Sunday, May 28, 2017

Drawing Line After Line

We went to an extended family temple wedding the other day. When it was over we were exiting by way of the foyer and saw an extended family member who has made it very public that he is gay, and his sex partner. They were making a big production in the middle of the room about tying this grown man's tie. Being the center of attention in some way appears to be their modus operandi. Now, this homosexual relationship is common knowledge. And they increasingly insinuate their relationship into family events, even though they have been told not to. Sadly, parents and grandparents have pretty much given up trying to take a stand. The result is the normalization, even the encouragement, for all of all ages including young children and teens to see, of homosexual behavior.

It didn't take much thought. It was obvious what we had to do, sad and uncomfortable as it was. We decided that we had to skip the family photos and the luncheon and the reception, later leaving our gift with the parents of the groom. We found out we will not only forego gay weddings, we will forego gatherings we know will be attended by openly proud gay couples, i.e. sodomites.

We are having to draw yet another line we will not cross,this time concerning family get-togethers.

Let us break this down a little. Would you attend a party where openly proud pedophiles/child molesters were present and generally welcome? How about porn producers or stars? Or pimps? Or child sex slave recruiters, all who make their proclivities and activities widely known? Would you mingle with them socially? Would you shake their hands? Would you break bread with them? Would you have your children around them? Would you want your photo taken with such people under these accepting, normalizing, equalizing conditions? Where would you draw the line? Would you draw any line at all?

Would these gay guys draw any line anywhere? Who knows? Who knows how desensitized they have become? But you can bet these flagrant homosexuals are all about not giving others the courtesy of drawing any lines. As we've said, they have been asked not to flaunt their relationship at family gatherings. In other words, at the very least, the sex partner is not to be there. Apparently they ignore this request completely, and the heads of the family have given up trying to enforce their request. It seems that they delude themselves into thinking this "couple" doesn't do anything sexual. If this weren't so blind and pathetic it would be laughable. Ask any gay couple if their relationship is sexual. They will get a good laugh.

How's that for gays pushing their weight around? How's that for gays insinuating themselves into wholesome situations? How's that for gays having zero respect for those who know their age-old sins to be harmful and destructive? How's that for gays not caring about anybody but themselves and their current proclivities?

This is what our culture has come to. Are you willing to draw any lines? Any lines at all?


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Lusts and Lies

There is misinformation going around about physical attraction, which confusion is being used to excuse homosexuality and promote homosexualism. The lie being propagated, and actually persuading people, is that everybody is sometimes attracted to people they are not supposed to be attracted to. And since everyone is attracted inappropriately, it's okay or normal, or at least okay and normal for homosexuals. Crazy, but people are buying it.

Such a conversation might go like this:

A: It's wrong to be same-sex attracted. They can get help and repent."

B: Well, have you ever been attracted to someone other than your spouse?

A: Well . . . yes.

B: There you go! People can't help being attracted to whoever they find attractive.

We'll continue that later. So far, it's all wrong. It's not the right story or the whole story. It's a false distraction and a clever way of making people think there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. Let's break it down.
 
What is lust? Is it the same thing as noticing that someone is an attractive person? Or is it purely sexual? Are human beings able to control lust, that is, sexual attraction? Is lust always bad? Is love lust?

We are bringing up these questions because the world has got them upside-down and backwards. And people are buying it! So let's answer them correctly.

Lust is very strong sexual desire that is out-of-bounds. Lust is one of the seven deadly sins. It consists of thinking, fantasizing, daydreaming graphically about sex and sexual desire, alone or generally or with others. It is a selfish pleasurable sexual objectification of people and even things. Thinking dirty, talking dirty, masturbation, pornography, prostitution, lasciviousness, promiscuity, rape, child sexual abuse, homosexuality, and the like, are all lust-based, although other sins may play a part, such as power over others, greed, and idolatry.

Lust is never a good thing. It has nothing whatever to do with love and kindness. It is not the same as wholesome attraction between a male and female. It has nothing to do with seeing or feeling an impersonal attractiveness in people or clothing or talents or art. Lust is the line that is crossed when a wholesome attraction or perception of beauty turns to purely selfish sexual feelings.

People cannot help seeing whether a person is male or female. They can't help seeing the shapes of people, their skin, or their features. This is simply because God gave us eyes and we have learned what to find beautiful. We can't help seeing innocent attractiveness in people, or beauty in works of art or the ballet, for example. In other words, we all notice attractive people and beauty.

Nor can people help noticing blatant immodesty or seductiveness. It's sad, but there it is.

What people can help is what they do with these images, in their minds to begin with. Lust is when a person turns that innocent loveliness or that immodesty, seductiveness, even that nakedness, into something purely sexual inside their own heads and hearts. Think about it. Jesus could see anyone in any condition of dress or undress, in any condition of innocence or wickedness, and not turn that person into a sex object. It's possible! No one should go around thinking lewdly, that is, objectifying and lusting after anybody. Lust is always bad, because it is always low and always purely selfish.

The fact that people are actually going around saying that noticing someone is physically attractive is the same as lust, shows how far our pop culture has come in sexualizing human beings. This used to be called having a dirty mind. Beauty, the human form, human flesh, has been made over into sexuality first and foremost. This is what our debauched sexually permissive culture promotes. Many people have no qualms about the idea of lewdly and lustfully undressing anybody they see or meet in their minds.

It's no wonder human sexuality is taking every possible turn. Everyone and everything is sexualized, when the truth is, sexuality should only be used properly, lovingly, unselfishly, solely between husbands and wives. In fact, decent people do not think about anyone other than their spouse in terms of the decent people's personal sexuality at all, or know they shouldn't and take care not to. Think of doctors and nurses, parents, families, friends, coworkers. There should be nothing sexual there toward others, whether clothed or naked. 

Lust has no part in being sexually attracted to someone you intend to get to know and perhaps marry. In addition, good couples who are dating or engaged or married do not think only sexually about their loved one. They think of the whole person and often put the other person's wishes before theirs.

