Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Origin of Christmas vs. Blended Traditions

The Origin of Christmas vs. Blended Traditions
                                                                (Part 2)
"Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars..." James 1:17 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

Welcome back! Now today we are going to answer the question that we posed during the last Truth for the Journey: "The Wonders of Christmas." The question that we asked was this, "Where is the Christ of Christ-Mass?" To answer this adequately we must look into the origin of Christmas. To do so I will use some material from one of my own books, which takes a positive in-depth look at the "evolution" that Christmas as a great religious holiday has undergone. It has radically altered since its inception up until now; as we would recognise it today. Most of us love Christmas - even those of us who claim not to stand on ceremony too much, even we secretly love elements of Christmas too (especially the gifts!) but do we really know much about this important public Holiday - especially since most of us participate - every single year!

Let me add before I go any further, you might not be aware that in the USA "Christ" and the name of "Jesus" is such a threat these days (especially in the public arena) that we are no longer meant to say "Happy Christmas" but instead say, "Happy Holiday!" In my opinion this is political correctness gone a little too far! Yet as we look into the traditions behind Christmas - you might be slightly fascinated by some of the following facts:

FACT: First let's begin with "Saint Nicholas" & the "Christmas Stocking!" Needless to say, Saint Nicholas was not really a fat man who climbed down chimneys at night, but he was a popular Priest (from fourth century Turkey - who eventually became a Bishop). He was a godly man who was a generous "giver" and remains an inspiration to us all today. However in memory of his many acts of charitable deeds and generosity, the day of his death [December 6th A.D.343] became customarily known as St. Nicholas Day; on the eve of which, gifts were exchanged in his remembrance. This tradition grew popular and spread throughout Greece (where Nicholas means "victorious" or "hero of the people!"), into Russia (where he was called "Nikolai, the Wonder-Worker,") and then into the rest of Europe.

Ordained as a young teenager, Nicholas entered the priesthood at 19 years of age. Included amongst the many accounts of his life and ministry, is the report that "twin brothers were raised from the dead!" It was written about him that one could hardly keep count of the virtue and goodness that he spread around himself.

One particular story of St. Nicholas' goodness was when he gave to a poor man, so that his three daughters could be married. The man was so poor that his daughters had no dowries, and in his desperation, was going to sell them into white slavery. To prevent this from happening, Nicholas threw a bag of gold pieces through the man's window at night; he did things this way to preserve his own "anonymity" and to ensure that God received the glory - not man! [The funny part of this story - is that this particular gift from Nicholas just happened to randomly land inside some "stockings" that the young girls had hung up by the fire that night to dry!] So it's quite easy to see from this, just where such traditions - that we have held dear for so long - have originated from and just how such stories have shaped our concept of Christmas; evolving layer by layer over time.

As the story continues; apparently one by one the daughter's dowries were met and paid; they were no longer outcasts and thus made them "eligible" for marriage. However, (as the legend tells it...) by the time Nicholas had done this consecutively for each daughter, including the third; the father caught him in the act! However Nicholas made the girl's father "swear-on-an-oath" that he would never "reveal" the truth behind who was responsible for such gifts of kindness - as long as Nicholas was still alive.

Consider just how much this story of a generous old man of God and the cartoon character we now call "Santa Claus" have been totally mixed up, twisted and distorted (including an "elf-workshop" at the North Pole!) Yes it's laughable, but how many generations of parents have unintentionally deceived their children, with stories that they believed without question and without any background knowledge?

FACT: The worship of dead "saints" was actually denounced during the "Protestant Reformation" of the 1500's - since then "St. Nicholas Day" has not been observed in England. Therefore the role of gift bearer was transferred to a mythical character named "Father Christmas" patterned after the pagan Roman god "Saturn" (aka "god of peace and plenty"). Father Christmas was a large man clothed in SCARLET or DEEP GREEN robes - lined with fur! The day of "gift-giving" in England was changed from December 6 to December 25 to coincide with the date that the church had chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

In Holland and Belgium: the traditional day of December 6th was still celebratedbut there "Sinter-Klaas" rode through the streets on a white horse rewarding good children with treats and toys but giving rods to bad children!

In Germany: the saint was referred to as "Nicholas-Dressed-in-Fur" who also left sweets for good children and rods for the naughty ones!

In Scotland: it was John Knox who put an end to Christmas celebrations in 1552 which was not revived again until television reintroduced St. Nicholas in the 1950's.

FACT: Christopher Columbus brought the first celebration of St Nicholas Day to the New World when he landed in the West Indies December 6, 1492 and named the harbour: "Port of St Nicholas" in honour of the patron saint of sailors. All of these traditions blended with immigration to the New World; as the English and Dutch came and intermarried "Father Christmas" and "Sinter Klaas" blended into one figure. Dutch Americans eventually adopted December 25th as their day of celebration and by the end of the civil war, "St Nicholas" the bishop, was generally known in the US as "Santa Claus."

FACT: A mixture of poets and cartoonists between the 1800's and 1900's continued to define this character in word pictures and drawings. America particularly - was a melting pot for old world cultures and characters from the Dutch "Sinter Klaas" and the Lutheran "Kris Kringle" giving gifts for children. You might be interested to know that Father Christmas' team of reindeer - were borrowed from a Russian legend!  The tragedy of course is that the "genuine work and ministry" of a man of God - such as Nicholas (who had such fullness of God that even the dead were raised!), has had his testimony distorted so much so, that the memory of this powerful man of God is hidden in tales - of a fat-bellied-pipe-smoking-pie-eater! Yet as we have discovered, the "true" story of St Nicholas, is actually a beautiful picture of SELFLESS-GIVING, which Christmas is all about - rather than the stress and hype that Santa now represents.

The true story of St Nicholas represents the giving heart of our Father God, who incidentally does NOT carry rods to punish children (or adults!) but rather gives good gifts to ALL who will receive them, as we see here in James 1:17 "EVERY GOOD GIFT AND EVERY PERFECT GIFT IS FROM ABOVE, AND COMETH DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHTS... " (KJV) We know that the greatest gift the Father gave us was "Jesus" - who is our Hope, Victory and Redemption. He is the true meaning of Christmas. Notably the word "Christmas" occurs nowhere in the Bible! But is an old English word that basically means; "Christ's Mass" which refers to the celebration of the Lord's Supper, i.e. the Mass. The earliest occurrence of the word on record is 1038 A.D. Christians at this time considered the Mass (Lord's Supper) to be the most important part of the celebration of Christ's birth, hence it came to be called Christmas.

SO CONSIDER THIS: as Christians we must seek to put "Christ" back into "Christ-mass!" Even though Christmas is not a biblical holiday per se - as there is no bible reference at all - we must take this opportunity to "openly celebrate" our triumphant Saviour, and King! We are not Catholic and nor are we secular - who have lucratively cashed-in on Christmas for generations - but we are believers. We must avoid its paganism and even it catholic elements; and use it only in context of "worship" and "evangelism" - without adopting its pagan symbolism. (If we do so, then Halloween must be acceptable also!) So Pastors everywhere this Christmas must ensure that they are preaching truth and not myth! In addition we are celebrating Jesus as a "Mighty One" - not as a "Baby-in-a-Manger!" Which leads us to our next point of interest: "The Nativity & The Christmas Tree!"

FACT: It should not come as any surprise that Christmas has evolved from a mixture of Paganism and Christianity. Take for example the "Nativity" this was a term that was derived from the Roman and Greek worlds - when sun worship took place, "Mithraism". This winter festival was called "The Nativity" or "The Nativity of the sun." It is believed that this festival was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church and combined with Christianity because it was so popular and was held during the same time of year! The Roman winter festival was named "Saturnalia" which involved the practice of exchanging presents. There is nothing wrong with that of course but to link it to the gifts that the wise men gave to Jesus would be false. By the time they gave those gifts to Jesus he was no longer in his manger but in his house! (See Matthew 2:9-11) which was some considerable time after his birth; where they gave gifts to "Him" and not to "each other!"

FACT: The Christmas tree - as we recognise it today only dates back a few centuries, whereas the idea concerning "SACRED TREES" is very ancient.

