OK, so here we have a tale of two churches. In one place a new church was launched: a cannabis church to be specific. The state moved in rather quickly and put an end to that foolishness. In another place some churches affirmed the biblical view of marriage and family. The authorities were happy with that and no action was taken.
Disclaimer: the above is true except for one small detail: actually the cannabis church was deemed to be just peachy, but the churches standing for biblical marriage have come under increasing government scrutiny. Yes you read that right. Let me offer some news coverage of both cases. Here is how one report covers the marijuana church:
Approximately 50 people gathered Sunday in south Lansing for the debut of a new church: The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason. The gathering was a kick-off for what organizer Jeremy Hall hopes will become monthly meetings celebrating cannabis’ spiritual properties.
He chooses the word spirituality intentionally. The church has no specific ideology, no texts or prophets to speak of.
“The biggest question I get is, ‘How can this be a church if we don’t subscribe to a religious theology?'” he told attendees. “Well, the reality is it sounded better than a cannabis cult.” Those sitting in the worship room laughed.
The church is BYOB, bring your own beliefs, with spirituality brought on by cannabis use serving as the uniting core principal [sic]. It’s first gathering was held at Lansing Herbal Farmers Market on Southland Avenue near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
A Tennessee transplant, Hall and his wife, Regan, moved to Michigan in part because of legal medical marijuana. Outside of being a marijuana caregiver, Hall is an ordained minister who hopes church members will help to change perceptions about marijuana users. “We’re using our church to elevate the community and to show we aren’t a drain on society or a bunch of unmotivated criminals,” he added.
OK folks. There you have it. Cannabis Christians. Bong believers. Reefer religionists. Weed worshippers. Marijuana missionaries. Pothead parishioners. Hmmm. And the authorities seem quite happy with all that. Hey, who am I to judge? Each to his own. Whatever feels good, etc., etc.
Now contrast this with some churches in NSW, Australia which have the audacity to affirm biblical teachings on human sexuality, marriage and family. They are getting in the bad books of the PC police, and soon enough one can see them being clamped down on by the heavy hand of the law.
I refer to some churches which will rent out a school room on the weekend to hold their services. It seems the pink police have been monitoring every word the pastors and church leaders have said while there – just like the notorious East German Stasi of old. As one news item begins:
Evangelical Christian churches are using some New South Wales schools to preach homophobic messages, SBS can reveal. Recordings of sermons obtained by SBS include teachings that the punishment for gay sex is death, marriage and sex is between a man and a woman only, and that the gay “lifestyle” is “unhappy”.
The sermons are being delivered by members of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Many of the churches are housed on public school grounds in NSW, where they conduct weekly services by arrangement with the individual schools.
One recording of a sermon on homosexuality and the Bible’s book of Leviticus from the Lakes Christian Church, based inside the Berkeley Vale Campus, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College on the NSW Central Coast, includes references to the “death penalty” as a punishment for the “sin” of homosexuality.
“In Chapter 20, He [God] states the death penalty for those who disobey. And notice throughout…if it is not the death penalty, it’s being cut off from the people of God, which is still death, not just instant death and so God is serious about sexual purity,” the pastor claims in the recording, which has since been removed from the church’s website.
The sermon goes on to preach that: “God’s good design for sex within marriage” is between “one man and a woman”.
“Even though books have been written and studies have been conducted to show that the gay lifestyle is not a happy one, people persist in the rejection of God. Let me encourage you that if you are in any doubt about how destructive that sexual sin is…have a look at the research and I can, I can point it out to you.”
In a response to questions about the sermon from SBS a spokesman for The Lakes Church said he did not believe the sermon was homophobic in nature. “Views on sexual ethics differ in society,” he said. “Our beliefs are those of mainstream Christian churches around the world. We teach that Christ offers life and hope in a world which lacks both.” A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it was forbidden to use school facilities to spread homophobia.
So church groups paying money to use empty school rooms on Sundays are now being spied on to see if they are only saying things which are government-approved. They are being monitored to make sure they do not get the secular state upset with their presentation of biblical truths.
Yes this is Big Brother at work, engaged in secret surveillance work, hoping to catch out anyone who dares to say anything other than the official PC line. It is the thought police in action. Stalin would be proud. Mao would be cheering. North Korea would be envious.
Right now it is churches simply renting out an empty room. What next? Are the thought police already in churches recording sermons and taking notes in worship services? Are they just waiting for the word from the powers that be to pounce on these hapless Christians?
Of course Labor has already said its first move will be to implement homosexual marriage if it wins the Federal election: “Bill Shorten has vowed to make same-sex marriage laws the first piece of legislation a Labor government puts to parliament. It’s a step up from the opposition leader’s previous promise to legislate within 100 days of winning power.”
Not only that, but consider this worrying headline: “Labor pledges gay and lesbian rights watchdog if it wins office”. The news article on this begins:
“Labor would appoint a champion of gay and lesbian rights if it wins government, in a move that further highlights Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s adherence to his predecessor Tony Abbott’s same-sex marriage stance. Labor on Saturday announced it would appoint a full time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission to ‘help build a more inclusive Australia’. The role would cost $1.4 million over four years.”
Hmm, a watchdog. Just how much snooping around will be done here? What sort of draconian powers will be given them? Just who will be under surveillance and investigation? What penalties will be imposed if an individual or group are deemed to be enemies of the state in this regard?
This is scary stuff indeed. The Pink Big Brother keeps getting more and more ominous. And still plenty of Christians are sleeping through all this. This is how we lose big time. Christianity is now starting to be monitored and snooped on like we find in communist countries.
So it seems the lesson here is this: if you want to go to church to get high, no probs. It is all far out and groovy man. But if you want to go to church to hear biblical teachings proclaimed and affirmed, you better watch out. Big Brother has ears and eyes everywhere.