A car travels down an old country road, kicking up a cloud of dust. A few minutes later the dust has settled, and no one remembers that a car ever passed by. That’s the epitaph that can be written for most headline news. People are entertained, their emotions are stirred, letters pro and con are written to the editor, a few more papers are sold, but nothing changes. But something will change if I can help it.
Many of you already know that for the past 27 years we have been busy etching the Word of God into wood and stone through a technique called “sandblasting.” We have not only been busy making these sandblasted plaques, we have looked for opportunities to teach those who wanted to learn the craft. In a roundabout way some of these plaques are now feeding hungry children in Africa, while others are like soldiers marching through the land. Read the following article that appeared in our local paper, “The Pagosa Springs Sun,” and you will meet one of those soldiers:
THREAT TO SUE COUNTY BRINGS DOWN PLAQUE SALUTING MARRIAGE
By Richard Walter, Staff Writer
April 25, 2002
For more than a dozen years a simple plaque hung in the area of the Archuleta County Clerk's office where marriage licenses are issued. During those years untold numbers of couples got their marriage licenses and admired these words on the plaque:
Never had there been a complaint—until April 12.
On that day a man who reportedly had problems with the clerk's office earlier that week because "he didn't want to follow the rules," according to clerk June Madrid, came in and demanded that the sign be removed "because, as a homosexual, the one man-one woman phrase offended him."
The man, whose name was not released, said if the plaque was not removed before the next time he came in he would sue the county.
Madrid said she, despite her staff's opposition, decided the sign should come down.
plaque. I don't think I was very
rational. There have been strong emotions shown by those few I've told about it. One person said
they'd heard of similar things happening in other counties and the county commissioners put the
issue to a vote. People were allowed to decide if such a sign should be returned."
"This is a public office, perhaps the busiest in the building," she said. "Anything that offends anyone can be removed unless it is mandated by law to be displayed. I felt it was the easiest thing to do."
The plaque was made for the office, prior to her assuming the post 12 years ago, by Peter Laue who was notified that it was being taken down, picked it up and reported the incident to the press.
Laue said the plaque was up for about 22 years in the clerk's office. "Every time I went into the building for anything I saw it and was pleased."
Laue said he was "stunned, angry and hurt by removal of the
Laue said, "I have a definite position on what I believe is pleasing to God. I definitely believe
homosexuality is an abomination and cite the Book of Romans as the standard. We must adhere,
or society as we know it is going to be destroyed."
Asked if legal counsel was contacted with reference to the complainant's threat to sue, Madrid said, "No."
County attorney Mary Weiss said she was not aware of the incident and declined comment. Had the complaint more closely centered on separation of church and state, with reference to God, she said, she might have been inclined, if asked, to recommend removal of the plaque.
Madrid said many people acquiring marriage licenses over the years have remarked favorably about the plaque, especially because it was displayed with a Norman Rockwell print picturing plans for wedded bliss.
There has been a push by some Colorado legislators in the past three years, in the face of growing pressure by the homosexual and lesbian community, to prohibit homosexual union as a legal status.
That legalization has been approved in only two states to date, but is pending in at least three others.
After reading the article, our friend Patsy Basham penned this limerick:
A Windy City
What’s stirring in Pagosa?
What’s rustling thru the pines?
The wind of the Holy Spirit
And Peter’s “Blasted Signs”!
As a result of the article in “The Pagosa Springs Sun” and subsequent letters to the editor of the newspaper, I was made aware of a problem in our community that I did not know existed. When I gifted the County Clerk’s office with the controversial plaque, I did so without any hidden agenda. But suddenly and abruptly some 22 years later, a challenge was thrust at our front door: “Peter, are you going to let the dust settle as if nothing had happened or are you going to be a Standard Bearer? Will you let Jesus be your Standard and lead you into battle?”
Let it be known, I have accepted the challenge. For this reason I was born, have been converted (Luke 22:31–32) and have become a warrior. For this purpose every child of God is born and converted: To become a warrior! A warrior is that man who, with the help of God, has taken dominion over his unruly, carnal, human nature and then encourages others do the same.
Very few can say, “All of my sexual appetites have always been fenced in by self-control. I have never gratified myself at someone else’s expense. I have never allowed pornography to dominate my life. I have never given AIDS or any other sexually transmitted disease to my lover or beloved. I have never allowed foul, dirty words to leave my mouth. I have never injured or betrayed my spouse sexually. I have never seduced anyone or allowed myself to be seduced. I have no offspring who does not know me as his or her father.” Abortion clinics would quickly shut down if men would restrain their sexual appetite and women would stop enticing men with their attire or lack thereof.
Jesus cuts no one any slack when it comes to sexual sins. He said, “Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even if it is your best eye! — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. Better for part of you to be destroyed than for all of you to be cast into hell (Matthew 5:28–29, The Living Bible).
I quote Jesus’ words to let it be known that my words are not intended to single out the homosexual, but address every sex sin that violates the Word of God—the Bible. The fickle laws of our land may sanction our sinful conduct, but under God’s law, we may already have been judged and condemned unless we have humbled ourselves and repented.
Our sexual appetite is only one form of lust. There are many others. There is the lust for power, lust for recognition, lust for money, lust for food, lust for alcohol, nicotine, and drugs of every sort. The list is endless and our craving to make ourselves “feel good” is insatiable, like a bottomless pit.