A friend was visiting our home several years ago and made a casual comment about our 2 or 3-year-old that was strange. "Oooh, sexy," she said. A toddler sexy? Wrong. She may have been referring to the child's grace, her comely shape, her attractiveness. But sexy? Please.

People need to read good literature (and not read bad literature). Classics, including the scriptures, refer to people often as fair, the fairest in the land, attractive, beautiful, lovely. No one can help noticing someone extraordinarily attractive or charismatic. But, generally speaking, we are not to go any farther. School thy feelings, says the hymn. Keep your heart pure. Whoever has trouble doing this---and it may be more difficult in this sexually permissive, oversexed, in-your-face world--- needs to repent continually. Some, at some times, are more prone to lust than others, but we all have our weaknesses. We are all in constant need of turning back to God and relying on Christ.

We mustn't buy into this oversexualization of everything, including each other. We are all children of God. We should be able to tell, or know, who is male and who is female, leave the sex distinction at that, and act accordingly when it comes to clothing, modesty, bathrooms, grouping, roles, and propriety. The only human relationship that should include sexuality in thought and deed is the one where marriage is concerned.

It's a little frustrating to write about these things because they shouldn't have to be taken apart like this. Time was when the birds and the bees, when right and wrong, when good and evil, when the difference between lust and love, were all taken for granted in a thousand spoken and unspoken ways. People need to read some good books and watch some good old movies. It's all there. But now the devil has had his way. He has so twisted and contorted male and female, sex and sexuality, child and adult, that people are talking nonsense and confusing everybody else. You can't help who you lust after? You can't help who you "love?" Oh yes you can. Everybody needs to stop with the sexualizing and homosexualizing of everything and replant their feet firmly on the good, honest earth.

Let's finish our conversation between A and B and give it a good ending.

A: When I said I find people attractive other than my spouse, I didn't mean sexually, or anything personal. Why did you assume I did? I don't think sexually about anyone other than my spouse. If I did I'd have to repent. I'm just noticing that there are handsome or beautiful people.

B: Oh, sorry. But it's still an attraction. I'm trying to show you how gays can't help how they feel and there's nothing wrong with it.

A: And yet you seemed to be convicting me of lust. Why?

B. I don't know. Everything gets sexualized these days. It seemed like a good argument to excuse homosexuality.

A: Oh, so if everybody sins, sin is okay?

B. Hmm. I guess that's not a good argument.

A. The thing that makes any physical attractedness inappropriate is the sexualizing of the person or people.And people aren't necessarily doing that; at least we can hope they aren't. There's a difference between people's attractiveness and turning that into sexual lust.

B: Oh, I see. So attractedness just is. But when people say they are same-sex attracted they are talking about same-sex sexual desires? When they say they can't help who they love, they really mean they don't want to restrain their lusts?

A: Right, that's how people are thinking nowadays and both lust and homosexuality are always wrong. People of the same sex can and do love each other, but they mustn't sexualize those feelings.

B: Wow, I never thought about it. Whatever else it may be, homosexuality has to be sexual. And I wasn't fair using general attractedness to excuse homosexual lust.

A: Yes. And like other sexual sins, homosexuality is out-of-bounds both in desire and deed. It is based on lust and lust is always wrong.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Johnson Amendment and Churches

Image result for lyndon johnsonFirst, a little history lesson on the Johnson Amendment. In 1954 Lyndon Johnson was running for re-election to the  U.S. Senate. Some local Texas ministers were preaching against him from their pulpits. He saw this as being detrimental to his chance of winning. So he connived a plan. He went to congress and proposed an amendment to the tax code which would threaten churches with loss of their tax-exempt status if they preached against specific candidates, which of course includes parties. Ever since then, churches have bowed to this intimidation.

Tax-exempt status means that churches as institutions do not have to pay any federal (and consequently state) income taxes on their net profits, nor property taxes. Net profits include all tithes and donations, and all businesses, properties, and holdings such as real estate, malls, stores, products, books, restaurants, TV stations, newspapers, web sites, etc. Neither do they pay property taxes on all their lands and buildings. So we could be talking a lot of money here, say millions and millions of dollars per year.

It appears that churches love their money. But money may not have been the only issue. If a church was already annoyed with some internal rifts over political parties/candidates, the Johnson amendment smoothed out its job. It had a governmental excuse not to address political concerns. Politics became off limits. But churches took it farther than keeping mum about political candidates. Eventually many churches used the attitude/perception of the Johnson amendment as an excuse to turn themselves into neutral zones concerning the most immoral and wicked and depraved practices that mankind has ever known-- because they have become politically-charged. That these moral issues have been politicized is not surprising in our Godless world.

This is when we start hearing people defend their churches. No, no! Our church is conservative! It still upholds family values and the scriptures and God's laws! You think so? When was the last time you heard anybody in your church, from pulpits or otherwise, talk against the popular practice of abortion, even when Planned Parenthood was caught selling baby parts? Do you see an increase in warnings against pornography and its many dangers? Or do you see a softening toward it, as in it's an unfortunate addiction and users are victims? Does your church say anything much against lust and sodomy? Or is this just "who people are?" How about child sex abuse? How about child sex slavery? How about the torturing and mass murdering of Christians in the Middle East? What about Americans being sued and punished for exercising their constitutionally protected right of religious freedom? These are huge current events. When was the last time your church, local or world-wide, used its resources or got involved in combating any of this issues, and stuck with it, even increased its vigilance?

Back to the Johnson Amendment. Wonder of wonders, this week this travesty was lifted, at least temporarily, by an executive order from President Trump. The Washington Post reported,

“For too long the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs,” Trump said, later telling those gathered for the event that “you’re now in a position to say what you want to say . . . No one should be censoring sermons or targeting ­pastors.” 

