Category Archives: Transsexual

“No Such Thing As ‘Good Enough” In the Matter of God’s Will”

October 2, 2017

Scripture reading – Numbers 29-32

As a reminder, the setting of the closing chapters in Numbers is on the threshold of the Promise Land on the east side of the Jordan River.  Having wandered in the wilderness of today’s Arabian Peninsula for 40 years, the twelve tribes of Israel encamped once again where their fathers and mothers had turned back a generation earlier.  Knowing his days with Israel are numbered, Moses set his heart upon the task of preparing Joshua, his successor, to lead the nation when the LORD took him from them.

Numbers 29 continues the instructions to Israel regarding worship, sacrifices and feasts that began in Numbers 28.  The “Feast of Trumpets” marked the beginning of a new year for Israel (29:1-6), followed by the “Day of Atonement” (29:7-11).  For Israel, the “Day of Atonement” was the most holy day and the only day the high priest entered into the holy of holies with the blood of sacrifice (note Leviticus 16).   The “Feast of Tabernacles” (29:12-34) followed the “Day of Atonement” and was a celebration of the harvest.

Making and binding of Vows is the subject of Numbers 30.   Vows and covenants were not treated lightly and were binding with few exceptions.  One of the exceptions was a young woman living under her father’s authority.  A father who heard his daughter’s vow had a right to cancel it; however, should he be silent, her vow would stand (30:3-6).

Should the woman marry, her vow to the LORD stood unless her husband cancelled it (30:7-8).   Widowed or divorced women were bound by their vows to the LORD and could not cancel them (30:9).  Reminding us all the husband is the head of the wife and home, the husband had the authority to cancel the vow of his wife or allow it to stand (30:10-16).

Numbers 31 records the final actions of Moses before the LORD removed him as the leader of Israel.  Knowing the men of Israel would soon cross the Jordan River and begin the conquest of the Promise Land, it was important that her enemies on the east side of the Jordan be eliminated as a threat to the people in their absence.  Thus, the LORD ordered Moses to wage war against the Midianites, slaying the men of Midian, their kings and the old nemesis of Israel, the prophet Balaam (31:1-10, 16).  Reminding the nation how important it was for the people to be a people holy and consecrated to the Lord, Moses ordered the deaths of every male, young and old, and adult women who had “known man by lying with him” (31:13-18).  Those men who gone to war and slain the people of Midian were to purify themselves for seven days before coming back into the midst of Israel (31:19-24).   Numbers 31:25-54 records the dividing of the spoils of war.

Two and a half tribes of Israel, Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh petitioned Moses to assign them land on the east side of Jordan because it was fertile and could support their livestock (Numbers 32:1-5).  Moses’ first reaction to the request was swift, believing those tribes were deserting the nation and the conquest of the Promise Land (32:6-15).

The tribes responded to Moses with assurances they were ready to go to war with the other tribes; however, their desire was to return to the grassy fields on the east side of the Jordan after the battles in the Promise Land (32:16-42).

I close with an observation:  Stopping short of crossing over and taking possession in the land God had promised as an inheritance to Abraham and his lineage (Genesis 12) proved a disastrous choice for Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh. 

Those tribes did keep their vow and fulfilled their obligation to go to war beside the other tribes until Israel had possession of the Promise Land (Joshua 22:1-4); however, their decision to return to the east side of Jordan made their families vulnerable when enemies made war against Israel.

In Joshua 22, Joshua dismissed the men of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh with the challenge, “take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5).

The men of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built an altar (Joshua 22:10) to serve as a testimony to their children and a memorial to all Israel they were one people; however, the other tribes misjudged their altar as a departure from the LORD and they prepared to go to war against the two and one-half tribes (Joshua 22:11-20).   After explaining the purpose of the altar (Joshua 22:21-29), the tribes accepted their explanation and made peace with them (22:30-34).

Joshua’s concern for the two and a half tribes proved prophetic because Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh were not only geographically distant from the others, but they also became spiritually distant from the LORD and His people in generations that followed.   We read of them, “they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them” (1 Chronicles 5:25).

My Christian friend, there is no half-way, half-hearted service for the LORD that is acceptable.   Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh believed the land short of the land the LORD promised them was good enough; however, that decision would become a great sorrow for their children who were the first to turn away from the LORD and be taken captive by Assyria (1 Chronicles 5:26).

