Two stories I came across recently prompted me to this writing. The first is the story of a baker. You may have heard about him. His name is Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado for forty years. In 2012, he was approached by a homosexual couple who wanted him to bake their wedding cake. By all accounts, he politely refused and offered to sell them any other baked item. You see, Phillips is committed to God and believes, rightly, that homosexuality remains sinful in God’s sight.
The men filed grievances against him with the with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in a state where homosexual marriage is not even recognized. The Commission stated that Phillips would have to change his store policies, make sure his staff receives sensitivity training, and report to the commission for two years to prove that his business has not discriminated against anyone. Phillips’ has said he will not bow down to such tactics. “My God is bigger than any bullies they’ve got,” he said. “I don’t worry about it. I honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be true to what He wants me to do.” He has also made it known that he will close the business before he compromises his views. Short of that, he will just not sell wedding cakes anymore. His business is booming.
My wife told me that the denominational preacher of a friend of hers has said something similar regarding performing weddings. If he is forced to perform homosexual weddings, he will just not do any weddings.
The second story is about a Baptist church in La Mirada, California. Upon the revelation that his son is homosexual, the preacher, Danny Cortez, stated that he no longer believed homosexuality is a sin. Alright, it is California; and he is allowing his personal situation to alter his views as so many do. The board debated about removing him, but decided he was right. “So now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship. We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgment. We will work towards graceful dialogue in the midst of theological differences. We see that this is possible in the same way that our church holds different positions on the issue of divorce and remarriage,” Cortez commented. Interesting to me that in the face of complete compromise with the world he and the church are saying that they still “choose to remain the body of Christ”. I suppose if I became a serial killer I could say I choose to remain in the body of Christ. Sadly, it would not mean that I was, nor does it mean they are. Ultimately, he is condemning his own son instead of helping him to see the truth. As a society, we see the danger to us from cigarettes as greater than the danger of sin. Many have left the congregation.
There they are; two reactions to a doctrinal issue. Reminding us of Peter in Acts 4:19-20, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,” and in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men”; Phillips’ response was very scriptural. May it be that we have such courage when the arm of persecution reaches us.
Quotes in the above are taken from churchleaders.com.