OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


            Sometimes it seems that spiritual things are separated from reality.  We may hear a sermon about a subject that the preacher says is a threat, yet the threat never impacts our life.  We may sit in a class and hear a lesson about an enemy that is supposed to be approaching, but the enemy never surfaces in our daily affairs of life.

            Because this happens, many Christians become desensitized to important lessons proclaimed by the man of God.  They hear the words:  “The sky is falling,” and quickly dismiss the comments, thinking:  “We have heard this before.  It is never happened in the past, and it will not happen now.”

            This was probably how many felt in the days of Noah.  Day after day, Noah built the ark.  Day after day, he warned of an approaching flood that would destroy everything wherein is the breath of life (Gen. 6:17).  A year passed, and nothing happened.  Another and another passed, but there was no flood.  Poor Noah appeared to the a “prophet of doom” who was severely deceived.

            “And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.  In the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up; and the windows of heaven were opened.  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen. 7:10-12).  On the seventeenth day of the second month of the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life, things got very real and very serious.  Noah was no longer looked upon as a foolish man.  As the rains pounded the earth and the flood waters rose above the highest mountains, the situation was both real and serious.

            As a minister, I have often tried to warn brethren that many groups in our world are evil.  These evil organizations are very organized and haven agenda that they are trying to push on our society.  One of these groups is called Equality Florida.  It is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.  This group is a pro Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender group.  This group has recently targeted Atlantic Beach in an effort to supposedly “fight” anti-gay discrimination in Atlantic Beach.

            This group is trying to get an ordinance passed to “solve a problem” that does not exist here.  They want an ordinance passed that prohibits all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or veterans status, in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation.  “Gender identity or expression” is defined as “a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.”

            If this ordinance passes, the work place and public restrooms will be immediately impacted.  Employers will be compelled to permit employees to express their “sexual identity” by dressing and acting appropriate to their shifting sexual identity.  An employee could come to work dressed as a male two days each week and as a female the other three days of the week.  Today, the employer may have hired Mark for a position in the business, only to find out a few days later that he really hired Mary for the position.  This would be a very interesting situation if it happened in a church.    

            Restroom facilities will also be affected by the ordinance.  If Mark comes to work as Mary today, Mary must be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  In addition, employers would have to provide transgender restroom facilities if their employees want to express their transgender feelings.

            If an employee ever feels that his “rights” are not being honored, he can file an accusation against his employer with the Human Rights Commission of Jacksonville.  The Commission would be compelled to investigate the charges.  The employer would incur expensive legal fees to protect himself and his business from the suit.

            There are at least three things that all concerned people can do.  First, they can call, email, or write the Mayor and the City Commissioners and voice their disapproval of this ordinance.  Their names are as follows:  Mayor Carolyn Woods, Commissioner Maria Mark, Commissioner Mark Beckenbach, Commissioner James Hill, Commissioner Jonathan Daugherty, and City Clerk Donna Bartle.  All can be contacted at:  800 Seminar Road, Atlantic Beach, FL  32233.  Second, we can all sign the petition that has been drafted against this ordinance.  A copy of the petition can be found in the foyer this morning.  Third, you can attend the upcoming Commission Meetings and voice your disapproval in person.  The dates of the meetings are:  January 27th, February 10, and February 24th.  They begin at 6:30 p.m. and are held at the City Hall in Atlantic Beach.  (NOTE:  At the first Commission Meeting in November, 57 proponents spoke in favor of the ordinance and only 3 spoke in opposition to it).

            Dear readers, the threat of the LGBT movement making advances in Atlantic Beach is real and serious.  The Mayor and the City Commissioners have been contacted.  Several of them are favorable toward the ordinance.  In their minds, a majority of people in the area desire the ordinance as well.  It is time that we as Christians and concerned citizens rise and voice our opposition to the ordinance.

            It has been said that the surest way for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.  There is much truth in that statement.  This is why the New Testament exhorts us to both stand and fight.  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil….Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand” (Eph. 6:10-11, 13).  And again:  “Fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (I Tim. 6:12). 


(NOTE:  Most of the information in this article comes from an article entitled:  “Common Sense Information about the proposed ‘Sexual Discrimination’ Ordinance”).