October 28, 2016
TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. – Invited to speak before pastors and other key Lay leaders of the Rocky Face Baptist Association, in Taylorsville, Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, solemnly warned that religious liberty is endangered in America as never before.
Dr. Creech began his moving speech by quoting from a sermon preached by Jedediah Morse in 1799, which reads:
“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief or the corruption of its doctrine, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this truth to be confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”
The remainder of the speech is recorded below:
“You know, Mark Buchanan in his book, The Rest of God, has said, ‘The opposite of a slave is not a free man. It’s a worshipper. The one who is most free is the one who turns the work of his hands into a sacrament, into an offering. All he makes and all he does are gifts from God, through God, and to God.’
“Such religious freedom in America has always been enjoyed. But today, freedom of worship doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Instead, for Progressives who have had undue influence on our political process, freedom of worship does not extend to the public square. The erroneous belief that the state gives us our rights and not God is becoming more and more pervasive.
“This has become especially evident since the legalization of same-sex marriage. We’ve seen across the country people of faith from every occupation: business owners, public officials, clergy, Christian ministries and assemblies, farmers, cake bakers, photographers, owners of wedding venues, florists, entertainment and sports personalities, chief executive officers of large companies, as well as others, seriously harassed and persecuted by their government because of their religious opposition to gay marriage. Some have even lost their livelihoods.
“We’ve seen two measure passed in North Carolina in the last couple of years in response to these threats. And unashamedly the Christian Action League’s fingerprints are on both.
“The first is SB 2 – Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies – a bill that allows magistrates and assistant deputy registers of deeds to opt-out of the issuance of a same-sex marriage license or the performance of a same-sex civil ceremony, whenever such public servants hold a sincere religious objection. Thus far, 31 magistrates in our state have invoked the law.
“The second is HB 2 – Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act – a measure that prohibits men from using the women’s restroom, locker room, or showers and vice-versa – a measure that also protects the right of private businesses to live and work in accordance with their religious beliefs without being punished by the government.
“This bill, which has created a national firestorm, was passed to overturn an egregious transgender, LGBTQ, non-discrimination ordinance by the City of Charlotte that would have made private Christian business owners subject to losing their contracts, or fined upwards of $500 a day, even possible jail time, if they were unwilling to adopt policies that violated their strongly held religious beliefs. Churches and schools would not have been exempt from this ordinance, but would have been forced to let into their church bathrooms and their school showers and locker rooms persons of the opposite sex.
“HB 2 was passed by lawmakers and signed by our Governor, in part, to protect us from being stripped of our religious liberties.
“Currently, both of these newly adopted laws are being challenged in federal court because aberrant and irrational Progressives who are determined to knock them down via judicial fiat and erase every religious objection to the LGBTQ way of life.
“Let me urge you to pray earnestly that these two laws will survive their court challenges. Moreover, in the forthcoming election on November 8th, you should vote in light of them and the preservation of religious liberty.
“One Presidential candidate, mind you, holds that religious liberty should be subordinate to LGBTQ rights. This candidate has also promised to appoint federal judges across the country and justices to the U.S. Supreme Court that would unquestionably undermine our constitution’s actual meaning of the First Amendment. The other Presidential candidate has promised to do just the opposite. Someone says, ‘Yes, but will that candidate do what’s been promised?’ Well, at least with the latter candidate about whom I have spoken, there is a promise. The first candidate mentioned has vowed to work against our God-given rights.
“The two U.S. Senate candidates for North Carolina present an almost identical kind of choice.
“Lastly, let me say that the Human Rights Campaign, the premiere gay-rights advocacy group in the nation, says that they view North Carolina as central to their national objectives. So do most other Progressives. They are determined to make our Governor and lawmakers pay for their support of HB 2 by defeating them at the ballot box. They hope to anoint a new Governor and secure a majority of state lawmakers that will implement their new radical gender ideology. They see the election in North Carolina as a referendum on legislation like HB 2 and their other policy objectives. If they can succeed here, says the Washington-based Family Research Council, “then, leaders in other states will start flying white flags on issues of morality, security, and religious freedom.”
“I hope that in addition to securing a copy of our legislative wrap-up for this legislative biennium, you will also avail yourselves of a copy of the excellent Voter Guide provided by our friends from the North Carolina Family Policy Council. Learn where the candidates stand on the issues, and make sure you vote in favor of protecting religious liberty.
“Let me also call upon pastors to speak out from the pulpit. This is no time for silence. Ezekiel chapter 3 warns that if God’s messengers refuse to speak when people are in danger and they sin against God, then God will hold his messengers accountable. You can equip your people sufficiently for this election by preaching on the issues, without making a formal endorsement and fearing an IRS reprisal.
“Religious freedom is the very soul of our nation, and without it all other freedoms are in jeopardy. I trust that you will pray often about this critical issue facing our country. We are now at a tipping point like no other time before.
“Just as Jedidiah Morse warned us, ‘Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.’
God help us.”