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How can some churches affirm Same-Sex Marriage and relationships and others NOT affirm Same-Sex Marriage and relationships?

Aren’t they both reading the same Book?

The short answer is THEY ARE. (But read on.)

The really more basic question that must be answered FIRST is,  will the Church lose her biblical conviction and courage and morph into an unrecognized entity of this current age?

Recently, Same-Sex Marriage has come back on the local news scene with the decision of FBC, Macon to affirm same-sex marriage and with a new Gainesville, Georgia local “gathering” whose purpose is to affirm same-sex marriage and provide an officiate for same sex weddings.

I find it unfortunate that the First Baptist Church in Macon Georgia now joins a list of other formerly strong evangelical churches, led by the Episcopal Church from years ago, in affirming same-sex marriage and that these new “affirming” groups are gathering throughout local communities supporting and encouraging same-sex marriage and homosexual relationships.

The Question: Are they reading the same Book? (Read on.)

Some local clergy and lay volunteers who affirm same-sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle like to throw around reasons such as God is Love, God is BIG, Love is Love, Love is Good; and the list goes on ad nauseam.  Those clichés may sound and “feel good” but none of them convey what is really happening.

Actually, such clergy and lay volunteers are professing that they have decided to forsake the Scripture ascertaining NOW that they have some “NEW KNOWLEDGE” that the Church did not have 2000 years ago.

They are reading the same Book BUT they believe they have been enlightened with NEW KNOWLEDGE that allows the belief — the Bible NOW does not mean what it says.

What really makes this frustrating for a person like me, who holds to a Biblical Worldview, is that as I follow and affirm 2,000 years of consistent Biblical orthodoxy, this “new crowd” is coming along claiming “SPECIAL REVELATION” and asserting that I am the one being intolerant and divisive.

Understand, I am holding to 2000 years of Biblical Orthodoxy; and yet, I am the one being labeled divisive.

The clear “bottom line” (for anyone who has even a hint of intellectual integrity) is those who deny Biblical Authority on ANY subject claiming “Special Knowledge” are really 21st century Gnostics.

Yes, we are reading the same Book BUT Gnostic thinking claims that deeper truth can be found apart from God.

However, Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Instead of searching our corrupt, flawed “inner selves” for answers, believing we have received new and special knowledge, we should instead test everything against the revealed Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

In the end, it is God’s truth alone that can be trusted.

So, when the Bible affirms marriage being between a man and a woman or lists homosexuality (and other activity as well) as sin, it is the modern day Gnostic that says, “No, you are wrong. We have Special Knowledge.”

This is what happens when churches abandon Scripture so they can feel good.

It is sad that the 21st century Church is having to  fight Gnostic Hersey from the 1st Century all over again!

Yes, we are reading the same Book BUT some NOW think that deeper truth can be found apart from God. They choose to believe, at their own peril, that the Bible NOW does not mean what it says.

We were warned of this in Scripture in Jude.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

N. T. Wright, Anglican Bishop of Durham, noted scholar and theologian, has indicated that it is NOT intellectually honest to remove the biblical admonition to refrain from same sex activity or promote marriage as something other than between a male and female.

Clergy and local lay ministry volunteers, I urge you to hear these words of the Anglican scholar and author, J. I. Packer when he was asked about the affirming or blessing of same-sex marriage.

He said, “Asking God to sanctify sin by blessing what he condemns is irresponsible, irreverent, and blasphemous. It is completely unacceptable as church policy. I will not do it.”

Given that many Christians around the globe are “standing against a RAISED FIST,” I am willing to stand against the “Raised Eyebrows” in my own community and say as J. I Packer did, “I WILL NOT DO IT!”

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul,    He has Written an excellent Blog regarding “A Christian Response to Homosexuality.  “Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins”.  You can find it at  http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-homosexuality-is-not-like-other-sins

I hope it is OK that i post HIS BLOG.

