February 17, 2017
Bouquet of False Beliefs Lead to Demise of Christian Florist
By Anthony Wade
A Washington State court ruled 9-0 against a Christian florist who has been taught so poorly in American Christianity that she believed Jesus was about denying to serve people.
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. -- Colossians 4: 5 (NKJV)
By all accounts, Barronelle Stutzman sounds like a kind Christian woman. The truth is I feel badly for her. Not so much because she lost a 9-0 court decision yesterday regarding her refusal to sell flowers for a gay marriage but rather that she has been taught so poorly in American Christianity to believe that this would even be vaguely acceptable by the Savior she claims. The crux of the story is that Ms. Stutzman owns Arlene's flowers in a small city in Washington State. She had a regular customer that she knew was gay and she provided service to him without discrimination. That was until he decided to get married and wanted his florist to do the arrangement. Stutzman rejected the order, refused service and tried valiantly to explain that she felt it violated her religious beliefs against gay marriage. The man sued and yesterday the courts ruled in his favor overwhelmingly. This is hardly the first such case, which Christians always lose and always will until they actually read their Gospel and understand finally that they do not live in a theocracy. Perhaps the saddest disconnect is that Christians do not understand that the very laws that were used to defeat them yesterday are there to protect them tomorrow. Naturally, all of the faux Christian leaders who are actually idol worshipers of this country were apoplectic after the ruling. One such leader is Dr. Michael Brown who took pen to paper and penned the article linked below entitled, "Shame on the Silent Christian Leaders Who Refuse to Stand Against Government Tyranny."
The irony of being chastised by one the most compromised Christian leaders today is laughable. Dr. Brown has shredded what was left of his credibility this past year by embracing outright heretics like Bill Johnson and Joseph Prince. He has also been proven to be a GOP stooge and political operative more than a Christian trying to spread the Gospel. He constantly defends the completely indefensible new administration to prop up his blind support during the election season. Nevertheless, his articles are of tremendous value because they always brilliantly highlight what is wrong in the thinking and mindset of Christian leaders today. So let us reason together beloved with the key verse as our guide. This is the problem when you idolize this nation instead of realizing your citizenship is in heaven. People like Dr. Brown fancy themselves as having dual citizenship but the Bible teaches the opposite. If you keep your mind on the kingdom then you will not find yourself getting bogged down in the politics of Sodom. Our key verse reminds us that there are only two types of people and they are not Democrat and Republican. They are not liberal and conservative. They are those on the inside of salvation and those on the outside. That's it. This verse commands us to approach those on the outside in two very distinct ways. One is with wisdom and we know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, right? We ought to approach those on the outside of salvation understanding that God wants them saved.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. -- 2Peter 3: 9 (ESV)
Satan has done masterful job in these last days in convincing Christians to loathe the very people who need the Gospel the most. We need to approach them with wisdom. Wisdom is found in God's Word through the illumination of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We need to realize that the Bible says they still think the things of God are foolishness to them. We know the Bible teaches us that only the Gospel has the power to save them. So short of proclaiming the Gospel, bashing them over the head with Leviticus verses is probably not the best idea. Neither is suing them in court. Is there any Christian that truly believes this couple is any closer to Christ because of this lawsuit? The answer has to be a resounding no and that is the only thing that should matter to us.
The second command in the key verse for dealing with those on the outside is to redeem the time. Well what does that mean preacher? That means time is running out. I know we convince ourselves that we always have tomorrow but it promised to no one. Jesus is coming back. The birth pains are coming closer together and the love of most is waxing cold. The corruption in the world and in the church is growing at an exponential rate. It is simply unsustainable. Realize each time you deal with someone on the outside that might be their last chance. It might be their only chance. To see Christ. To understand that Jesus Christ does not want to sue them but rather to save them. Let us now turn to Dr. Michael Brown who displays for us what is so wrong with popular Christian thinking regarding this subject.
"Appalling is the silence of Christian leaders who choose convenience over confrontation, leaders who would rather be popular than prophetic, leaders who prefer the favor of people over the favor of God. Shame on these silent leaders." -- Dr. Michael Brown
The irony here is ridiculous. Dr. Brown has not met a false teacher he cannot excuse for their egregiously false doctrine. He spent a week on the Benny Hinn show! He excused Bill Johnson, who believes in angel feathers, gold dust, grave sucking, teaching the spiritual gifts and glory clouds! He just had a hug-fest with antinomian master Joseph Prince who believes his followers will be the last generation of believers before the rapture and will get five times more stuff and anointings because they are the "Benjamin Generation." All of that is completely acceptable to Michael Brown but not deriding a court decision apparently draws his ire. That should be all you need to know about who Michael Brown is serving because it is not God. His eyes are firmly planted upon this world. False doctrine? The very thing the Bible says causes disunity in the church and preachers must rebuke? Defended and excused. A 9-0 court decision that goes against a Christian florist and he wants to call down fire from heaven. Even his logic is absurd. In his line of thinking, it is Christian to be confrontational instead of salt and light. That somehow denying flowers to someone who is on the outside is being prophetic and will result in the favor of God. Can you imagine standing before Christ and trying to explain this mess? Is there someone in the Bible Jesus sued that I forgot about? Someone He turned away? Brown now ventures into carnal matters which he clearly does not understand as well:
"These justices ruled unanimously against florist Stutzman, claiming she discriminated against a longtime gay customer when she told him she couldn't make the floral arrangement for his upcoming gay "wedding," despite the fact that she had served him for years and despite her recommending three other florists"" -- Dr. Michael Brown
Let me explain how discrimination works. If you deny someone something you do for a living based upon who they are that you would not deny someone else -- you are discriminating. That is the definition of what it means to discriminate. Do you know what does not matter? If you had not discriminated up until that point. You know what else does not matter? The fact that you offered up other people who would not discriminate. Here is the larger point however that Brown does not understand. Today he might think it perfectly acceptable to discriminate against a gay couple but tomorrow it will be Christians. The law works to protect everyone, not just those who are on the inside with us. Can you imagine the outrage if a business refused service to a couple who were Christian? Dr. Brown would be organizing protests. Well get ready because those days are coming beloved. The Bible assures us that when the one world religion is ushered in it will be Christians that will be demonized as the people of no tolerance and it is the Michael Browns of the world we can thank because they approached those on the outside without wisdom and not caring to redeem the time.
