Will Your Will Be Known?

July 30th, 2013

Many, often the young, or those who feel that their estate is too small, believe that a will represents an unnecessary expense. But the preparation of a will need not be expensive. And even when property distribution issues are not numerous, the will is the legal avenue through which a number of other issues should be addressed:
• Naming an executor
• Avoiding expense of a bond
• Naming a legal guardian for your children
• Reducing estate tax liability
• Making gifts or transfers to charities like Cornerstone Community Church

In the absence of a will, the state will resort to a formula. A judge will name an executor; bond may have to be posted; the court will name a guardian; a formula will determine asset distribution.

A charitable bequest to Cornerstone Community Church affords a way for virtually anyone to express specific philanthropic wishes. In fact, the bequest is the most frequently utilized method of support of charity in America. A bequest may take on a number of forms, including:
• A specific dollar amount
• A percentage of the estate’s residual value
• A specific asset

The benevolent spirit is given a voice when wishes are expressed in the will. While many may think philanthropy is reserved for a few, the truth is that every bequest makes a mark that will last for eternity. Please keep the ministry of Cornerstone Community Church in mind as you prepare and steward your resources.

Sexual Confusion #8

July 30th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.

This week the media is buzzing with a confused hope. Since the general media bias supports the homosexual agenda they have latched onto the idea that the largest Christian denomination, the Catholic Church, has changed its position on homosexuality. They have placed words in the pope’s mouth with a hope for a more radical affirmation. They hope that this comment by Pope Francis was a softening of the church’s stance on gays. Though last Monday mornings comment sent ripples around the world, Catholics and gay rights advocates are still struggling to interpret the pontiff’s statement. However, the pope’s comment does not infer any shift in Catholic policy on the topic.

Here are his comments; “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.”

Because of previous statements from Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who signed a document in 2005 saying homosexuals should not be priests, they assumed that this is now reversed. Pope Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten. He did not say that they should continue in their sin!

This is an important statement for us to acknowledge. Regardless of our Christian denomination we are all placed in the same category by the culture and especially the media.

This is a blatant Christian statement! We love the sinner but not the sin. “For God so loved the world,” all sinners, “He gave His only begotten Son.” We are not to judge and exclude but to love and to forgive. The comment could have gone on to include adulterers, child-molesters, thieves, liars, gossips, etc. God loves us so much that He sent His Son and He accepts us as we are. But He loves us so much that He won’t leave us that way. We, the church, should also walk in love, not condoning sin but loving the sinner.

Sexual Confusion #7

July 30th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.

Genesis 1:27; 2:24 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

As a Christian, the answer to the question of origination is found in the Scripture. These verses from Genesis answer the question as to “How we were made.” Therefore, the natural progression and procreation of humanity was specifically designed to reflect the life and nature of God.

So, when a statement is made that some people are born with certain bents, tendencies, or weakness, it is a deception and becomes an accusation as to God’s initial intent. To state that “homosexuals are born that way,” or more relevant to the Christian; “God made them that way” is a false assertion. This is the primary assertion of the homosexual agenda. It ignores, even rejects, the fallen nature of man. It denies mans fearful and self-absorbed view of life.
It is a misleading assumption that human weakness and their developed bents are a result of heritage rather than sin, of DNA rather than choice. The idea that sexual preference is not a result of social imposition and formation from a corrupt immoral environment but a natural human trait is merely a form of blame-shifting and selfishness. Mankind is broken! We need a Savior. Jesus is the only answer.

Now this approach has proven foundational for the ability of the homosexual agenda to convince a majority of Americans that homosexuality is no longer a moral issue involving behavioral choices but rather a civil rights issue involving someone that is simply born “different.” This has resulted in their lobbies (public schools, liberal media and legal formations) successfully elevating so-called “sexual orientation” to the same category as other inherent human characteristics such as race and gender. This one issue alone seems central to the current false and misleading teaching plaguing our churches today. Given the pervasive influence of the homosexual agenda on our culture and now even the church itself, it is absolutely essential that we know and be equipped to respond with the facts. Therefore, our ethics are drawn from reflecting on the Genesis account and Jesus affirmation in Matthew 19:5.

