Should Christian Business Owners Serve the Homosexual Community?

Great_CommissionYou’ve likely seen or heard the news of Indiana governor Mike Pence signing legislation to “protect” religious freedom and to give Christian business owners the right to refuse service to those who are homosexual. A contentious topic for sure.

In fulfilling the Great Commission as Jesus directed in Matthew 28:18-20, as God’s Elect, we are to serve believers and unbelievers. Though we are not OF the world, God has kept us IN the world to reach others through us. Listen to ENTIRE 10-min message from Amos Johnson, Jr., founder of the Church for Entrepreneurs, on the topic: “Is There a Biblical Prohibition Against Christians in Business Serving the Homosexual Community?”
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Who Needs a Little Peace and Quiet?

Romans 8:6- So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

There is something serene about the word “peace.” Synonyms, such as halcyon, amity, and accord, seem to follow the same suit. Thus, there is something exquisite that can be found within the word “peace.” It could be crystal clear waters glistening in the afternoon sun, or smoke lightly dissipating after both opposing sides agree to a cease fire, or perhaps, the most coveted example, peace within a relationship. Where both sides find love within being wronged, experience within tumultuous situations, and passion throughout listless days. Peace is love personified in its ultimate form. For to have peace in spite of chaos, is a rare jewel that can only be manifested through the picturesque gem that gleams with the luminosity of God’s favor. Hence, His grace provides peace and His words “It is forgiven” provide serenity to our eternal lives.  (#Godsway)

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.

A Good Word

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.                                                     –Proverbs 12:25 (English Standard Version)

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

It’s disheartening, grievous, but unfortunately true: not every leader of God is living or teaching the true Word of God. Some shepherds are leading their entrusted flock astray. From the country church to the televised mega church, and those in between, the twisting of the “good news” has left many seeking “a good word” to serve as a salve from the pain of being fleeced by false teachings.

This false appearance of godliness is in fact godlessness. The last days are indeed here and God is giving us daily indications that our hearts must be right and focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For the Bible says regarding godlessness, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” -2 Timothy 3:1-5

We need a good word! We need the gospel! Not false pipe dreams of attaining riches that may certainly and inevitably put us on a slippery slope to destruction ultimately bringing our hearts farther and farther away from communion with the living God. There is a judgment awaiting false preachers who lead others astray. The Bible says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. – James 3:1

Oh how careful we need to be with what we say to others! For their souls are at stake! You say, “Well then. What is a good word? How can I recognize which preaching is really good for my soul?”

2 Timothy 2 15 black and white

The answer is that which the central message focuses on Jesus Christ and the redemption of man through the work of the cross. We only need the word of God to impart this truth to others. For all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. –2 Timothy 3:16 “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.” –2 Timothy 2:16

For the true preacher called by God to present the good news of Jesus Christ, the Bible says to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15

People’s hearts are restless and they need an answer. Their hearts need a good word that can save their soul and not deceive them. A good word that can relieve their anxiety and make their hearts glad! Brothers and sisters in Christ, we would be wise in imitating the attitude of the apostle Paul. For the Bible says, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. -1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Amen. Be blessed!

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born in November of 1989 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family later moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and he now resides in Limerick, Pa. In May of 2014, Jason obtained his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Professionally, Jason counsels persons who are homeless, parents, veterans, and others who suffer from various kinds of abuse. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the Great Commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the Gospel to be spread from person-to-person and nation-to-nation. Annually, Jason travels primarily to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year, Haiti Christianity, Inc., visits cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothing, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly, evangelization takes place. Jason is currently the organization’s public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

Portrait of the Empowered Saint: Is This You?

picture frame with question markIn a dying and fallen world, God is seeking a peculiar people to accomplish His work—to share His light, love, hope and truth. Particularly those who have said “Yes, LORD, to your will and to your way,” and are empowered. Empowered, they understand and boldly walk in their God-given authority. What does the empowered Saint look like?

  • Loves Jesus with their whole heart/worships in spirit and truth (John 4:24)
  • Uses prayer, praise, worship and the Word of God as their weapons of spiritual warfare
  • Dresses DAILY in their spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-17)
  • Patient, compassionate and loving toward others, despite their faults or unbelief
  • Follower of Jesus forever
  • Obedient to the Lord’s will; not swayed by external circumstances, norms or traditions
  • Understands they are the righteousness of God; understands their identity in Christ Jesus, despite Satan’s accusations
  • Prepared with a word in season and out of season/exhibits great patience and careful instruction of the word (2 Timothy 4:2)
  • Directs others to Christ, equips others in Christ in these end times
  • Walks in truth and in faith
  • Plants the seed, realizing the Holy Spirit gives the increase (only God knows who will indeed receive Him)
  • Confidently operates in their spiritual gifts and does not compare or envy others’ gifts (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
  • Discerning
  • Seeks the Lord’s wisdom to navigate through counterfeit schemes, deceptions
  • Spirit of humility
  • Possesses a noble, exemplary character
  • Dominant thoughts are rooted in how to glorify God and NOT how to increase themselves or their influence
  • Operates in the nine fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, joy, kindness, love, patience, peace and self-control
  • Trusts God as their Source for all things
  • Spirit-led and NOT led by their own volition and emotions
  • Agile, willing to go where God says “Go,” even when destination is unfamiliar
  • Boldly addresses lawlessness by disseminating salt, light, truth and love in the particular territory they’ve been called
  • Operates in their God-given authority to confront the enemy and lawlessness

What other traits should be added? When you look in the mirror, does this list describe you? In what traits/areas would you pray that God further develop in you?

A Time to Be a Prayer Warrior (Part 2)

Hebrews 13:18- Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Some things take time. Someone might need more time to revert back from their wilderness journey. Thus, we must provide that someone with ample time to learn, for our lives are not perfect. When we do well, there is no confetti, or people doing somersaults. For our reality, as imperfect creatures is to wither and to fall. However, some way or another we find a lighted arrow that points us in a certain direction. After while, one arrow becomes four, and four arrows become 20, and so on. We begin to gather a confidence likened to lions, who remain kings of the jungle. Why? Because there is somebody interceding for us. In fact, there are many people lighting up arrows to show us the way home. Therefore, wherever we are in life we can remain assured that OTHERS are praying for us. For when we do return from whence we came, we to shall be victorious. (#God’sway)

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.


 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.

 

Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag!

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Copycats…right down to the jeans you wear, to how you style your hair, to the same schools you attended, degrees you earned to the professional titles you hold…and now to the SAME RED bag (purse) you carry. Where does it end??

The good news: I keep it real. The bad news: I keep it real. 

This topic is inspired by a powerful phone conversation I enjoyed with a dear friend a couple weeks ago. We’re alike in many ways, understanding very well each other’s line of thought, moral base, systems for operating, etc. The crescendo of our conversation entered the two-hour mark and by that time I responded to her, “Preach, woman!”

In short, she shared how a former college classmate and work colleague has copied her path. It’s questionable if the particular profession she’s patterned after my friend’s is even her true heart’s desire. The copycat simply fixed her eyes on the heights my friend’s path has taken her to and she wanted to acquire that same territory. My friend’s unique path has become the copycat’s idol. So much so, that she purchased the SAME red bag that my friend carries. Lord help!   lrg-red-bag

In my keeping it real with you, understand these three truths:

TRUTH 1: Everybody wants your formula for obtaining YOUR success. But they could hardly know all the sweat, tears, frustrations, lessons learned, starts and fits, doubts, pep talks, prayers, worries, second and third winds that are intricately blended into your “secret sauce.” They simply want the cookie-cutter pattern, the 11 secret herbs and spices without going through the laborious efforts, the hills and valleys or the necessary stretching to reach the next level.

TRUTH 2: It’s a privilege to mentor someone to aid them in successfully walking out their own unique path. It’s also a blessing that perhaps you’ve lived your life in such a way that people desire to pattern their lives after you. But taken too far, it becomes idolatry. The only One we should seek, pursue and pattern our very lives after is Jesus Christ.