If you are still with me, and if you can believe that my love for you and for my heavenly Father has provoked me to write these words, then read on. As I tune in to the heart of God, I am hearing Him speak these words to all of us:
“My dear children, I have not been able to reason with you for a long time. Until you have come to the end of yourselves, just like the prodigal son, you will not hearken to my voice. You have bent or ignored my instructions to suit yourselves and have invented your own rules of conduct, only to find out that they don’t work. You have listened to many deceiving and flattering voices. All of them have or will eventually betray you. For many of you it was necessary to explore every dead-end street before coming to your senses. I am very sad, but not mad. The window of my grace is still open, but do not trifle with my grace. The moment you turn your heart towards Me, your heavenly Father, I will welcome you back. And I have made a provision to cleanse you from ALL your unrighteousness the moment you repent and confess your sins.
“While my beloved son, Jesus, was living amongst you, He spoke these words from a cruel cross, ‘ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.’ And I will. I love to answer my Son’s prayers. Please come home. I am waiting for you. My heart aches to hold you in my arms.”
Now let me tell you what a “Wimp” looks like and what a “Warrior” looks like.
Definition of a Wimp
I hope this definition will shame and challenge every wimp to become a warrior. It’s never too early or too late to become a warrior!
A wimp is a self-pleaser and a man-pleaser. A wimp is a professional phony. A wimp is lukewarm, in other words, he is always politically correct. He may be a nice guy, but he has no backbone. The fickle opinions of the crowd are his opinions. He does not have the strength of character to say “NO” to another beer or another “dear.” He lies and makes excuses rather than say that he was wrong. He procrastinates and often breaks his commitments. He talks a lot but does little. The only party he ever attends is his own pity party. He complains about everything and everyone, including God. He is afraid to confront himself or others. He thinks of himself more highly than he ought to. He is just like the apostle Peter who denied that he knew Jesus. Yes, the apostle Peter used to be a first-class wimp. He was ruled by the fear of man. But Jesus saw Peter as a rock; and Peter became that rock after Jesus prayed for him. (See the book of Luke, chapter 22).
Definition of a Warrior
A warrior knows that the battle is the Lord’s, the victory is the Lord’s, and the glory is the Lord’s.
A warrior is a Father-pleaser. He has acknowledged his sins and has made restitution wherever possible. He has bridled his passionate, unruly human nature. A warrior has submitted to and obeys Jesus Christ as his supreme commander. A warrior knows his place and purpose in God’s army. He has been trained and knows how to use the weapons of warfare. He keeps his powder dry until he is called into battle. He knows the Word, trusts the Word, and is able to hear God’s still, small voice. He does not compromise what God says. A warrior knows who the enemy is and how he operates. He knows that the enemy is not made of flesh and blood like ordinary people (Ephesians 6:12). A warrior knows that Jesus in him is greater than any of his enemies; and that Jesus in him has defeated every enemy, including death. A warrior has no fear, except the fear of the Lord.
I herewith challenge every wimp to become a warrior. My God is ready to undergird you in this process of transformation. Go forth and confront the enemy within and without. Begin by examining, challenging, and confronting your own wimpy, self-pleasing, and man-pleasing nature. Take all your pets that have turned into pests and shoot them. Then and only then confront others and recapture the land the enemy has stolen. Be done with every sexual sin and do not tolerate them in your family, your church, or your community. If your church or denomination continues to condone or wink at any type of sexual sin, as so many do, withdraw your support. Without your finances, without your membership, without your attendance no church can exist for very long. By withholding your tithes, offerings, and presence you are automatically voting for reform.
For many years I held a certain author, priest, and theologian in high esteem. I recommended his books and quoted excerpts from them in my writings. I still love the man, but can no longer recommend his writings. Here are words from his diary (published posthumously):
Andrew Sullivan’s book, “Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality”, is one of the most intelligent and convincing pleas for complete social acceptance of homosexuality I have ever read.
Andrew Sullivan is a Catholic. He is just as open about being a Catholic as about being a homosexual. From his writing it becomes clear that he is not only a Catholic, but also a deeply committed Catholic who takes his church's teachings quite seriously. That makes his discussion of the church's attitude toward homosexuality very compelling.
My own thoughts and emotions around this subject are very conflicted. Years of Catholic education and seminary training have caused me to internalize the Catholic Church's position. Still, my emotional development and my friendships with many homosexual people, as well as the recent literature on the subject, have raised many questions for me. There is a huge gap between my internalized homophobia and my increasing conviction that homosexuality is not a curse but a blessing for our society. Andrew Sullivan’s book is starting to help me bridge this gap.
I have been betrayed. The name of Jesus and the Word of God have been compromised, insulted, and made dirty. If you agree with me, if you are ashamed to wear the label of your church or denomination, take a stand. Do something and resolve to do it now. Do not procrastinate. Begin by throwing out everything in your life and home that compromises the Word of God; and do not forget to get rid of the clothes that cause men to see you as a sex goddess.
Do not wait until your children and grandchildren fall prey to a sexual predator. He is lurking in every pew, in every classroom, and on every street corner. He may even be that “nice guy” next door—or, worse, a member of your immediate family. Teach your children and grandchildren that the Word of God is to be their only standard. Protect your children when they are young, innocent, and vulnerable. Let no one steal their innocence. Lift up and model the Word for them to the best of your ability. Don’t let the dust settle. The entertainment and advertising moguls have learned that “sex sells.” Don’t try, buy, or recommend their products. Be militant! Be a warrior! Take the offensive! Challenge others with these words. Put these words into your slingshot and hurl them at Goliath!
I have written an epistle entitled “God’s Mighty Men of Valor.” I invite you to request a copy through our web site: www.stretcherbearers.com. There is no charge.
I will be looking for you on the front lines. It’s better to die as a warrior than live as a wimp.
Peter D. Laue