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Woe to the Nation That Celebrates Perversity and Attacks Morality!

September 15, 2017

Scripture Reading – Amos 1-4

Borrowing the modern vernacular of politics, the prophet Amos was an outsider when God called him to deliver a word of prophecy against Judah and Israel (Amos 1:1).  He lived and worked in obscurity as a common herdsman with no political ties or religious lineage.   When God called him to prophecy, Israel and Judah were enjoying a season of peace and prosperity and the thought of God’s displeasure and judgment was far from them.

“Uzziah king of Judah” (1:1) presided over the southern kingdom and the nation maintained an outward form of worshipping the LORD (5:21-22); however, the hearts of the king and people were far from Him.  “Jeroboam the son of Joash” was king of Israel (1:1), the northern kingdom; making no pretense of worshipping the LORD, that nation built an altar in Bethel and offered sacrifices to a golden calf.

Amos, a layperson “who was among the herdmen of Tekoa” (1:1), was a courageous prophet.  With the word of the LORD upon his lips, he delivered a series of prophecies against six Gentile nations: Syria, identified as Damascus (1:3-5)… Philistia, identified by its principal cities, Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron (1:6-8)… Tyre (1:9-10)… Edom (1:11-12)… Ammon (1:13-15)… and Moab (2:1-3) all were warned the judgment of God was imminent.

Turning his focus from the six Gentile nations, Amos warned Judah the nation would be judged “because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments” (2:4).

Amos then declared the sins and wickedness of the kingdom of Israel and warned the nation would suffer God’s judgment (2:6-16).  Lest any doubt the grace and longsuffering of God, the prophet reminded the nation how the LORD had brought them out of Egypt (2:9) and given them the land of the Amorites (2:9-10).  God sent prophets, but the people said, “Prophesy not” (2:12).

In chapter 3 Amos prophesied reminding the people the LORD had chosen the “children of Israel” (meaning both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah) as His people and made Himself known to them (3:1-2).  Israel, however, rejected the LORD and He set Himself against them saying, “I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:1).

Adding to the Israel’s humiliation, God commanded Amos to summon two Gentile nations, Ashdod, a Philistine city, and Egypt to witness God’s judgment against Israel (whose capital was Samaria).  A sad commentary on the deception of sin is the condemnation: For they know not to do right, saith the LORD” (3:10).

How did the nation to whom the LORD had revealed Himself, His Law and Commandments come to this?  How could they be so blind they lost sense and discernment of right and wrong?

Warning: Here is the beguiling way of sin and wickedness.  When a people make light of God’s Truth, trivialize and rationalize sin, eventually their hearts becomes desensitized to wickedness, they no longer know how to do right.  Perhaps an oversimplification, but I believe an accurate one:  Israel had strayed so far from God’s law the people no longer had “common sense”—they had no sense of right (3:10).

My friend, the same condemnation is true of our beloved United States!

The lunacy of atheism coupled with the perversity of humanism is so entrenched in government, education, religion and media it has crippled our judgment as a society.   Having rejected God and His Laws, our moral judgment as a nation is twisted and perverted and we “know not to do right” (3:10).

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“Every Man Did That Which Was Right In His Own Eyes”

situation-ethicsTuesday, February 28, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Judges 17-21

Today’s reading in the Book of Judges marks the end of that period when Judges ruled in Israel. It was not God’s plan for Israel to have a king because He would Himself be the benevolent King of His people.  To instruct and communicate His will to the people, the LORD appointed judges in the land. Some judges, like Samuel ruled well (1 Samuel 7:15), but others like Eli and his two sons (1 Samuel 4:10-18) brought disgrace to the office rousing the people to demand “a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5-6).

When Samuel prayed, the LORD instructed Him to “hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:7).  The Apostle Paul would observe in the New Testament, “[the LORD] gave them judges until Samuel the prophet” (Acts 13:20).foundry

Five times we read in today’s scripture, “In those days there was no king in Israel: but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, 18:1, 19:1, 21:25).  To illustrate the wickedness and depravity that had taken hold in Israel, we are introduced to a man named Micah. Micah was guilty of stealing 1,1000 shekels of silver from his mother; however, learning she had uttered a curse on the thief, Micah returned the silver excusing his theft on the pretense of religion and his desire to have an idol shaped from the silver and revered in his “house of gods” (17:3).  After returning the silver, Micah’s mother rewarded him with 200 shekels of silver, which he melted at a foundry and poured into a mold of the image that would serve as one of his idols (17:4-5).  Increasing his wickedness further was Micah’s decision to employ a Levite priest to serve him and his gods (17:7-13).

