Are Christians Fiddling While Society Burns?

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As the Great Fire of 64 A.D. raged through Rome, destroying 70% of its people and leaving half its population homeless, it is said that Emperor Nero played his fiddle.[1] Could it be that God’s people have today taken-up Nero’s fiddle? Far too many of us who bear the name of Christ seem content to turn an oblivious eye to the flames of immorality and spiritual rebellion ravaging our culture as we congregate in our churches to sing and to exhort the virtues of love. Failing to recognize the gravity of the hour, we find ourselves frittering away precious time needed to avert a burgeoning crisis.

Our actions and priorities ought to reflect the intensity of our circumstances. Why is it that before government-mandated lockdowns, many churches were already speaking into the matter of COVID-19 and even making structural changes to their worship services, yet when faced with even greater threats to our nation, the church remains silent? Where is the outcry against critical race theory, our nation’s culture of lies, abortion, or any number of other fundamentally moral issues that are re-orienting our nation’s moral compass? Where is the call from pastors to ready ourselves for battle? Where is the urgency to apply truth to the world around us?

How is it that when we gather together as Christians, we can consistently ignore everything in the weekly news cycle; we can neglect the actions of our politicians; we can gloss over the personal struggles represented in our congregations; we can refuse to respond to the worldview bombarding our children on a daily basis in their schools; and yet we somehow can convince ourselves that we are relevant and influential voices in our culture and society? Unless we are willing to engage with real-world issues, we cannot be relevant or influential.

Our society is in flames—both literally and metaphorically. Cities across our nation literally burned this summer as a result of immoral ideology left unchecked. All-the-while, our legislators fan metaphorical flames by passing laws designed to purge any remaining vestiges of Judeo-Christian morality from our daily lives. While the world around us burns in the flames of immorality and spiritual rebellion, we Christians fiddle by rehashing sermons designed to encourage rather than convict, singing inspirational songs about God’s goodness while ignoring His justice and the implications of His holiness, pretending that the absence of conflict equals unity of mind and purpose, and by convincing ourselves that good deeds alone equal Christian love.

We have become like the lukewarm church of Laodicea whom Jesus warned: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16). We are neither provoked to action nor kowtowed into acceptance. Instead, we are just enough troubled to complain to others in our church fellowship halls, but indifferent enough to take no further action.

Let us put down our fiddle and do our part to fight the fires of immorality and spiritual rebellion raging within our culture and society.

But where should we begin? Perhaps it is helpful to allow those who have been fighting to provide us with our first steps. Freedom2Care and Christian Medical Association offer a pre-drafted e-mail that can be sent to senators urging them to vote against the Equality Act (H.R. 5; S. 393). Furthermore, they are calling upon Christians to begin Passion Week, this Monday, by fasting and praying that God will move mightily and miraculously against the passage of this bill. (Click here to download the Day of Prayer and Fasting guide.)

Boasting the support of President Biden[2] and having already passed the U.S. House of Representatives,[3] the only barrier preventing the Equality Act from becoming the law of the land is the U.S. Senate. Contrary to its name, “the Equality Act would further inequality by penalizing everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex.”[4] Freedom2Care explains:

This bill would change the definition of “sex discrimination” from its historical basis in biology (i.e., male/female) to instead include subjective ideological factors such as gender identity and sexual orientation. The bill would impose legal penalties against anyone who does not share this ideology. It would:

Penalize health professionals who decline, on the basis of medical research and/or ethical convictions, to participate in gender reassignment surgeries or hormonal treatments for children or adults;

– mandate opening up girls’ and women’s locker rooms, domestic abuse shelters and other facilities to biological males who identify as female;

– put females at an unfair physical disadvantage in sports, forcing them to compete against biological males who identify as female.

eliminate for all Americans the application of Religious Freedom Restoration Act faith, conscience and speech protections (emphasis in original).[5]

 

The bill first redefines nearly every private institution as a place of public accommodation and then requires all public accommodations or recipients of federal funding to abide by this new gender orthodoxy or face a variety of penalties.[6] Moreover, it specifically exempts itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was designed to shield religious practices from “laws ‘neutral’ toward religion [which] may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise.”[7]

Put another way, this bill would trump religious liberty protections and make it illegal for Christian institutions to speak truthfully about gender according to their faith. This is made explicitly clear in the preamble to the Equality Act: “Discrimination against a married same-sex couple could be based on the sex stereotype that marriage should only be between heterosexual couples, the sexual orientation of the two individuals in the couple, or both.”[8] Were any to quote the words of Christ, they would be discriminating and breaking the law: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become on flesh’” (Mark. 10:6–8).

The Equality Act exists to promote and protect gender confusion and the very sexual immorality the Bible calls abominable and dishonorable (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26). It denies the Bible’s teaching that male and female sexes are biological, not psychological (Gen. 1:27). And it is designed to silence the church on these matters. Perhaps the battle arena is political, but this is fundamentally a moral issue.

Considering the stakes, surely it is not asking too much of us as Christians to e-mail a pre-drafted letter to our senators exhorting them to vote against the Equality Act. Nor can it be too much to ask that we devote a single day to fasting and prayer over this matter. However, the question remains: Do we want to engage in the fight, or are we content to fiddle while our culture and society succumbs to the flames of immorality and spiritual rebellion?

 

For more information about the Equality Act, visit Freedom2Care.org/Equality-Act.

Click here to download the Equality Act bill.

Click here to e-mail a pre-drafted letter to your senator.

Click here to download the Day of Prayer and Fasting guide.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. History Staff. “Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?” History, November 20, 2012. Last updated August 18,2020.HiH https://www.history.com/news/did-nero-really-fiddle-while-rome-burned.

2. “Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the Introduction of the Equality Act in Congress.” Briefing Room. White House, February 19, 2021. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/02/19/statement-by-president-joseph-r-biden-jr-on-the-introduction-of-the-equality-act-in-congress/.

3. Sonmez, Felicia and Samantha Schmidt. “House Votes to Pass Equality Act, Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” Politics. Washington Post, February 26, 2021, 11:26 a.m., EST. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/congress-sexual-orientation-civil-rights-gender/2021/02/25/1351bea4-7779-11eb-8115-9ad5e9c02117_story.html.

4. “The Equality Act.” Heritage Foundation, n.d. Accessed March 24, 2021. https://www.heritage.org/gender/heritage-explains/the-equality-act.

5. “Opposing the Equality Act.” Freedom2Care, n.d. Accessed March 24, 2021. https://www.freedom2care.org/equality-act.

6. Colson Center. “The Equality Act with Ryan T. Anderson – BreakPoint.” YouTube video, 26:42. February 26, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zH1jqAaQnE.

7. “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.” Public Law 103–141, November 16, 1993. Department of Justice, March 18, 1994. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/jmd/legacy/2014/07/24/act-pl103-141.pdf.

8. “S. 393.” 117th Congress, 1st Session. United States Senate, 2021. https://24168d49-d5cc-4260-ae1a-a97a91740a06.filesusr.com/ugd/7d505d_c3a539bc064b41afafad4cfdfabf9bb2.pdf.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.