Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill Debacle
I think often about those with whom Jesus sat and ate. They were NOT the religious of the day-the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. They were those who the religious scoffed at, hated, and disparaged. He corrected them with mercy, grace, and love, and led them into truth. And he treated the religious with a righteous indignation and contempt saying they were going to hell and taking their followers with them.
Aren't we to be like our Savior? Aren't we to love those who others consider "unlovely," offer lovingkindness to those who others scoff at, and lead them into truth with mercy, grace, and love? That being said, I must confess I am conflicted with this whole thing. Firstly, there's far too much government in everything. That which is meant to protect citizens has become an ever present bane, IMO. Our government which was established by the people, for the people, is becoming tyrannical and instead of a Republic, we are becoming a Democracy.
But I digress. The issue I'm conflicted about is this. If I own a bakery and believe in God's definition of marriage, must I be forced by law to make a cake for a gay marriage or be sued and lose my business? If we say YES, then my beliefs are compromised...by law, and then where is my freedom? If we say NO, then where do we draw the line? If I own a bed and breakfast, must I, by law, take in gay couples? Unmarried couples? The same YES and NO scenario applies. If I own a gym, a restaurant, or any other establishment, can I, as a sincere Christian, turn away anyone? And then how do I know these folks are good friends or a gay couple?
My dear friends own a sign shop. They are Christians who stand for justice and righteousness. They are some of the most uncompromised people I’ve ever met. They have a sign in their shop saying they have a right to refuse anyone. But do they really have that right by law and by conscience? If someone comes in wanting to have signs made for a Satanic church, what should they do?
I'm not asking these questions to debate, to condemn, or to state emphatically which is right and which is wrong. I’m just asking because they can be hard questions and I’m trying to understand. And I want us to think about this together. Should Arizona have the right to say that any business can refuse any service to a gay person for religious reasons? Not to be cliche, but is this what Jesus would do if he were walking on the planet? And are we not his representatives?
Remember the Colorado family that lost their bakery business because they refused to make a cake for a gay couple? Is that justice or injustice? I have lots of questions like this, and I don't know if there are any clear answers. However, I do know this. God is love. He is truth. He is justice. And no law can regulate that. We must love individuals, no matter who they are. We must be able to show them Christ by the love shed abroad in our hearts. If we claim to be Christians and do not do so, we are no better than that church in Westboro that declares our God as a god of hate. And we know better than that. Don't we?