iIn the last five years, more and more governments have allowed same-sex marriage in their countries. The U.S. Supreme Court has given a stamp of approval for it a few years back. European countries have been a haven for people who desire to enter this kind of union. Australians, just a few months back, through a postal vote, have voiced that they're OK with this trend. And in the Philippines, the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced in a gathering attended mostly by homosexuals, his acceptance of the idea despite saying the opposite just a few months back. To make things sadder, even people affiliated with the Christian faith are starting to look at same-sex marriage as something good. A pastor and his wife last November shared to me how they were shocked and left in tears when a pastor-friend of theirs from Australia, after the postal vote on same-sex marriage won in his country, described that day as "a happy and exciting time in Australia".
Why has same-sex marriage gained more acceptance in recent years? It's because same-sex marriage proponents have made it a social issue, a question of rights, from it being a moral issue. By lowering it to the level of a social issue, God, the source of morality, has been successfully eliminated in the conversation. This, the removal of the standards set forth by God in terms of marriage, was a crucial goal for homosexuals to achieve as they understand that as long as God is part of the conversation, they're lifestyle will not be accepted by the public as the Bible is clear that it is wrong to go against God and "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of Him who is living (Hebrews 10:31)". But by making it an issue of rights, then people who will be against that right will be viewed negatively, often branded as "bigots".
So, is same-sex marriage a social or moral issue? The Bible is clear that God only ordained one type of marriage, and it is heterosexual. From the very lips of Jesus we find this... "Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh so they are no longer two, but one flesh. " (Matthew 19:4-6). The One that created obviously has the right to dictate. Anyone can disagree with the Creator and can even raise his fist in fierce defiance of Him. But do we really believe we stand a chance against the all-powerful God? God has been accused of immorality for not granting homosexuals the right "to be happy" which He has granted heterosexuals in terms of marriage. People who have made this accusation failed to recognize that God can't be accused of immorality as morality flowed from Him as He is the One that sets what is right and what is wrong, and unfortunately for proponents of same-sex marriage, He has declared this union as "wrong". So all the talk of "rights" not being given is insignificant here. And if we insists on same-sex marriage as a rights issue, then pedophiles and those who want to practice beastiality (human and animal sex) can also make demands for their "right to happiness".
We cannot eliminate God in the discussion of marriage as He alone has the right as Creator to dictate how marriage is defined. Therefore, same-sex marriage is a moral issue and not a social issue.
So in conversing with a homosexual or anyone who approves of same-sex marriage, do not be caught in the trap of making same-sex marriage a social issue. Always insists that God is man's Creator and the Definer of marriage. Watch the interviews in the movie Audacity and see how Ray Comfort prevents people from shifting the conversation on same-sex marriage to the social realm and staying put on the morality of the issue.
And here's one illustration about why we must let the Creator define marriage...
A young elephant saw birds flying in the air. He realized how happy birds are with the freedom they have gliding in the skies. And so, the elephant said, "I will fly like the birds!" An elephant friend told him, "But you weren't made to fly. Look at how impossible flying will be with the size of our bodies. And although you have big ears, they are still not enough to allow you to fly." "But I want to fly and enjoy as the birds", the young elephant insisted. His elephant friend argued, "But we have other advantages that are enjoyable like we can reach with our noses whatever fruit we want hanging from trees. You can do that all day long and nothing bad will happen to you compared to if you would try flying." But the young elephant had decided that he will try flying. And so, he went to the highest cliff he could find. After taking a deep breath, the young elephant jumped off the cliff, plunging himself to his death.
The same is the case with homosexuals insisting that they be given the right to marry someone from the same sex. Obviously, God had not designed marriage to be that way as procreation, a by-product of marriage, cannot happen. And just like how heterosexual sex outside of marriage can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, sex with the same sex can also have the same result. But sex with a person's marital partner can be indulged in with little to no risks at all of getting STD. But if we insist on allowing homosexuals to have same-sex marriages, the greatest danger they face is how God gets back on them for going against His set standard. In love, I don't want that to happen and so I write this article as a clear warning.
May we be wise enough to go by God's standards in our lives.
