Homelessness, Refugees, and Homosexuality

Sometimes I feel that as a church we have this mentality that because someone comes from a different background than you or has different world views than you, we must put them in a different class of humanity and treat them differently than we would another human. I think this is wrong, God created all of us, and our job is to be God’s ambassadors! This means that we love those around us with God’s eternal love, whether or not they are making mistakes in their life, or going through a difficult time.We can show them God’s love and hopefully lead them to Christ who will then take over and start correcting their actions/or life experience.

My personal experience with Homeless people has varied, In grade 10 I took a trip with my senior youth group to Winnipeg, MB. One of the things we had to do was an urban plunge, and during this urban plunge one of our goals was to eat lunch with a homeless person whom we had packed a lunch for. My group wandered around the north end and eventually found someone to share a lunch with, I don’t remember everything that happened, but I remember that we got the chance to talk with this man and to learn about his life. The reason I like this memory is because I made it a point to treat this man as I would treat any other adult, with respect. This has not always been my experience, over the next 2 years of High School I became more shallow and started to judge the homeless people I would see, and if I thought they were too unclean, or not worthy of my time I would walk past them and treat them like garbage. Then we went on another trip, this time to Los Angeles, here I saw a whole new level of homelessness, there were people everywhere that were struggling, whether it was someone truly homeless or someone who struggled to make ends meet. It became clear to me after that trip that I could not continue to treat people like garbage, and that when someone needs my help it is my obligation as a Christian to help to the best of my ability. I try to treat every homeless person I see as an opportunity to show God’s love, and to bless someone, who deserves a blessing as much as the next person!

Recently, Canadians and others around the world have been given an amazing opportunity to bless men, women, and children from Syria with a new place to call home! I have heard many positive things about this, but I have also heard the negative. I would encourage those in the church that feel negatively about this opportunity to read Matthew 25:31-46. It is made very clear that when we help people in need that God is pleased with us! He has entrusted us with sharing his generosity that He has given us with the world.

Finally, our church has been in talks a lot recently about whether or not we will leave our church conference, and the reason we have been doing this is because the conference has been taking a very passive (aka not making a decision) on the subject of homosexuality. This confuses me because there are a number of verses that make it very clear that this is not something that God approves of. First it talks about it in the Old Testament with Leviticus 18:22 and then again in multiple places in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, etc. The New Testament also confirms that marriage is between a man and a woman with Mark 10:6-9. So my stance on this is clear that homosexuality is wrong, but God does not tell us to treat these people different. Yes, what they are doing is wrong, but as a Christian to a non-believer our objective is clear, to love them and lead them to Christ, once that is done Jesus will show himself to these men and women through the Bible and the way other Christians live their life, and hopefully they turn from their sin and repent and ask forgiveness, just like when we sin, we need to repent and allow God to take us back and commit ourselves to God. They are human and need to be treated like any other human being. God looks inside us at what we can be if we choose to follow Him.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank

I know there will be people that disagree with me and I would love to go out for coffee with anyone to discuss these topics!

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Warning to the Young, Reminder to the Old

Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God the first time, we have had an abundance of sin in our world. Satan uses everything from a simple song, to the leaders of our countries to influence the nations and try to overtake our world. Satan’s goals are to kill and destroy, to make sure as little people follow Jesus as possible, and to condemn us to his home (Hell) for eternity.

Now as a warning this post was brought on by the recent decision of the USA Supreme Court to legalize same sex marriage in the United States, but it is so much bigger than that issue. Satan is creeping into our lives little by little because of the influence he has over the media, social media, the world’s leadership and so much more.

My warning to the younger generation is this. That we do not confuse making our faith our own, with changing the rules. God gave us the Bible which is filled with instructions on how to live a godly life. Making our faith our own is learning how to use this knowledge in everyday life, building a relationship with Jesus, and showing others that love no matter who they are or what they believe. Now I have recently seen this phrase “make your faith your own” be used in a different sense. Someone recently posted on Facebook that “What happened to making my faith my own” which implied “why can’t I be OK with gay marriage?”. Well let me tell you why gay marriage is not ok. The easiest place to look is 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men”. There you have it plain as day that Jesus does not approve of a homosexual lifestyle (don’t worry if you read the rest of the chapter I am using it in the right context). So back to my original point, making your faith your own does not mean changing what the Bible says, so if the Bible says homosexuality is wrong, then that means that a Christian should not in any way support this lifestyle.

Just because we don’t support something does not mean that we should not love the person. God loved everyone from tax collectors who cheated their fellow Jews out of money, to the woman at the well who had, had many husbands, to children who were innocent. So therefore we to need to show love to everyone from every background.

Finally I want to remind people of the older generation, do not doubt what you have believed for so long! God has taught you so much and is still teaching you, but He does not change what He has taught you. I have seen so many of the older generations change what they believe as soon as they are hit with a new task. Remember God has strength enough for you, you just need to ask.

My Body I Can Do What I Want!

1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 18-20

So often we as humans think that everything is ours; the earth, the money we earn and our bodies to name a few things, but the Bible is clear that our bodies and the things around us are not our own. “”I have the right to do anything,” you say-but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” -but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.

This section of 1 Corinthians is specifically about sexual immorality, it goes on to say “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 18-20 (emphasis mine). When you buy something it is yours right? Well think about what God did, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. God paid for our sin, He has purchased us, we are His and He is ours. God did this because He loves you, the world will tell you to look for love in other places, the world twists what love is. The world has twisted love into and image that is not pleasing to God and should not be pleasing to us, they portray love as overly physical. God invented sex and made it specifically for married couples, but now we can find it almost anywhere, in movies, pornography, books etc. This is not what God intended and we should not support this. I have said it in previous posts, but I will say it again. We are supposed to live in the world, but not of it, meaning that we are here and there is nothing that we can do about that, but we do not have to follow the examples given to us by the world.

My goal of this is not to make people feel bad for sins they have committed, but to inform them that there is a true love, one that is not sexually immoral, one that is everlasting and will bring joy to those who choose to commit their lives. This love is found in Jesus, who gave up his life so that we could live. We are free of our sins, and we are made new through a commitment to Him. The one thing that was really brought to my attention recently by my pastor is that we are made new, but we will still be tempted. This might happen everyday or maybe just sometimes, but as the Bible says we can overcome these temptations and God is willing to help us! “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.

It is hard to overcome addictions like pornography, drugs or gambling, but with God all things are possible. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. Although we think that right now we are in a rut in our lives that we can’t possibly get out of, if we ask God to help us He will! I have seen it in my life and in the lives of others, God will put people in your path that will help you. Sometimes we need to take that first step ourselves and talk to someone.

If you are currently dealing with and addiction of some kind take some time to pray. Pray for forgiveness, pray for strength, pray for courage. When you are done praying for those things talk to someone about it, lean on God for the strength and courage to do this. Make sure that the person you are talking to is someone responsible, older than you and someone you look up to. If you need extra prayer, ask people to pray for you, you don’t have to give them specifics, because God already knows what you are going through, just ask them to pray for strength and courage. Never forget that God loves you and gave the ultimate sacrifice for YOU!