Welcome to Pulpit Freedom Sunday at Calvary Christian Church.
I want to make this very clear this morning, I do not give up my first amendment rights when I step on church property.
I do not give up my first amendment rights when I step into the Lord’s House.
I do not give up my first amendment rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion or any other God given freedoms when I step into the pulpit.
I have a dual citizenship. I was born as a natural citizen of the United States and one day I was supernaturally born again as a citizen of the kingdom of God.
I do not give up my God given natural rights as a citizen of the United States when I come to faith. My faith makes me better appreciate and fight for my rights, when I am on church property, in the Lord’s House or behind this holy desk.
To say that a matter of zoning designation or land use or building occupancy use or designation can somehow deny me my rights as a human being is absurd, ridiculous and offensive to all sensibility.
Someone once said, “We’ll we don’t want you to lose your 501 C 3 status.” I said what? 501 what? First of all there is no 501 C 3 in my bible and secondly our church in this Commonwealth predates the Johnson amendment of 1954 and we are an unincorporated association duly formed under the laws of the Commonwealth. We have never self-censored and we’re never going to start either.
At Calvary we will speak with marquis crystal clarity from the biblical world view to all matters and to Public Policy Issues of the day.
We will speak to the moral issues of the day because God’s word commands us in 1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
We will speak as the servants of God!
At Calvary we will uphold and defend the essential freedoms such as the God given right to life, and the God ordained institutions of Marriage and Family. We will not be gagged by political correctness and sell our souls to the mantras of secular humanism that are restricting or redefining the eternal truths of what is right and wrong.
We believe that these natural God given freedoms and institutions are worthy of our time, our efforts and we will forever be vigilant to lift up our voices to preserve and restore liberty in every form and fashion.
At Calvary we believe that the church should be the foremost agent of influence for good in our Government. We know that there is only one good and that is God!
In Fredericksburg, in Virginia and all across these United States we are still one Nation under God. Our national motto is still in God we trust.
While Obama agenda ideologically driven IRS agents discriminate against Christian and Conservative influence let me make this expressly clear, when you think about the ideals that gave birth to America and the biblical conservative values that made us the most free, prosperous and greatest nation on earth, then you will understand what Calvary is all about and why we will protect and proclaim the biblical Judeo Christian worldview and preserve those freedoms for the next generation.
We will not be silent! In this raging spiritual warfare we must not flinch in this struggle because the nation that our children and grandchildren will inherit depend on our vigilance to see freedom prevail!
Not only does the foundation of Christianity stand sure upon the values of the Holy Scriptures but the foundation laid for this nation by our Founding Fathers based on liberty and a vision of an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish are worth fighting and dying for!
We must engage the culture for Christ!
We must pray for and speak up to our legislators, judges, educators and military to defend those sacred rights as laid out in scripture and recorded in the words of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Those rights are given by God and the purpose of Government is to secure and defend those rights for all of our citizens.
I believe that our Founding Educator, Noah Webster was correct when he said, “The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy…are to be found in the Bible. The moral precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts gave truth, immutable truth, for their foundation.”
At Calvary we still believe that Ps. 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” is still true today and when the people of a nation reject the commands of God and turn to themselves or try to raise up a government that looks to itself then that nation is doomed to the ash heap of history.
Let me speak for a moment this morning about how our creator created humanity with those self-evident truths and certain rights.
You will see in a moment why the Democratic Party is gone astray when I quote directly from their party platform, “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.” And why the Obama administration is in error when it says that “the word ‘family' in immigration includes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender relationships.”
You will see why the Democratic Party is wrong when they, “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade” abortion on demand.
People have asked me, “Why did you join the Republican Party of Virginia, why did you serve as Vice-Chairman and now serve as Secretary of the Fredericksburg Republican Committee?” Because we believe in the creed which states, “That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.”
At least one party still holds to faith in God!
Now let’s look in the Bible at how the creator created us. I will draw from the research of Dr. Jim Garlow, Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in representing the image of God as seen in gender specificity, marriage, procreation and family.
Gen 1:26 – 27, Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Gen 2:18, The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Gen 2:20-25, “But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man. 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Gen 3:16-19, To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
17 …"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.”
Gen 3:20, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.”
Gen 4:1, “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."
Gen 1:26 – 27, “Then God said, "Let us make man (adam - humankind, an earthling) in our image, in our likeness, 27 So God created man (adam - humankind) in his own image, in the image of God he created him (it is actually apporpite to translate the noun to the word “it”); male and female he created them.” (it)
Adam – In the Hebrew this word refers to humankind; created in the full image of God. We know that God is neither exclusively male nor female.
Actually God contains a full spectrum of characteristics of male and female gender---we may refer to God as Him, but in reality God has attributes of BOTH masculine & feminine. There are many aspects that are masculine but there are also many God images that are feminine - God's “Womb”:
God's creative womb - Job 38:29
Deut. 32:18,"the God who formed you and gave you birth,"
Is. 46:3-4, God says, "[you] have been … carried from the womb...” The womb is a place of creation.
