Our church is looking for a man to replace me as preaching pastor when I step down at the end of 2021. The elders expect to recommend a candidate to the congregation in six weeks. But something has come up: a transgendered man has applied. Although this applicant is unqualified in many ways, we are especially troubled that this person believes transitioning from one gender to another is fine since “transgendered” is never frowned on–let alone mentioned in Scripture. But God has made all people either male OR female (see the chromosome collection) with no hint that we get veto power over His choice. Nevertheless, because of our convictions we are being charged with discrimination. The lawyer told us, “We’ll see you in court”.
OK relax, I made that all up. But we easily could face something like this.
Like inquisitors, legislators are poised to “protect” the LGBTQ + family with the organizational equivalent of stakes, ropes and firewood. While this legislation threatens schools, privacy, and businesses, I have no doubt it will also cost people of faith dearly (including evangelical Christians, Muslims, and some Jewish people). Last month HR 5 passed the US House, and if the Equality Act gets a green light in the US Senate the table will be set for authorities to either torpedo churches and other Christian ministries such as mission agencies and universities who refuse to hire gay staff, or force compliance. Since the bill contains NO religious exemption, this is a very big deal–and a very bad one for Christians who are much more convinced of their Bible’s unchanging message than the short-lived ones favored on the street that are repeatedly replaced by the next “truth”.
This bill is a trojan horse.
Here’s congress’s own summary of the Equality Act: This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
The bill expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.
The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
Even after hormones or sex-change surgery, transgendered women will still have a bigger, harder, and faster frame than biological women. Yet they’ll be legally invited to play lacrosse with biological women. In most cases, the former will defeat the latter. If anyone objects an attorney will be provided for…, your opponent. If he cannot afford one, one will be provided him by the Justice Department so that every objection is met with a legal anvil. Meanwhile, elementary schools must open their girls’ rest rooms to biological boys so they’ll be well-prepared for their high school years where their restrooms will welcome biological men. What a fantastic way to ensure that massive number of additional families decide to homeschool or do cyberschool.
Once HR 5 is woven into the Civil Rights Act of 1964, churches and Christian organizations whose biblical convictions on homosexuality and gender shifting differ from others in society, will be viewed as evil and as outdated as those of the KKK–and treated not only with the same shame, but with the same “justice”. In other words, a church convinced from Scripture that God does not put His stamp of approval on homosexual conduct and thus refuses to hire a gay man as a pastor, will be branded discriminatory and the courts will go to work. Buckle up.
For 2000 years Christians and their churches have believed, lived, preached and proclaimed what the Bible teaches. Admittedly, that’s often put us at odds with our fellow citizens–as in the case of objecting to same-sex practices and the imposition of transgendered demands in schools, sports, and businesses. But when this republic was established–in part by the efforts of those whose ancestors came to the new world fleeing religious persecution, framers explicitly guarded rights to believe, live, preach and proclaim religious convictions. The First Amendment guarantees that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
But the framers of America’s new moral code not only insist that religious protections be ruled null and void, but tell those still clinging to ancient faiths to sit down and shut up. “You’re on the wrong side of history.”
Just days ago USA Today writer Hemal Jhaveri [oops, looks like USA Today just fired her a few hours ago] lashed out at Oral Roberts University after the Christian school’s basketball team somehow waded through competition that included much larger schools like Ohio State to become one of the final sixteen teams in the NCAA’s Big Dance. Hemal is livid that anybody could pretend this is an enchanting Cinderella story since the school is …a hotbed of institutional transphobia, homophobia with regressive, sexist policies. There is no way to separate their men’s basketball team from the dangers of their religious dogma, no matter how many top seeds they defeat.
Wow, I guess the era of “tolerance” has run its course. Or maybe it’s just supposed to go one direction.
You should call or email your US senator right now and urge them to vote “No” on the Equality Act which is anything but equal. And pray. But not only about the nation’s direction, pray that those of us who are faithful would remain faithful no matter what comes. And meet the phony charges of hate so often hurled at us with Jesus’ directives. “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. …If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! Luke 6:27, 32
Several weeks ago Illinois pastor Sandy Willson gave some wise and wonderful words to his Grace Presbyterian congregation about this legislation. It’s worth the 10 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfSxwJIraus