The Totalitarian Push To Rid Religious People of “Prejudice”

When Churches Aren't Allowed To Believe The Bible's Teaching on Marriage.

It’s a morning I’ll remember for a long time.

Jan 20, 2009.

The historic inauguration of the first African-American President of the USA, Barack Obama.

It was an exciting time for many people.

Not least the gay community of America.

Unlike George W. Bush, Obama was seen as a very pro-gay: a supporter of gay rights like no other President before him.

But here’s the interesting thing: in his first term as President, Obama publicly held that marriage was only between one man, and one woman.

And no one accused him of anti-gay prejudice or homophobia.

Up until early 2012, most people believed that you could genuinely love gay people, and yet hold to the traditional definition of marriage.

How times have changed.

When Believing in Marriage Is Prejudice

 

The worldwide Anglican communion (i.e. group of Churches) discovered this change firsthand.

The heads of the Anglican Churches from around the globe held a meeting recently in the UK, to try and head off a split between its liberal and conservative wings.

And marriage was an important part of the discussion.

To cut a long story short, the overwhelming majority of Anglican Churches worldwide decided to keep marriage defined by their Churches in historical, Scriptural terms: as only between one man, and one woman.

In other words, a Christian church reaffirmed a historical Christian belief: about as earth-shattering as Greenpeace reaffirming its commitment to protect the environment.

And yet, not everyone was pleased.

1) When The Church Stirs Up The Secular Elite

Not happy, Church of England.

Some in the secular elite could not accept that a Christian church would (re)commit to the Christian view of marriage.

The editorial board of The Times UK, a highly respected newspaper, had this to say about the UK Church of England, after the worldwide Anglican Communion’s decision on marriage:

They are…defending discrimination that should be unacceptable in the 21st centuryIf Anglicanism must split, there is only one side the Church of England should be on. At the moment it is on the wrong one.’

Obama publicly held to traditional marriage up until early 2012, and no-one batted an eyelid.

But a mere 4 years later, a Church believes exactly the same thing, and it’s deemed ‘unacceptable’.

And here’s the (ominous) point:

2) The Secular Elite Are Beginning to Pressure Churches

“You can believe anything you want about marriage, as long as it’s same-sex marriage”

The pressure is (still) subtle, yes.  But it’s very real.

Writing about this outcry against the Anglican Church’s decision to hold firm on marriage, James Mumford in the Spectator writes:

The outcry is indicative of a profound shift. Institutions founded on certain precepts to which its members are expected to subscribe shouldn’t be allowed to act on them if those precepts don’t square with a prevailing agenda.’

He continues:

Back in 2013 advocates for same-sex marriage argued that the church’s beliefs about sexuality shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of society.

That makes sense.

But now the church is being told it shouldn’t hold those beliefs at all.’

The push for Same Sex Marriage is going totalitarian. Basic freedoms, such as the freedom of association, and freedom of religion, are now considered disposable, in the face of same-sex marriage.

And it’s not good for human rights:

3) Basic Human Freedoms Are Under Threat

The Totalitarian Mindset Is Growing.

Mumford continues:

It is easy to overlook how ominous this shift really is. The conviction that organisations and communities cannot determine their own distinct ethos, their own rules for membership and their own criteria for leadership imperils the very survival of a pluralistic society.

What is the point of institutions if they don’t have the freedom to organise themselves in the way they see fit?’

Indeed.

If society – or it’s secular elites – starts demanding that Christian Churches are not allowed to believe, let alone teach the Bible, then are we really a free society?

But here’s something else Christians need to keep in mind:

4) The Only Way For Churches and Christians To Avoid Pressure

Bow The Knee To The Modern View Of Sexuality.

Many Christians think  that we won’t cop flack if we get out of the public marriage debate, and stop advocating against the legal re-definition of marriage.

Apart from this being a dereliction of loving the most vulnerable, it’s now becoming clear that such a tactic won’t work.

As far as the secular elites are concerned, our beliefs about human sexuality are the problem.

Nobody has put this more clearly than  columnist Frank Bruni, of the New York Times. He writes: 

[Secular society should free] religions and religious people from prejudices that they needn’t cling to and can indeed jettison, much as they’ve jettisoned other aspects of their faith’s history, rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity.’

Merely believing in Biblical sexuality/marriage is ‘prejudice’.

And until Christians bow to the enlightenments of modernity (i.e. secular sexuality), we won’t be left alone.

Free Or Totalitarian?

Totalitarian regimes and societies are threatened by having organisations and individuals who have views that differ from the norm. In such societies, compulsion and oppression is the order of the day. But free societies are not threatened by the existence of such groups and individuals: such groups are allowed to live and practice their views in peace.

And so, it seems a growing number of same-sex marriage advocates are happy to move toward a less free, and more totalitarian society. 

 

 

Photo: Dollarphotoclub.com

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8 thoughts on “The Totalitarian Push To Rid Religious People of “Prejudice”

  1. So for the west – the post churchman era is here with strength. The majority in this era are strongly vocal reacting to the church heritage, for example the media voicing the immorality in the church. Christianity as outlined in the Bible is now a small minority and this minority too has a voice. This voice is like Thomas “my Lord and my God’ in his great confession (John 20:28) when Thomas was confronted with the love shown by fellow disciples and his personal reflection on what Jesus had said in his three years with him. Today Christians, in living out their lives in Christ, have a similar brief – to love others and proclaim the story of Jesus.

    How do Biblical Christians do that? How do they connect with liberal Christians who side with the secular voice?
    How do biblical Christians connect with the emergent ‘totalitarian’ voice? Did not the first Christians have a similar predicament and yet through them the gospel multiplied? What is the local church getting wrong in raising disciples who will multiply? What is the role of the para-church presence in providing a correction for the church?

    It is good that such considerations are now becoming mainstream thinking amongst the small number who challenge the status quo.

    Chris Sandford

    • Thanks for your comment Chris.

      Yes, we do need to think through how to respond to a world that is rapidly growing in suspicion, and hostility, to Christianity.

      Akos

  2. Akos, it’s good you are writing this.

    I’m outside Australia, so I’m not up to date with the latest happenings, but every time I ask a friend there what the church is doing about SSM the response is mostly, “nothing”. Christians better start speaking out, and fast. The upcoming election and plebiscite offer a great opportunity to speak out.

    My feeling is that this is not going to be unlike the situation Corrie ten Boom experienced under the Nazis. The threat of physical persecution won’t be as great as that period, but any persecution will be significant enough to separate the sheep and the goats.

    Christians need to speak out now while there is an opportunity.
    Sticking your head in the sand won’t stop the tsunami.

    • Hey Brad!

      Thanks for the comment.

      I agree that now is the time to speak out. There is still time to stop the ‘tsunami’…