In Judges 19 we learn the wickedness and immoral nature of Israel had become so great that the concubine (a woman of less stature than a wife) of a Levite priest had “played the whore against him” (191-2).  Seeking and locating his concubine, the Levite priest journeyed toward his home, but along the way found it necessary to lodge in the home of an elderly man in the city of Gibeah that was of the tribe of Benjamin.  The moral decadence of sodomy had become the practice of the men of Gibeah and that night they surrounded the house of the old man and demanded he put the Levite priest out of his house so they might sadistically rape him (19:22-23).sodomy  To satisfy the immoral demands of the sodomites, the old man offered his daughter and the Levite’s concubine whom they took and violently raped until the morning light (19:24-26).

The Levite, finding his concubine dead at the threshold the next morning, returned home, took a knife and cut her corpse in twelve pieces that he sent as a rebuke to the twelve tribes of Israel (19:28-29).

Learning of the great wickedness in Gibeah, warriors of eleven tribes were stirred with indignation (20:1-11) and demanded the tribe of Benjamin deliver the sodomites of Gibeah into their hands (20:12).  When the men of Benjamin refused, the tribes determined to go to war against Benjamin (20:13-17).  At first, the battle went in favor of the rebellious tribe of Benjamin (20:18-25); however, after weeping, prayers, and offering sacrifices, the LORD assured Israel of victory (20:26-46).

Consider the cost that the tribe of Benjamin paid for tolerating sodomy in Gibeah:  The tribe of Benjamin was decimated and only 600 men remained after the war (20:47-48).  The Benjamites were also isolated from the other tribes who had determined their daughters would not be allowed to marry any men of Benjamin (21:1).   Though victorious, the tribes of Israel were broken over the sin and wickedness that had taken hold in the land, leaving one of the twelve tribes nearly destroyed (21:2-6).

landmarksThe book of Judges ends with this statement: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Those words describe our day for we are living in the midst of a nation that has rejected God, His Word, Law, and Commandments.  America’s pulpits are filled with preachers who deflect the responsibility of declaring the Word of God and people who love the world sit in the pews and classrooms of our churches and schools (1 John 2:15-17).  Like the mother of Micah who complimented his pretense of religion though he worshipped idols, too many Christian parents have compromised their homes and families accommodating the sinful carnality of their sons and daughters.  Such compromise will inevitably lead to God’s judgment on our nation, homes, churches, and schools.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE”?

christians-under-attackA recent article published in the Evangelical magazine Christianity Today and titled “Fairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights”, evidences why I refuse to be associated with the label “Evangelical”.  The Evangelical crowd is rife with compromise and many of its members are at best nominal Christians.

I am not at war with members of the LGBT crowd, but only a fool believes there is room for compromise when the leaders of that movement oppose and are at war with Biblical Christianity, traditional marriage and family values.

I have engaged with members of the LGBT movement on a personal level and in political skirmishes.  Contrary to the assertions of LGBT militants, I have the same love for them that I do for all sinners.  My heart goes out to their struggles with their sin as much as it does to those struggling with other enslaving sins.militant-gay-houston-mayor

However, the militant LGBT crowd is another story!  They have a fervent passion for their “cause” and an unbridled hatred for any who will not bow to their demands.  Make no mistake, militant members of the LGBT movement will accept nothing less than capitulation and accommodation of their sin, even at the sacrifice of your moral values, innocence of your children, Christian family owned businesses, and Constitutional liberties (freedom of religion and free speech).

Adherents of the militant LGBT crusade are seeded in all levels of government, including judicial activists who will punish and annihilate any who dare oppose their demands (including Christian family-owned businesses that refuse to participate in “Gay weddings”).  While politicians trumpet the LGBT cause under the guise of “Rights”, liberal educators rob our children of their innocence using secular classrooms as a platform for opposing Biblical moral values.

A warning to Evangelicals:  “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32)?  Moving his family into Sodom and sitting among the elders of that wicked city did not work out so well for Lot, did it? (Genesis 19)

2 Peter 2:7-8 – “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

The overwhelming majority of the voting public might tolerate the intolerable, but few have any desire to celebrate it.

gay flagDear Heart of a Shepherd Readers,

The following is my public statement read before the Hillsborough County Commissioners this Wednesday, July 20, 2016, opposing the motion of County Commissioner Kevin Beckner who is once again promoting the militant LGBTQ agenda in our communities, city, and county.   His latest attempt is to designate the month of June as “Gay Pride Month”; to my knowledge, the county has no other such designation for any cause, group, or organization.

Hillsborough County“For several years I have observed members of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners, past and present, accommodate the escalating demands of the LGTBQ community.  I have witnessed this board’s courtship of that community, and watched as you slighted the moral sensibilities of the majority of your constituents.

Unless you are deaf, you know there is a growing spirit of concern and anger among voters who are sick of watching elected officials placate the demands of militant groups.

I have charted the rationale of the LGTBQ community for years and long ago recognized their crusade is not for rights, but acceptance of the abnormal, or in the words of the Bible, “vile affections…against nature… unseemly” (Romans 1:26).  The overwhelming majority of the voting public might tolerate the intolerable, but few have any desire to celebrate it.

This board has entertained the LGTBQ community’s argument they want their privacy and the public and government have no business invading the privacy of their bedrooms.  Privacy”, however, was never the goal of the Homosexual Community.Gay Parade

The Homosexual Community demanded the right to revel in their sexuality and the County once again supported vulgar and lascivious behavior parading in the streets violating Florida Indecent Exposure Laws and offending those who adhere to traditional family values.

The homosexuals demanded the “right to marry”, attacking an institution that for 6,000 years was the foundation of civil and moral society

The Homosexual Community demanded the civil rights of a “protected class”, and this board again bowed to its demands. Now, every private, family owned business that embraces traditional moral values faces the threat of crippling lawsuits should any dare not capitulate to the invasive demands of the homosexual community.

Today you are asked to consider a resolution that perpetuates and promotes the sexual exploits and expressions of the homosexual community as though their sexuality deems them worthy of special honor and designation in our county…it does not!

It is one thing to tolerate homosexuality, it is quite another to ask Hillsborough County citizens to dedicate a month of our County calendar to celebrate moral decadence!

Finally, the terrorist attack in Orlando on June 12, 2016 that left 49 dead was a tragedy; however, to memorialize it as anything other than what it was, the murderous actions of a militant Islamic terrorist, is disingenuous. The 49 who died in the attack were not martyrs; they were victims of an Islamic terrorist.Hillsborough Fire and Rescue

Tampa PoliceIf you want to dedicate the month of June, dedicate it to First Responders who have died in the line of duty serving their communities…16 County Sheriffs, 30 Tampa police officers, 16 Tampa firemen…those men and women, and the ones who risk their lives everyday, are the heroes whose lives should be celebrated and whose deaths should be memorialized.”County Sheriff

Travis D. Smith

Senior Pastor

Hillsdale Baptist Church

Tampa, FL

A Spoof on “Self-identity” I Believe You Will Enjoy

Dear Heart of a Shepherd followers,

In addition to this devotional and religious commentary blog, I also have a blog that is profoundly and unabashedly patriotic named “Spiritual Minutemen“.

adult high chairToday’s blog is a spoof, a satirical commentary on the progressives “self-identity” movement in America, particularly the Transgenders’ restroom demands.  The title of today’s blog is, “BATHROOM CHANGING TABLES FOR ADULTS “SELF-IDENTIFYING” AS INFANTS AND TODDLERS”.  

I invite you to read today’s blog and consider the insanity of “self-identity”!

With the heart a shepherd,

Pastor Travis D. Smith

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

“Standing for Righteousness” (part 3 of 3)

transsexualToday I conclude my Memorial Day challenge that considered the question, “How can we, the benefactors of liberty and debtors of the sacrifices of others, express our gratitude to those who died in service to our nation?”

I have suggested believers consider three mandates: 1) We must embrace and exercise our freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States; 2) We must be willing to sacrifice our time, talents, and strength to stand and defend our liberties; 3) We must recognize the greatest threat to our nation and freedoms is not Islamic terrorists, but our own government.

