Archive for June, 2014

Stand with Hobby Lobby & Religious Liberty for All

June 28th, 2014 No comments

hobby Lobby1The Green and Hahn families have courageously fought the coercive HHS mandate all the way to the Supreme Court, defending their right to religious freedom. Now, it’s time for us to stand with these families. The Supreme Court is expected to release its opinion in these cases THIS Monday, June 30 at about 10:00 a.m. (EST).

Here’s what you can do to stand with Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood on Monday:

1. Join the Tweet Storm: From 10:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m. (EST) on decision day, join a tweet storm for religious freedom to set the record straight on the mandate. Suggested tweets are below. Use the #religiousfreedom hashtag and join the Facebook event here.

2. Change Your Avatar: Change your Twitter and Facebook pictures to the attached avatar to show your support for religious freedom.

3. Blog It: Use the attached messaging to write blog posts, op-eds, and press statements explaining how the HHS mandate is forcing family businesses to violate their beliefs or face devastating government penalties. For additional background information, please visit the Becket Fund’s Hobby Lobby Case Page and and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Conestoga Wood Specialties case page.

4. Join the Religious Freedom Rally at the Supreme Court: Coalition allies are organizing a rally at the Supreme Court on Monday, June 30. Please send staff or interns to the front of the Supreme Court before 9:00 a.m. to stand for religious freedom. Look for the “Religious Freedom” banner. Supporters of the Hahns and the Greens will be holding signs affirming our freedom to live and work according to our convictions. A press conference will begin at 10:45 a.m. on the day of the decision. See more information here.

5. Get informed on a Decision Day Conference Call. The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center will host a conference call for coalition allies at 1:00 p.m (EST) on Monday. Please contact for more information and to receive the call-in number.

Suggested Tweets

If Hobby Lobby/ Conestoga Win:

1. RT to support #religiousfreedom 4 every family biz—incl @HobbyLobbyCase & Conestoga Wood

2. Govt tried to hit families w/crippling fines for exercising #religiousfreedom. #SCOTUS says NO in @HobbyLobbyCase!

3. #SCOTUS agrees: Americans don’t surrender their #ReligiousFreedom when they open a family business. @HobbyLobbyCase

4. #SCOTUS affirms #religiousfreedom. Govt cannot punish people of faith for running a family biz. @HobbyLobbyCase

5. #SCOTUS #forthewin: #Religiousfreedom doesn’t end when a family business begins@HobbyLobbyCase

6. .@HobbyLobbyCase victory affirms families shouldn’t be forced to violate faith to earn a living. #religiousfreedom

7. #SCOTUS affirms: In a free and diverse society, we respect the #ReligiousFreedom of all to live out their deepest convictions. @HobbyLobbyCase

If Hobby Lobby/ Conestoga Lose:

1. Family biz shouldn’t be forced to violate their faith to earn a living. #SCOTUS undermines #religiousfreedom in @HobbyLobbyCase

2. Opening doors of a family business shouldn’t close door on #religiousfreedom

3. #SCOTUS undermines #ReligiousFreedom: In a free and diverse society, we respect the freedom of all to live out their deepest convictions.

4. I support the #ReligiousFreedom of every family business—including @HobbyLobbyCase. RT to agree.
5. Americans don’t surrender their #ReligiousFreedom when they open a family business. #SCOTUS gets it wrong.

6. .@HobbyLobbyCase #SCOTUS gets #religiousfreedom wrong. Running a business doesn’t mean govt runs your life.

Images & Videos to Share:

1. Do you want the Govt to crush the consciences of family business owners? 59% of Americans say NO! @HobbyLobbyCase
2. Faith plays a role in every aspect of the Green family’s life, even how they run their business
3. For the Green family, faith impacts every aspect of their lives, including how they run their family businesses
4. Do you support religious freedom for all? Change your profile pic to this –>
5. By signing RFRA into law, Pres. @BillClinton affirmed that religious freedom is a right we must protect
6. .@HobbyLobbyCase is about 1 question: Can the GOVT crush the consciences of family business owners?

Pastor, Are You Protecting Your Flock?

June 26th, 2014 1 comment

wolvesAs pastors we have been entrusted with the honorable task of shepherding Christ’s Church. We are admonished to “guard ourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28, NLT)

While the role of pastor covers a wide swath of responsibilities, one of the more prominent roles is that of protecting the sheep. Paul reminded us that “false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.” (verse 29)

While we all understand the need to protect our sheep from harmful doctrine, I’m afraid we often limit the scope of our doctrine to matters of personal piety or ecclesiological issues such as water baptism or communion. However, our concern for doctrinal purity must extend to every area in which the Scriptures speak. This includes the proper role of government as an institution created and ordained by God. (Romans 13)

We are living in a time of unprecedented attacks on our religious liberties. A recent decision by a federal judge to strike down our state’s marriage statute has, at least for the moment, opened the door for same-sex unions. This “bad doctrine” by the state is creating some serious ethical dilemmas for people of faith.

