Will We Follow Jimmy Carter or Will We Stand Firm, Regardless of the Cost?
Pressure to Drop Our Opposition to Same-Sex Unions and Gross Sexual Immorality
Paul the apostle said to his young son in the faith, Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3). Paul himself was willing to suffer for Christs sake. He wrote, I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal (2:9). Hardship, suffering, and trials are part of following the Lord Jesus as a genuine disciple. The apostle declared, All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (3:12). Are you willing to suffer?
In our modern era, especially in the past month, it has been increasingly difficult to contend publicly for a moral lifestyle. With the legalization of sodomy in all of its forms by the liberal Supreme Court justices, we know that opposing this particularly perverted form of sexual immorality is becoming more and more difficult. Societal pressure and legal precepts conspire to pressure us into conforming to the immoral status quo. Presently, over fifty percent of the general public favors so-called sodomite marriage in America. What do we do?
Recently, Jimmy Carter, the past president of the United States was interviewed and his personal opinion was revealed. For decades now, we have known that Carter held liberal views and didnt mind promoting such views publicly. We think this is a shame for a Baptist teacher, one who would not be approved by a great number of his Southern Baptist brethren.
According to one news report, Carter said:
About half way through the interview on Huffington Post Live, Carter was asked his opinion of gay marriage, to which he gave the obligatory, Thats no problem with me. You know, I think everybody should have the right to get married regardless of their sex.
(newsbusters.org/blogs/ andrew-miller/2015/ 07/07/jimmy-carter- jesus-would-ok- gay-marriage-some- abortion?utm_ source=facebook&utm _medium=marketing& utm_term=facebook&utm _content=facebook &utm_campaign=carter -jesus-ok)
But Mr. Carter, as a Bible teacher, should know that not everyone has a right to get married regardless of their sex. It is never right to do wrong! It is never right to offend God and violate His will. It is never right to commit sexual immorality and encourage others to do the same!
Marc Lamont Hill, the interviewer, continued his conversation with the former president, then the news report observed that he really didnt deal with Christs teaching on marriage. Here is the comment:
Carter skipped the point where Jesus defined a relationship between a man and a woman in Mark 19:4-6. [This was actually Matthew 19:4-6, RH.] Here is the NIV version from Biblehub.com:
Havent you read, he replied, that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Pretty clear to anyone except a former president. (Ibid)
It is interesting that Christs words on marriage were clear enough to a liberal news reporter but they were overlooked by this previous national leader!
This is only an example that shows that public opinion is shifting greatly on moral issues in this country. A massive shift occurred decades ago when no fault divorce came to the country and this opened the flood gates of remarriages that resulted in adulterous relationships. The shift has continued with the massive change of public opinion regarding the sexual immorality of sodomite/homosexual relationships. What was once considered a particularly shameful and debauched form of perversion, has become mainstream! And it has continued to the point that the highest Court in America has proclaimed sodomite relationships legal and legitimate!
I asked at the beginning of our essay whether we will stand firm against the increasingly offensive sodomite agenda, now backed by civil law. Sincere people in many states are defying national law and refusing to acquiesce to both public opinion and civil precepts. Notice this news report:
MOREHEAD, Ky. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis shut her blinds at work Tuesday to block the view of rainbow-clad protesters outside. They carried flowers and flags and signs saying “you don’t own marriage.” They chanted “do your job.”
Moments later, she told a lesbian couple who walked in asking for a license to try another county.
Davis is among a handful of public officials across the Bible Belt so repulsed by the thought of enabling a same-sex marriage that they are defying the U.S. Supreme Court and refusing to issue a license to anyone, gay or straight.
“It’s a deep-rooted conviction; my conscience won’t allow me to do that,” Davis told The Associated Press. “It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”
Some judges and clerks in Alabama and Texas have done the same, ordering their offices in the name of religious liberty and free speech to issue no marriage licenses at all. (usnews.com/news /us/articles/2015/ 06/30/same-sex- marriage-fight-turns -to-clerk-who-refuse-licenses)
Will some sincere, religious people surrender to the pressure brought on them by local and national officials? Some seem to be prepared to refuse:
Two things can happen if a Kentucky clerk won’t issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple: They can resign, or go to jail, said Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.
“If it means that you simply cannot fulfill your duties because of your religious beliefs, what is required of you is that you can no longer hold that office,” Marcosson said. “That applies to a judge, that applies to a senator, that applies to anyone who holds public office.”
Clerks and probate judges hold the keys to marriage in counties around the country, and in many rural areas, there are few alternatives for hundreds of miles. Couples turned away could seek a court order, and a clerk who still refuses to issue a license could be jailed for contempt, Marcosson said.
They also risk criminal official misconduct charges, said Warren County Attorney Ann Milliken, president of the Kentucky County Attorneys Association. The misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, is committed when a public servant “refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office.”
