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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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Here is a 2 minute video I shared with Lakewood this past Sunday in light of the June 26, Supreme Court Ruling regarding Same Sex Marriage.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tfov3mkxubmzgwc/Dr.%20Tom%20Smiley%20-%20Supreme%20Court%20ruling.flv?dl=0

Here is the FULL Written Content of the video Message:

The events of this past week have saddened me as they have many of you.  However, since I’ve had a few days to pray and reflect on the many contemporary issues Biblical Christians face, I have found great peace in the following.

First, we are called by God to speak the Truth in love. I’m saddened when pastors and teachers lack courage, seek political correctness over God correctness or just adore the applause of men more than God.

Bottom line for those of us who hold to a Biblical world view is that we can only be responsible for proclaiming the truth.

Jesus said, “I am the truth”….and HE IS…. Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free”….And only HE CAN.

My passion for telling people the Truth comes from my love for people.  I love people.  My heart is burdened because living outside of God’s Will will NOT bring wholeness in this world or eternal life in the next world.

Let’s love people enough to tell them the Truth.

Second, I have been impressed to remember that we must not be surprised or intimated when a culture turns away from God. Peter told his congregation, when persecution or criticism comes don’t think it strange.  Just keep doing what God has called us to do.

I am sure the Church in America will begin to experience the persecution, bias and prejudice that most Christians around the world live with EVERY DAY.  Let’s be faithful as they have been faithful.

Finally, we must affirm God’s Word. I realize there are many standing in pulpits who fail to teach God’s Word as sufficient.

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.

In his remarks on the subject of marriage he said, “It’s like a government voting that black should be white. Sorry, you can vote that if you like, you can pass it by a total majority, but it isn’t actually going to change the reality”.

The pseudo-scholars and false teachers in pulpits today will stand before God to give an account of how they taught and lead God’s people.

My father reminded me of this awesome responsibility when, upon hearing of God’s call upon my life to pastor a church, he said, “Son, that is serious business.”

I will never back up on Jesus and I will never place “feelings,” pop-psychology or political correction over the Truth of God’s word.

I believe that Dr. William Lane Craig hit the mark with his comments, “This (same sex marriage ruling) is not slippery slope reasoning. It’s more like falling off a cliff. By deconstructing marriage so that it is purely conventional, dependent upon the opinion of five justices, the Court makes marriage become whatever they want.”

I am going to pray and ask God to keep me from becoming “weary in well doing as I live as a Christ Follower.”

I will proclaim the Truth that Doctrine Matters, and to any enslaved or shamed by any sin, I will continue to proclaim, “You are Wrong BUT you are loved.”

I want to be a vehicle God uses to proclaim that Jesus loves you and invites YOU to join HIM in HIS redemptive, redeeming work.  Jesus wants all to Trust Him in matters of Living and Dying.

I shall not back up on Jesus or fall to political correction in order to please the government, Supreme Court Justices, pseudo-intellects or pastors who love the applause of men more than God.

I shall hold to and teach God’s Sufficient Word Provided and Protected by God through the ages. Ours is a serious business!

Join Me?

 

 

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

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.