I always wanted to write a headline like that. Sadly, in spite of cutesy alliteration, this one is still true. The two year old case involving a Colorado bakery owner who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding has resulted in the shop owner not only being told he MUST serve gay weddings; but furthermore, he has to require sensitivity training for all his employees. You can read about it here.
The implications of this are staggering. Gone are the supposed Constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of religion. In their place are inserted forced conformity and thought police tactics. Private business owners are apparently no longer allowed to have any religious convictions at all.
Regardless of those who try to liken this to racial discrimination, this is not just a matter of not serving someone because you don't like them. Bakers and photographers and caterers all provide services in which their product and participation is equal to joining in the celebration. And they should have the freedom to not join in the celebration of an act they are convicted by their faith to be immoral.
While there are many who argue the Church should just ignore these issues, not make a big deal, etc., it is becoming more and more evident that the issue of gay marriage is going to be THE issue we face in the coming years. Not only because cases like this set a precedences that could lead to the state forcing churches to recognize and perform gay weddings, but because the issue of gay marriage is confronting churches on all sides.
Even the Southern Baptist Convention, that bastion of conservatism, is facing the issue. Just in advance our our convention's national meeting, a church in Los Angeles announced it will be splitting over the issue. The pastor announced he has "changed his mind" about gay marriage, (convenient since his teenage son just announced he's gay) and after churchwide deliberation, he was allowed to stay on as pastor. However, a large group within the church will be leaving over the matter. Al Mohler has a wonderful article about the issue here.
For years people like Voddie Baucham have been warning us about the aggressive pro-homosexual agenda. And for years, people have said those warnings were paranoid and unnecessary. Recent events have proven the warning to be very much needed.
The reality is, freedom of speech is all but gone. You can only say those things the government deems correct. And freedom of religion is only for non-Christians. Muslim? We'll bend over backwards to please you. Christian? Shut up and get out of the way.
Call it alarmist. Call it radical. Call it what you will. The Church needs to wake up and prepare itself for how we will deal with these issues. At the present rate, the day will come when pastors will face legal battles if they stand for truth and refuse to perform gay marriages. Churches will likewise face sanctions if they refuse to host said "weddings."
We need to pray. We need to prepare. We need to do what we can to elect godly men and women. But it seems as though a runaway judiciary will circumvent elected officials and the will of the people anyways. We can't count on the Constitution to protect our "rights." May God give us strength to remain faithful in the days ahead.