The recent decision from President Barrack Obama to stop federal funding for programs at public schools that do not cooperate by allowing transgender individuals to decide which bathroom to use is something that may have caught some of us by surprise, but it didn’t catch the Lord Jesus by surprise. This unilateral action by the President without consulting the duly elected representatives of the people is now creating confusion and debates across America. In the spiritual realm, this is another attempt for Satan to divide God’s people – and the church needs to stand strong.
The Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBC of Virginia) stands on the Biblical definition of the differences of gender (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:1-2). Whenever there is confusion because of man’s actions (or inaction), we always need to go back to the one thing that never changes… God and His Word. These Biblical values will provide us with the moral insight and backbone to stand against the true enemy, Satan, as a thief, who wants to “steal and to kill and to destroy” (John 10:10). He wants to destroy your peace, your family, your ministry, and anything else that he can ruin.
Remember that this is a spiritual battle. The fight for “gender equality” and “same sex respect” is really just a smoke screen to take our attention away from what is really going on spiritually. That’s why in 1 Peter 5:6-9, it tells us to stay alert – especially in the times we are living in now!
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. But right before these verses in Peter that sound so ominous it gives us a challenge – that we should never be worried that any of this is beyond our Lord.
In John 10:10, where it talks about Satan wanting to steal, kill, and destroy – it ends with something that is so encouraging. It says,
I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
Wherever there is Jesus, there is hope!
Tom Elliff, former President of the IMB as well as President of the SBC, wrote a blog on this issue. One excerpt from this article speaks directly to each and every true Christian:
It should disturb the faithful believer that all this is happening on our watch. For that reason alone, I find myself drawn more and more to prayer for national revival. And it is for that reason that I applaud, support and participate in movements (such a Sherwood Baptist Church’s ReFresh Conferences) that seek to call pastors to personal renewal and the development of “spiritual backbone.
Dr. Brian Autry, executive director at the SBC of Virginia, said,
Once again, the church and families have reason for outrage and great concern with the notice sent by our Federal government to local public schools. Our churches and this land are in great need. For the past several years, the churches, pastors, and leaders among the SBC of Virginia have been endeavoring with a renewed call to prayer for revival and spiritual awakening.
As a minister of the gospel, I want to state without apology and unashamedly that we must clearly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must call upon all people to repent of sin and turn to Jesus. More than ever, the church must be salt and light as we show and tell people that Jesus is the answer to our brokenness. We must clearly and consistently point people to God’s plan for our identity and as a church provide people with an opportunity for community.
As a parent in this culture, I must teach my children, in word and deed, that only Jesus offers lasting fulfillment and the answer to our deepest longings. Our 21st Century culture is looking more like the first Century. Jesus was proclaimed, lives were transformed then, and the same must happen now. My prayer for my brothers in ministry is, ‘may God give us wisdom and courage as pastors and as parents.’
Dr. Bryan Smith, president of the SBC of Virginia, shared,
The president’s recent threat to use the Education and Justice Department’s influence to force the capitulation of public school officials in allowing students to choose any gender assigned restroom they wish to use is an immoral assault against our children and the created order and wisdom of God’s design in the distinctiveness of His creation of men and women. The president has clearly drawn a line in the sand and now so too should Christian families and churches do the same in our united opposition of his decision to impose this sexual revolution upon America’s children. A person’s claim that something feels natural is never justification for making it moral.
As Christians we must utilize whatever avenues of influence available to us and speak the truth in love as we testify to the fact that no matter what edicts or laws a government leader may write in their effort to force others to conform to the spirit of any given age, mankind does not have the authority to rewrite the laws of nature and nature’s God.
The SBC of Virginia hosts events like the Empowered Conference
to prepare ourselves and our congregations on how to respond to cultural issues just like this one. In fact, you can watch what Dr. Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, shared during that conference on our website by clicking here
Join the SBC of Virginia in praying for God to reign in America that we would stop playing games with our family values and that our national leaders would seek direction from our Heavenly Father.
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC):