Stop Saying Please
So, I read today that there is an ongoing lawsuit against the city of San Antonio, Texas and its non-discrimination policy which effectively says that churches and religious orders cannot refuse to hire persons based upon their sexual orientation. One lawsuit filed in federal court Saturday against the city by the U.S. Pastor Council, a conservative Christian organization based in Houston, argues that Austin’s nondiscrimination ordinance is unconstitutional because it does not allow churches the religious freedom to refuse to hire gay or transgender individuals.
A separate lawsuit was filed on Saturday by Texas Values, another conservative Christian organization, seeking to invalidate the ordinance as it applies to both employment and housing decisions.
Shortly after gay marriage was legalized in the US by the Supreme Court, LGBT activists announced that it was time to “punish the wicked,” and initiated an aggressive posture to do just that. The “wicked,” refers to “those who have religious objections to gay marriage.” In 2017, one lesbian couple (already married as of December 2016) drove around with hidden microphones and camera requesting of Christian bakeries to bake them a cake for their wedding. When a Christian bakery declined to bake a cake celebrating their “upcoming” wedding, they sued claiming irreparable emotional damage because of the grievous discrimination. The baker offered to sell them products that were already made and on display, but they refused – demanding that the baker make a cake for their reception (which was not even going to happen.) Fortunately for the baker, the case was thrown out of court because the judge was clear-headed enough to recognize a set up when he saw one – but the lawsuits and harassment continue with a vengeance. Lawsuit after lawsuit is filed…….over funding birth control, cupcakes, solemnization of same sex marriage, on and on the assault on Christian and conservative values rages. The cry from Christians before the court is always the same……”Please don’t make us do things that are in opposition to our faith.”
And my point? My point is that we need to stop saying “please,” and just say “No.” We need to stop asking the courts to extend to us rights that God has already given us. When the state demands that we perform services, hold views, commit acts that violate the laws of God we need to stand up, grow a backbone, and refuse to comply. We should not be afraid to boldly resist (progressives should love that word) any effort to force us to comply with statutes that violate our faith.
In Acts 4, Peter and John were hauled into court for preaching in the Name of Jesus. They were imprisoned, beaten, and threatened because they had healed a lame man “in the Name of Jesus.” They were let go with an ominous threat: “You are to cease preaching the Name of Jesus!” Peter’s reply was stellar! I could quote the entire response, but in essence Peter said, “No.” Howl, threaten, and rattle your swords all you want but we remain unbowed. We refuse. We resist such a command. We chose to obey God rather than you.
They returned to their company and related all that had happened. They alerted their fellow believers to the reality that if they continued to preach the name of Jesus the result would be beatings, imprisonment, and even death. So the group prayed…………they prayed my favorite prayer in all of the Bible: “And now Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto your servants that with all boldness they may speak the Word of God.” There was no prayer for deliverance, or ease, or protection of their jobs, or their wealth. There was no request to be spared torture or imprisonment – they just prayed that God would make them bold in the face of it all.
Lord, do not let us grow weak in the face of persecution or court cases or arrest or ostracization; strengthen our will to continue to declare the name of Jesus, to proclaim salvation in His name and no other. Help us to stare ruin, shame, and death in the eye and declare, “You cannot win!”
Jesus warned us about these days, he told us to be ready. In Mark 13:9 he says to his disciples, “But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.” This warning was given right in the middle of Jesus’ description of the last days or end times. They are a sign of his soon coming. But listen, there is more:
Mark 13:11 – But when [not if, but when] they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what you shall speak, neither do you premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, speak: for it is not you that speaks, but the Holy Ghost.
Here is what I believe Jesus is telling us: They are going to come and get you. Its a simple fact; accept it. They are going to dream up, trump up, make up, set up – anything they can do to punish you for the fact that you follow Him. They are going to drag you into court. You are going to appear before judges and magistrates and town councils to defend yourself against the assault of the wicked, but you are going to turn the tables on them. When they deliver you up to be prosecuted, God says, “I am going to put words, my words in your mouth and you will literally become a mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit.”
Those who hate the Word of God, who despise the principles of the Scriptures, those who rebel against the claims of Christ; those who reject His Lordship and His laws will demand that we defend ourselves. Instead, the Holy Spirit will rise up in us as He did with Peter on the Day of Pentecost, and Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, and as He did with Stephen before the Temple Court and He will give us boldness to speak the Word of God. We will turn a witness stand into a pulpit and declare the greatness of our God in the face of the wicked.
Stop saying “Please” to the ungodly and boldly say “No!” They will howl and gnash their teeth and drag you into court – right where God wants you to be. If you will believe Him and trust in Jesus’ Words, a holy boldness will rise up in you for that hour and you will not bow in fear before the judgment of this world. You yourself will be the one who pronounces judgment in those places – the very judgment of God upon the wickedness of those who oppose Him.
I tell you this: If you ever hear that I’ve been arrested for standing for Jesus, DO NOT BAIL ME OUT! Don’t hire an army of lawyers to defend me. Don’t weep at my plight, because as I await my day in court I will be praying, and I hope many will pray with me, “Lord, listen to their threatenings and grant unto your servant boldness to speak the Word of God, and stretching forth your hand to heal, do signs and wonders by the name of your holy child Jesus.” [Acts 4]
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before Nebuchadnezzar and said, “No.”
Daniel stood before King Darius and said, “No.”
Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin and said, “No”
Caesar shouted at Polycarp in the Colosseum and cried, “Polycarp! Deny Christ and Live!” To which Polycarp lifted his voice and cried, “Caesar, Accept Christ or Die!”
In such matters as these, there is far more power in the word “no” than in the word “please.”