A Christian registrar who was harassed and discriminated against after she refused to carry out same-sex civil partnership...
I attended a weekly prayer meeting among some local area pastors some weeks back, and one of the topics that came up was that of "same-sex" weddings. When concerns were aired I mentioned that my personal statement of faith (which is basically an updated and slightly revised version of the 1689 London Baptist Confession) contains a paragraph that explicitly states that I believe that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman... and that Christian believers should not marry unbelievers:
"Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time..." Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:15; Matthew 19:5, 6
"It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry if they are able with judgment to give their consent; yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord; and therefore such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels or idolaters; neither should such as are godly, be unequally yoked by marrying with those who are wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresy." Nehemiah 13:15-27; 1 Corinthians 7:39; 1 Timothy 4:3; Hebrews 13:4
When I mentioned this concerning my statement of faith, I was immediately rebuked by the pastor as he told me that I must be pretty naive to think that nothing would happen to me if I chose to excercise my right to refuse to marry a same-sex couple.
Although I told this pastor that I didn't think that "nothing" would happen to me, I did not have the opportunity to finish my answer...
The Christians who are naive are the ones that think that, as Americans, we have some sort of right to keep us from persecution, prison, or even the penalty of death because we have stood faithfully upon the Word of God! How shameful to think that as American ministers we suppose that we should be exempt from the kind of persecution that Christians around the world in other countries must deal with every day of their lives; that we should be exempt from the imprisonment, the beatings, the torture, the ridicule, and even the sentence of death passed upon the Reformers, Puritans, and Covenanters that brought us the very Word of God that we profess to preach.
How arrogant we must appear to Christians in other nations who suffer such intense persecution. We Americans are quick to quote and cling to the promises of God, yet forget, nay, even ignore the fact that God has promised us tribulation, persecution, and the hatred of the world:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you" (John 15:18).
Where is our perspective as disciples of Christ? Where is our faith? Are our eyes upon Jesus? Are we daily in His Word and ever at the Cross?
When we cling to only some of His promises and not the full counself of God, we bear witness against ourselves, that we are not complete in Him.