Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

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The truth is the most important value we have. If the truth does not endure-if the government murders truth-if we cannot trust the hearts of these people, then this not the country I was born in. And it is certainly not the country that I want to die in.

Kevin Costner, JFK

Since last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, people in the media and entertainment have lauded this as the defining point of Barack Obama’s Presidency. I call it an indictment of how low he has sunk our moral compass. One day he sings Amazing Grace, the next day, he congratulates the man who brought this case to the forefront of America’s culture war.

On Monday, I was listening to the Bert Show. And on Monday’s broadcast, Bert said how elated he was at the Supreme Court’s ruling. Yet, in the same breath, he said that he wanted to hear from those on the opposition. Obviously, with it being his own show with a liberal slant, he can skew or spin any kind of argument as he sees fit. Not being an avid listener myself, I decided to step up to the chopping block.

I made my case that homosexuality isn’t something that someone is born with (I’ll get to that in a minute) and the Constitution. You see, in all the pages of the Constitution, there isn’t a mention of any kind of definition of what marriage should be. However, from historical documents, we find that the founders foresaw that America would not stay the same forever. Time would pass. New technologies. Even culture would change. Hence, the Tenth Amendment.

You see, in this day and age of an apathetic American public, few people really understand what exactly each branch of the government does. Its not hard, really. The Congress passes laws, then sends them onto the President. He chooses whether or not to sign it or veto it. If he doesn’t want his name attached to the legislation, all he has to do is let it sit for about ten days-then it’s law. But if he vetoes, Congress can use other measures to circumvent the President and pass the law. A check and balance.

The role of the Supreme Court is to judge whether or not a law is Constitutional. For instance: let’s say you’re driving through town with your family and the local and state police have set up a road block-a checkpoint, if you will. There’s really no good reason for it. They just want to do it. Training exercise is the official term. (And this has happened). Its your turn.

And once up there, they question you and your wife, and ask you where you’re going (none of their damn business). Suddenly, you’re pulled from the car and searched along with your wife and children. They even search your car.

Most Americans would look at this as a one-time event. How many times does a law-abiding citizen actually get stopped and searched in a year-a lifetime-anyway? But that’s not the point, is it? The point is you were stopped unlawfully and searched without a warrant; a direct violation of your Fourth Amendment right.

As I previously stated, neither the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution defines marriage. This is where the Tenth Amendment comes into play. It states that any powers not vested in any branch of the federal government, is thereby reserved for the states and the American people. Again, the goal of the Supreme Court is to decide whether or not a law or action at the federal, state or local levels allign with our most treasured human document. Unfortunately, over the years, presidents have put into life-long power men and women who would serve to meet their own ends, or the ends of their respective party.

Countless states across the Union have voted on same-sex marriage and voted it down. Like my state-Indiana. But as in every case, with a few spoken words and the swipe of a pen, some judge washed away our right to voice our beliefs through our vote.

If the Supreme Court was truly impartial, they would’ve looked at each state that had Americans rights revoked and the Constitution and decided that it was, indeed, a states rights issue. If they wanted to do it legitimately, they would’ve lobbied for one of their liberal stooges to introduce an amendment into Congress. It would’ve had to pass through both Houses and onto President Obama.

I brought this up in my “debate” with the Bert Show (by the way, I will never again devote another worthless moment to listening to their show) and it’s followers. One person wrote-and I quote: I agree that states rights were usurped, blah, blah, blah. That person went onto say that states rights were basically irrelevant because, you know-love.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that those who would sacrifice personal liberty for temporary safety and security, deserve neither. Homosexuals are thrilled at the Supreme Court’s ruling, because to try and get the Bible Belt to go along with them would’ve taken twenty years-minimum. I even made that statement and one person asked why does someone have to wait twenty years for love? The United States government is already experimenting with using drones on American soil, and by circumventing the Bill of Rights, homosexuals have put us all at risk.

But you want to know why homosexuality by birth is a myth, right? Okay. Here’s the first: I’m a porn addict. There. I said it. Its out. If you’re gonna comment to this post, please don’t quote some research laboratory’s findings. I can research a genetic code as to why dogs chase cars and come up with a compelling answer.

My first exposure to porn was at the tender age of nine. My dad hid them rather poorly in our entertainment center. One look and I was hooked.

A young man went to hang out with his peers. He didn’t really like them, but hey, what else is there to do on a Saturday night? Soon, they started snorting cocaine. After it was all said and done, the men started welcoming him into their fraternity of destitution. “I’m not one of you,” he said. “I only tried it once.” All laughing and pointing at him, they said, “that’s what we said.”

And so it was with me. One tape didn’t fill the hole. One more sex scene of debauchery could not suffice. I kept piling garbage upon garbage. I’m thirty-one-years-old and I still struggle with it. One look. One good looking woman, and it sparks that inner demon.

I don’t blame my father. It was his fault then that I came across them. But now, it’s on me. He’s passed and gone on Home. I don’t blame God Almighty. I ask Him for help. Every time I get onto my phone or a computer, I have a choice. I can either choose the blood soaked door of Jesus Christ or the one adorned with glitter and a false hope that maybe, this will be my last video I watch. Its my choice. Its on me.

Many years ago, I worked with a man who was is homosexual. And like all the others, he bought into the age-old lie of Satan (John 8:44) that he was born gay. He said to me one night, “if being gay is a sin, why did God make me this way?”

To this, I said, “God didn’t make me a porn addict, I did.” It’s on me. My choice. And I can tell you, it’s wreaked havoc on my mind. Allow me to enlighten you of a truth about the God you like to blame:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 1:13-15 (NIV)

But if I watch a heterosexual porn flick, doesn’t that make me half-gay? I guess it does. But, you know, if it weren’t for the help and grace of Jesus Christ, I would be dead in my sins. If I struggle with porn to this day and until an act of God that He decides to deliver me from it, will homosexuals still struggle even though they seek His face? Yes, they will. But here’s the thing: God looks at our effort. Did we try?

Or as 1 John 1 says: “if any man says he is without sin, that man is a liar.”

I am a sinner. I deserve the eternal damnation that I set before myself. But for the atoning blood of Christ, I have a residency in Heaven.

The second reason I know homosexuality by birth is a myth is, how can they reproduce? Think about it. I posed that question to the Bert Show and their listening audience, and defied anyone of them to give me a solid answer as to how homosexuality is “natural” two days ago. I have yet to receive a reply.

When a homosexual couple wants a child, how do they get it? An adoption agency. And where does said baby come from? A heterosexual couple. Now, some lesbian couple could have one or the other artificially impregnated by a sperm donor, but it’s still heterosexual.

If we took all the gays on earth and put them on a planet of their own, in fifty years, when we went to check on them, they would be extinct. The surface of that planet would be as naked as the surface of Mars. Same goes for lesbians.

But I’m not preaching to just the homosexual, I’m preaching to the promiscuous, too. Consider 1 Corinthians 6:16-18:

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the LORD is one with him in Spirit. Flee from sexual immortality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

I had a former neighbor, who at any given point, could have a number of women on the string. At one time, he had a couple of girls over for a three way. I asked him one day if he worried about STDs. He told me that’s what condoms are for. But rubbers are not a perfect protection from HIV/AIDS. Did you know that HIV can take up to six weeks or six months before it can how up in a test? Or that it can take up to five years before you show the outward signs of infection? By that time, you could’ve slept with five different people, and them five more, each a person respectively. When it’s all said and done, over a thousand lives can be changed forever.

If I’m so far off the beaten path of sanity, why is it in 2010 (the most recent year of available data) the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that an estimated 47,500 new infections occurred. And gay and bisexual men made up two thirds of that. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

This is not a letter of condemnation. It is a letter imploring people to see reason and logic in the grace of Jesus Christ. People say that they don’t want to follow God because He tells them what to do. He doesn’t tell you what to do. He gives us rules and guidelines to follow. And if we don’t, we reap the consequences.

God doesn’t speak just to hear Himself. He speaks because He cares for YOU! He is not slow as we understand it. Yet He is patient, hoping for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Consider this: if we followed all of God’s precepts, none of us would bring turmoil on ourselves. Sure, we’d have trouble in life. But it wouldn’t be of our own making.

