Tag Archives: California

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

California’s New State Religion

‘In this world, God loves nothing more than the liberty of the Church.’ St. Anselm

AB 2943, which prohibits churches from selling resources that helps members live chaste lives, sailed through the Assembly and (barring a miracle) will do the same in the Senate in the next few days.

Not only does this bill prohibit citizens from resolving gender identity problems according to their faith, it imposes an immoral standard upon them. California may become the first state in the nation to demand that citizens with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria resolve their conflicts according to state-determined (im)morality. When it does, California will effectively roll out, in the words of David French, a new state religion of sexual libertinism.

How could this happen? The California legislature is controlled by a handful of special interest groups, none more powerful than the LGBT+ juggernaut which regularly composes and pushes through outrageous acts of legislation (their new sex education mandate for all California students is a doozy). AB 2943 takes this a step further by silencing the voice of the Church as it pertains to sexual identity.

We all know now that this group is guided by a popular bias, supported by junk science (whenever any group claims absolute authority based on a handful of psychological studies, stop listening), which wants us to believe that those vulnerable in their sexual identities will be irreparably damaged by any effort to restrain and redirect their same-sex attraction. Similarly, this group holds to the dubious claim that anyone who hates their birth gender, especially children, do violence to themselves by being reconciled to their gender. This is nothing short of a new morality, a new vision of human dignity and freedom, in essence, a new religion.

You can see now why AB 2943 wants to silence the Church; she holds the opposite view. To be defined and driven by one’s same-sex attraction is an act of violence against the person made in God’s image, and to mutilate one’s body under the pretense of changing genders (an impossibility) is at best delusional. Given the fact that many in our ranks experience diverse temptations related to sexual identity, we cast ourselves upon the One who took the hit (2Cor 5: 21) for us and who alone has power to unite us with our truest, most authentic selves.

AB 2943 creates an alternate morality and outlaws the Church’s. If the bill passes:

Our eight Living Waters groups in California may become illegal.

Any books by Christian authors which highlight transforming power of Jesus in the area of sexual identity may be banned.

Conferences that include such witnesses may be prohibited.

Let’s not write AB 2943 off as west coastal silliness. California is on the vanguard of progressive politics for our nation. Her courts overturned the citizens’ choice to ban ‘gay marriage’ (Prop. 8) which in turn became the case that went to the Supreme Court, redefining marriage in our nation forever.

Please pray for miraculous intervention in slowing done or stopping this bill. California citizens would do best to call Gov. Jerry Brown directly at 916-445-2841 and simply stating their opposition to AB 2943.

Please pray that the Church in California wake up and unite in her radiant truth. I am not a political animal, I am a Christian who believes in another Kingdom that surpasses both right and left. Nothing is more essential to God’s heart than His will for humanity made in His image as male and female, and California politics today desecrates that image in the name of ‘freedom.’ Real violence will be done to our most vulnerable by AB 2943. May we as the Church arise and answer the cries of persons in identity crises.

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Mercy 16: Cross of Mercy

‘There is no other way except through the Burning Love of Christ Crucified.’ St. Bonaventure

I grew up in the shadow of the Cross. To paraphrase the words of John Paul ll: ‘It was the gate through which God unceasingly entered my life.’ The rather arid Episcopal Church in which I grew up had one thing going for it—a magnificent stained glass of the Cross, with Jesus the Good Shepherd at its center. That image never ceased to burn bright in my heart, a light unquenched by all my demonized wanderings! Read more »

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Mercy 9: Merciful Memory

‘Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?’ (Romans 2:4)

merciful memory 9 berlewWe live in a day of contempt for God’s plan for human sexuality. In a California restaurant recently, I endured a group of women at table next to mine groping each other while leering at the evidently gay wait staff. Having struck down Prop. 8 and all restraint, the ‘golden state’ now leads the nation in gender-bending chaos. ‘The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men’ (PS 12:8).

Sinners’ contempt for holiness can tempt us to disdain. We can close up the ark of our hearts, pronouncing judgment on the rebels. Or we can open our hearts and ask God to have mercy on them. It helps to remember the mercy He had for us in our contemptuous ways.

I am reduced to tears whenever I read Luke 18: 9-14, the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Luke wrote it specifically for those who ‘were confident of their own righteousness.’ He describes a Pharisee whose prayer is ‘about himself’ (v. 11): a hymn to his native virtue that sets him apart from obvious sinners.

In the glare of that verse I am exposed. Chaste now for years and oriented squarely toward my wife and adult kids, I am tempted to view that holiness as a product of my good choices, not ‘His kindness, forbearance, and patience.’ (Romans 2: 4) Such distortion primes me for unholy judgments toward the lost. Wow. Have I forgotten His kindness towards me when I strutted with the worst of them? Do I lose sight of the quiet sins I still commit: little ones like murder, hatred and lust of heart?

Mercy prompts me to remember the torturous fear that ‘this time I had gone too far’. And the generous wave of blood and water that rolled like a river on my pathetic life, serving justice through Love alone.

While the Pharisee prayed smug self-congratulations, the tax collector could only cry out: ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ (v. 13) God heard him because of his awareness of the gap that only God can fill. My prayer? Help me to remember that gap, Jesus. And the mercy that made all the difference.

Prayer Points:

    • Desert Stream/Living Waters: New York/New Jersey, Garry & Melissa Ingraham, Regional Coordinators. Please pray for the Ingrahams as they work to strengthen Living Waters and help start new groups throughout the NY/NJ area.
      • Restored Hope Network: The Portland Fellowship, Portland, OR. Jason Thompson, Director. Specialty: curriculum for struggling adults and youth, family and friends, wives/spouses, and speaking outreach.
        Carolina New Song, Columbia, SC. Bud Phaup, Director. Specialty: groups for men and families.
    • Courage: Please pray for those on the verge of assuming a gay identity and /or acting on their SSA, may God illuminate their minds and fill their hearts with His love.
  • Cor Project: Please pray that we would have the financial resources necessary to fulfill our mission.
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Mercy 5: Waking Up, Mercifully

‘I will rouse your sons, O Zion, and make them like a warrior’s sword.’ (Zech. 9: 13)

mercy 5 ReworkRouse thyself! May one glimpse of the world’s rendering of gender and sexuality provoke godly zeal in you. May zeal for His image consume us.

In October, California lawmakers gave K-12 students the state the choice to decide which bathroom to use and which team to play on based on their inner sense of gender. Biology no longer determines male and female. Blind guides have handed the reins to confounded children, who now lead the state into gender oblivion.

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), the only governor in the Northeast to buck ‘gay marriage’, threw in the towel when gay couples mobilized with activist judges to appeal the state law denying ‘gay marriage’; the state high court sided with them. The same strategy between gay couples, activist judges, and sympathetic Supreme Courts is underway in over 20 states.

The church seems paralyzed by this breath-taking redefinition of gender, sexuality, and marriage. A pastor whose church ranks as the most ‘successful’ in his denomination recently stated that within his rather elite set of mega-church pastors he is the only one willing to even address the homosexual ‘issue.’

Our lack of wisdom and foresight is grave. Gender confusion is not born; it is a product of a chaotic, confounding world. And the afflicting power of sin knows only one antidote: the transforming love of Jesus, both preached and practiced.

Anne Paulk told me that at RHN she is receiving a new wave of requests for help from young people who are crying out for mercy amid all these confounding liberties. A generation weaned on freedom from gender constraints is waking up. They are no longer looking for a pass to be broken; they want restoration.

I just received a report from a 4-year-old boy I ministered to who wanted to be a girl. His parents reported gratefully that their now 17-year-old son is a blessedly grounded male.

Though some churches slumber, others are provoked. She is mobilizing for mercy. We at DSM are receiving requests to equip churches in far flung places. Pastors are asking: ‘What can we do? How do we extend mercy that restores broken humanity?’ I recently met with a high-ranking church official who wants to open doors of hope for the sexually broken. He is provoked: absurd and arbitrary ‘justice’ that enshrines gender brokenness has fired his zeal for the real thing.

Let it be so, O God. Open our eyes to enslaving liberties and the only One who can set us free from them.

‘We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the anti-Christ…it must be a trial that the Church takes up and faces courageously. We must be prepared to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up our own life, a total dedication to Christ and for Christ.’ John Paul ll

Prayer Points for November 10th:

    • Desert Stream/Living Waters: Rocky Mountains: Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Cindy Del Hierro, Regional Coordinator. Please pray for those interested in starting a group in Kalispell, MT.
    • Restored Hope Network: Hope2TurnMinistry, Rockford, Il. Eric Lundstrom, Director. Specialty: working with men and families.
      Reconciliation Ministries, Roseville, MI (nr Detroit) Dan Hitz, Director. Specialty: Dan, a licensed counselor, works with men, women and youth, runs Living Waters, is a gifted speaker and prayer warrior.
    • Courage: Healing and conversion for those in the gay community or who identify as gay.
    • Cor Project: Spiritual protection in the implementation of our programs.
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