CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Outlawing the Gospel

Jun 29, 2016

OK, so here we have a tale of two churches. In one place a new church was launched: a cannabis church to be specific. The state moved in rather quickly and put an end to that foolishness. In another place some churches affirmed the biblical view of marriage and family. The authorities were happy with that and no action was taken.

Disclaimer: the above is true except for one small detail: actually the cannabis church was deemed to be just peachy, but the churches standing for biblical marriage have come under increasing government scrutiny. Yes you read that right. Let me offer some news coverage of both cases. Here is how one report covers the marijuana church:

Approximately 50 people gathered Sunday in south Lansing for the debut of a new church: The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason. The gathering was a kick-off for what organizer Jeremy Hall hopes will become monthly meetings celebrating cannabis’ spiritual properties.
He chooses the word spirituality intentionally. The church has no specific ideology, no texts or prophets to speak of.
“The biggest question I get is, ‘How can this be a church if we don’t subscribe to a religious theology?'” he told attendees. “Well, the reality is it sounded better than a cannabis cult.” Those sitting in the worship room laughed.
The church is BYOB, bring your own beliefs, with spirituality brought on by cannabis use serving as the uniting core principal [sic]. It’s first gathering was held at Lansing Herbal Farmers Market on Southland Avenue near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
A Tennessee transplant, Hall and his wife, Regan, moved to Michigan in part because of legal medical marijuana. Outside of being a marijuana caregiver, Hall is an ordained minister who hopes church members will help to change perceptions about marijuana users. “We’re using our church to elevate the community and to show we aren’t a drain on society or a bunch of unmotivated criminals,” he added.

big brother 3OK folks. There you have it. Cannabis Christians. Bong believers. Reefer religionists. Weed worshippers. Marijuana missionaries. Pothead parishioners. Hmmm. And the authorities seem quite happy with all that. Hey, who am I to judge? Each to his own. Whatever feels good, etc., etc.

Now contrast this with some churches in NSW, Australia which have the audacity to affirm biblical teachings on human sexuality, marriage and family. They are getting in the bad books of the PC police, and soon enough one can see them being clamped down on by the heavy hand of the law.

I refer to some churches which will rent out a school room on the weekend to hold their services. It seems the pink police have been monitoring every word the pastors and church leaders have said while there – just like the notorious East German Stasi of old. As one news item begins:

Evangelical Christian churches are using some New South Wales schools to preach homophobic messages, SBS can reveal. Recordings of sermons obtained by SBS include teachings that the punishment for gay sex is death, marriage and sex is between a man and a woman only, and that the gay “lifestyle” is “unhappy”.
The sermons are being delivered by members of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Many of the churches are housed on public school grounds in NSW, where they conduct weekly services by arrangement with the individual schools.
One recording of a sermon on homosexuality and the Bible’s book of Leviticus from the Lakes Christian Church, based inside the Berkeley Vale Campus, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College on the NSW Central Coast, includes references to the “death penalty” as a punishment for the “sin” of homosexuality.
“In Chapter 20, He [God] states the death penalty for those who disobey. And notice throughout…if it is not the death penalty, it’s being cut off from the people of God, which is still death, not just instant death and so God is serious about sexual purity,” the pastor claims in the recording, which has since been removed from the church’s website.
The sermon goes on to preach that: “God’s good design for sex within marriage” is between “one man and a woman”.
“Even though books have been written and studies have been conducted to show that the gay lifestyle is not a happy one, people persist in the rejection of God. Let me encourage you that if you are in any doubt about how destructive that sexual sin is…have a look at the research and I can, I can point it out to you.”
In a response to questions about the sermon from SBS a spokesman for The Lakes Church said he did not believe the sermon was homophobic in nature. “Views on sexual ethics differ in society,” he said. “Our beliefs are those of mainstream Christian churches around the world. We teach that Christ offers life and hope in a world which lacks both.” A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it was forbidden to use school facilities to spread homophobia.

So church groups paying money to use empty school rooms on Sundays are now being spied on to see if they are only saying things which are government-approved. They are being monitored to make sure they do not get the secular state upset with their presentation of biblical truths.

Yes this is Big Brother at work, engaged in secret surveillance work, hoping to catch out anyone who dares to say anything other than the official PC line. It is the thought police in action. Stalin would be proud. Mao would be cheering. North Korea would be envious.

Right now it is churches simply renting out an empty room. What next? Are the thought police already in churches recording sermons and taking notes in worship services? Are they just waiting for the word from the powers that be to pounce on these hapless Christians?

Of course Labor has already said its first move will be to implement homosexual marriage if it wins the Federal election: “Bill Shorten has vowed to make same-sex marriage laws the first piece of legislation a Labor government puts to parliament. It’s a step up from the opposition leader’s previous promise to legislate within 100 days of winning power.”

Not only that, but consider this worrying headline: “Labor pledges gay and lesbian rights watchdog if it wins office”. The news article on this begins:

“Labor would appoint a champion of gay and lesbian rights if it wins government, in a move that further highlights Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s adherence to his predecessor Tony Abbott’s same-sex marriage stance. Labor on Saturday announced it would appoint a full time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission to ‘help build a more inclusive Australia’. The role would cost $1.4 million over four years.”

Hmm, a watchdog. Just how much snooping around will be done here? What sort of draconian powers will be given them? Just who will be under surveillance and investigation? What penalties will be imposed if an individual or group are deemed to be enemies of the state in this regard?

This is scary stuff indeed. The Pink Big Brother keeps getting more and more ominous. And still plenty of Christians are sleeping through all this. This is how we lose big time. Christianity is now starting to be monitored and snooped on like we find in communist countries.

So it seems the lesson here is this: if you want to go to church to get high, no probs. It is all far out and groovy man. But if you want to go to church to hear biblical teachings proclaimed and affirmed, you better watch out. Big Brother has ears and eyes everywhere.

www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/06/26/cannabis-church-debuts-lansing/86296314/
www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/06/27/claims-evangelical-christian-churches-preach-gay-hate-public-schools
au.news.yahoo.com/a/31937053/gay-marriage-first-alp-law-after-election/?cmp=st#page1
www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/labor-pledges-gay-and-lesbian-rights-watchdog-if-it-wins-office-20160521-gp0h2t.html

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15 Responses to Outlawing the Gospel

  • Unbelievable. Freedom of religion is probably on its last legs again. Have you seen this, Bill? https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/projects/freedom-religion-and-belief-21st-century

  • This Saturday’s election will really be massive in terms of this issue. Will we head along the same path as the USA and China or will be stand against the pressure? If this continues, I can see the true church becoming like the underground church in China in the not so distant future.

  • This is very concerning, but somehow, not surprising.

  • Our society, indeed our world, is heading toward persecution for the sake of God’s truth and righteousness. But moaning about it is ultimately not the proper response. Because it is a worldwide trend we must be ready for, and have strategies in place for persecution. Antichrist is in charge! The authorities will, for example, take away our children: what can we do to protect them from the outrages which are already going on in our schools?
    And in a multitude of ways Christians will be under attack – and not merely verbal attack. It will get very legal, and even physical.
    For starters, it will come about quite soon that we will need to worship in private homes, but even there we may not be safe. We will have to screen people, especially strangers, who attend our services and Bible studies. And so on.

  • Thanks Murray. But of course to do my Christian duty in alerting people to what is happening is not “moaning about it”! Otherwise I agree with you.

  • I think I’ll learn Russian and ask Vlad for political asylum …

  • Let us pray that on Saturday, God will move the men and women of this nation, even those who do not know him, to vote for candidates who will tell the truth.

    Here in the seat of Franklin, I am going to put the Greens’ Martine Delaney, who took legal action against the Catholic Church over its pro-marriage booklet, last. If I am approached at the polling booth by Greens people with how to vote cards, I will tell them to their face, I am not going to vote for a man who dresses up as a woman.

    PS. the CSS update takes a bit of getting used to. I thought I could only see one line at a time of the comment box, but it has a little handle at the bottom corner you can drag out so you can see more.

  • This is typical Marxism and has been practised in Communist countries for years. Since the whole world is drifting left, this is the beginning of what we can expect in the future. The time for nice, large comfortable church buildings may be drawing to a close and a new era of clandestine meetings in prearranged places might be approaching. But isn’t this the way the church has operated for so many ages gone by? Whatever the case, we cannot and will never bend to the mandates of evil government. We are a part of a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us who stood before lions and fiery furnaces refusing to denounce their faith. God helped them and HE will surely help us.

  • Every Christian needs to read this book by Erwin Lutzer: Hitler’s Cross https://s2.netgalley.com/catalog/book/73951.

    It is a sober warning about how easily the church supported, then was caught up in the horrors and holocaust of the Nazi Regime. And we are ripe for it happening all over again. What Hitler did will look like “child’s play” when the Antichrist comes…

    I believe more and more that what happened in WW2 was just a stern warning from God, and a taste of more horrific things to come, when we continue to dishonour His Word, replacing it with our own. It is harder and harder to find a solid Bible fearing church, these days. I go to one that just has a handful of believers meeting inside a school gym.

  • Dear Bill,
    I love the new website.
    Off Topic I know, BUT I encourage all readers to pray against Labor and Greens forming Government in Australia. This is without doubt a critical election. Satan will make ever increasing inroads if conservative views and policies are diminished. Turnbuli is not perfect but we still have hope that a vote on gay marriage is a strong chance. Labor will sadly act without consultation.
    God bless you Bill or your un-endng efforts for righteousness in Australia. There are few like you.

    Please also pray for CDP. (Christian Democrats). I believe there is certainly a chance for a senate seat in NSW. They have done very well in several seats gaining voting levels similar to the Greens.

    God Bless, Phil B

  • SBS appears to be in breach of its own charter here:

    1.3 Prejudice, racism and discrimination

    SBS seeks to counter attitudes of prejudice against any person or group on the basis of their race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, sex, age, sexual preference, gender identity, religion, disability, mental illness, or marital, parental or occupational status.

  • The plebiscite on SSM will give us an opportunity to stand up for Christian values and Biblical truth. My prayer is that is that Christian Leaders will be bold but not brash. Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher did well in an interview with Andrew Bolt the other night.

  • Does anyone remember the old Moody Blues song with the line about Timothy Leary flying around on his astral plane? Maybe the guys at FCCLR are channelling his ghost! On a more serious note, the only person who ever testified to me that, for him, marijuana was like the Holy Ghost was later found hanging by his neck, dead in his prison cell.

    Coincidentally, mind-altering or intoxicating substances are a common concomitant of the alternative sexuality scene.

    BTW Bill, I love the new layout of this web-page.

  • Absolutely correct and don’t forget that Mark Dreyfus’ plan is that hearings against people will be heard behind closed doors and defendants will not have full legal protections and privileges but the outcomes will be legally binding.

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