As a pastor, what would you do if…

• Your county clerk refused to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples because they violate God’s definition of marriage?

• A bakery owner in your congregation was fined or driven out of business for failure to participate in a same-sex ceremony?

• A school teacher was suspended for sharing her biblical view of marriage when asked by a student?

Each of these issues, and a host of other scenarios, is happening right now in America. If churches, and the pastors who shepherd them, do not take the lead in defending religious liberty and protecting their sheep from secular “wolves,” then who will?

What if….?

What would happen if we took a different approach, one that did not embrace silence and accommodation?

What if we laid a biblical foundation for religious liberty and the rights of conscience so that people were emboldened to stand for Christ in the public arena?

What if we developed a plan of support for those who have the courage to stand up in the marketplace and we communicated our support openly from the pulpit?

What if we took the lead with other like-minded pastors in the community to discuss a coordinated response to the growing threats to our religious liberties?

What if we rallied around the one who lost his job on account of his Christian beliefs and provided financial support, food, encouragement, prayer and whatever they needed until justice was restored?

What if we rallied around the victim of governmental abuse and demanded justice? This might mean a removal of discipline, fines, loss of job or another unacceptable form of censure.

What if 100, or 500 or 1000 concerned citizens showed up at city hall or at a press conference demanding justice and refusing to “go away” until it it was served?

Or perhaps we could simply continue to model cowardly silence while doing our best to stay out of harm’s way. We could teach God’s people how to remain securely planted in the path of least resistance and we could preach a new sermon series on “Six Ways Not to Make Waves” while we drown out that annoying howl of the wolves by singing louder.

The Apostle Paul made it clear that the wolves will come. Our job as pastors is to prepare our people to stand for truth in the public arena and to support and defend them when they do. Let’s lead the way by providing protection for the flock to which we have been entrusted. The time has come to STAND! (Ephesians 6:14)

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In the Name of Love: Same-Sex “Marriage” in Indiana

June 25th, 2014 2 comments

A man wears a wedding gown while marching in the Gay Pride Parade in New YorkNote: I apologize for the picture. It is mild compared to the other images you find under the search “gay parade.” We need to wake up and get a good look at what we are welcoming “in the name of love.”

I am both sickened and grieved over the news of yet another activist federal judge striking down, via judicial fiat, Indiana’s statute defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, one that has served as the cornerstone for healthy societies since the beginning of creation.

This ruling is wrong for so many reasons. Hoosiers who value freedom should be outraged. From a governmental standpoint, judges are tasked with interpreting the law, not rewriting it. This is a flagrant trampling of the separation of powers and the rule of law. When rogue judges arbitrarily reshape statues to fit their personal viewpoint, it devalues the entire legislative process. The voice of the people, amplified through their elected representatives, is silenced by one, unelected, and largely unaccountable, judge. This is a disgusting abuse of power and it’s happening all across our nation.

But as a pastor, I am more concerned about the soul of our nation. When elected officials disregard God and His laws, in this case, by redefining the institution of marriage, an institution He created and has already defined, they forfeit the authority given to them by God to govern. Without the acknowledgment of absolute Truth and transcendent Law, human law is cheapened and lawlessness is left in the wake. When the law becomes whatever the ones in power say it is, or whatever the current ideology or political party deems is “the right side of history,” people no longer respect the rule of law.

This is not a new historical phenomenon. The Bible tells of times past when, “At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” (Judges 21:25) Let’s not deceive ourselves. There is no such thing as neutrality when it comes to lawmaking. Some ideology, someone’s worldview, will reign as “king.” When God is rejected, the end result is anarchy, where everyone does what they please in the name of freedom; and tyranny, when governments impose by force their own worldview.

In rejecting marriage and embracing sexual perversion, we are rejecting God. When we willfully reject God and suppress His Truth (Romans 1:18), the consequences are tragic:

So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them (Romans 1:24-25, Message).

This is the line we have just crossed. It’s a dreadful place, where God leaves us to reap the consequences of our own stubborn and selfish desires. But it doesn’t stop there:

Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches. (Romans 1:26-27, Message)

We have embraced lust and called it love. We have embraced sexual confusion and called it marriage. When we reject the design of God, we lose what it means to be men. We lose what it means to be women. And ultimately, we lose what it means to be human.

God, have mercy on America. Bring us to our knees. Forgive us for our pride and perversion. Visit our nation, once again, with revival and reformation before it is too late.