Last week, the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California asked its choir members to sign a covenant in which they agreed that they would abstain from homosexual behavior.
The Crystal Cathedral has over 10,000 members, and its internationally televised "Hour of Power" reaches millions of homes.
As a denomination of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the Crystal Cathedral believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view. The RCA does not approve of homosexual behavior and holds that it is contrary to the will of God.
The new choir covenant also includes agreeing to the definition of marriage as being a union between one man and one woman.
While I do not personally approve of homosexual behavior or in gay marriage, I do believe that in this situation, the Crystal Cathedral has crossed the line in its attempt to force choir members to abide by its beliefs.
A formal covenant -- such as the one being used by the Crystal Cathedral -- "twists the arms," so to speak, of choir members, in order to ensure that they agree with its view of sexual immorality.
The fact is that the Crystal Cathedral -- despite its sincere efforts to uphold the biblical view and the will of God -- has overstepped its bounds in doing so, because it has, in effect, violated the constitutional rights and the freedom of choice that each member of the choir is entitled to have.
Moreover, true rejection of homosexuality needs to come from a person's heart and spiritual beliefs, not from a covenant that threatens a person's group membership.