Tag Archives: stumbling block

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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Will the Real Noah Please Stand Up?

I read The Matt Walsh Blog this afternoon and I think he had an accurate review of the new ‘Noah’ movie.  I’m not trying to rehash what he said regarding the movie.  By the way, I got the impression that he thought it was drek.  I just heard some arguments in favor of viewing of the movie and I thought it needed to be addressed.

I have heard this argument repackaged many times for other movies, pastors, car salesmen, levitation machines, and pig wrestlers.  Essentially, the argument should not be about whether the movie is biblical or not, or even if it completely misrepresents God.  Or not.  The Christian shouldn’t disparage the movie.  As a matter of fact, he should watch the movie so that he will have opportunities to share the Gospel with people who have seen the movie.

Really?  The Gospel is already a stumbling block for people.  People think that they don’t need saving.  People don’t want to repent of their sins.  I cannot see how a misrepresentation of the Bible can bring people to Christ.  Maybe I’m pessimistic, but if one believes he can use the movie, ‘Noah’ as a launching pad to share the Gospel, he should have even more success sharing the Gospel with people who have seen ‘Pulp Fiction.’  Afterall, Samuel L. Jackson quoted scripture.

In interviews, Russell Crowe reveals that he has no idea what the biblical story of Noah is about.  Noah, the taskmaster?  Is that why God chose to save him?  Genesis 6:9 states, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation.  Noah walked with God.  John MacArthur’s commentary explains, “‘righteous’ is to live by God’s righteous standards;  ‘blameless’ sets him apart by a comparison with those of his day; and that he ‘walked with God’ puts him in a class with Enoch (p. 25).  That is a strong assertion comparing Noah with Enoch.  Remember, Enoch never tasted death.  God brought him straight to heaven.

Some people (usually people outside the faith) think righteous means perfect.  Does righteous and blameless mean Noah was perfect?  Does that mean he was a swell guy?  He certainly wasn’t perfect and some of his sins depicted in the Bible suggest he may not have been a swell guy.  MacArthur explains that “God makes it clear the Noah was a man who believed in God as Creator, Sovereign, and the only Savior from sin.”  That is what makes Noah righteous.

Most importantly, the story is a type, or illustration of Jesus.  Jesus said, “I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).  There was only one door in the ark.  That one door represents Jesus.  Did Noah shut that door?  No, God alone saves.  God shut that door (Genesis 7:16).

If you want to lead people to Christ, you use the Bible.  The Bible is truth.  It makes no sense to try to lead people with a counterfeit.  If you want to draw from unbiblical sources, good luck.  At least use something moderately entertaining, like Dr. Who.