Casey Davis, the clerk in Casey County, Kentucky, says he won’t resign and he’d rather go to jail than issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. None have yet come in to get one, he said.
After the Supreme Court declared that marriage is a constitutional right equally held by all Americans, clerks in Arkansas and Mississippi resigned Tuesday rather than be forced to sign the licenses of gays and lesbians. Linda Barnette, the circuit clerk in Grenada County, Mississippi, for 24 years, wrote in her resignation letter that she is a “follower of Christ” and that she chooses “to obey God rather than man.”
We commend these people who will refuse to sin regardless of the requirements of their job. It would be a horrible example to unbelievers if professing Christians were to say, in effect, I dont believe in homosexuality, but Im willing to do what needs to be done to retain my job! Unbelievers will conclude what many have surmised in the pastthat people are religious and will say religious things until they are required to sacrifice for Christ. Then they will be like everyone else!
In Kentucky, where one clerk refused to issue sodomite marriage licenses, there have been mixed reactions. Probably in San Francisco, Boston, Denver, or New York, there will be wholesale acceptance of homosexual unions, but in the Midwest and South, we still find more conservative people objecting to these immoral unions. The proverbial Bible Belt continues to have great objection to sodomy, regardless of what liberal Supreme Court Justices decide in Washington, D.C. (which is one of the most liberal areas of the country). Here are further comments from the previous news report:
Other reluctant Kentucky clerks gave up the fight on Tuesday.
Lawrence County Clerk Chris Jobe, who also serves as president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association, told The Courier-Journal in Louisville that he would resume issuing licenses for fear of being removed from office. Several other Kentucky clerks made similar concessions.
Even in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana, where governors took the most vigorous stands against Friday’s Supreme Court’s ruling, clerks were issuing licenses.
But Davis stayed firm in denying one Tuesday to April Miller and Karen Roberts, a couple of 11 years who live in Morehead.
The office of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway encouraged any couples who are turned away to seek private counsel. Miller and Roberts contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky to represent them.
“This is where we live; we pay taxes here, we vote here. And we want to get married here,” said Miller.
Outside Davis’ office, drivers honked and waved, flew rainbow flags from their windows and shouted “love must win!”
But a small group also gathered to support Davis, demonstrating the stark divide that remains in the most theologically conservative stretches of the South and Midwest, where state leaders fought hard for years to prevent same-sex marriage.
“Our country is on the wrong path, we as a people no longer exalt God,” said Dennis Buschman, who carried a Bible as he led a half-dozen people supporting the clerk’s defiance. He called homosexuality an “abomination” and a “serious, serious sin.”
Some protesters confronted them.
“God did not elect her, I did,” said Kevin Bass, a former police officer who arrived at the courthouse with his wife to support gay couples seeking licenses. “If she objects to doing her job, she can go.”
As a police officer for 20 years, he said, he could not choose which laws he liked to enforce.
Inside the county building, Davis seemed worried. She showed the AP a curse-laden hate mail she received overnight. When she took her oath of office in January and promised to uphold the state constitution, gay marriage wasn’t a part of the deal, she figures.
Davis would not say whether she’ll quit her job to stand up for her beliefs, but vowed never to issue a marriage license to a gay couple.
“No man can put a harness on his conscience. That is protected by the Kentucky Constitution, the very Constitution I took an oath to uphold,” she said. (Ibid.)
What will conservative people in the Midwest and South do in light of this cruel and unjust legal decision? Will they object to the law or will they find a way to combat it? We were interested in this question in light of an article entitled, States Move to Counter Gay Marriage Ruling. Apparently there are different strategies:
More than a dozen states that saw gay marriage bans struck down last week by the U.S. Supreme Court are vowing to protect religious liberty, even though they grudgingly accept that the ruling is now the law of the land.
In the wake of Friday’s decision, Texass attorney general told county clerks in the state that they have a statutory right to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they have religious objections to gay marriage.
In Alabama, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage said a new state court order could temporarily delay the practice, only to walk back the remarks.
And in Louisiana, the attorney general contends there is nothing in the Supreme Courts ruling that renders it effective immediately, raising questions about how soon the state would have to comply.
Many other states across the South and upper Midwest are criticizing the ruling as an encroachment on states rights and religious freedom, though most acknowledge they cannot ignore it.
“Ultimately, my position is that the state should have been legally entitled to define marriage, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley told The Hill. I feel the state has traditionally held that role, and certainly when it’s in the state’s constitution it should be respected.”
“But we are a nation of laws and we must respect that,” he added.
Before the Supreme Courts ruling last Friday, those states and 11 others Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Tennessee had laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Though not outright defying the high courts decision, states are now seeking to make clear the limits of its scope.
The ruling does not tell a minister or congregation what they must do, but it does make clear that the government cannot pick and choose when it comes to issuing marriage licenses and the benefits they confer, said Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state would issue exemptions to county clerks, judges and justices of the peace who express religious objections to issuing gay marriage licenses, promising to “defend their religious beliefs.”
