Darrow Miller and Friends

Religious Liberty and Compassion: Incompatible?

Religious liberty can coexist with compassion

Life is full of choices, but sometimes what appears to be a choice is actually a false dichotomy.

“Why is food either good for you, or delicious?” (Some nutritious food is very tasty.)

“Is the Christian life a matter of being faithful, or fruitful?” (Jesus calls us to both.)

“Are you going to excel at your job, or make your family your priority?” (Col. 3:23 enjoins the first, 1 Tim. 5:8 the second.)

Here’s another false dichotomy with lots of contemporary application: Christians must rachet back their declarations of truth or else they will be seen as hateful. Put another way, compassion is better than candor.

David French speaks to this very issue very effectively in the April 28 issue of the National Review. We decided to repost his article here in its entirety.

Christians, Don’t Fall for the ‘Compassion’ Trap

David French values religious liberty

As I mentioned in my piece on the home page, I’ve been saddened at the number of Christians who either sit out the battle for religious liberty entirely or actively take the other side. In my piece today I tried to address those who claim that the threats to religious liberty are no big deal and that religious liberty legislation is a solution is search of a problem. But here I want to briefly address a different objection — that advocating for religious liberty or opposing the latest advance of the sexual revolution doesn’t present Christians as “compassionate” or “loving.” Here’s a sample taken from my Facebook feed:

Attention all Christians. The Transgender bathroom issue is not a fight we are called to enter into. I started to, and regret that, but now see it as trap to separate people, to vilify people, to make enemies and to distract us from the real heart issues that Christ demanded we pay the most attention  to. Jesus died for straight, gays, transgenders etc. We aren’t here to change society, we have never been called to point out behaviors of the unsaved that we don’t agree with. We are called to love, we are here to change hearts and let God change behavior where He feels best. Distraction and divisiveness is the devils greatest tool and when we get caught up in causes such as this we lose sight of the true work of Christ and the Holy Spirit which is freeing sinful man from the burden of sin – which included us at one time as well.

You’ll see a number of variations on this same theme whenever there’s an argument about religious liberty — especially when religious liberty conflicts with sexual liberty. Christians should love the opposition, and to some people loving the opposition means either sitting out the fight or watering down the message to the point of impotence. I have a few objections.

First, there is no inconsistency between defending our culture from the latest sexual “reform” and loving our neighbors. It is compassionate to women and children to argue that governments and businesses shouldn’t render them more vulnerable to sexual predators. And if you believe the words of the Bible, there is nothing compassionate about acquiescing in the latest cultural demand to normalize immoral and troubled behavior. Yes, transgender men and women need the love of Jesus, but if by our words or deeds we contribute to the notion that their “transitions” are perfectly acceptable, we’re contributing to their own tragic self-mutilation.

Religious liberty is worth preserving

Second, when one actively opposes Christians who are seeking to preserve religious liberty and opposing the relentless march of sexual decadence, then they marginalize and isolate their own brothers and sisters. For those few Christians who have the courage to stand against censorship, there is nothing more discouraging than enduring opposition and vitriol from fellow believers. I’ll never forget comforting a sobbing Christian client who filed suit to allow her Christian club to stay on campus — only to wake up the next morning to discover that a coalition of pastors and ministry leaders were the first to oppose her.

Third, a public political stance is not the same thing as a personal relationship. I can oppose gay marriage or transgender normalization yet still treat every single gay or transgender person I know with dignity and respect. Indeed, that is my God-given moral obligation. If a gay person chooses to shun me because I hold and profess orthodox Christian beliefs, that’s on them. In my experience, however, people can differ wildly on politics and come from dramatically different religious and political backgrounds and still forge meaningful relationships.

There is of course an enormous amount of public commentary that is snarling and hateful. But the existence of the intolerant Left and the crass Right make it more important — not less — that thoughtful Christian voices engage the debate. Leave the field, and the screamers take over.

I see the appeal of the “loving” approach. Very few people relish these kinds of conflict, and it’s never fun to be labeled a bigot. Moreover, it’s intoxicating to hear the Left’s applause. They always like the “thinking” Christian who sees things their way. But these Christians are loved not because they’re pulling secular progressives closer to Jesus. Instead, the Left loves those who help them win.

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  1. truebeliever4

    June 2, 2016 - 10:56 pm

    The Religious Liberty battle is the fight this generation of believers must take head on. It’s time that the truth be told in this debate. After all, the message that Jesus is all about love and acceptance of everyone is a false one. In times of battle God’s children are called upon to testify to the truth according to Jesus’ testimony. In Matthew 10:32-38, Jesus said He did not come to bring peace, but the sword. And any person who puts family ahead of Him is not worth of Him. For those families who unfortunately have loved ones that are homosexual, must stand by this truth in order to claim Christianity. Jesus also said straight is the way and narrow is the path that leads to eternal life. Matthew 7:13.

    People should think about this for a second. Why would homosexuals oppose religious liberty and falsely accuse states of “state-sponsored discrimination?” The truth is that they have an innate and deep seated contempt for God and anything that recognizes rights to believe in Him. We already know what spirit drives atheists to attack the people of faith for exercising their religious freedom – the Bible tells us.

    The people of faith were injured by the SCOTUS same-sex marriage law because SCOTUS hijacked and defiled Christianity’s First Divine Law, marriage, clearly defined in the sacred text as the union between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:18-25). SCOTUS knowingly and unlawfully seized claim to a WRITTEN divine law and attempted to redefine it. Some injuries were false accusations, lawsuits, run out of business, bankrupt, and even incarcerated for exercising their religious freedom. The people of faith know that the Divine Law for marriage is constant and omnipresent, not a variable subject to change, no more than SCOTUS can redefine when the sun rises and sets.

    The “redefinition of marriage” is a false doctrinal law imposed on the American people and initiated the homosexual assault on religious liberty. Homosexuals covet Christianity’s First Divine Law, their symbol of the First Divine Agreement – the rainbow, and now they want to kill the First Freedom of the One Nation under God and the people of faith will defend it without waiver. The people of faith believe what the bible says about homosexuality in Romans 1:16-32.

    Do not allow yourselves to be deceived. The homosexual plight is riddled with falsehoods. One falsehood is their attempt to liken homosexual struggles to the innate natural black civil rights movement. This is an insult of the worse kind. There is no comparison between natural and unnatural on any level, just like one will never equal two, or three or any other combination. We’re not playing house here. Homosexuals are self-created, unnatural by their own design and by their own free will. All homosexuality is a lie. The first lie is to them and in turn they deceive people into believing a lie is their truth. They possess an insatiable desire for anything that isn’t naturally theirs, and have zero care about the rights of Christians, and Religious Liberty will not be blamed for the homosexual free will fault.

    Homosexuals despise God and reject their God-given bodies in exchange for the lie-identified opposite sex or some combination thereof. Then they say their unnatural creation deserves special civil rights and marriage — all of which are false. In mockery homosexuals steal Christianity’s divine laws such as the rainbow symbol and marriage, yet oppose religious liberty legislation. These self-created human beings are a biblical abomination that bond through non-productive, desolate and false doctrinal same sex marriages. God said His word does not return to Him non-productive. (Isaiah 55:5-11). The people of faith must vote Republican across the board no matter who’s on the ballot. Hillary Clinton is anti-Christian and has vowed to support legislation that creates special classes and special civil rights for various types of self-identified homosexual behaviors, and to remove any and all rights to religious liberty. Make your vote count against the anti-Christian Democratic agenda.

  2. truebeliever4

    June 2, 2016 - 11:16 pm

    The transgender bathroom bill is the right battle for North Carolina. Pat McCrory must stand firm in his defense of the safety of women and children, and to protect the rights of those who do not feel comfortable sharing a bathroom or shower with the opposite sex, especially children. Even the term “transgender” is a false term because a biological male will never be a biological female, regardless of surgeries. So it’s just another lie-identified proportioned to “their truth. ” Reality says otherwise. Men who say they are women still have the strength of a man, and a transgender female still has the strength of a man.