05 October 2013

A strategy for Christians who object to same-sex weddings

It's hard to be a Christian these days. Everyone makes fun of you and sometimes you're forced to do things that are contrary to your beliefs.

For example, say you have a business that caters to weddings. Since such a service is open to the public, civil rights legislation requires you to make that service available everyone, without discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. And as more states are recognize same-sex marriages and anti-discrimination laws are expanded to include LGBT people, Christians may be forced to provide services to marriages that they disapprove of.

So what's a Christian to do in such a situation?

Well, Tim Bayly has a strategy for you. Here's what he says at his blog.
Of course, I will provide my stuff for your wedding. I serve, and am required to serve, everyone, whether or not I approve of what he is doing. However, you do understand that if I am at your so-called 'wedding,' I will consider it my duty to call attention to God's view of what you are doing. I will consider it my obligation to warn the guests of the danger they are running and of the harm all of you are doing to your own lives as God observes them. So, I will be distributing literature that explains all this.
And I thank you for the opportunity to reach people who otherwise might never hear this message that I believe they desperately need to hear.
That's right. Mr. Bayly suggests that you agree to perform the service and then, when you arrive at the wedding, disrupt it by passing out anti-gay literature and making anti-gay sermons. Read the Bible to the wedding guests and display a "God Hates Fags" banner. Picture a same-sex wedding catered by Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church and then go and do likewise.

Which is an interesting idea. But it's not a very biblical one. Here's what I suggested in a comment to his post.
Why not agree to provide the service and then, when you arrive at the wedding, stone the happy couple to death in accordance with Leviticus 20:13? ("If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.")
To which Mr. Bayly replied:
Because, Mr. Wells, God has delegated the sword to the civil magistrate, and currently he's occupied using that sword to protect those paid to murder 1,350,000 little babies in our nation each year.
I responded with this comment, my last at his blog, apparently.
Sounds like an excuse to me, Tim.
God commands believers to kill non-celibate male homosexuals in Leviticus 20:13. No civil magistrate is mentioned or required.

But OK. I understand. You think God went just a bit too far in Leviticus 20:13. You're not willing to obey him here. Good for you.
You'd like someone else to do it for you. The civil magistrate, local police, your church governing body, whoever. Anyone but you. You'd like the blood of homosexuals to "be upon them," but you don't want the blood on your hands.
[NOTE FROM TB: From outside sources, I've learned Mr. Wells is a public mocker of the Triune God and His Word, so he won't be commenting here, again.]
It's hard to find a Christian who is willing to obey God's clear command in Leviticus 20:13. [Although there was one commenter (Bryan) who said this: "I certainly wouldn't mind stoning a homosexual to death...."]

Only Muslims (and Bryan) are willing to obey God on that one.

18 comments:

GMpilot said...

In response to that same verse, I've been told that Jesus rescinded that order, yet no one has actually shown me the verse that says so.

One might also ask why such Christians aren't picketing Red Lobster© as well, as I understand God hasn't removed crustaceans from the prohibited list.

Stephen said...

"[NOTE FROM TB: From outside sources, I've learned Mr. Wells is a public mocker of the Triune God and His Word, so he won't be commenting here, again.]"

Wow, Steve, you got ratted out by the Triune God ("TG") himself!

@GMpilot: Not only did Jesus *not* rescind the order, he confirmed it! See Mark 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Hat Tip to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible for making it so easy to find!
Steve Weeks

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, Steve. I'm a public mocker of the three-headed god. So I guess I deserve to be banned - or stoned, or burned to death. I'm not sure what the proper biblical punishment is for god mockers. I'd ask Tim, but he won't talk to me anymore.

Stephen said...

Well, if TG (let's call him "Tiggy") doesn't have the balls to exact his own retribution, he deserves to be mocked.
Steve Weeks

Matt Cantrell said...

Doesn't this all come down to controlling others? I mean, getting hired to perform a function and then sabotaging that function? (if you break it down to its roots, that's all it is). Seems a little anti-business like. I would think that this "strategy" would invite litigation. The author talks about "free speech rights" and the courts not touching that, but, that all goes out the window when you're hired to perform a function by a private party. There are no free speech rights in private contracts usually, and if they tried to include it in the contract,e.g we're gonna hand out anti-whatever your wedding is about during your wedding, then it would lead right back to discrimination. Who would agree to that? Am I preaching to the choir? A little off the subject, but still relevant....

bob said...

Stephen, you say,

“Not only did Jesus *not* rescind the order, he confirmed it!...”

But Jesus said,

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” John 8:7

The conscience of all the woman’s accusers caused them to leave, but the conscience of the oldest prodded them into leaving first, because their tally of sins/crimes was higher since they had been alive for longer.

You say,

“...See [Matthew] 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

“Fulfil the law” means to be punished for our sins/crimes. But here Christ is saying that He Himself will fulfil the law by being punished in our place for our sins/crimes.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 1Corinthians 15:22

This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Mark 14:24

Without Jesus’ sacrifice not one person could be saved from hell.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1John 1:8.

Stephen said...

Well, Bob, we could spend a lot of time cherry-picking the good book for contradictions to throw at each other, but it would be a waste of time.
You may not accept it, but there was no "Adam" or "Eve" in the Genesis sense. Evolutionary science has come to the point where this is not subject to debate. Consequently, there was no "Fall" in the sense it was described in Genesis. Consequently, there was no "original sin" or a need to be forgiven.
As a human, I will readily own up to not being perfect, and if I have committed any "sins", I alone am responsible for them. The notion that someone died thousands of years ago to atone for *my* failings is risible.
I don't expect you to accept this, but unless you can provide evidence to refute it other than quoting the bible or other creationist literature, I'm sticking to my perspective.
BTW, your prayers for me to "believe" apparently haven't been answered. Must be god's mysterious ways again. ;-)
Steve Weeks

bob said...

“You may not accept it, but there was no "Adam" or "Eve" in the Genesis sense. Evolutionary science has come to the point where this is not subject to debate.”

Yet the debate continues with ‘evolution’ quite often coming off second best in spite of many of its claims, which means that evolutionary science is not nearly as bullet proof or as honest as its proponents would have us believe.

"Consequently, there was no "Fall" in the sense it was described in Genesis. Consequently, there was no "original sin" or a need to be forgiven. As a human, I will readily own up to not being perfect, and if I have committed any "sins", I alone am responsible for them. The notion that someone died thousands of years ago to atone for *my* failings is risible.”

That He died thousands of years ago is irrelevant since His death covers all of human history.

…of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8

And why is it ridiculous that God should want to redeem His creation, which includes you, from sin and death, in order to restore His great name and His honour which have been defiled by our sins/crimes?

“I don't expect you to accept this, but unless you can provide evidence to refute it other than quoting the bible or other creationist literature...”

But you quote the Bible to support your own arguments. And you can’t expect your opponent to abandon the sources that support his position. It would be like a soldier allowing himself to be defeated by being conned into giving up his tactical position, armour and weapons (Ephesians 6:11-19).

“...I'm sticking to my perspective.”

Fair enough, but overall, I think your materialistic perspective is illogical, unsustainable and fatally flawed.

“BTW, your prayers for me to "believe" apparently haven't been answered. Must be god's mysterious ways again. ;-)”

It’s not over until it’ over.

Brucker said...

Joking aside, I wonder what you people think might be an acceptable response to the situation outlined. If I were a caterer who was homophobic for whatever reason (be it religious or not) and a same-sex couple wanted to enlist my services for their wedding reception, what should I do? It seems like there should be a solution that doesn't involve being a jerkass.

Stephen said...

@ Brucker:
It's complicated. On the one hand, I'd think the simplest thing would be for the caterer to explain that his/her personal standards would be violated by providing the service, and for the person seeking the service to look elsewhere. This should only be a problem in an area served by a limited number of such service providers. It seems to me that if there is only one provider in the area, he/she is going to look like a jerk no matter what. Unless the law requires the service to be provided to anyone, that probably ends the matter.

I do not have the same "laissez faire" attitude to healthcare issues, however. Pharmacists and doctors should be required to provide their services regardless of their personal beliefs unless specifically permitted otherwise by law. If for any legal reason they don't have to do this, it would IMO be only common decency to provide an appropriate referral.

As a dentist (endodontist), I can't decline to treat a patient for reasons of race, religious belief (or lack of), creed, national origin, sexual orientation, HIV status, etc. Recently I performed a root canal treatment on one of my colleagues who is a young-earth creationist. I gave her by best effort and got a really nice result. I have also treated convicted murderers. My professional ethics does not permit otherwise. I don't judge, but not because the bible says not to (Matthew 7:1, Luke 6:37), and in spite of the bible saying that as an atheist I *do* judge (1 Corinthians 5:12-13).
Hope this helps.
Steve Weeks

Christian said...

Christians do not understand their Bible, that is the only fact I learn from them when debating. When an atheist has to show them what their holy book means then its really an ignorance problem.

Stephen said...

@ Christian:
"Christians do not understand their Bible, that is the only fact I learn from them when debating."
Yes, but they have this marvelous ability to spin dross into gold, as seen a few posts up ^^. ;-)
Steve Weeks

bob said...

Christian,

"Christians do not understand their Bible, that is the only fact I learn from them when debating."

That is quite often true.

"When an atheist has to show them what their holy book means then its really an ignorance problem."

Not the athiests on this site, they have ignorance problems of their own (trying to turn gold into dross), but since you seem to be an authority on the Bible perhaps you could correct me on a few things.

Christian said...

Hi Bob

Never said I was an authority, but when something is written I read it for what it is. Check by my blog later today when I will have a post up explaining this point of view.

Matt Cantrell said...

And it begins....

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/10/couples-wedding-memories-tarnished-by-anti-semitic-rant-on-video/

Angelo Ventura said...

When Jesus talked of the law he came to fulfill, he was NOT talking of every bloody petty rule, but of the SPIRIT of the law- then spme interpolator put the "JOT OR TITTLE" bit

bushman0145 said...

I have to say it is a bit too naive to think that Christians should obey the Israelite laws, isn't it? Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it which he did on the cross. The law being fulfilled, to follow it anymore would be to reject Christ's sacrifice. So for Wells to think Christians should follow the Law of Moses is a bit ignorant in my opinion. You obviously have been reading a bit too much SAB and not enough ESV (or whatever other version you may like).
What I want to know, Mr. Wells, is why you think that I as a Christian should obey the Law of Moses instead of the law of Christ, whose name I wear. I am at a bit of a loss as to why you think we should revert back to the law of Moses. I am pretty sure that the entire theme of the Old Testament was a looking forward to a final sacrifice that would do away with the need for the Law of Moses. So please enlighten me on what I am missing.

Stephen said...

@ bushman 0145:
"So please enlighten me on what I am missing."

Well, for starters, how about that the whole thing is a bunch of made-up bronze age nonsense, for which there is exactly ZERO evidence?
Steve Weeks