Word from the Center: Friday, August 24, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s topic/issue…

Religious Liberty or Bust!

In much of my reading today, I’m more and more alarmed at the vitriol directed toward the Christian Church and its teaching. The moral framework of the Bible and even the proclamation of the uniqueness of salvation in Christ alone are being caricatured as bigoted, hate speech right before our very eyes.

Such vitriolic, aggressive engagement seeks no disguise or cover in certain parts of North America already. Recently, in Canada, a Christian University was denied the certification of its Law School because of one paragraph in its student covenant. Here’s what it said,

Further, according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond, it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation.[1]

That’s it. While there are many other prohibitions in the covenant, it is the traditional view of marriage and the Biblical view of sexuality that is now supposedly indefensible. But is that really true? Surely not. There are not only religious differences regarding the traditional view of the marriage of a man and a woman compared to all others. There are also sociological, physiological, psychological, and historical differences to be discussed in a robust, free discussion which compares the union of a man and a woman to the “marriage” of those of the same sex. The elimination of the dialogue and refusing to protect the right to hold different views on such matters are suddenly being viewed as a positive thing in an increasingly intolerant Canada and elsewhere.

Such is the tyranny of the moment. By government fiat, this Christian school has been denied the right to engage with the very laws that now seek to stifle its voice. Amazing. But the stifling of freedom and conscience is not just prevalent in Canada; it is growing here in America too. Every day, those who hold long-cherished, defensible, beneficial views of traditional marriage, family, sexuality, and so forth are being subjected to harassment, lawsuits, intimidation, and even corporate bullying.

Isn’t it ironic that politicians, who supposedly want to be out of our bedrooms, businesses, and personal lives, are now are seeking to “define what healthy relationships” are? And, truth be told, even for traditional marriages, the government isn’t granting them a right. It is actually limiting the rights of a man and woman, making them sign a contract of marriage. Why? Because the government has a vested interest in not having the responsibility of raising the man and woman’s child(ren), which is only inherent in the male/female bond. If the government can’t stick to its limited involvement in relationships where it has some vested interest, it should get out of the whole marriage business completely. What it shouldn’t be doing is telling faith-based universities, schools, churches, and people what a healthy relationship is “from their point of view.” Religious liberty is essential for both sides of this argument. After all, the ability to “agree to disagree” in matters of conscience, is a fundament right of liberty in a free society, right?

[1]For the full article, click here.