Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What was the was the purpose of the transfiguration on the Mountain in Matthew 17? And What did Jesus Mean in Matthew 5:17?

Matthew 17:1-13
In Matthew 17 when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain several very important things happened which we must take note of.
1) He took with Him Peter, James and John, (they were to serve as witnesses of what was about to take place).
2)Moses and Elijah appeared on the mountain. (Moses represents the law {the ten commandments which was given to him on Mount Sinai and the rest of the law which was given to him}. Elijah, being the most well known prophet, represents the prophets. Now to re-cap, now on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured we have the Law, Moses representing (The old covenant given on Mt. Sinai, the old Covenant was the Law), and then we have the Prophets, Elijah representing the Prophets. But who does Jesus represent in this picture? He represents the Son of God and the mediator of the New Covenant.
3)Now there is a voice that is heard from the cloud in verse 5 that says something very very important, the voice says "“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”" That voice is God the Father, But why did He say what He did, especially why did He say "Listen to Him" that is, listen to Jesus Christ? Why didn't He say listen to Moses or listen to Elijah?
Well, here we have the voice of God the Father from heaven saying in the presence of not 1, not 2, but 3 witnesses, REMEMBER (by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established, Matthew 18:16), that we are to listen to Jesus Christ; and who does Jesus represent again in this scenario? The Son of God and the mediator of the New Covenant. So, what is happening here is the ushering in of the New Covenant, and the Old Covenant although it served a purpose of being our tutor to lead us to Christ. (Galatians 3:24), it is now being made obsolete, and growing old ready to vanish away, (Hebrews 8:13). Why? Because of it's weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect... Hebrews 7:18-19. So what happens now? Well, "there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." But who is the mediator of that better hope which is the New Covenant? Jesus Christ, Hebrews 9:15.
Okay, back to the transfiguration. Who was on the Mountain again?Moses (Law), Elijah (Prophets,  and Jesus Christ. Again, who does Jesus represent in this very important event? As I just shared He is the mediator of this new Covenant. So what is happening here in Matthew 17? In short, God is letting us know we are now to listen to His Son Jesus Christ, who is greater than Moses and Elijah, we are to now live under the New Covenant and not the old. (For further study read the Book of Romans, Galatians and Hebrews especially).
Matthew 5:17
Another scripture many legalists and persons without understanding have misconceptions about is Matthew 5:17 when Jesus stated, "I did not come to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill them." Many take this to mean, "See, He didn't come to destroy it so it's still in effect." That misconception comes mostly because of erroneous teaching by the untaught and unstable who twist the scriptures (2 peter 3:16), and that understanding also comes from leaning on your own understanding. Many fail to see that in that scripture two options are presented. Below are the options along with the definitions of what these words mean:
Option (A): To Destroy
destroy (dɪˈstrɔɪ)
vb (mainly tr)
1. to ruin; spoil; render useless
2. to tear down or demolish; break up; raze
3. to put an end to; do away with; extinguish
4. to kill or annihilate
5. to crush, subdue, or defeat
6. (intr) to be destructive or cause destruction
Option (B:) To Fulfill
ful·fill also ful·fil (fl-fl)
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. To carry out (an order, for example).
3. To measure up to; satisfy. See Synonyms at perform, satisfy.
4. To bring to an end; complete.
Adj. 1. fulfilled - completed to perfection
consummated - brought to completion; "a consummated transaction"
Now which option did Jesus choose? He Chose B. But the both of them have something very important in common, either way both bring whatever there may be to an end. When something is fulfilled it is carried out, it is brought to completion. If a prophecy has been fulfilled, what do you do, sit and wait for it to be fulfilled again? So, Jesus came and fulfilled (carried out) what was written of Him in the Law and the Prophets and in the Psalms, just as He said, "And, He said unto them, these are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me." Luke 24:44. A greater has come, but still many want to cling onto Moses (the Old Covenant, the Law).
All of this is only hard to understand when a person has gone dull of hearing. Hebrews 5:11.
The conclusion. Why did all of this have to happen? Because God loves us, so He made Jesus the propitiation (atonement) for our sins, through Him we are reconciled to God, through Him we have eternal life, 1 John 5:11-12. Eternal life does not come through the law, righteousness does not come through the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, Romans 3:22. For those who still choose to remain under bondage by the law but say they have faith, they must know that it is written that the law is not of faith, Galatians 3:12, so either you have the law or you have faith, you can't have both, you can't be both free and in bondage. Also, the promise made by God to Abraham and his (Seed) does not come through the Law (The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. Galatians 3:16), only through Jesus Christ can one obtain the promise. In fact Galatians 4 explains that to us by using Hagar and Sarah, both being symbolic representing both covenants, the Old and the New. Hagar (a bond woman/slave and mother of Ishmael) represented the law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai (which gave birth to bondage),Galatians 4:24; and Sarah ( a free woman and mother of Isaac) represented the New Covenant. All those who remain under the Law remain in bondage like Hagar and are not heirs to the promise. Why? Because "The Bond woman will not be heir with the son of the free woman." Galatians 4:30. But who are we who are under the New Covenant? We are children of the free woman, hence we are heirs. We are free because of Jesus Christ. It is important to understand all of this, because we do not want to fall from grace and be estranged from Christ (Galatians 5:4-6). The law of the New covenant is love, God's perfect and Holy love. We are repeatedly reminded in scripture that Love fulfills the Law. That once we Love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and also love one another the way God loves us, we have fulfilled the law. But yet many choose to remain under the old covenant when a greater and better has come in Jesus Christ. I hope this has helped many to understand the purpose of the new Covenant and I hope this cleared up some misunderstandings about a few other scriptures.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Encouragement for those facing various trials

Some scriptures for encouragement for those who have faced, are facing, and will face various trials. These are to help all of us to get a better understanding of why we who have chosen to deny ourselves take up our cross and follow Jesus are faced with these trials in our lives and why it's so important to endure with patience and faith in order to overcome this world.

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13

"..though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.." 1 Peter 1:6-7

"But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. (For to this you were called), because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth” 1 Peter 2:20-22

""Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." 1 Peter 5:8-10"

Just wanted to share this to encourage those who have been facing various trials, even to encourage myself, we must all remember, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22
No suffering we experience in this race is in vain and without reward, trust in the Lord, He is faithful. Heaven and earth will pass away but His word endures forever.

Being Made Fruitful In The Knowledge of Jesus Christ

I noticed something when I was reading 2 Peter 1:1-11, kind of a formula I guess. I noticed God told us all that we would need in order to most definitely be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Being diligent, we are told to: Add to Faith---->Virtue To Virtue---->Knowledge To Knowledge---->Self Control To Self Control---->Perseverance To Perseverance---->Godliness To Godliness ---->Brotherly Kindness To Brotherly Kindness ---->Love. If we have all these things we will never stumble and an entrance will be supplied to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10-11.

This is what I noticed about that scripture from looking closer, it's the order in which we grow. God supplies us with faith and with that virtues are produced, then through God's Holy Spirit revealing truth to us through the Word we gain the next part which is knowledge. 

I have noticed that once we have gained knowledge on many things then we are tested on these things, and in our tests (trials) what is an important requirement in order to pass? Self-control. So we add to knowledge self-control, how? Through tests. Now once we have gained self control we have to endure (never giving up), and not giving up in a race requires perseverance. So, now we add to our self control perseverance, much needed qualities in trials; self-control and perseverance, stickability, a no quitting type of attitude. It may seem difficult at times but God is with us working in us and helping us to do what is right, we must obey Him.

Now once we have obtained those things then godliness is to be added. We must imitate Christ by being humble, gentle, merciful and forgiving. Then we add to godliness brotherly kindness, care towards the needs of the saints, the brethren. Then finally add to godliness the greatest gift, a more excellent way, Love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). 

We're all tested and tried in these things if we took a minute to think about the tests and trials we've been through, it's all God's work and He's working these things in us so that we can be neither barren or fruitless (2 Peter 1:8), basically perfected in Jesus Christ. And I noticed these things listed are the similar to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." 

Isn't it wonderful? God's producing these things in us daily through His Holy Spirit our helper. Let us rejoice and exalt His Holy name. To God belongs all the glory.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Whose standard should I live by?

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I have never really in the past mentioned too may Pastor's names, and even in this one I wont mention the name of the pastor/speaker who teaches the "Live your best life now" philosophy because I think most people know who I'm referring to, and if you don't, you can always go ahead and Google the phrase. This post isn't about the person who teaches this philosophy, but the philosophy itself. Mostly, this post is about the standards the world has set in place for people to live by and the standards provided in scripture for us to live by.

