Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love and Law

People like to say that Jesus was all about love. This is true, but not in the sense people usually mean it. Jesus was not all about just being neighborly and loyal to one another. He wasn't about heedless, selfish love, about winking at all sorts of wickedness in order to maintain the status quo and be popular and avoid offending anybody. No, he was about pure charity, selfless love, about doing the right thing and saying the right thing and wanting the right thing for everybody, come what may. Perhaps the closest modern vernacular is "tough love," the kind that points us to goodness, health, holiness, and heaven.

The gospel is full of hard doctrines that are somehow being conveniently swept under the rug as the cunning, wicked world around us gains our approval and warps our understanding. The pure love of Christ is founded on truth and righteousness, and not just keeping the commandments outwardly but inwardly as well. How important is this thing called law, or in other words right and wrong, righteousness, justice, reality, God's rules?

2 Nephi 2:13 "And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness or happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore all things must have vanished away."

Apparently law is all important! But we are now afraid to stand for goodness and condemn sin, because that shows we aren't loving, right? Wrong. First, while we never condemn people (only God can do that), we are obligated to condemn bad opinions, false ideas, and all manner of wickedness, generally, in ourselves, and in those we have stewardship over. It is possible to love the sinner and condemn the sin because the person and the sin are two different entities. (Don't we continue to love ourselves even though we fall short?) People who are defending sin have embraced the ridiculous notion of combining the person and the sin together. That way, everybody gets hoodwinked into thinking we have to accept the sin or we are aren't loving the sinner and aren't being like Jesus. Again, Jesus condemns sin and calls us to repentance in no uncertain terms. Because he truly loves us.

The wicked don't like the truth about sin. The truth cuts them to the heart and they get angry and defensive and twist things around. They like their sins and don't want to give them up. It's only the meek and repentant who aren't arrogant or angry when their sins are pointed out. Only the meek and repentant are grateful for the truth and for the Savior so they can change and become clean.

Second, if we do not respect law by condemning sin---get ready for it--- we are denying reality, denying Christ, and helping the sinner to hell. And that doesn't sound like love in any sense.

Some say, well, how can we help people if we condemn their sin? Then we're turning them away. Not so. This turning away is up to them. People have to desire goodness. They have to be seeking it. No amount of coddling or friendshipping alone can change a person's desires. But truth can. The truth is more powerful than anything else. So as we go about being patient and kind, if we really love people we have to also testify of  reality, of sin, of Christ, whenever it feels appropriate. We have to love people enough to offer them the whole truth even if they reject it and reject us and choose another path.

There is only love where there is law.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Post Script to "Bye-Bye Boy Scouts"

Our article about the BSA's consideration of letting gays into their organization needs an addendum. All the hype is distorted to make the public think it's about inclusiveness of individuals, but it's not really about that at all. Homosexuals, or those with homosexual tendencies, have always been allowed in the Boy Scouts. No one was asked and no one told if they had those proclivities. It was an unspoken don't ask, don't tell thing. It was a secret sin. But of course they were and are there. Recently the BSA released more than 1,200 files detailing decades of homosexual sexual abuse of minors within their ranks. The LA Times reports a database of more than 5,000 such cases over the years.

Times have changed. Through cunning propaganda the public has changed its opinion of homosexuals from perverts to victims to heroes. An unspeakable vice has become a glorified virtue. Sex activism is aimed at youth. Children and teenagers are being indoctrinated and recruited into gayness. What the BSA is now deciding is not about whether or not to include homosexuals; that's a given. It's about whether or not to jump on the bandwagon and publicly welcome homosexuals, or in other words, whether or not to institutionalize homosexuality within its leadership and ranks. They are deciding whether or not to officially and publicly embrace this vice as a wholesome identity. They are deciding whether or not to publicly approve male-on-male sexuality in principle, in word, and in deed. And of course the BSA has to know that "gay" includes all manner of sexuality, the whole LGBTQ alphabet soup. Surely they must know that homosexual activists purposely target institutions founded on traditional values in order to remake them in their own image.

The fact that the BSA is even considering such a thing shows a highly ironic and blatant disregard for the safety, proper development, and well-being of boys. The possible consequences of all of this are bizarre and unimaginable. You don't have to be a prophet or researcher to foresee that not only will true masculinity  become compromised and distorted as per political correctness of the worst kind, but the homosexual initiations and abuses will continue and increase, carried on in secret by greatly emboldened and entitled proud gays of all ages. Whatever is encouraged increases. Soon they won't even be secret about it anymore.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wicked Thoughts Defile a Man

I know you're really strict about the homosexual-temptations-being-sinful-thing, but . . . 

