Dear Bakersfield Californian,
I have subscribed to your paper for many years and enjoy reading about local events and perspectives. However, I am cancelling my subscription to The Bakersfield Californian, and I wanted to explain why.
On Sunday, February 13, I brought my paper inside only to find a stick-on ad for free admission into the Déjà Vu. I was stunned for a moment, then ripped it off and read the rest of the paper. But I couldn’t stop thinking about that ad and its implications. Your paper affects many, many people in Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. To know that every Bakersfield subscriber was confronted with the same ad on that Lord’s Day has been weighing heavily on my heart ever since.
One ad is really not that important. That ad will be forgotten. As the editor pointed out when one concerned citizen wrote in, “we received only 10 complaints about the ad”. He went on to state, “and the advertising works”.
So our men are able to more easily frequent the strip clubs in town because of the Bakersfield Californian and their effective advertising.
I would like to forget about the incident and continue enjoying the product of the hard work of many. But as I was reminded this weekend, tolerance is not strength, nor is it loving. Do I fear being labeled “narrow-minded” and “judgmental” or do I care about standing for Truth?
The Truth is that Christ died for all of these sins. Going to a strip club, working at a strip club, or advertising a strip club is no more offensive to a holy God than being self-righteous or judgmental about any of those things. We all fall short; no one can keep God’s perfect law. Christ’s death atoned for each sin, every hidden activity done in the dark. We are all guilty of breaking God’s law, but Christ offers the free gift of salvation. Turn from desiring to be god of your own life, and accept Christ’s death as the death of your own coming judgment. It will happen, and God is gracious enough to give us a little more time to answer His call.
I love the people of this city. I have grown up here and I am raising my children here. It would be encouraging to see your paper stand up for purity and truth. You have a wide area of influence. But Déjà Vu will bring in customers with or without you. Saving $10 is probably not the foremost thought of the patrons of our strip clubs. There are dozens of solid churches in town that offer free admission each Sunday. No coupon needed. Would you print that? Our own church meets at Liberty High School at 10:30 every Sunday.
(I am happy to pare this down to 250 words. I just wanted you to read it all first. Thank you.)