(Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)
I respect Kirsten Powers as a sincere sister in Christ. But her view of sin and holiness, as expressed in her latest USA Today column, "Jim Crow laws for gays and lesbian?" is typical of the journey of adults coming to faith. Sometimes we tend to filter Biblical teaching through our experiences, instead of the other way around.
After discussing the case of a baker who did not want to provide a cake for a same-sex "wedding," because he feels he would be encouraging the celebration of sin, Powers concludes, "'What would Jesus do?' I think he'd bake the cake." I think it would help her to see more clearly if she would have used Jesus' real profession for the comparison. Jesus was a teacher, a preacher, a religious leader. Does she believe Jesus would go to the wedding to deliver a blessing (i.e., offer His services)? I suspect not.
But somehow, if you are a photographer, she thinks you should be forced, under penalty of law, to go and bless the union by using your talents to portray them in some amazing, inspiring pictures.
She confuses ministering to sinners with encouraging sinners in their sinfulness. The point of Christ's miracles (and His service) was salvation. Isn't it interesting that He would heal them and say, "Your sins are forgiven"? What does that have to do with anything? It has to do with a spirit of repentance. But there is no such spirit of repentance involved in homosexuals cementing their sin through a marital-like commitment. In fact, it is the opposite of that; it will make it more difficult for them to ever escape that lifestyle - very clearly a sinful lifestyle in the eyes of our Lord. But perhaps Powers is not that clear about that, either.
But Pastor Andy Stanley has no excuse. He knows better. He's not a new convert. His quotes on Powers' articles are not naïve; they are calculated. He knows the point of Jesus meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well was that she "ha[d] had five husbands, and the one whom [she] now ha[d] [was] not [her] husband" either. He is confronting her regarding a lifestyle that is not acceptable in His sight. And He wants her to change.
That's the point. Repentance. To turn and leave everything that ensnares us in order to follow Him.
That's also the point of the account of the woman caught in adultery, that favorite passage of homosexual activists. Sure, Jesus said, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." But the point is for her to "go, and sin no more." See, many have pointed out how this woman could not have committed her sin alone. Where was the man? That tells us what was really behind the crowd's motives.
It reminds us why God alone stands as judge. And He has judged sexual immorality (including homosexual relations) as a grave offense against ourselves and Him.
Pastor Stanley knows that and, yet, says he is offended, "that Christians would leverage faith" to support laws that would allow them to avoid legal repercussions if they dare refuse to participate in a celebration of homosexuality. He is not offended that Christians might be thrown in jail for refusing to use their God-given talents to provide services for a same-sex "wedding."
"Serving people we don't see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity," Stanley said. Shame on him! This is so deceptive, it is really saddening. Should a Christian photographer - say, in Nevada, for example - serve a prostitute by taking pictures of her "professional" endeavors?
He said, "If a bakery doesn't want to sell its products to a gay couple, it's their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it." Well, it is not "their business," because the state is threatening fines and even prosecution if they refuse. Christians are being forced out of business.
Christian adoption ministries, for example, are being forced out of states where same-sex "marriage" is accepted, because they want to follow their religious beliefs and place children with both a mother and a father. But I guess that's not "offensive" to Pastor Stanley.
Well, guess what? It is offensive to those Christians who are being forced out of business for their faith and the millions who stand with them to fight for our religious freedom.