Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

In the News: Demonstrating a Bias

Image This one is hitting close to home. The San Antonio city council is considering adopting an ordinance that will update their non-discrimination policy. This new ordinance will, if enacted, effectively ban anyone who expresses their faith from involvement in city business. Following is the text of the proposed ordinance:

“No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.”

The ordinance adds two new categories to protected status — sexual orientation and gender identity. It also uses the words “demonstrated a bias”, without defining what rises to the level of bias. It is open ended, showing that such “demonstrations” have no expiration date.

The ordinance, as adopted, would (according to news reports) not only preclude one who violates it from serving on the city council, but also doing business with the government in any capacity. So, those vying for a city construction or work contract, together with sub contractors, would be held to the ordinance.

Consider that any Christian who has expressed opposition to homosexuality, even if the expression was within the context of a worship assembly, would be in violation of the ordinance. The proposal has many religious organizations and churches in the San Antonio area up in arms. They are claiming that the ordinance would constitute an infringement upon their freedom of speech. It is important to note that the ordinance has not yet been adopted. It will be considered during the council’s next session.

When we hear news like this, it usually emanates from one of the two coasts, not in Texas. It is a clear indication of a further antagonism toward the expression of Christian faith in our nation.

I try not to be an alarmist. I don’t know for sure that it will ever reach the point in our country where a Christian could be imprisoned simply for expressing his faith in Jesus Christ. However, it is indisputable that our society has been trending in that direction for some time. We as Christians must consider what our response will be if our nation seeks to muzzle us. What if speaking against sin, or sharing the gospel of our Lord becomes unlawful, or brings economic hardship or pointed persecution? What will you do?

Consider the response of the apostles when they were charged by the Jewish leaders, on pains of imprisonment and scourging, to no longer speak the name of Jesus. We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:30-32).

Not only did the apostles refuse to be silenced, but they accused the very men who had the power to imprison them. Their boldness led some in that council to become so incensed as to contemplate their murder. However, the apostles, after having been beaten, “departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:41b-42).

May we, when and if it is needed, express the same boldness and faithfulness to our Lord in the face of persecution. What a wonderful example!