Paris and Here in North America

The murders of the 12 in Paris this week are the latest in a flowing trench of blood that Muslim terrorists are spreading around the world. The bloody trench is growing ever deeper and wider. It’s a war of classical Islam and its sharia law against everybody else.

In a New Year’s Day speech, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi offered several observations about the status of Islam. El-Sisi is a Muslim.

The Islamic world is being torn, he said. It is being destroyed, it is being lost. And it is being lost by our own hands. It's inconceivable that the thinking we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. This is antagonizing the entire world. It's antagonizing the entire world! Does this mean that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants—that is 7 billion—a that they themselves may live? Impossible!

Yes, it’s impossible to kill 7 billion non-Muslims, but Muslim terrorists are giving it a bloody-good try. They continue to post literal head counts all over the world. So, finally, we hear from a prominent Muslim—El-Sisi—who condemns the carnage of Muslim terrorism. But where are the voices of other Muslim leaders? Silent. Disgustingly silent. There are no Christian terrorists cutting off the heads of men, women and children in the name of Jesus or performing other feats of unspeakable cruelty of which we now are so sadly familiar. There are no Buddhist terrorists, Hindu terrorists, Jewish terrorists. We only need watch for the Muslim sort.

Muslim terrorism of the Paris sort surely is coming to Canada and the U.S. We will not escape it. Almost any Americans or Canadians will be targets, but followers of Christ eventually will get special, targeted attention. But, at least as of today, the enemies of Christ in North America are spewing hatred onto Christians for the heinous, disgusting crime of believing that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. Months ago, the head of Chik-fil-A restaurants took a hailstorm of abuse for simply speaking of his belief in traditional marriage. And the owners of Hobby Lobby stores were vilified for refusing to pay employee insurance premiums for abortion-inducing drugs. The latest prominent Christian target is Kelvin Cochran, the newly-fired fire chief of Atlanta, Ga. He wrote a book that endorsed traditional marriage and spoke against various forms of sexual sin.

Cochran said: The LGBT members of our community have a right to express their views and convictions about sexuality and deserve to be respected for their position without hate or discrimination. But Christians also have a right to express to express our beliefs regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and without discrimination.

No matter. Cochran was fired anyway. Our pluralistic, post-Christian culture now is saying, All hail the irreligious! and All hail the Jesus you create for yourself, and All hail the Jesus who lets me do what I want whenever I want. That’s the Jesus, the false Christ, that many demand and foolishly have created.

But the Jesus of the Scriptures set the standard for marriage to be between one man and one woman. His word rejects sexuality expressed in other forms. Our culture, largely rejecting His word, have the right to do so. That’s their privilege. It’s also the privilege of faithful followers of Christ to speak His word and follow His ways, despite the reviling that is here and the deeper persecution that eventually and surely will come.

In light of that, FiveStone Churches has added to its Principles of Doctrine, Governance and Practice the following statement on the issue, just to make it plain where we stand.

Here it is: The Scriptures teach and require that marriage be reserved for and restricted to a union between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27, Matthew 19:4-6, Romans 1:26-27). God designed marriage between one man and one woman for four primary purposes: complementary partnership, relational intimacy, sexual fulfillment and multiplication (Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:18; Genesis 2:23-25, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 7:9, Ephesians 5:31). The Scriptures encourage and honor sexual intimacy only within the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6, Hebrews 13:4).