The General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met in a special called business session on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. (The General Board represents all of the Disciples of Christ churches in the United States and Canada.) The meeting was called for the expressed purpose of considering a resolution that would move the 2017 General Assembly out of Indiana because of the new law, “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
The Indiana law has been in the news lately. Just reading the law, one would think that there is no problem with the law. Several other states have the same law or similar laws. What makes Indiana different from those other states is that all of the other states have other laws against discrimination. Indiana does not have any law against certain types of discrimination such as sexual orientation. The law also has enough ambiguity that under the cloak of “religion” it would allow other types of discrimination in the business world.
If the General Assembly was to be moved, there would be contracts that would have to be broken. Because of the sensitive nature of contracts, time was important. It would not have been prudent to wait and see if the Legislature repealed or modified the law.
By a 53 to 0 vote, the General Board approved a resolution that would move the 2017 General Assembly. The General Board stood against discrimination of any kind and against any law that would allow discrimination to be a possibility.
When we turn to the Bible and see how Jesus viewed people (all people), He treated them with extreme kindness and respect. The woman caught in the act of adultery, a sin worthy of stoning; Jesus treats her with love and compassion. Those who were Gentile (non-Jewish) He extended God’s love and never belittled them for not being Jewish. The challenge of the Word is how can you and I treat others any different? As Christians, we can’t. We treat each other as God’s beautiful creation even when we disagree with their choices.