What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”-and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.James 2:14-26
Category Archives: Religion
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.James 2:1-13
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal… It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.James 1:19-27
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.James 1: 5-18
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”Jesus said to him, “Again it is written,
‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”. Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.Matthew 4:1-11
Dear Lord,You know the temptations that I am facing today. But your Word promises that I will not be tempted beyond what I can bear. I ask for your strength to stand up under the temptation whenever I encounter it. Your Word also tells me you will provide a way out of the temptation. Please, Lord, give me the wisdom to walk away when I am tempted, and the clarity to see the way out that you will provide. Thank you, God, that you are a faithful deliverer and that I can count on your help in my time of need.Amen
As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of the hymn in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912. He was helped by Charles H. Gabriel, a well-known gospel-song composer with the harmonies and it was published in 1915.
The song was popularized during Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns by Homer Rodeheaver and Virginia Asher (members of his campaign staff).
The hymn tells about the writer experienced as a Christian rather than his adoration of God.
“Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:22
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honor.The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
Can a gay person really be saved? What does the Bible really say? According to the Bible, I found that the answer is yes! Furthermore, you don’t have to “stop being gay” in order to be considered righteous by God!
This article is based on two assumptions:
First, God sent his Son into the world for all of us. According to John 3:16, 17 there are no conditions on God’s love. The only condition set on obtaining everlasting life, or salvation, is to believe in Jesus.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (KJV)
Second, what we are to believe about Jesus is that he died and was raised from the dead on the third day. If we believe this with our hearts and confess with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord” then we will be saved according to the Bible:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (KJV)
TRADITIONAL TEACHING: Gays are an abomination…
According to the general Church community gays are an abomination. Gays are told that they have a no hope in God; they will end up like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah; and they are treated as though they embody all evil. A Christian co-worker once told me that the antichrist is going to be a homosexual man. She believed that he was going to be in the closet at first to make everybody like him. She said that when the time comes for him to show his evil he will come out of the closet. I want to proclaim to you that the concept that gays have no hope in God, as gay people, is not a Biblical teaching but a traditional teaching.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)
There are many examples of traditional teachings that served no other purpose but to separate people from God.
- Galileo discovered that the earth revolved around the sun. The Church considered this heresy according to their misinterpretation of Genesis 1. They sentenced him to life imprisonment under house arrest.
- The Church used Genesis 9:21-27 to “prove” that Blacks were cursed by God into a life of slavery in order to justify what was done to them during the plantation days and to justify racism. The fact is that the curse fell upon Canaan, one of Noah’s grandson’s. Canaan was one of four brothers. His three brothers settled in Africa but Canaan settled in the Middle East.
- Another example of a traditional teaching with no basis in Scripture is the hatred of Jews. Some think that God condemned the Jews because they killed Jesus. If it were not for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ there would be no salvation. Jesus himself was a Jew!
Finally, the Church community is wrong when it uses God’s Word to condemn you for being gay. The fact that you care what God thinks about you, proves them wrong! The fact that you have suffered hurt, humiliation, guilt, rejection and shame at the hands of these people proves that they are misrepresenting God!
The God of the Bible is full of justice, mercy and love. Yes, He has gotten and will get angry with people, but this anger is always precipitated by three things: abandoning Him in exchange for another god, abusing others morally, financially, sexually or otherwise, and abusing ourselves in the same manner. You will see this consistent theme from Genesis to Revelation.
When it first began, The Rick and Bubba Show was a harmless morning radio show about two Alabama bubbas and the funny stories they told. However, since the death of Rick Burgess’ son several years ago and the election of President Obama, it has become a show about conservative politics and even more conservative religious views. Here are two stories from al.com:
Brandi Burgess, bisexual daughter of Rick & Bubba host: ‘I am praying for my father’
By Brandi Burgess, daughter of Rick Burgess of Rick & Bubba, and an actress and activist living in Philadelphia
I have always believed stories carry healing powers. Bible legends of heroes and outcasts. Fables with neatly packaged morals. That friend at every gathering who lit up the room with fantastical tales, the one who left my sides hurting and my eyes streaming and made me think, “my god this is my life, it is so ridiculous and wonderful.”
My first memories are of me sitting under my father’s radio desk, listening to him talk. Rick Burgess has built an entire career sharing the stories of his life. He has amassed an incredible following, because he speaks his truth. People love him. People hate him. His boldness has always inspired me.
As I grew older I became a prominent character in his stories. I was the exuberant softball player whose passion got her thrown out of games, the angsty teen late to church, the young woman in Israel almost traded in marriage for 40 camels. I was a punch line, a glittering prop, a cartoon.
Then – in his eyes — I failed him.
Gone were the stories of my boyfriends being taken down “to the hunting room” before first dates. I was erased. Recently, I’ve returned, cast as the prodigal daughter.
The story my father tells is one of a lost lamb, covered in shame. In his public musings, he speaks of my sin. Without my consent, he uses me as a cautionary tale.
For the past three years, my father and I have been debating God’s stance on homosexuality. It started with my Instagram post at a Pride parade: a picture of a mother holding a sign saying “I love my gay son.” I got a text demanding its removal: “How dare you compromise my platform!?”, “Remember who you represent.”, “Are you a gay?”
I have been praying, researching and meditating on the many emails, sermons and verses my dad has sent me. I always come back to the same conclusion. Love is love.
I shared this with him. “I love you. I’m sorry. I still love God.” I promised to be discrete.
This led to a constant barrage of shame. “You think you’re so mod, so special. But you’re nothing. You’re typical.”
I blocked everyone in my family from my social media because it was “killing my grandmother.” I grew silent. I mourned my family. I believed I was selfish, a fraud.
I visited home this summer. I wasn’t allowed too close to my siblings, for fear of infecting them with my queerness.
My stepmother took me out to lunch. She told me about a recent vacation with my father. “He couldn’t go in the water. You know he has panic attacks around water ever since your brother drowned.”
Why didn’t I know that? Why couldn’t my father let me hold him, tell me his fear. I would have given him rest, said, “Me too, dad. When I babysit, I have to tell the parents that I can’t take them to the pool. I know exactly how you feel.”
As I was pondering this, Sherri asked me “are you seeing anyone?” I took a deep breath, and held on to hope. The Greek word for hope means “cord.” My dad taught me that.
“Yes. I am. I am deeply in love. It is….not with a man.” I had my speech ready, about fluidity, non-binary queerness, Lin-Manuel Miranda quotes, etc.
“No. You choose this or you choose us. After all your father’s done for you, how could you do this to him?”
I was whisked away to the Rick and Bubba office. Dad was waiting, bible in hand.
I believe that my father’s actions were intended as love. I believe he can’t know how powerfully he hurt me.
My story is not that of all queer people from an evangelical home. I have the privilege of now belonging to a safe community. Yet, I let my father’s message of shame define me. I hated my body, sabotaged relationships, believed I was unworthy of love.
So now, I am writing to the young women who feel like they don’t belong in their bodies, to the boys who want to kiss boys, and those on the spectrum between:
Perhaps you have heard my father on the radio and it makes you want to go to sleep and never wake up.
I love you. Your worth is untouchable. Find a good friend. Invest in therapy. Dance in the middle of the night and hold yourself accountable to the life you’ve always wanted. At the root of all this hate speech is fear. This is not your fear to carry. Release it.
I am redeemed. I have surrendered to the beautiful mystery of God’s love, have witnessed its vast complexity.
My partner whispers to me as I fall asleep: “Your worth is intrinsic, your beauty immeasurable.” Their love is divine, it is of God. I know this in my bones.
I am telling you this because I can no longer avoid my own eyes in the mirror.
I am praying for my father. I am holding onto hope and it is outstretched toward him. Perhaps he will take hold. Perhaps we will find we were holding the same cord.
Here is an article about her father’s very unchristian response:
Rick & Bubba’s Rick Burgess speaks about his bisexual daughter
Rick Burgess of the Rick & Bubba Show was asked this week to comment on his daughter’s choice to speak out about her bisexuality. He declined, saying “God has given me my own platform in which to clearly state my views on this issue that is impacting our society and the church.”
He and his wife, Sherri, addressed the issue on the radio show this morning.
The comments were largely focused on scripture, and Rick said he hopes his daughter, Brandi Burgess, finds her way back home to God. He said he and Sherri have “taken on the role of the father of the Prodigal Son.”
To Brandi, he said: “I told you before and I’ll say it again you’re my daughter and I will always love you. But I love you enough to tell you the truth. I’m not going to come up with some version of love that really isn’t love at all, that pats you on the back to justify you all the way to hell.”
He said Brandi is misguided.
“This has become a new version of Christianity which is not biblical in any way shape or form,” he said. “Sadly our daughter and others have bought into this new hippie version of Jesus.”
“Quit making up a version of God which is your own – which is idolatry,” he said
Sherri Burgess, Brandi’s stepmother, said she didn’t believe Brandi when she initially said she was bisexual.
“I just didn’t believe it but over time she’s convinced me she really does feel this way,” she said. “This is not a battle between Rick and me and our daughter. It’s a battle between good and evil, the Bible versus the world, God versus the world.”
On Brandi’s comments about her own journey, Rick said “we now release you to that journey and we pray and we hope that it brings you back to repentance.”
Sherri said she advised Brandi not to live according to human passions, but according to God’s will.
“I don’t care if you’re happy. I don’t care if you’re healthy. I care about your eternal salvation,” she said.
“I know there are people out there who really struggle with this and it is hard. But Jesus is there not only to forgive you but to cleanse you of all unrighteousness.”
Rick said “We love her with all our heart and we love her enough to tell her the truth, but in this article instead of declaring the Lord Lord, she’s declared herself Lord.”
He asked people to be kind.
“I would just say again I know how these things can get ugly because Bubba and I have been in the crosshairs … Let’s see if we can stay away from that, please. It may upset you. You may be offended. You may say this is disrespectful, and certainly we’ve gone through those feelings ourselves. But please just understand she’s lost. She’s just got scales on her eyes and she needs those to fall.”
Rick forgets that Jesus condemned divorce, while never condemning homosexuality. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.