The city of Houston has issued a wake-up call to all freedom-loving Americans by ordering pastors to turn over their sermons and any staff communications dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Mayor Annise Parker. You must hear the real message loud and clear, or you will kiss freedom in our once-great nation goodbye.
The actions of the Houston City Council demanding preachers turn in their sermons is far more than an assault on preaching and biblical morality. It is more than a gay-rights issue. It is a direct attack on moral absolutes, reliable standards of measure, value and worth, and the very concept of a Creator—a Father God who can be trusted to provide wisdom and direction for those He loves. It is redefining freedom as anyone's right to live any way they choose regardless of the will of God, or of reasonable, responsible citizens.
Frank Turek, my close friend who was transformed by the power of God, wrote these words concerning what is taking place (emphases added):
"Anyone who wants to change laws should convince their fellow citizens to do so at the ballot box, not through unelected judges. Unfortunately, activist judges won't honor the ballot box. More than 41 million people across more than half the states have voted to recognize marriage for what nature's design says it is—the union of one man and one women. Yet just 23 unelected judges have overturned [the will of] those 41 million people across about 20 states! I don't care where you stand on the marriage issue: When 23 people substitute their personal policy preferences to overrule those of 41 million Americans, we are no longer free or equal."
Houston is the city of my birth, the so-called "buckle of the Bible belt." It is the city where I was led to trust Christ, called to preach, and where I fell in love with and married Betty, my wife of over 51 years. It is a city of many churches and many who attend, but where many tragically have chosen to sit on the sidelines during the present battle against freedom. Their failure directly led to the election of the openly-lesbian mayor. She does not reflect or protect the majority of citizens. Praise God for bold pastors like Steve Riggle, Ed Young and many other Protestants and Catholics who take a righteous stand. May God increase their number!
Those who have chosen to sit the battle out must now awaken from their slumber and take a stand for liberating truth and the freedom we've been blessed to enjoy. The issue is not about gay, straight or anything in between. It is a war against freedom and the responsibility to protect and preserve what was purchased at a great cost, which we have been privileged above all people to enjoy and share. This is the call loud and clear for caring people who love life and love truth, those who are lovers of true freedom to come out from under cover and become salt and light, taking back the ground freedom's enemies have captured.
Those who love God are called to love all who may differ, rebel or struggle while at the same time refusing to move God's standard one inch to accommodate anyone's sin, weakness or failure. We all miss the mark. That is reality. The problem intensifies, however, and the demise of freedom begins when we allow the mark or the standard to be moved, ignored or discarded.
Those who love freedom must hold the standard higher than ever, in love, without compromise, and with hearts full of compassion. We must never mock, belittle or ridicule those who fail, differ or struggle in any way. We should stand in love while offering help.
People responded to the inappropriate actions of the media with regard to Duck Dynasty personality Phil Robertson's statement about Romans chapter 1, the assault on Hobby Lobby, and Chick-fil-A. In Houston, we must again stand and never stand down, demanding that truth and freedom be held high. The First Amendment is being cast aside by the Houston city leaders and by many unelected judges. The will of the people, the promises in our Constitution, and the very Law of God have been thrown aside, and people are defying not only God's truth, but God Himself.
Please understand, this is a wake-up call! We are facing issues far greater than just the challenges the homosexual agenda brings. There is no end to the good that will come to those who truly love God and their neighbors if they stand together against the forces seeking to cast aside the truth that sets all men free!
This is the common cause and common ground upon which all caring individuals and lovers of freedom, and certainly those who profess to believe the Bible and know Christ, must stand together and rebuild freedom's foundation and the necessary walls of protection. What is happening in Houston is an even greater threat to our well-being than the Ebola crisis. We must stand with those who have declared, as Russell Moore has, "The separation of church and state means that we will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and we will. But the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever."
The serious issues we presently face reveal clearly the ineptness of our government and the incompetence of many leaders to effectively deal with them. We need the guidance that comes from Divine Providence. Above all, we must recognize we are being invited by present-day serious challenges and by God to join Him at the table of reason and, together, in humility, determine how to best address the issues we face.
James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International.
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