What does it mean to buy the Truth and not sell it?

The question refers to Proverbs 23:23 which reads: “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”

Before we review and answer the question, it is important to clarify our teaching and understanding about faith and works.

Over the years, the true Church of God has been falsely accused of teaching that works are necessary for salvation; not, that it is a free gift from God.   This is a case of either misunderstanding or deliberately avoiding that which we have made clear over many decades.  Let us make this again abundantly clear NOW!

The Word of God dogmatically states that salvation cannot be earned through works.    We read in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” 

We read in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The footnote of the New King James Bible states, “free gift.”

In Acts 2:38-40, we read: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’ And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’”

In short, we believe that salvation and eternal life are NOT earned in this life – they are free gifts of God. However, our reward is dependent on our works. In the Kingdom of God, when we have eternal life, we will be rewarded according to how we lived and how well we did with what God had entrusted us.

In the Parable of the Ten Minas (or pounds) in Luke 19:11-27, we read about a man of noble birth (verse 12) who went to a distant country to become appointed king and then to return.   This was obviously a parable that Jesus gave about Himself and His followers.  They were given ten minas to put this money to work in His absence (verse 13).   The first two “traded” with the money but the third one didn’t (verses 16-24) which clearly shows that we have to be about our Father’s business and the reward will be to those who do that, and those that don’t, who should have known better, will lose out.  (See also the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25).

Faith and works are thoroughly covered in James 2:14-26 showing that both are necessary.

In our booklet “The Meaning of God’s Fall Holy Days,” we read on page 43 the following: “Verses 11 and 12 (of Revelation) describe the SECOND resurrection—the resurrection of those who will live again AFTER the thousand years are finished—the time which Paul called ‘the end’: ‘Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, STANDING before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”  

Let us all be about our Father’s business (as was Jesus at the age of 12 as we read in Luke 2:41-50), living the life to which we have been called, keeping God’s Commandments and being obedient to Him and His Way so that we will receive the GIFT of eternal life and be rewarded with these words of Jesus when the Day comes: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (compare Matthew 25:21). He tells us in Revelation 22:12: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”

Having set the record straight as above, let us now answer the question that was asked.

The phrase “to buy the truth” is an interesting one.   The Berean Bible Society has these interesting comments to make:

“Every true Christian should understand that the truth costs. If you don’t think so, make it your own, value it, defend it, stand for it, and see if it doesn’t cost. Before you are through it may cost you far more than you had thought — hours of ease and pleasure, friends and money. Yes, the truth costs. Salvation is gloriously free but the truth costs — that is, if you want it for yourself. Many who know the truth won’t buy it. They won’t pay what it costs to say: ‘This is what I believe. This is my conviction.’ The truth isn’t worth that much to them.” 

How true this is.   How many people have asked for a minister to visit them only to find that the price they would have to pay is far too much for them?   The keeping of the weekly and annual Sabbaths are very often an obstacle that many are not prepared to come to terms with.   There may be other stumbling blocks that would seem difficult to overcome.   We see such a situation in Matthew 19:16-22:

Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus said, ‘“You shall not murder,” “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “Honor your father and your mother,” and, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’

“The young man said to Him, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

In this particular case, it wasn’t the Sabbath that was a stumbling block but his “great possessions.”  In our Q&A: “Did Christ really offer the rich ruler a ministerial position? (compare Luke 18:18-23),” we conclude by stating the following:

“Returning to Christ’s statement to the rich ruler to follow Him, it appears that He was indeed willing to call him into the ministry, but sadly, the ruler loved money more than God and he rejected this unique opportunity to follow Christ as a minister and to perhaps later become even one of His apostles. In refusing to accept his ministerial calling, Christ pointed out that it will be very difficult for a rich person to even enter the kingdom of God (Luke 18:25-26; Mark 10:23-25).”

The Sabbath, the annual Holy Days, wealth and other things have stopped many from following God.   Anything that comes before God is breaking the first Commandment which simply says: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).

But in Proverbs 23:23, God’s Word urges us: “Buy the truth!” Not, “Buy it if you can get it at a bargain; if the price is not too great.” No, “Buy the truth!” Buy it at any price. It is worth far more than anything you can give in exchange for it. And when you have bought it: “sell it not.” How many, alas, have bought the truth only to sell out again! 

Isaiah 55:1 is instructive. In the New King James Bible, the headline is given: “An Invitation to Abundant Life.”  The passage reads:

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.”

“Buy” can mean “to acquire.”   One commentator stated that “In the original Hebrew, the word translated as ‘buy’ here means ‘to get something, often through one’s efforts or as compensation’ which is pretty much the same as acquire.

Also, we read in Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Compare also John 4:10).

However, certain “things” cannot be purchased with money or otherwise. We may recall in Acts 8:18-20 that Simon the Sorcerer offered money for a gift that he coveted:

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!’”

Some may think that if something is free that it doesn’t cost anything—or that just anybody can obtain it. Both buy and acquire indicate that a person has to make an effort, or give up something in order to get or acquire something that he considers valuable.   And when God calls us, we have to give up the world and its ways.

As we have already pointed out, the gift of Jesus Christ is not available to be purchased and cannot be bought by anyone. Jesus came to offer Himself for the sins of the world and is God’s free gift that can never be purchased. There is no way that we can “buy” or earn our way into His presence, into His Family.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges Commentary says this about the Truth: “Procure it at any cost: part with it on no consideration.” 

The Pulpit Commentary has this to say about Proverbs 23:23: “Buy the truth, and sell it not (comp. Proverbs 4:5, 7; Proverbs 16:16). Consider truth as a thing of the highest value, and spare no pains, cost, or sacrifice to obtain it, and, when gotten, keep it safe; do not barter it for earthly profit or the pleasures of sense; do not be reasoned out of it, or laughed out of it; ‘sell it not,’ do not part with it for any consideration.”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary’s contribution reads as follows:

“The gracious Saviour who purchased pardon and peace for his people, with all the affection of a tender parent, counsels us to hear and be wise, and is ready to guide our hearts in his way. Here we have an earnest call to young people, to attend to the advice of their godly parents. If the heart be guided, the steps will be guided. Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing to part with anything for it. Do not part with it for pleasures, honours, riches, or anything in this world. The heart is what the great God requires. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none.”

Biblestudytools.com gives a comprehensive and lengthy view of how important buying the truth is:

“‘buying’ it supposes a person to have some knowledge of it, of the excellency, usefulness, and importance of it; and shows that he sets a value upon it, and has a high esteem for it: it is to be understood of his using all means and taking great pains to acquire it; such as reading the word, meditating upon it, attending on the public ministry, and fervent and frequent prayer for it, and a greater degree of knowledge of it; yea, it signifies a person’s parting with everything for it that is required; as with his former errors he has been brought up in, or has imbibed; with his good name and reputation, being willing to be accounted a fool or a madman, and an enthusiast, or anything for the sake of it; and even with life itself, when called for; and such a man will strive and contend for it, stand fast in it, and hold it fast, and not let it go, which is meant by ‘selling’ it; truth is not to be sold upon any account, or for anything whatever; it is not to be slighted and neglected; it should not be parted with neither for the riches, and honours, and pleasures of this life, nor for the sake of a good name among men, nor for the sake of peace, nor for the avoiding of persecution; it should be abode by, and not departed from, though the greater number is against it, and they the riots, the wise, and learned; and though it may be traduced as novel, irrational, and licentious, and be attended with affliction, that is, buy these also, and sell them no.”

It then goes on to show that buying it does not have to be a financial transaction: “it is to be prized above everything; it is the principal thing, and should be got; all means should be used to obtain it; it may be bought without money; it should be asked of God, who gives it liberally, and, being had, should be held fast:”

We know that we cannot buy the Truth, the Holy Spirit, or salvation.   They are not for sale; they are free gifts from God.  The NET Bible translation is: “Acquire truth and do not sell it–wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.” 

The passage in Proverbs 23:23 and many other Scriptures also explain why we do not charge for our literature. Please read the following Q&A in its entirety. https://www.eternalgod.org/why-do-you-not-charge-for-your-literature-and-your-other-services/

Proverbs 23:23 is a vital piece of understanding for the true Christian: “Buy (acquire) the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”   And we can do nothing less! 

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

Could you please explain the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”?

Where did this phrase come from as it cannot be found in the Bible in those words? The catholic.com website gives this answer: “It’s from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to ‘With love for mankind and hatred of sins.’ The phrase has become more famous as ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’ or ‘hate the sin and not the sinner’ (the latter form appearing in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography).”

There are those who see themselves as Christians but can’t accept the phrase, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.”   One such newspaper writer wrote: “There is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus.  To look at my gay Christian brother and say ‘God loves the sinner’ is to set myself against Jesus and bring condemnation again to those he’s already redeemed.  So I’m done.  I’m done with ‘Love the sinner but hate the sin.’ I’m done with speaking as if I’m different, better than you.  We are children of the Creator, redeemed by Jesus.  We are brothers and sisters.   And today, that’s enough.”

This is a complete misunderstanding of the phrase.   True Christians are not to take a superior attitude to anyone else but they do have to accept that sin is that which we must avoid and overcome.   After all, in Matthew 6:12 which is part of the model prayer, we read that we are to pray to “forgive us our debts (sins) as we forgive our debtors (sins).”  The antipathy displayed in the previous paragraph may be because it is erroneously believed that all you have to do is give your heart to the Lord and that you can still live and practice that which you did previously without having to change anything.

It seems that acceptance of any lifestyle is a must in today’s perverse and perverted society and it appears that many of those who espouse Christianity can fall into that trap.   We can’t say anything about how wrong many sexual sins are because, in so many minds, any lifestyle is acceptable and all you have to do is “believe in the Lord,” but the Bible makes it very plain that that is simply just not so!

One minister, a homosexual, wrote the following:

“As an openly-gay Christian theologian and minister, I believe that the slogan of ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin,’ no matter how well-intentioned, is theologically unsound. Not only is this an unbiblical concept, but it is also not workable in practice. In fact, when it comes to LGBT sexualities and gender identities, I contend that this slogan is actually a modern-day version of gnosticism, which was condemned as heretical by early Church theologians such as Irenaeus in the second century.”   It would seem that we are becoming more and more interested in the idea of acceptance of any lifestyles, and without any boundaries.

We address these gender designations referred to in the paragraph above, in our booklet God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” showing how ungodly they are. The Bible is very clear on these matters and the true Church of God today is not afraid to relate the full Truth from Scripture.   It appears that many today are becoming more and more interested in the idea of acceptance by others irrespective of their lifestyle and different sexual proclivities.   Nevertheless, Christians are to still love the person (we were all sinners before we became converted, and even now, we still sin from time to time), but they must hate the sin as God hates sin which separates us from God (compare Isaiah 59:2).

We can see from what has already been quoted above that on the one hand, there are those who feel that such a phrase deflects the individual’s responsibility and accountability for their sins, and on the other hand, there are those who accept the individual irrespective of their sins complete with wrong lifestyles if that should be necessary.

This phrase is also used when explaining that a person’s lifestyle is not compatible with the standards that God sets out in His Word.   For example, in society today, the word “homophobic” is used for anyone who doesn’t agree with such behaviour.  The Bible confirms that such behaviour is not in accordance with God’s required standard for people.  In our booklet God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,  we state the following on page 95:

“Before covering the controversial issue of homosexuality, we feel it is necessary to state our position, as anyone who opposes this behavior is commonly thought to be a homophobe or homophobic. This term is casually used against anyone who has the audacity to question the morality of such behavior, especially when asserting it to be sin, which homosexual lobbyists often refer to as hate speech.

“This argument is invalid, as people on both sides of the argument must be allowed to agree or disagree about homosexuality in a free and fair society. To assert that homosexual behavior is a sin is simply stating a biblical fact, and Christians who live by the Word of God are simply stating what God’s Word clearly reveals. There should be no hate for the individual concerned, just sadness at their way of life.”

One of the problems associated with the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” is that it may be felt that hating the sin can spill over into also meaning hate towards the individual.   In some cases that may be true but it must not reflect the behaviour of a true Christian.   We see, in the UK, that saying that homosexuality is wrong can be taken as a hate crime which it is not, but a fact taken from the Word of God.   God’s teaching on the matter is subordinated to UK law which means that God’s Word must take second place.   That is a very dangerous approach that society takes and does so at its own very great risk.  We should love the sinner because we all sin, but hate the sin(s), and God’s Way must be paramount in a Christian’s life irrespective of any human-made laws which may conflict with God’s Word.

If we don’t hate the sin (whatever it is) and we take a more “accepting” attitude towards it, such as “live and let live,” then we are in grave danger of becoming indifferent to that which could well keep us out of the Kingdom of God.   God hates sin and we must also do likewise.

The Bible can so often be misrepresented so as to reflect what someone would like it to say, rather than what it actually says.

So, what is the biblical truth of the matter?   It is, quite simply, to look at how sin and love are defined in the pages of the Bible.

1 John 3:4 states about sin in the Authorized Version: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” The New King James Bible says: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

In Scripture, we read about how sin separates us from God (please see our new free booklet, God the Father Is the Highest), and here are just a few of those many verses:

In Isaiah 59:2, we read: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”

Romans 6:16 states: “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”

Romans 6:23 reads:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As one writer observed: “God is the source of all life, and He will extend that life eternally to all who believe.  Sin is a barrier to our reception of life, and that is one reason why God hates it.” Of course, we hasten to add that the concept of “believe” or “faith” must be understood correctly. The Bible requires “obedient” faith—faith which is obedient to God and His Law (see Romans 1:5; 16:26).

In Matthew 5:43-48, the sub-heading in the New King James Bible is “Love Your Enemies.” We read:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?   And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

We should realise that we, too, were sinners before our conversion, and we still sin from time to time, but we have been called out of this world by God and are, therefore, set apart by our calling.   We must hate it when we ourselves sin, and we must ask God for forgiveness.   Those who sin willfully—knowing better but refusing to repent and change—do so to their own hurt by not making it into the Kingdom of God.

There are so many verses about love that could be quoted, but the following gives a flavour of what love is.

