Again With the Persecution?

I just read an article from the Daily Caller regarding another story of a “bigoted” florist that refused to sell flowers for a gay wedding.  I really can’t say that this story is news because it happens so frequently nowadays.  This particular story caught my attention because the state of Washington is not only levying fines against the business, but it is suing the owner personally, which seems to go beyond punitive.  As for me, these tolerance/intolerance shenanigans are so bizarre that I would find them laughable if they weren’t so devastating to those who are only trying to honor God.

Barronelle Stutzman, the proprietor, sold flowers to homosexuals.  She even sold flowers to this same couple.  In all likelihood, Ms. Stutzman gladly provided her services to anyone for all occasions except one:  same-sex weddings.  In those instances, she helpfully directed customers to florists that would sell flowers for these special occasions.  Her reason was simple.  She was upholding her convictions as she did not want to sin against God.

Before you launch into your “selling flowers for gay weddings is not in the Bible” tirade, let’s look a little closer.  Granted, the Bible has no explicit command to refrain from participation in gay wedding ceremonies, so this matter is adiaphora.  The Christian could make a determination that he is not sinning by providing a service for a gay wedding.  After all, he’s not performing the actual ceremony.  For another Christian, his conviction may be that any participation would be sinful.  Either way, a person’s faith should not be subject to government intrusion.

The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and defines marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us to abstain from the appearance of evil.  I’m not trying to be inflammatory, but the Bible is clear on matters of sin.  Sin is evil.  Further, we should be mindful of our actions so that we do not become a stumbling block for other Christians. (1 Corinthians 8:13)  Romans 14:13-23 is an important passage that helps clarify, and I believe is especially helpful in navigating issues that are not specifically addressed in the Bible.

Consider the consumption of alcohol.  The Bible condemns drunkenness, but does not prohibit drinking.  It’s actually very clear that drinking alcohol is lawful; it’s the excessive drinking that is sinful.  If I personally think drinking is sinful, I am committing a sin if I drink a glass of wine because I’m not acting on my faith. (Romans 14:23)

This shouldn’t even be an issue.  This is not discrimination.  If anything, it’s a moral issue and the government shouldn’t be in the business of legislating morality.  Actually, in this case, Uncle Sam is legislating immorality.  If the florist was Muslim, it’s unlikely that anyone would object.  Islam forbids homosexuality and in certain countries, one could receive the death penalty by being a homosexual.  That’s the double standard that is pervasive in American culture today.  The tolerance/intolerance duality is hardly anything that resembles egalitarianism.  Matthew 10:22 and John 15:18 illustrate the real reason for the animosity.  The world hates Jesus Christ and we are hated because we love Him.

I understand that this is an unpopular position.  Before I was saved, I would have been on the bandwagon hurling insults at prudish Christians (and I identified as a Christian).  I also would have ridiculed homosexuals as I affirmed their right to do whatever they wanted.  Only five years ago I came to understand that I was an utterly depraved and wrong-headed unregenerate.  I realized that I must repent and put my trust in Jesus.

As a Bible believing Christian, the world views me as bigoted and small minded.  I can live with that.

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7 thoughts on “Again With the Persecution?”

    1. I’m sure that they probably are very nice people. However, John 14:15 states that we will keep Jesus’ commandments if we love Him. The Bible is clear that those who live an unrepentant lifestyle will go to hell: “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Romans‬ ‭2‬:‭6-8‬ ESV)

      Mind you, it’s not just unrepentant homosexuals that will go to hell. It includes unrepentant adulterers, drunkards, swindlers, etc. We must repent of all sin. That means we hate our sin and turn from it. We battle our sin and strive to live a godly life. Evidence of our love for God is to obey Him.

      People may assert that they were born homosexual. I disagree, but it is irrelevant. I can say I was born an alcoholic or an adulterer. That doesn’t make indulging in my sins acceptable. To normalize sin is evidence of an unrepentant heart.

      Some people believe that they can recite the sinner’s prayer (which is unbiblical) to get Jesus’ stamp of approval, then continue living their lives as they see fit. I once believed that. I’m so grateful that God did not let me die before I was really saved five years ago as I would be in hell.

      To become a child of God, you must die to yourself. If one is born again, the Holy Spirit will dwell within them. The Bible says that our stony heart is replaced with a heart of flesh. We have a new nature that makes us turn from evil. The Bible says that homosexuality is judgment from God. It is His judgment of abandonment.

      Romans 1 very clearly explains this particular judgment. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭24-32‬ ESV)

      I’m sure that the couple in question are really nice and I hope they have a nice life. I’m more concerned about their souls, though. God hates sin and never condones it. Sin is never beautiful. He will never turn a blind eye to sin as that would make Him unjust. Our lives are only a vapor and I don’t want anyone to be deceived into thinking that sin is no big deal. If we live an unrepentant lifestyle, we will not see heaven. My heart breaks for the unrepentant. I was an unrepentant “Christian” once. That is a lie from the pit of hell I believed. A carnal Christian is no Christian at all.

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      1. What do you think is most likely to win the couple’s hearts? To battle through the courts, showing the Principle of the thing, or to reach out to them in love? Is winning them over possible? All things are possible for God!

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        1. All things are possible for God, but if her conscience tells her it is sinful to sell flowers for a gay wedding, it is sinful for her to sell flowers for a gay wedding.

          The Bible is also clear that believers will face persecution. It doesn’t say they might be persecuted. The Bible says those who suffer persecution are blessed, and even during these trials, Christ is glorified.

          As for me, I just wouldn’t provide services for any wedding. My convictions prohibit me from participating or rendering my services for gay marriages. That would be condoning the sin. What about gay birthdays? Certainly. There is nothing sinful in that.

          If one is going to compromise his faith, he may as well have no faith at all.

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