A newly passed Virginia law will shut down Christian churches, schools, and ministries who conduct business according to their faith.
You see, the law requires that they hire people who fundamentally reject basic Christian doctrine or instead face crippling fines.
Now a coalition of churches and Christians schools are gearing up for a fight like never before.
The Virginia Values Act, which was passed in April and went into effect in July, states that Christian employers, churches, schools, and ministries cannot require employees to hold Biblical values when it comes to marriage.
But now, Calvary Road Baptist Church of Fairfax County, two Christian schools, and pregnancy crisis center Care Net are suing the state and challenging the law.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the group, says this new law would force churches to hire employees who do not share their religious beliefs on biblical marriage, sexuality and gender, and would prevent them from being fired.
According to the complaint, ministries must either “abandon their religious convictions” or face fines of $100,000 per violation, unlimited compensatory and punitive damages, and court orders “forcing them to engage in actions that would violate their consciences.”
ADF says the law could force many churches into bankruptcy.
The religious liberty advocate says forcing churches to hire homosexual or transgender employees would be like forcing Planned Parenthood to hire a pro-life advocate, or PETA to hire an employee who hunts.
“[It] puts Ministries in an impossible position,” the group said.
As previously reported by Christian Life Daily, a Virginia photographer has also filed suit, saying the law would force him to photograph same-sex weddings in violation of his Christian beliefs.
State Senator Adam Ebbin, who is openly gay and sponsored the law, claims it includes an exemption for churches, ministries, and religious schools who can limit the hiring of clergy and other leaders to members of its own faith.
But ADF says the confusing exemption does not go far enough and isn’t acceptable.
The ADF says churches like Calvary Road believe that “marriage is between one man and one woman, and that God created humanity as immutably male and female.”
Churches and Christian schools, it says, are “being punished for their religious convictions.”
“The government should protect freedom, not take it away.”
It should be perfectly clear that Christian businesses, churches, schools, and ministries should have the freedom to operate and hire according to the tenets of their faith.
Teachers, youth leaders, pastors, church staff, and other workers all have important roles in abiding by a Christian worldview in the workplace.
Please pray that the Lord grants wisdom to the judges to uphold the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty.