A Call To Repentance

One of the most comforting promises found in Scripture is the promise that God is faithful not only to forgive the sins of the sinner , but also to cleanse him from the uncleanliness of his sins. This promise of forgiveness, however, comes with a responsibility that many choose to disregard – a call to repentance.  For many Christians, the confession of sin is a valid vindication either to happily continue in sin or to continually place themselves in situations where they know they will be tempted by sin. In Matthew 5:29, we are cautioned by Christ in this regard. Christ asserts that “if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown in hell.” But are we taking His words of caution seriously?

God clearly calls His children to repentance. In both the Old and New Testaments, God promises His children that their confession of sin will be followed by forgiveness if they repent of their sins and cast their sins aside, but His promise is twofold, for He assures His children that His wrath will be placed on the unrepentant. We are constantly commanded to repent. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God admonishes His people to “turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin”. In the New Testament, we are counseled by Peter to “repent therefore, and turn again, that [our] sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). We are not only reminded of our call to repentance, but also of the consequences of an unrepentant heart. In the Old Testament, we are warned that “if a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts” (Psalm 7:12,13). Again, in Hebrews 10:26,27, we are cautioned that “if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume”.

Christians should have a desire to confess their sins before a righteous God whom they have sinned against, but should they also not desire to repent of their sins and cast those sins aside? Should not we, as Christians, loathe the sin that seperates us from our Father and remove that sin from us? Should not the very sins that grieve our Father’s heart grieve ours also? The forgiveness of our sins is one of the many gifts that God has blessed us with, let us make it a gift that we cherish rather than abuse.


The “Give” in Forgive

Forgivness. It is a precept taught in the church and in the Christian home; a precept that many Christians learn from an early age, but at times it seems that it is a principle that in essence remains unlearned. It is much too common to hear a brother or sister in Christ say, “If only he would say he was sorry, I would forgive him” or “I would forgive him, if only he would do this”; that is to say that in practice forgivness is based on certain condition(s). Forgivness is no longer freely given; it has to be earned by those being forgiven. It would seem that the four letter word found in for”give” has been completely forgotten, and that the forgivness of our sins has been forgotten along with it.

What did we do to deserve God’s forgivness precisely? Nothing. There is nothing that we, as sinners, can ever do to deserve the forgivness God has given us  – not our belief in Him, not our obedience to Him, nothing. God gave us His forgivness, He sacrificed His Son for us on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven – He’s given, and given, and given to those who have sinned against Him day by day, hour by hour. How much more then should we, as fellow fallen men, forgive each other if an almighty, holy God could forgive us for all of our sins? Any sin our brother or sister has commited against us cannot even be compared to the sins we have commited and continue to commit against God.

In short, we should remember the words of Paul, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:12, 13), and place the “give” back in forgive.


Born in Sin

“It doesn’t matter if you love him,
Or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
’cause you were born this way, baby

My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

“There’s nothin wrong with lovin who you are”

She said, “’cause He made you perfect, babe”

“So hold your head up girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”

I’m beautiful in my way
’cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born-
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be a drag – just be a queen
Don’t be!

Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth
In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth

A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M (hey hey hey)
I love my life I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (love needs faith)

I’m beautiful in my way
’cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born-
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re lebanese, you’re orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
’cause baby you were born this way

No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

I’m beautiful in my way
’cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!”

 
 
Those are the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. The single premiered on the Grammys, where the song was proclaimed as a “meaningful song about loving who you love and being who you are”. But more disturbing than the sometimes blasphemous lyrics, is that “Born This Way” is being heralded as the anthem for the “downtrodden” –  a category that includes homosexuals as those who are being wrongly discriminated against for simply being born the way they are.
 
Sorry, Lady Gaga, but homosexuality and skin color are not in the same category.
 
The popularity of Lady Gaga’s single is a sad reflection on American society. In a society that has no place for God or at best a place for a God of love only, moral restrictions are frowned upon by the “open minded”. Supposedly, the expression of love and acceptance is the answer to all of man’s problems. No matter what that entails.
 
But what does the Bible say? It teaches that all men, indeed, are “born this way” – namely, born in sin {Romans 5:12}. Despite Lady Gaga’s protestation that “a different lover is not a sin/believe capital H-I-M”, the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a serious sin {Genesis 18-19 relates the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for sins that included homosexuality and in Leviticus 18:22 it is described as an abomination} and that sin is a result of man’s corrupt nature. God teaches that genuine love requires sacrfice and discipline – a changing of our old sinful ways – that can only be obtained through Himself.  A firm faith in God and adherence to His Word is the only answer to man’s problems.
 
So, Lady Gaga, you were partly right. We are born in sin and are sinful in nature, but giving into sin is not acceptable to a righteous God. God in no way, shape, or form condones sin. Only through repentance and faith will we, as a society, be “on the right track”.