Posts Tagged ‘Barronelle Stutzman’

Shouldn’t Christians Just Obey the Law?

April 22, 2015

 

I receive emails from CitizenLink.  The goal of this organization is to help transform the culture through biblical citizenship.  Today, CitizenLink provided a link to an essay posted at the Family Policy Institute.  After reading this excellent article, I thought it would be advantageous to share it with readers here.  I pray that it would go viral!  But I doubt that it will  because the “politically correct” crowd will NOT like it…not one bit!

It is just too good to only excerpt here, so I have copied and pasted the entire essay below.  Please share your thoughts after reading it!

~ Christine

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Shouldn’t Christians Just Obey the Law?

April 14, 2015/11 Comments/by Joseph Backholm

If there’s one thing today’s secular progressive enjoys, it’s telling Christians how to be Christians.

It feels funny when it happens. A bit like getting combat training from Jane Fonda or Cindy Sheehan.

But they mean well.

And they know a verse. Their favorite verse is Matthew 7:1, which says “judge not lest ye also be judged.” They quote it every time a Christian expresses an opinion because their years of deep theological study have shown them that Matthew 7:1 means it’s wrong to have an opinion. About anything. After all, an opinion is a judgment and you can’t do that.

Says so right there.

Red letters even.

The urge to lecture Christians on how to be Christian is almost irresistible in the dispute over whether businesses can be forced to participate in same-sex weddings.

“I thought you were a Christian. Aren’t Christians supposed to follow the law?”

For the moment, let’s put aside the far-from-resolved debate over whether the law really does mandate involuntary servitude for same-sex weddings.

For the purpose of this conversation, we will assume that it does.

Shouldn’t Christians just obey the law?

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote one of the greatest commentaries ever written about what Christian citizenship requires.

It is also instructive to remember the context in which the letter was written. It was a letter written to his fellow clergymen who were concerned about his activities.

At the time, not everyone appreciated his demonstrations the way we do today.

Specifically, they expressed “anxiety over [his] willingness to break laws”. He acknowledged the apparent contradiction in urging people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools and demonstrating in ways that the law forbid.

“How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” he asked rhetorically.

His response is instructive both for the Christian and for those who seek to understand what motivates Christians,

“The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Well how do we know whether a law is just or unjust?

A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.

And this is where everyone starts to get uncomfortable. Is that MLK or Jerry Falwell?

Then he gives some examples:

An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. 

I wonder if that would include laws that let one person decline to bake a cake with a message they disagree with but not another person. Doesn’t he understand that these people offend me?

The left isn’t going to condemn MLK anytime soon because they like what he did. But their failure to appreciate or even acknowledge why he did it causes them to miss a much larger point.

Fundamental to Christianity is the idea that there is a law higher than man’s law.

The compulsion to obey God regardless of what the law says is the reason the Civil Rights movement was a movement of Christians. It is the reason Quakers violated the law to be an integral part of the Underground Railroad. It is why Christians rallied against the ancient practice of exposure in which infants were set out to die immediately after birth. It is why Christians worked in India to eliminate the practice of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands.

This isn’t an attempt to provide an exhaustive history of Christianity. I’m confident I don’t need to remind you of the challenges the Christian church has had. That’s what President Obama is for.

But context is important.

The reason Christians violated the law to free slaves, save babies from exposure, and rescue widows from funeral pyres is the same reason Christians today feel they cannot be part of a same-sex wedding ceremony. We are bound to a higher law.

And before you start lecturing your Christian friends about why their position is actually not the Christian position, stop and ask yourself this question. “Do I actually know what I’m talking about?” If you haven’t read a Bible in a year, the answer is likely no.

Besides, the fact that you may not understand why someone feels something is wrong should not prohibit you from respecting their conscience anyway.

Nevertheless, the idea that there is a law that is above government is not simply just a Christian idea, it is an American idea as well.

The Declaration of Independence reminds us that our rights are endowed by our creator not our government and that governments are created to secure rights, not to create them.

We are a constitutional republic (rather than a democracy) with a Bill of Rights specifically because our Founders understood that the majority can be wrong; a position that assumes a moral law exists above legislated law.

Therefore, even if everyone knows I’m a terrible, horrible, very bad guy, even ninety-nine percent of the public can’t vote to take away my right to free speech, the free exercise of religion, or a fair trial.

Your rights transcend your political popularity and the government exists to protect those rights, not appease the mob.

