If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)
Recently the homosexual lesbian mayor of the city of Houston, Texas, Annise Parker instigated the Equal Rights Ordinance dubbed “HERO,” which, in part, removed gender restrictions from public restrooms. Needless to say, many are highly incensed over the local government overreach in abolishing longstanding social norms of etiquette in maintaining gender specific restroom facilities.
Having ramrodded the ordinance through the city council despite public protests and outcries, the public was allowed 30 days to collect 17,000 petition signatures to appeal the decision. On July 3, 2014 over 50,000 signatures were submitted to the city of Houston to repeal the ordinance, but the city rejected the petitions claiming the petitioners were 2000 “valid” signatures short of the required 17,000. The opponents of the ordinance filed a lawsuit against the city of Houston with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) group. Shortly thereafter, the city subpoenaed five local Houston pastors who were leading the petition drive, and demanded “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.” To date, the battle rages.
The five Houston pastors remain in steadfast opposition to local government overreach that attempts to chip away at the rights derived directly from God and supported by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It is not so much that they have anything to hide. Their sermons or speeches are open to the public. Anyone, including the Mayor, is welcome to sit in and listen. The problem comes from the intimidation tactics employed by the city designed to silence pastors from teaching what the Bible has to say about homosexuality or other deviant behavior. The Preacher once said, “[There is] a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Now is the time to speak.
The Bible teaches: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God” (Romans 13:1). The Greek word translated “powers” is exousia, and it refers to a magistrate or potentate, i.e., a governmental authority. As Christians, we are encouraged to pray “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2), but at the same time “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). This is such a time. We should pray for the Mayor of Houston; she is lost and she has a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28) that prevents her from seeing the error of her ways. At the same time, she is attempting to enforce a law that, in the first place, violates the Supreme Law of the Land, but ultimately it violates the law of God.
This is the time for Christians to speak, and to speak loudly. And not only about this, but about other laws that have been passed that violate the Law of God. This resulted because we Christians have been too timid or too politically correct to actively voice our objection.
Now is the time to speak and to speak loudly! Expect the message to be unpopular. In fact, there will even be “Christians” that will rise up in opposition to the message, but the truth must be spoken in spite of the offence that will be taken. The old adage, “the truth hurts” applies, and those who are offended will retaliate, perhaps even with violence. Regardless, this is not the time for timidity or political correctness, but a time for courage and boldness. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). He also said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). It is about time that we stand with Jesus against abortion, same-sex unions, divorce, adultery, premarital sex, cohabitation, and all sorts of perversion. There are those that say, “live and let live,” and that would be fine were it not for those that would force their perversion on the rest of us. We can no longer sit quietly by and take the abuse. Slowly, piece by piece, the perverts have been tearing away at our social fiber. It has to end, and it will not end while Christians roll over and play dead.
Seriously, I do not anticipate that any of this will go away, but we should not give up without a fight. It is a time to speak; it is a time for war (Ecclesiastes 3:7, 8). Keep those brave Houston pastors in your prayers. Beyond prayer, support them in any way you can. Pray also for Houston’s mayor, that God will penetrate her heart.