The beheading of John the Baptist for preaching against Herod’s immorality seems to be an extreme and antiquated story. But incidents of government penalties on pastors who speak out on moral issues of the day are getting closer to home all the time. Just last week, LifeSiteNews reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) threatened to “revoke the charitable status of Kings Glory Fellowship (KGF), a Christian church in Calgary. …’The members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative views about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc.,’ wrote CRA agent Dian Prodanov in an October 29th letter.” This is proof that European style censorship of pastors like the arrest and conviction of Ake Green in Sweden has crossed the Atlantic and is now in our own backyard.
Losing tax exemption is certainly not beheading (or even arrest), but the effort to silence preachers who express the biblical view on moral issues is the same. These cases reflect the peculiar idea that churches have no business speaking out on abortion and homosexual behavior because those are political subjects. In other words, the Church should stay out of politics. But these are moral issues that the church – the moral conscience of the nation – has the right and duty to weigh in on.
What’s really going on is government has invaded the realm of the Church by politicizing moral questions. Pastors must continue to assert the biblical perspective on moral issues and be alert for any encroachment on the right to do so. Otherwise, the fate of John the Baptist starts looking less and less like a thing of the past.