A strategy for Christians who object to same-sex "weddings"...

(This post is by Dan Reuter, attorney-at-law here in Bloomington, Indiana. Dan got his M.Div. from Pittsburgh Seminary and served as a pastor for many years prior to entering the practice of law.)

Christian photographers, florists, caterers, etc. have been under pressure to provide their services to couples of the same sex who are having so-called "weddings." Frequently, the same-sex couples have invoked the civil rights movement, which claimed that anyone offering services to the public must provide those services to all comers, not discriminating against anyone who wants the service and will pay for it. Christians have relied mainly on their right to the free exercise of their religion, but usually they've lost and some of them have paid a heavy price—including the loss of their businesses.

They have been using the wrong strategy. There is force to the argument that a public facility must serve all of the public, and state anti-discrimination laws reinforce this rule. In our culture, "religion" is something private, that should have no effect on anyone but its practitioners. Christians dispute this, of course, but in our increasingly pagan society, theirs is a losing argument.

Here's a better strategy...

The Christian purveyor of pictures or food should tell the sodomite couple:

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.

There will be attempts to prohibit the Christian from making good on this promise, of course, but now the other side has the formidable obstacle of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overcome. Granted, there are limits to freedom of speech, but those limits generally relate to "clear and present danger," to shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. (Or they relate to commitments people have made voluntarily to keep national security secrets, patients' or clients' secrets, etc.)

What the other side would be seeking in this instance is to silence the expression of opinion—based entirely on its content. I doubt many courts would sanction this, and it is highly unlikely the U. S. Supreme Court would. The precedents against it are mountainous.

Tim Bayly

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

Comments

I think this is an excellent notion.

Additionally I might add "given my understanding of the depravity of what I will be witnessing it is conceivable that it could affect my concentration and the quality of my work."

You said: "I doubt many courts would sanction this, and it is highly unlikely the U. S. Supreme Court would. The precedents against it are mountainous."

I agree, for the time being. However, don't expect that barrier to last long. I  expect that it will be considered hate speech, and illegal if things progress the way they have been.

This is brilliant!

Great idea. However, the problem I see is in the unlikely scenario when the sodomite couple calls the Christian's bluff and says, "Sure, come shoot our wedding and say whatever you like." In this instance, the Christian would be able to witness to people he or she otherwise would not have, but the Christian would also be obligated to shoot the wedding - which popular Christian sources have equated to "affirming" and even "celebrating" the same sex union. Should we then agree to something that on principle we disagree with under the guise of another stipulation?

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.")

>>Why not agree to provide the service and then, when you arrive at the wedding, stone the happy couple to death...

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.

That answer your question?

Testily,

How about instead of charging them you offer to do it for free. 

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.]

I agree that it will not be long before this is considered hate speech, and the threat of arrest will silence many Christians. Just look at examples of it in Canada and the UK.

Mr. Wells demonstrates typical ignorance of Scripture.  God never commanded "believers" to execute those who practice homosexual behavior. He only commanded the nation of Israel to do so under their theocracy, and then it was to rid the nation of Israel of evil.  The law was only for Israel and no one else.

Dear Glenn,

I agree with the Biblical concept that Tim expressed that the sword, in civil affairs, is given to the magistrates who are appointed by God to bear it.

However, in terms of your comment that the law was for Israel and for no one else, I would argue that, as a blanket statement, this proves too much. We certainly as Christians would argue for laws punishing murder and kidnapping and stealing, even today. There may also be an argument for including sodomy in this list (I Tim. 1:8-10).

Thanks, brother.

David, the context of my statement was the law referred to in Leviticus.  My point was that this particular law was not for "believers" as claimed.  This has nothing to do with 1 Timothy.

Most of the laws for Israel were only for Israel and no one else.  This is stated many time in Scripture (Deut 4:7-8; Lev. 27:34; Ps. 147:19-20, et al.)

This is why we don't stone adulterers today either.  The moral law, which comprises 9 of the 10 commandments, is written on the heart of every person, as I discuss in my article about the Sabbath not being for Christians:  http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/05/are-christians-required-to...

