Archive | July, 2013

“Is God Anti-Gay?” Book Review and Recommendation

23 Jul

Is God Anti-Gay

By reading this book titled, “Is God Anti-Gay” written by Sam Allberry, a person who struggles with same-sex attraction, I was able to gain a new perspective on the subject of homosexuality. My views on this subject over the years has been different due to my lack of knowledge when compared to this author’s view, but will confirm that I agree with most everything the author said in the book since it made a lot of sense to me. Personally, I must say that I commend this author for admitting to his readers that he has these tendencies because in a way that reveals that he trusts us by opening up and sharing his views on the subject and how it has affected his life. Christians in our society should take a closer look at the problems homosexuals are struggling with today and try to reach out to them by sharing God’s love with them. It is important to realize that if we don’t make an attempt to reach out to them better, our society will continue to make excuses for this sin and not ever change. This book covers a wide spectrum of questions that most Christians are curious about related to this subject. Also, I found it interesting that this author repeatedly used the term “same sex attraction” rather than the term “gay” since that is how he sees himself today. Most people would think they were one and the same when talking about homosexuality.

Today, our western civilization believes that it is okay to have a homosexual relationship as long as both partners remain faithful and committed to each other. The Bible clearly points out that homosexuality is treated as a sin and not condoned by God. According to God’s laws, sexuality is to be taken very seriously between a man and a woman entering a coveted marriage. Sex was not designed to be used strictly for pleasure, but more importantly to join two people together as one union forever. It is to be treated as a sacred act between one man and one woman to validate their bodies coming together as one. The Bible does not discuss homosexuality to great lengths, but what it does mention is the truth and how God expects us to treat it in our society according to His word. These revealed truths include a man and a woman coming together as one flesh, new life is created as a result of this union, and how marriage is about the relationship between Jesus and the church. According to God’s word, two people of the same sex cannot replicate the same union of Christ and the church. We are all commanded to comply with God’s laws according to scripture when it comes to how Christians are supposed to think about sexuality today whether we are homosexual or heterosexual. In Genesis 19, the Bible discusses the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, two “ungodly” people who were involved in sexuality immorality. In the Bible, Paul talks about how lesbian and male homosexual behavior is considered “unnatural” because these people are opposed to their normal orientation.

In the world of a homosexual, there can be a great deal of loneliness and suffering. When someone has same-sex tendencies it does not always indicate there is a lack of a relationship with God more than with others. We live in a fallen world today, where we deal with temptations and must learn to succumb to God by repenting for our sins. Heterosexual sin is just as serious as homosexual sin when committed outside marriage between a man and a woman. According to God’s laws in scripture, the only relationship that is recognized by God is a marriage between a man and a woman. Any other relationship is considered a sin or an abomination. Homosexuality should not be viewed as the only sin of our age because there are many more to be just as concerned about as Christians that includes greed, theft, drunkenness, reviling and defrauding others. Many homosexuals fear coming out with the fact that they have same-sex attractions because they may be ridiculed and rejected by others. When they choose to disclose this personal information with someone, they should thank them and listen to them because it means they are displaying a certain level of trust toward that person. There is a certain way a Christian should approach someone with these tendencies to share God’s love with that person. It is more vital to share God’s word with that person and encourage them to commit their life to Christ first. Then, at the time when that level of trust has been expressed and they are willing to talk about it, should you discuss the ramifications if one chooses not to repent and turn away from this sin. It is important that someone feel the love and support of others before they are likely to open up about this type of struggle in their life. Otherwise, if approached in the wrong manner a person can feel isolated or persecuted for their sin. It is critical that they continue to communicate with God in overcoming this attraction for someone of the same sex. Even though a person seeks help from God, the temptations and feelings may continue to linger for some time. But, if a person continues to submit their life to God and continues to pray about this issue in their life, a Christian can overcome any sin in His timing. If a person does not see a change right away, God has a reason since everything happens in His timing. We live in a world where free sexual expression is encouraged, but it is important that Christians remain single in order to refrain from this type of behavior or be influenced by others until they reach that season in their life where they are ready to commit to a flesh union. Living a life of abstinence and being single can reap a multitude of advantages and opportunities.

In conclusion, I tend to think that some readers may have a hard time getting through this entire book if they are not a Christian and or do not have an open mind to seeking a change in their life. It seems in today’s society, everyone is apt to making excuses for sexual immortality whether it be a homosexual or heterosexual relationship. We need to continue to share God’s word with “ungodly” people in hopes of drawing them to have that personal relationship with God whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. I have talked to a number of people who truly feel they were born this way and there is nothing that can be done to change their natural tendencies toward their attraction to someone of the same sex. Or, they have also told me that God loves them regardless of who they choose to love and they will still go to Heaven regardless of their sin. When I hear people express these feelings to me, it makes me realize how we are failing in reaching out to others in our world today. In all honesty, I commend those who have had same sex attraction tendencies in their past and have moved on to have a loving relationship with someone of the opposite sex. It seems this would not be easy for most people, but I know that anything is possible through Jesus Christ for those who long to share their life with Him and repent for their sins. Just remember, God is always there to listen to our hearts anytime day or night whenever we have something to talk to him about in our life. He is the one person a Christian can always rely on in our life because He loves us. There is a reason for everything that happens in our life since it all comes down to fulfilling God’s purpose for our life. We all have different temptations we are faced with in our life and daily walk with God because the devil has a way of enticing us into doing things that God forbids us to do. When the author talks about the bread of life in the conclusion, I thought this was an excellent metaphor in comparison to a life without Jesus. When we choose to have a relationship with God and turn our life over to Him, we are promised an eternal life in Heaven with Him. So, it is my hope and prayer that this book will lead more people to accept God as their personal Savior so they can one day experience eternal life. At first, I was not sure if I wanted to review this book due to the nature of the content. But, I chose to give this book a 5-star rating because I am so glad I had the opportunity to read the book since it gave me a deeper insight about homosexuality and the real effects it can have on someone and their life. As Christians, we are to love everyone whether they have homosexual or heterosexual tendencies by supporting them and sharing God’s love with them. If we change the way we view and react to this issue in our world, I truly think it could make a difference for the good of God in the future. It will take a lot of hard work and not be an easy task, since this lifestyle is more accepted by the norm in today’s world, but worth the sacrifice if it means witnessing more people turning their life over to Jesus Christ.

