The right sermon for the right time.

Earlier this week, I was invited on NPR’s All Sides with Ann Fisher to discuss President Trump’s decision to reverse Obama-era guidance to interpret the word “sex” to include gender identity and expression.

Not only was President Obama’s guidance a blatantly unconstitutional way of enacting law, but his interpretation was dangerous and based on junk science. Under his policy, a man could claim to be a woman and have access to women’s private facilities – like restrooms, locker rooms, and showers.

You can listen to the clip here.

As you’ll hear, the last caller and the other guest on the program were…not too happy with me. 

This interview reminded me that today is a time for Christians to be compassionate and courageous in our culture. The temptation to start yelling back in this interview was great – especially when the host called Alliance Defending Freedom a “hate group” and a caller told me to “DROP THE RUSE!”

Yet going into the interview, I kept thinking about Chief Kelvin Cochran and the sermon he gave at Genoa Church in Westerville a few weeks ago. As you may know, Chief Cochran was fired from his job as the Fire Chief of Atlanta for publishing a devotional for his church that included one page on a biblical sexual ethic.

I cannot encourage you enough to take 30 minutes to watch his sermon (after his sermon, you’ll also see me interview Lt. Governor Mary Taylor on the harms of Issue 1).

There are 3 things that stand out to me about Chief Cochran’s story that I think are essential for our Christian witness today:

1.      He did his job excellently. Chief Cochran was recognized as one of the leading experts on firefighting in the nation. He worked as unto the Lord, being his very best. It made his termination all the more absurd because his accusers could hold nothing against him, except for his faith in Christ.

2.      He did not curse his accusers. Watch his sermon. Watch his interviews. I challenge you to find one place where he expresses anger towards his accusers. Try to find one place where he rants about their bigotry and hatred towards him. You won’t. What you will find is him speaking clearly and unapologetically about God’s Word and truth. This is a reminder that we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness.

3.      He persevered to the other side. Chief Cochran lost his livelihood. His reputation was destroyed. There was no guarantee that he would ever be able to find work again. Yet he remained faithful to God’s calling and has made it through to the other side – even winning a $1.2 million settlement against the city of Atlanta! I’m not saying every one of our stories will end with millions of dollars on this side of life, but certainly the reward for our faithfulness pays great dividends on the other side.

Be encouraged, brothers and sisters!

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