Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

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An unpopular view on the Christian boycott of Target?

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An unpopular view on the Christian boycott of Target?

I read with interest on social media of a supposed Christians boycotting of Target because of the bathroom policy that was set out recently allowing men who identify as women being allowed to enter the women’s bathrooms and as shown by some test cases, people are not even being questioned if they used a facility that was previously banned from use. (to date there is a petition of 50,000 signatures) To do this I plan to look at this and I know that this will be controversial but I have never been shy to stay away from controversy and I really doubt that I ever will.

My view as a Christian man

First of all, let me say that I think that it is wrong that a domain that is reserved by sex has been alerted in this manner, both myself and the bible believe that this is a wrong move by Target and I do honestly believe that it will cost them money to be seen as culturally aware and I feel that their competition are watching this to see which way the wind blows. I understand why the Christian community as well as concerned parents would be considering a boycott and I am here to examine the pros and cons of such action.

Let me first say to the community who are reading this and would classify themselves as “gender confused” that Jesus loves you, just as you are and he desires a relationship with you. Just as I had to do, you have to realize your sins before you recognize the need for a Savior. I also recognize that there is a portion of those folks who have set themselves against God and will not seek Jesus under any circumstances and I pray for you all (not in a threatening manner but as one who is concerned and wants everyone go find Jesus as their Savior!)

What was the policy?

The Target website released the following statement through many news outlets…link

“Recent debate around proposed laws in several states has reignited a national conversation around inclusivity. So earlier this week, we reiterated with our team members where Target stands and how our beliefs are brought to life in how we serve our guests.

Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.

We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.

In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.

We regularly assess issues and consider many factors such as impact to our business, guests and team members. Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position.

Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

What does it mean for me as the father of a six year old daughter?

Absolutely nothing, if I am taking my child to the restroom I will do as I do now and enter the men’s room with her, enclose her in a cubicle and be between her and the other patrons at all times.

However I do conceded that someone with daughters older than myself will have reservations about sending their daughters into a restroom where there may not be only females especially those who are too old to go potty in front of their parents. I would ask that you use your best judgment, but think on this you were happy to send them in solo to a room where people who may be attracted to the same sex were?

Am I going to boycott?

Let me get one thing straight, I have no desire to go to Target at the best of times because I am a guy who does not like shopping so when I go it is usually because I am with my wife and child or I am there to finish up shopping for an event or I have been sent on an errand most likely for my mother in law because she uses the pharmacy there so I have no idea whether I will boycott but I certainly I am not going to get all heat up about Target enforcing a policy. I say this because when I was buying “My Little Ponies” for my daughter at Target in previous times I have visited solo I was under no illusion that I was funding a Christian company. I don’t expect Target to share my morals or my thoughts or beliefs. They are a secular company who are only looking after the bottom line and trying to keep profits at an acceptable level to their shareholders.

Truth be told, I know people who work in Targets locally and they are good folks and two of the females in my church work in a local target also. These are folks that would all be unemployed should a successful boycott take place so are you willing to but your fellow Christians (obviously Target employs people regardless of faith) out of a job? Again I am not telling you to boycott or not, whilst this is a hot topic now, I do wonder how long it will go on for?

Why not just a third bathroom?

Why not? It is a sensible idea because Walmart have done this in my local town where they have a Male/Female/Family or disabled bathroom and everyone is included and I don’t see a let’s not shop at Walmart? (Certainly not for that reason) What makes it difficult to do that now is it would be painted as a removal of rights.

When will it be policed?

Unfortunately this is being done on an honor system at present so unless someone is attacked in a bathroom and it is actively linked (I am being very careful in my terminology) to this new policy then the status quo will remain the same unless Target decides to change it’s policy (That would be difficult due the removal of rights we looked at in the last paragraph)

What I am expecting is that not everyone is honest and there will be people looking to exploit this to their own ends, we live in a fallen world and I truly hope and pray nothing bad happens however we do know that there are people in this world who would attempt to use this situation to their advantage to prey on people. I pray that Target begins to police the bathrooms at their cost before something happens.

I say the previous paragraph because in a large part of Targets heartland (the Midwest and the South) they are having a really bad PR black eye and have truly misjudged the depth of feeling by concerned patrons of their stores (not all Christians) and if something happens then that PR black eye would be even worse.

