Thursday, June 18, 2009

Government-Run Churches

Once again I am offering a Chuck Colson article for your consideration. When I read this article I was reminded of the Hate Crimes Legislation and how far it can be carried. So the answer to the question of can it happen here is certainly in the affirmative. Given the ideology of the current administration one could say that the scenario is not too far fetched. The current administration has already set aside a week for Gay Lesbian and transgender recognition, is pushing health benefits for gay government employees, is pushing to mandate that religious groups such as the Salvation Army doing non-profit community work must hire individuals regardless of sexual preference. The next step… government run churches? You decide.

Government-Run Churches
Can It Happen Here?

In China, Christians have a choice: Join a government-approved church—which is constantly monitored by the authorities—or join an underground church.

Thank heavens things like that don’t happen in the West, you may be thinking. Think again. In Britain, the government has begun sticking its nose in church business, telling churches what to do.

According to the Daily Telegraph, starting next year, the British government is going to begin forcing churches and other religious institutions to hire open, practicing homosexuals. It will happen under the provisions of the so-called Equity Bill, which forbids discrimination against homosexuals or transsexuals.

The law would “cover almost all church employees,” according to Deputy Equities Minster Maria Eagle. “The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between,” Eagle said. Church groups, she said, “cannot claim that everything they run is outside the scope of anti-discrimination law.”

What’s next—regulating the content of sermons? I’m not kidding. According to Eagle, “Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater” acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people.

Maybe it would simplify things if the government simply wrote the sermons for the pastors.

The Equity Law could lead to some interesting situations. What happens if a church, under pressure, hires a gay youth minister—and orders him to teach kids about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior? And I can only imagine the reaction of a British mosque when the religion police orders it to hire a lesbian secretary.

Neil Addison, a Catholic barrister who is an expert on religious discrimination laws, told the Telegraph that the Equity Law “is a threat to religious liberty.” “What we are losing,” he said, “is the right for [churches] to make free choices.”

He’s right. To put it more bluntly, the government is beginning to run the churches. And if they succeed, it will be the end of religious freedom in Britain.

Legislation like the Equity Law should concern Americans. So-called “social reforms” that begin in Europe soon wash up on our own shores.

And then, what will happen to the Church? Will we put our congregations under the authority of Caesar? Or will we resist and, if need be, abandon our elegant buildings and, like our faithful brethren in China, form underground churches?

The Bible teaches that the followers of Christ will be tested. We ought to be in prayer for the church in Great Britain, asking God to guide it as the government bears down.

Second, we ought to be preparing for similar laws here. Many churches are already under great pressure by homosexual activists to violate their own teachings under the guise of “fairness”—a much abused word.

This, by the way, is not a hysterical rant. The threat is very real.

Third, we ought to remind our neighbors that the First Amendment was written not just to protect the government from churches, but more so to protect churches from the government.


GM Roper said...

Ticker, many years ago my brother, an Army Chaplin violated a direct order to preach about something or other. He was damn near brought before a courts martial for his efforts. But if I know my brother, he must have felt it important enough to take that risk. Your post reminded me that sometimes breaking a "law" is the higher moral stance.

Thanks bud!

Ticker said...

GM, absolutely but few are willing to take the high road when it comes to taking a stand for God.

Bryan said...

Come what may, "We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:28, 29)...for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal 1:10.)

Many will cower, but there will be those who will not kiss nor bow to Baal.

May the Lord guide and keep us all in his grace and truth.

Ticker said...

Amen Bryan.

Always On Watch said...

This administration, President and Congress, would like nothing better to overturn the traditional ethos of the church. In other words, the push for the emergent church is on! And the emergent church is nothing less than apostasy and heresy.

When preachers speak out against sin, I'm sure that the government regards those statements as hate thought. Just imagine how this administration would react to the sermons of Jonathan Edwards?