Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons,’ communication about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, published on the Presbyterian News Service reinforced my belief that a damaging cultural storm is pushing aside safety mechanisms that Christianity, as well as other faiths, enjoy in the United States. A mainline denomination with secular media and big businesses behind it all bearing down on freedom of religion reminds me of a juggernaut. As Merriam-Webster puts it:
“… a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path …”
And because progressive religion is attaching itself to the secular, the origin of the word, which is religious, fits perfectly. Webster states this: “Hindi Jagannāth, literally, lord of the world, title of Vishnu,” while Encyclopædia Britannica expands it to explain about the festivals of the god:
“… The image is placed in a wagon so heavy that the efforts of hundreds of devotees are required to move it, and it is dragged through deep sand to the country house of the god. The journey takes several days, and thousands of pilgrims participate. Reports of these processions in the past have been much exaggerated, although accidents are common and occasionally a frenzied pilgrim attempts to throw himself under the wagon. The English word juggernaut, with its connotation of a force crushing whatever is in its path, is derived from this festival.”
Parson’s posting, “PC(USA) anxiously awaits proposed revision to Indiana RFRA law,” picks up the false assumptions secular media keep reporting. For instance, he writes, “We are deeply alarmed about the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) recently signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and are concerned that its current wording could provide a legal excuse for individuals and corporations to use religious conviction as a reason to discriminate.”
There are so many cases of Christian florists, bakers and photographers losing their livelihoods and vocations because they felt they could not participate in a same gender wedding and yet there have been no words of comfort coming from leadership in the PC (U.S.A.). No communication to those in the PC (U.S.A.) about remaining faithful to Scripture. No understanding that these artists and businesspeople did not discriminate but simply refused to be part of a ritual they believe to be sinful.
How comforting it must be to be in a church where those who must take risks for the sake of Christ are nourished and prayed for by their shepherds even at the higher levels of the church. But instead there is a threat embedded in Parsons’ communication:
“The PC (USA) affirms religious freedom and engages in ministry widely throughout the state of Indiana. Youth Triennium has been held for decades at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Over the next several weeks plans for the 2016 Triennium will be evaluated.” (Italics mine.)
PC (U.S.A.) pastors are already worried about being sued by same gender couples for refusing to perform same gender weddings. Their worry is that their presbyteries and other PC (U.S.A.) leaders will not defend them. The gods of sexuality are riding high on their festival wagons now, and politicians, big business, government officials, the media and progressive denominations are in the procession. The wheels are heavy and will grind the innocent beneath them. When sexual gods become the dominant idol their demands can and will overshadow all freedom.