The problem with the "Live your best life now" philosophy is that it really conditions a person to place their heart here on earth instead of above. We are told in scripture to store up our treasures in heaven, why? Because that's where our best life will be. So it's odd hearing a man who says he is a minister of God, someone preaching the gospel, say that our best lives are to be lived now, here on earth. If one is to live their (best) life now, best being defined as (to the highest degree, top, foremost, unsurpassed, ultimate, optimum, etc etc) all that obviously indicates a person can basically go no higher. So if in this current life we are to reach the peak of a persons entire existence, then what is to be expected in the life to come? That could only mean that after this life things will descend from being at it's best to being horrid, is that what anybody should really want? No.

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The entire teaching of living ones best life now is really teaching that there is no eternal life, there is no heaven or hell, there is only now, there is only today, so live it up. All of that is taught under the guise of 'living your best life now' and people don't see it. And that's where living according to the standard set by this world comes in. The world has established a definition of what living your best life is, and being wealthy is at the top of that list, also being popular, a socialite, being trendy, being knowledgeable in the wisdom of the world, having friends in high places, even in some cases being a shark, cutting down whomever to reach to the apex of "success". For many, trying to obtain these things cultivates a heart of covetousness, greed and envy, sadly even in Christians, and that should not be so.

We are taught not to set our minds on high things, but to associate with the humble, Romans 12:6. This isn't to say being rich is evil or even knowing rich people is evil, but this is to establish a heart that is trusting in the Lord and content entirely in the provisions the Lord supplies as He has promised, whilst remaining humble. We are taught in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” But according to the world's standard that is exactly what a man's life consists of. But in scripture we are taught that not only the love of money is the root of all evil, but desiring to be rich is also a no-no, 1 Timothy 6:8-12. But everywhere, even in the church today, many have a heart desirous to have all it's lust's fulfilled, why? Because of teachings like live your best life now.

One of the main problems is that the Church is conforming to the pattern of the world instead of Christ's pattern, and that's most definitely one of the major problems in the churches today. No longer are the standards set in scripture regarded any more really as being worthwhile striving for. Because the standards set in scripture is to give us eternal rewards to store up in heaven, and to make us a holy people, while God is providing for us the bare necessities we need here on earth. But people don't care about that, humans care about tangible things, cars, yachts, big houses, huge salaries etc etc, to impress other materialistic people.

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 No longer do people care to seek after the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first any more. To the world a person is validated solely based on possessions, whether it be degrees or a persons income. If you don't have some type of degree, you're dropped at the bottom of the totem pole and considered to be a person who does not have a "bright future", because it is the world after all that determines what will occur in any individuals future, right? Nope. If you however have all the worldly credentials along with a few connections to get your foot in the door, because these days even the credentials aren't sufficient, then you are now on the path to "Success". People who have decided to take the Christian standard of living are usually people that many don't consider to be "Successful" or at least reaching their "full potential". Who determines ones full potential? To whom here on earth does a person have to give an account of their "full potential" when or if it is ever met? How is potential even measured, by what standard, God's or this world?

As Christians we aren't to live according to the dictates of the world which relentlessly through the media and whatever else, tries to beat into the poor it's definition of success and it's definition of a failure. The world sculpts this ridiculous spectrum and then tells us where we fit on it. The world is pretty much conditioning people to believe that if you haven't acquired a certain amount of degrees, and other material assets, then you're not successful. It boils down to this is I guess, who's definition of success are we trying to live up to, God's or the world's? As Christians this should be a no-brainer but it isn't for many of us, for me it certainly wasn't for a while.  But it is God's standard set in scripture worth labouring over not this worlds. And God's standard is sufficient, nobody needs to be burdened with extra laws about success created by man for us to live by, much of which is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches. There are great expectations the world has placed on us & there are things God expects of us, which is worth labouring over truly? It is the one that provides the eternal rewards.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snip/Chuck: Abortion is Murder................but God Forgives.

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"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth." Psalm 127:3-4. 

There was a time when women rejoiced when they found out they were pregnant. These days, for many women, news of being pregnant is greeted with horror. They start thinking how there is so much they still want to do with their life so they can't have a baby. To a large part of the human population, if you can't afford to have a baby, pregnancy is an inconvenience, so abortion makes it a whole lot easier; you can have all the sex you want and not worry about having to take care of a baby if you got pregnant along the way. A salary cut may be considered an inconvenience, no ramps for wheelchair bound patrons outside of  businesses is an inconvenience, someone asking you for help when you're in the middle of something you can't really drop at that moment is an inconvenience,  a pregnancy should not be considered an inconvenience.

For many young girls/women it's the fear of disappointing their parents. Other reasons, "Oh, I just got this new job." "I just got done with my first week on the Insanity Workout and I'm seeing massive results", "Oh, no, I'll get stretch marks!" "Oh, this guy will leave me if I have this baby."  "I'm still in high school." "I'm still in college." "What will my friends think of me?" "What will the people at church think of me?" Really, there are many reasons that can be listed for why women choose to have abortions; but not one of the reasons are unselfish. Many men and women really only think of the outcome of their lives as being of any significance and also possibly ruined if they go through with the pregnancy, but the baby's life is very rarely ever taken into consideration. Why? Because many don't even see what's growing in them as a baby until the child is born,  they just see a fetus, so that makes it pretty much dispensable. The way some people carry on about pregnancies you would think they were talking about a few pounds on their body they wanna lose, so they take the necessary steps to get rid of it.

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Many people are divided over Pro-life and Pro-Choice. Pro-life supporters oppose the legalization of induced abortions, and believe that a fetus and embryos should be protected. As Christians where should we stand in regards, sadly to what many would consider,  an incendiary topic? Should we even have a stand at all or just let things play out? I don't think I'm the only one who wonders how God feels about abortion. The obvious answer is that He doesn't want us to kill our children. God does not support abortion. He doesn't support the unlawful murder of a child. He greatly disliked how the Moabites and many other groups of  people would sacrifice their children to their  false gods and idols. He even warned His people, the Israelites, not to practice the ways of those people.

The women who are pro-choice think they have full authority over their bodies, that nobody should be allowed to tell them what to do in regards to terminating a pregnancy . It is amazing how things like the rights to kill an unborn child is being argued as a person's civil rights, and anyone who opposses that is trying to obstruct someone from their rights. Many women resent being called murderers when they have an abortion because to them a fetus is not a child so it's not murder when a person aborts that pregnancy. What exactly determines whether your fetus is an actual living human? Is it at the very moment an egg becomes fertilized when it encounters a sperm? Is it  3 months into pregnancy, or six months into pregnancy? The answer is, God is the one who determines when a life begins, it's as simple as that. He's the one who gives life, and He's the one who takes it back when He pleases. When does life begin? According to scripture Leviticus 17:11-12 and Deuteronomy 12:23, the life is found in the blood, it is the life of all flesh, it's blood sustains it's life. A fetus of course contains blood, so biblically a fetus is alive, just as alive and valuable as the little children playing in the park.

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Do women really have the choice to decide what to do with their bodies in regards to pregnancies? Well, as humans we have the freedom to choose to do whatever we want, whenever we want; but with each choice we make their are consequences. Can women choose whether to abort their babies? Yes. Men and women can make whatever choices they want, but must be made aware of the consequences of their actions. God has stated that we will be rewarded according to our works. If one does bad works, his reward will not be very pleasant. If one does good works, he will be rewarded with eternal life.

There are persons, even some Christians, who are pro-life but have made certain exceptions when it comes to abortion; these exceptions are for  women who have been raped and high risk pregnancies. At one time I also agreed with that exception to the rule, I thought it was a justifiable reason to terminate a pregnancy; but after studying the Word of God, I had a change of heart. Yes, rape is very horrible, I hate it and I'm sure God hates it too; and for many women, delivering a baby who's father is the rapist that raped them is not a very pleasant thought; but if we think of the child  as no more than a link to a rapist, then we devalue an innocent child's life based on an occurrence that happened which really wasn't that child's fault. A part of that baby, the women who has been raped carries, is not only the rapist's but the victim as well. Her chromosomes and genes are in that baby too, or is that something to disregard because the baby cannot be seen as anything more than a product of rape? All abortions produce the same results; an unborn baby is killed. If you have a child and the father of your child abuses you, would you kill your child? No, you would not. I've heard this once before and I stand by this, you don't kill a child for the sins of the father. Aborting a baby cannot and really should not be justified no matter the circumstances surrounding conception. Terminating your pregnancy because you were raped, really if we look at it from a Christian standpoint, is a crime committed because of a crime.

