November 2014

Beware! The push for ‘tolerance’ has struck again. Recently, a city’s mayor subpoenaed the sermons and writings of some local pastors to find out what they were preaching on and if it conflicted with the mayor’s views. Where did this attack on civil rights happen? In Iran? In China? In Syria? No, in Houston, Texas.

If you are surprised to hear that, so was I. But after reading about the context of why the mayor did this, I understand this is the new ‘tolerance’ of our country. You see, the mayor of Houston is an open practicing lesbian and she recently passed some laws that are gender neutral laws. These laws basically say that you can use any public restroom that you feel you are inclined to any day of the week. Say for example, a man felt more like a woman on a certain day, he could walk into a woman’s public restroom and use the facilities without any question.

Well, some residents of Houston were not ok with these new laws, specifically pastors of local churches. The mayor took this as an act of intolerance and bigotry by the pastors and subpoenaed their sermons and writings to look for any anti-homosexuality or trans-gender content in them. Why would she care what these local pastors say in their local congregations? Because if she could find anything said that was offensive she could publicly denounce it and ruin their reputations and/or churches.

What is really bizarre is that this is nothing more than an elected official acting like a bully and a thug. No public servants are elected to office to carry out these kinds of actions. They are there to serve the people, not run a dictatorship. How does she get away with this? (The legal proceedings are ongoing). Isn’t this a clear violation of the 1st amendment? We would expect to see this in a country like China or Iran, but never in Houston, Texas.

It is sad for me to write this but we as Christians need to wake up. This is the new ‘tolerance.’ Before, tolerance meant that we acknowledge other people have different beliefs and opinions. Now, tolerance means you MUST heartily agree and support everyone else’s views and opinions, without saying anything to the contrary, or else you will be the target of attack. You see, criticism is not enough anymore. Anyone not being ‘tolerant’ is destroyed. Case in point: Houston pastors. Forget civil dialogue and debate, the ‘tolerance hunters’ are on the attack. Even though they don’t realize that in the name of ‘tolerance’ they become mighty intolerant of those with views opposing them.

Also, this is the culture’s new view of homosexuality. We have seen the shift in our culture come at a rapid pace. At first, homosexuality was viewed as a deviant form of sexuality. Then, it became more of an accepted practice. Now, it is being shoved in the face of everyone in this country. “You must agree with this…or else” is the mindset of proponents of homosexuality. And it’s not just homosexuality anymore. Now it’s transgender desires and inclinations.

I say again: Beware, Christian. The day is fast approaching where you will be asked what you think of homosexuality. Not as a question of genuine interest or in the spirit of civil dialogue, but as a probing to see whether or not you are in line with the new ‘tolerance.’ And if you are not, be ready for the consequences. What will we see when that day of questioning comes? Will we willingly receive the consequences for standing on our convictions?

Pastor Mark Scialabba