Response to Memories Pizza in Indiana has run the gamut. Some threatened to burn down the establisment; popular Conservative talk show host Dana Loesch set up an online fundraiser to offset the financial lost incurred by the Christian business owners. (It raised almost $850,000 dollars. Wow!) What was the crime of this popular mom and pop pizza joint? Exercising their Religious Freedom and their First Amendment rights.
A news reporter ASKED the owners of Memories Pizza if they would be willing to cater at a gay wedding. Co-Owner Kevin O’Connor responded,
“I don’t turn anybody away from the store, I don’t have a problem with gay people. I just don’t condone the marriage.”
This reply set off a firestorm reverberating across Liberal and Conservative lines. Some staunchly supporting the owners, others spewing hate and vitirol aimed at shutting Memories down.
In the last few days, social media has continued to keep the debate alive. One of my Facebook friends insists if Jesus was asked to supply a cake or build a table for a gay wedding reception, He’d do so gladly. In quoting the post,
“He would sell them a table, and a darned good one at that.”
Let’s say he’s right. For those Christians standing with those who embrace the homosexual lifestyle, they stand on the argument of love, citing God’s love of all people. I don’t question the love of God for all people. John 3:16 states,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Note, God fails to insert an asterisk or offer a disclaimer. No Christian famliar with the teachings of the Bible argues God’s love for all people.
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
When thinking about how Jesus handled the issue of sin in people’s lives, I often cite the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus demonstrates the model of ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’
As Jesus taught, religious leaders dragged a woman from the bed of an adulterous liaison and dropped her at the Master’s feet. The religious leaders circled, spewing judgment on the woman, reminding Jesus and all within earshot about the Law. For her infidelity, she deserved the prescribed punishment – a public stoning.
In response to their vitriol, Jesus stooped and scratched something in the dirt, then stood and challenged,
“You who are sinless cast the first stone.”
I’ve often wondered what Jesus wrote. I doubt He wasted His time on doodling stick figures. I wonder if He jotted a list of sins with which these men struggled. Maybe He wrote the words, “pride,” lust,” or the word that labeled the actions of the religious leaders – “entrapment.” (How did these men know about this woman’s indiscretion and the ability to catch her in the arms of a man not her husband?)
As these men cast aspersions at the woman and questioned Jesus’ handling of the situation, I imagine their words trailed off as they watched Jesus write. If Jesus enumerated a list of transgressions, as each man’s besetting sin appeared, the Spirit of God pricked their hearts. When He stood to authorize the first hurled stone, each dropped his rocks, slinking away. Jesus asked,
”Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?
“No one sir,” she replied
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.
Many who demand acceptance of ungodly lifestyles, quote only the first part of Jesus’s statement. Jesus added the following exhortation,
“Go and leave your life of sin.”
Let’s visit the carpenter shop owned by Joseph, with Jesus apprenticing. A couple living in a gay relationship request the Son of God craft a banquet table for a wedding feast. There’s no doubt He’d make a “darned good one…” But would He condone the wedding?
I envision Jesus requiring the partners to spend time with Him in the carpenter shop, the Master sharing spiritual truths while He sawed, chiseled and sanded. I can see the partners squinting through sawdust laden air, complaining about the threats of the religious leaders to have them stoned to death. I see Jesus listening to their concerns and maybe even saying,
“Don’t worry, there’s no condemnation here…”
“Go and leave your lives of sin…”
Of course the couple’s taken aback.
Oh no, another armchair Rabbi ensnared by the teachings of some antiquated scrolls…..
Many believe Jesus never addressed same sex marriage, thereby claiming homosexual unions are left up to the discretion of the people who choose them. Maybe in the writings of the Gospels we find no mention of same sex marriage, but Jesus does address Biblical marriage. In Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus says,
“And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?”So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”…
Jesus doesn’t add,
“Oh and that’s why men marry each other and women marry each other as well.”
That’s not God’s standard for marriage.
I can imagine the couple in the carpenter shop either being convicted of their sin and repenting or leaving the shop insulted and outraged, either way the banquet table no longer necessary.
If the government forces Christian owned businesses to provide the same services to all wedding ceremonies whether straight or gay, maybe the owners should adopt a “come to the table making” strategy. To appease both sides, the owners share their views on godly marriage, expressing truths from the Bible. I can imagine some couples embracing the views, others tolerating the “opinions, and several storming out of the bakery, decrying “discrimination.” But see, it wouldn’t be discriminatory with all couples submitting to free pre-marital counsel. Of course the above is hyperbolic, but nowhere is it written that a Christian’s morals and conscience are to be left once vacating the shadow of the steeple on Sunday mornings.
Hang in there Memories Pizza, many around this great nation support you.