My friend Royal Hamel has been called of God to be a watchman, exhorting pastors and churches to be salt and light in this generation. His ministry, Light the Darkness, can be found here: http://lightthedarkness.org/about.shtml
Royal graciously gave me permission to reprint the following article. The time has come to speak up, people. We can't continue to say nothing when we hear or read that our culture sanctions gay marriage, and that there is no problem with books like "Heather has Two Mommies". The recent controversy in California is shocking. Governor Schwartzenegger has agreed to legislation that bans the use of "mom and dad" in books in their public school system. It's discriminatory, they claim.
Huh? What about the discrimination against those increasingly rare families made up of a mom, a dad, and their children? Don't they count?
And that is why the following article is so timely. We must take courage and stand against this darkness. We must be bold enough to tell our children what the Word of God says about homosexuality and the beautiful plan God has for marriage between one man and one woman.
If we don't say something now, when we are still somewhat free to do so, our children won't be able to even teach these truths in the privacy of their own homes.
THE TIME HAS COME TO SPEAK UP
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Persecution of Christians by the state has arrived in Canada. I speak of the recent spate of attacks by the Human Rights Commissions against Pastor Stephen Boisson, Rev. Alphonse de Valk of Catholic Insight Magazine and Ron Gray, President of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada. Those attacks are directly linked to militant homosexual demands that Christians keep their mouths shut about scriptural teaching on homosexuality. Let no one be in doubt here; although three specific Christian leaders have been targeted, the real object of the attack is the entire Christian population of Canada.
But can we legitimately say that Christians are being persecuted? Well, nobody has been killed for being faithful to Christian teaching. But people have lost jobs, have been forced to spend thousands of dollars in defending themselves, have been fined large amounts of money, and some businesses have been closed. And all of this through a quasi law system instituted by our government. In this system there is no presumption of innocence, the accused must pay for their own defense while accusers are granted court paid lawyers, and even establishing the truth of one’s commentary is no acceptable defense to the accused. Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary recently stated, "I really feel that we are into a crisis situation here where we are experiencing a trumping of religious freedom."
So where does that leave us? Well it seems that we have now arrived at the moment when devout followers of Christ are called to walk the more difficult road. For Christians do not have a choice in this matter. 2000 years ago faithful believers were put to death for refusing to burn incense to Caesar while calling him “Lord.” Faithful Christians today, while loving those trapped in the practise of an ancient wrong, have no authorization from scripture to bless what God has not blessed regardless of the dictates of the state.
Human Rights Commissions have recently been criticized by many editorialists and columnists because high profile journalists like Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn have been cited for hate by certain Islamic leaders in Canada. But there has been no media storm protesting the attack on free speech of Christians who have been hauled before these tribunals. It’s a pity. Shouldn’t the media be concerned for justice for all?
Is there any relief forthcoming by politicians who will courageously speak on behalf of believers? Don’t bet on it! A powerful lobby group has convinced the public, including politicians, that all opposition to homosexuality is due to hate. Governmental leaders, almost to a man, are thoroughly intimidated. And they will not speak a word in defense of Christians who have manifested far more courage than they have.
What then can be done in the present situation? Is it possible to slow down the course toward even more draconian forms of persecution? Yes!
But it calls for initiative from Christian leaders. Recently a key evangelical leader wrote a letter to the National Post protesting the abolition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Ontario legislature. If evangelicals can go public on prayer in the legislature, then surely they can go public on the much more serious matter of the growing persecution. To be fair, there has been some speaking by some leaders, but the defense must be pursued with much greater energy and vigor. The various heads of Christian denominations could issue press releases defending the right of individual believers to speak the whole truth found in scripture. Presidents of evangelical colleges and seminaries could speak up by assigning some professors to write articles in local newspapers. Since 40 percent plus of our population is Catholic it is also incumbent on courageous Catholic archbishops and bishops to speak on behalf of their constituency who are undergoing persecution as well. Some have certainly spoken; many more need to find their voice.
I suspect that most Christian leaders may be taking a cautious, low profile approach, praying that the situation may get better. They may think it wiser to try and woo those who oppose the gospel rather than graciously contending with them. Truth is, that hostile opponents of biblical truth have assumed much power; they are not going to go away quietly. Like Esther, God may have raised Canada’s Christian leaders to prominence for just such a time as this. Esther spoke up. She used her voice in defense of her people. Who knows what may happen if our Christian leaders do the same?
A version of this article was published in the March, 2008 edition of The Interim, Canada's pro-life, pro-family newspaper
Royal Hamel is a freelance journalist and director of Light the Darkness Ministries. He served for 22 years as pastor and cross-cultural worker with the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada.