Monday, April 16, 2007

Alison Reads "Learn the Bible" and Ponders....

Email exchange between Alison and yours truly (with Ali's permission, of course):

From Ali:

A dream, a thank you and a question (well, several)

I woke up this morning (I didn't get to sleep til 5am or something because I was so excited after speaking to you) and I'd had a dream. A few actually. But the resounding image I have, was getting on a small riverboat which was like a horse and carriage without horses. De was driving the boat and it was sailing down this little river into a sunset. He put his arm around me and I leaned into him and felt very safe (as with an uncle) and we continued along peacefully into the night. Then I woke up. What do you make of that?!

Thanks for the mention in the blog. We'll go to town on the peppermint tea and have a wild weekend! I've been walking on sunshine all day because it just feels so right. The tentative chain of coincidences leading me to this could only be divinely inspired.

I have to ask you for help with the book (Bible in 24 hours). My main block with the Bible has been that I was brought up to be very tolerant and I just can't cope with the idea that condoning homosexuality is wrong. I can't reconcile that. I have so many dear friends in loving, long-term relationships (which are in quite a few cases better models than those of my heterosexual friends). This is a big problem for me and I'm almost in tears about it. I desperately want to be at peace with what I'm reading but that has upset me, and also the idea that God would command That Shalt Not Murder and then support the slaughter of thousands just perplexes me. Am I taking things too literally? Should I just press on?

It's hard but I feel great sorrow at the idea of God being so angry or unforgiving and I find it hard to believe that He would be. But the Bible has documented instances where He has been. This is frightening me a lot! I don't need an angry 'parent' to knock me down. Can you help me with this? Am I missing something? Am I allowing fear to get in the way of faith? But if the Bible is to be taken to heart then you can't pick and choose the passages that suit you, surely?

I'm firing all this at you because I know your faith is great enough to guide me - I'm sure you won't be affronted by anything I'm saying. It all comes from wanting to learn and grow and get closer to God, but what I'm reading is frightening me because I feel I'm falling short and always will. I'm sure this is valid for your blog but I'd appreciate it if you could answer privately until I'm sure I'm not evil and headed for damnation for loving my friends!

Argh. Sorry. I don't mean to be a burden but I'm actually stunned by the emotional reaction I've had to what I've read so far. Even though I'm upset (no need for being upset to be a bad thing), I think it's all good and going in the right direction and I'm desperate to keep reading - but I have to work tomorrow. So inconvenient!


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Dear Ali

What a great dream! I think De is giving you his blessing to be his "niece," acknowledging you as part of the family. That's my take on it, anyway...

About homosexuality... It is no worse than adultery, gossip, lying or any other sin (missing of the mark). It is called an "abomination" in the Bible (and earthbound preachers love to rail against it because it's probably the only sin that only 10% of the congregation is involved in) because it is part and parcel of the "fall from grace" that happened in the Garden of Eden. God loves homosexuals as much as he loves the rest of us who "miss the mark" whether by design or by ignorance (not knowing any better). Homosexual and transgender Christians are as deeply loved by God as we all are -- not because of what they practice, but because all of us are made in God's image and he treasures us the way a good, sane parent would continue to love a child who acknowledged that he or she is homosexual. (Not all parents are forgiving , though, so some kids and adults will always hide their sexual orientation if it doesn't fit the mode of "normalcy.")

I think if you will talk to homosexuals you know and who trust you with tough questions, you will find that they themselves consider what they are to be "off the mark" from what they would normally have chosen. Not too many people decide, "Hey, I want to be a homosexual when I grow up!" It's a genetic or emotional or hormonal or some type of "wiring" thing that goes awry. Most homosexuals feel a sense of deep shame and sadness that they can't be "normal" like everyone else. That in itself is a clue: Homosexuality is not the way God designed humans to be, or animals. That said, ten percent of mammals of all species ARE homosexual -- it is what it is, as a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden.

Is anyone "guilty" who is homosexual? If they CHOSE it (got hurt by a heterosexual relationship and turned to it for sexual gratification because they no longer trust the opposite sex), it is not homosexuality -- it is opportunistic fornication, and fornication to satisfy lust or horni-ness is using someone else out of self-preoccupation rather than love. It's a violation. God despises people who use others to satisfy their own "lusts." Using people as objects is ungodly.

With the New Testament, we are living in days of Grace. Jesus has died for every sin we have committed or ever will commit, if we believe that He did what He said He came here to do, and indeed did do.

There is no sex in heaven -- heteros and homos will have no urge in heaven that would violate the rules of heaven.

I have many friends who are homosexual and I do not look down on them. I feel sadness for them, because I know most of them have not "chosen" their homosexuality any more than the rest "choose" heterosexuality. I feel sorry for them because they are considered "other" by most of the world, and that has to hurt. The fact that they usually have wonderful long-term relationships should surprise no one -- they will gather with those who accept them as they are, just as we all do!

About the murder thing.... Did you notice that the people God said should be wiped out were the "giants" (mixed marriages between fallen angels -- Nephilim, Satan's com padres -- and sons of men), minuscule tribes in the land (population-wise)? By ordering their annihilation via the Jewish nation, He was fighting Satan's progeny before they had a chance to spread like a cancer across the world, while containment was still possible. Had the Israelites actually done what God required (instead of taking over the land and intermarrying with them), there would be no mixed breed (angel-spawned) Arabs today and we would have much less of that region's tension which we now live with! God's plans are ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS to our benefit. We can disagree with them, fight them, decide to ignore them or even to hate His modus operandi (and many Christians do!) but God is never wrong. He is always doing what he does, and allowing what he allows, for our refining and betterment. He loves us and like any good father he will condone killing in order to protect his threatened children and to optimize their destiny.

Satan has used "Jew haters" all these years -- first to try and wipe out the genetic line to Jesus, the Messiah (and prevent him from doing what he came here to do; which they came to within ONE PERSON of doing numerous times before Jesus was born), and nowadays to see if they can wipe out the Jews so Jesus will not come back again for his "remnant" -- those Jews who are still turning to Him as their Messiah even 2000 years later (my pastor is one of them; he came to Jesus in 1977 after a lifetime of being an observant Jew).

The spiritual war in the heavens is going on like this all the time. When we give our lives to Jesus, the cloak of protection is thrown across our shoulders and NOTHING WE DO OR FAIL TO DO can keep us from His love, protection and ultimate salvation.

No one is perfect. That's why he had to come and show what a perfect man does who is in complete obedience to his Father (our Father God). That's why only HE could die as the perfect sacrifice, because only a perfect Man (the Second Adam) can blot out the transgression of the first Adam and restore the one-on-one relationship between Creator and His Created.

This is it in a nutshell. You are free to continue to love and to support and to pray for your homosexual friends. I hope they will come to Christ realizing how much he loves them and realizing that He died for anything they may think (or be told) they are doing "wrong" by society.

God is love and it would be quite a stretch of my understanding to find him in any way opposed to love. What's He's against is people using people (fornication), whether gay or straight. Those homosexuals spotlighted in the Bible were just out to fornicate, not to create lasting bonds. They were just out to satisfy their flesh. I don't know of a single committed homosexual relationship where sex is the chief objective. Love, friendship and mutual support are. Sadly, I know too many heterosexual relationships where sex is all there is between two people; casual linkage, entertainment, getting kicks. Talk about tragic and ungodly -- there you have it!

It's a bit of a shame that homosexuals cannot marry and thereby be considered no longer fornicators. The domestic partner title takes away the "fornicator" label because it establishes that they are in a committed relationship.

However, I don't support passing laws to allow homosexual marriages. I do support domestic partnerships. (And I may well be in the minority in Christian circles. I don't really know.) Marriage was ordained by God as a covenant between a man and a woman. Marriage was established to produce progeny -- children. So I do support a ban on calling homosexual unions marriages and you are free, free, free to hold the opposing opinion. Lots of Christians do!

Bottom line is: I know God is trying to establish heaven on earth through his children, and to the extent that we don't keep it "set apart and pure" enough for Him to come down and commune with us, I am against it. I want to commune with God more than I want to commune with anyone else...

Does that clarify anything? I hope so? I'm not the world's best explainer. And none of us will ever "get" God completely -- His plans, His strategies -- until we are in heaven with Him and are transformed to His exact likeness. I think there will be former homosexuals and adulterers in heaven -- murderers, too! He will redeem many of them because they came to love him and his unique grace and forgiveness on earth and repented... (They doesn't mean they never sinned again... the sin in our lives has a life of its own.. you'll learn about this in the New Testament readings! Keep going! You are going to fall in love with Your Creator!)


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Hi, Kris,

OK. So I guess that makes us cousins now!

Thank you so much for this. I was waiting up because I knew you would reply and I knew it would help. What you've said about homosexuals was pretty much what other Christians I have asked have said too - that we all fall short of the mark and it's not just one group. I fully support objection to fornication. It's a horrible thing. I thought I was completely abnormal all these years for having no interest or ability to have casual sex because it appears to be considered the norm. I'm just relieved I've stayed true to myself and that the rule I've made for myself (true love or nothing) is something that feels more and more right as time moves on. I want to protect my younger relatives, though - what's being accepted as the norm really upsets and angers me.

