August 11, 2006

AFA Blows Smoke - Again

In a recent "Action Alert," the folks at the American Family Association proclaimed "78 Dealers Ask Ford to Stop Supporting the Homosexual Agenda." This was "Great news!" and further evidence that the boycott they started several months ago because Ford has the nerve to support PFLAG and advertise in The Advocate and Out magazines was working.

The AFA also pointed to Ford's declining sales since the boycott started as further evidence of the far-reaching effects of their devastating efforts.

As with most right-wing rhetoric, these claims do not stand up to close scrutiny.

Seventy-eight Ford dealers may sound like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it is not. There are over 3,800 Ford dealers in the United States, so the 78 that the AFA claims have protested Ford's actions are barely 2% of the nation's dealers. Sounds a bit different when it is put in perspective, doesn't it?

Speaking of perspective, is the AFA boycotting Chrysler? If not, then why has Chrysler's sales dropped even more than Ford's recently? The Reuters article points out that Ford has been primarily victimized by a 44% drop in their truck sales, which a reasonable person can easily attribute to the price of gas staying over $3 a gallon. The article also points out the negative impact of raising interest rates.

Reuters did not mention the AFA boycott. I suppose that's more evidence of liberal media bias.

August 10, 2006

Traditions Are of Man

There's been a lot of talk in recent months about maintaining the "traditional family" and protecting "traditional marriage." I did some bible study on the concept and found that Jesus had some very different ideas about tradition.

Click here to read "Traditions Are of Man" at Gay Christian Outreach

August 09, 2006

WHOSOEVER: Mountain Moving Faith

The kind of faith that moves mountains isn't the sitting-back-on-your-laurels-waiting-for-something-to-happen kind of faith. It isn't the weeping-crying-begging-God-to-do-something kind of faith. The kind of faith that moves mountains is a SPEAKING kind of faith.

Mark 11:22-26 MV reads like this: "And Jesus answered them saying, Have faith in God; for whoever says to this mountain, "be removed and be cast into the sea," and does not doubt in their heart, but believes that those things they say will come to pass, they shall have whatever they say. And whatever things you desire when you pray, believe that you have received them and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive anyone that you may have anything against; for if you do not forgive, then your Father God in Heaven will not be able to forgive your tresspasses."

How can it be any clearer?
1. HAVE FAITH in God! When you speak faith God will back you up with His power.
2. SPEAK to the mountain or problem/situation/circumtance and tell it to GO! We were created in the image of God with the ability to reason and speak. Use it. WHO CARES what other people think!
3. BELIEVE that your faith will work and the mountain will move.
4. FORGIVE or else it blocks everything else from working.

If we really took this Scripture seriously and practiced what it teaches, there would be a lot of mountains running around!!

August 08, 2006

Badly Skewed Priorities

According to Colorado secretary of state filings, Focus on the Family has donated $500,000 to Colorado Family Action, Inc., an organization it helped establish for the sole purpose of supporting two state constitutional amendments.

The first amendment the group supports is one that would limit marriage to a heterosexual union, and the other would prohibit legal recognition of domestic partnerships.

I am not trying to imply there is anything illegal or unethical about Focus on the Family's actions. As far as I know, they have not broken any laws here or breached any ethical standards. Have they followed God's word? That's where I think they run into trouble.

The Bible talks A LOT about an equitable distribution of wealth and the moral obligation of those with wealth to share it with the poor and disadvantaged. Here is just one of the many scriptures that support this fundamental truth of God's Kingdom.

1John 3:17 (NIV) But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Focus on the Family is an organization that claims it's primary reason for existence is "to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a practical outreach to homes." I wondered what kind of homes that $500,000 could have been spread to in their own home base of Colorado Springs, so I did some research.

According to a survey taken in 2000, there were 830 people living on the street in Colorado Springs and another 1,090 living in transitional housing. While those numbers have certainly changed, it is reasonable to think that there are still upwards of 1,000 people who could have been enormously blessed by a small portion of that $500,000 Focus on the Family decided to instead use on a political campaign.

In a survey conducted in 2003 by the U. S. Census Bureau in Colorado Springs, "9 percent of people were in poverty. Thirteen percent of related children under 18 were below the poverty level, compared with 8 percent of people 65 years old and over. Seven percent of all families and 22 percent of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level. " That's better than a lot of cities, but out of a population reported at 535,000, that would still leave close to 50,000 people who could have benefitted from the $500,000 used to restrict the rights of GLBT people.

So how does Focus on the Family sync up giving so much funding to this political organization with what they claim is their "primary reason for existance" and the Word of God?

Honestly, I don't really care how they would justify and rationalize these actions. I do wish, however, that they would come clean with everyone and just declare Focus on the Family a Political Action Committee instead of leagally laundering money to other groups.

August 07, 2006

"The Sin of Sodom"

Anyone who had even the slightest exposure to discussions about the morality of homosexuality has certainly heard the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the sins committed in Sodom, referenced in Genesis 19, that are most often used by preachers and the religious right as the foundation for their attempt to show that God hates GLBT people. That mindset is why homosexual sex is sometimes referred to as "sodomizing" and there are still some anti-sodomy laws on the books in some parts of the United States that makes homosexual sex illegal.

This piece, written by Miguel De La Torre, is a clearly stated, concise explanation of the TRUE story of Sodom. Here are a couple of key quotes:

"Commenting on Sodom's sin, the prophet Ezekiel (16:49) wrote that Sodom's iniquity was the city's unwillingness, due to pride and haughtiness, to share their abundance with those who were poor and marginalized."

"Nowhere in the Bible where Sodom's wickedness is mentioned is homosexuality ever listed as being the cause for God's wrath. The crime of Sodom and Gomorrah, as elucidated by the scriptures themselves, is described as being a lack of justice done in the name of the "orphans and widows," the biblical euphemism for the disenfranchised. "

Using the latter description, there are a lot of Sodomites sitting on the Republican side of the isle in Congress and wagging their fingers as "evil homosexuals" behind pulpits in front of television cameras.

August 06, 2006

WHOSOEVER: Be Filled With God's Fullness

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in your inner being: that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV

Notice the progression of this passage of Scripture. First, the Holy Spirit must strengthen us in our inner being, SO THAT Christ can dwell in our hearts by faith, SO THAT we may be rooted and grounded in love, SO THAT we may be able to comprehend the breadth, length, depth and height of love, AND THEN to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, SO THAT we will be filled with the fullness of God.

We have been deceived into a very shallow knowledge and expression of love. God never intended it to be that way. God wants us to be able to comprehend all the dimensions of love so He can fill us up!

I challenge you to pray this scripture passage on a regular basis allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you, and dare to be filled with the fullness of God.