For example:

● An old Babylonian fable symbolised the "Evergreen" tree with the resurrection of Nimrod!
● Among the Druids the "Oak" was sacred,
● For the Egyptians it was the "Palm"
● For the Romans it was the "Fir" which was decorated with red berries during Saturnalia.
● The Scandinavians however worshiped a god called "Odin" who was believed to bestow special gifts at yuletide to those who approached his Sacred Fir Tree!
● There are also at least ten Biblical references to the "Green Tree" (emphasis on green is toward the evergreen that stays green all year round) which is associated with idolatry and false worship (see 1 Kings 14:23 etc).

All things mentioned above considered, now compare what Jeremiah said in chapter 10:3-4 with today's custom of decorating a tree at Christmas time. "For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not..."

While it is evident that the people of Jeremiah's day were actually making an idol out of the tree, I am not suggesting for a minute that people who place Christmas trees in their homes or churches are actually worshiping those trees! No! But such customs do however provide vivid examples of how influential "MIXTURES," have occurred over time.

NOW HOWEVER LET ME ADD THE BALANCE: BOYCOTTING CHRISTMAS WOULD NOT BE WISE! Communism with its roots in atheism opposes all forms of religious expression and we don't want to be seen in the same light; this would not be clever! So fanatical opposition to Christmas is not a suggested plan of action; however what we do need is proper balance to "avoid" the extreme. The Bible is clear that without knowledge we perish; ignorance is never bliss - long term! Rather as Christians we need to use this established day on our yearly calendar, as an opportunity to witness and reveal Christ to the world.

Final Conclusion: Christmas is all about the expression of giving... specifically the Father-heart-of-God - who so "loved that He gave..." Jesus as seen in John 3:16. Consider this: His divine nature was expressed through the life of a humble priest who left his mark on successive generations and had a lasting impact throughout the world. Although the stories were distorted and blended through the mix of cultural differences, artistic licence and commercialism - STILL THE HEART BEHIND CHRISTMAS IS ONE OF GIVING AND GENEROSITY. THIS MUST NOT BE LOST SIGHT OF IN THE TINSEL OF THE SECULAR WORLD. Yes Christmas is a time to be merry, to share joy, to love and be loved, in the spirit of giving; which is the very nature of God - who generously GAVE Christ to us all; HE IS TRUE HOPE AND GOOD NEWS FOR THE WORLD. 
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Thank you Father for your gift of eternal life this Christmas... Use me to reveal your nature to my loved ones. Let it be revealed in my face and the way that I posture myself towards them. You are a light to this world. Let others see Christ through my lifestyle this Christmas. Be evident beyond the tinsel and the festivities; be evident through me. Amen.
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Father it is your nature to give and I want to be more like you. Today I confess that I too am a giver. I give my time, energy, resources and love. I commit everyday to give what is in my power to give; even if it is just a word to edify or a smile to comfort. "I confess that as long as I am alive I will cause others to thrive and as long as I am living I will be constantly found giving!" Hallelujah

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Wonders of Christmas

The Wonders of Christmas
(Part 1)

“Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him”(Matthew 2:2 AMP)

Hello and welcome to today’s Truth for the Journey (part 1 of 2). This part is mainly the introduction; in the second part we are going to look at the “Origins of Christmas vs. Blended Traditions” and what is really behind this festival that we all enjoy so much. Yet again Christmas is just around the corner and what a wonderful time of the year this can be! People are mostly upbeat, positive and friendly; everyone is looking forward to the “festivities” ahead!

Jenny and I love this time of year. With “pagan-trappings-aside,” Christmas can be a truly genuine family affair – which can only be good! Our children love the snow; 12 inches this year – for Italy that is really quite something! (In fact my wife and I actually spent our honey moon here in Tuscany almost 17 years ago, and in all that time we have never witnessed snow like this year!) On top of everything else about Christmas we can’t forget all the exceptional company that we share, the yummy delicacies that we taste and the happy conversations that we enjoy!

It’s also an opportunity to see folks that we haven’t seen all year round; close friends and extended family, as well as giving and receiving gifts! In the midst of all of this is all the other paraphernalia that goes along with Christmas: the decorations, the songs and all the special entertainment that’s available – it’s all so seemingly delightful! Nonetheless there is a vast difference between the Christ-motivated-and-Christ-centred-festivities that we are “meant” to enjoy and the commercialised-version-of-Christmas that we all get “propelled” into each year!

In our particular house-hold - I can honestly say that we have “never” celebrated “Santa” or “Saint Nicholas” with our children or our relatives - yet we certainly enjoy the family and the “gift-giving-gift-receiving” part of Christmas – it’s the best part! Although I might add; no one should wait to “stand-on-ceremony” or for “special-occasions” before they buy gifts for their loved ones! We should do it all year round and find fun ways of “randomly-expressing-our-love!” In fact that can be much more enjoyable at times; especially with children!

Actually I like to buy them all gifts when they least expect it. That way they learn that they don’t have to “earn” my love; rather I can shower them with love regardless! Even when funds are low, one can still find “inventive” and “ingenious” ways of blessing those special and closest to us – without waiting for special events like birthdays and such. We are free to love – all-year-round! Likewise we are free to show our reverence for Christ, His birth, death, burial and resurrection – all-year-round! And not just stand on ceremony – weddings, funerals, christenings and church-calendar-holidays! We must be free.

Going back to Santa however, we chose not to “mislead” or “misinform” our children [including the tooth fairy or Easter bunny!] Our children have always enjoyed Christmas and Easter without introducing all the paraphernalia that other children experience. Proof that Christmas can still be enjoyed without any of that. I believe that we can be transparent concerning the truth about Christmas (with its pagan origins) yet without spoiling the awesome opportunity that it presents for “evangelistic-witnessing.” A lack of wisdom results in extreme behaviour which is only ever misinterpreted as being negative. (Then again, balanced and faith filled behaviour can also be misinterpreted as negativism by certain people!) However my point is this; people in general tend to love holidays and being festive - BUT can they still see the Christ of Christmas or just the Christmas tree and all the other trimmings? Has He been “crowded” out altogether? I beg to suggest this is true.

Then in addition to this revelation, every Christmas we have another one, such as: "Oh-no-we've-over-spent-again!" The novelty of Christmas usually wears off between the last present opened and the final washing-up! In the midst of all this - Jesus has long been and principally replaced by “commercialism” and our “lust-for-things!” Especially in this hi-tech world of ours; the latest computer games, gadgets and gismos have simply taken-over-our-interest! These things are not bad in themselves. Who wants to be a kill-joy or party pooper? After all Christmas is the ultimate-excuse-to-party for most folks – even with church folks! (This includes college-parties, student’s-night-out, the annual-office-party or simple family-get-togethers).
Then the “anticlimax” arrives - January! All those fancy and expensive gifts that we indulged ourselves with are now “half-price” in the January-sales! What a come-down after such fun and now we have to go back to work (business-as-usual) in order to “pay” for it all – meaning that our major “festivity-hang-over” is none other than our own “debt!” (All this while more than half the world remains dismissed to dire poverty, while we squander the very money that would help them most. Consider that the money spent on fireworks alone would quite easily feed the many masses of hungry folks all over Africa!)

Having said all of this (we are all guilty of festive indulgence one way or another!) it is safe to assume that Christmas for most people has little, if anything to do with the birth of our Messiah and King. Yet for Christians specifically – there should be some depth of understanding where this holiday is concerned and what it is really all about.

QUESTION: does the average Christian understand the type of evolution that “Christmas” has radically undergone over the generations? What does all the paraphernalia that we so readily accept really “represent?” (The evergreen, the mistletoe and not forgetting Saint Nick) Most of us can acknowledge that much of what we accept as the true accessories of this holiday have actually “distorted” its original meaning. “Christmas” actually meant “Christ-Mass.” Knowing this then - is it wrong to ask, “Where is the Christ of CHRIST’S-MASS?”

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank You for the awesome opportunity that this major holiday represents for witnessing; help me to utilize this time well to witness to my family and close friends. Give me wisdom and understanding to walk out this holiday with reverent and Godly fear. My interests this Christmas exceed materialism – for “You” are my primary focus this holiday, along with those that You have placed on my heart, who need to be reached in some way. Use me this Christmas. Amen

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Father You so greatly loved and dearly prized this world that You gave up Your only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. This is the true gift and prize of Christmas. Hallelujah! (John 3:16 AMP)

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Will we Inherit the Kingdom of God?

Will we Inherit the Kingdom of God?
(Fifth is this Series)

“Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity... drunkenness, wild partying... people who do things like that will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-26 GW).

Welcome back once again to today’s Truth for the Journey; final part of this 5 part series, “The Abnormal Sexual behaviour of the End Times.” And what a journey this has been! This article is a little longer than usual, but I have used this particular article to wrap up a very wide subject indeed and will continue right where we left off. Now homosexuality exists within the Church as well as outside of the Church and there are those today who are still prepared to stand up in the face of this growing tide and speak God’s Word directly at it! Over the years such people like Ulf Ekman have taken a more “militant” approach to homosexuality and been controversially very out spoken about the Bible’s stance towards homosexuality. I quote him in the next few paragraphs, during a time when he was studying to become a priest in Uppsala, Sweden. Start quote: “One of the professors invited a number of homosexuals – “Christian” homosexuals, as they referred to themselves. They were asked to talk about the positive aspects of homosexuality to a group of between 200-300 prospective priests. ‘A small group of us knew that they were coming, so we took some time that morning to pray. We took authority over the spiritual forces, which lie behind homosexuality.’ ‘This section of our education was nothing other than the seduction of future priests to accept homosexuality as a genuine form of love. It was then hoped that they would go on to spread that opinion in churches throughout the country.’

‘However, homosexuality is not a genuine display or expression of love. According to the Word of God, it is an abomination in the eyes of God. Of course, just as with every other abomination, it is possible to be delivered from homosexuality. The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin, when this sin is confessed. If evil spirits are involved, they can be cast out and the person can be set free.’

‘The moment I set foot in the room,” Ulf Ekman said, “I noticed that for some reason the professor looked slightly shaken. He was upset and grumpy. It was obvious that the spirit powers, which we had bound, were now disturbed.’ This group of five homosexuals began to talk about how ‘fantastic’ it was to be a homosexual and just how Christian it was. Afterwards we had the opportunity to ask questions. ‘I was given the floor, so I turned to the first chapter of Romans and read what it says there about homosexuality. Then I said, “You say that homosexuality is talked about only in the Old Testament and that the New Testament has nothing to say about it, but just seems to accept it. But here in Romans 1:27 is the same word which is used in Leviticus 18:22; the word ‘abomination.’ The Word of God says that it is not at all acceptable, but that it is an abomination.’

‘I did not raise my voice or shout or prophesy; I just spoke calmly, led by the Holy Spirit.
When I said this, the entire auditorium exploded. The Word of God came into the room like a hammer. The otherwise cultivated, aesthetic, humane, humanistic professor had suddenly become a different man. What was really inside him suddenly came out; he became angry and irritated.... Their intention had been to come and neatly seduce us all, but now their plans had come to nothing. I did not stand up and say, “Thus says the Lord,” but said, “I’d like to read a scripture.” This scripture acted as a spear, a sword and a lance, which caused total chaos. The professor completely lost his head and several others turned to and shouted, “How lacking in love!” Pastor Ekman concludes, ‘This treachery is taking place today in schools, companies and within political debates, not just regarding homosexuality, but also the New Age movement and occultism. Wherever you look you will discover this ‘sophisticated’ form of seduction. Some Christians have even become so sophisticated that they too have swallowed these things. It is time that we stood up and kicked the devil out of every single area where he has found an entrance.’

‘There is no reason why we should have to follow the devil’s rules. God plays according to different rules. If the devil presents himself politely, intellectually and seductively, you can prophecy in the broadest dialect and say, “Thus says the Lord!” God looks at the heart! God is looking for prophets who will prophesy in the Holy Spirit and not just run around getting angry at people or with no more than personal opinions to shout about everything” - End Quote.

In the previous series that we did about the specific seduction of women in the end times, we discussed the high level of “promiscuity” that currently exists amongst females (young and old). In light of this we must continue to remember that homosexuality is not a perversion that only affects men but also women of course. As our opening scripture stated; women also abandon their “natural affection.” The “feminisation” of men and the “masculinisation” of women is all part of the distortion Satan wants to create. Or we could say the same thing using a different word choice such as; the “emasculation” of men and “defeminising” of women – either way it is the same thing! And one magazine that likes to promote all types of perversion (not surprisingly) is a more recent magazine entitled “Jezebel!” (Find at http://jezebel.com/).

Then in addition to this, let me make a brief mention of an event that not everyone is aware of, that radically reinforces the feminist agenda and has gathered much ground in recent years, called: “Lilith Fair.” This even showcases major international music artists - female only – which also raises substantial funds for various charities in the process.

When initially founded by famed and talented musician Sarah McLachlan - she was a professing “lesbian” but has since changed her status! However concerning the event itself and for your own interest you can visit the official site “lilithfair.com.” I have found that many folks are oblivious to the fact that this myth exists, however “Lilith” is supposedly the name of not only the first wife of Adam but technically the first ever woman! Basically this ancient Jewish myth that surrounds the early notion that Adam had not just one wife but two! Lilith was apparently the rebellious one of the two, who left him because she could no longer submit to him! Needless to say then, that Lilith is naturally used to represent female hatred and resentment towards “all male authority” - especially and most pointedly - God’s!

To continue however, while the story of Lilith might sound a truly crazy notion indeed, it is still most definitely being utilized by various Neo-Pagan groups and the New Agers as well as help front the Feminist agenda. At this point I would like to add an interesting quotation from none other than “Marilyn Manson” who appeared to support this Lilith Fair event, from its inception and who, during an interview with MTV in 1997, famously said the following and I quote: "I think the Lilith Fair was far more subversive and satanic than anything that I could have done because here you have people playing this very innocuous folk music that's providing America with love and very dangerous ideas about women's sexuality. And I think a lot of Christians would be upset if they knew!" End quote. This was the same individual who more famously “ranted” to his mass audience during MTV’s Video music awards the same year; “We will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of Christianity!” Evidently then, this feminist agenda features large and is a key element in satan’s strategy to war against human sexuality (see http://www.neverisapromise.com/interviews/MTVYRock.html).

If you enjoy art like my wife and I do, you might know of Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was a member of the “pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood” (consisting of four English painters who formed a secret society in the 19th century. They pursued what they considered the “sincerities” of the early renaissance period - ‘before’ Raphael – hence the term pre-Raphaelite!) During this time we know that Lilith as a myth had not faded out of people’s minds, but was “alive-and-well” in the consciousness of the Victorians, as seen in Dante’s painting famously called “Lady Lilith!” (To see this painting go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lady-Lilith.jpg) Lilith was described in Judaic literature not only as the first wife of Adam and the seducer of men but was also interestingly associated with the murder of children. At this point I can interject that the sexual abuse of children has never just been a male dominated phenomenon; there are female pedophiles existing out there, in fact throughout history and even recently there have been high profile cases in the media where nursery workers have been convicted of child sex abuse – female pedophiles. In fact there is such a thing as pedophile-couples where both partners engage in the act of molesting and videotaping their own children. Once again, sexual sin is not a “male” problem but a “human” problem.

Nevertheless Dante’s depiction of Lilith was not so much a pedophile, but a women who was both powerful and evil (temptresses); a prevalent theme in 19th-century painting, particularly among the Pre-Raphaelites. Art buffs everywhere will know that Humanism and Renaissance essentially feature “man apart from God.” (Renaissance itself means “Rebirth” – involving all culture, arts, literature and learning - outside of Church confines). In fact many of the early paintings from the renaissance involved much nudity and immorality – and perhaps most notably many of the “Popes” commissioned and patronized (funded) such arts!

Actually it could be said that the early renaissance poets and artists wanted to study “any” subject that had as little, if anything to do with God, Jesus or the Church at all! They preferred instead to employ any number of mythologies, philosophies and paganisms as topics for their work; specifically and including the male nude. Actually Florence is considered the “birthplace” of the Renaissance, and as one of the wealthiest cities of the time; it both housed and funded much of its famous arts (mainly via the powerful Medici family). But it’s important to add here that Florence as a city was also famous for its immorality, particularly “sodomy” - which lent to the fact that much of its art work involved “the naked male form.” In other words the renaissance had its preoccupations with sodomy and controversy and its birth place was Florence.

