It’s been long since some thoughts occupy my mind, namely, what is going on with the people who see one thing and read another, and what they read they interpret in a twisted way.
There are many reasons for my thinking, but one carried the greatest weight: willy-nilly, one has to stop, and if baptized, to be appalled over the actions of a local, until recently and I think still, largest Protestant denomination, calling itself the church – United Church of Canada. This wing of Protestantism is very deeply embedded, taking a leading role in endorsing and presenting something to be healthy and normal which God loudly and clearly characterized as “abomination” (Lev. 18: 22).
It’s about homosexuality.
20 years ago, this helter skelter “church” came out with the notion that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are “persons, made in the image of God.” Soon, in 1988, they went with the “ordination” of faggots. In the early nineties, the General Assembly approved the texts of gay marriages and made them available to all its municipalities. At the end of the nineties they exerted a strong influence on teachers’ unions and associations so that, “in order to promote tolerance” students are taught and educated in gay, lesbian and bisexual issues. To that end, United printed and provided to youth, hungry of knowledge, the abundance of relevant literature.
From actions and impact on education, in 1999 they focused their activities on legislators and appeared before the Standing Committee of the Federal Government for Justice and Human Rights to support Bill C – 23, which in every respect equalizes same-sex-gay couples with opposite-sex couples.
In these millennium years of ours, here they are claiming that every human intercourse: a man to woman, man to man, woman to woman, and all together with each other and everyone with everyone, is, as they say, “the gift of God and part of a magnificent diversity of creation”. I can not accept them as Christians and many Orthodox Christians hold the same opinion. However, they consider themselves Christians and for other non-Christian world they may be. And when one orthodox Muslim watches on TV my colleague from that United, throwing sticks and stones on Canadian government and explaining, far and wide, why he presses charges against this (although liberal!) Government for not recognizing gay marriages he performed in his church, I wonder what this Muslim may think of us Christians.
And then I could ask my colleague, if we were, God forbid, a little closer: Do we both hold the same God’s book in our hands and read the same letters of God? Let’s start from the beginning. On the first page of the Bible, in the first chapter, we see that God “male and female created.” (Gen. 1, 1:27). If God thought that it was sufficient to create only a man or only a woman, he could have done it just like that. He wouldn’t “tailor” a crown of his creation by creating woman because Adam be grieved, “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” (Gen. 1, 2: 20). Later, tempted by his tempters, the Lord, in response to the question of “putting away”, slightly out of the question context, angrily, it seems, emphasized this divine order. “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female”, (Mt. 19: 4 ). He who wants to embrace, finds this to be sufficient. And since, just as we see, this is not the case, then I wonder, what this colleague of mine and all his brethren, united and disunited, what they think when they read this commandments of God in Scripture: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Lev. 3. 18:22). A few pages later, to avoid any doubt, the Lord repeats his will: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 3. 20:13). It seems to me, it was far from God’s imagination to be possible – God forbid – that a woman lies with a woman. This is, it seems, a demon’s personal invention and his “contribution” to “gender equality”. Appalled over the occurrence that women “through the lusts of their own hearts, dishonour their own bodies between themselves,” Holy Apostle St. Paul equalizes this with penance when “also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly”, and says that both receive “in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1: 26-27).
My colleague and his unanimous brethren could say: The Old Testament God is cruel. “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” (Deut. 23:17). That is why Jesus is our God. But my dear, there is either no justification or grace in the New Testament for this doing. I imagine our good Apostle Paul asking them: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians, 6: 9-10).
Here I am again before the tantalizing question, what is going on in the mind and heart of a “sodomite”, and even if he believes he is a priest, while reading these letters of God and not seeing what he sees and not understanding what is crystal clear. And I was looking for this answer at Scripture. And just to clarify: there is absolutely no doubt and cannot be any that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim 3: 16). “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. 1: 20-21 ). Thus, whether the writing is entitled by Peter, Paul, John or Jacob, the God speaks through them. “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 1: 11-13). We can not choose, at will, from Scriptures what we like and what we dislike.
Why do people then stubbornly press their own way?
I can only try to understand this as follows: As parents teach and scold, beg and plead their children, and when reckless son and unhappy daughter fall on deaf ears, where they can’t stand back an inch away, then parents, finally, give up and say: let the devil take them away from us; likewise, when one of us unrepentantly and irreversibly goes astray, our Father in heaven in the end gives up and lets loose of us to our misery. Only in this way can we understand the Holy Apostle Paul towards those who “burned in their lust one toward another” (Romans 1:27); “God gave them up unto vile affections.” (Romans 1: 26); “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1: 28). Surely the following testimony of the Apostle Paul, uttered nearly two thousand years, sounds somehow familiar and contemporary: “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1: 32).
You will not hear a drunkard confessing he is a drunkard. If confessing, he could find himself on the path of salvation. Also, you will very rarely hear sinners confessing their sins. If a sinner comes to senses, he could find himself on the path of repentance. In time, alcohol bites into and alters brain of drunkard so that he repeatedly finds justification for his own vice. This probably happens to sinful too. By some strange process his brain finds a way to justify the unjustifiable. When “God gives up on them”, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (Thess. 2, 2: 11).
If United think and claim to speak in the name of God, they are deceiving themselves. Thousands of years before they pressed their land with sin, “the land is not able to bear all his words” (Amos 7: 10), God knew the “hang” of it. “The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jer. 14:14). The Lord knew there will be priests to defile the sanctuary and twist the law (Hos. 3:4).
How to cope with, to stand and withstand the ever growing torrent of sins and save oneself from these “magnificent diversity of creation”?
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). The will of God is the same yesterday, today and into forever and ever. There are no “modern” and “outdated” things in the moral; what was immoral yesterday will be immoral today and for ever. God has endowed us the reason to skip every attacking wind through the filter of our minds, and even more through Church. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).” “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3: 17 – 18).