Eschatology, Judgment, Prophecy, The Antichrist, The Millennium

Blinded by Dispensationalism

Dispensationalism has made many Americans clueless to the fact that they have been living with the beast, the false prophet and a biblical plague, and that God’s comfort for them is found in a proper understanding of the book of Revelation.

I believe my posts, Dismantling Dispensationalism, and my book, Dismantling Dispensationalism, will help with a better understanding of the times that we’re living in so that we can receive the comfort that God has for His Church in the book of Revelation.

Rob Morley

 

Eschatology, Faith, Judgment, Leadership, Prophecy

President Donald J. Trump and the COVID-19 American Tragedy

American grave
Photo by babykrul

Storyline:

A false prophet flirts with a beast who is in love with a prostitute and the result is that 100,000 die in a plague in just 3 months. And, that’s just the beginning!

The Characters in America’s Version of Revelation:

  • President Trump plays ‘the beast,’ an evil and power hungry leader
  • The evangelical church plays ‘the false prophet,’ a spiritual leader that endorses the beast
  • The “almighty dollar” plays ‘the great prostitute,’ an economic system based on greed that uses governmental power to that end, even at the expense of human dignity and life
  • Vice President Pence plays a ‘witness’ that has lost his witness because he has been ‘lukewarm’
  • COVID-19, a ‘plague’ sent by Jesus Christ, exposes each of the characters for what they are

The Play:

A proper interpretation of the book of Revelation makes it abundantly clear that President Donald J. Trump is America’s very own manifestation of ‘the beast’ of Revelation 13. Furthermore, the current economic spirit behind the “almighty dollar” is ‘the great whore’ of Revelation. And, sadly, America’s evangelicals have been the ‘false prophet’ in this tragedy. A plague, which, according to Revelation 6:8, is one of many forms of judgement that are sent by Jesus (see Rev. 6:1).

Here is a brief breakdown:

  • Just as the beast of Revelation is ridden by the prostitute, President Trump is driven by the need to have a successful economy in order to stay in power, even at the expense of people. Rather than being submitted to Almighty God or even the rationality of science in the face of a pandemic, President Trump is driven by the “almighty dollar.” Nothing can curb him to care for people ahead of power.
  • Just as the beast is endorsed by the false prophet, President Trump is endorsed by many evangelicals who love him more than truth, justice and morality. He has been so enthusiastically embraced by so many in the Church that he essentially sits in the Temple speaking as though he is God. Rather than addressing his waywardness, as any true prophet would, these religious leaders and their flock defend him and prophesy sweet lies about him and the future of America.
  • Just as the beast is empowered by Satan, the father of lies, President Trump is notorious for his constant and flagrant lying.
  • Just as the beast has a lust for power that knows no bounds, Trump has lied and cheated to hold onto power, even to the point of being impeached.
  • Just as the beast is full of pride, President Trump never admits to his errors. All is “perfect.”
  • Just as the beast blasphemes God, President Trump does so by claiming allegiance to God and His people, yet living contrary to God and refusing to repent.
  • Vice President Pence has been the “picture perfect example” of the good American evangelical as he reinforces their God-sent leader’s views. He is the evangelical’s ideal political Ken-doll who supports and excuses the beast despite his immoral, in-humane and illogical political stances. Like the false prophet that he also represents, Pence looks ‘like a lamb,’ but speaks ‘like a dragon.’ Actions speak louder than words and not wearing a mask shows his allegiance.
  • COVID-19 enters America and sets up the true makers of Fake News to be exposed for downplaying the virus.
  • COVID-19 sets up the President to make a choice, which he says at one point is “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.’ And, over the course of time, he has chosen to dismiss science and instead risks people’s lives, promoting his sentiment on issues because he doesn’t like the cost to the economy.
  • COVID-19 sets up lukewarm and deceived Christians, who are supposed to be “the light of the world,” to look foolish because they continue to blindly back Trump.

Blind Evangelical Church

If you are an American evangelical, then it is very unlikely that you will recognize the correlation that I have made between the book of Revelation and your current experience. This is, in part, because of the false teaching of dispensationalism that has dominated evangelical thinking over the years. It is so removed in its misinterpretation of Revelation that it has made the prophecy completely useless to Christians who are adherents of this false doctrine. While the Bible explains men like President Trump as being ‘the beast,’ most Christians in America have been robbed of the understanding and comfort that Revelation has for them in the face of such a person. This lack is a judgment on their churches for not testing this doctrine that has been so forcefully espoused by so many over the years.

100 000 Die Under the Beast

As beasts go, President Trump may appear tame. However, 100 000 Americans have died in three months and most of the deaths are due to his bungling of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is directly attributable to his pride and lust for economic success and power instead of having a heart for the American people. What’s more, in the face of these numbers, he continues with his childish pride by not wearing a mask, when wearing a mask protects others from what we might unknowingly have and inadvertently spread. It is an example for others to follow as a way of caring for one another.

Judgement

Clearly, God has been busy using this beast, who is full of pride, as a means of judgement on a nation full of pride. Yet, still, many remain persistent and even belligerent in their unmasked pride (pun intended). In the process, He is also judging His own people for the choice that they made in Trump, and, having made him their choice, for their reluctance to hold him accountable. Instead, they have excused him at every turn and, as a result, he has become the nation’s nightmare. He might have been less brazen had he not had the kind of undivided loyalty that he has received from the evangelicals from the get go.

How Should Christians Respond

Toward the Beast:

Repent! Jesus must be your first love, not a politician. Also, repent on behalf of your brothers and sisters in Christ and those of your nation that have unswervingly embraced him. And, pray for all your leaders, especially President Trump, for God’s mercy is able to reach him, even as it reached Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Then, when elections come, don’t disregard the character of the candidates, for, in so doing, you have already been bitten once.

Toward the Prostitute:

Americans love the “almighty dollar” and many American Christians love it too. Revelation has this to say to them, ‘I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of [the great prostitute], my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues”’ (Rev. 18:4 ESV). You need to repent of the love of money, for the word says, ‘Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”’ (Heb. 13:5). Also, ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs’ (1 Tim. 6:10).

Toward the False Prophet:

Like the Bereans in Acts, test all ministers of the Word of God by the Word of God. For, it is as a result of a lack of this that many false teachers and false teachings have crept in. And, having become established, they have led this generation to embrace a beast who has led them into a full-blown plague.

Learn from these words of Jesus in Revelation to the church in Pergamum: ‘But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth’ (Rev. 2:14‑16).

What have your spiritual leaders taught you to think and practice that is contrary to God? Do you constantly excuse President Trump? Do you love money at the expense of people’s lives? Do you wear a mask out of reverence to God, who has given sanctity to life and who commands us to love our neighbour? Whether you follow the beast or the Lord Jesus Christ will be seen by how you think and what you do. You might need to repent of allowing yourself to be marked with ‘the name of the beast,’ which, in Revelation, symbolically indicates who your allegiance is with in both thought and action.

Toward the Plague:

Do not be presumptuous like good King Josiah was by getting in the way of God’s judgement. Wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance until the plague is over. If you contract the virus, realise that you are not necessarily being judged. As a Christian, this is a test of your faith. If you are lacking faith then ask God and He will give you the faith and grace needed for the experience. He will carry you through it to the other side, whether to be with Him, which is far better, or with your family, which, God willing, He may consider to be better for now.

Toward the Lukewarm Witness:

Let’s begin by looking to see to what extent we are lukewarm witnesses. Let’s also realise that we don’t all have the same pressures. Then, let’s pray for our own needs and for grace for our brother. That said, my word for Vice President Pence is, ‘Do not be deceived, “Bad company corrupts good character”‘ (1 Cor. 15:33 NIV). Love your neighbour and wear a mask! If you are a witness for Jesus Christ, ‘Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould’ (Rom. 12:2 PHILLIPS). And, that can often include the Christian world. Be a Daniel or a Shadrach and put your neck on the line for your faith.

May we all soberly look at what God is doing in our own nations and all around the world at this time. And, let’s keep praying for grace for one another so that we can represent Him well as His ambassadors on earth.

Rob Morley

Giving

Giving and the Tithe

More Blessed to Give Than to Receive
Photo by Alex Bruda

Tithing to Our Detriment

  I find it shocking that so many churches advocate a very narrow concept about the tithe. If we would simply do some good Bible study, we would easily see that it was so much more. Alarmingly, too often the truth about the tithe has been twisted. Many pastors and church leaders have, for the most part, unknowingly hoodwinked their members regarding tithing. Unfortunately, they insist on receiving ten percent from their members, not realizing that it’s to the detriment of their members and of God’s work being fully implemented.

