By now, most everyone is aware that major social media tech giants are currently censoring content that does not align with the company’s political views, which they label as a violation of their “community standards.” Whether the contents of a post are accurate or reflect the writer’s opinion, a post will likely get blocked if it fails to align with a specific political and progressive ideology. How ironic that an industry built on a “freedom of speech” foundation now censors, well, free speech to minimize the “fake new” cycle. However, just because you disagree with something, such as a political viewpoint, it does not make your view fake news.
Now, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is wielding its corporate power to suppress select viewpoints and opinions that stand contrary to its own. According to a recent news article by the Christian Broadcasting Network, Amazon told Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Josh Hawley of Missouri that it will not sell books that cite transgenderism as a mental disorder.1 So conversely, that implies it will sell texts that cite transgenderism as normal behavior. While Amazon is undoubtedly entitled to market whatever products it chooses as a business in the free market, this policy shift’s timeliness suggests it may be more politically motivated. That prompts the question: Is the Bible next?
Another popular social media platform recently conveyed to me that sharing religious speech can only occur in the designated topical area or within a private group. Religious speech shared in the main news feed is a violation of the platform’s community standards. It was said the platform’s purpose is to connect people within a community and allow them to share “useful information” with one another. So I ask you: What is more useful than inspiration from God’s word? What is more important than sharing the gospel?
In the United States, as we see society adopting a more progressive socialistic mindset before our very eyes, it is easy to see the possibility of total repression against religion on the horizon. Such repression may already be in motion in Washington D.C. under the guise of a bill known as “The Equality Act” or H.R.5. A few weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives of the 117th Congress passed H.R.5., a bill that would pose significant implications for religious establishments if signed into law. Another article by CBN highlights some of the significant impacts, identified by nearly 60 Christian leaders, that such a law, as written, holds for the church and other religious institutions.2
“It would remove many of the basic rights that allow religious organizations to operate according to the tenets of their faith. It would allow LGBT rights to be used as a sword against faith institutions rather than a shield to protect the vulnerable. In addition to failing to offer religious protections to religious institutions, the Equality Act would likely:
- Revoke federal security, disaster relief, and school lunch money from thousands of religious schools.
- End federal partnerships with thousands of faith-based programs that serve the most vulnerable.
- Revoke the Pell Grant and federal loan eligibility for tens of thousands of students that attend hundreds of religious colleges.
- Convert houses of worship and other religious properties into public accommodations, enmeshing them in constant litigation.”
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 setting, which, under the law, would be considered a public accommodation. The law could impact Christians’ freedom to share their faith with others in the community or on social media platforms and not to mention at the workplace, in the park, or even the grocery store.
For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.2 Timothy 4:3-4
When we consider the prophecy that Apostle Paul shares with his apprentice Timothy, we see how easily his words describe the present day. Our public schools seem to teach everything else but God’s word, from Darwin’s theory of evolution to the big bang theory but certainly not “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). We see society, by large, calling good evil and evil good. For example, the murder of life while in the mother’s womb is seen as good, not a violation of God’s commandment “You shall not commit murder” (Exodus 20:13). Then there is same-sex marriage, which is viewed as good because it extends equality, but the Bible cites such an act as an abomination to God (Leviticus 18:22).
So then, what are we to do as Christians amid the chaos of this fallen world? In his letter to Timothy, Paul adds, “But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). In other words, we are to continue in our ministry to show and tell the gospel. “But what if the law of the land prohibits sharing the gospel and God’s word?” You might ask. Then we must heed Apostle Peter’s words when the high priest instructed Peter and others to stop speaking about Jesus. Because what was demanded by the high priest stood against God’s word, Peter’s response was, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
We must also obey God rather than men when men oppose that which God ordains. In so doing, we will be ready for the day when we hear that last trumpet, the day when we meet our Savior and Lord in the clouds. It is a day that has never been closer than today, and if not today, it will be even closer tomorrow. No matter if that time comes today, tomorrow, or not even in our lifetime, let us always serve God and boldly proclaim His message of salvation to the world while there is still time. Because we believe in the Bible, we know the world will continue its downward spiral, and the repression against the church will only increase, but Jesus said, “take courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
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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, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.”
A Faithful Sower Publishing is a limited liability company that is dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and help guide people into a relationship with God and grow in that relationship. The publisher, editors, and authors achieve that end through prayer and the careful exposition of the Bible to best explain and illustrate Scripture in a meaningful engaging way so others can apply its truths to their everyday life. The mission of the the A Faithful Sower ministry team is to carry out the Great Commission issued to all who choose to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Jesus commands us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).