June 23rd Sermon “Here I Stand: What Does Love Require”
Kyle Johnson   -  

After a week off from our sermon series for Father’s Day, this week we continue with our theme, “Here I Stand.” This past week, as I and the Lay Ministers visited a local Women’s Pregnancy Crisis Center, we were again treated to some of the implications of what the Minnesota Legislature did during its 2023 session. This legislative session stripped funding for any pregnancy help centers that do not provide for abortions, allows for abortions to be performed by any person (not a doctor), stopped counting the number of children murdered in the state, and allows for the abortion of an infant up to birth.

That was all last year and only a part of it. This year, as I said before, the consensus is that something shifted, something more sinister, more evil, darker. It was evident in a movie clip that I sent out to all Samaritans of a legislative subcommittee supposedly debating a measure to add a religious exemption into legislation that made LGBTQ+ a protected class.

Everyone assumed that the exemption for religious non-profit entities was an oversight and so as this was being brought forth again to make the correction, everyone assumed that the legislature would include this protection in the legislation. The evidence of something more sinister and more evil was expressed when the chairwoman of the committee stated emphatically that the religious protection clause was not left out by mistake.

This shift, this sinister movement can be seen beyond the borders of our state where abortion activists in Tennessee have been convicted and sentenced in preventing access to an abortion clinic. While they broke the law in 2021, they certainly did less than any of the looters who helped raid and burn parts of Minneapolis in 2020. Yet, each one who has been convicted will serve more jail time than any who rioted in 2020.

The short of all of this is that things are changing. What once was a nation of believers who thought that one day there would be an accountability for our actions before an Almighty God has become a nation of haters, hatred toward anything sacred or anything reminding them of their sin and calling them to repentance. That hatred has begun lashing out at Christian churches and Christian organizations and any individual who proposes to stand on the bible as God’s Word.

So how do we prepare ourselves for the inevitable challenge to our faith that is coming? The answer to this question is the subject of this series: Here I Stand! This week, we will be looking at Jesus and his stand, and we will ask, ‘What Does Love Require?’

-Pastor Ken Harste