The Line is Drawn

You should read this.

You may read it and completely agree with it.  You may read it and be aghast at what he says.  But I believe the core of the article is true – you will either agree or flee, but you will not have the option of remaining indifferent, uncommitted, or politely non-expressive on the matter.  Not for much longer.

The issue of LGBT integration into every aspect of our cultural life is moving full-steam ahead.  Remember the whole all we want is the right to marry and it doesn’t affect any of the rest of you line?  How’s that working out for you?  What are your kids being taught in school (whether kindergarten or university level?)  What do you see on television every night?  What do you hear media figures and celebrities touting and talking about?    Welcome to the new world order.  You will agree.  You will support.  You will defend and extol this new inclusiveness, or you will be outed as a bigot, a sexual racist.  A hater. You will be ostracized.  You will be punished.  Socially.  Economically.  Politically.

You as an individual.  You as a congregation.  Yes, you.  You will be watched.  Photographed.  Reported on.  You will enjoy the same pressures that have been brought to bear on Chik-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby (both of which endured the pressure and showed that you can resist it successfully, by the way).  The way people talk today about racists and KKK members?  That’s how people might talk about you if you continue to attend a church body or congregation that rejects the LGBT agenda, that insists on standing firm on Biblical revelation rather than the current winds of societal change.

The author is wrong in some respects.  He cites all the areas of our culture where allegiance to the LGBT agenda is a fait accompli.  And it is true that by official decree all of these areas of public life – corporate life, political life, educational life – by and large conform to the LGBT manifesto.  However it doesn’t mean that all of the individuals within these arenas are agreeing and supportive, but it means they don’t have the option of expressing their disapproval.  Not if they want to keep their job.  This is not a grass-roots cultural revolution as much as the leaders of it want to paint it that way.  It is very much a top down insistence that this is the way things are going to be and those who disagree are going to be sorry.

Likewise, his assertion that churches and congregations who reject the LGBT agenda are doing so against the wishes of their members is not completely accurate.  There will always be people who disagree with the larger doctrines/policies/practices of their church body.  But it isn’t as though denominations are holding their members hostage.  There are certainly enough denominations and congregations who have changed their doctrinal stance on this issue to accommodate an influx of like-minded people.  I’m not aware of any statistical data that supports this as happening, however.  And I’ll also point out that the reverse is equally true – in congregations and denominations that now support the LGBT agenda, there are members who disagree.

But churches are the one place where you can still speak aloud your disagreement and disapproval.  But be forewarned.  We won’t be allowed to in peace.  Be prepared for people to show up on Sunday mornings with cameras and microphones.  Be prepared to be recorded in what you say, for grainy, low-resolution screen shots of your face to be posted on blogs and web sites.  Prepare to be outed.

Freedom of religion as a Constitutionally protected right may withstand this assault in a technical sense, but that won’t change how your neighbors look at you.  How people start avoiding your place of business.  It won’t affect how your kids are treated at school when your name shows up on the grapevine as one of those people who disagree, or whether or not your child gets into the school you hoped she would.

You want to bring more people into your congregation?  Plenty of folks will be happy to try and make sure that never happens.  Will be happy to deface and defame you online or in picket lines out front.  Freedom of speech, baby.  Grow your congregation?  Most congregations will struggle to keep the people you have now.  And that will get harder and harder if the people you have now are still working, still raising a family, still trying to make ends meet.

And if your congregation participates in any federal or state program, receives any kind of tax-payer funding?  Forget about it.  You’ll lose that funding pretty darn quick if you don’t change your doctrinal tune.  Every religious organization should hopefully be preparing to lose tax-exempt status.  Every religious organization should hopefully be preparing for the day when tithes and offerings are no longer tax-deductible.  It’s not a matter of if but when, and I’m betting heavily that it will be a lot sooner than many folks think.

Neutral is not an option.  You will either conform, or you will be relegated – at best – to the cultural rubbish pile, along with the KKK and the Westboro Baptists (both of which deserve to be there, in my opinion).  At worst, you’ll find yourself squeezed in every manner possible in order to eliminate your congregation.

In all of this, the Gospel will continue to be preached and shared.  The Church will not die.  But the public face of the Church will be a lot smaller, and the churches that enjoy prominence publicly will be those who have joined hands in promoting the LGBT agenda.  I don’t think those churches are going to grow based on their stance (again, I’m not aware of any data that would support such an idea), but at least they’ll be able to advertise publicly without a media backlash.

I was sharing cognac and conversation with a recent immigrant from Russia.  He chuckled as we talked about this topic, about how the Church in America has a lot to learn from those with firsthand experience at being partisan pastors and partisan Christians.  Unfortunately, I think he’s right.  Fortunately, there are people like him to help us down that path.

I hope that people will listen.

 

 

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