I am a local Pastor here in Jacksonville, Fl. I am deeply concerned about the Human Rights Ordinance that the City Council is currently considering. It is especially troubling that the City Council meetings that I have listened to very carefully are leaning towards passing this Ordinance. The undo political pressure the City Council will be placing on the Church's outreach ministries such as Day Care services, Christian Schools and Christian Colleges is no small matter. The City Council is attempting to take the authority away from God on the subject of morality and in fact replace His Word with their own word. As Christians we are bound to "obey every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (1 Peter 2:13), and we are also bound to "obey the Lord rather than men" (Act 5:29). It is our earnest desire to live at peace with all men without strife or contention. Yet the City Council is attempting to force the Church to accept a lifestyle that is strictly forbidden in God's Word.
Moreover to continue to insist that any view that is contrary to the HRO ordinance is anti-gay is deceptive. We simply are not anti-God. We believe that His word is eternal and He alone has the right to tell us what is morally acceptable or not. The City Council has no right to force the view of the minority onto God's people. The Church has always loved the poor, the under privileged, the outcast of society, and the sinner. Christ himself was known as the friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19). While Jesus Christ loved the sinner He never embrace or endorsed their sin. We have had people from every walk of life attend our Church, including those from the homosexual community, and we have treated everyone with respect and genuine Christian love. No matter what the City Council does we will still loving reach out to everyone and share the good news of God's amazing love and grace and declare unto them the High and Holy moral obligations that God himself requires of us all.
The Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, makes it crystal clear concerning the separation of the Church and the State. I will refer you to Amendment 1 "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech..." The City Council is attempting to open a back door to circumvent the very freedoms that our great Nation has provided for over 230 years! There is no telling what the next step will be against the Church. Will the City Council subpoena sermons like they did in Houston, Texas? Will they pass an ordinance stating "you must hire so and so" or you cannot have a church at your current location? Will the City Council insist that we embrace and endorse other sinful lifestyle choice such as, adultery, abortion, fornication, or drunkenness? Where does it stop? Why is this issue no more or less important to the City Council than any other immoral lifestyle choice? The very fact that the Council has exemptions for businesses with 14 employees or less proves that it is not about businesses but about the Church. Why should a business be aloud to reject serving a homosexual couple if they have only 14 employees?
Please reconsider your attempt to diminish the Church's moral influence on society. The Church is trying to encourage our world to a higher moral lifestyle which benefits our entire City. Remember Jesus said in Luke 12:48 ..."For unto whosoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." And again Jesus said in John 15:22 "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." Councilman Hazouri if you have not repented of your sin and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your enteral life I'm pleading with you to do so. If you have believed in our Lord Jesus Christ by faith then honor Him and His word.
Pastor Tommy Capps