Same-Sex Marriage Approval Logically Opens The Door To Darker Realities


Everyone has a worldview that dictates how they view reality.  That view of reality contains ideas that have real consequences, and those ideas are championed through truth claims (E.g., Same-Sex marriage ought to be tolerated) that seep into the culture.

Unfortunately, when worldview truth claims are not tested through logic, but embraced through emotions, reality becomes twisted.  This results in calling what’s bad good, what’s wrong right, what’s false true, and what’s unrighteous righteous.  For professing Christians who support “Same-Sex-Marriage” I ask on what grounds?  Biblically it’s a twisted view of reality and part of the catalogue of sins for why God’s wrath has been unleashed (Rom.1:18-32).      

Now that same-sex-marriage is legal does it make it moral?  On what grounds is it moral, what’s the basis for it?  Whatever your answer friend, you’ll use words and thoughts to convey your view.  When this happens you and I come into the use of logic (Click for Primer Chart on Logic) whether done well or poorly.  Douglas Groothuis talks about this issue of logic and applies it to the same-sex-marriage decision.

“He argues that If same-sex marriage is moral, then any consensual sexual arrangement (involving marriage or not) is moral. Same-sex marriage is moral.  Therefore: consensual polyamory, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality are moral.  But (3) is absurd, since these acts are immoral. Therefore, it is false that same-sex marriage is moral; it is immoral.”

Part of the way Christians are to love God is with the mind, making proper distinctions and using logic well is one way we follow Jesus friends.  When we don’t use logic well, we fail to properly reflect our glorious God and hinder the cause of Christ rather than advance it. Therefore, how well are you thinking friend?

Check out his article at

Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 16

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“DON’T BE AMAZED THAT JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!”   As in every Gospel account, the grave could not keep Jesus bound, but he’s risen from the dead as the angel testified:

And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

The command “Do not be amazed” from the angel is odd in light of the death of Christ.  No one has ever risen from the dead.  But perhaps the reason for the imperative is because the LORD of life can be trusted to do what he promises (I.e., Jesus told them these events would occur).

The unbelief of the disciples recorded in this account and in the rest of the Gospels shows a bent all humans possess when it comes to trusting God’s word—we don’t!  Their unbelief actually shows us all that we’re more prone to trust the creature over against the Creator.

This unbelief is first seen in the Garden of Eden, exemplified in the history of Israel up to the 21st century.  “Don’t be amazed” was the command to the woman—that Jesus was alive—because Christ’s word can be trusted!  Even death is ruled by the author of life.

Thus, as we go about our day, the challenge to trust God remains.  When we are anxious about life we ought not fret but trust he who is faithful to keep his promises.  And yet unbelief is ubiquitous ready to beat us down.  We will only vanquish it as Jesus did, “It is written…”  We must remember God’s promises are true and they will be fulfilled because he can’t lie.  As one writer has said, “Let God be true, and every man a liar”.


Reflection’s From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 14 “PETER HAD TO DENY JESUS” Part 3


            As previously mentioned, God assures his word of promise will be fulfilled—come to pass.  Many of us doubt God’s word can be trusted.  If that is you, consider how often Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  This means for those that are yet to be fulfilled, we can trust because they’ll eventually come to fruition.

            Perhaps you doubt the second coming of Christ.  In the apostle Peter’s day, this doubt circulated among many, but he reassured his hearers that God’s patience had a purpose for delaying and thus they should not lose heart.

            While Jesus is before his accusers, none of their testimonies corroborated but contradicted each other (vv.53-59).  Jesus is on trial not for his good deeds—which would be absurd—but because of “who” he claimed to be (which could seem even more absurd); the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One!  Interestingly Jesus affirms his identity before his enemies and points to another future fulfillment of this age:

“…and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (vv.61-62)

Here again is the double edged sword of prophecy being fulfilled: rejoicing for God’s friends, but doom for his enemies.  Always, and I mean always, God’s enemies oppose his word, but those who love God and trust him, bank on what he has promised.

            God promised Messiah would come, but he did not come in the way the Jews anticipated.  Why?  The reason is because their Jewish theological system prevented them from grasping who Christ was.  This is instructive for us who are settled within a particular theological camp.  Sometimes our theology is wrong and needs to be discarded otherwise we won’t be able to see what God has spoken, and we might even become God’s enemies.  Christ’s accusers were blind to texts that support the promised Messiah.  Thus many of them missed the hour of their visitation.

