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Modern society calls it “Easter.”

The one thing I find that people most often stumble over is the fact that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.

Just a few Years ago I was gravely disappointed with Three of our community’s prominent Churches who along w/ a community university sponsored a Pseudo- Intellect who presented to our community a series of lectures attempting to explain “Why the Bodily resurrection of Jesus isn’t   Necessary to believe in.

Consider This:

Thomas Arnold (Professor and world-renowned historian)  “I can tell you that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history”.

C.S. Lewis: {about the Resurrection of Jesus} ….something perfectly  new in the history of the Universe happened….. Christ defeated death.

 Tim Keller: 21st C. author and pastor in  Manhattan, NY) “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul Said:  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins..

The Point is Simple:

Either The Resurrection we celebrate TODAY is REAL and ACTUAL or it is NOT….

Jesus’ Resurrection did happen, it isn’t a myth. It isn’t merely a nice idea that Christians have, Rather, it is something which occurred in history.

The truth is everyone in the world is affected by the resurrection of Jesus.

Nobody can live unchanged by this great historically accurate event!

Resurrection Evidence reveals that….

* The New Testament story is not a legend:  New Testament documents were written within two generations of the events by eyewitnesses or their contemporaries. The New Testament story-line is corroborated by non-Christian writers.

* The New Testament story is not an embellishment: New Testament writers were meticulously accurate as the well over 140 historically details demonstrate.

* The New Testament writers were not deceived: The New Testament writers were not wrong about what they saw! If all their other historical details has proven to be Accurate, why do you think they would be deceived about the resurrection?

There will always be people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead!

Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection.

Instead, Be filled with hope because one day you will see the living proof when Jesus Christ returns.

What does the resurrection mean to every one who by Faith accepts it?

I can have confidence that the apostles early teaching was true.

I know I am forgiven for my sins.

Finally, Because of the Resurrection I know that  God is a Living Sovereign. The Resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign.

* The founder of Buddhism is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

*The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

But the founder of Christianity Jesus —made a number of appearances after His death over a 40 day Period.

For Instance:

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the women that came to Jesus tomb (Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and Joanna),

He appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road.

He also appeared to the remainder of the Twelve Disciples with Thomas absent.  Later he appeared to them with Thomas present.

There was also an appearance to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee.

On another occasion Jesus appeared to over five hundred people at the same time.

There is also an appearance to James.

Finally Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus – the man who became the Apostle Paul.

Jesus is Not DEAD IN THE GRAVE

 HE IS RISEN.  Have you received HIM today?  I would love to help. Please contact me.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor 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

Americans have just celebrated another “Presidents’ Day” honoring all who served in our highest office.

One of the most notable and relevant Presidential messages is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address during the depth of the great Depression in 1933.

He said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”

Well, as Yogi Berra said, “Deja vu over again”.  Today, We find ourselves living in unsettling times.  Especially with regard to how our nation seems so divided and fearful.  While I’m sure there are many reasons we could cite for all the protests, unrest or disharmony, one reason remains clear: FEAR.

Fear is a dangerous and deadly undercurrent of life.  It will rob us of vitality, enthusiasm, anticipation and progress.

The Proverb writer is accurate when he writes, “I am worn out by my worries” — fear.

Think about the “fruit” of fear.

Fear ruins relationships because it prevents honesty.  When we deny our feelings and refuse to tell the truth we destroy those closest to us.

Fear hinders genuine happiness. Think about it; one cannot be happy and fearful at the same time.

Additionally, fear will sabotage success. The way we tend to think is the way we tend to react in life.  I am reminded that Job said to his friends, “Everything I fear and dread comes true.”

So what is the antidote to overcoming fearful living?

First for me, fear’s best antidote is filling my mind with God’s truth.  The Gospel writer John penned the words, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Living free from fear will come as you build your life on truth.

Secondly, I have discovered as I fill my heart with God’s love, I tend to be less fearful.  Anytime you replace bitterness, anger and resentment with God’s love and compassion, fear is expelled.

A contemporary translation of a biblical text reads, “Love fully developed, expels every particle of fear.”

