At both the federal and state level, governmental offices have now assumed the role of ecumenical councils, choosing which parts of the Christian faith its adherents may live out publicly. Such an analysis stems from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s announcement that he will veto a religious liberty bill that, according to the National Review staff writer David French, was drawn up for “protecting the right of clergy to solemnize marriages consistent with their religious beliefs, protecting the right of faith-based institutions to use their property and resources to advance their religious mission, protecting their rights to hire and fire employees on grounds consistent with religious belief and practice, and protecting a person’s free exercise of religion” (Source: “Nathan Deal’s Craven Capitulation on Georgia’s Religious Liberty Bill” @nationalreview.com).
Essentially, the bill would have 1) protected clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages and 2) prevented religious organizations from having to hire staff or teachers who contradict the organization’s doctrinal beliefs. Instead, due to backlash from Corporate America and LGBT organizations, these protections were made null by Gov. Deal’s decision to veto. Now, a clergyman could be ordered to perform a same-sex marriage in violation of his Christian conscience and a private Christian school would be commanded to hire a teacher whose homosexual lifestyle contradicts the school’s Christian mission statement.
The decision has national implications, because the precedent has been set for other state governments to strike down such laws. Thus, the state governments can dictate how a Christian church, school, or organization may live out its faith. Was not the separation between church and state put into law so that government would not have the capacity to shape religious doctrine and its practical outcomes?
The snarling backlash by the secular realms of corporate America and government (i.e. the political left) have announced to the American people that if there is a decision to be made between favoring the constitutional rights of religious liberty or maintaining the cash flow, our political and social leaders will die for their quarterly sales rather than the Bill of Rights. Secularists and LGBT groups are not satisfied with the Supreme Court decision to “redefine” marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision; no, they want complete submission so that Christianity will have to adapt its beliefs according to the LGBT community’s demands.
And why wouldn’t secularists want complete submission? Long before the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, numerous mainline Protestant denominations voluntarily ordained homosexual clergy and performed same-sex marriages in clear violation of Biblical precepts. Decisions like these send a clear message to the secular Left that churches will capitulate to cultural demands if leaned on with enough abrasiveness.
“The political Left and the LGBT community strive to cow the core of Christ into editing the Gospel to fit the times rather than calling on people to reform their lives according to the Gospel. Some of the mainline denominations have bowed before the Secular altar already, and now, the political left sees an opportunity to assault the Bible-believing Christians into a forced reformation.”
What does the Church do in response? I’d recommend us to continue preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety, just as the Apostles did in the 1st Century church. God can change lives through the Holy Spirit when the Great Commission is fulfilled by its carries. That’s the catch: right now, the secular realm of society doesn’t want to hear the Gospel. I, however, believe that the Church can muster enough backbone to speak God’s truth in spite of the raging governmental and cultural voices.
Also, it’s important for Christians to make use of what’s left of the First Amendment. Write letters to your local and state representatives that explain why your state must not follow Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s decision. Get involved in articulating why the Gospel and God’s law can benefit all of society. Finally, stand in the gap for religious liberty, and don’t expect anyone else to do the same. Religious liberty is our fight and our right, so we’d better raise the decibel level if we want to see it safeguarded against future intrusions.
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” -Jude 1:3
The common answer to nasty predicaments such as this usually consists of, “Don’t worry, God’s still on the throne.” I fully agree with the statement, yet it is duly necessary of those who believe such a statement to bow at God’s throne and seek to further His kingdom rather than cower before those who conspire to oppose it. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), and it is no wonder religious liberty bills are struck down when America no longer fears God. That’s why the church must continue to preach the Gospel without shame, for changed lives are a compelling testimony.
“We are bearers of God’s facts rather than capitulators to man’s lusts.”
Additionally, it’s critical to remember that in terms of the LGBT community and the liberal Left, we must hate the sin yet love the sinner, for God can redeem anyone in either party. However, God’s love does not excuse values that are a counterfeit of His own, and we are the bearers of God’s facts rather than capitulators to man’s lusts. I’ll say it once again, Church: God will redeem lives if the Gospel is spoken, but the conflict has always been fought upon the grounds of giving a voice to the Word of God in uninviting realms. Therefore, the question becomes, “Am I an unashamed proclaimer for the Lord?”
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. The great pursuit of his life is to live by the words he writes—which is currently an ongoing project. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.