The government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections, Paxton said, accusing the Supreme Court of ignoring the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist.
In cases where there are objections, however, other public officials would issue the documents.
Even in the more conservative Bible Belt states, there are signs that some are surrendering to this wicked law:
A federal judge ruled in May that the Alabama s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional and stayed her opinion until the Supreme Court ruled on the issue. This week, Moore the state Supreme Courts chief justice initially said a new motion in the earlier case would effectively table Fridays U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, a case known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
But same-sex marriage advocates argued that the order has no tangible effects thanks to a federal injunction, and Moore later backed away from the assertion.
“In no way does the order instruct probate judges of this State as to whether or not they should comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell,” he said.
Still, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange accused the Supreme Court of overturning centuries of tradition and the will of the citizens.
I expect the focus will now turn to the exercise of ones religious liberty, Strange said.
A number of attorneys general also complained that the Supreme Courts decision infringes on states rights to define marriage how they see fit.
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said the courts ruling overturns the will of the people of Louisiana, and it takes away a right that should have been left to the states.
Caldwell is threatening to essentially disregard the Supreme Courts ruling for the time being, saying there is nothing in [the] decision that makes the courts order effective immediately. Therefore, there is not yet a legal requirement for officials to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for same-sex couples in Louisiana.
Gay rights activists warn that any acts of perceived defiance would threaten to undermine the legal system.
Its a dangerous message for southern governors to disobey an order from the Supreme Court, said Marc Solomon, national campaign director at Freedom to Marry.
The notion that public employees get to pick and choose which laws they follow based on their religious beliefs is a really dangerous precedent and a terrible public policy, he added. “If youre a public official, you need to carry out those laws, and you dont get to decide whether theyre right or wrong.
The attorneys general in North Dakota and Mississippi both said they are waiting on other court cases to be resolved before they enforce the Supreme Courts ruling on same-sex marriage.
Other states like Ohio and Nebraska expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court was interfering with their marriage laws, but also indicated they would respect the ruling.
And top officials in a handful of states that formerly banned gay marriage are now welcoming the Supreme Courts ruling.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he would move swiftly to recognized same-sex marriage in the wake of the courts ruling.
The history of our country has always been one of moving toward inclusion and equality, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement. I applaud the court for their courage and strong sense of fairness. Missourians should be seen as equals under the law; regardless of their gender, race, or whom they love.
Austin Yack, Hanna Krueger, Kate Hardiman and Rachel Ravina contributed.
Did you notice some of the loaded terms used to describe the liberal, immoral ramifications of this new law? Some are saying that this promotes equality of the moral and the immoral. Others are saying that love wins when sodomites are allowed to wed. Still others warn against disobeying civil law by refusing to recognize same-sex unions (marriages). We know that all such argumentation is a satanic ploy, but it is being used with great effectiveness. We must remember that the devil has had thousands of years of experience in using the most effective means to promote his wicked causeand this is being done today by evil politicians, judges, journalists, and others.
Another sign that America is increasingly losing its religious and moral orientation and becoming more and more like European countries is the way it thinks about political leadership. Bill Bumpas wrote an article entitled, America would rather have a gay president over an evangelical one (OneNewNow.com, Thursday, May 21, 2015). The article highlights this perspective:
A religion and culture expert says a new survey showing that more Americans would accept a homosexual president than an evangelical commander-in chief, is indicative of a growing belief that moral boundaries are becoming increasingly unacceptable to Americans.
According to the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 52 percent of Americans would be comfortable or enthusiastic with an evangelical Christian president up from 41 percent in 2006. However, the percentage of Americans that would be enthusiastic or comfortable with a homosexual president shot up 18 points, from 43 percent in 2006 to 61 percent now.
Dr. Alex McFarland, co-host of American Family Radio’s “Exploring the Word” program, finds the statistics troubling.
“Christianity and even America itself is dependent on there being moral boundaries, McFarland asserts. The gay agenda is dependent on there not being any moral boundaries.
McFarland contends that the moral fabric of America has indeed been torn a reality that has been evidenced in the schools, media, entertainment industry and the White House.
So what the American people are essentially saying is ‘we want a president who doesn’t believe in moral boundaries We would rather have a president that was ethically amoral rather than dependent on the God of our founding fathers,” McFarland concludes.
Dr. McFarland, who also serves as director for the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University in South Carolina, wonders how President Barack Obama, with all of his scandals and lack of transparency as well as his disregard and contempt for Christian values could still have Americans vote of confidence.
[With a president like Barack Obama] how could Americans trust that he could have our best interest at heart? McFarland pondered.
