In America, you should be free to disagree. But under a new form of tyranny, that is no longer the case. The left is saying in effect, "Do it our way or we'll see you in court."
In the new America, the left is on its way to creating a climate where you have freedom — as long as you abide by the prevailing politically correct ethos. We are seeing this played out even in the matter of men getting legal permission to go to the ladies' room.
"These are the times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine during the Revolutionary War, decrying "the sunshine patriots and the summer soldiers."
What he wrote about in a political and military context certainly applies in a spiritual context.
What we need are people to be faithful in and out of season.
Many Christians and people of good will want to do the right thing, but it seems like everything is stacked against us today. Hollywood, corporate America, many politicians.
The great news is that ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom, is being pro-active to help churches and ministries stay faithful to the Bible and not run afoul of the law.
The book is called Protecting Your Ministry from Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Lawsuits: A Legal Guide for Churches, Christian Schools, and Christian Ministries.
The goal of ADF is simple: Keep it legal to preach the gospel and to live according to it. ADF was founded by D. James Kennedy, Bill Bright, James Dobson, Don Wildmon, Marlin Maddoux, and Larry Burkett.
Alan Sears is the founding director of ADF, and I asked him for a statement on the new publication. He told me, "ADF created the Protecting Your Ministry manual to help protect Christian ministries from legal threats that come when the government adds so-called 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' to laws."
He further noted, "ADF has seen a major push for these laws by activists at the federal, state, and local level. This push has reached a fever pitch since the Supreme Court's marriage decision. The manual identifies proactive steps that ministries can take to strengthen a First Amendment defense against a lawsuit should one arise."
Sears added, "We hope and pray that this manual will help protect ministries from potential lawsuits and encourage them to continue to focus on the ministry God has called them to do."
The booklet states: "A new concept — that 'sexual liberty' trumps religious freedom — has begun to impact churches, ministries, and individual Christians across this nation."
To some, it almost sounds unchristian or "intolerant" when you talk about taking proactive steps to prevent these lawsuits.
In an email I asked columnist and radio host Dr. Michael Brown for his response to such a charge.
He told me: "Jesus called us to be as wise as snakes and as harmless as doves, and one of the virtues of wisdom is that it responds to danger before it arrives. Being forewarned is being fore-equipped, and for us today, we must take preventative measures to stop LGBT activism from stealing our God-given, sacred freedoms ... We can love people and reach out to them, however they identify, while standing for biblical principles and morality at the same time."
The document from ADF shows real, every day people who have been victimized by lawsuits brought on by those who are trying to impose a politically correct agenda on the rest of us. The victims of these lawsuits are usually small businesspeople.
For example, the publication mentions how ADF defended a Christian photographer who respectfully declined to photograph a same-sex union.
ADF argued, "the same-sex couple themselves admit they had no trouble finding another photographer — so their suit is essentially about punishing [the photographer] for not supporting same-sex unions." Conscience considerations, notwithstanding.
Gary Bauer, who served in the Reagan administration and is president of American Values, observes, "How many of these folks feel like they went to bed one night in America but when they woke up the next morning they were in Russia? It's certainly the kind of thing you would expect there, not in a country built on the idea of liberty under God."
As Alan Sears told me years ago in a TV interview, we need to get to a "new place of religious freedom in this country," where we once again experience "the freedoms that our founding fathers intended."
Don't wait until the ACLU or their ilk comes knocking on your door to try to force you against your conscience to violate the Word of God. Be prepared through this great, free resource.
Virtually every church and ministry in America would do well to have a copy of this handbook.
Ministries needing help to protect their outreach can find that it's just a click away.