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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Franklin Graham Calls on Pastors to Speak Out on Abortion, Homosexuality; Says 'God Hates Cowards'

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Ontario were the early Christans martyred for speaking out against specific sins? Or for a witness of Jesus Christ?



Brother Blaine,

Yes early Christians were martyred by preaching against idolatry. There are numerous accounts of this. The fury of the unbelievers was of such that they in one account beat the preachers head with a cugel till the skull cracked and then smashed his brains. The worse the could do is smash the mind that though and said the words that offended them so greatly.

Christians are to preach against sin, though it is the Holy Spirits role to ultimately convict of sin, righteousness and judgement to come, we must not wane to never preach against sin, testify that the world lies in the wicked one.

I agree fully hearily with Frank's comments that the Gospel does not wage a cultural war for a nations moral compass and freedoms of religion. Rather the Gospel testifies for people to join another kingdom but again the main context of Franklin Graham's sharing is towards the preachers of America's Church. The society is forcing through fear, most preachers to stop preaching the truth FOR THE CHURCH, for the kingdom of God. We cannot practice abortion IN THE Church, we cannot condone homosexuality iIN THE CHURCH. And yes it is a sin against the Lord and through evangelism we can testify to that also to unbelievers.


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Some early church quotes on abortion:

And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. -Didache 2:1-2 (90AD)

Thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbor more than thine own soul. Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion, nor again shalt thou kill it when it is born. Thou shalt not withhold thy hand from thy son or daughter, but from their youth thou shalt teach them the fear of God. -The Epistle of Barnabas 19:5 (130AD)

And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very foetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it. But we are in all things always alike and the same, submitting ourselves to reason, and not ruling over it. -Athenagoras of Athens, Embassy (177AD)

There are some women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels. So they commit murder before they bring forth–and this about infanticide and child exposure: And I see that you at one time expose your begotten children to wild beasts and to the birds; at another that you crush when strangled with a miserable kind of death… And these things assuredly come down from your gods. For Saturn did not expose his children but devoured them. -Minucius Felix, The Octavius (200AD)

Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument that is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for first of all opening the uterus and then keeping it open. It also has a circular blade, by means of which the limbs within the womb are dissected with careful, but unflinching care. Its last appendage is a blunted or covered hook, by which the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery. There is also a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is brought about in this treacherous robbery of life. From its infanticide function, they give it the name, “killer of the infant”—which infant, of course, had once been alive. -Tertullian, De Anima 25 (209AD)

Women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile, and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excess wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time! -Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies (228AD)

When God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but he warns us against the commission of those things which are esteemed lawful among men.. Therefore, let no one imagine that even this is allowed, to strangle newly-born children, which is the greatest impiety; for God breathes into their souls for life, and not for death. But men, that there may be no crime with which they may not pollute their hands, deprive [unborn] souls as yet innocent and simple of the light which they themselves have not given. “Can anyone, indeed, expect that they would abstain from the blood of others who do not abstain even from their own? But these are, without any controversy, wicked and unjust. -Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6:20 (307AD)

Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not. -Basil of Caesarea, First Canonical Epistle, Canon II (374 AD)

He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of wilful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and undesignedly kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defence, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it die upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees. -Basil of Caesarea, First Canonical Epistle, Canon VIII (375AD)

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some early church quotes on homosexuality:


151 AD Justin Martyr "[W]e have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods" (First Apology 27).

181 AD Theophilus of Antioch "Give studious attention to the prophetic writings [the Bible] and they will lead you on a clearer path to escape the eternal punishments and to obtain the eternal good things of God.. [God] will examine everything and will judge justly, granting recompense to each according to merit. To those who seek immortality by the patient exercise of good works, he will give everlasting life, joy, peace, rest, and all good things.. For the unbelievers and for the contemptuous, and for those who do not submit to the truth but assent to iniquity, when they have been involved in adulteries, and fornications, and homosexualities, and avarice, and in lawless idolatries, there will be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish; and in the end, such men as these will be detained in everlasting fire" (To Autolycus 1:14).

