120914 – Mayor Suspends Fire Captain Because Of His Christian Beliefs

The following article tells the story of religious discrimination that is becoming more common in the nations of the world, and especially in America. The liberal political forces in our nation not only want us to accept homosexuality; they also want us to embrace it. A Fire Chief wrote a book that affirms his belief in biblical sexuality. The Democrat mayor of his city placed the Chief on unpaid leave for a month and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. The bio of the mayor says a lot about the mayor’s prejudices, and the people who put him in office. There is a need for people who call themselves “Christians” to be carefully selective in whom they choose to lead our nation, our states, and our cities. Believers in Christ should never select leaders who have shown a lack of respect for the teachings of God. The mayor of this city in question supports same sex marriage. That mayor should have never been elected to office. Our nation needs a leader who shows the respect for the principles of God’s Word, as was shown by King Solomon in the following verses of scripture. The same can be said for the leaders of our cities and states. The people of our nation are losing the constitutional protection for freedom of religion and speech that was designed to keep us from government oppression.

A link to the news release is as follows. A photo of the Fire Chief is shown.

http://www.bpnews.net/43920/atlanta-fire-chief-gets-baptists-defense

Following the scriptures will be the news article, minus the photo of the fire chief.

1 Kings 8:22-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; 23 and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.

(the God, that is mentioned above, is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob)

1 Kings 8:54-61 New King James Version (NKJV)

Solomon Blesses the Assembly

54 And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. 55 Then he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying: 56 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, 58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. 59 And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.61 Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”

(the respect that Solomon shows toward God is total, without reservation)

The news article follows.

Atlanta fire chief gets Baptists’ defense
by Art Toalston, posted Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Tags: Atlanta Georgia Baptist Convention Kelvin Cochran Kasim Reed

ATLANTA (BP) — Georgia Baptist Convention leaders are rallying to defend Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who has been suspended without pay for a month and ordered to undergo sensitivity training over a book he wrote that upholds a biblical view of sexuality. Cochran is a deacon, Sunday School teacher and Bible study leader at Atlanta’s Elizabeth Baptist Church, which is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.

A two-time Atlanta fire chief, Cochran also served as U.S. Fire Administrator under President Obama from 2009-10.

J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia convention, said in a news release issued by the GBC Public Affairs Committee, “It is time for believers to stand up for their religious beliefs, biblical principles and fellow Christians who are punished or marginalized for their faith.” White affirmed the Public Affairs Committee for its “call to action for all fellow believers to take a stand.”

The news release called on Christians and people of faith across Georgia to:
— sign a petition in behalf of Cochran at http://gabaptist.org/petition on the Georgia Baptist Convention’s website;
— support Cochran by purchasing his book on Amazon, “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” which is at the center of the firestorm; and
— enlist as many churches and believers as possible to contact Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to reverse his actions against Cochran.
To the mayor, the Georgia Baptist committee called on Reed to:
“– Acknowledge Chief Cochran’s First Amendment Rights,
“– Make a public apology for the suspension and grief it has caused the Chief and his family, and
“– Restore Chief Cochran’s pay and reputation as an honorable Fire Chief.”
Reed suspended Cochran over such passages in the chief’s 162-page self-published book as a definition of uncleanness being the “opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion.”

Cochran’s book stemmed from a series of men’s studies at Elizabeth Baptist Church titled “A Quest for Authentic Manhood.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in an article about Cochran’s suspension, also cited a passage in which the chief compared sexual relations between a man and a woman to the pursuit of “sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways.”

The newspaper noted that Cochran defined his role as fire chief in the book as cultivating a culture “for the glory of God” as well as saving lives and property.

Mayor Reed, in a statement targeting Cochran’s statements about biblical sexuality, declared, “I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all of her citizens — regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs.”

In addition to suspending Cochran and ordering sensitivity training, the mayor ordered the chief not to distribute the book on city property.

Reed’s spokeswoman Anne Torres also said Cochran is being investigated for whether he had discriminated against any employees and whether his personal views had interfered with his management of the fire department, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Gerald Harris, editor of state convention’s newspaper, The Christian Index, wrote in an editorial about Cochran’s suspension, “I realize that our churches are open and our religious institutions continue to function and everything on the religious front may look copacetic. But when you begin to look beneath the surface, acknowledge the threats and analyze them, you begin to realize that our religious liberty is under an organized and concentrated assault.”

Cochran, as a layman, “never tried to market his self-published book, but has shared the book with his church and has given books to his colleagues at work,” Harris wrote. “After work on Monday the Chief has hosted a Bible study for those who were interested. Other colleagues have frequently sought him out for spiritual counseling. He consistently provided counsel by sharing truths from the Word of God.”

Cochran is a native of Shreveport, La., who joined the city’s fire department in 1981, serving as fire chief from 1999-2008 until being tapped as Atlanta’s fire chief. He holds an undergraduate degree from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and a master’s degree from Louisiana Tech in Ruston.

According to the Georgia Baptist Convention news release, Mayor Reed can be contacted by email at mkreed@atlantaga.gov, by phone at 404-330-6100, or by mail at 55 Trinity Ave. Suite 2500, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Art Toalston is editor of Baptist Press, the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Consider the following song that tells of our need to cry out to God for His mercy upon our land. The need for God’s mercy is great. The evidence for our nation’s need for God’s mercy is irrefutable.

Brownsville Assembly Of God
Lord, Have Mercy

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