A special thank you to The Good Book Company and Cross Focused Reviews for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Did The Devil Make Me Do It? Book Review and Recommendation

18 Jul

Did-The-Devil-Make-Me-Do-It-by-Mike-McKinley

Have you ever wanted more background information about the devil based on the biblical interpretation of scripture? Well, this book titled, “Did the Devil Make Me Do it?” by Mike McKinley gives you that and so much more in a condensed version. This book offers a lot of biblical truth about Satan, demons and evil spirits that lurk around in our daily lives. This is one of several books that are part of the Questions Christians Ask series that is sure to draw people closer to God. There are a ton of biblical scripture references throughout the book. Some of the questions that are answered in the book include 1) Where did Satan come from?, 2) What is Satan like and what does he do?, 3) What is demon possession?, 4) How did Jesus defeat Satan, and 5) How should be live in a world where Satan still prowls? I can understand why a lot of people would be either indifferent or disenchanted after reading this book since so many Americans today still don’t believe the devil exists. For those who study the Bible, we know the serpent mentioned in the first book, in Genesis 3 is in reference to the manifestation of Satan (the serpent persuades Eve in the Garden of Eden). God does not reveal everything we would like to know about the devil in the Bible, but tells us everything we need to know.

Some important known facts about Satan that should be noted include: 1) Satan was created by God, 2) When God first created Satan he was morally pure, 3) Some of the angels created by God revolted against God, 4) Satan enjoys attacking and tempting God’s children to commit sinful acts, and 5) the evil formed by Satan comes from within him. Not all the evil that is evident in the world today can be directly credited to Satan, but stems from our actions and words due to a sinful human heart. Below is a list of the few personal deeds that are attributed to Satan.
• He speaks (Matthew 4:6)
• He lies (John 8:44)
• He prowls (1 Peter 5:8)
• He blinds unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4)
• He deceives (Revelation 20:2-3)

Some people may wonder why Satan has so many names, but a few of them listed below represents a different trait about his character.
• The devil (Matthew 4:1) – slanderer
• Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1) –adversary
• The tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5) – entice
• The evil one (Matthew 13:19) – wicked

In the Bible, every time the devil is mentioned, he is busy at work undermining and destroying everything that God created in this world. Satan and his demons are on the prowl to cause physical suffering, mental and emotional turmoil, false worship, entice God’s people to sin, and prevent God’s salvation. The devil does everything in his power to turn people away from God by keeping them focused on other things through attacks, deception, temptation and frustration.

Christians ultimately have to decide to trust God’s goodness and wisdom with all our heart in regard to all circumstances to fight the evil spirits. One of the God’s promises from the Bible supports that all things will work together for the good of His people (Romans 8:28). We need to constantly pray without ceasing against the evil forces in this world and actively resist the culture medium and perceived notions that are used by him to carry out his malicious agenda. God instructs people who are ensnared by sin to flee from temptation, confess your sins, and turn away from sinful behaviors. A way to help fend off Satan in our lives is through the Holy Spirit through obedience, prayer, faith, confession, and allow God’s word to fine tune our way of thinking. The best way to fend off the evil one is to study God’s word on a daily basis and meet with other Christians on a regular basis. Too many people in today’s world feel they are at the mercy of Satan and his schemes and that we can never conquer his power in our daily life. Luckily for all Christians, the outcome of the current battle has already been decided as explained in the book of Revelations in the Bible in which God is declared the winner and the devil’s destruction comes to a halt.

In conclusion, we must realize that God never puts anything in our path that we cannot withstand including the devil if we continue to be led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the spiritual guidance and wisdom to remain obedient to God and not be enticed by the devil. Satan cannot force me into doing anything since God gives all of us free will. The only person who can make me do anything is me. The closer one draws closer to God, the more you realize the devil is not deserving of our time, obsession and emotions. It is more important that we focus all our attention on God who delivered us from evil and gave us a sign of hope that one day he will cease to exist.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. The book was very easy to read and comprehend throughout its entirety. I always understood what the Bible had to say about the devil, but this book gave me a more concrete understanding. After reading the book, I wish the author would have gone into further detail about the secular world views of the devil since a large majority of people still do not believe in Satan or God for the sake of argument. Too many people still believe Satan is the evil version of God. But, in reality, God has control over Satan and can stop him dead in his tracks at any time, but He chooses not to since it is all part of God’s perfect plan for His good. The devil is very much alive and well in the world today and we must do everything in our power to steer clear of him to fulfill God’s plan for our life and glorify Him. All of God’s people can rejoice in the fact that one day we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him and all the good angels.

A special thank you to The Good Book Company and Cross Focused Reviews for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.