If you’re a homosexual or live a promiscuous lifestyle and you’re still reading this, consider this your final warning. Your blood stains are off my hands.

For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God-not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

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Awhile back, a friend had asked why I put Revelation 18 on her Facebook page in response to an open question she posted in reference to President Obama.  The following is my response in its entirety.

 If I remember correctly, you asked openly if President Obama missed the National Day of Prayer, and to that, someone commented that the President said that “America (I’m paraphrasing) is no longer just a Christian nation, but a Hindu, a Bud…dist, and Muslim nation.” In short, while America cannot officially claim Christianity as it’s religion – to do so would be in violation of the First Amendment – the United States has been prodominantly a Christian nation for a very long time.

 
When our parents were children, and even our age, God was seen as infallible and His Word as the Truth. Fast forward to today and God is veiwed as not-so-infallible and His Truth not-so-true. By doing this, the enemy has been able to weaken the christians in this country and make them complacent. God was very stern when he told the Israelites “if you obey my laws, your enemies will come at you in one direction and flee in seven. If you don’t obey my laws your enemies will come at you in seven and leave in one.”

America’s problem does not lie with the politicians, although, that is a conundrum. Trust in a politician and you will be surely dissapointed. Our problem rests with our morals. For as Revelation 18 says “her sins are piled up to heaven.”

Now to answer your question. Revelation is considered the bloodiest, most violent, most horrific book in the Bible. Even the most skilled of Bible scholars cannot decipher it’s cryptic messages entirely. In Revelation 18, Babylon is seen as an “evil spirit” residing in a nation or nation’s. “She has become a dwelling for demons, every unclean bird, every detestable animal, and a haunt for every impure spirit.”

What nation does this sound like to you?

Thanks to the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, America is filled with homosexuality, drug and alchohol use, wide spread divorce, and as Carmen put it, “pornography that floods our streets like open sores.”

Rather than view sin as an affront to God, the people of the world see it simply as living in a free and open society. Revelation 18 says that the “merchants of the world will mourn over her because no one buys her cargoes”. “In one hour your doom has come” (v.10)

Consider for a moment that Revelation 18 also says that “she will be thrown down, never to be found again” (vs. 21-24). To help further your understanding – if you haven’t done it yet – I strongly urge you to read Revelation 18 in it’s entirety. However, there is no reason to fear, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He will always be with us.

 
At this juncture in the post, I would be remiss not to point out the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation 1-3 (just for clarification, it is Revelation, not “Revelations”) are seven actual churches.  Also, they represent seven church ages (in the Bible the number seven means “fulfillment”).  And, we today, live in the Seventh Church Age; whereas Jesus Christ said in Revelation 3:14-18, “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”
 
The very real fact that Jesus Christ our Lord knows these inequities and feels this way should shake every christian to their core in reverent fear of God.
 
The American Dream
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Is Christianity in decline in America?  When you examine the cold, hard numbers it is simply not possible to come to any other conclusion.  Over the past few decades, the percentage of Christians in America has been steadily declining.  This has especially been true among young people.  As you will see later in this article, there has been a mass exodus of teens and young adults out of U.S. churches.  In addition, what “Christianity” means to American Christians today is often far different from what “Christianity” meant to their parents and their grandparents.  Millions upon millions of Christians in the United States simply do not believe many of the fundamental principles of the Christian faith any longer.  Without a doubt, America is becoming a less “Christian” nation.  This has staggering implications for the future of this country.  The United States was founded primarily by Christians that were seeking to escape religious persecution.  For those early settlers, the Christian faith was the very center of their lives, and it deeply affected the laws that they made and the governmental structures that they established.  So what is the future of America going to look like if we totally reject the principles that this nation was founded on?

Overall, Christianity is still the largest religion in the world by far.  According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, there are currently 2.2 billionChristians in the world.  So Christianity is not in danger of disappearing any time soon.  In fact, in some areas of the globe it is experiencing absolutely explosive growth.

But in the United States, things are different.  Churches are shrinking, skepticism is growing and apathy about spiritual matters seems to be at an all-time high.

Before we examine the data, let me disclose that I am a Christian.  I am not bashing Christians or the Christian faith at all in this article.  In fact, I consider the decline of Christianity in America to be a very bad thing.  Not everyone is going to agree with me on that, but hopefully this article will help spark a debate on the role of religion in America that everyone can learn something from.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most Americans spend very little time thinking about religion or spiritual matters these days.

Just consider the following quote from a recent USA Today article….

“The real dirty little secret of religiosity in America is that there are so many people for whom spiritual interest, thinking about ultimate questions, is minimal,” says Mark Silk, professor of religion and public life at Trinity College”

This is backed up by the numbers.  For example, a survey taken last year by LifeWay Research found that 46 percent of all Americans never think about whether they will go to heaven or not.

To most Americans, faith is simply not a big deal.  This is particularly true of our young people.  Those under the age of 30 are leaving U.S. churches in droves.  The following comes from a recent CNN article….

David Kinnaman, the 38-year-old president of the Barna Group, an evangelical research firm, is the latest to sound the alarm. In his new book, “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith,” he says that 18- to 29-year-olds have fallen down a “black hole” of church attendance. There is a 43% drop in Christian church attendance between the teen and early adult years, he says.

But it isn’t just young people that are leaving American churches.  The proportion of Americans that consider themselves to be Christians has been steadily declining for many years.  Back in 1990, 86 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be Christian.  By 2008, that number had dropped to 76 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans that reject religion entirely has absolutely soared.  According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans with “no religion” more than doubled between 1990 and 2008.

So what is going to happen if these trends continue?

Dave Olson, the director of church planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church, has made some really interesting projections regarding what is going to happen to church attendance in America if current trends continue.

According to Olson, only 18.7 percent of all Americans regularly attend church right now.  If this number continues to decline at the current pace, Olson says that the percentage of Americans attending church in 2050 will be about half of what it is today.

Other research has produced similar results.

According to a study done by LifeWay Research, membership in Southern Baptist churches will fall nearly 50 percent by the year 2050 if current trends persist.

If you are a Christian, you should be quite alarmed by these numbers.

But what is happening to the faith of our young people should be even more alarming for Christians.

The American Religious Identification Survey by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society & Culture at Trinity College is one of the most comprehensive studies on religion in America that has ever been done.

According to that study, 15 percent of all Americans say that they have “no religion”.

That is up from 8 percent in 1990.

That is quite a change.

But the move away from religion is particularly pronounced among our young people.

One recent survey found that 25 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say that they have no religion.

Obviously the Christian faith is not winning the battle for the hearts and the minds of our young people.  The cold, hard truth is that in America today, the younger you are, the less likely you are to consider yourself to be a Christian.

Large numbers of young Americans that went to church while they were growing up are now leaving U.S. churches entirely.  A recent study by the Barna Group discovered that nearly 60 percent of all Christians between the ages of 15 and 29 are no long actively involved in any church.

But not only have they left the church, our young people have also abandoned just about all forms of Christian spirituality.

Just check out the results of one survey of young adults that was conductedby LifeWay Christian Resources….

•65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.

•65% rarely or never attend worship services of any kind.

•67% don’t read the Bible or any other religious texts on a regular basis.

If this does not get turned around, churches all over America will be closing their doors.  When the survey above first came out, the president of LifeWay Christian Resources stated that “the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships.”

But it is not just church that our young people are rejecting.

The reality is that they are also rejecting the fundamental principles of the Christian faith.

One survey conducted by the Barna Group found that less than 1 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 23 hold a Biblical worldview.

The Barna Group asked participants in the survey if they agreed with the following six statements….

1) Believing that absolute moral truth exists.
2) Believing that the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
3) Believing that Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic.
4) Believing that a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works.
5) Believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth.
6) Believing that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

Less than 1 percent of the participants agreed with all of those statements.

That is staggering.

But it is not just young adults that are rejecting the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

Even large numbers of “evangelical Christians” are rejecting the fundamental principles of the Christian faith.

For example, one survey found that 52 percent of all Americans Christians believe that “at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life”.

Another survey found that 29 percent of all American Christians claim to have been in contact with the dead, 23 percent believe in astrology and 22 percent believe in reincarnation.

Without a doubt, the religious landscape of America is changing.

Over the past several decades, church attendance has been steadily declining, the percentage of Americans that consider themselves to be Christians has been going down, and the number of people that hold traditional Christian beliefs has been dropping like a rock.

So what does all of this mean for the future of America?

In the New Testament, Jesus is teaching his disciples about “leading” and “serving”.  He knew His time was short and he had to give them the proper instructions to carry on his ministry.  What Jesus said is one of the core principles of ministry; for that matter, it could very well define the word “ministry” – to assist, and to put your own needs last.

Jesus said, “For you won’t be like the rulers of the earth, where they lord their authority over others.”  And “to be first you must be last”, and finally, “to be served, you must serve.”

Now look at our nation today!  Or better yet, have a gander at this graph of the assets and liabilities of members of Congress, as compiled by USA Today.  Darrell Issa (R) California has a net worth of over four-hundred million dollars!  And they want to criticize those who have medicaid and other social programs so they can make it by?!

How someone can vote for a Party Politician is beyond me.

Everyone has a breaking point.  Everyone has a point where the burdens of this world and the demons of their own torment bring them to a point of almost certain destruction.  What causes this?  Where does it come from?  Upbringing?  Lifestyle?  Or is it all of the above?  Now I am no psychoanalyst, and I am not preparing to write a book; rather, this is just the description of the day that I have had.

When a person comes to that breaking point, what does he/she do?  Do they climb the tallest mountain and dare to jump off?  Or do they get up off the canvas – or as in the words of Travis Tritt, “I’m up off the canvas…You ain’t seen the last of me.”  And how will our future actions define us?  Will they define us as cowards or men and women standing tall to fight the good fight?  We may come back up bruised, battered, and bleeding; but as the Bible tells us “we have already won the war.”

Today I said some pretty hurtful things to my wife, and for justifiable reasons – we’ll just say that she was mad.  She had done nothing to deserve the treatment that I had given her for the last so many months, years?  So why today of all days did I come close to the verge of what I would call a nervous breakdown?  Uncontrollable crying, shaking…or maybe it was the righteousness of God clashing with the worldly nature of my flesh.

As I sat there at Common Ground church crying, begging God’s forgiveness for all the wrong that I had done, and asking him for the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon me and help me see Amber through the eyes of God.  A woman made by the Almighty to be a man’s nurturer, companion, and the guiding force to keep her man on the straight and narrow.

Then the light hit me through the words and instruction of Pastor Matt Moore: change isn’t something that happens overnight, it takes a long time, sometimes even years.  I have come to realize that I have hurt a lot of people.  Not physically, but emotionally, and it is those people who I must apologize to.  When this happens, we may feel the need to ask forgiveness over and over again.  We’re human, right?

But with God and Jesus Christ, all is forgiven with the first ask.  You know, we are the only race on this earth that takes enjoyment out of hurting one another.  Suffice it to say, a person that beats a toddler to death garners some sort of gross satisfaction.  And by that standard, don’t we all hurt someone in our lives either by way of “not meaning to” or out of malicious behaviour?

I have a lot of proving to do to a lot of people, but the proving seems so much more sensational that staying the same old way.  It’s not going to be an easy road – laying down the old and allowing God to mold my naked clay body, but as I look at the Old Waylon whose very existence clings to life support – which the cord should be ripped from the wall – it is now time to form the “Jesus” Waylon (no blasphemy intended).

I am twenty-six years old now, and I doubt if people can see even the glimmer of Jesus in me, but at twenty-seven, I hope for people to see a man on the change.  And even though the storm clouds of Satan creep in, the glorious light of God shines through. 

I look at Old Waylon laying on the hospital bed with his frail limbs splayed out, his skin pale white, lips drawn back in a sneer, his colorless eyes staring up, the life fading but long from dead, and the one thing I can think is, ain’t comin’ ’round here.

If you’ve read the Bible then you will remember the story of where Jesus Christ approached a man possessed by a demon.  When Jesus called out the demon and said, “I command you to tell me who you are!’

The Demon then replied, “We are Legion, for we are Many.” 

Which brings me to the subject of the day; why would Alex Jones – a man who talks of the world power elite, and occultism in the government – put a quote from a demon on a poster?  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I would have put something like ‘We Are Liberty’.

I was brought up in a racist home.  Taught that all blacks were worthless, they never trust the white man, etc., one could surmise that I heard the word “nigger” alot.  This sort of thinking I admit with much regret entered and took control of my mind.  Feeling pissed off at someone on the basis of race left me feeling angry all the time.

As time went on this anger turned to hatred and as one civil rights leader said in a documentary…”hatred can consume you.”  And it did.

A person asked me one time, “what has your hatred gotten you?”  As time went on I had to seriously consider this question.  I hated people I never knew and would never know.  While I was preaching that I was a christian that same person said that racist people don’t make it to the kingdom of God.

Maybe this is true.  Afterall, the basic principle of Christ – the top command of all – is to love one another.  The word of God tells us that when we hate in our hearts we have already committed murder.  I am what you would call a recovering racist.  The very realization that my hatred for others never would solve anything, and the fact that if given chance to call a black person a “nigger”, solidified my belief that racism is a cowards tool for segregation.  Only a handful of people have the courage to stand up and say they hate.

Coupled with the fact that I am now a father, I knew I had to abandon my former leanings.  How could I teach my son of the love of Christ and the lie of racism?  It is a house divided against itself.

What if the civil rights movement never happened because there was no need for it to?  What if the christians of the day lived up to the commands of Christ?  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 went above and beyond the call to make sure that All people are created equal. 

Despite the deep divides of our race, political and spiritual beliefs, even the differences in prosperity; maybe America should look within its own heart and doesn’t use racism as a means of political gain.

For in the final analysis, we all inhabit this small planet, we all breath the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.  John F. Kennedy

It is an unnatural act in mankind’s eyes to look at our sins as “equal”.  Afterall, we are human and we are here.  For a man to look at pornography and another to murder, the murderer is automatically lumped into the column of the worst of the worst.  Rightfully so, the murderer just took another’s life.  The pornographer, on the other hand, just hurts himself.

But what does God say about sin?  It’s all equal.  In fact, God calls sin “spiritual death”, and we are all in danger of it.  From the adulterer to the person who tells the little white lie, we all better watch out.  So when you read the article below (some points I agree on) trying to justify the means for his sin by pointing out the sins of others, again, is natural.  But we should not lean on our own understanding, only God’s.

For instance, Leviticus tells us that an adulterer should be sentenced to death.  Why?  Because in those days that was the penalty.  There must be a blood sacrafice, but Jesus changed all that.  Sin still stayed sin, but Lord Jesus shed his blood for us so we can live and receive his forgiveness.  He is the blood sacrafice!

By definition of political quizes, I am a libertarian.  You can see my answers here, and my results here.  While I am for the traditional marriage (because homosexuality is not something I would do), I am also for the free will of the people.  If I were in Congress and an amendment came up to legalize or ban same-sex marriage, I would have to vote against it, and here’s why. 

Far too often we are ready and willing to let government side on our behalf.  Conservatives and Liberals alike are guilty of this.  As the author of the article points out, government is not the best source of morals.  So if we let the government litigate the morals of marriage, how far can it go?  Our movies?  Television?  Radio?  If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it.  What if the government wanted to litigate what was moral in your own home?  This is a serious issue and one that should not be taken lightly.

Government cannot turn around a country morally, only we can do that.  So what if christians buried the condemning attitude towards gays?  What if we imitated the light that is of Jesus?   I think that we would get alot farther by spreading the unending love of Christ as opposed to supressing the right of free will.

Editor’s note: LZ Granderson is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, and has contributed to ESPN’s Sports Center, Outside the Lines and First Take. He is a 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award for online journalism as well as the 2008 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) winner for column writing.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) — My partner and I recently took our mothers to Las Vegas for a week for Mother’s Day. It’s not our favorite city, but for a pair of 60-somethings who can sit at the penny slot machines for hours, it was heaven.

When they were not being robbed by one-armed bandits, we saw a couple of shows and had some amazing dinners. We also enjoyed trying to figure out which women were hookers and which were just dressed like one. And of course saying “public drunkenness” is pretty redundant after 11 a.m.

But that’s why we go to Vegas, right? Life on the Strip. What happens here stays here … and all that good stuff. By the end of our trip, the four of us had seen just about everything you would expect to see in a place nicknamed Sin City — except for faith-based protesters.

