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A Few Thoughts on the Recent Newspaper Article "Pastor No Longer Welcome at MV High"

Update: I was recently informed by the Skagit Vallery Herald that they will not be putting this article online due to its controversial nature.
This morning the local newspaper ran a story titled “Pastor No Longer Welcome at MV High” referring to my recent controversy with the GSA. I will put up a link to the article as soon as it becomes available online. I know that the circulation of the Skagit Valley Herald is probably in the thousands and the readership of my blog is at least in the 10’s (ha! ha!), but in any case here are a few of my thoughts in no particular order.
1) I’m grateful for the critics. When involved in conflict, it is easy to vilify the opponent in one’s own heart and even to come to a level of hatred for the individual(s) and I don’t ever want to be like that. While I categorically disagree with my critics, I am still grateful for them if for no other reason than that they continue to sharpen me with their criticism and force me to return to God’s Word as the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path (Psalm 119:105). I’m reminded of the words of Psalm 119:71 – “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
2) I did refer to homosexuality as an “abomination,” however this comment was part of a Scripture quotation. Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” I also quoted Leviticus 18:22 – “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” The outrage over these passages is simply a reminder to me of the offensiveness of Scripture. When God presents truth he does not take our sensibilities into account, rather he calls us to repent of them and turn to him.
3) I think Cathy Pfahl (probably my greatest critic in this whole thing) summed it all up very nicely: “He told the kids that if they would turn to Jesus, they could be forgiven for their sin of homosexuality.” For the full account of what I said you can read the article I wrote for the paper here.
4) My favorite quote from the article is, “Buell was unstoppable…’there was nothing anyone could do to stop him'”. I suppose I like these lines so much because they remind me of the great preachers from the past (Luther, Edwards, Machen, Athanasius, etc.), who would not be silenced in their defense of the truth. I’m by no means one of these men, but still the quote makes me smile.
5) I had no idea that Methodism had four sources of authority (Scripture, experience, tradition and reason). I wonder what John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) would think of that??? Actually I already know, “I am a creature of a day. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. I want to know one thing: the way to heaven. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. He has written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God. Let me be a man of one book. – John Wesley” (emphasis mine).
6) As I read through the article, I couldn’t help but get the impression that everything I said and did was understood to be extremely foolish. The idea that you should take the Bible literally sounds foolish. The fact that not telling these homosexual students the truth would have been more damaging than risking their hurt feelings sounds foolish. The quotes from Mr. Anderson (the principle) about it being a challenge for me to come back to the school because of what I’ve done makes me sound foolish. Even the lines about being unstoppable ultimately are an attempt to make me look foolish or at worst like a raving lunatic. Fortunately, I find myself in good company. 1 Corinthians 1:18 – “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:21-25 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
So there it is, I’m sure that there will be letters to the editor and all of the usual hullabaloo over this kind of thing. Some people will hate me, others will like me but in the end I take comfort in Romans 14:4, speaking of the believer, “…It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

July 12 2008 | Blog | 11 Comments »

And the Drama Continues

This past week I was interviewed by the Skagit Valley Herald about what’s been going on at the High School. It looks like they’re going to run a story this Saturday in the paper. Unfortunately I’ll still be in Mexico, so someone please pick up a copy for me. Please be praying for a fair and balanced article.

June 17 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on And the Drama Continues

Extra, Extra Read All About It

The articles regarding the Bible and Homosexuality are now online.
You can find mine here and Marilyn Kallshian’s (opposing view) here.

June 02 2008 | Blog | 5 Comments »

Welcome to Resolved Calvinist


Update: The two articles are now online. You can find mine here and Marilyn Kallshian’s here.

I’d like to welcome everyone to ResolvedCalvinist.org who’s stopped by due to the newspaper article this morning. I’d love for this site to serve as a place for open and honest discussion about homosexuality and specifically about what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.

Please feel free to leave comments on the various posts that you find and know that I will due my best to respond to them in a timely manner. I invite any and all comments and am happy to provide a forum for you to express your opinions and engage in discussion about them, however please keep your posts on the topic and free from vulgarity. One last note about comments, I realize that the topic of homosexuality is a very sensitive one and that most of us could write volumes about our opinions on it, however for the purposes of this blog I am going to ask that we keep all comments to “Letter to the Editor” length (about 300 words). Thanks.
One last thing, I will provide a link to the newspaper article as an update to this post as soon as it is on the Herald’s Website.

May 31 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Welcome to Resolved Calvinist

Free Speech and Homosexuality


Update: Earlier today I got a call from the Mount Vernon Police Department informing me that they’d looked into the matter and that I am allowed onto the campus, just as any citizen is (yeah!).

