As reported Tuesday, the city of Houston has issued subpoenas for several pastors to hand over all their sermons regarding homosexuality, gender identity or Mayor Annise Parker.
The far-left has now finally fully tipped their hand. Years ago when it came to laws related to human sexuality and marriage equality, they told us they did not want government in their bedroom, all under the guise of tolerance and diversity. Now, once these activists are in power they have shown what they really have been after. They want the government to be in the bathroom and in the churches across America: in the bathroom because Houston's non-discrimination ordinance allows for men to use the ladies' bathroom and vice versa; in the church because they are now trying to intimidate pastors regarding the preaching of sermons that disagree with their values and agenda.
Essentially the radical left has shown they are the true bullies and their past quest for a diverse culture was a lie since they are intolerant of divergent views. This radical agenda goes in line with the present administration that utilized the IRS to target conservative groups. Their totalitarian plan all along has been to preach tolerance until they had enough time to get in power.
Every religious leader in America should be concerned about these new developments. Every pulpit should denounce this ordinance and action this weekend. This is now going to be remembered as the "ground zero" for religious liberty in America. If this law is upheld in Houston, it is time for the "freedom revolution" to take place.
We are rapidly moving into the next phase of the Civil Rights Movement, which is for religious liberty. In the same way the Civil Rights Movement of the twentieth century with Dr. King required acts of civil disobedience to get forward motion, this new movement will require nothing less than the same sacrifice from the clergy and religious people from every town and hamlet in the nation.
This is now going to be a big test for Joel Osteen and other "seeker-friendly" voices like him. Will Osteen stand with his brothers and sisters in Houston, where his megachurch is located? It is also a huge test for all pastors in America who have remained silent on social issues. If they continue to remain silent, the abridgment of free speech will soon come to every pulpit. Not only that, cities across America will also penalize biblical churches with revocation of tax exempt status, fines, use of zoning laws to limit the purchasing of property, and the denial of certificate of occupancy status.
The crisis we are now in is the fault of the "seeker-friendly" evangelical movement that attempts to preach the gospel while compromising their core convictions as it relates to culture. Pastor Steve Riggle, one of the Houston pastors subpoenaed, has proven that you can stand for biblical values and still have a megachurch in a liberal city.
True believers desire the truth. They are sick and tired of a watered-down application of the gospel. Christians are called to love every person irrespective of their lifestyle or religious beliefs. (See my article "It's Time to Rewrite the Race, Religion and Gay Narrative.") Christians are called to serve their cities and lead the world in compassionate ministry. But like Jesus, they are also called to testify to the truth before secular kings (John 18:36-37) which is why Jesus was crucified.
May every believer in America wake up and begin the "Freedom Revolution". The peace and prosperity of the world is depending upon us. This is not just an issue related to religious liberty, but has to do with the freedom to express one's beliefs. This is the most out-in-the-open, egregious attack on liberty in recent memory. Those who have been elected to uphold the Constitution are now trampling upon the liberties they have been entrusted to protect.
If this act of tyranny is not mentioned from the pulpit this Sunday, then chances are that no form of government abuse will ever be mentioned.
Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church, Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, New York.