Thoughts on the Equality Act

On February 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a controversial bill called “The Equality Act.” The name of the bill sounds wonderful and sounds as if everyone should support it.  However, I have sincere concerns about this bill.  The Equality Act, H.R. 5, would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the classifications protected in federal civil rights law. “‘ Sexual orientation’ includes homosexuality, bisexuality, and pansexuality, while ‘gender identity’ refers to the way a person perceives himself regardless of his biology at birth. [1] The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention “believes that this bill represents the most significant threat to religious liberty ever considered in the United States Congress. Opposing this bill is among our topic public policy priorities in 2021.”[2] Russell Moore, President of the ERLC says, the bill “is poorly named because, among other negative effects, it would punish faith-based charities for their core religious beliefs. Every human being ought to be treated with dignity, but government policy must continue to respect differences of belief.” The ERLC says this legislation will cripple religious freedom, undermine civil rights protection for females, become the most pro-abortion bill ever passed, and redefine sexual identity. 

As a conservative Christian, I can not support legislation like this.  I will encourage my Senators to vote “No” on this bill when it comes to the Senate floor.  The real question for the church is how do we navigate an ever-widening cultural gap?  It seems like every day, Christians are falling more and more out of favor.  What we believe is no longer reasonable and often is seen as hateful and intolerant. Jesus’ reminder of the world’s hatred toward us is coming more into focus.  There is no doubt the gap between a biblical worldview and a liberal progressive worldview is expanding.  How should a Christian live during these days?  With deep humility, I offer a few personal goals.

  1. I focus on the mission.  The mission of the church has not, and will not, change.  We preach the gospel, we make disciples, we love God with all our hearts, and we love our neighbor.  I remind myself every day that the image bearer in the LGBTQ community is not my enemy but the mission field.  I ask God to help me see them with compassion as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
  2. I hold fast to my anchor.  Jesus is my hope.  I am blessed by the Matt Boswell song, “Christ, my sure and steady anchor.” When you are in doubt, take time to listen to Matt’s song.  It will reel you back in. My hope and faith are in God.
  3. I stand firm on the Word.  I am unashamedly pro-life, pro-marriage, and strongly affirm religious liberty for all.  I also believe Scripture teaches that God “created man in his own image, he created him in the image of God’ he created them male and female” (Gen 1:27).  There are not many genders; there are only two. I can not believe otherwise. 
  4. I try to faithfully live as salt and light in a dark world. I will be kind.  I believe the church must create gospel space for the lost to come and find Jesus.  I don’t expect the lost to come to church acting like Jesus.  We must be a place of hope, a haven for people to come and experience Jesus. I have no desire to be involved in divisive politics. But I firmly believe abundant life is found in Jesus Christ (John 10:10).
  5. I try to love fully.  I decided years ago to live my life in a way that love and kindness are supreme. I still often fail in that area. I know some see my kindness as weakness; I see it as my greatest strength.  When I meet Jesus one day, I would rather him criticize me for loving too much than not enough. Therefore, these attitudes are not phobia-driven.  I have no hate in my heart.  I only have deep biblical convictions in areas of marriage, gender, sexuality, and religious freedom. 

Here are a few steps you can take.  First, get educated on the Equality Act.  I have included a couple of websites that might be useful.  The ERLC is especially helpful. Contact your Senators and let them know how you feel.  Stand upon the truth of Scripture.  Do all of this with love and kindness. Don’t allow fear and anger to rule over you. God is sovereign and in complete control.  Pray for our President and leaders.  Always point people to Christ through both word and deed.  Finally, ask God to revive His church, and beg Him to begin that work in you. 



Lessons from the Frozen Tundra

We are breaking extreme cold records.  In Salina, it wasn’t long ago when the outside regular temperature was -11 degrees with a windchill in the -30s.  Today Heidi and I woke up to 9 degrees and thought we were in the middle of a heatwave.  Our son, Austin, and his wife Kellyn live in Frisco, Texas in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.  They have fared much worse than we have in Kansas.  They are experiencing bursting pipes, lost power, freezing temperatures, boil orders, and general boredom that is beyond description.  As I consider the frozen tundra of the central and southern states, I am reminded of a few spiritual lessons.

1.       We are living in a cursed world.  I love the mountains.  Every time I venture west to explore the Rockies, I am overwhelmed with their beauty and majesty.  Then I realize, because of the curse in Genesis 3, we have never seen God’s best.  We are still waiting to experience God’s best in creation.  Romans 8 reminds us that creation has been groaning with labor pains and will one day be set free (See Romans 8:18-22).  As I listen to the sounds of crackling ice, freezing winds on our windows, and the rustling of snow underfoot, I can only imagine the groaning sounds of creation.

2.       We are frail and fragile.  Heidi and I have been blessed so far and have not lost power or have our pipes freeze.  For those of you who are experiencing these things, the freezing temps, bursting pipes, and lost power should remind us how frail and fragile we are (see Psalm 102:11, 103:15). 

3.       Better Days are coming.  I was looking at my calendar and was reminded that Easter is coming in a few weeks.  If the ice and snow remind us of the frailty of humanity, the promise of Spring reminds us of the coming of the new heaven and new earth.  We will not be stuck in the frozen tundra forever, but Jesus will make everything new and we will live in the eternal glory of the presence of God seeing Him face to face.  Do not give up hope. Better days are coming. 

4.       Jesus is Lord.  If 2020 and the first few months of 2021 have taught me anything, it is Jesus is Lord. He is my refuge and my hope.  I can anchor my life to Him, and He will be faithful even when I am faithless.  Even in these extremely difficult days, we can take great solace in knowing that Jesus is Lord, He will make everything new, and we will be with Him forever.

Do not give up. You are not alone. Jesus cares, He is faithful, and He will see you through.