Rob and Linda Robertson did what they believed was expected of them as good Christians.
When their 12-year-old son Ryan said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered "reparative therapy," met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After six years, nothing changed. A despondent Ryan cut off from his parents and his faith, started taking drugs and in 2009, died of an overdose.
"Now we realize we were so wrongly taught," said Rob Robertson, a firefighter for more than 30 years who lives in Redmond, Washington. "It's a horrible, horrible mistake the church has made."...
Yes indeed, Dolores. Thanks for sharing that testimony of God's wonderful grace and how he filled you to overflowing with his Spirit, which brings the presence of Jesus powerfully and comfortingly.
I'll never understand those who pray for a "sense of God's presence", as if a little bit will satisfy the longing heart. Why not pray for a mighty outpouring, an inundation, flowing rivers of living water, an unction from above, an infilling of the Spirit which makes all spiritual things very real and powerful?
Yes, keep praying for one another. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and he is our advocate with the Father. All is by grace, and comes through faith. Lord, increase our faith.
Thanks Shane for your comment. It be right on the button. How can we expect others to be even interested in what we say, unless there be power to accompany our words. A holy and happy life is a great testimony.
Dolores... your experience with your family was similar to mine. The spiritual things can't be discerned by the unspiritual. I found that my words fell on ears that can't here. Which showed they(family) needed over time to see the reality played out in our life style. Blessings sister.
JohnUK, Shane, and Rodney K, please count me in on those prayers for each other's spiritual life to be "on fire for Him." When I was filled with His Holy Spirit, the most wonderful thing of all was how I felt so close to Him. I no longer saw Him as way off in the sky but He was there with me, inside me helping me and giving me the power to live for Him, to be His witness. It happened one night as I knelt by my bed, crying out to Him and thanking Him for bringing me back to Him. We do need to share what God is doing and how he is working in our lives, encouraging one another in the Lord. Shane, I went back to my home to share with my family about what had happened to me and was disappointed because they didn't share my excitement. As a matter of fact my sister said,"Dolores, you know you can lose your mind over religion!!" I said, you know, I feel more sane now than I ever have. That's scripture, by the way. For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7. If you hunger and thirst after rightousness, you will be filled.
Shane wrote: Brother John uk, I was refreshed by your post to brother Rodney(and Rodney's as well). There was a time in my life when people had the same reaction to the life that burst forth from my inner being. It was not the old me. It was new. Love, joy, peace &self sacrifice are an incredibly powerful witness for the power of the Lord. It is the good news, not only for this life. It is that life that bursts from us that is the true witness of the word. The word that is sharp and piercing, yet, such a compassionate sword. I too long for that which was so evident at one time in me. A broken and contrite heart, Lord, you will not despise. I will pray for you both. I hope you will pray for me. May we seek him with our faces in the dust. Peace brethren
Peace also to you, Shane.
I expect there are many others who are lamenting in just the same way and for just the same reason as we are, brother. But it is a good sign that God has knocked some pride out of us, that we are able to admit our condition. That itself is fruit brought about by the Spirit, so take heart. It is good to share common experiences and pray for one another that the Lord come in power once again to fill our cup to overflowing.
I was refreshed by your post to brother Rodney(and Rodney's as well). There was a time in my life when people had the same reaction to the life that burst forth from my inner being. It was not the old me. It was new. Love, joy, peace &self sacrifice are an incredibly powerful witness for the power of the Lord. It is the good news, not only for this life. It is that life that bursts from us that is the true witness of the word. The word that is sharp and piercing, yet, such a compassionate sword.
I too long for that which was so evident at one time in me.
A broken and contrite heart, Lord, you will not despise.
I will pray for you both. I hope you will pray for me.
Hm this is an emotionally based article. I guess it can evident that a child in a Christian home is not automatically Christian. They will have their battles and until Christ is head and Lord of their life than ofcourse they'll walk away with disappointment...
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, they are very similar to mine own.
The fruit we would like to bear is certainly the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5) which dwells in us. Love, joy, peace etc. This fruit is so powerful when the ungodly witness it. They say things like, "Wow, I wish I was like that."
I see the "abiding in Christ" as a branch remaining connected to the trunk, or root. It receives its life giving sap all the way from the root, and without that, the branch dies. Christ is that spiritual powerhouse, and when we are spiritually connected to him, we grow normally and produce what the branch is meant to produce. In that sense we are "one spirit with him".
There are certainly many who are trusting in the finished work of Christ who do not really bear the first three mentioned, love, joy, peace, let alone the others. Maybe to some degree, but even the nominal Christian bears these to some degree. We are talking here about a supernatural love, joy, peace etc. I knew these things in abundance once, and it was God working them, not me myself.
If the chief end of man is to glorify God, he can only get glory through people who are bearing that fruit, and I lament my own state, which is not what it once was.
John 15. Abide in Christ. "This is our Christian responsibilityâ€”to â€śabideâ€ť in Christ. John is fond of this word â€śabide.â€ť He uses the term (meno) over fifty times in his writings; eleven times in this chapter. Underlying the meaning of this term is the idea of belief. Negatively this is seen in chapter five of Johnâ€™s gospel: â€śAnd you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sentâ€ť (John 5:38).
Positively, it occurs in this sense of belief in chapter six: â€śHe who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in himâ€ť (John 6:56).
Abiding, then, requires a belief in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is a dependence upon His provision of life and strength that is emphasized in John 15:4. It is a belief and a relation with the person of Jesus Christ and His Word (John 15:7)." (B.Deffinbaugh)
Jim Lincoln wrote: Rodney K., here is something in an HTML format which should be easy to read even if you're using a mobile device. So, I would suggest you look it over. It also could be a help to you. [URL=http://www.biblebb.com/files/victoryoversin.htm]]]http://www.biblebb.com/files/victoryoversin.htm (How to Have Victory Over Sin)[/URL]
This is something that I struggle with. Abiding in Him. My flesh is so easily distracted. He has promised that if we will draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to us. Yet so easy it is to be drawn away from the One we love. "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love." No wonder we are likened to sheep.
I feel sometimes as if I am stagnant or even regressing. I don't doubt my salvation, yet I don't see fruit being produced. It is times like that when verse 6 weighs heavily upon me, especially if I consider the promise of fruit in verse 16. Yet, invariably, the problem is lack of abiding in Him: being intentional about the time and energy I give to prayer and the word.
Thank you Rodney, yes that is good. But I am thinking of something more serious than that. Note,
John 15:4-8 KJV (4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
In this passage, we have Jesus talking about abiding in him, not as a foregone conclusion, but a necessity.
Abiding in Christ should result in answered prayer, much fruit, glorifying God, being a normal disciple. It is this which I am currently looking at. Because as Jesus said, "Without me, ye can do nothing."
Pruning does no harm, but brings forth greater growth. We should expect continual improvement, and more holiness.
It's been a couple of years since I read it and right now I can't seem to find my copy. As I recall, he pointed out that one mark of a true believer was not that he never sins, but that he hates his sin and struggles against it. God "uses" our sin to expose our dependence on Him. I felt it was very insightful and encouraging.
"Whirled from off our feet by a revival, carried aloft by popularity, exalted by success in soul-winning, we should be as the chaff which the windÂ drivethÂ away, were it not that the gracious discipline of mercy breaks the ships of our vainglory with a strong east wind, and casts us shipwrecked, naked and forlorn, upon the Rock of Ages."
C.H. Spurgeon - The Ministerâ€™s Fainting Fits, Lectures to My Students, Lecture XI, 1856.
Rodney K. wrote: Bro. John UK, My reaction would have been to point the finger at universalism and syncretism. However, I can see how paedobaptists might fall into such thinking - particularly the more liberal varieties. There is an excellent book by Kris Lundgaard entitled, "The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin." It is a modernization of "Indwelling Sin" and "The Mortification of Sin" by John Owen. It deals very well with the issue of indwelling sin in the believer. God bless, dear brother!
I remember reading "Indwelling sin in Believers" by John Owen, back in the 80's. There was a picture of a thorn on the front cover. If I remember rightly, he was saying that we should expect to have some sin indwelling and we will never be totally free of it till the resurrection. This was the will of God, to keep us humble. I don't know about that.
There are some who talk about the deeper life in Christ. Maybe the "deeper life" is what I would call the "normal Christian life", and the life which we are currently expected to have in Christ, being called "normal" ought to be called a "subnormal Christian life".
Well, that is what I am pondering, anyway, in my study of scripture.
My reaction would have been to point the finger at universalism and syncretism. However, I can see how paedobaptists might fall into such thinking - particularly the more liberal varieties.
There is an excellent book by Kris Lundgaard entitled, "The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin." It is a modernization of "Indwelling Sin" and "The Mortification of Sin" by John Owen. It deals very well with the issue of indwelling sin in the believer.
["I think at some point moms and dads are going to say to their pastors and church leadership that you can't tell me that my child is not loved unconditionally by God," said Susan Shopland, the daughter of a Presbyterian missionary who, along with her gay son, is active with the Gay Christian Network.]
Well of course, this was bound to happen, if folks will believe the nonsense of covenant children being elect of God.
But the whole issue of involuntary bodily desires - as in this tragic case it seems to be - what is the answer to it? Does a Christian (born again) have all needed resources to counter sin and sinful thoughts? If this youngster was a child of God, did he have the capability to deny himself and be straight? And if he wasn't yet a child of God, why expect him to cease from sin? That is cruelty to expect an adamic natured person to behave as if he was in Christ. It just isn't possible.
But it also raises more questions. What of God's people who have besetting sins? Do they not weep over them and ask the Lord to take them away? What if he doesn't? What if they are driven to distraction by feelings of failure? What if they wish to die because they can't seem to be very good?
I thought that Gil had a comment that was pertinent to this topic.
Gil Rugh said or, wrote: ... Godâ€™s requirements for His people and the serious consequences of sin go unchanged. That being the case, great care and discernment must be applied in all situations to make no allowances for ungodly practices or adjustments to the worldly ways, in neither individual lives nor the corporate life of the Church.
. excerpt from [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574]]]God's High Demand for Holiness[/URL]
Christopher000 wrote: Maybe there were nuances to the story that just weren't mentioned. Maybe the parents did everything right, and in order with instruction, prayer, and living by example. I don't believe it all began and ended with "you must change". Once all avenues have been exhausted, what do you have left but prayer? I just feel like as parents, they would have done all they could before and during the therapy. Unfortunately, as far as we know, anyway, God just couldn't reach him. The sin/lifestyle was just more important to him. Personally, I can't comprehend how anyone chooses sex over eternity, and sodomy, like any other sin, simply takes a "no". Saying no to any sin seems like it should be such a simple thing but this flesh wants what it wants, so it can be difficult, for sure.
All too often Nepotism, "Undue attachment to relations; favoritism shown to members of one's family; bestowal of patronage in consideration of relationship, rather than of merit or of legal claim." clouds right thinking. How would a Christian judge and behave if a sinner was not a family member or friend? What actions to be applied to a sinner should be decided by Christian viewpoint alone, and not by any nepotism.