Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some thoughts about Cain and Abel

The story of Cain and Abel is one of the most famous stories in The Bible. The conflict between the brothers, prior to the sin, is not revealed to us in the text. We have to guess what caused Cain to kill his brother, with the help of the verses before the murder.

The story starts optimistically; two brothers were born to Adam and Eve, as we read in Genesis 4:1-2-

Cain and Abel

"וְהָאָדָם, יָדַע אֶת-חַוָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ;
וַתַּהַר, וַתֵּלֶד אֶת-קַיִן,
וַתֹּאמֶר, קָנִיתִי אִישׁ אֶת-יְהוָה.
וַתֹּסֶף לָלֶדֶת, אֶת-אָחִיו אֶת-הָבֶל;
וַיְהִי-הֶבֶל, רֹעֵה צֹאן, וְקַיִן, הָיָה עֹבֵד אֲדָמָה"

"And the man knew Eve his wife;
And she conceived and bore Cain,
And said: 'I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.'
And again she bore his brother Abel.
And Abel was a keeper of sheep,
But Cain was a tiller of the ground".

Abel the shepherd

However concise those two verses may seem, they actually reflect the beginning of the tension between the brothers. Cain was born first and Eve explained his name in relation to The Lord; she created a man with the help of G-d. Even though he was still a baby, Cain was considered "a man", in the eyes of his mother. This reminds me of the expectations that parents have of their children. Here, maybe Eve expected Cain to mature quickly and become a man, with the help of The Lord, as soon as possible!

Perhaps if Adam had named him, his destiny would have been different. In any case, Eve's actions seemed to have produced the opposite of what she had intended.

Adam and Eve

Another point of view has to do with the relationship between Adam and Abel. After his sin in the Garden of Eden, Adam was able to distinguish between good and evil. He probably also understood that he wouldn't live forever and that it was time to create descendants. Maybe he just slept with Eve, without paying attention to the tension that was created after the birth of the 2 sons. A midrash called "Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer" tells us another story about the "knowing" of the man. According to this midrash, Adam knew that Eve was pregnant from Satan and not from him.

Abel, on the other hand, was born second, with a negative connotation to his name (foolishness, useless, etc.). Yet his occupation appeared first. Does this mean that he was more important, due to his profession as a shepherd? We know from The Scriptures that the shepherd is a sign of a leader, like Moses the prophet or King David. We also know from other mythologies from the area that there were fights between the workers of the ground and the herders of the flocks. Is this story revealing to us the nature of this tension and those conflicts?


The Jewish sages noticed within the above mentioned verses, one word that was repeated three times -the word 'et', which means 'with'. From this repetition they interpreted, that Cain had a twin (girl) that was born with him and Abel had two more girls, who were born with him. Were the two brothers fighting over those girls? (According to some of the Jewish sages, such as Rashi, and also Muslim interpretations, the name of the brothers, who fought over the twins were Kabil and Habil).

The once implied conflict between the brothers now continues conspicuously, as we read in Genesis 4:3-5-

וַיְהִי, מִקֵּץ יָמִים;
וַיָּבֵא קַיִן מִפְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה, מִנְחָה—לַיהוָה
וְהֶבֶל הֵבִיא גַם-הוּא מִבְּכֹרוֹת צֹאנוֹ, וּמֵחֶלְבֵהֶן;
וַיִּשַׁע יְהוָה, אֶל-הֶבֶל וְאֶל-מִנְחָתוֹ.
וְאֶל-קַיִן וְאֶל-מִנְחָתוֹ, לֹא שָׁעָה;
וַיִּחַר לְקַיִן מְאֹד, וַיִּפְּלוּ פָּנָיו"

"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering; but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell."

Cain's offering wasn't as good as Abel's, because he gave fruit from the ground and that's it, whereas Abel gave the best meat from his flock, including the fat portions. So The Lord favored Abel's offering over Cain's and therefore he reacted to Abel's offering, before reacting to Cain's.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews 11:4, we read:

בָּאֱמוּנָה הִקְרִיב הֶבֶל לֵאלֹהִים זֶבַח טוֹב מִקָּיִן אֲשֶׁר הָיָה־לוֹ לְעֵדוּת "

"כִּי צַדִּיק הוּא בְּהָעִיד אֱלֹהִים עַל־מִנְחֹתָיו וּבָהּ עוֹדֶנּוּ מְדַבֵּר אַחֲרֵי מוֹתוֹ

"By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks".

