(Valentinus)

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Valentinus

Valentinus ~latin for Saint Valentines 

While enjoying my heartfelt cup of coffee earlier today, I came across some interesting facts about Valentine’s Day. As we know it, Valentine’s means red roses, heart-shaped chocolates wrapped in silky trendy ribbon and Michael Bublé singing the night away. I recently found out that I Pastor in the 2nd most romantic city in America, Seattle. Romance and Love are saturated in our community and yes, even our coffee.

The other day, I was randomly asked if I hate Valentine’s Day and I chuckled with a grin on my face. My responds was simple and to the point. If I hate Valentine’s, I would hate Love; and God is Love. 

“But anyone who does not Love does not know God, for God is Love.” (1 John 4:8 NLT)

What most dudes will not admit, is that each of us have a romantic side. It’s built within our nature to Love. As humans, we Love God and God designed for us to Love another. I believe in Love, even in my season of singleness. One of my pet peeves, is when singles become bitter and cynical. Love, and even sex within the context of marriage, is a great gift from God.

“Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and LOVE-and the greatest of these is LOVE.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT)

What I was not aware of, is the history of Valentine’s Day, until I came across a few articles. 

According to the Huffington Post, there were reportedly three early Christian saints named Valentine. But the saint that derives from the holiday, likely comes from a Roman priest during the 3rd century A.D. under Emperor Claudius II. During that time, Claudius banned marriages among young couples. He believed that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers. During great turmoil of the Roman Empire, Claudius felt he needed all the soldiers he can get. 

Saint Valentine believed marriage to be God-given and sacred. He began officiating marriages among couples in secret.

“Saint Valentine was eventually beheaded and then named a martyr by the Church because he gave up his life to perform the sacrament of marriage: for love of love and love of God.” (As quoted by the Huffington Post) 

What was more intriguing, Christian Broadcasting Network conducted an interview with father Frank O’Gara. He broke down the history of Saint Valentine and had a great few points. I do not believe in Catholicism, but as a Jesus’ Follower, I found a few interesting points. While Saint Valentine was imprisoned by Rome for officiating marriages, he continued his missional work even in prison. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison. 

“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, who’s daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.” ~ Frank O’Gara 

The priest continues to say: 

“What Valentine means to me as a priest, is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that — even to the point of death. If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time where you’re going to have to suffer. It’s not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don’t be surprised if the ‘gushing’ love that you have for someone changes to something less “gushing” but maybe much more mature. And the question is, is that young person ready for that?” 

I leave you to deeply ponder on the following:

What if we Loved the way God called us to Love. Beyond the romance and Disney fairy tales, what if we discovered the authentic Love that holds all things together. Standing for truth is not a popular trend; but what if you believed in that truth so deeply, you became sold out for the cause no matter the cost. 

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34 NLT) 

Are you willing to return Love, even to your enemies, without reservation? 

(New Commandment). 

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Five Reasons Not to Follow Your Heart

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“Follow your heart.” Have you ever heard that expression? It’s a very common and overused phrase in American culture. From Hollywood movies to romance novels, everyone encourages to follow your heart. It’s a great deception that has blindsided our current generation. A scheme that was conceived in the Garden of Eden as the snake himself became the greatest con artist known to mankind. Steve Jobs once said:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone’s else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

~Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. co-founder

If you know me, I’m a huge fan of Apple products. I must say, Steve Jobs quoted some solid knowledge. But Mr. Jobs, you have one concept wrong: Follow Your Heart. For many of us, following our heart can be a natural instinct. Following your heart can get you into a lot of trouble. The worst advice you can receive in pursuing a relationship and/or in a dating relationship is to follow your heart. Following your heart will only produce an unhealthy relationship.

Here are five simple, but yet practical reasons not to follow your HEART.

Havoc.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)

The hebrew translation for deceitful (`aqob) means fraudulent, crooked and polluted.
The primitive hebrew translation for wicked (`anash) means to be frail, feeble, or (figuratively) melancholy. Desperately wicked, incurable, sick and woeful.

Why in the world would you trust a living organism, a soul that is fraudulent, incurable and down right sick? Your heart is full of havoc and the #1 rule is not to follow your heart. If you follow your heart, your emotions will get the best of you and that leads to a lifetime of heartbreak.

“We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. For we live by believing and not by seeing.” (2 Corinthians 5:2, 5, 7 NLT)

The scriptures urge us to put on our spirit garments that will suppress the havoc of our earthly soul. Following your heart is like living by sight, but we live by a sturdy faith. A vintage faith that was designed from the beginning of time.

Eve.

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10 NLT)

We inherit the frailty of Adam and Eve. From the beginning of time, God searched man’s heart and secret motives. Eve would one day be deceived into the greatest scheme. Deception would bring an anti-god perception. It may look good, but it does not mean it’s good for you. Following your heart brings a temporary satisfaction. Eating a Twinkie is satisfying for a moment, but if you keep eating Twinkie’s, eventually you will look like a Twinkie.

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.” (Genesis 3:6 NLT)

Mankind followed their heart and emotional urges of what looked appealing. Eve gave into deception and became apart of deception. You are what you eat.

Adam.

“The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45 NLT)

There is a significant comparison to living a life without the Holy Spirit and a life filled by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can either be led by your fraudulent emotions or you can be led by the Holy Spirit. Love is blind and your heart will blind you from truth. On the other hand, Jesus’ will lead you to all truth (John 16:13). Adam was created as a living person, designed with a self-will. But Jesus’ provides a substitution by giving life and direction.

“Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” (Genesis 3:6, 7 NLT)

Adam was designated a responsibility over the earth and was given a spiritual authority over Eve. It was his responsibility to rescue his beauty from eternal deception, but he became a passive man and followed his heart. The second Adam (Jesus Christ) did the exact opposite and rescued humanity from an eternal destruction.

It’s your choice Adam.

Rebels.
“Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:23 NLT)

Rebels without a cause. We are the James Dean of our time and live a careless life when we follow our heart. Rebellion is satanic and stubbornness is a great offense towards God. It’s your stubbornness that will get you into trouble.

“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord : your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT)

The greatest red flag in a relationship is not the ones appearing in your significant other; but the greatest red flag is the rebellion in your own heart. If God is speaking and giving you a big NO; obedience is better than sacrifice. 

Temptation.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16 NLT)

What does your heart crave? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Remember, your heart is fraudulent and incurable. Galatians chapter five speaks of being led by the Holy Spirit. Following your heart is the exact opposite. It cost Samson’s life for the exchange of following his heart (Judges 16:4-21). He lost his strength and vision, literally. Temptation nagged Samson to death, as one translation implies.

“She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was SICK TO DEATH OF IT.” (Judges 16:16 NLT)

Society and pop-culture will tell you to indulge in the cravings of your heart, but Jesus’ is the ultimate outlet.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)

Will you follow your heart?

Woman Crush Wednesday

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WCW pic

You know what today is, Woman Crush Wednesday! For those of you who do not know what this current hip trend is all about, let me enlighten you. Here is a brief and simple description by International Business Times

“WCW stands for “Woman Crush Wednesday,” which is when social media users share pictures of ladies that they find attractive or admire. Both male and female Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr users participate in the weekly trend, which is always seen on a Wednesday. It’s like a mini social media holiday where everyone participates in sharing a picture of their favorite female or “girl crush.” It could be a famous celebrity like Jennifer Lawrence, or even someone’s love interest.

The female species is not exempt from this popular trend, but you can participate in #MCM, Man Crush Monday (blog). #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday), a national phenomenon that has turned into a pop-trend within American culture; and among many Jesus’ followers. It’s amazing to see how huge this trend is catching on within the Christian world. I want to make a disclaimer to my readers. In no way am I connecting this current trend to being a salvation issue or condemning those that do participate. In fact, if you have a significant other, by all means post a picture and show how God has blessed you! Furthermore, let me add a deeper disclaimer. Christians posting “crush” pictures of non-Christians (celebrities and such) may seem insignificant, but Eve (#MCM), so was the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) Posting pictures of your significant other is great, but Adam (#WCW), do not create Idols that will have you hiding from the Creator and your purpose.

