I agree that this kind of preaching is needed. I am not sure how effective it is but nonetheless it is needed. And it is not just being nice to people. It is showing kindness as a stepping stone to sharing the gospel.
Hi yuehan,I suppose that I don't have a problem with ANY business that clearly spells out their views. I would never expect a restaurant owned by African Americans to serve vile KKK members in their robes -- especially if this is meant to be a "statement" or intimidation by the KKK members. The same is true of a Jewish owned business where individuals or groups that are opposed to Jews decide to try and provoke those individuals to violate their beliefs. As for a reversal: I would have to wonder why an African American would WANT to support a restaurant that publicly proclaims their affiliation with racist ideology. Why would I -- as a believer in Jesus Christ -- want to support a restaurant that literally sacrifices food to idols? Why would I want to support a restaurant that embraces vile things like racism or anti-Christian hatred. From a "liberty" perspective, I think that businesses and even organizations can have a set of beliefs that are publicized. Like I said, there is a difference between serving individuals -- regardless of whether or not they are Christians or live contrary to Christian teaching -- and partaking in the sin itself through active participation (through services rendered). The world tries to claim that there are "exemptions" for religious organizations in regard to certain things. For instance, Obamacare was pushed with the notion that it wouldn't force religious institutions or individuals in general to cover things like abortion. This turned out to be untrue. Remember Sandra Fluke? She was the unmarried 30 year old college student who wanted to force Georgetown University -- a Catholic school -- to pay for her contraceptives. Certain Americans defended her demands and tried to paint the idea of religious institutions or organizations not providing contraceptives or abortions as part of a "war on women."I believe that the recent Hobby Lobby case will provide an avenue for even privately held corporations to maintain their liberty of conscience when it comes to such matters. This isn't just applied to Christian organizations. Such laws could protect any groups -- religious or otherwise -- from violating their conscience or the "types" of businesses that they run. Non-christian websites with online forums (especially those that are open to the public and receive ad revenue) often delete the comments ("free speech") of those who don't align to the business's or organization's set of beliefs. This is not a bad thing -- no matter how incorrect or unfair it might seem to be. The issue is one of how wide the First Amendment's free exercise clause and protections can be extended. I believe that it extends to the clear conscience of the individual business owner(s) and the individuals themselves. Christian publishers (including those that are not non-profits) can have a specific set of beliefs and values that guide their business model. They don't have to accept non-Christian literature. The worst thing that would happen to those who feel "discriminated" against is that they would need to go elsewhere. The same thing is true of Christians who encounter "discrimination" from non-Christians. If they refuse to serve you at a restaurant, then we simply know not to visit and support that restaurant in the future. There are probably many restaurants that would want our business anyway.
Frank, I am eager to hear your experience and thoughts on that situation. Our family has experienced something similar (but not with homosexuals). It is a difficult dilemma and I would like to get your feedback.
Hi Christopher and Mary Jane,Well first of all, speaking of the woman's dilemma over whether she should attend her daughters wedding or not, I believed and shared with her that she was correct. My knee jerk reaction to my niece's girlfriend coming over was " well she is not staying here." They made alternative arrangements with some of her friends from college. Then the Lord laid it on my heart to invite her to stay at my home. I sat my niece down and explained to her that they would stay in separate rooms and if she disrespected my home, she would be on the first plane home. I had already sat her down when she came to my house with the Bible. I showed her why I believed her lifestyle was wrong and nothing would change my mind on that. I also told her that she would find out that what she had been told by her " community," was a lie. And the lie? That if someone could not accept them for who they were then they did not love them. I told her straight up that this was a lie and not even a very good one. I used my oldest son as a great example of someone whom I did not accept his lifestyle ( alcohol, drugs, women and later prison) but that I loved him with all of my heart. By the way, I liked the girlfriend very much but did not fail to talk about the Lord. It was my house and I can and did talk about whatever I choose when felt led. Now if that were to make them uncomfortable, then they could always have left. They did not. There is such a great liberty in love. Freedom to love, freedom to speak the truth, but above all else, freedom to speak the truth in love. It is amazing what you get away with when you speak the truth in love.....................bro Frank
Many here have wrong idea about love. To take part in a Gay wedding which is clearly against the word of God is not showing love. It is actually opposite. We are actually encouraging them to perform an act that is against God's word by taking part in that wedding by taking pictures or making cake. Jesus loved sinners and he was not against meeting them or eating with them. But during all that meeting he would be speaking against their sinful life style. He only accepted sinners who repented.The clearest picture of Love is what Jesus told in the parable of Prodigal Son. If you see the father who is a picture of God the father, loved his prodigal son so much that he did absolutely NOTHING when his son was longing for pigs food. He would have got news about his son's condition but never really wanted to encourage him by sending him some pigs food. But when the son came to senses and started walking towards his father's house then he came running towards him. True love is not in encouraging a sinful act. We have an elder in our Church who worked as a Anesthesia specialist. He was asked to attend women who were going through abortion. He told his management, that he will never attend an abortion case because it is against his faith in assisting a killing. When they threatened him, he told them that he is willing to die and leave the world anytime, so their threats meant nothing to him.A doctor attending an abortion and showing love for a women doing it is nothing different from a photographer encouraging a gay wedding.Let me tell you something about Gay wedding, it is not just against the word of God but it is also against our society. It is something that devalues marriage in our society. Just like how printing fake currency devalues real currency and is not a healthy practice. A gay marriage is a fake marriage that will bring the value down of marriage. As a community we should be against it. But sadly the Price of this world has blinded the eyes of many. It appears that even Christians here are deceived who believe that by love you can attend such wedding.
Thank you all for your feedback, I do appreciate it. And I think I'm pretty much in agreement here with everybody else. My original post was me more or less "thinking out loud," and I wanted to see how that was working out.I'm against gay marriage entirely, even though I conceed that it may indeed be something the US Constitution permits. But that's neither here nor there.My basic thought about it originally in regard to 1 Cor 8 was the idea that if it is ok for a Christian to eat meat sacrificed to idols, "because the idol is nothing," then perhaps it is ok to do things like bake a cake or provide photography services at a gay marriage, using a similar line of reasoning. That is, since God doesn't recognize gay marriages, then perhaps we could say "because the marriage is nothing," therefore, we could in clear conscience as a business vendor provide services to these events, even though we reject it. I know... a bit of a stretch... but, I'm just trying to think of a solution to an issue that will cause many believers much trouble in the legal system.Personally, I think we might try our best to make use of Christian lawyers who could help us come up with some creative solutions to the issue, to keep us free from as much legal trouble as possible, as some have suggested in recent posts.
Some know here I have been in the a/c and heating business since 1984, I also have a few "homosexual" customers. I don't call the gay or etc. I call them what they are "homosexual". I still go to calls at their homes, do I feel comfortable? no I don't at all. God has not spoken to me personally to stop, all of them speak about God, and also have prayed for me many times during the past 5 years, as I have endured some tragedies in my life. I don't condone that lifestyle at all, but as Lysa mentioned, how do they have a chance to ever come to Christ and change, if we Christians stay inside the loop?
The guy that has fixed my computer a couple of times over the last several years is gay. I liked him. The last time he was at my house I found my self, led of the Spirit, talking very passionately about Jesus and how He revolutionizes a persons life. He never questioned me or seemed offended. It seemed to me the opposite principal was involved here. He was the one with the business and the product and he may not have wanted to say anything because he did not want to lose a customer. Yet, I valued this man's service and had no problem at all having him in my house. I see absolutely no distinction between Larry and any other unsaved person and in this there is a great freedom for me to simply be who I am , unashamed and bold if required, sensitive if required, frank if required :) ...............bro Frank
Mary Jane, I am late in joining the conversation here, but just want to tell you that I deeply appreciate your daughter's willingness to live out her convictions. She is to be complemented and praised for doing the right thing. Please tell her what I said - not that it may mean a whole lot, but I am of the belief we need to encourage each other in these days of extreme wickedness. You mentioned dress - I concur. I am also shocked at the flagrant immodesty displayed by many brides and not only that, the dancing. I know little about dancing but many of the videos I have seen on the web are vulgar - the twisting of the body...it always reminds me of a worm that has been injured and how it twists and turns. Anyhow, bless your daughter for me, will you?God bless.Sandra Miller
Mary Jane,I did not read this before I posted. Once again, I want to bless you for sharing this story. I agree 100%. Attending a wedding shows support for this union, whether it be a homosexual affair or a heterosexual one. If the union is not Biblical one better stay away. To participate in one that is not Biblical is assisting the couple in their sin and it matters not if these people are your friends, children or another relative. God is not partial and neither should we be.God blessSandra