The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.
The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.
Special thanks to E-sword, Behindthename.com, Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries, and Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions.
Genesis 5: The plan of salvation as revealed through Adam’s line from Adam to Noah…
Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.
Adam=Red, ruddy, man
Seth = “compensation”, substituted
Enos=man in general (singly or collectively)
Cainan="possession", nest (figuratively chamber or dwelling)
Mahalaleel=praise of God
Enoch= “dedicated”, initiated
Methuselah=man of a dart
Lamech= “powerful”, possibly means "to make low" in Hebrew
Noah = “rest”
A man was the compensation, substitution for (sinful) man in general—His possession (redeemed by His blood)—(He was) the praise of God, He made His descent from heavenly glory to the redemptive task he was dedicated and initiated the final events in the plan of salvation as the man of dart, making Himself low in human flesh, entering into a powerful rest, allowing all to enter His rest today.
Great Controversy pg. 396
It seems to me that there are two factors which have obscured the discussion of this issue for some time. The first of these arises from a lack of clarity in definitions, the second from imprecision in our views of the role of Scripture. In order to make my own comments clear, I will first address these issues.
What is homosexuality? The term is used ambiguously to refer either to a mental or psychological orientation or to a set of behaviors. Some people will use "homosexuality" to refer to a drive in a person which causes that person to be sexually attracted to members of the same sex; men to men or women to women. Others use the term to refer to sexual practices which involve two persons of the same sex. Obviously, there is a connection between these two, but they are not inextricable. Some people who do not normally feel attracted to persons of the same sex may, in some circumstances, engage in sexual acts with a person of the same sex. Others, who do feel such an attraction, may abstain. In order to avoid the ambiguity of this term, I will refer to "homosexual orientation" and "homosexual behavior/activity" to identify these two related but distinct phenomena.
Imprecision regarding the role of Scripture also clouds this discussion. In speaking of the Bible, we may sometimes refer to what it says on an issue, sometimes to the principles which seem to lie behind the text and sometimes to our understanding of its implications an applicability to our own situation. We may also privilege some parts of Scripture or some ideas from Scripture above others. Here I will take the plain sense of Scripture as an authoritative expression of the will of God and will base my assertions about its applicability on consideration of its statements in their context in the canon.
The Bible touches only lightly on the question of homosexual orientation, with only a single clause in Romans 1:27 mentioning attraction of men to men, there regarded more as a consequence of sin than as a sin per se. On the other hand, homosexual behavior is somewhat more widely discussed, though not as widely as (for example) greed or violence. The passages which relate to this issue are Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; I Corinthians 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10. The first two of these identify the act of sexual relations between men as an abomination. The passage from Romans describes homosexual and lesbian practices as examples of the problems which fall on the world as a result of the rejection of God. The last two texts identify those who engage in homosexual practices as one of the groups who are doing things "contrary to sound teaching," who are therefore excluded from the kingdom of God. There are other passages of Scripture which may contribute to this discussion less directly, such as the story of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, but I will confine my remarks here to the five texts which actually refer to homosexual activity.
The two texts in Leviticus state a reason why homosexual behavior is not to be tolerated among the Israelites. It is because these actions are "abominations" to the Lord. The latter of these two texts identifies homosexual activity as a capital offense. There are many other sins of a cultic nature mentioned in Leviticus which may result in "defilement" (meaning that a person who is thus "defiled" is not permitted to enter the sanctuary) but few of them are call "abominations" punishable by death. Homosexual practice, then, is regarded as something far more severe than cultic defilement. We too, must regard it as a grave sin, even if we do not impose capital penalties for it (or for idolatry, adultery and several other sins which merited the death penalty in ancient Israel).
As mentioned above, the passage in Romans treats homosexual practice as one of the various negative consequences which follow from the rejection of God. In this context it is associated with "a debased mind" which does "what ought not to be done" and is placed together with being "filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. . . . envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness" and with people who "are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless." The passage explicitly states that these are the sorts of things that can be expected of people who depart from God, and it clearly implies that these things will not be done by those who are faithful to God. The other two New Testament passages also locate homosexual practice in lists of sins. The terms used to identify homosexual practice are used widely enough in non-Christian literature for us to be quite certain about their meaning.
All of these passages present homosexual behavior as objectionable and forbidden. But none of them can be taken as a condemnation of homosexual orientation. No one is excluded from God's kingdom because he or she experiences same-sex attraction. The focus of Scripture is on homosexual acts. In this light, we must see homosexual activity as a sin like any other sin. Temptations come to all of us. Some are tempted in one way, some in another. The fact that we are tempted does not exclude us from God's kingdom. In fact, in the same passage in Corinthians 6 where Paul says homosexual activity excludes one from God's kingdom, he goes on to say, just two verses later, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11) Clearly, those who experience same-sex attraction but who turn away from homosexual practice may be as fully a part of God's kingdom (and of the church) as any other sinner saved by grace. Further, those who practice homosexuality are as much loved by Christ as any other sinners and they ought to be just as much the objects of our love and concern.
