There was a time when the left was about freedom, acceptance, diversity, and tolerating ideas that someone might disagree with. The quote "I may not agree with what you say but I'll fight for your right to say it" was a standard with liberals.
Those days have passed. Confident in their control of culture and politics, the left has shifted to being the establishment, which tries to silent dissent, eliminate differences, and prevent any challenge to their authority and power. As I've written about before, the left is The Man.
The IRS during the 2012 election released a lot of information on donations by different people in violation of the law. The purpose behind this release is not certain, but appears to have been an attempt to intimidate businesses and people to hesitate to donate to Republicans. Why would it intimidate them? Ask Breden Ecih, who became the target of a campaign to remove him from Mozilla because of his donation eight years ago.
The people who wanted him out had a simple demand: "repent for your donation and say you no longer think that way or you must be fired." It was basic tyranny; a demand that someone think or do what they are told or be punished. One is reminded of the scene from Bravehart with William Wallace on the torturer's table depicted in the picture above: confess and this all will end. Wallace died with freedom on his lips. Eich refused to recant and was fired by the board of Mozilla.
Leftists cheered this as a triumph against hate and intolerance. Mozilla published this tweet, with apparently utter lack of self awareness, or comprehension of the English language"
"We believe in openness and that no one should be persecuted for the beliefs they hold no matter what they are."
Yet as Christians watch this, how should we respond? What should the Christian reaction to these events be, and further, similar events? Christians, particularly black and hispanic ones, were strong supporters and donors to Proposition 8.
Should Christians stop h8ing and embrace the modern world? What should we do and say in response to these events?
The first thing Christians need to realize is that the Bible is unequivocal in its opposition and condemnation of homosexual activity. This is only questioned by people who want to accept the present cultural pressure and feel bad about being different or weird. Even those who claim Jesus never said anything about the topic are off base; in Matthew 19, Jesus says in no uncertain terms that marriage is one man and one woman, period.
There's no room in the Bible or Christian faith for watering this kind of thing down or trying to find some way to make what the Bible says mean something else due to cultural or modern pressures. We must be true to God's word, even if we don't like it, or find it awkward - perhaps especially then.
The second thing Christians need to remember is that we are all sinners. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us are guilty of sinning and violating God's law, and as Peter explains, any one sin is sufficient for that strand holding us above the dread fires of God's wrath to break. Its like a chain; it doesn't matter which link breaks. While it is very likely that some sins enrage God more than others, in the end from our perspective, they're all sins against God and we cannot condemn anyone else's sin more than ours.
Homosexuality might be personally disgusting to you or I, but that doesn't make it a worse sin than what we do. In fact, in Romans 1, Paul seems to make the argument that sexual sins aren't as bad as gossip and disobedience of parents, for example.
So we cannot as Christians condemn other people as being worse than us for engaging in a particular sin. Jesus warned against this with his parable about the mote and the plank: humility and love should always characterize the Christian response to anything.
Those who sin are, like us, standing before a righteous and just God who tolerates no sin. Only by the doing and dying of the lord Jesus Christ do any of us find salvation from our sins. So we stand equally accused and equally guilty with every other sinner, even the ones we find weird or icky.
Also, Christians need to avoid the temptation to overreact or angrily response to culture's extremes. The constant pressure to change our basic beliefs to match current cultural norms can easily produce anger, outrage, and rebellious opposition in us. Our response should be measured by love and humility, not frustration or anger, or even fear.
At the same time, Christians needs to not bend the knee to modern idols. It is easy to give in, to change your statements and public beliefs to avoid persecution, mockery, the loss of acquaintances, and even your job. We must stand fast to the word of God, whatever the changes and shifts in the culture around us might be. Too often, Christians are far more afraid of what their fellow man think of them than God. Too often, Christians have followed the moods and shifts of the world around them instead of standing tall as light in a darkened world.
Christian defense of oppression of minorities and women, Christian defense of the institution of Slavery in America, Christian abuse of the environment all came not from the Bible, but the culture around Christians at the time and the desire to try to make the Bible fit that culture. Christians are called to be different, unique, and special -- "holy" or set apart -- in our culture, whatever it may be.
So without being angrily defiant or bowing to the pressures of culture, we should be confidently, humbly, and lovingly true to God and His truth. We should be distinct and distinguishable from the world around us by what we believe and do, even if it costs us.
Because Christians, more than most, should know that the spirit of the age comes and goes. In my short life I've seen the concept of homosexual marriage go from something everyone mocked and homosexuals thought oppressive and "heteronormative" to being considered a civil right that only someone filled with hate could oppose. If California had a vote again on the measure it probably would lose today, when just 8 years ago it was a comfortable win.
Tomorrow something else will be different. What won't change is God's word; the same yesterday, today, and forever. What won't change is the truth. And in modern culture, at least some people will find consistency, integrity, honor, and constancy attractive and admirable; even something they want to know more about and why you're different.
Because God is in charge. Not us, not the people in Washington DC, not the news media or entertainment community, or anyone anywhere else. God alone is sovereign, and His will cannot be broken. What He has planned will come to pass, and we have been promised that while the world will be a very hard and often sad place, in the end it all will be for our good, to be conformed to the likeness of Christ Jesus, our savior.
So with the certain confidence of God's inevitable victory we don't have to feel fear. With the knowledge of man's sinful nature and the corruption of a sinful world, we don't have to feel surprise. And with the certainty of God's grace and truth, we don't have to feel anger. We can face this with the courage and confidence of the Holy Spirit as a constant comforter, and hold fast to the truth.
And remember: he who marries the spirit of the age, soon finds himself a widower, as Dean William R. Inge once noted.
*this is part of the Christian Response series.