I found this interesting article – Proposed Law Would Force Churches to Host Gay Weddings. There are so many big controversies in our country these days that all hinge around freedom of religion. I actually think much of the rationale of the opposing groups against churches on these issues makes some sense. I can see that to many people in our culture, it looks like hatred and discrimination to refuse to let people rent a church for a drag party, just as it would look if a church refused to let a group of Hispanics rent the church for a function. The two issues “seem” the same. But I also know that such laws if they were passed would infringe on my freedom of religion, and I would go to jail before going against my beliefs, such as if the government wanted me to marry a homosexual couple as a pastor. These are complicated issues and I’m not sure what the answers are. LGBT people of all kinds should have human rights and not be treated unfairly. But when it comes to the realm of the Church, the Church should be allowed to rule itself without intervention by the government. Obviously there are limits to that though. If a religious group was killing and sacrificing children, the government would have to step in and protect the innocent. But I don’t see how it is at all the same to try to force churches to rent their space for non-Christian functions, or force pastors to marry those they can’t marry in good conscience. Refusing to do those things doesn’t hurt people. The Church should remain the Church and not be forced to become a neutral non-religious building in a town. A pastor shouldn’t be forced to become basically a justice of the peace as far as marriage goes. Many of the proposed laws about churches and pastors and religious organizations are nonsensical, because they want to make these institutions do these things that would go against their very nature.
It’s interesting to mull over the fact that separation of Church and State was originally intended to protect the Church from state interference, and yet now it has flip-flopped in our country and it is viewed as a way to protect the State from the Church, and people are paranoid about trying to limit the freedom and influence of the Church wherever possible in our country. Somehow it’s not okay anymore to have our faith affect what we do in public (which never used to be the case). The government of our country is more and more infringing on the practices and freedom of Christians. In some countries, people are already getting sued or put in jail for just sharing their faith with others, or for refusing to marry a homosexual couple.
I’m just rambling. I’m not sure of the solution to these big problems. I believe the Church should be allowed to keep its freedom on these issues but I’m not sure how that will get worked out. I know that whatever laws are made, I will stick to my beliefs and principles, even if that means no longer meeting officially in an organized church building, but rather meeting in people’s homes. I will not do things that I think are sinful. And if I get sued or jailed for that, so be it. But I hope our country doesn’t end up like that.