Archives For gay marriage

This is a follow-up to a post I wrote yesterday about the city of East Lansing, MI banning a Charlotte, MI farmer from their farmer’s market because the farmer won’t allow gay marriages to be held at his farm.  (The Charlotte farmer is suing the city of East Lansing)

Via a helpful Facebook conversation about my article, I found the crux of the debate revolves around if providing a marriage is a business service or not.  The “pro East Lansing” side feels the Charlotte farmer is denying gay couples a business service in the public business sphere by not allowing them to wed on his property so he is guilty of discrimination.

1. If the farmer was unwilling to sell vegetables to gay couples, then he would be guilty of discrimination

If the farmer was unwilling to sell vegetables to gay couples, he would then be guilty of discrimination and the penalties therein.  As a farmer, his business in the public sector is farming.  In this case with the farmer’s market, it is selling vegetables.  He is not denying gay couples the right to buy his vegetables, nor is he denying Muslims, Hindus, or people having sex outside of marriage the opportunity to buy his vegetables either–all groups of people that a Christian would theoretically not allow to marry on their property because they don’t align with a Christian / biblical sacred wedding ceremony.

2. A wedding is a sacred worship service, not a public business service

I would never expect a Catholic Church, Jewish Synagogue, or Hindu Temple to allow me and my wife to marry in their building, or on their members’ private property.  The reason for this is because all of these groups see a wedding as a sacred worship service, something that is uniquely derived from their faith and religious tradition, not as the legal or business transaction which many in secular society see it as today.  I have officiated many weddings, but no one would call me a bigot if I was unwilling to officiate a Hindu wedding.  This would be the same as asking me to worship Hindu gods in my Sunday morning church service.  Hindus have the full American right to worship their gods, but the day the government comes in like the Gestapo and tells me that I too must worship those gods in my church, or in any part of my life, is the day American freedom dies at the door.

It’s not just about “gods” in the traditional religious sense, it’s that these wedding ceremonies are worship services for each of these religious groups.  The Catholic Church has every right to not allow me a Catholic wedding because I’m not Catholic!  I don’t ascribe to their beliefs about theology, God, the Church, and so on, and a wedding under their authority means we have both agreed this is the direction I and my spouse are living and pursuing.  It doesn’t mean we hate each other, far from it, but to say they must officiate my wedding is illogical and very un-American.  All of the same holds true for gay weddings, which I treat the same as I do two heterosexual people having sex outside of marriage.  The fact that two people have not agreed to follow the Bible’s design for sex does not mean that I am a bigot toward them, but it does mean I’m not going to hold the Bible over their marriage, which is the only thing I can do as a Bible-believing pastor when I officiate a wedding.  Like Hindu gods, the way we live out sexuality is a god as well.  I can’t “bless” a wedding like I carry magic pixy dust around in my pocket and I choose who to throw it on, I can only pray over (and “bless” in that sense) a wedding that is in line with the God I’m praying to (in line with God’s design for sex and marriage laid out in the Bible).  It would be a lie for me, and for the people getting married, for me to try to be so inconsistent before them and before God.  It would be as strange as singing Sunday morning worship songs to Krishna in my church.

In this East Lansing farmer’s market example, it’s like East Lansing heard that the Hindus wouldn’t let me do my wedding on their property because I’m a Christian and now have banned the Hindu farmer from their market because of it. That would be indefensible discrimination against that Hindu farmer, which I feel they are doing to this farmer from Charlotte.  They are discriminating against anyone who doesn’t hold to East Lansing’s religious views of marriage.

 

 

East Lansing, MI is a very progressive city, priding themselves on inclusivity of all viewpoints and all types of people.  The cardinal sin in a progressive culture like East Lansing is to say that your view is the only correct view, and that others are wrong.  And it’s even worse to then take action against groups that you disagree with.

Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, MI has been banned from the East Lansing Farmer’s Market because they won’t perform gay weddings in their backyard in Charlotte.

The worst form of bigotry certainly comes when people are killing others because of their views or identity.  ISIS comes to mind, as do the Crusades, as does slavery of African-Americans and genocide of Native Americans.  Second to taking another’s life is taking their economic opportunity.  Slavery and subsequent Jim Crow laws are the glaring example here–centuries long economic deprivation of a people group that has profoundly shaped our country in the worst way.

So here is the city of East Lansing, discriminating against a Charlotte farmer who believes that marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman.  East Lansing is saying, “If you don’t agree with our views, you are wrong, and we will block you from economic opportunity because of it.” Continue Reading…

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

10 Blog Posts about Homosexuality & the Bible

I’ve posted a lot about homosexuality and the Bible over the years.  Here are the top 10:

Gay Christian? A sermon by Noah Filipiak and Jim Decke

 

Same Sex Attraction / Orientation is Not a Sin

 

3 Ways Christians View Homosexuality in the Bible

 

A Christian’s Guide to Gay Marriage

 

How Gay Celibate Bible-Believing Christians are breaking the mold of the LGBT vs. Christian debate

 

Helpful Words from a Gay Christian on Homosexuality and the Bible

 

3 Reasons I Didn’t Want to Be Gay by Jim Decke

 

Why a Gay Celibate Christian Keeps the Label of “Gay”

 

A Solution to the Kim Davis Debacle, and the Many More that Will Follow

 

Research shows 45% of Christian singles feel outcast within the Church, 3% are LGBTQ

Kim Davis is just the beginning folks.

There will be more Kim Davis’s, more protests, more anger, more butting of heads and shouting over top of one another.

Whatever side you’re on, I think all agree the Kim Davis situation is a debacle.  A debacle for different reasons depending on your side, but a debacle nonetheless.

yelling at kim davisI’m not writing this to pick sides or to rally or to protest.  I’ve written a lot about gay marriage in the past, which I encourage you to read up on.  What I want to show here is how there is a solution, and it’s a relatively simple one, to the moral, political, spiritual and ethical divide that the gay marriage debate has created in our country.  A debate that has gotten a lot of people really mad, on both sides of the fence.  A debate that has created an even deeper divide between the Church and those we are trying to reach.

  • The institution of marriage was desecrated long before gay marriage became legal.  I’m not saying this makes gay marriage a moot point, but I seldom here this being talked about transparently.  And when it’s not talked about transparently, only part of the picture is given, which isn’t helpful in coming up with solutions.  Premarital sex and divorce stomped all over the Bible’s design for marriage long before gay marriage did.  I don’t just mean that some rogue individuals who were having premarital sex or getting divorced, but that both have become cultural norms within society, with little voice or resistance from the Church.  In fact, so little resistance has been given by the Church that they have become norms in the Church as well.
  • When’s the last time you saw a protest of Christians against divorce?
  • Or against premarital sex?
  • We need to be honest about the reason for all of this.  (Generally speaking…) We have heterosexuals in our church pews who are actively engaged in premarital sexual lifestyles.  We also have those who’ve been divorced sitting in our church pews.  We don’t have homosexuals sitting in our church pews.  The natural result of this is that the Church is able to “make a stand” against homosexual sin, preaching to the choir and only getting affirmation in response, while not making a stand for the sins being committed by those in our own congregations.  If we made this stand, those people might stop giving or they might get upset or they might leave our churches.

Continue Reading…

What does the Bible say about same sex attraction?

Same Sex Attraction / Orientation is Not a Sin

Here’s a few things the Bible says about homosexuality.  Keep in mind, it is very important that we don’t add to the Bible or subtract from the Bible.

  1. The Bible says that homosexual action is a sin.
  2. The Bible does not say that homosexual attraction (or orientation) is a sin.
  3. Lust and attraction are two very different things.  Lust is a sin, attraction is not.

If you have Scriptural evidence that says otherwise, I humbly and honestly invite you to share it with me.

I have lots of conversations with my Bible-believing brethren about homosexuality since it’s something that I blog about relatively frequently (most recently “A Christian’s Guide to Gay Marriage”).  The biggest hurdle / misunderstanding that I’ve found heterosexual Bible-believing Christians have about what I espouse is they think that same sex attraction / orientation is the same thing as lust.  They hear me say “The Bible says the action is wrong” and they fill in the rest as “so everything outside of actual sex is okay.”  What needs to be understood by all (straight and gay alike) is that lust is an action.  By “action” I mean a conscious choice.  Let’s break this down in terms that straight Christians like myself can better relate to. Continue Reading…