Should the church have a voice? by Deacon Lex Goodlett

Driving through some parts of Kentucky it seems that you can hardly make a turn without seeing a church.  Someone told me that the county they lived in had 66 churches.  Churches have been part of the American landscape for all of our history.  But more and more it seems that churches are to be seen and not heard.  The culture is perfectly OK with churches meeting on Sunday, visiting the nursing homes, prisons, and hospitals, and running food banks.  All of these are a big part of what Jesus called churches to do and churches who do not do these things are failing in their mandate from Christ.  But should churches be more?  Should they have a voice in culture, government, schools etc.?

In Matthew 5:13 Jesus taught that Christians, embodied in local churches, are the salt of the earth.  In ancient cultures, salt was a vital substance. It was not only used to enhance flavor, but was necessary as a preservative to prevent corruption of food.  When Jesus told his disciples that they were the salt of the earth, he was telling them that through the teaching of Christ and the Christian mission, the earth can be kept from corruption and rot.  But how can the church carry out the mission of being salt to the earth?

In order for this mission to be carried out, churches cannot be just Sunday meeting places and rescue shelters for the impoverished.  They have to have a voice in cultural debate.  They cannot sit silently on the sidelines.  When society has opinions that are opposite to what God has revealed about Himself and His wishes in the Bible, it is the job of the church to influence that society.  It is not the churches job to take authority over the society, but to attempt to influence the society.  This is how the church is salt to the earth.  This requires the church to interact with, tolerate, and love not only its members, but all parts of our society.  It requires the church to hear those who disagree with us, love those who are different from us, and minister even to those who refuse to believe in Christ.

Many people believe that because America is a place that has no state religion, then the church should be silent in the affairs of the society at large.  The church should only speak to those willing to enter its doors.  But is the silence of the church a good thing for our communities?  There was a time that when questions of morality and ethics arose the church was listened to, if not always heeded.  But do our communities even care to hear the opinion of our churches anymore?  Our prisons and jails are overflowing, our young people are addicted, our marriages are falling apart, and our school systems are struggling.  Many believe that the church has no answer and that the Christian religion is just an impediment to the evolution of society.  But do you really think society would be worse if marriage vows were kept, if parents loved and nurtured their children, if children obeyed their parents, if people loved their neighbor, and if children grew up knowing they were the pinnacle of God’s creation and not a cosmic accident?  Even though the church does not always live up to these things, these are the high ideas that we strive for.

So should churches have a voice in the culture?  Absolutely.

 

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The New Year

As I enter into my thirty sixth year at the church I look back into the past and am amazed at what each decade has brought. So many people and events have played a crucial role in the church and it’s accomplishments. We have seen the protective hand of God navigate us through some troubled waters and also bless us with undeserved blessings. I could not have imagined when this all came about that today we would be a debt free church with  three buildings and getting ready to build a much needed gymnasium. There have been thousands of souls saved directly and indirectly because of this ministry. Hundreds of families have been touched in a special way. The exciting part is that we are not finished. Various ministries are growing within the church and the future looks bright. We must give the Lord all of the praise, honor and glory!

May the Lord protect us from division and hardship, give grace when needed and bless all that we do. Please pray for us as we continue to serve the Master in 2017.

