Friday, March 14, 2014
After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. (Acts 18:1-3 KJV)
I do not own a business, but I do hold biblical convictions and I have not hesitated to speak out about them. Neither did Paul, who did have a business – tentmaking. The disciples called by Christ had businesses, too – Andrew, James, John, Peter, Matthew are all mentioned as having a specific source of income. As Paul, they also spread the gospel message that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah:
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:4-5 KJV)
I believe John most of all stressed the love God held for mankind. John 3:16 along with 1 John 3:16 speak of a love worth dying for – but continue on to:
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (1 John 3:17 KJV)
What does this have to do with “service”? It has to do with a business that provides for its clients/customers. Specifically in this blog, businesses who decline to provide for some customers, but not others, based on perceived religious grounds.
For a moment pretend you are a baker. While you make a wide variety of items, you also bake wedding cakes. Or, you are a photographer and you take pictures of weddings, families, portraits and other special events. Recently there have been headlines where these types of businesses declined to sell their products to same-sex couples based on specific scriptures.
Those scriptures are positive supports of God’s designed marriage – one man and one woman joining together for a lifetime. Close to the beginning of time, mankind failed to heed that design. In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus reaffirmed how marriage should be. Christians committed to following God’s plans for our lives include this design. As in many things, we fail.
So, I ask you – as the pretend business owner declining to serve same-sex marriages – do you also decline to serve divorcees? Do you decline to serve unbelievers? Do you decline to serve politicians, who are perceived to have lied at least once to achieve their election?
Is it because those sins are not as openly evident?
Go back to 1 John 3:17 - seeth his brother have need – isn’t what we need most is the love described by John that God has for every man? Isn’t the gospel the answer for every need we might have, not only on this earth but for all eternity?
Is there a scripture where Jesus declined a sinner? Did not Judas share in the last supper, including the foot washing? Is not every sinner in need of God?
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 KJV)
Under what circumstances should a Christian businessman decline service to a customer?