by Reed DePace
In the wake of the two same sex marriage decisions from the Supreme Court I wrote to a group of ministerial friends and acquaintances asking for copies of their church’s marriage policies. I did so because I expect churches and pastors will be facing, in just a few years, at least civil assaults via this issue.
Some reaction to my concern was that I was being an alarmist. Another labeled my concern absurd (def.: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous; having no rational or orderly relationship to human life).
O.k., maybe like Chicken Little I don’t know an acorn from persecution. Yet, before going gaily on your way, I’d ask you to at least consider the discussion a bit more fully. Maybe the following articles will help:
- Gay Evangelicals want acceptance from their churches
- Gay Marriage and the Eclipse of Religious Liberty
- Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom, Fundamentally At Odds
- Religious Liberty and the Gay Marriage Endgame
- The Future of Religious Liberty
- Marriage, Religious Liberty, and the “Grand Bargain”
- Activists Say Gay Marriage Will Be Legal Across America in 5 Years
I do not believe the goal is mere legitimization. No, I think that which is pushing homosexuality across our culture is a greater moral goal, one with two components. This goal is to secure the acknowledgement, in all parts of our culture:
- Of the moral superiority of homosexuality, and
- Of the moral depravity of any who deny this (and so, must be treated as the worst bigots in history, e.g., KKK, Nazis, etc.).
Think I’m Chicken Little? Stanley Hauerwas, “America’s Best Theologian” (Time Magazine, 2001) began to make just such an argument back in 1993. The Bible is already well on its way to being labeled morally degenerate in terms of its moral condemnation of homosexuality. Already opponents of same sex marriage are shying away from making a moral-based argument.
Whether I’m Chicken Little or not, at the very least the homosexual juggernaut (as another friend labels it) is on the move. Where it stops, and what it crushes along the way may be debatable. It should hardly be a debatable point that it is on an (humanly) unstoppable roll.
Will pastors face persecution via the same sex marriage issue? Christian laymen already are:
- A florist has (double jeopardy).
- A baker has (double jeopardy again).
- A photographer has.
- A T-shirt company owner has.
- A bed-n-breakfast owner has.
- An inn owner has.
- A theology professor has.
- An employee has.
- Another employee has.
- And another employee has.
So what should we do in response? I think there are at least three faith-responses we can offer that we can say are both our Father’s marching orders and carry His promise of blessing in response:
- Make reasonable preparations (Matthew 10:16; Colossians 4:5; Philippians 2:15). Investigate whether or not you or church has unnecessary legal exposure in the ways in which you offer services to non-members. Take appropriate measures to remove or mitigate this exposure.
- Pray for God to send us into these fields that are ripe for the Harvest (John 4:35; Matthew 9:36-38). The truth is that those in homosexuality are destroying themselves. They, their family and friends are suffering the worst of the effects of the fall, just short of what a Christ-less eternity brings.
- Love those who consider us their enemies by bringing them the gospel (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-28): God will surely do in our generation what He has done in the past (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Imagine the joy you, saved from your depravity, will experience standing beside your brother or sister who was once your enemy trapped in homosexuality’s depravity.
I do hope I am just warning about acorns. But I don’t think this is the case. So I’ll see the charge that I’m being absurd and raise a “don’t be naïve!” Or maybe I can put it this way: I’d rather be Chicken Little than an ostrich.
by Reed DePace