Were you concerned, disturbed, shocked, or dismayed with President Obama was voted to become President of the United States? Many of us were. But he was voted on twice in a row. This revealed how immoral and wicked the country as a whole has becomevoting on a man who believed in killing babies, accepting sexual perversion, and other liberal causes. And now, according to the above article, some 61 percent of the American voting public would be comfortable with a sodomite President! What a shame and shock to people around the world who still hold to a degree of moral sensibilities. But what will we do? How will we deal with the sodomite agenda of moral acceptance in the public sphere?
This issue has become somewhat of a battle between sodomite rights and freedom of conscience. Surely the first amendment recognizes that a person has a right to hold his own religion and religious beliefs. Although this is not Gods own view (He doesnt give anyone the right to believe something contrary to His truth or worship in a way that He has not authorized), it does show that America is supposed to be based on freedom of religion and no immoral agenda should take that away. But we see how the battle to maintain religious freedom has become a serious matter in the United States.
A West Texas official who refused to issue sodomite marriage licenses has a statement titled, Declaration of obedience to law and defense of natural marriage (Clerk issues declaration against gay marriage). According to Irion County Clerk Molly Criner, this was meant to protect natural marriage from lawless court opinions. Liberty Counsel of Florida argues that marriage between one man and one woman remains the law in Texas, regardless of any court decision to the contrary (Ibid.).
Chuck Smith, director of the pro-sodomite Equality Texas, says that Criners religious opposition cant interfere with the issuance of a license. He says that the office as a whole has to comply with issuing licenses to all eligible couples on demand (Ibid.). This shows how much pressure people who fear God are under. Homosexuals are making law-abiding, God-respecting persons appear as law breakerswhcn they, themselves, are ones who are breaking Gods Law!
Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values (Austin based), declares, Government should not be able to punish people because of their religious faith. . . . We will not be silent (Religious Freedom, gay marriage collide, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 3, 1015). We will continue to stand for God and country. We are here to support Katie Lang. In Granbury, Texas, where a demonstration was held in support of religious freedom, signs read, Impeach Supreme Court and Protect Religious Freedom. Stuart Lang, the priest of Good Shepherd Anglican Church in the city, says that the Supreme Court ruling was morally wrong. He contends, I want to make witness for the biblical understanding of marriage (Ibid.).
In contrast, sodomite-promoter Aaron Stotlar of Glen Rose, says, Now one public official has chosen to use her religious beliefs to deny our rights. He said, Im here to show my support for equality. Im all about love. Of course, there cannot be true equality when God says that one lifestyle is perverse and the other lifestyle is not. Further, we know that Gods definition of love is not Holywoods. This shows how ones values even influences our vocabulary. Two sodomites who were waiting to be married asserted, Gay rights are human rights. They say, We are family. Again we see how ones terminology betrays wrong-thinking. We know that God gives no person the right to practice sexual immorality. Further, we know that two sodomites cant be truly a family in Gods sight. The question is: Are we willing to abide by God our Creators view of things or will be submit to an ungodly Supreme Court and public opinion that differs from Gods perspective?
In an article entitled Religious beliefs, gay rights clash in court case over cake, we find how this battle is being fought in different states:
DENVER (AP) A suburban Denver baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple will argue in court Tuesday that his religious beliefs should protect him from sanctions against his business.
The case underscores how the already simmering tension between religious-freedom advocates and gay-rights supporters is likely to become more heated in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last month legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
“What the relationship is between that reality and sort of what that will mean for things like service provisions is where I think the battles will really be fought now,” said Melissa Hart, a law professor at the University of Colorado.
The 2012 case before the Colorado Court of Appeals has ignited a passionate debate over whether individuals can cite their beliefs as a basis for declining to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony or if such refusals on religious grounds can lead to discrimination allegations.
Gay couples have won battles in other states.
Last week, the owners of a Portland, Oregon-area bakery that declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple two years ago were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages. Two years ago, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a photographer who wouldn’t take pictures of a gay couple’s 2006 commitment ceremony violated the state’s discrimination law.
In Washington state, a florist has been fighting a lawsuit filed after she refused to provide services for a gay wedding in 2013.
At the center of the Colorado case are baker Jack Phillips, owner of Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cakeshop, and Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who were married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake to celebrate in Colorado.
Phillips said he has no problem serving gay people at his store, but he says that making a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding would violate his Christian beliefs.
Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission. In December 2013, a judge for the commission ruled that Phillips discriminated against the couple and ordered him to change his store policy against making cakes for gay weddings or face fines.
Phillips appealed the ruling, and the Colorado Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday morning.
“If there are more and more cases like this one, which I think is likely, the national conversation will move from marriage equality to the rights of other people in relationship to that marriage the right to Mr. Phillip’s religious rights,” Hart said.
Both sides of the debate refar apart.
“It’s not the government’s job to force him (Jack Phillips) to violate his conscience, and every citizen should be frightened that special interests want to take away your right to your religious beliefs. We should all say no to that,” said Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, a Republican from Colorado Springs.