Tithing Was so Much More

  What they fail to mention is that tithing in the Old Testament supported a social system that was carried out by the Levites. The Levites held many different offices of service that were for the benefit of the people. Among them were lawyers and judges who handled cases of dispute and assault. This included maintaining cities of refuge, which were places of safety for people who were innocent of murder. Others were teachers, social workers, temple workers, gatekeepers, craftsmen, singers, song writers, musicians, spiritual leaders, and even health inspectors. Some of these offices included a range of services. For example, health inspectors advised on skin issues and mold in people’s homes.

  How often do churches place their worship teams on the payroll? How often do churches offer their members free legal advice or medical care? When our governments offer these services, then don’t our taxes form part of what was intended by the tithe in the Old Testament? Clearly, our modern concept of the biblical tithe falls short of what God intended it for.

  Interestingly, there was also a tithe of a good harvest that was to be enjoyed by the whole assembly. In other words, not every tithe was exclusively for the Levites. The people brought the good harvest tithe to eat before the Lord. If they couldn’t carry their tithe portion, then they were instructed to sell it and bring the money before the Lord and there buy any kind of food they wanted, including wine or other alcoholic drink. You can check it out for yourself in Deuteronomy 14:24-27!

  Certainly, many churches are doing more than just paying for their building’s upkeep and the pastor’s salary. Churches that are evangelizing, discipling, and doing acts of service are carrying out the Lord’s mandate to see God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. They need their members’ support.

Kingdom Giving

  So, who should we give our tithe to? Firstly, the tithe is not a New Testament concept. As New Testament believers, we should be thinking beyond that ten percent that was required in the Old Testament. Giving financially is just one of the many ways that we can be involved in bringing His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. Nevertheless, the principle of giving by way of love offerings continues.

  What about that Bible verse on giving that so many people like to quote at collection time, the one that says to give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)? If we look at verses 27 to 42, we see that the focus of the passage is more about our attitude than about our money. These verses are telling us how to treat people. We are instructed to love our enemies, to not judge, to forgive, and to lend without expecting anything in return. However, at collection time, we keep being reminded of giving money to the church, so that God will bless us. What about giving money to others? This passage is not about giving to the church per se. The theme of this passage is about giving to others in a Christ-like way and God will bless us in return.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Cor. 9:6-11 NIV).

  To be a generous person doesn’t require a substantial bank balance. It’s an attitude, a lifestyle. Jesus said that He’ll reward the person who gives a cup of water in His name (Mark 9:14). This promise is reflected in another verse found in the Old Testament:

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Prov. 11:25 NIV).

  As I’ve stated before, it’s often the little things that count. Moreover, what motivates you to give is important to God. There’s no joy or freedom attached to guilt. There’s no reward for pride. We are to be motivated by love and compassion, not by any other unhelpful feelings.

  Remember, God loves a cheerful giver. So, continue giving to your churches, where you are fed spiritually, but also give to missionaries, nonprofits, and wherever God leads you to give. We should be good stewards of the money and talents that God has entrusted to us by putting them to work.

Tina Morley

 

Eschatology, Health, Judgment, Leadership, Prophecy

Judgment Calls For Repentance!

Image from Biblical Counseling Insights

 

An All American Cast For Revelation

Many in the evangelical church have backed Trump, the most powerful man alive, who is easily driven by US companies that care less for people’s lives than their own prosperity.
They all make a great cast for Revelation, where the ‘false prophet’ backs ‘the beast,’ who is ridden by ‘Babylon, the Great Whore,’ who cares nothing for ‘the people of the earth.’

Turn To God, He Loves You

Repent, Church, and be devoted to Jesus first and not someone who promises ‘America first’ at the expense of kingdom values. Repent, President Trump, and follow the doctors and not the dollar! And, especially follow Jesus wholeheartedly, for he loves you dearly. He is the perfect deal. Repent, businesses, for God is your provider. And, people of the earth, repent and follow Jesus. And, Church, as for the Great Prostitute, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues’ (Rev. 18:4).

Rob Morley

 

Eschatology, Health, Judgment

Don’t Say the J Word

Image: Dez Pain

Judgement Has Come

As we face this COVID-19 global pandemic, I am struck by the reluctance of pastors, preachers and teachers in the Body of Christ to speak straight and categorically say that THE CORONAVIRUS IS A JUDGEMENT OF GOD. In fact, some Christian leaders are simply appeasing people as though judgement is the last thing on God’s mind. BUT, IS IT?

Just as people need to know the truth about the virus from their governments, how much more don’t they need to know what God is saying through sending this virus? The Bible doesn’t leave us guessing about these things. This is a judgement of God!  ‘Then I looked and saw a pale horse. Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed close behind. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, by famine, by plague, and by the beasts of the earth’ (Rev. 6:8).

The God of Mercy Is Angered

The revelation that God gives of Himself in the Bible is that He is not firstly a God of wrath and judgement, but of mercy. In Exodus God reveals this to Moses when He says, ‘“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness’ (Ex. 34:6 ESV). However, after opportunity for repentance and mercy has been extended and exhausted, His judgement finally comes. The same revelation of God goes on to say that He ‘will by no means clear the guilty’ (see Ex. 34:7).

That is where people find themselves when pandemics like this are happening. We’re in the midst of God’s judgement.

Am I Being Judged?

If I get the virus, am I being judged? That all depends on the other J word, JESUS, and how you relate to Him. He has been given authority to judge humankind. In Revelation we read, ‘“Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals (which are judgements of God)’” (Rev. 5:5).

Ever since His ascension, Jesus has been given the task of pouring out God’s judgements. The seals that are opened are judgements, which lead to the judgements of the trumpets and the bowls. These vary in timing, type, scope and severity and the coronavirus is one of them. As far as I can tell, this virus is on the level of ‘seal’ judgement. Far worse will come on mankind who reject God.

That said, we need to realise that just as we can use the same thing for different purposes, God is using the coronavirus for different purposes in the lives of people too. Therefore, people will experience this pandemic in totally different ways, depending on God’s purpose for it in their lives.

The World Is Guilty

Essentially, THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD HAVE REJECTED GOD. ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23 KJV). What’s more, many have rejected God’s attempts to reconcile them to Himself, even at His own expense. Of them, the Bible says, ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for GOD’S WRATH REMAINS ON THEM’ (John 3:36 KJV).

Far worse than the coronavirus awaits those who have rejected God. The Bible says, ‘If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. HOW MUCH MORE SEVERELY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED WHO HAS TRAMPLED THE SON OF GOD UNDERFOOT’ (Heb. 10:26‑29a).

But, what of those who have not heard about Jesus? Of them the Bible says, ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse’ (Rom. 1:20 NIV).

The world is guilty and deserves God’s judgement, yet God extends the offer of life through His Son to all who believe. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom. 6:23 KJV).

Faithful Christians

But what of God’s people who are living faithfully, but who also get sick with COVID-19? Is God judging them? No, the virus is not a judgement on them. Instead, God will carry them through it with His grace and peace, whether to live or die. And, though He may deliver many from contracting this disease, nevertheless, by carrying us through it, God makes us a witness to His goodness to us in the face of such difficulty. As we pray, we are helped with His peace that passes all understanding, which helps us to overcome the natural response of fear and panic. In so doing, we witness to His comforting presence within us that is available to all who have repented and turned to God.

Remember these verses, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Php. 4:4‑7). And, ‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing’ (Jam. 1:2-4 ESV).

There need be no fear of God’s wrathful judgement or death for true Christians, because we have already passed from spiritual death to life when we were born-again. Jesus clearly said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life’ (John 5:24 NKJV).  And, because physical death has lost its sting. ‘“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Cor. 15:55-56 NIV).

In the face of whatever may come, like Paul, each one who is in Christ can boldly say, ‘I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death’ (Php. 1:20 NIV).

Lukewarm Christians

What of God’s people who are living for this world and its pleasures? This pandemic is a test of faith and a lukewarm Christian may find this time to be a form of judgment on his attitude toward God. As such, it can serve to quickly bring him to repentance and to a more zealous walk with God.