Movies, by Lex Goodlett, Deacon

A Movie Review

Movies have become a large part of our culture. Movies are a major form of entertainment that the vast majority of Christians and non-Christians alike enjoy. This is challenging to us because there are a lot of movies that contain subject matter or behavior that we would rather not be a part of. At the same time we live in a time and place where the movie is a very main stream form of entertainment and we are a part of the culture we live in. In some ways, Christians can appreciate these stories more than most, because we see more clearly the human condition.
In recent years there have been several quality movies that have been produced with the idea of providing entertainment and furthering the cause of Christ. There is something about seeing a story play out visually that makes it more real. For centuries now, actors have played stories out on stage, but now we have the ability through high definition filming and special effects to see things play out that we could never see before. We can see what war really looks like. We can see the terror of being in a sinking ship. We can visualize what the deepest reaches of space look like.
There remains one type of movie that for me, always draws a deep emotional response. Movies or stage dramas about our Savior always affect me profoundly. I think seeing the story of Jesus play out visually allows one to really appreciate the humanity of the characters. Also, knowing that what you are seeing really happened adds a dimension that a fantasy can’t duplicate.
Recently, I watched a movie called Risen. This movie was released by Sony in February of this year. (There might be some spoilers in the rest of this, so if you want to watch the movie maybe you’ll want to read the rest of this later.) This movie portrays the resurrection from a Roman standpoint. A tribune is assigned to investigate the disappearance of the body of Christ. What he finds, shocks him to his core. The man that he saw hanging dead on a cross is now alive and fellowshipping with his disciples before his very eyes. The movie plays out with this tribune abandoning his duties and following the disciples. At first, at a distance, then Peter brings him into the fold as they await further instructions from Jesus. The tribune becomes a bystander as the story plays out until the finale of Christ returning to the right hand of the Father. This tribune is obviously fictional, but enables the story to be told from a totally different perspective. I enjoyed this movie because it communicates to the watcher just how big of a deal the resurrection was. We fail to realize what an extraordinary event this was. Think of any popular figure today. What if that figure was executed and three days later the body turned up missing, even though the US military was guarding the grave. Then hundreds of people were able to give time, date, and place where they saw the person alive. If the resurrection could have been reasonably refuted, it would have been. The Jewish and Roman authorities did not want belief in the resurrection to grow.
The movie also provides a glimpse into the lives of the apostles at that time. Their unadulterated joy at seeing Jesus alive and their uncertainty about the future are striking and real. You can’t help but ponder what it will be like to actually see Him face to face. What will He say? What will I say? What will he look like? How will He have time to see each of us? The questions are limitless, but time will be too.
Movies like this can inspire us and draw us closer to our Lord. I thank God that he has allowed humanity this technology. When used appropriately it can bring glory to our Savior and provide a powerful presentation of the Gospel.

Why are we the target?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom 8:36-39)

 

When I began my journey in the ministry over forty years ago I could not have predicted the changes that would take place in four short decades. As a young preacher I rarely encountered people that didn’t understand what you were talking about when you asked them if they were saved. Forty years later it is more of a rarity to find someone who does understand what you’re asking. We are seeing the fruition of decades of intellectual, religious and moral assault on the foundational beliefs of Christianity.

 

The contemporary challenges we face can seem overwhelming. Spreading the gospel becomes more challenging when the society you’re witnessing to is growing more evil with the passing of each day. When you couple that with the challenge of training Christians to stay unspotted from the world you can become easily demoralized. Before we get too discouraged we need to remember the scriptures. The apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans during a time of great wickedness. As the apostle to the gentiles he was sent into a world of idolatry and hardness. His life was always in danger.

 

In order to get a grasp on dealing with today’s challenges we must see everything through the eyes of the scriptures. The Bible gives us a look at God’s perspective by taking us back in time through the history of his dealings with mankind. He also teaches us his wisdom by taking us forward in time through the prophecies. There is a great truth that emerges when we see life through a Biblical perspective. Here is that truth: the entire history of mankind, since the fall in the Garden of Eden, has been about mankind rejecting the authority of God, the creator, and his plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

Politically, kings, queens, despots, dictators, Marxists, socialists and communists have opposed fundamental Christianity. Behaviorally, drunkards, drug addicts, fornicators, entertainers and other hedonists have resisted fundamental Christianity. Religiously, there have been false prophets, cults, false religions and many other movements that have condemned Christianity. Even within the scope of Christian sects there have been those who perverted basic Christian doctrines and changed the gospel story from one of grace to works.

 

The greatest threat the church faces in western culture today is the loss of religious liberty and freedom of religious speech. The assault is coming from the movement to grant civil rights protection to individuals who are practicing behavior that the Bible condemns as sinful and destructive. Such protection would be unprecedented considering that it has been historically granted to racial or religious minorities. It’s one thing to protect the freedom of individuals to make behavioral choices but something completely different to elevate  a behavior to civil rights protection when such behavior can be practiced by any gender, race or age. Individuals can choose to not practice this behavior so this signifies that this behavior is not an unchangeable feature or condition.

 

As great as this threat seems to be it is no different than any other threat that Christianity has historically faced. The battle has always been to find a way to silence the fundamental teachings of the Bible. There have been many nations that have provided peace for Christians but it has never been permanent. We are seeing the end of peace for Christians in America. Why is this always the case? Why did Paul recognize this reality during the earliest days of Christianity?

