I recently went into a coffee shop to grab a coffee to go. But something was different that particular morning. As I ordered my coffee the barista leaned to grab the to-go cup, and in that moment I brought confusion into the situation. I asked very politely “could I please have my coffee in a normal to-go cup and not a rainbow one?” After a look of confusion mixed with unbelief, I was walking away flat white in hand.
Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this story because it’s an illustration of how tolerance is on the decline!
In recent years the LGBT community has become more outspoken, we now have ‘pride month’. A month where companies change their logo to include the rainbow (not with the same meaning as Genesis 9). A month where coffee shops change their to-go cups. A month where the LGBT community is celebrated and presented everywhere.
A whole month where the LGBT agenda is celebrated by society and you cannot stand or say anything against it. To speak out leads to interesting conversations like I had that day with the barista, at best. Today the topic of sexuality has become absolutely taboo, if you disagree with the LGBT community. If you do not hold the same understanding and conviction then you’re ridiculed, called names and declared a hater.
But there should be a recognition that not everyone agrees with the LGBT agenda. To ignore it whilst trying to silence those voices corrodes any idea of tolerance and free speech.
Christians do not disagree because we are filled with hate, it is not because we think certain people are evil and it is not because we think that we are better than anyone else. Christians don’t agree because we hold the Bible as God’s Word and authority over our churches and lives. We don’t agree because we understand that the whole of humanity is broken and living in rebellion against God and His created order. We don’t agree because we believe that God gifted sex and marriage to the world with a plan and a purpose.
LGBT websites such as charities, trusts and foundations all say that they are inclusive, loving and want to enable everyone. That might be true, but only if you agree with their worldview. I understand that it can be a difficult topic because many people base their identity on their sexual preferences, but to silence people because of that is not right.
I’ve sat with teenagers who have lamented over the fact that their schools push the LGBT agenda and neglect anything that is different. One teen said this “it’s as if you only have a voice if you’re in their community and if you agree 100%. If you don’t agree then you’re cast out and treated like a nobody”.
How did we come to this stage? A movement which promotes ‘inclusivity’ will only include you if you agree. If you do not agree then you’re labelled a bigot, a hater of love and an evil person. I absolutely understand that the world and the church have done some very harmful things in the past to the LGBT community, we must admit our faults and our wrong doings.
But the problem goes beyond just the LGBT community. Now free speech is at stake, people are trying to trip up ministers and churches with their words. Christians are the targets of ridicule and loaded questioning. Christians are being bullied because we aren’t confirming to what the world thinks is right. It has gotten to the point where some people are reluctant to say anything against this shift in society for fear of loosing their job or friends. Today it seems that people are only free to speak if they agree on the topic of sexuality and identity.
It has gone so far now that some non-Christians, who don’t hold the same convictions that Christians do, wonder why the LGBT agenda is almost being forced on people. If a Christian group were as outspoken I doubt that the outcome would be the same. I doubt I’ll see the day that companies add the cross to their logo, or that a bus company has a special Easter and Christmas bus. I doubt I’ll see the day when the average Christian feels able to speak up about their views on sex, marriage and identity without being mocked and ridiculed by the world.
Christians are not perfect. We are all sexual sinner, we all need Jesus and we all need to deny ourselves take up our cross and follow Him. Christians are no better than the rest of the world, but we have a message of hope and reconciliation that we want to tell the world about.
The only charge that should be able to be brought against the Christian is that we are Christians. The gospel will offend people, we should not share it in an offensive manner. We should not be silent about the Biblical understanding of sexuality and identity but we should stand firm and point people to Christ.