In my most recent post I mentioned the fact that I have been asked by Mount Vernon High School not to come back onto their campus. In a letter that our Lead Pastor received from the school about me, the advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance informed him that she has talked to the MVHS Campus Police and informed them that I am not to be allowed on campus at all.
The supposed reason for this expulsion and all of the fury from this teacher is the “Separation of Church and State.” What I find ironic about this is that the High School allowed the Gay-Straight Alliance to show a video titled “For the Bible Tells Me So“, which essentially boils down to religious propaganda promoting the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle. In addition to this, the High School allowed the Gay-Straight Alliance to bring in a pastor and make a presentation in support of the homosexual agenda. With all of this, there was no outcry about the separation of church and state. But, when a conservative pastor comes and speaks to an after school Christian club about what the Bible teaches about homosexuality, all of a sudden we hear the shrieking cry of “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!!” My question is, “Whatever happened to free speech?” If a school allows speakers of a particular religious persuasion to come and make presentations, but refuses to allow speakers of a different religious persuasion to come, who is really silencing who? It seems that the leadership of the GSA on the MVHS Campus want to support free speech, as long as it’s speech that agrees with their position. Salman Rushdie in an article titled “Defend the Right to Be Offended” writes, “
People have the fundamental right to take an argument to the point where somebody is offended by what they say. It is no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with or to whose opinion you are indifferent. The defense of free speech begins at the point where people say something you can’t stand. If you can’t defend their right to say it, then you don’t believe in free speech. You only believe in free speech as long as it doesn’t get up your nose.

May 29 2008 | Blog | 27 Comments »

The Homosexual Agenda

Update: I moved this post back to the top of the page, as the article will be coming out this Saturday and not last.
The topic of homosexuality has been coming up a lot in my ministry recently. Several months ago the local High School in Mount Vernon became the first school in our state to have an official homosexual club on campus, even allowing them to hold an “Over the Rainbow Festival” where they brought in speakers and propoganda promoting their agenda.I was privileged to be invited by the recently established Christian Club, on the same campus, to come and speak on “What the Bible teaches about homosexuality” last Thursday. The meeting went extremely well, with great dialogue from both the homosexual students and the Christian students. Sadly, last week I received a phone call from the school asking me never to come back to the campus due primarily to the seperation of Church and State.

In addition to all of this, this weekend I have an article that will be published in the
local newspaper dealing with the same topic of “What the Bible teaches about homosexuality” along with an opposing view point from another local pastor.
I’m hoping that ResolvedCalvinist.org can serve as an open place for dialogue about these issues, so I want to kick things off by linking to an article by John MacArthur on “God’s Plan for the Gay Agenda.” There are also several powerful sermons from MacArthur and the faculty of The Master’s Seminary on the topic of homosexuality at the TMS Website. The sermons can be downloaded for free here. MacArthur’s is towards the top of list from 1/29.
I’d also like to ask for prayer during these next couple of weeks, as I know this is an extremely sensitive subject and there is a lot of opportunity for misunderstanding.

May 29 2008 | Blog | 2 Comments »

Christians in the Public School

This post is more of a testimony than anything else, as I am overcome with joy because of God’s faithfulness. A few months ago I found out that the local High School in Mount Vernon had approved and funded a Gay Straight Alliance Club, which is the first club of its sort in our state. This is a very active club on the High School Campus. A few weeks ago they held a “Over the Rainbow Festival” where they brought in guest speakers, including a local United Methodist Pastor, to speak about homosexuality and to promote the club.

This High School Campus has been completely closed to any religious influence for a number of years, but this morning I was able to go and preach the gospel on the campus. One of the students from our church has started a Christian Club on the MVHS campus, which has gone through all of the school and state requirements and is now an officially recognized club. As a club they are able to ask me to come as a guest speaker, which I was honored to do. I preached on 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Isaiah 53. It was a sweet time of fellowshipping with the students there and of being refreshed by the gospel. Please be in prayer for this club and for the MVHS Campus that God will give us a strong voice where students can hear the gospel and be saved.

March 20 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Christians in the Public School

The Peacemaker Book Review


A few months my church began a small group series on “The Peacemaker” by Ken Sande. I had never heard of Peacemakers or Ken Sande, so I began to look into the ministry and see if I could find out what it was all about. As I spoke with some of my trusted friends, I found nothing but positive feedback on the book and the ministry of Peacemakers. They are definitely in line with a Biblical Counseling approach to helping people and are thoroughly biblical.

Before reading the book, I was amazed to find the following recommendation from CJ Mahaney: “The Peacemaker is an indispensable tool for pastors…There is no need for another book on this topic to be written now that this volume exists.” Having just completed the book, I have to say that I completely agree with Mahaney’s assessment. This is the defining work on conflict resolution.

The Peacemaker weighs in at some 300 pages and is the most thorough treatment of conflict resolution that I have ever seen. Ken Sande is an excellent writer and mixes in a generous amount of real life examples as he makes his way through the process of conflict resolution. The book is divided up into four main sections, which reflect the four steps in the peacemaking process: 1) Glorify God, 2) Get the Log Out of Your Eye, 3) Gently Restore, 4) Go and Be Reconciled. Each section is divided into smaller chapters that are full of biblical truth and practical advice about how to make peace. One of the best chapters in the book was chapter 10 where Sande discusses forgiveness. Sande lists 4 practical promises that flow out of an in depth study of forgiveness through the bible.

Forgiveness may be described as a decision to make four promises: “I will not dwell on this incident.” “I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.” “I will not talk to others about this incident.” “I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.”

This book has helped me to see with new eyes how to handle conflict throughout my life. It is an excellent resource and will prove to be a blessing to anyone who chooses to read it.

November 26 2007 | Blog | 1 Comment »

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