The Creation story in Genesis 1:1-2 is a womb-like setting, complete with darkness and waters. There was God’s Spirit brooding over the waters. The Hebrew word for brooding "spirit" is "ruah" which is a feminine noun in a language that has few feminine nouns!
The Hebrew word for "womb" is from the same root as the spirit/breath word-- "ruah" and becomes "rechem" which means womb.
God's “Breasts”: Is. 66:12-13, to Israel: ".... you shall nurse …. as a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you."
God as “Mother”: Hosea 11, " I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks, I bent down to them and fed them...”
“Midwife”: God is seen in the image of the female role of Midwife – Psalm 22:9-10, You took me from the womb...."
Psalm 71:6, "it was you who took me from my mother's womb."
Is. 66:9. "‘... shall I open the womb and not deliver?’
A well-known name of God is El-Shaddai which is a compound description of two root words, Strong and Breast Gen.17:1 The Almighty God compound male and female name of God.
What we begin to realizew is that God took Adam the single representation of himself and then - split apart – sela – not just a rib but a side; into the male and female representation he created them.
We will call this process the “splitting of the adam”.
So we see that adam is split apart, from one part into two. One is masculine, ish (man); the other is feminine: ishah (woman).
Herein then we understand that each gender alone is not representative of the full image of God. Male is not the full spectrum of image of God. Female is also not the full spectrum of image of God.
However it is clearly God’s intention from performing the first marriage that when male and female become one flesh, they will represent the full spectrum of the image of God! That is spectacular!
When the two become one, they represent the fullness of the image of God and only this fullness when they become one can they procreate another human being in the image of God.
So we can see clearly that only the reuniting of the gender specific partial image of God can represent when joined as one the full image of God and be empowered to procreate life in the image of God! I
Look it’s pretty simple to understand, it takes a contribution from a male (sperm) and a female (egg) to procreate life in the image of God at conception! Any questions?
But let’s go a step further because you may not realize that the representation of Trinitarian image of God: Father / Son / Holy Spirit is also found in The Human-Divine Trinitarian Nature of Marriage: God,/Husband/Wife and has the stamp of representing the image of God. In other words it is the marriage of a man to a woman that reflects the image of God and this is again seen in the Trinitarian Nature of the Family – a Reflection of the Trinity of God – Father, Mother and Child each with different roles in family relationships yet all as One as a family.
So when you go to messing with the definition of Family, you are messing with mirror of image of God.
Let me stop here for a minute and discuss in greater detail the creator creating life in His image at conception from one of my own life experiences.
"More than thirty years ago when my wife returned from her Obstetrician I asked here, "Well honey, what did the doctor say?" Susan replied, "Michael it is wonderful, the doctor said, "Congratulations Susan, there's a baby in there! You're a Mother and Michael is a father.""
As a minister of the gospel let me shed the light of God's word on the subject of life in God’s image created by him at conception, "Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee and ordained thee..." Jeremiah 1:5.
God creates life at conception and that life, those babies should be protected at every stage of their physical development.
Author John Davis says it this way; The simple but sublime words of Genesis 1:26 that God created mankind in His own image and likeness are some of the most important words in all of Scripture. The teaching that man is the image and likeness of God is absolutely foundational for a Christian understanding of human nature, the dignity and value of the person, and for all of Christian ethics.
When life is destroyed by abortion, when life is cut off in the womb, you are ultimately destroying the presence of the image of God in that baby that you have murdered. Ultimately you are destroying an opportunity for family because without that baby you’ve destroyed the Motherhood of that woman and the Fatherhood of that man, so then you have destroyed the basic family unit that God intended to be the fundamental fabric and strength of our nation.
The biblical teaching concerning the image of God has important implications for contemporary issues such as human rights, the sanctity of human life, and bioethics.
The concept of the image of God has been foundational in Western civilization for the institutions and practices of human rights and democracy.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” the background of his thought was this fundamental teaching of the first chapter of Genesis. Human beings are not in fact equal in ability, gifts, education, or achievement, but they are all equal in view of their common creation to be image bearers of God.
Certainly we know that we have a great many problems in this country to solve. But I believe there will come a time when we are all judged on whether or not we took a stand in defense of all life from the moment of conception until our last natural breath.
Our success in this battle for the family, marriage, gender specificity and life will be measured in many ways. Do we stand for principles in our battles? Do we stand with leaders and politicians who embody our principles? And finally and most importantly, do we keep our humanity and our values intact as we fight the good fight?
In November we have another statewide election in Virginia. I’m getting ready and I will vote for respect for the sanctity of life, vote for respect for the first institution the good Lord put together – it wasn’t the church, and it wasn’t the state. It was the family.
When you destroy a life in the womb you destroy a part of a family and when you protect a life you build and protect a family.
And the strength of that institution, the strength of the family ultimately determines the strength of our entire society, our entire culture.
Let me take a quote from Rev. E.W. Jackson in his 2012 National Press Club Exodus Now Speech.