The line used to be clear now it is untenable

Remember the good old days, when a man who had male anatomy used the restroom that was assigned to him as did the female? That was easy to police and whilst it wasn’t perfect and there were lewd conduct in bathrooms long before the 19th of this month it was the rules and it at least made sense to the majority of Americans. (And for that matter this guy who was born of British blood) It was that easy we could explain it to a child and now we have exchanged the truth for a lie and are calling a man what is not a man and a woman what is not a woman using logical definitions for what those words actually mean as opposed to what culture tells us that they mean because culture will always change with public opinion.

By all means protest but make it a legitimate one

I have seen all manners of Facebook posts with silly protestations of guys being filmed walking into the ladies room in target when they have no business being there. The fact they are filming in a bathroom also makes me nervous and another who asked for the Target’s employee discount as he felt that day like he was a Target employee, others stated that they wanted to fill up their carts and make the employee cash it up and then ask the bathroom policy and then walk out leaving the goods if the employee answers honestly. I believe that such frivolous protests will make Target not take seriously the legitimate ones.

Target has opened the door to protest because as it states in their own press release “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

What’s my angle in all of this?

I have no agenda, I prayed a lot before I wrote this and I know that by writing this I may lose a lot of followers and the day I am not prepared to do that is the day that I should just shut up about all matters. I just wish to alert Christians to an idea that they may or may not have presented to them previously. Some contrary thinking perhaps and an idea that they would not regularly hear. My desire is to see all of my readers come to faith in Christ and those who have come to a deeper understanding of God and the plan that God has for your lives. I am a heterosexual man who is happily married some 10 years and has a lovely 6 year old daughter. I teach a bible study and mentor a few folks in my neighborhood. I am a conservative Christian in the Calvary Chapel movement and I am a reluctant Target customer. (As I dislike shopping)

How does this protest win people to Jesus?

Really it doesn’t and that is my concern. It is hard enough to engage folks in a conversation about Jesus without dealing with the negative backlash from folks just waiting to whack you with the “See, intolerant Christians” brush and I am against anything that will push people further away from my messiah. We are in a spiritual battle in order to save people from eternal damnation, with that at stake I have Target waaaay down on my priority list.

Why are you being a Target apologist?

Actually I am not, If you feel led to boycott then by all means do so but as stated above it is a sideshow that distracts us from our true mission here and that is that of the great commission in Matthew 28. The actions of Christians do not really show a great deal of love and my point is to make an alternate view and give a possible dissenting voice?

Whether you boycott Target will make me no richer or poorer because I have no dog in this fight, what I will say is that if you wish to make a stand at all of those companies that have either given money to LGBT charities or organizations then you will be hard pushed to find somewhere you will not be boycotting! We all have the right to free speech and I am exercising mine here and I expect some contrary views and I am a big enough boy to handle that! I do have some legitimate concerns regarding this policy and I have stated them above…

I invite all comments and they are only moderated for profanity. If you have any questions of comments then please do so below.
TGBTG
SDG
TTE

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Gay waitress got bible verse (Leviticus 20:13) for tip in North Carolina

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Gay waitress got bible verse (Leviticus 20:13) for tip in North Carolina

I read with sadness in my local paper today (Fresno Bee) that a waitress in North Carolina was left a message on her bill for the table that she was serving and in case you are not familiar with the scripture then let me show you what it said…

Leviticus 20:10 (ESV) “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed perversion; their blood is upon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 14 If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you. 15 If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. 17 “If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, and he shall bear his iniquity. 18 If a man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and uncovers her nakedness, he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for that is to make naked one’s relative; they shall bear their iniquity. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

I give the whole paragraph in scripture in submission to give the full context of what was said. Please bear in mind that I was not at that restaurant that day and I am going on a newspaper report of what happened but it does seem quite clear cut what happened.

So what actually happened then?

Looks like a well-known local same sex equal rights campaigner in the area of LBGT rights was serving at her day job and these customers took exception to their waitress. I am assuming of course that there had been previous interactions or previous knowledge of each other as it does not seem probable that in the hour that they would have had been able to ascertain in a casual conversation setting where the waitresses preferences lay in that area. For me something is missing!

Alexandra Judd works at Zada Janes in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood in Charlotte North Carolina and I am sure she is getting her fifteen minutes of fame and let’s not forget she is a campaigner for “equal rights” as far as same sex marriages in a state that this is a contentious issue so there is a bias in making this story go as far and wide to help her own campaigning efforts, however she does also state in the article (direct quote) “I’ve had a guest leave me a pamphlet to their church as a tip one time, but I didn’t feel as if they were being hateful towards me. The ladies that came in were very rude, and would hardly talk to me – but I never expected this.” So it does appear that these ladies knew who the waitress was and wanted to make a point from the get go.

