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Monday, October 06, 2008

A Letter on Prop 8

I want to share a letter with you that I received this week concerning Prop 8 and my full support of marriage as defined by God..... I have OMITTED THE AUTHOR'S NAME... but I wanted you to know it's hard for my brain to figure out how someone can listen to my heart during a sermon and then accuse me of "gay bashing." I wonder if we are so programmed by the world that we simply deny the truth of the Word of God.

The Letter I Received:

Dear Pastor,
This is Sunday morning when myself and my husband normally attend your 10 a.m. sermons and always walk out refreshed and with a purpose for that coming week. But over the last few sermons I am have been extremely bothered by the fact that you have so verbally taken a position on prop 8 and insist that we, your audience, do the same. Politics, along with individual personal beliefs should not be dealt with in a church setting. I would really like to start attending your sermons again, but do not want to sit through any gay bashing or any bashing for that matter. Though I may or may not feel the same way you do in regards to Proposition 8, I feel these are very personal decisions we should be made to make on our own.

Someone who I will not name....

My Response:

Dear __________,

Your letter surprises me...
We are a Bible Believing church..
and every week we preach from God's word..
The Bible is VERY clear about the SIN of homosexuality...
Read Romans 1. Read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
And then read the passages dealing with MARRIAGE...being between a MAN and a WOMAN..

Voting yes on Prop 8 is not "Gay Bashing"... Why do you put that label on me???

Is it because I am standing on Genesis 2:24... wanting gays NOT to redefine marriage so they can teach their perversion to children in our public schools?

I have a few nore questions for you..

Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin??
Do you believe that it's ok to redefine marriage???
Do you believe that it's ok to teach homosexuality to first graders??
Have you ever, in your life time, written a letter to a homosexual man or woman who "Christian Bashes"???
Do you believe that God places a HIGH VALUE on children and condemns anyone who leads them down the wrong path?
Do you think that the Bible is OUT DATED??
Did you not hear me say that I LOVE ALL PEOPLE... including every gay and lesbian person...
But I have a greater love for marriage as God defines it.

I have preached against MANY SINS...
Greed, Adultery, Stealing, Slander, Gossip, Idolatry, etc....
Why is it OK to preach against other sins and NOT ok to preach against the sin of Homosexuality??


Are not all sins the same?
And isn't the reason why God gave us the Bible to free of us those sins?

Please know that I will continue to preach TO sinners LIKE MYSELF.... and continue to LIFT UP THE BIBLE as the STANDARD.... and continue to LOVE all people regardless if they obey it or not....

Please know that I will continue to push YES on PROP 8 and wish you would join me...
and please start writing letters to all the people who openly "Christian Bash" every single day.

And YES..... this weekend in church I will continue to inform OUR church so that they will join the battle to protect our children and protect the definition of marriage. Your letter PROVES to me that I need to preach even harder on this subject and clear up the confusion of people who don't understand the fight that we are in.

And TRUST ME, GOD is going to JUDGE our nation for not making a stand. Please join us in making a stand FOR marriage...


Michael said...

Pastor Dudley,

It's important for me to express to you how much we appreciate you...I have read your most recent post and was surpised to see the contrast between the message you preached and the perception of the "unnamed" commenter. Preach on Pastor, we love you and the Lord's message is very clear... We are behind you!!

The Locke Family

jeff perrin said...

Pastor, I have attended and heard your comments on Prop 8 and quite honestly you have done it in a way that informs his flock what is going on and challenges them to stand for something or you will fall for anything....
If i speak out about what currently is being taught in our schools and what is not being taught in our schools am i a basher of our school system or am i just trying to lead our children in the right direction..
I spoke with a woman in church on Sunday as well as another brother, here is what (2) believers had to say.....
1) Do you think someone will come by and egg my house or mess with my property if i put a sign up, you know this is a very delicate subject....
2) I am all for Prop 8 but i could loose my job if they find out i am supporting the bill.

