Christian couple who believe homosexuality to be wrong have foster son removed
This sad story is simply another tragic consequence of the Sexual Orientation Regulations, and further evidence that sexual orientation now trumps religious conscience, and the government is imposing a soviet uniformity. The Mathericks are not homophobic: they simply hold views which are at variance with those of Somerset County Council. The freedom to challenge government directives when they are contrary to our own instincts and beliefs has a very long heritage in the UK, and has historically been given expression in laws relating to freedom of speech. It is this ancient liberty which is being dangerously eroded.
The young boy is a pawn in a grotesque assertion of the power of the state. Despite Somerset Council stating that ‘it is committed to promoting the interests of children and young people’, its social services department is not even prepared to wait until alternative foster parents can be found: the boy will be placed in a council hostel this week, and the Mathericks will no longer be given children to look after. Understandably, the young boy is upset, and the Mathericks are being treated as if they were themselves guilty of sexual abuse.
And wrenching the boy from a loving family environment and placing him in a loveless council hostel is in his best interests, is it?
It transpires that Somerset Council officials have informed the couple, both of whom are ministers in their local church, that they would be required ‘to discuss same-sex relationships with children as young as 11 and tell them that gay partnerships were just as acceptable as heterosexual marriages’. They could also be required to take teenagers to ‘gay association meetings’.
For these Christians, and for a good many more, homosexual practice is a sin. Are we a step away from natural parents being obliged to actively promote homosexuality to their own children? Mr Matherick said: “We have never discriminated against anybody, but I cannot preach the benefits of homosexuality when I believe it is against the word of God." So they have refused to agree to the new conditions as a matter of conscience, and were consequently informed that they would be removed from the register of approved foster parents. But rather than face the ‘humiliation’ of expulsion, they decided to resign.
It is at this point that Cranmer disagrees with the wisdom of their actions, just as he does with the Roman Catholic adoption agencies which are closing voluntarily. The plain teaching of Scripture is that Christians should be passive in such circumstances. Let them bring you to court; let them accuse you; let them make their case and have the whole saga played out in public. And the believer may tell the judge ‘’I have done nothing wrong’ (Acts 24:8), and the Lord promises that believers will be given the words to say in their defence. It is only by permitting such cases to come to court - so that believers may make their defence - that the law will be shown for the ass that it is. If believers decide to prosecute and assert their ‘rights’, the process will not only prove expensive; it is doomed to failure. The effect of an innocent and blameless testimony is a powerful rebuke to the world:
If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled, but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good manner of life in Christ (1Pt 3:14-16).
If you suffer for sin, you deserve the accusation of the world; but if you suffer for the sake of righteousness, you should be happy because you are suffering for Christ.
The irony is that councils all over the country are crying out for foster carers as a matter of urgency. They need 8000 to fulfil the needs of very vulnerable children, and they don’t mind if they are single, married, unmarried, gay, straight, bi, or transsexual: they are completely undiscriminating, and ‘welcome foster carers from all backgrounds and faiths’.
Unless, of course, one happens to be Christian, and really believes that faith, to the extent that one lives it.