Like Abel's faith, the story still speaks and will speak forever!
For me, this story has one underlying message:
Do not be Jealous, be compassionate like The Lord after the sin!

Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation
Hebrew Transcription Translation
קַיִן Qayin Cain
הֶבֶל Hebel Abel
רוֹעֶה Rô'ê Shepherd
אֲדָמָה 'ădāmāh Ground
מֶתַח metah Tension
תְּאוֹם Te'ôm Twin
קָרְבָּן qorbān Sacrifice


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fighting China’s One Child Policy

Chai Ling fought for human rights at Tiananmen Square. Now she’s taking on China’s One Child Policy.

Chai Ling is no stranger to activism. She was a key leader in China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest and as a result ended up on the communist nation’s list of the 21 most-wanted students. But since she accepted Christ last year, Chai has been on a mission to expose a practice she says is “hundreds [of] times” worse than the government’s massacre of hundreds of student protestors.

Through her organization, All Girls Allowed, Chai is working to raise awareness about the horrors of China’s One Child Policy. Chai says hundreds of Chinese women commit suicide every day as a result of forced abortion and pressure against women in general. Others have fled the nation. Many families, preferring boys, abort their baby girls, or abandon female infants, advocates say.

“I realized there’s a Tiananmen massacre going on every day and nobody knows about it,” she says.

The daughter of two army medical doctors, Chai had little exposure to Christianity growing up. She says God—or Shangdi—was just a name she came across in a foreign novel at age 10. “It was a word that was forbidden in our society,” she says.

Although she didn’t know much about religion, for some reason she prayed to the name she read about and asked Him to make her an outstanding student—and she was. But 20 years passed without her making a commitment to Christ. After being put on a watch list by the Chinese government, she fled to the U.S., attended Princeton and Harvard, married an American and eventually launched a successful software company. She’s been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Several Christians witnessed to her through the years, including her husband. But it was after attending a U.S. congressional hearing on China’s forced abortion practices that she sensed God calling her. There she heard the testimony of Wujian, a woman who was forced to abort when she became pregnant without a government birth permit .

Wujian testified that she was dragged into a hospital and forcibly injected with two toxic shots to induce an abortion. When the baby did not die, she was taken into an operating room, where her baby was surgically removed and cut into pieces.

Chai says the testimony reminded her of how helpless she felt at Tiananmen Square. And though she had not embraced faith in Christ, she believed only God was big enough to stand against such brutality.

“Wujian’s cry struck me to the core,” Chai says. “If there is anyone who could stop this brutality, it has to be God, and it could only be God.”

After talking with Christian mentors and friends who had been witnessing to her for years, Chai says she came to believe God had a plan for her and that He wanted to use her to take His love to China. She accepted Christ in December 2009 and last June launched All Girls Allowed (

The organization is set up to educate the world about China’s One Child Policy and encourage Chinese families not to abort and abandon their baby girls. One way the organization tries to do this is by giving parents a baby shower gift. “We’re going to these cities, primarily in the countryside, and finding couples who are pregnant and educating them about the value of girls,” says Brian Lee, executive director of All Girls Allowed.

Families who choose to keep their baby girls will be given a monthly financial stipend for a year. The organization also supports orphanages and reunites separated families.

Chai says after 20 years her mission to bring hope and freedom to China has not changed. She believes God has been working in her life all along, and today she trusts God to bring the victory in China.”

Read more:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1Malay(sian) Armed Forces

by Zairil Khir Johari

Being Defence Minister must sit well with Zahid Hamidi, for it has turned him into a trigger-happy man. Now, if only he could move his aim away from his own foot.

In my last post I highlighted his jingoistic call to stand up against the ‘neo-colonial’ government of Penang. And just when you think that such a marvelous statement could not be outdone in asininity, he follows it up with this classic piece of pronouncement:

“The reasons (for the low participation of non-Malays in the armed forces) could be because of a fear towards a tight discipline. It could be because of a low spirit of patriotism. It could be because certain ethnic groups had a negative perception of the armed forces and did not encourage participation,” said the minister.

Bravo. As expected, a commotion soon ensued, with denouncements and debates from both sides of the fence. Certainly, such a statement is nothing less than a stinging insult to the countless deeds and sacrifices made by non-Malay servicemen over the course of our country’s history.

Yet at the same time, it does raise a pertinent question. Why does there seem to be such dismal interest in the armed services amongst the non-Malay community (recruitment of non-Malay personnel from 2008-2009 is a paltry 1.2%)?

Dr Lim Teck Ghee, for example, suggests that the low incidence of non-Malay participation in the armed services may in fact be due to socio-economic factors, hence turning the discourse into one involving class rather than race. Others have suggested a lack of awareness and perhaps a remuneration structure that is less than attractive.

While I would not suggest that the salary scheme is not in need of review, nor would I go so far as to say that socio-economic conditions do not play an important role in the issue, I would however like to submit that the crux of the problem is far simpler than envisaged. As pointed out by our first Navy Chief, K Thanabalasingam, it is the simple and pragmatic reason of career advancement that makes non-Malays think twice.

In other words, non-Malays are less interested in joining the armed forces because of unequal promotion opportunities.

Simply ask yourself this: would you join an organisation if you knew from the get-go that no matter how hard you worked, no matter how dedicated you were, you will never receive due recognition simply because you weren’t born on the right side of Bumi?

Of course, Zahid Hamidi has since denied the existence of racial discrimination in the armed forces, citing the fact that there are:

‘A few’ non-Malay generals in the army (three according to my sources)

Two non-Malay admirals in the navy

One non-Malay general in the air force

Now, while the Minister may be proud to boast of the above data as ‘proof’ that non-Malays are able to hold ‘high positions’, I on the other hand see the existence of a racially-based quota system (3-2-1 for Army-Navy-Air Force) that is also evident in every branch and twig of our public service.

What does this (unwritten) quota mean in practical terms? It means that yes, while a non-Malay can definitely earn a ‘star’ or two on his uniform (and nowadays, rarely more than two), he would have to compete with other non-Malays for a share of the available quota. In other words, a non-Malay army officer is reviewed and measured relative to other non-Malays, instead of to all his fellow officers.

Furthermore, in today’s environment, it is virtually impossible for a non-Malay to attain anything more than two stars, much less to be considered as chief of one of the armed services (in contrast, our country’s first Chief of Navy was an Indian Malaysian gentleman who held the post for 9 years).

Now, we ask ourselves, which ‘non’ would be interested to join the armed forces in such a climate? Well, I know of one.

This particular officer, a ‘non’, had enlisted at the age of 18, spurred by dreams of dressing in uniform and defending his country. Today, on the verge of retirement after nearly 40 years of service, and despite being one of the most senior officers (in terms of length of service) in his chosen armed service, he will likely never attain a ‘star’ simply because the ‘non’ quota in his chosen service has already been filled. Never mind his ability, never mind his dedication, never mind that he could be more capable than some of the other ‘stars’ that have passed him by (lucky stars indeed for they were born on the right side of Bumi), he must resign himself to the unfortunate fact that he is, in his own country of birth, a ‘non-entity’.

In contrast, his counterpart in Singapore who was his classmate in Defence College, is now a 3-star general in the island republic. Would this officer be forgiven for wishing he had been born in Singapore instead of Malaysia?

So, dear Minister, what do you have to say about this? Oh wait, I know. You would probably say that this gentleman officer does not deserve to be a general because as a ‘non’, he is innately less patriotic and averse to discipline. What else can it be right? After all, in 1Malay(sia), everything else matters for nought.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

LaBarbera: GA pastor 'Christianizing' sin

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 11/17/2010 3:55:00 AM

Jim Swilly (Church in the Now)A Georgia mega-church pastor has come out of the closet as a homosexual, but the head of a group dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda thinks the "bishop" is compromising God's Word.

Fifty-two-year-old Jim Swilley of the Church In The Now, an inter-denominational Christian church in Conyers, has stated that the September suicide of a Rutgers University student prompted him to unveil his secret life to his congregation.

According to the Newton Citizen, Swilley's announcement last month was not a surprise to many members of the church. "There are two things in my life that are an absolute. I did not ask for either one of them," he reportedly told his congregation. "Both of them were imposed on me. I had no control over them. One was the call of God on my life...the other thing was my sexual orientation." He continued to explain that he had struggled with his sexual orientation his whole life, always attempting to come to terms with that and his faith in God.

