RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TO DO WHAT?

Pray for religious freedom so that we can love God and love our neighbour as we do ourselves. However, as the following Scripture makes clear, this does not necessarily mean loving people as they want to be treated. True love is leading people to the truth about God and His righteousness. This must be the ultimate purpose of our actions. People need to know the hard truths about God and themselves and particularly the need for repentance. Sadly, this is not what they want to hear. They want to hear we acknowledge and approve of their sinful behaviour. The result, they are the victims and we are the oppressors.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.1 Timothy 2:1-7

What we are experiencing should not come as a surprise, Jesus tells us that people will hate us when we stand up for the truth about God and His righteousness.

Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. Luke 6:22-23

This website Living Eternal Now is all about getting you into the scriptures that reveal the truth about God, this life and history of the world.

Are you born again with the Holy Spirit indwelling your spirit? Without Him you are not saved. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, teacher. He is the one that produces the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control ) in our lives. He controls the sanctification process, He makes available the gifts of the Spirit for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). Without Him you can do nothing that has eternal value.

Jesus told the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) to reveal that half the church (people who believe they are Christians) in the “last days” do not have the Holy Spirit and He tells them to go ” I do not know you”.

Are you Holy Spirit empowered to Live Eternal Now?

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FRANKLIN GRAHAM SCORES A BIG WIN IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE IN UK

After a legal fight lasting several years, evangelist Franklin Graham has won an important case for religious freedom in the UK. A County Court Judge Claire Evans has ruled that the 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope was discriminated against when ads promoting the event were pulled from buses in Blackpool, in an effort to ban him from preaching. In 2018, the Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport Services removed bus advertisements displaying the words “Time for Hope,” citing that members of the community complained about Graham’s association with the festival. The transportation company said they received feedback from members of the community who were concerned over the evangelist’s religious beliefs on marriage and sexuality. Complaints referenced Graham’s biblical views about LGBTQ matters like same-sex marriage.

Some falsely accused him of “preaching hate” or being “racist.” Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport said, “The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening and acting on customer and public feedback which we aim to do at all times. Blackpool Transport is a proud ongoing supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities and in no way did we intend to cause any distress or upset.” After the decision was announced, additional complaints were made about the removal of the advertisements by members of the public who saw the move as bias against Christians, censorship, and a restriction of free speech. Moreover, the court concluded that the ads themselves were inoffensive and the transportation company had actually violated the UK’s Equality Act 2010. The law forbids discrimination against anyone because of religion or belief.

Judge Evans ruled “overwhelmingly in favour” of the Lancashire Festival of Hope, saying that Blackpool “had a wholesale disregard” for the Festival’s right to freedom of speech. It prioritized the rights and opinions of members of the LGBT community. “We thank God for this ruling because it is a win for every Christian in the U.K.,” Graham said. Despite removal of the ads, the Lancashire Festival of Hope brought 9,000 people together in Blackpool, garnered more than 50,000 online views worldwide, and saw more than 400 people commit their lives to Christ. “It is a significant day for religious liberty,” said James Barrett, chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK. “The court recognized that Blackpool Council cared more about appeasing the LGBTQ community than upholding the rights of local churches to advertise a Christian festival.” He added, “The judge summarized it best in her ruling when she said, ‘This is the antithesis of the manner in which a public authority should behave in a democratic society.

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND LIBERTIES

Rabbis blast US ‘Equality Act’ for calling Bible ‘bigoted’, attacking religious values

“It is outrageous that Congress would declare us bigoted for simply maintaining our time-honored traditions,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle. CJV represents over 1500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an American rabbinic group, called on Wednesday for the rejection of the Equality Act as “a direct attack on Jewish religious values and practices.” The Equality Act, H.R. 5, is slated to be voted on Thursday in the House of Representatives.

Rabbis blast US ‘Equality Act’ for calling Bible ‘bigoted’, attacking religious values

The Equality Act expressly declares that the Book of Genesis [see 2:24] and all of the Jewish laws pertaining to marriage as a sanctified union between man and woman (called “kiddushin” in Hebrew, from the word “kadosh,” Holy) are nothing more than engagement in discriminatory stereotypes. This is a disgraceful attack upon Jewish Biblical beliefs, rendered no more excusable by the fact that other traditional religious groups have similar tenets.”

A law which would require recognition of the gender a person prefers to be… would demand we cease to operate in accordance with our sincerely-held beliefs, moral values and religious education — expressly violating our religious liberty,” the rabbis said.

