For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities Revelation 18:3-5
Like many biblically faithful US churches, Puerto Rican churches are breaking off from the PCUSA over its apostate stance on homosexuality and denial of biblical authority. When a ship is sinking, its foolish to remain onboard when there is a life raft waiting nearby.
In an act of full obedience to biblical authority, this past Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, the congregation of Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana en Bayamón (First Presbyterian Church in Bayamón), located in Santa Rosa Community, resigned in plenary from the Presbyterian Church of United States of America (PCUSA) and declared itself an independent Reformed Presbyterian congregation, under the name Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster (Westminster Presbyterian Church), seeking to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).
This action, which included over 250 signers, was taken mostly due to the arbitrary and repressive positions assumed by the Commission for Evaluation, Education and Resolution of the Presbytery of San Juan, after the Bayamón congregation communicated their opposition to the position assumed by the PCUSA regarding: 1) the authority of the Holy Scriptures, 2) the centrality of the work of Christ, 3) abortion, 4) same-sex marriage and 5) the ordination of homosexuals, among other topics; and requested to transfer their membership to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) denomination in the United States.
Said spokesman Rev. Juan Ramón Rivera Medina, “In light of this oppressive situation, the Session, myself, and the congregation have decided to obey the Word of the Lord. We did not want to submit to the theologically liberal policies of our former denomination, and as faithful believers in the Word, we decided to leave behind all material possessions and carry firmly onward.”
The leadership of the Presbyterian Church USA PCUSA isn’t playing with a full deck. Whoever is in charge seems to be intentionally sabotaging the denomination, like a type of religious assisted suicide. Why? Their dogmatic my-way-or-the-highway approach to gay theology. Gay theology supposes that homosexuals must be added “as is” to the church’s religious life and given full rights and privileges generally reserved for the redeemed. Instead of requiring homosexuals to be redeemed (born again) like every other sinners, the PCUSA has adopted a shab set of new non-rules. Because of it, the denomination has crumbled under blow after blow of churches leaving because the fiends in charge no longer respect what is good, right and holy. The latest to disfellowship itself is the historic Buffalo PCUSA, following others like the ones here, here and here.
The story out of Buffalo, North Carolina via Charisma Magazine:
The historic Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C. is no longer affiliated with the liberal Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. The historic Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is no longer affiliated with the liberal Presbyterian Church of the USA.
Effective Feb. 10, 2015, the historic Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is no longer affiliated with the liberal Presbyterian Church of the USA, which has come under fire in recent years for embracing same-sex unions in violation of scriptural teaching.
By an overwhelming supermajority, Buffalo Church members voted to separate from the denomination due to its rejection of the authority of Scripture.
“Because of our conviction of the truth of the Bible, the reality of Jesus, and scriptural morals, Buffalo Presbyterian Church has, after a long and extensive journey, successfully extricated itself from the PCUSA denomination,” said Interim Pastor Dr. Alex McFarland. “As followers of Christ, we are called first and foremost to recognize and adhere to the authority and truth of God’s Word. Embracing homosexual unions and declaring them to be blessed by God is an arrogant contradiction of this truth. Tragically, the Presbyterian Church of the USA has abandoned 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy, and is leading others astray through its teachings. Buffalo Presbyterian Church mourns the falling away of the PCUSA, but we are constricted by our declaration of faith to look to Scripture alone as the ultimate authority on all matters of doctrine and teaching.”
Religion writer Mark Tooley noted that the 1.7 million member PCUSA suffered some type of spiritual meltdown, authorizing clergy to conduct same sex unions, reaffirming its commitment to largely unrestricted abortion rights, and voting to divest from three firms doing business with Israel. The PCUSA has lost over 200,000 members since 2010 but the gleeful liberals piloting the doomed ship are oblivious to that fact. Tooley estimates the entire denomination will cease to exist in a mere 20 years.
With this type of foolishness, the church will soon be home to nothing but old white women who have passed the age of even caring who comes in and out of the church’s doors.
Obama used his so called “faith” to couch his lie in a respectable cocoon.
“What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting.”
He repeated this declaration of faith in the 2008 campaign:
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian–for me–for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
You’ve probably heard the shrimp retort a 1000 times from gay christians and their liberal religious supporters. Its their gotcha answer to the so called “clobber passages” (bible scriptures they hate and wish didn’t exist). The major contention argument is that Christians are “cherry-picking” which scriptures to apply to their condemnation of homosexuality while ignoring others; therefore their prejudice is exposed and not a concern for what the Bible actually says. So obsessed are gays with shrimpology, they even have a whole website dedicated to it. Joe Decker and Ryland Sanders (now deceased) take ownership for the site. Decker and Sanders try to laugh it off by saying its a “parody” site, but they are dead serious.
