Science vs Religion

Science can only measure repeatable events. Theology provides an explanation of that which exists beyond the realm of science. Science without religion does not exist. Religion without science does not exist. The two have always been closely intermingled. They always will be.

Just as there are certain physical laws that have been discovered and used to create better societies, so too exist certain moral laws. These moral laws transcend any given society. Once a society begins to ignore these laws, that society’s fabric of being begins to disintegrate. It might take centuries for it to disappear, and indeed aspects of said society may always remain. But as a cohesive society, it will disappear.

Examples of moral laws would be ‘do not steal’, ‘do not murder’, ‘help the weak’. Now, how those laws are interpreted might change from society to society – for instance, aboriginal tribes might consider it OK to steal from those outside the tribe, as they are not considered ‘people’. But the rule still exists.

God, being a god of order, created everything – the physical laws and the moral laws. He did so to help us interact with our environment – including other people. But He DID create them. There are many stories around the world that reflect the same, or similar, history. There ARE apparently fantastical stories, and more common stories to describe similar events. But there seems to be a common thread to them all. ‘Educated’ people call these myths.

But science is unable to measure things like ‘ghosts’, which seem to exist in multiple societies. Science is unable to measure why some people are able to make prophetic statements that come true. Science has never been able to provide all the answers, nor will it ever be able to provide all the answers. However, it is BECAUSE of religion that many scientific breakthroughs have occurred (https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/faith-and-science/).

History actually validates religion and science. For example, look at the Bible. It has been proven time and time again to be historically accurate (https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/08/14/is-the-bible-trustworthy/). To try to ignore God is to put yourself in the position of God in your life. We are free to do so, but I am afraid that those who choose to do so will end up suffering for it.

In the end, if I am right, I have gained everything by trusting in Jesus Christ as having been sent by God the Father to suffer and die to pay the price of my sins. If I am wrong, I have lost nothing, and have stilled gained because I am a better person because of it.

Sex and virginity

Have you ever wondered what God thinks about being a virgin upon marriage?
Deuteronomy 22:13-29
13 “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, 14 and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ 15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; 17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. 18 So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
22 “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.
23 “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
25 “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. 27 When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
1 Corinthians 7:25-38

25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry.37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. 38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

 

Deny yourself or not?

If anyone tells you only Satan would want you to deny yourself, or that you should put yourself first, Jesus disagrees. He said to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him! That is not putting yourself first, but putting God first.

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Mark 8:34

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Luke 9:23

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

Is Porn harmless and is God OK with you viewing it?

Someone said that a little porn is innocent and harms no one and so God is ok with it. I had to address this.

Christ was very clear that lusting after a women is committing adultery.

Matthew 5:28

but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So then viewing porn (movies or pictures) and reading exotic literature/stories causes us to desire someone sexually, to lust after them. This is what Jesus said is adultery. Adultery is one form of sexual immorality.

Sexual immorality is specifically mentioned as something which keeps people from getting into the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So viewing porn or reading letters that cause us to lust are causing us to commit sexual immorality. This is NOT something innocent!

This is why I wrote in an earlier post that one reason for marriage it to avoid sexual immorality.

If anyone thinks the God of the universe is OK with us sinning, then they are either VERY mistaken or not following the one true God who is holy and righteous and demands we stop sinning.

God tells us EVERYONE sins and that sin earns us spiritual death.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
 
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
We must stop sinning, confess, repent, and turn to God.
Acts 26:20
but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance
 
Romans 10:9-10
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
 

Its not that God doesn’t think we wont sin. But God demands we stop, recognizing without His spirit and power, we are unable to do so. We have to confess our sins so God will forgive them and cleanse us from unrighteousness.

1 John 1:8-10

8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

In fact, its clear from scripture that if we claim to be Christ’s then we can NOT make a practice of sinning.
1 John 3:9

9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God

1 John 5:18

18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

So we have to give up sinning, and when we fail, we need to change/repent, confess our sins to God, and stop sinning again. We can most easily do this by praying, confessing our sins to brothers in Christ would will pray for us and keep us accountable, and pray with our own spouse, and taking every thought captive for Christ, and replacing the lies of the world and our own thoughts with the reality and truth of Scripture, and obey God.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

So no, viewing/reading porn/exotic writings is not innocent. It is sexual immorality, and is one of the things God has specifically mentioned that we can not do. We need to change, confess it to God, ask others to pray for us and hold us accountable, and keep turning to God so we have evidence of our repentance.

Rejecting having sex with your spouse is against what God’s word teaches.

In today’s society, people say that being tired, or not in the mood, or not-interested, or low/no libido, or pick your excuse, are all reasons to deny/deprive our marriage partner from having sex.

But what does God say about it?

1 Corinthians 7:2-9

2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But this I say by way of concession, not of command. 7 Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Scripture teaches that one reason we get married is to avoid sexual immorality, so we should have sex with our own spouse.