“It is outrageous that Congress would declare us bigoted for simply maintaining our time-honored traditions,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle. “And it is no mere insult; the law even explicitly rejects religious freedom as a defense, meaning it provides Anti-Semites with a new way to persecute the religious Jewish community,” Gordimer said.

Indeed, the Equality Act is the first time in history that legislation would deny protections found in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

The CJV letter concludes: “The Equality Act has the potential to bring the United States’ centuries-long history of respecting and providing robust protection for our religious beliefs and liberties to an abrupt and ignominious end.“

The church in the USA is yet to respond. It will be interesting to see which Christian organisations respond in like manner. Regardless, this just shows us how quickly once formerly God fearing nations are moving away from God’s values confirming Biblical end times prophecies.

Jesus said there would be a great falling away in the last days. I believe the Church of Laodicea is a description of much of the church in the last days before Jesus returns They are totally deceived.

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Revelation 3:15-17

THE CHANGE OR SUPPRESSION (CONVERSION) PROHIBITION BILL 2020 PASSED IN LOWER HOUSE IN VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA)

Prayer is urgently needed if Victoria is going to be stopped from going down a path that has very serious implications for the free practice of the Christian faith in that state.

To indicate what’s at stake, a child who is too young to drive or have a tattoo will be allowed to irreversibly change their gender. If a parent says no, they will be deemed ‘family violence offenders’ and will be subject to restraining orders and up to 10 years in jail.

Pastors will be severely restricted in what they can say or do when a LGBTQ person seeks their help. A same-sex attracted person who wants to live according to the Bible will not be able to request prayer or group support. “On what basis can the government impose restrictions on prayer?” Archbishop Comensoli rightly asks. Soon, praying for LGBTQ struggles could be a crime. The pretext for the bill is transphobia, a contagion for which the Andrews government believes the church is a super spreader. It will be illegal to counsel a person to change or suppress their chosen gender identity. Prohibited actions include “carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer-based practice”. The prohibition applies whether or not the subject consented to the prayer-based activity. The penalty is up to 10 years’ imprisonment or an enormous fine.

All Australians are asked to please pray that MPs, churches, and parents will have the courage to stand against the LGBTQ agenda and protect our freedoms.

The Premier’s rhetoric (“The Bill bans bigoted quackery” ) is extreme and insulting because the Bill clearly bans perfectly innocent conduct by Victorians, including parents who want what’s best for their kids.” “A Victorian parent who does not think irreversible hormone replacement therapy is best for their child is not a bigoted quack, yet that is what the bill bans, on the threat of jail. “A Victorian who prays for someone at their request is not a bigoted quack, yet that is what the bill explicitly bans, on the threat of jail” Martin Iles of ACL said. “If Mr Andrews wants to ban bigoted quackery, he should go back to the drawing board, this bill would jail parents, pastors and doctors for perfectly innocent conduct. If Mr Andrews truly believes what he says, then he must also believe that 73% of Victorians are bigoted quacks because polling is showing they do not agree with the bans imposed by this bill” said Mr Iles.

GREAT OUTCOME FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN OZ

Israel Folau says he has been “vindicated” by Rugby Australia’s apology and says he is now “looking forward” to the federal government enacting legislation protecting the right to religious expression. 

In the video below posted to his website, Folau appeared with his wife Maria beside him and spoke of his reaction to the confidential settlement with Rugby Australia on Wednesday.

“We are extremely pleased with the settlement reached today,” he said.

“With today’s acknowledgement and apology by Rugby Australia we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family.”

Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) played a significant role in the settlement and Martyn Isles in particular is proving to be God’s man for this time in leading ACL.

God has used Israel Folau and this incident with Rugby Australia to achieve two of His purposes.

The first to get Scott Morrison in place as the Prime Minister of Australia. The Folau incident occurred just prior to the election. It galvanised Christians and some non Christians to vote for the conservative party. The fact that Israel, possibly the best rugby player on the Australian team, could be sacked because he quoted Scripture on Facebook about God’s position on gay marriage, made many realise that it was wrong, and they could not support the opposition party that supported it.

The second is the vindication received today just before the government enacts legislation to protect the right to religious expression. It must influence the government to ensure others like Folau are not persecuted for their faith.

I hope this demonstrates to all Christians the importance of standing up publicly for Christ and His values regardless of the cost.