On the other side, Laura Reinsch, a spokeswoman for the gay rights group One Colorado, warned that a ruling favoring Phillips would mean “Coloradans would be encouraged to pick and choose which laws they want to follow, and taxpayers would have to foot the bill for endless lawsuits to sort out the problems it could create.”
Shockingly, the Colorado baker who refused to participate in a sodomite wedding by making a cake for their marriage was convicted and this led to his decision to no longer make any wedding cakes. The report has it this way in an article entitled Colorado baker to stop making wedding cakes after losing discrimination case (May 31, 2014). Notice the article:
DENVER – The owner of a bakery in Lakewood said he will no longer sell wedding cakes after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled he did discriminate against a gay couple when he refused to sell them a cake.
Jack Phillips owns Masterpiece Cakeshop. In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig went to the shop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. They planned to marry in Massachusetts and have a reception in Colorado.
Phillips said he doesn’t believe in gay marriage and he refused to sell them a cake.
“We would close down the bakery before we would complicate our beliefs,” Phillips said after the hearing, according to CBS Denver. Phillips also admitted he had refused service to other same-sex couples.
A judge previously ruled a business owner cannot refuse service to a customer on the basis of sexual orientation. Phillips appealed to the commission, but it upheld the decision.
That prompted Phillips to decide he would no longer make any wedding cakes. He said he would be fine selling cupcakes for a birthday party for someone who is gay but added, “I don’t want to participate in a same-sex wedding.”
Gay rights protesters: “Let the gays eat cake”
The commission also ordered the baker to submit quarterly reports about the customers he refuses to serve and retrain employees to serve everyone.
For the couple, they said they always believed they were in the right and it was important to pursue the case for future customers.
“We’ve already been discriminated there,” Mullins said. “We’ve already been treated badly.
“The next time a gay couple wanders in there asking for a wedding cake, they won’t have the experience we had.
“They will have a responsible experience and leave feeling respected.”
This would indicate that if a baker refused to make a cake for an adulterous marriage or a polygamous marriage or a Catholic Church or a Mormon temple, he would be convicted! This, of course, is utterly contrary to the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. In a more recent update entitled Colorado bakers case a 1st amendment issue, we read:
A Colorado cake baker will have to wait several more months to learn whether he can continue to practice his Christian faith in his business.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado, declined to bake a cake celebrating a homosexual “marriage” in 2012. In response, the same-gender couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Phillips was fined and both he and his staff were ordered to undergo training so they won’t reject homosexuals in the future. (See earlier story)
Nicole Martin is one of the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys who took the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals this week.
Alliance Defending Freedom”We argued that the First Amendment should always trump a recently enacted state law whenever one comes up against the other,” she tells OneNewsNow. “The government was formed and specifically the First Amendment [was written] to be freedom’s greatest protector, not its greatest threat.”
A portion of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling imposing same-sex marriage on all 50 states focused on protecting religious freedom. The ADF attorney says that will help in Phillips’ case but only to a certain degree.
“It’s instructive in that reasonable, well-intentioned and honorable people can disagree peacefully about what marriage means,” Martin explains. “… [S]omeone like Jack and other Americans like him should not be punished simply because they have an opposing view from what the government’s preferred vision of marriage is.”
The court is expected to issue a decision perhaps by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Phillips has stopped providing wedding cakes altogether in order to not run afoul of Colorado law.
(onenewsnow.com/ legal-courts/2015/07/ 08/colorado-bakers-case -a-1st-amendment- issue?utm_source= OneNewsNow& utm _medium= email&utm_term =16781489&utm_content= 657205782116&utm _campaign=20716)
The assurances that homosexuals and homosexual legal authorities as well as the Supreme Court have given to the American public and especially to professing Christians, that they will not need to disobey the Lord, may be written on sand. Again and again in the past days and weeks we are seeing that personal religious convictions are being challenged.
But thankfully, there are those who refuse to be intimidated by overbearing judges and authorities. We have read that even one judge is seeking exemption from performing same sex unions. In an notice titled, Ohio judge asks for out on gay weddings (July 9, 2015), A Toledo, Ohio judge wants to know if he can skip performing same-sex weddings. Judge C. Allen McConnell refused to perform one same-sex wedding, citing his religious beliefs. (July 9) (onenewsnow.com/ video?vid=478). Will he stand his ground and refuseor will he allow the threat of dismissal to make his acquiesce to unjust rulings?
Another case is mentioned in the article entitled, Fine, gag order not deterring Christian bakers by Aaron Klein (July 6, 2015). Notice this explanation:
The Heritage Foundation says Aaron and Melissa Klein for their sake and for the sake of others around the U.S. need to continue to push back against the punishment imposed on them for simply living out their Christian faith.
The Oregon couple operated “Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” but when they declined to bake a cake for a homosexual “wedding” a complaint was filed before the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Last week, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a fine of $135,000 against the Kleins but the order goes even further with a “cease and desist” order.