Sexual Confusion #6

July 23rd, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.

Genesis 1:27; 2:24 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

The Genesis of humanity reveals God’s intention in design and purpose. Humanity was designed and created for God’s pleasure, for God’s purpose. One of the key attributes in this creation is the free moral will of each individual that allows them to willfully fulfill their design or to reject it. The sad human story is the reality of this rejection. When humanity demanded its own way, rejecting God’s will, it resulted in “The Fall.” This is a separation from the original intent. This also had amplified consequences. The fallen creature produced a fallen creature.

God, in His great mercy was not surprised at this poor choice nor the consequences that followed. He had already provided for the need of redemption while allowing the free will of humanity to continue. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now, in the perversion of language and truth of today’s willfulness we need to be wise as Jesus said in Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” When the willfulness of man’s fallen nature, reflected in acts contrary to God’s moral nature is construed as a natural and right, we must be alert. The only natural reality is in the sense that a cancer cell will produce another cancer cell. With this in mind, the primary assertion of the homosexual agenda is exposed which I will address in the next post on this subject, “Are homosexuals are born that way?”, or more relevant to the Christian; “Did God make them that way”?

Sexual Confusion #5

July 16th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.

Genesis 1:27; 2:24 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

Today our society is sexually overactive, hyper stimulated as a result of the past generation’s so-called sexual revolutions and its exploitation by the media for profit. That which was once deemed holy, privately restrained in the marriage bed, has now become a wide open arena for self-satisfaction and abuse.
The carnal man is like an 800lb gorilla that demands its way. The weak willed restraint of today’s encouraged self-gratification is like a miniature cartoon character trying to stand up to the monsters desires. But sex is not a tool for self-gratification! When pursued for this purpose it is like a drug that demands more and more. God’s design for the sexual relationship between a husband and wife is an expression of intimacy, of physical and spiritual oneness, of self-giving love required in a lifelong marital relationship.

The abused, selfish, sexual activities of the modern era are a perversion of God’s original design. This has resulted in a driving dissatisfaction that is expressed and pursued in many various perversions of the original. Like a drug that ravages the body and mind, never satisfied, so the self-serving sexual gratification also devalues and destroys the mind and the body.

God’s wonderful promise is grace for those desiring help to control the beast. If you will pursue His will He will help you, but if you do not He will allow you to go your way as defined by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:24 “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.”

Sexual Confusion #4

July 9th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.

G.K. Chesterton has said “There are many ways to fall down; there is only one way to stand up straight.”

The sexual revolution of the past 50 years has turned Judeo/Christian ethical culture and Biblical morality on its head. That which has historically been considered unnatural and unhealthy is now being normalized in today’s radical culture. The sexual preferences of a few are being imposed as normative on our guilt ridden entitlement systems and the propagandized public education of our children. Our demoralizing political systems are reinforced by the media and an ungodly, relativistic, and ‘educratic’ bureaucracy. Our self-absorbed hedonism has born a harvest of destruction.

The opposition to Scriptural instruction has been formed into an anti-intellectual rant of presumed motives and hypocritical impositions. Those who follow Scriptural wisdom are deemed backward and ignorant. The foundations of our great nation and the blessings that flow from those ancient stones and the Godly systems established upon them are now being thrown down in derision. Be aware! Stay awake!

The Apostle Paul wrote the church in Philippi to awaken them to such a threat. In Philippians 3:17-21 he writes; “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform four lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Sexual Confusion #3

June 29th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.

The Bible and marriage.

