Churches: The Final StepJul 06, 2016
On Monday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of an Iowa church, Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, to defend its rights and those of other churches in Iowa to preach and act in accordance with the church’s doctrinal beliefs about human sexuality. According to ADF’s Press Release, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission intends to enforce a new state “nondiscrimination” law that will censor the church’s teaching on biblical sexuality and force the church to open its restrooms and showers to members of the opposite sex.
The commission is interpreting a state law to ban churches from expressing their views on human sexuality if they would “directly or indirectly” make “persons of any particular…gender identity” feel “unwelcome” in conjunction with church services, events, and other religious activities. According to ADF, the speech ban could be used to gag churches from making any public comments—including from the pulpit—that could be viewed as unwelcome to persons who do not identify with their biological sex. This is because the commission says the law applies to churches during any activity that the commission deems to not have a “bona fide religious purpose.” Examples the commission gave are “a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public,” which encompasses most events that churches hold.
Though this sort of government censorship of churches has been going on for at least a decade in England and Canada, it was until now unheard of on American soil. But just one year removed from Obergefell v. Hodges in which the Supreme Court unilaterally redefined marriage, the cause of sexual "freedom" marches on with greater momentum and boldness than ever before.
Initial pleas for “tolerance” by groups of sexual revolutionaries soon turned to widespread calls for acceptance of their actions and ideas about human sexuality, followed by cries for official recognition. The progression was slow but deliberate, requiring several decades to be sufficiently realized, yet at all points being aided most powerfully by the directives of Courts over the will of the people. Once having gained legal status, the final steps of cultural progression fall swiftly like dominoes. Today we’re watching it play out before our eyes.
Legal recognition acceded to demands for affirmation and then capitulation by governments whose laws and constitutions stood in contradiction. Elected officials everywhere, feeling they had little choice, bent to the will of “five lawyers” on the Supreme Court. After that came their insistence that others – even those with conscientious objections - participate in those actions whose advocates had until then promised they merely wanted “equality.” Kim Davis of Rowan County, KY spent time in jail for refusing to participate.
But of course, participation is not enough – the cause must indeed be celebrated by all. Cake bakers, caterers, florists, photographers, venue hosts, licensed marriage officiants, etc. who refused to partake in a celebration of the sexual revolution became necessary casualties in the “historic struggle.” Their lives and businesses ruined, they now serve as a glaring warning to all who would dare offer anything but celebration for the cause.
Yet not surprisingly, even celebration could not appease them. It was exaltation they wanted all along. Or stated another way – worship. In order for this cause to be successful and complete, nothing less than worship for the idol of sexual hedonism will do. It must be lifted up and held as sacred above all else. And not even God Himself, or our obligations thereunto, can be permitted to stand in the way.
But worship requires total surrender and a sincere heart – not any of that phony stuff made for public consumption. There is no room for passive or latent or even subconscious “hate” or “discrimination”. Worship must be reflected in your very identity, down to your core. Consequently, the worship of sexual “freedom” cannot tolerate any person, idea, or institution that stands in contradiction. Here enters the Church. In this case, Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, whose doctrines and practices - though having always been in contradiction to that cause - now stand in contradiction to that same cause which has since been weaponized by the “law” and reinforced through popular opinion.
The church, whose institution and facilities represent the most obvious mode and place of worship to God, is now faced with the last step, having been presented with the final ultimatum: Worship God in the messages that you preach, the kinds of services you hold, and the way you view God’s creation, and face the wrath of the State, OR bow down in worship to the god of sexual "freedom" by laying down your allegiance to God (the wrath of God notwithstanding).
At least these advocates instinctively know what is ultimately true: the Church cannot worship both.
Jesus Himself said in Matt. 6:24: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [fill in the blank].”
Consider the progression again: Tolerance, Acceptance, Recognition, Affirmation, Capitulation, Participation, Celebration, Exaltation. The entire process leads invariably to the only significant question, and the one that existed all along: Who or what will we worship?
Fort Des Moines Church of Christ must now by its actions choose, assuming a court does not rule in its favor. Likewise, each individual person must now choose. And remember, we can only choose one. Remember also, that every one of our choices has consequences; there’s no getting around that. Now that this choice is becoming so clearly foisted upon us all (because Iowa is only the beginning), may God grant us the strength to choose Him. In any case, I would think that we should much prefer the wrath of men to the wrath of God. Moreover, we should much prefer the approval of God over the approval of men.
I trust the choice for Fort Des Moines Church of Christ will be an easy one. Perhaps it will spark the beginning of a more balanced discussion on the meaning and application of freedom in this country – like the idea that it’s a two-way street. And now that the “final step” is upon us in this saga, perhaps some will begin to see this sexual revolution for what it really is – just another false-god cloaked in the appearance of freedom.