Debunking the John Hagee’s Blood Moons – or – Unknotting Your Knickers

  Got your knickers in knot over the continuing hype over John Hagee’s “Blood Moons Prophecy” stuff? Well, take the knots out. You’ll be a lot more comfortable, and you won’t have to walk funny. Below is a link to … Continue reading

Digging Deeper in Proverbs 19(f)

fear

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

Fear can be a terrible and tormenting thing. It can also be very liberating. If, that is, we fear the right things. Right fears keep us from other fears. That is the point of our text today. If one fears the God who gives and rules life, one need not fear what life may bring. Such fear brings peace and satisfaction.

When I was a young man, I feared the jeers and rejection of my peers. When one is young and unsure, fear of not fitting in can be a tremendous burden. Fear of certain groups like those I labored to make my friends, soon brought with it pressures to participate in their activities. Activities that were certain not to be approved of by my parents, and in some cases by the police either. In fact, fear of being excluded, laughed at, rejected, etc. even allowed me to overcome fear (in some circumstances) of getting caught and/or punished.

The day came, when yielding to such pressures and fears found me entering into actions that soon brought me face to face with the police and the courts. Even the threat of those things was not as great as the fear of not participating in what I knew was dead wrong. Then, up to my neck in trouble, I finally had to break down and tell my Dad what I had done. He did not respond with rage, or threats or punishments or anything else of the like. But Oh! The hurt and disappointment that filled his eyes that day. I would rather had gone to jail and suffered physical harm than to see what that produced in him. In his crushing, I was crushed. And, I never did the like again. I feared ever to be responsible for doing such a thing to him again.

Time and maturity work together to make us more afraid of things like the law and the dangers we once risked so carelessly in our youth. But The Cross, brings us face to face with the horrors of our betrayal against our holy, perfect, Heavenly Father. Metaphorically, if we could have seen the eyes of God in our fall in Eden, and glimpsed the hurt and disappointment that we His image-bearers brought to Him –  I dare say we would fear to ever bring such reproach upon Him once more. And such fear, that fear born of true love, would keep us from a host of evils, culminating in a rest and satisfaction that the world cannot disturb by its parade of worthless enticements.

 

Proverbs 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

Here is the difference between the merely poor, and the sluggard: The sluggard will not expend any energy to help himself.

The poor may be poor for any number of reasons beyond their control. But the sluggard does not care about reasons, he or she merely wants their desires met and care nothing for seeing them met by any activity of their own.

And the same is true for the spiritual sluggard as well. Many are not as rich in Christ as is possible due to being in a place where the Word of God is not taught or preached with fidelity. They may be in a place where even the Word itself is unavailable due to oppression or other causes. But they long for such things and given the opportunity to secure them, would give themselves to it with joy.

Just recently I saw a video of an underground Church in China opening a case of the first Bibles they were ever allowed to own. The joy. The overwhelming sense of how blessed they now were. They hugged the Bibles and kissed them and wept over them and cherished them.

Then come to a place like the United States where we can buy Bibles anytime and anywhere we want. Where we can read and study them at will. Where the Word of God is preached and taught with fidelity in thousands of places all the time. And yet so much is the spirit of the sluggard present that those Bibles are seldom read, seldom dug into, and hearing the Word of God preached or taught is not a prize sought after to grow in grace, but a low level option to be indulged in when nothing else ‘more important or desirable’ takes precedence at the moment. And then we wonder why the spiritual lives of so many ‘Christians’ barely beat with a living pulse.

Father forgive us. You’ve given us the ‘dish’ of your Word and your Church – and so overcome with our sluggardliness are we – that we won’t even bring our own hand to our mouths anymore. Forgive us Heavenly Father. Restore us. And grant us the Spirit of Christ to desire and overcome what has overtaken us to our own destruction. Revive us!

 

Digging Deeper in Proverbs 19(e)

Angry-Guys-Mug

Proverbs 19:19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

Do not ignore, or give habitually angry people a pass. You will only keep them bound in their sin, and you will suffer the bondage of being their constant deliverer from the consequences of their own sin. Break the cycle. Men (and some women) who rage all the time – get others to apologize for them. Do not allow it. Let them suffer the consequences so that they might be set free and so that others do not suffer the edge of their wrath continually. Love them.

Spurgeon wrote: “Whenever there is a child of God who has any defilement upon him, and you are able to point it out and rid him of it, submit to any degradation, put yourself in any position, sooner than that a child of God should be the subject of sin.”

Christ does not reject us due to the sin that still needs to be mortified – but neither does He ignore it. His goal is to make us like Himself. And leaving us to continue in our sins unchallenged is not part of that process – confronting us with them in love is. His love will not suffer us to remain in bondage, even if that requires our experiencing the pain of their consequences at times.

What a great Savior we serve!

 

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

God has a plan. He is moving the cosmos inexorably toward the fulfillment of it. The question is – are we in sync with it or not? If not, no matter how many things we’ve conceived and attempted, all will be lost.  We need to learn to make our plans – around on the foundation of His purpose. And if we do not know His purpose – then we desperately need to find out.

Many is the poor soul who has made their plans for this life – vocation, family, leisure, hobbies, interests, etc., only to come to the end of their days to realize they have given no thought whatever to why they were created, what they were here for, and where they were going when it was all done.

This is central to the Gospel – to bring those made in God’s image back into conscious and joyous harmony with God’s articulated purposes in His Word. To live apart from this is not to live, but merely to exist. To rob oneself of true meaning in life.

Make no mistake, when all is said and done, it is the purposes of the Lord which will be seen to be fulfilled. And so I ask you once again – where are you in respect to God’s purposes? For those alone will shape eternity.

Praise God He does not leave us in our darkness, but calls us out of the darkness into His marvelous light through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

Annual Mother’s Day Poem for 2014

father-gets-home

A Mother’s Day Lament

With Apologies to Edgar Allen Poe and the Raven

Mother’s Day 2014

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious mem’ry of my home

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my brain’s back dome

‘Tis some dreaming thing’, I muttered, tapping at my brain’s back dome

Just buttered crackers, all alone.

 

Rolling over for more shuteye, dreamt of Mississippi mud-pie

Images of fun and antics hidden from my Mother back at home

While I tossed and turned in sleeping, miscellany hi-jinks creeping

More and more came bubbling seeping, seeping in a frothy foam

Too much pizza before bed, to myself I sleepily said giving me this midnight groan

I’m to blame, its mine to own

 

All was normal – then recalling, one memory that’s so appalling,

Sweat and trembling seized me fully, body, soul and mind it owned

Fearless in my youthful antics, or exploits – its all semantics

There I trembled truly frantic, frantic like a half-crazed gnome

Words my Mother used to say, to bring an end to fun and play and draw my deepest aching groan

Just wait until your Dad gets home

 

How I’d start and spit and sputter, what a wretched thing to mutter

There’s no recourse a stripling has, when this at last by Mothers’ grim intone

Naught but dreadful waiting terror, for each and every youthful error

Nothing could be more unfair, “unfair!” I sobbed between each wrenching groan

But no reprieve could be extorted regardless cherub face contorted – the sentence was alas all set in stone

Just wait until your Dad gets home!

 

No secret weapon forged by science has stopped more acts of young defiance

No means of squelching fun has ever matched the force of this alone

The rue of young creative flair, grand plans and schemes laid flat and bare

Devastated keen ideas, ideas when old we’d not condone

But at the moment seized our brains and swept our minds like monsoon rains that held the germ of fancied joys – overthrown

Just wait until your Dad gets home

 

And now we know the secret means by which our Moms have often saved the world

When long unused we dream and hope the words have from their hearts and minds full flown

And then there comes that dreadful day, when oblivious in devious play

Unleashed and slung in power, power by the world unknown

With Sinaitic declarative awe those lips that kiss our booboos say the words that make us writhe and groan

Just wait until your Dad get home!

 

And so the story has gone on, re-acted and performed in every human age

Methinks each girl who witnessed it, embosoms it in secret till they’re grown

Till comes the day their progeny, caught in an impish playful spree

They catch in mid-stream in mischievy, mischievy like igniting some cologne

And rise at last to seize the phrase with exasperated hands on hips imperiously intone –

Just wait until your Dad gets home!