Finally, an antidote to fear is to replace fear with faith — faith to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior and Lord.  Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus and said, “Above all, be sure to take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile that the enemy hurls at you.”

Our adversary, Satan, seeks to put fear in our hearts and minds.  He suggests all kinds of things for which to be fearful.

The shield against such an attack is faith. Where do you need faith today?

Faith to accept Jesus as Savior?

Faith to join a community of believers?

Faith to change a career?

Faith to make a commitment in marriage?

Overcome your fear!  Fill your mind with God’s truth.  Fill your heart with God’s love. Fill your life with faith in Jesus.

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.

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.

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In 2002, the synod of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster authorized its bishop to produce a service for blessing same-sex unions, to be used in any parish of the diocese that requests it.

A number of synod members walked out to protest the decision. J. I. Packer was one of those who walked out.

When asked why he walked out, he answered, “Because this decision, taken in its context, falsifies the gospel of Christ, abandons the authority of Scripture, jeopardizes the salvation of fellow human beings, and betrays the church in its God-appointed role as the bastion and bulwark of divine truth.”

Nearly 14 years ago, this biblical scholar demonstrated a respect and confidence in the functional, life-directing authority of Scripture rather than in the subjective opinions of man.

I have attempted to describe my heart and spirit as I enter this “public” debate relative to God’s Word.  I have often pointed to men like Paul, Peter, John, and Jude who were unashamed of standing on the Truth of God’s Word and pointed out error.

I found Jude’s word in his New Testament letter (verses 3-4),  to be the summation of my convictions and the reason for my standing for God’s Word.

I have decided, regardless of what personal preferences other pastors may hold and irrespective of the cultural trends in play, I will affirm the Bible as the ethical standard by which to judge my life and my responsibility.

Regardless of the opinions of the pseudo-intellects of our day, many who stand in pulpits that once stood upon Biblical Truth, there are only two ways to exegete Paul’s thought in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 and other similar biblical passages.

One is to embrace an artificial interpretation of the text in which Paul is conceived as speaking of something other than same-sex union.

The second approach, as J.I. Packer notes, “is to let experience judge the Bible.”

……..Experience suggests that homosexual behavior is fulfilling to some; therefore, the Bible’s prohibition of it is wrong. But the appropriate response is that “the Bible is meant to judge our experience rather than the other way around,” and “feelings of sexual arousal and attraction, generating a sense of huge significance and need for release in action as    they do, cannot be trusted as either a path to wise living or a guide to biblical interpretation.”

J.I. Packer helps even the most timid among us understand “WHAT IS REALLY at stake” in today’s discussion; it is the nature of the Bible itself. Packer writes,

……Either the historic Christian belief that through the prophets, the incarnate Son, the apostles, and the writers of canonical Scripture as a body, God has used human language to tell us definitively and trans-culturally about his ways, his works, his will, and his worship. Furthermore, this revealed truth is grasped by letting the Bible interpret itself to us from within, in the knowledge that the way into God’s mind is through that of the writers. Through them, the Holy Spirit who inspired them teaches the church. Finally, one mark of sound biblical insights is that they do not run counter to anything else in the canon. . .[scripture]. . .

The second view applies to Christianity

. . .the Enlightenment’s trust in human reason, along with the fashionable evolutionary assumption that the present is wiser than the past. It concludes that the world has the wisdom, and the church must play intellectual catch-up in each generation in order to survive. From this standpoint, everything in the Bible becomes relative to the church’s evolving insights, which themselves are relative to society’s continuing development (nothing stands still), and the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry is to help the faithful see where Bible doctrine shows the cultural limitations of the ancient world and needs adjustment in light of latter-day experience (encounters, interactions, perplexities, states of mind and emotion, and so on). Same-sex unions are one example. This view is scarcely 50 years old, though its antecedents go back much further.

Please understand there is more than an intellectual battle going on today or a fight among the preachers……..to bless homosexual behavior is an explicit deviation from the biblical gospel and the historic Christian creed.

The doctrines of creation, sin, regeneration, and sanctification are necessarily distorted in the effort to justify same-sex intimacy. Not to mention that the Apostle Paul writes that the eternal welfare of the individual is at stake.

We must not allow the forces of political correctness or a desire to be “liked” to trump the compelling factor that the love of Christ causes us to tell the truth.

Martin Luther, the Reformer, said in 1521:

Unless you prove to me by Scripture and plain reason that I am wrong, I cannot and will not recant. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe [it endangers the soul]. Here I stand. There is nothing else I can do. God help me. Amen.

To be clear, I summarize…

My prayer and effort will be to “be Christ Like” In discussion and dialogue. I will seek HIS strength to “speak the Truth in Love”. I will be fair and clear in my words and expressions.

However, I am reminded that Jesus Loved Perfectly as he taught, lived and engaged His Culture; and they still Killed Him.

Second, this is NOT PERSONAL. Nearly every family has as a friend, uncle, aunt, son, daughter, colleague who is “caught up in some sin”. I want to speak Truth so our friends and family will come to the Truth and be assured of Eternal Life with the Father.

Finally, the belief that what God has revealed in the written Word is binding on the consciences of all Christians and gives shape to their behavior on every issue, not merely same-sex marriage, will be my approach to living the Christian life and the guide for exercising the calling God has placed on my 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 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 found content and and facts from from Packer on the Christian Life: Knowing God in Christ, Walking by the Spirit by Sam Storms, which is part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series, To be very helpful in writing this BLOG. I recommend your review.

Key Thought:  We must not conclude God Isn’t working, Just Because we can’t see God at work in political decisions in Washington or in medical ethics in healthcare or in events in our daily lives.

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Like many of you the events of these last few weeks have caused me to ponder……..How does a religious minority living in a dominant culture with completely different views from you on almost everything, RELATE?  Does it   withdraw, assimilate, protest, critique?

Enter the Story of Esther………

Bethany L. Jenkins, Director of The Gospel Coalition’s Every Square Inch, the Director of Vocational & Career Development at The King’s College, and the Founder of The Park Forum has written a very insightful article that addresses what is on many of our minds.  She titled here article, ESTHER AND THE SILENT SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.

I’ve chosen to use as the Title in sharing it HERE,  God’s Silence is not Absence; God’s Hiddenness is not Abandonment. 

Bethany writes:

When you’re a religious minority living in a dominant culture with completely different views from you on almost everything, how do you relate to that culture? Do you withdraw, assimilate, protest, critique?

In the biblical Book of Esther, the Jews are in danger. They’re a religious minority living in Persia, a society dominated by spiritual and moral values at great variance to theirs. They have no king, no army, and no land. And powerful forces want to destroy them.

In the past, when God’s people have been in trouble, he’s sent miraculous signs and wonders. Here, though, he seems completely absent. There’s no mention of God at all—no vision, no dream, no prophecy, no prayer.

Is this an accidental oversight? Or could it be the point?

The Esther story is one of the most realistic biblical accounts of God’s providence precisely because God seems absent. It shows us how the unseen God often works through human history—“not by his miraculous intervention,” Karen Jobes observes, “but through completely ordinary events.”

In Esther, a string of “coincidences” occur in order for the Jews to be saved—a drunken and boastful king, a self-respecting queen, a beauty pageant, a sensuous girl, an overheard plot, and a timely insomnia. God even uses morally questionable decisions to work all things together for the good of his people.

And through these inscrutable and seemingly insignificant means, he advances his purposes. In the Esther story, God cares less about appearances and more about his sovereignty.

The sad irony, though, is that God doesn’t care about appearances, but we do.

Esther opens with a party hosted by the king at the palace—a palace so opulent that its description can only be compared to the temple and the tabernacle. (The original hearers would have recognized this association.) For six months, the king has paraded his power, wealth, majesty, and generosity before his officials and servants, hoping to gain their support and loyalty for the campaign he’s launching against Greece.

On the last day, with the entire city gathered, he commands the queen to come before him so he can show off her beauty. Celebrated by feminists for her self-respect and chided by fundamentalists for her disobedience, she refuses to appear before his drunken audience and, as a result, is stripped of her position. The message is clear: the king’s brashness is to be feared.