 

Here are some reasons we are “killed all the day long”. First is sin nature. Our flesh is filled with appetites for pleasure and indulgences. The earthly body has been judged and condemned by God. It is corrupted and God has provided a way to escape the judgment, but men would rather sin.

 

Secondly is the pride of life. Men find it offensive to be told they are sinners who need a savior. There is an arrogance in men that prompts them to find their own devices to answer life’s toughest questions. It can be in the form of false religion that requires men to be saved by their own goodness or atheistic science that prompts men to figure everything out without a creator.

 

Thirdly is the power of darkness. There’s not enough to be said about this. As it was in the days of Noah when the world became so corrupted that God nearly put an end to mankind, so will be the last days. The power of Satan grows stronger as people continually practice sinful behavior. Sin causes delusional thinking. The reality of consequences and death can be lost in the fog of sinful behavior.

 

Fourthly is the power of influence. Bible believing Christians have been easy targets. We have not been given instruction by God to form governments, destroy governments, form armies or otherwise force others to receive our message. The tool we have been given to spread the gospel is the power of influence through preaching, teaching and personal testimony. False religions and the lost take things by force or eliminate any opposing views. They soon figure out that they have the advantage with government and law. This does not eliminate the thing they fear the most; the power of the gospel message. The truths of the Bible are still, and always will be the most comprehensive explanation of life. The disciples of hedonism and humanism know that when people are exposed to the message of the gospel they will in large numbers receive it. The greatest obstacle to a world order, where man is glorified, is the truths taught in the Bible.

 

These explanations may seem too simplistic in the face of the world’s complicated problems. We must remember that God’s answers have always been simple, no matter how complicated the problem. We must simply live in obedience to Biblical truths. Looking at life through a Biblical perspective not only explains life but it also provides hope, faith and love. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not even death. Attacking the faith has always been the duty of the wicked, keeping the faith has always been the duty of the believer. Ultimately, God is in charge. There’s nothing we could experience that he cannot provide grace to endure and use us as his ambassadors while we are enduring. According to the signs of the times we may be soon raptured. If Paul could preach hope, love, forgiveness and righteousness in his day, we can do the same today. We do not know what circumstances we may face in the near future but we do know how it all will end. Those who reject Christ can never say that.

 

The Church and Dress Attire

Cold winter days cause me to go to the closet and look through the sweaters, sweat shirts, coats and other clothes that only get worn a few times a year. I don’t like being cold. I do so little work out doors that it is hard to choose what would be best to put on. I had to buy a new pair of rubber boots last winter, not because I had worn the old pair out, but because the old pair had been in the closet so long they dry rotted. Choosing what clothes to wear is as challenging as choosing what restaurant to eat at.

Choosing the right clothing for the occasion reminds me of how important clothing is. Cold weather calls on us to choose warm and protective wear. Hot weather calls on us to wear as little as we can without becoming immodest or what will best protect us from the sun’s heat. To the immodest it is a call to wear virtually nothing. There are professions that mandate dress attire, while others have uniforms. When you stop and notice, most businesses and employers have requirements concerning the dress of their employees. You rarely see politicians conducting business without dress attire on. All of this is for practical reasons. The purposes of clothing are; protection from the elements, identification, modesty and appropriateness for an occasion. The use of clothing will fall under one or more of these purposes. When someone’s dress is out of the ordinary for an event or environment, it causes quite a stir.

I want to focus on the modern church and dress. During my lifetime I have observed a dramatic change in the dress attire for church attendance. I am a conservative pastor and still preach in dress attire, but it is becoming obvious that I belong to an increasing minority. The arguments for having more casual attire for church services have prevailed in most evangelical circles. Those in favor of casual dress argue that it departs from the formal and stuffy church of the past. It creates an environment that is more welcoming to the poor, who have little dress attire, or the sinner that may be intimidated by a church full of people who appear formal and unwelcoming. Casual attire is consistent with the message to “come as you are”. The Bible doesn’t specify or command a particular dress for assembly. These arguments can be hard to refute. At face value, they seem reasonable enough. I remember hearing as a young boy people complain about how churches were nothing more than members trying to see who could dress the best or that they were a bunch of do-gooders that thought they were better than everyone else. There’s the old complaint that church members are nothing more than hypocrites who dress up on Sunday and then live it up on Monday. Churches wanted to appear more engaging and down to earth. With these things in mind, you may think that it makes sense to offer a more casual and laid back environment for church services. I started my career as an evangelical and as a young preacher I would have agreed with the more casual approach to church services, but my thinking has changed about this matter over the years.

I think it is wise to investigate why traditions existed before discarding them. There is the possibility that some great principles could be the reason that the tradition existed. There were commonly held principles that influenced church dress in the past that were covered up by formality, ritual and vanity. Often, bad behavior causes people to lose sight of great principles. So why did the church traditionally practice “dressing up” for worship services?

The first reason was the importance of what was going to take place. If the carnal world recognized that dress attire should reflect the importance and seriousness of an event, then the church ought to do likewise. When the church comes together there are going to be the most important issues about life discussed. Life changing instructions are going to be given. Although the Lord abides in each of us and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, there is something especially powerful about the church assembling.

A second reason was the principle of giving God your best. Your best may not be a suit or expensive dress, but it would be the best you have. This reflected a desire to present yourself before the Lord and the brethren in an appropriate way. Children were taught that the church was a special place and the environment should be kept different than any other place they could go.

A third reason was the difference between the sacred and secular. The music, preaching and other aspects of the worship service were elements you could only get in the church. Today’s church is focused on praise and worship. In reality it appears that the focus is much more about praise than worship. There is a difference between the two. Praise is when we celebrate and rejoice in what the Lord has done and is doing. Worship is when we fall silent and stand in awe because of who he is. It is hard to make joyful noise and have a celebration AND have silent, awe-struck reverence at the same time. The environment created in today’s church services is conducive to praise but falls short of worship. Everything from music to dress is designed for praise. The pulpit was designed to reflect majesty and serious concourse. It has been replaced with podiums, theater lights and a stage that is prepared for performance.

Fourthly, the church service was designed for inspiration, instruction and participation. You must listen attentively to learn from a speaker or teacher. Instruction through preaching and teaching gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to inspire and convict the conscience of the believer. In past generations people were moved by great thought, now people are moved by strong emotions. The song service ministered to the listener through special music and congregational singing was designed for all to sing together and participate. Parishioners learned great truths by singing hymns. This also gave them an opportunity to participate in the service. Often, today’s church services are about watching musicians perform more than the congregation participating. Congregational singing is more celebratory through praise songs with few words and much emotion.

Western culture has changed dramatically concerning social issues like dress attire. Changing attitudes about modesty and gender identity have impacted the church. People used to wear dress attire to go to town for social functions. Suits were worn to ball games. Society has become much more casual than in the past. Modern technology has offered an explosion of options for dress and entertainment. It is difficult to keep contemporary tastes out of the church environment.  Christians have been commanded to occupy until the Lord returns and this requires that the believer be visible, busy and have a mission among others around them. We must participate in society to have the opportunity to witness to unbelievers. The church used to have a profound influence on social norms. It was much easier for the church to teach stricter moral codes of conduct when social institutions reinforced them. The same educational, governmental and private institutions that reflected the moral values taught in the church now attack Biblical teaching as an enemy of enlightenment and modern science.

Biblical truth is timeless and can be practiced in any culture or era. The challenge for the present church is teaching and practicing Biblical Christianity in an increasingly hostile environment. The church of the past fell to the temptation to become formal, judgmental and ritualistic. The present church appears to be succumbing to the temptation to be shallow and carnal in its presentation. Both generations lost their mission to challenge the believers with true Biblical teaching about love, compassion, mercy, judgment, separation from sin and personal testimony. Can a more casual approach to Church ministries sustain the practice of Biblical principles? This is the question that is before the church today. The Bible does not specify what type or style of clothing to wear. Nor does the Bible specify what style of music to use or what methods to employ during a church service.  With this in mind, it is difficult to be dogmatic about a subject when the scriptures are not. We need to be careful when judging others to be in sin when we only have our own preferences to judge them by. Sometimes an issue is about what is good, better or best. I think much of the debate concerns this issue rather than sin and wrong doing.

I have come to my own conclusion about the contemporary movement in the church today. I believe that the modern church struggles to discern the difference between the sacred and carnal. We would be better served to maintain some timeless Biblical principles that have been discussed in this article. I do not believe we should fix what isn’t broken. Our doctrines and methods can become sinful if they cause us to lose the ability to win our society to Christ. We cannot win a sinner to Christ if the truths about judgment and sin are not preached. These issues cannot be properly dealt with in an environment that is always casual and celebratory. There must be balance between a relaxed environment and a serious one. There should be a place for challenge, tears and repentance in the church. God has given us only the power of influence to evangelize a lost and desperate world. If the world hears and sees no great truths from the church and sees nothing sacred to draw them, then we will lose our influence. There should be a noticeable difference between the believer and non-believer. I strive not to be judgmental with fellow believers, but I think we can do better and in some cases the contemporary movement has led to sin.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God’ 1Cor. 10:13

 

 

 

 

 

Politics

2Ti 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

We are called ambassadors and soldiers in the scriptures. We are representing and fighting for a kingdom. It is not a worldly kingdom. Those who do not know Christ have only the things of this life to care for. They busy themselves with many activities to preserve their way of life. The word “affairs” in this verse means transactions and negotiations. We are told that to be successful in the war we fight, we must not entangle ourselves in the world’s affairs. The key word here is “entangle”. I believe this to mean I’m not to be so interwoven and dependent upon this worlds’ affairs that I am hindered from bearing spiritual fruit and seeing people come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

This brings me to the subject of politics. There’s nothing that involves more transactions and negotiations. The word politics means “social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power. The activities and affairs involved in managing a state or a government.” More than ever before, the church has to decide how it will fight the spiritual war for souls and not become entangled in the destructive politics of our day. Elected officials have passed laws and are considering more laws that can potentially harm our freedom to share and practice our faith.

The future for our children and grandchildren may be in a culture far removed from the one we have lived in. Antichristian groups have negotiated themselves into positions of political power. The same freedom that has enabled us to preach the gospel of Christ and raise our children in His admonition is the same freedom that the enemies of the cross have used to convince others of a different way. Is it wrong for the Christian to become politically active? Is it entanglement for us to speak out on political matters or speak about the character of elected officials? The enemies of the cross would say yes.

In my lifetime I have seen the church reduced to insignificance in political matters. When I was a young preacher I was told that religious institutions were tax exempt because their ministries helped with the needs of the poor, provided positive moral influence and helped sustain a stable society. Also, I was told that the money people gave to religious institutions was already taxed through the person who earned it. Now we are told that it is because of the separation of the church and state. As a part of this separation ideology the church is told it cannot speak about political matters. The tax exemption has become hush money. The church is threatened with the revocation of their tax exemption if it speaks about politics or politicians.

In 2 Corinthians 4:8 Paul states that they were troubled on every side. The church is troubled on every side today. Secular lawmakers have attempted to censor the church by the separation ideology. Secular education institutions have censored the church by revisionist history, secular humanism and science that has closed its mind to any thought of the supernatural. The entertainment industry has undermined moral values by glorifying sin and presenting it as having no destructive consequences.

The message for the church today is that it would be entanglement with the affairs of the world to accept things as they are. We are to be light, salt, ambassadors and soldiers. How can we be these things to the world we live in if we accept the secular worlds premise that we should remove ourselves from politics? Everything is political. Everything impact our lives. We are in a spiritual battle for our existence. The church is no longer being accused of trying to run the government, but rather it is being systematically removed from any significance in society.

Will we pray? Will we stand? Will we be willing to suffer? Revival comes in the midst of hardship. Our message is worth fighting for. We must not get entangled in the false philosophies that have kept us silent while the enemies of faith have secured their power. American Christians have been privileged to have freedom of speech and religion. No other kingdom has offered so much freedom to so many. May God preserve our constitution and way of life. May we be what we should be for Christ.

The Church and the homosexual movement

There has been an effort in our community to revise an existing Human Rights Ordinance to include protection from discrimination for gays and transsexuals. This subject has been in the public’s eye for awhile and it provokes much thought. I was born in 1957. I could have never imagined that the homosexual issue could have advanced so far in such a short time. It is particularly challenging to the Bible believing, conservative church. The scriptures clearly teach that sexual gratification is to be found between a woman and man within the structure of marriage. This is the basis of society because the nuclear family is the place where children are trained and social values are established. This has been historically true in cultures throughout history. This includes cultures where Christianity wasn’t the predominate religion. Nature also reflects the reality that the human race could not reproduce and continue to exist without sexual expression between a man and woman. Why have we reached a place in our culture where those of us who believe these things are treated like we have done something wrong? After all, don’t we believe and practice life according to proven traditions that bring order and moral stability to society?The answer to these and other questions must be explored.