There is only one crime for which God gave the punishment for all time and all people, and that was when He gave the punishment of execution for murder - He gave that rule to Noah as representative of the human race.  All other punishments are to be dictated by the government.  If a particular government dictated capital punishment for homosexual behavior, that is the government's business.  But CHRISTIANS, i.e.,"believers," are not called to execute those who practice homosexual behavior.

Dear Glenn,

I was referring to the laws in Leviticus as well, actually. I believe Paul must have been as well; what other law is there to a Jew?

I suppose defining the "we" would be helpful. There might be many reasons we today don't see fit to have the civil magistrate punish such sins as adultery, but the question I was raising is whether a country more inclined to the Word of God would do so. I would wager that many Christians would see adultery as a private matter, a sin which is not also a crime, so to speak. I think when we today circumscribe which sins the magistrate should, in obedience to God, also be involved in dealing with, the best place to look would be God's Word, and most of the relevant passages would happen to be in the law.

I'm not sure about your comment that execution for murder is the only abiding capital crime. I know of no passage which explicitly teaches that, nor any that logically require that conclusion. On the other hand, we have as one example, John the Baptist citing God's law as condemning Herod for unlawfully marrying his brother's wife. This was not against Roman law; obviously, John here is referring to God's law, which indicates that he had no qualms about applying God's law to political leaders, even to those who were not Jewish. Maybe that would not have been a capital offense, but here we see John applying the law even outside the tribe.

I would not describe Christians as being a different group than the government. The church is certainly a different group than the government, but Christians who serve in government should serve according to the Word of God. And I think that when we pray for our government to do justly, this is not an abstract request, but rather, is one that should be directed according to the pattern of justice that God has already demonstrated is fair (Hebrew 2:2).

Though largely missing today, there is a strong, Reformed, and even confessional tradition that looks at the "marrow" of the law as being applicable for all time.

I am leaving for a while and won't have time to respond, so I will give you the last word between us. I know you won't agree, but I offer this because the problem I see with a response to the mocker who says "Why don't you just go, Dave, and stone a gay person if you believe the Bible so much" is that God has not charged me as a civilian to do so, but this does not mean the law is wrong, or passe. The question is whether the magistrate today is expected by God to intervene. I believe there is a strong argument that God has charged our modern day magistrates with restraining, in some way, the drift of sexual perversion we are in, just as He did way back then. If that requires execution in the worst, most recalcitrant cases, then let God be true and every man a liar, although I am teachable on this issue. I realize that we won't have magistrates like this until we have a people more inclined to God who would vote such men into office, which is why true societal reformation is bottom-up and not top-down, and why someone running for office today on a theonomic platform would be unlikely to win. But nonetheless, our response to the mocker is not to see the law condemning sodomy as old and obsolete. After all, if the law is moral and not ceremonial, and God's morals do not change on the matter, then why would the punishment have changed? That would suggest God's view on the matter has changed.

Have a great weekend, brother. And I do count you as a brother.

David, 

The point of my response is that the claims made by Mr. Wells are wrong in that Christians have never had the “law” of putting homosexuals to death.  He stated, “<i>God commands believers to kill non-celibate male homosexuals”</i>  God has never given anyone such a command except the nation of Israel.  Christians were not given that command, nor was any other nation given it.

Any Christian who sees adultery as a private matter is living in ignorance or rank stupidity.  Adultery is NOT a private sin, since at least three people are affected!  And it is an affront to God, being one of the sins for which Israel was commanded to exercise capital punishment.  God used adultery as an analogy of Israel’s idolatry.  No, it is NOT a private sin.  And until the last few decades adultery was indeed considered a crime in the USA, let alone in other countries.  Which is why it was grounds for divorce.

I never stated that murder was the only “abiding capital crime.”  I said it was the only one given to the entire world.  All of the capital crimes noted in the Mosaic Law were for Israel and only Israel.  No other nation or people had were given these laws.  John the Baptist was indeed speaking of Jewish law against the marriage, which proves it was a law for Israel only, since Rome had no such law.  God’s law is against adultery, but God’s moral law never specifies who in relations are to marry whom or are forbidden such - this was only in the Mosaic Law.  Did Christians adopt some of these laws?  Of course, because they saw them as good - but that is not the same as being commanded by God to do so.

