About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Who's Bullying Who?

International Pink Day has been set aside each April to encourage us all to stop bullying others, especially the bullying of those who consider themselves part of the LGBQT community.  For the record, I bully no one.  I follow the Apostle Paul's instruction in Romans 14:19 to make every effort to do what leads to peace.  Of course, Paul knew that even if he attempted to live in peace with others, others weren't always willing to live in peace with him.  Another thing we should know about Paul is that he did not compromise the truth of the gospel in his pursuit of peace.  He went as far to say that if he proclaimed a different gospel he should be eternally condemned (Galatians 1:8 - 9).  


Years ago I created www.niagaraweddingscanada.com for my brother.  He has been officiating weddings in Niagara Falls, Canada, for decades.  I receive and answer all email requests for him and his wife to officiate marriages in the honeymoon capital of the world.  Even though it's clearly stated on his home page that he does not perform same sex weddings, I still receive requests from LGBQT couples asking him to perform their wedding ceremony.  Following the instructions of Romans 14:19, 2 Timothy 2:24, and other such passages, I respond in a kind, gentle, peaceful, but in matter of Biblical fact fashion.  I use no inflammatory language that would create conflict.  I really dislike conflict.  If conflict does arise, as it usually does, it's due to my Biblical stance on this issue, not the way I word my emails.  


My brother makes his living by officiating weddings but due to his Biblical stand he has lost income in recent years.  Once couples know he does not perform same sex weddings, whether they consider themselves LBGQT or heterosexual, many go elsewhere, as seen in these emails.  "Steve, I wanted to say how rude it is for you to not perform same sex marriages.  You just lost my business."  Another person said, "Steve, I am saddened that you choose to exclude same sex marriages from your business. It is legal in Ontario and I think you are being 100% non-Christian in your views.  I would think you would recognize that love is love and that as a business person you would see that excluding a segment of society is bad business as well as judgmental and self righteous."  This person is absolutely correct.  Declining to perform same sex weddings is bad business these days, but what choice do we have as Christians?  If we choose good business practices, by default we're choosing bad Bible practices.  As ridiculous as this sounds to secular cultural correctness, we choose good Bible over good business.     


"Steve, as a Christian myself, it saddens me that your personal belief system harbors hate and exclusivity. Perhaps one day you will see that God is about love and not judgment."  Even though this person apparently opposes judging others, he judged me and his judgment was inaccurate.  He has never met me.  How does he know I harbor hatred?  Also, in typical western world Biblical illiterate fashion this person who claims to be Christian fails to understand that God does judge and that He is the Ultimate Universal Judge (Revelation 20).  


"Steve, we were almost going to contact you to perform my wedding (which is not same-sex) and I saw that you're a closed-minded Christian and I'm disgusted.  It's too bad that God will never listen to your prayers since love means accepting all human beings.  Keep on living your lie!"  Again, another incorrect and illogical judgment based on no factual information.  The fact of the matter is that God has not only listened to my prayers, He has answered many of them.  I would have died years ago if not for His miraculous healing power in my life.  


Let us be clear.  Our culture doesn't practice the tolerance it preaches.  It's not tolerance, it's selective tolerance.  Besides that, the present anti-bullying campaign is discriminatory and self serving.  It excludes the bullying of many people groups, including Biblical based Christians.  I'm not complaining.  I'm simply stating the obvious.  It's what I expect from an anti-Christ culture. 


As a Christian defined in conservative Biblical terms I bully no one.  I do, however, speak the truth of the gospel in a kind, gentle, but in a matter of Biblical fact fashion.  If that creates conflict, I reluctantly say, "so be it".  If I'm seen as harboring hate, both God and I know differently.  I take the Apostle Peter's words to heart when he was in the midst of cultural conflict.  "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.  We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20 - 21 NIV)."


Christians are to love in action and truth (1 John 3:18).  This means we demonstrate our love in concrete actions, within the boundaries of Biblical truth.  If we depart from the truth of the gospel in the process of attempting to love we fail to love.       


"Steve, that sounds lovely. So, who is a good lawyer that isn't an ignorant jerk off male sexist pig like you, that you can recommend?"  After responding to this and other such emails in a kind, gentle, but in a matter of fact Biblical fashion, you tell me, who's bullying who?    




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