Digging Deeper in Proverbs 15(a) – Our Seeing God

eye

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Christian, never forget that your Heavenly Father knows where you are and what is happening to you and around you. He knows! Let no one ever imagine God is unaware of their plight. He sees. He knows. He cares. What a loving, faithful God we serve.

Unbeliever, never forget that your Creator knows where you are and is happening to you and around you. He knows! Let no one ever imagine God is unaware of their plight – nor of their sin and rebellion against Him. Would you gain a sense of how patient and kind He is toward you? He knows all this, and yet He calls to you with the Gospel of grace, to come and be reconciled to Him. To have your sins forgiven. To obtain the gift of eternal life in Jesus. To become His child. What a loving and faithful God He is. How long will you wait?

Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

It takes gentleness to minister to weak, weary and bruised souls – but sometimes in trying to be gentle, we can massage the truth so as to communicate falsehood. When this happens, when truth suffers in our attempt to be gentle, we end up not only failing to truly minster, we do positive harm – we break the spirit of the one we are trying to encourage. Eventually, the truth WILL come to them, and they will be disheartened and resentful at how we failed to be courageously loving in dealing truthfully and straightforwardly. They will see why our counsel failed to give them real aid. We will be seen to have put mere band-aids on their cancer and led them to believe all will be well. We must speak the truth in love. And neither aspect, the truth nor the love can be safely neglected. It is never a question of “would you rather have the truth, or the love?” That is a false dichotomy. Scripture demands both.

Proverbs 15:19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.

To a lazy person, every step forward is painful and full of trial and danger. Not that it is really so – but this is how they imagine it, so as to keep themselves from having to move forward. They have convinced themselves of every possible objection. The road is too steep, or plunges too quickly. The smiles of others make me suspicious, the frowns of others discourage me. If I do this – that will happen, and if I do that, this will happen – every path is a no-win. Everything is too hard, too dangerous, too painful. So it only makes sense to do nothing, and lament then about not making any progress.

And how this slips over in the Christian life in terms of spiritual progress. Many a Believer seems to make precious little progress because they have erected all kinds of real, exaggerated and even imaginary barriers to how difficult it is. We need to see this as sluggardliness at its root and repent of it. It was the Victorian preacher J. C. Ryle who coined the phrase “no pain, no gain.” And he did so in the context of growing in sanctification, of maturing in Christ. Eternal glories have been freely won for us by Christ – but we must go into the fields He has planted them in, and gather them up for ourselves. Manna falls each morning, but it must be sought out and harvested. Grace is dropping all around us, but we must put our hands out to cup the sweet elixir, and bring it to our own mouths to drink.

An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo of New York State

Open-Letter1

It is never the Church’s job to be “political.” Parties and platforms are not our domain. Preaching the Gospel is.

That said, it is also important that the Christian or Biblical worldview have traffic in the marketplace of ideas. Else, we lack the compassion to minister to the world around us. Hence this letter.

I enlist your prayers for its impact on some in our failing State of New York.

Dear Governor Cuomo, I am writing to you today as a lifelong resident of New York State, as a Father and Husband, as Christian, and as a Pastor who has a charge to care for the souls of those I am called to serve. And I am doing so on the eve of the November 5th vote on the proposal to allow seven casinos to be built in New York State, and in the midst of your continued efforts to enact the “Reproductive Health Act.”

Let me begin by rehearsing some basic Biblical facts so as not to be misunderstood as one who opposes or is “anti” government. As a Christian, I cannot be anti-government. The Bible requires otherwise.

Perhaps you are unaware that the Bible presents to Believers a number of interesting and compelling realities when it comes to understanding ourselves as citizens of earthly kingdoms, and of the Kingdom of God.

On the one hand, we are told directly in Romans 13 for instance, that among other things: a. Believers are to be subject to governing authorities. b. Governing authorities are instituted by God. c. God will judge all those who refuse to be subject to God’s appointed authorities. d. Such authorities have been set in place by God to be a “terror” to bad conduct. e. Such authorities are God’s “servant” for our good. f. Such authorities have God’s sanction to punish wrongdoers even unto death. g. Such authorities rightly levy taxes to finance their efforts. h. Such authorities are to be honored for the offices they hold.

On the other hand, we are also aware that governments are all comprised of people. There is no such thing as a “government” that is not – people. And so it is all governments have people in their ranks of sound moral character to greater or lesser degrees. But the moral character of those in leadership has no mitigating impact on the statements already observed in Romans 13 above.

There is a third thing to be noticed. We as Believers have both a warrant and a responsibility to call sin sin.  First, in ourselves individually, in the Church, in the World at large, and even in the government as well.

All the above said, we also notice – especially in the New Testament, a stark lack of the Church “confronting” even the dreadful Roman Empire under whose wicked policies it sometimes suffered horribly.

Fourthly, we have the interesting example of John the Baptizer in Matthew 14 calling Herod to task for his immoral action in taking his brother Philip’s wife as his own.

Fifthly we have the scene of Paul before Festus in Acts 25 – where falsely accused, and before a clearly pagan ruler, as often as Paul had opportunity he spoke about Christ and “reasoned about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgment.” (Acts 25:25)

So what does all of this have to do with the Stewart-Cousins (S.438) Reproductive Health Act and the proposed Casino Referendum?  Everything.

Mr. Cuomo, I do not come to you to find some exemption for myself over some unjust law or treatment. Nor do I come with a political agenda or a party to either endorse or vilify. No, I come to plead with you in the first case to keep New York State from preying on the multitudes of those who statistics clearly show can least afford to lose their money and livelihood in legalized gaming. To expand this wretched industry – even under the guise of providing new revenues which “can” be used for good is no valid argument.

Just because Bernie Madoff was able to (and DID) provide well for his family and staff didn’t excuse his theft of untold amounts. And just because some property taxes may be limited or diminished is no argument to inflict all of the ills that the expansion of gaming will bring along with it. Yes, it will increase revenues, in the short term, but at what cost when weighed against human good and flourishing? Do dollars really mean more to us than human souls and wellbeing?

Yes, Gambling Lobbyists (according to the NY Times October 15 edition) have spent $59 million in their efforts to see this kind of referendum pass since 2005. Yes, it is reported your own campaign fund has received over $1 million in this effort. But are you for sale? Is the NY Legislature for sale? I want to believe not. I pray not.

I do not come with a means to make up the loss if you do not receive those funds. I come with a plea to have mercy on the poor under your care by refraining from putting before them more false hope of enrichment by risking money they can ill afford to risk, and the pain and human suffering that results in their families. I come to plead against the collateral damage the gaming industry inflicts – well documented over decades in studies such as those cited by Earl L. Grinols of the University of Illinois. (Earl L. Grinols, Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits – New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004). His verdict: “The evidence indicates that casino gambling fails a cost-benefit test by a wide margin.” Quoting Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – “Grinols’ research led him to estimate that the introduction of casinos in a community would produce about $34 per adult, per year. At the same time, gambling exacts a toll of far greater dimensions, estimated at between $180 and $289 per adult citizen, per year. The casinos do usually produce income, but this income is canceled out by social costs. As Grinols documented, other problems associated with casinos include marital breakup, the abandonment of children, psychological stress, loss of employment, and suicide.”

This decision is NOT a win for the people of New York Mr. Governor. It is only a win for those seeking to benefit from the pockets of those who can ill afford to lose more. Let’s face it, the gambling industry (and NY State when in league with it) only wins when people lose. How can a government called to do good to its people, willingly sanction what will positively do them harm, only to increase its income? How can you? Please stop this.

As for the expansion of abortion “rights” under the “Reproductive Health Act” – let me but briefly reiterate an old argument –  its being old not making it any less true by virtue of its age.

I will not argue here for what I cannot hope to accomplish – returning to an end of abortion altogether. Perhaps in time such a day can come to our State once again. I address here only the legislation currently in debate.

All animal life, including human life has stages. It must begin somewhere, move through its various stages and at last end – at least physically. These things are self-evident.

So I ask simply, what form or stage of human life – on the basis of it simply being a form or stage – demands less dignity, less compassion, less protection under the law?

If our current laws can recognize that a mother using alcohol or other drugs while pregnant can be held liable for endangering the life and health of her unborn child – without a time stamp, how can we ignore that same reality when it comes to another killing that baby in its mother’s womb? When a Scott Peterson can be charged with 2 homicides in the course of murdering his pregnant wife, how can we possibly, logically, ignore that same life when it comes to abortion? We cannot. It is not rational. And then to consider expanding such irrational behavior so as to ensure unlimited access to abortion should Roe V. Wade be overturned (as reported you said by Jessica Bakeman in the Feb. 17 2013 Democrat and Chronicle) is astounding.

Mr. Governor, your role in government is to protect life, not expand the conditions under which it’s cessation can be accommodated. Even our penal codes recognize that violence done to the helpless is especially heinous and reprehensible. And what life is more helpless, more in need of our compassion and care than one in its earliest stages of development? We dare not sacrifice the lives of the totally helpless on the altar the undefined well-being of those more able to access support and gain the aid of others.

Mr. Cuomo I am not against you, or the government. I am for you. I am for your wellbeing – beyond mere perceived wellbeing – but for the very state of your soul as one who will one day have to give an account (as we all will) before the God who created us. I am not asking you to do a “righteous” thing in retreating from these causes to somehow earn favor with God. The Bible is clear that our relationship to our Creator can only be restored through turning from our sinful course of living as though under our own autonomous authority and not His, trusting in the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay the penalty for that rebellion (and its fruit) and have the righteousness of Christ Himself placed on our account through faith. That is the Gospel. What I am asking you to do is recognize these legislative agendas as unrighteous, as those that promote the lack of self-control in spending and catering to special interest groups who do not have the dignity of human life at the fore. I am asking you to weigh your decisions in a scale that takes into account standing before the living God to give an answer in judgment for your decisions. Were they loving toward God and humankind – or merely politically, financially and self-indulgently expedient? These are hard questions, and not thrown out as attack missiles, but as probes to get at your own heart and motivations. Goads to self-examination under the reality of Biblical truth.

However I am against bad decisions. Decisions that devalue human life and permit making defenseless prey out of the poor and the unborn. And these two issues cannot be more germane to where we are legislatively in New York State right now.

I plead with you sir, I beg you – reconsider on both of these fronts. Boldly buck the cultural trend which drags our society ever deeper into the loss of human dignity for the sake of revenue and convenience. Yes, it will make some aspects of governmental business harder, and less profitable. Perhaps we’ll have to forgo some creature comforts or services. So be it. Better that, than continuing to devalue human life in those horrendous ways.

Thank you for your consideration, and service to this citizens of this State.

Reid A. Ferguson.

Digging Deeper into Proverbs – Chapter 2 (a)

GIFTS 4 keplers_0

Yesterday we took Chapter 2 of Proverbs as a whole – and it is a lot to bite off, no question.

For today, let’s try to summarize the main ideas in a more compact form.

Solomon wants his son(s) and daughters to have 4 things:

1. (5-8) To understand and experience The fear of the Lord.

2. (9-15) To understand and then live out true righteousness, justice and equality.

3. (16-19) To experience deliverance from temptation.

4. (20-22) To actually walk in righteousness.

In verses 1-5 he outlines 7 steps to that end – but let’s just consider three things that show themselves as absolutely necessary to true understanding (seeing all things as God does) and growing close to the Father:

a. Knowing and TREASURING God’s Word. We need to remember again that “Keeping” His Word throughout Scripture is not as much observing the letter of it, as it is seeing it as precious. That which is precious to us, will capture our devotion.

Wisdom and spiritual knowledge are not gained by osmosis, sporadic study, lazy attempts at searching out God’s Word or abstracting magical insights. We must set a value on it first. Treat it like treasure. Keeping our eye and ear peeled for it – looking for it all the time. Praying about it and then taking the pick and shovel and digging, sifting, searching, refining, and looking for more. Nothing less will yield the result of understanding the fear of the Lord, and finding the knowledge of God.

b. Seeking to understand God’s Word, studying it – not simply preserving it like an ancient artifact. Having a Ming vase that is never used AS a vase, but merely as a work of art, is the picture. Many approach God’s Word this way. They know it is “precious” but precious in the sense that it is to be put on a self and admired – but not as though it is to be employed in the fabric and situations of everyday life. We cannot approach God’s Word in this way and hope to be truly impacted by it. We must study it not as a curiosity, but as the study of life itself. We must employ it. It will resist being turned into a religious, social or intellectual artifact.

c. Prayer (3). If we are not interacting personally and regularly with our Lord – we cannot hope either to understand Him, or His Word. We must never allow knowledge about Him to eclipse firsthand knowledge OF Him in living discourse. Lose this aspect, and religion freezes into form and mere doctrine at best, and random subjectivity at worst.

Solomon wants his children to have a living, vibrant, experiential walk with God. What Jesus died to give to all who put their hope only in Him.

The Death of DOMA

Constitution-No-DOMA

Acts 4:18–21 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.

Civil disobedience is a tricky issue – especially for Christians.

As I understand the teaching of God’s Word, there are two occasions when civil disobedience is not only permissible, but in fact required by Bible believing Christians. The first instance is when any authority forbids one from doing what God’s Word explicitly requires. The second is when any authority requires one to do something the Word of God explicitly forbids. In these instances – and in this case the second one specifically – Peter’s response to the Council in Jerusalem when they tried to bar the Disciples from preaching in Jesus’ name – must be ours as well: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

The Supreme Court decision handed down yesterday, June 26, 2013 striking down the DOMA or Defense of Marriage Act is destined to bring Churches and their Pastors directly into precisely this kind of confrontation. Not immediately, but not very long from now given the present rate of moral change in the United States.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law in September of 1996. That act sought to define marriage (at least for the purposes of the Federal Government) as the union between one man and one woman. This definition would govern who and who cannot be considered a “spouse” by Federal Agencies in regard to Federal laws and spousal benefits under the law. Yesterday, in a 5/4 split decision, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional, and therefore cannot stand. Ostensibly this means that however a marriage relationship is deemed legal by any given State – same-sex or otherwise – must also be treated as such by the Federal Government.

The broader implications of this momentous decision is handled with his usual clarity and insightfulness by Albert Mohler – and his analysis can be found at this link:

ALBERT MOHLER’S BRIEFING

But for our purposes today, I want only to deal with what I believe will be the inevitable outcome of this action – despite the attempt by President Obama to reassure us of the opposite. In fact, the need for such reassurance is a sure sign that this issue cannot be so easily dismissed.

The President is quoted as saying in his response to the Supreme Court decision: “On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital,” Obama said. “How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision — which applies only to civil marriages — changes that.”

For now.

For while the decision yesterday does not have the power of pronouncing same-sex marriage as a Constitutional right, it has completely cleared the way to any same-sex couples wishing to marry in a State where it is not yet legal, to sue that State, bringing it back eventually to the Supreme Court under another cover. If a same-sex couple is denied the right to marry in some State, they can argue – on the basis of yesterday’s decision, that their Constitutional rights have been violated. And the Court will have no choice but to uphold that when the time comes.

The fallout from that reality is just this. If a same-sex couple were seek marriage in a religious ceremony, say at this Church, and their application were denied on the basis of it being a same-sex union, they would – again, on the basis of yesterday’s decision – have a clear path to claim their Constitutional rights were violated, and bring suit.

It is at this point I want to be abundantly clear as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and one of the pastors of this congregation – that I will under no circumstances perform a same-sex marriage. Period. And I will have to leave it to the other powers that be to determine whether or not we ought to obey the authorities, or to obey God, if or when we are required to do something like this – which God’s Word clearly and without controversy, forbids. The Biblical teaching on the question of marriage being the union of one man and one woman is straight forward and unambiguous. And it is according to that standard that the Church must act.

The days when such stands will be put to the test are right in front of us. And as never before, we need to heed God’s Word to pray for those in Government, that they too may come to be restrained by a law of holiness, that transcends human authority and fallen reason.