When Reverend Randy Harris asked the name of the bride to be in the civil ceremony he was asked to officiate, the name could have applied to male or female.
When he discovered they were both men, he explained he couldn’t officiate because of his religious beliefs.
The men filed a complaint of discrimination with the Ontario Canada Human Rights Tribunal, demanding the pastor reimburse travel expenses, that he be ordered to attend sensitivity training, and that all marriage officials be required to officiate all civil marriage ceremonies, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom is funding the defense for Randy Harris.
This could happen in the US!
. . a bad precedent in Canada could be cited by a liberal court here!
At the top of the list of those issues that really count is religious liberty!
The truth is, those countries that enjoy great freedoms also have religious freedom. Think about it! In those countries where there is little economic freedom, there is also little religious freedom.
It’s true of many countries.
Those nations that have great religious freedom are countries of economic freedom as well.
The point is—religious freedom is the foundational freedom.
The freedom to worship God in your daily life is “foundational” because it establishes the basis for all other freedoms.
The freedom to worship God means that the individual is valued, that work is valued, and government has restraints on itself.
That effectively releases all other liberties.
Protecting our religious liberty.
It IS foundational!
I say that to remind us of the impact on America’s pastors and their families if a minister’s housing allowance was declared unconstitutional.
A federal judge in Wisconsin has done just that!
His ruling is being appealed. Alliance Defending Freedom is helping defend the constitutionality of the housing allowance.
In many cases a housing allowance is the only form of compensation a church in a rural area or in the inner-city can offer to a pastor.
Its removal hampers churches’ ability to serve where others do not serve or refuse to serve.
It’s just one example of the need for pastors to give biblical guidance when electing leaders who appoint judges that lead to decisions that either affirm or deny religious freedom.
Here in the U.S. persecution is likely to be prosecution!
We certainly have persecution in our country today.
It often takes the form of prosecution in the courts.
It wasn’t that long ago that nobody would have thought of suing a church, for example. Or a religious institution.
Now there are attorneys being trained for that specific purpose. We’re already seeing a generation of attorneys who go after the assets of churches and people who lead churches.
In the U.S. today—it’s almost illegal to be a Christian.
If you make a strong statement against abortion, you’ll likely pay quite a price for it.
If you affirm marriage as a relationship between a male and a female, you’re considered extreme.
It’s my confidence that, as has been the case over centuries—when Christians are persecuted—they flourish!
The Bible has been at the epicenter of American Christianity.
Even in our public schools.
Through the 18th century McGuffy’s Reader covered components of scripture, and the use of that book in schools made Americans one of the most literate peoples of the world.
As did the advent of Bible conferences, Bible schools, and even the popularity of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909.
Bible studies in schools and neighborhoods were popular and well attended.
This legacy of the centrality of God’s Word needs to be revived today, not just nationally, but in your life and my life, in your home, in your church.
Take time—start now—to put the Word of God, to deposit it deep into your spirit!
And they rarely surprise me. But this case involving a school outside Minneapolis—is a new low!
Recently the American Humanist Association sent a “demand” letter to the Minneapolis-area school complaining that students from there were packing food to send to impoverished people in Haiti. They claimed that because the students went to a local church to prepare the packages, the school was violating so-called “church-state separation.”
Talk about using anything you can to thwart religion? This is utterly ridiculous!
Do we really think when our Founding Fathers drafted the Bill of Rights, they were worried about school children working with a local church to send food to underprivileged people?
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are watching the case closely.