190 AD Clement of Alexandria "All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods . . . condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians" ... [According to Greek myth] Baubo [a female native of Elusis] having received [the goddess] Demeter hospitably, reached to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, thinking herself slighted, uncovered her shame, and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted with the sight--pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus records" ... "It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him [Hercules] a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymede. Let such gods as these be worshipped by your wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these--so temperate; that, emulating them in the same practices, they may be like the gods. Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods" (Exhortation to the Greeks 2).
220AD Tertullian "[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities" (Modesty 4).

250 AD Novatian "[God forbid the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those that are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved. Moreover, what does the Law mean when it . . . forbids the swine to be taken for food? It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice . . . Or when it forbids the hare? It rebukes men deformed into women" (The Jewish Foods 3).

253 AD Cyprian of Carthage "[T]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle . . . Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon--oh shame!--and looked upon with pleasure. . . . nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination . . . that Jupiter of theirs [is] not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders . . . now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion" (Letters 1:8).


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Towards christian martyrs preaching against idolatry:

from foxes book of martyrs:

Timothy was the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and bishop of Ephesus, where he zealously governed the Church until A.D. 97. At this period, as the pagans were about to celebrate a feast called Catagogion, Timothy, meeting the procession, SEVERELY REPROVED them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so exasperated the people that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later.



Stephen, bishop of Rome, was beheaded in the same year, and about that time Saturninus, the pious orthodox bishop of Toulouse, REFUSING to sacrifice to idols, was treated with all the barbarous indignities imaginable, and fastened by the feet to the tail of a bull. Upon a signal given, the enraged animal was driven down the steps of the temple, by which the worthy martyr's brains were dashed out.



Victorius, Carpophorus, Severus, and Severianus, were brothers, and all four employed in places of great trust and honor in the city of Rome. Having EXCLAIMED AGAINST the worship of idols, they were apprehended, and scourged, with the plumbetae, or scourges, to the ends of which were fastened leaden balls. This punishment was exercised with such excess of cruelty that the pious brothers fell martyrs to its severity.



St. George threw up his command, went boldly to the senate house, and avowed his being a Christian, taking occasion at the same time to remonstrate against paganism, and POINT OUT THE ABSURDITY of worshipping idols. This freedom so greatly provoked the senate that St. George was ordered to be tortured, and by the emperor's orders was dragged through the streets, and beheaded the next day.



from: http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe/martyrs/fox102.htm


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We in the west worship our so called freedoms. We detest The religious man, like the Victorian England church-goer, will rail against the morality of society, the man of God will speak to the state of the Church. The world is and always has been wicked, it just had and has various states of morality which have little bearing on the Body of Christ.....bro Frank

__________

I agree completely with what you shared Frank. Very good post and much truth within. Today those in the United States seem so caught up in holding on to freedoms at any cost and yet the willingness to die to self and live for CHRIST seems far from them.

You mentioned that:"There have been 55 million abortions in this country alone. What does that mean? There are 55 million murderers walking the street most of them unrepentant. Political christians in the States like to blame politicians for the 55 million murders. Yet the politicians merely give the majority of people what they want. And what is that? Freedom."

That stunned me because honestly I have never thought of it that way before, but you are right.

God bless
maryjane

 2014/5/25 10:09Profile
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So does this mean Paul was a coward or afraid to speak the truth about sin? Was he giving approval to a cult? Of course not. Paul saw his commission to preach the gospel and call individuals to turn from their sins to God and have faith in Christ (Acts 20:21). On other words Paul called on individuals to repent and turn away from their sins and have faith in Jesus. Not societies or cities.



Brother, of course Paul was not a coward. But he would have been if he did not speak of such sins in the church out of fear that the Roman or Jewish government would close down their assemblies or take away their 501c3 status and their church buildings. Of course none of those things existed back then but the same was there that Paul was not afraid of the society to spoil his goods and take away his possessions because of their stance for godliness inside the Church.

It is clear that the Holy Spirit is showing that we are to pay much closer attention to ourselves (the Church) and not the world as in relation to sin. Yet there are clear admonitions to preach the law and share what is right in the eyes of God. The only message to preach was not accept or reject Jesus Christ yet that was the root of the Gospel. And the only sin is not rejecting Jesus Christ as many famous evangelical teachers teach. Of course in the end to reject Jesus Christ is to reject God and side with the devil and sin. But sin and breaking of God's laws is the problem of why people do not come to Jesus Christ.

John 3:18-21
New King James Version (NKJV)

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”


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Greg writes: Rather the Gospel testifies for people to join another kingdom but again the main context of Franklin Graham's sharing is towards the preachers of America's Church. The society is forcing through fear, most preachers to stop preaching the truth for the Church, for the kingdom of God. We cannot practice abortion in the Church, we cannot condone homosexuality in the Church. And yes it is a sin against the Lord and through evangelism we can testify to that also.

_________________

Perhaps what should be said is the time is now, and begins with pastors and elders to share with those they fellowship that we as Christians are called to live a holy life, set apart. That means there should be no looking the other way on any sin. If we see a brother in sin in the body of believers that we fellowship, we should speak truth to them regardless of what that sin might be. If that means that half or more of those who were coming to Sunday service leave, never to return then chances are they were not truly born again any way and are in need of prayer to come to JESUS. We must begin to, in love speak truth into one another lives, we must share with each other and encourage one another to walk in HIM and turn from all sin because CHRIST is deserving of our whole heart and lives. Its cowardly to see any brother/sister in sin and walk away with out speaking and sharing truth with them. But then we must know that those we are speaking and sharing truth with are truly saved and born of GOD...to many of our churches in America are filled with lost sinners who are told by coming to church, tithing and saying a prayer they are covered when they have no relationship with CHRIST.

God bless
mj

Edit: one last thought, we need to be really careful too that we don't confuse "good morals" with being truly born again! There are a lot of Mormons and RCC who have really good morals but no true relationship with JESUS.

 2014/5/25 10:32Profile
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Amen sister.


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Hi Oracio,

My post was addressing the desire to moralize the world or to maintain or produce a moral society. The apostles and the genuine saints down through the ages were the most fearless of men and spoke the truth without fear or favor of men.I do not find the Grahams to come into that category, that is my personal opinion. Taking Mormonism of their website a year and a half ago as a cult was a matter of rank cowardice or worse, pure political expediency.

Maryjane pointed out the hypocrisy on picking on certain sins that appeal to a broad category of peoples. Now if one were to point out to Christendom every Sunday about the sin of greed or materialism or divorce then perhaps one would have the legitimacy of pointing out the sins of abortion or homosexuality as it pertains, not to the broader world but to the church specific. And it does pertain to them and it is right to speak out on these matters as it pertains to the church. The genuine saint loves the whole truth and will stand or fall because of the whole truth, anything else is rank hypocrisy......... bro Frank

 2014/5/25 10:53
Oracio
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Amen Frank I agree with your point on trying to moralize society just for the sake of it. And you do bring up a good point on the BGEA taking Mormonism off their site from the list of cults during the elections. Since Franklin Graham is the CEO of BGEA it would seem he had some say so in that decision.

But I have seen Franklin Graham speak boldly much truth on camera which many would shy away from. For example he has spoken out against Islam and against false teachers like Rob Bell.

I believe both sides of this discussion have good merit on some points. Just my opinion.


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But I have seen Franklin Graham speak boldly much truth on camera which many would shy away from. For example he has spoken out against Islam and against false teachers like Rob Bell.



I agree with brother that to write-off brother Franklin because of one thing if we put the same measure to our lives and our lives were in the public I am sure there could be mistakes we have made that could seemingly invalidate us from ministry or speaking of Christ if we measured the same measure.

In the end it is refreshing to hear a brother as faultly as he is speaking boldly to the pastors of the land to stand up for righteousness in their churches and preach the truth.

I was encouraged.


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Amen Greg.


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