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FIRST-PERSON: A little leaven leavens the lump

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BP)–Attention, pastors: The Human Rights Campaign may soon be visiting your church, but it won’t be to protest. They’re out to get some religion.

Make no mistake, though. The nation’s leading advocate of special rights for people engaged in homosexual behavior, which has long characterized the biblical view of that behavior as a form of “hate speech,” hasn’t undergone a change of heart. When its members visit your congregation, it won’t be to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ that comes through true repentance — it will be to change your church’s views on sexual behavior and the way you speak about it.

In mid-October, HRC unveiled the Religion and Faith Program, which President Joe Solmonese called “its most important campaign” in some time.

“It’s easy to be angry when … religious fundamentalists are controlling the conversation about values in America,” the HRC website says. “The Human Rights Campaign is done with being angry about the hateful actions of so-called religious leaders. And we’re done with letting them do all the talking. We’re launching an unprecedented campaign to ‘change the conversation’ with our new Religion and Faith Program.”

This involves using religious leaders who openly support homosexual behavior “to counteract the closed-minded sound bites of extremists like Pat Robertson [and] James Dobson” as well as providing “preaching guides and resources about how to talk about GLBT equality with congregations, and then putting them in the hands of pastors, priests and rabbis who are hungry for this help.”

Those “closed-minded extremists” who still hold biblical views of sexuality and sin have long said the debate over “same-sex marriage” was just a smokescreen for the radical left’s true agenda. It isn’t about equality for people who practice homosexual behavior; it’s about silencing everyone who doesn’t wholeheartedly endorse that behavior. Because the church simply cannot do that, it is HRC’s Public Enemy No. 1.

Advocates of the homosexual agenda have already succeeded in “changing the conversation” with two of the three pillars of American culture — the academy and the judiciary. With this announcement, they have officially declared war on the church. The gloves are off. The pretense of tolerance is over.

This is not an attempt to participate in religious life. It is an attempt to infiltrate, like bad leaven, and spoil what remains of the Truth by changing the very nature of our faith communities. HRC would have the church substitute a lie for the Truth, a doctrine of greasy grace for the Gospel, and unfettered self-autonomy for the Savior.

We must be aware that debates over homosexual behavior and perceived gender-identity aren’t just taking place in mainline denominations or someone else’s church anymore — they’re happening in ours. Therefore, we must impress upon our congregations the fact that gender, like life, is one of God’s great, immutable gifts — not something we determine for ourselves and change as we see fit.

We must also return to the bedrock foundations of our faith and seek our guidance from the written Word of God and the Holy Spirit — not a “preaching guide” provided by HRC. If there are areas where we have strayed, we must repent. And along with this, we must speak the truth in love: The Bible teaches that all deviations from heterosexual monogamy fall short of God’s design.

We would do well to look at what the radical left has done with the “same-sex marriage” debate so far: They have clamored for the “right” to be married, because they consider it a state-sanctioned institution that will give them full “equality” in the eyes of the state. However, along with that argument, we have yet to hear one word from the homosexual community about chastity before marriage, monogamy within it, or that choosing to marry is the superior and exclusive context for sexual expression. This is because they have a distorted view of what marriage is. And the same is true of their view of the church: To HRC, it is merely a tool — if they can capture it, they will erase their opposition.
Jeffery J. Ventrella is senior vice president of strategic training at the Alliance Defense Fund (www.telladf.org), a legal alliance defending religious liberty through strategy, training, funding and litigation.

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  • FIRST-PERSON: A little leaven leavens the lump