitler’s argument was pragmatic!  He wanted to better society as a whole and the pragmatism he used for this was the elimination of the weak, sick and un-perfect and the transfer and elimination of those who controlled the wealth.   This youth pastor has embraced the very argument he is arguing against and doesn’t seem to realize that pragmatism is the cousin of genocide!  One begets the other if one takes the argument to it’s conclusion.

In a nutshell we really don’t need this in the church.  I agree that it is super sad that youth are committing suicide, but it is only the power of Jesus that will change this.  The answer does not lie in the eliminating of Jesus and replacing him with relativism and pragmatism!  In fact the elimination of Jesus’ grace from the church has caused much of the problem.  We have replaced the teachings of Jesus with tradition, and practical advice from a pastor.  If we want to save our youth, we need to teach our youth morality, not to reject it.

Why do I send my kids to a Christian school when the thing I need to protect them from the most is theology?

I have a question…Why is it that I send my kids to a Christian school so they can learn about God and I still have to spend most of my time protecting them from the Theology, or lack thereof, of the Christian school?

Let me explain, my wife and I are looking at the class options from a well known Christian umbrella school here in Northern Colorado (an umbrella school is a school to supplement home schooling).  The classes range from choir to science to something they call “Christian Worldview.”  No one wants my children to learn the Christian worldview more than I but it has become painfully obvious that they teach everything but the Christian worldview.  The class is taught out of Ken Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” and the results I have seen from other students is a zeal for young earth philosophy and not a single clue about the Christian worldview!  Don’t get me wrong, I have not a single issue with young earthers (I happen not to be one) but the Bible never EVER teaches as a distinctive that we must believe that the earth is ten to twelve thousand years old to be Christian!  It is and has never been a part of Christian theology and wasn’t even an issue of debate until about 200 years ago when the age of science came roaring on the scene.  It has however, become a big part of Christian tradition and philosophy.  Just as we hold to a tradition that there was a little drummer boy at the birth of Christ, we also hold fast to the tradition (not fact) that the earth is younger than it appears.  The previous umbrella school we sent the kids to had the same problem in their worldview class.   In that class they spent more time beating up on other religions than they did giving the kids a positive defense of Christianity!  The result was an appalling display of anti Mormon bigotry that was loaded with loose facts and total falsehoods about the religion.  The kids were 8th graders and I don’t blame them, but in my opinion, the teacher should be fired.  You see I spend a lot of time making sure I have the facts about a religion’s worldview so when we teach our children lies about other worldviews to make ours look good, it is discourteous and completely Unchristian!  The best way to defeat Mormonism is to have a positive approach to Christianity, not a negative approach to Mormonism.  Christianity stands true based on the consistency of the facts.  Mormonism does not and cannot stand the test of truth.

Here’s a thought.  Why not teach the Christian worldview in the Christian worldview class?  In the rare case that perhaps the schools are following this blog, let me layout a nice little syllabus for you for next semester.  If you follow this, you should have kids that can argue the importance of the atonement with as much passion as they have about defending that the earth is ten thousand years old.

1.  The Nature of God – Who is God and what are His characteristics?

2.  The Person of Christ – Who is the God-Man and why is it important that Jesus be this man?

3.  The Nature of the Trinity – What is the trinity and where do we find it in the pages of scripture?

4.  The Nature of the Cross – What is so important about the crucifixion?

5.  The Nature of Man – Why are we the way we are?

6.   The Nature of Sin – What is sin and what is its importance?

7.  The Glorification/Second Coming – How does the story end?

8.  The Nature of Revelation – What is the Bible and why is it important?

I know this stuff is more difficult to teach than that Noah brought dinosaurs on the ark, but these things are Christian theology, not the philosophical difference we have over the age of the earth!

One last thing on this matter.  Why is it that each worldview class seems to have an apologetic spin to it?  Do we really want to be teaching our children apologetics and if we do is this the starting point for teaching scripture?  I can assure you that if a 12 year old tries to defend her position on young earth theology to me, I would bury her.  Not because I am bigger and smarter then her but because I did the foundational work necessary to defend my faith.  I understand the 8 point list above, they more than likely do not.

