I usually enjoy Mr. Southern’s articles, but in his June 13 Opinion article he claimed to have recently “re-read the four gospels” and has concluded Christians who don’t want to serve LGBT folks are “judgmental hypocrites who mock our faith.”
I would suggest Mr. Southern isn’t reading the four gospels or all the available news stories very carefully. Contrary to Mr. Southern’s article, both the bakers in Oregon and Colorado did indeed regularly serve LGBT folks – their reluctance came when it specifically had to do with marriage celebrations between homosexual couples. This is hardly the same as a flat refusal to serve LGBT people, as both bakers have repeatedly stated. Mr. Southern protested that “baking a cake for a gay couple does not make you gay” (Who could think that?) nor “complicit in their lifestyle.” But as the bakers mentioned, they do indeed serve the LGBT folks – married or not – and thus their protest isn’t focused on the daily “lifestyle”; rather, the issue is the marriage celebration itself, which somehow escapes Southern.
The Christian bakers’ attitude would be similar to a Jewish baker wanting to decline baking a cake for a big neo-Nazi rally, even though during the week he still sells items to those same individuals. Likewise, it would be similar to a black baker who recoiled at baking a cake for a KKK party, but during the week sold items to folks sporting racist tattoos. It should be noted there are lots of bakers and florists out there quite willing to facilitate homosexual celebrations, but there was an agenda in targeting these Christian bakers and florists. Most Christians would rightly argue that for one to willingly facilitate a major celebration of something they know full well that Christianity forbids and fully believes is destructive to society is what actually makes a “mockery of one’s faith.”
It was very disappointing to see Mr. Southern handle scripture in such a strikingly cavalier fashion to push his point. How he sees a parallel between the Good Samaritan parable and a Christian not baking a cake for homosexuals is truly stunning. That parable is about a selfless willingness to help an unknown traveler victimized by a criminal (i.e. helping the afflicted) not about facilitating known homosexuals committing an unholy and unnatural union (or any sin for that matter).
Further, Southern argues that since Jesus met sinners where they were, preached the Good News, and called these sinners to repent (quoting Luke 5:31,32), we should make wedding cakes for homosexual marriages. Somehow it escapes Southern that those sinners were appealed to because they were also the ones that were most responsive to Jesus’ calls to repent, unlike the self-righteous Pharisees (e.g. the parable of the publican and the sinner). Please note, Jesus did indeed point out their sin and call them to repent. However, the homosexual community has long since made it clear they don’t believe their behavior is wrong at all and even argue it is those who oppose them who need to repent!
In fact they are aghast at anyone suggesting their attraction is unnatural – their battle cry has been that they were born that way, and they are ever pushing their views through the courts, as even Southern earlier conceded in his article. In fact, pressures have been successfully pushed by homosexuals to even stop counselors from offering to help one wanting to leave homosexuality. Mr. Southern appears to be arguing that the Jesus-thing-to-do is to bake the cake and say, “Here you go, enjoy . . . and oh, by the way, you shouldn’t marry because it’s wrong and you need to repent.” Even that scenario would still qualify for being decried as insulting and “judgmental” and will be subject to litigation.
It is ridiculous for Southern to think that refusing to bake that cake was some type of “opportunity lost.” Actually, to bake it is an opportunity lost to make a stand for the sanctity of marriage and fulfill Ephesians 6:11, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness but instead even expose them.”
Sadly, Mr. Southern is way too late in being worried about protecting “the public perception of Christians being judgmental hypocrites.” The LGBT movement has been pushing that narrative for quite some time to excuse their unnatural and unbiblical views. It’s amazing that while Christians are being sued, losing businesses and even receiving death threats, Mr. Southern ends by suggesting it is the Christians who need to start being more kind and loving. I really think Mr. Southern needs to read a little more deeply in the Bible and read more broadly in news outlets. I would suggest it is not those bakers or florists (and those who agree with them) who lack “dignity or integrity” but those who castigate them for not violating their principles and consciences.