August 10

1 Chronicles 15-17, Psalm 68

We make a mistake when we misapply Scripture. We cannot use general statements to contradict specific instructions. For instance most have heard in 1 Peter 4:8, "And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins"." Many are also familiar with 1 John 4:8, which says, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." These true and beautiful verses from Scripture which give the overarching truth of love cannot be used to promote specific sins clearly delineated in Scripture. One of my best friends growing up became gay in his early 20's, after I was married. We remained friends though some distance developed because I was married and he eventually moved to the Boston area. I hadn't seen him in years, but word got to him that I had become a Christian in the interim. When I saw him again years later, one of his statements to me was essentially, unless I told him that being gay was normal in God's eyes and not a sin, then we could no longer be friends. I explained to him that God's word was indeed God's word, and that I loved him but the gay lifestyle was a sin and this is specifically stated in God's word. I continued to explain that this sin was not unlike fornication or any other sin, but I could not state something that he wanted to hear when it was contrary to God's word. Interestingly, he chose to end our friendship not because he was gay, but because I was Christian and he was intolerant to these views. A similar occurrence happened to a long-term patient of mine who was gay and whom I shared with after she was grieving over the loss of her mother. My comments were loving and compassionate, but as soon as she realized that I was a Christian, she asked me if' "I was one of them". She preceded to ask me the same question that my friend, Tommy asked. I gave her the same response along with the gospel message. I wasn't sure how she took the information until I received a record release informing me that she was leaving my practice.

David's excitement to bring the ark of God based on his love for God does not cover over the specific instructions clearly delineated in Scripture as to how this was to be done. We read in 1 Chronicles 13:7, "So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart." This ended in disaster and death since God clearly stated beforehand how the ark of God was to be handled and David did not follow it. David's love for God and God's love for David, though true, was not more important than God's specific instructions mentioned in God's Word. We then read in 15:2, "Then David said, "No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever." David then instructed them how to do it properly and acknowledged the wrongdoing beforehand in 15:13, "For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order." We then read of the successful movement of the ark in 15:15, "And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as commanded according to the word of the Lord."

How often do we make the mistake of running ahead of God. We think we know what is right according to God, then without consulting the truth outlined in God's Word we come up with our own version of truth. Instead, if we simply checked God's instruction manual, then prayed for wisdom, we would know what God wants us to do which would be much better than doing things our own way. The wide-scale inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ lifestyle into many mainstream denominations is contrary to God's Word. Taking a hostile approach to them is also contrary to God's Word. They are no different than any other member in any church in the world. They, like us are sinners and need to be covered by the blood of Jesus to be washed clean of these sins. We need this and they need this. To deny that this lifestyle is in fact a sin when it is clearly stated as such is a sin, because it is elevating the word of man over the word of God. Those denominations which do so, by normalizing that which God deems as sin, may appear loving, but in fact is anything but so. For they remove from them the need for repentance which is the first step in a relationship with Jesus (Matthew 4:17). So God does indeed love the LGBTQ individuals as He does indeed love everyone, this truth cannot be denied. But the truth of God's love cannot overlook specific sins. These specific sins must be repented for before accepting the free offer of salvation which our Savior, Jesus, so generously offers to all who truly desire it and realize their need for it.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster