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Methodists & Homosexuality

Al Mohler has a timely post on the United Methodist Church and the issue of homosexuality. I was unaware that the Methodist church had such a clear doctrinal statement when it comes to homosexuality, it is truly comendable. Mohler writes:
According to The Los Angeles Times, scores of United Methodist pastors in Southern California are planning to defy church law by performing same-sex marriages. The paper provides rather extensive detail about these plans, acknowledging that performing same-sex marriages could lead to disciplinary action against the pastors.
You can find the rest of the article here.

July 21 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Methodists & Homosexuality

Letters to the Editor (Part 2)

This is the second installment of the “Letters to the Editor” series. This morning’s Sunday paper had a letter from Mr. Larry Ragland. I thought Larry did a great job of summarizing the situation at MVHS:

 

Pastor Buell was invited to the Christian Club meeting apparently with the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) also voluntarily in attendance. The subject was homosexuality. Buell was asked to speak on the subject of homosexuality. Buell delivered the truth in love from God as stated in the Bible.

That is exactly what happened.

I also really apprecaited his closing comment: I am thankful for men like Pastor Buell who have the courage to speak the truth in love. I am also thankful for the MVHS Christian Club and its search for the truth.
You can find the whole letter here.

July 20 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor (Part 2)

Letters to the Editor (Part 1)

In what I suspect we’ll be an ongoing series (at least for a week or two), this is the first of my “Letters to the Editor” posts. I got a call this morning from one of the members of our church asking if I’d seen the morning newspaper yet. Since I hadn’t, I scooped Micah up drove over to the grocery store and picked up a copy. Inside there were two letters to the editor regarding the article that was recently published about me. Both were very kind and well written. Here’s a quote from one letter:
This pastor, in my opinion, was done a great injustice. By asking him to come and give a speech on what God has to say about homosexual behavior, then banning him from future participation because he quoted God’s Word is unfair. I think an apology is in order. – David H. Bates
You can find both letters here (they are titled “MVHS Owes Pastor an Apology” and “Let’s Clarify ‘we’ in Methodism”).

July 18 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor (Part 1)

Packer on Homosexuality


Mark Driscoll is spending some time in London right now and recently had the opportunity to sit down with JI Packer (author of “Knowing God“) and talk to him about the topic of homosexuality. Packer is part of the Anglican church, which has recently torn itself apart over the issue of homosexuality. His words are timely and insightful. You can find Driscoll’s post here with pictures of his time with Packer.

July 17 2008 | Blog | 1 Comment »

Gay Man Sues Bible Publishers

As further proof of the unbeliever’s opposition to the word of God we find this story of a man who is actually suing Zondervan and Thomas Nelson because they use the word “homosexual” in their translations and apparently this has caused him great emotional pain (to tell you the truth, I’m getting quite tired of this kind of argument). Here’s an excerpt from the story, courtesy of World Net Daily.
A homosexual man who has a blog on Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign website is suing two major Christian publishers for violating his constitutional rights and causing emotional pain, because the Bible versions they publish refer to homosexuality as a sin.

Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson
Publishing in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Press reported.
You can find the rest of the story here.

July 13 2008 | Blog | 1 Comment »

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 »

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