Biblical marriage was introduced and woven into the fabric of the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation. In Genesis 1 we see God’s intention and design in the created order of humanity. This design is celebrated as a gift that leads to life in the gifts of children in Genesis 2. Jesus confirmed this design in His response to the religious leaders in Matthew 19. The Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, revealed a picture of the church with this imagery of the ‘Bride of Christ.’ In the conclusion of the age the illustration of the final scene is that of the “Marriage supper of the Lamb” and the bride representing God’s people.

The church needs to differentiate between the teachings of Scripture and the decisions of the courts. The courts of the world will, at times, support the biblical ethic and at other times oppose it. So, the discussion of the courts that lead to the creation of new definitions for old words is NOT the issue. The purview of the Federal government is not in spiritual matters even though their decisions affect the spiritual environment of the nation. Their domain should be limited to the application of the constitution and the legitimacy of legislation passed.

When judges become legislatures we lose the balance of power. When Christians become dependent on the worlds courts to gain legitimacy and define our ethics, we have lost our way.

Sexual Confusion #2

June 29th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully

Why does the definition of marriage matter?

Marriage is at the core of how we understand sexuality, human nature and the ordering of society. This is how we build culture and civilization. So, this is a matter of loving God and loving our neighbor, our civilization. This is us living according to God’s will that reflects His nature.

Supreme Court Judge Roberts stated, “When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say, “Let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals. ” Roberts said, “The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.”

A well stated Christian clarification we need to understand is that “Homo-sexual desire is contrary to the design of God for human sexuality. In that sense, it is rightly thought of as a fallen condition and, in general terms, a consequence of sin and brokenness.” Remember the Apostle Paul’s words in the letter to the Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Sexual Confusion #1

June 29th, 2013

Thinking clearly, acting gracefully.
In the next few weeks I want to address the raucous media blitzes promoting same sex marriage.
I believe that we need to think biblically and respond with great grace into this confusing moral issue.
Pat answers, religious platitudes, and harsh judgments are not helpful.
There are loud and seemingly incessant pronouncements from all forms of media sources, both secular and Christian, stating the inevitability of the current tide for same-sex marriage. Even Christian leaders are stating that the “ship has sailed” and that the biblical design and instruction has been relegated to the dustbins of history. This leads to a discounting bias that “we” are on the wrong side of history, we are considered along the lines of bigots of past generations.
So, the intent of these comments are to confront this issue with clear biblical thinking, and graceful pro-action, not just reactions, or worse, silence. The definition of marriage does matter! Silence and retreat has allowed distortion and exaggeration to dominate the conversation. Our silence, or worse, our unloving and even hateful responses, has allowed same-sex advocates to appear to be ruling the public arena. We are not to ‘take a side of history’ but to make history. Our actions, in love, can and will touch the hearts of the confused and help bring life and clarity.

Fathers Day

June 29th, 2013

Happy Father’s Day
The Apostle Paul sets a high bar for those that serve as elders in the church and this bar is a standard for us all. In Titus 1:6 he writes, “The men you choose must be well thought of for their good lives; they must have only one wife and their children must love the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild or disobedient to their parents.” From this we can see that being a father is a very important responsibility, it is a learned skill and it has great rewards. We are about the task of building our family.
The family is the place to establish identity and security, to teach and transmit values, to make and store lifetime memories. It is here that we develop hidden talents and potentials in our children while we learn how to love and forgive. Our goal is to establish a place to grow in a safe environment, to learn honesty and transparency, to be able to fail without criticism or condemnation. The home must be a safe place to hide during the storms of life. It is here that we experience the kingdom of God in action, translate Scripture into living realities. Yes, even to establish a command center for safety to bring the Kingdom of God to a lost world.
The family is under greater and greater stress but we must fight against the pressures of the world because the family is the foundation of culture. I do not know the source of this statement, “The family is the foundation for Godly seed, the demonstration of Divine agreement, and is sealed by blood covenant!” but it is true. We must build and protect it. The family today is living in a routine panic that threatens our peace and order and keeps us off balance and easily pressed into the world’s mold. Let’s raise the standard and walk the walk. If our Christianity doesn’t work at home – it doesn’t work!