ADF: Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits

HT for graphic:  blackcommunitynews.com

In a negative response to my previous post –  I Stand Sunday – a commenter came along and wrote the following:

 

Patricia:

 

This crowd looks eerily like the crowds we saw when integration of minorities into ‘whites Only’ schools was happening in the 60s. They look the same as the crowds who railed against interracial marriage. Conservatives are excellent at spreading hate and fear. If only they could understand that everyone’s equality is an inalienable right and not up for bigots and haters to control.

This is the typical argument given by homosexual activists and their supporters.  I think that Christians and Conservatives who believe in the God-given definition of marriage should “have an answer” as instructed in the Bible:

 

2Co 5:12  For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.

 

The “hate and fear” argument often sidetracks believers from responding.  Well, I found an excellent tool to use via the Alliance Defending Freedom site.  My answer to “Patricia” includes some of what is written at the ADF site:

 

 

 

Reply to Patricia:

 

Hello Patricia,
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
From what you have written, I cannot determine whether or not you understand the entire issue that prompted the event.
There have been several lawsuits brought against Christian owners of businesses whose deeply held religious faith does not allow them to participate in same-sex weddings. When they politely declined, the homosexual activists sued them (instead of simply going to another baker, flower shop, wedding venue?) and destroyed not only their religious liberty but also their businesses.
This is not the same as the interracial marriage issue. Skin color cannot be changed in a person, whereas, sexual orientation can. I always find it ironic that homosexual activists celebrate when a formerly heterosexual person “comes out” as homosexual in later years (e.g. Meredith Baxter – formerly Birney – when she was married to a man), but refuse to celebrate when a person who was previously caught in unwanted homosexual behavior (in some cases, because they were abused as a child by a predator of the same sex) gratefully changes their sexual orientation to heterosexual.
What’s up with that?
Anyway, besides the cases involving forcing (or closing down) Christian owners of businesses to participate in ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs, the case that triggered the I Stand Sunday event was because what was done to the Houston Five pastors. Here is what happened:

 

It’s not something many are willing to believe. Europe may encroach on its churches, and Christians have long been persecuted in Asia, but this – this is the land of the free. We put “In God We Trust” on our money. We say “under God” in the Pledge. We sing “God Bless America” at ballgames.
How bad can it really get?
Ask “the Houston Five.”


HT for graphic:  GulagBound.com

In June 2014, the City of Houston’s leaders implemented a sexual orientation / gender identity law which, among other things, prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” in places like public restrooms. It was not a popular decision: 82 percent of Houstonians opposed the decree. Petitions rapidly circulated throughout the city, signed by citizens demanding that the new law be repealed, or placed on a ballot for the voters to decide. Some of the City’s pastors openly discussed the law and its implications from the pulpit – a right the First Amendment protects.
The Houston law requires a certain number of valid signatures for such petitions to result in a law being placed on the ballot. The citizens of Houston supplied more than three times the required number. The city secretary legally certified the petitions – meaning that the City Council either had to repeal the law or it had to be put to a vote of the people. Yet the mayor and the city attorney refused the certification, saying that less than the required number of signatures was valid.
In response, a group of citizens filed a lawsuit, pressing the city to comply with the law and honor the petitions. Instead, in the course of preparing for trial, the city’s attorneys served a subpoena against five local pastors, demanding 17 categories of information – including copies of their sermons “related to… the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession,” as well as any personal communications they might have had with church members or others about the bathroom law, homosexuality, or gender identity.
ADF <Alliance Defending Freedom> attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to block that subpoena – along with an accompanying brief pointing out that neither the pastors nor their churches are even involved in the lawsuit, and that the information being subpoenaed has nothing to do with the lawsuit. City officials apparently want to see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized them … and to intimidate them, other pastors, and any other citizens from ever doing so again. In effect, it’s an aggressive bid to control – through explicit legal action or implicit political pressure – what preachers preach, and what Christians believe about social issues.
The City of Houston’s actions pose a “clear and present danger” to religious freedom. This is a critical “trial balloon” being floated in the culture. Those pressing the agenda the council supports are watching closely to see not only how the citizens of Houston and the media react, but how Christians across America respond to this direct onslaught against their most basic, cherished liberties.

 

Source: Alliance Defending Freedom website.
What is at stake?

 

Well, it boils down to the following opposing viewpoints below:

 

“There can be a conflict between
religious liberty and sexual liberty,
but in almost all cases the
sexual liberty should win…”
CHAI FELDBLUM
Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

 

 

“A time is coming when the government will
demand that churches accept and promote
an understanding of sexuality and gender
that directly opposes God’s Word.”
DR. JIM GARLOW
Lead Pastor at Skyline Church, La Mesa, CA

 

The key words in Dr. Garlow’s statement is “government will demand.”

 

HT for graphic:  oneoldvet.com

 

The mayor of Houston was clearly abusing her power within her governmental position to trample the electorate who petitioned the government about their rejection of the “bathroom bill”;  and since the ordinance was rejected by 82% of the public there, they should be allowed to vote on the issue. In addition, the religious freedom of Christians was trampled upon with her illegal request for sermons from the pastors. Each of these freedoms are guaranteed and written in the U.S. Constitution. This was a blatant attempt by the mayor and her staff to destroy the basic, cherished liberties of Christians.

 

 

 

As Christians, we need to remember that those spewing hate towards us and using the “discrimination” mantra regarding their want for absolute approval of homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage are perishing in their sin.  Without repentance, there is no remission of sin.

 

1 Co 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 

2 Co 2:15 –  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

 

2 Co 4:3 –   But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

 

One of the best resources that I have found in combating the current onstaught of homosexual activists against Christian pastors (in Houston and anywhere) and Christian believers whose businesses are being targeted is:

 

Alliance Defending Freedom PDF Handbook:  Protecting your ministry from sexual orientation and gender identity lawsuits

 

Such a resource as this is absolutely necessary today because as you will read in the examples of lawsuits filed in the PDF handbook, many judges who hold to the ideology of homosexual rights are trumping religious rights and are deciding cases in courts against the deeply held religious beliefs of Christians.  They are imposing huge fines (and even threatening jail time!)  and running them out of business.  At the same time, the actions of that mayor in Houston shows that given political power, many homosexual activists will pass “ordinances” against the will of the people of any particular city, and even go so far as to demand pastors of Christian churches to hand over their sermons in a Nazi-style statist governmental way in order to punish those who do not adhere to increasing homosexual demands which are now not-so-veiled attempts that are being used to silence us.  It is absolutely necessary to have the written documents BEFOREHAND, in the possession of the Christian churches and businesses, in order to counter against the lawsuits before they even happen!

 

I hope that this great resource will be passed along to every Christian pastor, ministry, and church, and Bible believing follower of Christ to be utilized in protecting their God-given (and Constitutionally given) rights from activists’ lawsuits that intend to punish and silence the church of Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible.

 

Thank you for reading and God bless!

 

~ Christine

 

My thanks to:

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3 Responses to “ADF: Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits”

  1. ADF: Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits | Christians Anonymous Says:

    […] Source: ADF: Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits […]

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  2. It Begins… | Talk Wisdom Says:

    […] Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world – now. « ADF: Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits […]

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  3. FRC: Defund Illegal Amnesty Action and Expose the Transgender Confusion Agenda | Talk Wisdom Says:

    […] since I Stand Sunday and my follow-up post entitled ADF: Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits, I have been receiving Family Research Council’s Washington […]

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