The Imminent Collision Between God’s Word and Man’s Law

In a rapidly growing progressive secular society, there seems to be an imminent collision on the horizon between God’s word and man’s law. So what can we do?

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Since that time, more than 61 million babies were killed while in their mother’s womb, and, sadly, the slaughter continues. In 2015, the court made yet another landmark decision that requires every state to grant and recognize same-sex marriages. A decision that stands in stark contrast to the Bible, where God’s word teaches that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. The decision forces each state to normalize ungodly behaviors in the eyes of young, impressionable minds regardless of the people’s will.

Today, legislators in the U.S. Congress are pushing a bill through the system that, if signed into law, could, and likely will, present significant implications for the church moving forward. The bill is named the “Equality Act.” In summary, the bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to shared facilities, such as a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that align with the individual’s chosen gender identity. In other words, if a third-grade male identifies himself as a female, neither the state nor the school can deny him the right to use the female restroom, locker room, etc. To do so would be considered an act of discrimination against that child and a violation of law.

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So how could this impact the church if signed into law? To put this into perspective, the Internal Revenue Service considers churches to be public charities that provide a community service. Section (3) of the bill speaks to the prohibition of discrimination or segregation in public accommodations. It lists the following examples: “stadium or other place or establishment that provides exhibition, entertainment, recreation, exercise, amusement, public gathering, or public display.” Since the church provides a public service and is open to the public, it would be considered a “public gathering,” and therefore, subject to the law. This is not to say churches should defend discrimination, surly not! After all, Jesus calls His followers to love the sinner, despise the sin; however, that does not mean the church must permit behaviors and beliefs that are not congruent with God’s word.

Another likely implication for the church, should the bill become law, involves same-sex marriages. At present, churches can decline to perform or allow such ceremonies to occur because of doctrinal beliefs and God’s authoritative word. However, under the proposed Equality Act, a church pastor, who the state licenses to perform weddings, could face a discrimination lawsuit by refusing to perform or allow same-sex marriages in the church, which again is a place considered open and available to the public. The law could impact Christians’ freedom to share their faith with others in the community or the workplace when speaking on subjects that secularists deem discriminatory, e.g., same-sex marriage.

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Does all this sound too far-fetched? It would have 70-years ago, but today, in a rapidly growing progressive secular society, the possibility is all too real and present. So much so that there seems to be an imminent collision between God’s word and man’s law on the horizon. “Why is God allowing this to happen?” you might ask. It could be because the voice of His church in the United States has fallen to a faint whisper. It could be God’s way of pushing the church out of its comfort zone, a church, as a whole, that says, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” yet all the while, it has become poor, blind, and naked!

So what can we do? That is a question occupying the minds of Christians throughout the nation, and here are three things we can do starting right here, right now.

  1. In Psalm 46:10, the LORD tells us to “cease striving and know that I AM God.” In other words, we need to keep our focus on God, know that He is still seated on His throne in heaven, that He is in ultimate control, and we must trust Him by faith and seek His will through prayer. Prayer should always be the Christian’s first line of defense, never a last resort.
      
  2. Just as Apostle Paul, in 1 Thessalonians, encouraged the church to pray without ceasing, so should we because Scripture makes the power of unified, effective prayer all too clear. For example, when all seemed lost for Apostle Peter at King Herod’s hands, the church prayed with fervor and unity, and the Lord dispatched an angel to free Peter from prison.
  3. In his letter to Timothy, Paul affirms that “All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.” Therefore, we must continue to cling to God’s word as the ultimate authority because it is, and we must not waver against worldly pressures.
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“Just a minute!” you might say. “The Bible also says, “Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Yes, that is correct. However, Paul also states in the context of that passage that if a governing official oversteps the authority of office, Christians are to obey God rather than man. Peter provided the perfect example in the book of Acts when he and some other disciples faced the High Priest and council for teaching God’s word. The High Priest instructed them to cease such teaching, and Peter replied, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Therefore, no matter the trial we face in this brief journey we call life, let us be encouraged to take time to be still and know that God is God. Take time to pray and spend time in the Lord’s presence. Spend time each day to study and live out His word, share the gospel, and make disciples by teaching them everything He has taught us. Let us always remember that nothing catches God off guard; therefore, let us seek His perfect will for the church and the way ahead.


References
H.R. 5 – 117th Congress (2020-2021). Equality Act, retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5/text


I invite you to check out our weekly Bible study podcast each Wednesday at 11 a.m. eastern. Next week, we will explore the gospel according to John throughout the season of Lent and into Holy Week.


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“God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before.  “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too.  Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air.  Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You’re safe because God is so good at owning goodness amidst our dank, confused, lonely seasons, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.” 


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