Your Pastor Could Be Prosecuted for Doing His Job

The Lutheran Church confesses that the Bible is God’s Word, in every part. It is our pastors’ responsibility to preach God’s Word: the condemning and instructing Law in all of its parts, as well as the justifying and comforting Gospel in all of its aspects.

In some places (notably, Canada) it is now illegal for citizens in general to teach some parts of what the Bible says. You might think that such a law could never pass in the United States, where our freedoms of speech and religion are protected by the First Amendment. However, you should be aware that a movement has been afoot in our government to pass just such a law.

I don’t think our churches should be politically-oriented, because that’s not our mission. However, when the political part of our land transgresses into the realm of biblical teaching, I must at least inform you about it, so that you can do what your conscience dictates as a voting Christian citizen and a constituent of our representatives in Congress.

According to [this “watchdog” group](http://www.capwiz.com/afanet/callalert/index.tt?alertid=13736111), so-called “hate crimes” legislation will soon be voted on in Congress. Reportedly, this vote is its only real hurdle to becoming law. If it were to become law, the door would be opened to a new kind of religious persecution, in which faithful teachers of God’s Word could be targeted by the justice system for teaching what the Bible says about gender.

According to those who favor such things, a “hate crime” occurs when someone commits a regular crime against another person, but in special circumstances. To make it a “hate crime,” the victim must be a member of a group of people especially targeted by the perpetrator. It seems the only groups considered by Congress for special protection are homosexuals and the disabled, but *not* religious adherents such as Jews, Catholics, or Lutherans.

While none of us should be committing crimes against others to begin with, this “hate crimes” movement should be troubling to us as Christians. There is something fundamentally new when an identical crime can be prosecuted differently based upon the supposed *motive* of the criminal. Worse yet, the condemning motive may be nothing more than our acceptance of God’s Word concerning homosexuals. That means anyone who teaches the biblical position on homosexuality could be accused as a “teacher of hate.”

Some think that condemning homosexuality as sin is truly hateful, but they could not be more wrong. Is it hateful to warn someone that his behavior is self-destructive, and will lead to eternal punishment? No, it’s the loving thing to do, especially because there is forgiveness and healing in Christ for all who repent.

I won’t tell you what to do about this, but I will remind you that our elected representatives answer to their constituents. Our representatives will listen to us, because we can vote them out. At the same time, you can be sure that the vocal minority of homosexuality advocates are sending all the encouragement they can to Washington. They have been organized, and have been following this strategy for some time.

I will post this in the newsletter/blog space on our web site.

Your comments are welcome.