Heritage Foundation spokesman Hans von Spakovsky explains: “They are being told that they can’t make any communication about their beliefs about sexual orientation in public accommodations that could in any way give anyone the indication that they might discriminate against them in their bakery business,” he states. “So that makes it pretty difficult [for them] to talk about their religious beliefs.”
Von Spakovsky says considering constitutional protections, Americans and the country itself cannot afford to let the decision stand one that is essentially a gag order.
“This would be a horrible precedent,” he says of the decision. “It’s one that would be used and will be used in many different places around the country if the Kleins don’t fight and get this overturned.”
“I don’t believe that a man who sits in an office like that has the authority to do that. The Constitution has given me freedom of speech, and I’m going to stand behind what the Constitution has to say. I think that every American should be very afraid when a public official seems to think that they have the right to strip them of any of their constitutional freedoms. We need to very outspoken about that.”
The Kleins have indicated they plan to do just that. “This [decision] effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” they state on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon, we have neither freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”
According to reports, they will request a stay on the fine in an effort to delay the order and will being the appeals process.
(onenewsnow.com/culture/ 2015/07/07/fine- gag-order-not- deterring-christian- bakers).
Not only are professing Christians being convicted but they are persecuted to the point that they are required to pay vast sums of money for their convictions. Who would have guessed twenty years ago or even ten years ago that this sort of condition would be found in the United States that boasts of its freedom of religion!
But the battle is not over yet. There are still people of good will and sincere conscience who will not be intimidated by unjust laws, unscrupulous sodomite organizations, and even civil pressure. This is one report of those who are determined to maintain strong and unyielding in the face of evil forces around them who may threaten to close their businesses or bring a costly lawsuit against them if they refuse to do wrong:
While an atheist group says it will represent homosexual couples denied a marriage license, a law firm claims those clerks have a legal right to do so.
First Amendment (Bill of Rights) Attorney Jeremy Dys and Liberty Institute are responding after Americans United for Separation of Church and State claimed in a statement that government employees don’t have the legal right even because of religious beliefs to refuse to issue a marriage license.
According to Dys, however, the claim by Americans United ignores legal precedent and laws on the books, which prevent the government from forcing people to violate their conscience.
“That is still very good law,” says the attorney, citing as one example Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That chapter of the law prohibits discrimination against employees, including for their religious beliefs while on the job.
Dys also cites the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and state laws that protect religious freedom, which are still in effect despite the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges.
Justice Anthony Kennedy alluded to religious freedom in his majority opinion, though some observers took issue with his one-paragraph suggestion that religious people can “continue to advocate” that same-sex marriage is wrong.
Justice John Roberts warned in his own opinion that the 5-4 ruling “creates serious questions about religious liberty.”
Justice Samuel Alito, also warning of the ruling, wrote that “those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”
After Obergefell was announced in June, the legal strength of religious liberty laws are being tested across the United States, where pockets of resistance are pushing against a tide of compliance.
Dys, Jeremy (WV Family Policy Council)In Kentucky, a federal judge was scheduled to hear a case today after the ACLU sued Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who is refusing to issue marriage licenses.
A second Kentucky clerk, Casey Davis, has said he was asked by Gov. Steve Beshear to resign if he refuses to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples.
He told MSNBC (see video below) that when he swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution, he concluded that oath with “so help me God,” and it’s God that he answers to.
“The unique thing for religious individuals,” says Dys, “is that they order their lives by their religion. They don’t just do it when they go to their church or when they go to their synagogue or what have you.”
People of faith, he further explains, are religious people “at all times,” including at work.
“And so as a country we have made special provision for people of faith to be accommodated while they’re at work,” he says.
onenewsnow.com/ legal-courts/2015/07/ 13/laws-still-protect- what-obergefell-took- away?utm_source= OneNewsNow&utm_ medium=email&utm_term= 16781521&utm_content= 657205782116&utm_ campaign=20333).
A Comparison but Very Different
There is an opinion passed around that is used by the media and many others that muddies the waters and is utterly false. This opinion, explained by Glaire Galofaro (Fully compliance on gay marriage may take a while, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 13, 2015), says that acceptance of sodomites and sodomite unions is identical to the societal acceptance of interracial marriages some decades ago. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down laws nation-wide forbidding interracial marriage, and the wves of resistance that rippled across the South took years to dissipate (Ibid.). The view says that just as some pockets of resistance against interracial marriages continued for some time, so we can expect that there will be some people and groups who continue to oppose the perversion of same-sex unions (marriages) for some period of timebut in time all will all into line and accept the Supreme Court ruling.
This view says that scattered patches of resistance will force the courts to intervene (Ibid.). Obviously, this is a threat against the First Amendment as well as against Gods Word. Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Lousville, contends:
What we learn from this is that it shouldnt be surprising, that its going to take some time, that change does not get fully accepted overnight. But it does ultimately. In the end, peoples rights are going to be realized.
