Let's be clear what the Bible says. It does say we are to love all people. But love does not equal acceptance. Nowhere in secular or religious practices does love equal acceptance. Secular bosses fire secular employees not because they're not loved, but because a job isn't getting done. Love doesn't equal acceptance and acceptance doesn't equal love. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners, but when we get saved, He doesn't leave us the way we are. His acceptance of us doesn't negate our need to be submissive to His Lordship and leading. He loves us and yet demands we lay our lives down and change. Love doesn't equal acceptance for in that sense, right and wrong are blurred or worse, no longer viable.
Let's be even clearer. The Bible doesn't say that if I choose not to support someone's behavior or enable someone's behavior or participate in someone's behavior, that I don't love them. The notion that if a florist refused to serve their flowers at a gay wedding would somehow be "unloving" thus incompatible with the Christian faith is absurd. The Christianity liberal America is peddling is a watered down, bloodless, death-defying, moralism which calls for complete tolerance to all ways of living mixed in with a 60's style Woodstock love-fest. The only intolerant ones are seen as those who don't want to participate in this warped ideology.
Let's go deeper. What caused CNN, located in Atlanta, GA, to of all places, pick Hazlehurst, GA to do an interview? Plain and simple, and no offense intended, they wanted a small, rural, "hick-town." Don't think for a minute they didn't review county demographics before deciding on where to go. They wanted to go to a town where they assumed the people would be "country bumpkins" set in their ways. They wanted to talk to people that they believed they were smarter and more sophisticated than. The arrogance and smugness of the reporter disguised antagonist proves the point. They assumed they would find people who would say they wouldn't serve "gay people," and that's why they came here. They're looking for a story to spin. It's sickening how the liberal media and liberal agenda prey on the American people and many are blinded by their place on the plate in the dog-eat-dog society.
How about we have a real discussion? The reporter did not ask if the florist would serve gay people. The reporter was asking about a gay wedding. Refusing to do business for a gay wedding and refusing to serve gay people are two different things, at least they should be. Let's have a discussion about what the Bible really says and about what Christianity should be about. If the reporter would like to come back down to Jeff Davis County, I'd love to spend an afternoon with him. Here's an invite to you Mr. Gary Tuchman. I'll buy you lunch and we can talk about Jesus on and off camera.
First, as Christians, we are called to love all people and to demonstrate Christ to all people. Jesus hung out with the rejects of His day. He hung around tax collectors, drunkards, and prostitutes. He didn't hang around them to accept their lifestyles. He hung around them to point them to change. He didn't hang around them to accept their choices. He hung around them to show them the better way. That's why we have the Matthew's and Zacchaeus' of the Bible. That's why there's Mary Magdalene's and the woman caught in adultery in the Bible. Not once while Jesus kept company with "sinners" did he ever accept their sin. He loved them. He befriended them. He let them know He had a genuine concern for their lives. And He led them to change. As Christians, we are to be Christ-like. That's what the term "Christian" means. And I'll be the first to admit that the church as a whole doesn't always do a good job at being Christ-like. The church doesn't have a good history at this either. That said, the success of people doesn't change the commands of Christ. We are to love people and point them to the cross and salvation. That means change and that means being intolerant in the liberal left's eyes.
Christians have a responsibility to be the light of Christ in the dark. That darkness is in the world where sin exists. Let's be clear. Sin is sin. In the end, all sin has the same consequences. Sinners who do not serve Christ go to hell. It's a hard truth, but it's truth nonetheless. Jesus said the only way to Heaven was through Him. It's not through good works or good citizenship. It's not through national acceptance or church attendance. "No one goes to the Father except they go through the Son." So unrepentant liars will go to hell. Unrepentant drunkards will go to hell. Unrepentant adulterers will go to hell. Sin sends us to hell. The Bible very clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. And so you can do the math. To not do business with someone because they're a sinner is wrong. To not demonstrate Christ to someone because they're a sinner is wrong. To not welcome someone in your church because they're a sinner is wrong. Either all or welcome at the cross or none are welcome. Jesus' shoulders were big enough to carry the sin of the world. He can handle your lies and the other person's homosexuality. As a pastor of a church, all people are welcome. Sinners (whatever your sin is) and saints alike are welcome. That said, I'm going to preach the Word of God and if the Word of God says something is wrong, I'll preach what it says. And spare me the dietary laws of Leviticus jargon. If you don't understand the Bible, don't try to use it to justify yourself. Just because someone doesn't understand it and doesn't have a desire to understand it, doesn't negate its truth.
So all people are welcome at my church. I'll have lunch with a gay person. I'll have lunch with a gay couple. I'll give advice or counsel with a gay person or couple. I won't marry them however. Why? Because the Bible states that marriage is between a man and a woman. The mess we've made of marriage and the slack with which the church has treated marriage doesn't negate the truth of God's Word about marriage. I know some of the people in the above video, and I'm assuming they don't have a problem with giving a flower to a gay person as much as they would have a problem doing flowers for a gay wedding. I'll buy a gay person's lunch. I won't perform a wedding ceremony for gay people however. That doesn't mean I don't love them. It means I love Christ and I honor and treasure His words.
So CNN and liberal America, you can keep coming at us "rural rednecks" and "intolerant bigots" all you want with your enlightened reasoning and watered down version of Christianity, but this pastor will stand on the Word of God. A florist shouldn't have to serve a gay wedding that goes against their Christian beliefs. A caterer shouldn't have to bake a cake for a gay wedding that violates her religious beliefs. A Jewish carpenter shouldn't have to build a BBQ pit that violates his dietary law. That's religious freedom. It's not discrimination. The discrimination clause in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stated that discrimination based on race or religion was against the law. Homosexuality is neither race nor religion, but Christianity is most certainly religion. If a Christian doesn't want to hang around sinners or love sinners or witness to sinners, then I'll join the left in calling them bigots and Pharisees. Jesus railed against these kinds of "Christians." But if a Christian doesn't want to participate or enable a sinful practice, then I applaud that Christian for being true to his/her Savior.
So, again, Mr. Gary Tuchman, come back to Jeff Davis County. Let's talk Christianity. Let's talk about the Bible. Let's talk about Jesus Christ. Not serving gay weddings is not discrimination. It's religious freedom. End of story. I'll probably have more to say later, but for now, I'm going to go coach a Wee-ball Recreation team who probably has kids on it belonging to sinning parents. But it's all good, because I love them and I'm willing to serve them regardless.