Leviticus 19:18 says: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:33-34 reads: “And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.  The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Matthew 19:19 says this in respect of commandments to keep: “‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:36-40 relates the conversation between a Pharisee and Jesus, when the Pharisee came to ask Jesus the following: “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’”

John 13:34-35 states: “ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Please note in this context that the semicolon added in the first part of the above-quoted phrase is terribly wrong. Instead, the phrase should read: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

While the above is about, primarily, love for brethren in the Church, we should certainly have love for those outside the Church.   Mr. Herbert W Armstrong, the late Pastor-General of the now defunct Worldwide Church of God, used to define love as “an outgoing concern for the good and welfare of others.”   That love does not end if the other person has a lifestyle and way of life that is incompatible with the true Christian Way of Life.   We should want the very best for them and hope and pray that they will turn, one day, from their chosen lifestyle to God’s Way of Life.

James 2:8 says: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well…”

Also, the “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13 is one that makes great reading.

In God’s second appearance to Solomon, He said: “…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). While that applied to ancient Israel thousands of years ago, the same principle holds good today.

At the same time, note that God requires repentance. He does not forgive a sinner if he or she refuses to repent. But this does not negate His love for him or her, as we will continue to explain below.

Two references in the book of Romans show that loving the sinner and hating the sin is what we are to do, naysayers notwithstanding.   Regarding naysayers, one writer put it this way: “The counter-narrative that they come up with – in the face of the best air-tight case – can boggle the brightest of minds!”  These two references from the Word of God are an air-tight case, and are as follows:

Romans 13:9 says: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Romans 12:9, with a sub-heading in the New King James Bible, “Behave Like a Christian,” reads as follows: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”  The problem in society today is that evil has, in many cases, become normal.

Loving the sinner does not mean, however, that we love or approve of his lifestyle. This includes, not even giving the appearance of accepting or not rejecting his lifestyle. It also does not mean that we “forgive” an unrepentant sinner for his sinful conduct towards us. For a detailed explanation, please see our Q&A, titled, “You teach that God does not forgive us our sins if we refuse to repent. Does this mean that God does not require us to forgive those that sin against us if they refuse to repent?” https://www.eternalgod.org/question-and-answer-221/

In that Q&A, we stated:

“We should always have a forgiving attitude and a willingness to immediately forgive upon repentance, as this can be the start of any reconciliation process. We must never develop and harbor grudges against another person (Leviticus 19:18). We must hate the sin, but we must never hate the sinner. If we begin to hate the sinner, and develop resentment against the sinner, then we may find ourselves in a position where we might not be able to forgive the sinner, when he or she does repent and/or when his or her repentance comes to our attention.

“Further, harboring grudges against someone is not spiritually or physically healthy for ourselves. It can deprive us of the inner peace and joy of God which we are supposed to have (compare John 14:27; 15:11; 16:24; Colossians 3:15). God is always willing and ready to forgive, and so must we. It has been correctly said that we must do everything we can to establish peace (Matthew 5:9; Romans 12:18; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11); and to help a person to repent, realizing at the same time that repentance is a gift from God (Romans 2:4).”

Later in the Q&A, we wrote:

“Although God does not forgive a sinner without his repentance, He still loves him. In fact, we read that God loved the WORLD (when they were all unrepentant sinners) so much that He gave His only-begotten Son so that everyone who BELIEVES in Him (having come to repentance and having accepted the Sacrifice of Christ for payment of his or her sins) does not have to perish, but can have everlasting life (John 3:16). Although God does not forgive SIN without repentance, He still LOVES the sinner.”

We strongly recommend that you read that Q&A in its entirety, as it discusses many more aspects regarding love, repentance and forgiveness.

In conclusion, the answer to our question in this Q&A is simple.   We are to love our fellow man as the second great commandment is to love our neighbour as ourselves (compare Matthew 22:39), but we are to hate sin committed by others (and ourselves).   God hates sin, as we read in Psalm 5:4: “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You,” and we are to become perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.

It may not be easy at times but it is something that we must do – that is to love the sinner but hate the sin!

Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link

Our Daily Unleavened Bread

It is obvious that we eat unleavened bread during the Days of Unleavened Bread festival each year.  But do we eat unleavened bread each day of the seven days? Unless there is a very compelling reason or an emergency, we should eat this on a daily basis, as this message shows.

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What is your position on the continuing debate about gender dysphoria or transgenderism?

In our Update #756, dated October 7, 2016, the Q&A was entitled, “What Does the Bible Say About the Transgender Debate?” In over 6 years since that Q&A was first published, there has been, inevitably, more “progress” on this distressing situation.

We have recently published a 3-part series, entitled “Discrimination is a big issue today. How do you view this?” https://www.eternalgod.org/discrimination-is-a-big-issue-today-how-do-you-view-this-part-1/https://www.eternalgod.org/discrimination-is-a-big-issue-today-how-do-you-view-this-part-2/ ; and https://www.eternalgod.org/discrimination-is-a-big-issue-today-how-do-you-view-this-part-3/ .

We will now review this situation on transgenderism,  as it is a constituent part of the overall racial discrimination discussion and package.

The Daily Mail published on 23rd January 2023 an article by psychologist Dr Max Blumberg, entitled, “13 reasons why people DON’T want to get married anymore – and why staying single makes you happier.” In this long article, he stated that “2021 was the first year that more children were born out of wedlock than in it: that marriage rates have also been steadily declining since the 1970s and claimed that marriage has little value anymore and often comes with costs.” It is against this relentless backdrop of negativity about that which God ordained (marriage between a man and a woman only) that other forms of relationship seem to blossom.

Today, in 2023, it seems that any relationship is acceptable as long as it appears to make people happy.  But quite frequently, the very opposite is the case with distress, unhappiness and mental problems, often being the result of ungodly relationships.  Transgenderism is but one of them which has caused much anxiety and anger.  This is hardly surprising as it promotes a lifestyle which God has prohibited.

Scotland’s former first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who recently resigned her position, had been at loggerheads with the government in Westminster over her proposal to allow lowering the age at which people can change their legal gender from 18 to 16.

The website cityam.com reported the following on 23rd January 2023:

“The Scottish government’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, which the Holyrood parliament passed just before Christmas, had always promised to be controversial. Essentially, the bill would make it easier to obtain a gender recognition certificate in Scotland, lowering the age at which people can change their legal gender from 18 to 16, removing the requirement of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and reducing the waiting time from two years to six months of living in an acquired gender.

“Last week, the Secretary for Scotland, Alister Jack, announced that he would invoke section 35 of the Scotland Act to deny the bill Royal Assent. This provision can block the passage of a legally competent bill if the UK government believes it would affect matters of reserved competence, in this case the Equality Act 2010. This is the first time that section 35 has been used, though it has been a provision of the devolution settlement for a quarter of a century.”

Why a mature woman and the rest of her party (the Scottish National Party) would want to become embroiled in such an argument is a moot point, but the outrage at it has been reported widely, and this may have been the final straw in her resignation. 

Again in January 2023, a report said that Police were investigating after a sign threatening to “decapitate TERFs” [which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”] was displayed at a demonstration in Glasgow as author JK Rowling mocked the “temporary blindness” of SNP (Scottish National Politicians) who posed near the banner. The author has previously described Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a “destroyer of women’s rights.”

