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What the Bible Says, Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What the Bible Says, Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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July 25, 2021 Two Shots from Victory, a sermon by Pastor Dominic Pennachietti Jr. , on July 25, 2021, at Bethel Baptist Church.
2021 07 18 AM Misunderstood Misunderstood “But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him” (Mark 9:32). Hi, I'm Pastor Bob Nogalski and I pastor the Victory Baptist Church ...
Biblical Fears part 3 Biblical Fears part 3 Sunday Evening Service Pastor Sutton Music Credits: Victory in Jesus is used by permission with CCLI streaming license Stand Up, Stand ...
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On “Worldview Wednesday,” we feature an article that addresses a pressing cultural, political, or theological issue. The goal of this blog series is to help Christians think about these issues from a biblical worldview. Read our previous posts on the Center for Biblical Worldview page.“What if the word ‘homosexual’ was never meant to be in the Bible?” That is the question the new documentary 1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted a Culture is dedicated to answering.The documentary explores the linguistic history of the word “homosexual” and its appearance in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible, first published on February 11, 1946. In short, the film seeks to show that the RSV’s use of the term “homosexuals” instead of “sexual perverts” is an inaccurate translation of the Greek words malakoi and arsenokoitai. (It is worth noting that although recent editions of the RSV have reverted to using “sexual perverts,” many other translations still translate it as “homosexuals.”) According to the documentary, homosexual sex is biblically permissible, and the RSV’s “mistranslation” has influenced subsequent English translations of the Bible, resulting in Western society believing that “sexual and gender minorities must choose between their faith and their identity.”The filmmakers insist 1946 is “not an attack on Christianity or the Bible” but rather “a quest to discover biblical truth and honor God’s Word.” However well-intentioned the film might be, its ultimate claim does not stand up to linguistic and historical critique. 1946 undermines biblical sexual ethics under the guise of honest hermeneutics.Evaluating the “Mistranslation” Allegation Alan Shlemon from the Christian apologetics ministry Stand to Reason writes that, despite 1946’s captivating premise where power-hungry white men oppress “sexual minorities” through Bible translation, “Even if the film’s claims are true, it doesn’t matter. The entire documentary is a non sequitur.”There are many reasons the film 1946 fails to be intellectually compelling, including:subsequent Bible translators did not use the RSV’s English translation unchecked;the prohibition of homosexual sex is found elsewhere in the Bible and is well-attested throughout church history, not just since 1946; andone young seminary student, whom the film follows, would not have had the expertise to truly dispute the RSV translation committee.Despite these realities, the documentary is often cited as proof that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality and that the church should re-examine its view on sexual ethics. To address the film’s claim that same-sex relations are not prohibited in the Bible, we will answer three questions:What do the allegedly mistranslated words in 1 Corinthians 6:9 mean?What is the biblical sexual ethic?Why is the biblical sexual ethic good news for everyone?By answering these questions, Christians can refute the radical claim that the Bible permits homosexual sex with knowledge, clarity, grace, and love.1. What Do the Allegedly Mistranslated Words in 1 Corinthians 6:9 Mean?1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states:Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (ESV, emphasis added)The contested phrase translated “men who practice homosexuality” comes from the Greek “ο¿τε μαλακο¿ ο¿τε ¿ρσενοκο¿ται,” transliterated as oute malakoi oute arsenokoitai. The phrase oute…oute means “neither…nor,” so the verse is saying “neither _____ nor _____ … will inherit the kingdom of God.” So, we must fill in the blanks. What do malakoi and arsenokoitai mean? In his book The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon explains that the term malakoi can carry a variety of meanings depending on the author and context. Often it meant “soft” or “effeminate.” In ancient usage, malakos could range from those who had a penchant for “soft” or decadent living, to those averse to the rigor of a philosopher’s life, to the passive partner in homosexual intercourse. Thus, while at first glance it might seem challenging to know exactly how Paul is using the term in this passage, context is key. Based on the context of 1 Corinthians 6:9—a list of unrepentant sins displayed by those who will not inherit the kingdom of God—and Jewish understanding of the term at the time, Paul’s intent is clear. As Gagnon summarizes, “In 1 Cor. 6:9, malakoi should be understood as the passive partners in homosexual intercourse” (p. 312).So, if Paul’s use of malakoi referred to the passive partner in homosexual sex, what about the active partner? To address this question, Paul uses the term arsenokoitai, a compound word formed by combining arsen (“male”) and koites (“bed”), the same words found in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 (passages which clearly prohibit homosexual relations). This word has a decidedly narrower meaning than malakoi. In fact, a survey of ancient literature shows arsenokoitai always refers to men having sexual intercourse with other males. As Gagnon points out, this is true of the earliest attestations of arsenokoitai after the New Testament, including the Sibylline Oracles (2.73), Hippolytus’ Refutation of All Heresies (5.26.22-23), and Eusebius’ Preparation for the Gospel (6.10.25). According to Gagnon, Paul’s use of arsenokoites instead of paiderastes shows that he was not just discussing the practice of pederasty (a man having sexual intercourse with a boy), but also a man who was the active partner engaging in sexual intercourse with another adult male (p. 325). In summary, based on the historical and literary contexts of the terms and the literary context of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, malakoi and arsenokoitai clearly refer to passive and active partners in homosexual sex.2. What Is the Biblical Sexual Ethic?The mere suggestion that Scripture might not prohibit homosexual sex is understandably tantalizing, for many reasons. At one point or another, we have all wished that one of the sinful behaviors prohibited by the Bible was permissible in our specific case. These activities, although condemned by the Bible, nonetheless appeal to our hearts.Tragically, we have inherited our penchant for forbidden things from our first parents. When Adam and Eve attempted to “become like God” by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree in the garden of Eden, the consequences of their disobedience to God affected not only themselves but all their offspring (Gen. 2:17, 3:16-19). One consequence is that our hearts are deceitful and desperately sick (Jer. 17:9). Even if we feel in our hearts that something is right, that thing could very well be wrong. Proverbs 3:5-8 cautions us:Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Emphasis added)Sadly, humanity’s struggle with God’s design and intention for sexual desire is yet another consequence of the fall.The Bible’s sexual ethic is clear. From the beginning, God intended sexual desire to motivate men and women to enter into the sacred covenant relationship of marriage, which is reserved for one man and one woman and is intended to be for life (Gen. 1:27, 2:24). Jesus confirmed the creation design for marriage when He condemned divorce (Mark 10:6-9). According to Scripture, the proper context for sexual activity is within the marriage covenant. All sexual conduct outside of marriage is prohibited, including impurity (Gal. 5:19, Eph 5:3, Col. 3:5), illicit heterosexual relations (1 Cor 6:18, Col. 3:5, 1 Thess. 4:3-5, Heb. 13:4), and homosexual relations (Lev. 18:22, Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Jude 1:7).As Family Research Council’s Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality explains, church history reveals one unified position about sexual ethics—that of strict condemnation of any type of sexual activity outside of marriage. It was only after the sexual revolution of the 1960s that some American churches—those that had previously embraced theological liberalism—changed their interpretation of the Bible and began to approve of homosexual sex and same-sex marriage.3. Why Is the Biblical Sexual Ethic Good News for Everyone?The Bible’s high standard for sexual ethics can seem unattainable, causing us to despair. But the Bible brings good news of redemption and promises salvation to anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are given victory over sin and receive power from God to flee temptation. That is why Paul urges the Corinthians to “flee from sexual immorality” later in the same passage of 1 Corinthians 6 (1 Cor. 6:18). He was urging them to walk in the freedom that Christ had already won for them!When 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is read in context, we learn that it is a passage of hope, not condemnation. Paul writes:[D]o you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11, emphasis added)In the last sentence, Paul reminds the Corinthians of the new life they have received in Christ! Even though some of them had previously lived immoral lives, the blood of Christ’s sacrifice had washed them, sanctified them, and brought them into a right relationship with God. The Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics is good news because it reveals God’s design and plan for marriage, relationships, and sexuality. It is even better news for those of us who struggle with sexual sin because, through “participation in the spirit” (Phil. 2:1), we can “say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12 NIV).In Matthew 11, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (v. 28). Throughout the centuries, millions of us who follow Jesus have found comfort in this precious promise. For those who grapple most acutely with the burdens of living in a sexually broken world, Jesus’ promise of rest still stands. Amid life’s most trying struggles, trust Him with your hopes, desires, fears, and questions. Jesus is faithful, trustworthy, and true (1 Thess. 5:24, Rev. 19:11). He completely saves those who believe and empowers us to live the life our loving God designed us to live.
