To what extent should Christians support public policy which reflects God’s standards? If we support these policies, but couch our support in secular reasoning, are we achieving anything meaningful? As a foil for this discussion, I’ll use the example of gays in the military.
Missing the Point:
I served for 10 years. I don’t honestly care whether gays are allowed to serve openly or not. They were already serving alongside me anyway. Making it “official” changes nothing about their status before God, and changes nothing the fact that they were serving anyway. The typical laundry list of reasons why they should not serve openly are unconvincing and ultimately unhelpful, because they do not strike to the heart of the issue – homosexuality is an abomination before God which violates His standards for His people. We do not live in a theocracy, so this fact is never made part of the public policy debate. Therefore, unless Christians are prepared to base their objections on Scripture, they are wasting their time couching these objections in secular reasoning.
Should Christians separate from this blatant secularism by, perhaps, getting out of the military? I know some good men who have. I, however, am tempted to say it is not necessary. There is a fine line between isolation and separation. Peter spoke of Christians as being strangers and pilgrims in this world, setting a good example so as to have a clear testimony before unbelievers (1 Pet 2:11-12). I admit a tendency towards pragmaticism here, but nonetheless, why should we separate at this point? We “serve” alongside homosexuals every day in our secular, civilian workplaces. Do we quit our jobs? I doubt it! The yardstick for separation is when public policy infringes on a Christian’s ability to live out his faith day to day.
I see no need to oppose public policy which is opposed to God’s standards unless we are willing to base our objections on Scripture itself. I likewise see little practical benefit from separating from these organizations, to the extent possible on a case-by-case basis, unless Christian liberty is infringed upon. The issue of gays in the military was handled very badly in both of these respects.
The reaction of certain organizations (e.g. Hobby Lobby) to the so-called “Obamacare” mandate is a good example of these principles in action. Hobby Lobby’s objections are clearly based on Scripture, and they protest the law because it infringes on a Christian’s personal liberty in that the company is forced to provide coverage for healthcare it finds morally objectionable.