Donn W. Leatherman
School of Religion
Southern Adventist University
I took this photo of my daughter, Reyna Joy, four days ago with my cell phone and saved it as my phone's wallpaper. Ever since then I've pulled out my cell phone about ten times a day when I'm at work, school, etc. just to look at my two-month-old beauty. I love her more everyday.
In a world that has gone mad, why bring precious children into it? Richard O'Ffill says he advises couples its a risk worth taking. "They're the only thing you might be able to take with you to heaven."
Think about it.
What do you call yours that won't one day burn at Christ's second coming? You can't take your car, clothes, or CDs to heaven. As my friend Thomson Paris wrote in a great post, outside of character and souls there is nothing else you can take with you.
But to be more specific, what is mine that I can take? As much as I would like to lay claim to my friends, they really don't belong to me. Therefore, the closest thing I can claim as mine is my family and that strongest claim may be made about my girl Reyna, the one I'm responsible for Biblically, morally, and legally.
So when it comes to what you call "your's" or "mine", take a risk: Have children. Love them. Teach them. Disciple them. And pray they'll be good and faithful servants of the LORD and that they'll spend eternity with you.
Last week I was hurrying though the
My acquaintance is nameless because, as far as I can gather, is deaf and was never taught any language skills—resulting in him not being able to communicate except through grunting and gesturing. He’s a middle-age man, not a student, who likes to hangout on campus.
I smiled and gave him a hug as I’ve often done in the past and then began moving to the Southern Accent newspaper office so I could work. But before I reached it he stopped me. With his right hand he began rubbing his stomach in a circular fashion.
“Oh, your hungry,” I said and he smiled back.
He then pointed downstairs to where the cafeteria was.
“The cafeteria won’t open for another five minutes,” I said, trying to figure out a way to disengage and finish my assignments.
He opened his wallet and showed me he only had a dollar.
“Oh…you’ll only be able to buy yogurt with that much money,” I said.
He nodded his head as if he understood me, rubbed his belly again and started walking downstairs to the cafeteria. I took that as my cue to head in the opposite direction. I looked over my shoulder at him in time to see him glance back at me with a puzzled look. At that moment I realized that he wanted me to join him. I don’t have time, I thought. I kept walking away when it hit me: He was hungry and he wanted me to buy him lunch. I have work to do, I thought and I turned my back on him as I walked through the office doors.
Later that day I thought about what a hypocrite I was. I used not having time and busyness as an excuse not to help my nameless acquaintance. But the reality is I would have gone to the cafeteria if it had been any one of my other friends inviting me. The only reason I didn’t go with him was because he wasn’t worth my time then. I began reflected on a passage from Ellen White’s Thoughts From the Mount of Blessings…
“The standard of the golden rule is the true standard of Christianity; anything short of it is a deception. A religion that leads men to place a low estimate upon human beings, whom Christ has esteemed of such value as to give Himself for them; a religion that would lead us to be careless of human needs, sufferings, or rights, is a spurious religion. In slighting the claims of the poor, the suffering, and the sinful, we are proving ourselves traitors to Christ. It is because men take upon themselves the name of Christ, while in life they deny His character, that Christianity has so little power in the world. The name of the Lord is blasphemed because of these things.” (Mount of Blessings, pg. 136).
What’s really sad is my friend Ezequiel Vasquez had shown me that previous quotation at the library several minutes before I ran into my nameless acquaintance. I even remember agreeing with Ezequiel with what we just read and thanked God for that insight…
And minutes later I walk out, betray Christ, and blaspheme God’s name by turning my back on a hungry brother in need.
Thu Jan 17, 3:30 PM ET
Britain's fertility regulator said Thursday it would allow scientists to create human-animal hybrid embryos for research.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved applications from two universities to create "cytoplasmic" embryos, which merge human cells with eggs from animals such as cattle or rabbits.
Scientists argue the research could pave the way for therapies for diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, although opponents condemned the HFEA's decision Thursday as a "disastrous setback for human dignity".
"An HFEA licence committee has considered two applications, from King's College London and Newcastle University, to carry out research using human-animal cytoplasmic hybrid embryos," the authority said in a statement.
"The HFEA licence committee determined that the two applications satisfied all the requirements of the law and has now offered one-year research licences to the two applicants, subject to a series of detailed conditions in each case."
Researchers want to produce hybrids that are 99.9 percent human and 0.1 percent animal.
Read the rest of the story here.
Why is it that I take so much delight in other people's pain? I know it sounds horrible, but please see the five-second video and perhaps you'll know what I mean...
- "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."
- Mel Brooks
US actor, comedian, & movie director (1926 - )