Unregistered Baptist Fellowship addresses Houston Confrontation

By Greg Dixon – The-Trumpet-Online.com –

Many think because Anise Parker, lesbian Mayor of Houston, dropped the subpoenas for the five pastors to turn in sermon transcripts, notes, e mails, etc., that the war is over. But it is just entering the second round because now the focus is pertaining to her legislation and court battle regarding a city Equal Rights Ordinance passed by the City Council last summer granting special rights to transgenders, which would include same-sex rest rooms which was what the issue was about to start with. However, Parker, being in her third term as mayor, two of them having been won by election, is a seasoned politician by now, and was willing to throw the preachers their bone, by withdrawing the subpoena’s to preserve the bigger issue which has not been lost yet from her point of view. According to both CBS and WND, even though a petition drive seems to be enough to recall the ordinance Parker’s supporters are trying to decertify many of the petitioners.

According to news reports there had been a great outcry among the pastors of Houston, including the black alliance who said that this was not a civil rights issue and the five pastors that had been attacked personally. Amid the protest, city officials at first doubled down, with Parker stating, “If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game.” Under a state and nation wide siege she and her attorneys then changed their wording from sermons to speeches, a move ADF legal counsel Joe La Rue said was “wholly inadequate.” Many also thought some of the five were strange targets in that they included a Vietnam pastor, and a Cuban woman, both who had fled to America from police states. Also many were wondering why no black pastors were targeted.

Even though it is only right that all pastors and Christian believers stand up for these pastors and the City of Houston in this Sodomite onslaught, in my opinion we need to keep this entire issue in the proper perspective.

The Unregistered Baptist Fellowship at their meeting on Oct. 20-22 in their resolution on behalf of the pastors made it clear that they had violated their own commitment to their 501 (c) (3) contract that they had agreed to when they voluntarily became tax exempt organizations under Title 26 of the IRS Code. Our resolution read thusly at this point:

“Be it Further Resolved that the City of Houston repeal and repudiate its so-called Equal Rights ordinance, since the Bible and natural law teaches that homosexuality is a behavioral choice, and therefore a wicked sin, as much as adultery, stealing, murder, etc. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:26-28).

Be it Further Resolved that the pastors of Houston examine their relationship with the state and make sure it conforms to the Biblical pattern, so that First Amendment rights are not complied (with) by incorporation, 501 (c) (3) tax exemption, and that the light of God’s countenance may be fully upon them.

Therefore, the Unregistered Baptist Fellowship, in the name of the God of the Bible (KJV), hereby rebukes Mayor Annise Parker, and the officials of Houston who have joined with her, in this unjust assault upon religious liberty and freedom of speech; and we stand with these pastors who are trying to check the wicked homosexual agenda in their city.”

Another pastor wrote and put it this way, “Any church so registered has assigned their authority to the regulatory agency known as the IRS. Under the laws of incorporation, any entity registered as a 501 (non profit) is bound by that corporate law. Tragically, the majority of churches are registered.”

Even Mayor Parker understands this principle, let me repeat, she said, “If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game.” Why did she use this term? Do you suppose it is because she can read? If she can read then why can’t the pastor’s read? The IRC Code clearly says: “Individual Activity by Religious Leaders – The political campaign activity prohibition is not intended to restrict free expression on political matters by leaders of churches or religious organizations speaking for themselves, as individuals. Nor are leaders prohibited from speaking about important issues of public policy. However, for their organizations to remain tax exempt under IRC section 501(c) (3), religious leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official church functions. To avoid potential attribution of their comments outside of church functions and publications, religious leaders who speak or write in their individual capacity are encouraged to clearly indicate that their comments are personal and not intended to represent the views of the organization.

IRS Pub. 1828 Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Org.

When preachers agreed to this covenant from hell years ago, they never thought that they would be so hamstrung that they wouldn’t even be able to cry out against men using the same restrooms with little girls. But God and the Devil seem to be the only one’s that know that we are in a gigantic spiritual chess game for keeps.

Where Does the Real Blame Lie?

It certainly does not lie with Pastor Aubrey Vaughan, who was the Pastor of the Unregistered Grace Baptist Church of Houston for many years on Telephone Rd which was what they called “Hell Street.” He fought the Devil and his crowd tooth and nail for over thirty years including the IRS who he whipped all the way back to Washington, D.C. Annise wouldn’t be the mayor of Houston if the pastor’s had followed his advice. But they didn’t. He was too radical for their smooth sermons. He was the lone voice when he stood against benefits for homosexuals, but the pastors wouldn’t stand with him then.

A lesbian is mayor of Houston because of Joel Osteen and his multi-thousand congregation, Ed Young and his mega Second Baptist Church, Mega Ist Baptist, and all of the other huge mega churches in Houston, sitting there raking in their millions while Houston goes to hell. Those preachers said not a word while Parker was running for office. And then in the final analysis it was the so called “Christians” of Houston who stayed home on election day, reading their little devotional and self-improvement books that they bought at the “Christian” book stores instead of going to the polls and voting against this wicked mayor and her cohorts.

