Defeat of the Religious Liberty Bill is Vexing

March 29, 2016 at 8:01 AM

nathandealWriting to believers, the apostle Peter stated the following about a man who many of us would not necessarily apply the term “righteous” to, when he said:

…and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (2 Peter 2:7)

We’re all familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot, who, along with his two daughters, was saved from annihilation by literally being whisked to safety in the hills just prior to the Lord raining down fire and brimstone onto these twin cities. Most are also likely familiar with Peter’s words quoted above in which he specifically calls Lot “righteous.”

Why was Lot called this? Was it because of the way he lived or what he believed? In reality, it is the same for everyone who is an authentic Christian (as opposed to simply professing to be one but never having the change that Jesus speaks of in John 3). All true Christians are labeled righteous by God, not because of what we have done or how we live (many Christians are so carnal that their lives are hardly different from the non-Christians around them), but because of our faith in the One who saves us.

As I have explained many times in my 20-part series called, “Christ, Our Righteousness,” when a person trusts in Jesus for salvation, God changes their status permanently from unrighteous to righteous. No longer do they stand before Him waiting for the hammer of judgment to fall. Because of faith in Christ, they are now considered righteous because faith allows God to take the righteousness of Jesus and apply it to our accounts (Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21, etc.).

So when Peter referred to Lot as righteous, he wasn’t simply being polite or giving him the benefit of the doubt. He was theologically referring to Lot the way God saw him and the way God sees all Christians who trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Clearly, there was a point for Lot when he came to trust the Lord.

But note also how Peter describes what was going on inside Lot because of the world in which he lived at the time and the sexual excesses that became known in that society. Peter said that Lot was “oppressed” because of the blatant sensual conduct of the men during his time. The King James Version puts it this way: “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked…

Lot was literally vexed. The word has several meanings, including:

  • to irritate; annoy; provoke:
  • to torment; trouble; distress; plague; worry:
  • to discuss or debate (a subject, question, etc.) with vigor or at great length:
  • to disturb by motion; stir up; toss about.
  • to afflict with physical pain.
Discrimination against Christians is perfectly fine though...

This female rabbi speaks out against the Religious Liberty Bill. Discrimination against Christians is perfectly fine though…

We’ve all been vexed. We’ve all felt greatly annoyed or irritated, even provoked because of the unfairness of life and the idiocy which too often tends to rule society. Lot was vexed because beyond all reason, men acted the way they acted during his time. It wasn’t just men, but boys and men of all ages. This vocal group preyed on the weak and ran roughshod over them. They routinely set God’s Law aside and they didn’t care what their demands or actions meant to others or the harm it caused.

We are living in such a day as Lot’s day. In fact, Jesus makes this very clear that in the end times – which is now – there will be repeats of certain events, situations, and attitudes. Luke 17 tells us where Jesus confirms that the time leading up to His physical return will be like the days of Noah and the days of Lot.

Jesus tells us that people were marrying, eating, drinking, and essentially living their lives up to the day judgment came. In Noah’s case, the rains came and people finally took notice, but it was too late. In Lot’s day, people were marrying, eating, drinking and living right up until the time of judgment with fire raining down from heaven.

But what is also very interesting during both of these times is how people lived and the attitudes they held. In both cases, Noah and Lot were ridiculed and/or ignored though they both spoke the truth. It is the same today with error ruling society.

Recently, it was announced that the Religious Liberty Bill in Georgia will be vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal. This was his decision immediately after Easter Sunday. His reasoning is that he will not be bullied by groups who essentially believe that they should be allowed to “discriminate” by not being forced to marry people they prefer not to marry. Beyond this, Christian schools might be forced to hire people with whom they vehemently disagree theologically. Moreover, churches might be forced to rend their facilities to individuals with whom they do not agree either, allowing those facilities to be used for events that the church itself would never hold.

But none of this matters to Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia. The only thing he is concerned about is kowtowing to all the groups and companies who decry the Religious Liberty Bill as “discriminatory.” He’s confusing pastors with Justices of the Peace, individuals employed by the government to marry anyone and everyone. These individuals cannot refuse to marry people. Pastors, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders can, do, and should have that right under the Constitution’s 1st Amendment.

The bottom line is that Gov. Nathan Deal and those who have pressed him to veto this bill are completely opposed to the U. S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment. Clearly, if this amendment were taken seriously, no additional legislation would be required.

Christians and conservatives alike understand how asinine this whole thing is and, like Lot, are vexed by it and the implications it poses. In reality, under the banner of potential “discrimination,” Gov. Nathan Deal is saying that pastors should be forced to marry people they prefer not to marry. This would apply to same-sex relationships, but not solely. There are others situations that would come into play here as well. This is at least one reason why all pastors worth their salt have always spent weeks working with the couple seeking marriage, in counseling. During this time, it is determined whether the union is right or not. It also gives the pastor time to get to know the couple. I know pastors who have refused to marry people because they have been divorced too many times.

When my wife and I were in the process of getting married, the church she attended said they could not marry us because we had not known each other for at least a year. That was their policy. They asked us if we “had” to get married and the answer was “no.” Their policy was that we wait and they based that loosely on the Old Testament. Would that work today under the growing animosity that the world has toward Christian churches in general? It seems as though it would be scrutinized.

The government should not be in the position of telling churches or religious institutions who they can marry, who they should hire, or to whom they can rent their facilities. The 1st Amendment guarantees that the government is to be kept out of religion, the free exercise of speech, and any control over the press. Yet, more and more, the government has been doing what it can to change the way people live and think and even what it is permissible to say publicly, under the questionable Culturally Marxist banner of “discrimination.”

We’ve seen that this essentially applies only to Christians and Christian organizations. No one bothers with Islam and Muslims. They’re allowed to refuse to bake a same-sex cake. They would not be forced to rent their facilities to groups or people with whom they did not agree. They would not be forced to hire individuals who were not Muslims. Why the difference? Because it is an unwritten code that Muslims are a protected group of “minorities.” Christians are not.

With all due respect, I submit that Gov. Nathan Deal should be ashamed of himself. But I’m sure he believes that he represents all people of Georgia and the threat of so many companies and groups boycotting Georgia, taking their business elsewhere, along with the potential of not being re-elected plays heavy on his mind.

The problem is that Christians, once again, are in the hot-seat. We are routinely seen as bigoted and the Religious Liberty Bill is simply more proof of that. That’s simply how the world chooses to see Christians. Unfortunately, if the 1st Amendment was obeyed without flinching, there would be no need for additional legislation.

This whole situation is vexing. We know how Lot felt. It angers us and wells up within, yet there is nothing that can be done about it except to deal with it internally and to try to make positive inroads outwardly.

To that end, might I suggest that you contact Gov. Nathan Deal’s office and express as politely as you can your displeasure with his veto? He’s heard from companies like Coca-Cola, Disney, Marvel, the NFL, GLAAD, and other far-left groups. They scream and yell and threaten. If Christians did that, the world would simply be confirmed in their thinking that we are “bigots,” but when the world does it, it’s because they are being discriminated against.

The truth is that Christians and Christian organizations are the only ones being squeezed and discriminated against. We are to turn the other cheek. We are supposed to simply continue to take whatever the world dishes out and without complaint. However, as voters and people who pay taxes here in Georgia (as well as other states where this type of legislation is attempted), we have a right to express what is on our minds in a thoughtful, non-judgmental, yet provocative way. We know the world won’t like it but what does that matter?

Lot spoke out against what he knew the men and boys of his town were wanting to do. Instead of backing down, those men and boys became more arrogant, angry, and desperate. This is likely the way the world will respond to our polite rebukes.

Christians have rights. Christian organizations have the right to be left alone by the government. The fact that the only real target in this whole thing happens to be Christians and Christian organizations is very telling, but due to the abject blindness of the world in general (due to deception), they’ll never see it. Even if they do see it, they’ll ignore that reality and refocus things back on Christian “bigots.”

I would encourage all Christians and conservatives to contact Gov. Nathan Deal regarding this issue. Please be polite. Don’t give the left anymore reason to reproach us.

Apparently, Governor Deal values your opinions and suggestions.

Address:
Office of the Governor
206 Washington Street
111 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
 
Phone:
404-656-1776
 
Fax:
404-657-7332

Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , .

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