I hate writing about this subject, but with both French and British parliaments passing gay marriage laws in the past week, we’re reaching a no-turning-back point in our world. God is sovereign and specializes in last minute rescues, but barring a Mordecai-type intervention we might as well face up to the reality that gay marriage is coming down the pike at an unstoppable speed, and it’s going to impact many Christians in damaging and even destructive ways. While continuing to pray, preach, and campaign against this (read these nine words again), we must also ask how we can prepare for the collision in such a way that minimizes the carnage.
1. Prepare our children
Most of us try to protect our children from sexual information until they are mature enough to handle it, without delaying so much that they end up hearing it first from someone else. We also want to lay a solid foundation of teaching them about God’s beautiful design for sexual relationships before eventually explaining the various perversions of God’s order.
That privilege – of waiting until our children are old enough and of presenting the beautiful before the ugly – will be increasingly denied us by the normalization and display of homosexuality in the media, in schools, and in the malls. This is going to be tough, but we will have to teach our children much earlier and about much more than we would ordinarily choose.
2. Prepare to love
Though Christians are often accused of hating homosexuals, homosexuals harbor far more hate for Christians than vice versa. They really do hate us in a way I’ve never seen in any other group – way more than radical Muslims or even the secular humanist and communist groups of the 1970′s to 1990′s, and that’s saying something. They are our self-declared enemies and want to see our beliefs, words, and actions criminalized. They want to shut down our businesses, render Christians unemployable, and incarcerate our preachers.
In response, we must love them.
That’s going to be one of the hardest things we will ever do, as most of us will never have encountered such personal enmity from anyone. But we must beg for the spirit of Christ, who prayed, “Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.” We must graciously and gently good-news them and good-deed them, while being unflinching in our moral convictions.
We don’t need to prove our spiritual manhood by condemning homosexuality in every sermon and prayer. Keep the focus on the saving love of Christ, no matter how tempting it is to get into constant condemnation mode. Remember, there are probably homosexuals in most of our congregations. Try to win them, not beat them.
3. Prepare for jail
I doubt most politicians really want lots of otherwise law-abiding citizens jailed for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, or for preaching that homosexuality is wrong. Many do, however, want to create a climate of intimidation that will deter Christians from doing such things. If the UK pattern is a model – and it looks as if US campaigners are using the same playbook – they will pass “hate-crime” legislation, press charges against us, shame us in the media, stigmatize our businesses and churches, threaten us with the loss of our children, and impose substantial fines, all in the hope to scare us into silence. But when none of these things move us, the legal penalties will intensify until eventually some of us, maybe many of us, will end up going to prison for it. We’d better get ready for that inevitable reality.
4. Prepare for betrayal
This is going to be a sifting time. Some Christians will cave. Prominent preachers will compromise. Famous Christians will distance themselves from believers who have fallen foul of homosexual campaigners. “What’s the point in going to jail? We can still preach the Gospel without ever mentioning homosexuality. We must be wise….etc.” There will be major Judas-type disappointments. The mighty will fall. But many humble unknown Christians will suffer honorably and beautifully and know the blessedness of being persecuted for righteousness sake.
5. Prepare a refuge?
This great nation was founded when a group of persecuted believers fled religious persecution to find and enjoy freedom of religion. It’s beyond ironic that the very same pilgrims would be among the first targets of this new “religious” persecution if they were alive today. If the current trajectory continues, we will look at one another and ask, “Where can we flee to?” Perhaps a State will come forward that will stand up to this tyranny and offer refuge to thousands of moral and spiritual refugees, aliens in their own land. Maybe another Mayflower will be required, perhaps many of them, this time to sail away from these shores in hope of finding freedom to worship and serve God according to His Word. But where to? Where is left? Russia? Which brings us to…
6. Prepare for eternity
The Bible makes clear, and history backs it up, that when a people goes down this route, it’s close to it’s end. It has run out of moral ground, it’s already over the cliff, and falling into the holy wrath of God. As country after country passes gay marriage laws, the end is coming closer and closer. If the USA falls, how far behind will God’s judgment be? The time is short and shortening. We need mercy, we need prayer, we need to plead with our family and friends to flee the coming wrath by fleeing to Christ the only savior of sinners – yes even homosexual sinners – that will come to Him for salvation.
In the meantime, let’s not give up and give in but continue to do all that we can to save our society and precious souls.
David Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. This article first appeared on his blog and is used with permission.