Destroy Idols 

When a noun (person, place, thing) takes the place of God, that’s the moment we find ourselves in anomaly. Unhealthy Relationships and/or “crushes” create an abnormal behavior of obsession. The scriptures are clear how God feels about idols. I like to refer to them as functional saviors that take the place of the One true Savior. God instructed His people with Ten Commandments and the first command is the following:

“You must not have any other god but me.” (Exodus 20:3 NLT) 

It’s very clear that God desires us to love and serve Him and no one else. But the scriptures go further by saying:

 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” (Exodus 20:4-5 NLT) 

God is a jealous God and He will not tolerate our affection for any other gods. I love how the New Living Translation states the word “tolerate.” Whether it be a person, place and/or thing, God will not stomach your idol worship.

The primitive root meaning of “image” in hebrew “pacal” means to carve, whether wood or stone. But let’s be real, most “images” we find today can be viewed on social media. What you give yourself to, becomes your ultimate surrender. What you treasure becomes your life’s measure. You become obsessed with an individual and the notion of Love. Romance and True Love, are two separate ideas. Woman Crush Wednesday provides an ideal fantasy of romance, but True Love can only be defined by the core of where Love originated. When we idolize pop-culture romance, we commit idolatry against True Love. We Love because He first Loved us (1 John 4:19). Idolizing romance and fantasy is a strong offense against the gospel.

The book of Romans describes an Idolatrous generation, similar to our current culture. “… they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:23 NLT) The moment you create a functional savior, that’s the moment God will strip everything away, until you say, “have your way.” Trust me, save yourself before it’s to late. Unhealthy Relationships and fantasy crushes simply come with headaches, heartache and heartbreak. Modern day Idolatry may seem insignificant, but God does not take Idol Worship lightly. In the words of Job,

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21 NLT) 

Girl Crush 

Have you ever heard of the term “Girl Crush?” According to the Urban Dictionary, girl crush is when a girl admires another girl in a non-sexual way. It simply means you admire the person you have a girl crush on, or you want to be best friends with your girl crush.

Woman Crush Wednesday is not limited to males, but a huge population of females participate in this trend. Posting pictures of celebrity crushes and/or best friend crushes. I personally do not comprehend such behavior of new age theology of “girl crushes” among the female species, but it’s certainly taken as casual humor. I have noticed the trend within the Christian world and in it, there is a sense of a hidden serpent within the concept.

Let’s go back to the beginning of civilization where God designed male and female. “So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NLT) 

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:21 NLT)

Anytime you create a pattern that is opposite to the primary plan of God, you reverse the commandment of Male and Female. You may say, “it’s just a girl crush. It’s just admiration.” But Eve! It’s just Fruit. Who does that sound like?

The Serpent: “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden? You won’t die! God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-4 NLT) 

And we all know where that took us and where we stand today. The serpent used manipulation and reversed the plan of God. Satan continues this pattern throughout history and time. Hence the spirit of rebellion, lust and homosexuality (lesbianism) was conceived in the Garden of Eden. What seems insignificant is actually significant within Satan’s scheme. We must always stand guard by the power of the Holy Spirit, to not allow Satan’s reverse psychology to creep in.

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT) 

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT) 

You may say, “It’s just admiration.” But I must ask, who are you inspiring to be? A celebrity with anti-god views and seducing spirits? Is it a non-Christian friend that does not pose Christian values? Or maybe your #WCW is one of your fellow sisters in the faith. But not everyone that sits modestly in a pew is an authentic Christian. I would be more concerned about the condition of their character before you start posting your girl-crush on social media.

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.” (Matthew 7:15-16 NLT) 

This concept goes for both genders. Mean Girls and Mean Boys. Who do you admire and inspire to be?

Lust

Lust is the core of Woman Crush Wednesday. Any typical dude with sexual testosterone  will desire to post Kim Kardashian, or any other celebrity crushes on social media. Men are sexual creatures and that’s how God designed us. Let’s talk real talk! Every normal man has a sexual beast ready to be unleashed. I do not care how much you pray, fast and how many degrees you hold in seminary; you’re an animal! Sexuality and sexual attraction is not the problem, Lust is the issue. Think about it, when you post celebrity crushes, most pictures are non-modest and have a sexual appeal. Here is what the Bible says about Lust:

“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 NLT) 

We will tackle Lust on another day, but for now I want to draw our focus on the emotional and psychological effect it has on men. In researching for this blog, I came across a few interesting studies that show the effect of visual stimuli: Men and Women Differ in Amygdala Response to Visual Sexual Stimuli and Men and Women Explore the Visual World Differently. 