Thus, this professor thinks that eventuallywhether shortly or after a longer timeeveryone will come to accept same-sex unions and recognize them as legitimate marriages. In other words, even religious people will be willing to accept a practice that both the civil law and public opinion as a whole come to accept and promote.
The Federal Government sued to force localities to accept interracial couples and their marriages as well as grant marriage licenses. This has become uniform across the country at this time. Kenneth Upton, the senior counsel for the radical sodomite organization, Lambda Legal, asserts, The result is a foregone conclusion. Im not too concerned about where were heading and that were going to get there. The question is how long they can stall and make mischief (Ibid). Obviously, it would be the promoters of sexual perversion who are making mischief, but this twisting of the English language has become the rule in our day.
Did you notice the irrational and devious argumentation in the above stance? The point they wish to have us believe is that some opposed interracial marriage, so today some oppose sodomite unions (that they mistakenly call marriagesince true marriage is between a man and a woman). Just as it took some time before all opposition to interracial marriage subsided, so we can expect that it will take a while before all objection to sodomite marriages to subside. Do you now see the irrationality and deception in this argument?
It is this: It was not sinful and immoral for two people from different ethnic groups to marry (though, in some case, it may have been unwise, just as it would be unwise for certain people to wed for other reasons). On the other hand, it always ahs been, is now, and always will be sinful and immoral for two people to commit sexual immorality and grossly sin by having sex with another of the same gender. These two practices are not at all equal. They are not the same. They should not and must not be equated. But we can expect that this same wrong and unfair argument to continue to be promoted in the present battle on morality and immorality.
Some Comments and Conclusions
In light of the growing persecution against those who oppose sodomite unions and who do not agree with the unjust decisions of five Supreme Court Justices from Washington, D. C., how should we look at this present situation?
First, we should recognize that some jobs can be given to other people who do not have Christian scruples against same-sex unions. If a county clerk opposes sodomy and he or she is the only one in the office, this person may need to step down so that the job can be given to another person who doesnt oppose sexual immorality. Hopefully, he could be given a different job.
Second, in the case of those who are being persecuted because they will not contribute to a sodomite or homosexual marriage, we need to realize that the sodomite couple can always go to another cake-maker or photographer to order their marriage materials. They are not confined to the Christian who chooses to stand firm against sodomite unions. We may not understand the dynamics here, but we wonder why the courts, the police departments, and others cant see this reasonable and workable solution. We can only conclude that sodomites are so insistent that their immoral unions be accepted by others that they are willing to engage in this unfair and wicked pressure tactic to have Christians agree to serve them or violate their conscience.
Third, we must emphasize that there is a massive amount of hypocrisy here on the part of professing Christians. While we would surely agree that they should oppose same-sex unions of sodomites, why limit sincere objections to this one sin? Why should they not also object to adulterous remarriagesand refuse to offer marriage licenses to them as well? To remarry after a divorce for reasons other than fornication is to commit adultery (Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Matthew 19:9), and God will judge adulterers (Hebrews 13:4), bringing His wrath to bear on them (Ephesians 5:3-7), and barring them from the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Why dont these people oppose adultery along with sodomy? This appears very hypocritical.
Fourth, if the situation is agreeable, sincere Christians should be allowed to hold to their convictions while a fellow-employee who has no convictions should be permitted to participate in the same-sex union. In my last employment, the owner and manager wanted me to begin working on the Lords day. I knew enough about the law to know that the government made provisions for such a situation, with the employer using another non-Christian person to work the shift of the Christian. Sadly, my immediate boss and the owner of the company refused to agree to this arrangement and I chose not to bring a lawsuit against him. I simply resigned. However, in the case of same-sex unions, surely the government can see the simplicity and reasonableness of having a non-Christian do the job of the Christian temporarily.
Fifth, we need to distinguish between different kinds of products and services. We think it is not wrong to sell office supplies, garden equipment, or produce to a sodomiteor an adulterer, child molester, polygamist, or others. But the Christian must not participate in any way or promote any ungodly practice or lifestyle. For example, we must not sell pornography, must not rent a room, furnish a hall for a sodomite union, prepare a license, or in any other way promote a sodomite or adulterous union. We must refuse to attend a sodomite marriage ceremony or go to a ceremony that will unite two heterosexual people who are entering a second marriage, or do anything else that would indicate approval of anything ungodly, unrighteous, or immoral.
Sixth, the Christian must realize that this present crisis may be used as a test of his loyalty to God. Peter and John were tempted to cease speaking about Christ in Jerusalem, but they replied to the Jewish authorities: Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20). Later, when all of the apostles were apprehended, they boldly spoke out, We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). Today, we need thousands and millions of Christians to speak out with a firm response by saying, We will obey God rather than being pressured by unjust judges and belligerent sodomites to violate our sincere conscience. We must do what is right before the Lord!
Seventh, we may appeal to elected officials to promote just laws and righteous decisions. In Texas, where I live, we are glad that the majority of officials do support religious freedom in contrast to the officials of the opposing party who promote the sodomite agenda. We have a governor who is outspoken in his opposition to homosexuality. Further, the officials have publicly promoted marriage preservation by stating that marriage is the union of a man and woman alonenot two people of the same gender. We know that most states do not have this kind of support, but it is proper for Christians to make their stand known to elected officials of their respective states as well as the government in Washington.
Eighth, it may be good for Christians and communities of Christians to make the Biblical position on this known through writing of some kind. A document that may be described as a Position Paper could be drafted that states what the Lord Jesus said about marriagethat it is the union of an eligible male and an eligible female, for life, and that those who violate this principle have no right to enter a union. The Bible calls violators adulterers, fornicators, or homosexualsand all of this will keep one from the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Colossians 3:5-7; Ephesians 5:3-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8).
Ninth, all of those who agree with the marriage presented in the words of Christ and the rest of the New Testament should be willing to come to the support of anyone who is persecuted for their stand for morality and truth. For example, if a Catholic, or Southern Baptist, or Pentecostal is sent to jail for refusing to participate in homosexual unions, others who promote morality should indicate publicly their support of this person. We dont want to endorse any religion or doctrine that violates Scripture, but we can stand for righteousness wherever it may be found. We can support others and, hopefully, many would support us if we are hauled off to jail or sent for a trial. If a thousand people showed up at a trial in support of Biblical marriage and against a perverse union of sodomy, wouldnt this make a public statement that could not be overlooked?
Determine to Do Right Regardless of the Cost
As we conclude this essay on the current debate on the growing acceptance of sodomite unions and the way Christians should respond to it, we would like to offer a quotation that many of our readers would have seen before. It has been quoted by Francis Schaeffer and other in their writings. Most of those who use the quotation attribute it to Martin Luther, however apparently this is a mistake.
In an article entitled, Where the Battle Ragesa Case of Misattribution, Carl Wieland says that the quotation is from a 19th Century novel by Elizabeth Rundle Charles, called The Chronicles of the Schoenberg Cotta Family (Thomas Nelson, 1864). Its author was a pious Anglican who was also the writer of a few hymns (creation.com/battle -quote-not-luther). This is the quote:
If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.
We are presently in the midst of a great battle of the larger war against the powers of evil and Satan. This battle requires that we confess Christ and stand for His truth in a country where increasingly immorality, wickedness, and evil prevails. It has been here all along, since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock or the Englishmen arrived at Jamestown Colony even earlier.
The battle now is focused on sodomy and everything similar to it (lesbianism, transgender, transvestite, etc.) and the fact that the Supreme Court has chosen to defy the God of Heaven and give sodomites the right to marry. We know that God doesnt give the sexually immoral and those who commit unspeakable perversion a right to defy His holy Law. But this unjust Court has presumed to allow this and states across this land are lining up behind their decision and granting sodomites the place and opportunity to go through a ceremony that they and others call a marriage.
What will you do and what will I do? We cant overturn this decision ourselves, but we can confess Christ and His will before others (cf. Matthew 10:32-33). We can let others know what be believe and why we believe what we believe. We can become familiar with the statements in Scripture that would tell us what a true marriage isbetween an eligible man and an eligible woman (Genesis 2:18, 24; Matthew 19:4-6).
And we can become familiar with those verses that emphasize that homosexuality and similar sins are forms of fornication (porneia) or adultery and that this is contrary to the will of God our Creator (cf. Romans 1:24-28; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). We can learn those verses that show Gods wrath rests on those who commit such despicable sins and refuse to repent and that unrepentant sodomites, fornicators, and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God but will be sent to the lake of fire (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:3-7; Colossians 3:5-7; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8).
If our job requires us to endorse in any way sodomite unions, as discussed in our presentation earlier, we may need to quit the job or face being fired from our position. We may need to face rejection by our liberal family members, neighbors, classmates, or fellow-workers. Gratefully, there will be others who agree with us (at this point, there are many millions who will see this immoral onslaught as we do). But there are an increasing numbera majoritywho side with the promoters of sexual perversion. While many Republicans thankfully still support heterosexual marriage, some do not; and many or most Democrats have been willing to accept sodomite marriages. Nevertheless, be prepared to fight a battle that will be increasingly unpopular.
Remember also that this is only one of the battles we fight. As we discussed earlier, many (probably most) Protestants and Catholics have been willing to accept adulterous marriages (remarriages after an illegitimate divorce). Determine that you will not be willing to accept adultery while opposing sodomy. These forms of adultery are both cut from the same cloth.
And thus I ask you again, What will you do and what will I do? God awaits your answer!