By the way, that’s also the reason that we have the present resident of the White House.

 
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Houston, Texas: No Freedom Of Speech For Pastors

By Chuck Baldwin – ChuckBaldwinLive.com –

Thomas Jefferson rightly noted that big cities are the “bane” of freedom. And in a letter to James Madison, Jefferson wrote, “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe.” Modern America is a living testament to Jefferson’s sagacity. Unlike early America, the vast majority of the U.S. population now lives in large metropolitan areas. And it is the big-government machinations of big-city politicians that are leading the charge for America’s surrender to Big Brother. Houston, Texas, is the latest example.

Writing for FOX NEWS, Todd Starnes covers the story:

“The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“‘The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,’ Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. ‘The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.’”

Starnes continues, “‘Political and social commentary is not a crime,’ Holcomb said. ‘It is protected by the First Amendment.’

“The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa. The city council approved the law in June.

“The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures–far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

“However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

“After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

“The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups–from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

“‘City council members are supposed to be public servants, not “Big Brother” overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,’ said ADF attorney Erik Stanley. ‘This is designed to intimidate pastors.’”

Starnes also wrote, “Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity.

“The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over ‘all communications with members of your congregation’ regarding the non-discrimination law.

“‘This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,’ Riggle told me. ‘The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.’

“Rev. David Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, also received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by the mayor.

….Unfortunately, there is absolutely no doubt that the action of Houston city officials is only a precursor of forthcoming acts of tyranny.

Most of us are aware that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a statement saying it was going to begin “monitoring” the sermons of America’s pastors after an atheist organization complained that too many of America’s pastors were violating the conditions of their non-profit tax status under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

 
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Pastors to Lesbian Houston Mayor: Don’t Mess with Texas Preachers

By Bradley Dean – Sons Of Liberty Media –

As I reported on earlier, Houston’s lesbian mayor Annise Parker and her city council have failed to uphold the law. The first failed by allowing her homosexual activities, second in the proposition of a “bathroom bill” that would allow men to use women’s bathrooms, and third by ignoring the law concerning a citizen’s initiative to turn her warped bill on its head. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed and a discovery process has begun as a subpoena has been issued to receive the sermons and communications of many pastors in the area. Now the pastors are speaking out and they have a warning for Parker and her gang: Don’t mess with Texas preachers.

Executive Director of the Texas Pastor Council Dave Welch, one of five pastors who received the subpoena, said he would not be intimidated by Parker nor comply with the city’s demands.

“My answer to that is – bring it on,” he said.

Not one of the five pastors is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed after the citizens’ initiative drew more than three times the required signatures, was certified by the city secretary and then rejected by Parker and the city’s attorney.

Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Starnes, “The government has absolutely no reason to bully congregations who are speaking out about what they believe. It’s none of the government’s business.”

….Mayor Parker pulled a Barack Obama when it came to the subpoena of the pastor’s communications and sermons. According to Attorney Feldman, Parker had nothing to do with the subpoenas and that she was never informed. However, when Starnes pressed him on when she became informed, Feldman said, “When you guys broke the story.” Doesn’t that sound just like Barack Obama’s statement, “I learned about it in the news”?

Moore said he couldn’t imagine anyone in City Hall that thought any of this was a good idea and called it “buffoonish” in its strategy.

Moore took time to write a blog post titled Houston, We have a Constitution on Tuesday stating:

“The churches, and pastors, of Houston ought to respond to this sort of government order with the same kind of defiance the Apostle Paul showed the magistrates in Philippi. After an earthquake, sent by God, upturned the prison where Paul and Silas were held, Luke tells us that the officials sent the police to tell Paul and Silas they could go. Paul replied. “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned men who are Roman citizens and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly. No! Let them come themselves and take us out” (Acts 16:37).

A government has no business using subpoena power to intimidate or bully the preaching and instruction of any church, any synagogue, any mosque, or any other place of worship. The pastors of Houston should tell the government that they will not trample over consciences, over the First Amendment and over God-given natural rights.

…the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever.”

 
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City of Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermons

By Todd Starnes – Tea Party Patriot News –

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”….

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said pastors around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers.

“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” Perkins told me. ‘Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”

….The pastors I(Starnes)spoke to tell me they will not comply with the subpoena – putting them at risk for a “fine or confinement, or both.”

Heaven forbid that should happen. But if it does, Christians across America should be willing to descend en masse upon Houston and join these brave men of God behind bars.

Pastor Welch compared the culture war skirmish to the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, fought in present-day Harris County, Texas. It was a decisive battle of the Texas Revolution….
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