Faithful Christian witness in the UK...

We are not homophobic, but the Bible is very clear that a man should not lie with a man and woman should not lie with a woman. Gay people are more than welcome to stay here, but not in the same bed. It is a case of love the sinner, but not the sin. How people choose to live their lives is their business, but I am responsible, in the eyes of God, for what happens in my home.

Christians are increasingly marginalised in British society, and what we have here is a head-on collision between the conflicting beliefs of Christians and those of homosexuals. Why should the rights of gay people take precedence over ours?

Mrs. Peter Bull, Marazion, Cornwall

Mr. and Mrs. Peter (Hazelmary) Bull ran a bed and breakfast in Cornwall, England the past three decades. Since they are Christians, the Bulls clearly stipulated to those considering staying with them that they were not willing to rent a double-bedded room to unmarried couples. Five years ago, the Bulls declined to rent a double-bedded room to an unmarried couple and the couple sued. Does it marry whether the couple were one man's wife and another woman's husband committing adultery, an unmarried man and unmarried woman committing fornication, or two men committing sodomy?

In one sense, no; but in another sense, yes. Adulterous or fornicating couples might well have left the Bulls to their Christian faith and good riddance, but not a sodomitic couple. Two men committing sodomy named Martin Hall and Steven Preddy took the Bulls to court and the court fined the Bulls £3,600. This is the tolerance gays have for Christians. Remember how compassionate and hospitable and gentle the men of Sodom were towards the angels of the Lord just before God burned them up with brimstone and fire? Is the violence of the Sodomites part of the wisdom of Scripture with helpful application to our own time? Is this part of Scripture "profitable?"

Sodomites are out and loud, demanding the Christian conscience not appear anywhere except deep down in the Christian's heart where it's no good to anyone. Their perversion trumps everyman's freedom, especially of religion. Since being fined for their Christian witness, the Bulls have been harassed, vandalised, had their web site overwritten with pornography, and received death threats. Now they're out of business.

But are the Bulls victims?

No, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Bull are both marturia, Greek for "witness."

Dear Christian brother, our Lord warned us of the faith that's not confessed: it's no faith at all. If we are ashamed of Jesus and His Words in this sodomitic generation, Jesus warns us:

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)

Five years after paying their fine, the Bulls's appeal has worked its way up to the UK Supreme Court. And what do the Bulls have to say to the Escondido R2K academics trying to relegate Christian conscience to the church and home, keeping it out of the public square?

God demands that our faith doesn’t end at the kitchen door. He means for your faith to run in every corner of your life. You can’t just section Him off like that.

- Mrs. Peter Bull

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

I'd almost buy airfare to Heathrow and drive to Cornwall just to meet those good folks.  My word... if American evangelicals would be as clear and well-spoken as the missus!

Matt, I was planning my next trip to England in late spring 2010 when this story broke. I decided I'd go to Cornwall for a week instead of Scotland. I wanted to stay with these folks.

Then I got laid off. Still haven't made that trip and now I won't be able to enjoy their hospitality. 

I thought it was an excellent response they gave about God being tolerant.

>>> Then I got laid off.

Kamilla -- Come to East Texas! We have openings for experienced med techs!

Tim,

Great post. Both heartbreaking, and encouraging.

This kind of running rough-shod over the conscience of the church was completely predictable. The antithesis between impenitent homosexuals and unapologetic Christians will continue to bring this kind of confrontation even into the homes of believers (NB: this English couple were running a business out of their home, and the problem came to their front door).

And laugh out loud, how about the female anchor's solution? Well, why don't you just get into a different business? I wonder how many times we will hear this kind of lame argument - if you Christians don't like accommodating sexual sin, you can always find a different job. See? Freedom of association!

What floored me was how after 28 years, this was the first complaint brought to court against this couple. The homosexual way of life is one that is so insecure with itself, because it so blatantly askew anatomically, spiritually and sociologically, that its only path to avoiding a complete meltdown is to immediately trample any witness against it. Far from passivity, at least in its cultural outworkings, homosexuality is warlike. Forget live and let live - that ploy is only called for when Christians seem to be have the majority influence.

