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Scripture Memory: Confessing Christ.

VERSE : Luke 12:8 “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness 

23 August 2015

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Eld Lim Teck Chye (Comfort in Trouble, 2 Cor 1:3-11)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (God, Our Strong Tower, Prov 18:10)

30 August 2015

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Gabriel Gan (New Life for You, John 3:1-17)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (A Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother, Prov 18:24)

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“IT’S NOT FAIR” 

Some who struggle with same-sex attraction may be unhappy with the Bible’s teaching that homosexuality

•   is against nature (Rom 1:26-27)

•   is an abomination to God (Lev 18:2220:13)

•   is condemned by God’s law (1 Tim 1:8-10)

•   is a violation of God’s design in marriage as that between one man and one woman (Gen 1:27-28)

•   brought God’s judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:4-5) and those who practiced it will be excluded from God’s kingdom (1 Cor 6:9-10).

You may be thinking about your good friend in school who has been attracted to people of the same sex for years. You may be thinking of your child who has come out of the closet after many years of struggle.  You may be thinking of yourself and your own failed attempts to change your desires.  Whatever the situation, you may be tempted to think: “Why would God give someone these desires and not allow them to be expressed? How can it be God’s will for me to be unmarried and unfulfilled for the rest of my lives?” 

In his book “What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality”, Kevin DeYoung tackled the fairness objection in its three common forms:

1.       It’s Not Fair - I Was Born This Way.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “the causes of sexual orientation (whether homosexual or heterosexual) are not known at this time and likely are multi-factorial including biological and behavioural roots which may vary between different individuals and may even vary over time.”  The Association concluded: “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”

This does not suggest that same-sex desires are conscious choices. But the claim that homosexuality is caused by genes cannot be supported by science. Even if biological causes for homosexuality could be isolated, it does not remove the responsibility of the Christian to obey God’s Word. We all struggle with illicit desires that should not be fulfilled. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us that our hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. We are a fallen race with an inclination to sin and self-deception.  We cannot base our actions from our inborn feelings.

DeYoung explains: “Our own sense of desire and delight, or of pleasure and of pain, is not self-validating. People may, through no conscious decision of their own, be drawn to binge drinking, to promiscuity, to rage, to self-pity, or to any number of sinful behaviours.

If the “is-ness” of personal experience and desire determines the “ought-ness” of embracing these desires and acting upon them, there is no logical reason why other “sexual orientations” (say, toward children, or animals, or promiscuity, or bisexuality, or multiple partners) should be stigmatized.

As creatures made in the image of God, we are moral beings, responsible for our actions and for the lusts of the flesh. Quite simply, sometimes we want the wrong things. No matter how we think we might have been born one way, Christ insists that we must be born again a different way (John 3:3-7; Eph 2:1-10). Sexual orientation is not an immutable part of our biology... If it were, the concordance rate would not be so low between identical twins (i.e. both twins would always have the same sexual orientation, which is not the case.)”

2. It’s Not Fair - I Don’t Have The Gift Of Celibacy.

Isn’t celibacy a gift from God? What if a person struggling with same-sex attraction does not have the gift of celibacy?  Would it be unfair to expect him to remain chaste? This line of argument is flawed because:

a) Sexual desires may change over time.  A person who experienced same-sex attractions may in later life experience heterosexual desires and get heterosexually married.  In fact, people with same-sex desires have experienced partial to complete sexual transformation: Rosaria Butterfield was a postmodern lesbian professor who later became a Reformed Christian and homeschooling mother; Ron Citlau is a husband, father, and pastor whose early life was marked by homosexual lifestyle. 

b) Sexual desires in a heterosexual marriage may also go unfulfilled. Even in the happiest of heterosexual marriages, some spouses may struggle with unfulfilled sexual desires. Resisting sexual desire is a part of discipleship for every Christian, whatever your age, marital status or sexual orientation.  Desire must never be the justification for sin.

c) Chastity is God’s will for the single person.  If chastity is too much to ask of the person with homosexual desires, then it is also too much to ask of the person with heterosexual desires. What about the single Christian woman who never finds a husband? Or the godly man whose wife is paralyzed at thirty years old, making sexual intimacy impossible? Did these believers choose the gift of celibacy? 

Sam Allberry, an Anglican pastor who struggles with same-sex attraction, rightly concluded that for him, the only Christian God-honouring alternative is to embrace a life of hope-filled celibacy. He acknowledges that heterosexual marriage is the only proper context for sexual intimacy, no matter how strongly or how persistently he may struggle with unfulfilled sexual desires. 

3. It’s Not Fair - God Would Not Want Me To Be So Miserable.

a) This view is based on the premise that “if it makes me happy, it must be right.” Some homosexuals claim to be much happier once they “came out” and stopped repressing their same-sex desires. Whereas once they were miserable and full of despair, now they “feel closer to God and at peace.” Some of them are kind, generous, happy and sacrificial men and women who serve in church and live in committed same-sex relationships. 

b) Well, we can say the same of a woman who leaves an unhappy marriage and marries the man she was having an affair with, and claims she has never felt closer to God. Or the sweet Christians who serve in church but hold racist views against a particular race. Are any of these acceptable to God just because the person committing them feels happy? Of course not. The corrupting effects of the fall make our feelings unreliable judge of what’s right or wrong. We must base our decisions on what the Bible says, and not on our feelings.

Putting Sex Into Perspective

Sexuality is not your identity. Our culture exhorts us to place our identity and happiness in sexual and material pleasures. The Bible exhorts us to find our identity in Christ and joy in our salvation (Gal2:20; Phil 4:4; Lk 10:20).  I am first and foremost a child of God born again into God’s family through Jesus Christ (Jn 1:12-13). God wants you to be the true you, by grace, and not by nature - a child made in His image, washed by Jesus’ blood, and growing in Christ-likeness (Gen 1:27; 2 Cor 3:18). 

Discipleship

True disciples must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Christ (Luke 9:23).  True believers who say yes to Jesus will obey his command to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions (Titus 2:11-14).

Dying to self is the duty of every follower of Christ.  We all have our own struggles, sins and suffering. We all are corrupted by original sin and look forward to being free from bondage to sin and the hope of glory. 

For Christians who struggle with same-sex desires, it is part of their cross to bear, with the support of a loving Christian community.

Walking With God And With Each Other In Truth And Grace.

The church is for broken imperfect people - broken people who hate what is broken in them and imperfect people who have renounced their sinful lifestyles. Just as the church regularly calls all sinners and saints to repent from their sins (whatever they may be), we call practicing homosexuals to repent.  Repentance and a transformed life (Lk 3:9) are evidence of genuine salvation.

In Jesus there is hope of freedom from sin (Jn 8:34-36) and cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9).  Only with Jesus can we be made new.

There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood

Lose all their guilty stains.

                                             
                                          —Rev Lee Hock Chin

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Life Church 65th Anniversary & Chinese Service 50th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner
Ban Heng Pavilion Restaurant, #04-01 HarbourFront Centre
Saturday, 17 Oct 2015, 6.30 pm

Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at the church entrance today and from the church office during the week. Charges: $30 for adults (age 13 & above); $10 for child buffet (age 5 to 12). As tickets have specific table numbers, groups purchases must be highlighted to ensure they have the same table numbers.

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LBPC Combined Fellowship conducts:

“Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship Seminar”

Sep. 19 and 249 am to 5 pm

Please register at: http://tinyurl.com/GSED15 OR at Manual Registration booth in front of the Church sanctuary after 8am and 11am services and Sunday School. All are Welcome.

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GAF Meeting, 5 Sep 15

Time   :         4-6 pm

Venue :         Beulah MPH

Topic  :         “The Best is Yet To Be”

Speaker : Rev. Quek Keng Khwang

With Mandarin Interpretation

Followed by High Tea Fellowship

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1) Gospel Sunday, next Lord’s Day8 am & 11 am. Topic: New Life for You. Speakers: Rev Gabriel Gan (English Service), Rev Kew See Seong (Mandarin/Hokkien). Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

2) Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 18 Oct 15. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 30 Aug 15. Please call the Church Office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) Music Ministry requires musicians to play for evening wakes (when they occur) and music score transcribers urgently.  Those who are able to commit to help, kindly con-tact Bro. Daniel or Sis. Hui Chuien  for more details.Transcribers can help from home.

Preaching appts: Rev Seet at Sembawang BPC, 9.30 am. Rev Wong at Thai Service, 2.30 pm.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25