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Defending rights can get sticky when you disagree with how they’re used

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Bedlam Coffee

There’s a moral dilemma playing out right now for Christian conservatives. With a single incident, it appears we must choose between the rights we fight to defend and a righteous message being attacked by people invoking those rights. Thankfully, a quick examination and consistency of thought make this dilemma more of a teaching moment than a contradiction.

The incident happened a week ago when activists from Abolish Human Abortion were ejected from a coffee shop in Seattle. The owner of the shop is gay and was offended by the actions of the activists, though they claim they were just there for the coffee and were not promoting their agenda while on the premises. Whether they were or not isn’t important. What IS important is that the owner has the right to eject them. Many Christian conservatives were offended by this. We shouldn’t be.

There’s a false dichotomy at play here. We don’t need to look at this as two opposing allegiances – one to the Constitution and one to the Bible. Instead, we need to look at this through a consistent lens and address the underlying issues. First, if we are to defend bakers who don’t want to bake cakes for gay weddings, then we must also defend coffee shop owners who do not want to serve coffee to activists with opposing views. If we hold up the Constitution for one incident and tuck it in our pockets for the other, we’re going to lose this battle long-term.

As for the Biblical belief that we should be spreading the Gospel and opposing aspects of society that are contrary to it, then we still shouldn’t fret over this incident. Jesus sent forth his disciples to spread the Good Word. He didn’t tell them to force the Word upon anyone who wouldn’t listen. In fact, in Matthew 10:14, he made it clear that we needn’t waste our time with those who won’t receive the message.

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Based upon the words of the coffee shop’s owner (found in the reference article below), it’s clear that he was not ready to hear anything these people had to say, whether it was Biblical doctrine or perspectives on abortion. Just as they needed to dust off their feet and move on, so too should we simply avoid this coffee shop and spend our time reaching those who can be reached.

The worst thing we can do is to become inconsistent with when and where we defend a particular right. It behooves us to heed the words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Perspectives

A Lesson In Free-Market Economics: Gay Shop Owner Kicks Christians Out Of His Business Because Their Beliefs ‘Offend’ Him

http://www.dailywire.com/news/22042/lesson-free-market-economics-gay-shop-owner-kicks-frank-campConservatives have rightly been disturbed by the instances of Christian business owners being sued for their refusal to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. Florists, bakers, chapel owners – all varieties of wedding-related businesses have seen the legal axe come down on them simply because they politely declined involvement in same-sex weddings.

It would be easy to turn the tables, and condemn the coffee shop owner for his actions. However, as conservatives, we should be looking at this case in a different light. This was the free-market at work.

Culture and Religion

Video: What is a Classical Liberal?

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A short video making the point that the Left is no longer Liberal, having traded individualism for collectivism.

In one of their first animated video shorts, the Rubin Report discusses the vitally important topic of just who is a Classical Liberal.

OUR FIRST ANIMATED VIDEO! What is a Classical Liberal?

Liberalism has been confused with Leftism or progressivism, which is actually has nothing to do with classical Liberalism. Sadly the Left is no longer Liberal at all for it has traded individualism for collectivism.

The Rubin Report
Published on Jul 10, 2018

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Culture and Religion

$.02: When is it OK to quit church?

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Chris Sonsken of South Hills Church and founder Church BOOM penned a piece on Fox News that caught my attention on Twitter. It was a good column. Read the article here. The article addressed a Pew Research finding as to why people change churches. There finding as shown by Sonsken are:

  • Sermon quality
  • Welcoming environment/people
  • Style of worship
  • Location

Sonsken does a great job in arguing that there are biblically sound reasons for leaving a church and finding a new one.

1. It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave.

2. It’s OK to leave for family and marriage.

3. It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church.

4.  It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership.

5.  It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.

Sonsken even mentions that unethical practices like abuse are reasons to leave, though not the norm for the majority of church swapping.

The reasons Sonsken gave are no cause for disagreement, and I’m sure his book Quit Church probably better articulates them.

Where I want to add my two sense on the matter is that I disagree with his assessment sermon quality is not a biblical reason for changing churches. The supposition that sermon quality is inherently a result of the person treating church like an object of consumption, as Sonsken suggests is not true. I believe sermon quality is an umbrella term for several reasons for not liking a Sunday message.

Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit. The same pastor who was previously deep enough becomes shallow once there is an offense. It’s incredibly difficult to hear from God in a sermon when we are offended by the person delivering the sermon.

This is true in many cases. A sin that is personal gets preached on and the offended party leaves. I don’t deny this to be the case. But I believe we should look deeper into the current trends of worship and focus on the mission of the church.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-21 ESV

The church is to preach the gospel, but people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is only part of the mission. The Church is tasked with making disciples. The church is meant to teach. Not every follower is at the same level in their spiritual maturity or theological depth. Some churches, larger churches in particular dumb down the bible. In public education, this would be seen as lowering the bar. In church this practice could hold back believers in their growth. Small groups are a way to supplement this, and every church should employ bible study as a means to grow discipleship.

Many churches now are focused on metrics. This can lead to theologically watered down sermons and worship. Why risk offending that person who may leave with a sermon? But if a church is more focused on using a Sunday message to give a motivational speech using an out of context passage, what does it matter if they are doctrinally sound (in their written beliefs)?

There are a lot of heretical churches in America. We have issues like gay marriage to separate the sheep from the goats. But what about the sheep that suck? If a church has the right doctrine but is more focused on metrics than the power of the Holy Spirit, their head is in the wrong place. So it is biblically sound to change churches so that your head to remains in the right place.

That is not treating church like a consumer product. That is treating church like one’s means to grow spiritually, better recognizing the mission of the Great Commission.

That is my $.02 on the matter. I hope I added some meaningful word to this topic.


This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.

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Culture and Religion

Video: So, You Think You’re Tolerant?

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Leftists like to fancy themselves as being tolerant and Liberal, but they fall way short in both qualities.

Leftists will tell you that they are the most tolerant people who have ever lived, they will also scream at you for being a racist, xenophobic troglodyte if you happen to mention that you’re a conservative. They are supposedly ‘Liberal’, being in favour of Liberty while demanding it’s polar opposite – socialism.

Yes, if there is one constant in the universe, its that Leftists cannot be honest about who they truly are. This is what we love about our wonderful opponents on the nation’s socialist Left, for they are nothing like another group that went by the same nomenclature who also screamed at people in the streets with the motto: Common Good Before Individual Good. [Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz]

But let’s not talk about the epithets they project on their enemies, let’s talk about how they get along with everyone who just happens to agree with everything they say. A new PragerU video featuring Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report looked at who is really tolerant. He is a true Liberal that discovered that it is actually the Pro-Liberty Right that is more tolerant, go figure.

Dave Rubin
Jul 9, 2018
Are you tolerant? You probably think so. But who is tolerant in America today? Is it those on the left, or those on the right? In this video, Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report analyzes this question and shares his experience.

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