Our nation’s drift into the abyss of moral depravity should awaken every believer to the undeniable reality that we are in an ideological war with our leaders, government, media, and much of society.restroom wars

Islamic terrorism is a very real threat to our nation and Constitutional freedoms; however, the greatest threat to our liberties is the terror posed by the occupants of the highest offices of our nation who have followed a pattern of ruling by fiat, apart from Constitutional law with its checks and balances.  Democrats and Republicans who do not represent or share the moral values of the citizenry have betrayed the American people and are actively destabilizing our marriages, families, and communities.

The Failure of American Churches

We, the American public, have ourselves to blame for not only tolerating the lies and imbecility of the immoral left, but also bear the burden of responsibility for our disengagement from the political process.  We are facing the reality that professing Christians, and the American church in general, have failed to be the Salt and Light Christ commanded us to be in the world (Matthew 5:13-16).

The Innocuous Reticence of Biblical Fundamentalism

The GospelMore disconcerting than the failure of American Christianity in general is the dismal spiritual slide of biblically fundamental churches, colleges, and seminaries.  Unlike early 20th century America that had a bevy of evangelistic heralders who called the church to repentance and unapologetically preached the Gospel to lost sinners, 21st century America’s “fundamental” evangelists, preachers, and teachers trumpet “The Gospel”, but cater to a Millennial Generation of fundamental church members who pursue carnality under the banner of “Christian Liberties”.  A failure to be “holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15) coupled with the failure of the pulpit to call the church to revival, has left our fundamental churches, colleges, and seminaries woefully unprepared to address the moral declension of America.

We are living in perilous times.

Knowing the heart of man is wicked and depraved (Jeremiah 17:9), when the restraints of conscience and law are weakened or removed, there is no limit to the depth of sin and depravity into which society will descend.  The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize “same-sex” marriage and the president’s impetus to enforce Transgenders’ access to bathrooms and showers of the opposite sex in public schools is only the beginning of an attack to destroy every vestige of Biblical morality in our nation.

Transsexuality is an abomination.

Men dressing like women and women like men has been a sign of depravity and degeneracy since ancient times.  God instructed Moses to command the people that the dress of men and women was to be distinctively different.  A woman was not to wear the clothing of a man, nor a man the clothing of a woman.

Deuteronomy 22:5 – “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

Homosexuality was named as an abomination to God (Leviticus 18:22) and emasculated males (castrated men) were not to be numbered among God’s people (Deuteronomy 23:1).

1st century Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus, a contemporary of the Jewish historian Josephus, writes concerning the sin of homosexuality and the feminizing of boys and young men:

Jenner“Moreover another evil much greater than that which we have already mentioned has made its way among and been let loose upon cities namely the love of boys, which formerly was accounted a great infamy even to be spoken of, but which not is a subject of boasting not only to those who practise it but even to those who suffer it and who, being accustomed to hearing the affliction of being treated like women waste away as to both their souls and bodies, not bearing about them a single spark of a manly character to be kindled into a flame, but having even the hair of their heads conspicuously curled and adorned and having their faces smeared with vermilion, and paint and things of that kind and having their eyes pencilled beneath, and having their skins anointed with fragrant perfumes…

And some of these persons have even carried their admiration of these delicate pleasures of youth so far that they have desired wholly to change their condition for that of women, and have castrated themselves and have clothed themselves in purple robes…”

In his letter to believers in Rome, Paul warned the church that homosexuality is a sign God has abandoned a nation and delivered it over to moral self-destruction (Romans 1:26-28).  Paul declared in his letter to believers in Corinth that the “effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with mankind” would be numbered with those who “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

To those who might take the scriptures or me to task out of sympathy with transsexuals and justify that sin with the argument transsexuals are happier dressing and acting like the opposite sex, I will assert that feelings are not a justification for moral perversity no more than anger and hatred is a justification for murder.  Our nation’s embrace of homosexuality and transsexuality is indicative of a people who have strayed from and rejected God’s absolutes!

Good News…There is Hope.

Paul writes: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).  The membership of the 1st century church consisted of those who had confessed and turned from their sins, believing Jesus Christ had suffered the penalty of their sin on the cross, died, was buried and rose again the third day. In the midst of the churches were those saved out of the most abominable sins, including effeminism and homosexuality.open Bible

There is hope for sinners when the church fulfills its mission of not only preaching the Gospel, but also warning sinners of God’s wrath and judgment.  It is time for preachers and evangelists of Bible fundamental churches, colleges and seminaries to balance their emphasis on “The Gospel” with a call to the church to repent of its sin.

2 Timothy 4:1-5
1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith