With Jesus, You Won't Rust Out!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Mark 9:49, “For everyone will be seasoned with fire..."

God's "seasoning" is like the tempering of steel to transform it into stainless steel, something that will not rust under exposure to the elements.

The effects of fire and special additives transform or "season" regular steel until it becomes stainless steel.

Jesus knows how to make us stronger and to never "rust out!"

Remember to Take Care of God's Business!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Chronicles 17:1 After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.”  2 Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”

Sometimes we find ourselves better off than God's work in some way. David realized that God had blessed him to live in a "house of cedar," while the Ark of the Covenant, which represented God's presence, was dwelling in a tent. That tent was likely tattered and worn over it's years of portable use.

David thought about that while sitting inside the blessings that God's presence had brought him.

Do you think about the condition of God's work and church? Are you content to be blessed, but to allow God's work to go lacking?

Let's take Nathan's encouragement to David personally, "Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”

What is in your mind regarding God's work?

Why I Do Not Support Same-Sex Marriage

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

My opposition to gay marriage is not personal, but natural, anatomical, and biblical.

Vice President Biden and President Obama affirmed their support of same-sex marriage. Mr. Obama shared his reasons in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC.

With this decision and announcement the President has thrown his weight behind something that true believers will never support, as a matter of principle. President Obama's decision has created a firestorm of response from both sides of the issue. Many commended the president for coming out in support of homosexual marriage, and have already insisted that he do much more to make gay/same-sex marriage the same as marriage. He took the wrong decision, in my view.

In my view, there are more important matters facing our nation than gay marriage. I believe unrepentant sins committed by believers and apathy in the church are greater threats to the nation than homosexuals.

Mr. Obama says his reasons for the decision are "personal." He states that he has friends, associates and members of his administration in "committed monogamous" relationships, who seem to be happy and stable. Therefore, by his reasoning, if people are together, committed and happy, they should be afforded the distinction of "married" if they want it. The President argues marriage is a matter of "fairness" and "equality." He is wrong. Marriage cannot be adapted to include same-sex unions. Constitutional equality for all citizens is not at question.

The president offered no biblical, moral or historical perspective on marriage, only a "personal" view. Not only is this not a justification to change the definition of marriage, it is an argument that is not sustainable when applied to many other contexts in nature and life. This "relational" justification for gay marriage is likely more a matter of not wanting to displease gay friends (and financial supporters!), than holding to a well established principle in society.
I have friends who deeply love and respect me. However, if (more likely "when") I do and say something wrong, I expect my friends to correct me and hold me to a standard—not change the standard to keep my friendship.

Franklin Graham said that the president "shook his fist at God" with this decision. I found Rev. Graham's statement unhelpful for two reasons: 1) It sounded like hyperbole: God cannot be threatened or harmed in any way, by anyone. 2) This statement was likely a politically motivated statement designed to put President Obama in a worse light than his political opponent, Gov. Romney. I believe adherence to Mormonism, which is an unbiblical cult, that has no relationship
to historic Christianity, is also a "sin" and in the spirit of anti-Christ. If we could classify sins as "bad" and "worse" (which is difficult, if not impossible to do), then "being" a Mormon is worse than "saying" you support same-sex marriage. If fact, both the president and his presumptive GOP opponent have deficiencies in one are more areas.

[FYI – Mormons believe: God is an exalted man of flesh and blood; Faithful Mormons become gods; Book of Mormon and Bible are equal in authority; Garden of Eden was in Missouri, et. al. All beliefs are easy to research)

Too many politically motivated Christians, especially many who are loyal to Republican Party, Tea Party, Anti-Obama "Prophetic/Conspiracy" groups, or politically conservative partisans (as
opposed to theologically conservative believers, which I am), use issues like elections, homosexuality and abortion as political wedges to drive people towards their own political positions, and as a means to garner support and raise a lot of money. In my interactions with some of these believers, there seems to be little concern with actually helping homosexual persons find new life in Christ, or with really ending abortion by helping people avoid illicit sex, or counseling women against abortion, and actively supporting adoption efforts. Too many folks only talk about who to vote for (or not vote for), as if voting on a single issue has a transformative effect on society–which is clearly a false notion. In fact, I've not heard people talk about what they would do with homosexuals and women who get abortions if they actually succeed at making their "sins" illegal crimes. Will they promote executing gays and women who abort or put them in prison? As I said, too many people use these issues only as political fodder, bait, and wedges to drive other agendas.

Others decry the president's statement as the end of America, and an indication of impending judgment from God. All this, as if slavery, the Civil War, legal abortion since 1973, and all the sins committed every hour of every day in the USA were not worse than the president's announcement about gay marriage. America, and the whole world has been under judgment since Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. We seem to forget such truths as: 1 John 5:19, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one."

One national minister reasoned that voting is the same as making a "covenant," while counseling his followers on how to vote. This easy confluence of biblical principles with partisan politics is very troubling and likely error. Poltitians in both parties routinely pander to preachers and churches who seem to be supportive. Each side believes that something beneficial may be gained in the alliance. I doubt that these arrangements have great value to the kingdom of God.

I love America as much as the next citizen, but let's be clear: We are not the Apple of God's eye-- only Israel (And no, America is not Israel!). We are not exempt from 1 John 5:19. We are a Christian nation, and yet look at all the sin and foolishness we allow. Therefore, we do not have the luxury of transferring all our sense of guilt and outrage FOR OUR FAILURES onto President Obama or "liberals." We don't have any "saviors" in the GOP either.

Let me state would should be obvious: Homosexuality and gay marriage are sinful (and not the only sins!) because it is contrary to nature and human anatomy. Science makes it clear that men cannot procreate with men or engage in sexual intercourse. Women cannot procreate with
women or engage in sexual intercourse. Sexual organs have purpose. Non-sexual organs have purpose.

The result of marriage is a man and woman who become joined together as "husband and wife." Wife-wife or husband-husband is not the result of a marriage.

My opposition to same-sex marriage is not personal, but natural, anatomical, and biblical. Neither, president Obama nor state law can change the definition of marriage. We can only affirm it.
What I also find disappointing is a self-serving posture in the homosexual community that seems only willing to consider marriage, family and what is best for children, from a selfish, gay perspective. To be sure, this is not unlike any other selfish behavior on our part that seeks to justify one's actions, and demand that others change, rather than change oneself. It is also disappointing that the usual response to honest disagreement with gay marriage is intimidation or accusations of intolerance, hatred, or of being "homophobic."

None of us should have the luxury of changing principles to fit our choices and actions. We were all made in God's image. However, God is not made in our image. God does not follow us, we must follow him. We don't get to change anything about God or His holy Word.
Since neither the President, nor political parties can, or should, provide spiritual leadership for people in our nation, it continues to be our responsibility to speak the truth in love, serve all people and hold up principles and standards, such as marriage, that are bigger than our selfish interests.
2 Cor. 13:8, "...For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth."


Two Assignments in Perilous Times

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2 Timothy 3:3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

We live in the perilous times that Paul indicated "will come." Perilous is defined as: Hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce, savage. The biblical Greek word carries the idea of “reducing strength”

We don’t need anything that reduces our strength. We need God, people, and principles that help increase strength in every area of life. Compromise and bad behavior within relationships, family, or personal character all contribute to "perilous times."

The Apostle Paul offered insight for "increasing strength." Philippians 2:15, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

As believers in Christ, we find two assignments from this text:

1) Hold forth the word of life: We have the opportunity to engage a culture full of negative, hateful words, with a "word of life" through Christ.

2) Shine as lights: Our world and society needs to see shining examples of God's love and life. Dark places need light.

Your Unique and Attractive Light

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

This scripture describes the benefits of God’s people rising, shining, and allowing the light and glory of God to shine on us. When we arise and shine, people in darkness, people in trouble, and people who lack direction, will come to our light, and to the brightness of our rising. Note the word “brightness.”

In our world, people are attracted to "stars," or people with celebrity status. Why is this? One reason is that celebrities possess abilities or a status that people admire and wish for themselves.  As with many things in our popular culture, following celebrities represents only a pale counterfeit of something genuine. In reality, it is "darkness" and "deep darkness" driving many of the "stars."

God is light. Everything and everyone close to God reflects the brightness of His light. Isaiah said that "the Lord" will "arise" over us! He said that his "glory" will be seen over us!

When we avoid complacency and compromise to fully trust Christ, we will clearly see "our" light. More importantly, others will be drawn to the "brightness" of our rising and emergence.

You don't need to try to find significance in the shadow of others, God provides a unique and attractive light for you.

Now go, "Arise and shine!"