"This so-called 'Bishop' Swilley is a very confused man," laments Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). "He thinks he's being honest about -- quote -- 'who he is,' but actually, he's compromising the Word of God and he's Christianizing sin, which is impossible."

Peter LaBarberaLaBarbera contends Swilley should step down from his ministerial position, stop preaching the Word of God, and repent of his sin and the advocacy of it. Swilly has shared that his congregation has been supportive of his coming out for the most part, but the AFTAH president is not surprised that some members of his church have left.

"There's no doubt in the Bible about whether homosexual practice is a sin," the conservative advocate points out. "He says he knew he was -- quote -- 'gay' since he was a boy. Most boys don't think about sex, much less homosexuality, so we're wondering what happened in his early life. Obviously, he's a confused man."

LaBarbera emphasizes that homosexuality it is not condoned in Christianity, so Swilley has "set about rationalizing his sin, which is very dangerous business." Swilley is the father of four children and is now divorced after a 20-year marriage. His former wife still works for the church.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010





“上升股”用“upped, rose, increased, soared, climbed, gained, added, plus, shot, grew, got ….”,而“下降股”用“downed, sank, decreased, slipped, dropped, lost, subtracted, minus, shed, ....”。我想,五千年优秀的中文,为何不用丰富形容的传达方式呢?“上升股”可用“上、升、增、扬、攀、得、加、飙、长 ….”,而“下降股可用“下、沉、降、滑、跌、失、减、削、损、少 ….”。






















读罢心中十分不痛快!作者说“马来西亚人的中文水平在退步”。缘由是国內有些主持人,对美味可 口的佳餚,从头到尾,只会“好吃”,“真好吃”,“太好吃了”来表达对食物的讚赏。简单又明快的“好吃”,“真好吃”,“太好吃了”,一听就可意会,就知 道这食物味道的確好!这与中文水平扯不上关係。“沁人心肺”的“沁”字,解意为“水从细孔渐渐渗入”。有关节目中若没有附加字幕,对如此艰涩的词语,你能 马上意会吗?








Monday, November 15, 2010




欧阳把所谓的“美国的基督教原教旨主义 / 宗教右派”形容为“和恐怖分子的思维其实差不多”,这番话乃无的放矢。他说“对方(恐怖分子)迷信可兰经,字面解经,号召圣战,喊打喊杀,美国宗教右派则迷信圣经,字面解经,以为只有基督教,或属于基督教原教旨主义的基督徒才有真理,其他宗教不是无知,就是异端邪说,通通下地狱这种霸权心态,怎么不令人讨厌?”









上 两星期我去美国德州开会,在机上看电视听新闻,得知两架经由他国飞往美国的飞机上发现可疑包裹,结果4个小时的飞行,机上乘客议论纷纷。下机后追踪新闻, 奥巴马召开紧急新闻发佈会,表示包裹事件是基地组织在也门的分支,企图再次对美国发动恐怖侵袭,美国所有快递公司亦马上停止从也门往美国的货物运输服务; 当天很多美国人与居住在美国的外国人,特別是飞机乘客如我者,心惊胆战。





这问题算是问对了,但认真思考,有心反躬自省的美国人恐怕不多,特別是共和党人和受基督教原教 旨主义操纵的宗教右派。后者和恐怖份子的思维其实差不多,对方迷信可兰经,字面解经,號召圣战,喊打喊杀,美国的宗教右派则迷信圣经,字面解经,以为只有 基督教,或属於基督教原教旨主义的基督徒才有真理,其它宗教不是无知,就是异端邪说,通通下地狱,这种霸权心態,怎么可能不令人討厌?美国这些宗教右派不 明白,他们討厌別人的理由,和別人討厌他们的理由,恐怕一模一样,其实大同小异。

21世纪恐怕是宗教衝突尖锐化的世纪。宗教衝突比其它许多类型的衝突更可怕,在於人一旦迷信宗 教,可以完全不可理喻,各自把自己的宗教经典搬出来,纯粹只是诉诸一己经典,完全不能接受理性批判与检验,以为唯有自己有真理,再把异议者一律视为异端邪 说,如何可能文明对话?没有对话,不愿交流,你要和他讲理,他一句顶你“理性不是绝对的”,还有甚么可以谈?




Friday, November 12, 2010

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should resign for questioning the loyalty and patriotism of non-Malays

This article is submitted by a Retired Senior Armed Forces Malaysian who also happens to be a NON-MALAY

I'm a third generation Malaysian who had served the Malaysian Armed Forces for 38 devoted years. The article in STAR Page N14 recently which carried derogatory remarks by the Malaysian Defence Minister about non-Malays not only jolted me out of my slumber but also infuriated me. The Defence Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that one of the possible reasons for the low intake of non-Malays in the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is that their "patriotism spirit is not high enough"!

Ironically, if my memory serves right, in 1998 this same Zahid Hamidi spoke out against then Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, calling for an end to cronyism and nepotism in the Malaysian government. Zahid, then seen as an ally of deposed Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was subsequently arrested and held in prison under the Internal Security Act. His oxymoronic statement implies that millions of Malaysians, including Malays, who chose not to join the Armed Forces are also not patriotic.

It must be acknowledged that the UMNO-led Government is promising a lot of reforms and taken initiatives that appear to be commendable but whilst the 'Gods are willing, the priests are not'. The implementation on the ground, as always, has been an issue to which they conveniently close an eye or even both. The BTN inculcation is another monster that the UMNO Government, under the 'able' leadership of our not-so-pendatang PM Dr Mahathir, has created. The evil of BTN must be systemically reversed or we are all doomed and extremists like Zahid Hamidi, who are politically ambitious, who will not hesitate to play the race card again in order to rise within the ranks of UMNO, must be condemned by all right thinking members of the Malaysian society.
Like in most Government Departments, non-Malays are not appointed in certain sections of Departmental Work where it entails transparency. Thus is the case of the MAF Recruiting Division and several other fields purely at the discretion of those placed in power, and this power is abused with the tacit approval of those walking the Corridors of Power.
The MAF Recruiting Division over the years has been hoodwinking the public by manipulating the application figures. There are ample cases where applications by well qualified non-Malay candidates have either ended up in waste paper baskets or rejected with fictitious excuses.
On the other hand, the lesser ones are either called up and rejected as not qualified or a token sum is absorbed in order to just satisfy the political masters and project the multi-racial composition of the MAF. These poor fall guys end up being miserable with no future in their career. They simply mark time and quit service later into oblivion.
What career prospects await the non-Malay today in the Government's service? All the senior positions held by non-Malays are quickly and promptly replaced by Malays when these non-Malays retire. Non-Malays who are competent, able and well qualified are by-passed and these promotions are then given to Malays who are less qualified, less competent but have the 'kulit-ifications'.
When compared to the Malays, there is absolutely no career planning for non-Malays and thus stifling their promotion prospects which is further acerbated by the self imposed quota system. This pathetic situation obviously doesn't augur well for potential candidates to join the MAF. The non-Malays are made to feel that they are there merely as gap-fillers despite their earnest portrayal of professionalism, loyalty and patriotism.
Unfortunately, many of our politicians like Zahid Hamidi, are either too inexperienced or simply too naive to understand the frustration and agony of highly devoted non-Malays who had served and are still serving our beloved nation. You should wake up and spend time amongst service personnel to see the mutual respect and camaraderie that exists regardless of race, creed and colour! You and your Cabinet counterparts, in consultation with the Service Chiefs, should devote your time to address the root cause for this long overdue predicament of the Non-Malays.
By the way, this was never the case in the 60s and 70s. Another product of BTN and Dr Mahathir's style of helping the handicapped Malays to stay on top despite the odds and the non-Malays are again made scapegoats.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010









下午 1点18分

NONE昨天政府甫宣布对付发表种族论的国家干训局副总监,今天国防部长阿末扎希(Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,右图)言论却又再挑起争端。他向国会指出,华印裔从军比率偏低可能是基于这两个族群“不爱国”。

阿末扎希是今天在国会问答环节时,回应国阵登嘉楼士兆区国会议员莫哈末基汀(Mohd Jidin Shafee)的提问时,作出上述的回应。












不满阿末扎希的说法,民主行动党籍以怡保西区国会议员古拉(M Kulasegaran)援引议会常规第36(10)(c)条文提出抗议。他要求阿末扎希针对“华印裔不爱国” 的言论道歉。



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gay "pastors" - An End-time Sign

"The war with Christian Homosexuality is ongoing. A Malaysian gay "pastor", Ouyang Wen Feng, has already run a Homosexual Church in KL for about 3 years now. Sin Chew Chinese Daily has given him a platform to launch continuous onslaughts on Churches. Me and some Christians has been tussling with him by voicing out our views. But most of the time our articles were rejected! Gay 'pastors', an end-time sign, shows that the Lord is separating the sheep from the goats." - Pastor Allen Tan

Is it OK to be Gay and Christian?

