East Lansing, MI is a very progressive city, priding themselves on inclusivity of all viewpoints and all types of people. The cardinal sin in a progressive culture like East Lansing is to say that your view is the only correct view, and that others are wrong. And it’s even worse to then take action against groups that you disagree with.
Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, MI has been banned from the East Lansing Farmer’s Market because they won’t perform gay weddings in their backyard in Charlotte.
The worst form of bigotry certainly comes when people are killing others because of their views or identity. ISIS comes to mind, as do the Crusades, as does slavery of African-Americans and genocide of Native Americans. Second to taking another’s life is taking their economic opportunity. Slavery and subsequent Jim Crow laws are the glaring example here–centuries long economic deprivation of a people group that has profoundly shaped our country in the worst way.
So here is the city of East Lansing, discriminating against a Charlotte farmer who believes that marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman. East Lansing is saying, “If you don’t agree with our views, you are wrong, and we will block you from economic opportunity because of it.”
East Lansing is saying, “If you don’t agree with our views, you are wrong, and we will block you from economic opportunity because of it.”
Does that feel very progressive or inclusive?
Put that in any other context… If it was the Christian Church saying, “If you don’t agree with our views, you are wrong, and we will block you from economic opportunity because of it.” … If it was the Federal Government saying, “If you don’t agree with our views, you are wrong, and we will block you from economic opportunity because of it.” If it was the local police saying, “If you don’t agree with our views, you are wrong, and we will block you from economic opportunity because of it.” We would all be rightfully terrified.
The irony of the progressive “anything goes” worldview is that anything does not go. Anything goes as long as it agrees with what we believe. To that point, the progressive view is no different than the biblical view that Jesus is the only way, or heck, even ISIS’s views. And hear me out, I’m not making an argument that being exclusive is bad, more power to East Lansing for being exclusive, but don’t deceive yourselves into thinking you are inclusive, when you aren’t. Stop making exclusivity the worst sin someone can commit when we are all exclusive.
The difference, and the real cardinal sin to exclusivity which East Lansing is committing, is when we take violent action or economic discrimination against those who disagree with us. It’s one thing to say Jesus or Allah is the only way, it’s another to harm people who disagree with you. Especially when the Bible is so clear that we are to love those who disagree with us:
Matthew 5:39-41, 43-44 “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles...You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
2 Timothy 2:24-25 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed…
Romans 4:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people …to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
Proverbs 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
So with this Farmer’s Market ban, East Lansing is boldly saying, “If you don’t agree with our stance on gay marriage, we will take away your income.”
It’s become sort of fun and popular to pile on Christians in today’s day and age, but East Lansing pastor Kevin DeYoung makes a great point that it’s not only Evangelical Christians we are talking about. Pastor Kevin says:
Think of all the people East Lansing has now labeled as “Human Rights Abusers”… Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi… let alone entire people groups like Muslims, Hindus, and Jews.
This is crazy, ya’ll.
I’ve even made the argument that these gay unions should be legal (and here, with a different angle), something most of my Christian friends would disagree with. But to say they must be held in a Charlotte farmer’s backyard is ridiculous. Think of all the things that are legal that you wouldn’t want done in your living room (Hindu god worship, cigarette smoking, cheering for the Dallas Cowboys, etc.). To think that the police could come in and force these things to take place in your living room is not American freedom, it’s something we should all be terrified of.
READ PART 2 OF THIS POST: Providing a Wedding is not a Business Service, it is a Worship Service
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