Christians Living in Sin

What of God’s people who are living in sin? Those who are God’s and yet are caught up in sin, may experience the virus as a form of disciplining by the Lord. This might take the form of sickness and even death, however, this won’t be the wrath of God that leads to eternal separation. Instead, it is a sober reminder to the Church of the Father’s attitude toward sin.

To the church in Thyatira Jesus said, ‘Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works’ (Rev. 2:22 ESV).

Repent and Pray

‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases GOD OUR SAVIOR, WHO WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED AND TO COME TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people…’ (1 Tim. 2:1‑6a NIV).

God as Judge

We are satisfied and even happy when criminals are judged fairly by court judges. In the same way, we should appreciate God’s judgements. For, above all else, He is a God of love, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and grace.

Psalm 94: 8-15 (NIV)

8Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;

you fools, when will you become wise?

9Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?

Does he who formed the eye not see?

10Does he who disciplines nations not punish?

Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?

11The Lord knows all human plans;

he knows that they are futile.

12Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,

the one you teach from your law;

13you grant them relief from days of trouble,

till a pit is dug for the wicked.

14For the Lord will not reject his people;

he will never forsake his inheritance.

15Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.

If judgement is the main message, which it is, then let’s not make it something else. Instead, whether Christian or not, let’s respond to it in humility and repentance. For, if we, as Christians, don’t know what it is, how can we warn the world?

Rob Morley

Faith, Healing and Miracles, Health, The Law

A Faith-Based Approach to the Coronavirus

Light in a Dark Time

We have an opportunity to be the light in a dark time. Some Christians believe their faith will protect them from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are complaining at our governments for passing laws to hinder our movements. Even if you have lots of faith and are feeling fine, you could still be carrying the virus without your knowledge. Faith, which comes from God’s word, teaches us how to behave when there is a contagious disease. Leviticus and Deuteronomy have many verses dedicated to clean and unclean things.

Faith in God’s Word

God’s people were given instructions that they had to obey concerning contaminants on their bodies, clothes, vessels, and walls of their homes. There were many instructions for washing, but those things that couldn’t be saved were broken or burned. People who were deemed unclean for different reasons were to distance themselves for a time. If the person had a contagious disease, they were sent outside of the camp and the priest had to visit that person outside of the camp to determine if they were still contagious or not.

Undeniably, washing and distancing are biblical practices, so let us spread love and not germs.

Tina Morley

Eschatology, Judgment, Prophecy, The Bad News, The Good News

Is the Coronavirus One of God’s Judgements?

Image from Center for Disease Control (CDC) at https://unsplash.com/photos/w9KEokhajKw

Ever since Jesus Christ’s ascension, God’s judgements continue unabated through Him. Revelation 5 says that He was worthy to open the seals, which bring calamities upon people. Seals opening, trumpets sounding and bowls being poured out are all God’s judgements on those who reject Him.

Today’s mega fires, plagues of locusts, volcanoes erupting, virus outbreaks, wars, etc. are very likely judgements on a world that rejects God, and especially the good news of His Son. As the Bible says, ‘Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him’ (Psalm 2:12).

Those who are born again should not fear the Coronavirus, because we are Christ’s. Regardless of how we die, we will live. Those who reject God should fear Him, because He has power over their souls too.

Rob Morley

 

Continue reading “Is the Coronavirus One of God’s Judgements?”
Family, Leadership, Marriage, Spiritual Abuse, Transforming Society, Women in Ministry

The Endgame of Complementarianism is the Suppression of Women

Women in Workplace
Picture by Dez Pain

The Logical Outcome of Complementarianism

The sad reality that many of my good Christian brothers and sisters don’t realise is that, in the end, their supposed scripture-tight homey Complementarian view toward women plays out in the suppression of women in society at large. Many may scoff and think that I am exaggerating the reach of this doctrine. However, consider the words of John Piper, a foremost champion of Complementarianism and one of the most influential and well respected Christian leaders and teachers of our time. He says, “To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.” He goes on to say, “For example, a drill sergeant might epitomize directive influence over the privates in the platoon. And it would be hard for me to see how a woman could be a drill sergeant — hut two, right face, left face, keep your mouth shut, private — over men without violating their sense of manhood and her sense of womanhood.”

Though many Complementarians wouldn’t take it that far, Piper’s view is the sum logical outcome from their interpretations of certain key texts in the Scriptures. And, to the degree that this view is held by men who hold sway (and also by women), and to the extent that they have influence, false notions are imposed upon women, families and churches, and even onto society. The end result is a distortion of God’s creative and redemptive purposes for women, which is a loss to everyone, even to men.

