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.