The Adventist Centre in Watford, London, England, cancelled its Holy Sexuality Conference scheduled for April 21 to 25. The decision came after approximately 40,000 people signed a change.org petition decrying the event, saying it would “promote the dangerous idea that being gay is something that can be cured.” The petition urged the Home Office of the United Kingdom’s government to cancel visas for the Adventist speakers from Coming Out Ministries who were to present at the event.
This story is very concerning. If speakers can be denied visas because of their plans to address homosexuality, this sets a worrisome precedent. What other political measures and tactics will be taken in the future to stifle the preaching of the truth? Society is redefining free speech and setting a course towards eliminating liberty of conscience. This form of soft persecution will continue growing and eventually give place to the type of persecution described in Revelation 13 and in The Great Controversy.
Prophecy is unfolding. The distance between truth and error will widen. Things are only going to get worse.
Though concerning, such news should not be surprising. It reminds us of what the Bible has been saying all along. The world is at enmity with the truth and the good news of restoration through the gospel. The world is blinded because to our carnal hearts sin is more desirable than holiness. Much of the world hates holiness (especially when it comes to sexuality) and the idea of transformation.
However, we need to stand boldly on the platform of truth. We need to still call sin by its right name, because knowing our sin is the first step to a relationship with Jesus. Though the vast majority will refuse the gospel, there are still some who will respond to the wonderful message that Christ can forgive and deliver us from sin unto holiness.
Things are only going to get more difficult for faithful Adventists. But we must stand firmly for truth. My appeal is for our Adventist churches, ministers, leaders, and members and for my fellow colleagues in the various youth movements to stand unflinchingly for the right though the heavens fall. Give the gospel a certain sound.
My appeal to my fellow young people is to pray for holy boldness and to test all teachings, social norms, practices, ways of thinking, and standards by the unshakable, never-changing Word of God. In these last days the Scriptures will be our only safeguard. Study deeply the writings of Ellen G. White because God used her to help prepare us for the very times we are facing today.
May our Lord help us to stand.