Thursday, July 7, 2016

A New Era in My Life (Updated)

Ever since I penned the letter below I have been asked by thousands of people to reconsider my decision to not seek reelection. It has been incredibly overwhelming to hear the response. I have deeply appreciated how many people have expressed to me that they believe I have been their voice on the school board. I do not take that responsibility lightly. As a result, I have been weighed down for the past month as I pray through these requests to reconsider. I have sought counsel from numerous quarters. I have gone back and forth in my own heart and mind.  I have asked many to pray for me.

I want you to know that I have decided to stand by my original decision to not seek reelection. My wife and elders concurred with my original decision. I continue to hold the conviction that my original decision is the correct one.

I know many of you will not understand why I am "giving up the fight." I am not giving up the fight. I am redirecting my time and effort. I am exhausting myself in preaching the gospel. I am spending my time equipping parents and their children to be godly witnesses of Christ in an increasingly hostile society. 

As I considered the many requests I became increasingly dogged by the concern that staying on the board would be giving Christian parents false hope. Why? I do not believe this battle can be won at the school board level. It is lost. The State and Federal governments have co-opted your local schools. They mean to indoctrinate your children in their radical secularism. They mean to cause your children, and Christian teachers and administrators, to bow to their sex gods. I simply can't be part of enforcing that.

It is now law in CA that your children must be taught how to have safe homosexual sex, how to obtain an abortion, and that gender does not correspond to biological sex. Think of that! It is legally required to teach your children the LGBTQ sexual mores while simultaneously illegal to mention God. I can't and won't enforce that foolishness.

I do not know how long Christian teachers and administrators can ethically continue. They will certainly need to increase in their wisdom as they navigate this new legal reality in our state. Please pray for them. I also do not know how Christian parents will afford to find other options for their children. I know they will need to make sacrifices their parents likely didn't have to make. Please pray for them. 

We must wake up to the reality of where our state has headed. We must prepare the church to live as sojourners in a foreign land, a land that feels more foreign by the day. We need to help parents find alternatives to public schools as they disciple their children. We have to shepherd our public school teachers and administrators through wisely and faithfully working in this new legal environment. There are many challenges that face us. I have not given up the fight. I have chosen to direct my efforts fully to these pastoral responsibilities.

Thank you for 12 years of trust. I am deeply grieved that our state has moved us to this point. In the midst of all of this, I am deeply encouraged that Jesus is in his temple and on his throne. 

For His Glory,

The following is the letter I sent to my congregation on June 2, 2016:

Dear Sovereign Grace,

I am sitting here in my home having just returned from a Kern High School Board of Trustees meeting. I have almost never discussed my role on the board with you. I intend to change that with this letter.

You are a congregation that has graciously endured my often well-known public disputes regarding political issues. You have graciously allowed me to attempt to love my neighbor through that public service, while also being your pastor. You have done me the great service of not bringing up my board responsibilities at church and left me free to be a pastor. I am sure there are times you believe I represented you well. I am sure there are times when I have not represented you well. You have been gracious on all occasions. You have corrected me graciously when necessary. You have encouraged me greatly when needed. I am deeply thankful for the incredibly mature and kind way you have stood with me as a brother in Christ and as a pastor. The 12 years I have served on the board have been made bearable by you.

Today, I sat in a meeting as our board voted to bring into our district policy the full spectrum of the LGBTQ agenda. I realized as I listened to the numerous legal justifications and requirements that board members uphold these deeply offensive and immoral laws that I can no longer serve in this role. I am a Christian pastor above all else. I could not vote for these policies. I can not remain on a board to enforce these policies. I spoke out against the board voting for this. I called on them to realize that they will answer to God on this vote, and they should fear Him more than the state. I did not prevail.

I plan to address further my own personal realization that government education has been hijacked as a cause for the indoctrination of your children in nihilism, hedonism, and atheism. I will also address more my realization that I was naive not to think this was the only direction government education could go. I am not calling Christian teachers to abandon their posts. By all means, please keep being a light in a dark place as long as you ethically can. I am encouraging you to find other means to educate your children. Please know that this is my advice and not God's law, nor an official declaration of our church. We believe in Christian liberty. However, I can tell you after 12 years of sitting through meetings that public education means to indoctrinate your children in anti-Christian ideology.

With that said, I will not be seeking reelection to the Kern High School District Board. I will give all my time and effort to being a pastor in our church. I will also be helping look for alternatives for Christian parents to educate their kids. I am called to preach the gospel. I am called to pray for you and minister to you. My time as a public school board member has come to an end. I am very much at peace with this decision. While I am not optimistic about the future of our country, I am deeply optimistic about the future of Christ's church. Jesus will build his church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

For His Glory,

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