The king holds an international beauty pageant to replace the queen and compels “all the beautiful young virgins” to join his harem and undergo beauty treatments for a year. In the end, the “winner” is a Jewish girl named Esther. She’s young, compliant, and afraid—a foreshadowing contrast of the Esther who is to come.

This entire scene—from the party to the pageant—is a spectacle. It’s written to highlight how much Persian culture loves appearances. Men are measured by wealth and power, women by beauty and sexuality—or, as Keller puts it, a man by the size of his wallet and a woman by the size of her dress.

Not much has changed, has it? The world tells us to judge things and persons by external measures. It tells us that what we have—money, beauty, talent, power—matters more than who we are. It demands “beauty treatments” to get better credentials and sexier bodies.

When we adopt this appearance-driven approach, though, we miss God’s daily faithfulness because we look only for extraordinary miracles, not ordinary providence. As Keller notes:

When you see one of the ten plagues, you know that’s God! But when King Xerxes gets drunk and starts bragging, you don’t say, “Wow. There’s God at work!” But the book of Esther is trying to tell you, “Don’t make that mistake. God is at work.”

Today, if we can’t see God at work in political decisions in Washington or in medical ethics in healthcare or in events in our daily lives, we must not conclude he’s not working. As Keller notes, “His silence is not absence, his hiddenness is not his abandonment.” For Esther teaches that, in his providence, he’s working out the salvation of his people.

The Esther story is a reversal of the expected. What appears inevitable is not. Who appears powerful is not. Appearances are not what they seem.

Esther is written generations after the events have taken place. The original hearers know King Xerxes returns from his campaign in Greece as a defeated ruler. They know how God uses Esther to save them. They know how the one who tries to destroy them is himself destroyed. They know, too, then, that the story is full of irony, satire, and humor. As one commentator writes:

The author teaches us to make fun of the very forces that once threatened—and will again threaten—our existence, and thereby makes us recognize their triviality as well as their power. “If I laugh at any mortal thing,” said Byron, “‘tis that I may not weep.” Jews have learned that kind of laughter.

And Esther points to Jesus. He’s not what the people expect to find in a savior. He’s from Nazareth, not Jerusalem. He’s seen as the son of a carpenter, not a king. Based on appearances, he’s not to be esteemed, but ridiculed. Then they see him on a criminal’s cross and bury him in a borrowed grave.

But that’s not the end of the story. Appearances are not what they seem. The gospel story, like the Esther story, makes clear one of the most basic principles of biblical hermeneutics: “Without divine revelation,” notes Jobes, “the human experience is inherently ambiguous and cannot be rightly understood.”

And that divine revelation is the resurrection. The powers that seek to destroy Jesus are themselves destroyed by him—a reversal that teaches us to make fun of even the greatest enemy (1 Cor. 15:50–58). Against all human expectation, Jesus takes the death we deserve so that we can take the life he deserves.

Today isn’t the end of the story, either. The powers that seem in control are not in control. The trajectory that seems inevitable is not inevitable. As Jobes writes, “Beneath the surface of even seemingly insignificant human decisions and events, an unseen and uncontrollable power is at work that can be neither explained nor thwarted.”

 

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

 

 

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

 

Same Sex Marriage…the very phrase elicits much emotion from proponents and opponents alike. 

SO, please read carefully my NEXT STATEMENT…

It is possible to hold a principled objection to Same Sex  Marriage base upon strong core values, a Biblical world view and using additional logic and rationale WITHOUT acting out of ignorance, hatred or some homophobic bias.

Understandingly, Christians will base their opposition to Same Sex Marriage on Biblical Grounds.   I’m reminded  of Eli­za Hew­itt’s words from the Hymn,

        I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Personally, for me, the Biblical admonition is ENOUGH to oppose Same Sex Marriage. (Go to www.lifewithsmiles.com and click on the Q & A button to read more of what God says about Homosexuality.)

That being said, I believe that Dr. William Craig, the famed Christian apologist, has it right when he says that Christians need to “frame” their opposition to Same Sex Marriage by using other sound reasoning and logic.

It took less than two weeks after a federal judge declared Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, that a new effort was launched in the South seeking to build wider acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in the hope of overturning similar bans across the region.

Georgia (along with more than 10 other states) is being targeted in a campaign seeking to have the statutory provision defining marriage as between a man and a woman expanded to include Same Sex Couples.

Therefore, it is incumbent for Opponents of Same Sex Marriage to discuss, in addition to the biblical prohibition of Same Sex Marriage, other logic and rationale opposing Same Sex Marriage.

For starters, consider 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.

Additionally, 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.

One argument that needs more attention is the Truth that as a consequence of Same Sex Marriage a Child is denied either a Father or a Mother. 

There are few who would say that a child would not be BEST served having a loving father and mother.

Girls who are raised apart from their fathers are reportedly at higher risk for early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Children without a mother are deprived of the emotional security and unique advice that mothers provide.

An April 2001 study published in American Sociological Review suggested that children with lesbian or gay parents are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior. In the 1997 book Growing up in a Lesbian Family: Effects on Child Development, Fiona Tasker, PhD, and Susan Golombok, PhD, observed that 25% of sampled young adults raised by lesbian mothers had engaged in a homoerotic relationship, compared to 0% of sampled young adults raised by heterosexual mothers.

Obviously, there are many single parents or guardians of children who are doing a wonderful job; however, the ideal is a father and mother in loving marital relationship.

Same Sex Marriage attempts to turn 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.

Same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue; furthermore, conflating the issue with interracial marriage and civil rights is untruthful and misleading.

The Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, Matthew D. Staver, is reported to have written, “The unifying characteristics of the protected classes within the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include (1) a history of longstanding, widespread discrimination, (2) economic disadvantage, and (3) immutable characteristics…

[notice] ‘Sexual orientation’ does not meet any of the three objective criteria shared by the historically protected civil rights categories.”

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

Sterile Same Sex Marriage Relationships defeat the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage and has as its primary purpose the personal gratification of two individuals.  Benefits given to Married Couples are for the purpose of providing conditions in a home and society that foster a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere which then enhances a society and culture’s wellbeing.

Moreover, when it comes to permitting and promoting same sex marriage, it is important to affirm that nothing in society is ever done in a “vacuum”.

If same sex marriage becomes 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?

Radical elements of certain subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

Admittedly, these logical and rational statements opposing same sex marriage will be met with labels of homophobic and intolerant.  The bullies in the gay and lesbian community will hurl insults and accuse us of hate speech and of being out of step with where the culture is heading.

Post-Modernism will continue to incorrectly define a stance against same sex marriage as intolerance to a “truth”, which is really no Truth at all.

However, I urge you to remember, it is possible to hold a principled objection to Same Sex Marriage based upon personal core values, a Biblical world view and other additional logic and rationale WITHOUT acting out of ignorance, hatred or some homophobic bias.

Remember, Speak the Truth in Love.  

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.

 

 

Every year about this time, The Start of College for recent high school graduates, we begin to hear how students will be “challenged” in their Christian faith especially regarding the truthfulness, sufficiency and reliability of the Bible.

I get frustrated and aggravated at the pseudo-scholars and wrong minded authors who love to point out, “The Bible is FULL of errors”.  

Recently I read an excerpt from a new book on the Bible in which the author stated, “…The realization that the Bible is replete with blatant and obvious errors and contradictions left me confused, feeling like I had been duped….”

Unfortunately, students entering many colleges (and many entering middle school and high school) receive this kind of rhetoric and false information as a regular diet.

It is very obvious that either this kind of attitude reveals an intentional agenda to confuse OR the commentator has Never Read the Bible without a preconceived bias against the Bible and Spiritual Matters.

The truth is if the Bible is read and studied without a preconceived bias for finding errors, the result will be the finding that the Bible is a coherent, consistent, and relatively easy-to-understand book.

Yes, there are difficult passages. Yes, there are verses that appear to contradict each other.

