Arizona Bill protecting religious freedom

Religious Freedom must be protected at all costs

by Bishop Tom Brown

            There are a lot of negative things being said about the Arizona’s Bill of Religious Freedom; however, I want to make a defense of the bill. It simply allows individuals, including businesses, to refuse business on the grounds that it conflicts with their religious practices.

My daughter is a ghost writer. Imagine that an atheist wants her to ghost write a book that tries to debunk Christianity. Is she forced to take that business? I do not think my daughter should be forced, by law, to ghost write that book, do you?

Of course people are not thinking of my daughter’s religious freedom when it comes to the law. They are thinking that gays will be discriminated against by the bill.

The example usually sited is a photographer is asked to photograph a gay wedding. Let’s say it is her religious view that gays cannot get married by God. So should she be forced to take pictures when it is against her religious views? Can both groups be equally accommodated? Probably not; however, the first amendment trumps everything.

I am very concern that people are using their morals to force others to compromise their morals. However, I do not think the constitution forces businesses to accept all customers. Businesses may have all sorts of legal and legitimate reasons why they do not want to accept a job. Religious reasons cannot be discarded as a reason.

People are rightly concerned, however, that the Arizona law could permit racial discrimination. They argue that businesses could refuse to make a wedding cake for an interracial couple on the grounds that it conflicts with their religious practice. However, the Federal Law protects discrimination against race, and Federal Law trumps state laws. So the Arizona law could not be misused that way.

I understand both sides of the argument, because laws like the Arizona one can get tricky. The problem comes with more difficult situations, and there will always be prejudice people hiding behind laws. However, I believe in the free enterprise system. If a business develops a bad reputation for exercising their religious freedom, then it will go out of business; which it ought to. That means, each business must think carefully when and if it wants to exercise a religious exemption, because there could be grave consequences for the business to do so.

There are consequences for using one’s religion to not serve another in business. However, religious rights must be protected at all costs.  For example, I think my daughter’s religious liberty to opt out of ghost writing an anti-Christian book would solicited sympathy by most, and will likely not hurt her ghost-writing opportunities. But the point is, her rights must be protected. On the other hand, a contractor, who refused to build churches that are not part of his denomination, will likely encounter bad publicity. However, the answer is not to take away religious freedom but to give it, knowing that people must be accountable when and if they choose to opt out making money for religious reasons.

In the end, our first amendment rights allow us to freely say what we want to say and practice our faith where and when we want to, even if those practices are detrimental to our own businesses. Although the bill is likely to be vetoed by the governor, I think we need to look closely at protecting our religious liberties.

Link to the actual bill: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.pdf

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Four Blood Moons

Four Blood Moons

 

Joel 2:30-31

30 I will show wonders in the heavens

and on the earth,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

31 The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

I.                   Introduction: Something big is about to happen. It involves the four blood moons.  I want to talk about the four blood moons called a Tetrad. A tetrad is a series of back to to “total” lunar eclipses occuring within 2 years. It’s called a “blood moon” because the light reflected through the earth’s atmosphere onto the moon gives it a red color. You do not need to have a total lunar ecplipse to have the moon look red. It can look red with a patial eclipse or even when it is on the horizon.

  1. Beginning this Passover will start the first of four blood moons, all occuring on Jewish Feasts of Passover and Tabernacle.
  2. Picture: Blood Moons Illustrated.
  3. In 2014, there are two solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses as follows.

2014 April 15, Total Lunar Eclipse (Passover)

2014 Oct 08, Total Lunar Eclipse (Tabernacles)

 

 

  1. The Next year, 2015, the same will happen, except for one unusual event, a total solar eclipse just 2 weeks before Passover.

2015 April 04 Total Lunar Eclipse (Passover)

2015 Sept 28 Total Lunar Eclipse (Tabernacles)

2015 Mar 20: Total Solar Eclipse

2015 Apr 04: Total Lunar Eclipse

2015 Sep 13: Partial Solar Eclipse

2015 Sep 28: Total Lunar Eclipse

 

Gen 1:14

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years

KJV

Ps 19:1-4

9 The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge.

3 There is no speech or language

where their voice is not heard. 

4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

II.                 The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition / Interpretation) says; “When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world.” Therefore: Lunar Eclipse = bad omen for the Jewish people and Israel; Blood Moon = sword coming; Solar Eclipse = bad omen for the world.

    1. Divine       Billboard.
    2. Four, blood moons on Jewish Feast days within       two years in Israel       is very rare and has only occurred seven times since the time of       Jesus. There are now four blood moons scheduled to appear in 2014/2015       and then there will NOT be any for the next 100 years.
    3. It does       not take a total lunar eclipes to produce a blood moon.
    4. Moon can       turn blood by being near the horizon.

 

III.             Peter appears to allude to a solar and lunar eclipes near there date.

Acts 2:16-21

6 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,

your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in the heaven above

and signs on the earth below,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

20 The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

21 And everyone who calls

on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 

    1. “Blood-colored moon” is a well-known phenomenon       observed during lunar eclipses (unlike the solar ones, lunar eclipses       happen when the moon is full) when the moon is not fully covered by the       shadow of the earth, but is fully covered by the shadow of the earth’s       atmosphere. A similar effect can be observed on the earth when the sun is       setting behind clouds on the horizon and only dark red rays fall on an       object.
    2. In A.D.33 a partial lunar eclipse happened when the       moon rose at the night of April 3 – that was exactly the first full moon       after the spring equinox, i.e. on the Passover, as Nissan 15 began. The       eclipse took place from about 6 pm       to 9 pm according to the local       time in the Middle East –What is significant though is that the red moon       was a series of four blood moons. It began on Passover of 32
  1. Total solar eclipse on March 19, AD 33 Picture of Total Solar Eclipse on March 19, 33 AD
  2. Lunar Eclipse April 3, AD 33 Picture of Lunar Eclipse on April 3, 33 AD
    1. Peter was reminding the Jewish leaders of these       solar and lunar eclipse as a sign that God did something great.
       

Luke 21:7

7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

  1. Sun and Moon as signs.
    1. A.     Jesus then gives signs preceding the destruction of the Temple.

Luke 21:25

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.

Matt 24:29

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 

B.     Destruction ofTemple: DestructionAug 4, 70 AD

  1. Total Solar Eclipse on March 30,   70 AD Picture of Total Solar Eclipse on March 30, 70 AD
  2. Lunar Eclipse April 14 70 AD Picture of Lunar Eclipse on April 14 70 AD

 

V. What now?

A.     These four lunar eclipse are even more significant than the time of either Christ or Destruction of the Temple in that they are total lunar eclipses.

B.     What makes them even more important is that a Total Solar Eclipse will take place 2 weeks before the 3rd Tetrad. Total Eclipse on March 20, 2015. It is also called the Kings New Year. Picture of Total Solar Eclipse on March 20, 2015

C.     This is the patterned of Jesus Resurrection.

D.    Something significant will take place after Passover, April 4, 2015.

 

Voting in the Republican Primary

If I were voting the Republican Primary, here is how I would vote:

 

US Senator

John Cornyn

 

Governor

Greg Abbott

 

Lieutenant Governor

David Dewhurst

 

Attorney General

Ken Paxton

 

Commissioner of General Land Office

George P Bush

 

Chief Justice, Supreme Court

Nathan Hecht

 

County Commissioner Precinct 4

Andrew R Haggerty

 

Propositions:

 

No 1 Religious Freedom

For

 

No 2. Concealed Handguns

Against

 

No 3 Margin Tax

For

 

No 4 Drug Testing

For

 

No 5 No lawmaker exceptions

For

 

Regardless of how you vote, get out and vote. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

How I am voting in El Paso

El Paso Elections

Here is how I am voting in the Democratic Primary:

 

Chief Justice for the 8th Court of Appeals

Mario Alberto Gonzalez

 

District Judge, 168th Judicial Court

Marcos Lizzarraga

 

District Judge, 205th Judicial Court

Daniel “Danny” Anchondo

 

CountyJudge

Eddie Holguin, Jr or Aliana Apodoca (I lean toward Aliana Apodoca)

 

State Representative, District 76

Norma Chavez

 

State Representative, District 77

Marisa Marquez

 

State Representative, District 79

Joe Pickett

 

On Immigration Reform

For

 

Living Wage for All Texans

For

 

Non Discrimination

Against (It is a pro gay agenda)

 

I have no strong opinions outside of these choices. Regardless of how you vote, get out and vote. Remember, “Give to Caesars what is Caesars and to God what is God’s.”

Divine Romance

Divine Romance

Eph 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”   32 This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

I. Paul ends his discourse on the sanctity of marriage with “I am talking about Christ and the Church.”

  1. To talk about husband and wife is to talk about God’s divine romance with us.
  2. Paul uses Christ relation ship with us to speak of the relationship of husbands and wives.
    1.   v 22″submit to your husbands as to the Lord”
    2.  v 23 “as Christ is the head of the church,”
    3.  v 24 “Now as the church submits to Christ”
    4.  v 25 “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
    5. v 28 “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”
    6. 6.      v 29 “just as Christ does the church”

 

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”   32 This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church.

  1. The reason we get married is because we are the body of Christ.
  2. The spiritual reason for marriage is that God wanted to display his divine love for us through the divine institution of marriage.

