“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
The United States of America was once a bastion of liberty, religious pluralism, and tolerance. The striking irony is that those same terms have been turned on their head and are being used to persecute Christians (and some others as well). Not more than an hour ago I read a headline that made my head spin. I was certain it couldn't be true, so I did what I always do when I see things that don't sound right. I did some quick research. Apparently it is true, here is the headline, "City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons."
The issue the cities mayor, openly gay Annise Parker, is concerned about is homosexuality. To be honest, it doesn't matter what the issue is, pastors and other religious leaders ought to be able to say whatever they want to their congregations. We have an amendment in the Bill of Rights (it's the first one) to protect against this kind of intrusion. To say this makes me angry is like saying the Antarctica gets a little chilly sometimes.
It reminds me of Acts 5 where the high priest had the apostles arrested for preaching the gospel. After God miraculously released them from prison, they went out and started preaching again. Of course they were again arrested and brought before the council. When they were asked why they persisted in preaching the gospel after being told not to and put in jail, Peter, gave a very clear answer, "We must obey God rather than men!"
So, let me make this clear for anyone who wants to read my blog. If you want my sermons, you can have them. I will give them to you, all you have to do is ask nicely. If you subpoena me, I will fight you tooth and nail as a matter of principal. If you try to intimidate me...well good luck, I'm not easily intimidated.
I am a fighter, it is how God designed me and I'm starting to think my time might not be too far down the road. I stand with Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednigo, Peter, Stephen, Paul, Polycarp, John Huss,
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and numerous others. Most of all I will stand with Jesus Christ and say what Luther said before those gathered at the Diet of Worms in 1521, "Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me."
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.