This structure protects us all because, as the gay lobby has so clearly demonstrated, neither political popularity nor political powerlessness are necessarily permanent conditions.

While the right not to participate has historically been protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee to the Free Exercise of religion, some now claim the obligation to participate is required by the “duly enacted” non-discrimination statute.

The majority said you can’t use religion as an excuse to “discriminate”, so you can’t.

But the majority isn’t supposed to be able to “duly enact” away the First Amendment. That’s why it’s the First Amendment.

But again, we’re assuming none of that matters.

In a world in which the law is in conflict with the Christian conscience, the response from many on the left is a cold, “Just obey the law.”

To which the florist responds, “I will obey the law, I just won’t obey your law.”

And from his perch in heaven, Martin Luther King Jr. says, “You go girl!”

Hat tip: Family Policy Institute

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P.S.  Apparently, there are some leftist Democrat nut-jobs who would not only want to do away with our Second Amendment rights too, but also advocate killing the five million Americans who own guns given by that right! And…this guy wanted to be a Congressman??!! Where does the insanity end?

Concerns for Freedom of Religion and Conscience

April 2, 2015

 

Concerns for Freedom of Religion and Conscience

 

Dear Readers,

I am a member of one of the hated kinds of Christians. Specifically, I am a born-again, biblically based believer in Jesus Christ who supports the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA].  If this causes me backlash and hatred, from any person, business or group, then so be it.  In all of the hub-bub of criticism and animus, there is one question that would never be asked by the media of mass deception (as well as the kinder, gentler stations like Fox News) because it would take a while to explain it.  I will attempt to do so here, however, it will not be a very detailed explanation.  You will need to see former writings of mine in order to get a clearer picture.

First, for those who haven’t been paying attention to the news, here is a link to the text of the bill. The following commentary, links, and arguments help to explain the controversy.

This first one will not be a direct link. You will need to type in “Huffington Post Gay Voices” into a search engine to find the article. It is entitled, “Barronelle Stutzman, Arlene’s Flower Shop Florist, Refuses Washington Gay Wedding Job Because Of Religion.” It was written on March 7, 2015.

Excerpt (without including hyperlinks):

A Richland, Wash. couple is still trying to make sense of what they say were the hurtful, discriminatory actions by their favorite florist.

For nearly a decade, Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed, had bought bouquets from local business Arlene’s Flower Shop, owned by Barronelle Stutzman, reports the Tri-City Herald. So it was Stutzman the men sought out when they recently decided to get married. (Same-sex weddings became legal in Washington State in December 2012.)

But when Ingersoll asked Stutzman last Friday to arrange the flowers for his September nuptials, he got a shock.

He said he decided to get married, and before he got through I grabbed his hand and said, ‘I am sorry. I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman told KEPR. This is the only wedding Stutzman has turned down in 37 years.

“It really hurt because it was somebody I knew,” Ingersoll told the Herald. “We laid awake all night Saturday. It was eating at our souls. There was never a question she’d be the one to do our flowers. She does amazing work.”

The couple decided to take the issue to Facebook, where reactions were heated — but mixed, according to NBC affiliate KNDO 23. Some people countered that Stutzman doesn’t have the right to refuse a gay couple, others applauded her for sticking up for her values and a few threatened violence against her little shop.

KNDO 23 points out that the florist’s actions may indeed violate the state’s freedom from discrimination law. RCW 49.60.030 stipulates that Washington State citizens have the “right to engage in credit transactions without discrimination.”

The majority of states do not have similarly tough anti-discrimination statutes, according to the ACLU.

It is interesting to see the first comment there:

NancyMarie

26 Fans

Christians believe that marriage between one man and one woman forever was designed by God from the beginning. See the book of Genesis, confirmed also by Jesus Christ: The two shall become one flesh and of that union there will be new life and the future is born – our children. Unless a gay couple can pull that one off without technological intervention, Christians cannot equate same-sex marriage to the sacramental marriage commanded by the Creator. For the florist to take the job would be to provide public support to an event she believes is unnatural, immoral and harmful both to the individuals involved and to the family unit in our society. She exercised freedom of conscience, and for that is being made a national example by her “tolerant” gay friends, complete with threats of violence. When the same-sex marriage law came up for a vote, Christians were promised they would not have to violate their consciences. As a matter of fact, the way the law was presented on the ballot was deceptive in that it sounded as if it was a law specifically to protect Christians. When the alarm was sounded by those with concerns for freedom of religion and conscience, we were accused of bigotry. But here goes… our freedom.

8 Mar 2013 9:49 AM

Another comment was meant to counter what Nancy Marie wrote:

Jeffrey_Haywood
24
22 Fans

“Treat everyone, without exception, the way you want anyone to treat you. That is the law of the prophets.”

Jesus of Nazareth, Matt. 7:12

Is it any wonder that so many people are rejecting Christianity, a religious cult that refuses to obey the words of it’s supposed founder?

7 Mar 2013 12:48 PM

Hmmm…interesting how Jeffrey Haywood got even less “fans” (22) than Nancy Marie (26).

Maybe readers were looking up that chapter and discovering all of the verses surrounding Matthew 7:12 for context.

Matthew 7 NKJV

Matthew 7:12 in the NKJV says:


Mat 7:12

“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Hmmm…that’s very different from the version shared by Jeffrey Haywood.

Before we examine the meaning of the “Law and the Prophets” in context with the homosexual marriage question, here are a few more links to read regarding this controversy:

1. LifeNews: Why Pro-Life Should Support Indiana’s New Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Excerpt:

What’s the real truth, and why does Indiana Right to Life support RFRA?

The short answer is that Indiana’s RFRA provides much-needed protection to prevent pro-life persons, businesses or ministries from being forced by state or local laws to support abortion.

In a landmark 2014 ruling, the United States Supreme Court recognized that the federal Religious Freedom  Restoration Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, gave the Hobby Lobby corporation protection against being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs under Obamacare in violation of the company’s faith-principles that oppose abortion.  Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014) The federal RFRA applicable to Hobby Lobby pertains strictly to federal law, not to state law.  The result is that prior to the enactment of Indiana’s state RFRA, pro-life persons, businesses and ministries in Indiana did not enjoy the same religious freedom protection against state or local laws that might force them into supporting abortion in violation of faith principles.

We see in the above instance, the RFRA has more to it than the homosexual marriage issue.

2. First Things: Stand with Barronelle Stutzman.

Excerpt from Barronelle Stutzman’s letter to a lawyer who wanted her to “settle” against her beliefs:

Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

Excerpt from the column author:

Ms. Stutzman isn’t complying. She’s refusing to settle. Not only is she not complying, she has responded in defiance, and rightfully so. She’s called their bluff. She’s said to the state: “Bring it on.” She has counted the cost and determined that the sacredness of her conscience cannot be exchanged for handouts from the state.

For her stand, she’s been vilified on social media and called a discriminatory bigot by institutions such as Think Progress, one of whose activists insisted that her failure to comply means she “didn’t learn her lesson.”

She is also threatened with the loss of her personal assets, not just her business. Here’s a seventy-year-old grandmother with less money, less cultural capital, than many who would be unwilling to take such a stand.

The gay rights lobby in America has had much success, but it is overreaching by insisting upon ideological conformity, by overturning the centrality of the natural family, by paving-over conscience, by instilling fear of reprisal, by elevating sexual orientation above competing considerations, by subjugating the Christian religion whose anthropology helped shape our constitutional order. They overreach by castigating fellow Americans whose belief—that marriage turns on the male–female difference—has been held since the beginning of recorded history.

Those who want to live in a free society—whether they oppose or support gay marriage—should condemn the push to turn innocent grandmothers like Barronelle Stutzman into lawbreakers. I stand with Barronelle Stutzman. Do you?

3. Alliance Defending Freedom: The Story of Barronelle Stutzman Owner of Arlene’s Flower Shop who was sued by the government for her belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.

After viewing the video, you will notice the update:

BREAKING NEWS: A Washington court has ruled against Barronelle Stutzman, the lovable grandmother and long-time florist, for acting consistent with her Christian faith. Barronelle referred a longstanding customer to nearby florists because she could not in good conscience create custom arrangements and provide wedding support for his same-sex wedding. This ruling prevents Barronelle’s case from going to trial and makes her personally responsible for paying any damages and attorney’s fees incurred by the same-sex couple and the State of Washington. Everything she’s worked to build, including her home, her family business, and her life savings are now at risk. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will appeal.

We now see why states are taking action to protect pro-life businesses like Hobby Lobby and individual business owners who believe in traditional marriage from lawsuits that are meant to take away their freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and freedom of commerce rights through targeted lawsuits meant to destroy them.

