The Double Standard of the Gay Agenda

If you watch the news, you have certainly heard about businesses that are being forced by legal opinions to provide services to the gay community even though the business owners believe this is a violation of their religious liberty and their right to free speech. The news has covered the stories of the bakers in Colorado and Oregon who are being forced to bake wedding cakes for gay couples. Then recently we learned about the wedding chapel in Idaho that is being forced to perform same-sex marriages. All of these business owners believe what the Bible teaches…that marriage is between one man and one woman. Yet, the courts and government agencies are telling these folks they must violate their conscience when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage.

Recently, another story has made the news. This involves Judge Tonya Parker from Dallas County, Texas. Judge Parker is refusing to marry heterosexual couples. That’s right…Christian bakers are being forced to bake cakes for same sex weddings, Christian wedding chapels are being forced to marry same-sex couples but nobody bats an eye when this judge refuses to marry heterosexual couples.

Here’s why Judge Parker says she is refusing to perform heterosexual marriages. She said this:

I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state. So I usually will offer them something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.’ And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it.

Sounds to me like a kid who gets mad and takes her ball and goes home pouting saying, If Texas doesn’t allow same-sex marriage than I won’t marry you heterosexuals.

It is also reported that Parker said she passes heterosexual marriage ceremonies on to other judges so they can do the marriages.

Now let’s think about this for a minute. If this is truly the case then we should permit the bakers and wedding chapel owners to simply refer same-sex couples to others who will provide the service, right? Well…unfortunately, no.

What you are seeing is the double standard Christians face today. The judge refuses to marry heterosexual couples but the business owners get fined or lose their business for taking the same position. We have a gay culture in America that screams for tolerance but quickly becomes intolerant with those that disagree with their position. For these folks tolerance is a one-way street.

We must not forget that religious liberty is a right for all of us…Christians too. This is abundantly clear by simply reading the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. So Judge Parker, I could agree with you but only if it works both ways. Don’t tell me how to apply my Christian beliefs to my business and I won’t tell you what marriages to perform.

Disobey God? Sure…It’s The Price of Citizenship.

The New Mexico Supreme Court recently handed down a very frightening ruling concerning our religious liberty.  In 2006, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, owners of Elane Photography, were asked by Vanessa Willock to photograph her same-sex commitment ceremony.  The owners of the photography studio refused citing that this ceremony was in conflict with their Christian beliefs.  A complaint was filed and Elane’s Photography found themselves in the court system, ending with a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court.

In its decision, the court was very clear on the definition of the free exercise of religion.  In fact, the court gave the following definition in its findings: “Free exercise of religion is defined as an act or a refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief.”  I don’t know what could possibly fit into this definition any better than the claim of the photographers that they would not photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because it was against their Christian beliefs.

Yet, in the court’s written opinion, Justice Richard Bosson said this court ruling “…is little comfort to the Huguenins, who now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.”  The danger here is that the courts are now telling all of us that we must compartmentalize our religious beliefs.  What we believe on a Sunday we cannot act upon on Monday or we will be in violation of the law.

The photographers claimed that by taking photographs of the same-sex ceremony, those who viewed the pictures would be led to believe that the photographers agreed with the actions depicted in the pictures. Justice Bosson and the court disagreed with this claim saying, “Reasonable observers are unlikely to interpret Elane Photography’s photographs as an endorsement of the photographed events.”  Really?  I would think most reasonable observers equate photographs as endorsements.  If I enter a restaurant and see pictures on the wall of good food, I would assume the restaurant values good food.  If I saw pictures on the wall of unsanitary conditions, I would leave.  Pictures used by a business certainly are endorsements and advertisements for the business.

Toward the end of the opinion, Justice Bosson said this, “If honoring same-sex marriage would so conflict with their fundamental religious tenets…how then, they ask, can the State of New Mexico compel them to “disobey God” in this case? How indeed?”

The court went on to answer this fundamental question.  Here is a part of the opinion from the court:

“There is a lesson here. In a constitutional form of government, personal, religious, and moral beliefs, when acted upon to the detriment of someone else’s rights, have constitutional limits. The Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different…In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.

So…the courts in New Mexico have said it.  How can the State compel us to disobey God?  It’s the price of citizenship.

Please bring us some leaders with some common sense.

Anything Goes!

This week the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples legally married in a state deserve the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.  This ruling struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act known as DOMA.  Several months ago Attorney General Eric Holder also said that the federal government would no longer defend DOMA.

As various worldviews push against the Biblically defined traditional marriage, we have opened a box of alternative life styles that are clearly not scriptural.  I have often reminded folks to follow non-Christian worldviews to their obvious conclusions and this is a perfect example.

If we no longer rely on Biblical teachings to define marriage, then who decides the definition of marriage?  The courts?  The government? Popular opinion? I suppose anything goes and people can define marriage however they would choose.  With no standard…no Truth…who is to say that bestiality or pedophilia should be outlawed? What about polygamy?

In fact, within twelve hours of the most recent Supreme Court ruling, Joe Darger, a Utah-based polygamist with three wives said this, We’re very happy with it (the decision of the Supreme Court). I think the court has taken a step in correcting some inequality, and that’s certainly something that’s going to trickle down and impact us.

Without following the absolute Truths provided in scripture, laws against these types of behaviors only remain as law until there is a strong enough cultural change to remove them.  This is exactly what has happened with the homosexual agenda.

Currently thirty-seven states prohibit same-sex marriage.  Since undoubtedly you will see this marriage definition argument move to the state level, I encourage you to call or write your senators and congressmen and tell them you support the Biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

We are reminded in Hebrews that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Even if our culture changes, God’s Truth always remains as a foundation for Godly living.

Come On…Is That Really A Sin???

We are living in a time when so many secular worldviews are trying to grab our attention.  Most of these worldviews ask Christians to simply be tolerant of these differing views.  It’s the same postmodern thinking that has existed for years.  If my action doesn’t harm you then just leave me alone.  However, as soon as Christians begin to talk about their beliefs, they are labeled as bigots, fundamentalists, etc.  In other words, the very people who ask for tolerance won’t tolerate a Christian discussing their worldview.

One of the worldviews that has been pressing hard in our culture and asking for tolerance is that of homosexuality.  I am talking about this topic today not to condemn those involved in this sin but to talk with you a bit about why homosexuality is a sin.  I know several folks, whom I care about very deeply, who are practicing homosexuals but also claim to be followers of Christ.  According to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin just like a variety of other sins. And just like any other sin, homosexuality must be rejected to be a true follower of Christ.  The Bible is clear that to follow Christ we must repent, that is turn our back, on sin. Can practicing homosexuals be true followers of Christ?  Nobody involved in any unrepentant sin can be a true follower of Christ.

There is a law in hermeneutics (which is the study of the interpretation of scripture) that is known as The Law of First Mention.  This law says that if you want to really find out what a particular scripture is talking about go to where it is first discussed in the Bible and examine the scripture as it was first discussed.

As we think about this law and the definition of marriage let’s look at Genesis 2:18. Then the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him. Then in verse 22 we read, Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.  Right there is the Biblical definition of marriage…one man and one woman…The Law of First Mention.

The Old Testament clearly warns against the practice of homosexuality.  In

Leviticus 18:22 we read, Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. But the Bible doesn’t stop there.  Even in the New Testament we are again warned in Timothy and in 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 that reads, Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

So is homosexuality a sin?  Yes.  Is same sex marriage a redefinition of God’s plan for marriage?  Yes.  However, let me repeat the end of that passage from 1 Corinthians.  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  Thank God for His forgiveness, restitution, and the chance to be made right and cleansed and presented with a new life through the power of an amazing God.