I just learned that the city of Houston has demanded that church pastors turn over any sermons pertaining to homosexuality in light of a non-discrimination ordinance that the city approved in June and also in reference to mayor Annise Parker, who is a lesbian.
Far be it from me to suggest that the city or any government agency should have the authority to do something like this under the First Amendment, and I would think that the American Civil Liberties Union might weigh in, in favor of the churches.
There’s a bigger issue here, however — an unbiblical focus on homosexual conduct that goes way beyond what the Bible says about it. Many Christians have isolated it as especially heinous and, as a result, become persecutors in their own right. Numerous media “ministries” have over the years used gays as a political piñata to raise money and outrage.
What we’re seeing here is thus a backlash, which I understand because at some point you do get tired of being picked on.
Well, doesn’t the Bible say that it’s morally wrong? Yes — and no. In the Bible God’s people are to avoid it — in the Old Testament, on pain of death — to distinguish themselves from other nations, but nowhere is it mentioned as especially bad. In this fashion the understood cultural context goes too far.
Canada, which doesn’t have a First Amendment, does have “hate speech” laws, and many Christians fear we might go down that road. However, according to a Canadian pastor whom I met online a few years ago, you are allowed to preach against homosexuality so long as you include it as part of a litany of sins. Which is the correct Scriptural position anyway.
This seems to be a failure of the “Golden Rule” more so than political correctness or a prophetic word — after all, too many of us have forgotten the truth “There but for the grace of God … ” I have no obvious solution, but it’s clear to me that we’ve set the table and now may have to eat the meal.