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We Don’t Need Exemptions, We Need Liberty

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?

  1. Dr. Carole Reeves
    July 9th, 2014 at 00:23 | #1

    Dr. Ron, you are right on with your observations. Where are the pastors who will call our people and our nation to repentance? Truth is often unpleasant to the ear, but that does not mean we are not to share it. God will hold all of us to accountability if we are afraid to be obedient to His Word.

  2. carl novetske
    July 9th, 2014 at 05:24 | #2

    Who in the world would call Rick Warren a “great man of God”? Anyone who condones a lifestyle that God calls an abomination is certainly NOT “a great man of God”. Mr. Warren has forfeited his Christian credentials by his denial of God’s clear word on this subject. Woe to the one who defies our Living God. Many have tried in the past, and many are condemned by their words and actions. Jesus IS Lord!

  3. Kerry Drake
    July 10th, 2014 at 01:23 | #3

    Even though Mr Warren is working in a direction that seems counter intuitive, I think it is a stalling move to at least attempt something. I agree that to face head on this ever expanding and forceful trend toward fornication, lasciviousness and adultery is the correct method to curtail the headlong rush to Judgement and Hell that so many of these people are on. But at least he and other spiritual leaders are doing something. Maybe not the most direct method, and maybe not even effectual, but something. If our Congress would stop the infighting and stop putting the R, D, and I in front of their names, maybe they would have a chance to work as a unit to do the job that they are being paid to do, and not give the current or future President(s) the opportunity to create law. That’s their job!! I think we would have a better chance of having more moral law if this were so, because we actually have a chance to keep them accountable for what they do, but unfortunately, we do not have that same influence on the Presidency, and now we have what we have – all branches seemingly incapable of staying within Constitutional boundaries as pertaining to their positions. I get a sick feeling every time I hear a politician say “God bless America”. What God or god are they referring to?

  4. Paul Rothbard
    July 19th, 2014 at 03:04 | #4

    Having to seek exemptions is usually a sign that the government shouldn’t be involved in an issue in the first place. Just like Hobby Lobby was more or less given an exemption rather than winning on the constitutional grounds that it should have.

    We know Rick Warren doesn’t condone homosexuality. The question is whether we can fight for every exemption: until the government gets out of the marriage business / until the government repeals Obamacare / until the tax code isn’t a disaster?

    Can we use exemptions in the short term without becoming complacent in the long term?

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