Let me be right up front on my bio: I am a pastor of a Christian church that holds tenaciously to the word of God. That being stated firmly, I believe some Christians are missing a great opportunity to show the true love of Jesus as well as His admonition to repent of sin.
I spent 7 years in Indiana (Ft. Wayne) and returned to my adopted state of Tennessee in 2005. The enormous amount of media coverage on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is so much hype that just listening to the Gaymageddon rhetoric is enough to make heterosexual men duct tape their underwear! Now the governor—Mike Pence (former fellow talk radio host)—is straining to define and refine what is essentially a restatement of our First Amendment Rights.
But could Christians be missing some opportunities? I don’t believe in gay marriage—but then I don’t believe in Islam or the “Allah” of it. If I am a baker and refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding, why not refuse the same for a Muslim? Or a Hindu? Or Scientologists who might want a cake with ‘clear’ icing?
Yes businesses should have the right to deny service if it is an affront to their religious convictions. I get it. But are we missing a great opportunity to proselytize? Imagine a gay couple walks into my bakery. They look at my huge assortment of wedding cakes and pick out a $1500.00 cake. They then ask for the icing to be rainbow colored and tell me it’s for their wedding.
Since they walked into my store I have not just a right, but a duty to give them a gospel message of repentance and turning to Jesus as Lord and Savior. I explain why their lifestyle is an abomination. I ask if I can pray for or with them that they would turn from their sin.
I’ve stated my objections and given them the good news of the gospel. At that point if they still want the cake I can refuse it on the religious grounds that I stated to them—or I can make the cake and a tidy profit.
This is the dilemma. If I truly object but don’t share the love of Christ, I miss a wonderful opportunity. If I go ahead and make the cake, I have spoken the truth to them in love and now I let God deal with them.
At this point I have no problem in completing the order. How is that any different than when on any given Sunday I give a sermon that calls for repentance—knowing that there are gay couples in the church? I don’t refuse to preach to them, I don’t ask them to leave—but I also wouldn’t allow them to become members if they were not saved from their sins. By the same token I wouldn’t refuse their offering when the plate is passed.
All I am saying is that we are missing a wonderful opportunity to use each similar situation as an opportunity to preach Christ! God is sovereign, so He is aware of whomever He sends into my bakery or church or wedding dress shop. If I am truly a Christian in my heart and in my conscience and filled with the Holy Spirit—I look at these situations as ground that needs to be plowed.