Christians may be members of governmental bodies, but neither Christians or people in general are the government.  Regardless of what “Reformed” and “confessional” theology claim, the O.T. laws were not commanded for anyone other than the Jew.  Reformed, etc, types who claim the Church replaced Israel (an unbiblical claim) use that to pretend the O.T. laws are for the Church.  IF that’s what they want, then they can’t pick and choose and had better stop eating shellfish!

I do not disagree with your statements about the governmental duties before God, but that wasn’t the issue in my rebuttal of Mr. Wells.  Christians have no such commands as he claims.  Doe the O.T. prohibition against homosexual behavior still stand?  Of course it does, because that prohibition was never to just Israel - as demonstrated by God’s reasons for destroying the pagan nations around Israel, and by Paul’s condemnation of it in the N.T.

http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/09/bible-and-homosexual-behavior.html

I certainly wouldn't mind stoning a homosexual to death if that were the judgment handed down by the civil magistrate, and I wouldn't be so quick to accuse Tim of moral cowardice either, Mr. Wells. Unfortunately Biblical law does not allow private citizens to take the duty of jury and executioner upon themselves as private persons without being granted such powers by the civil magistrate. That you do not understand this basic concept of Levitical, Biblical (and by way of lineage, Western) law is simply inexcusable (assuming you are a person who has any genuine knowledge of Biblical law).

I think another way around it is to specifically state that you are a Christian Wedding Business. As such, I don't believe one can say they would have to serve everyone. I still think they are being forced to violate their conscience in catering to gays and as such it is unlawful to compel them to provide service to a gay wedding.

Monique,

I've thought of that myself (I'm a musician who plays for weddings), but too many who practice homosexual behavior claim to be Christian, and too many claim that they are indeed having a Christian marriage - and too many apostate "churches" perform such ceremonies.

Ironic, isn't it, that a blog article that theorizes clever First Amendment loopholes in order to allow certain types of Christians to defy anti-discrimination laws so they can criticize "sodomites" (what if the gays in question are women?) would ultimately stifle the freedom of speech of a devil's advocate/critic like Steve Wells by invoking scripture--"public mocking of the Triune Word of God and His Word".  Why face down legitimate criticism when you can just ban it and invoke The Word (a source of authority by some but clearly not all) in order to de-legitimize it on your terms?

Yes, it's your blog; I recognize that.  And even though I rarely if ever agree with you, I fully acknowledge here and now your intellect and considerable writing ability.  But you're never going to make much headway in the culture war if someone else feints and then you play the ref in order to re-craft the rules to your own favor.  

stoning was for a specific people in a specific economy. Anyone who stones nowadays sin against God.

>>Ironic, isn't it, that a blog article that theorizes clever First Amendment loopholes in order to allow certain types of Christians to defy anti-discrimination laws so they can criticize "sodomites"

But sir, don't you realize how awful this sentence is? No time just now to point it out, but can you please read over it and think all the ways it repudiates the Bill of Rights, starting with the First Amendment? Take, for instance, the word "loopholes." Is this what Christian witness has become—the exploitation of a loophole in the law that men who fear God can abuse until the law catches up with them?

I mean, really.

Love,

I'm confused.  You claim that the Law only applied to Israel and yet you invoke that same law in order to condemn homosexuality as an abomination?  Or are we to conclude that God is okay with gays everywhere but Israel?  In which case, your premise that it's okay to intentionally disrupt the same sex wedding of a client would seem to go beyond what was required by your god.

Daryl, 

You apparently didn't read my article.  There is a big difference between the law to stone those who practice homosexual behavior, and the statement that God finds homosexual behavior to be an abomination.  This article:

http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/09/bible-and-homosexual-behav...

explains why God's attitude about homosexual behavior is eternal.  The context is not relegated to just the nation of Israel, unless, of course, you think bestiality and incest is also okay nowadays.

How far do we drill down with this? I assume that Tim does not marry a couple who are living together; giving public testimony to the sin of fornication. Probably not the couple who unequally yoked (confessing believer/unbeliever). The divorced? I would argue that the breeches created by the Church in these instances opened the floodgate for the abomination the sodomites are afflicting on society. Had the Church protected the sanctity of marriage we would not be arguing adjectival marriage. I think the argument was lost when we appended 'traditional' to marriage. It won't stop here. The next step will be polyamorous or transgender.

Pertaining then to this thread, should Christian businesses refuse to provide services to those couples?

Daryl,

There is nothing about stoning as a method of capital execution which somehow transcends culture and time. The Bible expresses itself, like all books, in a manner relevant to the culture in which it was written. In that day, stoning was a method of execution by the authorities, but it needn't be one today. The question, however, is whether the sins which the Bible also calls capital crimes should be viewed as capital crimes today (is there judicial and socio-political continuity between the covenants). I believe the answer is "yes", and in fact, Jesus specifically said that He did not come to destroy (lit. abrogate) the law, but to fulfill it. No matter what a person would interpret fulfill to mean, and that word in Greek can have a plethora of legitimate meanings, it certainly cannot mean abrogate. Further, the application that Jesus gave to his statements indicates that all of us, myself included, need a sound and exegetical reason for dismissing a previous commandment of God or else we will be lightly esteemed in His Kingdom (Matthew 5:19).

Glenn, your earlier post seemed to indicate that laws against eating shellfish were on par with laws calling for the magistrate to punish/restrain homosexuality, as if the laws are kind of a package deal. On one hand, we have evidence in the New Testament that dietary laws are rescinded by God; He is the Law Giver, and He has the right to do that. Those laws were typological, most Christians would agree, and for good reason they would say this because the Bible teaches this. We would not have the right to ignore those laws on our own, or because the culture around us sees those restrictions as stupid. We see this principle about unclean foods, for example, taught in Acts 10 and Col. 2. However, I do not see any such teaching regarding laws as related to sexual ethics. Are laws against murder, or rape, or theft typological? If we condemn them today on what basis? What should the punishment be? That last question is really very important, and I fear that many Christians would say (they would not like my wording) that God just sort of leaves it up to us today to figure out what to do with such people.

Glenn, if the punishment of homosexuality has changed, then the law has changed, and God's view has necessarily changed. There really is now way around this. Now, it might be that not every instance of homosexuality was punished in the Old Covenant, and that the capital punishment passages are talking about the worst, most repeat instances of those offenses. But whether that is the case or not, despite the fact that in our day this debate is somewhat moot as our culture heads further downward, Christians at least need to have a Biblical foundation for dealing with these sorts of issues. With respect, I do not believe that your answer that God feels the same way but doesn't respond the same way is Biblical, or even cogent.

If we as Christians want a good model of judicial and civil justice, we have the inspired model left behind in the Scriptures. Most of the relevant passages happen to be in the OT. The sorting out of how such a system works out in our modern, New Covenant era will take a lot of work, work that just like on any other important issue in the history of the church is an effort performed through the years by many people in God's flock, until we all come to a better understanding. But at least here and now, we have to decide what source to turn to.

Regards,

David

I would argue that the breeches created by the Church in these instances opened the floodgate for the abomination the sodomites are afflicting on society.

Absolutely.  I'd even say the Reformation opened the door by allowing the divorced to remarry in the face of opposition from the Bible and over a millenia of church interpretation and practice.

David,

Thankyou for your gracious explanations here. Could you recommend the best books for/against theonomy. I have read John Frame's take in his Doctrine of the Christian Life,

Thanks,

Henry

Hi Henry,

Without controversy, the magnum opus on this topic would be the late Greg Bahnsen's Theonomy in Christian Ethics. One nice supplement which is generally provided from Covenant Media Foundation when you purchase this book as a CD-ROM with many hours of additional mp3 lectures from Bahnsen on related topics, as well as a pdf copy of an earlier book entitled By This Standard.

Theonomy in Christian Ethics is a very large book which was written as a thesis, so its prose is long, and dry, and academic. It is a great reference, but if you would like an easier read, Bahnsen wrote a follow-up book entitled No Other Standard, which actually covers all of the standard rebuttals to his theonomic thesis.

There is also the book Theonomy: An Informed Response, which is a collection of articles from numerous Reformed scholars written in response to a book by Westminster West entitled Theonomy: A Reformed Critique. These two books are very easy reads, and provide a written debate format when placed together.

Hope this helps. There are other works, but any one of these would be sufficient toward understanding the two sides of the issue.

David

Sir, are you a time-traveler from the 19th century?  Sodomites?  Really?  You call homosexuals sodomites?  Do you have any idea what the definition of sodomy actually is?  Allow me to enlighten you:  sodomy is anal or oral intercourse between human beings.  Are you married sir?  Has your wife ever performed fellatio on you?  Have you ever performed cunnilingus on her?  Then you and she are both sodomites.  And if you haven't, that would explain your uptight, anal-retentive attitude toward other people.  It is hard enough for people in this world to find someone to love who will also love them back.  My wife and I were in the wedding party at my cousin's wedding to his boyfriend and it was one of the happiest weddings I have ever been to.  You and your Bronze age beliefs would condemn them from finding love.  I hope that the Hell you believe in and would send so many of your fellow human beings to does exist because if it does you will find yourself and your fellow bigots roasting in it for eternity.

Daryl, 

You don’t seem to get it.  Except for the crime of murder, all the O.T. examples of capital crimes were only for Israel - not all time, all cultures.  God did NOT give those laws to anyone else.  Period.  Read the Bible.

The laws against eating shellfish were for the same reason as the laws for stoning blasphemers, etc - they were for Israel and for the purification of Israel.  

The moral law is given to the entire world, written, as Paul says, on our hearts.  And when God discussed sexual crimes in the O.T., He discussed them as being crimes for everyone, not just Israel.  The difference is that only Israel had laws to punish such crimes.

This does not make God’s view change - there is no change because only Israel was given the laws for execution under their theocracy.  No other society has had a theocracy.  And, no, the capital punishment was not for “repeat instances” - it was for a single instance.

Christians were never given such laws.  Period.

Thanks David, what is thought of the man RJ Rushdoony and his book 'Institutes of Biblical Law'?

The problem with Rushdoony and Bahnsen is that they teach reconstructionism, and replacement theology - the claim that the Church replaced Israel.  False teaching.

I don't think anyone teaches "replacement theology".  Orthodox Christians do teach that there is only one People of God and that no man is saved save through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Men who deny that, like John Hagee, are anathema.

Henry,

I have not read Rushdoony' Institutes. To be honest, I just do not have the interest to read a three volume book on theonomy. I believe theonomy is important in terms of directing Christians to see the transforming work of Christ in the area of civic life, so that He can have the preeminence in all things, including socio-politics. However, several years ago when the subject was more of a "hot topic", I read the books I previously mentioned, made my peace with the issue, and have sense moved on. I do find that my previous readings are helpful now that my two oldest children are growing closer to high school age, and are beginning to ask questions about what they read in the Old Testament, and how they should look at a Christian's alternative for the current hot button issues (gay marriage, taxes, race relations, foreign policy, etc). Of course, that does not mean to suggest that the New Testament is somehow silent on these issues, or less important.

I am also aware that there are some things that Rushdoony taught which I would not agree with, such as his insistence that the dietary restriction laws are in force today.

Rushdoony has some good things to say on the philosophy of education, his review of Western history, and his expose on the philosophy that promulgated the institution of public education.

Theonomy makes little sense outside of a covenant theology framework, since they both presume continuity except where God has introduced changes. I believe this is why dispensationalists and fundamentalists have difficulty with the topic. There is nothing to prevent a non-Reformed person from having a theonomic ethic, but while there are a few of those folks out there, they are the exception.

Glenn, have a good Sunday. Peace be upon you and the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16). I will leave it to you to decide whom the latter might be.

David Gray, I beg to differ.  Many, many teach replacement theology, including Calvinists, Lutherans, Catholics, and many non-denominational churches with the same ideology.  They claim all the promises to Israel are now for the Church and that Israel no longer has a part in God's plan.  And people like Rushdoony and Bahnsen believe all the Mosaic laws concerning civil and ceremonial aspects are also for the Christian. These people don't read their Bible too carefully!

David Stewart, there is a spiritual Israel, which includes Christians, and a national Israel.  The two are separate entities, with the Nation of Israel, the physical Jews, still being used by God and still having promises of God. 

Glenn,

Pretty much invariably people who use the phrase "replacement theology" are people who don't understand what Calvinists and Lutherans teach.  And it is really only used by people who enthusiastically embrace the very serious error of premillenial dispensationalism, a form of liberalism arising in the 19th century with no real precedent in the church.

David, 

Well, I spent many years as a Lutheran, am very familiar with the false teaching of Augustinianism (Calvinism), and don't believe in dispensationalism, although I do believe in the very biblical premillenialism because even the early ante-Nicene fathers believed it.  Replacement theology is EXACTLY what Romanists and those who still hold to Augustianism teach.

Understanding the unity of the People of God is indeed the multi-millenial understanding of the church in all its non-premillenial dispensational manifestations, which is everyone prior to the 19th century.  The premillenialism which can be found in a couple of the fathers has almost nothing to do with the premillenialism which is found in America today, to the credit of the fathers.

I am curious how the author thinks a government that willfully violates the First Anendment regarding freedom of association and religious freedom would suddenly be stopped by the First Amendment's protection of free speech.

the answer is this: Absolutely no compromise. Ever.

About theonomy, I've been close to some theonomists since 1979, when I first came across them and their disciples.

Some of their works are helpful in coming to an understanding of the nature and purposes of OT law (judicial and economic, for instance), but God did in fact declare all foods clean. Which is to say, there's quite a bit more discontinuity between the Old and New Covenants than theonomists teach (and quite a bit less than dispensationalists teach).

Furthermore, the fractiousness among theonomists, both leaders and their followers, has struck me as very bad fruit. So I recommend that anyone reading them do so with quite a bit of reserve. They tend to be a take-no-prisoners bunch, especially among themselves.

We should give ourselves to being taught by men whom God gives real fruit to—teachers who are able to show long-term building up of a particular body in faith and holiness.

This is why we should be diffident in our feeding from the pens of intellectuals who write papers and books instead of preaching sermons, whether those intellectuals are from the East Coast Westminster or the Escondido Westminster or the Reformed by Disneyworld, or the Reformed down with "The Help" in Jackson or the bloogers paid by CT or Crossway or "Senior Ministers" who are entirely disconnected from their flock and spend thirty hours a week writing their Sunday morning sermon which always becomes a chapter of a book.

This was not Calvin's way. Everything he did flowed from his pastoral care, and therefore, everything he did is HELPFUL!

Love,

Thank you very much. I have taken the time to bookmark this page as well as print it out to guarantee that these schemes to defraud patrons are memorialized for future lawsuits against those who choose the path you have denoted. Thanks to your writings, these victims of your dastardly plans will not only be compensated for the money they invest in your services, but for the entirety of the wedding you intend to ruin. In fact, in some States they will receive treble damages for your fraud and behavior.

"Bryan" at 7:33 PM writes of "stoning a homosexual." It's telling that this was the phrase Bryan used, rather than "executing homosexuals." 

There are three issues, here: one is capital punishment, one is the method of capital punishment, and one is the crimes that should be subject to capital punishment.

In our day, capital punishment itself is despised, so to bring it into a discussion of whether or not religious freedom ought to protect the consciences of Christians—and if so, how—is not conducive to that discussion continuing or being productive. "You want to express your own religious faith in public? You want to communicate your faith-based disapproval of sexual perversion outside and out loud? SHUT UP, YOU MONSTER! SHUT UP I TELL YOU!!"

Notice that these Intolerant Ones never acknowledged that the civil magistrates they are defending here already rip little babies to shreds and throw them into our sewers at the rate of 1,350,000 per year.

It's an indication of how long ago we lost any civilization worthy of the name and any rule of law that people who are so opposed to capital punishment that they win arguments simply by bringing it up live off the bloodshed of 1,350,000 babies each year and feel no need to defend their inconsistency.

No Christian should ever discuss the capital punlishment of sodomites with anyone who will not first weep and mourn and tremble publicly over their heartless cruelty as a nation of carrying out the capital punishment of 1,350,000 unborn babies each year—well over 50,000,000 thus far.

That the discussion of the moral and natural perversion at the heart of same-sex intimacy immediately leads to the accusation that orthodox Christians are in favor of "stoning homosexuals" is an indication of the growing boldness of the wicked of our time in publicly expressing their own hatred of God and His people. It's not an argument. It's a smear, only; and one which brings them and their bloodthirsty partners in slaughter to the bench of God very, very soon.

Love,

>>the wedding you intend to ruin.

But my dear Mr. Intolerant, why would a Christian telling a homosexual bride of God's denouncing what he's doing as an "abomination" ruin the man's "wedding?" Is it that his "wedding" is so tied to deception, both of self and others, that any truth would bring in a note of sadness? Is it really true that any part of God's truth in the wedding ruins that wedding?

I thought the bride and groom were purchasing pics, not the absence of the tiniest bit of truth and the binding of everyman's conscience and the gagging of the First Amendment?

Are we to conclude that you and yours now have replaced freedom of religion and religious expression with freedom of perverts and liars from every having to listen to truth? Is that what you are intent on reducing the First Amendment to?

Good sir, your hatred of God and man is clear, and your intention to use the law of man to persecute those who love God and His Law is wickedness which One Day soon will come under God's judgment. Repent before it's too late.

This is what God says about men like you who gnash your teeth at the righteous:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7, 8)

And:

For we know Him who said, “vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again, “the Lord will judge His people."

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30, 31)

Repent, dear soul. God is merciful to sinners like you and me.

Love,

I have a feeling that if some [deleted] I hired to photograph, cater, or whatever, at my wedding started preaching or handing out anti-whatever my wedding is about literature, then there'd be legal action taken and I'd probably have a lot of witnesses on my side.....

You are a good example of how religion poisons our society. You are just a parasite making a living by preaching hate. Your book is bronze age mythology.

"Reason",

Do you see how self-refuting your argument is? First, homosexuality is pretty darn old, just like the Bible - its been around for a long time. Does that make it wrong? Or outdated? Or stupid? But aren't these the arguments you use against the Bible? As if just because something has been around for a while, its passe. Yet, aren't you forgetting something? If the Bible is what it claims to be, the Word of God, then it maintains its relevance because of the wisdom of God as our Creator. Besides, sometimes things that are older, but still around, have survived because they have proven their worth, and adaptability.

Second, you and several others have come on to this site, and apart from bare bones common sense, you are shocked, just shocked, that an evangelical Reformed site would say negative things about people who engage in homosexuality. You and others then proceed with ad hominem arguments and fallacious reasoning ("old" things are wrong). Some of your fellow critics even go so far as to wish the author of the blog and his readers to go to hell.

So if I have this straight, anyone who disagrees with you is a parasite, they're neanderthals, and according to others who posted above, they should burn in hell. But also, its religion that breeds hatred, except for the hatred you express, right? Do you see how self-refuting it is to describe every negative word said about something as hatred? Are you a hypocrite, or just unaware of this very obvious conundrum?

You better be careful. You seem to becoming more like the thing you caricature.

You know what guys? A lot of heterosexuals that get married probably had sex before marriage. And usually alcohol is served at weddings and a few people overindulge. And people are often wasteful with their spending to put on one of these weddings. But apparently Christian photographers see no problem with this and are more than happy to provide their services in those cases. But when it so happens that the people getting married have the wrong set of genitals, that's a whole different matter. Perhaps we should start using the strategy suggested in this article in these cases too. That would be a wonderful way to build community with people. 

"You seem to becoming more like the thing you caricature."

take it from a pro. 

#1 the bible isn't natural ~ homosexuality is.

#2 there isn't any logic to be found on a web page dedicated to personal glory in the name of any religion.

#3 he never said "anyone who disagrees with you...should burn in hell." you put those words in his mouth, but i'd imagine you & your ilk speak them often enough.

the day states start individually banning christian marriage rituals, you can complain. until then, take your christian privilege & unpack it.

I thought that was a joke...it wasn't??

The only comment I think I ought to respond to is this one: " Submitted by Matt Cantrell on October 7, 2013 - 4:35pm

>>I have a feeling that if some [deleted] I hired to photograph, cater, or whatever, at my wedding started preaching or handing out anti-whatever my wedding is about literature, then there'd be legal action taken and I'd probably have a lot of witnesses on my side....."

1st, witnesses are no problem, since the person you hired would not deny what he had done.

2nd, he has a First Amendment right to say and distribute whatever he wishes. You did have the option to make your ceremony private and not invite him, but you chose to invite him, knowing what he would say and do. Don't waste your money on a lawsuit.

>>it wasn't??

No, dear woman; it wasn't.

Love,

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