This past Sunday, pastors gathered at Grace Community Church in Houston for I Stand Sunday. Dr. Ed Young, pastor at Second Baptist Church Woodway began with a message for Houston’s lesbian mayor Annise Parker: “Don’t mess with the pulpits of America.”
Dr. Young said that the freedom of religion (under the umbrella of Christian), freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of the right to assemble were being “systematically attacked by the humanistic culture in which you and I live.”
Young then went on the see that it was “graphically” displayed in the city of Houston by Mayor Parker, whom he said he wished would understand what that means to Christians and Americans.
“In Texas terminology it means, ‘Don’t mess with the pulpits of America,'” said Dr. Young.
While his statement drew a plethora of applause, the evening wasn’t conducted as a pep rally. Instead, it seemed as if those in attendance were more concerned with repentance and calling upon God for a spiritual awakening in America, something that has been a part of our history since the beginning.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who was the host of I Stand Sunday, said in a statement:
“Pastors have every right under the Constitution to speak to these issues but from a biblical perspective, they have a mandate to do so. We cannot grow silent in the face of political intimidation. We must stand up for the freedom to live out our faith free of government intrusion and monitoring.”
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Ronnie Floyd told those in attendance, “our greatest problem is not in the White House.” He went on to say that the real problems are within the Church itself.
“We must get our lives right with the Lord,” Floyd said. “It is time we repent.”
This is exactly the message the Church needs to hear at this moment in our history. As the apostle Peter wrote:
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? -1 Peter 4:17
How can the Church be effective in the culture, if it is engaging in the very same things as the culture? How was Houston able to elect a lesbian mayor in the midst of all of these churches? It’s because the Church has remained unrepentant. It’s good to hear a call for repentance among those in the professed Church and God willing, He will grant such repentance to His elect.
Each of the Houston 5, the pastors whose sermons and communications were subpoenaed by the city, stood together during the event and warned of increasing government tyranny.
Their words echoed William Penn, who famously proclaimed, “Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”
The further the Church goes in her adultery, the more the tyrants will rise to power, not by their own strength, but because God raises them up to judge His Church. However, don’t forget that just as God raised up Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon to judge Old Testament Israel for her sins, and then turned around and judged Babylon for what they did to Israel, the same will occur to the tyrants that God is currently using in America.
Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson addressed the bathroom bill before the audience in his first sentence by stating, “For all you ladies in Texas, trust me when I tell you this: When you’re seated in your restroom, putting on your Maybelline, when I need to take a leak, I’m not going there.”
While the statement is somewhat crude, the point was made of how crude the bathroom bill passed by the city actually is.
This is the very bill that the citizens put forth their initiative to force the bill onto the ballot.
Robertson also went on to point back to America’s foundations. “America, America, it cannot be said too strongly or too often that this great nation was not founded by religionists but by Christians,” he continued. “Not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The event was an idea that was began because of Houston’s subpoena of pastor’s sermons and communications with regard to the citizen’s initiative against the city’s bathroom bill, which received enough signatures to be put on the ballot. However, the city sought to discredit the initiative, even going so far as trying to manipulate the numbers and later lying about the validation of the initiative. Even after the city dropped the subpoenas of the pastor’s sermons, following a flood of Bibles into the mayor’s office from around the country, the pastors say that isn’t enough.
Houston pastors have begun to take a stand, something many of us have been praying for years to see, not just in Houston, but throughout America. May God grant grace and courage to continue to stand and take the fight to the enemy, boldly proclaiming what the Bible teaches and trusting the God of the Bible for the results.