Whoa Nellie!

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Whoa Nellie!

James R. Aist

Growing up on a small dairy farm in central Arkansas in the early 1950s sure had its moments, some more noteworthy than others. I was the youngest of four brothers, and I was, at times, eager to be like my two oldest brothers. They were more involved in manly, farm activities than I was, and I envied that.

We had other farm animals besides 40 milk cows and a bull. Of particular interest to me were our two horses. One was a run-of-the-mill work horse, a brownish stallion we called Tony. Tony was large and strong, and he had an attitude. He was so dangerous that Mama and Daddy would only let my two oldest brothers ride him. And that was fine with me, because I was afraid of him. But I still wanted to ride a horse, like my oldest brothers did.

Now the other horse was a beautiful black mare. I don’t remember her name, so for purposes of telling this story, I will refer to her as Nellie. She had a much more gentle spirit about her than did Tony, and she was much less dangerous to ride. So, about the time I turned eight years old, I was given permission to ride her.

At first I would ride her bareback, because it was difficult for an 8-year-old to saddle her up. The first time I rode her she seemed OK with me on her back, but she showed some reluctance to follow the “instructions” I gave using the reins. She wanted to go where she wanted to go, not always where I wanted her to go. Nevertheless, the ride ended without incident, and I enjoyed it. I can ride a horse…Yee-Haw!

With one successful ride under my belt, I was eager to ride again, still bareback. This time I felt more confident and relaxed, so I decided to not try and dictate exactly where she went, but to just enjoy the thrill of riding a horse without the hassle of controlling it. What could possibly go wrong, right? Now there was a large oak tree in the pasture field where I rode Nellie, and she and Tony liked to spend time under its shade during the hot summer days to keep cool. So, I was not surprised when Nellie made a bee-line for that tree, using a slow, steady gait. I was enjoying the ride so much that I didn’t notice the low-hanging limb directly ahead in the direction Nellie was taking. I can’t explain why, but when I did spot that limb, I just assumed that Nellie would navigate around it, for my sake. She was, after all, a gentle, kindly beast, right? Well, I was about to find out that Nellie had a mean streak in her. As we approached that low-hanging limb, I noticed that Nellie was still heading straight for it. Then I noticed that the limb was lower than I had first thought it was. Then I noticed that I couldn’t duck low enough to miss that limb. Then I noticed that Nellie was ducking the limb. Then I noticed that the limb hit me in the chest. Then I noticed that I was flat on my back looking up at the tree. Then I noticed that I was unhurt. Then it occurred to me that Nellie did that on purpose! Do you have any idea what its like to be outsmarted by a horse and end up flat on your back? Well, I do. Fortunately, no one was watching; I checked.

Because I am not one to give up easily, I purposed in my heart to ride again, this time with a saddle firmly in place to help prevent a repeat of the previous incident. And I was going to make the most of it this time; I was going to ride Nellie at full speed, just to find out how fast she could go! So, up the driveway and down the road we went, in the direction of the graveyard. (OK, I know what you’re thinking, but no, the graveyard has no particular significance to this story. I am, after all, sitting here writing this story, am I not?) Anyway, I had a plan for getting Nellie to open up and run like the wind: I would ride her slowly about a quarter of a mile toward the graveyard, stop, turn her around toward the house, then back her into the ditch so she would have a good place from which to launch, then kick her sharply in the abdomen with both feet while yelling “HEE-Yah!”, and then hold on for dear life.

Everything was going perfectly according to plan until I got her backed into the ditch. Then, as I was about to “spur” her into action, she suddenly shook and squealed and took off for home lickety-split, as if shot out of a cannon! I was both surprised and terrified at first, but I soon realized I could hold on. So that turned out to be a most thrilling and exhilarating experience, and I enjoyed it immensely. That is, until I realized that Nellie was now leaving the road at full bore and heading across the lawn and Mama’s Irises, straight toward the milk barn. She managed to come to a screeching halt in front of the barn, and I was unharmed, again. I can’t say as much for the Irises, however. Mama came running out of the house demanding to know why I had ridden right over her Irises! Of course, I had no defense; Nellie goes wherever she wants to. Mama soon cooled down and opted to let me live to ride another day. Just not through those Irises!

All things considered, it was quite a successful escapade for me, despite the surprises. I had achieved my main goal, and let me tell you, that horse could flat out run!

After Word

For many years, when I would cogitate on this thrill ride at the expense of Mama’s Irises, I couldn’t figure out what it was that had spooked Nellie in the ditch. Then one day I put two and two together: in those ditches along the dirt road we lived on were many wasp nests hanging from the bushes growing there. And those nests were crawling with wasps, just waiting to attack and sting any creature clueless enough to disturb them. And that day, Nellie just happened to be that creature. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it!

(To read more of my short stories, click HERE)

Responding to the Gay Agenda

Responding to the Gay Agenda

James R. Aist

 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

Introduction

Before I delve into the substance of this article, I want to make it very clear that I explicitly differentiate between people who have same-sex attractions but do not act on them, people who have same-sex attractions and practice homosexuality, and the “gay agenda” per se. Those are three completely different things, as just because someone is a homosexual person doesn’t necessarily mean that they push the “gay agenda”, and just because someone is pushing the “gay agenda” doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a homosexual person. Thus, when I speak against the “gay agenda”, I am not speaking against any individual as a homosexual person, but against a social movement with which they may have only a fringe association.

