If the Equality Act passes, the contest between the sexual revolution and religious liberty that’s run since the 60s will be over. The sexual revolution will have won, and religious liberty will be a thing of the past in the United States.
This won’t be the first time Christians are marginalized in the society in which they live. Historically speaking, the freedoms believers have enjoyed in the United States for the past couple hundred years is an anomaly. Even during the centuries in Europe when Church and State were joined hip and thigh, it was only a preferred sect that was accepted. Other groups were persona non grata. Religious liberty was something only enjoyed by those who towed the party (denominational) line.
Excuse me for getting personal, but a challenge we must address is this: If churches lose their tax-exempt status, will you continue to give? It’s best to ponder this question now.
Let’s be honest. Some give because of the tax break it yields. If that break were to disappear, they’d no longer give. Others give with dual motives. They know they ought to give to support the work of the church but also because of the handy deduction it provides. These may continue to give if that tax advantage were to go away, but not as much or as often. Still, others give with little thought to the deduction it affords. They may claim it on their returns; they may not. It’s a moot point to them. They give as an act of worship and will continue to do so whatever the IRS does.
Pondering what we’ll do if the tax-exempt status of our church is revoked due to its faithfulness to a Biblical morality of sex is an important consideration because it helps sort out the motive of our current giving. Knowing why we give now is important. We ought to give as an act of worship and obedience, obedience shaped by love for the One Who gave all for us. That we are able to write off donations to nonprofit organizations is a plus. It ought not to factor into when, where or how much we give.
Lance is the founding and lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Oxnard where he has served since 1982. Lance & David Guzik co-pastored the church for six years before David planted a church in a nearby community.
Lance & his wife Lynn were married in 1980 and have three adult children and five grandchildren. Lance loves teaching the Bible, History, and Leadership. He holds Masters-of-Arts in Biblical Studies and Ministry.
Lance serves as a chaplain for both the Oxnard and Port Hueneme Police Departments and enjoys backpacking, wood-working, working out, gardening, home improvement projects, reading, and graphic design.
The popular Communio Sanctorum: History of the Christian Church podcast can be found in both audio and video at the Into His Image website along with a growing inventory of Lances teaching.