So yet another mainstream church denomination has fallen to the LGBT juggernaut. The Church in Wales has voted to bless same-sex unions. It hasn’t yet gone the whole way and completely redefined marriage, but that is surely just a question of time. In truth, the Church in Wales has been drifting away from the Bible for decades. But there are still some evangelicals within the denomination who deserve our prayers.
It’s a mistake to think this won’t affect those of us in independent evangelical churches. The more mainstream denominations go down this road, the more we become perceived as a marginal irrelevance. Worse than that, we appear to be dangerous religious extremists who need to be silenced and controlled.
Hence the recent push for a ban on so-called conversion therapy. The Welsh government’s equality impact assessment at least has the honesty to admit that, under a ban, church leaders could face prosecution and religious liberty could be restricted. The government in Westminster says that although it will introduce a ban, it is mindful of the potential mischief it could cause for freedom of speech and religion. Oh, and it promises not to ban prayer. So that’s nice.
Honestly. Did you really think you’d see this in your lifetime? Did you really think you would see laws introduced that could ban aspects of your preaching, your praying, your pastoral counselling – even your parenting? Well actually, yes, some of us did. No doubt there will be some religious liberty protections written into the law. We hope and pray they will be robust. But the juggernaut rolls on, and it won’t stop until it’s silenced us all.
Yet, while all this rumbles on, we must carry on proclaiming the gospel of grace. Members of the LGBT community are not our opponents in the culture wars: they – like everyone – are lost souls in need of Christ. So we must keep proclaiming Christ, with love and truth in equal measure. Only, make sure it is the whole gospel. Don’t water it down just because of the days in which we live. We mustn’t forsake the gospel, not even for the sake of the gospel.