Jonathan Parnell writes;

Homosexuality is not the only sin mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

It’s not the only sin mentioned, but it is different from all the rest, at least right now. At this moment in history, contrary to the other sins listed here, homosexuality is celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement. It’s seen as a good thing, as the new hallmark of progress.

To be sure, the masses increasingly make no bones about sin in general. Innumerable people are idolaters, not to mention those who are sexually immoral, or who commit adultery, or who steal and are greedy and get wasted and revile neighbors and swindle others. It happens all the time. And each of these unrepentant sins are the same in the sense of God’s judgment. They all deserve his wrath. And we’re constantly reminded that “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11). You in the church.

Concerning Popular Opinion

But as far as I know, none of those sins is applauded so aggressively by whole groups of people who advocate for their normalcy. Sexual immorality is no longer the tip of the spear for the progressive push. Adultery is still frowned upon by many. Accusations of greed will still smear a candidate’s political campaign. Thievery is still not openly embraced, and there are no official initiatives saying it’s okay to go take things that don’t belong to you. There’s no such thing as a drunk agenda yet. Most aren’t proud to choose a beverage over stability, and there aren’t any petitions that the government should abolish the driving restrictions of inebriated individuals. Reviling others still isn’t seen as the best way to win friends and influence people. Swindling, especially on a corporate level, usually gets someone thrown into jail. In fact, the infrastructure of the American economy depends upon, in some measure, our shared disdain for conniving scammers.

Perhaps excepting fornication, these sins are still seen in a pretty negative light. But not homosexual practice, not by those who are now speaking loudest and holding positions of prominence. According to the emerging consensus, homosexuality is different.

What to Be Against

As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God, and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be. Let’s hope that if there’s some new cultural agenda promoting thievery — one that says it’s now our right to take whatever we want from others by whatever means — that Christians will speak out against it. The issue is sin. That’s what we’re against. And that’s what should make our voice so unique when we speak into this debate.

Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are the growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise homosexuality. We might call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We might call them the right.

Those Glorious Words

The current debate is plagued by this binary lens. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. If you don’t support, you hate. Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. If you don’t hate, you support.

But true followers of Christ will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.

Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice, we acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin; and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved.”

God tells us we’re wrong, that the wages of sin is death, that unrepentant rebellion means judgment, that our rescue required the cursed death of his Son (Romans 3:23; John 3:36; Galatians 3:13). And God tells us we’re loved, that even while we were sinners, Jesus died for us, that while we were unrighteous, Jesus suffered in our place, that though we were destined for wrath, Jesus welcomes us into glory (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:1–7).

Where the Gospel Shines

You’re wrong and you’re loved — that’s the unique voice of the Christian. That’s what we say, speaking from our own experience, as Tim Keller so well puts it, “we’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”

That’s our message in this debate, when society’s elites despise us, when pop songs vilify us, when no one else has the resources to say anything outside of two extremes, we have this incomparable opportunity to let the gospel shine, to reach out in grace: you’re wrong and you’re loved. We get to say this.

That’s why homosexuality is not like other sins.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

It is very Ironic that 2 Days after the ruling from the SCOTUS affirming same sex marriage, I have a Wedding.

I will open this wedding as I have done for EVERY Wedding in my last 32 years of Ministry,

“The Bible Says Marriage is a Relationship between ONE man and ONE Woman…”

June 26, 2015 was a Sad Day for America and not for the Reason many reading this may assume.

June 26, 2015 is a Sad Day because the Highest Court of the United States has openly and proudly proclaimed the words of Jesus irrelevant and untrue.

I’m sad NOT because I’m homophobic, or I don’t “like” homosexuals, or I am harboring vent up sexual emotions.

I’m sad because the SCOTUS gave Jesus, God in Flesh, such a “slight and insult”.

I’m sad because, the SCOTUS has established an environment that is NOT GOOD for men, women or children. Same sex marriage is Not God’s plan, hence HE won’t bless, with HIS Best.

I’m sad because I believe that God in HIS Righteousness and Holiness will Judge America and each of us living in these United States will suffer consequences that will visit this land.

What is NEXT

I’m also sad because of WHAT IS NEXT?….. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY will be the next Brick to fall.

Many will scoff at this pronouncement, but Remembered many scoffed;

Yet The Marriage Defense Act was ruled unconstitutional,

Still Marriage was Redefined,

and we were naive to believe “surly the Government can’t make me purchase a product”.

at the Thought of someone telling a baker what to bake.

SO Hear This…….RELIGIOUS LIBERTY will be the next Brick to Fall, ……….after all , the Solicitor General of the United States announced that religious liberty is directly threatened by the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Responding to a question from Justice Samuel Alito; Donald Verrili confirms with candor the threat that same sex marriage makes to Religious Liberty when he responded with, … “it is (Religious Liberty) going to be an issue.”

Many legal experts are of the consensus that same-sex marriage will present a clear and present danger to the rights of those who would oppose gay marriage on religious grounds.

Here is another very Revealing Exchange

The Chief Justice asked: “Would a religious school that has married housing be required to afford such housing to same-sex couples?”

The Solicitor General did not say no.

Instead, he said that the federal government, at present, does not have a law banning discrimination in such matters on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

This doesn’t give me much confidence, given the government’s disdain for the Christian Faith.

I take the Solicitor General at his word. “It is (Religious Liberty) going to be an issue.”

God Give us a King

Finally, I am sad because I remember when the Hebrews wanted to be like all the other nations around them. They ask for a King.

The prophet said, “We have a King, God is our King”.

They insisted, God relented and Gave them a King…….Didn’t Turn out very good at all.

If we have learned anything from History it is, God Will Not Be MOCKED.

Let me say as clearly as is possible………..I shall Never attend or preside over a Same Sex Marriage, and IT IS NOT BECAUSE……I’m homophobic, don’t like homosexuals,and or that I am harboring vent up sexual emotions, It is Because of What God Teaches in HIS Word, and I Trust God and HIS Word.

Peace.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Homosexuality is One of the most controversial issues of debate in American culture and within the Christian Church. While it is not the most asked question, it is one I often receive.

One of the difficulties that exists in discussing such topics as same sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle  stems from the “agenda” that is promoted by activists and the liberal media.

Many people get so emotionally charged because of a desire to seek legitimization and social sanction for homosexual acts, relationships, and lifestyles that they do not want to discuss the matter from different perspectives that don’t adhere to their motivations or agenda.

It is now common for those who oppose same sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle  behavior to be depicted as narrow-minded bigots and written off as “homophobic.”

Those holding to a Biblical Worldview that regards heterosexual marriage as the only acceptable and legitimate arena of sexual activity are criticized as being  narrow minded, oppressive, unenlightened and  out of step with 21st century life.

However the Church and pastors should not be driven out of the discussion because of the fear of being labeled and criticized.

Pastors and Christian Lay People must remember that the Christian church, from a Biblical Worldview, has a distinctive message to speak when it comes to the issues of sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle and we must be faithful to the Sufficiency of Scripture.

Keep in mind, the affirmation of biblical authority is central to the church’s consideration of this issue–AND every issue.

When Christians begin to “feel the pressure” as the issues of same sex marriage and homosexual lifestyle are being discussed in the homeroom, classroom and boardroom, PLEASE REMEMBER, in order for homosexuality to be recognized and sanctioned as a legitimate family relationship every obstacle must be removed and the most formidable obstacle is Scripture.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is correct when he writes, “Those churches that affirm, confess, and acknowledge the full authority of the Bible have no choice in this matter–we must speak a word of compassionate truth. And that compassionate truth is this: Homosexual acts are expressly and unconditionally forbidden by God through His Word, and such acts are an abomination to the Lord by His own declaration.”

To many well-meaning Christ Followers are being deceived and confused by pseudo biblical lecturers like William Kent who declared that “the scriptural texts in the Old and New Testaments condemning homosexual practice are neither inspired by God nor otherwise of enduring Christian value.”

While I am not surprised by the secular world’s attempt to rationalize lust, and to seek legitimacy and social sanction for its sexual sins, I am shocked that many in the Christian community join in the “war on God’s truth.”

This is especially burdensome in light of Jude’s New Testament letter that calls Christ followers, “To contend for the faith once and for all entrusted to the saints.”

Professor Elizabeth Achtemeier of Richmond’s Union Theological Seminary states the truth clearly: “The clearest teaching of Scripture is that God intended sexual intercourse to be limited to the marriage relationship of one man and one woman.”

I urge you to see that the biblical witness is clear: Homosexuality is a direct rejection of God’s intention and command in creation and it is a serious sin against God.

For those who are quick to say, “Well what about (so and so) sin?”

Allow me to point out, all sin has eternal consequence, and the only hope any of us has is the redemption accomplished by God, who put on Flesh and Stepped into this world to give himself as a sacrifice for our sin.

Final word: The Christian Response to people engaged in homosexual lifestyle must be marked by a genuine compassion, especially in light of the scripture’s teaching that we “speak the truth in love.”

Moreover, let’s remember that such genuine compassion requires we convey the truth with courage because to lie is never compassionate–especially when eternity weighs in the balance.

*Blog Material from Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.,  president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,  was instrumental in my Blog content.  I urge the reader to review Almohler.com for more information on this and other important topics.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

Many mourn the death of Robin Williams.  His death and the revelation that he had been struggling with depression has lead to many questions about Depression. In the Christian Community questions such as:  How should a Christian deal with depression? What does the Bible say about depression? Should a Christian ever be depressed? How can a Christian overcome depression?” are often pondered.


Depression is a complicated, multifaceted condition
. Being depressed is not inherently sinful, and depression is not always caused by sin, nor does it indicate a lack of faith. When depression strikes, the victim needs to make discovering the cause and treatment of the depression a priority.

Seeing a doctor for depression is no different than seeing a doctor for any injury of an ongoing condition.
Being depressed is not a sin; any more than having a broken arm or cancer is a sin; but one is still accountable for the response to the affliction, including getting the professional help that is needed.

This is what we KNOW…….Millions of people, including Christians, suffer from depression every day. Depression has a strong genetic component. Depression can manifest as sadness, low energy, frustration, and extended misery.

People dealing with depression may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed.

Personal choices play a role in depression. Unfortunately, it’s been said that depression is sin; IT is more accurate to say that sometimes sin leads to and feeds depression.

Depression can be caused by alcohol and drug abuse, indulging in anger and self-centeredness, and other self-destructive behaviors. Sin always has negative consequences, and part of any therapy for depression should include an analysis of what sins could be exacerbating the situation.

Depression is driven by negative feelings
, perceptions, and thoughts. Unbiblical beliefs about one’s value and ability often contribute to depression. The Bible exhorts us to take thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), to concentrate on the truth of a situation and not a faulty perception (John 8:32), and to rely on God’s Word and not our feelings (Psalm 56:4).

What a person thinks, feels, and chooses to believe, true or not, can have physical repercussions. Refusing to believe the power and love of God and concentrating on brokenness and pain would make anyone depressed (Psalm 25:4-5, 16-19).

Depression has a definite spiritual element. It can be one of Satan’s tools to take Christians out of the work of the Kingdom. Depression can affect our view of God and sap our joy.

It is impossible to live a Spirit-guided life without joy (Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:4). Sometimes, depression may be caused by direct demonic activity (1 Samuel 16:14), but not always. How we handle depression is a highly spiritual matter. The Bible says to cast all our cares on God (1 Peter 5:7).

A remedy for a “downcast soul” is to place one’s trust in the God who saves. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

In addition to all this we know there are many different sources of depression and several types.

