That is a hot topic today. With Christian photographers, caterers, cake decorators, event planners, etc. When I first heard about the incidents between aggressive members of the LGTB community and Christian business owners, I was really angry with those in government and the LGBT community. I kept reading trying to understand the reasoning (and the legalese) involved.
How could anyone insist that a Christian cannot decline to serve someone? There are many reasons any business owner can decline to serve a potential customer. If I have a client that is extremely rude, late to pay, does not deliver on their promises, etc. I can and must, for the good of my business, decline. Then I read a post by April Knox from Northview High School in Indiana. What follows is not a complete quote but I think it hits at the core of why Christian Business Owners should rethink how they deal with customers and clients.
“These business people want to protect their religious freedom based on something they can SEE with their own two eyes! BUT, what they don’t SEE is that they want to protect their religious freedom from something they are SEEING. Their religious beliefs are that gay marriage is a SIN, but what about all of the UNSEEN sinful behaviors of their other clients?
I ask the florist, the seamstress, the dress designer, the caterer, the photographer, “Do you give all of your clients a form to fill out to make certain they are following your religious beliefs before you agree to above services?” I think not… “Do you ask them if they and their finance are having premarital intercourse? Do you ask them if they have ever had premarital intercourse with anyone, including oral sex, masturbation/fondling? Do you ask them if this is their first marriage, second, third? Do you ask them if they have ever had an affair? Do you ask if they respect their parents? Do you ask if they’ve ever told a lie, shoplifted, injured another person, or been jealous of their neighbor? Do you ask them if there will be excessive drinking or playing of vulgar music at their reception? Do you ask them if they will be getting married in a church, by an official member of the clergy? Do you even ask them about their religion at all? Do you ask if God is number one in their lives? Do you ask them if they even believe in God?
The very idea that you do not KNOW anything about your clients lives when they walk into your establishment and as far as I can see, nobody is giving out these questionnaires as potential clients enter their place of business, makes this new change to the already existing religious freedom bill, discriminatory!”
Should There be a Law to Protect Christian Business Owners?
With the above reasonable comment from April Knox in mind, I can understand why a Christian Business owner should be able to do business with Christian and non-Christian alike. With one exception. When the customer wants the business owner to participate in sin.
I consider myself to be an artist (not a famous one), but I won’t make a commissioned piece of art that celebrates sin or makes it look appealing. In the same way, the cake maker wouldn’t go to a wedding venue to set up a cake for a gay marriage and hang around to congratulate the couple. I build websites, but I will not build certain types of websites. If I’m a craftsperson that makes crosses out of found objects don’t expect me to make you a satanic pentagram.
I think when it comes down to it, don’t ask a Christian Business owner to participate in sin. If you want to buy a product or service from them and they decline, I highly doubt it’s because they’re being hateful or even mean. They’re just following a moral compass supported by God’s word.
To any Christian business owners, take a look at the idea proposed by Rev. C.J. Conner of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Dodge City, Kansas: www.theblaze.com