Scripture does not mention desire or a libido or anything other than being married being a prerequisite to us having sex with our spouse.

Scripture does not teach that we have the ‘right’ to deprive our partner, except to pray, and for an agreed amount of time.

This does not mean you can force yourself upon your spouse. It also does not mean he/she will obey God. But just because your spouse would probably not like it does not mean he/she should be unaware of it. It also doesn’t mean you can’t pray for God to work in your spouse’s heart to obey God and to desire you sexually.

Vengance, grudge, and forgiveness

Do you feel justified in holding a grudge? Do you believe its ok to not forgive someone?

Whether God forgives your sins depends on whether you forgive others!

Romans 12:19
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he did not have the meansto repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.32 Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Ephesians 4:32

32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Colossians 3:13

13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

So, according to scripture, we can not take revenge. Neither can we not forgive. It is required – not merely going through the motions or saying the words, but actually forgiving in our heart those who hurt or offend us.

Transgender and the Bible

I have been asked what does the Bible have to say about transgenderism, or whether it is a sin. I have been thinking about this and looking for what scripture says about it. The phrases ‘transgender’ and ‘gender dyspohoria’ did not exist when the bible was written. But this does not mean they did not exist.

We have to recognize that God has said He created people male or female and that it was very good (Genesis 1:27, 31; Matthew 19:4). God is the one who knit us together in our mothers’ womb and made us wondrously made (Psalm 139:13-14). From this we see that our gender, which is part of us, is good, and is decided by God’s choice, not ours. There are no other genders.

There ARE rare cases, where the body has different chromosomes than the norm – but those are extremely rare. We do not know how sin has corrupted our chromosomes, or whether God intended these from the start and simply did not tell us. But we know that God created us male and female. But this discussion is about changing the body from one gender to another.

Gender dysphoria is the mental condition where a person feels discomfort with their own gender and believe they would feel better if they were the opposite gender and want to do something to their bodies to match their mental image – like Body Integrity Identity Disorder. The common treatment is to give hormones to cause the body to act as if it were the opposite gender, and to dress as the opposite gender, and to undergo surgery to change the body to appear as the opposite gender. But people who have transitioned have a significantly increased chance of committing suicide, when compared to those who do not transition. There are an increasing number of people who have transitioned who have found that did not solve their problems and have transitioned back. Also, the huge majority of people who feel gender dysphoria as children will reconcile their brain to their body as they mature.

While some would like to say there are no Bible verses concerning transgender, I would like to say that there are in fact verses in the Bible which indicate God’s perspective on people transitioning from one gender to another.

We see in Deuteronomy 22:5 the prohibition to dress as the opposite gender. This has been commonly restricted to people who are transvestites. But it applies to all who would present themselves as having a different body than they actually have – and so it applies to those who consider themselves to be transgender, especially before physical transition. It would also apply after transition surgery, since the person’s chromosomes would not change, and while after hormones and surgery the person might appear to be the gender opposite than they were born with, they are still their original gender.

We see in Deuteronomy 23:1 that men who have their testicles crushed or their male organ removed are not to be in the assembly of God’s people. This was was a strong prohibition and tells us what God thinks of removal of sexual organs.

We also see in Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that God has said people are not to have sex with people of the same gender, which would be the gender the person had at birth.

We can see in Matthew 19:4-5 that God created men and women and said they should marry. In fact, Paul was clear that one reason to marry is to avoid sexual immorality so each man could have his own wife, and each woman her own husband (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Just because we might believe something in our heart does not mean it can be trusted. Our hearts are deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 7:20-22). So we must be careful when we are tempted to say that we believe God made us have the wrong physical gender. Instead we must look to what scripture states.

For those who believe God would want them to be happy as someone of the opposite gender rather than holy, God has made it clear that people who will follow Him must deny themselves (Matthew 16:24). In fact we are told to destroy spiritual fortresses and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Once we are Christ’s in every area, our joy will grow (recognizing that some may need medication to help in this area).

Given that God is against dressing as a different gender than one’s birth gender, against the removal of sexual organs, and against people having sex with people of the same birth gender as them, people should seek to heal emotionally rather than seek to transition.

We must not reject people who believe they are doing the right thing by transitioning in part because they have a mental disorder. But more than that, Isaiah told us in Isaiah 56:4-5 that eunuchs who who keep God’s sabbaths, choose what pleases God, and hold fast God’s covenant,  will be given by God an everlasting name which will not be cut off. In those days, it was impossible to replace parts which have been removed. But if after a person had removed sexual body parts, they chose to obey God and do things to please God, God would bless them.

Like everyone, God forgives us when we confess our sins (agree with God about them), repent (change), and turn to Him through faith in Christ and gives us eternal life – and we will have evidence of repentance and faith (Acts 10:43; Acts 26:20; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 1:9).

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