Wednesday, 03 November 2010 10:42 AM EDT J. Lee Grady

Charismatic pastor Jim Swilley’s announcement that he is gay opened the door wider for a subtle delusion. Don’t believe it.

Many people were shell-shocked last week when Atlanta pastor Jim Swilley stood in front of his congregation, Church in the Now in Conyers, Ga., and announced that he is gay. The 52-year-old minister was abruptly removed from his position in the International Communion of Charismatic Churches—a network in which he served as an overseer. Some of Swilley’s members left his church, others stayed, and countless others are now scratching their heads.

We Americans are lost in a moral fog. Two major Protestant denominations (the Episcopal Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) have voted to ordain gay clergy. Meanwhile, gayness is celebrated in our media, and anyone who refuses to bow to this idol is painted as intolerant and homophobic.

“The sins we avoid addressing from the pulpit are the sins that will thrive unchallenged in our culture. We must develop some backbone and speak the truth in love.”

Christians who still believe homosexuality is incompatible with biblical faith feel painted into a corner. If we defend Christian morality, and even if we speak with compassion to those who may struggle with same-sex attraction, we are accused of hate speech or branded as judgmental. So we tiptoe through the minefield of political correctness—and keep our mouths shut.

Sorry, but timidity on this issue is not acceptable. The sins we avoid addressing from the pulpit are the sins that will thrive unchallenged in our culture. We must develop some backbone and speak the truth in love. Here are four truths that should factor into any discussion on this topic:

1. Everyone is born with issues. King David wrote: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5, NASB). David acknowledged that he had an inborn sin nature. This is true for all of us!

Many “gay Christian” advocates insist that some people are born homosexuals and therefore they have no hope of altering their orientation. But this is a lame argument since we all are born with a propensity toward certain sins. This is the human condition: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Just because you are born with an inclination toward adultery, alcoholism, shoplifting or pride doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.

2. Christ offers forgiveness and sexual healing. The more strident voices in the gay community hate when Christians speak about homosexuals being healed or reformed. They insist that if you are gay, you must stay that way. They choose to ignore the fact that thousands of people have left homosexuality after coming to faith in Christ.

My friend Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, came out of the gay lifestyle many years ago and now has a great marriage with his wife, Leslie, plus two beautiful children. The ministry he leads has helped countless people—including many Christian “strugglers”—find emotional freedom. Some of them experienced same-sex feelings from childhood; others developed these feelings because they were sexually molested or because of dysfunction in their families.

Whatever the cause of sexual brokenness, the gospel has always provided the solution. It was true for people in the Corinthian church, to whom Paul wrote: “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals … will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11, emphasis added).

3. Discipleship requires self-denial. In his announcement to his church last week, Jim Swilley said he decided to come out as gay because he was tired of pretending. I’ve talked with others who told me they felt they were being “dishonest” by ignoring their gay feelings. They said they felt free when they accepted “who they really are” and got involved in gay relationships.

For a Christian, that’s a cop out. The essence of our walk with Christ involves denial. Jesus said: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). Jesus was not asking us to pretend we don’t have problems—He calls us to bring all of those problems into His light through repentance. But the Holy Spirit gives us the power to deny sinful desires. That quality of self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 6:22-23).

4. Homosexuality is not a protected category of sin. Many “gay Christian” advocates insist that if you are gay, then it’s fine to go out and have all the sex you want. They ignore biblical commandments against homosexuality (usually by saying that Old Testament law doesn’t apply today); meanwhile they advocate gay marriage even though most gay men are rarely monogamous. The message is clear: If you have same-sex desires, just go ahead and indulge because that’s how you were created.

This is what the Bible calls licentiousness—which means “lacking legal or moral restraints, especially sexual restraints; disregarding rules.” Actually, the Bible lumps homosexuality in with every other form of sexual sin—and says God will punish those who engage in it. After Paul warns about every form of immorality, he says: “So, he who rejects [these rules] is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thess. 4:8).

Regardless of how loudly the world trumpets its hedonistic agenda—and no matter how many backslidden preachers dance to the tune—God has the final say on this matter.

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