The vast majority of protesters held signs with peaceful phrases such as “respect democracy” and “Trans rights are human rights.”  One protester tweeted: “That’s a horrific sign, and it wasn’t there when I joined the demo.” “Violent hateful language, of any kind, is unacceptable and has no place in the peaceful movement for LGBT equality and democracy.”  This shows, quite clearly, how this issue has become part of the overall discrimination package which we have looked at closely in previous Q&As.

One protester at the rally held a sign comparing the Section 35 legislation to the Section 28 legislation, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality. Section 28 in the UK was implemented by Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister (1979-91) which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools.  Of course, in our permissive society, this was overturned and the homosexual lobby and lifestyle have gone from strength to strength since then. Such measures to prevent the young from the indoctrination of the homosexual lobby were overturned, and not for the better of society.

And this ongoing saga with the transgendered is not limited to the UK. The American Washington Examiner published an article in April of 2022 with the headline, “Even the Left is beginning to admit it has pushed transgenderism too far.” Of course, pushing it at all is simply wrong in the eyes of God. We quote from the article as follows:

“Transgender orthodoxy has moved so far past the bounds of sanity that any attempt to question its effects is quickly discouraged and punished. We are expected to shut up and accept that public schools are passing policies to keep students’ gender identity transitions from parents, that medical professionals can file to remove children from their parents’ custody if parents oppose physical and chemical transition efforts, that a young man competed on a women’s swimming team and took home a women’s championship title, and that a man who claimed to identify as a woman was allowed into a women’s prison where he impregnated two of his fellow prisoners.

“None of this is normal or even remotely defensible, and everyone, including many on the Left, know it.

“Few on the Left, however, are willing to say so out loud, in large part because their peers have made it impossible. Break from the transgender narrative in any way, and accusations of bigotry and violence will be thrown at you relentlessly. Just look at the abundant invectives hurled at Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, for example.

“Still, there are some, such as Rowling, who are beginning to admit that transgenderism has gone too far. Rowling and other liberal feminists recognize that the concept of ‘gender identity’ is a serious threat to women’s rights, especially the right to privacy and equal opportunity. Gay and lesbian activists realise that pushing effeminate boys or tomboyish girls toward transgenderism could create even more confusion and anxiety in youths who are struggling not with their actual gender but with their sexuality — two very different things.

“And healthcare professionals who are now being encouraged by the Biden administration to alter the bodies physically and chemically of gender-confused minors are starting to raise concerns about the permanence of such drastic interventions and ask whether there is any data to back them up at all.

“It is not a coincidence that the number of young adults who identify as transgender has increased more than twentyfold over the past several years as transgenderism has become more mainstream. What was once a rare mental affliction — gender dysphoria — is now being sold as a solution to any number of common emotional and social anxieties. The result has been a massive surge in transgender-identifying youths, the vast majority of whom, if given enough time, would snap out of it on their own.”

A further article appeared on the website askdrbrown.org: “The transgender revolution is oppressive, irrational, unhealthy, extreme, dangerous, unnatural and an attack on children. As the Daily Mail asked ‘Are children as young as 11 really capable of making life-changing decisions about their gender? We are playing with fire here, and there will likely be many, many casualties before we wake up.’”

The website thegospelcoalition.com contains further insights: “As much as contemporary academia says otherwise, the Bible believes in the organic unity of biological sex and gender identity. This is why male and female are (uniquely) the type of pair that can reproduce (Gen. 1:28; 2:20). It’s why homosexuality—a man lying with a man as with a woman (Lev. 18:22)—is wrong. It’s why the apostle Paul can speak of homosexual partnerships as deviating from the natural relations or natural function of male-female sexual intercourse (Rom. 1:26-27). In each instance, the argument only works if there is an assumed equivalence between the biology of sexual difference and the corresponding identities of male and female.

“If the binary of male and female is God’s idea, and if we are meant to embrace, by divine design, our biological and creational difference as men and women, then it stands to reason that the confusion of these realities would be displeasing to God. And so we see clearly in the Bible that men should not act sexually as women (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10), that men should not dress like women (Deut. 22:5), and that when men and women embrace obviously other-gendered expressions of identity it is a disgrace (1 Cor. 11:14-15). We do not have an inalienable right to do whatever we want with our physical selves. We belong to God and should glorify him with our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20).”

Another commentator writes as follows: “However, just because something might have a biological cause does not mean embracing the effects is the right thing to do. Some people are wired with a sexuality on hyper-drive. That does not make it right for them to engage in sexual immorality. It is scientifically proven that some psychopaths/sociopaths have brains with severely weakened impulse-control mechanisms. That does not make it right for them to engage in every deviant behaviour that crosses their minds. No matter if the gender distortion has a genetic, hormonal, physiological, psychological, or spiritual cause, it can be overcome and healed through faith in Christ and continued reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. There is hope for everyone, transsexuals, transgenders, those with gender identity disorder, and transvestites included, because of God’s forgiveness available in Jesus Christ.”

We would question that the “gender distortion” has a “genetic, hormonal or psychological cause,” as the author erroneously assumes, rather than a choice, but whatever the cause, the point is that transgenderism can be overcome.

This fits right in with 2 Peter 3:9 which reads: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

As a final comment in this Q&A, we quote the numbers of the LGBT+ movement as Gallup reported in 2022: “The percentage of U.S. adults who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or something other than heterosexual has increased to a new high of 7.1%, which is double the percentage from 2012, when Gallup first measured it.

“Gallup asks Americans whether they personally identify as straight or heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender as part of the demographic information it collects on all U.S. telephone surveys. Respondents can also volunteer any other sexual orientation or gender identity they prefer. In addition to the 7.1% of U.S. adults who consider themselves to be an LGBT identity, 86.3% say they are straight or heterosexual, and 6.6% do not offer an opinion.”

It is interesting to see how the 7.1% have a demonstrably higher visibility in society than the percentage would normally show. Quotas in television, film, the news media and high-profile jobs given to LGBT+ people show how skewed the system is today. The original argument was that they should be shown to reflect their position in society but it has gone way beyond that. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that the figure was very much higher than 7.1% by the very presence of so many displaying, and even promoting, any deviance from God’s ordained way for men and women to behave.

Many now mock the Bible.  Some don’t believe what it says and others may think that it is outdated. The inhabitants of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah were evil and their end was most unpleasant as the Bible records their depravity and its results (see Genesis 19:12-29). It would surely benefit those who are currently involved in the behaviour discussed herein to review and change their lifestyle.

There is still time but it appears that they are set on doing their own thing and it will not end well for them, or for anyone who lives a lifestyle which is not compatible with Biblical instruction. We conclude today as we did in our original Q&A on transgenderism, mentioned above, by repeating the following paragraph:

“It is a sad fact that today the biblical approach is one that is scorned and disregarded which is very dangerous to do. We should have love and concern for those who are engaged in these practices, loving the sinner but hating the sin. God instructs us in His way which is always for our own good and we ignore it at our peril. Transgender practices, along with many other sexual sins, are not to be part of any true Christian’s life. Such practices will not be allowed in the Kingdom of God and that should be enough proof for anyone with an open mind and a willing heart.”

