Why California Pastors Must Stand Up to Government Tyranny by Michael L. Brown
In the latest and most egregious example of attempted government overreach, California legislators have proposed a bill that would dictate what pastors preach from the pulpit. Specifically, “Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 calls on ‘counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators’ and institutions with ‘great moral influence’ to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as ‘unethical,’ ‘harmful,’ and leading to high rates of suicide.”
Put another way, these legislators are telling pastors and spiritual leaders to throw out the Bible, disregard the Lord’s will, ignore the testimony of thousands of ex-gays, and conform to extreme political correctness – or else.
This is one of the most frontal attacks on our religious freedoms in memory (or, perhaps, in our nation’s history). And it confirms what I have said for the last 15 years: Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. This is nothing less than that ancient spirit of Jezebel trying to silence God’s messengers through fear and intimidation.
There is one way to respond to such spiritual and legal attacks: First, stand up against the bill in order to expose its bias and bigotry; and second, if the bill should actually pass (which might be a longshot even in California), defy it.
In the year 123 A.D., the Roman government launched a severe crackdown against the Jews, culminating in 134 A.D., when all Jewish practices were forbidden, including circumcision, Torah study, and Sabbath observance. How did the rabbis respond?
One of the noted leaders, Rabbi Hananiah ben Teradyon conducted public Torah classes, paying for it with his life.
But this was no emotional, spur of the moment decision. There was a rationale behind his actions, traceable back to Rabbi Akiva, the greatest rabbinic sage of that day (but not a believer in Jesus), also martyred for his allegiance to Torah.