Author Archives: alexpenduck

My Response to Homosexuality, Sin & Duck Dynasty

This whole Duck Dynasty controversy has got me thinking. For the last two days facebook and twitter have blown up, the lines have been drawn and you either stand with Phil Robertson or against him.

It’s got me thinking because I am honestly confused biblically about how to approach the subject of sin! I’ve seen hateful comments about gays and about Christians over the last few days and it leaves me cringing about how unfiltered people are. Do people want to just vent and let others know their view or do they want to make a difference. Christians who tell gays they are going to hell, just want to let others know their view, because they are certainly not making a difference! Yet Christians who say it is ok to act on homosexual feelings because that is who you are, are equally as much “non-difference makers” as the bashers!

This is the deal, I’m a Christ follower, a bible believer, so there is no choice in it, I have to believe homosexuality is a sin. Like it or not, feel their pain or not, want to help the oppressed or not, if you believe in the bible, if you claim to have died to self and been raised with Christ then you have to believe that homosexuality is sinful! I can hear all the gay bashers out there agreeing and saying, “Preach it!” However, if I am a bible believer, a Christ follower, then I have to believe that lying is equally as bad, that adultery is as disgusting in the eyes of God as sodomy! I have to believe that the fact I’d rather stuff my face with unhealthy food than take care of my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit is just as disappointing in God’s eyes.

The days I fail to take up my cross and follow Jesus, the times that sports has become more of a god to me than the One True God all show that I am a sinner saved by His awesome grace and I need that grace every single day of my life.

Why is it that I feel grossed out by seeing a homosexual act on TV, but watching someone cheat on their spouse or take a life in a movie doesn’t phase me? Why is it that we get so mad with the media for championing the homosexual lifestyle but we say nothing when for years they have been saying to young people, “sleep around, drink, take drugs, have pre-martial sex”.? Why? Because we can identify with those sins, we struggle with those sins. I can’t identify with the homosexual because that’s not my weakness. 

So this is where I’m confused. I hear many Christians saying that we shouldn’t judge but we should show love. Yes we have not come to judge (although it is biblical to judge Christians and the church!) those who are not Christ followers. One day they will be judged, but by the great Judge, the Lord himself. Yet, when I read the prophets of old, they did speak up against the sins of the nations. Ezekiel spoke against the sins of Egypt, Jeremiah the sins of Babylon, Elijah the sins of King Ahab, Nathan the sins of David, Samuel the sins of Saul, Isaiah the sins of Israel, Paul the sins of Asia Minor and so on and so on.

I feel that instead of calling out one sin over the other that Pastors like myself; that members of the church of Jesus Christ should instead be coming together, on our knees and calling out to God for forgiveness, repenting for our apathy and sins. I don’t feel Jesus’ response to all of this would be to bash the media, nor would it be to be all lovey dovey about it (Did you hear some of the things Jesus said to people? The PC police would have had a field day with Him). Instead Jesus would have got in the face of His followers and said pray! Go tell the world with the power I have given you! Don’t be afraid for I am with you!

I’m stil confused about how to respond to all this, but I think the first move should be to look in at my heart before I speak out about another.

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Where Is God?

There are times in life where I honestly call out to God and ask, “Where were you?” 

It’s a question I have asked many times before. Last week I did it again. I heard how a fellow church planter who I would consider a friend had for almost a year shared with his church a vision of opening a coffee house type of venue that his church would use as their home but also function to service the community throughout the week. The vision was a big vision, it was a God sized vision and I was certain God would come through.

The type of money they needed to make it happen meant they needed a God sized miracle, but I wasn’t in any doubt. They love God, want to tell the world about God and had a vision that they felt was from God. So, last week when I heard that this vision had died because their contract on the place they felt God had given them had fallen through, something inside of me died, and I felt myself saying, “God where were You? Why didn’t you come through from them?”

As a Pastor I suddenly felt my friends pain. I had been there! You take steps of faith, you tell the people that God is going to come through, you believe it with all your heart, then you wait and wait like someone being stood up on a date and God doesn’t show.

It takes all that you have to tell the people on Sunday that it is ok, that God has a greater plan, but something inside of you is hurting and hurting bad.

This morning I asked God the same question. I read an article about this famous British diver who said He was in a relationship and couldn’t be happier, and the other person was another guy, then he said, “it just happened, but I’m still attracted to girls”. I know what I say would be seen as narrow minded and bigoted, but it’s not, but I wanted to throw up. I felt the same feeling reading that as I do when I know I have sinned against God. This sick feeling that comes from deep within that just makes me want to barf! I wonder if that it what God feels like when He said He wants to puke people who are luke-warm in their faith out of His mouth?

So I asked God, “Where are you?” We have a crisis of truth being perverted in name of equality and I thought to myself, why doesn’t God just show up? Why doesn’t this massive, powerful, all knowing God who if He just revealed himself in all His glory would command the worship and adoration of the whole world. Who just by speaking His voice could erase sin, sickness, disappointments and our old foe, Satan!

It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last time. However, I realize it could be. I realize that these things we see are often a result of the culture and churches we have created. Over the last several years I have seen how churches are boasting about how God is moving, how they are breaking new attendance records, starting new campus’ and “changing lives”. I’ve been part of those churches, been on staff there and even led them and I’ve realized we haven’t changed lives, God hasn’t been moving, but we have! We’ve created churches that are changed by the culture instead of the church being the creator of culture. We’ve got rid of our gatherings of “real” prayer and replaced it with other modern methods to get as many people in one place at one time. We’ve stopped asking people to live holy lives, set apart from this world in order to make it more comfortable for people to come and pack our building on Sunday morning. We’ve changed the truth of scripture in order to accommodate this offended consumer culture and we’ve all given ourselves a pat on the back because we call it growth!

So this morning as I asked God this question, as I have asked so many times before, “Where are You?” I finally heard a faint reply, “Alex, where are you?”

In that moment I knew God had never moved. My disappointments, my unanswered prayers, my longing for a culture that is changed by the church not vice verse and my prayer that the church would just stop playing games and get real about this whole thing all stepped into the light. We have moved, we have left our father’s side. We walked off and then blamed God for not being there.

Today is one of those days where I realize more than ever, if I am not daily coming back to the cross of Jesus Christ then life is going to be a continuing cry of “God, where are You?”


There’s A Fire In My Bones!

We are in one of those God defining moments in the life of our church. It’s a Jordan River experience where we are standing on the edge of the river and looking forward to the promises God has planned for us, but it will take getting our feet wet! In fact a door has opened where we can cross this river of opportunity but we are praying through whether this is the right opportunity.

It is in times like this you want God to shout loud, but He often chooses to stay silent. Why? Because that is faith! That is what trust, believing and walking in faith is all about. Jesus wants our hearts, and so often the way we give Him our undivided attention is through those crossroads of life. On one side we are excited for the opportunities that may be before us, but on the other side we want to make sure it is God, because if it isn’t it’s more than likely going to fail.

So the last few weeks have been a little stressful. Do you take the step forward, or do you be patient and wait? That’s the question I’ve been churning over for our church! So my prayer has been God speak! When we pray that prayer I believe God always answers and does speak. However, He doesn’t always give a direct answer to what we want! As I was reading Jeremiah 20 today in my bible reading plan, verse nine jumped off the page to me, “His word burns in your heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones”.

I do have a fire in my bones. God’s plan for my life is to declare His word, His grace, His love, His forgiveness and His gospel. That word burns through me. So when I get to the crossroads of life, what does it matter if I take the left turn or the right turn, as long as that fire burns I am to do the will of the Father, declare His word. As a church, God has given us a vision to help make the bride of Christ beautiful again so that a world lost in sin will turn their heads towards a church and find Christ there. That’s the fire in the bones of Generation Church. As long as we have that fire, what does it matter if we take the left or the right turn?

If you have decisions to make the key is to keep your eyes on the prize, your purpose, your destiny then it will be very hard to make a wrong turn on this journey of life!