Is the UK better off that this elderly couple is out of business? Congratulations to the courts of the UK. We can rest better tonight seeing that this dangerous married couple got what they deserve for daring to stand against court-enforced kowtowing to sodomy.

Its amazing how our country will not even accept the testimony of a woman (clearly any man who said such things would be a homophobic bigot).

Tim, you should come to the UK one day. Surely there is a pastor somewhere who would invite you?

The fact that they are out of business just goes to show how their view is a marginal one in Britain these days.

Christian, we should be thankful for marginal views. They are part of a rich tapestry of diversity that overcomes ignorance through knowledge.  I also appreciate that Britain believes in tolerance for divergent viewpoints. Tolerance and respect are what we all need to live in harmony. Just like the colors of the gay rainbow, there are many views that require our respect and celebration. So as I celebrate the diversity of what you believe in, let's link hand and hand together as we respect and show tolerance for the marginal view of what the Bulls believe in. After all, diversity is our strength! Knowledge is the key to tolerance!

Christian,

I am not sure if your comment was meant to indicate that the Bulls got what they deserved, because they might hold a view of sexuality that you consider passe, but in the event you meant your comment that way.....

The Bull's are not out of business today because of a voluntary boycott from otherwise potential clients/customers. No, this elderly, peaceable couple who posed no threat to anyone, and who did not use force to instigate any confrontation with anyone, are out of business because a gay couple took them to court over their bed policy, and the legal process and the punitive damages levied by the court put their modest business to death.

The Bulls are out of business because of wicked laws and government coercion, not because the Bulls couldn't hack it in the B&B business. They were in business for 28 years before the gay couple showed up at their door.

By the way, it hardly seems fair to enforce laws that allegedly protect the marginalized, and then spout off that those who are now marginalized because of those laws are irrelevant, so the damage they suffer is forgettable. That would be an example of one chasing one's tail.

The male anchor tried to corner the Bulls by making "tolerance" one of God's attributes. Mrs. Bull's answer was perfect - "He is a long-suffering God - He's not entirely tolerant, because the Bible is full of cases where He does finally bring judgment about." God was with them!

Hi David

I was under the impression that they went out of business from boycotts. So I stand corrected so thank you. Luckily, if they were in the right then they will get compensation from the high courts so luckily the wrong can be righted. Although not 100% corrected I do realize that.

But regarding marginal views they should not always be respected, as we do not respect the marginal holocaust denial view. So we should also be careful when we say marginal views should be accepted.

Jason,

I noticed that, also. What I found so breathtaking was how the anchors' view of tolerance has worked itself out. Tolerance as these people define it involves a single gay couple being able to take this elderly couple to court because the elderly couple doesn't approve of their lifestyle and would not allow the two men to use their private property to practice it. Tolerance involved people threatening, slandering and vandalizing the Bulls' property. Tolerance means that all of the myriad other people who enjoyed their stay at the Bulls' business, and would go back, will have their preferences sacrificed.

You would think that in a truly tolerant society, while you will always have people who disagree, sometimes people have to agree to disagree, and they have to part ways peaceably. But forget those colors of the rainbow that are not popular, and forget the fact that for 28 years this couple provided a service that people found enjoyable. All off that was thrown under the bus when one gay couple decided they didn't like what they were told. Like children, they were told "no", and they pitched a temper tantrum. Like an overindulgent parent, the UK court listened and gave little Johnny whatever he wants.

For the anchors, "tolerance" is a term of irony. It's like calling the large, imposing member of the group "Tiny". It's the opposite of the lexical meaning of the word. The anchors actually draw lines in the sand just like Christians do, only they want to borrow the connotation of the language of no-limits, while at the same time having a zero-tolerance policy for people like the Bulls.

Did you catch the part where the female anchor kept badgering Mrs. Bull? She kept saying "No, your God, your God" as if Mrs. Bulls' God is beneath her. I wanted Mrs. Bull to say something like "Yes, clearly He is not your God, but sadly for you He will be your Judge if you continue on your current path".

Christian, I agree that not every marginal view is equally respectable. It seems like we need a standard, or else we will have no way beyond popularity of knowing what is to be acceptable (not to mention that this would prevent us from ever condemning anything in history that was not done without popular explicit or tacit approval, like the Holocaust you mentioned). Plus, a popular/situational/relativistic view of morals really does not define right and wrong, as much as it defines whatever happens to be the flavor of the day. We need a standard which is objective, transcendent, non-arbitrary, one that can be communicated, and one that is applicable to general moral situations. I think Christians have this in God's inscripturated Word.

But regarding marginal views they should not always be respected, as we do not respect the marginal holocaust denial view. So we should also be careful when we say marginal views should be accepted.

It's difficult to take Christian seriously looking at this not-so-careful comparison of two unlike things, nor after reviewing his not-so-carefully crafted blog.

Hi Craig French

Talking about minority views. My point that I was trying to make which I think I made well was that not all minority views should be accepted as they can be wrong. You are assuming a minority view is correct when in fact it may be wrong as there is no evidence to suggest you are correct.

Also if you want to attack my blog, come with facts and not some wishy washy claim.

Regards

I'm not assuming the minority view is correct; I'm assuming God's Word is true.

I don't want to direct others to the different kinds of blasphemy and specious reasoning on your blog, so I'll just point out the careless spelling of today's title post ("Tecahing" instead of "Teaching"). Though I don't want to be careless myself and am happy to humbly confess that I may very well be wrong; perhaps my approach to spelling is the minority view. Of course, I actually assume you will correct the spelling of your title because you really do know how to spell. Which is to say - the truth of it has nothing to do with whether a view is minority or not.

LOL, thanks for pointing out my spelling mistake. I do have a spelling problem so I appreciate it. However lets be fair a spelling mistake does not determine truth except truth that the word is spelt wrong.

>>you should come to the UK one day. Surely there is a pastor somewhere who would invite you?

Back in '02, I was privileged to preach in the Evangelical Reformed Church in Hackney, London. Quite interesting congregation whose longtime pastor (Thomas Tuitt, now deceased) was led from Pentecostalism to the Biblical reformed faith through the preaching of Lloyd-Jones. The congregation is mostly of Caribbean (East Indian) descent.

They were then, and apparently still are, without a pastor.

Love,

I was attempting to make a couple of points: you made a careless comparison (between the biblical view of sexuality with other "minority views"...such as holocaust deniers) and you display an overall carelessness on your blog.

Rather than go on a rabbit trail of arguments you raise on your blog, I selected the innocuous case above: transposed letters resulting in the distortion of a word. It's unarguable to us both that you made a careless mistake. Innocuous, yes, but also careless. It is also obvious to all that, depending on the level of distortion, the word and meaning can altogether be destroyed.

In the case of sodomy, the misplacement of body parts and a rejection of their significance and function is a willful distortion. You managed only to abuse the English language; sodomy is the abuse of human bodies. It is nothing like transposing letters, yet many seem to consider it less than a transposing of letters. After all, there is an indignity to a misspelling! Harrumph!

You've taken the time to correct the spelling of your post, yet lack the care to devote yourself to repentance for actual sin.

Returning to your awful comparison, when men think sodomy involves an acceptable "re-arrangement" of body parts for different uses, it's not unlike a deranged baker swapping out a lump of dough with a man. The circumstances surrounding his baking endeavors has remained unchanged; he's simply swapped out one thing for another.  

Very often (I've found) discussing the baking of a man to where he has a golden crust, all parties insist on discussing the blatant immorality of the scenario. Rarely is there a party wanting to discuss the finer points of taste.

So you see, you have been beyond careless with your talk of majority views vs minority views. Careless in comparing moral conviction about sodomy (currently a minority view) with the lack of moral conviction resulting in the holocaust (formerly a majority view). Nearly every minority view has been a majority view at some point, after all.

Ahh! you may say, but you're assuming homosexuality is a moral question! Yes, and you're assuming it isn't.

    This story is yet another example of the folly of the Christians who think if they just keep quiet and don't criticize anyone, they will be tolerated and not forced to join in the sin around them.  By their very existence, Christians remind sinners of their shame, and so are offensive. I hope at some point people will learn it's safer to stand with your shield and fight than to turn around and walk away from the charging enemy. 

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