Evidently then, every generation has had its own “seductions” to deal with, including the same lies that permeate throughout. However due to the “human condition” it matters little which; people, geographical location, time in history, political agenda or climate that existed - the sins involved remain the same! And times continue to change, for better and for worse. And to make this a little more contemporary; recently I turned on my computer to watch the evening news and a flash announcement/segment concerning hotels, went something like this; (direct quote :) “Many hotels are now declaring themselves “Gay Friendly” but are they really or are they just chasing the lucrative Pink-Pound?” (BBC World News, Live Station, Dec 2010). This led me to take a closer look into what the markets are saying about this now illustrious “Pink-Pound,” knowing that whatever affects the economy – affects all of us! In simple terms; nothing is considered “news-worthy” by the world’s media “unless” it affects the economy!

This is precisely why the gay movement is growing in influence and receiving more attention - because it is now affecting the economy on a much larger scale! According to marketingweek.co.uk, “The concept of the “pink pound” has been in use since the Nineties, but it is only in recent times that this market has moved into the mainstream. Brands such as Lloyds TSB, Ikea, Pepsi and Heinz have all launched campaigns that appeal to a gay audience.” (Occasionally, the similarly termed "blue pound" is used specifically for lesbians – this adds new emphasis to the “colour-of-money!”). (http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/analysis/features/pink-pound%E2%80%99s-value-rises-in-mainstream-markets/3020077.article and/or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_money )

According to Nick Gadsby, (associate director of research firm Lawes Consulting), “...the rise in gay civil partnerships, and the Liberal Democrats putting fully-fledged gay marriage on their agenda, means gay families will become a more conventional part of British society.” He told a Westminster Forum in September: “What you’re going to see [in society] is a lot more gay couples settling down to a relatively traditional conservative life of shopping at Sainsbury’s and trying to get their kids into the best school.” He goes on to say, “This means that marketers need to focus on becoming more inclusive in their messaging... The pink pound is being slightly diverted from the more fun aspects that are traditionally associated with gay culture.” He continues, “Indeed, a range of targeted services from mainstream brands have launched in the past few years to meet an anticipated specialist need from the gay community.” Thomson Holidays’ specialist “Freedom” is an example of this... “Freedom offers a “GayComfort” seal of approval on all the hotels it promotes on its site, which product manager Tommy Lynch says “allows us to choose hotels that are willing to take our training on board to help them better understand how to work with gay customers... We wanted to do more than just advertising because people can be cynical about corporations becoming ‘gay friendly’.”

So in all of this we can see very clearly that times indeed are changing, in more ways than one. Society as we have known it will be unrecognizable just decades from now! And I will use this as my final quote (marketingweek.co.uk): Case studies - UK advertisements featuring gay characters:

Ikea promoted its catalogue in 2009 by depicting a man coming home to his flat to find his girlfriend cooking dinner for her new female partner, with the strap line: “It’s change time”.
Pepsi aired an advert in 2008 that showed two men in a bar encouraging their friend to chat to a woman. The man drinks PepsiMAX to get confidence and walks past two women, one being model Kelly Brook, before approaching a man at the end of the bar.
Heinz released an advert in 2008 showing a man making sandwiches for his two children and his male partner. The two men then kissed each other goodbye before going to work. Heinz withdrew the ad after receiving several complaints that it was “inappropriate”. However, the brand’s decision to pull the ad resulted in a boycott of the brand by both gay and straight people (Source: Stonewall’s guide on how to market to gay consumers).

In closing, there have been some who have asked me, “What is the eternal fate of someone who is gay?” To answer this I will allow scripture to speak for itself; “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. IF YOU USE YOUR FREEDOM THIS WAY, YOU WILL NOT INHERIT GOD'S KINGDOM” (Galatians 5:19-26 The Message Bible).

Lastly I want to thank all of you who have been following this series and given such generous feed back! I hope and pray that you will continue to travel with me and take on board some truth for your own journey, as we delve into topics from today’s world – whether directly or indirectly – affecting each and every one of us. At which point I must add - for anyone who is finding the struggle and temptation of sexual sin utterly “over whelming,” - take courage and be reminded that God is bigger and more powerful than it all. Remember that those whom the Son sets “free” are “free-indeed!” There is always a way out – especially when there seems to be no way - there is “always” hope: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Cor 10:13 The Message).

Finally: English martyr and evangelical preacher John Bradford (circa 1510–1555) once coined a famous phrase that we have all come to know and respect: "There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford." It is believed that he said this in response to seeing criminals being led to the scaffold. So let me encourage every one of us today - to hold this same attitude of grace...

“There but for the grace of God, go I...”

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father I want not only to “know” Christ but to be “known” by Him: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV) Help me Father to remain true to You and Your Word. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today with God’s grace I will continue to enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. Even though the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed it is the way that leads to life, and I choose to be one of the few who finds it” (Matthew 7:13-14 AMP). I know this to be true that I am no better or worse than anyone as all things are common to all men and “there but for the grace of God go I...” (1 Cor 10:13)

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 10 December 2010

Standing by Truth vs. Finger Pointing!

Standing by Truth vs. Finger Pointing!
(Part 4)

“God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one, and the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another...” (Romans 1: 26, 27 AMP)

Good to have you back again for today’s “Truth for the Journey” - fourth in a five part series surrounding the subject of “Abnormal Sexual Behaviour in the End Times.” Now as we know there are many different sexual “orientations” nowadays but the most commonly known are; heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual (including lesbian) however there is also a newer term that is not so familiar, which is called “metro-sexual.” According to the online “Urban Dictionary” this terminology is defined as, “...a normally straight male who possesses qualities of a gay male without being attracted to men. A metro often appreciates the finer things in life and enjoys making himself look good; be it through styling his hair or wearing fashionable clothes.”

Apparently “metros” are often, “mistaken for being gay because of their fashion sense and hygiene habits...!” It goes onto say, “An American metro-sexual is like your average European male. In France or Italy, men can be manly and work on cars and know about art and fashion at the same time. They are cool with that and don't need some special name for their less "masculine" side. In the U.S. we think men all have to be either dumb gorillas or homosexuals. There is some grey area!” (See http://www.urbandictionary.com/) Interestingly most folks are unaware that this terminology even exists!

Nevertheless whether “homo/bi/hetero or even metro – sexual” - we are “all” sexual beings – in fact we were all created to be “sexual.” Here I must also add that “every” orientation that exists can be guilty of “perversion” in fact I emphasise that “all” forms of sexuality has gone array - not just homo-sexuality. Therefore if we adopt a self-righteous posture, something that never has or ever will help anyone – least of all effectively reach homosexuals for Christ!

Instead we must humbly but steadfastly present the truth (without compromise or fear) even though the truth has the potential to “offend” we must never forget that it also has the “power-to-liberate!” We must never take the option/opportunity to receive or reject the truth away from people. We must never try to protect or rescue folks from the truth; because this is only motivated by self-preservation and fear not a genuine passion for their salvation. (Remember Jesus had the opportunity to “rescue” or “preserve” himself from the cross but He didn’t take it!) Therefore truth must never be concealed or muzzled and as scripture says we should never be “...ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...” (Rom 1:16 (KJV). Consider that those very people that we might be tempted to try and protect from being “offended” by the Gospel, might just believe it and become set free!

In addition the very reason that I continually point out that we are “all” capable of “perversion” is because what we are really discussing here is the basic manifestations of “fallen nature” (or “the human condition” without God). Something which affects EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! Not just singled out people groups or certain sexual orientations! And I say this in order to avoid any sense of “finger-pointing.”

We all come into the kingdom with an unregenerate mind; perhaps even with some demonic strongholds or oppressions. But the process of sanctification – putting off the old man and putting on the new – is a chance that we have all been given; to yield to God’s Spirit by living our lives from the “inside-out” rather than vice versa – when the flesh dictates. We all have the opportunity to stubbornly follow our “earthy-animal-instincts” or surrender to the Holy Spirit and be convicted by His purity - where we can be forgiven, our minds renewed and our lives transformed (see 1 John 1:9).