The plan of this administration is to have this amendment officially repealed as part of their tax reform plan. It's about religious freedom, and all churches should be overjoyed. No longer do churches have to fear standing before the world for truth and righteousness and teaching their congregants what is right and what is wrong ---morally, politically, and spiritually. These inspired leaders can even tell their members what party to belong to and who to vote for! Every faithful church-goer and ecclesiastical leader should be so happy. 

No longer need churches be afraid of financial entitlements being taken away for anything they teach. Now leaders of America's churches can feel completely free to unite their members in the most important and essential issues of the day and keep their churches true to the faith. On essentials we must have unity, said St. Augustine. A house divided will fall, said Lincoln. If ye are not one ye are not mine, said Jesus. Failing to stop evil leads to more evil, said Richard Giannone.

Check and see what your church said about this great gesture toward religious freedom. There's a problem if it insists on maintaining its neutrality. Are churches supposed to be neutral on anything important? What does the Lord say about being lukewarm? Indeed, it appears that churches have been exploiting the Johnson amendment so as to not have to referee their congregants over politics, take pressure from the various sides within the church, discipline members who took positions opposite the church, or spend resources fighting battles against the world. When churches take a stand they sometimes get embarrassed or come under fire. Sad to say, if they can't take the heat, they decide to stay out of the kitchen.

What responsibility do churches have to stand for truth and righteousness? Actually, it is their primary purpose. Otherwise they are not churches. They are whited sepulchers, shams full of hypocrites who are all about protecting their own worldly interests while pretending to be about loving God and saving souls. The scriptures call such a church the whore of all the earth. It is called this because it sells its virtue, its truth, its God, like a prostitute, for money or other gain. The scriptures also call it priestcraft.

And how is church neutrality working out? It's no good trusting the government. Upstanding American citizens are getting thrown in jail, sued, ruled against, fined, and put out of business for exercising their moral and religious convictions. This is the kind of government we have now, and the kind of judges: anti-Christ---and every good church knows it.

Let's remember that churches are one of the very last protections against despotism, tyranny, bondage. Dictators hate religion because it may encourage people to think for themselves and put their trust in a higher power than the dictator. Churches that espouse neutrality on important moral issues (and almost every hot-button issue today has moral implications), they forfeit any vestige of their own freedom, not to mention their congregants' freedoms, open the gates to totalitarianism, and sign their own death warrant. History shows this time and again. In communist countries, for example, church buildings and cathedrals quickly become off-limits or are boarded up and left to crumble.

Churches are supposed to uphold their doctrines, in every policy, every decision, every word, come what may. How can they expect their members to stand for truth and righteousness if they don't?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Who is Legitimately Loony?

We thought sharing this and our response would be instructive:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I love you, I love you, I love you?":

Whoa! Hahahahahaha! I started out a bit hurt by some of what I was reading here, but this one makes me laugh. Turns out you're just legitimately loony. What a damn relief. Hahahaha 

Our response:

First, there sure are a lot of anonymous people out there. But they are not anonymous to us, and certainly not to the Lord. They are souls of immeasurable spiritual worth and they all have names. It's too bad they do not know this.

Second, it is sad to see how this person has reacted to the sane words we have posted. 

Third, we are posting this particular comment to show evidence of the shaky mental state that exists today, to show the false victimization irresponsible people allow themselves, to show the lack of respect for people who share differing ideas, and to show how these people have no reasonable argument to counter our well-measured thoughts and so resort to caustic sarcasm, name-calling, nonsense, cussing (and oftentimes worse).

Image result for lunatic dreyfusUnhinged mental state: "Hahahahahaha! . . . Hahahaha" (Does anyone remember Pink Panther movies with "the lunatic Dreyfus" and his hysterical laughter? Hysterical laughter is how this character reacted to life and death situations. Now that's madness. Oftentimes movies show somebody slapping a hysterically laughing person in the face to shock them out of their temporary lunacy.)

Victim mentality: "I started out a bit hurt by some of what I was reading . . . " (Again, no one is forced to read our postings, and no one can be hurt by another's words unless they allow themselves to be hurt. This person is in the habit of putting others in charge of their feelings and then blaming others for their feelings.)

Lack of respect: "this one makes me laugh."

No reasonable argument: "Whoa! Hahahahahahah!"

Sarcasm: "Hahahahaha!" (Making light of a serious topic.)

Resort to name-calling: "you're just legitimately loony."

Resort to cussing: "What a damn relief."  (and more victim mentality)

We invite everyone to reread the post named in light of the above comment. It is a well-thought-out, reasonable discussion of a significant event that has far-reaching effects on many people's temporal and spiritual well-being. The questions and ideas presented are based on reality, truth, knowledge, and God. Where is Anon's well-thought-out, reasonable, counter discussion?

It's important to see what this comment more subtly implies, on top of all of the obvious implications cited above. It shows a person with zero interest in truth, in repentance, in knowledge, or in reality, a person who has never been taught or has rejected the history and experience of the entire human race, a person who has set aside God's Word in favor of what the selfish, hedonistic world around him has taught him and in favor of his own current felt-needs. Who does such a thing except a people bent on nihilism and self-destruction?

This tragedy, this choice, this degeneration, this madness, has occurred within the passage of one generation of the human race. No respect for God and righteousness or even people with differing beliefs. No depth of thought or reasoning. No seeking for truth. No wisdom. Hysterical ridicule. Delusional self-comforting by blaming others, even blaming strangers they have never met and aren't being forced to read, for their their own bad feelings. And that's legitimately loony.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Coming Out is an Excuse, Part 3

Another comment from Anon:

What am I healing from? When I was a small child I could recognize that I had some of these feelings. I would also here rhetoric like that often used in your page here- claiming that those is this situation are ill or evil. Growing up hearing those things I came to believe I was somehow fundamentally broken as a person.

I needed healing from that belief. I wasn't struggling not to cry for myself when I read your writing. I was hurt because I worried for others in my situation who are hiding this out of shame and fear- terrified they are not ok. These people could find your writing and have those fears validated.

God is not a massage therapist, he is a heart surgeon- but not the kind that cuts other's hearts. He heals them.


Dear Anon,

So glad you are still reading. We totally get where you are coming from.

First, small children do not sexualize themselves in any way unless they are abused.Untampered-with children recognizing they have gay sexual feelings is a false idea pushed by today's homosexualists. Don't buy into it. Children, including you, are born innocent about sex and sexuality. Sexuality biologically and sociologically develops later in life, during and after puberty, hopefully in healthy ways with exposure only to proper role models and true principles. So when you were a small child you couldn't have had sexual feelings, including gay feelings (which are sexual), unless you were abused in some way and so, taught bad ideas.  Sexuality is learned, proper or improper, healthy or unhealthy. We are very sorry the culture around children today is teaching and modeling ideas that are sexually abusive and prohibit proper sexual development. Surely, you cannot deny that this is occurring.

Maybe you are confusing gay sexual feelings with a yearning for same-sex acceptance/friendships or an early gender nonconformity. Maybe people called you sexualized names when you didn't even know what those words meant. Nobody should base their life on what they did or felt as a child, what their harmless interests were or are, or the unkind names ignorant people called them. For example, children of either sex yearning for or loving  same-sex friends or liking either girlish or boyish toys/activities have nothing to do with sexuality. These are normal developmental phases that kids grow out of. The problem is how our wicked culture today has sexualized them.

"Sissies" and "tomboys" used to grow up to be normal, healthy, happy husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Now they never grow up and self-identify as gay. Now that is sad.

You seem to be saying people teased you for being effeminate or gay. But you weren't homosexual, not as a child (unless you felt that way because someone abused you and messed up your healthy sexual development). So what really happened is that people used rhetoric that hurt you for being you yourself, immature and undeveloped as you were and we all are when young, and you later turned that into being teased or bullied for being gay. It often happens that people who choose to self-identify as gay, rather than search out why they have unwanted same-sex sexual attraction,  recast past experiences to validate their present choices. We hope this clears that up.

 Next, while we should all be taught that our souls are of immeasurable worth to God, and be treated as such (which doesn't always happen because we're here on earth where there is opposition in all things), it's not a bad thing to understand one's brokenness or vulnerability to sin and error. It's actually good. Christianity is based on the principle that every human is fundamentally sinful and fallen (broken) as a person. This is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. It's very important to understand this. People who do not are not real Christians. It is a modern sophistry to reject this principle and whine about unkind people making you think you are broken. Of course you are. Every human being needs Christ to make them whole, that is, clean and forgiven through humility, repentance, and reliance on Christ. The gospel is about our immortal souls. How we react to things beyond our control, how we school our human desires and tendencies, who we give credit to, what we worship, will determine the fate of our souls.

You are saying we at SoL are hurtful because we point out God's laws. We are just the messenger. You are arguing with God's "rhetoric," not ours. His Love is more far-reaching and far-seeing than human love. He wants us to give us everything He has, the riches of eternity.

You will never get anywhere with that victim mentality. Nobody can have control over your soul unless you let them. If you have been abused, you must face it and get help. The Spirit will teach you of your great worth to God.

We understand where you got these incomplete and false ideas about both homosexuality and religion. It's too bad that God has been turned into merely a temporal friend who requires nothing of us rather than what He is: our Heavenly Father who is giving us a great, difficult test and wants to give us all He has. God and Jesus must be taken whole. There is much required of us if we want to come to Jesus. When we know the truth we are obligated to share it and warn others, in our own sphere of influence. (Again, you do not have to enter this sphere; no one is forcing anyone to read this blog.) Each of us must submit our hearts to be broken (or cut open) in order to be made whole---through repentance and faith in Christ.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I love you, I love you, I love you?

Apparently an openly gay man who is a stake executive secretary in Florida calling himself  Nerdy Gay Mormon has recently written about an incident on his blog and facebook about how a year ago or so a visiting General Authority (a member of the Seventy) treated him especially lovingly. His article has gone viral. We take the story with a grain of salt; maybe he has embellished it to make it sound more dramatic---some people think lying is actually good if it gets their point across better. But so far this little vignette has not been refuted or corrected and there seems to have been several witnesses.

To make a long story short, Nerdy Gay says the GA visited his stake and showed him special attention and affection, touching, full-body hugging, whispering “I love you” threes times in his ear. He treated him this way because Nerdy told him he was gay. And no, he didn't treat anyone else like this. Nerdy goes on to say that in his talk the GA said that church members who think homosexuality is a sin are unkind and need to be corrected.

Boy, if this story is true it sure sounds like homosex is not just welcome, it's more than welcome in our midst. And again, that means traditional values are not welcome. Apparently, good old family values, which come from God, are now unkind and need to be corrected.

We have tried to get in touch with this GA to find out if this story is true as Nerdy has told it, but to no avail. A substitute secretary was no help. So they can't leave messages? Then his real secretary said she would tell her boss about our question. When we called again several days later she said she had not informed him about our question (whoa, what?  secretaries are running the church?), but we could talk to this other man---who turned out to be in the security department!

So you call up a church office building which has telephones which get answered and if you have a question they don't like they refer you to Security? (This has actually happened to us more than once.) This man did not know anything about the incident; he had not checked into it. We told him we just wanted to know if this happened as this guy said it did on social media gone viral that our grown children are incredulous about, or not? He made an excuse that there is too much material out there for them to deal with. We wonder what people do in that building and what the priorities are. Something that goes viral is pretty important. He presumed to warn us not to let our “faith” suffer because of stuff on the internet, as if this was his prepared statement whenever people have uncomfortable questions. Here he seemed to mean faith in the church institution. We assured him our faith was in the Lord Jesus Christ, so no, it wasn’t suffering. What we needed was to find out if this event occurred as related by Nerdy Gay Mormon, so we could assure our children and friends that no, our church members and leaders don’t act this way and say these things. As fifth and sixth-generation, tithe-paying, service-doing, temple-going members it would seem we have a right to know what our leadership is publicly saying and doing; otherwise there is no leadership. The security guy said he’d check it out but probably not get back to us. Say again? And he hasn't. 

