Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Losing our Freedoms

Each election cycle endangers our freedoms. This is particularly true for Christians in this election. Recent news out of Arizona reports that Flagstaff is considering raising sexual preference to a protected status. By ordinance, then, the Flagstaff community would accord homosexuals the same protection as that afforded minority ethnic groups.

If this ordinance is not defeated it will have serious ramifications for the traditional Christian community. Jim Dorman, minister of Christ's Church of Flagstaff, reports that while churches would be exempt of the expectations of the ordinance the exemption only applies to ordained personnel. Members, unpaid ministry staff, employees of Christian schools, and even church janitorial services would not be exempt. The ordinance, if passed, would effectively impact a church's right to set membership standards or practice church discipline. Dorman points out that in certain cases church leadership would have to go before a Human Rights Commission to communicate why the church is choosing to be an agency of "discrimination." In worst case scenarios, the Commission could label the church "an agency of discrimination."

This is not just a problem for Christians in Flagstaff. If passed in Flagstaff, other Arizona communities will enact similar ordinances. Regardless of what promoters of such ordinances say, the result is a form of persecution against those who hold a reverence for clear biblical teaching which condemns homosexual behavior.

Other states are well down the slippery slope of decadent acceptance of deviant behavior. This year the California Supreme Court, one of the most liberal state courts in the country, determined that marriage could not be denied homosexual and lesbian partners. Palm Springs is marketing itself as the Gay Marriage Capital in the hopes that homosexuals from throughout the nation will come to the Coachella Valley to "get married." Christians and those favoring traditional marriage are promoting Proposition 8, which will call for legislation to clearly state that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. As of this writing, Proposition 8 is on shaky ground even though the state approved a similar proposition in a previous election. Similar legislation is on the ballot in several other states this year and I predict that most will fail. I pray I'm wrong!

In my opinion, there is a relationship between according sexual preference the recognition as a minority and permitting same sex marriage. Both are attacking the so-called equality issue as seen by the gay rights movement from different directions hoping to catch Christians and traditionalists in a pincer.

Once gay rights activists attain "equality" they will demand that anyone or anything standing in opposition to them be charged with discrimination and punished. The ultimate result will be the removal of tax exempt status from Bible-believing churches or the forced closure of these churches. Preaching or teaching that God condemns homosexual behavior will become discrimination and punished just as it is in Canada today.

Christians must stand up and be counted in this and future elections or the church of Christ will become as persecuted as the church elsewhere.