Politics and the Church – Where’s the Church? [Part 20]

One of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders issued a dire warning for the nation in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on homosexual marriage.  “I believe God could bring judgment upon America.” said Franklin Graham during an interview.  “You better be ready, and you better be prepared because it’s coming. There will be persecution of Christians for our Stand.” [Franklin Graham in communications with Todd Starnes, June 2015].  That statement is now becoming somewhat of a fact.  Welcome to the age of pitchforks and torches in America.  Just be aware, the Supreme Court may have redefined marriage, but God hasn’t redefined anything.  Whether intentional or not, the Supreme Court ruling declared open season on people of faith.  Christian business owners, Christian students, and members of the clergy have all been targeted.  Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned in his dissent that the ruling could lead to a conflict between religious liberty and those on the left. [Eric Zorn,”Same-Sex Marriage May Still Have Opponents, But ‘It Is So Ordered'”, Chicago Tribune, June 25, 2015]. That sentiment has prevailed.  Churches and faith-based businesses are now facing law suits and government investigations.  Further it has gone on to destroy some churches that can’t decide between God’s Word and man’s laws.  Pastors who refuse to perform gay…I call them ‘queer’…marriages and who preach from the Bible should be prepared for hate-crime charges. Congregations should be prepared to stand up one way or the other.  We cannot have effective churches who ‘want it both ways’.  Eventually all dissent will be silenced by the government and LGBTQ activists if the Church chooses to remain silent.

Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, told MSNBC that Americans do not have right to religious liberty…politics. [Tom Blumer,”Sen. Tammy Baldwin:’Freedom of Religion’ Is For Institutions of Faith’…Period”, Media Research Center, June 30, 2015].  (I guess our Founding Fathers never got the message…isn’t it wonderful that we have been blessed with such knowledgeable senators?!)  She is not alone in her thinking.  A message from a government official’s Twitter account called defenders of religious freedom “Nazis”. [Jessica Chasmar,”Labor Dept. Economist Under Review After Tweet Calling Christians Nazis”, The Washington Times, LLC, March 30, 2015].  (I guess we Christians should get out our ‘jack boots’ and shine them up for church.)  Wyoming Equity argued that churches that do not support same-sex marriages should lose their tax-exempt status. [“Exclusive…LGBT Group: Shut Churches Down!”, Conservative Colorado. April 1, 2015].

+   Broadway stars too have faced these militant attacks.  John Carroll, a self-described Broadway performer, wrote an open letter to Broadway actress Bailey Hanks shaming her for the ‘indiscretion’ of…brace yourself…eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich.  He reminded her that she was plucked out of obscurity by a team of gay men and that she discriminated against them by eating at Chick-fil-A. [John Carroll,”Gays Giveth and Gays Taketh Away: An Open Letter to Bailey Hanks”, TheHuffingtonPost.com , Inc., February 2, 2016].

+   A small-town Indiana pizza joint was forced to temporarily close its doors after they announced they would not cater a gay wedding.  The owners of Memories Pizza were deluged with horrific threats and messages too inappropriate to put in this email. [“Fund Raises $840,000 for Memories Pizza After Attacks Over Gay Marriage Views”, NBCNews.com, April 4, 2015].  A high school softball coach even went so far as to suggest the restaurant be burned down. [“Northeast Indiana Coach Invites Twitter to ‘Burn Down’ RFRA Supporting Pizzeria”, WTHR.com, April 14, 2016].  How’s that for tolerance?

+   A former Ford Motor Company engineer claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired for posting an antigay comment on the company’s website.  He wrote that Ford should be ‘thoroughly ashamed’ for promoting a program for LGBT workers. [Kate Abbey-Lambertz,” Ford Worker Fired for Anti-Gay Comment Sues for Religious Discrimination”, TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., July 14, 2015].  I must admit this was probably not the smartest thing to do on a company website in this day of ‘PCness’.

+   Prison Chaplain David Wells was told he could either sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is ‘sinful’ or else the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice would terminate his involvement as a religious volunteer. [Albert Mohler,”State of Kentucky Ejects Chaplains From Juvenile Center for Believing Homosexuality Is Sin”, Kentucky Today, December 19, 2016]. He said he could not sign the paper and the Department of Juvenile Justice terminated his volunteer involvement, ending 13 years of ministry to underage inmates. [David Wells in communication wit Todd Starnes, August 2015].  The Kentucky regulation states that volunteers working with juveniles shall not use derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias or hatred of the LGBTQI community. [Justice Cabinet Department of Juvenile Justice Policy and Procedures, “Prison Rape Elimination Actof 2003(PREA), Ref. 505 KAR 1:170]. They are defining hateful or derogatory as meaning what the Bible says about homosexuality.  Liberty Counsel is representing Wells along with the backing of the American Pastors Network.

When pastors and all Christians are forced by government agents to renounce sharing the very reality of ‘sin’, they are in fact being prohibited from sharing the healing and life-changing potential of redemption. [American Pastors’ Network,”New Kentucky Policy Strips Pastors of Religious Freedom”, August 11, 2015]. The Christian purge has begun and it’s only a matter of time before all Christians will be forced to make decisions for or against the Word of God. You will be made to care.  Thought crimes will be punished.  Tolerance will not be allowed.  As I have said before in my writing and continue to believe today more than ever, every God-fearing church should have a ‘political action committee’ to monitor what some government officials may be trying to do with out freedom of religion and then report those activities to the congregation.  At that point it would be up to the ‘church’ and ‘Church’ to decide what action to take, remembering that ‘silence’ is an action.

More next week on the oppositions our Christian brethren are facing and the ‘silence’ many are experiencing.  I know this may sound a bit off but in some cases I believe that donations to Christian law firms…yes, they do exist…may do more for God’s kingdom than a donation to some…not all…churches.

– Bob Munsey

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