All it takes is for this GA to say if this happened as reported or not. It isn't rocket technology. But he is unavailable. Permanently. At least to us. Make of that what you will. We say, it must be true, or he doesn't mind if it isn't entirely true and everybody thinks it is. In other words, he wants to be thought of as entirely pro-gay, which is entirely anti-traditional values. Otherwise he'd surely deny or at least clarify it.

It’s like, in this time of instantaneous communications, we’re not supposed to wonder about anything we see, whether it’s true or false or exaggerated or whatever. They aren’t going to tell us what is true or false and we’re not supposed to discern, as if we are made of straw or wood, as Thoreau put it. Well, God didn't make us unthinking lumps and we do not live in a vacuum. The world around us is hugely pro-homosex. What is happening is that church members are swallowing this church story, hook, line, and sinker. Because of this unchallenged viral story homosexuality is being further accepted among church members. This must be what the church wants to have happen, or they would say something.

When things are unclear or uncharacteristic or inconsistent like this from the top, it ends up that members are always having to guess or conjecture or surmise, based on whatever they happen to want, or what they see in front of them. This is happening all over with regards to the gay/transgender Boy Scout thing.When a church does and says nothing, people make their own various surmises, i.e. no leadership; and the house is divided into innumerable parts. That's what the word anarchy means: no leader.

If we had a child struggling against porn addiction and homosexuality right now, this stuff coming from within the church---Nerdy's story, the way the church isn't handling it, the positive way members are responding on social media---would be very discouraging and destructive. We guess it's just more of this new brand of welcoming homosexuality into our midst.

No one seems to care that in seconds you will come across lewd porn on this stake exec sec Nerdy Gay Mormon's blog. Our security guy said he couldn't do anything about that. Well, that is dismissive and not true. There is something called church discipline. People get in trouble all the time, but not Nerdy Gay Mormon apparently. At the very least, this GA should know that pornography and lust is what he is encouraging, and what is being promoted, if he doesn't refute it. This lewd stuff is part and parcel of the gay lifestyle.

A little reading of Mormon gays’writings on blogs and comments reveals emotional illness, narcissism, obsession with male genitalia, sex as a prioritized 'need,' and the erotic sexualization of even the most casual human interactions. Indeed, Nerdy Gay’s interaction with a handsome church leader reads like a cheap gay romance novel. Suddenly there he was framed in the doorway, and stuff like that. Gross!

Also, what is this detail about how these stake offices have their own bathroom? What does that have to do with the story unless Nerdy has some preoccupation with bathrooms and what homosexuals commonly do in them? 

If this did not happen, it showcases the erotic pornographic homosexual mindset of Nerdy Gay Mormon/a stake executive secretary, and shouldn’t somebody help him? But if the church leader really did do all this flattering and special touching, for heaven’s sake, why?  G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) said, “All healthy men, ancient and modern, know there is a certain fury in sex that we cannot afford to inflame . . . ” Why would anybody who really cared about Nerdy Gay go out of his way to do something that could incite or encourage his self-determined gay identity and lusts? Why not just treat him like everybody else and play down the preoccupation with sex and sexuality?

How about the following quotes (apparently now shredded in wastebaskets)?

"If someone seeking your help says to you, . . . 'I am gay,' correct this miscasting. Heavenly Father does not speak of his children this way and neither should we. It is simply not true. To speak this way seeds a doubt and deceit about who we really are."
--Bishop Keith B. McMullen, 2010 Evergreen Conference

“ The most wicked of lies is that they cannot change and repent and that they will not be forgiven. That cannot be true. They have forgotten the Atonement of Christ.”
--Boyd K. Packer, May 2006

“Too many Latter-day Saints today somehow believe they can stand with one hand touching the walls of the temple while the other hand fondles the unclean things of the world."
-- Bruce C. Hafen, "Your Longing for Family Joy," Ensign, Oct. 2003

President Spencer W. Kimball reminded us that the prophets “constantly cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord," including homosexuality, both in lust and physical acts.  He continued: “That such things should be found even among the Saints to some degree is scarcely believable . . . ” 

“The homosexual rights movement was born out of a desire to be tolerated. Through the years it seems to have morphed into a crusade bent on forcing all of society, even conservative churches, to accept and celebrate homosexuality as natural, normal and healthy.”
--Kelly Boggs, in Baptist Recorder, 11/6/13

"As a practical matter, being an open homosexual is indistinguishable from proclaiming a belief that homosexual acts are morally innocent. After all, if one accepted the traditional view that such acts are morally impermissible, one would ordinarily keep one’s inclination to them to oneself." (Emphasis ours.)
--Carson Holloway, "The Boy Scouts' Doomed Compromise."

"For Christians to accept some kind of validity with respect to homosexuality is for those same 'Christians' to turn on the Lord Jesus — whose arms are open to welcome homosexuals out of their identity, out of their habits, out of their former life, and into His liberating Grace." (Emphasis ours.) --Michael Glatze, ex- homosexual, in Renew America, 5/12/2010

"Recently, the [Mormon] church has called openly gay individuals to responsible positions in the church — persons also permitted to attend the church's temples, available only to the most 'worthy' members. Church leaders say such callings are limited to non-practicing 'chaste' gays — an oxymoron that reveals leaders' naïveté, since by any reasonable definition, a homosexual is someone engaged in the gay lifestyle, not someone who merely thinks about it, or long ago gave it up."
--Renew America article about Mormons and Boy Scouts by Stephen Stone

Note 5/27/2017
 We heard back from the Security guy. He said that everything happened exactly as Nerdy Gay Mormon writes on his [pornographic] blog. Make of that what you will. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Can Evil Be Exaggerated?

