the Gates of Hell Shall Not …

Sometimes the Church sits closer to the gates of hell than She thinks. This week Governor Newsom of California signed into law AB 1184, which we will get to in a moment. But remember the number of this bill. For it amply represents the days in which we live. George Orwell was right – his book 1984 was as much prophecy as fiction. 

For this bill comes on the heels of Newsom ordering all school children to take a vaccine for a disease for which they are simply not susceptible, not remotely like anything else we immunize for. And this at the very same time that other countries are suspending the use of the same vaccines, due to side-effect risks.1 This is not about some fixed truth called “the science.” As one doctor2 puts it, we are using and abusing our children as shields for adults. 

Such is also the logic of AB 1184. It says – with the force of law and of the government – that if a child as young as twelve would like to receive “sensitive services”, the insurance company paying for it is prohibited from informing the primary policyholder – who is almost always the parent. 

What are “sensitive services”? It includes – note the Orwellian hole of doublespeak that one must go down – “sexual and reproductive health” and “gender-affirming care”, among others. In other words, if your child – as young as 12! – wants to:

  • Get an abortion
  • Have their genitals removed or permanently altered (for instance: vaginectomy, phalloplasty or scrotoplasty)
  • Start hormonal treatments including puberty blockers to permanently stunt growth
  • Make other permanent modifications to their bodies based on their passing feelings of self-identity (for instance, and I’m not making this up: voice modification, where the cartilage of the trachea is “shaved”)3 
  • Seek help for an addiction
  • Et cetera, et evil cetera

They can do so, and the parent’s insurance provider is forbidden from informing the parent or guardian. In other words, the state wants parents to pay for such “sensitive services”, but to be further removed from the decision to engage in them in the first place. 

We Believe in Science!

This law is, on its face, anti-science. As the American College of Pediatricians puts it,

There is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for transgender-believing youth.

In fact, there is evidence that such treatments cause severe mental health problems – on top of those already experienced by normal children and teenagers. This law encourages our medical establishment to take emotionally troubled youth, and allow the troubled teen to name the antidote to their own problem, without parental consent, and then “solve” the problem by castrating, sterilizing and permanently mutilating them. 

This has nothing to do with science. It is the definition of medical barbarism. The superstitious, blood-letting “doctors” of the Dark Ages would be proud. 

“It’s for the kids.”

And it has nothing to do with parents. 

There are three spheres of authority that God gave in the organizing of His world: 

  • The civil magistrate
  • The family
  • and The Church

These three spheres certainly have overlap, and we will always debate the extent of that overlap. But this law is not a step of overlap, but an act of usurpation – one of a string of usurpations and abuses – the state overstepping its own God-given authority and assimilating the authority of parents and church into its own.

Thus AB 1184 – again, we must give thanks for the Orwellian name – is more evidence that there is no neutral ground between state and church or state and family, no “secular square” where we might hash out our differences with indifferent stoicism. This bill reveals that our secular state – and the dominant party of California, but I repeat myself – seeks to build its own Tower of Babel, to which every other sphere of authority must submit. And then once you’ve submitted, once you are assimilated, you are required by the state to repudiate the authority of the other spheres. Submit and repudiate – that’s the gospel of the god of state. 

Of course this “gospel” is proclaimed with a refined sweetness – all in the name of “empathy” for those with gender dysphoria. But make no mistake: this “empathy” only goes one way, and it has absolutely no sympathy for the law of God or the God-given authority of parents – or even for the long-term good of children. 

Why Do This?

Why? Why pursue such an agenda, that will clearly move so many to exit the public school system, and even leave the state? That is difficult to say, since the political sausage has so many parts. But it seems to me that this bill is the product of an unholy coalition of three kinds of people: 

  • first, those who are untethered from God and truly do not realize what they are calling for – let’s call them the deceived, and they are many; 
  • secondly, those who are truly evil – who do know exactly what they are calling for, and their hearts are so calloused that they pursue it with gusto; 
  • and thirdly, those whose god is power – they pursue power because they want to have power. It matters not whether it’s red or blue power; it matters not what sphere they intrude upon or subsume in their lust for power; it matters not whether the ship goes down under their power – as long as they’re the ones in power on the way down. 

But the god that governs all of these parties is, in the end, a brutal god. This is a god who a long time ago led the nations and even the Israelites to throw their own children on the fire (2 Kings 17, Jeremiah 19:5). He is the same god who leads millions today to fornication, adultery, sodomy and other forms of “sexual freedom” – and then he leads them to kill their resulting sons and daughters, in exchange for lesser gods, like a career. The god of our state is a brutal god, the god “of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), who empathizes with evil but has no sympathy with what is holy and righteous and life-giving. 


So what are Christians to do? Let’s consider again the three steps of Christian resistance: bark, back-up, and bite. 

To “bark” means, yes, to write letters and to speak up, in every forum you can, in opposition to such evil. But it means so much more than that. It also means to proclaim the gospel, which is both good news and bad news. It is good news, to those who are to be saved: that Christ is crucified and raised from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father. That means we are washed and forgiven; we are made to stand righteous before God; and this Savior Who loves us so is now King – King over all, over every sphere. 

And thus this gospel is bad news to the perishing, no matter what power they think they wield now. Christ is King. Over churches, over families, and over the governor, and his pen, and all the legislation that comes to his desk – Christ is King. Not the state. 

This means that you, Governor Newsom, and your friends at Planned Parenthood – who helped sponsor this ghoulish bill – will be held accountable for every dismembered teen; for every suicide that was hastened along by “sensitive services”; for every parent who was kept in the dark a little longer about their child’s addiction; for every aborted baby, dumped alone in a garbage bag – you will be held accountable. For our God is a God of amazing grace, and also a God of consuming fire: 

Jeremiah 19:4 Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind— 6 therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. 7 And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth. 8 And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its wounds. 9 And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them. 

Note to the secret service and the authorities of law: I do not say that Christians will bring this destruction – God will. Christians only raise up arms (“bite”) as the last option. It is God Who speaks heresy against your religious doctrines of death and dismemberment. God is your Heretic. And thus when you seek to subsume His people and His law into your own law, you put yourself in direct opposition to Him. When you arrogate to yourself the God-given rights of families and churches, you not only bring death to them, but you bring yourself under the condemnation of Almighty God. And He’s not playing. 

So beware, and repent. Governor Newsom, there is still time to turn back. You can still submit yourself to the true King, and repudiate the laws you’ve approved – laws that you were too cowardly to approve before your recall vote. You can still find escape. You can find forgiveness and cleansing, of all your sins. But only by faith in and humble submission to Jesus Christ. For if you continue down this path, no power at your disposal will give escape from the consuming fire of this God. You will only have enough power to shake your fist at Him. Bet your life on that, and live. 

Back-Up, with Backbone

Thus we bark, and we back-up, but with backbone. By “back-up”, I mean that Christians must, I believe, soberly consider retreating from spheres and systems that are clearly constructed by the state to work against our orders from our King: to raise up our kids “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) – not the discipleship of a lost state that ghoulishly disciplines and instructs children to the grave.4 

But this requires us to define what we are going toward – not just reacting to what is evil, but placing before ourselves the good goals we are pursuing. What exactly does “the discipline and instruction of the Lord” mean? How will you get there? On Saturday, October 23, a group of concerned folks will be gathering at Grace Church to discuss education options – please join us, and invite a friend. 

We must also understand that “move out of state” is not the only option under “back up”. The Christians of Elk Grove must connect together more strenuously, to build a meek but strong community of the saints – a life-giving web constructed by a vision of what we are resisting – the usurpations of the state – and what we are moving toward: the glory of God, in the joy of His people, in His gospel. Jesus promises us that no matter where such a people are planted, the gates of hell will not prevail against them, no matter how powerful and foreboding are those gates (Matt. 16:18). 

Every generation has its own gospel calling. Ours is to stand and build an alternative society, an outpost of heaven, before which today’s Tower of Babel will fall. A society of self-forgetting, faithful, joyful pastors and doctors and insurance clerks and physicians and counselors and teachers and parents and garbage collectors and librarians and administrative assistants and gas station attendants and hair stylists and principals and police officers and County Supervisors and mayors . . . who know Who their King really is, and who bow to no other. And who, out of the grace shown to them by their King, love their fellow man according to the King’s commands, not the diktats of our modern priests of death. The time has come for our generation to be the real builders, for we have the Cornerstone, and the builders of Babel have always rejected him (Psalm 118:22; Mark 12:10). 

What About “Bite”?

The “bite” will need to be considered later, in another post. But for now: remember that it is God Who generally does the “biting”. His consuming fire goes before us. And remember that throughout history the stupidity and evil of men often create enough fire itself to consume those who start it. God makes the wicked fall in their own pits (Psalm 69:22). Theirs is a rickety, crumbling, dying city – mere kindling. 

But ours is a city with foundations (Hebrews 11:10). Christ is still King. We can rejoice yet still more in his grace, which redeems us from pits of our own making, and brings us into His Fatherhood, through no merit of our own. There go us, into the pit, but for the grace of God. And what grace it is – even in fiery furnaces (Daniel 3:26). “Fear not, little flock! For it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). 

But while the conflagration rages, it’s not unusual for the Tower of Babel to blame Christians for the fire. The state’s famed empathy runs out at the gates of hell. Thus it is all the more important for Christians to support and keep their fellow brother, all the while feasting together on Christ, for he “prepares a table for us, in the presence of our enemies” (Psalm 23:5). 



2 I should note that in this section I speak on the “macro”, public health level. Yet as we at Grace Church have said from the beginning of COVID, each person should assess their own “matrix of risks” and decide for themselves – or for their child – whether or not to take the vaccine.

4 I must note here that there is a distinction between the “state” and the “educational system” and all those who are employed within the system. There are many teachers, for instance, in our school district who are Christians – and some who are not – who simply want to teach children with excellence, nobility and truth. So then, in this sense, I do not mean to judge another Man’s servant. Yet God judges who signs their paychecks.