The Equality Act of 2021, also known as H.R. 5, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 224–206 vote on Feb. 25. The bill is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate. If signed into law, it will have a significant and wide-ranging impact on Christian churches, schools, institutions and individuals.
Among its tenets, H.R. 5 challenges the biblical understanding of God’s creation of humans as male and female. The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), has issued a statement sharing pastoral counsel on this bill and its potential consequences for the church.
“The church’s task is not political. It is the proclamation of the Gospel of free salvation in the cross and resurrection of Jesus for all (1 Cor. 1:23; John 18:36). …
“All Americans should enjoy equality and the protections of the U.S. Constitution. But in elevating sexual orientation to a protected class, the Equality Act will bring sweeping changes to current laws, to the great detriment of the religious and constitutional freedoms of biblically faithful churches, institutions, Christian schools and individuals. …
“No matter the course of this or any legislation, Christ will sustain His church. Our hope is not in laws, Congress or courts. Our hope is Christ. ‘And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matt. 28:20).”
Posted March 11, 2021