I am primarily an evangelist and teacher who travels around the world in apostolic ministry as God leads and enables me. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, I mentor our key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures, just as they continue to mentor me. I am relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships.
Dear Friends & Partners…the summer storm season is upon us! According to meteorologists, the storms have already started earlier than ever. The weather specialist tell us that these early "storm clouds" are warnings of a rough season of hurricanes between now and the end of summer. But these physical storms are also a reminder of the spiritual storms that are raging all across our globe! From a personal to a national level, destructive storms are raging – ravaging lives, homes, cultures and countries in the process.
In anticipation of this storm season, I have revised my book entitled "The Storms of Life." We would like to send you a copy for any gift of $20 or more to JLPF*. You will be blessed by the book and your gift will help us bring spiritual, emotional and physical relief to those who have been impacted by the "storms of life."
Anchored in Jesus,
JL & Patt
* In the note section please type 'The Storms of Life Book' or, if you prefer, please send a note with your donation to:
JL, Patt & Friends
P.O. Box 4066
Glen Raven, NC 27215
“We dealt with each of you as a father deals with
his own children, encouraging, comforting,
urging you to live lives worthy of God.”
(I Thess. 2:11-12)
Father’s Day is always a day to honor our fathers, the men who provided for us, loved us, and protected us. I was very fortunate to have a father who loved the Lord and lived his whole adult life as a local pastor in dedicated service to Him. He did remarkably well in that role even though he struggled with some masculine deficiencies. His natural father died when he was a young boy and his stepfather was an abusive alcoholic.
Dad and I shared a lot of common interests, like a love for animals, exploring the great outdoors, travel, camping and hunting. We were both “collectors” and “fixers” who never threw anything away that we thought we should save, repair and use later! We both shared a love for adventure and travel. While I was a young teenager, we even drifted down the Yadkin River for a week in a homemade raft I had made from six 50-gallon oil drums – Tom Sawyer style!
I also remember how intently he listened to me as I explained why I had been expelled from school for fighting in the ninth grade! His major concern was the reason for the fight…whether I had initiated it…if I had fought fairly – and whether I’d won or lost! His own background growing up on the “wrong side of the tracks” made him sensitive to my situation – in spite of the fact that he was the local preacher!
Thankfully, my Dad had a Christian worldview even before the term was popular. Because of his own year-long-around-the-world-trip after marrying my mother, he kept foreign missions a top priority in our family values. He and mother reared us as “Great Commission Christians,” rather than as parochial ones, and for that I am eternally thankful.
My father died suddenly while I was away at college. It was October of my senior year. In fact, it was the night of my very first date with Patt. I was deeply saddened to no longer have him as a role model, mentor and friend just before I was to graduate from college and enter seminary to prepare to go into “full time Christian work.” While I know God is sovereign and good, I will always have a wishful longing for Dad to have lived long enough to be a part of my life and ministry – especially to see me fight some strategic battles for the Kingdom – rather than with high school bullies! And I will always be grieved that he never lived to meet Patt or our 4 children and now 12 grandchildren – that will have to wait until heaven.
As I said, I am among the fortunate ones who had an every-day-in-the-home-father. He made it easy for me to transfer my understanding of fatherhood from him to my understanding of God as my heavenly Father. I want to encourage those of you that are celebrating this weekend, to intentionally devote yourselves to living as Godly fathers. I am not suggesting that you will attain perfection, but I want to urge you to at least struggle in that direction. As you will see, I have done a study of 6 fatherly roles for you to think and pray over, things that I hope will empower you to be a great Dad to your children.
ROLES OF FATHERHOOD
When you do a comprehensive study in the Bible on the role of human fatherhood as revealed and reflected through heavenly Fatherhood, you see many interconnected roles. Each is really a study unto itself, but in this, The High Calling of Fatherhood, we will examine the important roles of maturity, marriage, messenger, model, mercy and ministry.
1. ROLE OF MATURITY:
The first role of a father is to manifest spiritual and sexual maturity through his masculinity. In the Bible, fatherhood is associated with wisdom in his relationship with God, his spouse and his children. Twice the Apostle John summarizes fatherhood with these words:
“I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning” (I Jn. 2:13, 14).
As this verse reveals, fatherly wisdom comes only from a deep, intimate, mature relationship with God. The more mature the relationship between the human father and Heavenly Father, the wiser will be his relationship with his spouse, his sons and his daughters.
The more intimately the human father knows God as his “Abba, Father,” the more he will reveal and manifest that same intimacy with his children. That means that the human father only experiences this intimacy with God through sonship. Note these insightful words by Paul:
“Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” (Rom. 8:14-17; c.f. Mtt. 6:9; Mk. 14:36).
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave but a son, and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir”(Gal. 4:6-7).
“Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” (I Jn. 1:3).
Note how the word “slave” is contrasted with “son” and “sonship.” Also how “fear” is contrasted with “freedom” – the freedom of intimacy with God as “Abba, Father.” There is a certainty that sonship results in eternal security and in an eternal reward as “…heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” That means that everything that Jesus inherited from His Heavenly Father we inherit with Him as His joint heirs! That’s shouting ground!
But just as the words son and heir are manifestations of the Father’s incredible love, they are also descriptions of discipline. That’s because you cannot separate love from discipline. They are two sides of the same relational coin between a father and his son. Jesus said: “The Father loves the Son” (Jn. 3:35; 5:20). But this was not a mushy, sentimental, Pollyanna, painless love. Anything but that! Jesus suffered incredibly in manifesting the Father’s love. “In bringing many sons to glory,” Hebrews said, “it was fitting that God…should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10).
That’s why the wise father of Proverbs said to his beloved son: “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Prov. 3:11-12).
The writer of Hebrews echoed this principle of love and discipline when he wrote:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined…then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:5-11).
So, no discipline, no love! That’s why it is one of our greatest instructors to bring us to maturity, and our children as well– which is the goal of fatherhood.
2. ROLE OF MARRIAGE:
The role of fatherhood is to prepare his children for marriage. And the greatest preparation for his children’s successful marriage is to see his father’s successful marriage – close-up and long-range. A wise father always has this long-range goal of marriage in mind. It is the only positive Biblical reason given for a son’s “leaving home.” This foundational principle is found in Genesis, repeated by Jesus in the Gospels and underscored by Paul in the Epistles:
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).
“Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mtt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:7-8).
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:31-32; c.f. I Cor. 6:16).
The reason Jesus came from heaven to earth was to woo and win a bride for Himself – which is the Church. To do that, He had to leave His Heavenly Father. As Paul reminds us in Philippians 2, “God the Son” could not become incarnate in this world as the “Son of Man” unless He humbled Himself…emptied Himself…laid aside His rights as “God the Son.” Because of agape love, “God the Son” voluntarily laid aside all of His rights and prerogatives as perfect deity in order to clothe Himself in perfect humanity to win a bride for Himself. That same humility is to be demonstrated by human fathers in their spiritual headship and servant leadership with their wives and children through marriage.
3. ROLE OF MESSENGER:
One of the primary callings of a father is to communicate. God is a God of communication. Some of the very first words of the Bible are: “And God said…”(Gen. 1:3). And because He created man in His image and likeness, men and fathers are also called to be communicators. They are to be in life-long communication with their Heavenly Father, their spouse and their children as the God-ordained authority in the home.
Fathers are to be “men with a message.” As the progenitor, priest, prophet and provider of the family, the father is to be “God’s messenger.” He is to communicate God’s message through his life and lips. But because of the “sin of Adam” most of us men are also guilty of the “silence of Adam!” And this lack of clear and consistent communication is especially missing when it comes to the Word of God. While there is a dual teaching role between the father and mother, the father’s role is almost always mentioned first. Note this role and responsibility of fathers in communicating the principles and precepts of God’s Word:
“Listen my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov. 1:8).
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding…then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom” (Prov. 2:1-6).
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity” (Prov. 3:1-2).
“Listen my sons, to a father’s instruction…I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching…Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom…Hold on to instruction, do not let it go, guard it well, for it is your life” (Prov. 4:1-13).
“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever…For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light and the corrections of discipline are the way to life” (Prov. 6:20-23).
“A wise son heeds his father’s instruction” (Prov. 13:1).
“Listen to your father, who gave you life” (Prov. 23:22; 22:6).
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4)
There are scores of other verses about the responsibility of the parents – especially the father – in communicating God’s Word to the children (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 4:9; 6:1-10, etc). Study and be encouraged by them.
4. ROLE OF MODELING:
Fathers are to set a positive example of spiritual headship and servant-leadership in the home for children to follow…imitate…emulate. Sons especially are to look up to and learn from their fathers in every area of life.
