Every follower of Jesus knows that we are sent into the world but are not of it (John 17:16-18). The Bible refers to this season of life in the world as our time of exile. It also refers to Christians as strangers and aliens. During our time in the world, we should be ready to make a defense to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope we have, yet do it with gentleness and respect. Christians are the most loving people in the world. This love requires us to say difficult things and live in such a way that is counter-cultural. When people live a radically authentic Christian life, they will invariably be confronted by the new tolerance.
There was a time not so long ago when even the most liberal venues in the West, such as Universities and the public square, were open to a plethora of differing opinions. Most of us can remember when we could live and let live or agree to disagree. In those days, it was considered virtuous if people could exchange different ideas and be tolerant of others who didn’t espouse their own beliefs. Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes tolerance as sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.
Now we find ourselves in the so-called most inclusive and tolerant society to date, but the recent drift into intolerance exhibited toward people of faith is undeniable. The new tolerance bears no resemblance to the old sentiment of live and let live and has much to do with making people who disagree fall into line or else. Ironically, those most vocal about tolerance and inclusion are the least tolerant. To make matters worse, the radical LGBTQ movement wants more than acquiescence; now, they want to shut down anyone who would share differing views. The purpose of this article isn’t to examine the ever-changing complexities of the LGBTQ movement but instead to look at how it vilifies any person or group who doesn’t fall into lockstep and celebrate them, namely Christians (1 Peter 4:14).
Before we continue, I want to say that any so-called Christian who doesn’t love lost souls, including those in the LGBTQ community, needs to re-examine their faith in light of scripture. I preach in Christian Churches, fellowships, Bible studies, and on the streets. When I do street evangelism, I have opportunities to speak with some in the LGBTQ community. I treat them with the same gentleness and respect I would anyone else and have had some good conversations with people (1 Peter 3:15).
In a post-Christian society, I could give numerous examples of how people and institutions are becoming increasingly hostile toward followers of Jesus. I’m focusing on the overt hostility of the LGBTQ movement because it has dominated the news recently. Moreover, it is obvious that we have moved far beyond forced coercion to bake a cake or rent a wedding venue. Now Christians are being forced to keep silent and not share anything, including literature or speech, that could be deemed offensive to the LGBTQ community, which may include not lying to them about their preferred pronouns. Here are just a few recent examples:
- A Canadian father was arrested after he violated a court order banning him from speaking out about his biological daughter’s gender transition. Rob Hoogland, the father, went to court after learning his daughter was undergoing hormone therapy to transition to a boy. The girl’s mother supports the transition. The justices of the B.C. Court of Appeals ruled the father could not voice his opposition to his daughter’s decision and was warned any attempt to pressure his child to change course would be considered a form of family violence.
- Josh Alexander is a Canadian high school student who was arrested after stating that men and women are different. He said his female classmates were concerned because males used the female washroom. A debate ensued, and when Josh went to the ‘Christian’ high school’s administration to explain his beliefs, he was expelled for the remainder of the school year. When he tried to return to school, he was arrested.
- Ontario NDP MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam announced on Tuesday morning that she was introducing a private members’ bill that would allow the province’s attorney general to temporarily designate addresses — such as where a drag show or LGBTQ+ event is taking place — as community safety zones. Under the bill, anti-LGBTQ2S harassment, intimidation, and hate speech within 100 meters would be subject to a $25,000 fine. The bill would also create an “Ontario 2SLGBTQI+ Safety Advisory Committee” to recommend how to provide better safety to the provincial government.
I could give numerous other examples of how Christians are being silenced in the UK, Canada, and the US. Here’s the issue at hand. It is one thing to have differing opinions, but a dangerous president is being set when government authorities, activist judges, and thought police are used to silence anyone or anything that is considered hate speech, intimidation, or harassment.
Here’s a question everyone should be asking. Who decides what is intimidation, hateful, or harassment? Given the examples above and many others, the answer is clear. If anyone from the radical LGBTQ movement doesn’t like what you say, it may very well be labeled offensive, and you might be shut down, fined, or arrested. The stage is already set. Anyone with a dissenting view is falsely labeled a hater, homophobic, or transphobic. Nothing could be further from the truth (Matthew 5:11).
As I stated earlier, Christians should be the most loving people anywhere. As believers, the most Christ-like thing we can do is share the gospel with another person, including those in the LGBTQ community. The problem is that the biblical way of sharing our faith is going to increasingly be labeled hate speech etc. (Acts 5:29). We must ask ourselves whether the gospel and the name of Jesus are worth any trials that may come our way or not. The way things are going, we might not have long to decide. The answer must be an unequivocal yes because people’s souls are worth any hardship that comes our way (Romans 1:16).
All for Him,
Podcast link: Concerning The Times with Howard Green
Bio: Howard Green is a Bible teacher and evangelist at Concerning The Times. His primary focus is Bible prophecy, discernment, and bold end-time Christian living. His articles have appeared in Olive Tree Ministries, The Christian Post, Rapture Ready, Levitt Letter, The Berean Call, and other Christian media outlets. His podcast is available on most streaming platforms. He is available to speak at churches and conferences on topics related to end-time Christian living and discernment. His ministry affiliation is with Christian Ministerial Fellowship International-CMFI. Howard and his wife Erika have four children and live in Carmel, Indiana.