Tulsa Housing Authority, Youth at Heart, and Child Evangelism Fellowship

Here’s yet another group attempting to deter Christian groups from meeting on publically funded property. You can check out the story here. It’s nothing new for Child Evangelism Fellowship (a great organization), I’m sure. It seems as if organizations like CEF know more about the law than our public officials or those entrusted with the care of governmental programs and properties.

When will they learn you can’t say no. Equal access is equal access and applies to all groups; it’s the law. For years, schools, public, and government organizations worked to impede the efforts of Christian groups. You can’t do that anymore, because it’s the law. You’d think people in public service, even in Tulsa, would get the message and be well aware of decisions that could result in legal action. We even had a little similar incident locally with one of our own districts last year, but they quickly learned you couldn’t keep these types of clubs off school campuses or public property.

Watch out Christians! The cultural tide is anti-Christian and anti-organized religion. Generations past formerly enjoyed cultural favor, if not cultural tolerance. Those days are gone. If we don’t get to work, change our methodology, and make a real difference in the live of people – we’ll find ourselves in the days of no-access.

6 thoughts on “Tulsa Housing Authority, Youth at Heart, and Child Evangelism Fellowship

  1. Joyce


    I am a committed Christfollower and have been for years. I’m very involved in local and worldwide missions.

    Yet as an American, I am also a strong believer in the separation of church and state. There was a line in the article from Fox News that says, “For more than 70 years, the Missouri-based Child Evangelism Fellowship has worked with underprivileged kids, not only to convert them to Christianity, but to improve their lives through education and after-school activities.”

    This statement bothers me. It is our job to share the love of Jesus, period. It is the love of God that compels us. When I go to serve in local and global missions, my job is to share the love of Jesus through providing practical and material needs such as building homes, planting food gardens, developing relationships and friendships, providing medical care, clothing, and so on. My job is to love God’s people.

    I know that the people that we serve know why and Who compels us to love them. They see our actions and in our love of them, they see Jesus. We don’t have to ‘convert’ them. No one converted me or any of my other friends or family. God’s Holy Spirit drew us to Him by His love, by the action of those that loved me. We don’t have the power to convert others. Only the Holy Spirit does.

    Don’t you think that God is bigger than the laws that say we can’t bring God into state or government run services?

    I do.

  2. Brad Hoffmann

    Hey Joyce,

    I appreciate your post and opinion. On one major point, we disagree and that’s fine. It’s not the first time and I doubt it will be the last disagreement I’ve had with someone. Personally, I do not subscribe to the “Separation of Church and State” myth. I’d previously written a brief synopsis on my thoughts; you can read them here, http://bradhoffmann.blogspot.com/2008/10/its-lie-separation-of-church-and-state.html, if interested. Because I’ve had a little experience in the area of working with uninformed governmental entities (concerning referenced ruling), I’m amazed that they’ve not read the memo. While your comment and opinion is valid, I do find it almost disconcerting that a believer could actually be a proponent of the modern church vs. state argument.

    CEF is a great organization. Their intentional ministry objective is to share Christ with children. There’s nothing wrong with their goal or intentions. They serve (minister) and in the process earn the right to share the gospel. Earning the right doesn’t mean you’ve got to listen to me because of my investment in your life, it is because of my investment into your life that you want to hear about the one I love. People want to hear the story because of demonstrated behavior and acts of kindness.

    As a Christian and a Christ-follower (these terms are not synonymous), I believe in living an authentic, transparent, and sincere faith among people. Absolutely, that means loving people regardless of where they are in life. Love is a decision and a demonstration. Because of the one I know, I desperately want others to know Him, too. Others will know you to be a disciple by your love (John 13:35), but faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). Yes, God’s Spirit draws, but God uses the verbalized message of the gospel. Someone has to share the story of Jesus. Why hide the gospel behind love? Why not love and share especially on their turf. Real church doesn’t necessarily happen on a church campus, but in another’s backyard.

  3. Joyce

    Your blog will only allow me to leave so many words, so I’m going to ask you read something from my blog that maybe explains in clearer terms how I live out my faith.

    As for the terms ‘Christian’ and ‘Christfollower’, my usage is synonomus. In biblical terms, I am a born-again, Holy Spirit filled believer. I chose to use the term Christfollower as opposed to Christian because of the hurt and damage that the term Christian has caused. Followers are used in the Bible; Christian is a word that is not. Besides, I don’t think God cares about semantics anyhow. He cares about our heart. :)

    Anyhow … here’s the much more well-written words of Donald Miller that may help explain more clearly the way that I try to live out my faith.

    Thanks for your heart for God and His people. Thank you as well for this dialogue. I appreciate it.


  4. Charles Biggs

    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    I publish the Tulsa Beacon newspaper in Tulsa and we were the first to report this story (www.tulsabeacon.com). Fox News heard about it and did a follow story.
    Your readers might find some more interesting details about this controversy in our story.
    Also, THA has requested a meeting with CEF next week to iron out any difficulties. They still won’t admit who authorized telling CEF there were new ground rules.
    Charles Biggs, Editor/Publisher, Tulsa Beacon newspaper

  5. Brad Hoffmann

    Hey Joyce, Sorry it’s taken a while to get back to you on this. While I realize it might be termed semantics, I do think there’s a practical difference between a Christ follower and a Christian. You could “follow” Christ and be termed a follower, but not necessarily adhere, believe, or trust the things He said. He had many followers throughout his ministry, but few who believed in Him. Also, please note that the word Christian is used in Scripture. The first time we see it used is in reference to the believers in Antioch (Acts 11:26). These believers where first called Christians due in part to their authentic love and demonstration of their faith. These were real people of faith, not just followers.

    I appreciate the link to your ministry philosophy. While I can appreciate some of Donald Miller’s statements, I don’t agree with much of his writings. There’s some good, but there’s a tremendous amount of error, which leads us down this road of the emergent church movement. He’s a popular writer who is a heretic theologically and encapsulates false teaching into nice sounding arguments. When it comes to Donald Miller, I’d proceed with caution. Faith is more than an experience and you can’t grade your faith based upon how you feel. It’s about knowing and being. There are absolutes even in grace.

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