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The Theology of Harm 16 January 2022 Canada's C-4 Bill

January 16, 2022 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: Specials

Topic: Special Messages Passage: Matthew 18:6, Luke 17:1–2, Ezekiel 3:17–21, 1 Corinthians 6:9–11

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The Theology of Harm

“but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.  Matt. 18:6 nasb77

1  And He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2  “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.   Luke 17:1,2  nasb77

17“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18“When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’; and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19“Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. 20“Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he shall die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21“However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”  Ezekiel 3:17 - 21

God takes harm seriously.  Deadly seriously.  Sin is harm.  Sin causes death.  Death is eternal separation from God in darkness.  What greater harm is possible.  

In the first two parallel verses I read in Matthew and Luke, the word stumble in some of the translations is simply the word sin and in most of the modern translations, it simply says sin.  Harm is somehow causing a little one to sin.

Ezekiel, as the instrument of God who is responsible to tell the little ones what God has said, is held responsible for blood, responsible for ultimate harm, to his charges, if he fails to warn the little ones, that's inclusive, we're all God's little ones, but God tells Ezekiel, if you don't warn them, their blood will be held against you.

God is deadly serious about harm.  God does not mince words about harming any little ones.  Little children are a special class in all of this.  Is God equally angry with someone who harms a hardened reprobate as with someone who harms a helpless innocent child.

I don't think so.  I think Jesus actions and words speak volumes.  Jesus specifically says little ones who believe in me.  

Pam can tell you from her years as a pre-school teacher that there is no such thing as a pre-school age child who doesn't believe in Jesus.  They're like little vacuum cleaners at that age and they devour everything that is taught.  I think that's what Jesus is speaking of here, and the context bears that truth.  He had a tiny child in His lap when He said those things.

I have no idea how a just God divvy's that up.  All I need to know is that He is a righteous judge.  But it seems apparent in Jesus response to children here that God is especially angry with people who would harm children.  Cause children to sin.

We all have within our own sensibilities a special reaction, an increased alarm against any one who would harm children.  That natural reaction remains built into our natural sensibilities as image bearers of God.  Even after the fall, that is there.  We look at precious infants and our built in response is to protect them from harm.

We watch those movies where some small child has broken through the ice into a frozen lake and is perishing and we're right there with the guy who is on his belly advancing to the spot with the intent to save a perishing child, even at great peril.  We get that.  We all identify with that.

I watched the movie about the Titanic over the Christmas holiday.  And the British society of 1912 was very serious about the hierarchy of who would be saved in the limited lifeboats and what order.  Women and children first.  No questions asked.  

We have this built in order to protect the weaker and more helpless first and when they are all safely in the boats, perhaps the older weaker gentlemen might come next.  It never got to that in the movie.  Only women and children went into the boats.  And sadly, the movie reminded us, the wealthier women and children took priority over poor women and children from the lower levels of the ship.

That hierarchy, even though hopelessly flawed by sin, was based in the book you hold.  God is furious with sin.  Jesus lets us know in these verses, He is most protective of the least strong.  To harm a child is shocking evil.  Much better to tie a half ton stone around your neck and take the long dive than to harm those who are helpless.  Those children who believe unquestioningly.

You may have already surmised;   this isn't going to be our normal exposition from the gospel of Luke this morning.  Jim is on some kind of a tangent this morning.  He's taken leave of our normal next in line scriptures and is bringing us a special message today.  Correct.

On Tuesday December 28th while I was away with my family in Reno, I received this message from Pastor John MacArthur via email and I will read it to you in it's entirety.  It deals with a new law that has gone into effect in Canada just one week ago, and it effects us indirectly;

Dear Minister of the Gospel,

I write to you this Christmas season to call your attention to an urgent matter in which the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is under attack.

