We all know about the “gay wedding cake” and Christian bakers issue that the American nation witnesses over recent years, after the Supreme Court legalized “gay marriage”.
But when it comes to Christian business owners in the wedding industry, what are our rights as entrepreneurs and what should our approach be as Christians? Let me answer both question simply and then expand on the details. First, as entrepreneurs, I firmly believe that unless it is a matter of civil rights, that a business owner ought to have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. However, this begs the question whether homosexuality is a matter of civil rights, the way that racism, or even gender, could be. Biblically speaking, homosexuality is not a civil right; in fact, the opposite holds true: it is a sin of great magnitutude condemned severely by God. But the problem arises when modern American law collide with personal Christian values.
So how do we approach such a dilema? We all have our personal opinions; but a sound and reasonable approach to this delicate topic would dictate that businesses should retain their rights when it comes to personable items. For example, with the classic wedding cake dilemma; we have two possible scenarios: a gay couple walks into a wedding shop and orders a plain wedding cake, one with traditional or modern designs, but one that does not send a political message about “gay marriage”. In that case, the product being sold does not interfere in any way with the business owner’s conscience. And as such, the business owner has no reasonable grounds to refuse service to that couple, because they are “gay”. To do so, would be discriminating against them for no other reason than that they disagree with their choices as people. And this could also apply to all manner of sin, such as adulterers or blasphemers. Where is that line drawn? But hear me out.
Now, the customer wants a cake that endorses a certain political message that the shop owner simply cannot in good conscience support. Should that shop owner be compelled by the law to go against their own values in providing now not just a product, but one that endorses a political view that they disagree with? I think when you frame the question this way, it becomes clear where the lines should be drawn.
In fact, the tables could get turned one day, and it might be you on the other side being compelled to endorse a political message that you do not approve of. In either case, tyranny dominates instead of liberty.
This question is really a question of human liberty, not only for one group of people, but for all, including Christians, including business owners, including dissenters. That is what this nation has been founded.
Another example – to get away from the wedding cake question for a moment and frame this in another light – is Christian wedding and jewelry companies, such as Apples of Gold Jewelry who sell wedding rings, engagement rings, and gold crosses, for example. I spoke with the owner of Apples of Gold, a Christian-owned company who’s CEO is a born-again Christian. And his take on it is that as long as a paying customer wants to purchase an item, it is not his business to ask about their personal affairs. After all, business is business and you don’t mix your personal views with your business ones.
Now, Apples of Gold Jewelry doesn’t go around promoting homosexuality or “gay marriage”, beceause it would go against the business owner’s personal views, which are Biblical. Their policy is to sell any items of their jewelry to anyone in the world who can make make payment and the question is never brought up about someone’s sexual preferenfes, as that would be wholly inappropriate.
And so a big part of the solution in this matter is to not mix politics with business. That’s how it’s always been in America. What you do with your own time on either side of this debate is your own business. It’s like when large companies like Target decide to get into the political arena, their business suffers greatly.
The final consensus: Keep business out of politics on both sides of this debate and let’s get back to work