I often receive questions along the lines of “Explain how these verses do not contradict!” or “Look, here is an error in the Bible!”

Admittedly, some of the things people bring up are difficult to answer. However,  there are viable and intellectually plausible answers to every supposed Bible contradiction and error.

Unfortunately, many people will visit a website or read a book on “errors in the Bible” never finding for themselves any errors, instead just seeking ammunition for debate.

Keep in mind there are also books and websites available that refute every one of these supposed errors.

Bible attackers are not truly interested in an answer; moreover, they even know the answers to the supposed “errors.”  They desire instead to continue to use the same old shallow attacks again and again.

When you consider that the Bible was written by approximately 40 different authors over a period of around 1500 years, and copied over and over by hand for 1400 years until the invention of the printing press—the accuracy and consistency of the Bible is nothing short of astonishing.

While there may be some minor differences found in the written text, remember differences are not contradictions or errors.

There are NO Biblical errors— given that a Biblical error could only occur when a verse or passage cannot be reconciled to the rest of Scripture—-this Does Not Exist.

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 certainty a lot in the news today and all the social media outlets allow everyone to express their thoughts, rationalizations and opinions on any subject.   A scan of Facebook, twitter, blogs and such reveals that no one is without an opinion.

One might think with all the discussion, talking and writing on topics like Abortion, Same Sex Marriage, Gender Bending and Homosexuality that we would all be closer in coming to an agreement on the Moral or Societal right or wrong of such issues.

However, the problem remains one of Authority. 

These issues of morality and views on Life and Life Style will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction because those who disseminate or promote ideas on such topics cannot; will not agree on a source of Authority.

Some hold to a Biblical World View, others hold to a Secular World View, still others hold a Naturalism World View as their source of authority.

It sometimes seems as if there are more philosophical and religious World Views than any normal person could ever learn about.

Because of this you often hear people support causes with statements like:

            Most intelligent people have come to appreciate that same sex marriage is not a form of sin, but a form of love.

            A woman has the Right to Choose.

            God created all of us the way he intended us to be.

            Anything that builds an atmosphere of mutual dignity and respect is good.

            Let’s drop the self-righteousness and judge people by their works.

            Popular opinion is way ahead of religion on this issue.

            God loves me just the way I am

            Motherhood must never be a punishment for having sexual intercourse.

            Start standing up for the right of people to be a little bit “male” and a  little bit “female”

These kinds of statements reveal that people come at topics and issues from all different perspectives and World Views.

What most don’t understand is that not every “authority” upon which one might base opinions, thoughts and moral appropriateness is equal. 

Postmodernism has perpetuated a lie that “every view is equal truth”.  The very prevalent idea that Truth should be kept pliable or even ambiguous is very attractive to a generation that is “in love” with spirit of this Age.

There can be only ONE Truth. Truth by its nature of being True is exclusive of something opposite also being True.

The point is “saying something is so; doesn’t make it so”. 

One has to drill deeper.  You have to determine upon what authority are you going to base your life and what are the consequences of choosing wrongly?

Personally, I have chosen a Biblical, Christian World View as my Authority in determining Truth. Obviously, I believe I have chosen well.

You are responsible for choosing your source of Authority and then facing the consequences of your decision.

I fear for many, the decision upon what or who to base Truth upon is not one that most make with serious exploration or consideration. The reasoning seems to be, “if I say it, it must be so.”  Furthermore it appears the trend today is “I am my own authority”.

I am giving my life to pointing people toward and persuading people to accept that the One True God has given us a source for authority, a source for determining what is Truth and what is Not.

The Bible, however much it is maligned and ignorantly referred to is still God’s sufficient Truth and the only Authority worthy to place your trust in.

No matter how good it may feel to base your attitudes and thoughts upon opinion or feelings; Truth is needed for a sure foundation of Life and afterlife.

There is Absolute Truth. It is found in what God says, “about that”.

It would be wise to give careful consideration to what you are basing your present life and eternal life upon.  I’ve determined that God’s word is sufficient and I believe I have chosen wisely.

 

 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.

 

 

            

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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

 

 

  Please Discover for yourself the True Jesus.

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