A PASTOR’S PIT BACKGROUND
One of the motivating factors for my book A Pastor’s Pit was the progressive nature of the attack on religious liberty. Additionally, the courts play, and have played, the critical role of determining whether the attack on a particular liberty would be successful or the liberty would be protected. From my perspective, the attack started in the schools – no you can’t have prayer, no you can’t have a morning devotion, no Gideons you may not pass out Bibles. Then the attack progressed to the county/public square. No, we don’t want you to have Christmas nativity scenes, no, we don’t want you to post the 10 Commandments in the courthouse. The attack then progressed to businesses to tell the baker they could not refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding for religious reasons. During the pandemic we have seen the struggle for churches to stay open and the discriminatory treatment of churches compared to “essential” businesses – like casinos! Therefore, I think the direct assault and attack on pastors preaching from the Bible on politically incorrect topics is coming. Biblical speech will very likely be encompassed in the definition of “hate speech”. Virtually every state has hate speech statutes but not all include “religion” in the definition. It sounds so good, right, and virtuous to say there should be no religious hate speech until you see the definition, the interpretation, and the consequences. If my religious conviction based upon the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman, but someone else’s religion says that is not correct – would teaching the Biblical perspective be “hate speech”? Will the statute carry criminal penalties? Pastor Preston preached on another topic from the Bible that was offensive. Which pastor in America will be the first to face criminal penalties for preaching a Biblically correct position that is not politically correct?