Temple Baptist Church - 8-1-2021Revelation 15:1-4IntroductionA. Chapter 15 of the Book of Revelation is the shortest chapter in the book. It, like the Minor Prophets, is not short because of lack of importance. It is important for you and me to know what is happening in heaven during the Tribulation Period. B. During this seven-year period, we will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We will also have some knowledge of what is transpiring on earth. This brings us to the question: “Do God's people in heaven know what is happening upon earth?” Let me answer this way: yes and no. I do not often used oxymorons but, in this case, “Yes and No” is the right answer. 1. No. We will not know of all the sufferings, sinfulness, disappointments, discouragements of our loved ones on earth. That would bring heaven's perfection down to the level of this ungodly world. Heaven will be a wonderful, perfect place of joy and peace. 2. Yes. a) We will know when a sinner becomes a saint on earth through the new birth. Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. b) We will know to some degree what transpires upon earth concerning the righteous judgment of God upon the ungodly. I do not presume to know that extend but these verse tend to say that there is some degree of knowledge. Revelation 6:9-10 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: (10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. C. Verse 1. The seven angels are now ready to aid God in the judgment of those who have rejected the gospel and aligned themselves with the world's system. God's judgment will be both appropriate and timely! Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. You “be still and know that I AM GOD!” BECAUSE “I will be exalted among the heathen … I will be exalted in the earth!” Trust in the Lord with all your heart because He is still able to do all things. D. These seven last plagues (God used plagues to judge Egypt and deliver Israel) which the angels hold will be so terrible as to fill up or complete the wrath of God against this wicked world. “To fill up” means to complete, be concluded, to satisfy the wrath of God upon this sinful, cursed world. The number “7” is the bible speaks of completeness or perfection. 1. These seven plagues are called great because God's judgment will transcend all judgments in the past. When we study the bible, we see the greatness of God's power in judgment but these last plagues will be the greatest ever seen on earth. 2. These seven plagues are called marvelous because of its supernatural nature. Never has there been such a thing happen on earth including the universal flood of Noah's day. These plagues will be things that only God can do. They will not be natural phenomenon. E.Verse 2. We see in heaven a sea like unto glass. What a beautiful sight it would be to look out over the Atlantic Ocean and see its surface perfectly flat, made like unto glass, reflecting the glory of the sun or moon. Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. F. This sea of glass will be mingled with fire. Possibly relating to the “fiery trials” that have befallen these Tribulation Period saints who have suffered the loss of their lives. Fiery trials have always been a way of life to God's people. These saints have gotten victory over the beast, not defeated by the beast. I want to use a verse written to the “strangers scattered” or dispersed Jews who paid a terrible price of their stand for Christ. These tribulation saints will die for their faith! 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: G. Here we find a four-fold victory achieved by these martyred saints: 1. Victory over the beast –the political system of antichrist on earth. The end-time socialistic dictatorship under Antichrist will not tolerate disobedience of any form! These tribulation saints will put their faith in God instead of faith in Antichrist and his ungodly political system. Instead of looking to the political system, they will look to God for provision and the necessities of life. 2. Victory over his image – failure to worship the political system on earth. In chapter 13, we find that the people on earth were commanded to bow to an image just as the three Hebrew children were commanded to bow to the image in their days. These tribulation saints will bow only to Christ! Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Philippians 2:10-11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 3. Victory over his mark – failure to take the mark of the political system on earth. The end-time government will attempt to force compliance. We are getting a small taste of this in our day. These tribulation saints will starve before they die! Revelation 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 4. Victory over the number of his name – failure to identify with the political system on earth. God's children are to obey government if that obedience does not contradict scripture, but our obedience does not mean that we identify with government. We, as God's children, are not to identify to an ungodly government. We have to live in this world and should strive to live a life acceptable unto God and visible to men! These tribulation saints made little effort to hide their Christianity! H. Verses 2-4. These martyrs are given harps, instruments used to worship God. What a thrill, what a position. They use these harps to sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. The content of their songs: 1. The Song of Moses (this is not the song of victory found in Exodus, chapter 15, which was a song of victory) is about the Nation of Israel and is found in Deuteronomy 32:1-43, just prior to his death on Mount Nebo. God told Moses what to write and to teach it to Israel before his death in Deuteronomy 31:19-22. Then Moses commanded the Levites to put the book into the Ark of the Covenant as a witness against the people. The Song of Moses prophesied of Israel's departure from God to follow the gods of Canaan, His judgement upon Israel for their sin, God's faithfulness to Israel, and Israel's restoration back to God. This song is prophetic of Israel's rejection of the Messiah, national blindness and judgment, and restoration at the end of the Tribulation Period. 2. The Song of the Lamb is about the Tribulation Saints who overcome the beast through rejection of the mark and, ultimately death. 3. Both songs hold the same truths: a) God's glory is found in His works. “Great and marvelous are thy works” – Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? b) God's glory is found in His Person. “Lord God Almighty” Lord, His supremacy; God, His Divinity; Almighty, His sovereignty. Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. c) God's glory is found in His Holiness. “Just and true are they ways” God is impeccable and immutable. In Him is no darkness at all and all His ways and works are righteous. Psalms 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. d) God's glory is found in His Position. “thou King of saints” King of kings and Lord of lords, He is our Sovereign for eternity. J. Verse 4 also gives a prophetic picture of the Millennial Reign of Christ: 1. The Fear of the Lord. “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord,” During the Millennial Reign of Christ, He will be feared as he rules with a rod of iron from the throne of David. 2. The Glory of the Lord. “and glorify thy name?” During the Millennial Reign of Christ, His name will truly match His position: King of kings and Lord of lords. 3. The Holiness of the Lord. “for thou only art holy:” During the Millennial Reign of Christ, righteousness will reign on this earth. 4. The Worship of the Lord. “for all nations shall come and worship before thee;” During the Millennial Reign of Christ, all nations will bring their offerings to Christ. 5. The Judgments of the Lord. “for thy judgments are made manifest.” During the Millennial Reign of Christ, justice will be swift and appropriate!
Today's category: QuestionsThe End of the World When the end of the world arrives how will the media report it? USA Today: We're dead The Wall Street Journal: Dow Jones plummets as world ends National Enquirer: O.J. and Nicole, together again Playboy: Girls of the apocalypse Microsoft Systems Journal: Apple loses market share Victoria's Secret Catalog: Our final sale Sports Illustrated: Game over! Wired: The last new thing! Rolling Stone: The Grateful Dead reunion tour Readers Digest: 'Bye! Discover Magazine: How will the extinction of all life as we know it affect the way we view the cosmos? TV Guide: Death and damnation: Nielson Ratings soar! Lady's Home Journal: Lose 10 lbs by judgement day with our new "Armageddon" Diet! America Online: System temporarily down. Try calling back in 15 minutes. Inc. Magazine: Ten ways you can profit from the apocalypse!View hundreds more jokes online.Email this joke to a friend
UPDATE: Mark Dever's church has its legal fees covered in the latest legal victory among congregations who sued over worship service limits during lockdown.Capitol Hill Baptist Church has settled a lawsuit with the District of Columbia over claims that its coronavirus restrictions violated the First Amendment by barring outdoor worship but permitting other outdoor activities.According to The Washington Post, DC agreed last week to pay $220,000 to Capitol Hill Baptist to cover its legal fees and stated that officials “will not enforce any current or future covid-19 restrictions to prohibit CHBC from gathering as one congregation.” The settlement said it was not an admission of wrongdoing by the city.Capitol Hill Baptist, led by 9Marks founder Mark Dever, was the first to sue over the District’s restrictions, following multiple attempts to secure a waiver from citywide restrictions, which didn’t permit church services of over 100 people, even if outside, masked, and socially distanced.Dever’s church based its request on its belief that the Bible calls churches to gather as one assembly—not in multiple services, multiple sites, or online. During the restrictions, it crossed state lines to gather outdoors in Virginia.“Ultimately, the church is not something we want to be in as a building,” said Dever in a clip from spring 2020. “It’s a people we want to be with. That’s why we Christians always gather, so that we can be with the people of God and do the things that Jesus has called us to do.”The church’s legal case initially resulted an injunction allowing congregants to return to worship in October 2020, months before all capacity limits were lifted in DC in spring 2021.Churches in other states have also won settlements over similar First Amendment claims. California will pay $2 million to cover legal ...Continue reading...
I remember when Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was argued at the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2017. People hoping to witness the oral arguments had been camped outside the Court for days. That morning, crowds of people waited to hear how the justices would rule on Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who had declined to make a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.In May 2021, Phillips published his account of what happened in The Cost of My Faith: How a Decision in My Cake Shop Took Me to the Supreme Court. The book describes his split-second decision to not bake the cake, explains the ensuing years of legal challenges, and recounts the lessons he learned from the experience. His story is an encouraging testimony of God’s faithfulness to sustain His children throughout life’s difficulties.As Legal Battles Mounted, Phillips’ Faith Only GrewPhillips begins by recalling a life-changing conversation he had with two men, David and Charlie, who came into Masterpiece Cakeshop to ask him to create a custom wedding cake for their wedding. Phillips politely declined, stating that he could not create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding but that he would be happy to sell them anything else in his shop. The conversation was brief, and David and Charlie refused to give Phillips a chance to explain his rationale further.Phillips recalls his desire to extend the conversation so he could explain that although he will gladly serve anyone, he cannot express every message “because of the content of the message that the imagery or words on the cake might convey” (3). Since opening Masterpiece Cakeshop in 1993, Phillips had adhered to this simple rule and had previously declined to make cakes featuring a variety of messages, such as obscene language, hateful rhetoric, and statements or images that “mocked or contradicted [his] faith” or celebrated events such as divorce or Halloween (61, 71).The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against Phillips and held that compelling him to express messages he disagreed with did not violate his First Amendment rights. After the case worked its way through the lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court took the case. In June 2018, the Court sided with Phillips and held that the Commission’s actions violated Phillips’ right to freely exercise his religion. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the record showed the Commission’s “clear and impermissible hostility” toward Phillips’ sincerely-held religious beliefs, and he explained how the Commission treated Phillips differently than other bakers, who declined to create custom cakes that expressed messages opposing same-sex marriage.Less than a month after this victory, Phillips faced another legal challenge. On the same day that the Supreme Court granted cert in Phillips’ case, one would-be customer, Autumn Scardina, had requested a cake that was pink on the inside and blue on the outside to celebrate a gender transition. Phillips declined to create the cake because of its intended message. In response to charges brought against him by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Phillips and his attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Commission. In March 2019, the state’s attorneys offered to settle the case after evidence showing the Commission’s continuing hostility to Phillips’ religious beliefs surfaced. After this second victory, Phillips hoped to continue his business in peace.That peace, however, was remarkably short-lived. In June 2019, Scardina, seeking over $100,000 in fines and damages, filed another lawsuit against Phillips in state court. On June 15, 2021, the court ruled against Phillips. The court found that Phillips’ refusal to bake the cake was based on Scardina’s transgender status, not on the cake’s intended message, and that forcing Phillips to bake the cake would not violate his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion.Phillips concludes the book by describing the lessons he learned during the many years of legal challenges. He states that although some may have intended their attacks to destroy his faith, his faith is now stronger than ever. He expresses gratitude for having been given a platform to speak the truth. Phillips has also grown in humility and patience and has learned to be a better listener. He has gained a greater appreciation for the wise system of government instituted by the Founders. Most importantly, though, Phillips experienced God’s goodness:[C]oming through oppressive days, enduring the death threats, the hate mail, the obscene phone calls and public demonstrations, seeing the tears of my wife and the worries of my children, hearing people call me a bigot and a Nazi, listening while elected officials openly mocked the deepest convictions of my soul—let me assure you, this is when God’s mercies abound. This is when He comforts us in the deep places of the soul that only He can reach. (188–89)Peaceful, Unshakeable Faith in God’s ProvisionPhillips’ compelling testimony is a must-read for any believer. First, Phillips’ account provides a thorough and accessible description of one of the most influential religious freedom cases of the past decade. He clearly describes the timeline of events and explains why the case was so momentous, not only for him but for all people of faith (98). Although the case concerned Colorado’s attempts to compel Phillips to speak messages that violated his conscience and to force him to choose between his religious beliefs and his business, the case has broader implications for the rights of all Americans “who share[] his biblical views on human sexuality and marriage” (194).Second, Phillips’ story will encourage believers who may feel disheartened. Although losing 40 percent of his business, facing hateful emails and death threats, and having his reputation attacked by public officials could have caused Phillips to waver in his faith, his testimony overflows with a sense of peace and an unshakeable belief in God’s character and provision. As Phillips recalled while waiting for the Supreme Court’s verdict:You might think the long wait was especially stressful—an exercise in impatient endurance, where we gritted our teeth to get through the endless days. But it wasn’t like that at all. I genuinely felt an immense peace after our arguments. I was content in knowing we’d done everything we could do. That we’d been as faithful as possible and the outcome really was always totally in God’s reliable hands. (143)Phillips’ faith is a testament to the Holy Spirit’s power to encourage believers throughout life’s challenges.Finally, Phillips’ account can inspire believers to stand firm in their faith. Although his experiences could have made him retreat from his faith, Phillips viewed them as an opportunity:What’s the point of suddenly being on so many people’s radars if you can’t use those moments to share with them your deepest beliefs? That, for me, is the best news in the whole world: the love of Jesus Christ. (11)Unfortunately, hostility toward Christianity and toward those who adhere to a biblical worldview is only increasing. Like Phillips, may we all have faith to stand firm and to be willing to serve as God’s instrument whatever the cost.Kaitlyn Shepherd is Research Assistant for Legal and Policy Studies at Family Research Council.
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