He took inspiration from Paul's story in various portions of Acts, but he started with a little of his personal story. He had been working for the Rutherford Institute, heading up their west coast operations out of Sacramento when they let him know that they needed to scale back, but he could go back east to a DC job they had available. He said he couldn't sleep because even though he loved the idea of stability and the steady pay check, he didn't think this was God's calling for his life. Brad felt God asking him "What is the desire of your heart?" And it was the desire of his heart to represent those on the west coast that were faced with discrimination and violations of their rights because of their faith. He said that the Lord provided for this ministry through donated air time on KWVE for the program "The Legal Edge," and he received donated office space as well. This led him to realize that even though he had his own ideas about his ministry, it would so well to remember that it is God's ministry.
Another point he made from Acts was the manner in which the Lord uses the apostle Paul. When Paul was Saul, he tells the story of how he delivered the brethren (that is early Christians) to prison and death, even traveling to Damascus to round up Christians for transport to Jerusalem. If we didn't know the story already, we might be hoping that the next line goes something like "And God, being angered at this unbeliever's wickedness, smote him where he stood." Which is how we would want to deal with him. But God doesn't always give us what we deserve, he has other plans for our lives. I try to remember this, maybe failing, when I write this blog. I am hoping to persuade always, to not think of the other side as the enemy, but just people who haven't seen the light yet. As a Christian, Brad reminds me that the world is really divided into two groups, those are lost and those who used to be lost. I don't want to give up on reaching out.
Without rerunning the whole sermon, here are the main points:
- Everyone has a story to share.
- As a Christian you will face persecution.
- Never, never, ever give up.
- A woman at a law firm in San Francisco, who was a Christian was badgered into revealing her vote on Proposition 8. When she finally admitted she would be voting for it, she was fired for contributing to a hostile work environment.
- A teacher in the Los Angeles school district was abused for not wearing a red shirt for a day of silence protest in support of the pro-gay agenda.
- In Alameda school district, parents were not allowed to opt out of "anti-bullying" training that aimed to teach kindergartners about transsexuals, even though there had not been one incident of bullying on those grounds and real bullying over race, ethnicity and religion have been reported in the district.
- Brad also discussed the Guatay church case that Dean has blogged about. Local PJI affiliate, Peter Lepiscopo is representing the church.
I urge you to check out the Pacific Justice Institute and support their good work.