On December 22, I received an email from Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. You will remember that he was recently imprisoned for keeping his church open during COVID-19 lockdowns. James is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and co-author (with Dr. Nathan Busenitz) of an excellent new book—God and Government (to be released March 2022). James’s recent email gave me insight into the Canadian government's decision to pass Bill C-4, which “directly comes against parents and counsellors who would seek to offer biblical counsel with respect to sexual immorality and gender.” James indicates that it could be used to “criminalize evangelism.” [and I would add that the language in the bill could be used to criminalize the Holy Bible]  "To clarify the bill, James forwarded this email from Pastor Andrew DeBartolo:

    [Quote]  Pastor John,

    Thank you so much for your willingness not only to shine a light on the situation here in Canada but also your partnership in calling other men to preach on biblical sexuality on January 16 in unity and solidarity with ministers here in Canada. I (and we) are truly grateful for your ministry and service.

    Bill C-4 passed through the House and the Senate without opposition. Not a single dissenting vote was cast by any member of the conservative party. It received Royal Assent on December 8, which means it will come into Law after January 8, 2022. The Bill will amend the Criminal Code in Canada to ban conversion therapy. It will criminalize, among other things, “causing another person to undergo conversion therapy; promoting or advertising conversion therapy.”

    In the Preamble of the Bill, it says that the belief that “heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions” is a “myth.” According to Canadian law, as of January 8, 2022, the belief in God’s design for marriage and sexuality will now be seen as a myth.

    The Bill defines conversion therapy as, “a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual; change a person’s gender identity to cisgender; change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth; repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behavior; repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.”

    The definition is intentionally broad, and it can clearly be used against any preacher or elder who either speaks against homosexuality/transgenderism or who counsels a person to obey Christ and abandon their homosexual/transgender actions and lifestyle. This means as of January 8, 2022, it will be against the law to preach, teach, or counsel regarding God’s design for marriage and sexuality.

    “Everyone who knowingly causes another person to undergo conversion therapy – including by providing conversion therapy to that other person – is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.” Similarly, “Everyone who knowingly promotes or advertises conversion therapy is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.”

    On January 16, 2022, faithful men across this country (and many in the United States as well) will be preaching on God’s design for marriage and a biblical ethic of sexuality. We will be doing so illegally, declaring to the State that there is one God and one Lord over His church, and that Christ alone gets to both define marriage and dictate what is required in the pulpit. We are honored that our American brothers will be joining us in this.

    Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or require any more information.

    Yours in Christ,

    Andrew DeBartolo
    Teaching Elder, Encounter Church  [End Quote]  John MacArthur continues;

I am eager to support our Canadian brothers and to preach on biblical sexual morality on January 16, and I invite you as a faithful pastor to do the same. Our united stand will put the Canadian and the U.S. governments on notice that they have attacked the Word of God. We are all well-aware of the evil power and destructive influence of the homosexual and transgender ideology. Our government is bent on not only normalizing this perversion, but also legalizing it, and furthermore criminalizing opposition to it.

In 2012, California passed Senate Bill 1172 banning “gay conversion” (alongside New York, New Jersey, and Nevada). In doing this, the California government sought to prohibit any correction of an unbiblical view of sexual identity, because “California has a compelling interest in protecting the…wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.” And on August 18, 2020, the Democratic Party declared at the National Convention that it would “ban harmful conversion therapy practices.” The Obama administration appointed more than 250 LGBTQ+ people to serve in the government. The Biden administration has promised to increase that number, and they have done so thus far.

As aggressive as this political priority is to make perversion safe from criticism in the United States, Canada is even further ahead. On November 29, 2021, The House of Commons passed Bill C-4 with a completely unanimous vote, amending the code to include “conversion therapy.” Since this law takes effect on January 8, 2022, faithful Canadian pastors are going to preach on the issue, calling for a biblical understanding of sexual sin, the eternal judgment that falls on the unrepentant and gospel-rejecting sinners, and the grace of God in the gospel which offers forgiveness to those who repent and believe in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, Paul clearly articulates why we must speak the truth:

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

All sinners need conversion, but the list focuses specifically on “the sexually immoral…adulterers…effeminate…[and] homosexuals,” who will not “inherit the kingdom of God.” Our calling as gospel ministers is to preach the truth, confront sin, and call all men to repentance and obedience to the gospel—the good news that achieves soul conversion and saves sinners from eternal wrath.

