By Brannon S. Howse
The end game of the Hegelian method is not pretty for non-conformists. When you and I do not compromise, we will be accused of hindering unity. We’ll be castigated as “narrow-minded,” “bigoted,” “intolerant,” “selfish,” and “extremist.” Hate crime laws will be a likely tool to punish those of us who dissent from the consensus.
Real censorship happens when a government—using law and the coercive force of punishment—prohibits you from saying or writing something that is deemed hateful or intolerant. Never mind that intolerance and hatefulness depends on your worldview. For many people, John 14:6—in which Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”—is both.
Although the teachings of Islam as revealed in the Koran are demonstrably intolerant and hateful of Jews and Christians, I can fairly well assure you that Islam will not be the ultimate target of persecution for hatefulness and intolerance. Even if anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are initially outlawed as hate speech, the legal language will be so vague that eventually the proclamation of John 14:6 and the clear teaching of Romans 1 on homosexuality will become a crime punishable as hate speech.
A June 2015 article by Nick Cohen in the European newspaper The Guardian entitled “Tony Blair Has Just Joined the Crew of Reckless Muzzlers” outlined the attempts by Blair and others to implement tolerance laws:
[quote] Democracies appear to be turning into the caricature middle-class leftist, who wants to silence the politically incorrect. But there are two important differences: powerful states are more thoroughgoing than PC censors, and, in their own way, more honest…. Blair has joined the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, which is not only concerned about Holocaust-denial. It is lobbying governments to recognise that the only way to stop extremism is to stop tolerating the intolerant. It wants to protect everyone who may be subject to threats as a result of “their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity”. The authors don’t just mean that we must protect them from physical harm—as of course we should. They want to extend the borders of censorship by criminalising prejudiced speech as “group libels”.
This ambition makes Blair and his allies seem no different from the average British or American university, which bans speakers and declares whole swaths of thought heretical without even bothering to pretend that they provoke violence….
Blair does not make the same mistake. His friends do not exempt favoured groups or minorities either. For all their appeal to universal values, their draft statutes are a response to the radical Islam so many liberals and leftists have ignored or indulged. Tolerate others or we’ll lock you up, they say to European citizens…. [end quote]
Despite the Blair law’s opposition to Holocaust-deniers, many Jews are opposed to the attempts by Blair and his cohorts to ban free speech that many find offensive. Writing in the Jewish Chronicle Online, Joshua Rozonberg concluded:
[quote] Of course, it’s unpleasant to come across those who seek to belittle or, more often, to justify the murder of our families. It’s equally disturbing to find people in continental Europe who assure you that their compatriots were victims of the Nazis rather than their accomplices. But I’d rather put up with the intolerance of others than lose my right to speak freely, even intolerantly. The cause of freedom is best served by free speech. [end quote]
Commentator Andrew Coyne similarly noted:
[quote] "The code itself outlaws material that ‘exposes or tends to expose to hatred’ any person or group, on the usual list of prohibited grounds. It is not necessary, that is, to show the material in question actually exposes anyone to hatred—only that it might,” he advised. “The Court then upholds the ban on the grounds that the hatred to which individuals might or might not be exposed might in turn lead others to believe things that might cause them to act in certain unspecified but clearly prejudicial ways: it ‘has the potential to incite or inspire discriminatory treatment’, or ‘risks’ doing so, or is ‘likely’ to, or at any rate ‘can’.” [end quote]
After the June 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, John MacArthur delivered a sermon to his congregation that included a description of the choice that is coming for Christians. We will have to choose either to join the group consensus or be punished. MacArthur clarified this disturbing reality:
[quote] I received a letter from a judge this week—a very significant judge in a very significant court. And he said in his letter, “One of the duties of a judge is to marry people. I am now under government mandate to marry people of the same sex. I cannot do that. I cannot do that.” He will lose his position. Clerks, Christian clerks across the country, who issue marriage licenses, and can’t do that either, are losing their jobs. The takeover is going to be massive. Christian people in high places are going to be replaced by people who will do what this court says you must do.
I wrote him a letter back and I said, “I honor you, Sir. I honor you because you have ascended to that level of responsibility. You’ve shown common sense and wisdom and astuteness and brilliance in your field of law. And you have been given the trust of the people because of what you have demonstrated, and now because of the quality and character of your virtue, you will be replaced, essentially, by someone with no virtue.” [end quote]
In Canada, Christians are already threatened with jail time and fines for teaching on the public airwaves what the Bible says about homosexuality. In February 2013, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that biblical speech in opposition to homosexuality is hate speech. The case examined whether or not a brochure that condemned homosexuality and used the Bible as reference was hate speech. The court concluded, in part:
[quote] The expression portrays the targeted group as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, makes reference to respected sources (in this case the Bible) to lend credibility to the negative generalizations. [end quote]
John MacArthur warned his church in June of 2015 as follows:
[quote] I believe what we are seeing now is setting the stage for the slaughter of millions of Tribulation saints as described in Revelation 6:9-11.
We must get ready. The world’s “reprobate mind” has reached the highest levels of influence around us, and it will demand that everyone adopt the same reprobate mind. Then, as Romans 1:29-32 explains, everything that is improper begins to happen:
All unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossips, slanders, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventers of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful, and though they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but they give hearty approval to those who practice them.
There isn’t a judge on the Supreme Court who doesn’t know what the Bible says about homosexuality, but the court affirms it anyway. That’s the reprobate mind, and it’s going to dominate our society.
So Christians are the minority. But we have always been the minority. We’ve just had a reprieve in our little American segment of human history. Christians are defined in the wonderful, inspired words of Peter, as a “separate people,” a “holy nation.” Christ is our King. Scripture is our law. And in ways that have not been true in the past, Scripture and the laws of our country now collide head on, and we’re going to feel it.
In fact, we already are feeling it. We posted an article on the seminary website about homosexuality, and within a matter of hours, we received a letter ordering us to cease and desist immediately or face a lawsuit. Could we be sued for taking this position? Absolutely. Insurance companies that provide liability insurance for churches to protect them against lawsuits are beginning to say, “We will not accept responsibility for lawsuits on homosexual or same-sex marriage issues.” The Church is going to be on its own.
Although practical atheism—the moral relativism and the rejection of the truth—has always prevailed in Satan’s kingdom, here in America we’ve been protected from its full fierceness. But no more. We’re going to discover that Scripture promises us persecution, not religious liberty. We will feel it in many ways. There’s already a strong movement to remove tax-exempt status from churches, so your giving to the Church will no longer be deductible—same with giving to other Christian ministries. Churches may also start having to pay property taxes.
Barry Lynn, who heads up a hostile organization opposing the Gospel and the Word of God, is relentlessly driving the move to deprive churches of tax-exempt status. One strategy is to sue churches over the homosexuality issue. In another approach, the government provides shool loans for students at Christian colleges, but if that school doesn’t affirm same-sex marriage and offer open enrollment to homosexuals, the government can cut Pell and other grants which enable students to go to college. A Christian college was confronted on this issue and was threatened with losing accreditation if it did not provide complete acceptance for homosexuals and allow them to conduct themselves any way they want in school dorms. Founded in 1885, the Boston Missionary Training School capitulated. It gave up 130 years of integrity and proudly announced fourteen pro-homosexual initiatives so it could to keep its accreditation.
There will be a barrage of persecution. These are going to be very challenging days. We will not bow. We will be gracious and we will be loving, but we will render to God what is God’s. [end quote]
John MacArthur’s reaction to the coming persecution stands as a rallying cry for all of us.
Copyright 2015 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.