Today is April 15th, the dreaded day. Everybody here in Puerto Rico is in the midst of getting it done, including me. We have to pay some this year, which brings us to the point of this blog--the relationship between God and government.
In the States we have lived without government interference in religion since almost he beginning. But as government seeks to intrude more and more into every aspect of our lives it must meddle in the churches as well. The first area has been in the marriage/divorce arena. In the 1980's we went through a spate of lawsuits against churches for publicly marking members, particularly in regards to divorce & remarriage. Those seemed to end when one "victim" lost and paid not only her lawyer fees but those of the church as well (her lawyer also went before the bar).
It seems that "hate speech" will be the next likely area of conflict. Is homosexuality a sin? According to the Bible yes. Is it "hate speech" to say this? NO! If you go to the doctor and he tells you you have cancer, is that "hate speech"? Do you want to hear that you have cancer? No, that's one of the most frightening words in the English language, but better for him to tell you the truth, even if there's nothing that can be done about it, then lie to you to "spare your feelings".
In the same way, we need to call sin sin, so that those in sin may recognized their need to change before it is too late. Will sinners reject such teaching? Most of them will. Do they like to hear it? Obviously not, but again who wants to be told they have cancer? We might argue there's a way to say it and that some brethren are crude about it, but that doesn't change the truth. A doctor with a poor bedside manner doesn't change the fact that you have cancer--could he have been kinder in the way he said it? Probably, although there is no nice way to give someone a death sentence.
God's truth doesn't change to fit the wants of society, any society of any time period. Neither can we change the truth to please those around us, even the government.