Will Preaching the Word Soon Be Illegal?


In the news recently, on April 19, 2018, it was said "California Bill AB 2943 has passed."

According to this law, the church can no longer preach or teach that homosexuality is a sin or wrong behavior and cannot try to correct that behavior. Even psychotherapy for gender dysphoria is against the law.

Somebody on Facebook correctly opined "Editing the Bible would be the next logical step."

"By a vote of 50-18, the California Assembly approved a bill on Thursday April 19, 2018 telling churches and others with traditional beliefs about gender and sexual orientation that advocating their views could get them sued. AB 2943 declares "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual" is illegal under state's consumer fraud law. Assembly Floor Vote: 50-18" (California Family Council).

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Now, this article is not about homosexuality, but a concern that churches and or individuals could possibly be sanctioned for preaching from the Bible. I would have had the same concern if a law was passed that said a person could be sued for preaching on the biblical practice of "tithing" or that "Jesus is the only way to heaven".... you get the point.

The fact that this assembly voted against Free Speech, which abridged the First Amendment, shows how far the radical left will go to enact tyrannical rule. These are the same people who speak against the church and or Christians being involved in the public square and accuse such concerned citizens of trying to institute a "theocracy" or to have dominion over them.

The truth is, they try to frame the narrative this way to hide the fact that they are the ones who desire dominion and autocratic ideological rule over society. (I don't know one Christian leader who believes the institutional church should have political rule over the nation—church history has demonstrated that to be a disaster.) On the contrary, it was the original founders of the U.S. who made sure the Constitution included the principles of freedom of religion and free speech (the First Amendment). They enacted this and other principles, such as the nation being governed by three jurisdictional branches: the executive, Congress and the judiciary, all to counterbalance each other so that power is never centralized in one branch of government.

The framers wrote such august principles because they had a biblical (Judeo/Christian) worldview that informed their political theory (the fact that Christianity should not be spread and or enforced by the sword led to freedom of speech, religion and the First Amendment) as well as the biblical belief in original sin and moral depravity—which led them to have several branches of government that counterbalanced each other to prevent an oligarchy (by the judiciary) or a maniacal leader from exerting tyrannical rule (the executive branch or the presidency).

These various branches of government arise from the de-centralized form of government found in Scripture. (Exodus 18:19-23 showed the executive and congressional branches in principal; and Deuteronomy 17:9-20 showed the executive and judiciary working together in principle). Consequently, the Jewish tribes were not held together by a despotic king as the other nations around them were, but by a shared vision and values based on their covenant with God. Hence, their family and tribal leaders diligently taught their children the Torah (Deut. 6:6-9), which was distilled down to the populace, so their nation was held together by virtue (the fear of God) more than mere rule of law.

What this means for the USA today is ominous—the seeds of our own destruction (as it was with ancient Israel) are already built into our national Constitution because of the biblical values of freedom of speech and religion (especially the New Covenant espoused by Jesus and the apostles), which grants the same religious and free speech rights to Christian and non-Christian alike (including those antithetical to Christianity). Thus, the constitutional system is built upon a meritocracy so that those who have the most compelling ideas will lead.

When the church abandons culture and the general culture espouses an unbiblical (immoral) national ethos (the former leads to the latter), both the Constitution and the nation can collapse, since they are held together by the common values of decency, love for neighbor and respect for all human beings, which leads to the common value of fighting for life, liberty and justice—as the American way.

This lack of national virtue (due to Christians dividing the gospel and abandoning culture to focus on personal blessing) can eventually lead to making the very book responsible for the ideological framing of our constitution (the Bible) illegal. This is not farfetched, because if this law is passed in the state of California it can eventually spread to other progressive "copy states" and permeate the national conversation, leading it to be the law of the land (which essentially means making the unedited Bible and the preaching of the Bible illegal!).

That being said, since this law primarily rests upon "free speech" and not gay rights—it will probably eventually be shot down because the courts have historically sided with free speech, even when said free speech was horrific (like the Westboro Baptist church who had signs that said "God hates [expletives]" which were not only unbiblical but a disgrace to humanity!).

In conclusion, one radical segment of society is getting bolder and more influential in their attempt to eradicate both the Bible and biblical Christianity from both the USA and Western civilization. If the overall church doesn't wake up and serve humanity and influence culture (the way the generation of the original framers did) we may find the Bible outlawed the way it was in Russia, China and all tyrannical, atheistic nations that fear not God nor respect the fundamental rights of humankind.

Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.

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