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

The News Should Sharpen Our Christian Focus

Occasionally, I may buy a newspaper but, generally, I scan the news on the internet.   It is usually full of negative stories about the worst excesses of man, whether in war or just with “normal” every-day activity.

How many times have we heard people ask where is God in all of this?  It is as if they expect a supernatural force to always come to our aid, irrespective of our behaviour.

I decided to look at one day’s news and see how mankind was faring.  Of course, living in the UK, most of the news items I looked at were mainly, but not exclusively, problems that were applicable to this small island state.   However, much could be said in a pretty similar vein about what is also happening in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who make up much of the ancient nation of Israel.  They were given such marvellous blessings but also promises of retribution for non-compliance (see Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28).

These nations have enjoyed many blessings over a long period of time, but that now seems to be ebbing away.

On this one day in late January 2023, when I looked at news items, what did I find?

One headline screamed: “I’m a psychologist and these are 13 reasons why people DON’T want to get married anymore – and why staying single makes you happier.”   This is part of the desire of many to get rid of marriage and the family.

Another was: “Police investigate sign threatening to ‘decapitate TERFs’ at Glasgow rally as JK Rowling mocks ‘temporary blindness’ of politicians posing near it.” The rally was against the use of Section 35 to block new gender legislation and fears law makes it easier for predatory men to access female areas.  According to Vox, TERF stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminism.” The movement includes several self-professed feminist groups who are fighting against the inclusion of transgender women in the feminist movement.

This shows more problems with those wishing to change from male to female and vice versa; actions that are in direct conflict with the Bible.

I read a further headline which stated: “Shame of the Met (Metropolitan) Police’s 16 crooks in uniform,” which highlighted that the majority “had been for sexual offences or for violence against women.”   These were dreadful offences perpetrated by those who are paid to protect the public.

There was more to follow. “Shocking rise of ‘something for nothing Britain’: Over half of households get more from the State than they pay in tax…”   This showed the nonsense of paying people more to stay at home than get a job.   This article went on to say that “Two years of furlough, with the Government paying people to sit at home doing nothing, convinced millions that work was an optional extra and the State would provide their every need.”   Ian Duncan-Smith, a former leader of the Conservative Party, opined that “Lockdown changed the psyche of the British people.  For all those years, we told them you can’t get something for nothing, and all of a sudden they did.”

I won’t continue with other headlines as I am sure that the point is made that the UK is in severe decline which brings me to a further attitude generally displayed.  The Word of God is derided, and yet when calamity strikes, the plaintive cry from many asks the question as to why God, if there is one, allows all of this.   We can transgress God’s Laws and His Way of Life and still expect things to go swimmingly, which seems to be their mantra.   I am reminded of what Anne Graham, daughter of Billy Graham said after 9/11 when asked, “Why Did God Let This Happen?”  She gave an extremely profound, thorough and insightful response from which I will, very briefly, quote.

She said: “I believe that God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman that He is, I believe that God has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand that He leave us alone?

“‘Dear God, Why didn’t you save the little girl killed in her classroom? Sincerely, Concerned Student’… AND THE REPLY ‘Dear Concerned Student, I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.’

“Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’”

It is hardly surprising that when a nation, in general, turns its back on its Creator, there will be repercussions.   We sow the wind and reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).  One commentator said that:

“Today, we can see the truth of Hosea’s proverb in many ways. Those who live in unrepentant sin can expect to suffer the consequences of their sin—consequences that both ‘fit the crime’ and exhibit a stunning intensity. Also, this statement by Hosea is a clarion call to avoid idolatry. Anything that steals our trust in the Lord, lessens our devotion to Him, or anything that controls us can be considered an idol and should be abolished from our lives.”

To use a hackneyed phrase, “We can’t have our cake and eat it.”   But that is precisely what man wants.

There is coming a time when the headlines I mentioned earlier will be dwarfed in comparison.   As the UK, the USA and the other English-speaking nations continue in their antipathy towards God and His people, great trouble lies ahead.   The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord make up 3½ years of trouble never previously experienced, as we read in part of Daniel 12:1: “And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time.”

The writing is very definitely on the wall and we must look to God for protection during that time.   He promises that to His people who remain faithful to the end, and we must make sure that that includes all of us.

Bible Gem, Part 2

The second sermon in this two-part series continues to review advice and admonitions from the Book of Proverbs and other books in the Bible. In each sermon, ten areas are reviewed, and when the advice given is implemented, good outcomes are the end product.

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Discrimination is a big issue today.  How do you view this? (Part 3)

In the second part of this series, we reviewed the BLM and the LGBT+ movements. In the last part of this series, we look at the Woke Movement and finish up with a conclusion about all that this series has revealed.

The Woke Movement

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, under “Woke – What to Know,” we read: Woke is now defined in this dictionary as ‘aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice),’ and identified as U.S. slang. It originated in African American English and gained more widespread use beginning in 2014 as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.”   We can see from this how the BLM and wokeness are inter-related, as are all the matters being discussed, which is precisely what this Q&A is highlighting.

Wikipedia makes these observations: “While the term woke initially pertained to issues of racial prejudice and discrimination impacting African Americans, it was appropriated by other activist groups with different causes.  Abas Mirzaei, a senior lecturer in branding at Macquarie University says that the term ‘has been cynically applied to everything from soft drink to razors.

“Woke (/ˈwoʊk/ WOHK) is an English adjective meaning ‘alert to racial prejudice and discrimination’ that originated in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).   Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism, and has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans.”

We can see from the above that the original meaning came to encompass a broader awareness of different matters that were attached to the original prejudice and discrimination, and we will see that other attachments have been made.

On the “younger.co.uk” website is an article, entitled “What Does ‘Woke’ mean to Britons?” as follows:

“Originally the term referred to a need to wake up to, and stay ‘woke’ to, the realities of Black people’s place in America and the system designed to keep them down. With the term becoming more mainstream recently it evolved to mean a more general sense of awareness to social injustice against all groups, although it remains closely associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“To opponents of the social aims of such movements, however, it has become a catch-all term for a certain type of socially liberal ideology they dislike – much as the term ‘political correctness’ can often be.”

In August 2022, on the byfaith.org website is a very long and instructive article, and below are a few excerpts:

“Today, the modern religion of the world is wokeness and when you examine its heart, you find wokeness is divisive and antichrist in nature. Those who embrace woke ideology claim to be distinctly aware of social justice problems and aim to eliminate all inequality. These people ‘awakened’ by the contemporary gospel of ‘justice’ believe this can be achieved by tearing down the old oppressive patriarchal order and by embracing all forms of diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE).

“Burning down buildings or dividing communities through violence is fine to woke protestors because they think it addresses ancient injustices. One famous woke warrior was asked about the violence and stealing within the movement, and replied, ‘I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store,’ adding, ‘That is reparations, anything they wanted to take, they can take it.’

“The command of Exodus 20:15, ‘You shall not steal,’ is not the only problem woke activists have with God’s Holy Scripture. All those limited Christian definitions in the Bible about human nature and sin, created by God, must be rejected and replaced. In short, they believe we must repent and renounce the gospel.

“All Christians should be committed to ending racism, but that desire does not extend to endorsing an antichrist movement that is in rebellion against God’s expressed will.  Be careful what cause you endorse because you may be making God your enemy.

“‘For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!’ 2 Corinthians 11:4.

“According to progressive woke ideology, God is hindering true justice. The Bible’s precise description of the two sexes is discriminatory for those who identify as one of 68, 69, 70, and counting different gender expressions. The boundaries keep moving in this movement (Proverbs 22:28), but Christ is the anchor of all truth. The Holy Scriptures represent continuing symbols of the oppressive patriarchy, to those who keep inventing a new series of gender-inclusive pronouns, as their feelings or demonic beings guide them.

“Those who ‘go woke’ have been manipulated to believe they are establishing a just order; but they end up defining themselves by what they hate. They fall out with friends, family and colleagues, and hate the country that gave them everything they possess.

“As wokeness is a faith, it additionally has a demonic inquisition of hatred. The woke belief compels you to hate those who disagree with the ‘justice’ you are bringing. You can cancel, despise, spit, harm and kill those who disagree with you because they’re evil. It provides its servants with a pass to abuse those who think differently.  Jesus said, ‘The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service’ John 16:2.

“In the woke religion, Christian beliefs about justice and truth are supplanted with contemporary doctrines of equality, LGBTQ+, aggressive feminism, anti-capitalism, cultural shame, historical national sin, legacy guilt, claims of privilege, intersectionality, micro-aggression, critical race beliefs, BLM, compelled speech and inclusion of all self-identities; but there’s no tolerance for those who challenge the woke faith. The woke spirit takes a young person who desires to do good and shifts them into a hating machine, an angry, bitter person.”


As we have mentioned previously, the overall discrimination package contains many different issues and situations.   It is generally agreed that racial discrimination on its own is wrong.  We were all made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26-27).

However, along with this issue, the promotion of LGBT+ rights are seen by many as justified or acceptable; any opposing view is described as discrimination.  However, biblical understanding clearly shows that this type of behaviour is wrong as it is the advancement and ennoblement of conduct of which God clearly disapproves.

Also, in the package generally called “discrimination” is the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM).   They are against racial discrimination which is clearly correct but they then go on much further by adding in their aim to defund the police and are anti-family.  On their website we read, “We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.”   We have seen footballers “taking the knee” in an alleged attempt, in many cases, of supporting BLM and its aims and agenda.

White privilege and slavery together with identity politics and social justice are also inextricably woven into the fabric of this mass of unrest and negativity.   Add into the mix, the Politically Correct Brigade which have been around longer than most of those whom we have already discussed, can also be part of this package together with the lack of free speech on these issues if you oppose them, and you have a real broad group of complainants, and often aggressors.

Then we have the Woke brigade many of whom are just waiting to be offended when no offence is meant and who act and behave in a way that Christians must never do.

Throw in abortion and other ungodly practices and you have an eclectic mix of most of the grievances found in society today, with so many of them overlapping into one big complaints package.  All of these issues we have covered are inter-connected.

By supporting the general discrimination package, all of the other matters described above are included.   It is like voting in an election where candidates may be seen as acceptable because they are against abortion and are pro-marriage but have other views that are not acceptable as part of their political platform.   Therefore, voting for them is a non-starter for a true Christian as they would be giving support to views that are unacceptable to God’s Way of Life.   We must not be involved with racial discrimination but ensure that we are not involved nor accept the rest of the package that it comes dressed up in.   We have to be far more selective than those in the world because of the Way of Life to which we have been called.

We cannot change society nor is it our job to try and do so.   It can be so easy to say “everyone to their own” and accept that this is okay because that is the way it has been going for quite some time.  But we must be resolute in our own thinking, knowing that all of this antipathy to the Word of God, and the resultant depravity, will be replaced in God’s soon-coming Kingdom.   In the meantime, it is an attitude we must have against that which is patently wrong, and which mustn’t infect our Christian beliefs and a mindset that we must have.

We should love the sinner genuinely and hate the sin – a requirement that those without God’s Spirit just cannot comprehend!   One example of this may be helpful.  A Church member lived opposite two homosexuals who shared a house and one of them had cancer.  This member helped the person concerned in a number of ways and for which he was most grateful.   He knew that this Church member did not approve of their lifestyle but appreciated the help given.   That is a prime example of loving the sinner and hating the sin, which is something opponents of this concept cannot understand.

As Christians, we need to be aware of what is going on in the world today and to watch world events and our own personal spiritual condition.  But our attention will not be in the direction of the whole discrimination package and all of its different component parts but in the context of Luke 21:36: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines discrimination as follows: “…to distinguish by discerning or exposing differencesto recognize or identify as separate and distinct.”  And we are separate and distinct from the world as the people of God, by not being involved, supporting or endorsing all of the wrong practices as discussed in this series of Q&As.

We read in James 2:10: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” Bible.ak.orgmakes these interesting observations: “Lawbreaking, whether civil or religious, doesn’t need to be a breaking of all the laws—one offense is enough to convict the offender. No earthly judge will pardon the breaking of one law simply because the offender has kept many other laws. A chain is broken by the rupture of its weakest link. So, to stumble in one commandment causes the breaking of the whole law for the transgressor.”

Similarly, we might say that the discrimination “package” has to be accepted as a whole and any part of it that is not agreed with, or discarded, can be seen by its adherents as dismissing the whole concept of discrimination, when it is not!

Of course, the big difference between the two descriptions above is that all of God’s laws are to be kept but this “package” of man-made concepts about discrimination is just the words and folly of man, and in many cases, is not in alignment with the Word of God.

In our Q&A about right and wrong: www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk/who-determines-what-is-right-and-wrong/, we quote Dr J Slattery, writing specifically about sexual matters, stating the following:

“‘In today’s culture, right and wrong are sorted through a grid of what we perceive as being the best for ourselves and our fellow humans. Essentially, human beings are now “god,” with the authority to determine our own moral compass. With this type of humanistic worldview, morality is defined as “do no harm.” Ethics and morality are measured by whether or not people are harmed. “She’s not hurting anyone, so how could she be doing something wrong?” From this perspective, Christians who stand against gay marriage, for example, are thought to be doing harm. They are “hurting” people who want to celebrate the gay lifestyle. In contrast, those who want to participate in gay marriage are viewed as doing no harm.’”

Who is the ultimate authority in all moral matters? Is it the created – man – with all of his imperfections and lack of wisdom and Godly knowledge, or is it the Creator God of the Bible who was the One who created us all? The answer is that God reveals what is right and wrong in His Word—the Bible. Put as simply as we can, God decides what is right and wrong in His Word, and that must be our guide to life.

Only God has the right to decide what is good and evil, and much that is part of the “blob” of discrimination is decidedly against the way that God has commanded His people to live!

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

Bible Gems, Part 1

In this first of a two-part series on “Bible Gems,” the Book of Proverbs is used to show us how to act, behave, and make decisions for virtually any situation. Both wisdom and foolishness are addressed to show right from wrong and how we can make those decisions which can best assist us at this time and in the way that God approves.

