We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching
the Bible and understanding our time in
the light of Bible prophecy
The new intolerance
The government’s Sexual Orientation Regulations have caused great concern among Christians
in the UK who take a biblical view on homosexuality and moral values. A petition
drawn up by the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship states: ‘The regulations are a serious
affront to the profession of the gospel and to the freedom of religion which this
country has cherished for many generations. The regulations will force Christians
to facilitate and encourage the practice of homosexual relationships and will force
them to support the view that homosexual relationships are equivalent in worth and
moral standing to heterosexual relationships.’
In the name of tolerance and liberalism a new intolerance is taking over our society.
Adoption agencies will be closed down if they refuse to place a child with a homosexual
couple. Christian Guest houses will have to take homosexual couples in as guests,
church halls might have to be rented out to homosexual events, Christian printers
will be forced to print material for homosexual causes. In fact there will be a pecking
order of ‘human rights’ with the rights of homosexuals at the top of the list and
the rights of Christians at the bottom of the list. Lesbian MP Angela Eagle interviewed
on BBC2’s Newsnight said, ‘We can’t have exceptions.’ Everyone must conform to the
new secular orthodoxy which is being imposed on us. The government has allowed minimal
doctrinal exceptions for organisations which teach, practice or advance religion
or belief provided they do not receive government funding. This means it is still
not illegal to preach in a church service that homosexual practice is sinful in the
eyes of God.
The media have focused mainly on Roman Catholic adoption agencies as victims of the
new regulations, but evangelical Christians are also in difficulties over this issue.
Even before these regulations came into force it was almost impossible for evangelical
Christians to adopt children except through specifically Christian agencies because
they would be screened out if they expressed negative views about homosexual practice
or believe that Jesus is the only way to God.
Cornerstone, a Christian fostering agency in Stockton on Tees faces closure because
of the new government regulations. The chairman of their trustees, Robin Singleton
said, ‘Cornerstone was founded as an agency for Bible believing Christians who want
to provide a ‘forever family’ to some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
By any measure Cornerstone is a very successful agency with outstanding outcomes
for our children. We are deeply concerned that our freedom to provide this service
within a faith-based organisation is being denied. This lack of tolerance of Christians
expressing their faith through service provision is of real concern and an outrageous
infringement of our freedom.’
Dr John Lockley, a Bedfordshire GP, has written to Patricia Hewitt, asking for doctors
to be given an opt out on homosexual adoption similar to the way they are protected
over abortion. He said that doctors who refuse to give positive references to prospective
homosexuals wanting to adopt may face being investigated by the General Medical Council
if complaints are made against them. This could result in them losing their jobs.
Ironically Mark Hurst, a hotelier who runs a ‘gays only’ hotel in Blackpool has also
opposed the new regulations. He is worried that he will be forced to accept heterosexual
guests which will put off his regular homosexual clientele!
What is taking place in our society is part of a process which is happening across
the western world. Education, the media and governments backed by international organisations
like the UN and the EU are imposing a new world view which claims to be ‘tolerant’
of minorities, but is actually extremely intolerant of dissenters. In his book ‘The
New Tolerance’ Josh McDowell describes this way of thinking: ‘The new tolerance teaches
that all beliefs, values, lifestyles, and truth claims are equal. It is not enough
for you (or your children) to live and let live. It is not enough for you to assert
another person’s right to believe or say what he thinks is right. It is not enough
to allow another person to disagree with what you believe or do. In order to be truly
tolerant you must agree that another person’s position is just as valid as your own.
In order to be truly tolerant you must give your approval, your endorsement, your
sincere support to their beliefs and behaviours.’
This means you cannot say that on the basis of the absolute truth revealed in the
Word of God some actions are good and some are evil or that we should obey God’s
commandments. To do that is to discriminate against people who don’t want to obey
God and contradicts the goals of diversity. In his book ‘An Introduction to Multicultural
Education, Dr James Banks writes, ‘Multicultural education is inclusive. A lot of
people are on the margins of society because of their race, class, gender or sexual
orientation. Multicultural education is about bringing them to the centre, making
one nation from many people. To do that we have to validate their experiences.’