Wow.... Just from 2 people and your letter lady friend.. can you imagine if we spoke with more folks... What you do is educate, motivate and challenge us as Christians to get off our Sunday Chair and really ask ourselves... are we willing to go the distance or will we let this world leads us around like little good ol puppets... Not this Christian...
Always be prepares to give an answer for what we believe... unfortunately today God is asking more than ever for us to stand and we are picking and choosing to look the other way....
Christians, it's time to get off the box and start pulling those weeds, work needs to be done!!
Pastor, if you don't who will ???
You have made me understand that God hates the sin but loves the sinner......
Be strong in the Lord
Jeff Perrin.......

elm said...

My dear Pastor, what a beautiful reply to that person who wrote you about Prop 8. I also wrote to you. I hope you have read my letter. I, too, believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This morning I read in the newspaper that the county is going to return to the "Bride" and "Groom" identity on the marriage licenses. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless! Thank God. elm

david b said...

Pastor Dudley,
I think it needs to be stressed that Prop 8 not only upholds the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman, but also upholds the right of freedom of religion. Based on the decision of the court, the legal rights against discrimination toward homosexuals supersede the rights of individuals and churches to practice their religious beliefs. While I support the rights of gays in certain circumstances (excluding marriage), I certainly do not want my basic right of freedom of religion impinged upon. I believe that many people of faith, including the person who wrote that letter to you, who may be against Prop 8, do not fully understand the far reaching consequences for our churches if Prop 8 is defeated. Pastors will have no choice but to perform gay marriages, and to provide marriage and divorce counseling to gay couples. Churches will have to make their facilities available to gay couples for receptions, rehearsal dinners, and the like. It may sound far-fetched, but, for those churches opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds, passage of Prop 8 could force the end of church weddings, and the end of the traditional roles of pastors and churches in the marriages of their congregations. I think these are things that every member of our congregation needs to think and pray about.

As a side note, I was heartened to hear on a recent news report that the State decided to return the designations of "bride" and "groom" to marriage licenses.


Suburban Mama said...

Just wanted to say that I forwarded your blog to a friend of mine that was recently harshly criticized in a mom's forum I belong to for posting an invitation to a church rally that addressed Prop 8. I was hoping to encourage her. She quickly posted your blog entry as a bulletin on her MySpace. Since then, two more people that I know of have re-posted the blog on MySpace for their friends as well, all three with the title "I'm Not a Gay Basher." Thought it was very cool that they were identifying with your message and passing it on.

alexandra rouhani said...

Right on Pastor Dudley!!! I am proud to have a Pastor who is not afrain to tell it like it is. It is a bold and effective response, and nothing but the truth...Thank you!

Dru Morgan said...

Dudley, God bless you for your courage. Pleasing God is clearly your priority over pleasing man.

The problem is very clear in the letter to you. This person is coming to church to "get refreshed" and to "find a purpose" for the week. That is not why we come to church. We, as believers, come to worship the Living God, and to have a pastor open up the Bible and spell out what God says in His Word.

Guess what, if our "personal beliefs" and "God's Word" don't line up, then WE are the ones with a problem. It might be uncomfortable to hear, but how much more merciful that God would tell us what we need to do now before it is too late and we end up with the rest of the sinners in the lake of fire.

No matter what type of sinner we are, "homosexual" or not, we deserve God's wrath. He says it abides on us, and we are storing up wrath for the day of judgment. But, if we are willing to repent, and put our trust in the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, He is rich in mercy and willing to forgive us, giving us a new heart with new desires.

How else will they believe, Dudley, unless someone tells them? Keep telling them, Dudley. Keep telling them!

Aileen said...

Dear Pastor Dudley:

I have been attending your church for 4 years and I thank you for your guidance and for preaching the true word of God each and every week!

I wanted to let you know that my family and I support Prop 8 and will continue to until it passes.

I have been telling my friends and coworkers about the importance of voting yes on this proposition and that it is more important to fear God's law than to try not to get involved in the controversy.

This Sunday I brought two signs home with me. We put one up behind my house on a busy street and one right in front.

Unfortunately the one on the busy street did not last very long Pastor but it did not deter me or scare me Pastor as I know my Lord will protect me. Someone who obviously did not agree with our views did some of what you call "Christian bashing" by taking it down and destroying it so that it could not be used again and left it in the gutter. We were very shocked to see how angry it must have made someone to do this to a simple little sign but again, we're not budging! The sign in front still stands, Pastor and will, even if it means I have to get more signs next Sunday or every Sunday and replace them as they take them down.

Pastor, I pray for you and our church every morning and that the Lord give us all the strength and guidance during these trying times as I know only he can.

For the reader that asked if they will be egged and are nervous about putting the sign up, I say to just remember the verse, "No weapon formed against me will prosper"!

Gabriel Rufus said...

Pastor,the video of the Parkers was very touching,telling and challenging. I hope this sends a chilling message to all who have seen and heard it that if we don't take a stand then it's coming...coming to us.
There's confusion among the people the way this proposition is presented and I believe it needs to be explained to the people. I've heard many people with every good intention, support and passion for the traditional marriage say: we need to defeat this proposition. We need to vote against it. And they think voting "No" is the answer.
By over simplfying this, I am in no way casting aspersions on people's intelligence but we'd rather be safe than sorry. LET ME REITERATE: VOTE" YES" ON PROP 8.
Gabriel Rufus

Thankfull4hisGrace said...

Thank you so much for not compromising on God's word ! This is just one of the reasons we love Shepherd. Pastor, do not be discouraged, we love you and the church, and most of all the everlasting truth of God's word as revealed in the Bible.

The Toma Family

jeneen.ceniceros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doris said...

I once saw a self protection class on TV, and the instructor told the women that our biggest mistake is that when attacked we get scared instead of angry. As my husband and I drive around with our yes on 8 sign on our car and our yes on 8 sign posted to our fence at home and the cross I bought in our front yard, I feel like there are only a few of us that have taken on this fight to protect what little that is left sanctified by God and observed by our government. I always liked the term “safety in numbers” but lately I feel like we stand alone. Having a pastor that doesn’t back down helps tremendously. Please don’t quit, I know that this has been rough on you, but please don’t quit.

Lito said...

Hey Dudley,

It's me Lito from your brother's church at Northside, So if you didn't know Northside sent me to good old Ozark and I can't tell you how exciting it's been to listen to some of your sermon's for class projects and to encourage us as young preachers to boldly and tactfully teach God's word.

More recently I've been doing my best to study the scriptures when it references the topic of homosexuality as I have many friends in Fresno that I know are openly gay. I've been trying to develop ways to minister to my friends of different views and I found your thoughts to be encouraging, loving, and honest. If there's one thing I know about your heart it's that with parents like the ones you have how can't you love lost people.

I've stood right in front of your dad as he's reached out to people who were hurting and down on their luck and when most christians would judge. Your dad pulled out 20 bucks to feed him. I hear your heart in your sermons and you are still bold in preaching the truth. We need to take a stand and we need to reach the lost to Christ but we also do this as we take a stance for God's glory. Your thoughts really ministered to me today even all the way in Joplin. Thank you.


God's said...

Pastor Dudley,
Thank you for your leadership on this issue. I want to let you know that I have been impressed with your sermons. They have been nothing less than sincere and you have been exceptionally sensitive in expressing love and compassion for the homosexual community. I am so proud that you are my pastor. You have strengthened my resolve in fighting for the moral standards of our society while maintaining the heart of Jesus for lost people.
Be encouraged. If you did not have critics then you would have something to question. We will be persecuted for our love and devotion to Christ but we will stand up for you and each other.

Monica said...

I LOVE this response!
I can't beleive that letter. Like you PROVES that you need to be more FIRM when preaching on these issues.
(which u usually are)

Wow, are people really paying attention in church?
Are people Really reading the bible?

sean said...

Dear Pastor Dudley:
Your courage based on your strong belief given by God's grace is a such role model to today's christians. You BE the lighthouse to our congregations and continue His work that is not popular to this church comer and her husband who wish to be refreshed. I know you do not hate her or the sins of homosexuality because I do share your heart. I do not hate them either, but it needs to be cleansed with His blood just like any other sins. I fight everyday for the sins I commit. I will PRAY for you, your family and the church. God watches those who are against His words. We love you.

The Kim family.