Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anti-Christian Legislation

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I am writing this in response to Indiana’s so-called Religious Freedom Bill, and the similar legislation that is being considered in other states. These bills say that business owners can refuse service to anyone, based on the owner’s “deeply held religious beliefs.” The bill does not specify who this ‘anyone’ is, or what these “deeply held beliefs” are, but we all know it’s about gays and lesbians. And I want to examine what you are saying as a Christian when you want to deny service to someone – anyone – based on who that someone is.

As a Christian, you say that homosexuality is a sin. Okay, let’s go with that. It’s a sin. Therefore, this bill says that you, as a Christian, ought to be able to deny service to a homosexual – because that person is a sinner. Okay, fine. Do you also refuse service to divorced people? Do you refuse service to unmarried couples living together? Do you refuse service to Hindus or Muslims or anyone who does not worship Yahweh and who does not recognize Christ as the Messiah? What about atheists? Liars? All of these people are deemed sinners by the New Testament. (I won’t go into Old Testament sins, or else we’d be talking about people with tattoos, those who eat pork, etc.) In fact, according to the New Testament, everyone is a sinner. (Romans 3:23) Seems like you’re going to be out of business if you deny service to people based on their sinfulness – there’s no one on earth who is without sin!

So, it can’t just be about general sinfulness then. If you are going to ignore the other sins in people’s lives, why do you not ignore the “sin” of homosexuality? What makes that “sin” so special? Is it their “unrepentant lifestyle” – the fact that they don’t think they’re sinning? Well, most unmarried couples cohabitating don’t think they’re sinning either. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and people of other religions don’t think they’re sinners, and are certainly “unrepentant.” And atheists – well, they definitely don’t think they’re sinners. Are you going to deny service to all these people because of their “unrepentant lifestyle”? Obviously not.

Okay, so you’re not really denying service based on people’s sinfulness, or their lack of repentance and “sinful lifestyle,” because you’d have no one left to serve. So what is it? What exactly is this “deeply held religious belief” that lets you deny service to certain people? Is it just the fact that you don’t like homosexuals? Is that your “deeply held religious belief” – you don’t like a certain type of people? Where is that in the Bible? Where does it say that you can be rude to people because you don’t like them? That’s not a “deeply held religious belief” because there is no Biblical basis for “not liking someone.”  Either you refuse service to everyone because they’re sinners, or you refuse service to certain people just because of who they are. You can’t have it both ways.

And, as a Christian, are you not called to love sinners? Are not the lost the very people for whom Christ came and died? The very people with whom Christ fellowshipped? And you want to cut yourself off from them? These are the very people we should be reaching out to! You say that they are “God-haters” and the enemy of the church? Are we not called to love our enemies? How is denying service to them loving them? Oh, yes, by denying them service you’re telling them they are sinners, and that they need to repent – that is the “love” you are showing them. And how is that working, as far as getting them to repent? Really – I’m serious, here. How is that working? Are homosexuals coming to the Lord in droves, because they’re being denied service by Christians?

So, these bills come down to one thing: you don’t like homosexuals. I’ve got news for you – God does! “For God so loved the world…” is a verse that Christians quote endlessly. If God loves homosexuals enough that He sent his only son to die for their sins, who are you to turn your back on them? Yes, they are sinners – whether or not you believe homosexuality is a sin. We are ALL sinners. How will they – or anyone – know the love of Christ if we refuse to come in contact with them, if we are rude to them and refuse them service? Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. Refusing service to anyone, because of so-called “deeply held religious beliefs,” is NOT loving your neighbor.

No, these “Religious Freedom” bills are simply legislated bigotry. There is no Biblical justification for what these bills allow. These bills are NOT Christian. Go, look in your Bible – and your heart – and don’t support this kind of anti-Christian legislation.