This is an interesting time to be rallying for the affirmation of traditional marriage. It is even more so because it is a position Shenandoah Christian Alliance, (SCA) an unabashedly Christian organization, is championing in full view of a very hostile cultural environment. Traditional marriage (holy matrimony, solely between one man and one woman for the life of both) is a sacred tenet of Christianity.
[Demonstrators gather to protest a religious freedom bill recently signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.] (Nate Chute/Reuters).
Christians are becoming the target of hatred and intolerance by too many people who don’t share our belief in, and the worship of Jesus Christ – primarily because they are being led to believe Christians are bigoted, prejudicial, and intolerant, and a number of other pejoratives. Few things in recent memory have demonstrated this rather dramatic uptick in religious criticism than the recent events in Indiana and a law designed to uphold the freedoms of all religions – but especially Christians – who have been harshly and unfairly (and I might add, unlawfully) targeted for adhering to their convictions regarding homosexual marriage.
Of course, Christians, and in particular, fundamental, Bible-believing, theologically reformed Christians, as well as those within the Roman Catholic Church aren’t the only people of faith who hold this belief. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Orthodox Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as the Russian and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and certainly the religion of Islam. All have historical traditions and doctrines forbidding homosexual activity. Legalized marriage within the homosexual community is relatively new of course, but it has only served to widen the gulf of serious disagreement with an atheistic, agnostic or otherwise post-modern world-view.
It is a sad but well-known fact that a number of mainline Christian churches in America and around the world are slowly, but inexorably changing their position on homosexual unions as either acceptable or even laudatory and therefore increasingly defensible.
I personally can only speak of my position on the matter as it is based on my understanding of Scripture. The Bible is my source for instruction and understanding. (All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, – 2 Timothy 3:16). Because I want to be righteous – as an act of worship to the Living God, I don’t have a problem considering homosexuality a sin. Paradoxically, I hold this view out of love and not out of intolerance. My antagonists, such as they are, are the ones who demonstrate intolerance. Now it seems they will not even allow me the protection of the law to hold true to the practice of my beliefs.
It is God who has said homosexuality is not pleasing to Him. I love God and so it is not difficult to hate the things He hates. I know this because I know God. Is that so wrong to say and defend? Well, apparently it is.
Now, my liberty to hold to what I believe and to say so publicly is to make me a target for attack and defamation, and in turn, a source of derision and personal indictment. This is not a view of course I hold alone. In fact, a very recent essay by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY carries this provocative headline: “This is How Religious Liberty Dies — The New Rules of the Secular Left”. (Please go to this link and read what he has to say. It is very incisive and you will be blessed and informed.)
So, is liberty dying? More pointedly, will a Traditional Values Rally like the one this weekend someday be illegal?
Considering the current trajectory, and the velocity at which it has developed in this once-free nation, the answer is most probably… yes.
Sobering as this prediction may be, it nevertheless is worth considering what role individually we play going forward from today. As we come away from Skyline High School with our ears still ringing from the inspiring speeches and celebratory singing and cheering, we had better realize we have a very serious fight ahead of us. And, if it is too late to stem the tide of an increasingly hateful culture, we had better prepare ourselves – and our children – for a world we may wish we didn’t live in. If we do not prepare now to fight, and fight hard, we will lose the world we simply took for granted.
I don’t actually want to be a martyr for my faith. But what if I had no choice? Do you ever ask yourself that?
There may still be time left for our generation to stand and fight. My prayer for the SCA and for the Traditional Values Rally attendees and participants this weekend is that we make the determination that if it becomes illegal to be a practicing Christian and one day we face arrest because we hold to our faith, that the charges will be fully warranted.
We must use the tools, talents and tactics that God makes available to us and challenge the culture with truth and righteousness in our homes, the workplace and the community.
May God richly bless each and everyone with His mercy and grace