It’s bad enough his accusers are lying about him, but now the text shows Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends denying him (vv.66-72).  This is both embarrassing and heart-breaking.  It’s embarrassing because this is one of Jesus’ disciples.  If he denies Jesus, why shouldn’t any of us?  It’s heartbreaking because there’s a betrayal of friendship here, it’s deep.

            To tell Jesus: “You’re wrong”, by saying that, “I (Peter) will never deny you but even go to death with you”, is a foolish stance that proved to be Peter’s downfall.  For God’s word of promise can be trusted—even if it means that you will deny him.  Another sobering thought is when the final denial leaves Peter’s lips, according to Luke’s account (22:61-62)     Jesus:

“…turned and looked at Peter.  And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had told him, ‘Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times’”.  “And he went out and wept bitterly.” 

Peter’s denial has been replicated time and again over the past two millennia in the experiences of God’s frail and yet real children.  Pride is ever prowling to pounce on us like a lion overpowers its prey when we don’t trust Gods faithful word, when we don’t watch and pray that we enter not into temptation.

            The silver lining here however is that unlike Judas whose grief drove him to suicide, Peter’s heartache produced repentance to life.  He turned back to Christ in his lowest moment, not away from him.  We’d do well to follow his example friends.


A Question On Love: Does It Have any Ultimate Reference Point?

love-160aWhat is love?.  According to one cable commercial from the  Ad Council which sponsors the “One Love Campaign” it asserts that love has no race, love has no gender, and love has no disability.  But what “is” love?

That’s a metaphysical question about love’s nature, or what-ness.  In our relativistic society, love is what we say it is.  But, if there’s a Creator who grounds all that is true, good, and beautiful, then love has a specific meaning and it’s based on what the Designer and Creator says it is.

See my recent post “realtivism” @

Also, consider the article, “What is This Thing Called Love?” by Douglas Groothuis who addresses this issue and explains the difference between the love of this world compared to the love of God the Creator.  It’s worth the read, just click on the link:

Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 14 Judas Had To Betray Jesus

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            Everything Jesus predicted is increasingly being fulfilled.  Recall at the Passover Meal he told the disciples about their betrayal, his death, and resurrection.  We’ve seen in the garden of Gethsemane where the disciples failed their first test: they did not watch and pray with Jesus (vv.32-34).  The second failure is Judas’ betrayal of Jesus with a kiss (vv.43-46).  How could one do that?  Judas elsewhere is called the son of perdition for a reason.  Jesus did say that “the Son of man must be betrayed but woe to the one allotted this dark task.”  Somehow in God’s sovereignty and Judas’ will of choosing, he became hardened toward the Lord of life.  He was one of the twelve, no mere stranger or acquaintance, but part of the ministry team.  We know elsewhere that Judas committed suicide (Mt. 27:1-10) and his body was placed in a nameless grave in the “Potters Field”.

It’s as if Judas lost himself, never to be remembered again except for this infamous occasion recorded in the gospels.  Never to be remembered is as if one never existed.  That’s a dark, clammy, chilling thought.  To be more dehumanized, I haven’t the words.

Why did this happen?  Jesus said that his betrayal was in order to fulfill Scripture.  That is, God said it would happen, and was faithful to watch over his word to perform it.  This necessarily had to happen plain and simple.  Sometimes for Scripture to be fulfilled gloriously hope-filled events occur (E.g., Christ’s birth), but as in Judas’ case, it’s a painfully somber reality.  The fulfillment of Scripture always points to God’s truth and faithfulness to bring about what was previously promised.

We can trust his word but often don’t because we have bad hearts, darkened minds, bent toward self rather than towards God.  LORD, continuously work on my soul so that you are its song and delight, its reason for reading and writing, the purpose for which I attack each day.


Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 14 “The Weighty Passion of Christ”


            Jesus’ teaching of the end times now progresses into Jesus’ passion.  His enemies were looking for an opportune time to kill him (vv.1-2); a woman anoints Jesus for his burial (vv.3-9); and Judas plots Jesus’ betrayal (vv.10-11).  In the last Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus predicts his betrayal (vv.17-21):

“For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” (v.21)

That statement must have ruined the disciple’s appetite!  Imagine being one of the twelve and hearing these words from the Masters lips.  Perhaps someone’s stomach turned (Judas?) or even fear gripped them that a cold clammy sensation rushed through their bodies?  Yes, perhaps.  Nevertheless, Jesus knowing this continues to break bread with them (vv.22-26):

22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (vv.22-25)

Notice that Jesus accentuates this final hour as the end of the old covenant and the inauguration of the new, not through the blood of bulls and goats but with his own blood, which was to be shed not for all but for many. 

This text seems to be pointing to some kind of “limited’ atonement which goes along with (Mk.10:45) and accentuates the personal nature of Jesus’ death; “he laid down his life for his friends”—the disciples—those who will abandon all to follow him shortly (vv.26-31), the thought of which at best must have been unnerving and at worst perhaps horrific.

Jesus tells his trained men that: “you will all fail me tonight; you will all show yourselves to be cowards, just fare weathered friends”.  I can’t imagine how difficult that was for the disciples to hear.  How often do I deny Jesus by my life that tends to stray from the truth?  Don’t I emulate the disciples here when I willfully rebel against my Master?  Sounds like a horribly true contradiction.

What an incredible Savior who knows we will deny him and yet chooses to die on our behalf.  What an amazing illustration of love’s extent: even in betrayal Jesus would still die to ransom those he came to rescue.  Amazing!  Now Mark’s account transitions from the table to the Garden of Gethsemane where unlike in Eden, the second Adam demonstrates a resoluteness to do the will of the Father (vv.32-52).

Here, Jesus’ love for the disciples is evidenced by his invitation for them to enter into his pain by toiling in prayer with him:

32 They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.”35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Jesus’ prediction of betrayal and death were about to be fulfilled.  The gravity of the moment increasingly intensifies step by step.  First, the adjectives of his temptation: “very distressed and troubled”, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death”.  Physical pain is, and can be unbearable, but the pain of soul who can measure, its magnitude is difficult to fathom, and often seems impossible to cure, much less endure.

Second, its stunning Jesus would ask these weak men to enter into his pain, to struggle with him in prayer, but he does.  Here we see the Master telling them to, “keep watch”.  What vulnerability, what a friend!  Solomon writes that it’s better to be in the house of mourning then in the house of feasting.  Why?  Perhaps it’s because grief and trouble alarm us out of the stupor that so easily engulfs us.  Perhaps it’s because on this side sorrow reminds us that things are not the way they ought to be.  Perhaps it’s a reminder of our own mortality and that we too must face death and God who awaits us.

Jesus here invites the three disciples to peer into his darkest hour of mourning, but they could not grasp its gravity—they fell asleep.  So, at table the disciples are informed that they will betray him, in the Garden they are invited to suffer with him, but Jesus had another source for comfort in anguish.

Third, Jesus cries out to God as “Abba, Father”.  He acknowledges his Father in the midst of this horrible experience.  The intimacy revealed in this cry is hard for me to swallow.  Here, Jesus’ relationship to the Father is unveiled for us to see that it’s unlike any other relationship recorded in human history.  The Son in whom the Father is well pleased is crying out to Him.  I’m stunned!  Here’s an ineffable moment for me.

The request of the Son to the Father, “Remove this cup—of God’s wrath—from me”  But Jesus remains faithful even to deaths door, “…yet not what I will, but what You will.”  Note that what results in this most intimate painful encounter is utter submission to Gods plan and desire.  A Godward life of prayer always produces God honoring submission to the /father, not rebellion.

Fourth, the disciples failed to pray three times for Jesus but he did not hold that against them.  Instead of retaliating he gave his life for them.  What manner of love is this?!


Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 12

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In this chapter Jesus harshly addresses the scribes and Pharisees.  He uses a parable to expose their wickedness they being the vine growers in God’s vineyard (vv.1-12) who desire to destroy him.  There’s also the account of the Pharisees and Herodian’s testing Jesus with the legality of the Poll tax (vv.13-17); then the consideration of marriage and the resurrection among the Sadducees (vv.18-27); followed by clarifying which is the foremost commandment (vv.28-34); leading into clarifying whose Son the Christ is (vv.35-40); and concluding with the widow’s mite (vv.41-44)

Jesus’ mastery at communicating truth—kingdom truth—was often biting, aggressive and offensive to God’s enemies. For the Pharisees and scribes to receive an indictment by Jesus regarding the motives of their heart came on the heels of their questioning his authority (vv.27-33).  The fact remains they understood who he declared himself to be, and that was the reason why so much tension obtained between the Scribes, Pharisees and Jesus.

Nevertheless, Jesus did not let them off “the hook” when they challenged him.  Jesus pushed back.  Note that the parable points to God as the owner of the vineyard—He’s Creator and thus owns everything—and the Chief priests, scribes and elders are the stewards—they rent the vineyard.  They are the lesser and they still refuse to submit to Christ.

The following section on the poll tax to Caesar is no different really.  Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God (v.17).  What belongs to God?  Everything!  It’s as if Jesus is commanding the community to get things right—meaning they’re off.  The elders and Pharisees are not in touch with who owns it all, but Jesus is.

The account of the Sadducees and their inquiry as to who is rightfully married to the widow after the resurrection is telling: (I.e., they did not believe in the resurrection because of their lack of knowledge).  They lacked scriptural knowledge and consequently of God’s power (vv.24, 27) Jesus said:

“Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?….you are greatly mistaken” (vv.24, 27)

Notice the progression: not understanding God’s word leads to not understanding God’s power, which means that in order to understand God’s power we must first understand His self-disclosure in particular revelation.  If God is the creator, then he can easily raise the dead; if God can raise the dead, then he can transform our present state of being into a different one from this fallen condition.

As far as marriage goes, there won’t be any between present spouses (Contra Mormon doctrine), but between the Church and Christ yes, there will be!  This seems plain from the passage.

So, what do I make of all this?  I should heed Christ’s authority by recognizing He’s the Son of God who owns everything, who will raise me up on the last day and I must beware of blinding pride which, as with the Pharisees and Scribes, causes us to resist the Holy Spirit.  May this not depict me Jesus, but may your mercy, truth and grace ever keep me.


Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 11

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Christ’s authority while only questioned in the last section of this chapter seems to be what the writer wants to engage.  First, Jesus enters Jerusalem on the back of a colt (vv.1-11) and the people are shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD, Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David, Hosanna in the highest” (vv.9-10) is a Messianic allusion.

Second, the cursing of the fig tree as it pertains to the power of believing prayer is stunning (vv.12-14; 20-26) and also seems to point to Christ’s authority over nature.  Third, the zeal of Christ for God’s house caused him to get angry at the merchandising of the holy, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the Nations, but you have made it a robbers den”. (vv.15-18)  Jesus is ‘cleaning house’ without permission—from the established religious hierarchy, but this also is a demonstration of authority.  Yet, the authorities upon hearing this wanted to kill Jesus (v.18).

Fourth, the inquiry by the scribes and elders is telling:

“By what authority are You doing these things [meaning his teaching and actions], or who gave You this authority to do these things?” (v.28)     

I think Jesus knew they knew the answer to the question and thus answers with a question concerning the origin of John’s baptism—from heaven or man?  Is this not the principle question to resolve when hearing religious truth claims?  Do they originate in God the Creator or in mankind the creature?

Implied is that the former is greater than the latter and to not submit is madness.  Nevertheless, many refuse to submit as the religious rulers demonstrate.  The age old question Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do men say that I am” remains to be the single most important question to resolve.  Why is this?  The reason is because the extraordinary claims of Jesus’ identity and subsequent works point to us that Emanuel has come—God with us.  That is, the word became flesh, the Son of David, the Light of the world, the Savior of souls, the Suffering Servant, the Triumphant King has come.

Jesus is offensive to rebels but he’s a delight to the contrite of heart.  His authority is what all will eventually come under either willingly—unto joy everlasting, or reluctantly—into eternal doom.

Teach me Lord to submit to your authority in my life, keep my heart from rebelling against you since you are Messiah, and where the “fig tree” is barren of kingdom fruit, use me to awaken said dead souls.


Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 10


Several accounts unfold in this section of the gospel.  Jesus addresses the issue of divorce and remarriage (vv.1-12), children are exalted to an unknown status (vv.13-16), the rich young ruler is shocked into reality (vv.17-31), Jesus predicts the crucifixion (vv.32-34), two disciples ask for what can’t be given (vv.35-45), and blind Bartimaeus receives his sight (vv.46-52).

There’s so much in this chapter that I’m going to essentially deal with divorce and remarriage.  This topic has been a point of contention among Christians in the last forty to fifty years in the States and unfortunately the percentage of divorced couples in the country has been matched by divorce in the church.  Why is this?  Because in the church of Jesus Christ, historically there’s been a mixed bag of salt, light and mire.

At times we represent Christ well and then there are seasons of rebellion where we don’t.  We’re no different from Israel, in that way and the key here is whether or not God’s word has a place in our hearts and minds to transform us into Christ’s image.  When the word does not, then the word of the culture commands us and we end up hiding our lamp under the basket—this ought not to be.

This account points to something that must not elude us: “He went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.”(v.1) May the primacy of the word in the Master’s life and ministry never elude us, but may we emulate it.  It’s this word and subsequent teaching that was authoritative, that had power to heal, to convert and power to harden recalcitrant hearts.

Jesus gives one example concerning the lawfulness of a man divorcing his wife (v.2) going back to Moses and asks, “…what did he command?”  Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.  Here there’s a command/permitted distinction.  Moses did not command it, but allowed it.  Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment” (v.5)

This commandment was probably given so that stipulations and provisions would be in lawful order so the woman might not come into financial ruin—I’m guessing much like today.  But Jesus continues:

6But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (vv.6-9)

Since the creation, the design for male and female relations is for them—male and female—to become one flesh.  In Genesis God said it’s not good for man to be alone…and then came Eve.  Hence, “what God deems good, don’t destroy because of your hardness of heart”, is what Jesus seems to be saying.  Because the disciples did not understand this teaching, Jesus clarified for them that divorce and remarriage equals adultery:

10 In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. 11 And He *said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”   (vv.10-12)

Note here that divorce in Gods view is sin.  It’s a departure from His design for flourishing relationships and it’s also embracing rebellion (I.e., a hard heart).  This sin is not just against one’s spouse, but it’s also against God himself.  Now the Jews just asked if divorce was lawful, but Jesus points to remarriage…why?  I think it’s because Jesus knew, that too often the lot given by God to us we tend to despise—especially in marriage.  So let’s get rid of this wife and get another one, was the sentiment.

What do we do in this culture which treats marriage like a disposable tampon resulting in divorce and remarriage?  How do we follow Christ’s command to walk in holiness?  We do this by grounding our lives in the Scriptures which anchor our tumultuous relationships in the storms of life.  We must submit to God’s precepts in Scripture trusting that God is always out for our best interests, never our harm or demise and here’s where trusting Him and knowing Him meet.

We live in a culture that’s all about the individuals’ convenience and happiness regardless of the cost—but happiness ironically eludes us.  The reason for the aforesaid is because our idols promise bliss and inevitably deliver misery.  These idols banish us from properly and joyously relating to our Creator and to one another.  The result is often divorce and remarriage which is adultery.

Lord, move in this land polluted by adultery and bring a revival of your Spirit where among the redeemed marriage actually mirrors the mystery of Christ and his Bride the Church, rather than the mistress of this present evil age.


The Biblical Teaching of Justification by Faith Alone

dear-galatians-main-900The Biblical teaching of justification by faith alone in Paul seems to be at the heart of getting the gospel right.  As it was in Peter’s day so it is today, that this teaching because of its many twists and turns, is often twisted to mean something Paul nor the biblical writers intended, and thus turns out to produce false conversions (2 Pet.3:10-18).  Just what does it mean to be “justified” by “faith”  “alone”?   It’s this question that Pastor Joe Lamay of Sovereign Grace Fellowship tackles in a five part series called: Justification by Faith Alone click here for the link

Moreover Pastor Joe gives special attention to what saving faith is, how saving faith is often misrepresented in our evangelical churches, and demonstrates that true saving faith produces love for God and others in how believers live.  This is an excellent resource for growing in the Christian faith!