Romans 1

July 7, 2013   Romans 1:18 – 32   Issues – Far From God    

      I read an interesting article this week which said most can write a sermon but less can write a message.   A message is saying what God wants said to the people at God’s time.   I think I have a message today but not a lot of bible in it.   George Carlin wrote an article entitled “Paradox of Our Time."  - The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.     - We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less.    - We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.   - We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.    - We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.    - We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.    - We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.   - We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.   We’ve added years to life not life to years!    - We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.    We’ve done larger things, but not better things.  - We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.   - We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.  - We write more, but learn less.  - We plan more, but accomplish less.  - We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.  - We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.   

    I guess I would say God help us.   I think we have gone the wrong way and are reaping some of what we have sowed.  A very interesting verse is in Acts 17:30 where Paul writes in the past God overlooked such ignorance but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.   I think that verse is applicable today.     I think we are getting to the point in the world where God is not tolerating our nonsense so much.   I think God is moving quickly today and things are moving quickly today.   I think God is getting less tolerant of the lukewarm church today.   I think God is less tolerant of lukewarm Christians.   I think God is less tolerant of how we spend money and our waste.   I think God is less tolerant of our wasting the precious commodity of time.   I think God is zealous to work in His church.    I know God understands what is happening in the world and that He moved Paul to write this passage in Romans 1 a couple thousand years ago.      

        I Chronicles 12:32 is an interesting verse which says men of Issachar who understood the times and knew what Israel should do 200 chiefs with all their relatives under their command.   Do you and I understand the times?   Do you know what is happening in the world?   Where is the church in regards to what is happening in the world.   Where are you and I?  Some say the church should not be involved in politics.   Some would say the pulpit is for the biblical sermon only.   Well Jesus seemed to speak of things of his day.   Jesus said some negative things about the rulers of his day.   Take a look sometime at Matthew 23.   The crowds were there and the disciples were there when Jesus pronounced woe on the Pharisees.  It was a sermon a very stinging sermon.    I have some things burning in my soul that I am going to share with the church today.    Is there anything burning in your soul today?   

    ARTICLE ACLJ American Center for Law and Justice        These weapons are a gift and not paid for.   These weapons come out of your tax dollars.   Many Egyptians hate us and they burn our flag and we arm them.   Does that make any sense?   We have representatives in government who are trying to stop that kind of thing but our leaders will not support these kinds of initiatives.  

    I have read that 250K Christians have fled Iraq since Sadaam has been removed.   When did they leave?  They left after Sadaam had been removed.   The Muslins in charge persecute the Christians.   Sadaam was religious tolerant while the current leaders are not.   I understand he was a terrible leader.   I am not patting him on the back but what about the Christians in that area?   Where did thousands of them go?   They went to Syria.   There was some religious freedom there.   Now the US is going to support the rebels (many are muslins) and what then will happen to the Christians?   In our desire to bring democracy are we creating religious persecution?   We can get so far from God that nothing we try will work for good.   Our brothers and sisters are terribly persecuted around the world.   It seems to me that things are really happening in the Middle East and probably lining up for the end times.  The Muslins and the enemies of the Jews will never push them into the sea.  They may have to flee Jerusalem someday though.   Personally it looks to me like America is making a mess over there.   I suspect that God can easily deal with our F16’s and tanks.   

      Our freedoms are being removed from us day by day.   A church in Lewes Delaware was denied a permit by the City to assemble on a public beach but it will hold services anyway.   A local news outlet told the story of New Covenant Presbyterian Church and its pastor, Robert Dekker, who was told by the City Manager it, could not grant his request to meet on the beach because it was "a mix of church and state." Pastor Dekker now plans to hold a service on Independence Day on the disputed beach "in defiance of tyranny" and is circulating a flyer inviting people to assemble for a "peaceful worship service" on that day.   The constitution says we have freedom of religion not freedom from religion.   

       Wikipedia   In 2001, the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to grant same-sex marriages.[85] Same-sex marriages are also granted and mutually recognized by Belgium (2003),[86] Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal(2010),[87] Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010), Denmark (2012), Brazil (2013) and France (2013). In Mexico, same-sex marriage is recognized in all 31 states but only performed in Mexico City and in Quintana Roo State.   In Nepal, their recognition has been judicially mandated but not yet legislated.[88] In the United States, thirteen states and the District of Columbia permit same sex marriage, beginning with Massachusetts in 2004 and Connecticut in 2008.[89][90]. 

        Top 10 harms for same sex marriage by Peter S. Sprigg is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.  1.   Taxpayers, consumers, and businesses would be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships.  2.   Schools would teach that homosexual relationships are identical to heterosexual ones.   3.  Freedom of conscience and religious liberty would be threatened.   4.  Fewer people would marry.   5.   Fewer people would remain monogamous and sexually faithful.  6.  Fewer people would remain married for a lifetime.   7.   Fewer children would be raised by a married mother and father.   8.   More children would grow up fatherless.  9.   Birth rates would fall.   10.  Demands for legalization of polygamy would grow.  

