A Texas church is putting up ceiling lights and hanging ceiling fans as a show of defiance against the church’s controversial sanctuary plan
A Texas pastor is putting a ceiling fan up in front of his church to demonstrate his opposition to the church building’s controversial new sanctuary plan.
In response to the decision by the Texas House to pass House Bill 2, a bill to allow the city of Austin to force churches to convert to a sanctuary model, Pastor Mark Martin of the First Baptist Church of Austin said the ceiling fans would be used to “show our defiance.”
“Our sanctuary plan is not what God has created for us, and it is not God’s plan for us,” Martin said.
“If it is the plan of God for me to have a ceiling light to represent my opposition, then it’s what God wants me to do.”
In the days before House Bill 3 passed, Pastor Martin said he wanted to show his support for the bill, but he felt that his church was being treated unfairly.
“It’s going to be up in a couple of weeks when they’ll have a chance to see if it can get passed, but at this point, I want to stand up for our church and say, ‘We will not be bullied,'” he said.
“We are not going to let this be another church that has to do with us and how we worship, how we serve, how much we are paid.”
The Texas House approved the sanctuary plan on Tuesday, but the state House voted against it after a last-minute amendment that would have made it optional for churches to have the ceiling fan.
The amendment was passed by a vote of 22-14.
The church’s sanctuary plan, which was approved last year, allows churches to use a ceiling-mounted fan to convert their buildings into a sanctuary, but does not allow for a ceiling ceiling fan to be placed on a church’s roof.
In a statement released Tuesday, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the church was disappointed with the Texas legislation.
“The church condemns this measure as a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state, as well as the religious freedom of churches and individuals,” the statement said.
According to the First President’s statement, churches in Texas are “exempt from the laws that would apply to the general public in order to engage in worship, worship services and to receive tax-exempt funds, but this exemption is not unlimited.”
It said the church also condemned the state’s sanctuary bill, which would force churches that do not comply with the sanctuary model to be forced to relocate.
The statement added that the First Church in the City of Austin is a member of the Church of the Saviour, which is an international church of worship.