Creation Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

The loss to men is especially ironic considering that Eve was meant to be a gift to Adam and, by extension, women to all of humanity. While this loss is to be expected in humanity’s fallen state, it is sad when it gets perpetuated by those who are in Christ. This leads to the other sad irony of Complementarianism, which is that the world, rather than those who hold Christ’s redemptive message, often benefits by not impeding the potential in women. For example, women are in the senate, in congress and in parliaments, and others successfully lead very significant countries and corporations, not to mention past queens and prime ministers. Creation doesn’t lie, because, like Deborah in the Bible, women have proven to be very good and capable leaders over men.

Scripture Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

Now, to be fair, our faith is based on Scripture alone. And, in this regard, we thankfully have many churches that interpret and teach a better message concerning women by using the very methods of interpretation that Complementarians use, yet with outcomes that are more consistent with Scripture as a whole and with God’s intentions for women specifically. In this regard, Women as Leaders is a link to several posts where I give alternative historical-grammatical interpretations to those of Complementarianism. I believe that you will see them ring true to the rest of Scripture and unintentionally, yet unsurprisingly, to what we see evidenced in life around us.

Just as we have evidenced that the earth is a sphere and are, therefore, not surprised to find that the Bible says the same thing, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Bible teaches that women can be leaders of men. Perhaps culturally and religiously indoctrinated men, and insecure men in particular, will battle with this outcome, but that God’s word. I, for one, would be grateful to be like Barak. He submitted himself to Deborah who commanded him in accomplishing God’s will. Nevertheless, even in the face of excellent alternative biblical interpretations that don’t compromise the Scriptures in any way (as some suppose), we still have Christians who doggedly hold to their interpretations and who teach that the Bible instructs otherwise. And, this despite both biblical and natural evidences of women unshackled.

Finally, I would like to end by recommending this TED Talk that highlights the sad reality of male leadership and women suppression found in varying degrees in many homes and churches and, as a result, in society too: Why I Left an Evangelical Cult | Dawn Smith | TEDxNatick

Rob Morley

In Christ, Life in the Spirit, The Law

The Christian and God’s Moral Law

The Law
photo by Alex Bruda

Under the Law

In the Bible, ‘the law’ often refers to the covenant that God made with Israel, which Christians know as the Old Covenant. It required of them, amongst other things, to keep God’s moral law. It is especially in this regard that Paul called it a ministry of condemnation (see Gal. 3:10). For, though it was good, in that it highlighted God’s perfect moral law (see Rom. 7:12), it pointed out the error of those who were ‘under’ it, thereby condemning them.

The law was unable to save those who were ‘under’ it from the penalty of their past, present and future sins. Nor could it save them from their sinful nature or enable them to keep its requirements (see Rom. 8:3). It essentially pointed out human sin and sinfulness, and to their desperate need for another way. The Bible puts it like this: ‘Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith’ (Gal. 3:24).

The same principle is also true for those not ‘under the law’ (i.e. those not part of the Old Covenant). This is because, ‘They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them’ (Rom. 2:15 NIV).

In Christ

In contrast, Christians (Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ) are in a new covenant with God. And, though we also seek to fulfil God’s moral law (see 1 John 5:3), we don’t do this by being ‘under the law’ (i.e. under the Old Covenant), but by being in Christ. We no longer try in our own strength to satisfy the law’s requirements in order to please God or avoid His punishment. Instead, the good news is that Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice satisfies all that the moral law of God requires of us, justifying us (see 2 Cor. 5:21). Furthermore, His life in us enables us to keep His commandments (see Php. 2:13 & Rom. 6:4). This is especially true when we as a matter of lifestyle ask God to empower us by His Spirit and when we walk in step with His Spirit (see Eph. 5:18 & Gal. 5:25).

‘Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God’ (Rom. 7:4).

Rob Morley

Sexuality

Homosexuality, an Immoral and Unnatural Orientation

LGBTQ flag
Picture taken by Ayla87

An Immoral Orientation

The Bible is clear that, ever since the fall of man, all of humankind is innately sinful. Furthermore, the Bible specifically calls homosexuality sinful. It is an orientation against the law of God written on everyone’s heart and is called a “degrading passion” by God in His word.

Unfortunately, in trying to be helpful, some have suggested that sexual orientation should not to be considered a sin and that only homosexual activity is to be judged as sinful. However, if sin is being bent or orientated away from God and His will then isn’t that precisely what homosexual orientation is?

Also, regardless of whether or not the homosexual orientation of an individual is innate or chosen, like all sin, the practice of it is a rebellious choice that stems from a sinful nature. Just as an innately heterosexual man is not overwhelmingly compelled to have an affair with a married woman, regardless of how much he loves her, a homosexually orientated person need not outwardly comply with his sinful nature. Similarly, no heterosexual couple should have sex before marriage no matter how right it may seem to them.

Some contend that they don’t see homosexuality as sin. Who are they to dictate to God what is and isn’t sin, when He has already given us His view? And, God points this out because what He intends for each of us is far better than a life in sin, no matter how good it may seem.

An Unnatural Orientation

Concerning adultery, the Lord said that just to look on a woman with lust already constituted adultery. In other words, orientating oneself toward the sin was equal to the sin. But, unlike the sin of fornication or adultery, which are a moral compromise within the natural heterosexual order, homosexuality is more like paedophilia, incest and bestiality, which are unnatural to begin with.

Are we eventually going see P, I and another B added to the LGBTQ list, just so that those who are supposedly misunderstood as being deviant can be accepted?  Consider, for example, an article in the Telegraph by Andrew Gilligan, entitled, ‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’, which reports how ‘some university academics make the case for paedophiles’.

When it comes to psychological deviancy, it appears that what is normally considered unnatural is being deemed “natural” by virtue of it having occurred in the natural. We are being told to adjust what we consider normal to accommodate the existence and experiences of deviants. However, if, for example, someone was born without a nose, even though it occurred naturally, it would be “natural and normal” for humans to think, “That’s not natural!” or “That’s not normal!” Clearly, what occurs in the natural is not always natural.

It is God who decides what is “natural,” not us. And, He makes it very clear that mankind’s “natural” orientation is a heterosexual one. Within that boundary God then is clear that monogamy is His intention for those who wish to marry and that marriage is the only place for sexual intercourse.

Born Again and Transformed

We are all in need of a Savior to rescue us from our sinful nature and the consequences of having one. In other words, we all need rescuing from both our orientation to sin (which is sinful in and of itself) and also from the sins that come from our sinful orientation. If you repent of your sins and turn to God, He will forgive you and you will be born again into eternal life with Him. At that point, deviant mindsets that used to control you, no longer need to be the definers of the new you. Yes, they may tempt you, but they are no longer in charge of you. Christ is! In Him you are connected to a new source of life, God Himself. To the extent that you let Him, His Spirit empowers you to live in a completely new way. He is your new orientation and He resets all your faulty orientations toward Him. With God we can be governed by a new moral orientation, which is His Very Moral Being within us.

When we come to Christ, we are completely spiritually changed, being made spiritually new and alive to God. At this point we begin a journey of further transformation through the renewing of our minds and the putting to death of the improper impulses (lusts/desires) of the body. Certain unsavoury soulish and physical triggers may easily be activated by thoughts that still remain. These have the potential to lure a believer into sin. However, because a Christian has crucified their flesh, as long as they walk in the Spirit, these old ways need no longer influence a person.

In this sense, remnants of a homosexual orientation may still exist in the old mindsets and learned bodily triggers of Christians who were homosexually orientated when they came to Christ. Nevertheless, in Christ, such a person is no longer subject to the flesh (the pull of the mind and body) and is free to walk in the Spirit. In fact, they must, for walking in the Spirit is the Christian life. And, to the extent that they walk in the Spirit, they will be enabled to put to death the misdeeds of their bodies, renew their minds and be transformed.

Conclusion

Like a snake that strikes, it’s innate in humans to sin. This sinful nature is an immoral orientation that we are all conceived in and born with. While some are perhaps bent toward homosexuality at conception, others may have become corrupted by choice. Regardless of our sin or its origin, our inability to change is evidence of just how badly we need rescuing. Whatever your sinful ways may be, whether they are innate or learned, God can undo the consequences of the fall and give you a restored life.

Rob Morley