The Big Bang theory posits that the formation of the universe started from an explosion from something that until now, scientists are still at lost as to where that singularity that caused the explosion came from. Supposedly, the elements released by that explosion, through sheer luck were able to arrange themselves correctly to produce in slow processes simple to complex features of the universe we have, including life. Later through the process of natural selection, the evolution of things slowly moved from the chaos of the initial explosion to the order and design-laden universe that we have now.
Of course, with careful examination, the processes that supposedly took place in the billions of years that passed from that supposed big bang do not align well with universal scientific laws. The creation of things which the theory of both the Big Bang and evolution imply still continues on is not supported by the First Law of Thermodynamics which declares that no new matter is being created. The chaos to perfection that evolution explains is happening on the other hand, is debunked by the Second Law of Thermodynamics which adamantly proclaims that things are going to a slow state of entropy.
The obvious design seen in the world around us goes against the idea of a world that surrendered its organized formation to chance. Many non-material elements of the universe like logic, morality, laws, music, etc., are beyond explanation of such atheistic theories that claim that everything is material.
Truly, the Big Bang and Evolution theories are incapable of fully explaining the origin of the universe. What we see again and again are new questions arising from every attempt of atheistic scientists to answer questions against these theories. But believers of these theories are still committed to stand by what they preach even if the reality is, every word that comes out of their lips in defense of their belief brings them farther away from the truth from the last declarations they have made.
But for the Christian, it is imperative that the origin of the world did not start from a big bang. The reason to this is because holding on to that theory about origin will make the faith he holds onto unreasonable. Let me explain why.
To believe in the big bang is to believe in the existence of the unknown. Earlier, I mentioned that scientists until now are debating as to where that “singularity” came from. The law of cause and effect demands that something must cause something and that the cause should be “bigger” than the effect. And because the “effect” we are talking about is the vast universe we have, the cause of it must be something very powerful. Now, how can a very powerful thing that could cause the universe we have be unknown? Are we saying that the thing effected is more significant so as to be easily known than what caused it?
But God is so powerful that even the blind can take notice of Him. There are those that, in the goal of making themselves wiser than God, intentionally ignore Him, but the truth is, they know Him (Romans 1:21-22). I’m glad the Big Bang is not true because if it is, then we have an unknowable cause. But the God of the Christian wants to be known. He first made Himself known through His creation (Romans 1:20). Then He came to our world to make Himself more known (John 1:14). Then finally, to give us no room for us not to know Him, He has left us His Word, the Bible, so that through its pages, we get to read everything He had chosen to reveal to us about Himself.
God wants to be known, and as a Christian, I want to know Him.
To believe in these atheistic theories of origin is to believe in a god that leaves things to chance. But the God of the Christian is purposeful and will never leave things to chance. Our God is Someone who has a concrete plan for His creation, and so, He will never leave things to chance because if He did, things may not go as He had planned and when that happens, that diminishes His being God. This is the reason why everything in the universe shows design, and the design in things reflect the purposeful God of the Bible. God wants the fish to be able to swim and live on water that’s why He created them that way. God wants the horse to exude power so that he could be of help to his master that’s why God created the horse that way. God wants the bird to be able to fly in the air, that’s why God designed the bird to do just that from the onset. God wanted man to reflect His image that’s why man has been man from the beginning. And because God has not surrendered His creation to chance, there is an expected end for things that will eventually glorify Him which will in turn, benefit those that have entrusted their lives to Him.
I want a God of purpose because I want to realize the purpose of God’s creation of me. A man that is created for His pleasure. A man that benefits from His glory.
And for the Christian, it is crucial that we have a powerful God that can create with purpose. Scientists have given more power to the big bang than to God even if that explosion had to “create” through billions of years of chance. But the God of the Christian is more powerful. He needed no explosion to create. He just spoke things into existence and He did everything in just six days and needed no billions of years to create. In six days, everything was already in order. He could have done it in just six hours, or six minutes, or even in just six seconds. But again, He is a God of purpose. He did His creation activities in six days to give us an example we should follow in terms of the balance of work and rest (Exodus 20:11). The Christian needs that powerful God and not the lame god of the big bang because that is his assurance that everything that sin had reversed from perfection could be brought back to its original state. The big bang can just wish for things to someday reach a state of perfection. But then again, the Second Law of Thermodynamics goes against that wish. Only the One who had created laws can reverse things to its original state, where even the lion and the lamb can sit together.
I want that powerful God as depicted in the Bible because it is to His will that I want to be subjected to and not to chance. Because He is a loving God, I can be assured that if I surrender to Him, uncertain though my steps in life may look to my eyes and other’s eyes, but the truth is, my steps are more certain in Him than the sun rising on the morrow. His Word is full of assurances of this promise… “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. (Psalm 37:23)”; “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (Psalm 37:31)”; “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”
I want a God who can guide my steps in life.
And finally, I need the God that has been depicted in the pages of the Bible and not the unknowable cause of the big bang because I need Someone who is merciful and gracious to save me from the consequences of my wickedness. The god of the big bang which has even hydrogen as a possibility, appears to be unconcern about me. I don’t want this god which seems to be singing “Que sera, sera” to me as it has left me to chance (whatever will be, will be). I want the God of the Bible who is the Creator of this universe who declares in His Word that He is “not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). I want the God of the Bible that “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). I want the God of the Bible that is so purposeful in His actions, who came down to earth not to condemn it, “but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). I want the God of the Bible that “commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, He (Christ) died for us” (Romans 5:8).
I want a God that can save me.
The god of the big bang, whoever or whatever that may be, offers me no hope. I’m afraid that if that is the god that truly exist, he or it will just leave my fate to chance. I’m glad that there is undeniable proof that the God of the Bible is the One that truly exists, for in Him, I have true hope. A hope that I can have throughout eternity because He has purposed in His heart way before the foundations of the world that I enjoy Him forever.
Last May 25-29, the second All-Asian Creation Conference took place at Seoul, S. Korea. The Korea Association of Creation Research organized the event. Living Waters Asia Director, Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos, was one of several who spoke during this conference. Dennis' topic is "Proving God's existence: The modern day challenge to evangelism." Watch the video below:
This week, the social media (at least for Filipinos) were busy giving their comments for and against boxing champ and politician, Manny Pacquaio, in response to his statements against same-sex marriage that he made on an interview by a local news network. Watch the video below:
I posted my comments on one of the Facebook feeds on this with the goal of engaging someone to a conversation that I planned to lead to the presentation of the Gospel. Below was my posted thoughts on the issue:
Understand this... God is the ultimate source of morality. The Bible, which is the inspired Word of God, contains His standards in terms of morality. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are wicked in God's sight. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are therefore not issues of social rights but issues of morality. Now if you don't agree with that then don't get angry with people who just echo what the Bible declares. Send your protest to God because it was Him that declared homosexuality and same-sex marriage as sins. But I hope you'll practice your common sense and realize that you cannot insist what you want to a Sovereign God as He is the Creator and you are only His mere creation. And God is immutable (unchangeable) as He declared in His Word that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What He had declared as "wrong" in the past is still wrong today and tomorrow. The obvious thing to do then is to just acknowledge Him and surrender to His standards.
Then a person replied to my comment and said that men can make their own morality through laws. This was my response:
So anyone can just make their own morality, or you're saying that morality is relative and there's no absolute morality? So a person who believes rape is wrong is correct so as the person that believes that there's nothing wrong with rape?
Then someone asked, "How sure are you that your God is the true God?" I gave this response:
Morals are laws. Laws are a product of an intelligent mind. If that is the case then there must be a lawgiver. And that ultimate Lawgiver is God. The God of the Bible who is the Christians' God is the source of these Laws (morals). Why do I know this? Because what's right and what's wrong is universal. Everyone agrees murder is wrong. Everyone agrees dishonoring of parents is wrong. There are people that claim that there are lies that are "okay". But when they are the ones who were lied to by an "okay" lie, they hate it. Why is there a universality of morality? Because the Bible tells us (in the book of Romans) that God has written His Laws in our hearts. And notice that the morals we hold on are the Ten Commandments that God gave man through Moses. Now this is proof that the God of the Bible who declared that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong is the true God.
Then the discussion turned to proof of God's existence. Below is my reply to this topic:
If you followed correctly the logic I used, laws are proof of the existence of the Lawgiver. It's as simple as this... If there's a building, you know there's a builder. If there's a painting, you know there's a painter. If there is a law, then there is a lawgiver. If there's a creation, then it follows that there's a Creator. And that Creator is God, Himself. Now if you ask. "Who made the Creator?" You must understand that a Creator needs no other creator. For if the Creator of the vast universe needs a Creator, then that creator of the Creator needs to be bigger than the Creator and you'll need an infinite number of bigger creators. And you have to understand that anything that's created is subject to time. God created time and He is outside of time, and so, He is not subject to time. Therefore, He need not have a Creator for Himself.
Then someone who confessed to be gay and complained that being one is very difficult in a society like the Philippines who has not fully embraced this lifestyle, accused me of being judgmental. I then gave this response:
I'm telling you this because I care for you. I apologize if I came across as judgmental. I was also once a wicked rebel against God just like everyone. I may not be gay but I also was deserving of hell just like any other person. But I understood how wretched I was in God's sight then realized that the reason why Jesus came down to earth and died on the cross 2,000 years ago was so that He can make a payment for my sins. I repented of my sins and placed my faith in what He did on the cross for my forgiveness of sin and salvation. God promised in the Bible (John 3:16 / Ephesians 2:8-9) that if I trust Jesus for my salvation and not my religion or any good deed I can do, He'll forgive me of my sins and grant me eternal life in Heaven. I want you to also receive that promise from Him that's why I engaged you in an exchange. If it's okay, can I send you something? Just give me your address and I'll send it to you asap. God bless!
Sad to say, he did not accept my offer and after that hurled other accusations against me. Several times in my posts, I suggested to people to visit needGod.ph, and recently to Audacitymovie.com.
The next day though, I received a private message in my Facebook account. It was from a gay person. He thanked me for my explanation of why homosexuality and same-sex marriage are wrong. He then told me that, yes, he is gay but because he has read in the Bible that God has declared these as sins, he is fighting his flesh for God's glory. I told him that a gay person can be a good Christian. I then explained that being in the flesh, we have tendencies to rebel against God. Even Christians have sinful tendencies because of the flesh that we are in. But a Christian who understands that God had already bought him with a price will fight his sinful tendencies for God's glory. Now if a gay person becomes a Christian and he fights the homosexual tendencies that he has because he wants to give God glory, then he becomes a gay person who refuses to be seen as gay but fights with God's help, to be seen by others more as a child of God.
This guy then voiced his desire to serve God through evangelism. I advised this new found friend to visit our ministry website (www.livingwaters-asia.com) and listen to Hell's Best Kept Secret and True and False Converts so that he can get an idea of the principle we use in sharing the Gospel. Please pray for him.
Recently, a ministry partner and I were sharing the Gospel to a cab driver bringing us from the airport to a bus terminal on our way home from a biblical evangelism seminar we conducted in another province. A statement made by the cab driver paved the way to an interesting exchange. He said that God should look at the sincerity of people with their religious beliefs of how one can get to Heaven even if they do not heed the clear instructions of the Bible about the gift of salvation. He added that God should not waste the chance of having sincere people like them in His kingdom someday as they have a kind of commitment with what they believe that will make them willing to stick with it to death that most Christians do not even have. Did the cab driver make a valid point?
Let me give you a straight answer... That belief has two things going so wrong with it. Let me explain.
First of all, we must understand that sin has tainted our whole being. That means that whatever we have to offer God is already tainted with sin. Actually, not just tainted. They're all yucky in God's sight. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that the best of righteousness we can give God still appears as "filthy rags" in His sight. Imagine how He sees our sins! Why is that so? Because the Bible is clear that God is perfectly holy! With this in mind, we should understand that man's sincerity does not, in any way, impress God. Behind the sincere facade we show God is a wicked heart whose inclination is rebellion against Him, and He sees that so clearly. Our sincerity is like giving God a well-decorated cake outside but inside are dead rats molded together as a cake sponge. Sin, which has so penetrated our being, is very despicable in God's sight.
A second reason why sincerity with religious beliefs won't do the work for our salvation is because the sincere person ignorantly misses the truth that the sincerity of working his way to Heaven is boasting in God's sight. God has made it clear that salvation is His work and not ours. The Bible is very straight in its declaration that we cannot earn salvation for ourselves. Only God can give that to us. Jesus, in John 14:6, said that He is the only way to the Father. Acts 4:12 declares that there is no other name under Heaven that can save but Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that salvation is a gift we receive through faith and not through good works which may lead to boasting. And so, by demanding that God looks at our sincerity as His basis for giving us eternal life, we are actually telling God that it should be our way and not His that should matter, and that is boasting! This is pride and James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud but to the humble He gives grace. If we show God an understanding that there is no way we can save ourselves from the punishment of our sins and that He alone can grant salvation to us, the flood-gates of God's grace is opened to us.
It is out of the graciousness of God that salvation was made available. The divine standards of God makes it impossible for us to earn salvation for ourselves. And so, God, in His love and mercy, sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that the payment for sin, death (Romans 6:23), is made. We only need to come to Him in humble repentance and faith to receive the salvation He offers to every one who has sinned against Him.
This is salvation. This is grace.
The offer of Christianity to anyone who will embrace it is, unarguably, the best you can find in all of the universe. With Christianity, one receives forgiveness of sins, a legal declaration of being perfect, a relationship with Almighty God, a constant guidance from the Holy Spirit, a holistic transformation that only God can do for us and an eternal life of joy in Heaven. With all of these promises, we come to the question, "Why are Christians very few in number despite these?"
One complaint hurled against Christianity that people say turns them off from it is the seeming exclusiveness. "Why can't Christianity be more inclusive?" a lot of them ask. Why can't it embrace homosexuals, atheists, drug addicts, people of other religions, etc? The message is clear, those who won't believe in Jesus as well as those who practice things God is against with will be disqualified of Heaven and will be condemned for eternity in Hell (John 3:18 / 1 Corinthians 6:910).
One answer as to why Christianity is not inclusive is because Almighty God, the Creator of everything including us, in exercise of His authority and holy character, has set the standard as to how a person may enter Heaven. Matthew 5:48 declares, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Perfection means being sinless. Now, who among us hasn't lied, stolen things, looked with lust at someone, coveted something others own, etc.? None of us can say that we have not offended any of God's Laws. That disqualifies all of us for Heaven. What we rightly deserve is Hell. But God, in His mercy, provided for a way out of the punishment that awaits all of us. He gave His sinless only begotten Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us so that a payment for our sins can be made available. And if we repent of our sins and completely trust Christ and His finish work on the cross for our salvation, we will be forgiven of our sins. Not only that, the perfection of Jesus will be credited to us, making us perfect and now very much qualified to enter Heaven when our life here on earth ends.
A second reason why Christianity is not inclusive is because it is based on truth. Let me explain. For example, if I ask, what is the sum of 1 + 1? The answer, of course, is 2. Now everyone who answers "2" has subscribed to the truth. But anyone who answers differently is wrong, and therefore, excluded from the group of people who knows the answer correctly. Christianity works the same way. It is based on truth. In John 14:6, Jesus said that He is "truth". That means He has set what is "truth". Every truth that's out there came from HIm. There can never be two truths. The sum of 1 + 1 can' t be both 2 and 3. One truth that the Bible tells us is that Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. He is not just one of the ways. Christ was straightforward with it... He is the ONLY way (John 14:6). That means there can't be other ways to get to Heaven, not religion, not good works, not by the five pillars of Islam, not by any self-proclaimed "savior" out there, not by the ways of Buddha and Hinduism. Only by Jesus. This is the reason why statements like "All religions ultimately lead to Heaven" or "All of us are God's children" are wrong. God, the ultimate source of truth and the provider of standards, has decreed with full authority, that there is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we can be saved. And that name is Jesus (Acts 4:12).
But despite the exclusiveness of Christianity, the offer for salvation that it gives is to everyone. John 3:16 tells us that "whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." John 1:12 also declares, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Yes, Christianity is exclusive. But everyone is invited so that they also can be part of the exclusive partakers of its offer. The Bible is very clear that God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) and that He finds no pleasure in the death of a sinner but that he lives (Ezekiel 33:11). God wants Heaven for us, His created beings, that's why He went to the cross to make that possible. But the choice is ours to make and not God's in keeping with the free will He has given us. Just like during the flood in Noah's time. The invitation to enter the ark and be saved from the flood was given to everyone. But sadly, only the family of Noah grabbed the offer and so, the rest of mankind died. Let us not make the same mistake.
We are given such a great opportunity. Choose Christ then you'll receive everlasting life in Heaven; choose sin and you damn yourself to everlasting suffering in Hell. The correct choice is such a no-brainer!
Dennis Aglosolos, the Director of Living Waters - Asia, will be answering questions.