You can be right in your message but wrong in how you deliver it!

The patrons of that particular eatery are technically correct in their quotation of scripture in that the bible does in fact say what they wanted it to say I would however question the heart behind what they were trying to do. I say this because if someone was to make a request of me to ask what the bible states about homosexual unions, I would point them towards this and a few other verses. (Leviticus 18:22, 1st Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:26-28, 1st Timothy 1:10-11, Genesis 19:1-38 and that’s just the ones that deal with just homosexuality, there are many more that deal with sexually immoral) In that scenario I would be giving a defense of the faith (1st Peter 3:15) that I hold dear to my heart. (Yes I am also writing with a bias)

Whilst they are correct in what they say, I do not condone or endorse how they put their message across. I say that and I am not so much calling out those women because, let’s face it I do not know them and I am likely never to meet them. I am calling out ALL CHRISTIANS in how they deal with situations like this. Let’s look at how Jesus dealt with a woman who was accused of sexual immorality…

John 8:2 (ESV) Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

When this verse is often looked at the verse “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Is often the quoted part and as you would expect I quote the whole account in order for you to have appropriate context. Jesus could see the hearts of these people and seen that despite the sin in their own hearts, they wanted to make an example of this woman for the sin she had committed. Jesus knew each one of them, regardless of how holy they looked was hiding something so he asked the question more in a manner to teach the accusers a question as well as to show mercy to the lady. The last part should also be quoted but it rarely is “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” This conversation shows to me at least that Jesus was not condoning her lifestyle and commanded her to stop the sin that she was in. Jesus also commanded the religious people in the book of Mark…

Mark 12:28 (ESV) And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Jesus was correct in what he said all of the commandments hang on those two, the first relates to the first four commands of the 10 commandments that relate to man’s relationship to God and the last relates to the last six commandments is how we relate to our fellow man. We are to love one another, Jesus went on to say in John that is “how you would know you were my disciples” (John 13:34-35) and in this interaction I don’t see much love to the waitress.

Catch more bees with honey than vinegar

This type of slapping people in the face with scripture is neither effective nor helpful. I do not know the hearts of the people who were eating that day or the hearts of the waitress and I have no idea whether the waitress will ever come to know Jesus or not, that knowledge is well above my Christian “pay grade” however I feel that this whole episode has created a negative feeling towards Jesus in this whole area and beyond.

What I see happening in this area is that the ones who support her campaign will rally round the waitress and the restaurant will either get a surge of business or a decline. Personally I hope it is neither and people eat there if they want to and don’t if they don’t.

Here is the part where I may get a little feedback and to be fair I am not all that fussed about that but I have to ask the question based on these ladies actions… “How did this introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lady they made a ham fisted attempt at introducing scripture to?” Do you think that she will be flocking to her nearest church building at the “love” she received? Does this interaction move her closer to a relationship with Jesus or further away? Not just that lady but everyone who reads this.

“Bible Bashing”

Using scripture to cast a burden on someone who is not living in a relationship with Jesus or telling someone in a threatening manner “I will pray for you” really does not help and constitutes what I call bible bashing, it is trying to beat strangers up with a word that they neither agree with and meeting them with a spirit of conflict that rarely ends well. I am not referring to street evangelists who do a wonderful job and will often times step away if someone is not interested, I am speaking to the Christian Pharisee who Jesus would probably have had words for if he was on his mission today.

I love evangelizing, I do think however if you are going to broach a tricky subject like this that you do so when you have a relationship with that people and I say this from a mindset of being someone who has friends who are homosexual. They know I am a Christian and they also know of the great love I have for them, if they wanted to come to my church I would take them there and I pray for them but in a spirit of love because I genuinely want what is best for them. I know that they may or may not come to a relationship with Jesus but I want to be able to be in a position to promote that and not be a detractor.

The bible is clear on God’s view on this subject, the bible is also clear on a whole bunch of other subjects too and I wish we were as zealous on some of those subjects as we are here.

These are just my thoughts please take them as you will!

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

Genesis One – Day Six – Let us make man in our image, after our likeness – Genesis 1:24-31

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Genesis One – Day Six – Let us make man in our image, after our likeness – Genesis 1:24-31 – 02/09/2016

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

This article is designed to be a slightly more in depth article than I did in the “creation series” elsewhere on this website, Lord willing I hope to look at the full creation week and examine the case for a Biblical creation from the mindset that the bible is accurate and a honest and truthful source of history in how we came to be here. I am not here to attack other mindsets as I appreciate that not everyone shares my view of a biblical history and I do welcome lively debate on the subject regardless of your thoughts or beliefs on how the earth was made.

In order to look at this from a biblical context we must first look at the text in question starting in verse twenty four…

V24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

God makes the land animals today after completing the sea and the air animals yesterday. It is important that we see that creation follows that same model “after their kind” in that sea lions didn’t become lions, catfish didn’t make cats, but from the dog family we have Poodle, Chihuahua, Labrador, Terrier and St Bernard, all different but all Dogs. Wonderful variation between kinds of dogs but only a fool would argue that any are less of a dog because they are different from the other!

God again concludes that “it was good” If the gap theory, or millions of years between genesis 1:1-Genesis 1:2 were true then this would make God a liar by stating that creation was “good” up until this point, a God who was true and did not lie would not state that something was “good” if there was millions of years of death and suffering that predated this creation. Theologically and looking at the character of God it just does not make sense.

V26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God makes man in his own image, separate from the animals. God takes great care to separate the creation of the land animals and the man that he created in his own image, in the likeness of God. We see this in greater detail in Genesis two when they go into a more exhaustive history of this time period. Let me make a few observations about the creation of man…

Man was in “our own image” – God the Father and Jesus Christ were at this point in creation, co-authors of creation who saw the original blueprints for the plan for mankind. As stated previously we are separate from the animals, but also separate from the angels as we do not read anywhere in scripture that angels were in “God’s image”.

Because we are in God’s image, do you see the value in your life, it is not something that is cheap by any means, you resemble your creator, He loved you that much that he made you in his image! Animals do not have the same personality traits of humans, they do not exhibit knowledge, feelings, facial expressions, a sense of morality, a sense of spirituality – I see no chimps at the zoo arguing about the benefits of Calvinism over say Lutheran theology! And lastly man alone speaks in a discernable language
“Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” – God put man in charge, prior to the fall there were no lions chasing the first man around, everything was to be in unison and in perfect harmony.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them – God created man to multiply and be able to breed. He created male and female and gave an example of how a relationship should look, there was a monogamous heterosexual relationship that left no room for an argument for polygamy or homosexuality. This is an emotive issue so I have decided to just stick with what the Word says on the matter and not leave any opinion. Lastly I do want to observe that man was created fully formed, there is no notation of Adam going through puberty, being a baby or a toddler, he starts as a fully formed man.

V28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

And as promised God gave the earth to man to be fruitful and multiply. We had better not tell Al Gore! God had an original plan and that was for man to be all over the earth and he made an earth large enough to cope with the population. This flies in the face of modern man who claims that the earth is too overcrowded when in truth there are large parts of the earth that are uninhabited.

The writer goes to great lengths to show that Adam was man and Eve was woman from the beginning, Adam was as much man as I am with the same biological parts and anatomy that you would associate with a male human. God created two distinct genders; there was no transgender or gender-confusion in God’s original plan. God gave the man a desire for the woman and vice versa, this was God’s plan to populate the earth with his creation.

He gave vegetation for food initially, the first animal was not killed until after the first sin and that was to clothe the first humans. It was not until Genesis 9 that we see that man starts eating of the animals. (After the flood)

V31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

God culminates the sixth day of creation with the phrase “very good” not just “good” but “very good” Some would say that God was very pleased with his creation. Why wouldn’t he be, he created a paradise with no death, no decay which was a self-sustaining tropical paradise that man could live in easily and could have many decedents and never outgrow the place. What could possibly spoil this paradise? How did we get to the place of decay that we are in today?

Lord willing, in our next article in Genesis we look at the seventh day as we begin chapter two in Genesis. I pray that you are able to join us as we go through the bible, line by line and precept by precept.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

UPDATE – City of Houston cancels subpoenas (and what will probably happen next)

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UPDATE – City of Houston cancels subpoenas (and what will probably happen next)

As written about yesterday on the blog, we looked at the strange case of the Mayor of the City of Houston and her special treatment of five pastors in the Houston area. For whatever reason, this legal action has been cancelled as the Mayor stated that it “did not serve the interests of the City of Houston”.

 Seriously?  I don’t have a law degree and even I knew that! It was a self serving and frivolous abuse of power based on an individual’s bias and her own personal bigotry based on what she thought she may find in the sermons.

