Two days ago, Fox News reported that,
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court. [The Religion News Service also has added information and background in its report.]
There obviously has been much debate over the legality of such a demand. For instance, Russell Moore has written, “Houston, We Have a Constitution.” And the Washington Post asks if it is a constitutional issue in, “Is it constitutional for a court to enforce a subpoena of ministers’ sermons?”
If I were to guess (and it’s certainly only a guess, not a prophecy), I would think that these subpoenas will be rescinded for now. But I also have no question that this is where our country is headed. Ten years ago it would have been inconceivable to think that 20 states in the US would sanction same-sex marriage and that another 20 would be involved in court cases involved on the issue. Yet that is the United States in which we live today. I have said for some time that while I don’t know if I, or my generation of pastors, will ever be imprisoned for preaching the truth of the gospel as it relates to topics like homosexuality, but the next generation of pastors will. The die has been cast. The Lord certainly seems to have enacted His final judgment against this country by allowing the nation to undergo the consequences of their depraved minds (Rom. 1:28).
We do not need to be surprised by these kinds of events. We have been promised that we will suffer for the name of Christ (John 15:18-20ff; 2 Tim. 3:10-12). But we also do not need to be fearful; they may be able to kill our bodies, but they cannot do anything to our souls (Lk. 12:4-5). So our task is really quite simple: while the culture degrades before us, proceeding from bad to worse (2 Tim. 3:13), we just continue in faithfulness to the Lord, trusting Him and obeying and teaching His Word, which is able to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:14-17).
It is a sad time in which we are living; yet it is also a great time of opportunity for never have the stakes for the gospel been more clear and never has the difference between light and dark been so clear in this country. So we will preach the truth and the government will do what it will do, but we will not change.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!