A Winning Strategy for Combatting California AB 2943

By Denise Shick – BarbWire guest contributor

In an August 17 vote that surprised no one even remotely familiar with the subject, the California Senate passed AB 2943, a bill that will prohibit churches, ministries—virtually anyone—from trying to help people caught up in homosexual or transgender lifestyles. We knew, and I predicted—with no need for great prophetic skills—that when California’s Assembly passed the bill, the state’s senate would soon follow suit. I also predicted back then that California’s Governor Jerry Brown would sign it. It’s still a safe bet to stand by that prediction. So, barring miraculous intervention, AB 2943 will be enacted as law in California.

So what now? What should ministries like Help 4 Families, Living Stones and so many others that seek to help the sexually broken do? Should we abandon people like Angel Colon, a survivor of the horrendous Pulse Nightclub massacre who told reporters, “While recovering in the hospital I had time to reflect. I learned about forgiveness. Lord,” he said, “I choose you. You are the only man I want to be in love with. You are the only one I want to be in a relationship with.” Should the person who told Angel of God’s sacrificial love and forgiveness through Jesus have been silenced? How should we respond to these government censorship efforts?

First, we pray. Really pray!

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Please, let’s not be guilty of saying, “All we can do now is pray,” and then offer up a quick “Lord, help us,” and then resume strategizing. Pray, friends! Set aside at least a couple 20-minute breaks per day to pray. Learn the names of California Assembly and Senate leaders and pray by name for their hearts to be changed. Yes, they’ve already passed the bill, but who’s to say the God of miracles could not prompt them to pass another bill that overrides 2943? And don’t pass on the opportunity to pray for the seemingly unprecedented miracle of Governor Brown choosing not to sign the bill into law. I can think of at least a few even more unlikely miracles revealed in the Bible.

Next, some have called for civil disobedience—for continuing our efforts despite the new law, for being willing to be arrested. When Peter and John were arrested for preaching the gospel, they replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” So, civil disobedience is a viable option. But if you choose it, do so fully aware of the consequences, and avoid any violence.

Education will continue to be a key component in the struggle. People need to know that falling into unusual sexual lifestyles is not inescapable. People need to learn of the real dangers inherent in many abnormal sexual practices. People need to hear real-life stories of families shattered by sexual addictions. People need to be made aware of real-life testimonies from people who were delivered from such addictions.

Most people are unaware—simply because their lives are too busy to pay attention to such things—until they learn that a loved one is homosexual or transgender. Most people have heard little more than the progressive line that homosexuality and transgenderism are simply alternative lifestyles that deserve to be not only accepted, but also celebrated.
Of course, as we move forward, that education very well could mean committing the civil disobedience I referred to above. So, to help in that regard, we will need to continue to frame this debate as one of free-speech rights, which it absolutely is. If the state government grants itself the authority to stifle our right to speak of Jesus’ bondage-breaking power, then what other discussions will it suppress? Broadening the debate to a First Amendment free-speech right will reach far more people.

Many might not care a whit for our right to help the sexually broken, but they will care about their right to speak out for or against immigration issues, or a host of other political hot-buttons. As important as the specifics of this issue are for us, right now they mean little to most who have never been personally touched by them. But it’s likely they are concerned about some issue that is controversial. So what, we must ask them, happens when the government’s slide down the slippery slope of censorship shuts them up?

Denise Shick is the author of My Daddy’s Secret and Understanding Gender Confusion: A Faith Based Perspective.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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