“The point we’re trying to make is that by using the Old Testament (specifically the book of Leviticus) as a basis for protesting gay marriage, you run into a couple of problems. The first is that in the New Testament, Jesus established the New Covenant, which stated that the old Mosaic laws about unclean things were invalid (Jesus in his own person said nothing specifically against homosexuality, although Paul later attributed some remarks to him). The second reason is that if you still want to quote from Leviticus, despite Jesus’ doing away with Mosaic law, then you better be prepared to enforce the whole thing, not just the parts you like. This includes not only the injunction against shellfish and mussels and such, but also against wearing fabrics made of blended fibers, cutting or shaving your beard, sowing mixed seed in a field, and a slew of other things nobody but Orthodox Jews take seriously anymore.”
Point taken. Decker and Sanders aren’t the only ones stuck in a shrimp time-warp. Shrimpology is a major rebuttal tenet of the gay activist orthodoxy. They believe in it just as strongly as they do Stonewall. See here, here and here just to name a few.
We get it that most gays think Christians who oppose homosexuality on biblical grounds are hypocrites. Its a given, especially when one’s pet sin is being challenged. And homosexuality is THE pet sin of the gay movement so its understandable they would take umbrage at any challenge that what they do sexually is an abomination to God.
But there been some updates that the shrimpologists may not be aware of. Both of the menu updates are from Jesus.
And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:18-23
On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Acts 10: 9-16
Here’s the main points of the update, summarized:
1. Jesus issued the update over 2,000 years ago. He said its not what type of food a man eats that defiles him, its the wickedness in his heart.
2. In Acts, Christ tells Peter, his main Apostle to the Jews, via a vision that God when God declares something clean, it is clean. The analogy of the food was a very powerful one for Peter an Apostle to the Jews who couldnt eat banned foods.
3. Twice, we have clear evidence from Jesus himself (not a third party) that food is not the issue and what food was unclean is now cleared for consumption.
4. There is no evidence, no words, nothing implied, anywhere in the New Testament absolving homosexuality as clean or acceptable to any person. It is still unclean, abominable and unacceptable to God in every context. No law or decree about homosexuality was rescinded by Christ except that instead of deserved death, now the homosexual was welcome to come to God and find freedom from his sins.
Having said that, please stop denying yourself the deliciousness of some cajun fried shrimp or some incredible shrimp scampi because you didn’t get the update memo.
God doesn’t hate shrimp, He hates sin.
Opponents of the Apostle Paul’s writings particularly on moral/sexual issues always seem to paint him as someone who thought/wrote in a religious bubble. They claim that he had no knowledge of concepts beyond his limited life experiences. In some way, this is supposed to neutralize and diminish the volume of his Spirit-inspired work.
Gay christians in particular, are frequent critics of his body of writing on sex, sexuality, homosexuality and sexual expression in the context of the holiness mandate. Others like Episcopal bishop John Spong have even levied baseless accusations against Paul claiming that his writings are a reflection of his own internalized homosexual angst. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In defense of Paul the man –my Apostle– his educational achievements would be the equivalent of holding 3 PHDs from Oxford and Yale. He studied under the famed Jewish scholar Gamaliel. Gamaliel was president of the Sanhedrin Council during the time of Jesus and one of the most revered rabbis of his day.
Dr. Nelson Price writes: “Gamaliel knew Jewish law and prophecy both of which were enhanced by his wisdom. His teaching was so broad he insisted that his pupils study the Greek poets. That was most unusual for that period. Saul of Tarsus was one of his students. Gamaliel is the reason that years later when Paul, using his Latin name, went to Athens he could quote the line from one of Greece’s most renowned Third Century BC poets, Aratus of Soli: “In him we live and move and have our being.” Paul applied to line as referring to Jesus.”
The superior equipping tutelage Paul received from Gamaliel continued on but in another way after his Damascus Road conversion. Paul was given an unprecedented level of wisdom and knowledge by Christ to carry out his assignment as the chief apostle to the Gentiles. Not only was he a skilled orator, he was a widely traveled man who lived and worked in all parts of the known world at that time. His experiences brought him before world rulers like Ceasar and even the intellectually superior Athenians whose philosophical wisdom survives to this day. His administrative and organizational prowess were without parallel which accounted for the many churches he established.
Paul recounted in 2 Cor 12 how he was caught up into the “3rd heaven” and received a divine download of unmentionable revelation. So powerful was this revelation that God assigned a messenger of satan to constantly trouble him lest he be exalted above measure because of what he knew. In characteristic humility, he spoke of this in the third person. No other apostle, even those who physically walked with Jesus possessed such depth and expanse of revelation, save John.
Paul was no one’s dummy. The caliber of his apostolic writings known as “epistles” rivaled anything written by the most noted scholars of his day. Yet he wrote with such clarity, even the uneducated could grasp its truth. Out of his mind flowed such brilliance that his words are as fresh and striking today as they were when first read by first century believers. He worked and ministered among the diverse populations and cultures of the world seeing what we all know: there is nothing new under the sun. Thus his writings on homosexuality and sexual morality display the weight of his education, experience and divine revelation which encompasses what was, what is and what is to come.
This is the Lord’s apostle to us the Gentiles, who were according to grace, grafted into the family of God.