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Framing Today's Issues for Contemporary Biblical Christians
Pastor Joe Fuiten here, asking you once again to consider taking a stand for righteousness in Washington State. The consequences of not doing so are huge because it risks the safety of every woman and child under our charge. I can not emphasize this enough. We have battled together many times over the years, including many losses. We can not afford to lose this one!
Please read the following message from a fellow pastor here in WA who has personally sacrificed a great deal to fight for the safety and dignity of our wives and daughters. I join several other faith leaders across the state in an enthusiastic endorsement of his message. Please do take the time to read it. It's that important.
Yours for the Kingdom,
Withstand. Stand firm. Keep standing.
Greetings Pastors, Church Leaders and Fellow Washingtonians,
In a cold damp pit in the ground, through his last known correspondence, the Apostle Paul wrote to his dear young disciple, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
These words rang true for the apostles: all but one of them was martyred. The early church knew this truth also, facing lions rather than proclaiming Caesar to be lord. During the American Revolution, many clergy heralded the Word
of God from the pulpit then donned their uniforms and led their men into battle.
As a pastor, I share this with you, not out of compulsion; rather, I hope to encourage you to apply that same faith as you prayerfully consider how God is calling you to respond to our own cultural and spiritual challenges.
Today, we are confronted with a more rudimentary threat to the faith, a wholesale rejection of the God-ordained natural order.
Our society is engaged in a great debate about whether the words "male" and "female" really mean anything at all, and if it is permissible for men, who are confused about their gender, to be allowed to shower with young girls. The Washington State Human Rights Commission (WA-HRC) declared this is not only okay, but it is now a statewide requirement under WAC 162-32.
Further, when the new rule was enacted on December 26, 2015, they also made it illegal for businesses to maintain sex-specific facilities, and they took away parents' reasonable expectations that their children's privacy and safety will be protected while using public school restrooms and locker rooms. As you consider these things, I hope you will ask yourself the same question I have wrestled:
"What if one, just one, little girl from my church was
victimized and violated by a predator who chose to
exploit the loopholes in this new statewide rule?"
I believe the answer is clear. The very thought of not doing something to counter a law that would allow men such unfettered access to little girls, strikes terror in my heart. If it's not our duty to defend the vulnerable, whose duty is it?
Today, I would like to invite you to join me and other Washington state pastors in doing something to right this wrong. Specifically, I'm writing to you today to ask for your support and participation with a grassroots group of concerned Washingtonians called
Just Want Privacy
, who filed I-1552 to reverse the WA-HRC mandate and defend both truth and girls.
In order to get I-1552 on the November ballot, they have the Herculean task of collecting 330,000 signatures of registered Washington voters before July 7th of this year.
One might anticipate that such an endeavor would compel the church of Christ to step out in the spirit of power, love, and self-control, to boldly rise to help the folks at Just Want Privacy stand against this insidious threat. Unfortunately, for such an assumption you would be sadly mistaken.
Less than 10% of the churches within Washington State have been willing to take petition sheets to help reverse this madness.
Why the anemic response? Perhaps, it's the pervasiveness of a godless culture/media, social pressure from academia and governmental institutions, the consumer-orientation of many who sit in the pew...Yes, all these are real factors.
But there is something more basic. I am sad to say that a spirit of fear has swallowed the hearts of many in our pulpits. Brothers, we have become the lesser sons of a great historic legacy. In the name of inclusion, many in our ranks have self-censored their own voices from the public arena, thereby separating from God in the area of laws, and leaving God's people ill-equipped and having to fend for themselves in their classrooms, work-places, etc. Meanwhile, a radical, secular voice is filling the void where once men of God spoke the Word of God to the people of God with the courage and fire of their convictions.
We need to walk by faith with a pen and a petition.
The path for getting Initiative 1552 on the ballot is pretty straightforward: every Washington church gathers signatures among its own members and commissions those who are compelled to take petitions to the streets.
Financial support is also needed to support the courageous people who are already working on the front lines, including so many volunteers who are investing their time and personal resources, while also coming under constant attack for doing what is right and good.
They need our love, prayers, and friendship. We, above all, are men who will give account for how we have led and inspired those given to us by the Lord. Our congregations look to us to model the boldness and courage we seek to inspire in them. If each of us did our part, we could have this done in a single Sunday!
Let's get this job done. If we don't, who will?
- Get your congregations involved. Request enough petitions for every member of your church to sign by submitting a request form here. Consider ordering extras and challenging your congregations to join a local volunteer team to get them filled.
- Consider a generous financial contribution. Nearly every initiative you see on the ballot is there because a millionaire decided to fund a robust signature gathering effort to put it there. I-1552 doesn't have a millionaire. It has us. The more money we contribute, the more likely it will be for I-1552 to succeed.
- Boldly spread the word. Don't be afraid to take a stand. Follow Just Want Privacy on Facebook and share their posts with your friends. So many people in WA still do not even know this is an issue. Please do your part to help change this!
A bold defense of truth and the dignity of women is not a political issue; it's a spiritual one.
As Senator James Lankford said, "The problem is not the presence of darkness; it's the absence of the light."
Brothers, and all people of the faith, the preservation and stewardship of our churches, families and state is us. It's time to rise and shine.
Please join us by offering your enthusiastic support of I-1552.
Pastor Aaragon Markwell, First Baptist Church, South Bend
Pastor Emeritus Joe Fuiten, Cedar Park Church, Bothell
Pastor Jim Kennington, Lake City Community Church, Lakewood
Pastor Walt Kellcy, First Baptist Church of Lakewood
Pastor Kismet Kecheijan, Trinity Church, Lakewood
Pastor Scott Fennell, Tillicum Baptist Church, Lakewood
Pastor Ric Fritz, RanD Ministries
Pastor Ric Glomstad, Sylvan Way Baptist, Bremerton
Pastor David Turner, Community Baptist Church Rosalia
Pastor Kevin Lea, Calvary Church, Port Orchard
Pastor Tito Lyro, Olympia Bible Presbyterian Church, Olympia
Pastor Jon Sanne, Calvary Chapel Olympia, Olympia
Deacon Vasily Bill Hinkle, The Prophet Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission, Ellensburg
Pastor Jeff Adams, Paramount Christian Church, Lacey
Pastor Edwin Iverson, Holy Trinity Church, Colville
Pastor Tim Wall, Macedonia Baptist Church, Colfax
Pastor Kostyantyn Kachmarchik, First Ukrainian Baptist Church, Federal Way
Pastor Sergei Kuzmin, Russian-Ukrainian Adventist Church, Federal Way
Pastor Rob Rayburn, Faith Presbyterian Church, Tacoma
Pastor David Scott, Resurrection Presbyterian Church, Puyallup
Erik Engstrom, Foothills House of Faith, Maple Valley
Rick Forcier, Executive Director, Christian Coalition of Washington