The above communication came to us recently, and we would like to point out that it is the Lord who is strict about these things because he cares about the welfare of our souls. Of course there is such a thing as a dirty mind! If homosexual behaviors are wrong, so are the temptations (feelings, desires, fantasies, thought patterns) toward those behaviors. If we believe homosexual behaviors to be sinful, how can we honestly say that to think about them is not sinful? That would mean that homosexual temptations are pure and holy, which is what unrepentant gays actually believe. You see, we are dealing with wickedness here. 

But there is more. Gays are claiming their dirty mindedness as an identity, publicizing and celebrating it and demanding that all of us embrace this nonsense. This is the same as people proudly claiming, publicizing, and celebrating their adulterous temptations or their incestuous temptations or their temptations toward pedophilia as "who they are" and demanding special treatment and everybody's utmost respect. But then that is probably coming.

The questions arises, why are supposedly religious people so defensive about having to repent of wrong, bad thoughts? We should all be doing this all the time. If we care about the immortal souls of men, whether or not temptations toward wickedness are acted upon with the physical body is not the point. In fact, as C. S. Lewis put it, sins of the flesh are mere fleabites in comparison to sins of the heart. We must continually cleanse the inner vessel--by way of repentance through Christ--if we are to be fit for the presence of God.

On the subject of whether or not thoughts, feelings, desires, temptations, intents, minds, hearts, appetites, passions, etc. are of great importance and can be wicked and sinful and need repenting of, there are countless scriptures, many of them commonly well-known. We'll let the Lord speak for himself: 

Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

1 Samuel 16:7  " . . . for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

Proverbs 15:26 "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord "

Jeremiah 4:14 "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?" 

Isaiah 55:7 "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts"

 Isaiah 57:7 "their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity"

Mathew 5:27-8 (3 Nephi 12:28) "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

D&C 63:16 "And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear."

Matthew 15:19-20 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts . . . these are the things which defile a man"

Matthew 23:27 "Woe unto you . . for ye are like unto the whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

Luke 12: 34  "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Acts 8:22 "Repent therefore of this wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thoughts of thine heart may be forgiven thee."

Romans 1: 24-32 "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts . . . unto vile affections . . . women . . . and men burned in their lust toward [one] another . . . "

2 Corinthians 10:5 Paul exorts us to: "[Cast] down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and [bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick and powerful . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." 

Peter 4:8  "purify your hearts ye double-minded"

2 Peter 2:9 "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations"

1 Nephi 12:17-19  "And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost."

2 Nephi 4:17-18 "Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me."

2 Nephi 4:27 "And why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul?"

2 Nephi 9:39 "Remember, to be carnally-minded is death . . ."

3 Nephi 6:17 "And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people . . . to be carried about by the temptations of the devil"

3 Nephi 12:28-30 "whosover looketh upon a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart . . . I give unto a commandment that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart; for it's better that you should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye take up your cross, than that ye should be casts into hell."

Mosiah 3:2 "Oh have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified."

 Mosiah 4:30  "If ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts . . . even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish."

Alma 12: 13-14  "Then if our hearts have been hardened. . . against the word . .  then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned . . . and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God."

Moroni 7:48 "Wherefore . . . pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart . . . that we may purified even as he is pure."

D&C 6: 36  "Look unto to me in every thought"
D&C 38:8 "and he that is not purified shall not abide the day"
D&C 95:1  "I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation"
D&C 121:45  "let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly"

And on and on and on.

And as for the tired argument that even Jesus was tempted, thus, being tempted is not bad, we again point out that Satan did the tempting and Jesus, a perfect being, gave no heed to the temptations. Nowhere in the scriptures does Jesus entertain those temptations. In fact, Jesus summarily dismissed Satan. In open, proud, self-identified gays, we are talking about weak, rebellious human beings who indeed give great heed to their temptations, even to the point of making them public, giving them root, as the scriptures say (Luke 8:13), and actually identifying themselves by same-sex attraction, what scripture calls "vile affections." Can you imagine Jesus identifying himself by Satan's temptations for any length of time as "who he was?" Appetite-attracted or power-attracted or glory-attracted? How far we have strayed from trying to be like Jesus!

It is incredible to us that many people, especially leaders and parents, who excuse and/or celebrate a young person's desire for homosexuality, do not care that the self-determined gay person's heart and mind is filled with very mixed up and evil stuff, the likes of which cause souls to perish spiritually if not physically.

People who doubt that the embrace of temptations toward sinful behaviors is an unholy, impure, sinful, and harmful practice (that most assuredly lead to physical acts) must take it up with the Lord, not us.

"Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken. "
 2 Nephi 9:40