The inclusion of sexual orientation with ‘race, class and gender’ is the issue which
creates the problem. Whichever race, class or gender we are born into is not our
decision and all people are equally loved of God regardless of these factors. But
our sexual behaviour is a lifestyle choice and the Bible teaches that there is only
one acceptable sexual relationship in the eyes of God, the relationship of a man
and a woman who are joined together in marriage. It declares clearly that homosexual
relationships and unmarried heterosexual relationships are sinful. The way back to
God is open to all through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but the
commandments of God do not change with the changing values of society.
What the ‘New Tolerance’ is demanding is that we must endorse the values, lifestyles
and truth claims of all people, whether those involve homosexuality, abortion or
any other view which may conflict with our Christian faith. It is not acceptable
to ‘hate the sin, but love the sinner’ as the Lord Jesus did in his life and teaching.
Under the views of the ‘New Tolerance’ you are required to respect and accept the
values, beliefs and attitudes of other people no matter what these are.
As well as creating problems in the area of sexual morality this actually closes
down any discussion with someone of another faith. If in the process of saying why
I believe in Jesus, I say that I do not believe the teachings of the Koran or Buddhism
I could be accused of being intolerant towards Muslims or Buddhists. The government’s
version of the Religious Hatred Bill which was narrowly voted down last year threatened
to do exactly this. It would have made it illegal to say that Jesus meant it when
He said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but
by Me’ (John 14.6) and therefore He is the only way to God. By implication this statement
is negative about other faiths being able to bring a person to a saving knowledge
of God and so it could be considered ‘likely to stir up religious hatred’ according
to this act.
Under the New Tolerance you should not make any negative judgements. The UN ‘Declaration
of Principles on Tolerance’ states: ‘Tolerance involves the rejection of dogmatism
and absolutism.’ There are plenty of dogmatic and absolute statements in the Bible!
Of course the New Tolerance does make negative judgements about some people. It is
not acceptable to be a paedophile or a racist for example. And increasingly it is
not acceptable to be a Bible believing Christian or to speak out in favour of Biblical
Mr DeCicco, a city councillor in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, was fined $1000
for remarks he made at a council meeting discussing a ‘gay pride’ parade. He described
homosexual acts as ‘not normal and not natural.’ His barber’s shop was vandalised
with ‘Homophobia Die’ scrawled on the door of his business. In a later interview
he explained, ‘I’m not against lesbian and gay people but I don’t agree that I should
have to endorse it.’ But actually the New Tolerance does require you not only to
tolerate alternative life styles and beliefs, but also to endorse the validity of
all views on moral and spiritual matters and all life styles. This is impossible
for the Bible believing Christian who then becomes the victim of the intolerance
In the face of all this we should stand firm on the truth of the Word of God, knowing
that our God does not change in order to fit in with the passing fashions of human
behaviour and ideas. He tells us to change our ways. To stand for the truth will
be increasingly unpopular as Jesus said, ‘You will be hated by all nations for My
name’s sake.’ Matthew 24.9. The ‘New Tolerance’ is one factor in bringing hatred
and persecution of Christians to the nominal Christian countries of Europe and America.
It is also bringing a disintegrating chaotic society in which people are self-destructing
through drink, drugs, violence, sexual immorality and family breakdown. In a backhanded
sort of way the moral chaos and confusion of our time is a testimony to the truth
of the Word of God. As our society abandons faith in God we do not discover greater
liberty but growing control of what we can think and do. In 2 Peter 2 we read of
the false prophets who will come in the last days of this age. ‘While they promise
them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome,
by him also he is brought into bondage.’ A fitting assessment of the teachers of
the New Tolerance.