Present Darkness

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12

Ephesians chapter six speaks of a standing against a “present darkness” and an “evil day.” Since the founding of this country, Christians have enjoyed a degree of religious freedom unprecedented in world history. I am alarmed that this long precedent is soon to change. It seems that the storm clouds have moved from the horizon to directly overhead. The country has progressively slid into a state of deep moral rebellion. We now live in a majority non-Christian country. The discussion has fundamentally changed. Talk is no longer about rebellious people doing sinful things, but sinful people holding the seats of power and attempting to force Christian people to give up their fundamental beliefs. I have long felt that the decisive strike against the church would come from the lesbian gay bi-sexual transgender queer (LGBTQ) community. This is fair to project because of biblical precedent. Homosexuality first comes on the scene in the Bible (Genesis 19) in a radically militant way. This community continues in its militancy today.

The LGBTQ community is not satisfied with being allowed to live as they choose in a free society. Their various passionate advocacy groups now see an open door of sympathy and opportunity in the Biden administration and the Democrat congressional majorities. They are pressing their case as far as they can. You should be aware of what is happening:

  1. The Equality Act: This act would add people identifying as LGBTQ to the Civil Rights Act as an additional protected class. This means that any person or organization that “discriminates” against an LGBTQ person would be open to criminal prosecution. This would mean that Christian churches, schools, camps, and hospitals would be forced to hire, accommodate, and not speak against homosexual or transgender issues in any way. This act has already passed the house with NO religious exemptions of any sort.
  2. Christian Colleges: An anti-religious exemption advocacy group filed a massive lawsuit last week against Christian Colleges and Universities nationwide. The suit is now being considered by the Biden controlled Department of Education. The purpose of the suit is to force the Department of Education to remove ALL federal funding from Colleges and Universities that do not fully approve of and promote LGBTQ lifestyles. These schools, as Christian schools, all have codes of conduct forbidding what the Bible forbids – homosexual and transgender sexual acts. If the lawsuit is successful all federal student aid and grants would be shut off. Certain business publications project that this could instantly close the doors of almost half the Christian Universities in the country that have become dependent on such funding.
  3. The US Military: The US military has fully reversed course on all things related to LGBTQ. In a powerful show of support to the transgender military community, transgender people were recently applauded and encouraged to become “more visible.” They have entered into a specially protected and promoted class. It is now being publicized as a recruiting tool that the military will pay for sex-reassignment surgery and subsequent hormone therapy to those who enlist.
  4. College Sports: Nationally the advancement of Oral Roberts University and Baylor University in the NCAA men’s college basketball national tournament has been passionately condemned by sports writers of major news outlets. They have been condemned because both Christian schools have codes of conduct that forbid homosexuality and transgender lifestyles on biblical grounds. The sports writers have begun publically campaigning to have all schools that hold anti-LGBTQ stances to be removed from NCAA sporting events. 

These things are happening now, and if the Equality Act is passed, and opposition to homosexuality and transgender issues becomes criminal, other effects similar to these will immediately follow. Almost certainly, colleges and universities that lose all federal funding and their sports programs for “discrimination” will also lose their accreditation. Then finally, it’s hard to believe that churches will continue to receive favorable tax status if it is considered a criminal place of “discrimination” for practicing biblical Christianity. If financial penalties are first used to starve out colleges and universities, they will be used against churches next.

Don’t be deceived, these measures of financial coercion and constant public shaming are being brought to bear in an attempt to force Christian people to abandon a biblical Christian sexual ethic. As Albert Mohler states, a great “sorting” is about to happen. The sorting will be between those who will hold to a biblical sexual ethic that is willing to name sexual sin, and those who fully place sexuality in the free expression category.

As a church I want to focus on a few issues. First, the very first freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights is the free practice of religion. Practice means that we get to act on our religion. We get to live out what we believe in the public square. You do not have freedom of religion if you are only allowed to act a certain way within the four walls of your church. This right was not created by the authors of the Bill of Rights, but recognized as a right from God. Human government does not have the authority to dictate moral mandates to God.

Second, know what the Bible teaches about sexual ethics. Learn clearly what the Bible says about how we should conduct ourselves sexually. This is not a small or secondary matter in the Bible. The idea that gender is assigned by God, and reserving sex for marriage between one man and one woman is basic to walking in obedience to God’s will.

Third, we must stand together as a church. We will greatly need each other in prayer, encouragement, wise counsel, and financial help in the coming days. These issues are not far off. They are in our face and in our midst. We cannot whisper in the corners about these things when they affect our families, our children, and our neighbors. We must help each other where help is needed and pray where prayer is needed. We must also be prepared to make sacrifices for obeying God. I am convinced that sooner than later someone in our church will lose their job because of an unwillingness to accept and participate in the LGBTQ militant agenda. We must stand together at that time and help.

Fourth, we must not fear. The true Christian church, those who believe in Jesus and follow His commands, will never fail. Persecution has come in various waves and forms throughout church history. Each time the church spreads and grows stronger, even through the fire of trial and hardship. Jesus is the Good Shepherd; He will always provide for those that are not ashamed of His name.

Fifth, we must never stop preaching the gospel to a lost and dying world. We must love the lost and speak to them the commands of Christ with sincere hope that they will come to repentance and faith. We must truly welcome LGBTQ people into our congregation. We welcome them to hear the preaching of God’s word, not to approve of their sin. And when the Lord brings them to salvation, we must help them unwind the complicated consequences of such deception.

May Jesus strengthen us, make us wise, and fill us with the Holy Spirit to effectively live for Jesus in our time and seek the lost for Christ.

Stand firm in Jesus our Lord,

Pastor Vic

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