“We are here to say to Christians and believing Jews, all across America, that the Democrat Party has demonstrated itself to be so antithetical, so inimical to the values that we hold dear, that it is time for us to come out of that party en masse.” “At the Democrat Convention they took the unprecedented and historical step of adding same sex marriage to the Democrat Platform.” “They have in effect declared that those of us who believe in the bible, who believe in the God of the bible, who believe in the bibles definition of what a family is and it is the union of one man to one woman in the bonds of holy matrimony, as ordained by God, that we have believed a lie.” “they have now said, we demand that you now bow to us, and not to your God, not to your bible, not to your faith.” “And we are her to say, we will never bow.”
I have brought two voters guides with me to church this morning. One from the Family Foundation of Virginia. Yes, that is my picture on the cover leading a prayer group on the first day of the general assembly on the Capitol in Richmond. And the other is from the American Conservative Union. As I read these I can see how each party votes in Virginia and how the current Candidates, Ken Cuccinelli for Governor, Rev. E.W Jackson for Lieutenant Governor and Senator Mark Obenshain for Attorney General have voted or have taken a stand on the issues of faith , family and freedom and that is why they will get my vote this November.
When we examine this report we see that Democrats in Virginia only voted for biblical and family values 15-32% of the time whereas Republicans voted for biblical and family values 68-98% or three times as often!
Now let me get back to the story and we will see how Genesis 2 repeats and further elaborates on Genesis 1: Gen 2:18, The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." It’s not good for adam (humankind) to be alone.
So how did God solve or meet this need? God did not create a replica of the first but split in two-- “the splitting of the adam.”
It has been said, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” How true and for good reason when you understand the genius of gender specificity and the complimentarity of male and female.
Gen 2:20-25, “But for Adam no suitable helper (ezer) was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's (adam - humankind) ribs (sela - side) and closed up the place with flesh.”
22, “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib (sela - side) he had taken out of the man (adam - humankind) and he brought her to the man”. God took out the characteristics of femininity and left the characteristics of masculinity. Now that explains everything!
23 The man (adam - humankind) said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' (ishaah) for she was taken out of man." (ish) Now get this, the desire of opposite sex or complimentary gender halves of male and female to come back together in marriage and sexual union are a desire to come back to the fullest expression of the image of God.
Rephrasing: So when the same bones and the same flesh come back together in the only institution of God ordained marriage, where sexual intercourse is blessed by God, they are “one flesh.”
Marriage is so important that a person leaves their parent (first social connection.) and we see that the marriage relationship supersedes that of parent and child.
The husband and wife “cleave” which means join, stick, cling, be united.
We think parent-child relationship was the first social connection--not so. Adam & Eve came first but they did not come as babies to a parent. They were uniquely created. The first social connection was male and female—husband and wife.
Her eis a wonderful truth of God’s created order, males and females have complementarity. Males and Males or females and females do not have complimentarity and cannot reproduce from themselves alone the image of God.
Two men, by themselves, will never make a baby, two women, by themselves will never make a baby. The end of two men together is not only confusion, but it ends in death. The end of two women together is not only confusion, but it ends in death. There is no natural family or life procreated from these homosexual relationships.
Only God ordained Marriage and heterosexual union reunites the adam to its original wholeness, procreates life, creates a natural Mother and Father and family!
Now both ish & ishah – from adam – fit together. They are sexually complementary. The halves of humanity join together.
Gen 3:20, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.”
The Nobility or Majestic nature of God’s thoughts:
Here is the demonic and satanic strategy of what the enemy does---he introduces sexual anarchy:
All of this – and so much more to destroy the image of God, the majestic oneness of male and female coming together.
Marriage is not merely childbearing. It is naturally relational in creating a family, it is not only physical and sexual, but spiritual, psychological and emotional. It is the complementarity of male and female. It is the companionship that reflects God.
So, let’s review -
God created ADAM, humankind with all attributes of masculinity and femininity represent the image of God, then God split humankind apart into male (ish) and female (ishaa).
It is as male and female come back together in one in the covenantal scope of love in marriage, they become depicters or reflectors of the full spectrum of the image of God.
The enemy’s task and desire is to destroy the definition of marriage so that the image of God would be lost upon the earth.
Satan’s strategy is a simple progression of the reverse order of the image of God as revealed in Genesis as it was established in this order.
The enemy comes with a reverse strategy so he first attacks the children, today this is seen in the form of Abortion
Then he backs up to secondly attack the definition of Marriage and he fractures it severely.
Then he backs it up again to attack Gender specificity with confusion to the point where in some school districts in California teachers aren’t allowed to refer to little boys and little girls.
These are all attempts of the enemy to undo what God has done in revealing His image to humanity.
Marriage is after allas created by God the adam - ish / ishah coming back together abd representing the full spectrum of the image of God
Eph 5:22-33: 32, “This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ & the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Let me repeat that, verse 32, “This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
What Talking About? Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Rev 19:5-9, “Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!" 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding (marriage supper) of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear."
As I close I want to say that I find it so significant that the Bible opens and closes with Marriage!
By Rev. Michael ElHirsch of
Calvary Christian Church