We Don't Need Religious Freedom

Hobby Lobby may have won their Supreme Court case last week, but the church lost its soul.

For conservatives, this was about protecting religious freedom and for liberals, it was about religious rights interfering with human rights. But for Christians, this is really about nationalism controlling our faith.

Whether it's religious rights that are more important to you or human rights, what you're really saying is that being an American is more important to you than being a Christian. Americans have rights, but Christians have only the obligation to love everyone else more than themselves. And nothing is more American and less Christian than fighting for "what you deserve."

Because we don't need freedom to love others and preach the gospel. All we need is what we've been given: life.

But we're more interested in making a nation Christian than making lost people Christians. We're more interested in self-expression than self-sacrifice.

Consider the most divisive issue in the church today. Two married, non-Christian, gay men and a Christian man walk into a bar. And the Christian man says nothing to the other two about his love for Jesus. That's not a joke because there's nothing funny about thinking that our witness depends on the state of the culture.

So what if our country allows two men to marry? Inside the church it's under review, but outside the church it's a reality. And if that reality is keeping you from showing God's love to the world, then I'm afraid you don't understand the gospel. Jesus didn't die for culture; he died for people. Take a lesson from Paul and preach the gospel in season and out of season, in pretense or in truth.

If you're a gay Christian, I haven't forgotten about you and neither has God. In fact, God specializes in the marginalized--the people he chose to be his thousands of years ago have been hated and oppressed for thousands of years. Yet God hasn't rescinded his promises to them. So don't think you're the first to experience persecution, because I have news for you: you won't be gay in heaven, you'll be wed to Christ.

When it comes to salvation, sexual orientation doesn't matter any more than gender or race. What matters is your trust in Jesus. And if being accepted as gay matters more to you than being an expressed Christian, I fear you too misunderstand the gospel. Jesus didn't die for your self-expression; he died for your salvation. Take a lesson from Paul and learn that contentment comes from remaining where you are, not contending for where you want to be.

We don't need a law banning gay marriage to share the gospel, and we don't need a law instituting gay marriage to love someone. All we need is breath. For as long as I can speak the name of Jesus, I don't need religious freedom. And neither do you.

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photo credit: Hobby Lobby in Mansfield, Ohio via photopin (license)