Personal Response

The first thing you may want to do is to familiarize yourself with the details of the “gay agenda” (click HERE). Then think carefully about the components of it and ask yourself if the society envisioned by the homosexual apologists is the kind of society you want for yourself, for your children and for your grandchildren. Do you want your children and grandchildren to be indoctrinated and recruited into an abnormal, unnatural, immoral lifestyle that is inherently harmful to their health and will not produce grandchildren and great grandchildren for you to enjoy and love? Do you want our churches to be infiltrated by their heretical and damning theology and filthy morals? Do you want to be punished legally for merely disagreeing with them? In thinking about this, also bear in mind that the Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sins of homosexuality, will, someday, have to answer to God for it.

I am not suggesting that all born-again Christians should devote a large percentage of their “free” time to opposing the homosexual movement. For the whole faithful Christian church to do so would be a serious distraction from our primary marching orders to “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:18-20). But I do hope that we will all take appropriate measures to protect our loved ones from this insidious ideology and its immoral and dangerous lifestyle, insofar as this is possible. And I hope that we will all be diligent to consider this important social issue in choosing political candidates for which to vote. In God we trust, but we cannot afford to ignore the role of elected governmental officials. Above all, let us be quick to treat homosexual people with respect and dignity and to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. When the opportunity arises, show a willingness to pursue a genuine, non-sexual, personal relationship with a homosexual person of the same gender, sharing activities of common interest, such as golfing, reading, hiking or cooking, being careful to avoid giving the impression that you accept, endorse and/or want to facilitate the practice of homosexuality. And may we not let our hearts become darkened with hatred towards homosexual people, just because we hate their homosexual lifestyle. As the Apostle Paul said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12).

Parents of Children Who Say They Are Gay

Christian parents who find themselves in this situation should be aware of the following encouraging facts: 1) the vast majority of teens up to 16 years of age who have identified themselves as homosexual will self-identify as heterosexual by the age of 17; 2) God is still in the transformation business, and that includes transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals; and 3) Numerous studies have shown that both religiously and secularly mediated change in sexual orientation occurs in highly motivated, dissatisfied homosexuals at success rates of around 25%-30%, which is comparable to the success rates generally achieved by therapists and counselors for treatment of psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism. I highly recommend the following article on how to respond when your child says he’s gay (click HERE).

Pastoral Response

And now, a note to born-again Christian pastors. Thank you for your willingness to be a pastor, perhaps the most difficult job there is! To those of you who are regularly preaching and teaching against sin and calling your flock to repentance, I commend you. To those of you who are not presently doing so, I have to ask “Why not?” One of the greatest deficiencies in the world of evangelical Christianity today is the dearth of preaching and teaching against sin and the calling of sinners to repentance. If your flock is ignorant about sin — all kinds of sin – and the need for repentance, then they are prime targets for the lies and myths of the homosexual apologists. They are going to be listening to someone’s version of the Gospel and of biblical righteousness, and if they are not hearing the truth from you, then they will hear false teachings from unbelieving liberals who can’t wait to win them over to their way of thinking. Don’t be afraid of the outcome if you provide this kind of preaching and teaching for your flock. Just be faithful to the word of God, leaving nothing out, and let God take care of the outcome. Jesus said “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), not “you will build my church.” Be faithful in this way, and God will be faithful to you!

Church Response

Welcome homosexual people to fellowship with your congregation, but be very careful how you show them the “love of Christ.” If you welcome them into church membership and/or give them leadership positions of any kind while they are still living a homosexual lifestyle, you will be, in effect, affirming and endorsing their lifestyle and helping them along a path that can only result in their spending their eternity in hell. (1 Corinthians 6:9). How is that showing them the “love of Christ”, who died to save them from their sins, not to save them and their sins? Moreover, in approving of their homosexual sins in such a way, you will be exposing yourself to God’s condemnation (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). The ultimate expression of the love of Christ to homosexual people is to share the good news of salvation with them and lead them to repent and leave the homosexual lifestyle. They cannot have it both ways.

I doubt that many Christian churches with openly, practicing and proud of it homosexuals are fully aware of the facts and biblical truths, and the magnitude of the issues, involved in dealing with this situation. So, in a nutshell, please allow me to shed some light on these things for you: 1) The claim that homosexuals are “born gay” has been proven conclusively to be a hoax (click HERE); 2) It is slander to accuse God of making anyone homosexual, because the Bible clearly says that the practice of homosexuality is sin and that God does not tempt anyone to sin (click HERE); 3) The claim that the Bible does not condemn the practice of homosexuality is a recent, modern heresy called “gay theology” (click HERE); 4) The claim that God’s grace covers the sins of unrepentant homosexuality is a recent, modern heresy called the “gay gospel” (click HERE); 5) If a church singles out the sins of homosexuality as being morally acceptable, then it relinquishes all biblical grounds for claiming that any other sin is morally unacceptable (e.g., the other sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, those being idolatry, adultery, thievery, greed, drunkenness, slander and swindling); 6) the biblical response for a church with an openly, practicing and proud of it homosexual (or any other sinner) who refuses to repent is not to welcome them into membership and promote them to positions of leadership; rather, the biblical response is to be found in 1 Corinthians 5:11-12, where the Apostle Paul says “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?”; and 7) If your church does not deal with such a situation properly, then it loses it’s moral compass and it’s moral authority, and it ceases to function as a faithful Christian church.

Final Thoughts

We born-again Christians need not panic or despair when we see the homosexual movement advancing. Jesus told us that things in this world would get much worse before His next coming, that we are not to become alarmed (Matthew 24), and that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). We may not like the moral degeneration that is going on in the world around us, but we can know that none of it is a surprise to God, that God is still sovereign and in control, and that in due course of time, God will bring righteousness and justice to the world and create a dwelling place for His elect that is free from evildoers altogether (Revelation 22:14-15). Our job is to remain faithful to His Word and to His instructions (Matthew 28:18-20) until the end, however and whenever that end comes for each of us. This is where we can find peace and joy in the midst of escalating spiritual darkness until that time. And remember “…Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)