Its always good to know that we can not only be forgiven but also purified – which all of us have needed! In fact nowhere does religion give us the right to be “superior.” Instead we better keep our own lives in check because nothing separates us from anyone else – other than the cross of Christ. In other words the only difference between us is that we have accepted Christ death burial and resurrection and they have not yet! Yet 1 John 1:9 stands for all of us who are still in the sanctification process; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (NIV).

Today even many so called “believers” no longer come to Christ for forgiveness because they don’t see that they have sinned or done anything wrong. However whether we are sinner or saint; once again the Message Bible helps us out with its awesome clarity, “If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.”

To continue however it has to be said that the gay community vehemently resent being seen as “perverse” or “diseased!” To prove this point I quote again from the “urbandictionary.com” where it’s definition of a homosexual states; “Homosexuality is not a perversion or a disease, but merely an aspect of sexuality that has been around for thousands of years...” (Note: this online dictionary is very raw in places so take caution when you read, yet I chose to quote from particular dictionary because it adequately represents a general view from off the streets...) It goes on to say, “Why are so many people homophobic? Homosexuals are great! Men should like gays... homosexuals by default don't add to the already grossly swollen human population” (bizarre perhaps but an opinion currently held by many... and I will refrain from quoting their more flowery speech used to “defame” the bible and its stance on homosexuality!)

Now I don’t say any of this to “elevate” or “advocate” an argument “for” homosexuality (such as selective ministers have recently done while “coming-out” on TV - confessing that after years of marriage with multiple children, they were gay all along). By no means! Nevertheless there is much that we tend to forget as believers (which does us no justice out there in the public arena) and our behaviour is usually based on ignorance rather than wisdom, but I am not suggesting that we compromise ourselves. Even if Jesus was seemingly “silent” about this specific gay issue, He was not silent however when it came to “fornication” or to “sin” as seen in Matthew 5:32 where it says, “...whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery...” The Greek word porneia is used for fornication here means: idolatry, harlotry, adultery and incest as well as fornication (see Strong’s # 4202). And fornication basically is; “premarital sex” or “any” willing sex outside of marriage – including extra-marital (adultery).

According to the bible fornication is SIN. And this is what Jesus specifically had to say about SIN, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34 AMP). The rest of the bible has much to say about fornication, as seen in the following scriptures: Rom 6:12-14; 1 Cor 6: 9-10; 13 +18; 7:2; 10: 6-8 7:2; 2 Cor 10:3-5; Eph 5:1-3, 5; Gal 5: 19-21; 1 Thess. 4:3-5; Rev 21: 7-8. According to John 1:1-4; Jesus Christ is the Word of God. So even though Jesus while in person did not have oodles to say about sexual sin – the rest of His Word does. And HE IS THE WORD! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4 KJV).

Nevertheless let me further clarify by saying this; the word “homosexual” is just another “name-tag” that people use; whereas “fornication” instead identifies the “sin” and “spiritual-influence” that is behind certain sexual behaviour. So if Jesus did not focus on “name calling” or “finger-pointing” but focused more on the “root” of the issue – then we must do likewise.

All of us must continually submit our sexuality back to God, trusting Him. As most of us have found out the hard way that - “all flesh” is corrupt without Christ – especially our own! “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]” (1 Corinthians 10:12 AMP). What a warning for all of us! We must handle all such issues with a deep sense of humility (again not false humility or self righteousness!)

The fact that none of us are “immune” is a point that brought out brilliantly by “The Message” translation of the Bible, “...we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence (1 Cor 10:12).

We saw this point brought out clearly in previous articles within this series – that usually the same folks who display much outrage for such “sensitive and controversial issues,” can be some of the biggest offenders! So let us not fall into the same chasm of hypocrisy. As I keep repeating – we are all sexual and all capable of sexual vice – regardless of orientation or name tagging. It is all just one big deception of the enemy to “distort and pervert” reality!

So it is certain then that a vast amount of sexual and emotional confusion exists today, mainly due to the fact that folks are essentially “disconnected” from God. They have lost their “natural affection” one to another - but also their “true spiritual and eternal identity.” In addition to this, it is true to say that “ANYTHING” THAT IS OUTSIDE OF ITS “ORIGINAL ORDER” WILL FAIL ITS “ORIGINAL DESIGN.”

In closing it could be said that while the whole world is in confusion about this issue – however the Bible seemingly is not! In fact the following scriptures could not be clearer! Take for instance the Old Testament in Leviticus 18:22 where it says “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Or as our opening scripture in the New Testament read, “For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one, And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another--men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution” (Romans1: 26, 27 AMP).

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father You have set in motion what is normal or abnormal. Your ways are perfect. You decide normality. Humanity is incapable of knowing right from wrong without Your guidance. Our moral standards are perverse without Your righteousness. Help me today to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness that all else will go well with me and be in divine order as You planned it. Amen (Matt 6:33).

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Father according to Your Word in Matthew 6:33, I confess that I will “seek (aim at and strive after) first of all Your kingdom and Your righteousness (Your way of doing and being right)” knowing that true order will reign in my life and “all things taken together will be given me besides.” Amen

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

No Longer Politically Correct

No Longer Politically Correct
(Part 3)

“There is a Tolerance for Everything BUT Christianity!”
(By Gianna Jessen - Abortion Survivor -
www.giannajessen.com)

Welcome back to yet another Truth for the Journey. Make certain to read all 5 parts of this series. Then you will avoid any premature conclusion! A subject like this is way too vast for one article to cover adequately alone. So... bare with us as these articles stretche out into several parts as I wanted to do this subject some justice - as much as is possible in these small article layouts. Yet going by all the generous feedback that I regularly receive, I know these articles are being enjoyed by many very much indeed! So keep reading and keep enjoying!

Now as we continue with this particular journey through the world of “sexuality” and it’s various forms of manifestations – let me start by responding to some of your “genuine concerns” that such openness might procure some sort of legal prosecution! As much as I deeply value every response that comes in – let me humbly remind us all that when it comes to being a “voice” (with spiritual influence) there are weighty responsibilities attached. What we are engaged in goes beyond mere “soap-boxing” or just “vocalizing our opinions” and “airing our views.” There is much more to this; we are engaged in a spiritual battle - whether we like this idea or not!

Then particularly as bible believing Christians we are “accountable” for our beliefs before the Lord. (In fact any preacher who is “not” declaring truth, will be particularly accountable before the Lord!) Beliefs that must have genuine “conviction” behind them - not just mental and intelligent assent! Gone are the days were we just learn a form of “religious-behaviour” that holds no weight behind especially when “tested!” And tested we will be, as the Message Bible so eloquently puts it, “I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory” (1 Peter 1:7).

We are going to have to make a choice in these times; to speak our faith with conviction and wisdom so that others can be equipped and instructed in truth or to be “muted” and “censured” by political correctness – where the truth goes untold. Will we chose to hide “incognito” like some “secret-society” or “elite-religious-order” (through fear), or be “open” and “transparent?” There will come a time indeed, where Christians must go “under-ground” but until that time fully arrives, then we owe it to the rest of the world to proclaim God’s truth fearlessly and faith-filled!

Also let me remind us that Paul wrote large portions of the New Testament, whilst in prison or under house arrest! Minority groups such as those protesting for “gay rights,” have only grown (in phenomenal strength) today because they have relentlessly “spoken-out” about their rights. Now what about the rights of the believer? Are we so idle that we will allow our rights to be slowly taken away from us? Will we wait until it’s too late? Throughout history, whenever they tried to “clamp” the gospel - it spread more rapidly! Nevertheless persecution has never actually ended by the way! It has always been present and “rife” within the world and Christianity or the name of Jesus in the public arena has “never” been politically-correct. Paul himself was politically incorrect and did not fit in with the political climate of his day. But look how God used him and how God will use us! What would Paul say about the events of our world? Would he allow himself to be muted and silenced so easily? No sir and neither should we allow fear to dictate our beliefs! Silent faith affects nothing and no one – for it is dead! (James 2:20) Silent faith is a false kind of faith; that only masquerades as faith but in reality is weak and voiceless!

