When government disagrees with church doctrine, what’s the church to do? This is becoming an increasingly difficult question to answer as non-Biblical laws are passed, leaving the church with the decision to either stand on God’s Word or conform to government regulations. The answer to the question I posed is obvious — stand on what the Word of God says, not what anyone else says or does.
The city of Houston, Texas has subpoenaed sermons and other materials from pastors who oppose the city’s new ordinance against discriminating against homosexuals in the workplace. Is it right for pastors to turn over this information? Are pastors to be precluded from speaking against laws that do not conform with the Word of God? How then will they uphold the faith which they confess and teach?
It’s a sad situation for the church as a whole. Government intervention into religious affairs is strictly outlawed by the first amendment to the constitution of the United States. But as we know, adherence to the U.S. constitution by lawmakers — and even our own president — is becoming more and more lax. Decisions are made, laws are passed and lawsuits have to be brought in order to overturn them. The time and money it takes to bring a lawsuit against the government is excessive and precludes most from doing so. In the meantime, the law is put into effect regardless of whether it’s constitutional or not.
There has been an outcry from all quarters of the Christian community about this action by the city of Houston which has a gay mayor. It seems the city is starting to back down on their subpoenas, but we know from history that once this sort of thing starts, it’s only a matter of time before it’s done again… and again… until all opposition is burned out.
My prayer is that pastors hold to the Word of God in all they teach and all they do regardless of what the government says or does. Our allegiance is first of all to God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. God put government here as his ‘right arm’ to uphold laws He Himself has put into place. The government has no God-given right to usurp power from God and make laws that contradict the laws of God.
For example, God’s Word says homosexuality is ‘against nature.’ It’s unnatural for a man or women to have sex with their own gender. The Bible is very clear about this in both the Old and New Testaments, and there is no room for debate according to the Scriptures. Bible-believing Christians, both pastors and laypeople, are exhorted to stand on God’s Word no matter what anyone says.
Our conscience dictates that we hold true to what God says, not what man says. If this leads to persecution from the government or other people, it does not matter. We are obligated to stand on the truth no matter what the consequences.
Christians need to prepare for the inevitable — that governments will pass laws contradicting God’s Word and will demand allegiance to those laws. It’s no different than when Nero demanded to be worshiped as God by Christians. They refused and were thrown to the lions in the Roman Colosseum. That would be ethically out of question today, at least in the United States of America and most other countries of the world, but persecution takes many forms and there will be repercussions for standing on God’s Word in our day and time. There is no doubt as this is happening increasingly everywhere on earth.
Join with me in prayer that God extends our freedom to worship Him in spirit and in truth and that both pastors and laypersons choose to stand on God’s Word no matter what any opposition to it says or does. Christians must be prepared to suffer for what they believe, even as our Lord suffered.
Ingrain these verses into your mind and heart. There are many others you can find also.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever.
I Corinthians 16:3 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be men, be strong.
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
The road ahead may not look as bright as it did 50 years ago, but God is fully in charge and will bring about all He has promised to us. There are many Christians in many countries who are being killed for what they believe; let’s have the courage to stand on God’s Word in our own country no matter what the consequences. Jesus is with us; he will never leave or forsake us. The future is truly as bright as the light from above, no matter how dark it gets here on earth in the meantime as we await the triumphant return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.