TRUTH 3: You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). No carbon copies. God says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (New International Version). You’ve been set apart—for His purposes—for paths and purposes unique to you, not to be compared to others. You’ve been equipped with unique gifts to reach a specific population of people. As told in Proverbs 18:16, A person’s gift opens doors for him/her, bringing him/her access before important people. (International Standard Version)

Our God is Awesome! God is always doing new things (Isaiah 43:19)! We should always be growing, doing new things because this is what He desires for us! Frankly, what God did for you in 2013, won’t be the same thing He does for you in 2015! So those who seek to copy you and get your “secret sauce” will be working from old material! God is already directing you somewhere new!

There’s no secret formula, only to walk the path you are called to.

Get your own color bag because we’re already onto the ‘new.’ Mama’s got a brand new bag!

-Nicole

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

A Time to Be a Prayer Warrior

John 9:10- They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” (New Living Translation)
Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

(I would like to lift up Mrs. McLain, a light to many and a rose amongst the thistles.)

You are never alone. You are always in our hearts and minds. You are part of a body of Believers. Throughout the distress you never lost hope. Throughout the tests you sat patiently with the tranquility of God’s spirit to fight the fear seeping into your mind. Throughout it all you stood secure within the eye of the storm because you know God has supplanted you with the faith to stay the course. Your courage is insurmountable. Your incandescence is unrivaled. For your smile tells a story: one of joy, one of pain, and one of privilege. Three items afforded to you by the mighty hand of God. Thus, it comes as no surprise that you are overcoming a roadblock that has stopped four lanes of traffic. It was here that you improvised to pull onto the shoulder, in order to cruise by the wreckage down a clear road to a new life just over the horizon. (#GodsWay)

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.

Street Sweepin’ Machine

Colossians 3:23- Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Work, faith, love, if we operate efficiently in these three categories we shall overcome any listless situation. Therefore, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets so well that the hosts of heaven say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did a job well”(MLK). Hence, “Don’t let the enemy cause you to lose motivation, operate as if nothing is wrong and continue along the path God set you on” (Curtis).

Moreover, a million dollar dream means nothing, if you do not have a minimum wage work ethic. Thus the reason why our mindsets must prepare us each day to depend on God, while placing our fears in the rearview mirror. A mindset tuned to channel God’s love through the airwaves so we can remain tranquil within any circumstance. This mindset is uniquely different, for its origin is derived from the Holy Spirit the Lord shared with us when He died for our sins. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.

 

ICYMI: Freedom from Addiction, and Sexual Justice

Never too lost to be savedAre you still believing the lies? The truth will indeed set you free. This truth reverberated in conversations held with this week’s radio show guests. On Monday, guest Chris McArdle, founder of Absolutely No Condemnation Ministries, shared his candidly transparent and powerful testimony of how Jesus Christ rescued and restored him from alcoholism’s deadly grip. Chris’s consumption of alcohol progressed from casual drinking after work to becoming necessary for daily function. One evening during a semi-conscious trip to the ER and 30 minutes from death, Chris challenged God to prove that He was real and indeed, God showed up in Chris’s life.

From there, Chris read the bible from cover to cover, tucking scriptures in his heart, believing in God’s promises. He trusted in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Today, Chris shares God’s truth, love and hope to help others struggling with substance abuse. His message is “no matter how bad your path, when you come to Christ, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). Listen to “Freedom from Addiction and No Condemnation: Chris McArdle.”  

Human_Trafficking“Are You Producing Sexual Justice or Fueling Sexual Injustice?” This was Wednesday’s conversation with guest Aszia Walker, Discipleship and Outreach Director for pureHOPE. Founded in 1983, and a Voices Against the Grain ministry partner, pureHOPE provides Christian solutions in a sexualized culture and envisions a world free from exploitation and brokenness. To counterfeit God’s beautiful and compelling story of sex, Satan continues to assail, counterfeit, disparage and distort God’s character and the things of God in hopes to deceive and destroy many. He’ll even use unwitting Christians to do it.

This conversation will equip the Body of Christ, parents, youth, mentors, faith leaders and others to live a life in Christ Jesus that advances justice and purity rather than one that contributes to injustice and impurity. On-point in her messages, Aszia said, “Sometimes the enemy can twist and pervert the image-bearing story that we are built to tell.” Listen to our important and informative conversation.

Twitter_bird_logo_2012.svgWant great nuggets from both conversations? View our Twitter feed.