The first amendment to the constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791, reads as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.
Religious liberty does not need a written document from a political state. The first amendment is a legal guarantee to respect an inherent right of man as bestowed by God. As free moral people, we have an inherent right to worship and serve God, or not to worship and serve God. God does not coerce us, but he holds us responsible for our decisions. True Baptists believe in religious liberty for all, not just Baptists.
Early settlers came to America to escape religious persecution of Europe and England. Soon the same thing began in America. Baptists suffered in Europe, England and America for religious freedom.
The Danbury Baptist association petitioned Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that no denomination or sectarian group would achieve the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity”. Thomas Jefferson assured the Baptists that they shouldn’t fear; he explained: “gentlemen, the affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association gives me the highest satisfaction, believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God’s that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship”. There is more of this reply to the Baptists that you should read, but this will get the point across.
I fear that the church’s silence on issues of morality is allowing our religious freedoms to be taken away. Point in case is the recent uproar of the homosexual community against the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain.
The proponents of same-sex marriages are attacking the Chick-Fil-A restaurants and anyone who agrees with them. We are thankful and encouraged by Dan Cathy’s stand for the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Dan Cathy and his father Truett Cathy are not hateful people. They have helped many young people learn how to work for a living and save for their future, making them good respectable citizens. They simply love God’s word, truth, righteousness and people, all people.
As a member of the Southern Baptist convention, we have a statement of faith, called “The Baptist Faith and Message”. It is comprised of confessions and guides in interpretation of Old and New Testament scriptures. They are statements of faith used as instruments of doctrinal accountability. Doctrines we hold precious and essential to the Baptist faith and practice.
The convention added an article on “The Family” in 1998, to answer cultural confusion on the definition of “a family”, with the clear teachings of scripture. Article 18, “The Family” reads as follows: God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards and the means for procreation of the human race. There is much more to this confession of faith, including scriptural references, but this will suffice for now.
I stand on God’s words and this confession of faith, and I do so without apology. This is not a hate speech , but I know there will be those who will accuse me of hate. I do not hate anyone, and God does not approve of it. Therefore if I want God’s blessings, I cannot hate anyone, homosexuals, enemies, no one!
The congregation of First Baptist Church of Barnesville Ohio, and I treat everyone with respect, rich or poor and all colors of skin or race.
We believe that the homosexual as well as the heterosexual should be welcomed into the church service to hear the gospel message of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ. Because we believe what the scriptures teach and want to follow Christ teachings does not mean we hate anyone. If a parent tells their child “do not use drugs” that does not mean they hate their child, it means they want what’s best for their child. It’s called “Love”. We have no problem with supporting the Boy scouts of America, Chick-Fil-A restaurants or anyone else who will speak out in support of the biblical family. It’s time to speak out for God’s will for families while there is still freedom to do so. The church needs to speak for Christ; we are to be the salt and light on the hill.
“Radical homosexual activists” will use their financial and political clout to silence people of faith and the gospel, “says Allan sears, President and CEO of the Alliance defense Fund”. “The homosexual agenda is all about the construction of barriers to evangelism.
The church is to be telling the greatest love story ever told. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Gospel of John 3:16
We can be born again into God’s family, through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, with a new life, power and love. If the church loses its freedom to share the gospel of Christ, the good news of a new birth and salvation, millions will be trapped in the so-called lifestyle, homosexuality.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. John 8:32 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed “. John 8:36 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” Galatians 5:1
Church, speak up for righteousness, while we still have freedom to do so!
Sincerely, Pastor Rodney West