June 14 was Flag Day, the day Americans honor the adoption of our national flag and the freedom the stars and stripes represent. Christians in America are truly blessed that we are free to worship and are not subject to the dangerous threats and atrocious persecution that far too many Christians around the world are facing. As a beacon of hope to the rest of the world, it should be our biblical duty to maintain those freedoms. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Cor. 3:17
Yet, true religious liberty in America should provide us the freedom to live consistently with our beliefs every day, from our churches and into the public square. However, the modern progressive movement in our government has produced legislation that creates confusion between “free exercise of religion” and “freedom of worship.” Adoption agencies, bakers, florists, and schools that maintain what Americans have always believed about human sexuality, marriage and gender, now find themselves in danger of being in conflict with the law.
So, what can our Church Leaders and we as Christians do?
1. Thomas Jefferson wrote that a well-informed electorate is a prerequisite to democracy. On a local and state level, Advocates for Faith & Freedom would like to begin providing updates, information and analysis from organizations like California Family Council on some of the literally hundreds of anti-traditional-family and anti-religion bills and laws that pass through our state legislature every year.
To give you an idea, SB1146 would restrict the religious liberty rights of colleges and universities by preventing them from receiving state funding if they perform actions that California laws deem discriminatory on the basis of religion.
2. An additional resource for learning about our religious liberties on a national basis and then staying informed about their ongoing battle to protect those rights is The Heritage Foundation.
3. As you know, last month, Advocates for Faith & Freedom had the privilege of supporting and joining Church United and over 150 CA pastors in Washington DC. They learned about America’s exceptional godly heritage. Church United’s goal is to create a movement in California to encourage and support all church leaders who share a biblical world view to take bold and courageous action in their churches and their preaching. Our state desperately needs a change in cultural morality that only a church revival can deliver! You will hear more about this in this month’s newsletter.
4. In order to effect moral change in our culture the body of Christ must provide persuasive moral influence in the public arena and must also engage in personal evangelism. Training for churches through Culture Impact Teams provides simple instruction for in-house leadership to arouse a congregational response to the moral and social issues that impact your community, state and nation. Wherever we can, Advocates for Faith & Freedom will partner with church leaders to help facilitate Cultural Impact Teams.
The onslaught of legal challenges from organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation have bullied many Christian government officials and church leaders into believing they have no choice but to remain silent or face lawsuits resulting in financial ruin.
5. Some of you may already know about and are already supporting Advocates for Faith & Freedom while they defend a number of these cases in our California courts today. Through the courage of Pastor Scott Sharpen and Go Mobile for Life, we are challenging AB775 on the basis of religious discrimination. This California law requires that pro-life clinics post the location and phone number of County facilities where an abortion can be obtained.
Advocates for Faith and Freedom is also raising the funds for Tyler & Bursch attorneys, who have been hired to appeal the judge’s recent ruling that the Chino Valley Unified School District can no longer honor their long-standing tradition of invocations before their school board meetings.
We are confident that we will be successful in these legal challenges and will keep you updated.
Your prayers are greatly appreciated, first and foremost. However, we are also in need your generous and ongoing financial support in order to continue the costly work of protecting our God-given religious liberties in the California courts.
"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." - Abraham Lincoln
Thank you for your faithful prayers and your donations!