However it is significant at this point to understand that our warfare is indeed spiritual. We are not up against anyone. Eph 6:12 warns us that we are not fighting “flesh and blood.” No! Our warfare is totally spiritual – and spirits of “lust” are influencing and actively “degrading” our societies; we cannot just idly sit and watch - so passively without any objection. What is our faith good for if we are no longer salty to the world around us – has our salt so easily lost its flavour?! (Matthew 5:13).

So let’s move on and continue with this (part 3 of 5) “The Abnormal Sexual behaviour – of the End Times.” According to scripture lust is something that “burns” with us (1 Cor 7:9 and Isa 57:5) and something that we must guard against. “Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed... profane... addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals" (2 Timothy 3:4 The Message Bible).

In a world of “no-restraint” bible-believing Christians are considered “fundamentalists” or “extremists” and are very unpopular with the sort of crowd who want to dabble in every kind of “sexual-expressionism” there is. It is certain that we are no longer “politically correct” just as Gianna Jessen said recently, whom I have quoted in our opening statement. (By the way I strongly recommend that you watch her powerful testimony on YouTube via the link below including bornalivetruth.org.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPF1FhCMPuQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

However we are unpopular because the very scriptures that we confess and believe in - threaten their freedom, stifle their beliefs and their way of life. So what do we do about that - alter the cannon of scripture as we know it? Take out those scriptures that are most offensive? Once we start doing that, where would it stop – until the whole bible is dissembled!? The answer is this: scripture offends because it is meant to. It brings separation just like Jesus said that it would (Matthew 10:33-36; Rev 22:18)

However even with all political, psychological debates aside – even in the eyes of a child who knows no better or worse – would be able to identify from a biological and scientific point of view that a “vagina” was fashioned specifically to receive a penis and a penis was fashioned or formed to penetrate a vagina – not an anus; which incidentally was created for waste disposal and the elimination of toxins from the body; nothing more or less. Sodomy (anal sex) is a perversion of natural order. Likewise when we pervert the natural order of “gravity” – we end up paying a hefty price for that – the same can be said of sexual vice. And as said in previous articles in this series, God has generously designed the act of sexual intercourse to be “pleasurable” not painful (like child birth) but because of “perversion,” much more “pain” is derived from sex - than the true pleasure that God intended. In fact we are “outdoing ourselves,” (for the quick fix and cheap thrill).

So when it comes to the definition of “perversity” it’s no good getting all upset with the Bible and all the Christians who believe it verbatim (word for word). Because every dictionary that exists also points the finger at perversion – and calls it exactly for what it is! Now perhaps I am being a little bit pedantic here, but this is no “word-game” or “quiz on moral standards.” If a person chooses a lifestyle that involves regular acts of sodomy – that decision is theirs to make (only when they enforce that act on others, does it become a criminal act). For instance it is strongly believed that “Leonardo Da Vinci” was gay – because in his early twenties he was arrested and accused of sodomy with a young male prostitute. This made Leonardo not only famous for his great works of art but also for enjoying the permanent presence of pretty young males (models). His society was much less tolerant than it is today and was nearly “hung” for his crime. However the “political-will” and “climate” of our day has dramatically changed since then - nevertheless no such changes in society will “alter” the Bible! No matter how much anger it stirs up or evokes.

It is common knowledge that the act of sodomy and the lifestyle of homosexuality are one. This makes it difficult to separate the person from the sin. But as believers we must tolerate the individual but not take on their beliefs systems. I personally believe that we need wisdom in handling this issue. And must always love people without compromising what we believe. In the past there was bullying and discrimination towards homosexuals (which I don’t condone). Now they are gaining ground and strength as a minority group. But in a world where freedom of speech and human rights has actually stifled our rights and our freedoms – where do we go from here. The answer has to be “FAITH AND NOT FEAR!”

FACT: there are still “anti-sodomy laws” still in place today. When doing some research recently, I discovered some facts about “State Laws on Sex Crimes” in USA and an article entitled: “When is Sodomy Unlawful?” It is interesting with all this talk about same sex marriage becoming legal and the upsurge of homosexuality – that regardless specific laws are still in place throughout the US to actually penalize “sodomy” if found guilty and is still referred to as a “Crime Against Nature.” Information as follows:

“According to criminaldefenselawyer.com “Historically, the act of sodomy ("the Sin of Sodom"), which is basically anal penetration, was held by courts as "deviant" and was punished harshly. In some cases, the laws' language extended to acts of oral penetration and bestiality. Although most statutes did not expressly state the purposes of the law, it was impliedly known that these laws were basically laws against homosexual acts. In the U.S. during the 50s, every state had some variation of law criminalizing the act of sodomy. The pivotal 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas nullified all state anti-sodomy laws that penalized consensual sex done in privacy. However, a few dissenting states still retain anti-sodomy laws in their criminal codes and seek to enforce them.”

State Law
Since Lawrence, most states have repealed their sodomy laws. Only a few states retain anti-sodomy laws on their books, usually referred to as "crimes against nature" or "deviate sexual intercourse." Among those dissenting states (with penalties) are:

• Alabama - 13A-6-65(a)(3). Sexual Misconduct. "He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person." Consent is no defense. Misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and/or up to 1 year imprisonment.
• North Carolina - 14-177. Crime Against Nature. Carnality "with mankind or beast" (no gender restriction). Felony punishable up to 3 years imprisonment.
• Oklahoma - 21-886. Crime Against Nature. "Committed with mankind and beast (same sex only)." Felony punishable up to 10 years imprisonment.
• Texas - 21.06. Homosexual Conduct. "Deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex." Misdemeanor. $500 fine.
• Virginia - 18.2-361. Crimes Against Nature. Both homosexual and heterosexual, anal and oral penetration. Includes bestiality. Felony punishable up to 5 years imprisonment.
http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/sex-crimes/when-sodomy-unlawful

Once again I maintain as I always have – that “sexuality is sexuality.” It is all “SEX” and there is as much sexual perversion with “hetero-sexual” activity as there is in “homo-sexual” activity. And this is where most folks miss the boat. It’s not about homosexuality; rather about the sad “perversion” of human “sexuality” from what God intended it to be. (Some call this perverted state that we find ourselves in as the “human-condition”).

Now I don’t doubt that homosexual couples have “meaningful” unions as much as heterosexual couples do (but this does not negate the Bible). Some are even life-long monogamous relationships (one partner at a time) and others are serial polygamists (having more than one partner at any one time) but this is true of “any” orientation also. Whether gay or hetero - we are all capable of fidelity or infidelity. We are all capable of perversion no matter who we are. And we are not discussing personality here nor the human rights of gay individuals but about the wider topic of “human-sexuality” and satan’s “all-out-agenda” to pervert everyone of us; to divide us and enrage us against one another. He hates humanity. Perversion is his “prize weapon” – that keeps us away from knowing God intimately as we were designed to (not sexually intimate but spiritually).

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father Your agenda for my life is pure and unadulterated. Your thoughts towards me are good and not evil, so that I have an expected end and a future. I yield myself to Your awesome plan. Help me every day to walk it with Your Spirit by my side. Judgement starts with the House of God first. Help me to trust You, so that I can live according to the truth of Your Word – even when it is politically incorrect. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I have faith; Your gift to me. Faith that is not willing to compromise. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, I will not stumble or fall when I walk with You. No matter the political minefields laid before me, Your Word will see me through. You are my Rock and my salvation. Hallelujah!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Special Edition

Special Edition

Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher
[contributing to his support]. Galatians 6:6 AMP.

We just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have been blessed by T4J and have told us so! In fact you have very generously given feedback and reports - this is a popular series! As we continue to make this teaching available - free of charge - we would also like to give opportunity (at least once a year) for all those who are blessed by such teachings, to reciprocate in kind, with their very best seed!

Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his support].

We trust the Holy Spirit to convict those who have been blessed on a regular basis, 'furnished' and 'equipped,' by the truth and revelation that is in this God given series.

As a result we trust and believe that you will continue to enjoy these articles for a long time to come! Soon a book will be released - a compilation of articles put together in book format (especially for those who love to print them off to keep for personal study!) Others inform us that they often use T4J articles to ‘teach’ from in various settings; from church meetings to house groups. We are privileged to be a source of real blessing to you (including those you minister to!)

Also many are beginning to ask for these articles in their own languages, to which God is gradually providing faithful, willing men and women to help us translate them. It’s just a matter of time now.

So be encouraged to substantially get behind - what has been a legitimate blessing to you, and give your very best seed, in biblical reciprocation today!

Thank you so much

Dr. Alan


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE! WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 3 December 2010

Perverted Sexuality - as Seen in the Bible!

Perverted Sexuality - as Seen in the Bible!
(Part 2)

"Don't have sex with a man as one does with a woman.
That is abhorrent” (Leviticus 18:22 The Message)

Welcome back to part 2 of this 5 part series on “The Abnormal Sexual behaviour – of the End Times.”– Today’s article for Truth for the Journey will continue right where we left off concerning homosexuality and all other forms of sexual vice such as incest to bestiality. So as we delve deeper into this subject of homosexuality let us begin with a handful of scriptures that deal openly with this very subject. For instance in Daniel 11:37 many people believe that Daniel spoke about the “antichrist” as being a homo-sexual, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women...”

Then in the Authorized Version of the Bible, Deut 23:18 says, “Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” The word “dog” used here in the original Hebrew was actually a euphemism for “male prostitute” (as see in Strong’s Hebrew # 3611). In fact during the Old Testament many “temple-prostitutes” existed - both male and female. We see this in particular with The Message translation of the Bible, where it uses the words “sacred-prostitute” and “priest-pimp” instead! “No daughter of Israel is to become a sacred prostitute; and no son of Israel is to become a sacred prostitute. And don't bring the fee of a sacred whore or the earnings of a priest-pimp to the house of GOD, your God, to pay for any vow—they are both an abomination to GOD, your God” (Deut 23:18 - See also 1 Kings 14:24).

It is also true that during the Old Testament there was very little tolerance towards homosexuality as seen here in Lev 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed an offense (something perverse, unnatural, abhorrent, and detestable); they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (AMP). And in Leviticus chapter 18 it talks about all manner of sexual vice, from incest, rape, human sacrifice to even “bestiality” (sex with animals) verse 23 says, “Neither shall you lie with any beast and defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman yield herself to a beast to lie with it; it is confusion, perversion, and degradedly carnal” (AMP). So as we can see quite plainly from this that the bible is not shocked by such behaviour that still exists in today’s world, and as Eccl 1:9 says, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new” (NLT).

According to Derek Prince the city of Sodom was totally “given over” to a brazen, aggressive & violent form of homosexuality. As a respected bible teacher, I would like to bring out some of his remarks here concerning Genesis chapter 19 (vs. 5) where this aggressive form of homosexual behaviour was taking place. “They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them” (NIV). Now Derek Prince in his book titled: “Prophetic Guide to the End Times – Facing the Future without Fear” expounds this text very well by saying the following: “The name of the city ‘Sodom’ in the English language was applied to a particular form of sexual perversion called ‘sodomy,’ now misnamed as ‘being gay.’” Of the type of homosexuality displayed in Genesis chapter 19 Derek wrote, “This particular version of homosexuality was brazen; it came right out in the open. It made no pretence and offered no concealment. It was not passive; it was aggressive. It went out looking for its victims, searched for them with determination and was prepared to resort to physical violence... it embraced both young and old... ‘all the men from the city – both young and old.’ This city’s male population was apparently totally given over to this brazen, aggressive, violent form of homosexuality... and it ignored accepted standards of behaviour.”

Concerning the real sin of Sodom He goes on to say, “I want to add one important note. Many people think the real sin of Sodom was homosexuality, but that is not what God charges it with... Ezekiel 16, addressed to the city of Jerusalem, compares Jerusalem with Sodom, and this is what the Lord says about Sodom: ‘Look, this was the iniquity of our sister Sodom: she and her daughter [that is, her fellow cities] had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy’ (vs. 49). There is no mention of homosexuality. I am not saying that God is indifferent toward homosexuality. Far from it. But the basic sins of Sodom were selfishness, carnality, self-indulgence, looking after number one.” Derek concludes by saying, “This is just my opinion, but I believe the Sodom kind of culture will always produce homosexuality. That is why we have so many homosexuals in the world today – because the sins of our day are just like the sins of Sodom: ‘Pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.’ How well does that describe our contemporary culture? ...We can lament the upsurge of homosexuality, but I believe the Sodom type of culture as described in Ezekiel 16 will always produce homosexuality. Homosexuality is not the root. The root is selfishness, self-indulgence and indifference to others” (Prophetic Guide to the End Times, page 91-93).

Now we will take a brief look at “The Burning Man.” Homosexuality is not new, and as we have seen, has been around since the time of Noah and Lot - well before Jesus walked the earth and it has always been controversial! However for the sake of being “contemporary” here - there are many events that I could randomly point to, that showcase major hatred towards God, extreme self expression, neo-paganism, orgies, sex rituals, new age philosophy, deep humanism, idolatry, occultism, satanic symbolism and the practice of witchcraft, sexual vice on every level (including homosexuality and paedophilia etc), rebellion and hatred for all authority, then little compares with this event that I am about to introduce you to called “The Burning Man.” (The founders of which vehemently oppose the suggestion that it is religious in any way; yet every type of worship occurs there including ancient Egyptian rituals – all except Christianity).

This event takes place each year in the middle of nowhere called, “The Burning Man.” Hidden in the desert miles from anywhere, in Navada Black Roack Desert – where 50,000 plus gather each year to build a pseudo/temporary city – for one week during the “Summer Solstice” (a witchcraft holiday) and whose population explodes each year to house every type of rebellion against God imaginable - in one place, at one time. And some years ago in 2001 a particular Christian named James Whisler went to “The Burning Man” in order to report back what he saw there. (To read his article called “Satan’s Birthday Party” regarding this particular event, just visit the link below). Within his eye-opening article James shows a photograph of one of the “huge” pieces of artwork (with homosexual theme) at the festival – sporting a slogan that read, "No more censorship!! Ban homophobia!!" and "We're not going back into the closet!!" Other art work sported and celebrated sodomy and paedophilia behaviour. http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/BurningMan.html

Now in finishing I want to add this important consideration. If one perceives that it is within their rights to “express” (or manifest) their sexuality through desiring “same-sex-relations” with either male or female partners; acceptable today as “normal” - then where will this definition of normal stretch to? Take for instance, if another person feels it is their right to express their sexuality through desiring more than one partner (multiple partners) in adulterous affairs – as the argument goes – this too then should be considered normal and no case should be brought against it (perhaps you can already see where I am taking this!)

To take it further still, what if a person feels it is within their right (as some evidently already do) to express their sexuality by having sex with children, by saying “This is the way that I am. It is normal for me...” will this behaviour then automatically become acceptable and considered normal? In a world where there is little restraint – and no accountability - who decides what levels of decency and acceptability to go by? What level of expressionism will they allow it to go to vs. basic human rights (including child protection) Evidently without the bible there is no authentic “guideline” for people to live by. People have become a law unto themselves and everything has become a “free-for-all” including sex – which creates huge potential – not for “freedom” but for “abuse.” After all, the guide lines adhered through the scriptures – are for our “protection” and not for our “stifling.”

In closing it is evident then that there is much more to this subject than just “lets fight the homos” or just “judging everyone” (from a Church point of view). And in this series we are attempting a somewhat brief look into an extensive and quite volatile topic – that must be looked at in context with its own entirety and not solely based on “homosexuality” – rather “sexuality” as a whole.

If therefore anyone wanted to make a “target-study” of homosexuality and the “homosexual-spirit” then they would also be well advised to study adultery too and the “spirit of adultery!” In essence it is all the same thing; various expressions of sin and the fallen nature of humanity. Why mention adultery? Because as I have pointed out in previous statistics in various articles – it is estimated today that 50% of Pastors marriages will end in divorce; a truly shocking statistic. Divorce one day and back on the TV the next. The realities are just not that easy. The repercussions of divorce are too great. It takes years for full “restoration” to take place, especially where children and congregations are involved.