Why is the homosexual movement so aggressive and determined to impose upon our culture their way of life? One may think that they would recognize their minority numbers and be content to practice their sexual preferences in a private and personal way. Heterosexuals do not make their sexual lives a matter of public debate and contention. Sexual behavior has been a private and personal issue with most heterosexuals. American society has been saturated with the idea that homosexuals have been a mistreated class of people. The entertainment industry and liberal educators have used their platforms to naturalize the homosexual lifestyle. We see diversity training in everything from school textbooks to television programs. This has resulted in a modern society that has removed any institutional discrimination against homosexuals. Social gains that have been achieved by the homosexual population have been quick and effective. The general population, including Christians, has accepted the reality that in a free society people will make choices about their lifestyle and they shouldn’t be harmed if their choices are not a threat others. It seems apparent that homosexuals have won the social tolerance that they desired, so why do they relentlessly continue their agenda? Why do they seek civil rights protection? Why do they seek to redefine the word marriage to include partners of the same gender? Why can they not be content with the term “civil union” that would designate a legal relationship between partners of the same sex?

Living creatures must reproduce in order to continue their kind. The same is true for lifestyles and ideologies. For instance, Christianity is reproduced by the power of influence. The apostle Paul called it preaching. We persuade others by reason, evidence and debate. The gospel message and Biblical wisdom are shared by words, deeds and evidence. We trust that we have the help of God’s spirit pricking the conscience of the listener. When Christians have tried to propagate the gospel through the force of law or any other acts of coercion they have failed miserably. Things are different for many other religions and ideologies. They depend upon force and threats of retaliation to keep their cause alive.

Homosexuality is a choice to live a lifestyle that finds sexual gratification with a partner of the same gender. As a result, homosexuals cannot reproduce offspring and create a biological family where children can be trained to maintain their cultural ideology. The absence of a family unit severely hinders the homosexual community in their effort to be accepted by society. They must recruit and influence others to experiment with this type of sexual gratification. Recruitment is limited in an environment where moral teachings are contrary to their lifestyle. Coexisting with people who believe your lifestyle to be an immoral sexual addiction is not an option unless you can convince them to change their beliefs. As long as the Bible is the basis of Christian theology the Christians beliefs about homosexuality will not change. Another option is to use media, educational institutions, and the force of law to silence and remove any opposing voices. This is why marriage must be redefined and fairness ordinances passed in communities. The ultimate goal is for state and federal governments to pass laws granting civil rights protection to homosexuals.

The conservative church has been in retreat for several decades. We are commanded to be salt and light to the world. We have been told by our Savior to occupy until He comes. We find the church in a defensive posture in modern society. Judeo-Christian principles were the basis of law in America for nearly two centuries. These Biblical principles were the foundation of a nation that was able to correct social evils and reach unprecedented prosperity. Christians have lost influence in American society. There are many types of behavior that cause destruction. The Bible defines such behavior as sin. The reason that the homosexual movement is a greater threat to Christianity than other sins is because the homosexual population is striving for civil rights protection. If they achieve this protection then religious liberty and free speech will be threatened. The Bible will be considered a book that teaches bigotry and prejudice against a protected class of people. When ordinances and laws are passed to protect a certain type of behavior then those laws become a basis for suits against those who disobey the law for conscience sake. Biblical teaching can build a great nation, but the Bible warns the believer that there are dire consequences when he doesn’t honor the teachings of the scriptures. The Bible teaches personal responsibility and that each person has a free will when determining their own behavior. Believers are responsible to warn their neighbor of consequences that result from destructive behavior, but not interfere with their decision to perform such acts. Ultimately, judgment belongs to God. We are taught to return good for evil and to love our enemies. Christianity does not reproduce itself by the methods of the carnal world like deception and silencing opposition. If we fail to convince unbelievers by our testimony of good works, love and intellectual merit then the Bible teaches that we will suffer at the hands of those who oppose us. We must accept the present reality that is our culture today and be willing to preach the word to an unbelieving world, just as the Apostles did in the beginning. We must use the attacks against us as a platform to share the wisdom of the scriptures and preach the gospel to an unsaved world.