The “Equality Act” and the Future of the Church in America

I have received many compliments over the last several months over my posts in which I strive to provide a godly and biblical lens to what is transpiring in our beloved country.  But this post should be prefaced with a “trigger warning” for fellow-believers, for I have little hope for my country.

Let us be clear from the beginning about what we already know: the so-called Equality Act has nothing to do with equality.  Those of disordered affections, who go by the clumsy moniker of LGBT and now Q, are hardly oppressed.  Indeed, I know of no industry in our country that is not in their corner—education, entertainment, media, chambers of commerce, law, Fortune 500 Companies, you name it—all kneel before Sodom’s altar.  Mainline Protestant churches which have long since abandoned biblical authority march to the beat of their drum.  The only groups of people who refuse to acknowledge their lordship are evangelical and Catholic churches—and it is this which makes them seethe with rage.  Indeed, the Act’s proponents have thrown off all pretense leaving out any and all religious exemptions and conscience protections for which anyone could reasonably ask.  According to its definition of “public accommodations,” not even churches are safe from its claws.  Make no mistake, what we have is a group of people who without apology and quite shamelessly are screaming as loudly as they possibly can, “Religious Liberty be damned!”  Indeed, The Equality Act should be named the “Stamp Out Religion Act,” for that is the sole purpose of its reprehensible provisions.

But let us leave The Equality Act and turn to the state of affairs in our nation.  Many of my well-meaning co-religionists are sounding the alarm over this bill as it makes its way through Congress.  I applaud their efforts—but I feel they are wasted.  Their thinking is, “If only enough Americans know about this….”  Such thinking assumes that this nation still maintains some semblance of a Christian or even a just ethos; it does not and has not for some time.  We may divide our nation into four groups: 1) The self-acknowledged and proud pagans represented by, say, the Huffington Post, The New Republic, the media, and the elite of our society; 2) the pagans who think they are Christians but who have traded the gospel of Jesus Christ for a secular gospel of inclusion and tolerance, which when put into practice is anything but; 3) Christians who are ignorant and thus think like pagans; and, then, 4) Christians who think and behave like Christians for whom the Bible is their authority in faith and practice.  The latter group is smallest by far.  In other words, even if Americans knew about The Equality Act, the majority of them would either favor it or not care.  Yes, this is the place to which our nation has sunk.  Simply look back over the last several decades—is it not a history of falling back?  Who would have dreamed of such a monstrosity as “same-sex marriage” forty or even thirty years ago?  Who would have seriously given any thought to a bill with the ramifications for religious liberty as The Equality Act twenty years ago?  But did anyone on the left raise an eyebrow when Hilary Clinton said in 2016, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”  And she and the rest of them are happy to use the coercive powers of government to help you evolve with the arc of history.

But let us (again) dispense with any further discussion of this blatant attack on our liberties by people even more shameless than the law they propose.  Let us speak for a moment about the church in America and how she should respond in the coming years.  This is where I and my evangelical friends will part ways.  Their plan is forever to engage and witness, to be lights in a darkened world.  Well, I agree that we must be lights and witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ as opportunity permits.  But we must understand that we do not live in the pre-Christian world of the early church or the Christian world of our grandparents; ours is a post-Christian world with people who have already made up their minds about us.  We are the only group that can routinely be lampooned and demonized in the media and the entertainment industry.  The millennials are proof that the younger generations are thoroughly immersed and marinated in a pagan culture and mindset.  Our language is hopelessly foreign to them.  We are told that they are interested in “spiritual things”; no, they are interested in dark things and their worldview is so filled with relativism that ideas such as truth are to them subjective experiences.  Christians today (the fourth group above) have been carried away to Babylon without ever moving.  We live in a pagan society that intends to assimilate us.

And what does this mean for the church?  We must turn inward—yes, INWARD.  We must raise our standards for membership and train for godliness.  We must become mature Christians.  You ask, “What about ministry?”  The pagans are shoving us away.  In states such as California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and others, Catholics and evangelicals have been turned out of foster care and adoption ministries because they would not compromise their beliefs.  If The Equality Act passes, shelters for abused women will be closed for not allowing men who insist against biology and common sense that they are women.  Christian schools are already being targeted for the crime of hiring those who agree with their beliefs (imagine that!) as are hospitals for not providing services for abortions or “transitioning.”  Our beliefs are to them simply sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic—all those ugly words which allow them to hide behind their own prejudices while dismissing arguments contrary to their shibboleths.  Like Hilary said, we are the ones who MUST change.  They honestly do not understand us and don’t care to as their minds are so darkened.  We may be seeing our Lord’s “giving them up” described in Romans 1:18-32 right before our eyes but on a societal scale.

I do not claim to be a prophet, but I do claim to be a man with my eyes open; call me, “woke.”  I will tell you now that within ten years, church buildings will become liabilities as governments confiscate such properties through excessive fines for not performing same-sex weddings or hiring such people.  House-churches will soon be the norm as Christians will be forced to “go underground.”  “But that would look cultish,” you say.  Why yes, and that is exactly the way the early churches looked to Roman governors in the first three centuries—and we know what happened to those Christians.  In short, we will not be able to build bridges as they will demand that those bridges be built on their terms.  Instead, to borrow a different analogy, we will need to build castles with earthworks and moats with alligators. 

We must focus on integrity, indoctrination, godliness, discipline, and faithfulness in the face of fire and water.  This is the only way we will survive the coming storm.  Church consultants are always saying that we must rethink ministry.  I’ve never liked them because I sensed that all they ever meant was that we needed to incorporate more of the world’s ways and media to “reach more people with the gospel.”  They’re wrong.  We need less media, less technology, less accommodation and more ruminating on Scripture, more sloughing off of sin, more godliness, more doctrine, more encouraging one another, more soul-shaking prayer, and yes, more knowledge of church tradition and history as others before us also had to sail unchartered waters. 

We must close ranks and tend the sheep—or else die a slow and painful death by assimilation.  I mean it.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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