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Lord, give us boldness to take a stand and declare Your truths so that all can be set free.

In the latest and most egregious example of attempted government overreach, California legislators have proposed a bill that would dictate what pastors preach from the pulpit. Specifically, “Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 calls on ‘counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators’ and institutions with ‘great moral influence’ to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as ‘unethical,’ ‘harmful,’ and leading to high rates of suicide.”

Put another way, these legislators are telling pastors and spiritual leaders to throw out the Bible, disregard the Lord’s will, ignore the testimony of thousands of ex-gays, and conform to extreme political correctness – or else.

This is one of the most frontal attacks on our religious freedoms in memory (or, perhaps, in our nation’s history). And it confirms what I have said for the last 15 years: Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. This is nothing less than that ancient spirit of Jezebel trying to silence God’s messengers through fear and intimidation.

There is one way to respond to such spiritual and legal attacks: First, stand up against the bill in order to expose its bias and bigotry; and second, if the bill should actually pass (which might be a longshot even in California), defy it.

In the year 123 A.D., the Roman government launched a severe crackdown against the Jews, culminating in 134 A.D., when all Jewish practices were forbidden, including circumcision, Torah study, and Sabbath observance. How did the rabbis respond?

One of the noted leaders, Rabbi Hananiah ben Teradyon conducted public Torah classes, paying for it with his life.

But this was no emotional, spur of the moment decision. There was a rationale behind his actions, traceable back to Rabbi Akiva, the greatest rabbinic sage of that day (but not a believer in Jesus), also martyred for his allegiance to Torah.

The Talmud relates: “Once the wicked Roman government issued a decree forbidding the Jews to study and practice the Torah. Pappus ben Judah came by and, upon finding Rabbi Akiva publicly holding sessions in which he occupied himself with Torah, Pappus asked him: Akiva, are you not afraid of the government?

Rabbi Akiva replied: You, Pappus, who are said to be wise, are in fact a fool. I can explain what I am doing by means of a parable: A fox was walking on a river bank and, seeing fishes hastening here and there, asked them, ‘From whom are you fleeing?’ They replied, ‘From the nets and traps set for us by men.’ So the fox said to them, ‘How would you like to come up on dry land, so that you and I may live together the way my ancestors lived with yours?’ They replied, ‘You – the one they call the cleverest of animals – are in fact a fool. If we are fearful in the place where we can stay alive, how much more fearful should we be in a place where we are sure to die!’

“So it is with us. If we are fearful when we sit and study Torah, of which it is written, ‘For that is thy life and the length of thy days’ (Deut. 30:20), how much more fearful ought we to be should we cease the study of words of Torah!” (b. Berakhot 61b)

The same principle applies to spiritual leaders today, all the more in light of Messiah’s death and resurrection on the cross. We do what is right regardless of cost and consequence. We honor the Lord and love our neighbor by speaking the truth, however unpopular it may be. The more the world seeks to muzzle us, the more loudly and clearly we speak out.

Should we avoid demonizing those in the LGBT community? Absolutely.

Should we be careful to separate issues from people? Certainly. (In other words, we make a distinction between an aggressive agenda and a hurting individual.)

Should we proclaim God’s love through the cross for every human being? Without a doubt.

But we must not refrain from declaring what God’s Word plainly says: Homosexual practice is contrary to His will and He does not bless or recognize same-sex “marriages.” And when it comes to transgender identities, biology is not bigotry and the best solution for people struggling with gender confusion is to help them find wholeness from the inside out.

Should this draconian bill actually become law, the strategy is simple: The Sunday after the bill is passed, every true pastor in California should preach a love-drenched message on what the Bible says about LGBT people and issues.

Better still, how about every pastor doing it this SundayWhy wait?

(Used with permission. By Dr. Michael Brown, ASKDrBrown, June 22, 2019.)

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  1. The problem as I see it is we have a church( the entire body of Christ) who have been sabotaged Into submission. For the past 30-50 years the abortion issue has been pressing us into a corner. What happened was that the men in the church were forced to step back from the issue. The violent screaming women with an agenda told them it was their body and their decision. The men stopped intervening and now we have crickets out there in that arena. This is phase two of that agenda. Again led by hurting and rejected people looking for love. They are screaming for healing and need deliverance.

    How do we restore boldness to the church? First stop reproducing the Adam and Eve scenario. When we meet Jesus and he says how come you didn’t speak up for the aborted babies? The answer cannot be” the woman you gave me told me not to! “ the blood is still on their hands!

    Repenting for the lack of intervention. Repenting for the places where the men in the churches have paid for abortions for their family members who couldn’t afford it. They carry that shame and guilt but the enemy convinces them it’s helping people out…not being an accomplice to a murder..

    The whole woman’s choice thing is wrapped around the neck of the entire church and we have been blind to the fact that this needs to be repented of and forgiven before we can have the zeal and boldness to address this next battle!

    The post abortive women who have walked through the healing need to beg forgiveness from the men who have been denied any input into the situation ( other than paying for it). The healing only comes through repentance and forgiveness. When we as a church start to address this silence issue coming from the men in the church who have been beaten down by guilt without the ability to express that publicly…then we take back this next tier of defiance…the prelude to all defiance..

    We need our voice and our boldness back. We as a church need repentance and forgiveness first. Then we can help others . We can no longer pretend this didn’t happen in our lives….we have to turn around and face this giant with love a grace.

  2. May the Christians in California be like Elijah, who by the grace of God and the power of his spirit stood against 850 false prophets. Elijah replied. “… You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals….” May we all be mindful of the Holy Spirit’s prompting on how we speak truth in love.

  3. This has been tried before, AND FAILED. Dear Lord, please keep California pastors from caving to these demands. May the believers in California stand up for our rights and fight these unholy people who want to rid California of your Word. May it not ever happen. May Californians vote for believers to run the state, not ungodly people. I have friends and a grandson out there that need your Word to rule and reign in CA.

  4. Let the Power of Love prevail as it stands on the podium of Truth. Too many ‘Christians’ have done a great disservice to the Cause of Christ by showing hatred to people instead of behavior. The parable of the Good Samaritan did not require a ‘straight’ card to receive help (just noting there were no requirements made, not implying anything about the person being helped). Jesus did not reject the woman, the human being at the well when she could not present her ‘monogamous’ card. If we stand in faith we stand with the Power of Love. What do they see in our eyes? Was Jesus Love extended to us before or after He cleaned up our act?

  5. Lord that you would open the eyes of pastors aligning by 501c3 applications with many demonic entities for tax exemption granted by government. Churches are already constitutionally protected and by signing these applications they have giving the government rule over them to dictate what’s preached . Open our eyes Lord as your people perish for lack of knowledge

  6. Lord give the leaders of California knowledge,and courage to stand for you. Bring to light the evil so all will see. Give your people strength and encouragement to do your will. May California see a great rival of your Holly Spirit and show the world how wonderful and great You are. God bless your people.

  7. Father, there is so much wickedness in California, a model for other states in the nation. My state is one
    ripe for judgment. May the Christians in this state be emboldened, be on their knees and call out to you that we would be a state that stands for righteousness. It is not too much to ask that You turn this state into one that is used to desseminate truth, but it will take bold witness of all Christians in this state. All need to respond to the call you are sending to stand up for righteousness in whatever way we can. I pray for a great awakening of Your Spirit in California, that the pastors in this state will stand boldly for truth and encourage their congregations to do as well. Rise up the sleeping Christ followers to build a standard against the ungodly activities in California. Let us claim California for Christ.

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