EL CENTRO Â Nationally known Christian attorney, David C. Gibbs III, president and general counsel of the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL) held an all day seminar Monday, June 20, at Christ Community Church, covering the Churchâ€™s legal options concerning the Biblical stance on marriage and sexuality. Churches throughout the valley were represented.
The El Centro seminarâ€™s purpose was to help the churches and individuals represented maximize their ministries while minimizing their liabilities in a maze of controversial world issues, while staying Biblical.
The issues faced today by the Church differ drastically from those in the recent past. Gibbs pointed out that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has proposed the name â€œJesusâ€ be declared unconstitutional. In 2003, just thirteen years ago, homosexuality was a crime in 30 states.
Gibbs quoted the late Supreme Court Justice Scaliaâ€™s comment that 5 of 9 attorneys ignored 11 million people and thousands of years of history in the court decision allowing same-sex marriage. Gibbs warned that the â€œbizzarity and depravity of man is going to get darker still.â€
In a world that has replaced God with government, the decisions being made are going to be taken out to their logically conclusions, Gibbs told the audience. An English mother put her son up for adoption. Later she and the son fell in love. England would not allow them to marry, so they came to the United States and were married.
Gibbs defined the term Christian Worldview: â€œThere is a God and He has revealed Himselfâ€ through His Son Jesus Christ and His Word, the Scriptures. The opposing worldview purports there â€œmay, or may not be a God, and the Bible is not the absolute authority.â€ The latter view places one squarely, Gibbs points out, â€œin a position of no standards â€“ no valuesâ€.
Literature provided to the attendees quoted Chief Justice Roberts, â€œThe Court today not only overlooks our countryâ€™s entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now.â€
Justice Alito said, â€œ(The court) will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority (of the SCOTUS) compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.â€
â€œThe Hope of the world,â€ Gibbs stated, â€œis not in the courthouse. It is in the Church and in the homes of its members.â€
â€œPsychology can and does change. It and the courts have bought the lie and the concept of seasonsâ€ concerning gender identity, Gibbs stated, pointing out that New Jersey and in California both by statute, have banned anti-reparatory laws.Â Â Yet, he believes that Godâ€™s grace is sufficient and all lives can be transformed.
Practical steps were presented that church ministries can implement such as rotating boards and officers, involve multiple people in finances, and rotate these. Share the Gospel and Godâ€™s love with all, yet actual church membership is a privilege not a right.
He pointed out that churches can hand out voter guides and can clearly, under their First Amendment rights, discuss any and all issues. They can discuss ideas but not candidates running for office.
â€œThe best protection is clear by-laws that state a Biblical position and explain that the bible is the sole and final source of all the ministry,â€ says Gibbs. â€œLess is more,â€ he states, but he recommends not putting everything out on the Internet.
â€œThe line between grace and law is often fine,â€ so use discernment, suggested Gibbs.
With child safety he states, never work alone, even though 80% of allegations brought are false. If abuse is suspected report it. Pedophiles can literally erase all evidence within hours, if alerted prior to you reporting.
Other topics covered were emergency preparedness, plagiarism and copyright laws, financial integrity, church exemption, ministry documents and assets. Gibbs used former cases to illustrate points involving juries, judges and clients â€“ very real people, very real cases, and often very bizarre.
The NCLL is a ministry organization defending life and liberty freedoms across the United States and internationally. Attorney Gibbs, thirteen years ago, defended the Terry Shriver Right-to-Life case, only one of a number of cases he has argued before the United States Supreme Court. Gibbs asked the audience if they didnâ€™t agree that the â€œrightâ€ to die quickly slides into the â€œdutyâ€ to die.
Gibbs and his staff meet each week with Congress in D. C. on issues that deal with individuals and families. He met with Donald Trump Tuesday, June 20, 2016, along with others on an invite extended by a group connected with Ben Carson.