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Keeping an open door for the preaching of the Gospel

By Angela Wittman

In my previous editorial I gave a brief introduction to the book “The Ladies of the Covenant: Memoirs of Distinguished Scottish Female Covenanters, Embracing the Period of the Covenant and the Persecution” written by Rev. James Anderson and published in 1850. My hope is to introduce you to the women who lived during the period of the Reformation (from the 1500’s through the 1600’s) in Scotland and also during the most intense time of persecution, known as “The Killing Times” (1680 – 1688). It is reported that approximately 18,000 men, women and children died for their Christian faith during this brief time.

Christians can prosper from the testimony of those who have faced difficult times and held fast to their faith. The faithful witness of those who were persecuted and martyred for their testimony of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will strengthen and encourage us as we see our culture becoming less tolerant of Christianity.

I pray we will use the examples set by the “Ladies of the Covenant” as we seek to once more influence our culture for Christ. Let us now look at a recent event here in America and see what we can do to protect our ministers and preachers of the Gospel.

On Thursday, May 3rd, which was the National Day of Prayer, the U.S. Congress passed the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007.” At the time of this writing, an identical bill, Senate Bill 1105 is pending in the Committee on the Judiciary. Both of these bills are highly controversial due to their expansion of federal authority over state prosecution of criminals, the elevation of some crime victims over others, and the encroachment upon freedom of speech. But as Christians, I think our main opposition to these bills should be for the restraints they will place upon preachers of the Gospel. Laws similar to this have already been used to persecute Christians and Field Preachers, (e.g. a group of eleven Christians were arrested and charged under Hate Crimes legislation in October of 2004 for attempting to evangelize homosexuals during their annual “OutFest” in Philadelphia, Pa). Another concern is if a person were to commit an act of violence against a homosexual, and he had previously heard a pastor preaching against homosexuality, the pastor may be prosecuted for inciting violence.

President Bush’s advisers have said that if this legislation comes before him, he will veto it. What can we do to help see that this happens? First of all, we can fast and pray for the LORD to have mercy upon America, forgive our sins and to keep an open door for the preaching of the Gospel. We can then write letters “to the editor” to inform others of this legislation; contact our U.S. Senators and ask that they vote against the Hate Crimes bill; and then call the White House comment line (202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414) and encourage Pres. Bush to veto this legislation.


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