We have recently been instructed from the pulpit not to "exaggerate the evil in the world." Come again? Janice grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Steve on the opposite coast. We never thought the evil of homosexuality would reach into our home in Utah and hurt our young family. But it did, through the internet. And it was really bad. Are we exaggerating it? Does the evil today---the insidious propaganda, the intimidation and false teaching and sexual immorality---that boldly marches into our schools and our courts and our entertainment and our communications and our churches and our very homes, that threatens our religious freedom, need any exaggerating?

Can evil be exaggerated? Isn't evil a done deal? Isn't evil bad no matter how much of it there is, no matter where? Doesn't evil proliferate when good men do nothing?

It's like saying, don't exaggerate your cancer. It's not that bad, you don't have it except in certain spots. Don't dwell on it. It's not all that important. You can bet a cancer patient, at least one who wanted to keep living, would not appreciate that attitude. It's like saying, don't exaggerate the 60 million needlessly slaughtered unborn human beings since Roe v Wade. How can you exaggerate a real number?

No, you can't exaggerate something self-evident. It's there. It exists. Evil is by nature evil. It has no variants. We're living in a time when unborn babies are brutally destroyed. You can see photos of these tiny dismembered, decapitated humans. Sixty million unique humans killed because of irresponsibility and selfishness. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry; this soul-killing material is available to children, kids are making and sharing porn of themselves. Hedonists are parading in our city streets with little children present. Sexual immorality is being introduced and taught to school children. Children are being abducted into sex slavery. These evils are real, they are actually happening. They need zero exaggeration. These pervasive evils, were they happening to only one person, are horrible as is. 

Those who have been personally harmed by the evils of today, in being fined, in being fired, in losing their businesses, in being demonized, in being shunned, in losing one's innocence, in being lured into hedonism and misery and illness and death, in losing one's children, in having an abortion and intensely regretting it, should find any softening or whitewashing of these highly popular evils highly offensive. 

Sure we appreciate the good and beauty of this world the Lord created for us, but that doesn't make the evil of our day less real or our obligation to call it out and resist it any less important. Where does it say in the scriptures that we should play down the evil around us? Where does the Lord ever say that? The Lord, in fact, tells us to recognize and repent of the secret evils in our very hearts. In no uncertain terms the scriptures warn us against even the appearance of evil, against thinking there is no harm in a little sin. We're warned to be watchful, to beware of the devil's flaxen cords, to recognize and call out evil.

Failing to stop evil leads to more evil. The pervasiveness and insidiousness of evil should actually wake us up and increase our vigilance. We mustn't close our eyes, ears, and mouths. It's only monkeys that do that. We must open our eyes, ears, and mouths. We must discern clearly between good and evil. We must not equivocate. We live a good life and trust in the Lord. We act like Christian soldiers and make whatever sacrifices necessary to be God's servants.

If those who are supposed to warn us of the evils of our time are telling us the evils of our time aren't really that bad, that we shouldn't confront them with all our energy, what will be the obvious results? We will relax our diligence, we will turn less to the Lord, we will ease up on discerning between good and evil. We will breathe a sigh of relief, be lulled into carnal security, take pride that all is well in Zion, and ---- embrace the evil all around us. Yes, that is what happens. That is what is happening. Evil triumphs when we shrug our shoulders at it, close our eyes to it, pretend it's not so much or so bad. Human history is rife with this reaction and the destructive results.

Diligence in confronting evil is often made fun of in popular culture. Remember in The Music Man when the town is in an uproar because of the new pool hall? We got trouble, they say, and we chuckle. We chuckle because everyone knows the game of pool is not evil in and of itself. Many people have pool tables in their homes. It is the human tendencies to vices, evils such as idleness and gambling commonly associated with a pool hall that the townspeople were wary of. And they weren't exaggerating. Did you know that prohibition was pushed on society by women who were wives and mothers, not because of the evils of drink (many nice people drink alcoholic drinks), but because of the prostitutes seducing husbands at saloons and ruining families? Prostitution is always bad. They weren't exaggerating this evil.

Some things are not evil of themselves---like a game of pool or a fermented drink. It's the human  vices and sins, often associated with some things, that are evil. These are the seven deadly sins--- pride, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth, and greed---things that are evil all the way through, in every situation, at all times, in all places. That's the sort of evil exponentially going on in the world today. No embellishments necessary.

Let's make sure we define evil correctly and give it absolutely no allowance. Evil is always the same. It has no nuances. It cannot be exaggerated. It's either present or not.

If you don't think there has been a shift---in tone, in emphasis, in purpose---read this quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, 2004, from "In Opposition to Evil." Do we hear this much today? What are we hearing instead?

“The tide of evil flows. Today it has become a veritable flood. Most of us, living somewhat sheltered lives, have little idea of the vast dimensions of it. Billions of dollars are involved for those who pour out pornography, for those who peddle lasciviousness, for those who deal in perversion, in sex and violence. God give us the strength, the wisdom, the faith, the courage as citizens to stand in opposition to these and to let our voices be heard in defense of those virtues which, when practiced in the past, made men and nations strong, and which, when neglected, brought them to decay.” 

Back in the 1950s short story and novel writer Flannery O'Connor wrote, "My devil has a name, a history, and a definite plan." She said that perhaps in these permissive times all a writer with Christian concerns can do is point out that there is evil in the world. And now, we are to the point where churches are telling us to not worry about evil so much.

What a time we're living in, when we're told to be careful not to exaggerate the very real and vast dimensions of evil.in our time.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Homosexuality Welcome, Family Values Not So Much

So, we're told officially that homosexuality is now welcome in our congregations. Forget the Boy Scouts---it's everywhere now.

Big problem.

Well, there are many problems and potential dangers regarding this development, but here's one problem that has already affected people like us. If homosexuality is now welcome in our midst, anything anti-homosexuality must be unwelcome. Yes, it's true. To borrow from the late Robert Bork, these two opposite worldviews (sexual immorality vs. sexual morality) cannot peacefully co-exist. One worldview will be preferred (showcased, taught, encouraged, praised) and the other harmed (de-emphasized, ignored, shunned, punished).

Note: If you are one who insists that Mormon gays are or can be sexually pure, please note that here at SoL we make no distinction between openly claiming the homosexual identity, homosexual sex acts, and everything in between. All are pro-gay acts. All are endorsements for the behavior. All are sinful. Just ask any honest gay, Mormon or otherwise.

In the not-so-distance past sexual morality was preferred (showcased, taught, encouraged, praised) in the church. There has been a decided shift. In the last fifteen years or so many things have been done and said, and not done and not said, and done and not undone, and said and unsaid, that indicate what worldview is now to be preferred, and it isn't the conservative family values/scriptural/gospel worldview. We could write a book about the insidious flaxen cords that have been woven around people's necks that have led to the present state. Today in the church some of the big sexual-related sins have been softened to the point of making excuses, turning a blind eye, acceptance, and even embrace: abortion, pornography, masturbation, heterosexual lust, homosexual lust, homosexuality in general, transgenderism. Apparently, throwing Young Women baby showers for unwed teens was only the beginning.     

Yes, we could write a book about the shift toward sexual immorality in our church culture in general. But right here we'll show on a personal level how the sexual morality worldview is now being de-emphasized, ignored, shunned, and punished, and how the leftist sexual immorality worldview is being showcased, taught, encouraged, and praised. Here are some off the top of our heads.

Janice was uninvited to speak, after being asked to speak at a monthly ward elderly ladies' luncheon, because she was going to talk about her gently-worded children's book, Me Tarzan, You Jane (the truth about male and female, romantic feelings, and marriage, pretty much the Family Proclamation). Visiting teachers lectured Janice in our living room on the fine art of lesbian parenting and acceptance of premarital sex. In classes at church our comments testifying of the sinfulness of human nature, of Christ as our Redeemer, of the spiritual nature of the scriptures, and other basic truths are often ignored, explained away, and even mocked. A member of our stake presidency blasted us with, "I would never tell my lesbian sister that she was doing something wrong!" A bishop told us our eternal salvation was at stake if we didn't attend our ward in the case of homosexualism being freely preached from the pulpit. As seen on facebook, several well-known people in our ward are outspoken supporters of gay marriage, and who knows what else. We were instructed by high-ups not to hold a tiny rally in a park near BYU highlighting the Family Proclamation near a big LDS pro-gay rally going on. We were interviewed and videoed -- but our family's story about overcoming homosexuality was cancelled before it even got to the TV News station. Our gospel-centered, highly endorsed book, My Darling From the Lions, testifying of repentance and change---accepted by Deseret Book because of the news story---was subsequently denied proffered advertising options (to be paid for by us) and taken off the shelves at Deseret Book; even people who asked for it were turned away. Our son's book, Captain of My Soul, endorsed by LDS experts, was summarily rejected by Deseret Book. As far as we know D.B. publishes and now sells only gay-affirming books, even though Sheri Dew wrote in a letter to us many years ago that they would be producing books showing other views.

And there are plenty more, too painful to share. 

Please note that these are only our own personal stories. There are many, many people who have common sense, who uphold and strive to keep God's laws for sexual purity, who actually believe in the scriptures, who know that homosexuality is sinful and disgusting and dangerous. So multiply instances like the above by thousands. And the way things are going, it's only going to get worse.

We don't know what all the fuss is coming from the gay-affirming Mormons. They are welcome! People like us are not! Our advice to them is to just keep not telling what gays actually think about or do sexually. Keep all the mental and emotional illness and sexual abuse and drug abuse and pornography and violence hidden. Apparently nobody much cares anyway. It's only the appearance of things that seem to matter. What gays need to do is just continue to appear to be put-upon and/or churchy and you'll probably get what you want, here on earth anyway. But you won't be satisfied, even then. This is how evil works. It never stops. But of course we hope you stop. We pray you will be brought to repentance and turn back to God, for your own sakes and for the sakes of those around you.

You think the church is still anti-gay? Think again. Let's remember that perception has a great influence, no matter what is actually officially written or said. It is for several reasons, intimidation and misinformation being a few, that perception of homosexuality within the church has shifted. When once a person would be excommunicated or disciplined or admonished or swept under the rug for shameful homosexuality, now open gays are welcomed, no questions asked, or not very many. What an about-face!

When was the last time you heard of a Mormon gay being disfellowshipped? Apparently they don't even get their temple recommends revoked. Most just quit coming to church. But of course we're supposed to want them in church, with zero talk of warning or discipline or repentance going on. Come on in. Bring your lusts. Bring your same-sex sex partner; why not? Introduce yourselves around. Partake of the sacrament. Make comments in class. We'll give you a position. We welcome you one and all.

Really? Here's what the scripture says: "And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out." Mosiah 26:36. Scripture goes on to say that unrepentant sinners must not be welcomed into the church because the unrepentant will lead the people of the church into sin. This means that unrepentant sinners, for example, proud, out, unrepentant gays, must not be welcomed into the church, whatever that looks like. Well, not anymore. We steadfast family-values types are the ones being marginalized now.The way things are playing out is proof that they are winning, which makes us the losers.

Imagine what influence a popular openly gay person, encouraged and supported in a local congregation, perhaps teaching and leading and traveling and camping---with vulnerable youth--can have. It doesn't matter if they act out in more graphic ways in private or not. The acceptance of open gayness represents the normalization and legitimization and advocacy of homosexual behaviors.

And let's not forget that open homosexuality compromises all sex-segregated places and gatherings in the church. Welcomed openly same-sex attracted individuals will be using bathrooms,showers,  locker rooms, dorm rooms, missionary accommodations, etc. that apply to their biological sex. Straight persons will have to do private things in the presence of others who publicly claim to be sexually attracted to those person's sex. So much for propriety, modesty, and feeling safe in those places. These places have now lost the primary reason they exist. These places are meant for straight people, divided by sex, male and female. They cannot decently also accommodate gay people, whether there is one gay or two or they are all gay. Gays shouldn't share these types of accommodations with anybody, straight or gay.  If you want to get technical, the gay man should use the women's bathroom, and vice versa. And that wouldn't be right either. Truth be told, women don't want men of any stripe in their private spaces, and men don't want women in their spaces either. And any parent that wouldn't want their young son to have to urinate in front of a female would certainly not want him to have to urinate next to homosexual man.

