9/16/2013 – Bathroom Bill: Fiction is now Fact – Pastor Shane Idleman
On August 12, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown did what to many of us would be unthinkable. He signed AB1266 into law. When I first heard of this proposed legislation, I gave it little thought other than disbelief at the suggestion…never thinking that the proposal would be signed into law?
The Pacific Justice Institute’s website offers the following situations: “Picture this…your 7 year-old daughter comes home from school in tears. You ask her what’s wrong and she says she’s afraid to go to the bathroom at school because a boy comes in while she’s there. Outraged, you call the school to demand an explanation. You’re told that your daughter is telling the truth, but because the boy says he wants to be a girl, their hands are tied. ‘It’s the law’.”
“Imagine your 12 year-old son goes on an overnight camping trip with the Boy Scouts. The Scout troop leader nervously tells you that one of their newest members has been assigned to his tent, and even though she has lived most of her life as a girl, everyone needs to treat her like just another Boy Scout, since that’s now what she wants and ‘it’s the law’.”
Brad Dacus, President of Pacific Justice Institute, rightly said, “The passage of this bill is nothing less than irresponsible behavior by State lawmakers. To jeopardize the safety and privacy of young children all for the fear of offending the forceful LGBT lobby is disturbing.” Petitions are now available online…parents, pastors, and citizens still have the ability to challenge this law and make sure all students are protected before November 1st, 2013.
The decision of our leadership to support this bill is nothing short of alarming. There is little regard for the safety and welfare of our children. We are beginning to call good evil and evil good. Many leaders would rather be “politically correct” rather than biblically correct. But please don’t misunderstand my heart toward those struggling with gender issues: The ability to relate to people on their level, show genuine concern, and love them regardless of sexual preference is the mark of true Christianity.
It’s unfortunate that Christians often embrace one of two extremes. At one extreme are those who insult or who are violent toward those trapped in this lifestyle. Homosexuality and/or transgender tendencies appear at the top of their sin list. With this extreme group, there is very little love or compassion. The other extreme excuses this sin and looks the other way. Both extremes are wrong and offer a false impression of genuine Christianity—Christ asks that we extend compassion but without compromise.
Many say that we cannot take a position on sexual orientation because all positions will hurt someone. Here’s my question: “Are those who defend homosexuality, or who say nothing, truly loving the homosexual, or are they simply seeking to avoid conflict?” If we are more concerned about being liked than being truthful, do we really care for homosexuals more than the person who is willing to risk their reputation, and quite possibly their safety, in order to speak the truth in love? The answer is obvious: we are to do what is right because it’s right, not because it is popular. Authentic Christians love the truth, and others, so much so that they are willing to risk the consequences of confrontation in order to help others. This is genuine love, not hatred. “When we become so tolerant that we lead people into mental fog and spiritual darkness, we are not acting like Christians—we are acting like cowards” (A.W. Tozer).
One of the greatest shortfalls in our culture today is not being able to discern between right and wrong. The battle cry is focused on “individual rights,” instead of what does God’s Word say? But can we legislate morality? No, we cannot change a person’s heart by forcing a set of laws or rules upon them, but we can deter wrongdoing such as preventing teenage boys from walking into girls locker rooms unchallenged. You may say, “Times change.” And you are correct, but God’s standards do not change. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of sexual orientation, it will not change God’s mind. His principles are guardrails through the canyons of life. They don’t prevent us from enjoying life; they protect us from falling.
There is hope for those who struggle with sexual orientation. No matter what you’ve done, you have the opportunity to believe in Jesus and be forgiven of sin. 1. Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23). 2. Acknowledge that Jesus died for your sins (John 3:16). 3. Repent and turn from your sins (Acts 3:19). 4. Live your life for Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). The cross cleanses, redeems, releases, crushes, and triumphs over sin. It offers hope and peace to a dying world. “There is no peace until we see the finished work of Jesus Christ—until we can look back and see the cross of Christ between our sins” (D.L. Moody).
There is also hope for those who are deeply saddened by the direction of our nation: 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls out from the past with resounding clarity to us today: “If My people will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” Without question, repentance, prayer, and humility before God is our only hope.