1. How Is a Biblical Christian to Respond in This Election?

    November 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    flag flying

    This has been an incredibly difficult election season. In fact, recent polls indicate that 82 percent of Americans are disgusted with it.

    Sometimes as Christians, we wonder how we can make a difference in a time like this. How do we respond to the vitriol and rhetoric with clear thinking and Christ-like decisions?

    1. Remember your dual citizenship.

    Our first loyalty is not to America but to our King. Patriotic as we may be, we have an eternal homeland:

    For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.—Philippians 3:20–21

    This is good news for the Christian because it gives us a clear perspective to see the issues through a biblical framework and eternal vantage point.

    As a pastor, I’m always aware that there are people in every church in different phases of their spiritual journey. Some are skilled Bible teachers while others are just beginning to learn where the books of the Bible are. Younger Christians have often not yet learned to apply biblical principles to matters of everyday (or every four years) life. Thinking through issues that have been labeled as “political” with scriptural truth in mind can be new to them. Christians shouldn’t be contentious with one another over these issues. We should stand and declare biblical truth but allow for growth in grace. (more…)


  2. How to Vote When This World Is Not Your Home

    October 31, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    flag and sky

    I don’t know that I’ve ever been so weary of politics as I am this election season. This year has certainly been one of the most negative and difficult in American history.

    Often when voting, we look for “the lesser of two evils.” Perhaps a better way to say it is that we should look for which candidate is more likely to support vital issues as related to the teachings of Scripture and is most likely to preserve religious liberty for those who desire to propagate Scriptural truth.

    This is not to imply that a candidate is a knowledgeable or biblical Christian in every case, but that they are at least sympathetic to biblical issues is important to me.

    I believe Christians have a responsibility to use the freedom we’ve been given to influence our society for biblical values. Although there have been elections in which I have felt far more enthusiastic support for one candidate, there has never been an election in which either candidate aligned with my beliefs in every way.

    I think one of the benefits of this election season for Bible-believing Christians is the ever-present reminder that this world is not our home. I’m reminded of Hebrews 11:13 which speaks of the Old Testament heroes of faith as being people who “…confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

    The fact that this world is not my home, however, doesn’t make me disengage in the opportunity I have to vote. It makes me engage with a broader perspective. (more…)


  3. How a Young Boy Made a Difference for Religious Freedom

    August 17, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    sack-lunch

    If you saw the news headlines back in early June regarding the Zavala family and the Desert Rose Elementary School, you’ll remember why we were concerned about the threat of religious freedom being taken from a seven-year-old boy.

    In short, a young boy in our local Palmdale school district was told that he could not give out cards with Scripture verses to classmates who were requesting them during his lunchtime.

    It all started when the boy’s mother, Christina Zavala, included an encouraging note and verse in his lunch each day. As this first-grader read his notes to his friends, they began looking forward to the note and verse each day. This led to his mother making extra copies for him to give to his friends…which in turn led to a complaint and to the school dispatching an officer to the home to tell the family to stop. (more…)


  4. A Grave Concern for Christians in America

    June 24, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    california-capitol-building

    In current deliberation among California legislators is Senate Bill 1146. I am gravely disturbed by this bill that strikes a direct blow to religious liberty and severely infringes on personal freedoms and the freedoms of Christian institutions in California.

    The so-called “Equity in Higher Education Act” is designed to erode the free exercise of religion given us in both the United States Constitution and the California Constitution, by limiting the involvement of colleges to have students, faculty, and employees live according to the dictates of God’s Word.

    This bill reads, in part,

    “Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, including the perception that the person has any of those characteristics or that the person is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of those characteristics.”

    West Coast Baptist College is staunchly opposed to this bill that erodes religious liberty and opens the door for the state to impede our purpose of “training laborers for the harvest.”

    As Bible-believing Christians, we believe that every person is made in the image of God and is thus worthy of and should be treated with respect. We welcome students of all nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. We cannot, however, change our biblical convictions regarding morality and adherence to a biblical moral code.

    SB1146 purports to protect against discrimination. This bill, however, is a form of discrimination against religious liberty itself. In the words of Senator John Moorlach, “Restricting private institutions from adhering to its religious beliefs is a violation of their First Amendment rights and an act itself of intolerance.”

    The Constitution prohibits laws which impede religious and biblically-held beliefs. Christian colleges for hundreds of years, have had biblically-based codes of conduct prohibiting extra-marital sex and other activities prohibited by Scripture.

    Not only would this bill impact an institution’s ability to hire or retain staff and accept students based on faith-based practices and morality, but it would impact students themselves who wish to seek education at an institution that aligns with their beliefs. If passed as law, this bill would reach into the dorms, locker rooms, restrooms, and even the academic and spiritual programs of institutions. The bill also creates a system whereby faith-based institutions must report their beliefs before the state, in essence, for approval.

    Although West Coast Baptist College receives no funds from the state of California, we adamantly stand in opposition to SB1146 as a gross overreach of government and a direct violation of religious liberty and personal freedoms. We ask you to help us stop this bill as well.

    (more…)


  5. Hypocritical Tolerance

    May 20, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    intolerance

    Earlier this week President Obama made an interesting remark in the White House at the Nordic Leaders’ Summit Arrival Ceremony (emphasis mine):

    And we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being. We believe in pluralism and tolerance and respect for free speech and freedom of religion…

    Sounds good, right? I mean, we all believe in tolerance and free speech and freedom of religion….

    No, it sounds hypocritical.

    This is coming from the man who believes in “tolerance” for everyone except those who believe in the biblical family, that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and that there is a moral definition of right and wrong found in Scripture.

    If you believe these things, you’re intolerant—in today’s use of the word. That is why the president included the word pluralism. (more…)