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Discrimination is a big issue today. How do you view this? (Part 2)

In the first part of this three-part series, we reviewed the matter of racial discrimination and political correctness in relation to the way that a true Christian must live his life, and we continue to look at other movements that reflect different values to that of the Bible.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement

On the BBC website in June 2021 under the heading “What is Black Lives Matter and what are the aims?,” we read: “Among its main goals are stopping police brutality and fighting for courts to treat black people equally. Its demands for equality also include mental health, the LGBT community and voting rights.  However, former US secretary of housing and developments Ben Carson [who is black] said people with noble aims had been taken advantage of by a ‘Marxist-driven organisation’ that supports ‘taking down the model of Western family structures’.  Carol Swain, a political commentator and former professor, said: ‘They are using black people to advance a Marxist agenda.’”

In 2019, the Guardian newspaper reported the following: ‘A majority of people believe Black Lives Matter, the anti-racism movement that spread across the UK this summer, has increased racial tension, according to a poll.  Just over half (55%) of UK adults believe the BLM protests that took place in big cities but also in the Shetland Islands and the Isle of Wight, increased racial tensions, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people by pollsters Opinium. Only 17% of the people polled in October disagreed. The polling also showed 44% of ethnic minorities felt BLM increased racial tensions.”

The following was written by a black journalist, Elizabeth Matory, in September 2020, and reported on the website townhall.com. The heading was, “Yes, There’s a Problem With BLM, and No, You’re Not a Racist For Thinking That”:

“Society eventually came to believe that slavery was wrong, even though modern slavery still exists under the radar in various forms. Yet most people can understand that forcing another human being into submission and bondage against their will and treating that person as non-human is wrong.  Anti-abortionists and abolitionists have been able to voice opposition to these wrongs for generations.

“Here is the key difference: the BLM movement remains above reproach in that anyone questioning them is shut down, socially ridiculed, personally attacked, deemed a racist, and becomes a victim to our modern day ‘cancel culture.’ This fact makes the BLM movement the most powerful propaganda campaign in modern history.”

A number of the goals of this movement are not in alignment with the way that God requires of His people, including their apparent hatred for white people and their willingness to burn or otherwise destroy or vandalize buildings, burn cars, resort to violence and throw stones at police officers, and illegally occupy government buildings, sometimes with the use of weapons.

Therefore, it is not an organisation with which we should have any involvement or support in any way.

In the section on “Woke,” you will find a quotation from the Merriam Webster Dictionary showing the interconnection between the “Woke” movement and the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements.


Another vociferous group which is connected to the other movements we are discussing is the LGBT+ organisation.   Wikipedia gives this definition:

“LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity.

“The LGBT term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay (or gay and lesbian) in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s.  When not inclusive of transgender people, the shorter term LGB is still used instead of LGBT.

“It may refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual or gender identity.”

In our booklet “God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” https://www.eternalgod.org/gods-teachings-on-sexual-relationships/ the matter of homosexuality is discussed on pages 95-114.

On page 95, we state the following:

“Before covering the controversial issue of homosexuality, we feel it is necessary to state our position, as anyone who opposes this behavior is commonly thought to be a homophobe or homophobic. This term is casually used against anyone who has the audacity to question the morality of such behavior, especially when asserting it to be sin, which homosexual lobbyists often refer to as hate speech.

“This argument is invalid, as people on both sides of the argument must be allowed to agree or disagree about homosexuality in a free and fair society. To assert that homosexual behavior is a sin is simply stating a biblical fact, and Christians who live by the Word of God are simply stating what God’s Word clearly reveals. There should be no hate for the individual concerned, just sadness at their way of life.”

In an editorial in our weekly Update, dated December 9, 2022 https://www.eternalgod.org/update-1048/, entitled “Just Because….”, we wrote: “… more controversy has arisen because of the refusal of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) to allow teams to wear the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband in a show of solidarity for the LGBT+ community and as protest against many human rights violations in that country.”

There was uproar about this situation with the press and media regarding this denial.  As our booklet on the matter clearly shows, the abhorrent practice of homosexuality which God roundly condemns, is supported by the mainstream media.  We know that it works this way – you either go along with it or you are in trouble!

In our Update No. 1053, dated January 13, 2023, https://www.eternalgod.org/update-1053/ we quoted the following from Life Site News, published on January 5: “Trump has also killed a lot of his support with his hosting of that massive Log Cabin Republicans event at Mar-a-Lago and his and Melania’s and Kari Lake’s enthusiastic partying with them. In doing so, they gave massive, likely naïve support to the ongoing LGBT agenda… and policies to protect and promote their immoral, anti-life, anti-natural-family lifestyle, and to punish all who even think or speak anything critical of what they do…”

On the website lgbted.uk, there is the following information:

“LGBTed is a network of LGBT+ teachers and leaders, empowering them to be authentic in schools, colleges and universities, to support students and to be an advocate for increasing LGBT+ visibility in our education system.

“LGBTed use our network to influence education policy around LGBT+ inclusion in education; we support and empower colleagues to come out at all levels in education; we increase school leaders’ knowledge of LGBT+ issues in education and provide training & mentoring.  We help improve teacher retention by allowing colleagues to be more authentic in the workplace.”

There can be no doubt that the teaching profession in schools, colleges and universities can influence students in ways that are not Godly.   The above is evidence of this.

On the Law Society website in the UK, there was an article in February 2021 entitled: “LGBT History Month, Imogen Hamblin, employment lawyer at Thrive Law and member of our LGBT+ Lawyers Division Committee, explores two facets of her identity – her faith and her sexuality.”   She writes:

“Let’s note, rejection of the LGBT+ community can take many subtle forms, for example exclusion from the membership or leadership teams, refusing to conduct marriage ceremonies and making comments like ‘we love the sinner not the sin’ or that ‘you are welcome, but your way of life is not’.

“The implication is there is something unholy or sinful about our lifestyle.

“The church is in an uncomfortable place for LGBT+ persons; however, there is good news.

“Facets of the church have reacted positively to the changes in legislation and have adopted a more thoughtful approach to the teachings of Scripture, recognising the culture in which it was written.

“The church is starting to become more inclusive and some Christian denominations do not consider homosexuality or transgender identity to be sins. Leading the way in this advancement is Rev Steve Chalk MBE of Oasis Church, Waterloo. He celebrates having LGBT+ people in the leadership team, music team and youth work teams. They also regularly conduct same-sex marriages.”

This is written by a professing Christian who is a lesbian which any honest student of the Bible will see as incompatible.   Referring to the culture in which the Bible was written is not an answer.

It may be that many are under the delusion that LGBTQ+ issues are the most important things in the world to them today when to most people on earth, they are very definitely not.  No one has to recognise or support this group if they don’t want to, and their constant pushing of this perverted “lifestyle” can become wearying.  We must be steadfast in our opposition to these ungodly lifestyles and practices that God condemns.

The Bible states quite clearly and unambiguously that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, we read: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Compare also 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

Romans 1:26-27 tells us: “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

No amount of theological twisting and turning can make acceptable that which is an abomination to God (See Leviticus 18:22, 26, 29; 20:13).