Funny, a week of walking up and down the main artery of the self-proclaimed heart of moral debauchery, and nary a Bible verse could be heard. In the many times I’ve been to Las Vegas over the years, I’ve never seen a religious protest. And yet let a midsize city try to add sexual orientation to its municipal nondiscrimination policy or a high school senior bring a same-gender date to prom, and you would think it was the apocalypse.

Where are the faith-based organizations trying to make adultery a crime punishable by death, as suggested in Leviticus 20:10?

The Bible doesn’t state that one sin is greater than another, but you wouldn’t know that by counting the number of comments that quote Scripture on news stories about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Compare them with how many address murder, or the environment, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and well, the word “hypocrite” comes to mind.

I am never ashamed to say I follow the teachings of Christ, but I am not always proud to say I am a Christian. That’s because I am bothered by the continual mutilation of my religion’s basic principle of love by the extremists in my religion who construct a hierarchy of sin — which does not exist in the Bible — for no other reason than to protect their own prejudices.

We’ve seen this throughout this country’s history, and perhaps with the exception of abortion, no current issue illustrates this transgression more so than gay rights.

Some conservatives might attend church only twice a year, but ask their opinion about gays in the military. They can find Leviticus 18:22 blindfolded, handcuffed and sinking underwater: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination.”

Rarely do you hear them mention the other “sexual sins” in Leviticus, such as making love to your wife while she’s menstruating. There are some people who say Jesus freed us from the old laws with one side of their mouths while using old laws to condemn GLBT people with the other.

Many turn to the destruction of Sodom as proof against homosexuality. But the King James version lists fornication, greed and lying as sins committed in Sodom as well, and never specifies which particular sin caused God’s wrath.

In fact, the word “Sodomite,” which some like to toss around as an anti-gay insult, is a mistranslation and is not used in the original Hebrew text. The actual word is “kadesh,” and it does not refer to the city, its inhabitants or a specific sexual act. It refers to the occult male prostitutes in the shrines, just as “kedesha” refers to the female equivalent. Neither word reflects sexual orientation.

It may be convenient to say Sodom was all about homosexual people, but historically and scripturally, that isn’t accurate. This is why I, like so many other Christians, do not follow a literal interpretation of the Bible.

I’m not ducking Leviticus, I’d just rather go directly to the source. Concepts get lost in translation, and we all know history is filled with influential people and institutions that have defined religion for the masses based upon their own selfish needs. For example, King Henry VIII, the man who authorized the first English translation of the Bible, was married six times and essentially had the British Empire separate from the Roman Catholic Church so he could divorce in peace. Then there’s King James, whose own writings suggest he was secretly gay or bisexual, according to historians such as Michael B. Young and Caroline Bingham.

He was directed to marry for the sake of the throne before authorizing the version of the Bible that swapped “kadesh” for “Sodomite” in the first place. Hmm, where have we heard that story — closeted gay politician with an anti-gay policy — before?

But theology and history aside, it is clear from the lack of consistent reaction to and organization against the litany of other present-day sins that a large number of people who call themselves Christians do not follow the literal interpretation of the Bible either. So, if some of us are picking and choosing which Bible verses to follow, why are so many opting to pick and choose verses that appear to condemn homosexuality and not the one against marrying a woman who isn’t a virgin?

If sin is sin, why such Christian angst directed at the GLBT community and not the greedy corporate community, which, quite frankly, has more direct impact on the average person’s life?

The answer is simple: Those who are uncomfortable or fearful of someone who is different from them sometimes hide behind religion to gain power, nurture their ignorance and justify their prejudices.

It’s no different from Christian slave owners using Scriptures to feel better about enslaving Africans, or men pointing to Jezebel as a way to keep women out of the clergy, or Bob Jones University picking verses that supported the school’s ban on interracial dating.

The extremists aren’t fighting gay rights because of sin and honoring Leviticus 18:22. If they were, then where are the faith-based organizations spending millions trying to make adultery a crime punishable by death, as suggested in Leviticus 20:10? Is 18:22 more true than 20:10, or does it just support a more common and entrenched prejudice?