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6721 Jonestown Rd
Harrisburg, PA, 17112
United States

717-657-0614

We are a Southern Baptist Church, by affiliation.  We cooperate with, and are part of a larger denomination. East Shore Baptist Church (ESBC) is an independent church, which truly believes in God’s Word, the Bible, as the sole source of faith and practice.

Weekday Musings with Pastor Brian

Whoa... Two posts in one week.  What's going on?  Actually, I want to share an excellent article I received from Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway, prior pastor, and seminary professor, on: Nine Concerns about Church Members Who Withhold Their Financial Gifts.  If you're a pastor, you've experienced it.

What Are We to Make of All of This?

Jean Harrison

As I prepare to write this, I realize I am not just swimming against a cultural tsunami, I will offend and torque off many who do not really believe that God meant what He said in Scripture. I get that.  But I also know there are times when it is important to say hard things that seem to be getting missed, especially when the story is about someone who has been publicly professing to be Christian.

This morning, I checked my news feed.  Fox news reported the following:  “The lead singer of Christian rock band Everyday Sunday surprised his fans when he revealed he is gay in a letter on May 31. The married father-of-two told FOX411 coming out was the best decision he ever made. Despite risking his career in Christian music, his coming out has been for the best, he said.”  The article goes on to say, “His wife, ______, was supportive from the get-go, even though it meant the end of their marriage. He told us the pair has ‘filed for disillusionment.’"  

I am not, as some would want to label me, a “gay hater, homophobe”.  What I am is a passionate follower of Christ, who convictionally believes that All of Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16). And I am also one who has seen the devastation in families and especially children in an American culture that has progressively jettisoned itself from any semblance of Scriptural truth or values.  I believe that what God said in Scripture - He meant, and that He inspired it to be written for a reason; His love for us, and His desire for what He defines as the fullest understanding and comprehension and experience of love, joy, peace, hope, and more.

In looking at this article, several things came to mind… all of which leave me sick at heart for my nation that seems to be hell-bent on mirroring what Isaiah described in 5:20-23 of his book; not to mention what God warns about in the New Testament (e.g. 2 Tim. 3:1-9).  

The Bible has much to say about homosexuality.  It really does.  God calls it sin.  You can reject it, deny it, take scissors and cut out the passages, and you can get mad and yell at me or send me messages that wish me a slow and painful death, but that is what Scripture says.  But that is not all.  God has also called sin: divorce, sex outside of marriage, adultery, pride, selfishness, lying, false teaching, idolatry, and more.  Let me also say, for the record, especially in light of the horrific and senseless tragedy in Orlando, God condemns murder.  There is simply no way to justify the murder of anyone.  Anyone!  My heart and prayers go out to the victims in Orlando and their loved ones.  What happened had nothing to do with the teachings of Christ. It had everything to do with the one who has come to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).

I don’t know if Mr. Pearson continues to profess a faith in Christ.  And ultimately that faith is between him and God.  What I can say is that his actions in no way represent a biblical follower of Christ.  If one truly knows Christ, how can he justify divorcing his wife?  God tells us He hates divorce.  How can he justify leaving his children? Oh… he may still be a father, but he seems to have bought into the lie that one can abandon marriage and family and still be “dad”.  As all too many men have discovered, that is beyond hard.  God has much to say about parenting and our responsibilities.  What this man did is not of God. It was Jesus who said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15)  How do such actions as this man took square with what God says?  They don’t.

People will argue that he is being true to his self… But since when did being true to self trump being true to what is right, being true to Scriptural truth?  Again, I’ll get the “gay hater” label for what I have written, but I don’t even see this so much as a “homosexual issue”… I see it as the actions of a self-centered man… and I see all too many people acting in such a fashion regardless of their sexual bent. And people applaud and affirm others like this man for abandoning his marriage… and his family???  This isn’t the first time I have heard of this happening. When is it “Christian” to act on our feelings?  Answer, when our feelings line up with God’s revealed will in Scripture.  

I am pastor, but I am also a husband and a dad.  Were I to say something on the order of: “For the last several years, I have not been true to who I truly see myself as.  I am wired to be with women younger than my wife… Therefore, rather than live a lie, I will leave my wife and pursue who I am meant to be.”  Yeah… You wouldn’t think much of that would you?  And you shouldn’t!

Some will say, “That is not the same thing as being gay.”  And I will push back and say that God tells us, God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.  Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.  (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 NLT)  

In writing this, just in choosing how to live out my day and my life, I had a choice to make.  Do I bend to the fickle winds of a culture that no longer holds to an absolute truth, or do I choose to believe and follow my Christ through His Word.  One way is easy… at least for a season.   But God did’t save me in order that I might be comfortable and accepted by a culture that truly could care less about me.  God saved me to love and follow Him.  He called me to be a pastor.  And at times that means saying hard things.  But I say them in love.  We ignore God’s Word at our peril.  But in Christ is life and hope.  Besides, if being a follower of Christ were easy, everybody would do it.  But as Jesus pointed out most don’t (Matt. 7:13-14).  And that is why we pray; for them, for us, for our neighbors, country, and for our world.  “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) God bless you! 

In Christ’s truth and love, Pastor Brian