Greetings, on this cloudy and springlike Sunday, dear reader. I am close to finishing my sixth article, in the Christian Evidences topic series. Weeks of occasional research -- to filter and select volumes of information into a relatively brief article -- have been taking more time than I'd thought. (Of course, the writing of 14 articles, since 12/9/2022, has occupied time.) I want my succinct words, in my forthcoming sixth article, in the Christian Evidences series, to live after I'm enjoying the everlasting realm.
This article, however, is a sidetrack, into the Worldviews in Conflict topic section. This is my ninth article for that section.
This article will mention the reaction of “Knox Pride” to a recent Tennessee bill, which, as of this date, awaits the Governor's signature, to become law. God's Pride overrules “Knox Pride,” as the conclusion will state.
The Tennessee House and Senate Bills
The specific location, on the Tennessee General Assembly website, is the 113th General Assembly, 2023-2024, HB0001/SB0001. Clicking the “Summary” and “Votes” buttons will show the details therein. The “Summary” states, in part that the bill:
. . . establishes prohibitions related to the performance on minors of certain medical procedures related to gender identity, creates private causes of action for violations, and establishes additional penalties for violations.
That website confirms, in the House, that all 75 Republicans and seven Democrats voted in favor, while 16 Democrats voted against. In the Senate, all 27 Republicans voted in favor, while all six Democrats voted against.
The reason escapes me, as to why such a bill is needed and why anyone would oppose the bill. The reason should escape anyone, who has the biblical worldview. Apparently, the bill is needed, to stand against some, who have a non-biblical worldview. The thought saddens me.
Media sources have been carrying news on the bill. I have listened, with passing interest, to the local television news.
This article notes website coverage by three local television stations. They are listed chronologically, by original publication date.
First, see “Tennessee Senate passes bill that would ban drag shows on public property,” by WBIR Staff, on WBIR-TV, Knoxville, TN, published 1/31/2023, updated 2/16/2023. The article states facts and details.
It, however, includes “Related Articles,” which are:
'We proclaim love' | Knox Pride Interfaith leaders speak on anti-trans and anti-drag show protests
Knox Co. Commission meeting erupts in community outrage over drag shows, KCSO incident at McAlister's
'A Drag Queen Christmas' goes on at Tennessee Theatre despite anti-drag demonstration
The “Related Articles,” unfortunately, present rare viewpoints that affirm the bill and the reason for it, while highlighting viewpoints that oppose the bill. The “Related Articles” are, therefore, biased.
Second, see “Tenn. House passes bill banning gender-affirming care: The bill passed in the House by a vote of 77-16 and now heads to the governor’s desk.” By Daniel Smithson, Tony Garcia, and Ryan Breslin, on WVLT TV 8, Knoxville, TN, published 2/13/2023, updated 2/24/2023. The concise article states the facts, with no viewpoints, bias, or “spin.” The article states that the ACLU plans to file a lawsuit against the bill – as if anyone thought that usually liberal bastion of immorality would not.
Finally, see “‘I thought better of Tennessee’ Knox Pride dismayed after drag, trans bills passed,” by Hope McAlee, on WATE TV 6, Knoxville, TN, published 2/23/2023. This article expresses an obvious bias against the bill. The writer focuses on an interview with and comments by Knox Pride CFO, Nathan Higdon – who advances an agenda that is a non-biblical worldview.
As a disheartening note, the “Knox Pride” website, under Spiritual Resources, lists eighteen churches, some of which are not in Knox County, that support its non-biblical agenda.
Moral pride in Knoxville and Knox County, Tennessee, can be found, as biblically moral citizens support biblically moral causes. “Knox Pride” is certainly named incorrectly – since it takes pride in certain points of biblical immorality. Knox Pride (a tax-exempt non-profit) promotes “inclusion and equality for the LGBTQ+ . . . .“ Merriam-Webster defines that acronym as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, plus (others).”
Chapter eleven of the New Testament epistle to the Hebrews is rightly called the Hall of Faith. In forty verses, the inspired author defines faith, honors nine people of faith, mentions six other people of faith, and encourages the Hebrew Christians to continue in faith.
Verses 13 -16 summarize the living faith of those, whom the author had mentioned to that point. Their faith looked for a heavenly country, a heavenly city. The conclusion of verse sixteen is:
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews. (NIV)
God was not ashamed of those people of faith! He had pride in them. Their lives demonstrated their active and saving faith in Him.
I suggest the reading of Hebrews 11:1 - 12:3, in the context of that epistle and in the context of the entire Bible. Verse 38 indicates that the righteous (or just) “will live by faith.” The reference is to Habakkuk 2:4, in the Old Testament. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the apostle Paul cited the same Old Testament reference, in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11.
I don't know about you, dear reader, but I want God to be proud of me – now and at the last judgment. I make no claim to perfect faith. As the boy's father stated, in Mark 9:24, I too have stated, to the Lord:
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (NIV)
The entire context is in Mark 9:14-29. Jesus healed the father's son, even when the father's faith was weak.
The greatest challenge to my faith was shortly after my wife and I had returned from our five years as missionaries in Russia. My article of 2/15/2009 is in my “Articles of Note” section for a reason. My faith has been challenged, deepened, and grown stronger. I sin daily (especially by my strong-willed, Irish temperament). I seek God's forgiveness daily. He forgives me. I do not, however, live in sin as my lifestyle. Daily, my faith leads me along the biblical path.
Any reader, who wishes to converse with me further, is welcome to contact me, by means of my “Contact Form.” Our conversation will be of mutual respect and understanding. I will not “thump a Bible over your head” or deride any reader. As one poor beggar, who has found the Bread of Life, however, I will try to help you find Bread also, with respect and understanding.
Two articles, in my Worldviews in Conflict topic section, had come to mind, when I had started this article. They are:
my 6/26/2022 article; see under the “LGBTQ Pride Month” section;
and my 12/15/2022 article, which affirms that God's law on marriage overrules secular law.
I have re-read those articles. This article stands by and affirms those words.
The apostle Paul stated:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed —a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17, NIV)
“Inclusion and equality” are noble words. Unfortunately, they are often co-opted and used euphemistically, as propaganda, to coerce acceptance of unbiblical worldviews.
God seeks “inclusion and equality,” in His kingdom, for everyone, who comes to Him in biblically-based, trusting, and active faith. We are all equal, since we are all created in God's image (Genesis 1:27). Inclusion into God's kingdom, however, is by faith. Inclusion (by persuasion or force) into societal acceptance is secondary. Society should not accept as right what God calls wrong. Inclusion into God's kingdom is the right choice.
How have you chosen, dear reader? I will be delighted to respond to any comments or contacts. May the God of all wisdom guide each of us.