About the wiping the people out thing - I was beginning to realise that those were the Nephilum. I think I'm tired and was getting confused. I will carry on reading. I know in my heart that my God is there. That's the main thing!

The marriage thing - I don't know enough about it but I can see what you mean. If marriage means man and woman for procreation then it's hardly apt. But then again what's in a name. I just want everyone to be safe and happy and I swear if it would make a difference I'd die for it right now!

Arabs then... are you saying they're not supposed to be here? (We don't have to get into this now - I'm sufficiently reassured for one evening)

Thanks, Cousin Kris! I should imagine De would be a lovely uncle and hopefully not send me to my room too often!


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Since God sees the beginning and the ending of our saga as a species and planet all at once, I'm sure he knew the Israelis would not drive the Nephilum out... All the stuff we (or Israel) don't do that we should (Ten Commandments) were simply the laws God gave us to keep us safe and ethical with each other. He knew from the outset that we would be unable to keep them ... the laws were placed there to let us know where we go wrong and where we step away from what God would have us do to stay true to him and to each other. He KNEW we couldn't keep them. The Law was his way to say "You will need Me, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit to get you into heaven because you are incapable of measuring up on your own. You twist my rules and get twisted in the process... and I cannot live with wicked (this means "twisted") people because you no longer reflect me, you are not honoring your station as my image-bearer.

You see, if there were ANY WAY we would be able to measure up on our own, Jesus would not have had to make a personal appearance and do what he did to rescue us.

With the Ten Commandments, God was saying "This stove is hot... don't touch it!" when he gave the commandments, the Thous shalt nots... Of course being dumb kids, we all have to touch the stove in order to learn "Daddy was right and had my best interests at heart."

Arabs? Should they be here? Be aware... The Arabs who are here now, well intermixed as they are with Nephilum from eons ago, feel as innocent of their sinful beginnings as we feel we are innocent of Adam's and Eve's sins, but we all continue to live with the aftermath of our patriarchs sins and always will until we are gathered back to the Father. The planet has been denigrated by human sin on all sides and in every direction. This is hardly the time to start pointing fingers! Just look around at the pollution, global warming, etc -- all the ways we have violated God's command to have dominion (as opposed to domination) over every living thing. We have squandered and pillaged and raped the charge He gave to us. It's utterly appalling. Earth was created perfect to support us without effort. When Adam and Eve fell, God's consequences had to be placed into effect or they (we) never would have realized we had done anything wrong. Like a good Father, He was letting us know, "Sin is a pernicious, cancerous thing. It causes death of spirits, people, plant life, animal life... It creates havoc in the natural world." Sin is not something we can shrug off as unimportant or petty.

God did say he would make of Ishmael's offspring a great nation, too (by great he meant large), but that they would forever cause the descendants of Isaac (Abraham's son by his wife Sarah) trouble, strife, war and grief. (Isaac and Ishmael were half-brothers. Isaac was the son of promise -- God opened Sarah's barren womb when she was 90 and Isaac was 100 and gave them Isaac as the first offspring in line in the nation of Israel; Ishmael was the product of an arranged impregnation of a slave of Sarah's because she was barren and she never thought Abraham would have a child if she didn't arrange this -- she wasn't willing or believing in God's promise of a son for them, or else thought she was helping God along by making this arrangement. It was a fiasco from the beginning, from Ishmael's birth. We are still living with the aftermath of Sarah and Abraham taking taking matters into their own hands and not waiting on God for the promised son.)

Arabs are here. Jews are here. Christians are here. It is what it is. Human free will allowed it and all of the carnage that has resulted because of it. We will suffer the consequences of anything we allow -- whether it's good, bad, or somewhere in between. God doesn't have to bail us out of bad decisions we make -- but he's willing, if we deliver up our earnest hearts and wills to Him, realizing he has our best interests always at heart and knows our end.

He knows what decision you are going to make regarding Him. He knew while you were in your mother's womb. Nothing you decide will surprise him. It may surprise YOU, but it will not surprise him.



Alison said...

Wow. When we get going we really get going. When I come over we'll be up all night talking.

Who needs alcohol, sex, drugs and rock n roll when you've got gobs like ours!!!

(Gob: vulgar UK slang for mouth)

Car lRylander said...

Are you a creationist, Kristine??

Kristine M Smith said...

I believe God created the universe and all physical matter and creatures, yes. Read "Learn the Bible in 24 Hours" and you will believe it, too. Chuck Missler, the author, is a physicist. It's the only "theory" that makes sense and can be proven -- the Bible prophesied history generations before most of it came to pass -- only God knows the end from the beginning. He is outside time and can see the whole parade, as mentioned in an earlier blog.

Kristine M Smith said...

Ali, It's a sure bet!