American Family Association's One News Now reported the following:He goes on to report that
"Mayor Annise Parker and two homosexual city council members pushed through a non-discrimination ordinance that protects homosexual men and lesbians. The proposed 'bathroom bill' ordinance passed 11-6 in May despite vocal opposition by the Houston community, which was led by local churches and their pastors."
The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures - triple the 17,269 needed to place a referendum on the ballot. However, in August, City Attorney David Feldman invalidated the petition's pages citing "irregularities," effectively ending the citizen-led effort by killing the possibility of the referendum making the November ballot.
Next, opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit; the city's attorneys responded by issuing subpoenas against several key pastors who were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The city is demanding that select pastors now turn over any and all communications - including sermons - that dealt with homosexuality, gender identity, or Annise Parker herself! Just let that sink in for a second and then ask, "What country is this, anyway?"
Commentator and radio host, Dr. Michael Brown, commented, "I urge every pastor in the city of Houston to address the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism this Sunday, announcing this for the entire world to hear but at the same time, refusing to obey the unrighteous decree of Mayor Parker's office to turn your sermons over for government scrutiny."Here's Brown in the Christian Post:
In light of this egregious example of gay activist bullying – the very kind that I and others have documented for years now – I urge every pastor in the city of Houston to address the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism this Sunday, October 19th, announcing this for the entire world to hear but at the same time, refusing to obey the unrighteous decree of Mayor Parker's office to turn your sermons over for government scrutiny. (This should be done respectfully, in the spirit of Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29.)Good for Michael Brown! I don't support his charismatic theology but I support his call for unity of the Church on issues like this. It would be wonderful if churches all across the nation responded to this call.
I also urge every congregational member in Houston to tell your pastors that you are standing with them, encouraging them to stand up for what is right in the face of bullying and intimidation.
To my fellow-leaders in Houston and around America, let's seize this moment and use it for the glory of God, preaching His love for all people and His real interest in those who identify as LGBT while at the same time proclaiming that His ways are best, that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that gender distinctives are not to be discarded or despised.
Barger rightly adds in his newsletter that the Church needs to respond to this and respond now, that too many younger church members are being persuaded that gay marriage should be accepted and that there won't be time to respond if we wait.
Hey Church! We're all tired of watching the devil triumph in this world lately, aren't we? In this nation and this world, and even in our churches. He's been coming in "like a flood" as scripture describes it. A lot of us are feeling helpless and maybe even scared at what we see happening around us, as evil is put for good and good for evil, as God's judgments are coming down on the nation.
There are lots of us but how do we get our act together as the formidable force we should be?
What are we, Church? Are we the army of the Lord or not? Are we called "Terrible as an army with banners" for no good reason? Are we called The Church Militant for no good reason? Do we have it in us to fight at all? And of course I mean fight with the Lord's weapons, not carnal weapons. I mean praying, I mean preaching, I mean speaking the Lord's word into all these situations where the evil one has dared to raise his ugly head against the Lord.
I love this recommendation that churches all together in one voice dedicate this Sunday's service to calling down this Houston mayor's unrighteous challenge to the people of God, even against our Constitutional rights but mainly against God Himself. Who are we if we don't stand in the power of our God for His honor?
Sure, be polite as Brown suggests, but there's also a place for declaiming and denouncing when it comes to being salt and light and calling down sin. I think of the late Ian Paisley's denouncing of the Pope as the Antichrist in the European Parliament, and in fact his style of preaching which could startle you out of your seat listening to him, not that I recommend it as a general thing, but the point is there is a place for shouting down the devil from our pulpits.
Quote all the scripture references against homosexuality, quote God's judgments. If they're going to call us "haters" and "homophobics" let them call all the churches in the nation "haters" and "homophobics" as we implore God to rend the heavens and act against this unrighteousness.
The angel of the Lord encamps about them that fear him and delivers them.What a glorious idea. Concerted preaching and prayer across the nation for a whole Sunday service against this offense against God and all the other offenses we could name in their turn.
Remember, it doesn't have to begin and end with this Sunday either; we have lots of challenges we're facing and lots of Sundays to do it in if the Lord tarries.
Please inspire Your people to this, Lord.