There is some irony in the fact that the controversy over Religious Freedom Laws in the United States has blown up during the week when we as Christians remember and celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ—God in the flesh who bore the wrath of God against sin, so that we might be forgiven and have eternal life with God by His grace through our faith in Jesus.
The timing of this—and our reaction no matter what the outcome—is an interesting opportunity for all of us as true believers to take a step back and assess ourselves as professing believers. There are a couple points I would like to make.
First, anyone who is shocked by the hatred of religious freedom in the world today shouldn’t be. We live in a world that is increasingly evil, self-worshipping, and falling in love with subjective truth. To even suggest that a book like the Bible is absolute, eternal truth is an insult to humanists who seek only to glorify themselves and feed their fleshly desires.
Second, notice how many on the left—who claim to be very tolerant—are anything but when someone disagrees with their views. A public school teacher in Indiana—someone entrusted with educating our children—posted that he was looking for people to join him in burning down the Pizzeria who said that while they would serve homosexuals who wanted to eat at their establishment, they would not cater a homosexual wedding because of their deeply held religious beliefs. Well, so much for tolerance. See in the mind of the radical left tolerance is a one way street: We are to tolerate their beliefs without daring to question them; but if we have deeply held convictions, the “bigot card” is played and sadly they will stop at nothing to punish or destroy those who disagree with them.
While it would be unfair to paint all progressives as that way, one cannot deny that there is a strong thread among the progressive elite who will stop at nothing to push forward their agenda—and force everyone to comply.
Third, I think there is a certain inevitability we as Christians must accept these days. There is little doubt that this summer the United States Supreme Court will establish homosexual marriage as a right of citizens and every state will be forced to allow homosexuals to marry. And what I am about to share with you might shock or madden some of you: Do not be angry about it because God will use this for His glory! Yes, there is a silver lining in the event it happens.
The silver lining is this: It will expose the hearts of every one of us as Christians. Churches and leaders who believe homosexuality is acceptable to God will now have the freedom to go public with their beliefs, and we will get a greater glimpse at the beliefs and convictions of these leaders. For the rest of us it will give us an opportunity to practice a mantra we cite all the time: “Hate the sin but love the sinner.”
You see it is not the world that God will be assessing as these things happen—it is us who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. The world has already condemned itself and as the Apostle Paul taught us, don’t judge the world, for it is already condemned. But we are to judge the fruits and beliefs of professing Christians, holding them up to the truth of the Bible. The issue of homosexual marriage will give great insight into the hearts of professing believers.
So how should committed Christians respond? Well first, we should never respond with the hatred exhibited by radical progressives who threaten violence when they don’t get their way. As Christians, we forfeit any right to hate another or extract vengeance upon them. And if my statement angers you, take it up with Jesus, because that is what he taught.
And for conservative Christians I hope we will have finally learned that seeking a political solution to a spiritual problem is futile. The Republican Party or The Tea Party, or Rand Paul, Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin, are not white knights charging to our rescue. Maybe we will finally realize that while there are distinct differences in issues between the political parties, the bottom line is they both seek the same thing: Power.
Look, as of June the U.S. Supreme Court—the final say on the constitutionality of our nation’s laws—will have weighed in. In 1973 the court ruled it was legal to kill an innocent child while in its mother’s womb. Since then nearly 55 million children have been butchered by our greed, apathy and spiritual blindness. And in June the court will rule that homosexuals can legally marry. Politically, it is “checkmate”—game, set and match. It is virtually impossible to overturn the decisions of a Supreme Court. Only a powerful move of God can change the future course of this once great nation. But God moving would require two things that our leaders are not likely to do—confess and repent.
So if I am right, the political battles are over and we have lost. And God will weigh in one day on a nation that was established asking for His guidance and protection. So the battle for conservative Christians shifts to this: How can we speak the truth in love to our spiritual enemies? How can we do what we profess we should do: hate the sin but love the sinner?
How can we help protect the church from falling into the apostasy our nation is falling into? Will Christian leaders—pastors and ministry leaders—have the courage to stick to the truths and convictions of the Bible? Or will the love of money and power lead us to continued compromise?
And for us as rank and file Christians, how will we react when a married homosexual couple becomes our neighbors? Will we threaten to burn their house down as the radical progressives do? Or will we love them as Christ commanded us to? How do we love them yet stay true to our Christian convictions?
See, here is the thing about homosexual marriage that we need to understand. It will be legal in the eyes of our government very soon. But it is not recognized by God as true marriage. So the question becomes this: Does it really matter what the world believes? Or does it matter what professing Christians believe? Should we attempt to hold the world to the standard of the Bible? Or should we hold ourselves and other professing Christians to the standard of the Bible?
I think the coming months will be more of a test and indictment on the church of professing believers than it will be an indictment of the world.
It will also be a true test of the commitment to God of our Christian pastors and leaders. It will be very tempting for Christian leaders to rationalize why the church should now embrace homosexual marriage. You will hear a continuing diatribe about how “God is love” and that we should accept everyone’s beliefs no matter what the Bible teaches. And does God love all men? Unquestionably. But the love of God alone—no matter what progressive and Universalist Christians will spout—is not enough to give a man eternal life with God. Many whom God loves will be separated from Him for eternity because they were worshippers of self and not Him.
See, eternal life is not about God’s love of men—it is about a man’s love of God. Is He the one we worship? Are we willing to give up the fleshly desires of this fallen world because we love Him more than anything? Are we willing to confess ourselves as lost, hopeless sinners? Or do we seek “loopholes” by taking the teachings in the Bible of God’s love and patience out of eternal context?
Politically and socially, the war is coming to an end. Anyone who still thinks electing the right candidate or supporting the right political party will turn this nation around is whistling past the graveyard. But now the real war for Christians kicks into high gear—the battle for the eternal souls of men. But our weapons are not the weapons of the lost of this world: persecution, hatred and violence. Our weapons are truth in love and prayer. Our weapons are a strong public and private commitment to the teachings of God in the Bible, no matter the consequences. Our weapons are a life that reflects the life of Jesus Christ: Truth in Love.