Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oppose Hate Crimes Legislation

Here we go again, it seems like this issue will not go away. Special interest groups just won't give up on trying to pass a law to create a special class of victims under the guise of a "hate crime." When you think of it, aren't most crimes motivated by hate? What people must understand is that ALL victims of crime are already protected under existing laws.

The real intention of hate crimes legislation is to silence those who oppose the practice of homosexuality. Now, before you call me a "homophobe," let me assure you that I have the utmost compassion and concern for anyone who's dealing with this complex and difficult issue. I have taught my church to extend the love of Jesus to those who are struggling in this area. We believe that Jesus died for every one of us and that we are all sinners who must turn from our sins, whatever they are, and place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17, Romans 1:16-17, 1Timothy 2:1-6).

However, the Bible very clearly teaches that practicing homosexuality is sin. Hate crimes legislation will be used to muzzle our voice concerning this issue. A similar law has already been passed in Canada with a devastating effect on churches. Pastors have been prosecuted because they have compassionately taught on this issue. If someone listens to a message that offends them, it can be reported as a "hate crime." I personally know of one ministry that was forced by the Canadian government to cease its ministry to cults and as a result had to move their offices to the United States. One pastor was sentenced to jail time in Sweden (a country that has been known as extremely "open minded") because he preached a sermon on what the Bible says about homosexuality (see CBN story).

It seems that many Americans are forgetting that our country was founded upon the right of freedom of speech. This liberty is subtly being eroded and it appears that if we do not act now we will find ourselves in a politically correct dictatorship which does not allow us to speak freely and practice our religion without restriction.

There is no doubt that hate crimes legislation will threaten churches and pastors who want to "...correctly explain the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

This will not only effect your church and your pastor, it will directly effect you because you will not be able to talk freely about these issues at work or school without the threat of being accused of hate speech and being fined or incarcerated.

Ultimately, the Gospel itself could be considered offensive "hate speech" because it proclaims that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and that other religions do not lead to God. What next, will we not be able to teach what the Bible says about stealing, adultery, or murder?

Is this where we're headed in America? I surely hope not. It has been said that "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." We don't want to see this country, that God has blessed for over 200 years, change like this. Yes, it seems that America has for the most part turned its back on God, but we need to stand in the gap and intercede for our nation. We need to pray for America, we need to reach more people for Christ than ever before, and we need to speak out and work against laws like this that will take away our most basic freedoms that allow us to fulfill the "Great Commission" to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel."

As of Thursday, the current legislation in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1913, has just passed through committee and will be going to the full House for a vote, possibly as early as Wednesday, April 29. I have already contacted my Representative in Congress, you need to do the same. In Arizona, those of you who live in the Northwest Valley are represented by Congressman Trent Franks, who already opposes this legislation. I cannot stress enough the great need to contact other Representatives as well and voice (or email) our opposition to this law.

Support or opposition seems to be going down party lines, with a majority of Democrats supporting it and mostly Republicans opposing it. This means we should try and communicate with as many Democrats as possible, and they are in the leadership positions. It's okay to tell them you oppose this even if they're outside your district.

Any member of the House of Representatives can be located and contacted through and all Senators can be found at The direct line to Congressional switchboard is (202) 224-3121. Contact all of the national leaders, too, and express your opposition.

I would like to suggest a couple of articles that shed more light on these unnecessary laws from Focus on the Family's Citizenlink and the Family Research Council.

This issue is ultimately not about homosexuality; it's about preserving our right to free speech and the practice of our faith. We can no longer take these rights for granted, we have to stand up for them. It seems those who have been preaching tolerance and acceptance aren't practicing it themselves towards Bible-believing Christians. They will not rest until they silence our voices. If we sit back and do nothing, we only have ourselves to blame when it becomes a crime to be openly Christian. Take a few moments and do your part.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Resurrection Weekend

I'm still in awe of what the Lord did over the Easter weekend at Calvary!

During the 6 services at our 2 campuses we had well over 10,000 people in attendance. There were 100 baptisms on Sunday night at the Central Campus and 586 decisions for Christ during the weekend!

I want to personally thank everyone who was involved in making it an exceptional weekend at both campuses.

  • Media
  • Worship
  • Choir
  • Children's Ministry
  • Security
  • Ushers
  • Hosts/Greeters
  • Clean Team
  • Facilities/Maintenance
  • Prayer Room Counselors
  • Bookstore
  • Coffee Shop
  • Deacons
  • Pastors
  • Elders

Please forgive me if I left any group or team out. All of us filled a critical need to make Calvary's Resurrection services a blessed time for everyone who attended which helped in the Lord drawing nearly 600 people into His Kingdom!

Let's keep on reaching this valley and beyond for the Lord Jesus Christ! He could return for His Church at any moment, may we remain His spotless and pure Bride and bring as many into His Kindgom as we possibly can, with all of our ability.

I love being your pastor!

Pastor Mark

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pro-Life Pastor in Jail

I shared this on Grace Mail a couple days ago, but I think it's something worth sharing again. What's happened to our First Amendment right to "Freedom of Speech"? Quoting below from the Family Research Council's recent update:

While sitting in a Birmingham jail--after being imprisoned on Good Friday in 1963 for breaking the law because it violated his moral conscience--a great man wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." That man was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we approach Good Friday 2009, another man sits in prison in Oakland, California for standing outside an inner-city abortion facility with a sign reading, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help you." That man is Rev. Walter B. Hoye.

The wrongful jailing of this peace-loving pastor continues to stoke the fires of the pro-life movement. Conservative African-American leaders are hopeful that Oakland's wrongful incarceration of Pastor Hoye will draw attention to the greater abuse of black women and babies by these so-called "family planning" clinics. On day 15 of his 30-day sentence, Hoye now sleeps on a top bunk in a large cell together with dozens of other inmates. On a juice-only fast, he is faithfully sharing the Gospel with fellow prisoners, some of whom have accepted Christ.

We're asking that you take a few moments to write Rev. Hoye a note of encouragement while he serves his time. You can reach him at Walter B. Hoye II, PFN# BGR852, Santa Rita Jail, 5325 Broder Boulevard, Dublin, California 94568-3309.

More info can be found here from Focus on the Family. Take a little time and write Pastor Hoye a note of encouragement.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passion Week - Resurrection Sunday's Coming!

Hi gang!

I've decided to convert my Israel blog into a regular blog where I plan to post things from time to time. The address is new ( but the Israel archives are still here!

I'm praying for everyone to have a blessed Easter. Tomorrow night we plan to pull out our copy of The Passion and watch it with family and friends to prepare our hearts for Good Friday.

Please join me in praying for this weekend's services, may the Lord bring many new souls into His kingdom and anoint all the services.

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend, don't miss it, and bring a friend! We'll have plenty of space this year with both campuses going during every service!

The Lord bless you!

Pastor Mark