Each year on The Meeting House program, heard weekdays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Faith Radio, I highlight topics impacting the Christian community from the preceding year, including comments from Meeting House guests during the year.
In 2023, there was a clear contrast between the Christian worldview perspective and the advance of worldly ideas that are not consistent with Scripture. In examining some of the trends, it is apparent that there are influential people who desire to see the Christian messages muted and silenced. I wrote in an article in the most recent Faith Radio Ministry Magazine, which explores the theme, Seeing Cultural Trends Through a Biblical Lens:
Cancel culture, combined with the increase in technology being used to monitor personal behavior, is a potentially toxic mix for Christians. Investment and banking decisions that do not line up with unbiblical, “progressive” points of view, as well as employment decisions that prevent Christians from obtaining or maintaining job status, are becoming more prevalent. Christians find themselves excluded from expressing their faith in the workplace.
I described this current atmosphere as “unprecedented.
I have seen instances of Christians who desire to have a voice in the culture ridiculed and criticized for loving God first, as well as loving their country.
We should be engaging in robust and respectful discussions about issues that count in our culture, yet too often, Christians become involved in arguments that are not centered around substance and find themselves on the receiving end of attempts to silence them.
In two of the major developments in 2023, Christians seeking to express their faith publicly found relief at the U.S. Supreme Court. In Groff v. DeJoy, the high court determined that a former postal worker who was not allowed an accommodation from having to work on Sunday did not receive the proper treatment, resulting in a declaration that employment law should provide for greater sensitivity for faith in the workplace. Another ruling, in 303 Creative v. Elenis, it was determined that a graphic designer should not be forced to communicate messages that violated her deeply held religious beliefs.
The Christian perspective has received a greater voice in the arena of sexuality. Throughout the years, the agenda to normalize transgenderism has found more space to proliferate in our society. This has been seen in areas from the participation of biological males in girls’ sports to the availability of treatments and surgeries that falsely promise that a child can change his or her sex. Parents are finding that information has been hidden from them regarding their students’ sexual struggles, and educators are being forced to hide information and use “gender” (not biological) pronouns. The sexualization of small children, including indoctrination regarding LGBT activity, continues to be a concern.
But there is good news: there has been pushback in all of these areas. Legislatively, according to The Washington Stand, the news arm of Family Research Council:
In all, 23 state legislatures passed 84 separate laws this year preventing minors from being subjected to transgender surgeries, securing parental rights, shielding kids from sexually explicit drag queen shows, safeguarding the privacy of women’s facilities, ensuring fairness in women’s sports, and strengthening religious conscience rights. As 2023 comes to a close, 193 more bills are currently advancing through the legislative process nationwide, and legislators voted down another 227 bills, according to a tally from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
And, this summer during so-called “Pride Month” in June, companies faced economic reprisals by customers for embracing that agenda.
The advance of this trans agenda has been met and opposed by parents who wish to be informed by education officials regarding their children’s possible struggles in the area of sexuality. Some school districts in California have passed parental notification policies, with one district facing legal action by the state.
A topic that I covered on The Meeting House gives us hope for the future of our nation and the advance of Biblical Christianity: a move of God’s Spirit occurred for a two-week period at Asbury University in Kentucky – people came from across the nation to see how God was touching the hearts of students, who were engaging in worship, confession of sin, and public proclamation. Other campuses experience unusual expressions of the presence of God. In September at Auburn University, an event at the basketball arena drew thousands, with hundreds moving to another location – a local lake – to be baptized.
Even though there are discouraging signs and there are many who would want to snuff out the light of the gospel, there are God’s faithful people who desire to live their lives according to the Bible and to radiate the life of Jesus within them. As long as God has His people living and speaking the truth, there is hope for our nation.