When I read things like this coming from a fellow Southern Baptist (at least I thought he was a Baptist), it makes me tired. It's hard enough to battle the culture of forced tolerance and acceptance of ungodly practices. It's difficult enough to work and battle legislators to right the injustices and take stands against laws that limit our freedom to worship, express our faith and follow the call upon our lives to be holy even as He is holy. It's troublesome enough to have to make bylaws tighter within our churches to include language to protect our church from having to bow to laws which may impose their views upon us and force us to do something in direct conflict with the Word of God. But to have another mega-church pastor pass his individual dictate upon the brethren who seek to protect rights? It just eats at my soul.
We're not squabbling over the color of the carpet here. We're standing on faith. We're not clothed in bedsheets and carrying torches as Kirsten Powers suggests and to which Denny Burk kindly and clearly rebuts. We are asking to be allowed the same freedom any other person is allowed in this country-- to refrain from doing something we do not believe is consistent with, or sanctioned by, our faith under the direction of God's Word.
Pastors err on the side of political correctness all the time these days. I wasn't privy to the entire conversation Stanley had with Kirsten Powers in which she chose to quote him in her USA today story, saying:
"He told me he finds it 'offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law.' He said, 'Serving people we don't see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn't see eye to eye. If a bakery doesn't want to sell its products to a gay couple, it's their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it.'"
So, I cannot read Stanley's mind on all of this. However, given his reasoning, I suppose I shouldn't bother to write about issues like this either. My writing should never bring up a topic that uses my faith in Christ as a motivating factor in what I moderate on my site. My business is writing but...
If what Stanley says holds true, it's okay if I block commenters, but not okay to explain why. It's okay to block commenters who posted links to porn sites that came to my site (in response to me simply publishing a letter from the Green family when the Greens were struggling on whether or not to close their stores or comply with the government's mandate upon their business)-- HOWEVER, I should "leave Jesus out of" my reason for monitoring in such a way. After all, if I don't want to let commenters comment, then that's my business, but I shouldn't make it known that I don't accept their trash based on my faith in Jesus.
When I refused access to my one blog that had the Green's message regarding their faith-stand about abortion meds, those commenters visited each and every blog I wrote and went back as far as a year in search of vulnerable access to add their venomous filth to my site (thank God I had blocks in place). But... I got so much of their trash in my email box, I finally removed the entire blog post which provoked their attacks on me for several months, and restored it only in the past few weeks.
Maybe I shouldn't use Jesus as my standard for my decision making. The reason I will no longer buy Disney's products is because I don't trust them anymore and don't tolerate their preferences being forced upon my grandchildren's television viewing. The reason I won't buy Girl Scout Cookies is because of my faith in Jesus who is the creator of life that Planned Parenthood wants to snuff out. But perhaps, I shouldn't say why.
As Bryan Fischer says in his article here, "Stanley at this point gets dangerously confusing."
Blanket statements like Stanley's do give confusing signals to Christians who hold true to their belief that the Bible is clear that marriage is between one man and one woman-- not two men, or two women-- or whatever definition that the courts of the land will deem allowable choices in the future. Our culture is seriously flawed...
"It is critical believers realize homosexuality is not just another sin among others... And while there are many sectors of sin, the issue of homosexuality is not ancillary issue. It hits at the heart of what is wrong in our culture (Al Mohler, preaching at SEBTS, Baptist Press, 03/01/1995, embolden added)"-- found here.
And many Christians do not want to be forced to participate in the ungodly cultural "choices" of other people whose view of marriage goes against the Biblical views and our country guarantees we are allowed to hold in accordance with our faith. To lump all sins into one bucket spins a web of misguided views of what Christians are trying to say regarding using our talents and gifts and vocational choices to honor God and to bring glory to Him in "whatsoever we say or do." It seems that's soon to change... it's not to bring glory to Christ but submission to government and public pressures.
Am guessing that many Christians will think long and hard about opening photography, bakery, floral, and wedding consultant businesses-- or any business-- that would force them to sanction marriages or activities which conflict with their faith. After all, as Andy Stanley says, "it is their business. Literally." Except when it's not.
all comments moderated, initially.