Each study shows similarities and differences in brain activity within the male and female. It’s a given fact that men are visual and sexually driven by images. If you doubt that, look how successful the pornography industry is. When we post, view and react towards sexual images; the spirit of Lust that was conceived in the Garden of Eden creeps up like a slithering snake. It may look appealing to the eyes, but is it appealing to the Holy Spirit? Look where it got Adam:

And to the man He said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 NLT) 

Notice: God confronted man first before in confronted the woman and the serpent. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9 NLT) Men, we are responsible for every action we take. That’s another blog in itself. Be responsible and wise up to the scheme of Satan. Lust got Adam into trouble and Lust will get you into trouble. Mainstream media and culture has depicted men to be sexual emotionless animals that are chauvinist jerks. Let’s prove society wrong by gracefully being gentlemen and harness the beast mode within us.

On a side note, guys who have significant others and feel the obligation to post a picture every Wednesday, great, that’s awesome! But be cautious of the images you do post; just know there are lustful dudes out there without the Holy Spirit.

I leave you with this to ponder on. Christian young men that post #WCW simply need a life. Get productive with your community, church and family. Stay busy and get a life. Literally.

Hidden Serpents

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Before we unravel the Hidden Serpent, I want to make a disclaimer. I believe in a God that Loves the sinner, but hates the sin. It’s as simple as that. God loves you, but He loves you too much to leave you in a sinful nature. Many have eloquently written and conducted media that is trending on social media. But my objective is to take the blind fold off of Christianity and uncover the Hidden Serpent.

In recent news, it came to all of our attention that during the 2014 Grammy Awards, Seattle based artist Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their song “ Same Love “ featuring Mary Lambert and Madonna (you can view the performance on YouTube:http://youtu.be/CUM6JKkcYH4). I personally did not watch the Grammys nor do I promote such awards out of personal conviction. But after reading news articles, in the middle of the performance, Queen Latifah takes the stage to officiate thirty same-sex marriages on national television. The entire world viewed the performance, but did not see the Hidden Serpent. Katy Perry performed “Dark Horse”, (http://youtu.be/HWfD_TXs4fE) and let’s just say, the non-Christian world is calling her performance demonic. The opening act shows Katy Perry coming out of a fortune tellers crystal ball and calling out spirits into the atmosphere. Mind you, this is from a artist that grew up in the church (Pentecostal) and knows the spiritual realm. We will save our discussion of her performance for a later time. For now, I want to unravel the hidden serpent we all witnessed within “Same Love.“

I want to break down Macklemore’s song “Same Love“, into four factors of biblical and moral contradiction. You will discover the Hidden Serpent within the content and the very core of demonic activity within the spirit of the song.

 1. Thought

(Lyrics) When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay, ‘Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight. I told my mom, tears rushing down my face

She’s like “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k, trippin’ ” Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she? Bunch of stereotypes all in my head. I remember doing the math like, “Yeah, I’m good at little league” A preconceived idea of what it all meant. For those that liked the same sex. Had the characteristics. 

There appears to be some confusion within the first line. “ I thought “ refers to an individual in the process of thinking of themselves as something they are not. Homosexuality is pictured as a genetic imprisonment of the human body. You are born that way, it’s within the makeup of your genes, embrace it. But if an individual is simply born that way, why all the confusion? Some are in denial and find themselves in a battle up to middle age. I ask, if they knew they were born this way, why would it take them years to figure out their genetics. Better yet, if it’s linked to our human makeup, why did God not make all of us that way? SIMPLY: We were designed in the image of God.

Have you ever heard of that term: The apple does not fall to far from the tree. ” My uncle was “ implies a curse from generation to generation. According to biblical truth, we were all dead in sin but now raised by grace.