I know that she is the Mayor of that city and she yields certain powers, but such abuses of power and personal vendettas will not sit well for her should she be required to be re-elected. Closer to my home in California, a former Mayor of a local city was not re-elected after she tried to use her “executive authority” to override normal city policy and push through a LGBT month in a city that had little taste for it. In fact when it came to a public hearing, the LGBT side had to bus people in from almost 100 miles away to seem like it was a more credible number.

She also cannot force a pastor of a certain religion not preach theological truths of that same religion. I do not see her doing likewise at the local Mosque who would see her far worse than the local pastors.

What I see happening next

I see the LGBT community trying to force the issue and try to re-open a subpoena, either against the pastors or against the mayor/City of Houston. The liberals have not had their “pound of flesh” yet and someone is going to have to be the fall guy.

I can see the city trying to do something through the back door such as try to revoke a tax exempt status or something like that. I say that as we are only told that they are stopping “this legal action”. Call me a cynic but I think that also leaves the door open for further tests legally.

My hope, however is that it goes away, the pastors are left alone to continue to preach the word of God without any further hair brained hindrance from their local City. I think the city really mis-calculated how strong the opinion would not be on their side. Politian’s do not do things that are going to either stop them getting/elected/reelected/or to the next level.

Final thoughts

My hope and prayer is that we draw a line in the sand and this is the end of it, we are called in Paul’s epistle to the Romans in chapter 13 to “subject to the governing authorities.” here is the full text for clarification and for context.

Romans 13:1 (ESV) Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

You see God does not allow authority except it comes from God. (Even when they themselves rebel against the Word of God)

I hope this update was a blessing, please like, comment and share if the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

Pastors – Let us treat the “City of Houston” biblically

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Pastors – Let us treat the “City of Houston” biblically

Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 5:38 (ESV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

The idea of this article is perhaps to shed a little balance and take away emotion from something that is obviously a highly charged issue.  I will gladly share my bias here, I am a Conservative Christian blogger (duh, if you are here you will most certainly know that) who actually has a “dog in this fight” to use a British term. I have friends who are in the process of establishing a church in the very city that I am blogging about.

I have relative safety from this in the fact that I am blogging about this from the safety of my own home in Central California and have no ties to the City of Houston or any of its entities. As it stands at the moment my local authority has not requested any teaching that I have done or any pastors that I have been associated with.

Persecution?

This heading is rightly a question as I am a little unsure as I have heard many provocative remarks regarding whether this is “persecution” or not. The fact is that an elected official is using power that she has in order to air personal grievances. I am of course meaning the Mayor of Houston and her crusade to request copies of sermons (or as it was later requested “public speeches”)

This was done to find out if any of the pastors had taught a biblical perspective on issues of a LGBT nature, the mayor Annise Parker (which a lot has been made out of the fact that she is a lesbian, however I deem that irrelevant) has made it a personal goal to single out five pastors for “special treatment”.

I don’t necessarily call it persecution as I don’t see that I see in many other countries where biblical teachers are being dragged through the streets and tortured for even professing the name of Christ. These guys have freedoms that pastors in former communist and current Muslim countries would dream of, they have financial backing, many get paid to pastor and they can meet out in the open safe in the knowledge that the next convert may or may not be a Judas and sent them to their death.

So in the truest sense of the word it is not persecution.

Do as the verse says

We are told in the above verse that “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” give her the sermons, give her as much literature as she wants and needs, don’t send her bibles! listen folks. I follow a BIG GOD who has told me that this in Isaiah 55 (That the word shall not return empty) Here is the full discourse for balance.

Isaiah 55:6 (ESV) “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Here is the crux of what i wish to say, I believe that there is some reason behind why she is asking to have these sermons, in her mind she is doing her own bidding, however I would not count out that God may be orchestrating something bigger. God has done this before remember,  one of the greatest evangelists was the Apostle Paul, who up until his conversion just shy of Damascus in Acts 9, was the Pharisee Saul who tortured and killed Christians.  (In fact he was on his way to do likewise when he was converted)

If Jesus can come face to face with a murderer and a man responsible for a lot of the first century persecution,  he certainly can work this situation to the glory of God using the ones who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

Final thoughts

We are told (again by Jesus) in the book of Matthew

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

So my prayer to the pastors is to let them have the sermons. (Most are available on the church websites) and be available to counsel those who have questions. Embrace those who breathe evil against you are no show them the love of Christ.

I pray for the government officials that they find the knowledge of the one true messiah. His name is Jesus Christ and he is the LORD.

Jesus said in John 14:6 that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It is through him and him only that you can have eternal life.

God bless and I pray that this was a blessing and please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads.
TGBTG
TTE