First, Jesus was extremely clear that we may pay taxes without fear of imperiling our immortal souls. “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” This scripture should have been the end of the discussion on the health insurance/birth control issue for anybody claiming to follow Jesus.
Second, the whole point of God becoming flesh in Jesus and living among us was to change our relationship with God. Jesus fulfilled all the law of Moses so that we are saved through faith and relate to God through faith. All four gospels work hard to tell us that Jesus had the authority to abolish Jewish law. That is, to forgive sins—often referred to simply as grace.
Throughout the New Testament, we are reminded that Jesus fulfilled the law. We are to live in relationship to God in the same manner Abraham’s family did before the laws of Moses. (Book of Hebrews) The apostle Paul calls the law a “dead thing.” Really, Paul covers the topic over and over in his letters to new congregations.
So here we are two thousand years later with a group of people who say they believe Jesus was the Christ. They call themselves Christians, but they completely ignore that whole business about abolishing The Law. Christianity is about living in love and faith. By contrast, Judaism and Islam are about living by the law. The faith, love, and grace things are what set us apart, and what Christians are supposed to be about. Many don’t get this right, but we love them anyway.
The third main difference between mainstream theology and the conservative sector is over who can make a law that imperils your immortal soul. Men, churches, corporations and governments do not have the power to institute laws that will imperil an immortal soul. A corollary of this idea is that a believer’s soul is not imperiled if someone they know breaks one of the laws made up by men. Only God can make a law that imperils souls and God already abolished all such laws. Really, to believe that any human can create such a law is to place that human above God.
Curiously, the mainstream position is that even people who place themselves above God are forgiven. They fall under the general atonement when the law was abolished.
Fourth, the idea that we are to coerce others into following some standard of morality is totally alien to the teachings of Jesus. First, he was a bit inclined to tell his beloved disciples to mind their own business when they asked about this person or that. The idea that God gives us free will is a major point of theology. Those who want to make up laws that take away free will are really attempting to deny others the gifts God gave them. This is just not acceptable.
At this point some people may be sputtering about standards and anarchy. The standard for those who follow Jesus is to love one another as He loved us. That is it.
As for a state regulating how its citizens relate to each other, those laws cannot imperil anyone’s immortal soul. A state’s laws may be wise or foolish, just or unjust, but they are not God’s laws.
So the state may make laws to regulate commerce and prevent anarchy. We are all bound to follow those laws or pay the penalty. We won’t go to hell for breaking or keeping those laws. It seems that people are getting terribly confused between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of other humans. They confuse the power of the state with the power of God. Stop it!
In the end, we are all free to go forth and love one another with courage, love one another without judgment, and to love one another with grace.