Will you stand with me and our Canadian brothers and confront, in a spirit of love and mercy, the damning sins legalized in our culture? And will you join the nationwide effort to preach on a biblical view of sexual morality on January 16, 2022 and proclaim the gospel of salvation that is now criminalized? If we all stand strong in this conviction together, the governmental forces of evil will be put on notice that divine love and sovereign grace compel us to be faithful to proclaim radical transformation at any cost. This world system and its human governments will gladly send people to hell, but our calling is to rescue people with the truth (2 Timothy 2:24–26).

If you will join us, please sign your name on the linked form and take a stand for the truth of the saving gospel.

John MacArthur

So, that we will do.  What we say this morning will be posted prominently on our web pages.  We will be easy to find when the day comes.  I was happy to sign my name and associate this church with the form that was linked to John's message.  Be warned.  You are associated with a church that is associated with a direct rebuttal of these new laws and everything they stand for.

Let's begin by reading just the pre-amble of the Canadian law that was just enacted.  

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)
December 1, 2021

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things, create the following offences:
(a) causing another person to undergo conversion therapy;
(b) doing anything for the purpose of removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada;
(c) promoting or advertising conversion therapy; and
(d) receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.
It also amends the Criminal Code to authorize courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted.

Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to the persons who are subjected to it;
Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions;
And whereas, in light of those harms, it is important to discourage and denounce the provision of conversion therapy in order to protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:]  (and you can go and read the entire bill if the pre-amble wasn't clear enough.)

I will include one paragraph that is particularly frightening and aggressive.  Think in terms of the book you hold in your hands;

[advertisement for conversion therapy means any material — including a photographic, film, video, audio or other recording, made by any means, a visual representation or any written material — that is used to promote or advertise conversion therapy contrary to section 320.‍103;]

That paragraph would include any You Tube with a clear presentation of the gospel.  It would include the Holy Bible you hold in your hands.  It includes anything in any form that says homosexuality and transgender activity is sinful or wrong.  Wipe that stuff off of the internet.  Collect and destroy the books.

You can see where I'm going with this.  I'm sounding the alarm because our nation is right on the heels of Canada in all of this.  This law in Canada just made the Holy Bible an illegal book that should be confiscated and disposed of.  And it just made any christian who tries to help another person, christian or otherwise who wants to repent of a wicked lifestyle, a lawbreaker who is guilty of harming others, and who can be imprisoned for up to 5 years.

If you think about it, we all have the same goal.  We long to aid and protect those who we love, fellow image bearers, from something called harm.

Jesus says if you harm little ones you'd be much better off dead.  And the new C4 law says if you cause harm to the class of people that the state wants to protect you can go to prison.  Sounds like a match made in heaven.  

Except for one little thing.  What our book describes as harm is the very thing the state wants to protect.  And if I follow Jesus law of love and obey God's charge to Ezekiel, the state says I am the enemy who brings the very harm they want to protect against.

Let's do a sidebar.  Think about this word harm.  Damage.  It has become a weaponizing word.  All of a sudden everyone is claiming that everything is causing them harm.  Anyone can make this claim about anything!  It's almost impossible to quantify this thing called harm.  Someone will read these words and claim they have been harmed.  If you find my words somehow personally threatening and they cause you a moments discomfort, you can claim that I have caused you harm.

Unquantifiable and undefined.  Completely nebulous.  And yet there seems to be a one way street of harmers and harmee's.  And the state is going to use it's power to protect the harmed and punish those who bring harm.  And frighteningly and sadly, the state's target, the offenders, are the people who believe that this book is authoritative truth from God of very God.

