Monday, October 20, 2014


My inbox has been full the past few days.  Family, friends, coworkers and Crossroads members have been alerting me to this headline and the accompanying article…“City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons.”  Then, as I began to read, I thought to myself…“Now it begins…”I knew it could probably come in my lifetime, given the politicizing of moral/Biblical issues in recent years, but I honestly did not expect it this soon. 
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality or gender identity.  Those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court according to Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, and the city council.  These subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance.  The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice-versa.  The city council approved the law in June.  The Houston Chronicle reported the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.  [However, the city threw out the petition in August.]  So, the opponents of the bathroom ordinance filed a lawsuit.  The city attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.  Mayor Parker refuses to explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. 
400 Houston-area churches, representing a number of faith groups, have gone on record as opposing the ordinance.  Among those slapped with a subpoena are mega-church Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church and Dave Welch, Executive Director of the Texas Pastor Council.  Both have refused to forfeit their first amendment rights and have said they will not be intimidated by this abuse of civil authority.

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, warned about this very thing in his book, “God Less America.”  He predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors under the guise of ‘tolerance and diversity’ in order to deconstruct religious liberty.
Pastor Welch compares this battle in Houston to the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, in Harris County, Texas…a decisive battle in the Texas Revolution.  “This is the San Jacinto moment for the traditional family,” Welch said.  “This is the place where we stop the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender] assault on the freedom to practice our faith.  If we don’t, the government might come after your pastor.”
Gulp!  Personally, because of my love for and loyalty to God’s truth and my love for and loyalty to God’s people, I cannot help but take all this seriously.  Although this kind of ethical and social change may take years to become reality, it has indeed begun.  The issue has been raised.  The camel’s nose is officially under the tent.  The United States of America continues to walk, zombie-like, down the path of walked by Western Europe. We will not like where it leads us or our children or our grandchildren…if the Lord tarries.
Please pray with me…Father God, we are truly sorry and often very sad that, in our generation, we, as Christians, have been unable to stem the tide of unbelief and rejection of absolute truth in our nation. Neither have we finished the mission You have given us of taking the Gospel to the world.  We plead for Your forgiveness and Your patience as we balance grace and truth in our preaching, teaching, witnessing and Kingdom building until Christ returns.  In His dear name, amen.

Pastor Ken

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