We don’t normally publish articles in their entirety, but this article by an Australian Christian very succinctly describes what Christians are already facing in Australia, even though same-sex marriage was just legalized in January of 2018.
“Christians in Ancient Rome were regarded with deep suspicion. In a nutshell, they did not attend the pagan temples or participate in their rituals and activities. These were the centres of community. Participation made you ‘one of us.’ It was a seal of acceptance in society. To walk away from it all was practically an act of subversion.
“These people did not belong. They weren’t part of the fraternity. They were not part of society. They were the subject of suspicion and rumour. Ultimately, marginalisation developed into persecution.
“Every society has its temples. There are always things a person does, says or believes which quickly mark them out of ‘one of us.’ Likewise, those who refuse to do, say or believe those things are outsiders.
“Being an outsider normally comes at a price. I might once have been well regarded as a productive and responsible member of this society by being happily married, having well-behaved children, and being a committed church member. Such a person embodied the values of our society, so they were considered decent people. Others were encouraged to do the same.
“In this Mardi Gras season it is clear that there’s a new badge of acceptance on the horizon. Political leaders including Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian made very public, photographed appearances. Shorten attended with children. Corporations including banks, insurers, professional services firms and endless others served up Mardi Gras themed content on Facebook and other media channels. ANZ became ‘GAYNZ’ in 2017 and ‘YAYNZ’ in 2018 – rainbow lettering to match. The ABC ran a promotional video featuring rainbow-clad children waxing eloquent about the virtues and importance of Mardi Gras.
“This is hot on the heels of the Australian Defence Force announcing that it would add a rainbow insignia against those names of people in its directories who are ‘in alliance with members of the LGBTI community.’
“Most corporate and government workplaces celebrate ‘Wear it Purple’ and ‘IDAHOT’ days when staff are encouraged to wear purple in support of the LGBTIQ cause. In Melbourne last week, I observed rainbow lanyards being worn by office workers from several companies. Police force members have been asked to wear purple shoelaces to work. Though all this is done in the name of equality, tolerance and acceptance, it stands for anything but.
The rainbow is the badge of a political movement, driven primarily by Marxist and Queer ideologies. Dissidents are not treated well. If tolerance is all that is demanded, then Christians have nothing to fear, but in truth the demand does not stop at anything less than celebration and affirmation.
“The staff member who is not wearing purple is immediately identified as the subversive one, on the fringes. An outsider. The same for the employee with a plain black lanyard, the parents who don’t want their children in rainbow garb, the firm that doesn’t spruik its rainbow credentials, or the person in the directory who declines the rainbow logo.
“When same-sex marriage ads were put in Australian newspapers, large corporations were conspicuous by their absence – not their presence. The same is now true of leading politicians. The next Prime Minister, or NSW Premier who does not attend Mardi Gras will be asked to explain why.
“Parts of society are deeply suspicious of Christians’ motives for not joining the celebration, but the truth is there are very plain reasons for those who care to look.
“The parade itself is shockingly sexual, explicit and free of boundaries. The worst of it is rarely shown too publicly, but images emerge here and there of just how far short it falls of Christian standards of propriety – gay, straight, or otherwise.
“As for the rainbow movement more generally, it defines human beings through sexual behavior, a standard by which no Christian measures identity because it is a false standard, incompatible with the truth about human beings.
“Further, the rainbow has become the symbol of a political movement, which is radically at odds in its ideological underpinnings with the Christian worldview. Based on Marxist, Queer and similarly destructive political theories, Christians cannot be complicit.
“Barely a day goes by when I don’t see another example of how ‘outsiders’ – those who don’t buy into the movement – are treated. This is no longer a theoretical concern.
“Public servants placed under discipline, university lecturers threatened with dismissal, employees fired, students suspended, professional accreditations withdrawn, Christian organisations sued. It is happening often. The ‘outsiders’ cannot even expect to become foster parents anymore. It begs the question – are we really outsiders? Or are we making much ado about nothing? Should we just join in?
“The wisdom of the Apostle Paul is apt – he does not merely call out the practice of these things, but also the ‘approval’ of them. We cannot behave as if we approve all this and wash our hands of responsibility.
“This is a key sense in which, for the Roman Christians, they were ‘in the world, but not of the world.’ They could not lend their approval to the activities of the temple – they stood for something quite different and their lives became a testimony to it.
“When we stand against the tyranny of the so-called ‘tolerance’ movement, we will doubtless be treated with suspicion at best, and hostility at worst. False allegations of hatred and intolerance will be levelled. There may be anger and disgust.
“Not only do we know that it isn’t true, but we know that there’s a far greater blessing in following Christ than there is in being an ‘insider.’
“Perhaps His own words say it better than I could: ‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:18-20)
‘Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:11-12)’”
“Likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot…” Luke 17:28.