Dr. Al Mohler, the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written an article that all Christians who are religiously opposed to same sex marriage need to read. But before I discuss some of the issues Dr. Mohler raises, I need first to address anyone reading this who might be a supporter of same sex marriage; The issue here is no longer opposition to same sex marriage. That battle against the legal imposition of the Gay Agenda and nationwide Homosexual marriage is, without a miraculous intervention or a successful rebellion, irretrievably lost and most sensible Christians understand that. Regardless of how we feel about it, we accept that The Supreme Court of the United States of America (SCOTUS) will soon rule, by at least a 5-4 majority, to make homosexual marriage a civil right nationwide. What Christians are preparing for are the profound consequences of that ruling for our faith, life, and practice. We were initially told that allowing homosexual marriage would not affect us, that we weren’t being asked to be involved, and that we could go on believing as we always had. Now subsequent developments and even constitutional lawyers (on both sides of the issue) are saying that won’t be the case. Some of the effects will include:
1) Tax Exempt Status: Religious institutions such as schools, universities, seminaries, and even potentially churches that don’t recognize homosexual marriages or make accommodation for them in hiring, benefits, housing, etc. will likely lose their tax-exempt, non-profit status. This would bankrupt most of them.
2) Adoption and Fostering: All agencies that place children in families will be required to be willing to place children in homosexual marriages and Christian organizations that refuse to do so will have to close down. This is already the case in Europe and US states like Massachusetts. Also, it is highly likely that as is the case in the UK, families opposed to homosexuality will not be allowed to foster or adopt.
3) Employment – Public: Government employees and employees of companies and institutions that receive Federal funds simply cannot be functionally opposed to a civil right guaranteed by the Supreme Court. After the SCOTUS rules, same sex marriages will be the equivalent of interracial marriages, and no government employee can refuse to recognize them. This will have profound consequences for all employees, including government chaplains. As an example, the Fire Chief of Atlanta was fired simply on the basis of his Christian beliefs about homosexuality even though he was found never to have discriminated on that basis. Those who do actually discriminate will be gone in a heartbeat, and the courts will agree with those who fired them.
4) Employment – Private: Most private employers will be legally required to treat homosexual marriages in exactly the same way they treat heterosexual ones, this includes hiring, benefits, insurance, housing, etc. Additionally, employees who remain opposed to homosexual marriage will be subject to not being hired because of their views or being fired without much legal recourse at all. We are already seeing high profile cases of beliefs-based firings in the private sector such as the forced resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, and the lightning fast firing of Fox Sports commentator Craig James.
In other words, the legal message being sent is, “Sure, you Christians can hold on to your “bigoted” views of homosexual marriage, but you can’t also have your own schools, adopt children, or work.”
Given that situation, most Christians are going change their religious views at lightning speed, and denominations are going to be scrambling for theological excuses to change theirs about as quickly as the Mormons suddenly discovered that polygamy wasn’t an article of their faith in 1890 when the US government explained Utah couldn’t be a state and allow polygamy (ironically, the Mormons just needed to weather the storm and wait a century or so for America to catch up to them!) It’s no understatement to say that Christians who choose NOT to change their beliefs about homosexual marriage are going to find themselves quickly isolated and consigned to the same kind of cultural ghetto historically reserved for the most extreme kinds of racists. Many will also be appalled at how quickly the previously steadfast views of their Christian denominations and friends change in the wake of these legal challenges. As has already happened, many Christians who do change their views to conform to the new cultural norms will also end up attacking their former friends who refuse to change.
Given all of this, it is well past time that American Christians sat down and began seriously counting the cost of discipleship in the present age (Luke 14:28) we may well find out that it’s much more expensive than we were initially led to believe.