(To be continued)

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

Discrimination is a big issue today. How do you view this? (Part 1)

Discrimination is a much used word today, and there is so much confusion about a number of issues which seem to have been integrated into one package, and someone not accepting that totality of those issues can become “cancelled,” with others being called a variety of names that are deemed to show the outrage, bigotry, disapproval and opprobrium of their none-acceptance.  This “morphing” (changing the form or character of, or transforming) of one very necessary and important subject (racial discrimination) and adding other more contentious matters on to the same basic premise is clever; you either accept all of the attachments or you choose what to accept and reject, and then receive the usual abuse when you resist and challenge the orthodoxy.

In this new series, let us unpick this “blob” of many different issues which have come together, purposely by those with an agenda that undermines the very fabric of a healthy and decent society.  We will review those individual issues which are now a constituent part of the overall racial discrimination discussion and package.

According to Wikipedia, “Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, as well as other categories.”

Because of this, many attachments are made to the initial racial discrimination issue and you have to accept, and approve of, the whole package or else you are in big trouble.   That is why we must review all attachments to the original as they may not be in line with what is approved by God.

It is very important, right at the beginning of this Q&A, to get some definitions.   We know, today, that words can mean different things to different people at different times, and it is easy for misunderstandings to occur.   The meaning of words is not static and set in stone. What a word means or describes can change over time, and that is how languages evolve.   For example, the word “wicked” used to mean “evil or immoral, playfully malicious or mischievous” whereas today, for some, it can mean something that is “neat” or excellent.

We have already seen one definition of discrimination above.   On the website eoc.org.uk, we read the following:

“Understanding When It May Not Be Considered Discrimination.

“In some instances, it may not be considered unlawful discrimination if someone treats you unfairly on the basis of any of the protected characteristics, provided that they have good enough reason for this unfair treatment and are able to justify the discrimination.

“These few examples demonstrate when discrimination may not be considered unlawful:

“A construction company requires all applicants for a high-rise construction job to take a series of physical tests. While this might put older applicants at a disadvantage and could be considered as indirect age discrimination, the company is justified as an older worker may not be able to meet the physical rigors of the job.

“A shelter for women posts an advertisement for female counsellors only. In this case the employers could escape any potential sex discrimination complaint by arguing that all of their clients are women who have suffered domestic violence by their male partners and they would be reluctant to speak to other men about their experience.

“A Roman Catholic school is justified in restricting applications for a job as a scripture teacher to only baptised Catholics.

“If an employer turns down an application because a prospective worker insists they be given time off at certain times for religious observance, it could be construed as religious discrimination. However, if the time off coincides with the employer’s business time and all workers are required to be on the job to ensure customer’s orders are met, then the employer may be justified in taking this action by citing the ‘occupational requirement clause.’”

Looking at the last example above, a request for certain times off for religious observance may sometimes be rejected, or a person may not be hired for that reason.   That is discrimination but not in the eyes of the law although it is blatant discrimination and in direct violation of the Law of God, if the requested time off for religious observance is biblically commanded. This refers mainly to the weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days, including the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day!  So much for protection in this rebellious and God-defying world ruled by Satan the Devil! But we know that if there is a conflict between what man wants and what God instructs, the true Christian will follow the Will of God and take the punishment dealt out by man.   In Acts 5:29, Peter said that “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

We will look now at the different groups that have become attached to, and inextricably linked with racial discrimination and will describe who and what they are, although we have covered some of this information previously in our writings.

Let us start with the matter of racial discrimination itself.   Of all the myriad descriptions of this matter, Wikipedia gives a fairly simple definition as follows: “Racial discrimination is any discrimination against any individual on the basis of their skin color, race or ethnic origin.  Individuals can discriminate by refusing to do business with, socialize with, or share resources with people of a certain group.”

What does the Bible have to say about this?  

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28).   In the first book of the Bible, we read: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27). Also note Acts 17:26.

We read that Jesus engaged the Samaritan woman in conversation (see John 4:1-42) and in Acts 8:26-39, Philip baptised an Ethiopian eunuch.  Paul preached to the Gentiles, and when the Day of Pentecost had fully come (Acts 2:1), there were “Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven” (verse 5) and “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (verse 41).   Many different races and ethnic groups were there, who had become “proselytes” and converted to Judaism, and none of them were discriminated against and many became church members. Compare our Q&A on Acts 2:5-11 and the presence of Arabs in Jerusalem.

The Bible most certainly does not discriminate against the different races; after all, God created them all in the first place.

Political Correctness

In our Q&A entitled “Why is political correctness a potential problem for Christians and the Church of God today?”, we cover this matter and will quote selectively from this to make the point that this can be a problem in certain circumstances for true Christians:

“On the Wikipedia website, the definition of political correctness is as follows: ‘The term political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC or P.C.) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society’…

“Of course, it should not be our goal to purposefully insult others and to cause offense. But this does not mean that God’s Church can become timid and shy away from our duty to proclaim the Truth…

“The Church has a duty to proclaim God’s Way of Life and His standards fully and boldly, even and especially if this conflicts with the norms of a society which is cut off from God and inspired and motivated by Satan and his demons.

“In one of our Q&A’s on Romans 13:1-7, we state the following:

“‘As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God’ (Acts 5:40-42)…

“It is interesting that the UK, the USA, Canada and other countries pride themselves on freedom of expression which is not enjoyed in many other nations around the world.

“However, political correctness can have the opposite effect of allowing freedom of speech; for example, anyone quoting the Bible and God’s teaching on a number of issues could be seen as engaging in ‘hate speech’. Such is the level of antipathy now afforded the Word of God…

“Think about how society today is at odds with biblical teachings:

“Society today approves of a behaviour that the Bible calls an abomination – homosexuality – but don’t you dare speak out against it or you will be vilified.

“Abortion is allowed today in so many countries around the world but the killing of innocent, unborn children is called ‘choice’ by its proponents, but the bottom line is that abortion is murder. Therefore, by extension, society today approves of murder in this instance.

“Certain mind-altering drugs which are highly addictive and dangerous are decriminalised which can wreak terrible havoc on the users and their families. The anguish that bereaved parents and other family members may suffer is appalling.

“Society today is consumed by equal rights irrespective of Godly instruction and the rightness of things.

“We must never give the impression of condoning wrongdoing or wrong principles just for the sake of peace. We have to say and do, and be seen to say and do, the right things and not condone evil. Isaiah 5:20 tells us: ‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’ We do live in a perverse society which, in general, rejects God and makes up its own laws and rules and the fruits of this are plain for all to see.

“The Church of God has a duty of responsibility to teach the ways of God. In Isaiah 58:1 we read: ‘Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.’…

“There is the warning message in Ezekiel 33:6 which reads as follows: ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

“We have the responsibility to warn of the terrible times to come because of our sinful and godless societies, and we must fulfil that responsibility…

“Inevitably, the Church of God will be at odds with society. The Church teaches the Way of God; the world has no interest in this, thinking that they are capable of forging and maintaining a good and decent society without God being involved. We know that the world is deceived by Satan (see Revelation 12:9), and so no one should be in the least bit surprised. And, yes, political correctness can be a real problem for both true Christians and the Church today. However, God’s true Church will continue to stand up for God without compromising even one inch with what God has revealed to us about His Way.”

(To be continued)

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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