And this is just in the leadership of the Church. So we have much to “target” ourselves with were sin is concerned - as sin is rampant in the Church not just in the world! In fact wherever there is humanity involved - there will be sin present – which means we must deal with these issues with much humility because evidently we are not immune! “...if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Gal 6:1 KJV).

So stay with us as we continue this series on sexuality and discover deeper still in the next article that “ALL” sexuality (and anything else besides) that is exercised “outside” of Christ – is classed as SIN. As Romans 14:23 says, “...whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” whether sinner or saint!

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father keep me from the root of - selfishness, carnality, self-indulgence and from living only to look after the interests of “number one.” Keep me from living a “self-serving” lifestyle that is completely “indifferent” to others and help me to be Christ like in all that I do. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I belong to You Father. I am made in Your likeness and in Your image. I am not to be “compared” with anyone else. There is divine order in my life and within my “sexuality.” I procure divine favour up on my “whole” life because I live to please You and to promote Your ways not my own. Amen.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Abnormal Sexual Behaviour - of the End Times

The Abnormal Sexual Behaviour - of the End Times
(Part 1)

Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love (Romans 1:26-27 The Message)

Welcome back to today’s “Truth for the Journey” in which we will bring to a conclusion the series about “The (End Time) Seduction of Women” while simultaneously beginning another 5 part series on “The Abnormal Sexual behaviour – of the End Times.” Now of course sexual seduction is part of the fallen nature for “all” mankind and therefore we want to look over the next couple of weeks at the subject of “sexuality” in general; its perverse nature and how it manifests. For instance one of the biggest issues that is facing us right now is “homosexuality” and the different ways that people are expressing their sexuality.

So this study will involve the nature of homosexuality but also all other “orientations” that exist, as we want to cover it all - “sexuality in general” - a subject much too vast to cover in one single conclusive article. Therefore we have aimed to approach this in a balanced manner and in order to benefit from this “balance” we strongly recommend that you read all 5 parts of this next series so that you don’t draw any premature conclusions or form any early opinion - until you have read the series in context.

So as we draw the curtain on specific seduction of women in these end times; today’s article we look into the topic of homosexuality, which of course affects both men and women. Homo – basically meaning “same.” And as we have discussed previously “sexuality” in general is being “accelerated and exaggerated” in this last age - more than ever before, which is hard to believe knowing the kind of perversions that were in play during the Roman Empire and the earlier pagan world; where such events as “orgies” and “sex-fests” were common place.

Nevertheless perversion of every kind is on the rise and if we were to ask a “psychologist” today, to give us a brief and distinct definition for the word “perversion,” their standard reply would be: “any abnormal means of obtaining sexual satisfaction.” In addition to this, here are a collection of the most basic definitions that I could find on the web (in the English language) - as follows:

1. the act of perverting or the state of being perverted
2. a perverted form or usage
3. a curve that reverses the direction of something
4. the action of perverting something (turning it to a wrong use); (i.e. "it was a perversion of justice")
5. activity that transgresses moral or civil law.

So as we can see above the English language is clear and distinct when it comes to “perversion!” Yet even more so, was one particular dictionary that I found online that gave a more “exacting” definition for perversion: “an aberrant sexual practice; sexual perversion - paraphilia - abnormal sexual activity: anal intercourse, anal sex, buggery, sodomy (intercourse via the anus, committed by a man with a man or woman).” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/perversion

So with this context of perversion at the forefront – as stipulated by the English language – in essence perversion is taking something that is going in one direction and making it go in another – for which it was not fashioned or formed. And this is where homosexuality comes into the plot. For instance it would be correct to say that “procreation, reproduction, breeding and populating” – are all amongst the chief reasons for sex – regardless of relational value and the possibility for meaningful pleasure derived from such. Pleasure then is not the “only” purpose of sex rather an “additional benefit” or “bonus” of having sex! This is without mentioning anything about birth control and every other aspect about sex. On face value alone - sex is vital to world population - something which would be literally “impossible” if everyone were created “homo”-sexual. So by all intents and purposes sex is vital to the human race and does not just feature along the lines of pleasure or pain.

Let’s be clear about this. Anything “homo” – is “sterile” simply because it cannot “reproduce” itself, like God “instructed” Adam and Eve in the garden to “...be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen 1:28). Biologically anything “homo” in this context is barren, counterproductive and can be considered a false union. Now I understand that for gay couples this can be hurtful and a bitter pill to swallow. Also I am aware that each people’s definition of “normal” differs greatly – therefore this is not a discussion of what is considered as “normal” or “abnormal” but rather what “perverse” and what is “not.” In reality most languages have a clear definition for the word “perversion” much the same as our own (English) yet most folks would never like to think of themselves or be defined as perverse! Yet it is safe to say that “anything” can be perverse, even plants that grow in the wrong direction! “Perversion is a curve that reverses the direction of something; i.e. "the tendrils of the plant exhibited perversion" or "perversion also shows up in kinky telephone cords!" http://www.thefreedictionary.com/perversion

What was considered perverse in yesteryear is not necessarily considered perverse today. Homosexuality has become acceptable now. A “conditioning” has taken place largely by the media to the point that homosexuality is no longer considered offensive, where even straight folks will defend homosexuality and readily brand “anyone” who thinks otherwise a “homo-phobic!” In fact the gay pride or power has elevated its voice so much so today that little is said to bring a case against it. BUT THEN THE BIBLE! Even when public opinion changes and “political-will” reverses – God’s Word remains the same!

According to the Bible homosexuality is a clear “perversion” of what God intended for His creation. Simply consider if all the animals rebelled and went “homo” – then many species would have been extinct today! None of this is meant to offend anyone – after all when we put theology and philosophy and all other differences aside – and just talk biology (not prejudice or discrimination I must add; nor hatred or narrow-mindedness) just science. We can let the biology speak for itself!

However the New Testament teaches us in the Ephesians 6:12 that we are not up against flesh and blood – so what are we up against except for “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places?” (KJV) This is a spiritual battle and not something that we can hold against “individuals” but against the violation of creation from its “ordained order” and “proper function.” Now folks can emotionally, physically and spiritually violate themselves if they so choose to do so but it’s not God’s best for them. Instead His “best” for them involves life, not disease, sterility or death (see Deut 30:19).

Now I am one who agrees with the argument that gluttony is just as much a sin as any other. We can conduct an article here about “obesity” to offend all the overweight believers instead but for now we must focus on one topic at a time! Nevertheless it is intriguing how much we tend to “segregate” sin into neat labelled boxes – making some sins seem so “great,” while others are much more “acceptable.” However scripture says, “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:22-24). I know that writing an article about this subject of homosexuality will not change the facts - nevertheless some folks in Christendom have very little understanding about these issues and have even become intimidated or frightened to speak out - in case they are deemed “politically incorrect” or “infringe” someone else’s “basic human rights.” Oh how we hate to “offend” in this 21st century! Yet scripture clearly states, “...we preach Christ crucified... a stumbling block ...foolishness... But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” (see 1 Cor 1:19-28 KJV). In verse 19 it says, “where is the disputer of this world?” this also means where is the “sophist” of this world. It is true, we become so “sophisticated” and “humanistic” that we miss the simplicity of the scriptures and its life saving, life changing meaning (Rom 1:16).

Now as we have stated before, it is within a person’s right to be gay if they so choose. Some even say they have no choice because they were “born this way!” Others say that they were abused at a early age which helped influenced their orientation. Others still, say they were confused about their sexuality and found their sexual identity as a result of “sexual-experimentation.” Psychologists who study the science of “human-behaviour” site many reasons for homosexuality but it simply comes down to “fallen nature,” which is something that their science cannot explain away!

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you for my “sexuality” – I trust you with it and believe that you will guide me by your Spirit in everything – even in that area of my life. Why would I need help in every area accept that one? So I dedicate my sexuality to You. I submit it to you and know that all confusion from the world around me will be quietened and made subject to your Word. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today Spirit of God you are my advocate in all things. No area of my life is void of your help and assistance. Deception is never far away but your leading and guiding is closer. I have a clear understanding today because of you. You illuminate the Word for me so that I have eyes to see and ears to hear. I am not darkened by the philosophies of this world but enlightened by your truth – hallelujah!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries