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We Don’t Need Exemptions, We Need Liberty

July 8th, 2014 4 comments

gay pride1Earlier today I read a headline which concerned me deeply. It read, “Rick Warren Joins Leaders Seeking Religious Exemption on LGBT Order.” Now I have the utmost respect for Pastor Rick Warren. He is a great man of God and his impact in both the Church and the world has been nothing short of historic. However, let me explain why I believe he, and other pastors, are dead wrong in their approach to this issue.

Our president is, once again, making the law instead of implementing it. And if trampling the Constitution’s separation of powers is not bad enough, the law he is creating via executive order flies directly in the face of God’s clear teaching about sexual sin.

Let’s be clear – every American already enjoys equal protection under our Constitution. What is new here is the tyrannical imposition upon the US citizenry and the rest of the world, the belief that the LGBT lifestyle and agenda is good, normal and wholesome. Those who fail to join the parade are obviously evil, bigoted and mean-spirited. All this is driven by a twisted understanding of “civil rights” undergirded by the erroneous assumption that being “gay” is as much an inherited trait as being French.

The fact remains there has not been one scientifically valid study to support this assertion. In addition, as pastors, we have the clear teaching of Scripture revealing God’s view of sexual sin, which includes the sin of homosexuality. Homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic like gender or race; it is an immoral behavior, in the same category as adultery or fornication.

So what should be the proper response from America’s pastors when our chief executive orders people of faith to hire those whom they believe are living immoral lifestyles? I suggest we learn from those who have gone before us.

When Herod took his brother’s wife as his own, John the Baptist didn’t ask for a religious exemption, he asked for obedience to God. John went straight to the king and spoke the word of the Lord:

“It is against God’s law for you to marry her.” (Matthew 14:4)

The king was not an evangelical Christian by any stretch of the imagination. He was an arrogant, selfish, power hungry, pleasure-driven, godless politician. You see, God’s law isn’t just for those who happen to embrace it. It applies to all of His creation. The job of the Church, and pastors in particular, is to remind those in positions of authority of their duty as His “ministers” (Romans 13:4) to lead in a way that promotes righteousness and punishes evil. When leaders get that messed up and begin promoting public policy that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, our job is to tell them to stop, not to ask them for exemptions.

A government that has the power to grant you a special exemption one day has the right to remove it the next. This is why we must stand boldly and speak courageously for the cause of righteousness and liberty and for the protection of our God-given, inalienable rights.

We don’t need religious exemptions. We don’t need government accommodations. We need leaders who will “rule in the fear of the Lord” (2 Samuel 23:3) and pastors who will hold them accountable when they brazenly refuse to do so. Where are the modern day John the Baptists?