This was originally posted at Kuyperian.
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” George Orwell, 1984
Jack Phillips is a Christian baker in Lakewood, Colorado. In 2012 Jack Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. This couple then reported him to to Civil Rights Commission. A lawsuit followed. The judge ruled against Jack Phillips. The Civil Rights Commission has now come back with its ruling, which consists of three parts.
First, Jack Phillips must change his store policies immediately and begin make wedding cakes for gay couples.
Second, his entire staff must attend training on Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws and agree to abide by them.
Third, for the next two years he must submit quarterly reports to show that he has not discriminated against customers based on their sexual orientation.
Jack Phillips might appeal the decision, but it is hard to see how anything will change.
Here are few quotes.
The Commission chairwoman, “You can have your beliefs, but you can’t hurt people at the same time.”
The ACLU attorney, “Religious freedom is undoubtedly an important American value, but so is the right to be treated equally under the law free from discrimination…Everyone is free to believe what they want, but businesses like Masterpiece Cakeshop cannot treat some customers differently than others based on who they are as people.”
The judge, ”At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses. This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”
Let the tearing begin.
So how should we live in this country where the rejection of God’s created order is law? How should we live when those in power want to reshape our minds in ways contrary to Scripture? Here are a few thoughts in no particular order.
First, we are past the live and let live stage (if one ever existed). The sodomites are not saying, “We will live this way and you live that way and we can coexist.” They are demanding that we publicly accept their sins. Anyone who believes that we can all just get along will soon wake up to find their position overrun.
Second, they will come for our children. How long before the State demands that home schooled children and children in Christian schools get “sensitivity training?” If they can make a business owner train his employees why not a principle his students and teachers? Why not a parent their children?
Third, Christians in all walks of life should expect more traps. Think of Daniel 6. Pastors should expect homosexuals to visit their congregations to see if they are preaching against homosexuality. Christian business owners should expect homosexuals to come in and see if they get turned away. Christian politicians should expect homosexuals to try and out them in some way. I am not encouraging hand wringing, just open eyes.
Fourth, human sexuality, including male-female roles, marriage, procreation, female ministers, sodomy, abortion, divorce, rape, pedophilia, sexual abuse, transgender, etc. is the battle line right now in America. There are other issues, but few are as pressing as this one. Therefore this is where we must fight. I am not saying this is all we talk about. And I understand that there are many ways we fight against this wave of immorality, such as love our wives, worship the living God, evangelize our neighbor, teach our children, live holy lives, and preach the Word. But let’s not miss the obvious: one way we must fight is by saying clearly and without apology what God’s Word teaches on these subjects.
Fifth, any pastor or public Christian leader who refuses to speak against these things is a coward. Again, I am not saying this is all we to talk about or that we speak with malice . But our stance on sodomy, and issues related to it needs to be clear and public. It is our duty to stand in the line of fire, to preach the Word, and to rally God’s people around the truth. A pastor or Christian public leader whose stance on the above issues is vague or unknown is not being a faithful shepherd.
Sixth, pastors and Christian leaders need to teach their people what godly civil disobedience looks like. There is a lot of freedom in how we resist the State’s growing power. But the time for abstract theological discussion about civil disobedience is passing quickly. We must study God’s Word, meditate on it, pray through it, and study our fathers in the past to learn from them. Then we must teach our people the proper responses to the State. What can we do as Christians? Is there any place to take up arms? (Maybe those debates about the Revolutionary War and the Civil War are not so arcane after all.) Should we march? Should we keep our businesses open even if there is the threat of police action? Should a Christian business owner reject a homosexual job applicant? What should we do if they come for our children? What if they come for our guns? Should Christians accept government money in any situation? What should Christian schools do if they are commanded to teach that homosexuality is fine? How should Christian magistrates function? Should Christian soldiers get out or resist from within? Pastors and churchmen should be leading the charge in answering these and other questions.
Seventh, Christians should expect to lose money, businesses, tax breaks, jobs, etc. for taking a stand against unbiblical sexual practices. The Church and her members need to be prepared for this. We should think long term in our financial dealings so that we can “have something to give him who has need.” (Ephesians 4:28)
Eighth, churches should pray for leaders in corporate worship. I Timothy 2 is clear on this point. Do we pray for our leaders? Do we pray for new, righteous leaders to rise up? Do we pray that God would cast down those who hate his Church? Do we pray for pagan leaders to repent and turn to Christ? Do we pray for that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness (I Timothy 2:2)? Do we pray for our leaders by name?
Ninth, Christians need to be known as a peaceful people. Psalm 120:7 says, “I am for peace, but they are for war.” We should be the ones who long for peace. This does not mean we are quiet about everything. Nor does this mean we compromise the Gospel to be at “peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). But it does mean we are careful about what battles we fight. Young people, of whom I am one, especially need to hear this. We tend to think that every sin is worthy of fire bombing. But we need to make sure we are hitting the big targets and not spending days chasing one lone enemy through the forest.
Tenth, we must not despair. Jesus sits on throne. We should act from faith, not fear. We should not be anxious, worried, fretful, fearful, depressed, or discouraged. Our Lord told us this would happen. Our Lord told us to rejoice when we are persecuted. The Church will march on. We have a job to do. Let us do it with joy in the Holy Spirit, faith in Christ, and dependence upon our Father. In the end, all will be well.