 

II.                Just as male and female need each other, we need God, but surprisingly, God needs us.

  1. God needed an object that could appreciate his love.
  2. Your animals cannot fully understand how much you love them.
  3. Marriage becomes a microcosm of God’s relationship with us. Microcosm–miniature of something larger.

Hos 2:16

16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,

“you will call me ‘my husband’;

you will no longer call me ‘my master.’

III.                Marriage is a picture of God’s divine romance.

  1. Big difference in the relationship of a boss and employee versus husband and wife.

Hos 2:19

19 I will betroth you to me forever;

I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,

in love and compassion.

  1. God wants us related to him in obedience fueled by love, not fear. Slave fears the master. 12 years a slave.

Isa 62:5

as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,

so will your God rejoice over you.

  1. Just married, honeymoon. God wants to have a relationship with us. It’s about the fact that God wanted to be with us.

Matt 9:15

15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them?

  1. Jesus likens his relationship with his followers as a bridegroom.

Matt 22:2

2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

  1. Kings son, Jesus, is to be married.

Rev 19:7

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.

  1. Bride wears white. Righteousness.
  2. God did not create marriage to give us a pleasant means of repopulating the world and providing a steady societal institution for the benefit of humanity. But he planned marriage among humans as another signpost pointing to his own eternal relationship with humanity.

 

IV.             Marriage is an analogy of reconciliation.

  1. If we as believers cannot reconcile with our spouses then how are we pointing to God’s reconciliation of us?
  2. Old rabbinical story: Story of Two brothers: one single and other married. Divided grain, but single brother put more grain in married brothers granary, Married brother did the same. Sacred Marriage: page 30-31. Place where the Temple will be built.

 

V.             Covenant. Not temporary contract.

  1. A.    Marriage—
    1.  wearing rings, (memorial)

Jesus has prints in his hands

2.     feeding the cake, (meal)

Communion

3.     toasting, (drink blood)

Communion

4.     rope, (belt that held the armor)

Put on the full armor of God.

5.     coins, (exchange of gifts, my wealth is yours)

He became poor so you can become rich.

6.     name change. (use my name, call on me)

In my name you can ask me anything

7.     Death do us part.

“I will never leave you or forsake you”

God’s Grace in Marriage

God’s Grace for Marriage

Matt 19:3-12

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’   5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

I.               Why did you get married? So you can be happy or holy. A new view of marriage must be adopted: that God gave you marriage to be holy.

  1. Secular, “Happily ever after.”
  2. Church, “Holy Matrimony.”
  3. In pursuing happiness, we often abandon holiness.
  4. But in pursuing holiness, we often receive happiness.
  5. Motorcycle. You have to counter steer. If you want to go left, you must steer right.

II.                People do one of four things if they are unhappy in their marriage:

  1. Find someone else that will make you  happy.
  2. Fight with the person who makes you unhappy.
  3. Find ways to make yourself less unhappy
  4. Find a deeper meaning in your marriage.

III.             Deeper meaning of marriage.

  1. Creator”. Belief in God and that he made us and the world for a purpose.
    1. Atheists cannot believe in sacred marriage.
    2. “Creator” not simply “God.” Creator means he is the designer.
    3. Marriage is not an accident.
    4. Marriage is not a product of social evolution.
  2. Male and female“. God wanted us to need each other.  Complimentary relationships.
    1. We are creators, but we cannot do it without the opposite gender.
    2. Humility.
  3. “Same Sex Marriage” can never be God’s design.
    1. Homosexuals are prejudice against the opposite gender.
    2. God made us to be complimentary.
    3. See Appendix, Homosexuality.1

Gen 2:18

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Gen 2:22-24

2 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

for she was taken out of man.”

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

IV.  Jesus saw marriage as God joining people together.  God takes it upon himself to unite them.

  1. I once thought marriage took
    Just two to make a go.
    But now I’m convinced
    It takes the Lord also

    And not one marriage fails
    Where Christ is asked to enter
    As lovers come together
    With Jesus at the center

    In homes where Christ is first
    It’s obvious to see
    Those unions really work
    For marriage still takes three.

            Peter Tanksley

B.     Jesus added something not explicitly said in the Genesis account but clearly taught. “God joins a man and woman in holy matrimony.”

  1. God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
  2. God says, “I will make a helper”
  3. God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep.
  4. God makes a woman from Adam’s rib.
  5. God brings the woman to the man.
  6. God is completely responsible for holy matrimony. .

V.              Grace. Trees on the Western slopes of cascade in the state of Washington.

  1. Trees are so old because there is so much rain.
  2. Lightening strikes just as more and usually more, but the trees rarely get destroyed because they are so wet.
  3. Sacrament is God’s rain of grace over a marriage, and even though lightening strikes just as often on Sacred Marriage, and perhaps even more, because Satan attacks sacred marriages more than secular, yet those marriages are not destroy because of God’s grace in their lives.
  4. If I am married only for happiness, and my happiness wanes for whatever reason, one little spark will burn the entire forest of my relationship.

 

1Appendix, Homosexuality

Lev 18:22

22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

  1. Torah (The Law) forbids homosexual conduct.

Matt 5:17

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;

  1. Jesus as a Rabbi, affirms the torah. He even brings it to a higher form (mind and heart).

Matt 10:15

15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

  1. Jesus reminds us of the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodomy, named after this city.

Gen 19:5

5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

  1. Main sin of Sodom was homosexuality.

Matt 19:4-5

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’   5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?

  1. Jesus affirms the obvious, marriage is for male and female.
  2. The fact that the subject of homosexuality never comes up for debate within the gospels speaks louder than if it did. It meant that Jesus and the rest of the rabbis were in full agreement concerning the prohibition of homosexuality.
  3. Jesus never spoke out against pedophilia, or bestiality, or incest.

Finding God in Marriage

Finding God in Marriage 

Matt 19:3-12

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’   5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

I.                   “In the Beginning” Jesus shows the marriage is God-ordained, and it began with Him alone joining together the first couple in marriage.

  1. Tension between the secular and the sacred.
  2. Ruling clergy concentrated on the Law of Moses that came after the institution of marriage. Jesus reminded them that God joins together people in marriage. So if God is greater than man, how could man separate what God has joined.
  3. Moses made a concession because of the hardness of people’s hearts. “Command” v “Permitted.”
  4. Today, law makers do the same.
  5. Ronald Reagan, influenced by Hollywood, signed into law NO FAULT DIVORCE. Other states followed suit.
  6. Tension between the secular and sacred.

II.                Better not to marry than risk being unhappy for life.

  1. Joke, Ant and Elephant, Digging a grave.
  2. Jesus acknowledge that if you have the gift of singleness than use it.
  3. Not everyone can accept this word.” The gift of singleness is not for everyone.

1 Cor 7:7

7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

  1. Singleness is a gift and so is marriage.
  2. Gift is charis, and in charisma. Grace.
  3. Why do some renounce marriage for God’s kingdom? So they could be happy or holy?
  4. Why do some become hermits? So they can become happy or holy?
  5. Why did you get married? So you can be happy or holy?
  6. A new view of marriage must be adopted: that God gave you marriage to be holy.
  7. Married couples have unique ways to grow in the Lord.
    1. Commitment and carrying for another person.
    2. Having children to care for.
    3. Forgiveness.
    4. Interestingly, this dialogue with the Pharisees about marriage is sandwiched between Jesus discourse on forgiveness and His blessing children.
    5. Lesson: when you get married you will have plenty of opportunities to forgive your spouse and when you do so, your children will be blessed.
    6. To err is human; to forgive is divine.

III.             People do one of four things if they are unhappy in their marriage:

  1. Find someone else that will make you  happy.
  2. Fight with the person who makes you unhappy.
  3. Find ways to make yourself less unhappy
  4. Find a deeper meaning in your marriage.

IV.              Four blessings of marriage:

  1. Producing of holy children.

1 Cor 7:12-14

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

  1. Holy outlet for sex.

1 Cor 7:2

2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

  1. Intimate union caused by an exclusive, lifetime commitment between two people. Faith, love, loyalty

Song 8:7

7 Many waters cannot quench love;

rivers cannot wash it away.

If one were to give

all the wealth of his house for love,

it would be utterly scorned.

  1. Sacrament. God joins together two people. Experience the enabling grace of God to keep your vows for life. 

Gen 2:18

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Gen 2:22-24

2 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

for she was taken out of man.”

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

V.                 Jesus view on Marriage:

  1. Jesus added something not explicitly said in the Genesis account but clearly taught. “God joins a man and woman in holy matrimony.”
    1. God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
    2. God says, “I will make a helper”
    3. God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep.
    4. God makes a woman from Adam’s rib.
    5. God brings the woman to the man.
  2. God is completely responsible for holy matrimony.
  3. Animals procreate but they do not enter marriage.
  4. If you had a paten to an invention and someone added something to the invention, is it your paten? Is it your invention?

VI.              Grace. Trees on the Western slopes of cascade in the state of Washington.

  1. Trees are so old because there is so much rain.
  2. Lightening strikes just as more and usually more, but the trees rarely get destroyed because they are so wet.
  3. Sacrament is God’s rain of grace over a marriage, and even though lightening strikes just as often on Sacred Marriage, and perhaps even more, because Satan attacks sacred marriages more than secular, yet those marriages are not destroy because of God’s grace in their lives.