June 2017 Ministry Update

Hate Speech = Free Speech!

On June 19, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld an individual’s First Amendment right to express a viewpoint, as outlined in the Free Speech Clause, even if it is allegedly offensive. The context of the ruling was the denial of an application for federal registration of a mark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

An Asian-American music group requested protection for the band-name “The Slants,” and the USPTO rejected the application under the Lanham Act that (unconstitutionally) prohibits trademarks that “disparage . . . bring into contempt, or disrepute” other “persons, living or dead, institutions, [or] beliefs.”

Two main opinions were issued by Justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy. In Justice Alito’s opinion, he rightly points out, “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’ United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644, 655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting).”

Open Doors & Wise Judgment

This is good news for anyone who wants to share the Gospel, which at its core is patently offensive. “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16, KJV).

While Christians have become accustomed to being called “hateful” for proclaiming biblical truths, here is an expanded opportunity to winsomely engage our opponents in the public square. “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6, KJV).

Your investment in prayer, financial gifts, and public discourse all yield important outcomes. “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12, KJV). Thank you for your ongoing support of the NCLL—we have much to celebrate together, even in difficult times!

Please join us in praying through the following concerns this month so that we may not fear but rather trust in God together.

Prayer requests:

  • Pray for a Christian law enforcement officer who was demoted for inviting people to church-sponsored events.
  • Pray for a church in the Southeast that had its school ministry illegally shut down by the city government.
  • Pray for a mother who was saved out of homosexuality and is involved in a custody fight over her biological daughter.
  • Pray for a Christian doctor who is involved in a dispute with his medical board.
  • Pray for a successful outcome in a negotiation between a church and a laid-off employee who is threatening to sue.
  • Pray for senior citizens who have had their common area closed after a resident incident, which has led to the cancellation of a longstanding Bible study.
  • Pray for a Christian school whose certification was mistakenly terminated mid-year.
  • Pray for churches who are having problems obtaining bulk postal rates.
  • Pray for a public service employee who was demoted merely for inviting other workers to a church event.
  • Pray for a California public school teacher with a new administrator who is pushing back on the teacher for living out her faith. The NCLL is standing with her to protect her job and her legal rights.
  • Pray for a family in Washington that is operating a homeschool organization. The NCLL is defending the 300 homeschool families in the organization against the IRS.
  • Pray for a Maryland ministry to the underprivileged that is expanding to minister in another state. The NCLL is guiding them through this growth opportunity.
  • Pray that a Michigan church going through a church split will maintain a good testimony in the community during this difficult time.
  • Pray for a church in Wisconsin that has had four homosexuals request to join for membership. The church is glad for them to attend, but the church wants to protect its institutional integrity regarding membership. The NCLL is working to protect the church’s right to biblically minister in the community.

Praises:

  • Praise the Lord that the NCLL could help a New Mexico church survive major litigation so that the church can keep all its assets.
  • Praise the Lord that the NCLL could present legal seminars in Alabama to train hundreds of pastors to avoid legal problems.
  • Praise the Lord that the NCLL can host the largest homeschool convention in the country, where over 20,000 lives are impacted.

Thank you again for your prayerful partnership in defending life and liberty!