1. 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…)


  2. 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…)


  3. 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…)


  4. A Three-Fold Challenge to Preachers in the Midst of a Culture Shift

    May 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    cross-and-pulpit

    Christians across America are frustrated. Some are discouraged. Some are fearful. Some are hopeless.

    Our culture is shifting before our very eyes, and there seems to be little to nothing we can do to stop it. We see the decaying morals and we sense the intolerance toward Christians growing around us.

    Pastors, too, become discouraged with it all. Those serving in ministry wonder if there is hope for our nation or for revival.

    But lest we bemoan the difficult times in our country today, could I remind you that the gospel has prospered in even more difficult times in years past.

    In fact, the Apostle Paul is believed to have written the book of 2 Timothy from the Mamertine Prison in Rome. He wrote at an incredibly difficult time both in world history and in his life. Christians everywhere were persecuted, and he knew he was only a short time from his own martyrdom.

    What was his instruction at this critical period? (more…)


  5. When Christians Do Nothing (about Target)

    April 30, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Target

    I don’t believe the response to every social evil is a boycott.

    But when a company publically and forcefully comes out on the wrong side of a moral issue, I don’t believe the correct response is to do nothing either. Especially in America, where we have freedom and our choices—whether they be at the voting polls or where we spend our money—make a difference.

    By now, you’ve heard of Target’s decision to open their gender-specific restrooms and fitting rooms to the opposite gender. The stated reason for this is to be inclusive toward transgender individuals. But considering that the transgender population makes up 0.3 percent (0.003) of the American adult population, I would submit that their reasoning has more to do with “tolerance” being in vogue in America today.

    Regardless of the reason, however, the result is that my granddaughter can be in the restroom at Target and have some guy walk in. And that’s not okay with me. (more…)