Jesus says I'm causing harm if I don't tell you your lifestyle is an abomination to God who will punish you in hell, and the state says I'm causing harm if I do tell you.  It's the classic damned if I don't and damned if I do.  God will punish me if I don't, and the state will punish me if I do.  

Let's first explore authority.  Words that have a direct effect, a coercive effect on personal behaviour must come from some authority that has the power to coerce.  Why can't I just do what I want?

My neighbor has a shiny new pickup truck and I have a dingy old one.  I want the shiny one.  Who says I can't take my gun and kill him and take that truck to my house?  

Well, God says, You shall not kill, and You shall not steal.  You shall not even covet that pickup truck!  And the government aligns with God's commands and says, if you do those things police have the authority to incarcerate you and judges have the power to take your life.

God gives the law.  Governments enforce the laws.  But the original authority is with God.  He made those laws.  We quoted Ezekiel who was quoting God directly.  God's direct revelation to Ezekiel.  What did God say to Zeke?

whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.

That is the basis for authority to coerce personal behaviours.  Words from God's mouth.  And if you read this book, God is very specific.  Not only specific, but during the original era when His authority and word was being revealed; Moses and the prophets, the nation of Israel, the march from Egypt to the real estate God gave them, to not obey God in very many of these commands was basis for death.  Stoning.  Serious stuff.  These aren't the 10 suggestions.  We're a little shocked these days at how often God commanded the death sentence for the original Israelites.  

These words in this book come with deadly authority.  Literally for the first generations, and ultimately, even now.  The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  That is the basis for authority to define what God says and warn those who will rebel against God and dis-obey Him.  Authority!

But the law makers in Canada, without any dissenting votes, have unanimously stated that what this book teaches beginning in Genesis and finishing in Revelation, is myth.  Not only myth's, but myth's that cause harm!

The western world, Europe, Britain, The United States, Canada has divorced itself from the God of the Bible.  In my lifetime, the western nations have become completely secular.  So to say that this book is myth's and has no authority is the natural result, the final completion of a separation and divorce from God.

How quickly it happened!  Beginning in the late 1950's with no-fault divorce, the sexual liberation of the pill, the advances of abortion, into the early secularization of the flower child generation until what we have today where we are bombarded 24-7 with normalization of what this book says is not only NOT normal, but warns of ultimate harm.  Death and hell.  60 years was all it took.  Now the tables are completely flipped.  I'm the bad guy and all those who reject this book are the righteous.

And our culture, like recent words from our president, is out of patience with us who believe that these words are authoritative.  Over all.  They are out of patience with us and tolerance is evaporating.  Quickly!

For time sake this morning, I'm only going to visit the one little section written to the Corinthians, also a secular and godless society, that Pastor MacArthur mentioned briefly in his letter calling for solidarity among true christians.

1 Cor. 6:9 - 11  9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

Now then, let me begin by addressing an accusation that I hear often.  Jim, this is your hobby horse.  You are inconsistent in speaking against other sins.  You beat this particular group of sins to death almost exclusionistically.  

So I'm going to begin with a defense.  I don't hear swindlers or liars or murderers arguing;  "I didn't ask for this.  This is how God made me.  This is who I am.  God made me a liar.  God made me a murderer.  God made me a thief, it's who I am, and I'm proud of it!  How dare you accuse me of being a murderer.  That's just who I am.  I didn't ask for it, God made me this way."

The answer is;  God didn't make you that way, Adam did.  But I purposely chose to make the argument ridiculous because murderers and thieves and swindlers and liars aren't trying to put me in jail for pointing out those flaws.  They sort of know they're wrong, and society generally agrees they are evil and harmful folk.

