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January / February / March 2012

GOSPEL DEFENCE LEAGUE


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January/February/March 2012

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Dear Friends,

The message of Easter is this: “We were buried with Christ by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:4-7)

No other religion offers so great a salvation. We have been saved by grace through faith, and not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8) God Himself is the Redeemer of sinful man!

What has happened to Sin?

But sin is not taken seriously today. Hell is often denied, and redemption sometimes made cheap. The KERKBODE of January 2012, the official paper of the Dutch Reformed Church, featured an article about a female theological student of Stellenbosch, Lulani Vermeulen, who wants to be ordained. A Council of Lecturers has declared that she has “fulfilled all the academic and faith requirements,” but the Kuratorium of the DRC refused permission because she is a lesbian living with her lover. She was told that, in order to serve the Church, she needs to commit herself to ‘celibacy,’ but Miss Vermeulen refused. She declared that this 2007 DRC synod ruling was ‘unconstitutional.’ She wants a ‘scriptural answer.’ Ministry candidates, she says, are being treated more strictly than ordinary members, and this is ‘dogmatic fraud.’ In her opinion the question is not ‘whether homosexuality is right or wrong’ but, as in the case of Apartheid, that ‘the Church needs to confess its false understanding ofhomosexuality.’ 1)

This presumptuous Miss is defying the entire DRC Church and asking them to redefine lesbianism in an unbiblical way. The Scripture calls such perversion “detestable” or “an abomination.” But not wanting to give up sin, she challenges the Church to correct its false understanding of God’s Law and change its Biblical doctrines! The 7 th Commandment, “You shall not commit adultery,” (which is a summary Commandment that covers every sexual sin) is seemingly not considered, and the fact that homosexuality is described as the ultimate depravity of those who “exchange the truth of God for a lie,” is ignored. The Scripture says: “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him… Therefore God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones... and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:26-27)The fate of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah stands as an everlasting warning to all generations.

Homophobia a Crime against Humanity?

In South Africa homosexuals have greater privileges than anywhere else. The SA constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. The RSA was the 5 th country in the world (and 1 st in Africa) to legalise same sex marriage and grant full family rights. There are no obstacles for ‘gays’, except in the Church. So they demand that the Church must change its requirement of holiness, and the Bible be censored! Anything less is regarded as ‘homophobia.’ And ‘Gay’ activists have been very successful. Nearly every ‘mainline’ Church has gone soft on homosexuality. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, has even declared that “Homo-phobia is a crime against humanity.” 2) If God be homophobic, he says, he would not want to go to heaven. Rev Dr Allan Boesak, another liberation theologian, also promotes homosexuality. He angrily walked out of a Synod meeting when the Uniting Reformed Church rejected homosexuality in its ministry. 3)

Death Orientation

God’s greatest gift to all living things is pro-creation. At Creation He gave to every plant and every creature its own ‘seed’ to ‘replenish the earth.’ His first commandment was: “Be fruitful and multiply…” That is why He instituted marriage and created families, not merely as cultural or social institutions but as a law of nature necessary for survival. Homosexuality, however, denies procreation. It is a suicide orientation, for the ‘gay’ person is the last of his line, a dry branch on his family tree. In Afrikaans ‘suicide’ is called ‘selfmoord.’ So the issue here is DEATH, even murder, if not of oneself, then of one’s progeny. How could the Church yield to condone homosexuality as an “alternative lifestyle?” But academics ponder it, theologians discuss it, and members vote on it. What is there to vote? Does God ask us to vote on His commandments? If synods were truly honest, they would discuss homosexuality under the heading: ‘Is murder right or wrong, and should (self)murderers be ordained by the Church?’

Population Control?

God is the Lord of Life. Jesus Christ came into this world that men might have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) He gives us love, joy, and peace, and raises us up to what is noble, true and right. Homosexuality has other aims. It has been variously said that encouragement to such a ‘lifestyle’ is part of ‘population control.’ On October 31, 2011, the United Nations (UN) declared that the world population had officially reached 7 billion. Yet, not every one seems to be worried about this. The New York Times, for example, in its millennium edition of January 2000, listed “overpopulation” among the “Myths of the 20 th Century.” 4) - The earth is actually under-utilised, and the whole Western world shows a “negative growth rate.” But the world’s plutocrats, such as Bill Gates (Microsoft), David Rockefeller (Chase Manhattan Bank) and Ted Turner (CNN) want to help “stabilise” the earth’s population through birth control and abortion. They want to diminish humanity by billions. Indeed, Mikhail Gorbachev, ex-president of Russia, suggests a 90% reduction of mankind. Part of this policy of POPULATION CONTROL is the promotion of homosexuality.

Amazingly, some Church leaders openly commend abortion. Former archbishop Desmond Tutu, for instance, praises the ‘invaluable work’ of the Marie Stopes abortuaries: Smiling from a poster inside the abortion clinic in Cape Town, he says: “Marie Stopes South Africa is doing invaluable work… they are providing… access to sustainable high quality services.” What? High quality abortion to make Mother Earth more sustainable? With such episcopal blessing, how can pregnant girls pass by?

Healing through Conversion

Confused theologians often refer to “science.” But how trustworthy are the scientists who tell us that homosexuality is an inborn condition? Are not countless homosexuals healed – not through drugs and treatments - but through an encounter with Christ? St Paul attests to this, saying: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders … will inherit the king-dom of God. And that is what some of you were. You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Jesus heals those to “repent and believe,” and the angels in heaven rejoice over them. But do men rejoice over them? The ‘gay’ community has often persecuted the converts, while the ‘scientists’ have kept silent.

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also… Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6)

It is time to stop looking at the homosexual question sentimentally (in terms of ‘rights’ and ‘liberation’). Miss Lulani Vermeulen of Stellenbosch and her supporters have an agenda which is harmful to the Church, the family, and to civilised living. It is a pity that the Dutch Reformed Church allows itself to be embroiled in a cause which, in other churches, has caused nothing but strife. For centuries the DRC was a beacon of light, a great stabilising Christian factor in South Africa. May it now not be overwhelmed by ungodliness. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God… For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-4)

May God bless you richly,

D. Scarborough.

Footnotes:

  1. Kerkbode, 3.6.2011.
  2. Afrol News 7.7.11, Tutu’s speech at the launching of the book ‘Sex, Love and Homophobia,’ publ. by Amnesty International, UK.
  3. As in the case of Dr Boesak and the URC synod, Miss Vermeulen’s advocates base their claims on the Belhar Confession.
  4. The American Dream, “From 7 Billion People to 500 Million People – the Sick Population Control Agenda of the Global Elite,” Internet.

OUR WORLD BELONGS TO GOD (end)

A Contemporary Testimony of the Christian Reformed Church, USA, 1986

Drafted in view of the secularisation of modern life and culture.

THE MISSION OF GOD’S PEOPLE (continued)

  • We call on governments to do public justice 1 and to protect the freedoms of rights 2 of individuals, groups, and institutions, 3 so that each may freely do 4 the tasks God gives. We urge governments to ensure the well-being of all citizens 5 by protecting children from abuse and pornography, 6 by guarding the elderly and poor, 7 and by promoting the freedom to speak, to work, 8 to worship, and to associate.
  • Matthew 5:6 - “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
  • Isaiah 61:8 - “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity…”
  • Luke 4:17-21 - Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
  • 1 Timothy 2:1-4 - “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful… lives in all godliness and holiness.”
  • Psalm 72 - “Endow the king with your justice, O God… for he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no-one to help. He will take pity on the weak and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.”
  • Isaiah 1:16-17 - “Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless…”
  • Leviticus 19:13-16 - “Do not defraud your neighbour or rob him. Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight. Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling-block in front of the blind, but fear your God… Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly. Do not go about spreading slander among your people.”
  • Jeremiah 9:23-24; 22:15-17 - “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. Correct me, LORD, but only with justice - not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.” - “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar?… Your father did what was right and just, so all went well with him… But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”
  • Following the Prince of Peace, 1 we are called to be peacemakers, and to promote harmony and order. We call on our government to work for peace; 2 we deplore the arms race 3 and the horrors that we risk. We call on all nations to limit their weapons to those needed in the defence of justice and freedom. We pledge to walk in ways of peace, 4 confessing that our world belongs to God; he is our sure defence.
  • James 3:18 - “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
  • Micah 4:1-5 - “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD… He will teach us his ways… we will walk in the name of the LORD for ever and ever.”
  • Matthew 26:52 - “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
  • Matthew 5:9 - “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
NEW CREATION  
  • Our hope for a new earth is not tied 1 to what humans can do, 2 for we believe that one day 3 every challenge to God’s rule and every resistance to his will shall be crushed. Then his kingdom shall come fully, 4 and our Lord shall rule forever.
  • 1 Peter 1:3-12 - “In his great mercy he (God) has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith you are shielded by God’s power…”
  • 2 Peter 3:1-13 - “The day of the Lord will come like a thief… That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 - “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command… destruction will come on them suddenly… So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep… putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
  • Revelation 11:15 - “There were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
  • We long for that day 1 when Jesus will return as triumphant king, when the dead will be raised 2 and all people will stand before his judgment. 3 We face that day without fear, for the Judge is our Saviour. Our daily lives of service aim for the moment 4 when the Son will present his people to the Father. Then God will be shown to be true, holy, and gracious. All who have been on the Lord’s side 5 will be honoured, the fruit of even small acts of 6 obedience will be displayed; but tyrants and oppressors, heretics, and all who deny the Lord will be damned.
  • Revelation 20:11-21:8 - “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’”
  • 1 Corinthians 15 - “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.”
  • John 5:28-29 - “A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 - “All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just; he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 - “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
  • Matthew 25:31-46 - “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
  • With the whole creation 1 we wait for the purifying fire of judgment. For then we will see the Lord face to face. 2 He will heal our hurts, end our wars, and make the crooked straight. Then we will join in the new song to the lamb without blemish 3 who made us a kingdom and priests. 4 God will be all in all, righteousness and peace will flourish, 5 everything will be made new, and every eye will see at last that our world belongs to God! Hallelujah! Come, Lord Jesus. 6
  • Romans 8:18-39 - “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… Neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Revelation 21-22 - “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
  • Revelation 5 - “You are worthy… because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:28 - “When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”
  • Isaiah 11:6-9; 60:11, 19-20; 65:17-25 - “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” - “Your gates will always stand open… so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations…” - “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” - “They will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy in all my holy mountain.”
  • Revelation 22:17, 20 - “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come.’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come, and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life… He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’”
All Scripture quotes taken from the New International Version .



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