(Ephesians 2:1-10 NLT) 1 “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Homosexuality is a choice of the human will, it’s not natural and/or an alternative lifestyle. Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k. “ It’s been a choice and even a “ preconceived “ idea. Think about it.

 2. Decision

(Lyrics) The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision. And you can be cured with some treatment and religion. Man-made rewiring of a predisposition. Playing God, aw nah here we go. America the brave still fears what we don’t know. And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten. But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago. I don’t know.

The very fact that God saved us by Grace, is the core truth of free will on our part (Ephesians 2:1-10). When God created mankind, He designed free-will within the very nature of humanity. The implication of being allowed to make a decision. We can decide what to wear, what to eat, what and who to love. Love was not genetically programed into our makeup, Love is a choice. We didn’t choose God, God chose us. In fact, we are able to Love because He first Loved us (1 John 4:19). When society claims that homosexuality is genetically built within the human condition, it’s not what God intended. Remember, He created man and woman, Adam and Eve. Homosexuality is a choice of the human will, it’s not “ Predisposition “, and/or an alternative lifestyle. The writer states,And you can be cured with some treatment and religion. “  Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re wrong. Any form of treatment cannot save you, even Religion cannot save you. The only one that can save you is Jesus’ Christ.

(Luke 19:10 NLT) “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Macklemore, you’re lost and confused in this song. Jesus’ has come to rescue you. Yes, God loves all his children“, and He has not forgotten.“  

(John 3:16 NLT) 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.“

God loves you, but He hates your sin. How does God feel about same-sex marriage and homosexuality?

(Leviticus 18:22 NLT) 22 “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.“

Throughout the Old and New Testament, God calls homosexuality an abomination. The word abomination has a strong meaning. It literally means abhorrence and/or disgust to the point of illness in the stomach that will cause vomiting. Romans chapter one shows us the deep disguise God has towards humanity that chooses to live against what God created.

(Romans 1:24-27 NLT) 24 “So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.“

Many theologians believe this type of penalty could be the STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) It’s a curse towards humanity that become rebellious in their hearts. Furthermore, the bible clearly speaks of such individuals that practice homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

(1 Corinthians 6:9,10 NLT) 9 “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.“

But there is a tremendous hope in verse eleven that is quickly overlooked:

(1 Corinthians 6:11 NLT) 11 “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.“

Macklemore, you may say, “we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago.“ Not only are you contradicting yourself by using the bible and even scripture in your lyrics, but authentic Christians do not paraphrase the Bible, we speak the truth of the Bible.

 3. Stubbornness

(Lyrics) And I can’t change. Even if I tried. Even if I wanted to. My love, She keeps me warm.

Stubbornness and rebellion is like the practice of witchcraft.

(1 Samuel 15:23 NLT) 23 “ Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

If you think you can’t change, you will never change. Is the power of self-will God has purposely designed in you. And I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to.“ This is a stubborn and rebellious state of mind.

4. The Hidden Serpent

(Lyrics) If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me. Have you read the YouTube comments lately? “Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily. We become so numb to what we’re saying. A culture founded from oppression.Yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em. Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board. A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it. Gay is synonymous with the lesser. It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion. Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment. The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins. It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference! Live on and be yourself.

When I was at church they taught me something else. If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed. That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned. When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless. Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen. I might not be the same, but that’s not important. No freedom till we’re equal, d*** right I support it. We press play, don’t press pause. Progress, march on with the veil over our eyes. We turn our back on the cause. Till the day that my uncles can be united by law. When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart. A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are. And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all. But it’s a d*** good place to start. No law is gonna change us. We have to change us. Whatever God you believe in. We come from the same one. Strip away the fear. Underneath it’s all the same love. About time that we raised up… sex. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is kind (not crying on Sundays). 

The song continues with a spirit of confusion “If I was gay.“  If is a possibility. You are or you’re not, it’s your decision. Live on and be yourself.“ This is one of the greatest deceptions given to mankind. Birthed in the Garden of Eden, the serpent himself conned humanity with this same exact concept.

(Genesis 3:1-5 NLT) 1 “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” 4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

One of the most spoken scriptures in the bible is easily overlooked of the profound depth of understanding. The Hidden Serpent was conceived from the beginning of time. Questioning the very existence of God and Spiritual Authority. Our current generation has been poisoned by such satanic practices. Live and be yourself, but we do not belong to ourselves. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we do not belong to ourselves. We are bought at the high price of Jesus’ crucifixion.

When I was at church they taught me something else. If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed. That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned… Whatever God you believe in. We come from the same one.

You can read between the lines of the satanic belief that was birthed in the Garden. Satan proposed an alternative belief contrary to what God instructed mankind. “Do not eat“, and the serpent said “eat and you will become like God.“ You see, God does not hate the person but He hates the sin. Some Christian liberals will disagree and aggressively state their own opinion. But it’s very clear that the hidden serpent is contradicting himself by saying that God is hateful and that is not anointed. Furthermore, he is saying that the holy scriptures are poisoned. To believe whatever you want to believe and to not worry, we come from the same Father. Water plays a great significance within the word of God. The Word of God is like water that purifies the soul.

(Ephesians 5:25,26 NLT) 25 “He gave up his life for her (The Church) 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.“

Jesus’ is the Living Water and whoever will drink of His goodness, will never thirst again.

(John 4:13,14 NLT) 13 “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

(Revelation 22:17 NLT) 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.

Even before creation, water played a role of existence. (Genesis 1:2 NLT) 2 “The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.“

Let me pause here and ask, why would Macklemore make such a huge statement within the lyrics that may seem insignificant to the the human ear? “That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned.“ That holy water he speaks of is Jesus’ Christ. Don’t you realize what satan is attempting to do? Satan will use the very words of God and bring confusion and contradiction. He did it in the Garden (Genesis 3), he did it to Jesus’ in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) and he will attempt to deceive you today.

Whatever God you believe in. We come from the same one. “ Here is the serpent again. Eat of the forbidden fruit and you will become your own God. Whatever and whoever you believe in, we all come from the same family tree. In essence, it’s all irrelevant and truth does not exist. Moral relativism is birthed and just to know it all began in the Garden of Eden.

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is kind (not crying on Sundays).“  Macklemore continues to contradict himself by using a quotation of the Bible. It was not to far into the song that he uttered these words, “But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago.“ You are certainly paraphrasing a portion of what was written in the word of God (1 Corinthians 13:4). Satan will always attempt to reverse what God is saying. Yes, God loves you the way you are, but He loves you too much to let you remain in a lifestyle of sin and condemnation. 1 Corinthians 13:4 is taking out of context and focus of the scripture. God is Love, but he hates your sin. Satan and his followers want you to believe that it’s all good and to embrace it. It will get worse and it already has. Homosexuality is a “ normal ” lifestyle and the anti-god regime will brainwash you by using such pop-culture tactics.

As the hidden serpent continues to contradict himself, he will also play reverse-psychology. The first command God gives to humanity is to be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:28) 28 “Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.“

If God commanded humanity to bear fruit and multiply, how can same-sex couples fulfill that commandment? Biologically it’s impossible. Sure, culture will think of a deceiving clever alternative in regards to same-sex couples, but that’s not what God intended. Satan will take the words of God and reverse the commandment. You can see a constant pattern within the Bible and up to this point.

I leave you with this final thought.

(Isaiah 5:20 NLT) 20 “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark.“

A generation that considers evil as good and good as evil. A generation that is confused and contradicting their message. It’s time to confront evil with God; good does not do it anymore. In today’s culture, evil is considered good, but God has greater power to conquer the hidden serpent.

As a preacher of the gospel and Associate Pastor of one of the most unchurched cities in America (Grace City Church Seattle); I have seen various individuals set free from the bondage of the Hidden Serpent. I have prayed and counseled many that are confused with their gender and psychological being. God has shown me how this spirit works and operates to destroy the human soul. I’ve witnessed a young adult that was set free from this deception and now has a healthy godly relationship with the opposite sex. If you are reading this and are struggling within yourself, by the Grace of God, there is Power in the name of Jesus. By the authority of the word of God and the powerful name of Jesus, be set FREE!

“But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25 NLT)

Can you see The Hidden Serpent?