From Tolerance to Takeover

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

stonewallI have been a Christian pastor for over 30 years now and I have never met a “homophobic pastor” in my life. I have met a lot of pastors that think homosexual behavior is not the Lord’s plan and not in the best interest of those involved. But I have never personally talked with or met a single pastor who used hateful language or talked about violence against anyone in the gay community for their beliefs and political activism. I am sure those pastors are out there, but I just haven’t met them. This fact may come as a shock to some folks who are coming to believe that traditional Christians are a group of intolerant, hate-filled folks trying to hurt a minority of people with their distorted and mean spirited Biblical beliefs.

If you go back into the history of the struggles of the gay community in this country, a lot of things started to change on the morning of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. This date marked the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in the world, after the New York Police unfairly treated the patrons of this now famous nightclub and bar. The gay community rioted that morning against their treatment by police and began to organize a movement to change things. Few back then could have ever realized how successful their movement would become or its ramifications to American culture, the Church, and the world.

It’s hard to believe that less than 50 years later a movement that just wanted to be respected and treated well by the police and society in general would be connected to people who threaten to kill others and burn down businesses that do not support their agenda. As a result, there is hardly a week that goes by now that we don’t hear of Christians who are beginning to become targets of hate speech and threats of violence. The idea that the gay community is doing exactly what was done to it in 1969 has largely been lost by everyone. What started out as a movement seeking to find tolerance has turned into a clear attempt to take over society and impose its own standards on it.

Sadly, I have seen this behavior up close and personal in my own life and ministry. My previous denomination was deeply divided over this issue. Eventually we took a vote in 2011 on a controversial measure that allowed practicing homosexuals to serve as pastors. It passed. At the time, nobody knew how this would affect things. We all hoped for tolerance and respect for everyone at a difficult time. However, immediately following the vote a pastor in my area got up at our regular area meeting of churches and announced in a sermon that anyone who did not support homosexuality should leave because they were dividing the Lord’s Church. So much for tolerance!

So please understand that I am a little troubled when I hear the word “tolerance” these days. That is really not what any of this is about. What we see today is a group of motivated individuals on several issues, not just this one, who really want to take over things down here. May the Lord give us the discernment and courage to speak the truth in love with all those who disagree with us and to pray for them. May the Church stand up in this challenging hour for the faith once delivered to the saints.