We have been taught by the Word of God that we should “…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21. Although the context of what Jesus taught was taxation, the principle has to do with submission to governing authorities.
Paul reiterates this principle in Romans 13:1-7, where he begins by saying “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” So the teaching is clear, we are to submit to our governing authorities.
But, what if our governing authorities pass laws that are immoral or go against the truth revealed to us by God in His Word? What then?
“On October 1, 2016, the nation's strictest LGBT non-discrimination laws will come into effect in Massachusetts. According to the ‘Gender Identity Guidance’ released by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) last week, even churches must refer to transgender individuals by their chosen ‘gender identity,’ ignoring their biological sex.*
The “Gender Identity Guidance” specifically mentions churches as a place open to the general public and therefore falling under the “public accommodation” restrictions regardless of the church’s doctrine on human sexuality. In other words, there is no separation of church and state.
The restrictions are substantial. “Any ‘public accommodation’ must allow patrons to use men's or women's restrooms — and locker rooms and changing rooms— ‘consistent with their gender identity.’ Such places must also ‘use names, pronouns, and gender-related terms appropriate to employee's stated gender identity in communications with employee and with others.’" *
These laws will indeed be tested in the courts. If they prevail, attempts will be made to duplicate them across the land. Someday, they may become the blueprint of federal laws.
As the church, how are we to respond? In light of the upcoming Presidential election, it might be wise to discover the position of the candidates on issues such as this and vote accordingly.
In light of this, does the church become like Target (who now allows people to use the restroom of their chosen gender identity and not their biological gender)?
Something to think about and more to come…
*Citation: Tyler O’Neil, September 9, 2016, Chat 648 Comments