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.
Probably not what you think!
In this second decade of the twenty-first century, I’m convinced the greatest challenge facing the church is the lack of clear thinking.
What is this lack of clear thinking?
I define it as the inability to think through issues with biblical wisdom.
There’s so much fuzzy thinking today, even in the church.
It results in wrong actions, wrong decisions, and our wrong actions can have horrific consequences.
Just sit and listen to the TV commentators. So often if a person would simply think through the implications of what they just said, they wouldn’t say it.
Listen to your co-workers, listen to the language they’re using, the phrases they use.
If they actually thought through the implications of what they said, in the light of what God says, they likely wouldn’t say it!
Be a clear thinker!
Just weeks after Britain’s Parliament redefined marriage in 2013, to include same-sex couples, two disgruntled men sued the Church of England for denying them a church wedding—demanding that the court compel all Anglican churches to conduct same-sex weddings.
British legislation currently protects churches from being forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies.
But that could change quickly if this lawsuit forces churches to change their policies.
And be aware. . .these same actions could happen here in America!
Here’s good advice from our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom!
Be certain to amend your church by-laws. Include a clear statement of your biblical belief regarding marriage and its meaning.