Friday's supreme court decision has really thrown me for a loop. Not because it was unexpected (it wasn't) but because it has really gotten me to think about persecution. And for as much good as I logically know persecution does for the individual and the Church, I'll be honest, it scares me.
In the coming years, we are going to see two things happen: churches who preach against homosexuality will be in danger of losing their 501(c)3 status and speaking against this sin will become a hate crime. The first will cripple many churches financially, and the second will cause many faithful Christians to be sent to jail.
But the government will be generous. If only a church will refuse to preach the whole counsel of God and bow instead to government regulation, they will be allowed to continue on.
This reminds me of Christianity in China. Churches can either be government registered, and have to follow government rules about what they can do and teach, or they can be independent (and therefore, illegal) and worship God without government regulation. Pastors of illegal churches are often thrown in jail. Meetings have to be secret and there is always the thread of intrusion by authorities. You see, the Chinese Government wants to be god. And churches that dare bow only to the True God and not to the Chinese god feel the wrath of this human institution.
Even more, this reminds me of early Christianity. Early Christians were persecuted in large part not because they worshiped a different God (the Romans had a whole pantheon of gods and didn't mind adding one more) but because they refused to worship the god of the Roman government: Caesar, the one god they were required to worship.
Reading in Daniel this morning, I was struck by two verses. The context is an uprising by a major enemy of God.
"He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder" (11:32-33)
And what is the final end of this enemy of God and his people?
"And he shall come pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him." (11:45)
So let us stand firm on the Word of God and not fear. Let us not be man-pleasers and conform the Bible to what is currently popular and accepted. In the end, there is only God. The US government, and all governments will have their end in time, but He will not.
Sorry SCOTUS, nice try thinking that you have the power to define marriage. There is only One Creator of marriage, and He created it to be for one man and one woman.