By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
December 23, 2016
Today I was toiling over a report to you concerning the effort to repeal HB 2 that failed during the Special Session of the legislature this week. As I was writing, my travail was, too many stories I’ve read in the media aren’t providing sufficient information. So much of what’s been written short-changes the reader. It takes time – considerable time – wordsmithing in a way that people not only understand an issue, but develop a conviction that’s born out of truth.
This is the word I want for those of you who follow the Christian Action League.
This means I need more time, and, therefore, I am postponing the report in this week’s CAL Insider. I do hope to have something ready for you sometime between the end of Christmas and the beginning of the New Year.
For now, let me simply say, we should be very thankful to God and the lawmakers who resisted the repeal efforts that HB 2 is still standing. We should also pray for our state’s legislators, especially the leadership in both the House and Senate. They are under tremendous pressure. They need wisdom and strength from above.
The state of North Carolina, its relationship to the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) ordinances and laws, the need for such legislation as HB 2, is being monitored by the entire nation, even the whole world. Unseen spiritual and nefarious forces, seek to break down basic natural and moral parameters that protect and promote human flourishing. Make no mistake; the Evil One has his cross-hairs on the Tar Heel state. If our beloved state succeeds in resisting the infamous, others will be emboldened to fight. If it fails, others will likely cower and acquiesce.
So let us continue to pray, pray, and pray some more. Moreover, let us be personally resolved to be immovable in the right. Let us boldly stand with those who stand in the right. Let us be zealous in urging our neighbor, whether associate or authority, to do the right.
It is our children and children’s children, whose futures are at stake. May God show grace to our state and nation.
A Personal Word
I also want to share a personal word with you. It’s been a long time since I have had time off from my duties as executive director of the League – time to rest – time given exclusively to family. This is no one’s fault but my own. The CAL Board has always urged me to do it. Neither do I fancy any notion that I am indispensable. Still, because this organization desperately needs additional funds for more staff, the urgency and weight of our work is very demanding.
Years ago, my father was a produce farmer. He farmed sixteen acres of produce with just my mother and one farm-hand to help him. The labor and the hours were brutal.
One day I saw him coming out of the fields. It was a sweltering hot summer’s day. His face was flushed-red, clothes drenched in sweat, eyes laden with his burden, and the gate of his walk haggard. I feared he would fall over dead from the strain. I begged him to come away and rest. I implored him to take a day off from work.
“Son, I can’t,” he said. “When it’s ripe on the vine, if you don’t get it then, you lose it. It will fall to the ground and waste away.”
That’s an apt description of my service with the Christian Action League. Ministry in the political arena as a Christian public-policy organization can be life-consuming, especially if you’re short-handed. When an issue of moral import arises that will impact the people, if you aren’t present and ready to respond, you don’t get a place at the table. Your side of the debate won’t be represented.
That’s why when circumstances afford me some time away, I usually don’t go far and I don’t take very long.
However, before the General Assembly reconvenes for 2017 on January 11th, I want to grab as much vacation time as possible. I need it. That means, I’ll be in and out of the office, sometimes days at a time, but still on call for anything critical. I promise the League won’t go completely silent, but this does mean, Providence permitting, you won’t be hearing much from me or the League between now and when lawmakers come back to Raleigh.
Thank you for understanding. And thank you for your support.
A Word about Christmas
Lastly, it’s incumbent on me to share a word about Christmas.
Reader’s Digest once wrote about a father whose little girl got up on Christmas morning and went down stairs to open her presents beneath the tree. She was out of bed before anyone else and alone. To his surprise, the father could hear his daughter singing the Happy Birthday song. “Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you,” she sweetly sang. The father said he thought that she, aware of festivity in the air, was confused as to the occasion. But as she sang on, he said, I realized that it was I who had been confused. “Happy birthday, dear Jesus,” the little voice caroled, “Happy birthday to you.”
Winston Churchill once described Russia as “A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” That’s appropriate in describing the Incarnation too.
Think of it. The unsearchable wonder of a Sovereign God bigger than the universe he created, wrapping himself in the limitations of humanity, identifying with us, living with us, being tempted and tried in all things just as we are, yet without sin, that he might save us from our sins. Who can contain the thought?
That he who had no beginning, would also have a birthday? What an unspeakable gift!!!
During this season of the year, we celebrate Christ’s birth in the giving and receiving of gifts.
Therefore, I suggest when we bring presents at Christmas time; we should also have one for him – something reflective of his sacrifice for us. We should give our gift in his name to the church, or someone in need, or to a charity. Lest we forget, it is his birthday.
Would you consider giving a birthday present to Jesus by giving to the Christian Action League? Right now, we only need $2500 to end our year in the black. Would you help us for the sake of his kingdom – for the sake of building a culture that reflects the character of our just God and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?
To make a secure online contribution to the Christian Action League, just click on the red “donate” button in the right margin of our website. If you want to send your gift by mail, write to:
Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.
809 Spring Forest Road
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609
Of course, the most important gift that we can bring to Christ is our hearts. When we come with our lives simply as they are, he returns them with eternal qualities. Luci Shaw, in Listen to the Green writes of this, saying:
Because eternity was closeted in time,
He [Christ] is my open door to forever.
From his imprisonment my freedoms grow, find wings.