January 06, 2006

Be Led By the Spirit, Not By Man

A member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee who is also the pastor of a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma was among those arrested in a police sting Tuesday night and charged with solicitation for prostitution with a man. You can read more about the details, but it's worth mentioning that the pastor, Lonnie Latham, is on record as being very anti-homosexual. Ironic, isn't it?

Of course, I don't know if Mr. Latham is guilty, but this incident raises other issues.

How often do we see that those who scream the loudest against something they consider a moral sin are practicing it themselves and using thier condemnation as some type of twisted self-flagellation or self-loathing.

It's even worse when it done by an alleged person of God, and even worse again when it is a leader. That's why we can't follow men, we just need to follow God, because people will invariably screw up and lead us toward disillusionment, which we then blame Him for.

There are gifted speakers and leaders who are filled with God words and spirit who can teach great wisdom and touch our hearts. We should take advantage of their knowledge and put that in the mix with our own bible study and prayer.

Each person, though, needs to find their own path to God. We can never be sure of the path someone else might lead us down.

January 04, 2006

Maryland-A Battleground State

Same-sex marriage is currently one of the hot political topics in the nation and perhaps the one that is of most interest to the GLBT community. According to this article on CBN.com, my home state of Maryland will be one of the primary battlegrounds. CBN is reporting that over 500 churches in the state are prepared to mobilize and join the fight, likely in support of a state constitutional amendment that would make same-sex unions aginst the law.

One of the arguements put forth in this article against gay marriage was attributed to Rev. Richard Bowers, chairman of the group Defending Maryland Marriage. He asserted, "We were told to populate this world, multiply and be fruitful, and those unions do not have that capability, even on their best day."

Does this mean that gay and lesbian people are expected to marry and produce children with people they don't love and aren't attracted to just to propigate the race? Don't we have enough straight people doing that already? Where does this leave hetrosexual people who never marry and don't have children? Is it then okay for lesbian couples to marry if at least one of them get artificially inseminated and produce children?

Not surprisingly, the CBN reporter did not ask those questions, probably not wanting logic to interfere with the right-wing rhetoric.

You'll be reading a lot about this issue on this blog, especially how it plays out in Maryland since I will have some involvement in opposing that amendment. Please join me in praying that the Lord's will be done here and all over our nation.

January 02, 2006

Some Common Ground

In this story reported by CBN, there is a Bishop in Connecticut named Jay Ramirez who very passionately expresses his concerns about the negative consequences the acceptance of homosexuality will have on society. This is fairly typical right-wing rhetoric, but the reason I post about it here is that there some great truths Bishop Ramirez talked about toward the end of this piece. In particular, he said:

"We must set an example,” Ramirez urged. “We cannot have a close to 50-percent divorce rate in the church. We cannot have Christians that are running around in adultery, running around as single Christians experimenting -- Christians who are living together. All of these things...all of which do occur --and then turn around to this community and say 'We want you to be like us.'"

From what I have seen, many of those people who speak out in public against homosexuality don't make much effort to hold themselves accountable to the higher standards Jesus expects his people to live by. While I disagree with much of what the Bishop said in this interview, we share that fundamental belief.

Before any of us point the finger at others, we need to look in the mirror and see what kind of example we are setting with our own lives. If we are not adhering to the principles God laid out in the bible and the example Jesus set in his ministry, we need to keep out mouth shut and straighten out our spiritual condition!