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PUTTING OUT FIRES

Neal Pollard

The last few years have brought heightened fire danger to Colorado.  Our forest fires have made the national news several times during that span.  They seem to start spontaneously and spread, well, “like wildfire.”  Untold property damage, millions of charred acres, and even loss of life have followed the paths of these fires.  The cause of the fires are sundry, from human carelessness to beetle infestation mixed with drought and high winds.  The cost to fight these fires is exorbitant, but ignoring the fires is not a wise option.  Time, resources, and manpower are diverted to these fires, and this naturally occurs at the expense of other pursuits.

I have noticed that there have been quite a few fires popping up among God’s people in the last few years, too.  There’s the push for instrumental music in worship.  Akin to this is the push to fellowship the Christian Church.  One of the largest conflagrations involves the push for woman to assume leadership roles from worship to roles like deacons and preaching ministers.  Of course, certain fires had been previously burning that are not yet contained–a looser view on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, denying the inspiration of the Bible, and such.  There are even areas we could consider tinderboxes, poised for combustion. How far are we from having to combat the spreading idea that those in committed, homosexual relationships should be part of our spiritual fellowship.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not being fatalistic or giving up hope.  I believe we have the time, resources, and manpower to fight these fires.  Not only that, but we must be engaged in this business.  Ignoring these fires is not an acceptable option.

Yet, putting out such fires comes at an expense.  There is a lost world to be won to Christ.  There are so many opportunities to be proactive and serve the benevolent needs of our communities.  There are needed programs to build our fellowship, Bible school, singles, young adults and college students, and more.  There is the need to solicit greater involvement from members.  There are projects to take on, from media ministries to mission works.  These require our interest and effort.  Let us man the firebreaks, but let us not be wholly consumed with just putting out the fires.  Neither let us be afraid to equip ourselves to battle those flames.  Such will require balance, wisdom, courage, and love.  May God help us have a double portion of them all.

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GLORIFYING THE PERVERSE WHILE REJECTING THE PROPER

Neal Pollard

On the front page of today’s Section C (Colorado Style) in the Denver Post, there is what is undoubtedly meant to be a heartwarming story of love between Ned and Sara.  Except that Ned is now Koko, a man who contends he identifies himself as a woman.  Ned also is attracted to women, so he considers himself a lesbian.  The piece subtly contains the barb that if he had an operation, he and Sara could “only have a civil union.” As it is, they can be legally married and all because of anatomy.  The clear implication is that our current laws unfairly exclude homosexuals and discriminate against them.  With complete sympathy, writer Claire Martin gushes at this “unconventional trip to the altar” that will culminate in their July wedding–both of whom will be brides wearing bridal gowns (C1,C8).

Speaking against such thinking and behavior as this is increasingly unpopular.  In a “live and let live” world, whose inhabits decry and detest judging behavior as right or wrong, calling scenarios like the one presented in the article perverse is considered unacceptable. An agenda-driven media, as well as other, like-minded institutions, continue to foist homosexuality and perversity upon the “consumer.”  Not only is it promoted, it is normalized, dignified, and even glamorized.  Through such relentless publicity, so many are becoming desensitized and callused to what is advocated.  Interestingly, people get more comfortable with perversion but get quite uncomfortable with any denouncement or disapproval of perversion.

Consider Paul’s warning to the church at Ephesus (Eph. 4:17-24).  Nonbelievers can be found “walking” (manner of life) with a mind set on valueless and useless things.  The result of such thinking and living is moral darkness, spiritual death, ignorance, hardness of heart, shamelessness, an insatiable desire for pleasure, and a craving for what is wicked and lewd.  Paul contrasts the thinking of the world with those who have “learned Christ.” We are not to be corrupted by deceptive desires.  We are taught the truth, which leads to a new mind, a new man, and a new morality.

That means we should be able to distinguish between the normal and the perverse, the proper and the improper.  This will be more important as the world continues to lose its grip on such distinctions. We must keep our bearings!