Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Challenge To The Church

Do you remember that verse quoted
over the years about being Hot, Cold or Lukewarm?
Well…it is ringing loud and clear right now in our culture!


“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” –Rev. 3:15,16 NIV




Do you remember those stories about Daniel in the Lion’s Den; and Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the fiery furnace?



Well…they are not just children’s Bible stories…they are for us today!
America is transforming before our eyes into a spiritual Babylon like in the days of Daniel.


Yesterday, March 2nd, was an eventful and fateful day in Nebraska:
  • Our local news revealed that NE legislators have made it legal for homosexuals to be foster parents...Sexual orientation is no longer a factor.
  • LB586, which prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity has been voted out of the Judiciary Committee but has not been scheduled for debate on the floor yet. Now is the time. Your state senator needs to hear from YOU.
  • In the afternoon, it was announced that one man, Federal District Judge Joseph Bataillon, has overturned DOMA (Nebraska’s Defense of Marriage Act) and made same-sex marriage legal in Nebraska.  
I was part of the working committee that initiated (Defense of Marriage Act), which was voted into the Nebraska State Constitution in November 2000 by over 70% of the voters. In the last six months, federal judges have overturned 18 State-constitutionally-enacted definitions of marriage. The Nebraska Family Alliance (where I currently serve as a board member) has an outstanding analysis of Judge Bataillon’s ruling on their website at nebraskafamilyalliance.org This is an excellent resource for more info on related upcoming legislations. 


The LGBT alliances are very confident this year, and they are not done with their agenda to fundamentally change our laws. While a lot of prayer is going up from faithful Believers, many Christians seem to be resigned to the changes…even asking what is so bad about allowing gays to marry or adopt. How does that hurt our beliefs?




It concerns me deeply that many “Christians” are so naïve about Biblical marriage and the threat that same-sex marriages represent to the family, to the church, and to our individual religious freedoms. 

Among Christians, a wedding has always been a deeply religious event; it is one of the holy sacraments. 

The sacrament of marriage between a man and a woman spiritually represents the relationship of the Lord Jesus and His bride, the Church.







In states where same-sex marriages have been legalized, the lawsuit judgments are now revealing the deeper and not-so-subtle agendas attacking our religious freedoms. 

It is not enough for same-sex marriage to be allowed; it is not enough for it be accepted; it is not enough for gay marriage to be legal. 

There is a deeper agenda to make all convictional opposition criminal.




In the state of Washington, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers is in danger of losing not only her business, but her home and all her assets. 

She is literally being destroyed by the state because she refused to do flower arrangements for a “Gay” wedding. 

She willingly offered to sell flowers for the wedding but believed that creating “wedding arrangements” for a “Gay” wedding would have constituted a demonstration of approval for the gay wedding itself and a violation of her faith.



Here are two revealing statements from the Judge’s ruling against this Christian grandmother:

  • In a sixty-page opinion, the judge maintained that “religious motivation does not excuse compliance with the law…In trade and commerce, and more particularly when seeking to prevent discrimination in public accommodations, the courts have confirmed the power of the legislative branch to prohibit conduct it deems discriminatory, even where the motivation for that conduct is grounded in religious beliefs.”
  • More specifically, the judge maintained that while religious beliefs are protected, religious actions are not. When the state of Washington approved gay marriage, a Christian refusing to serve gay weddings became illegal.
If this trend continues unabated, we will soon see more policies oppressive to Christians who are committed to living out their faith. For example, in Nebraska it could now be interpreted, and could soon become policy, that anyone who has faith-based objections to same-sex marriage will be deemed as unfit to be foster parents.

Things we once thought would never happen in America are now the law.



Are you getting the picture?
Are you seeing the deeper agenda?
Do you think these are justun-intended consequences?
Maybe this picture from  The Dennison Forum on Truth & Culture will help…



So are some of you still hoping to avoid these issues? …trying to stay below the radar?
Are you Lukewarm? Are you a spiritual POW?
Are you spiritually ready to face a lion’s den, a fiery furnace, or legal prosecution for your faith? 
I’m not really the One who is asking…
“A judge has ruled that a “relationship with Jesus” doesn’t justify acts of conscience. The only problem is that a relationship with Jesus demands just that."
This quote is from James Emery White in his “Church and Culture” March 2nd blog: Flowers for Gay Weddings. I highly encourage you to read this outstanding blog on the issue of same-sex marriage


What can we do? How do we prepare?
How can we wisely and redemptively respond?

When the Lord called me to get involved in this issue He told me not to trust the “Arm of Flesh,” not to trust in a political solution apart from a spiritual solution. However, I realized we needed to be involved in the political efforts to better understand and wisely help prepare the Body of Christ.

We are Salt and Light. Salt as a preservative helps slows down corruption...But only Light will push back darkness.  Political efforts are important salt to help slow down moral corruption, but only a revival of repentance and righteousness in the church that rebuilds our moral walls will impact our culture and push back the darkness.


Here are some questions to stimulate your thinking and to talk with your Heavenly Father about:

  • Do you know who your God is…His attributes and how they work? Is your God Sovereign? Do you know how that works out in your life?
  • Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? Do you personally know “Who” you believe in and are you secure in your relationship to Him?
  • Do you really know His love for you and trust He does know best?
  • There are two more questions the Lord has put on my heart that give insight to some integrity tests facing us in our culture right now: Who do you Serve? Who is your Source? No one can serve two masters…

PRAY:
  • Pray for your elected officials…especially lift up those standing for Godly values, as they will be under significant political pressure and spiritual attack personally and in their families.
  • Pray for spiritual leaders who are feeling pressure to compromise in order to avoid public conflict or loss of resources.
  • Pray for those of us trying to give wise leadership in these issues. We need to hear clearly from God and need to know we are not out there alone in this spiritual battle.
  • Pray that Believers rise up as Salt & Light…for a revival of repentance and righteousness in the church that rebuilds our moral walls and transforms our culture. 
  • "Trust and obey, For there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey."

___________________________________________


"Darkness must always submit to light.
You cannot turn on darkness - you can only turn off the light.


“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:14-16

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,"
-Ephesians 5:8-18 NIV

June 28, 1969
Blessings,
Dave & Sheryl

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