Controversy and Confusion

Last month we had a response to our website that expressed a sincere hope that we would rot in hell. What prompted that hateful and condemnatory comment was that we support Kent Paris and his Nehemiah Ministries.

As you no doubt know, Kent is a former homosexual who repented of his sinful behavior when He accepted Christ as Lord of his life. He then dedicated himself to helping others with similar struggles find victory over enslavement to sin.

His desire to effectively minister to those with gender confusion issues led him to pursue the education needed to do so, and He eventually received a MA in Christian Counseling Ministry from LCU, and established Nehemiah Ministries. He chose not to become licensed with the state of Illinois because he foresaw possible government interference in what a biblically based Christian counselor would be allowed to say.

When I informed Kent of the note we had received, I told him that in light of the number of states that have banned conversion or reparative therapy, and the charge that it often leads to suicide because it promises change that it cannot deliver, it might be helpful for him to share a statement on how his counseling differs from the goals and techniques used in such therapy.

We corresponded at length on the matter, and, in response to our request, the latest issue of his newsletter featured an article entitled “Clarification on Reparative Therapy in Relation to our Mission.” In the article he very clearly states, “I was never trained in ‘Reparative Therapy’, have never practiced it, nor held myself out to be a ‘Reparative Therapist’.” He further notes, “The ultimate goal is NOT ‘heterosexuality’ but repentance from any sin, surrender out of love for Jesus, yielding wholly to Him to follow Him as a disciple.”

His article not only addresses the current controversy over gender related counseling, it also offers insight into the causes of such confusion. I have copies available for those who might desire one.

God Bless, Rick

Admiring His Handiwork

When I said I’d be reading poolside in Florida, the friends we were visiting had to laugh. They know I’m not much of a poolside-sitter. But I did force myself to sit in the sun long enough to read a few pages from the Chronicles of Narnia, just because I said I would.

That’s not to say I didn’t finish The Magicians Nephew, because I did. Since we drove back from Tennessee on Sunday after Josie’s birthday so we could be at Grace’s senior night basketball game, I had time to visit Narnia on a plane to Florida and back. And, I now know why the wardrobe was able to serve as a portal to Narnia for Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund, because the sixth book in the series is actually a prequel, telling how Narnia came to be.

Somehow over the years book number seven disappeared from our bookshelf, but I did find it in our church library, and I’m now reading The Last Battle. I can’t recommend the series highly enough. For adults, even more than for children!

While Marilyn and our friends were sunning themselves poolside, I walked the beach. I do like the sounds of the surf, the birds that waddle along the shoreline and dive into the water, and the seashells. Who isn’t fascinated by the variety of shells that litter the seashore?

I guess I shouldn’t say they “litter” the seashore. They decorate it!

As I walked along, admiring the variety and beauty of the shells, I couldn’t help but think of the fifth day of creation, when God brought forth life on the earth. After saying, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,” He saw that it was good. And when He said it was “good” I think He was saying more than it was simply adequate. I think He was admiring His handiwork. He was going far beyond what was needed to sustain us; He was preparing a place of beauty for those who would be made in His image to enjoy.

Indeed, the beauty of creation points to the beauty of our Creator, and His appreciation for that which is beautiful. So even if you’re too antsy to sit for hours in the sun, do take to time to smell the roses, and admire the beauty that surrounds us.

God Bless, Rick