Acts 2 is a stunning account of the early church and the Lord’s protective hands over its foundation-building. It’s majestic in its miracles, magnetic in its ministry, and massive in its movement. The Spirit of God was clearly at work in the lives of the disciples. Its fingerprints are still evident.
Today, the Spirit of God continues to move across the state of California and beyond — evidenced by a June 20, 2018 New York Times opinion piece highlighting the influential work of Church United’s pastor network. It’s clear from the author’s tone that she was writing out of fear, sending an urgent message to those who oppose biblical truth: Something BIG is happening. It’s true that something big is happening. But in reality, she misplaced the source of the movement.
Although the article named Church United and me, personally, we’re not that big. What they’re actually seeing is God’s Spirit moving in a miraculous way, and they don’t know what to do. They’re trying to blame an earthly (though certainly faith-based!) organization for something they cannot articulate or explain. The truth is that God is awakening His church — not only in California, but also across the nation. It defies human explanation.
Just in the past few months, Church United is seeing this truth manifest itself in various ways:
First-Ever Spanish Regional Briefing Success
After our May Awakening tour, eight Spanish-speaking pastors from San Diego approached Church United seeking our help. They revealed their personal fears about what they could legally share from the pulpit, their lack of understanding on the complexities of the legislative process (including how laws are passed), and uncertainties about the key differences between party platforms. They asked, “Can you please come help us and present in Spanish?”
Practically overnight, donors provided funding for this mission — and arrangements were made to host one of our Regional Briefings, June 22-23: our first-ever all-Spanish gathering! Through the Lord’s provision, we secured discounted accommodations and food at a prominent Bayfront hotel in downtown San Diego to hold the briefing.
How great was the need? The event drew 120 pastors — plus their spouses. The attendees heard about our constitutional republic; the history of the United States; how our country was founded on a biblical model; and about the rights and freedoms that pastors, churches, and the people of God were/are guaranteed by our Founding Fathers.
Attendees were also told the truth about California’s progressive sex education agenda and curriculum, which is being pushed by the LGBT community and embraced by liberal legislators. The content presented was so graphic that nobody moved. It was extremely difficult to hear, even for married adults. It is unconscionable, as you can imagine, for children to be exposed to such sinister and vile content that completely contradicts God’s design for sexuality.
Progressives are promoting an agenda that is debasing the minds of children who are too young to understand their own sexuality. Church United is currently working on a response and action plan to change California’s explicit sex education curriculum. Please join us in prayer and action to protect children and families.
Development of Church United’s Official Immigration Policy
On June 12, two of Church United’s board members hosted a meeting with our Hispanic leadership team to discuss and develop our official immigration policy. Held in Orange County and facilitated by immigrant Peter Clayton, a naturalized citizen from the United Kingdom, and immigration attorney Esther Valdes, the group embraced President Donald Trump’s four pillars of immigration:
1. Strengthen border security
2. Provide legal status for DACA recipients
3. Eliminate the Diversity Immigrant Visa
4. Eliminate chain migration programs
Yes, these Hispanic pastors of influence stand with Trump in building a wall and securing our borders. It’s a message you do not hear from mainstream media.
We also added a fifth pillar:
5. Ask the Trump Administration to protect persecuted Christians by moving them to the top of the immigration list.
Influential Assembly Bill 2943 Opposition Rally
The same day Church United’s immigration policy was taking shape in Southern California, Pastor Jim Domen was on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento with Pastors Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning from Bethel Church in Redding, California. They were joined by 40 other former LGBT men and women, sharing the transformational power of Jesus Christ in their lives. Many of them had been suicidal at least once, and almost all of them shared the horrific sexual abuses they had endured as children and adults.
Pastors Elizabeth and Jim provided expert testimony in opposition of Assembly Bill 2943, a proposed law that promotes viewpoint discrimination by banning pastors, churches, and retail outlets from charging for any product or service that encourages conversion therapy (a treatment option that helps patients overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-identity confusion). The bill is in the Senate where it’s awaiting to be heard on the floor.
Among those in our group were two survivors of the horrific Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, which happened exactly two years earlier. Angel Colon was shot six times, and Luis Javier Ruiz was trampled after tearing down a door to help people escape. Since this tragedy, both men have given their lives to Jesus and denounced homosexuality.
Despite rally cries from LGBT activists and legislators about the “egregious nature” of conversion therapy, not one protestor showed up at our rally. Following our two-hour testimonies on the steps of the Capitol, the contingent broke into groups to meet with state Senators — with some of those conversations coming by way of divine appointments.
Church United’s Increasing Influence and Potential Expansion
In July, Church United also had the honor of hosting our inaugural training session for over 50 pastors from across the state who have indicated an interest in seeking public office. Additional training sessions are planned for the future.
Finally, although Church United’s primary focus is networking and influencing within California, people are continually contacting us from other states requesting to launch Church United affiliates in their regions. Church United hasn’t sought this, but people are eager to bring what’s happening in California to their home states. Such interest signals that an authentic move is afoot!
Church United is honored to be a trusted vessel.
So much has happened so quickly. But God, in His sovereignty, has provided the funding to make this happen and Church Untied is grateful for your continued support of the work and vision of Church United.