It’s not exactly news that Christians who dare operate their businesses in accordance with biblical principles are increasingly taking it on the chin as America’s Corpo-Fascist spin on “the mark of the beast” rolls out and over the culture.
It’s also not exactly stunning anymore to hear that Christ-honoring folks are getting economically hammered for their lack of support of the new corporate and state-imposed pro-homosexuality orthodoxy. For fairly obvious reasons, bakeries, photographers, and other businesses catering to the celebration of marriage are now under focused assault by the forces of tolerance. There have been many tales of persecution along these lines recently in the post-Christian West, and, as a natural consequence, we are already becoming desensitized to them. We’ve been ’round that track a few times before, sadly.
Even so, it looks like we’re getting another lap in…
As reported by Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, a UK bakery owned by a Christian family is facing legal action after it declined to make a cake printed with a message supporting gay marriage. (Click here for the story.)
The Belfast Telegraph’s reporting of the story included the following detail:
The Equality Commission has told the owner of Asher’s Baking Company that it has broken the law by refusing to bake a cake for a member of a gay rights group.
Daniel McArthur (24), general manager at the Newtownabbey company which has been running since 1992 and employs 62 people, said Asher’s had been founded by Christians, and the current directors are Christians.
“That means that we run our business according to Christian values and beliefs, according to what the Bible teaches. It means for example that we don’t open on Sundays, that we trade openly and honestly with people,” he said.
Mr McArthur said even the company’s name was Biblical, as Asher was one of the 12 tribes of Israel. “It was a tribe that had gifted bakers,” he added.
He said a customer had placed an order for a “celebration cake” at Asher’s Belfast bakery.
LGBT activist Gareth Lee had asked for the cake to include a slogan that said ‘support gay marriage’ along with a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, and the logo of the Queerspace organisation.
One of many lessons to be learned from the unfolding nightmare around us is that everything is connected. There is no realm, immaterial or physical, in all of creation that can be “set aside” or sequestered to rot “by itself” in its rebellion against the lordship of Christ. If one area is given over to rebellion, it will touch every other and its corruption will ceaselessly spread until and unless the Lord graces those in rebellion with repentance and restoration…and that will only happen through His obedient people’s faithful proclamation and application of the supernatural Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The sheer gayness of our education, our economics, and even our cheeseburgers is an entirely predictable and appropriate consequence of our rebellion. The rapid, downward spiral of our culture is loaded with clear signs that God’s righteous judgment is now falling upon us (see: Romans 1).
That said, the good (great, actually) news is that we have been given the time to repent of our Christ-dismissing pursuits and build upon Him as our Rock in all things – be they educational, political, economic, or fast food related. Everything is covered and defined by the true Gospel – every good thing in His creation is given life by His nature as revealed in His Word.
So it is that a Christ-centered worldview in action is essential not only to our survival, but it also can empower us to thrive right here and now. The first step toward implementing this understanding and pursuing personal repentance is to understand and acknowledge that we have been raised in this culture to embrace Christ-dismissing views in most areas of life.
Everything in God’s creation is fundamentally connected in that it is defined by the light of His nature. Thus, the increasing gayness of every realm of American life should be anything but surprising.
Everything is connected, and purposefully so. I touched on this subject last month in Christ-less Education: It’s Pretty Gay and would encourage Christians to seek the Word on the all-encompassing, pervasive nature of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our not only understanding but embracing and applying His actual lordship over everything is our one and only hope.
In that spirit, there is great encouragement and hope to be found even in these stories of rank anti-Christian economic persecution. In a world crafted and owned by the God of Romans 8:28, this should come as no surprise.
Isn’t it interesting (and inspiring!) to see that these small business owners are, in many of the instances that have been reported in recent years, willing to put everything – their very livelihood and then some – on the line to take a stand? A stand that could cost them and their families so very much?
Now that is faith in action!
That. Is. Real.
In light of these beautiful demonstrations of faith in action, I’d like to respectfully submit a couple of questions for your thoughtful and prayerful consideration (and yes, I will strive to contemplate and remind myself of these questions as well):
How does the faith of these economically battered believers compare with the faith of those who are knowingly supporting (or financially benefitting from) the very businesses and corporations behind the anti-Christian movement to “mark” obedient believers for extreme economic persecution?
How are we to best help our brothers and sisters (and even ourselves) not only survive in this climate of escalating anti-Christian persecution, but thrive by building Christ-centered, God-honoring, culture-impacting families and businesses? (Hint: The answer to this one begins with true personal repentance, which will always produce productive, God-glorifying, and life-changing actions.)
Thank you for your consideration of these things, and remember: God has His people right where He wants them.
Soli Deo Gloria…and let’s roll!
© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.
For more blog posts, book excerpts, and other (hopefully) cool things, head on over to www.FireBreathingChristians.com.