The Angry Pastor Blog
Its coming. Bad times. Like, really, really bad times.
In the next few days, the Supreme Court of the United States will be issuing a ruling on two landmark cases concerning homosexuality and gay marriage. Up for debate: whether or not a state can define marriage (or simply acknoweldge God's definition) and whether a state government can be forced to recognize unions in other states, which are against the law in the home state. According to most pundits, including such diverse sources as the New York Times and Focus on the Family's James Dobson, the decision is all but decided. The Supreme Court will strike down "gay marriage" bans, and insitute same sex "marriage" across the country.
For those who have been observant of similar developments in other countries, this eventuality is deeply troubling. Besides the blatant disregard for God's Word and God's creation that such a legal declaration represents, which many would say is bad enough, there are equally troubling side effects that have been seen to accompany such "civil rights" advances. In Scottland last year, for instance, a traveling evangelist was arrested for hate speech, just for reading parts of the Bible publicly, which condemn homosexual practices. Tony Miano, the evangelist in question, was forced to pay an enormous sum of money in legal fees and transportation, though he was eventually exonerated.
This tragedy is not unique, nor has it been confined to other countries. Just recently, bakers in Oregon were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same sex wedding. Likewise, a photographer in New Mexico was put out of business for refusing to photograph a same sex wedding, a T-Shirt company was sued for refusing to make shirts for a "Gay Pride" festival...and the list goes on (see a list, HERE). Not even pastors and preachers are immune, it seems.
So what are we, as Bible believing Christians to do in such a time as this? The situation looks bleak. As a bivocational pastor, who leads a small Southern Baptist congregation and who does wedding videography to make ends meat, you would think that I would be particularly on edge.
But I am not. And here is the very simple reason why I am not....my hope is in the Lord.
Do not think, dear Christian, that we are the first Christians, ever, to live in a society which rejects God's laws. Christians began in just such a place, namely, the Roman Empire. Nero, Diocletian, even Pontius Pilate and the Jewish authorities, all of them rejected God's Word, tried to force others to do likewise, and punished those who refused. The apostle Paul was beaten multiple times, left for dead, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and pretty much persecuted in every way known to man (2 Corinthians 11). Yet, did he dispair?
Absolutely not! In fact, he asserted that God was actually using these acts of persecution for the advance of God's kingdom. It was "in these" acts, that God's people were "more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37). You read that right: the Gospel makes greater strides in times of trouble, than it does in times of ease. History has born this truth out; where persecution of the church erupts, the Gospel advances. Tertullian, a second century Church father, even acknowledged this truth, saying that the "blood of martyrs, was the seed of the church."
So take heart brothers and sisters! Have faith. Stand strong, and do what is right! God is working out His plan, and He shall accomplish it, for nothing can stand in His way. Regardless what the Supreme Court might say, regardless what the authorities say, God has already spoken, and it is our job to stand for that truth. To speak truth to power. To proclaim repentance from sin, and salvation in Christ, even in defiance of earthly rulers if need be.
No matter the cost.