Preached December 22, 2013 by Pastor W. J. Mencarow, Reformation Church, Boerne, TX http://www.ReformationChurchTX.com
The Sermon That May Send Me To Prison
II Chron 7:14 “If my people, among whom my Name is called upon, do humble themselves, and pray, and seek my presence, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear in heaven, and be merciful to their sin, and will heal their land:” (verses are from the 1599 Geneva Bible unless otherwise noted)
Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against the worldly governors, the princes of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness, which are in the high places.”
Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family TV series – what I have read is the most popular show in cable TV history – has been fired by the A&E network for proclaiming God’s Word. (UPDATE 12/30/13: Phil has been reinstated. A&E made this decision a few days after this sermon was preached. I’m just sayin…)
This is not the first time A&E has shown their hostility to Christianity. At the end of each episode, the large Robertson family is shown gathered around the dinner table, and Phil leads them in prayer, ending with the name of Jesus Christ. A&E started cutting out Christ’s name. When Phil found out, he told them to either put the name of Christ back into the prayer, or that would be the end of Duck Dynasty. A&E folded. They may hate Christ, but they love money even more. And Duck Dynasty is a money machine for the network.
The January, 2014 issue of Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine contains an interview with Phil in which he was asked what he considers to be “sinful.” He responded, quote, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” He said that anatomically homosexuality is illogical and, quote, “But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” Phil then went on to paraphrase Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
He said, “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together…“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
At the end of the interview, Phil told the writer, “If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then…the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
A day after that interview was published, the A&E Network fired Phil Robertson, saying in a statement, “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.” (For those of you who don’t keep up with gay terminology, LGBT stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual.”)
We live in society that adores the Kardashians, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus but condemns Phil Robertson.
As he points out, not only is homosexuality sin, it is not logical. It is not anatomically logical. And it is not logical that God would tell Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply if He approved of homosexuality. Of course, not being logical is sin in itself, but that’s another sermon.
Homosexuality is the practice of death, because it results in the death of the human race. Prov. 8:36: “ But he that sinneth against me, hurteth his own soul: and all that hate me, love death.”
A society of homosexuals lasts one generation and then is extinct. That is why the homosexual lobby is so aggressive in pushing for society’s acceptance and intolerance of those who believe it is sinful – to the point of outlawing criticism of homosexuality in many countries, which is their goal in the US. They have to recruit converts to homosexuality in each generation, because they have no children to carry on their crusade. They must convert. So they must change the laws to not only prohibit discrimination, but encourage their practice.
As the Bible tells us in Romans 1:32,“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” They must convert or die.
Make no mistake, homosexuals are not merely a little different from normal people. “For it is shame even to speak of the things which are done of them in secret.” Eph 5:12
“God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men left the natural use of the woman, and burned in their lust one toward another, and man with man wrought filthiness, and received in themselves such recompense of their error, as was meet.”
— Rom. 1:26-27:
If Phil Robertson and his family were Muslims and he said the same things, do you think the media would even dare to report it? Do you think A&E would even make a peep about it? Of course not. After all, we have to be tolerant – tolerant of any and every belief as long as it is anti-Christian.
Why is it that the religions, the belief systems of the world, don’t all gang up against Islam and pass laws discriminating against it? Against Hinduism, or Buddhism, Shintoism, Wicca, against any faith EXCEPT Christianity? Could it be that they fear the Bible so? Could it be that all the religions of the world except biblical Christianity, all the belief systems including secular humanism, are in fact tools of Satan? Could it be that this fact alone – that despite their differences, they all come together against the God of the Bible – exposes them for what they are, that is, instruments of Satan, and that that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against the worldly governors, the princes of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness, which are in the high places.”
And doesn’t that coordinated opposition speak volumes about the truth of Christianity?
What Phil Robertson has done should encourage every Bible-believer, and A&E’s firing him should be a wake-up call. This isn’t simply a disagreement over beliefs. Phil has drawn a line in the sand. He believes in God’s Word. A&E has made it clear that they are on the side of the enemies of God’s Word. I Cor. 6:9-10:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor wantons, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.” In Young’s literal translation “abusers of themselves with mankind” reads “nor effeminate, nor sodomites” shall inherit the kingdom of God.
There is no question that God hates sin, and homosexuality is clearly called a sin multiple times in the Bible. In fact, it is one of the most virulent forms of rebellion against God.
Often we can see what is happening in other countries and a few years later we see the same things happen in the US. Socialism is one example. Persecution of Christians is another. “Human rights commissions” and “hate crimes” laws are being used to persecute Christians in many parts of the world, in Europe, Australia, Brazil, even the United States at the local and state level. Hate crimes laws are being promoted at the international level by the United Nations.
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior, including in written form, is essentially a hate crime. The court upheld the conviction of William Whatcott, a former homosexual who is now a Christian who distributed fliers regarding the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexuality. Whatcott was ordered to pay $7,500 to two homosexuals who took offense at his fliers, as well as to pay the legal fees of the Human Rights Commission that took him to court — which could cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It’s worse than I expected,” Whatcott added. “What it means is that my life is over as I know it.”
Joe Carter, writing at The Gospel Coalition, reports facts from this case that should trouble every American and every Canadian for that matter. Carter writes:
“The Canadian Supreme Court ruling also states that suppression of ‘hate speech’—such as claiming that homosexual behavior is immoral—is so important that it justifies infringing on religious freedom and provides a basis for a ‘reasonable limit on freedom of religion and is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.’
What the Canadian court said was that adhering to a belief that homosexuality is wrong can now be classified as “hate speech;” punishable as a crime. In other words, the rights of homosexuals now trump all others; even Christians teaching the truth of God’s Word.
Pastors in Canada face a $5,000 fine for the first offense and a fine plus prison time for every offense thereafter. When Focus on the Family, for example. produces a program that discusses homosexuality, their Canadian stations would be prosecuted if they aired it, so they have to send another program.
In 1997 the Ontario Human Rights Commission fined the City of London, Ontario and its mayor, Diane Haskett, $10,000 for refusing to proclaim Gay Pride Day. It also ordered Haskett to make a public statement praising the “valuable contributions of gays and lesbians to her community,” which she refused to do.
In 2001, Toronto, printer Scott Brockie was fined $5,000 for refusing to print homosexual-themed stationery for the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives.
In 2002 a citizen of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan named Hugh Owens placed an ad in the StarPhoenix newspaper that consisted of four bible passages on homosexuality followed by an equals sign, then a symbol of two stick men holding hands with a red circle with a line through it. A Board of Inquiry of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission found that this to be contrary to s. 14(1)(b) of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code as exposing or tending to expose homosexuals to hatred or ridicule, or may otherwise affront their dignity, citing the scripture references used. Mr. Owens, and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix were ordered to pay each of the three homosexual activist complainants $1500. The Saskatchewan Queens Bench, a court of appeal, upheld the decision. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturned it.
In 2005 a British Columbia Knights of Columbus council was ordered to pay $2,000 to two lesbians, plus their legal costs, for refusing to allow its facility to be used for their “wedding.”
In January 2006, Catholic city councilman John DeCicco of Kamloops, British Columbia, was ordered by a court to pay $1,000 to two homosexual activists and and required to apologize for saying that homosexuality is “not normal or natural”
In June 2008 Stephen Boisson, an evangelical youth pastor from Red Deer, Alberta, was ordered to stop expressing opposition to homosexuality in any public forum and fined $7,000 “damages for pain and suffering” to the homosexual activist who complained against him.
Sweden passed its hate crimes bill in 2002, specifically including “church sermons” under the law passed to favor homosexuals. The Swedish chancellor of justice said any reference to the Bible’s stating that homosexuality is sinful might be a criminal offense. Homosexual activists monitor sermons and report any criticism of homosexuality to the authorities. Ake Green, a Swedish pastor, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality. Thank the Lord, he was acquitted on appeal. But it cost him a great deal in time, suffering and money.
In the UK it is illegal for a pastor or anyone else to speak out against homosexuality. It is a hate crime. Dale McAlpine, a British street preacher, was not preaching on homosexuality, but he told a passer-by who asked him that he believed homosexuality is sin. He was then approached by what the news media calls a “gay community support officer” who took him to the police station where he was detained in a cell for seven hours and charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress.”
The Christian Institute, a British ministry, released hidden camera footage of the arrest. It shows an officer, who is joined by three other officers, asking Mcalpine, “What have you been saying, homophobic wise?” Mcalpine says that homophobia is hatred toward homosexuals and maintains that he is not homophobic. He says that he is not there to break any laws and contends that it is not against the law to say homosexual behavior is a sin. But the officer quickly says it is against the law. “It’s a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act,” the officer says. Mcalpine then says that he did not speak of homosexuality while preaching to the public. He only mentioned it when he was talking to one individual. He was then arrested. Thankfully, the case was eventually dropped, but not without great pain, suffering and expense to Mr. Mcalpine. If you have read George Orwell’s book 1984, this will send chills up your spine. If you have not read it, do.
Tony Miano, an American evangelist, was arrested and jailed in 2013 in Britain for preaching on what the Bible says about homosexuality. He was interrogated about his faith in Jesus Christ, and was said “I was asked if I believe homosexuality is a sin. I was asked what portion of the Bible I was reading. I was asked that if a homosexual was hungry and walked up to me, would I give them something to eat.”
In April, 2013, 47-year-old American Shawn Holes was preaching in Glasgow, Scotland. Some people stopped to listen and asked him about his views on homosexuality. He said “Homosexuals are deserving of the wrath of God — and so are all other sinners — and they are going to a place called hell.” The homosexuals complained to the police and Holes was arrested and fined £1,000 – more than the penalty for some who commit violent crimes.
Make no mistake: stories like this will soon have US datelines. In fact, we are already seeing it. A photographer in New Mexico was forced to pay $700 in fines for declining to shoot a same-sex commitment service. A couple in Vermont who own a bed and breakfast refused to let two lesbians hold a “commitment service” on the property and had to pay a settlement to them. In 2009, two Houston, TX evangelists, David Stokes and Dave Allen, were arrested for preaching against homosexuality. They were tried by an openly lesbian judge.
In 2010 a federal judge ruled in favor Eastern Michigan University which removed Julia Ward, a Christian student from its graduate program in school counseling because she refused to counsel homosexual clients because of her belief that homosexuality is morally wrong. The university told her she would only be allowed to remain in the program if she went through a “remediation” program so that she could “see the error of her ways” and change her belief system about homosexuality. That is called brainwashing and the people who do it “thought police.”Again, read 1984. According to her attorneys the ruling could result in Christian students across the country being expelled from public universities for similar views. Approval of homosexuality is therefore now compulsory in public universities. Christians pay taxes to support universities which forbid Christian students from expressing their beliefs.
Sen. Ted Cruz says America is going down a dangerous road regarding what is considered “hate speech.” He has publicly warned that the next step could be charging pastors with a crime for speaking in support of traditional marriage. Sen. Cruz points out, quote, “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage – that’s the next step where it gets enforced. It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage and that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech. And I think there is no doubt that the advocates who are driving this effort in the United States want to see that in the same place.”
When my friend Pastor Chuck McIllhenny publicly preached the gospel to his San Francisco congregation, including that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior, one night while his family, including his children, were in bed, his house was firebombed. They barely escaped with their lives. The fire captain told him if the wind had been coming from another direction they all would have died. Chuck told me that the police ignored it. No one was ever charged. I highly recommend his book “When The Wicked Seize A City.”
We hear a lot about hate crimes. Aren’t all the examples I have given you – and there are many more – hate crimes against Christians? Shouldn’t the perpetrators be prosecuted under the very same hate crimes laws that apply to homosexuals? If not, why not? Why is the homosexual community so silent when it comes to hate crimes against Christians? It’s simple. They hate us. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against the worldly governors, the princes of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness, which are in the high places.
In 2009, President Obama signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. A report from World Net Daily: The homosexual lobby was able to include the words “sexual orientation” to provide special protections to homosexuals but leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual. Rep. Virginia Foxx of N.C., said the bill will create “thought crimes,” and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, of Ariz., said it will end equality in the U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, of Va., introduced a striking argument: If Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who supports traditional marriage, had slapped the homosexual judge who derided her on the stage under the new law she could be indicted as a “violent hate criminal,” facing a possible 10 years in prison. But, Forbes said, if the homosexual judge had slapped her, she would have had no special protection under the hate crimes bill.
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said, “The Anti-Christian Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives has acted today to lay the legal foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute and persecute pastors, youth pastors, Bible teachers, and anyone else whose Bible speech and thought is based upon and reflects the truths found in the Bible. A pastor’s sermon could be considered ‘hate speech’ under this legislation if heard by an individual who then acts aggressively against persons based on ‘sexual orientation.’
The pastor could be prosecuted for ‘conspiracy to commit a hate crime’” she said. “This Democrat-controlled Congress has now elevated pedophiles and other bizarre sexual orientations, as well as drag queens, transgenders, lesbians and gay men to the level of protection of that already given to African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities in the law,” she said. Under the specifications of the law, a Christian needn’t touch a homosexual to face charges. “If the homosexual merely claims he was subjectively placed in ‘apprehension of bodily injury’ by the Christian’s words then, again, the Christian can be thrown in prison for a felony ‘hate crime.’ Under the strictest definition of the law, any preaching against any sin, especially that of homosexuality could be considered hate language and therefore a hate crime. If convicted of the felony offense, a person could spend as much as 10 years in prison.
How is this not special protection for a group of people who practice a specific sexual behavior? When someone receives special protection under the law, it means that not all people are treated equally. In this case, homosexuals are given special protections, and those who commit crimes against them are susceptible to being accused of a “hate crime,” and are therefore at risk of receiving stiffer penalties — all based on the sexual behavior of homosexuals.
If courts can convict people of hate crimes for telling people what the Bible says about homosexuality, what is next? Will it be a crime to say what the Bible says about adultery, fornication, prostitution, because adulterers, fornicators, prostitutes and their clients are offended? Since I Cor. 1:18 teaches us that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, it is offensive to them. How long will it be before sharing the Bible itself will be a hate crime?
All hate crime laws are thought control.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against the worldly governors, the princes of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness, which are in the high places.” Eph 6:12
The battle lines are clear. There is a concerted effort to not just limit free speech and religious freedoms, but to elevate the “rights” of homosexuals above all others. This is the ultimate purpose of hate crime laws and so-called “anti-bullying” laws.
What is the difference between laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, disability, etc. and the laws homosexuals want? Very simple:
Race is not a sin. Disability is not a sin. The practice of homosexuality is. No one HAS to practice it. Everyone is tempted by various sins, and to be tempted is not a sin. To succumb to a sinful temptation is sin. One could make the same arguments homosexuals do for anti-discrimination laws favoring polygamists, polyandrists and those who practice bestiality. And guess what – there are people who want the law to protect those practices as well.
Marriage is a creation ordinance – it was instituted by God between Adam and Eve – and therefore the government cannot re-define it. It is defined in Gen. 2:24: “Therefore shall man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
Are you as strong in your faith as Phil Robertson? What have you done recently to show it? Or are you like the proverbial frog in a slowly heating kettle that eventually boils to death without being aware of it?
The most important thing Phil Robertson has said is this: “If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved.”
All the miseries of mankind – all the wars, all the murders, all the family problems, all the natural disasters, all the diseases – are the result of sin. Our first parents Adam and Eve rebelled against the Lord and brought all that into the world, and we are still reaping the bitter fruits.
II Chronicles 7:14 lays out a very precise formula for the restoration of a nation: “If my people, among whom my Name is called upon, do humble themselves, and pray, and seek my presence, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear in heaven, and be merciful to their sin, and will heal their land:”
This verse teaches us that our land is sick primarily because the church is sick! It is not unbelievers who determine whether God brings blessings upon a nation – and it is not unbelievers that cause God to curse a nation. It is the indifference of God’s people that brings His judgments upon all. Judgments begin against the church first, I Pet 4:17: “17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them which obey not the Gospel of God?”
What is preached in the pulpits of a nation determines the condition of that nation. If the Bible is preached, if Christ’s redemptive work is front and center, people are converted, equipped for His service no matter what their calling, and glorify Him, “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men,” then He blesses that nation. If false gospels are preached, such as: it is God’s job to make you happy; or that it’s not really important what you believe about Christ as long as you are comfortable with what you believe; or that there are many paths to God and Jesus is only one; or that civil government and more education is the answer to social problems, etc., then unbelief is spread and God curses that nation – all because the church has left Him. He says, you want to ignore Me, put me out of your homes, your schools, your media, your churches, your civil government? Then I will ignore you. Suffer under the curse you have brought upon yourselves.
Pastor Chuck Baldwin wrote, The major question that now must be answered is how will America’s pulpits react to the ever-increasing popularity and political correctness of homosexuality? A further question is, what will America’s preachers do when the United States passes a law similar to that of Canada’s? In a way, those questions have already been answered. One can attend churches of virtually every size and type without hearing so much as a peep against homosexuality from the pulpit. Furthermore, I am told that many televangelists have already suspended any negative comments regarding homosexuality from those programs that are aired in Canada. If a preacher will alter his sermons for money, why should we believe he would not alter them to accommodate laws against preaching Bible morality? The fact is, homosexuality would not have achieved the level of acceptance that it has if preachers had been doing their jobs to proclaim the truth of God’s Word! A desire to be socially and politically popular has silenced most pulpits!”
What can we do? What can YOU do? “If my people, among whom my Name is called upon, do humble themselves, and pray, and seek my presence, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear in heaven, and be merciful to their sin, and will heal their land:”
We as God’s people are commanded to (1) humble ourselves under God’s judgment. That means, among other things, to acknowledge before God that we have brought His judgments upon our nation. Do you believe this?
(2) we are commanded to pray, pray for the restoration of the church and the healing of the land. Do you pray for this? How often? What are you going to do, specifically, starting today, to improve?
(3) we are commanded to seek His presence. That is through prayer, reading the Bible and through worship, individual, familial and corporate. Are you neglecting any of these? What are you going to do, specifically, starting today, to improve?
(4) we are commanded to turn from our wicked ways. Note the word “ways.” It means habitual. We all sin, we often sin without realizing it, but how much of our sin is habitual? Not only sins of commission, but of omission – the ones that the Lord addresses in this verse – neglect of humbling ourselves, neglect of prayer, neglect to seek His presence by studying the Bible as often as possible every day, neglecting worship. And the promise of this verse is, IF we as God’s people do these things, He will hear us, and be merciful to our sin, and will heal our land.
Make it your prayer that we as God’s people turn from our wicked ways, and may He heal our land.–
¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the assaults of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against the worldly governors, the princes of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness, which are in the high places.
For this cause take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to resist in the evil day, and having finished all things, stand fast.
Stand therefore, and your loins girded about with verity, and having on the breastplate of righteousness,
And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.
Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye may quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked,
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God.
And pray always with all manner prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and
watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all Saints” — Eph. 6:10-18