Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Banning Christianity in Texas---and Beyond

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An explosion of bills in Texas is raising concern across the country that the coming showdown in Texas over religious freedom is nothing less than the launch of a national showdown on First Amendment religious freedom.

The 6 bills specifically targeting Christianity may be a preview of things to come.

Be informed.

Some Christians and conservatives are worried that the liberal Left and some upcoming Texas state bills may try to "ban Christianity in Texas." Others worry it may also be a preview of the national war on Christianity.

The effort in Texas is a continuation of a narrative, or line of thought first introduced by then President Barack Obama, VP Biden and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

They led an effort to redefine religious freedom and restrict the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment to a "freedom of worship" concept.

Obama, Biden, Hillary and their cohorts on the Left repeatedly used the words "freedom of worship" rather than freedom of religious expression.

This is typical incrementalism---the favorite tool of Saul Alinsky and of today's progressive Left.

In 2016, I wrote about it in this Faith and Freedom Daily column when they began the revision of words. Words matter.

The goal of their words is to revise Christianity to something practiced within the four walls of a church building, but not in the public square.

Christianity is not a religion intended to be a mere ritual on Sunday at a certain address.

The Founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, told His followers,
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16: 15,16. KJV).

It's understood that this great commission is controversial in today's snowflake culture. Truth is often a lonely warrior. That's why so many churches have conformed to the sensibilities of the culture, and become silent or even adversarial toward biblical teaching about human sexuality and the sanctity of life.

Even Christian witnessing has become "proselytizing." Forbidden in some situations.


Eric Erickson says of the Texas deluge of anti-Christian bills,
"Christianity is not a religion of the church pew, but of the town square. Texas progressives are trying to ban it from anywhere outside the church."

Personally, I have not appreciated, nor do I agree with what Erickson has written about Donald Trump and evangelicals who voted for him.

However, I do agree with his assessment regarding the activists in Texas government.

He identifies the Texas bills aimed at Christianity and is calling for Texas Christians and conservatives to stand up and oppose them. The bills include HB 224, HB 254, HB 850 and SB 151---all of them would prohibit the discrimination of sexual orientation or gender identity by businesses, including those owned by Christians.

Previously, Christian-owned businesses have claimed the right to refuse service based on deeply held religious, biblical beliefs.

Two other similar bills are also being considered: HB 517, which would require Christian counselors to affirm transgenderism, and SB 154, which would force doctors to create birth certificates retroactively for patients who gender transition.

Dave Walsh, president of the Texas Pastors Council, says,
"The mad dash by some Democrat House and Senate members to push false narratives that sexual behavior is the same as skin color and that mental illness deserves the same honored status as religious belief is ominous evidence that the criminalization of religious faith and common sense are on the horizon."

The Nation.

Walsh is right. They are on the horizon.

The continuing assault on biblical Christianity, and upon those who practice it publicly, is impacting how the general public feels about homosexual behavior.

A Gallup Poll, out yesterday, shows American's level of satisfaction on a variety of issues.

These are the top 5 levels of satisfaction:

  1. 78% are satisfied with the nation's military strength.
  2. 68% are satisfied with the nation's security.
  3. 61% are satisfied with the position of women in the nation.
  4. 55% are satisfied with the economy.
  5. 54% are satisfied with the acceptance of gays and lesbians, and their agenda.

There is a general feeling that the homosexual agenda is making progress. And being accepted as normal.

I am in no way suggesting gays and lesbians should be discriminated against--- in any way. The gospel calls to all of us to repent of our sins and be "forgiven, delivered, transformed and restored" by the power of the gospel.

However, in that "progress," those who practice biblical Christianity are being publicly mocked and legally assaulted.

Most recently, two of the most visible biblical Christians in our country, Vice President Pence and his wife Karen, have come under attack from those who no longer advocate "tolerance" but practice "intolerance"---those who no longer oppose "bullying" but now practice it.

Lady Gaga Leftists are trying to recreate the Christian faith in their own image at the expense of the Vice President and his wife.

LGBTQ advocates are not only attacking Karen Pence for teaching at a Christian school that believes in biblical values, including those related to human sexuality and marriage, but they are also advocating for the closure of all similar Christian schools.

The Church.

Sadly, the assault on biblical Christianity is not only connected to the secular progressives in our culture, but it also has an enemy within the church itself.

The most recent example was last Sunday at Grace Presbyterian Church in Seattle.

Nate Collins, the founder of "Revoice," an organization that promotes the notion of "gay Christians" and openly promotes the acceptance of various forms of sexual deviancy, was the guest speaker in the pulpit of Seattle's Grace Presbyterian Church day before yesterday.

Collins' organization also held seminars in the church over the weekend.

Collins is well known among pastors for his advocacy for redefining "sexual orientation," seeking to redefine it as something other than "sexual orientation," teaching that there are "other ways than sexual for men to be intimate with men."

Let's get real. That's ludicrous. How do people with "depraved minds" (see Romans chapter 1) "flourish in the church" as Revoice advocates and teaches churches that are led by blind clergy?

Grace Presbyterian is not the only church supporting this affront to our Creator God Himself. There are many.

This is just the latest and the closest example.

The Solution.

Before Paul describes the depraved mind and behaviors, and the nature of man's ruin in Romans chapter 1, he writes this:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation..."

If the church would preach the gospel, individuals would be delivered, forgiven and restored, and so would the culture.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Bold. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.