Situation depression is, as the name implies, brought on by adverse situations. Generally, the depression clears with time, as the situation is resolved or accepted. Situational depression is a response to the pain of living in a fallen world.

Clinical depression is a physical condition that must be diagnosed by a physician. It may not be caused by unfortunate life circumstances, nor can the symptoms be alleviated by one’s own will. Contrary to what some in the Christian community believe, clinical depression is not always caused by sin.

Depression can sometimes be caused by a physical disorder that needs to be treated with medication and/or counseling. Of course, God is able to cure any disease or disorder. However, in some cases, Clinical depression interferes with day-to-day life at work, school, and home.

Chronic depression is less intense than clinical depression, but can last much longe.   It’s characterized by fatigue, sadness, and it can be punctuated by bouts of clinical depression.

Whereas Chronic depression doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t typically affect lifestyle or the ability to work.

Before the fall of man, there was no sin, no shame, no fear, and no depression. Depression is a result of the fall, and those who suffer from depression find that it has ramifications in all parts of human life.

Treatment for Depression can come from several fronts —temporary medication to relax the body and relieve the mind, adjustments to the diet, confession of sin, and spiritual counsel from trained mature Christ followers.

A Prayer for those dealing with Depression:

Dear Jesus, you are our refuge in good and in bad times. In your infinite mercy, bring peace and comfort to those of us who face days sometimes filled with pain and depression. Help us to realize    that through you there is joy and the promise of lasting peace.  Help us through the rough times. Walk before and beside us so that we may walk in your footsteps and reach out to you in our          journey on this earth. Help us to focus on our blessings rather than our misfortunes.  Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. I Pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

(Content of this Blog has been taken from many sources. The reader is urged to Read more about Depression and encourages those troubled by Depression to Reach out to professionals trained and equip to assist us in this issue of life.)

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (http://www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

I need to state unequivocally that it is possible to hold a principled objection to Same Sex Marriage.  It is false to assume that one who holds strong core values regarding traditional marriage is simply acting out ignorance, hatred or some homophobic bias.

One of the very first questions that proponents of Same Sex Marriage ask is, “What is wrong with two loving people wanting to get married”?  They often follow that up with, “who are they hurting”.

Second to these kinds of questions, is the argument by Same Sex Marriage advocates that the “only basis” for not supporting Same Sex Marriage are  the  often quoted “Biblical admonitions”.  (Go to www.lifewithsmiles.com and click on the Q & A button to read more of what God says about Homosexuality)

Even then some rationalize their support of Same Sex Marriage by pointing out that while the Old Testament condemns same-sex relationships, Jesus said nothing about it, so it must be okay. Granted, there is no recorded statement from Jesus on the subject of homosexuality. However, we have no direct quote from Jesus about slavery or rape either. So, obviously, the absence of a statement from Jesus doesn’t qualify as an endorsement.

Actually, for me the Biblical admonition is enough but for those who think that is my only reasoning or that my views qualify me as “homophobic”, here are some Reasons Why I Do Not Support Same Sex Marriage apart from my strongly held biblical core values.

By the way, it is very strange that advocates of Same Sex Marriage accuse people like me of “pushing my beliefs on others” well given the official estimates that the homosexual population ranges from 2 to 4 percent may I ask, “who is Pushing whom”?

* Same Sex Marriage is Not Marriage

Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman who is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.

The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.

Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing.

* Same Sex Marriage violates Natural Law

Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.

Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally.

* Same Sex Marriage (by its nature) will always Deny a Child either a Father or a Mother

It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent. Obviously single parents or guardians of children do a wonderful job; however, the ideal is a father and mother in loving marital relationship.

A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.

* Same Sex Marriage Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle

In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

Same Sex Marriage will externally shape the life of society, and also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.

* Same Sex Marriage turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right

Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.

This is false.

Inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior.

There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same-sex.

* Same Sex Marriage defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage

One of the main reasons why the State bestows numerous benefits on marriage is that by its very nature and design, marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children—all fruit of the mutual affection of the parents.

Homosexual “marriage” has as its primary purpose the personal gratification of two individuals whose union is sterile by nature. It is not entitled, therefore, to the protection the State extends to true marriage.

* Same Sex Marriage is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution

In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Today we are seeing a new sexual revolution where society is being asked to accept same-sex “marriage.”

If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

Admittedly, opponents of Same Sex Marriage are going to be labeled homophobic and intolerant.  The bullies in the gay and lesbian community will hurl insults at our churches, accuse us of hate speech and of being out of step with where the culture is heading.

Remember,  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

Some Material Taken from TFP Student Action

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

“There is no more important job in any society than raising children, and there is no more important influence on how children develop than their parents.” 

A sure sign I  Must be Getting OLD! While in a Restaurant,  I became very annoyed at a parent, whose child was just “not having a Good day”.  I don’t know if the child was ill, sleepy, or hungry.  What I do know is the parent was not modeling very good parenting techniques. 

So I started thinking about what are some of the most Basic Principles for Good Parenting.  See if you agree.

What you do matters.  Always ask yourself:  What effect will my decision have on my child?”

You cannot be too loving. It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love. What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love—things like leniency, lowered expectations or material possessions.

Be involved in your child’s life.  Being an involved parent takes time and is hard work, and it often means rethinking and rearranging your priorities.

Adapt your parenting to fit your child.  Make sure your parenting keeps pace with your child’s development.

Establish and set rules.  Any time of the day or night, you should always be able to answer these three questions:  What is my child doing? Where is my child? Who is with my child?

 Foster your child’s independence.  Setting limits helps your child develop a sense of self-control. Encouraging independence helps her develop a sense of self-direction. To be successful in life both are needed.

Be consistent.  If your rules vary from day-to-day in an unpredictable fashion, or if you enforce them only intermittently, your child’s misbehavior is your fault, not his. Your most important disciplinary tool is consistency.

Avoid harsh discipline.  Never use harsh punishment as a means of discipline.

Explain your rules and decisions.  What is obvious to you may not be evident to a 12-year-old. He doesn’t have the priorities, judgment or experience that you have.

Treat your child with respect.  You should give your child the same courtesies you would give to anyone else. Speak to him politely. Respect his opinion. Pay attention when he is speaking to you. Treat him kindly. Children treat others the way their parents treat them.

Model Christian Faith.  Your most important task is imparting Christian Values and Morals to your child.  This will enable your child to have the tools to cope with life and the challenges that will surely come.

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Sporting skills and enjoyment learned in childhood build foundations for enjoyment in sports throughout life. Sports are a way of making exercise an enjoyable and social event.

Importance of Sports

    Playing Sports Can:

  • improve physical fitness
  • improve confidence through learning skills and success
  • help children to learn to control their impulses. This is necessary for success in sports as well as social relationships.
  • help build friendships
  • start lifetime interests
  • help children learn about rules and fair play
  • help children to cope with winning and losing
  • help children do better at school work

What Parents Can Do?

  • Play and enjoy sports themselves so children are more likely to want to copy them and join in.
  • Play with children and teach them the skills.
  • Set challenges that children can succeed at and develop confidence. For example, set the target for a throwing game just within the child’s skill level.
  • Support children to take part in sports without making them do so or pressuring them to do what they don’t enjoy.
  • Go with children to their sport and stay to watch them.
  • Encourage children and help them to focus on improving their own skills and doing the best they can do.
  • Give children encouragement for what they do well.
  • Show children how to be a “good sport” by how they themselves react to winning and losing, ie. clap whenever there is a good play; not just when it is your child or team that has succeeded.
  • Help children to learn the rules of the game and explain why rules are important.
  • Never criticize or blame children for mistakes. Help them see that everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes are to learn from.
  • Explain to your child that winning does not simply mean coming first or being the best. Achieving a personal best or performing a skill for the first time is just as important as winning and should be praised and encouraged as such.
  • It is important that parents show courtesy and consideration at the sporting events and do not argue with or abuse the umpires or other players. This stresses their own children as well as making it unconfortable for everyone else.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Accepting Personal Responsibility includes:

* Acknowledging that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life.
* Accepting that you are responsible for what you choose to feel or think.
* Accepting that you choose the direction for your life.
* Accepting that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made.
* Recognizing that you are your best cheerleader; it is not reasonable or healthy for you to depend on others to make you feel good about yourself.
* Not feeling sorry for the “bum deal” you have been handed but taking hold of your life and giving it direction and reason.
* Protecting and nurturing your health and emotional well being.
* Taking preventive health oriented steps of structuring your life with time management, stress management, confronting fears and burnout prevention.
* Taking an honest inventory of your strengths, abilities, talents, virtues and positive points.
* Letting go of blame and anger toward those in your past who did the best they could, given the limitations of their knowledge, background and awareness.

   How can failing to accept personal responsibility result in negative consequences?

 When you have not accepted personal responsibility, you can run the risk of becoming:

  * Overly dependent on others for recognition, approval, affirmation and acceptance.


* Chronically hostile, angry or depressed over how unfairly you have been or are being treated.
* Fearful about ever taking a risk or making a decision.

 

* Overwhelmed by disabling fears.

* Unsuccessful in personal relationships.

* Emotionally or physically unhealthy.

What do people believe who have not accepted personal responsibility?

* It’s not my fault I am the way I am.

* Life is unfair! There is no sense in trying to take control of my life.

* Why go on; I see no use in it.

* You can’t help me, nobody can help me. I’m useless and a failure.

* Life is so depressing. If only I had better luck and had been born to a healthier family, or attended a better school, or gotten a better job, etc.

* My parents made me what I am today!

 * The problems in my family have influenced who I am and what I will be; there is nothing I can do to change that.

* No matter how hard I work, I will never get ahead.

* I am who I am; there is no changing me.

 What behavior traits need to be developed in order to accept personal responsibility?

 In order to accept personal responsibility you need to develop the ability to:

* Seek out and to accept help for yourself.

* Affirm yourself positively.

* Recognize that you choose your responses to the people, actions and events in your life.

* Let go of anger, fear, blame, mistrust and insecurity.

 * Reorganize your priorities and goals.

 
What are the steps in accepting personal responsibility?

Answer the following questions:

 How frequently do you claim that others have determined what you are today?

 How easy is it to accept that you are responsible for your choices in life?

How easy it is to believe that you determine the direction your life takes?

 How easy is it to blame others for where you are today?

What masks do you hide behind to avoid accepting personal responsibility?

How rational are you in dealing with the part you played in being who you are today?

How easy is it to accept blame or admit mistakes?

How frequently do you feel sorry for yourself?

How easy is it to let go of guilt if you stop rescuing those in your life?

How willingly do you take preventive steps to ensure your physical and emotional health?

How successfully have you practiced self-affirmation in your life?

How successfully have you practiced anger work out and letting go in order to get on with your life?
 
 
 
Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

Tip #1: Spend more time around people.

If you want to make friends, you first need to put yourself out there somehow. Friends seldom come knocking on your door while you sit at home watching TV.

  • Join a club with people who have common interests. You don’t necessarily have to have a lot of common interests with people in order to make friends with them. In fact, some of the most rewarding friendships are between two people who don’t have much in common at all, but if you have something in common with people, it can make it a lot easier to start a conversation and plan activities together.
  • Use the web but get out! Websites like meetup.com is aiming to bring people together with common interests. You can join any group or just start your own. This is a great way to meet new local people!
  • Join a sports team. A common misconception about this is that you have to be really good at playing a particular sport in order to make friends with others on the team, but not all teams are so competitive. As long as you enjoy the sport and support your teammates, joining a local team with laid-back attitude could be a great way to make new friends.
  • Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way for people of all ages to meet others. By working together you build bonds with people, and you might meet others who have a passion for changing things the way you do–a common cause.

