Posted in atlanta, homosexuality, kelvin cochran, prophecy

Atlanta Fire Chief Cochran fired for Christian views on homosexuality

This is the story of Kelvin Cochran, former Atlanta Fire Chief.

But it’s so much more. It is really the story of how to glorify God when you are being persecuted.

It’s how to publicly express your faith in love when the world hates you.

It’s seeing the miracle of God using for good what they meant for evil.

The beginning of the story is that Kelvin Cochran, family man, Baptist, Sunday School teacher, men’s Bible study leader, and Atlanta Fire Chief, wrote a book in 2013 stemming from his bible study class, entitled “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” The title refers to the moment in Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, and hid from God when they heard Him walking in the garden. God asked the man and woman, “who told you that you were naked?” Throughout his book, Cochran also refers to being naked as being not-covered with the righteousness of Christ.

In Cochran’s book when he refers to naked men, of course he isn’t being literal. It refers to the nakedness unsaved people live in with being exposed to Jesus without the covering of His righteous blood.

Mr Cochran shares his faith, something that he stated in the book that “it’s his first priority within the department “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.” Chief Cochran has said in many interviews that this job as the Atlanta City Fire Chief is a dream come true. That ever since he was five years old, he has pursued a career as a firefighter. And yet for all that focused intent on pursuing his life’s dream, he puts Jesus first. The purpose of Kelvin Cochran’s life is to glorify God, and the Fire Station is just as good a place as any other on earth in which to be Christ-like and to speak of his faith. Where Chief Cochran loves to be is the Station, where he longs to be is with Jesus. His duty as a Christian is to show people his love for Jesus in heaven while Cochran is still on earth.

Along the way, he published a book. It’s aimed at men, how to be good husbands, leaders, men, based on God’s standards for doctrine and for life. In it, Cochran spelled out exactly what God’s standards for purity are, purity in works, purity in thought, and including sexual purity.

Cochran wrote,

“Uncleanness – whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”
“Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex, and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body – temple and dishonor God.”

Less than a half a page in the 160-page book mentioned homosexuality.

That doesn’t matter to the homosexual people.

The First Amendment of the United States’ national constitution, part of the United States’ Bill of Rights, says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Not for Kelvin Cochran. Not for an increasing number of Christians.

The Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transsexual lobby discovered the book’s existence in November of 2014, and raised an outcry. Cochran was suspended with no pay for one month. He was due back to work this week.

Various reasons were given for his suspension.
–he distributed the book on government property without prior consent of the Mayor (his boss)
–he failed to alert the Mayor he was writing the book
–his views likely mean he has in the past, or will in the future, discriminate against LGBT people in hiring practices at the Fire Station
–his book is in violation of the city’s standard of conduct
–his language is so extreme, so belittling of gay and transgender people that he could not effectively lead a diverse workforce

During the one-month suspension, no one heard from Cochran. On Sunday, January 3, he did speak at Atlanta’s First Baptist church during the GA Baptist Convention regarding his testimony. The Times-Herald reported,

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin J. Cochran spoke to the “blessings of suffering” during his message delivered at First Baptist Church on Sunday. Coming off a one-month suspension because of a passage on homosexuality in a self-published book he wrote, Cochran expressed that his time off allowed him to spend more time with his family and enjoy the Christmas season 

“God intended for men and women are to be together to have children and populate the Earth,” Cochran said. “And any sex outside marriage and outside of a man and woman in holy matrimony is against the word of God. For that stand, I have been laid off for 30 days without pay.” However, Cochran emphasized that he is not a victim of his beliefs, nor is he discouraged or disheartened.

I love our city, and honor and respect our mayor and love all the people of the world,” Cochran said. “I took an oath to die for all people, under any circumstance. This is not about me, it’s about the Lord.” Cochran stated that his reputation was not on the line. “I took a stand for Christ, and it’s his reputation that is on the line,” he said. “Jesus never throws us under the bus. He will be glorified and I will be vindicated once all the truth comes out.”

On Monday, the one-month suspension was to be concluded. Mayor Kasim Reed was to have pondered, investigated and come to a decision. He did.

Chief Cochran was fired.

The LGBT members of our community have a right to be able to express their views and convictions about sexuality and deserve to be respected for their position without hate or discrimination,” Cochran told me in an exclusive interview. “But Christians also have a right to express our belief regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and without discrimination. In the United States, no one should be vilified, hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs.”

Mayor Reed disagrees that it is about religious faith. Reed says it is about judgment. Chief Cochran’s judgment that is, being impaired due to extreme views.

There is some back and forth about Mayor Reed’s knowledge of Cochran’s book. A sort of what did Reed know and when did he know it?

Reed said that he had no knowledge that Cochran was writing a book. However, Cochran said the director of Atlanta’s ethics office had not only given him permission to write the book, but to also mention in his biography that he was the city’s fire chief. Cochran said he gave a copy of the book to Mayor Reed in January 2014 and the mayor told him he planned on reading it during an upcoming trip. 

Cochran wants to make clear that he does not hate anyone. “The essence of the Christian faith is a love without condition, sir,” he told me. “I have demonstrated that love in the fire service for 34 years. There’s not any person of any people group that has interacted with me for any measure of time that can say I have hate or disregard or discrimination in my heart for any people group.”

 Ex-Chief Cochran says he has no plans to appeal.

What does the bible say about situations like these?

1. They are inevitable. If you’re a witnessing, mature Christian in the world, you will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12).  None of this is a surprise to Chief Cochran. None of it should be a surprise to you or me, either. Our response to persecution is key. Cochran said he is not a victim of his beliefs nor is he disheartened or discouraged. I am sure that in addition, Chief Cochran feels blessed in some measure to be sharing the persecution of His king.

The Hatred of the World … “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (John 15:19-20)

2. Turn the other cheek. Chief Cochran demonstrated the values Jesus imposed in Matthew 5:39, when Cochran says he hates no one, loves all people.

But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

John MacArthur said in his blog essay Persecution and Submission,

…when persecution comes to the church, true believers don’t flee. Nor do they fight back against the persecution, or try to protest or legislate it away. Instead, authentic Christians submit to persecution.

3. He honors his boss. Mayor Reed had asked Chief Cochran not to speak to the media during the one-month suspension, and Cochran did not. Prior to that, Cochran said he’d gone to his boss’s Ethics Committee to receive advice on the protocols regarding the book he was writing, and he said he also gave a copy to his boss. Cochran was doing the proper thing with his superior officers. The Chief says he has no plans to appeal. The bible says,

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, (1 Peter 2:13).

4. Remember that the world has an illogical mind when it comes to sin. Mayor Reed said of Cochran:
“His judgment and ability to manage the department was the subject of this inquiry.” Here is Cochran’s bio, and mind you, it’s only an excerpt. There’s more.

Kelvin J. Cochran serves as First Vice President and Director of International Association Of Fire Chiefs Inc. His formal education post High School includes the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy, Wiley College, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management (1999). In 2009, President Obama appointed him as the U.S. fire administrator for the United States Fire Administration. Mr. Cochran holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech (2004). Previously, he was a 26-year-veteran of Shreveport, LA fire department, having joined as firefighter in 1981, progressing through the ranks of training officer and assistant chief training officer before becoming fire chief in 1999.

It seems to me that his ‘ability to lead and manage the department’ would be stellar, and in fact, has been for 6 years. What I ask is, would the same level of scrutiny be present with an LGBT person leading and managing the department? Would they have sound judgment and no bias when it comes to hiring, training, and leading Christian folk they know object to their lifestyle? Of course not. But sin makes the carnal mind illogical, they have a debased mind. That means they don’t think straight. (Romans 1:28). We understand that and simply continue showing the love of Christ, as Chief Cochran has done.

5. Trust the Lord. Chief Cochran ended his message to the Convention gathered at Fist Baptist Church by reciting Psalm 27, which he had memorized,

Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations … Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

6. The LORD always uses His people for Good. Chief Cochran knows that good will come from this. It has already. Many people, I’m sure, are encouraged by his response and take inspiration from it. I’m one of them. He is providing a template for how to respond when persecution comes to my door. The bible says,

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20).

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).

Chief Cochran’s goal was to glorify Christ. He has done so, in an unexpected way. When the time comes, may we do the same.
Posted in atlanta, fire chief, homosexuality, kelvin cochran, persecution, truth

Bible Belt Georgia? Not so much: Atlanta Fire Chief suspended for publicly stating his Christian beliefs (Updated)

Updated to include some links, a pull quote regarding the actual loss of income & a quote from the book. At bottom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fire Chief suspended after publishing book calling homosexuality ‘unclean,’ ‘vulgar’

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran is suspended for one month without pay after publishing a book that says homosexuality and having multiple sexual partners is “vile,” “vulgar”, and “inappropriate”. The 162-page paperback titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” is being sold at Amazon.com. Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement he learned about the book on Friday, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV.”I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration,” Reed said.

Cochran’s book also includes an author page and describes him as a “devout Christian man” whose “greatest desire is to fulfill the purpose of God for his life and to be living proof of God’s exceeding great and precious promises.” Cochran is also a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church and serves as a deacon and teacher, according to the book’s author’s page.

Chief Kelvin Cochran. Source AJC

More at the link. Incidentally, Chief Cochran wrote the book in November 2013.

Chief Cochran has been a firefighter for thirty-four years, beginning his career in Shreveport La. He is a high-achieving man with an impeccable record,

In 2009, “President Barack Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, Chief Cochran was charged with overseeing, coordinating, and directing national efforts to prevent fires and improve fire response. He worked extensively with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.”

Atlanta Mayor Reed stated of the situation, “Chief Cochran will be suspended for one month without pay, Chief Cochran will be required to complete sensitivity training; Chief Cochran will be prohibited from distributing the book on city property…”

At Red State, Erick Erickson wrote,
Chief Cochran proclaims that his top priority as head of the fire department is “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.”

Specifically, the accusation is that by being honest about his orthodox Christian views on sex and marriage, Chief Cochran is undermining the public trust in him. You’d think the government would appreciate Kelvin Cochran being a role model to young black men in Atlanta, but they are instead much more focused on not offending the gay rights community. What Mayor Reed and the gay rights community are saying is that if you work for government you cannot be open about your Christian faith.

and all this despite the fact that–

Atlanta just received a 100 score on the Human Right Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which includes scoring on nearly 50 factors under six broad factors including non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, city employment policies, inclusiveness in city services, law enforcement and city leadership on matters of LGBT equality. Atlanta has been the only city in the Deep South to score a 100 two years in a row.

In January 2006, Kasim Reed introduced a bill to authorize scholastic teaching of the textbook The Bible and Its Influence, which passed into law later that year. It is the height of absurdity to mandate the government school system teach the bible, but deny a man’s pay and stature for having an opinion about that same bible’s teachings. Reed’s bill was the first in the nation to mandate teaching the bible in public schools, but Reed punishes a man having an opinion about it. However it is not so absurd when we realize we are living in a post-Christian America.

You have to know that the gay mafia will hound this man out of office. Because we are living in a post-Christian nation, a post-Christian world at that, Romans 1:28-32 says this is what we can expect,

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cochran makes $172,000 a year. A one-month suspension would cost Cochran $14,333 for expressing his Christian views.
We see their slander in the LBGT ‘community’ saying the Chief won’t put out fires at gay homes, their maliciousness in saying that that his one-month suspension isn’t enough punishment. We see all this in the gay mafia’s evil works.

Is it bad that we are in a post-Christian world? Not necessarily. The cultural veneer overlaid on America these last decades has allowed us to shift our attention as Christ’s servants to the political arena (remember the Moral Majority?) rather than remain focused on our one job: proclaim the Gospel. It has also allowed individual Christians to relax in evangelism, especially in the Bible Belt. Well, that belt is loosening and soon enough America will be wearing no pants. In January 2014, John MacArthur commented on Post-Christian America–

Continuing Christ’s Work, part 2

Most of you older people grew up in a time period in America when there was cultural Christianity. There was a kind of Christian consensus in America. People understood the church, they understood the Bible, they understood the gospel. They understood the morality that came out of the Bible. Sometimes it was called the Judeo Christian Ethic. But even more, it was a cultural kind of Christianity. If you grew up in the south, you probably joined a church, some church, because if you joined a church, you could get a job at the bank.

If you joined a church, you could be hired somewhere because you were one of the good guys. If you joined a church, you connected with other people, and you were socially acceptable, and you were religious, and you believed in God, and that was good, like the founders of America believed. They didn’t believe in the God of the Bible, but they believed they couldn’t keep people moral if there wasn’t some divine threat. So they created a God of their own imagining to hold over peoples’ heads. So there was a belief in God, and it was defined primarily by the Bible.

So there was a kind of cultural morality that survived a long time in America, and it was showing up in elections 20 years ago, 15 years ago. There was still a consensus. We remember the moral majority, the religious right. They were still to get people elected, still able to have some clout and some power. Let me tell you something. Gone. Gone. No more. There is no more cultural Christianity. There is no collective Christian consensus that is going to have any power in this country whatsoever.

In fact, the more distinctly Christian we are, the more we will be labeled as extremists. Bizarre, alien, homophobic, intolerant, guilty of hate crimes. Cultural Christianity is, as we know it, that kind of consensus coming from a Biblical understanding is gone. It is gone. The people who now vote in America couldn’t care less. They couldn’t care less about that. The people who carry the elections, they don’t want anything to do with that. They want to escape the extremism of cultural Christianity as they see it. So I think as we go forward, it’s going to come down to this, and this is exactly where it ought to be anyway.

There are several things as Christians we can do:

First, realize that no place, no job, no person is safe from government punishment for holding biblical views. The days of safety, if there ever were any, are over. The tide holding back punishments against Christians has receded and we are at the mercy of sharks patrolling the waters who wish to submerge, devour, and obliterate any mention of biblical views whatsoever. Just a few weeks ago we were shocked in our county that the American Humanist Association and the American Civil Liberties Union pounded us for having a privately-donated statue on school grounds that contained a bible verse.

Secondly, pray for Chief Cochran. Pray the Spirit strengthens him to withstand the arrows the evil one is sending his way, and that he remains true to his convictions and that his top priority as head of the fire department remains “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God,” especially in the face of incredible employment and cultural pressure. This could be a glorious moment for his witness.

Third, buy Chief Cochran’s book so he can receive royalties, or even donate to him if you feel led. No one can easily withstand a sudden suspension without pay. Can you make your mortgage if suddenly you lost a month’s pay? At the very least, it will be a strained month for the man and his family. (Acts 2:45). Here is a commenter’s opinion on Cochran’s Amazon.com page:

A free press is essential to democracy, especially for opinions you disagree with. I bought this book because the author was suspended without pay from his “regular” job for a month just for writing it. I don’t even know if I’ll read it but harassing authors and psuedo-banning of books is the quickest way to get me to buy one. Many thanks to the His Honor the Mayor of Atlanta for making such a big deal about it and bringing it to my attention. By Ernest Lansford on November 25, 2014

The five-star and one-star reviews on his Amazon page are running about equal. There are no reviews in between. The cultural dividing line is reflected in these reviews.

Fourth- prepare yourself, no matter where you live. In America especially, ease and cushiness for the Christian is over. The Fire Chief wrote his book a year ago but his suspension came out of the blue a year later. Something you did or said a while ago could come back to haunt you. Remember, satan is on the prowl, that means he is hunting. This is what the gay mafia does, they hunt for prey, they look for ammunition to use against Christians to silence us and to try and overcome us.

So, how exactly did the Mayor of Atlanta discover the Christian opinions of his Fire Chief one year after they were stated? This way, as reported in GA Voice, (a ‘Gay Atlanta’ publication), in their craftily malicious headline that the Atlanta Fire Chief ‘goes on an anti-gay crusade’,

Retired Atlanta Fire Department Captain Cindy Thompson, who is openly gay, was informed of the book by other firefighters who were disturbed by the book. Thompson, who retired in 2009 after 30 years with the department, contacted the GA Voice to get the word out about the anti-gay book. Today she she said she talked with Robin Shahar, the LGBT liaison for Mayor Reed’s office, about the book…Thompson said she knew Chief Cochran while she worked at the department but “didn’t know this side of him.” She did say she knew he was a religious man and because she had “bad vibes” about him she voluntarily took a demotion from battalion chief to captain. “I just didn’t get a good feeling from him,” she said. “Now I see this book and know I was right all along.”

We know that the ‘bad vibes’ the lesbian got from the Christian Chief was because her wicked spirit recoiled from the Light in his spirit, as all homosexuals suppress the truth in their unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18). They MUST gather numbers of like-minded people to themselves because they NEED the hearty approval. They need the tipping point in order to try and silence the Christian voice.

So prepare yourself, and not just on matters involving homosexuality. Publicly stating that divorce goes against God, or adultery is wrong, or co-habitating is immoral are also stances that go against the cultural grain these days. In fact, any public statement touting a dogmatic fact of evil against God’s good will get you anything from cold shoulders to outright persecution. Sometimes it even comes from ‘Christians’.

In America now there is real risk of economic penalty for believing the bible literally- AND proclaiming it.

Last, continue Christ’s work. We live in exciting times with exciting opportunities. John MacArthur reported that though Christianity is against the law in China, 1,000 Chinese pastors gathered in Hong Kong for a training conference and received a new study bible in Chinese. What glorious news!!!

1000 Chinese pastors received a new Chinese study bible at the
Expository Conference in Hong Kong on Sept. 23-26, 2014

MacArthur’s staff reported,

The goal of the conference, a cooperative effort of The Master’s College, Grace to You and Grace Bible Fellowship in Singapore, was to get John MacArthur’s material, both the study Bible and his New Testament commentaries, into the hands of as many Chinese pastors as possible…

MacArthur said in his sermon ‘Continuing Christ’s Work,’

The gospel is circling the globe. We’re living in the greatest revival of Biblical truth in the history of the world simply because of its electronic capabilities circle the globe. We’re also nearer the second coming than we’ve ever been as the gospel is extending to the ends of the earth. Many verses in a new testament encourage us to be faithful until he comes.

May you be faithful. May I be faithful. May we all be faithful in praying for one another. It is a dark time but it is a time of Light too. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us, and His Gospel will prevail, it has prevailed, and the gates of hell shall not win against it. As the Amazon commenter said, thank you Mayor Reed for making a big deal out of this, so we can be aware of a situation to bring before the Lord. Chief Cochran is not alone, we are all part of a glorious church, united in our work to advance His precious Good News to the lost. We do not sing woe is us, but we sing Hallelujah.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
~Psalm 8:1-2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

Fire Chief Defends Christian Views on Homosexuality, Mayor Responds in the MOST Ridiculous Way

Atlanta fire chief suspended for publishing Christian views of homosexuality

Quote from Cochran’s book, which as a Godly man, he did not focus solely on the sins of homosexuality, bestiality, lesbianism, etc, but also for the sin of having sex outside of marriage, having multiple partners, etc.

“Sexual acts pursued for purposes other than procreation and marital pleasure in holy matrimony is the sex life of a naked man. When men are unrestrained in their quest for sex outside of God’s purpose they will never be fulfilled. Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God. This is the kind of sex that leaves a man continually empty–the sex life of a naked man.”