Liars and thieves aren't pushing back at God, making laws to protect them because that's just who they are.  Not yet anyways.  What about child molesters.  They can't help it.  That's just who they are?  They didn't ask for those feelings.  How long before society will begin to protect those people.  Already the age of consent is being adjusted.  Tinkered with, little by little.  And why not?  Why is the argument OK for one group and not for another group?  

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians doesn't differentiate.  All of those sins will send you to hell.  

We don't have time this morning to fully develop scripture by scripture God's design for human sexuality.  But I'm going to review the basics.  

In Genesis 3 we're told the God made male persons and that He later made complimentary persons who are female.  God designed and blesses marriage and families.  Leave father and mother and cling to a wife, and those 2 shall be one flesh.  

God's design is for total sexual purity outside of a single person who you marry and stay with for life.  Any sexual activity outside the boundaries that God blessed, marriage to a single person of opposite gender, males and females, is forbidden in this book.  It is an abomination, His words, not mine.

That seems to be astonishing information, even to christian young people in our culture.  One person of the opposite sex as a life partner in a marriage covenant for life.  That's it?  

And in a few words to the Corinthians, and in a lot of other places we won't get to this morning, Paul defines clearly that deviations from that God given plan are sin.  And sinners will not be in heaven.  Period.  OK, then, let's look at the deviations Paul mentions.  He pretty much covers them all.  This list is inclusive;

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?   That's a kinder gentler way of saying, the unrighteous will be in hell.
Why does Paul begin here?  In the context of the passage, Paul is exhorting the Corinthians about suing each other and taking the matters to secular courts.  In other words, Pauls iriginal problem with the Corinthians here is that the elect, who claim to have come out of this world, christians are by definition those who have come out of the authority to reign of Satan, they have come out and separated from this evil world, and they have come under the rule and authority of Jesus.

We are a separate group.  Still in the world, but separated from the world and it's systems of evil.  So Paul argues, are you nuts?  You who are separated from the world are fighting with each other, and if that wasn't bad enough, you're calling on the world, ruled by Satan, to settle your disputes??  That's insanity.  The judge you're calling to settle disputes between christians is unrighteous.  

1 John 5:19  "...the whole world lies in the power of the evil one."  You fight with your brothers and you call on the world to settle the dispute!  That's insane.  

But that sets Paul on this definition we have of the world's unrighteousness that will inherit hell.  This list is inclusive but not exhaustive of unrighteousness.  But it's inclusive enough for our discussion of God's design for human sexuality.  This is what the world does, and if it's what you are doing, don't expect to enjoy the Kingdom of God.

Do not be deceived;   Stop right there.  Because there is a ton of deception going on AS WE SPEAK that claims that christianity is completely compatible with all of the things Paul is going to assign to the unrighteous.

If you believe anything in this list is compatible with christianity, and we have many empty seats in this church precisely because people who want to call themselves christians are in fact deceived into believing exactly that, some who I love, they're missing this morning because of this conflict, then you are deceived.  

Paul says; Do not be deceived;  Let me put that into the modern vernacular for you.  Don't kid yourself.  Don't kid yourself.  This is serious business.  Heaven and hell hang in the balance right here.  Don't kid yourself into thinking people who have adopted these life styles, who live continually in these life styles, are christians or will be in God's kingdom.

OK, here we go and I'll briefly explain what Paul means by these categories of unrighteousness.

neither fornicators  Fornicators defines any sexual activity outside of marriage to one person of opposite gender for life.  Pretty inclusive.  Adam made all of us that way.  Each of us is born into this world;  broken.  

nor idolaters   How fascinating that this word, idolatry, is included in an all-inclusive list of sexual abberations.  Is it out of place right here between fornicators and adulterers?  Was that a mistake?  I'll circle back to this at the end.  Hold that thought;

nor adulterers   Adultery is sexual activity within marriage with someone not your spouse.  Both spiritually and physically.  God famously called Israel adulterers because of their wandering hearts.  Marriage is a joining not only physically with one person, but mentally, emotionally, they are the only one.

nor effeminate   This term is broad enough to encompass the entire transgender problem.  Women who want to be men.  Men who want to be women.  And every stage in the middle.  Girlie boys.  And butch girls.  All of it is an affront to the God who created us male and female.  It is a rebellion against the God assigned gender given at birth.

nor homosexuals   Sexual activity with someone of the same gender.  Simple enough.  God forbids it.  