     Wikipedia    On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for the federal government of the United States to deny federal benefits of marriage to married same-sex couples, if it is recognized or performed in a state that allows same sex benefits.[142][143][144] A further two states (Minnesota and Rhode Island) have enacted same-sex marriage laws which have not yet come into force.   Several states offer civil unions or domestic partnerships, granting all or part of the state-level rights and responsibilities of marriage.[145] Thirty-one states have constitutional restrictions limiting marriage to one man and one woman.[146]

    The U.S. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, attempting to define marriage for the first time solely as a union between a man and a woman for all federal purposes, and allowing states to refuse to recognize such marriages created in other states.[147] Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning (2005), holding that prohibiting recognition of same-sex relationships violated the Constitution, was overturned on appeal by the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, which ruled that "laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples ... do not violate the Constitution of the United States." However this decision was overruled by the Supreme Court by a majority of 5 to 4 in a ruling issued on 26 June 2013[148], which stated that "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment". The Washington Supreme Court, also in 2006, concluded that encouraging procreation within the framework of marriage can be seen as a legitimate government interest furthered by limiting marriage to between opposite-sex couples.[149]

    Civil union, civil partnership, domestic partnership, registered partnership, unregistered partnership, and unregistered cohabitation statuses offer varying legal benefits of marriage and are available to same-sex couples in: Andorra, Australia, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  End of Wikipedia 

    Did you get that?   2001 was the first time any nation legalized same sex marriage.   In thousands of years it has never happened before. Since Adam and Eve it has never happened.   There have been those who engaged in it – Sodom and Gomorrah.   Did God make a statement there about how he felt about that?     One Christian I talked to this week said they could see something falling from heaven and they said they thought it was the tears from heaven.   They said they were so hurt by the Supreme Court decision that they wanted to cry.     

    Thomas Sowell writes an article dated Tuesday, July 02, 2013  What happened when old-fashioned ideas about sex were replaced in the 1960s by the bright new ideas of the left that were introduced into the schools as "sex education" that was supposed to reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases?    Do you think that teenage pregnancy has dropped since 1960?   Romans 1 although they claimed to be wise they became fools.   

     The US military policy of don’t ask and don’t tell was struck down and what happened right after that?   There was a lot of news of rape in the military.   To me it was like we keep mucking around where we should not be going and we reap that which we do not want to reap.    We can spit in God’s face but that will not make us better.   That will not make us content.   That will not help us.  The further we get from God the emptier we are.   

    Article by Brian Camenker.  October 20, 2008 anyone who thinks that same-sex “marriage” is a benign eccentricity which won’t affect the average person should consider what it has done in Massachusetts. It’s become a hammer to force the acceptance and normalization of homosexuality on everyone. And this train is moving fast. What has happened so far is only the beginning.  On November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announced its Goodridge opinion, ruling that it was unconstitutional not to allow same-sex “marriage.” Six months later, homosexual marriages began to be performed. The public schools the homosexual “marriage” onslaught in public schools across the state started soon after the November 2003, court decision. 

      At my own children's high school there was a school-wide assembly to celebrate same-sex “marriage” in early December, 2003. It featured an array of speakers, including teachers at the school who announced that they would be “marrying” their same-sex partners and starting families either through adoption or artificial insemination. Literature on same-sex marriage – how it is now a normal part of society – was handed out to the students.   Within months it was brought into the middle schools. In September, 2004, an 8th-grade teacher in Brookline, MA, told National Public Radio that the marriage ruling had opened up the floodgates for teaching homosexuality. “In my mind, I know that, `OK, this is legal now.' If somebody wants to challenge me, I'll say, `Give me a break. It's legal now,'” she told NPR. She added that she now discusses gay sex with her students as explicitly as she desires.  For example, she said she tells the kids that lesbians can have vaginal intercourse using sex toys.  I am sure that is not happening in all schools.  

      He continues by the following year it was in elementary school curricula.   Kindergartners were given picture books telling them that same-sex couples are just another kind of family, like their own parents. In 2005, when David Parker of Lexington, MA – a parent of a kindergartner – strongly insisted on being notified when teachers were discussing homosexuality or transgenderism with his son, the school had him arrested and put in jail overnight.   Second graders at the same school were read a book, “King and King”, about two men who have a romance and marry each other, with a picture of them kissing. When parents Rob and Robin Wirthlin complained, they were told that the school had no obligation to notify them or allow them to opt-out their child.    

        In 2006 the Parkers and Wirthlins filed a federal Civil Rights lawsuit to force the schools to notify parents and allow them to opt-out their elementary-school children when homosexual-related subjects were taught.  The federal judges dismissed the case. The judges ruled that because same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, the school actually had a duty to normalize homosexual relationships to children, and that schools have no obligation to notify parents or let them opt-out their children! Acceptance of homosexuality had become a matter of good citizenship!   

      Once homosexuality has been normalized, all boundaries will come down. The schools are already moving on to normalizing transgenderism (including cross-dressing and sex changes). The state-funded Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth includes leaders who are transsexuals. Public health The Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is “married” to another man. In 2007 he told a crowd of kids at a state-sponsored youth event that it’s “wonderful being gay” and he wants to make sure there’s enough HIV testing available for all of them.  Since homosexual marriage became “legal” the rates of HIV / AIDS have gone up considerably in Massachusetts. This year public funding to deal with HIV/AIDS has risen by $500,000.  Citing “the right to marry” as one of the “important challenges” in a place where “it’s a great time to be gay”, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped produce The Little Black Book, Queer in the 21st Century, a hideous work of obscene pornography which was given to kids at Brookline High School on April 30, 2005.  Among other things, it gives “tips” to boys on how to perform oral sex on other males, masturbate other males, and how to “safely” have someone urinate on you for sexual pleasure. It also included a directory of bars in Boston where young men meet for anonymous sex.  

     Domestic violence - Given the extreme dysfunctional nature of homosexual relationships, the Massachusetts Legislature has felt the need to spend more money every year to deal with skyrocketing homosexual domestic violence. This year $350,000 was budgeted, up $100,000 from last year. 

    Business - All insurance in Massachusetts must now recognize same-sex “married” couples in their coverage. This includes auto insurance, health insurance, life insurance, etc. Businesses must recognize same-sex “married” couples in all their benefits, activities, etc., regarding both employees and customers.  The wedding industry is required serve the homosexual community if requested. Wedding photographers, halls, caterers, etc., must do same-sex marriages or be arrested for discrimination.   Businesses are often “tested” for tolerance by homosexual activists. Groups of homosexual activists often go into restaurants or bars and publicly kiss and fondle each other to test whether the establishment demonstrates sufficient “equality” — now that homosexual marriage is “legal”.  In fact, more and more overt displays of homosexual affection are seen in public places across the state to reinforce "marriage equality".    

     This is from our Eastern Regional Office.       The Maine State Conference invited a lawyer to their meeting this year.  Not because they were fighting a legal battle, but because they wanted to help the Pastors be informed about legal issues regarding same sex marriage and other important legal issues.  The church has gone from being a place that was honored to having a great big target painted on its back.  Some see the church as an institution to be exploited for financial gain, while other see it as a hindrance to their preferred lifestyle.  Either way, the days of being naïve about legal issues are long gone.  The Conference is moving to adopt policy that will protect clergy and their churches, a policy that every church should consider adopting.  This document has been reviewed by legal counsel and would help to prevent legal action being taken against your church.    The Alliance Defending Freedom would also recommend adopting 6 other policies that will help protect the church from legal trouble.  While none of these are fail-safe, by adopting and following these policies it shows that the church has done due diligence in following the law.  The full list includes:     1.  Formal membership Policy   2.  Procedure for member discipline/membership revocation  3.   Procedure for rescinding membership    4.  Job descriptions and religious grounds for limiting employment opportunities.      5.  Statement of religious belief regarding marriage   5.   Identify governing body that is the sole authoritative interpreter of scripture    6.    Due diligence requirements for all volunteers and staff who work with children.    You can read more about each of these at:http://oldsite.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/SevenChurchBylaws.pdf     You can download, edit and adopt a copy of the marriage Policy by going to:www.aceasternregion.org/Documents.aspx    Greg Twitchell writes I would strongly encourage all of our churches to revisit this issue and if you do not already have a well defined marriage policy, to consider adopting all or significant parts of this document.   Our Dover pastor has said he is planning not to sign marriage licenses any more.   He will perform a Christian ceremony after they have legally been married.   Things are not the same as they were.   Is this the land of the free or have we become slaves as Romans 1 suggests?   

      Action Against Human Trafficking June 27, 2013  Generals International News, USRPN, Generals News, General Announcements  It’s roughly estimated that 10 million children around the world have been forced into human and sex trafficking. At least 100,000 U.S. children are exploited in prostitution every year in America. When dealing with numbers and situations like these, the term “human trafficking” seems trite, incapable of expressing the raw horror. We are dealing with a modern slave trade.   It is not the land of the free and the home of the brave for these children is it?   One source said that these kids have10 to 50 customers every night.   How many are New Hampshire?   How many are in Manchester?   If there are over 100,000 in the US then there must be some right here.   

      Jesus made an interesting comment you will be hated by all men for my sake.  Are you willing to experience that?   Is that coming to America?    If you were the pastor of Grace Capitol church or Manchester Christian church would you preach a message like this?   Some of us are probably thinking well it is not here yet.   What does it mean in the scripture we are counted as sheep for the slaughter?   Our baptismal candidates are making a statement today about their stand for Jesus.   If they started throwing pastors in jail for not doing same sex marriages would you stop coming to church?   They can go to someone else to get married but they are pushing intolerance.   What about having them put in jail for not tithing to the church?    They are intolerant of the church.   Professing to be wise they became foolish.  

        What do we do?   It is time to draw near to Jesus.   It is time to get involved with your brothers and sisters in Jesus and pray for them.   Bible study is a good place to start.   It is time to tithe.   It is time to get serious about being in the bible and prayer.  Perhaps you would say that is pretty shallow but I would respond if you do not have that foundation what you do you to build on?    II Chronicles 7:14  If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn form their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.