Indiana Religious Freedom View: A Different View
My view is very unpopular among other Christians. So I shall do my best to explain myself:
I’ve been following the Indiana law ‘freak-out’ and I have a different take but most people aren’t on board with it. It works something like this – I believe Christians should serve LGBT and other customers they may not agree with. I believe this is the greatest form of evangelism we can do.
To not serve them, robs us of the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a practical way, establish a relationship, and truly be the Gospel in human form. There were two examples of national prominence where the Gospel could have been presented.
This applies to the facility who refused to allow a gay wedding to take place, and the bakery who refused service to bake a cake. Jesus served the woman at the well, where as today we may not. If we don’t learn how to serve those who are different than us, we haven’t learned a thing from the many many examples Jesus set. Put simply, evangelism can be done by all of us in our places of business.
Unfortunately part of this argument is lost because many Christians think evangelism is something only vocational ministers do. In the end, no one said baking a cake was being ‘of the world’, nor renting a facility. And to my knowledge no one in the bible lost their salvation due to serving a sinner. On the other hand Jesus brought salvation by serving a sinner. Why can’t we? But the left also twisted the presentation of the law.
While I am not on board with the left’s argument that the law is a license to discriminate, Jesus didn’t turn people away. I also believe the nuance is this: a religious house is protected, ultimately they CAN turn people away based on beliefs, like gay weddings. The argument as I understand it is both the rental facility and the bakery were open to the public. I believe strongly that if you are open to the public you are making a commitment to serve everyone, and if we treat our work as worship, than God honors it, even as we serve the least of these. Capitalism also supports this approach.
With a capitalistic spin, I would argue that in the case of the bakery or the rental venue, the couple will engage in sinful behavior regardless. Why not be the one who can take the money and then use a portion of it to fund missionaries, tithe to the local church, give an offering etc. It’s just one of many spins you take take with it.
From an evangelistic spin, I may not agree with the behavior but why not be a voice in it? With a careful ear to listen, if you are the baker, you may be the one they come to when they have a problem, and then the seeds are already sown…to present the Gospel. The Gospel is good business.
I would also argue that taking their money and doing it with a cheerful attitude can trigger repeat business which funds the kingdom AND establishes a relationship. The Gospel takes time to present sometimes…maybe over a lifetime of visits to the bakery, and on the deathbed the customer accepts Jesus. But if we say ‘I’m not going to serve you’ we not only deny them service, in many cases, we can be denying them…the Gospel.
Nearly $1M was raised for an Indiana Pizzaria that stated they would not cater a gay wedding.
“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no. We are a Christian establishment.”
This is an example of what I think is wrong twofold: first the pizza place says it is a Christian establishment. It is, by definition, not a church, religious institition, or organization. It is a Pizza joint. How is a gay couple even to KNOW? Second, while folks are free to donate…really?
Nearly a million to support a pizza place that wont cater to gays in a country where less than 2% tithe? Discrimination is good business. Much more could be accomplished by serving everyone and sending this money to advance the Gospel, not hinder it.