11 And such were some of you;  circle back to do not be deceived.  Verb tenses are important.  Heaven and hell important.  11 And such were some of you;

The order and structure of the statement cannot be confused.  In your previous life, you were this.  In your new life, what has transpired to remove you from the old kingdom of Satan and place you into the kingdom of God makes these lifestyles mutually impossible.  The kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan are mutually exclusive.

You can't be this, and also be this.  It's impossible by definition.  Here is the definition of our removal from the old world and our baptism into the new one.

but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

You cannot be washed and sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus who is Lord and Messiah, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and also be a fornicator or an adulterer or a transgender identifier or a homosexual.  Those things are mutually exclusive.  Anyone who says otherwise is decieved.  Don't kid yourself.

The good news, the gospel is: There is freedom from all of those hellish sins.  You can be forgiven and set free from each and every one of those sins and fit for heaven.  Jesus will forgive all sin.  He will give you a righteousness not your own, He gives you His righteousness.

He washes away all of those sins.  Gone.  Then He santifies you by removing you out of this world and making you a citizen of heaven, a citizen of the kingdom of God.  

He gives you His Spirit living inside of you to work out the continuing sanctification away from old sin unto Godliness.  Many struggle.  Sanctification is often a life long battle.

But don't kid yourself.  It's one world or the other.  You can't continue in a lifestyle of sin and be a christian.  Paul makes it clear.  Christianity and lifestyles defined by these sins are mutually exclusive.  

But . . . OOPS! . . . what Paul has just defined here is Conversion Therapy!  Christians are only christians if they have been converted out of the old sinful lifestyles to become new creatures in Christ.  And that's now against the law in Canada.

Finally, let's circle back to that word idolater which is curiously inserted right in the middle of the list of sexually disfunctional sins.

In Corinth, sex was the religion.  You went to the temple to worship at the alter of sex.  There were temple prostitutes there.  They had made an artform out of the religion of human sexuality.  It was idolatrous.

In our current culture of secularism where God is dead, what has replaced the vacuum of a god.  Because fallen men will worship.  It's built in.  But if God is dead, divorced, separated, gone, what is it that our culture now worships?

Answer;  Absolute human autonomy.  Our culture worships at the alter of absolute human autonomy.  That's why we got rid of God in the first place.  So we can live exactly how we want to without any myths or rules or strings attached.  

In the new idolatrous religion of human autonomy, the righteous are the people with no rules.  And within that righteousness anyone who would make any rules for anyone else is castigated.  Shunned.  Those folks are unrighteous.  It's evil to say that anything anyone else is doing is somehow wrong.  

To bring up the old God and the old rules, based on myths in an old book that needs to dis-appear is not only evil in the new religion, it causes harm.  Any reference to the old God and His "myths" about right and wrong is harmful.  

And so we are not surprised that in the new ideology, the new idolatrous religion of absolute self autonomy, the government sees itself in the role of protector.  That's what governments do, right.  Protect their citizens.  

In my lifetime I have gone from being the good guy to being the pariah.  Christians who hold to the authority of the words of this book are the new evil pariahs that the government must step in and subdue for the safety and good of the many.

If I come and tell you that you are a condemned sinner in jeapardy of eternal punishment in hell by a righteous God because of your sinful lifestyle but Jesus can save you out of that and make you clean, make you pure, make you righteous according to the myths of this book, if I do that in Canada and who knows how far Nevada is behind Canada, I can pay for that sin against the new idolatry of absolute autonomy, with loss of my freedom, and ultimately prison.  January 16, 2022.