Copyright Protected
The content of this entire site are under copyright to
The ONE Church In Christ Jesus, Inc.
(214) 462-5979      The1Church@Yahoo.com
NO PART MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY WAY WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION.


JOIN US ON FACEBOOK:

Affirming Christians
Affirming Pentecostals
Affirming Apostolics
Pastor Charles Curtiss
In  past  centuries  it  has  been  common  for the  Christian  church  universal  to  label individuals  with  signs  painted  using very broad   brushes. Drunkards,  addicts, "possessed,"  and  divorcee's  were  afforded little  compassion  or  support  as  they were nothing  more  than  people  who  refused  to behave  right. After  all,  they  were  not afflicted  but  rather  the  victim  of their  own outright choices to live ungodly.   The  church  has  commonly  witnessed gradual  changes  in  it's  perceptions  of and reactions  to  various  aspects  of  our  human condition (alcoholism, drug  addiction, mental  illness,  and  divorce  and remarriage for  example)  as  further  light  has  made  itself available  through  simple  means  such  as personal  observation and  experience  or  in some  more  complex  issues,  the  findings  of scientists  within  the  medical  research fields.

Biblical  writers  frequently  conveyed  harsh and  judgmental  attitudes  toward  individuals living  with  issues  such  as  these, and  the church  generally  chose  to  echo  an  equally harsh  stance  from  it's  pulpits,  publications, and presbytery.  As  some of  these  issues  have  become  far more  clearly  understood,  the  Christian church  has  suddenly  moved  one  hundred and eighty  degrees  in  the  manner  with which  it  chose  to  interpret  Scripture and has  suddenly  reinterpreted  many  passages to now support their new  found understanding. (I Cor. 7:8-9, 10-15, 27-28) The  average  man  on  the  street  today recognizes that  alcoholism  is  an  addiction.  Difficult  to  overcome. Often  brought  on  by some   physiological   or   psychological stimuli.

It's  commonly  known  that  babies born   to   mothers with chemical dependencies  often  enter  the  world  with  a physiological dependency  on  these  same substances.   It  is  further  widely  known  that children  of  individuals  with  substance abuse problems    are    frequently predisposed  to  similar  addictions  later  in life. If  the  physiological  traces  don't  trap them,  the psychological  reliance  may  likely develop  through  every  day  observation  of parents or other esteemed adults behavior. 

Divorce,   once  one  of  the  most  taboo  of  behaviors,  is  now  claiming  nearly  half  of  all marriages  in  this  country  alone.  Divorced individuals  were  once  all  but  banned  from heaven  simply  because  they  failed  "to honor  their  marriage  vows" and  keep themselves  pure  in  marital  fidelity.   Saints who  once  looked  upon  the  divorcee`  as one  who  failed  to  keep their  commitment, made  before  God  and  His  church,  now realistically  recognize  that  many  marriages have  had  to  end because  of  terrible spousal   abuses,   basic   practical   or emotional  neglect,  or  flagrant  infidelities. The  church  has  even gone  so  far  as  to nearly  rewrite  the  Bible  so  as  to  allow for  just  about  every  divorced  individual  to suddenly  find heavenly  permission  to remarry  after  divorce,  in  spite  of  numerous Scriptural  admonishments  clearly  to  the contrary.  (See  Matt.  5:31-32,  19:3-9;  Mark 10:2-12, Deut. 24:1-4, I Cor. 7:27)

Reality  affects  the  church's  perception  of Scripture.   A  clearer  understanding  of  the human  condition  causes  us to change the way  in  which  we  read  and  interpret  the Bible.   Perhaps  this  is  why  God  has declared,  "Hast  thou  not  known?  hast thou not  heard,  that  the  everlasting  God,  the Lord,  the  Creator  of  the  ends  of  the  earth, fainteth  not,  neither  is  weary?  there  is  no searching  of  His  understanding." (Isa.40:28)   As  well  as  "...for  the  Lord  seeth  not as  man  seeth;  for  man looketh  on  the outward  appearance,  but  the  Lord  looketh on  the  heart."  (I  Sam.  16:7)   And  finally,  "For He  knoweth  our frame;  He  remembereth that  we  are  dust."  (Psalm  103:14)   

Perhaps it  has  been  God's  intention  the  entire  time that  in trying  to  better  understand  and  serve Him,  we  become  better  acquainted  with ourselves   by   becoming   students of humanity.   Can  it  be  that  Scripture  was meant  to be  read  and  studied  in  this fashion.   Not  as  the  answer  to  an  yet  unasked  question,  but  rather  as  a  response to  the  needs  of  man  as they represent themselves  to  us  as  obstacles  in our journey toward fellowship with Him.  Interestingly  enough,  the church today yet holds tight to it's  anti-homosexuality stance.  It  still  chooses  to  define  the  complex  issues of  an  individuals  sexuality,  it's  expressions and  attractions, as being nothing more  than a  conscious  choice  to  chose evil over good, right instead of wrong, Satan in place of God.  No  other explanation
is  acceptable. None  other  is  needed.   After  all,  did  not  the apostle Paul clearly define homosexuality as being nothing short of  unbridled  lust  and fierce,  wanton,  godless  sexual  appetite?  (Romans 1:24-27)  I, for one, hold no grudge against Paul for his  position.   That  "brand"  or  manifestation of  homosexual  conduct  which  he  was  privy to  witness  and  hear  of emanating from  the filthy  palaces  of  pagan  Rome  would nauseate  even  the  most  liberal  of  Gay  or Lesbian  Biblical  scholars.  But to label  all people  of  one  race  or  ethnicity  "savages" because  you  grew  up  in  a  place  where  only the   most   backward, secluded, and uncivilized  of  their  bloodlines'  tribes  lived  is to  do  a  great  injustice  to  an  otherwise proud, constructive, productive,   and commendable people.

While  there  are  some (like the pagans of the Rome Paul was writing  to)  within both the straight and  Gay-Lesbian communities who  genuinely  embrace  a  godless  lifestyle, devoid   of   rules   and   knowing   no boundaries,  particularly sexually; it is foolish to lump  all  of  any  given  group or segment of our society into the same mix.  The  most  absurd  phrase  ever  employed within the English vernacular  is  "Gay lifestyle."   This  fictitious  phrase  falsely suggests  that  all  Gay,  Lesbian,  and Transgender  people  walk beneath the same  banner,  march  to  the  same  drummer, and  live out their daily existence  in the same identical  manner  one as  the  other.  To  even  suggest  that  all  homosexual people  behave  identically  is  to  ignore  the vast  array  of  talent, skill, accomplishment, diversity, and  versatility  found  within  it's ranks.  No  one  would  be so foolish  as  to  use  the phrase   "straight lifestyle."    Everybody knows  that such  a  term  is  far  too  broad  to even  be  usable, yet  the similar phrase, "Gay   lifestyle"   is tossed   about   by opponents  of homosexuality  as  though  it were  valid  simply because it's being applied  to  someone  other  than themselves.  A  people,  I  might  add, whom  they  obviously know  precious little about in truth.   Again, they've  read  the  definitions supplied  in Scripture  and  applied  it across  the  board, without  ever  trying  to  look  honestly  and openly   at   the   human   condition of homosexuality  as  it  realistically appears  in our  world  today.   Why  are  so  many Gay, Lesbian,  and Transgender  people  fighting their  way  into  the  churches?  Because  they are  indeed  these  godless  sorts  of  whom Paul writes?  I think not!

Sadly,  reality  is  often  overlooked  by  those who  must  live  within  it's  confines.   When finally  realized,  reality  has  in  times past changed  the  churches'  perception  on  such complex   issues   as   alcoholism,   drug addiction,  mental  illness,  divorce,  and divorce and  remarriage.   With  God's  help, one  day  the  reality  of homosexuality  as  a natural,  innate,  biological  state  of  existence for some people  will  emerge  in  sufficient evidence  to  speak  to  the  hearts  and  minds of  even  the  harshest  of  homophobic  Bible thumping  critics.  In  that  day  the  Gay, Lesbian,  and Transgender  soul  will  no longer  have  to  silently  sit  week  after  week in  the pews of most churches while  the preacher unburdens himself of that  same heavy load of misguided and  abusive condemnation that   their   alcoholic, recovering drug   addict, mentally ill, divorced, and divorced and remarried neighbor  once  too  had  to  endure.  Only then  will  the  wonderful  truth  of God's  grace, manifest  in  the  person  and  provision  of  the man  Jesus  Christ  be  fully  understood and much more fully realized and celebrated.

The  day  will  come  when  reality  prevails.   In that  day  we  shall  all  together  sing;  straight, gay,  lesbian,   old,  young,  wealthy,  poor, black, white, Asian, Latino and so on...

"No, I'm not perfect, Just forgiven.  Hadn't yet arrived, But I'm on my way.
Since Jesus found me and forgave me, Can't say I'm perfect,
But I can say I'm saved!"

"Beloved,  now  are  we  the  sons  of  God,  and it  doth  not  yet  appear  what  we  shall  be:  but we  know  that,  when  He  shall  appear, we shall  be  like  Him;  for  we  shall  see  Him  as He is."  - I JOHN 3:2
“Reality Changes Things...”
Why Christianity should reconsider it's hardline position on various issues of humanity and the Bible
By: Rev. Charles Burnett-Morrow