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Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates - Archived Messages

 
RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for November 2, 2008 

                                 "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
                    
- the words of Jesus , from The Holy Bible 

    
I consciously made a decision to keep this ministry as removed from politics as possible this year, especially, since there appears to be so much passion involved in people's decisions to support certain candidates and certain issues.   But, this week I received information from Houston, Texas, that Rick Warren's message to his congregation regarding Proposition 8, was printed in the Houston Chronicle.  Rick Warren is pastor of Saddleback Church, a mega-church in California that hosted a "Faith Forum" which included both Senator John McCain and Senator Barrack Obama.  Proposition 8 is on the ballot here in California to take away the right to marriage from same-sex couples.  Thousands of couples have gotten married in California during the past few months since the California Supreme Court made it possible.  Same-sex marriage is legal in the State of Massachusetts, and legalized within the past few weeks in the State of Connecticut.  Same-sex marriage is also legal throughout the Provinces of Canada and some other countries.

     Our California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, his wife, Maria Shriver, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Vice-President-elect, Senator Joe Biden, the Mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a host of celebrities, and Church leaders are asking Californians to vote NO on this amendment to our State Constitution.  Since so many people have spoken out against this amendment, I did not feel it was necessary to address it ... that is until Rick Warren's message became widely circulated.  After I read his message, I felt deep within myself a "calling from Spirit within me" to counter his message to as many people as possible.  And so, here we go:

          
Rick Warren, recently wrote the following and sent it to his congregants and passed on to the national Media:
 
" For 5,000 years, every culture and every religion -- not just Christianity -- has defined marriage as a contract between men and women.  There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2% of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called 'gay marriage.' Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC oppose watering down the definition of marriage.
             Of course, my longtime opposition is well known. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue.
            This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to VOTE YES on Proposition 8 -- to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don't forget to vote!"
<end>

      Rick Warren is urging people to vote yes on Proposition 8 .." to preserve the biblical definition of marriage."  Does he realize that the biblical definition of marriage included polygamy and that women were forced by law to be subservient to their husbands?  Under the biblical definition of marriage women were possessions to be traded and sold as property.  In the Old Testament Oman was forced, by religious law, to marry his dead brother's wife even though he was in love with another woman.  I don't think many of us want to preserve any of this.  And does Pastor Warren realize that in some cultures, even now in 2008, brothers share the same wife?  Mormons in the United States were forced to outlaw polygamy in order for Utah to become a state.  In other words, civil law took precedence over religious tradition.  Warren's 5,000 year tradition of marriage has had countless changes take place as the cultures of the world have evolved.  

     Jesus broke the "moral law" ... the "Law of the Sabbath" because he realized that a loving God would not want anyone to go hungry for any reason, even on the Sabbath.  The religious leaders of his time were furious that he did this and attempted to use it against him.  But ... Jesus knew that God's Love is greater than the "opinions" of men, and he was so convinced that this is the truth that the religious leaders failed to punish him for it.  "Moral laws" change ... and have changed throughout history, but "spiritual law" does not change.  "Love your neighbor as yourself" is not a "suggestion" ... it is a spiritual principle that carries with it consequences and this is why the Master Mind Jesus declared that it was equally as important as the First Commandment, to Love God first.

     The Bible contains the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament" ... we are living in the "Now Testament" ... and it is our work to continue to evolve God's Love on Earth.  Pastor Rick Warren wrote that "God
has spoken clearly about this" ... but ... God has not stopped talking.  Did God stop talking at the end of the Old Testament? ... Jesus didn't think so nor any of the great mystics since him, so why would God stop talking at the end of the New Testament?  We must always remind ourselves, as did Jesus, that God is Love ... but God is also Intelligence.  If our traditions do not pass the test of God's Love and Intelliegence, then we should let them go.  God isn't evolving ... we are evolving to God.  But we won't evolve as long as we continue to believe that anyone is less than another or anyone is superior to another ... we are One ... One God, One Mind, One Life ... expressing through ALL.  "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" ... because they are ONE.  This is the truth that Jesus was trying to lift us up to!

    
So, I urge you, those of you who live in California ... to VOTE NO on Proposition 8 -- and follow Jesus in "loving your neighbor as yourself" ... a spiritual principle equally important to: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."

AND SO IT IS!

Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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