You might think that “Queerly Beloved” and “Quirky, Queer and Wonderful” are the titles of Pride month TV shows. They’re actually two of the hymns in Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ Community.
Alongside a “queer hymnal,” we now have the “Queering the Bible” project. A ministry tied to the Presbyterian Church (USA) has launched a sixteen-part study which looks at the gospel of Mark as a way of “learning about how we experience God as queer folk, and how we experience Scripture as queer people.”
If you believe that God creates us in his image as male and female (Genesis 1:27) and defines marriage as the covenant of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:21–24; Matthew 19:4–6), how would you respond to Christians who endorse and celebrate LGBTQ ideology?
As I reported yesterday, at least thirteen companies have announced plans to help employees travel across state lines to obtain abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Companies across the country are celebrating Pride Month by participating in parades, affixing rainbow logos to email and other correspondence, and contributing to LGBTQ causes.
If you work for a company that has chosen to help fund abortions or celebrates unbiblical sexual morality, how should you respond?
These are not speculative questions. As our culture moves further and further from biblical morality, Christians are coming under increasing attack for our biblical beliefs. And believers who work in the secular marketplace are facing increasing pressure to capitulate or resign.
Let’s consider three biblical responses.
One: Know what you believe
Scripture calls us to “honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Whether the issue is abortion, sexual morality, or another ethical challenge, it is vital that we know what we believe and why we believe it.
For example, if you believe abortion is morally wrong, how would you defend your position? If you believe marriage is between a man and a woman, how would you respond to those who disagree? If they are unwilling to consider biblical truth, how else would you persuade them?
It is incumbent on all American Christians these days to know and be able to defend basic biblical truth claims. Apologist William Lane Craig: “Many Christians do not share their faith with unbelievers simply out of fear. They’re afraid that the non-Christian will ask them a question or raise an objection that they can’t answer. And so they choose to remain silent and thus hide their light under a bushel in disobedience to Christ’s command.
“Apologetics training is a tremendous boost to evangelism, for nothing inspires confidence and boldness more than knowing that one has good reasons for what one believes and good answers to the typical questions and objections that the unbeliever may raise. Sound training in apologetics is one of the keys to fearless evangelism.”
(Three of my articles on defending life are here, here, and here. For help defending biblical marriage, go here. For ways to explain and defend the essential facts of the Christian faith, go here.)
Two: Know your “red lines”
In Jeremiah 29, the Lord calls his people to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile” (v. 7). In Romans 13, we are told to “be subject to the governing authorities” (v. 1). However, when the apostles were commanded by the authorities to stop preaching the gospel, they responded, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
Some issues are “hills to die on,” but others are not. If you work in a secular environment, you will undoubtedly face challenges to your faith that are not worth resigning and thus ending your influence with your colleagues. You may, however, face other issues that are so grave they demand that you take a stand even at the risk of your employment.
It is best to decide such “red lines” ahead of time.
For example, I spoke recently with an executive at a secular hospital system. His hospital does not do elective abortions at this point, but he has decided that if their policy changes, he will resign. By contrast, he has decided to stay even though the hospital celebrates Pride Month in ways that make him uncomfortable, choosing to remain where his faith can prayerfully impact those he influences.
Pray for the guidance of the Spirit as you “discern what is the will of God” in this respect (Romans 12:2).
Three: Speak and act redemptively
Earlier we noted Peter’s call for us to be ready always to “make a defense” of our faith. The apostle continued: “yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15b–16).
As I say so often, we are not called to be culture warriors but cultural missionaries. The other side is not the enemy. We are called to speak and act redemptively, reflecting the light of Christ in the darkness of our day (Matthew 5:14–16) so that others are drawn to our Lord and find in him the joy and peace their souls long to know.
St. Chromatius (died about AD 407) was one of the most celebrated theologians of his day and a ministry partner with St. Ambrose and St. Jerome. Responding to Jesus’ call for us to be the “light of the world,” he wrote: “Since he is the Sun of Justice, he fittingly calls his disciples the light of the world. The reason for this is that through them, as through shining rays, he has poured out the light of the knowledge of himself upon the entire world. For by manifesting the light of truth, they have dispelled the darkness of error from the hearts of men.”
He then warned, “If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity the light men so desperately need. . . . Therefore, we must not hide this lamp of law and faith. Rather, we must set it up in the Church, as on a lamp stand, for the salvation of many, so that we may enjoy the light of truth itself and all believers may be enlightened.”
How will you display the “light of truth” today?