No, it doesn't much matter what any handbook says because we're told that member homosexuality issues will be left up to local leaders' discretion.  Here we see that there are no absolutes then, no real right and wrong, no real evil, no real good. Each local leader, however uneducated or misled or intimidated on this issue, can deal with homosex (and pornography and every other sexual sin) however he wants. Maybe some bishops will call the gay person into their office and ask if he's involved in anything immoral (which of course he is), and maybe the gay person will lie or become offended and the bishop intimidated. Maybe some bishops won't call them in or ask them anything. There are so many variables. But chances are, when it comes to homosexuality especially, local leaders will take the welcoming instruction and run with it, so as to avoid any unpleasantness, so as to look good, enlightened and compassionate, so as to support leaders, so as to get along with the world, so as to avoid any law suit.

But we know this: "With encouragement and recognition comes escalation" (CSI Cyber, 2015). We already have leaders who are homosexualists and open gays serving in important callings. It won't be long before, or more probably the time is now arrived, that a bishop, stake president, and on up, may be an open homosexual himself, even if married to a woman in the temple. Yes, they call it mixed-orientation marriage. It just has to be believed or assumed that they are not acting out. But of course they are. Same-sex attraction has to be fed, by fantasizing and lusting and pornography and associations, or it goes away. Let's remember that decent people keep their sexual attractions limited to their spouse. (And that's not the same as noticing beauty. Lust is an out-of-bounds sexual response.) And of course they would be homosexualists too, seeking to push acceptance of homosexual behaviors in all their varieties on everyone, or they wouldn't make it public.

"As a practical matter, being an open homosexual is indistinguishable from proclaiming a belief that homosexual acts are morally innocent. After all, if one accepted the traditional view that such acts are morally impermissible, one would ordinarily keep one’s inclination to them to oneself." (Emphasis ours.)
--Carson Holloway, "The Boy Scouts' Doomed Compromise."

Open homosexuals and homosexualists do not condemn any gay behaviors. Have you ever heard them do so?

And how about transgenders? This is on the gay list, the LGBTQI list. Gay-affirming Mormons include everybody in the alternative sexuality alphabet soup. Trangenders usually seem to be homosexual, meaning attracted to their same biological sex, so in reality they are same-sex attracted. They are supposed to be welcome, too. Prepare for male and female imposters, in all varieties of cross-dressing/sex hormone additives/manipulating surgeries, infiltrating not only our general  meetings but every sex-segregated venue and activity and program of the church:  Missions, Priesthood meetings, Relief Society, Young Men, Young Women, Achievement Days, Cub and Boy Scouts, camping trips, youth conferences, church school dorms, church school sports; chapel, temple, seminary etc. changing rooms, locker rooms, rest rooms, and ordinance rooms.

These people are all about pushing some really sad and nasty stuff, all of it, and they are supposed to be welcome in our churches, no questions asked. Wow. And those of us who know it's all wrong are supposed to go along with our mouths shut. We have been told we are "incorrect and unkind."

Yes, Mormon gays are increasingly labeled and perceived as victimized, wholesome, harmless, special and wonderful, even spiritual, and, don't forget, welcome. Conservative Mormons are increasingly labeled and  perceived as right-wing fringe, going inactive, unChristlike, hateful, dangerous, and, don't forget, unwelcome. These perceptions are winning the day, in the world and in the church. (If you don't believe us call the church office building and ask somebody's secretary about homosexuality being welcomed into the church. You will be referred to the security department posthaste and maybe even threatened with legal action---yes, for a sincere, civil telephone call.)

We don't think all members are conscious of this shift. They just do as their leaders sort of . . . kind of . . . seem to be doing . . . because of some of the things they do and say . . . that look and sound pretty much like homosexuality is . . . they guess . . . supposed to be particularly welcomed. Amid such uncertainties and contradictions, humans tend to take the easy route, the path of least resistance, the worldly way. They love to be flattered and assured, they love to feel relevant and important, they love to be told that all is well in Zion. Have they forgotten this scripture?

"And others will he [the devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well---and thus the devil cheateth their souls, ,and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." 1 Nephi 28:21 Sure haven't heard this scripture lately.

Here at SoL we obey God, not human beings. We believe in God's unchanging standards. We are not  blown about by every wind of doctrine. We rely on Christ for our salvation, not an evolving institution.

So what do those of us who actually believe in Christ and the scriptures and good and evil and sin and all those true but highly unwelcome beliefs do as our church continues to move left? We certainly can't run our families that way. And yet the true doctrines are still there., We at SoL are done raising our children so it is pretty easy for us to put some distance between us and what is going on. But we feel especially sorry for younger parents of growing families who can see the way the wind is blowing and must somehow maneuver their children through these spiritual land mines.

We do know this. This life is not a dress rehearsal. We are choosing life or death in very real spiritual ways. There are eternal principles in play. People everywhere, in high places and low, are exercising their God-given agency, making their choices, deciding their loyalties, worshiping their chosen gods.

As for us, our personal spirituality and testimonies of Christ have been much strengthened because of all that is happening. Our faith has become our way of life, rather than a set of institutionalized efforts and performances. We think and talk about the Lord everyday. We apply the scriptures to our daily lives and everything occurring. We continually repent. We love God first. We pray more and pray better. We pray for our church and churches everywhere. We wish the eternal best, God's greatest spiritual gifts, for everyone, including those who no longer welcome us, those who actually hate us, and everyone in between. We seek the Spirit for truth and guidance. Come what may, we put our trust in the Lord. It's a beautiful life. God's is a terribly lovely Plan.