Tip #2: Be Intentional in talking with people.

You can join a club, go to school, or go to church, and you still won’t make friends if you don’t actually talk to people. You can talk to anybody: the cleak at the video store, the person sitting next to you on the bus, or the person in front of you in the lunch line. Don’t be too picky. Most conversations will be a dead-end of sorts when you may never talk to that person again, or you just remain acquaintances-but once in a while you’ll actually make a friend.

  • Make eye contact and smile. If you have an unfriendly countenance, people are less likely to be receptive to your friendship.
  • Start a conversation. There are many ways to do this; a comment about your immediate environment (The weather is a classic: “At least it’s not raining like last week!”), a request for help (“Can you help me carry a few boxes, if you have a minute?” or “Can you help me decide which one of thiese is a better gift for my mom?”) or a compliment (“That’s a nice car.” or “I love your shoes.”). Follow up immediately with a related question: “Do you like this warm weather?” “What kinds of gifts do you normally buy for your mom?” “Where did you get shoes like that?”
  • Make small talk. Keep the conversation light and cheery. Even if you’re complaining about something, make sure it’s something you’re both dissatisfied with, and emphasize the positive such as, how such a situation can be avoided in the future, or alternatives. Bounce a few words back and forth for a little bit.

Tip #3: Introduce yourself towards the end of the conversation.

It can be as simple as saying “Oh, by the way, my name is….”. Once you introduce yourself, the other person will typically do the same. Remember his or her name.

  • Initiate a get-together You can chat your heart out but it won’t get you a friend if you don’t open up the opportunity for another conversation or meeting. This is especially important if you meet someone who you aren’t otherwise likely to meet again. Seize the day!

Tip #4: Work at being a “good” friend.

Once you’ve started spending time with potential friends, remember to do your part (i.e. initiating some of the activities, remembering birthdays, asking how the other person is feeling) or else the friendship will become unbalanced and an uneasiness or distance is likely to arise.

  • Be reliable. If you and your friend agree to meet somewhere, don’t be late, and do not stand them up. When you say you’ll do something, do it. Be someone that people know that they can count on.
  • Be a good listener. many people think that in order to be seen as “friend material” they have to appear very interesting. Far more important than this, however, is the ability to show that you’re interested in others. Listen carefully to what people say, remember important details about them (their names, their likes and dislikes), ask questions about their interests, and just take the time to learn more about them. You don’t want to be the guy or girl that always has a better story than anyone else or that changes the subject abruptly instead of continuing the flow of the conversation. These people appear too wrapped up in themselves to be good friends, “one-ups-man-ship” is a put down.
  • Be trustworthy. One of the best things about having a friend is that you have someone to whom you can talk to about anything. Even secrets that you hide from the rest of the world. The key to being a good confidante is the ability to keep secrets, so it’s no secret that you shouldn’t tell other people things that were told to you in confidence. Before people even feel comfortable opening up to you, you need to build trust. Be honest about yourself and your beliefs, and don’t gossip about others or spread rumors or they will think you like stories better than friends.
  • Be “there. You’ve probably heard of fair-weather friends. They’re the ones who are happy to be around you when things are going well, but are nowhere to be found when you really need them. Part of being a friend is being prepared to make sacrifices of your time and energy in order to help out your friends. If a friend needs help with an unpleasant chore, or if he or she just needs a shoulder to cry on, be there.

Final consideration:

Choose your friends wisely. An Old Testament proverb says, “Bad company, corrupts good character”.

As you befriend more people, you may find that some are easier to get along with than others. While you always give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes you realize that certain friendships are unhealthy, such as if a person is obsessively needy or controlling towards you, constantly critical, or introducing dangers or threats into your life. If this is the case, ease your way out of the friendship as gracefully as possible. Cherish those friends you make who are a positive influence in your life, and do your best to be a positive influence in theirs.

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org