Tag Archives: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Advent: Woes and Warring for Souls

‘Perhaps what we modern people need most is to be genuinely shaken…God permits this whirlwind to go over the earth…This is the first Advent message: before the end, the world will be set quaking.’ FR Alfred Delp

‘The coming of Jesus is fearsome news for everyone with a conscience’, says Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Advent jolts us awake. Rather than lull ourselves to sleep with boozy good cheer, we can rouse ourselves in the electric lights radiating from the gray. God calls us to shine bright for the saving of many lives.

So it was at our Gender Matters Conference in Manila. Between the Feast of St. Andrew and the first Sunday of Advent, hundreds of us packed out a hall in the city center and betrothed ourselves anew to Jesus and His truth for humanity amid a national drive to enslave citizens by guaranteeing ‘rights to gender expression’, aka defy your nature and conjure a false self. The Philippines is poised to become the first nation in Asia to pass a law that grants preferential treatment to the ever-expanding LGBT+ set while imposing extreme penalties for anyone who ‘creates an emotionally distressing environment’ which ‘results in the loss of self-esteem’ for any person flaunting an identity fracture.

The bill is expressly designed to silence any pastor, parent, or friend who casts a vision of gender wholeness for loved ones being tempted by a host of fake identities.

Andrew Speaking at Gender Matters.

Jesus provokes us who have died to these solutions and now live for Him. We cannot celebrate the dead-end of sexualizing our injuries and unmet needs. In truth, we grieve and mourn and cry out for true justice. A godly congress-woman implored us to pray and fight for a delay of the bill which slam dunked the lower house 187-0 and is scheduled to go before the Senate mid-December. Wise senators are working hard for this delay in order to buy time in which to rouse the Church—Philippine’s drowsy, distracted giant.

The Holy Spirit honored our gathering; His Presence summoned fresh repentance and many tears over this delusion and the traditional adulteries that broke ground for this rainbow psychosis. More than anything, we poured out our hearts for a generation who are being entombed by fake identities.

I recalled St. Andrew whose gift to us as the first apostle was a deep, child-like faith in Jesus and an immediate evangelistic impulse. Having beheld the Lamb, he directed his brother Peter to Jesus, declaring ‘We have found the Messiah’ (JN 1:35-42).

St Andrew reminded me that our Philippine advance was not first about politics or theology or psychology—it was for persons doomed to die unless merciful ones, endowed with true vision, direct them to Jesus. Scattered throughout our gathering were wide-eyed gender-benders alongside faithful friends. ‘They’ are us—wounded wonderful persons who will remain slaves until they discover the Father who alone has power to confirm us as His sons and daughters (Gal. 4:3-7).

‘When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand’ (LK 21:28).

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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November 22, 2014: The Lie of ‘Gay’ Love

‘That evil appears in the form of light, of beneficence, of faithfulness, of renewal, that it appears in the form of historical necessity, of social justice, is for the commonsense observer a clear confirmation of its profound evilness. We experience and recognize ethical reality not by craftiness, not by knowing all the tricks, but only by standing straightforwardly in the truth of God and looking to that truth with eyes that it makes simple and wise.’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Today’s western culture has been captivated by the lie of ‘gay’ love. Out of the idol we have made of sexual expression, empowered by injustices we have committed against persons weak in gender security, our common enemy devised one of the most divisive strategies of our century: the ‘gay’ way or the highway. 

A western citizen is today considered ‘enlightened’ if (s)he embraces homosexuality as inborn and unchangeable, its expression worthy of all privileges accorded marriage and family. For upholding marriage, and disagreeing with the ethical good of ‘gay’ practice, that same citizen is judged at best as ignorant and worse as a bully, a bigot, and a ‘hater.’ Criminal charges may apply: anyone not on the ‘gay’ bandwagon will lose reputation and may lose his or her business for not cooperating with ‘gay’ weddings.

Seeking relevance, the Church at large has been reduced to silence then slow concession to what is a fierce yet well-cloaked ‘gay agenda.’  (I have witnessed this ‘agenda’ since I came out of homosexuality in the late seventies: even then, it was apparent that wealthy gay politicos were aiming at the gold ring of ‘gay marriage.’) The tactic is simple and goes something like this: “‘Gay’ people are loving and wounded. How can we further wound them by not giving them what they want? We believe in the pursuit of happiness for all, don’t we?”

Seeking to be ‘loving’, the Church bows to such superficial questions with superficial answers. I was shocked by an interview with Cardinal Schonborn (whom I deeply respect) after the Synod on the Family when he said: ‘I know a marvelous ‘gay’ couple in my diocese who really care for each other…’ On that basis, Schonborn encouraged radical (and I believe false) changes in the Catholic Church’s approach toward persons with same-sex attraction.

The new enemy of the Church’s clear understanding of sexual humanity is ‘nice.’ Without doubt, many persons with same-sex attraction (I do not use the language of ‘gay’; it is a socio-political identification that hinders persons from resolving the attraction) are kind and loving and capable of committed friendships. Not the question. The question remains: what is our sexual humanity for?  If we as Christians are not clear that the purpose of our engendered self is to mature into whole-enough gifts for the other so that we can create new lives together, then we have lost our way. We do no-one any favors to alter the boundary lines to include sexualized same-gender friendships, just as we did an earlier disservice by accommodating extramarital sex on the basis that ‘Christians do it anyway.’

Our young interns and I recently studied ‘The Bible and Homosexual Practice’ (Abingdon Press, Dr. Robert Gagnon), the best and most scholarly approach to the subject. Without doubt, Scripture from start to finish prohibits all homosexual acts on the basis that gender ‘discomplementarity’ is an act of treason against God and one’s fellows. Period. Our ‘loving’ hearts deceive us. An ‘agenda’ has deceived us. A common enemy has deceived us.

It may be too late for our nation to take marriage back from that agenda. But Jesus Himself will not allow His bride to be deceived. We must wake up and repent. It is not too late to forsake our ‘nice’ concession to ‘an enemy who came only to steal, kill, and destroy’ lives. (JN 10:10) In concert with the One who came that ‘all may have life and have it to the full’ (JN 10:10), let us open wide the doors of our hearts and churches and provide a merciful womb in which all may repent of the deception that is destroying them.

‘In the last days there will be scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires. These are men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained with corrupted flesh’ (Jude 17-23).

Please join us as we pray for:

  1. Church Unity/Ecumenical Spirit : Unity in the body of Christ as Living Waters is offered in both Catholic and Protestant churches. Also for an ecumenical spirit to be strengthened and encouraged throughout each community running Living Waters.
  2. Aguas Vivas: Southern California, Los Angeles area, Maria, Pilar, Zefereino and team: for discernment and wisdom as far as the best church covering for upcoming Aguas Vivas group.
  3. Encourage:  Bob and Susan (National Overseers): For grace to equip and unify chapters of   Courage around the country. KC Courage and Encourage : For an increase in local KC chapter of Courage/Encourage.

“Courage for Pastor Phil Strout (National Director Vineyard USA), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BLOGS & PRAYER POINTS FOR NOV. 20, 21, 22, 23

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Suffering for What is Right

In His mercy, Jesus redeems our suffering. Some of the sorrow we submit to Him is not of particularly noble origins—it may be, as we have seen, the bad fruit of our sin, or the normal wounds and losses we sustain this side of Heaven.

He loves us to the extent that He will take every opportunity to invite us to surrender our sins and wounds. He grants us ‘cross-time’: an opportunity to receive and extend mercy. He makes us that much more fruitful in love.

But suffering for what is right: that is the highest form of suffering, and one to which the Christian seeking mature identification with the Crucified must aspire.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes: ‘The cross is suffering that comes only from our commitment to Jesus Christ…the cross is not the normal suffering tied to natural existence but the suffering tied to being Christian.’

That is what Jesus referred to in the Sermon on the Mount when He spoke of persecution for the sake of righteousness. (Matt. 5:10)

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God Honors Righteousness in the Land

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Pr.14:34)

When we uphold marriage, we uphold His image and the boundaries that protect that image. As we have seen, marriage represents Him in the duality of male and female. Boundaries that protect marriage guard the integrity of that whole image, as well as the children produced by it.

We are a people in a particular place and land. To protect marriage where we live is to guard righteousness in the land. When we uphold marriage on behalf of the state or nation we live in, we honor His righteousness. God in turn honors His righteousness by blessing the land. God and His righteousness exalt that state or nation.

Loving what God loves about marriage, honoring His image in the land—this is something that results from reverencing God, from possessing something akin to a holy fear of honoring what He honors.

I spoke with a bright man yesterday about why he supported gay marriage. He spoke eloquently about the rights of gay people and why after all they should not have the same rights as straights, etc. I realized that for all his justice rap, he had absolutely no fear of God. God did not figure in at all. As far as he was concerned, God and His desire for people were wholly immaterial to the debate.

Christians do not have that option. We have a holy awareness of God’s image—how He has chosen to represent Himself–and an equally holy fear of God when that image is tampered with by mere humans. I am grateful for that fear; I take seriously the biblical witness that God hates the violation of His image through homosexual behavior.

On many occasions it was not mercy that prevented me from violating His image—it was holy fear. I respect God’s design and the way that design protects all living. I respect Him; I respect His righteousness and in turn His hatred for the effects of my sin upon others more than I delight in sin’s pleasures.

For me or for any mere created being to cross sacred lines undercuts righteousness in the land. Similarly, to honor those lines that guard His image honors God and His righteousness in the land. I can say joyfully with the Psalmist: “You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your Name”! (Ps 62:5)

God has given that fear and righteousness to His people, that we might honor Him in the land. He in turn blesses the land. Many in the land may not know Him yet. But they benefit (even though they may protest against it) from the decisions of God’s people to preserve what is godly in the land. All citizens benefit from God blessing the land.

“I will listen to what God the Lord will say: He promises peace to His people, but let them not return to folly. Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in the land…The Lord will indeed give what is good, and the land will yield its harvest.” (Ps 85: 8, 9, 12)

I represent God and His righteousness where I live. I will thus seek to stand for righteousness there. In the land. I shall seek to preserve what is just and true, e.g. marriage, while initiating new advances of His justice and compassion in that land.

It is God’s land. The land is not the church, nor the new earth as it will be under Jesus’ ultimate rule. But the earth must still give an answer to God and His righteousness. Those who know Him must give that answer loud and clear on behalf of marriage.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Whenever life becomes oppressive, we just leap into the air with a bold kick and soar relieved into the ‘eternal fields’. We leap over the present. We disdain the earth; we are better than it…We cannot stand it, because the earth is stronger than we and we want to be better than the evil earth. So we extricate ourselves from it…However Christ does not lead us in a religious flight from the world to other worlds beyond; rather, He gives us back to the earth as its loyal children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to Freedom.

‘Father, renew our vision of Your righteousness and how marriage is one expression of that righteousness. Grant us holy fear for what You love and for what You don’t. Empower us to stand on behalf of You image and the boundaries that protect it.

May You be exalted by Your people as we arise in this hour to honor marriage.

As a result, may You and Your righteousness be exalted in the land.’

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