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Women, just like men, were wonderfully and fearfully made in the image of God. For women, also just like men, our bodies are programmed a certain way to do certain things at a certain time in our lives. The best way I can describe it is that, the human body has a certain set of sealed instructions within, placed by God, that the body must obey in order to function correctly. Females produce eggs as well as estrogen and progesterone. Pretty much all women have a period, whether it's irregular or regular, it happens; even infertile women have their period. Eventually when a women  hits a certain age, usually between the ages of forty-five to fifty-five these things cease. Hormones begin to shift and the menstruation cycle ends, meaning ovulation comes to a halt. This is the females body way of telling her, no babies are going to be popping out of here any more, unless God wills of course. I say all that to help many come to understanding that, our bodies are designed to tell us when we shouldn't have babies anymore, we aren't to go out and take it upon ourselves to cancel a pregnancy, if that egg has been fertilized that is because God permitted it to happen. Christian women and men should stand against abortion because it is just another way people have decided to rebel against God's will, and it is is murder. We are told to imitate God as good little children, and we know that God doesn't take it lightly when an innocent life is taken, in fact, God hates it when innocent blood is shed, Proverbs 6:16-17, an unborn child is innocent.

When did we become a world where the life of an unborn child has no value, where our opinion takes precedence over Gods precepts. Many people believe a baby's life doesn't begin until after the baby is delivered, but there would be no baby to deliver if there was no life to begin with.

Because of indifference and a lack of knowledge about what happens during an abortion, issues like this aren't addressed the way they should be. Since (most) think the baby isn't even a legit living human, and during the abortion the baby is unaware of what's happening, it's no big deal. Many people must think it's simply the babies being gently put to sleep, then delicately removed from the womb and then are cleaned up and have a nice burial in a cemetery. No, that's not what happens. Sorry to be graphic, but they're either cut up, or the skull crushed, burnt, then tossed out; in short, they are snipped and chucked.  A great deal of indifference that many have towards matters like abortion, and scores of other things, is one of  the reasons behind many of the problems we see in the world today. People think, "Oh, let them do what they want, it doesn't affect me."  If people could be shown how even the seemingly insignificant decisions they make have an affect on a myriad of lives on planet earth; maybe the gross indifference towards these significant matters would be diminished. 

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As the heading says,  abortion is murder, but just like murder, and all other sins committed against God, it is not something that cannot be forgiven by our merciful and loving Heavenly Father. There is good news for those who have had abortions or considered having one. There is a loving, merciful, living God who prefers mercy rather than sacrifice. If you repent and ask God for His forgiveness, He is faithful and just and will forgive you. Yes, it's not easy for many women who have children, to raise on their own in today's society, and for economical reasons. This is why it's best to to trust in God's way, in His perfect order and to abstain from sexual intercourse until you're married. Yes, this is more easily said than done for many of us, but God not only provides an exit out of temptation, but He also provides us with His Holy Spirit once we are born again, so that we may prove what is His good, acceptable and perfect will. Pray for self-control if you have troubles with lust and avoiding sex. Trust in the Lord at all times. Wait on the Lord at all times. He will guide and strengthen you. :-)

There Is No Such Thing As A "Gay Gene"!!! Here's Proof.

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plural noun: genes
1.(in informal use) a unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring.
2.a part of a cell that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing.

Different genes are found in human beings, these genes determine if we get our mother's eye colour, or maybe our fathers hair type, or our skin tone, our nose size, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Who created genes? Being that genes are a part of our dna and cell structure, which are found in us from birth, and being that God created man, not some intergelactic burst in the atmosphere, it's safe to say that the genes which are found in us are a result of God's handiwork, as is the rest of the human body. With that being said, if someone says that there is a "gay gene" they are directly saying that God went ahead and placed in many of His creations a gene that would cause a person to participate in what is Biblically described in the book of Leviticus 18:22-30, Romans 1:26-32, as shameful, unnatural, abominations and perversions. And participating in such acts would make a person ineligble to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. All of that would be saying that God went ahead and placed something in humans that would make them do exactly what He commanded us not to do. Also, that would be saying there is unrighteousness or wickedness with God, but there is no unrighteousness with God as explained in Romans 9:14 and Job 34:10-13.

If someone was to relentlessly purport this thing about a "gay gene" existing and being the cause for gay people being gay, how much differnt would that be from saying there is an adultery gene, a fornication gene, a sodomy gene, a gene that causes one to masturbate, a gene that causes one to lust? I doubt many people would take, "it's my adulterous lust gene that made me cheat on you" as an excuse from a spouse. So, why would anyone truly go around affirming or even suggesting it may be possible for there to be a "gay gene"?
All of that would be ridiculous, all of those lies simply are there to take direct attention from what it is that truly causes (all) of those acts, and that is sin.

We must be very careful with the things we go around saying, specifically those who are calling themselves Christians. These damnable heresies are taking many persons captive, who are determined to exhange the truth of God for the lie as mentioned in Romans 1:24-25.