Let’s look at some other verses in Matthew 7. [Remember – this is Jesus speaking!]

Mat 7:6

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Here is a commentary by David Brown on this verse:

Prostitution of Holy Things ( Mat 7:6 ). The opposite extreme to that of censoriousness is here condemned–want of discrimination of character.

6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs–savage or snarling haters of truth and righteousness.
neither cast ye your pearls before swine–the impure or coarse, who are incapable of appreciating the priceless jewels of Christianity. In the East, dogs are wilder and more gregarious, and, feeding on carrion and garbage, are coarser and fiercer than the same animals in the West. Dogs and swine, besides being ceremonially unclean, were peculiarly repulsive to the Jews, and indeed to the ancients generally.
lest they trample them under their feet–as swine do.
and turn again and rend you–as dogs do. Religion is brought into contempt, and its professors insulted, when it is forced upon those who cannot value it and will not have it. But while the indiscriminately zealous have need of this caution, let us be on our guard against too readily setting our neighbors down as dogs and swine, and excusing ourselves from endeavoring to do them good on this poor plea.

Florist Barronelle Stutzman served a same-sex couple for almost a decade. Then, she was sued by the government for not participating in their wedding. Her religious beliefs prohibited her from participating in a homosexual wedding because of her relationship with Jesus Christ and her desire to adhere to “The Law and the Prophets” of the Bible.

Yet, when you view the video (link above) we see that she has “endeavor[ed] to do them good on this poor plea.”

I could end this post right here. However, “the question” that people in the media won’t ask any Christian is the tenet that,  “Marriage represents the relationship of Christ and His church.”

Coercing someone to engage in something that is against their religious convictions is, unfortunately, the goal of homosexual activists. What’s more, they will go so far as to destroy the business of the individual(s) in order to get their way.

Matthew 7:12b….lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Hat tips to all links.

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More on what the Bible says about the homosexual agenda, standing firm on your faith, and the statement that “”Marriage represents the relationship of Christ and His church.”

The Ten Declarations for Protecting Biblical Marriage

Days of Noah [Seven blog posts]

Excerpt:

Folger recounts how what we are seeing happen now before our very eyes is the beginning fulfillment of what Jesus said would happen before his return. Moreover, the people had sunken into such a perpetually degenerative moral condition these things were celebrated and viewed as normal.

 

As I wrote about in my book, “The Criminalization of Christianity,” Jeffrey Satinover, who holds an M.D. from Princeton and doctorates from Yale, MIT and Harvard, was on my radio program one day and I asked him about where we are in history. He explained that according to the “Babylonian Talmud” – the book of rabbis’ interpretation of the scriptures 1,000 years before Christ, there was only one time in history that reflects where we are right now. There was only one time in history, according to these writings, where men were given in marriage to men, and women given in marriage to women.

Want to venture a guess as to when? No, it wasn’t in Sodom and Gomorrah, although that was my guess. Homosexuality was rampant there, of course, but according to the Talmud, not homosexual “marriage.” What about ancient Greece? Rome? No. Babylon? No again. The one time in history when homosexual “marriage” was practiced was … during the days of Noah. And according to Satinover, that’s what the “Babylonian Talmud” attributes as the final straw that led to the Flood.

No Compromise: Standing Firm On Your Faith.

Excerpt:

There are dozens of blogposts that I could cite from Talk Wisdom about this subject. However, if I had to pick just one, I would recommend viewing the video of Pastor Miles McPherson – Marriage, The Image of God.

That message was given in February, 2008. It was given approximately 90 days before the California Supreme Court overturned Proposition 22 which simply stated, “Marriage in California is recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

In November of 2008, Proposition 8 passed by a majority of 52% of Californians (remember – most people in this state are very liberal) to place marriage as being recognized as the union of one man and one woman into the California Constitution.

Pastor Miles goes through the reasons why the passage of Proposition 8 is so very crucial for religious freedoms today.

Keys to Unlocking the Future.

Excerpt:

Chapters 6 – 19 reveal a series of catastrophic judgments on the earth. However, these judgments result in the final triumph and return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on earth for one thousand years (see 19:11-20:6).

6. Marriage of Christ and the Church. The Church’s absence from chapter 4 through chapter 18 is best explained by the fact that she has already been raptured to heaven to participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb (19:7-9). Here she receives her rewards, crowns, and robes of righteousness prior to her procession back to earth with the Savior.

 

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How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


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