Christianity is hard and some things are too difficult to teach to a small child.  That’s why Paul talks about giving them milk while they are babies in the faith.  At some point we need to switch from soft food to hard foods with more substance but in the mean time, teach them Theology at their level, don’t fill them full of philosophy!  The order is simple.  First we learn the stories of the bible, then we learn what they mean, only after we know these things do we defend our faith to others.  Your understanding of who God is should guide your philosophy not your overwhelming desire to combat science (a gift from God).

I find myself frustrated, and wondering exactly why Christians school even exist!

How to abuse people with the Bible

Oh how I realize that I could do an entire dissertation on how Christians use the bible to abuse, confuse and over all bash people over the head.  Over time, I’m sure we will have the opportunity to highlight more and more cases of stupidity, but today I want to discuss one of my favorite.  it comes to us from Psalm 105:13-15 and it is usually used in an abusive fashion by summarizing it into one simple statement:

“Don’t not touch God’s anointed”

This statement is a favorite method of pastors to shut down any opposition that they may have to bad theology or poor behavior.  Of course this usually works to stop any opposition because after all, pastors are anointed…right?  I have had this thrown at me from time to time usually is response to a harsh criticism, but unlike many Christians, I actually have read the Bible and know what is being said!  So let’s put this passage in context and maybe, you – the readers – can tell me exactly what Psalm 105:13-15 is actually saying.

[Starting at Psalm 105:7]

He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac,
10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,”
12 When they were few in number,
Indeed very few, and strangers in it.

13 When they went from one nation to another,
From one kingdom to another people,
14 He permitted no one to do them wrong;
Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,
15 Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”

Knowing that I never, ever read a bible verse, taking the entire thought into account, it becomes clear that anyone claiming to own this verse better have been a Hebrew laying claim to Canaan!  If you’re not a Hebrew laying claim to Canaan, this verse it NOT for you.  Simply speaking if a pastor or anyone else in the church is using this verse as a method of shutting down opposition, it should, in fact, increase the opposition because it is clear that the person making the claim has no idea what they are talking about and should never, ever be teaching the Bible.  The anointed are the JEWS!  The anointed are not your pastor, leaders, or yourself.  Perhaps you are anointed, but this verse doesn’t give you that promise!

There is another question that begs to be answered however.  How is it that we are to test if someone is indeed anointed?  Are we to believe that anyone who goes to bible college or takes on a role as spiritual leader is “anointed”?  How about Jim Jones?  Jones was a pastor and because of a lack of discernment by this followers they were all murdered in the jungle of Guyana.  Maybe he wasn’t anointed after all, but I’m sure the dude throwing this in your face is.  Right?

Here’s the deal.  God was courteous enough to right down a few thought for us and don’t you think it would be polite to actually take the time and read His thoughts?  Don’t you think you owe it to the author (in this case the creator of the universe) to try to understand what He is saying to us?  Some things are hard to understand but Psalm 105 is NOT one of them.

Chuck Smith Passes Away of Cancer at age 86

I  wanted to pay my respects to the family of Chuck Smith over his recent passing at age 86 from lung cancer.  The fact is, the differences I and my followers have had the Calvary over the past years are most definitely secondary and inconsequential to the family of God.  Chuck was and is a brother in Christ who remained steadfast to the ministry of God until the end.  I pray for a quick recovery of this shock to his followers and family.

Chuck had theological differences from myself, but one would be hard pressed to find a man who transformed ministry in the United States this side of the 20th century more than he did. He is to be applauded and respected for his ministry and it is my prayer that more of us would have the courage to take the established traditions of the church as much as he did.  Many of our churches may differ in theological beliefs, but most are touched in some way by the ministry of Chuck.  From  the contemporary music of Maranatha to casual dress in church we all experience some of Chuck’s influence.

To those who were not fans of Chuck, please use wisdom in the matter and refrain from taking advantage of this situation to espouse hatred toward him or speculate on the future of Calvary Chapel.   Any such comments on this blog will be promptly removed.  

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