The Lord Jesus left us “…an example that we should follow in His steps” (I Pet. 2L21). In the same way, the Apostle Paul as a good spiritual father urged young Christians, especially his “sons in the faith,” to follow his example:
“I became your father through the Gospel. Therefore, I urge you to imitate me” (I Cor. 4:15-16).
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1).
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord” (I Thess. 1:6).
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling…in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow” (II Thess. 3:7-9).
“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Phil. 3:7).
As I said earlier, children are by nature imitators. And the first people they naturally imitate are their parents. Little boys imitate their fathers and little girls imitate their mothers. If they do not have clear consistent parental models to imitate, they will grow up with confusion about their own masculinity or femininity. If they are deprived of good parental role models in the home, they will look outside the home. In the process, many will grow up “imitating imitations.” The result will be a life-long insecurity and uncertainty about their true identity.
5. ROLE OF MERCY:
The authority of authentic fathers is never hard or harsh. It is never autocratic or dictatorial. His fatherly leadership is that of a servant to his wife and children. Mercy is one of the most consistent and persistent manifestations of the God of the Bible. Often He is called a “…merciful God” (Deut. 4:31; c.f. II Sam. 24:14; Neh. 9:31; Jer. 3:12; Ps. 25:6; 78:38; Dan. 9:9; Mic. 7:18, etc).
Because the Heavenly Father is merciful, the role of the human father is to manifest mercy. In scores of practical ways, we see God manifesting His fatherly mercy.
Moses reminded the children of Israel that God “…carried you, as a Father carries his son” (Deut. 1:31). The Psalmist told us of God’s mercy by being a “…father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows” (Ps. 68:5). David also reminded us: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:13).
Jesus carried this theme forward in His Sermon on the Mount: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Lk. 6:36). Any wonder then, that Christians in general, and fathers in particular, are called to constantly manifest mercy because of the mercy that their Heavenly Father first demonstrated to them (Matt. 9:13; 12:7; Rom. 12:1; Eph. 2:4; Heb. 2:17; Ja. 2:13; I Pet. 1:3; 2:10, etc).
6. ROLE OF MINISTRY:
God called every father to be a “full time minister” – not just the preachers, pastors, evangelists and missionaries. Sadly, these groups of “religious professionals” are the ones who are generally referred to as “ministers” or “full time Christian workers.” More correctly, they should be referred to as “vocational Christian workers” while every Christian, especially fathers, are to be seen and honored as “full time ministers.”
As we saw earlier, the Bible portrays the father’s role as the priest and prophet of the home. While today we see the father as the progenitor, protector and provider in the home, we see the “religious professionals” as the priests and prophets.
However, if the father does not see and embrace his role as the spiritual head of the home and exercise that ministry, his children will not – especially his sons. Scripture tells us that the Jesus was always doing His Father’s work. He was always doing ministry.
“My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (Jn. 5:17).
“As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming when no one can work” (Jn. 9:5).
“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work” (Jn. 14:10).
Any way you slice it, doing the work of the Lord is ministry! But the good news doesn’t stop there. Here is an incredible promise from Jesus about work:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name and I will do it” (Jn. 14:12-14).
I love the encouragement of those words from the lips of the Lord Jesus – especially the promise about the “…greater things” we will do in His Name for the Father’s glory. That’s why I often told our children growing up that I wanted them to stand on mine and Patt’s shoulders and see farther…have more faith...be more mature…accomplish more for God’s Kingdom and glory, than we had! And they are doing that in their own areas of calling, giftedness and spheres of influence. To God be the glory!
These, then, are some of the major roles of a father as revealed in the Bible. There can be no more high, holy or humbling calling! The restoration of authentic fatherhood is the greatest need in our world today.
As every student of the Bible knows, the Old Testament ends with an exhortation to fathers. It is a prophecy about the “Elijah” who would come as the forerunner of the Messiah. Listen afresh to this ancient exhortation that is incredibly relevant today:
“I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse” (Mal. 4:6; c.f. Matt. 11:13-14; 17:10-11; Lk. 1:16-17).
Those words were followed by 400 years of prophetic silence – until John the Baptist stepped on the scene. Jesus told us that John was that new prophet who had come in the spirit of Elijah.
It is sobering to realize that the very last word of the Old Testament is the word “curse.” That was not only a “wake-up call” to ancient Israel, but it is also a “screaming alarm” to America! Because of our abdication of authentic fatherhood, our country is being struck with a curse! The evidence is all around us – especially in the youth culture that manifests so much confusion and identity crisis.
The only hope for the home, church and world is that we fathers “…turn our hearts to our children” so that “…our children’s hearts will return to their fathers.” Then God will replace the curse with a blessing. That is also my prayer for myself as a father and grandfather. In studying and sharing “The High Calling of Fatherhood” with you, my own heart has been exhorted and encouraged. I pray that it has been the same of each of you as fathers…grandfathers…sons – even fathers-to-be!
There is one more thing I want to add about my Dad. We looked alike. When I was a kid, I took a quick picture of him shaving, left hand on his left hip, right elbow up, with the razor making a path through the shaving lotion over the puffed-out cheek. I shave exactly the same way! Looking like him is great. But whether or not you look like yours, all of us men can look like The Father. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father. As we imitate Christ, may it be said of us that we look, act, talk and live like Him, who looked just like His Father.
For the glory of God our Father,
PS: This study is an abbreviated version of a much longer study on Fatherhood Leadership. Click here for a pdf file of the full study.
For North Carolinians, there is a strategic vote on Tuesday, May 8th, about the nature of marriage. This is what the Amendment says: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” Simple and clear enough. Should be a slam-dunk vote! Right? Not necessarily. Even though that is how most societies have understood and defined marriage since the beginning of time, that definition is increasingly being challenged morally and legally. The necessity of Marriage Amendment One is the legal response to this battle to redefine traditional marriage.
The key legal issue is whether the traditional definition of marriage, as an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman, will stand. Or whether it will be amended to legally validate and protect other “domestic relationships” – specifically between people of the same sex. In other words, will the definition of marriage be widened to include homosexual relationships rather than just heterosexual relationships? Will two homosexuals or two lesbians be granted all of the social and legal marital status of a man and woman?
Sadly, there has been growing confusion and ambiguity on this issue for several decades. And while we should not be at all surprised about this confusion or acquiescence in society, we should be deeply concerned when that same confusion and blind acceptance is in the church – even in the pulpits!
I agree with Billy Graham who recently said: “At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.” Then Graham said: “I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment.” At 70, I totally agree with Dr. Graham and urge my fellow citizens – especially Christians – to vote FOR this crucial amendment!
The cardinal question here is this: “Is the Biblical definition of marriage authoritative or not?” Look again at the Biblically clear and succinct account of the first marriage in Genesis 2:24:
“For this reason (marriage), a man (masculine) will leave his father and mother (his monogamous parents) and be united to his wife (another monogamous relationship with a female), and they will become one flesh” (a sexual union and relationship only possible for a male and female).
There is no ambiguity at all in this description of marriage. It was Adam and Eve…a male and a female…one man and one woman. It wasn’t “Adam & Aaron” or “Eve & Evelyn!” The original traditional marriage was between one man and one woman for one life. Period. No additions, no amendments!
Tragically, sin and rebellion soon brought in new “Marriage Amendments” that originated in the selfish heart of man rather than in the wise heart of God. And fallen man has been voting and re-voting on these amendments ever since he was expelled from the Garden.
Sadly, the battle against Marriage Amendment One is being championed by many as a “Civil Rights” issue. As such, it is being propagated as a parallel issue to Civil Rights for racial minorities – like the Blacks sought and received during the Civil Rights Movement in the last half of the Twentieth Century. “Gay Rights” are being championed as the last area of social injustice in our American society. That “homosexual rights” are the last bastion of prejudice and discrimination that demand legal intervention by the Federal and State Governments.
This sexual stigma has become the cause célèbre of the social and political left. Any who dare speak out against this politically correct position are accused of bigotry and “bedroom politics.” Translated into the vernacular, this simply means: It is right for the Federal or State Government to over-extend their legal arm into the front room, school room and bedroom of Christians and mandate that we fully accept homosexual unions as equally valid in every way with a monogamous marriage. But Christians, Jews and others who are committed to the propagation and defense of traditional heterosexual union are portrayed as “narrow minded bigots” who are guilty of imposing our “bedroom politics” on everyone else in society. There is obviously a moral and legal impasse.
However, no Biblically informed Christian ever tries to impose his or her moral values on secular society. Those are the free moral choices that individuals must make for themselves. But we do want the Federal and State Governments to legally protect the traditional definition of marriage that has existed since the Garden of Eden.
As I have already implied, this is not a new moral or marital battle. Sinful, fallen man has been trying to redefine marriage ever since he was expelled from the Garden of Eden as a result of his rebellion against God. The primary reason Adam and Eve lost the Garden was because they allowed Satan to redefine the guidelines God had clearly put forth. Satan knew if he could successfully redefine the primary roles and responsibilities of men and women in marriage, other social norms would fall like dominos. And they did.
But by virtue of creation and design, God had ordained that our sexuality was for at least three purposes: pleasure, prevention and procreation – each very purposeful and positive. Within marriage, sexual intercourse was first and foremost for the pleasure of the husband and wife. Secondly, it was for the prevention of fornication with other people of the opposite sex. Thirdly, it was for the propagation of the species. So God created us all as sexual creatures so that we could “…be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:26).
It is obvious that same-sex unions cannot produce children – which is why homosexuals are now pushing for equal adoption rights with heterosexuals. While refusing to produce offspring in the traditional way with someone of the opposite sex, gay men and lesbians want to be seen as equally valid “parents” to adoptive children. This is hybrid parenting. The very words “father” and “mother” clearly mean a progenitor who has produced progeny – or parents who have produced children.
But through the serpent, Satan sought to add an amendment to what God said about the nature of marriage. As the Author of creation – including sexuality and marriage, God was to be the final Authority on the nature of our maleness and femaleness. God ordained that our sexuality be expressed most completely within the exclusive bounds of a monogamous relationship between one man and one woman for one life.
Also, for that marital relationship to work best, there were clear God-ordained roles and responsibilities for the man and woman. They were absolutely equal because they both equally bore the “…image and likeness of God” (tzelem elohim in Hebrew; Imago Dei in Latin). So while the man and woman were equal spiritually, they were different sexually and functionally. Their physiology clearly reflected those differences as male and female. On the sexual level, there could be no interchange of roles. A man could not be a woman and a woman could not be a man when it came to sexuality and reproduction. He was to be the head and she was to be the heart of the home. He was the protector and provider and she was the life-giver and nurturer. As such, each had clear roles and responsibilities that were not to be abdicated or confused.
But Satan offered an amendment. He suggested an alternative plan for their respective God-ordained roles and responsibilities. He questioned the wisdom and exclusivity of God’s design for their relationship. So the serpent posed a subtle question that was the satanic reasoning behind his amendment:
“Has God said? Is that REALLY what He meant?! You don’t need divine ‘bedroom politics’ in your relationship! You don’t need God dictating how you relate to each other as male and female! In fact, you do not really need a God at all in your life and relationship. You know what is best for you. You can be your own god! You don’t need to always eat from the ‘Tree of Life.’ You need to enjoy the fruit of the ‘Tree of knowledge’ because there is other truth apart from what God has been telling you. And when you know that ‘truth’ by experience, you will be like God!”
Sound familiar? The arguments have not changed. Neither have the amendments to God’s revelation. And once you try to amend God’s ordained guidelines for marriage, other changes soon follow. It happened outside the Garden and continues to this day.
After Adam and Eve chose/voted for amendment #1 – to accept another authority on the true nature of sexuality and marriage other than God’s – more amendments soon followed…
It wasn’t long in the social devolution of man until amendment #2 was put on the ballot by Lamech, a son of Cain and grandson of Adam. He lobbied and voted for polygamy over monogamy. He is the first man recorded in the Bible who “…married two women” (Gen. 4:19). Soon polygamous marriages became the norm rather than the exception. This alien sociology even became so widely accepted that many of God’s people embraced it. Polygamy became the norm – even among most of the Biblical patriarchs like Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. Harems and concubines became the norm for the kings – even Jewish kings. And marriage amendment #2 became legalized and normalized. And many societies still practice polygamy today.
Amendment #3 was soon put on the ballot allowing divorce. The original marriage contract was for life – or “…until death us do part” (Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:20; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:39). But why be bound to a difficult mate? Why live in the misery of “unhappiness” and “incompatibility”? Divorce your difficult or barren spouse for one younger and more desirable! And if you are not going to divorce him or her, at least enjoy the “sexual freedom” of fornication and adultery through an “open marriage!”
Thus, the “Divorce Amendment” – or “Adultery Amendment,” passed with an overwhelming majority vote. Democracy won out again. The sinful majority ruled. Soon, serial divorce and adultery became the norm rather than the exception! But since adultery and divorce were in direct rebellion against God’s order for marriage, He judged it with the death penalty (Lev. 20:10). Apparently He is dead serious about His truth!
Once adultery was codified as normal and acceptable, it soon didn’t matter whether the fornication was heterosexual or homosexual. As a result, amendment #4 was soon put on the ballot condoning homosexuality. If adultery is permissible for a man and a woman, then fornication between a man and another man or between a woman and another woman should be equally accepted. But again, there was a “Divine Veto” of this sexual amendment that was codified with absolute clarity to the degree that it carried the death penalty – to say nothing of the “living death” that people live with emotionally who chose this so-called “gay life-style” (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Deut. 23:18; Rom. 1:27; I Cor. 6:9, etc). Statistics show that life-style to be anything but “gay!”
Another amendment to God’s original plan for marriage was incest – so amendment #5 was put on the ballot for vote. Fallen man wanted the freedom to marry and have incestuous sexual relationships between siblings, close relatives and various marital partners. So in spite of the fact that God vetoed that amendment (Lev. 18:6-18), it is still widely practiced in some societies and religious groups. Paul even had to decisively deal with it in the early Gentile church and labeled it a sin and perversion that is not even tolerated among pagans! He wisely knew that this kind of sexual perversion was a deadly leaven that would soon cause rottenness in the physical family and spiritual family (I Cor. 5:1-6).
As a result of all of this sexual and social rebellion, the children of these perverted and confused relationships suffered irreparable pain, confusion and identity crisis.
So it wasn’t long until there was the resulting societal problem of “unwanted children” who were the product of these many illicit sexual relationships. How was society to deal with them? When marital fidelity is minimized and individual rights exalted, children always suffer. They lose their rights as the parents and adults exert theirs. After all, it is not what is best for the children – but what is most convenient for the parent. Expediency takes over.
So amendment #6 was quickly voted on and widely practiced – known in the Bible as child sacrifice. In the Old Testament period, this was nothing but the spiritual and social version of our modern “population control” and “abortion.” Soon it became accepted – even expected – to sacrifice your children to the gods to appease them. Innocent babies and children were murdered in untold numbers – and sanctioned by both society and religion! Amendment #6 allowed for the murder of children to go on year after year…decade after decade…generation after generation – just like Roe v. Wade!
But because God hates with a holy hatred anything that defaces his “Imago Dei” in every human being – especially children – He severely judged and condemned any and every form of child sacrifice as an “abomination” (Lev. 18:21). How long before His final judgment falls on America for the same sin?!
Biblical and secular history shows that once man starts down this social and sexual slippery slope, there is no stopping or turning around. Soon any and every form of perversion will be justified as someone’s “rights.” So it was not long until even bestiality was also put on the ballot for consideration. But this one was so non-traditional and “perverted” that it carried the death penalty by stoning (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 18:23). Thus far amendment #7 has been consistently voted down worldwide. But give it time, and it too will be accepted as a valid “alternative life-style” that adults should be allowed to practice – in the bedroom or barnyard! And extreme “animal rights” is another step in the direction of the deification of nature.
While some of what I have written is hyperbole, satirical and tongue-in-cheek – the parallels are unmistakable to anyone but the spiritually blind. Ironically, almost all of these deviations and perversions are propagated through “education” and “enlightenment” through our schools and universities. And this educational brain-washing and social engineering process now begins in kindergarten.
The religion of biological and social evolution is anything but true science. Unlike authentic science, it is a passionate ideology that needs no objective empirical evidence. It is not based upon hard objective facts but upon biased prejudices and presuppositions. And they are championed by people with Masters Degrees and PHD degrees in sociology and sexuality! They are pontificated and propagated by social anthropologists who see all of these morals and mores as equally valid in man’s evolutionary process – all except the Biblical ones, that is. Those are seen with a jaundiced eye and portrayed with a jaded bias as “unenlightened religious relics” that society should cast off in favor of an inclusiveness that embraces everything as egalitarian.
Again, these are not new arguments or amendments to God’s revelation. It’s been going on since the dawn of human history. That’s why the Bible warns: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). Jesus underscored the dangers of this kind of spiritual darkness masquerading as light when He warned: “If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23). Likewise, Paul wrote to alert young Christians about the fact that “…evil men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13).
Sadly, this left-handed over-reach by the government from the courtroom to the bedroom does not stop there. It has now become such an accepted part of our national mentality, that it has become an amendment to our Foreign Policy. Our Secretary of State has attached this amendment to our Foreign Aid. Our Government is now telling underdeveloped countries of the world that unless they insure full homosexual rights as civil rights, they will receive no funding from USAID. That has already happened through wide-spread condom distribution as our primary tool for the AIDS pandemic.
The same reasoning won out for abortion and women’s rights. As a result, abortion has become our primary tool to manage global “population control.” Because we legalized abortion as “reproductive rights”, untold millions of babies – not impersonal fetuses – lost all of their “human rights!” So valid “Women’s Suffrage” issues were hijacked and taken to the extreme by new radical “feminist amendments!”
In the same way, the valid Civil Rights issues for Blacks has been co-opted by homosexuals to the degree that “Gay Rights” are equated with racial rights. But one is a moral issue; the other is an immoral issue. Sadly, our society increasingly does not recognize the difference between the two. Through education and “enlightenment,” both issues have been made equal and parallel “Civil Rights.” And we are being told that we cannot embrace one without embracing the other! Many African Americans have been duped into believing that it is a denial of the Civil Rights Movement if they do not fully embrace “Gay Rights.” Fortunately, many are now seeing the folly of this false equation.
So my fellow North Carolinians, “don’t vote your conscience” – unless it has been made alive by the Spirit of God and educated by the Word of God! If you “let your conscience be your guide,” you will buy the “party line” and vote for man’s amendments every time over God’s Revelation!
God made it clear that His severe judgment fell on other ancient societies and people because they rebelled against His natural revelation and written revelation. They voted in their social and sexual convenient amendments to His divine revelation. Listen afresh to His warnings to ancient Israel about all of these social and sexual perversions:
“You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God…for the man who obeys them will live by them…Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants…And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out, as it vomited out the nations that were before you…Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 18:3-5; 24-30).
We either blow these verses off as old, archaic and irrelevant to our society; or we embrace them as Godly and good. The so-called “political right” tends to vote for them; the “political left” tends to vote against them. Perhaps we need to reflect afresh on the succinct wisdom of Ecclesiastes 10:2: “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” If that’s offensive to your politics, sociology or religion, that’s not my problem. God said it – not me!
It’s your vote! But Patt and I are voting FOR Marriage Amendment One. Not because it is perfect in every way. But it at least comes closest to affirming and guarding the traditional Biblical definition of marriage that we have lived by…raised our children by…taught around the world as God’s inerrant final word on marriage that cannot be improved upon!
For Traditional Marriage in all its fullness and joy,
JL & Patt
PS: If most of this makes sense and resonates with your spirit, please forward it to your family, friends, fellow church members and business associates.
Dear JLPF Partners…In America and all over the world people are suffering. Here at home thousands are suffering from wild tornados that are coming in unprecedented numbers. In addition to the suffering from natural disasters, there is also the ever-present physical suffering through sickness and disease. Many of you are already aware of the suffering we have been facing as an extended family through the meningitis that my grandson, Luke, has come down with -- which we deeply appreciate your prayers for.
As you know from my recent emails, in Mali, West Africa, our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering at the hands of Radical Islamic groups. They have been forced to flee from their homes, lands, churches, Bible Colleges and towns and become refugees in their own country. In Haiti where I just was for Easter, hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims are still suffering from homelessness and lack of basic essentials. In parts of India, Christians are suffering at the hands of Hindu militants who are destroying their homes and churches. In Sri Lanka, Believers are being persecuted by Buddhist militants -- who were previously tolerant and non-violent. The list of suffering goes on and on...
To help put this into a wider Biblical perspective, I am sharing this timely study entitled "The Fellowship of His Suffering." I believe you will find it helpful. After you read it, please feel free to forward it to other family and friends who might also be facing a particular time of suffering -- whether physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally or financially. If they are not suffering now, it is only a matter of time! None of us get through this life without some level of suffering. So arm yourself with these timeless Biblical truths! Then share them with others.
In His Sustaining Love,
As we begin this season of Lent, I wanted to remind folks of a book I published a few years back, The Passionate Christ. It takes you through a detailed accounting of Jesus' last days and hours before His crucifixion. Through this study you will discover afresh His passion for you! The book can be purchased online at our Amazon store.
I also encourage you to review a series I posted online a few years ago, one for each of the 40 days from now to Easter.
Below you will find the links.
The 40 Days of Passion (Lent)
The 40 Days of Passion (Lent)