As Christians, the two things we can do to stand up for Christ are to live according to His Word and grow our own knowledge of Him. Christ said, “Let your light shine before men…” (Matthew 5:16). This means that we should live and act in a way that supports the gospel. We should also arm ourselves with knowledge, both of the gospel (Ephesians 6:10-17) and of the world around us. First Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” All we can do is live and teach as Christ would and let Him take care of the rest.
Critics of Christianity have become more vocal recently. This is partly because there are many people who do not believe in God or understand the truth about Him at all. Yet the apparent increase of anti-Christians is also due to perception. As with many topics, those who truly despise Christianity are the loudest and most vocal of the non-believers. The vast majority of those who do not believe don’t care enough to bother believers. The few angry, vocal, bitter unbelievers make enough noise to seem more numerous than they are.
The typical insult from the non-religious crowd is to refer to believers as “ignorant,” “stupid,” “brainwashed,” or to otherwise suggest that those who have faith are less intelligent than those who do not. When a Christian stands up intelligently for his faith, the terms change to “bigot,” “extremist,” or “zealot.” When people who know that the believer is kind and loving hear this, the atheist starts to look like the fool that he or she is (Psalm 53:1). Most non-believers have no personal reason to see Christians negatively, but they sometimes hear so much from the loud anti-Christians that they just assume it is so. They need examples of Christ-like living to see the truth.
The House of Representatives passed a sweeping LGBTQ protection bill on Friday, thanks to support from most congressional Democrats and nearly total opposition from House Republicans.
The bill, officially H.R. 5 or the “Equality Act,” seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes” and would protect members of the LGBTQ community when applying for things like jobs, housing loans, and credit.Outstream Video
Speaking before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—wearing a rainbow wristband—criticized those who characterized the bill as merely “tolerant,” saying, “This is not about tolerance to me. This is about respect.”
The bill passed with 228 Democrats voting in favor, and 173 Republicans voting against. Only eight Republicans members—less than five percent of the GOP caucus—crossed the aisle to help the measure pass. 23 members, including seven Democrats and 16 Republicans, didn’t vote on the legislation, although all seven non-voting Democrats co-sponsored the bill.
Republicans have argued the bill, if made into law, would infringe upon religious freedoms which allow people to discriminate against the LGBTQ community by falling back on their personal faith. “It would allow the government to force its rigid and unyielding fist inside the church,” Rep. Ross Spano told Buzzfeed. “It would deliver a crushing blow to the base of the tree of religious liberty.”
The eight Republicans who voted to pass the bill were: Susan Brooks, Mario Diaz-Balart, Brian Fitzpatrick, Will Hurd, John Katko, Tom Reed, Elise Stefanik, and Greg Walden.
Despite its victory in the House, the bill has little likelihood of actually making into law during this session. The Republican-controlled Senate will almost certainly move to quash the measure, and even if it were to pass there, a White House advisor has confirmed that President Donald Trump won’t sign.
“The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all,” an unnamed Senior Administration Official told the LGBTQ-focused Washington Blade this week. “However, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.” Source
DEMOCRATS UNANIMOUS AS HOUSE PASSES BILL FORCING SCHOOLS TO LET MALE ATHLETES COMPETE IN GIRLS’ SPORTS
The bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make “sexual orientation and gender identity” protected characteristics under federal anti-discrimination law.
Among other things, that would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls.
Republican Florida Rep. Greg Steube introduced a last-minute amendment to the bill that would have preserved Title IX’s protections of female athletic teams, but Democrats rejected it.
Every House Democrat but one co-sponsored the legislation. The only Democrat who wasn’t a co-sponsor, Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, announced his support for the bill following pressure from left-wing activists.
“People need to wake up. This radical bill is going to totally eliminate women’s and girls sports,” Republican Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko warned in an op-ed Thursday.
Republican Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler and a half-dozen other House Republicans held a press conference Thursday in opposition to what Hartzler dubbed the “Inequality Act.”
“Congress enacted Title IX to provide equal opportunities for women in education and sports. All this is erased under H.R. 5,” Hartzler said at the press conference. Source
“Many states have sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination laws, and all of them still have women’s sports. Arguments about transgender athletes participating in sports in accordance with their gender identity having competitive advantages have not been borne out,” Nadler said at a April 2 hearing on the bill.
A Trump administration official criticized legislation supported by House Democrats that would gut a landmark 1993 religious freedom law while adding sexual orientation and gender identity protections to federal civil rights law.
The White House has not yet issued a formal veto threat or a statement of administration policy about the Equality Act, which House Democrats are expected to pass this week, however.
“The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights,” an administration official said in a statement issued to reporters late Monday.
Under President Donald Trump—as under previous presidents—the White House routinely issues a statement of administration policy from the Office of Management and Budget regarding legislation, stating whether the president’s advisers would suggest the president sign or veto bills and why.
“It is a good first step that the White House has indicated to the press their opposition to this bill,” Mike Howell, senior adviser for executive branch relations at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “Conservatives are hopeful that the White House will take the lead by firmly issuing a statement of administration policy articulating their strong objections to this discriminatory bill.”
This year, the White House has issued 21 such statements, including support for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would impose penalties for killing a newborn baby after a botched abortion; opposition to the For the People Act, which would regulate campaign finance; and opposition to the Climate Action Now Act, which would force the U.S. to return to the Paris climate accord, which was abandoned by the Trump administration nearly two years ago. Source
Of course, when someone claiming to be a Christian says or does something that is not Christ-like, the angry, loud crowd is there to identify him as a typical religious hypocrite. This is something we have been warned to expect (Romans 1:28-30; Matthew 5:11). The best thing to do is to cite a passage of the Bible that speaks against what the person did. And remind the atheists that just because a person says he is a Christian, and even if he thinks he is a Christian, that does not mean that he is. Matthew 7:16,20 tell us that true Christians will be known by their actions, not merely by their profession. And remind critics that absolutely no one lives without sinning at all (Romans 3:23).
An important thing to remember is that no one, no matter how persuasive, can force anyone to believe anything he doesn’t want to believe. No matter what the evidence, no matter what the argument, people will believe what they want to believe (Luke 12:54-56). Conviction is not a Christian’s job. The Holy Spirit convicts people (John 14:16-17), and they choose whether or not to believe. What we can do is present ourselves in a way that is as Christ-like as possible. It is sad that there are many atheists who have read the entire Bible looking for ammunition against Christians, and that there are many Christians who have hardly read the Bible at all.
It’s hard for the angry crowd to accuse a Christian of being a hateful, cruel bigot when that person demonstrates a life of kindness, humility, and compassion. When a Christian can discuss, debate or debunk secular arguments accurately, the label of “ignorant” no longer fits. A Christian who has read the secular arguments and can politely expose their flaws helps to deflate the stereotypes advanced by atheists. Knowledge is the weapon, and it is invincible when we let Christ direct us in how to use it.
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
Like Joseph and Daniel of the Old Testament who served secular kings, we are called to serve everyone and help them fulfill their divine destiny. Jesus made it clear that people who want to lead or be great must be the servants of all. Serving is the way of leadership in the kingdom.
Forcing our way onto the world is not great leadership. Some accuse us of doing this very thing because we speak up on moral issues. It is important that we speak up on issues, but it’s also equally important that we love everyone no matter their persuasions.
Someday Jesus will rule the world; in the meantime, we should just serve well and let our good works speak of our Father who loves everyone.
Evil Exists So Spiritual Warfare Becomes Necessary!
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Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it. ~ Proverbs 28:5
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The gripping memoirs of the founder of HNewsWire. A binge-worthy afternoon read.
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