Monday, May 19, 2008

Homosexuality may not be a PSYCHOLOGICAL disorder but it is surely a SPIRITUAL DISEASE

Two things awakened my interest to write about this issue. First, on May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court of California overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. This made California the second state (the first one was Massachusetts) to allow full marriage rights for same-sex partners (starting on June 14, 2008). Second, I was able to watch the 2007 documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and received plaudits from film critics because of its provocative and timely message. The work attempts to demolish the culture of homophobia around the world. It also offers a critical look at how Judeo-Christian religion perceives the gay community. It features American families which re-oriented their Christian beliefs and values when they discovered that a member of their household is a homosexual. To make things more interesting, daughters and sons of pastors and preachers are presented to showcase the idea that even conservative Christian homes can experience the social stigma caused by having a gay loved-one. Other stories: a case of lesbian suicide caused by a mother condemning her gay daughter, a gay son who became a social activist because of his parents and a lesbian daughter of a former US presidential candidate.

WRONG CONCEPT OF GOD

I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES EVERY PERSON, INCLUDING HOMOSEXUALS. NONETHELESS, HE CANNOT CONDONE THE SINS IDENTIFIED WITH THE GAY COMMUNITY.

LGBT (Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-sexuals) activists never grow weary in emphasizing the LOVE of God to justify their God-loves-the homosexual argument. What they often undermined is His HOLINESS. His love will always be coupled with his Holy character. God gave Man Free Will--he can choose whether to accept or not the authority of God in his life. It is a plain and simple message: God’s love can never be truly expressed in the universe if He condones SIN. He has to punish/hate sin because He loves mankind. For instance, if you love babies, you have to hate abortion and the murder of infants. Homosexuals clamor for social acceptance and they desire people to welcome them with open, loving arms, including the approval of their lifestyle.

It was indeed one of the darkest periods in the history of the US Episcopalian Church in New Hampshire when Bishop Gene Robinson, was elected as its new bishop in 2003. My sense is that he gained the support of majority of the Episcopalian leaders because he was apparently demonized by the media and many Christian, evangelical churches. However, Bishop Robinson is a SELF-CONFESSED, OPENLY, NONCELIBATE GAY. He is also struggling with alcoholism. American preacher and theologian at Harvard University's Divinity School, Peter Gomes, an expert on American religion, also surprised many when he admitted that he is gay. However, unlike, Robinson, Gomes said that he has remained celibate.

MISGUIDED IDEA OF LOVE

One gay bishop in the documentary contends that ALL LOVING RELATIONSHIPS ARE HONORED BY GOD. THAT THE BIBLE SPEAKS NOTHING AGAINST LOVING HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. The main question is, What love is he talking about? His opinion is often conflated with the INCLUSIVE character of God’s Love. This would classify the BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN couple as an acceptable expression of affection.

We must understand, however, that although God is Love, He is not ALL-LOVING. To be all-loving is to accept and tolerate everything a person as he/she is without condemning his/her corrupt character. What the LGBT community wants to promote is this (albeit in a subtle manner): they want GOD to be ACCEPTABLE to them and not the other way around. They have created a kind of God that would fit their desires and expectations. The Word of God does not change. He hates homosexuality in all its forms. Simply put, Christianity and homosexuality cannot go hand in hand.

HOMOSEXUALITY: A CHOICE?

The American Psychological Association has excluded homosexuality as a psychological disorder. It means society should accept the condition as NATURAL and NORMAL and should not be deemed as a disease. Some groups also claim that birth order and even genes have something to do with the development of a homosexual child. Further, churches and ministries addressing gender issues can never be really successful in their undertaking mainly because they cannot change the sexual orientation of a homosexual; they can only transform their habits and image.

I subscribe to the idea that persons with gay tendencies do not consciously choose to be attracted to persons of the same sex. However, being a homosexual is CHOICE. One Greek word for “homosexual" in the Bible is aρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoites) which means “abuser of (ones) self.” Abusing one self is a choice. You become a gay if you consciously decide to engage in homosexual activities.

CURING THE SPIRITUAL DISEASE

I can never classify homosexuality as a more “abominable” sin compared to other transgressions mentioned in the Scriptures. Like any other sin, it needs to be laid at the cross and repented of. We can only be righteous through the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. He is the ultimate solution to all spiritual illnesses of man.

The problem can be prevented. Many embrace and gravitate toward the homosexual lifestyle because no one offered them spiritual and emotional guidance when they were struggling with the predicament. This make the family and the church crucial in addressing the issue. For instance, teens are looking for responsible and loving adults to help them cope with the problem. What the Bible says as sin must be taken as such. It condemns homosexuality as a sin. Hermeneutically, passages in the Old and New Testaments regarding homosexuality are meant for the protection of man (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Romans 1:26-28).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Great Global Warming Swindle (review)

The film is the much-awaited, definitive response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The provocative documentary was aired on British television in 2007 and currently gaining support among Netizens. The major thesis of the film: World’s climate scientists are wrong to declare that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause of higher temperature. It is the reverse: increasing atmospheric CO2 is itself the result of rising temperature.

An article by S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and former founding Director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service summarizes the film in his article.

1. There is no proof that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from human activity. Ice core records from the past 650,000 years show that temperature increases have preceded—not resulted from—increases in CO2 by hundreds of years, suggesting that the warming of the oceans is an important source of the rise in atmospheric CO2. As the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapor is far; far more important than CO2…..the best evidence supporting natural causes of temperature fluctuations are the changes in cloudiness, which correspond strongly with regular variations in solar activity. The current warming is likely part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that’s been traced back almost a million years. It accounts for the Medieval Warm Period around 1100 A.D., when the Vikings settled Greenland and grew crops, and the Little Ice Age, from about 1400 to 1850 A.D., which brought severe winters and cold summers to Europe, with failed harvests, starvation, disease, and general misery…”

2. If the cause of warming is mostly natural, then there is little we can do about it. We cannot control the inconstant sun, the likely origin of most climate variability. None of the schemes for greenhouse gas reduction currently bandied about will do any good; they are all irrelevant, useless, and wildly expensive.

3. Finally, no one can show that a warmer climate would produce negative impacts overall. The much–feared rise in sea levels does not seem to depend on short–term temperature changes, as the rate of sea–level increases has been steady since the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

Interestingly, the film confidently claims that anti-capitalist movements have been furthering their utopian projects through the guise of green agenda. Green parties in Europe were products of the fall of communism in 1990s. The remnants of Marxist-Leninist movements creatively found their niche in the political arena through the introduction of a populist agenda. Hence, green politics can be considered as an organized attempt to undermine capitalism in its simplest form. The emotional tendencies of the global campaign on climate change can also be scrutinized by looking at the constituents who sustain the issue. The emergence of ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM proves to be alarming since scientific claims and findings can be easily undermined by hysterical and apocalyptic reports.

Moreover, the current anti-global warming campaign would surely impede the development of Southern countries, in general and African countries, in particular. Western governments, the documentary contends, discourage African nations from using their natural resources and oil reserves to enhance the production of electricity in the continent. The introduction of solar technology serves as one of the greatest political swindling activities of developed nations since poor African nations simply cannot afford the technology.

For more information: http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.co.uk/


Friday, May 02, 2008

US Evangelicals say faith is now too political

Some American evangelical leaders have been disturbed by the politicization of the Christian faith. A usual scenario whenever election period comes. Also in the Philippines.

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Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word "evangelical" has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its approach to the culture wars.

The statement, called "An Evangelical Manifesto," condemns Christians on the right and left for "using faith" to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

"That way faith loses its independence, Christians become `useful idiots' for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology," according to the draft.

The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed "truth without love," helping create a backlash against religion during a "generation of culture warring."

"All too often we have attacked the evils and injustices of others," they wrote, "while we have condoned our own sins." They argue, "we must reform our own behavior."

The document is the latest chapter in the debate among conservative Christians about their role in public life. Most veteran leaders believe the focus should remain on abortion and marriage, while other evangelicals — especially in the younger generation — are pushing for a broader agenda. The manifesto sides with those seeking a wide-range of concerns beyond "single-issue politics."

Among the signers of the manifesto are Os Guiness, a well-known evangelical author and speaker, and Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, a leading evangelical school in Pasadena, Calif. Organizers declined to comment until the final document is released.

They say more than 80 evangelicals have signed the statement, although only a few names have been released. A. Larry Ross, spokesman for the authors, said the theologicans and Christian leaders involved are seeking to "go back to the root theological meaning of the term evangelical."

Some champions of traditional culture war issues are not among the supporters.

Richard Land, head of the public policy arm for the Southern Baptist Convention, said through a spokeswoman that he has not seen the document and was not asked to sign it.

James Dobson, the influential founder of Focus on the Family, a Christian group in Colorado Springs, Colo., did not sign the document, said Gary Schneeberger, a Dobson spokesman. Schneeberger would not say whether Dobson had read the manifesto or had been asked to sign on.

Phil Burress, an Ohio activist who networks with national evangelical leaders, said that if high-profile evangelical leaders such as Dobson and Land don't support the document, "it's like throwing a pebble in the ocean" and will carry no weight.

But the drafters hope they can start a movement among evangelicals to reflect and act on the document. "We must find a new understanding of our place in public life," the drafters wrote

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080503/ap_on_re/evangelical_manifesto

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