The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson (find more about his ministry at http://www.bondinfo.org/) a frequent contributor to World Net Daily www.wnd.com wrote a very intriguing article entitled “Christians, Here’s a Solution to ‘Gays’ Suing Your Business”. He argues that instead of denying access to your product to homosexuals because of your principled belief that homosexual behavior, and same sex marriage is wrong, why not accept their money and give them what they want, whether it be a wedding cake, or photos of their wedding or catering for their reception with this one caveat, you inform them that you will use their money to give to an organization that will lobby against same-sex marriage. That way, he argues, you can’t be sued and lose your business, especially if it is taken to court and you are appointed a liberal judge to hear your case, and if that happens, you are more than likely to lose.
At first I winced at his logic. Then I filtered it through a grace lens and asked myself the question, “What would Paul do?” Some of you who don’t like hearing advice from the second string might want to go immediately to the source and ask “what would Jesus do?” but Jesus wasn’t selling dining room furniture as a former carpenter while he ministered and discipled his disciples, but Paul was selling tents, along with Priscilla and Acquila (Acts 18:2-3). And no doubt there were customers who could have commissioned Paul to make them a tent who were practicing homosexuals. Would Paul have turned them down or would their money be as good as anyone else’s and would Paul have turned the drachmas around and used them for missionary purposes?
This is more than a hypothetical question. It may have been an actual situation Paul faced. I would say that Paul closed the deal and took the money and perhaps even discounted the price. Blasphemy you say? What, the discount or the deal? Either way I think Paul’s boss (Jesus) would have given him the green light to shake hands and seal the deal. Here’s why.
Jesus told us that he intended for us as Christians to be salt and light in this world (Matthew 5:13-16). Cutting ourselves off from sinners (like us) is a sure way to snuff out the light of the gospel in the dark room of Satanically caused blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4). How would we ever preach the gospel (Mark 16:15) to people when we tell them their money is no good therefore they are not welcomed in our establishments or apartment complexes and there is no room for them in the Kingdom of God. Paul’s converts in Corinth formerly identified themselves as practicing homosexuals and Paul obviously welcomed them into the family of God by calling them former practicing homosexuals (1 Corinthians 6:11).
So, if associating with and befriending practicing homosexuals is actually encouraged by Jesus and Paul, perhaps the reason Christian business owners refuse to do business with them is either 1) they feel the money is tainted or 2) they feel awkward being around homosexuals or 3) they feel that doing business with homosexuals is somehow endorsing their lifestyle.
If they feel 1) the money is tainted and somehow Christians should not use pagan money for Christian purposes, then Ezra and Nehemiah both should have turned down Cyrus’s or Artaxerxes’s money for the rebuilding of the temple or the walls of Jerusalem respectively. If the problem is 2) feeling awkward in their presence while snapping pictures of their same-sex wedding, then I suggest perhaps that awkwardness is a small price to pay compared to the pain our Savior suffered on the cross to pay for our sins, and maybe even the sins of the couple whose photos you are taking. Just saying. It’s a possibility. If the problem is 3) that doing business with homosexuals is an endorsement of their lifestyle, then consider that catering a business luncheon for someone who is currently in an adulterous affair would not be considered an endorsement of their adultery even if you knew they were shacking up. The difference is the optics as we say these days. The first is very visible, the second sin is somewhat invisible and more commonly accepted in Christian circles.
But, someone would ask, where do we draw the line? Would I marry a same sex couple in our church building if they asked me to? Nope. Because that would be an endorsement of their lifestyle. I would say no to the request for the same reason I would say no to a non-Christian opposite sex couple wanting to rent out our church building because they like the ambience of a religious backdrop to their ceremony. They don’t profess to believe in God, or more precisely His Son Jesus Christ, so no we won’t use a building that was dedicated to the glory of God and His Son Jesus Christ just to make a bride-to-be feel good that she is somehow accommodating the old-fashioned values of her parents. Or, that she is trying to satisfy some crazy notion that God, whoever he is, will be happier that she and her current significant other are saying their non-committal vows in front of a stone thingy (altar) that is supposed to be holy. (If you want to know if I would brush that couple off on their first visit with casual disregard to their eternity, the answer is no, I invite them to meet my Savior first through my Heartbeat Bible Studies and if they say “yes” we end up usually doing a wedding with a brand new couple “in Christ”).
These are my grace and truth thoughts unfiltered.