"Instead the court ruled that this 72 year old grandmother who had employed gay workers and served gay customers for years, was required by law to participate in a gay wedding, even though this constituted a direct violation of her religious beliefs." -- Dr. Michael Brown
Let's first start with the false comparison logical fallacy. The fact that she may have not discriminated in the past does not excuse if she did now. This is akin to when people accused of racism answer that they have black friends. The real problem in this snippet is the completely false assertion that the woman was required by law to participate in a gay wedding. Designing a floral arrangement is not "participating." What this is, is a business owner who makes floral arrangements for a living being asked to provide the service she provides. Let's try it another way. If a mixed couple came into her shop and she refused to provide her service because she believes the races should not be mixed, I assume Dr. Brown would agree that is an unacceptable reason. Why? Because it discriminates. It is the exact same argument the state is making here. Providing flowers is not practicing her religion and it makes Christians seem awful petty to pretend it does.
But let's discuss the third part of this snippet. That preparing flowers somehow violates her religious beliefs. It does not beloved; it simply does not. There is no transference of sin in the Bible. The admonitions in the Bible that she must be referencing are related to HER life and HER behavior -- not others. They are responsible for their own behavior. We have enough to worry about with our own sins! Christianity is not behavior modification. This is the false narrative that the NAR, dominionists and America the idol worshipers engage in all the time. That if only they can convince those on the outside to behave better that God would stay His coming wrath. Jesus did not command us to go into all the earth and force people to behave better. While we are on this subject let's also deal with the obvious hypocrisy. Does this shopkeeper also screen her customers to make sure they are not cohabitating in sin? Or whether they had committed adultery? My guess is no, which makes her an unintended hypocrite. Ms. Stutzman all but admits this is not about Jesus in her explanation for turning down a very agreeable settlement offer from the state:
"Your offer reveals that you don't really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It is about freedom, not money." -- Barronelle Stutzman
Now she goes on to say it is her freedom to "honor God" but that wildly misses the point as well. John and James were once upset that a Samaritan village did not accept Christ and asked if they should call fire down from heaven to consume them. Jesus rebuked them. If you read the Gospel accounts and still think Jesus would be on the side of the florist then you do not understand the Gospel. Stutzman then says that if she accepted the settlement she would become like Judas! So denying services to someone because you discriminate against them based upon your perception of their sin, makes you Judas! But if you don't think that is too over the top, wait until you read what Dr. Brown compared this to:
"In the aftermath of the Holocaust, courageous Christian leader Basilea Schlink rebuked the silence of Christians immediately after Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis set synagogues on fire and vandalized Jewish places of business, also killing and beating some Jewish victims as well. And while I am not comparing gay activists and their allies to Nazis, and I am not comparing the court ruling to Kristallnacht, I am comparing the silence of Christians then and now." -- Dr. Michael Brown
What???? I think Dr. Brown has watched too many speeches from his new Messiah, Mr. Trump. You do not get to compare two things as blatantly as he just did and then say, "But I am not comparing them." YES YOU ARE. The silence of Christians as you put it, that you admit to comparing, is in direct relation to what they are silent about! Dr. Michael Brown has lost his mind when it comes to this country. He has just compared the Kristallnacht to a 9-0 verdict affirming laws that were already on the books. Beloved do not miss this point. There are laws that are undeniably specific on the books in Washington and other states. The time to dissent has passed. If you wish to see them repealed there are measures to be taken including voting in people who you feel would undertake that. Short of that however, you cannot just decide to not adhere to the law. That is what makes someone a criminal. The State of Washington has decided that a place of business may not deny their services to someone based upon who they are. Those same laws that protect people you may disagree with today will protect Christians tomorrow. Dr. Brown and the people who ascribe to this form of dominionism fail to realize that they do not live in a Christian theocracy.
Those are all secular arguments though. They are carnal and while they have merit, the true issue here is always spiritual. Beloved we are not charged with saving this country. We are not charged with conforming the culture. We are not charged with preparing this fallen world for Christ. He will come back as King and Judge. Out effect on culture is not felt in the ballot box, where we place our hopes in people who are just as much on the outside as everyone else. The effect is supposed to come from our lives. Our charge is the Gospel because only the Gospel can save someone. What Dr. Michael Brown is advocating for is ridiculous. He wants Christian leaders to point their fingers at people who cannot see and blame them for their own blindness. I feel very badly for Barronelle Stutzman today. I feel bad that she may lose her business. I feel worse though that someone taught her that this was a righteous stand when it is not. That she thought her Christian duty was not the Gospel but rather to apply the moral standard of the law that Christ saved her from to other people who are already under that law. The Bible says that you are either gathering people to Jesus or scattering them away. There is no way this gathers anyone to Christ. No way at all. Well what are we supposed to do preacher? Just let them walk all over us?
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. -- Matthew 5: 38-42 (ESV)
Ouch. If someone sues you, let him have even more than he is asking for. Beloved, the Bible is not easy to live. I get that. We are held to a higher standard. It is far easier to be the religious zealot who crosses to the other side of the street than it is to be the Good Samaritan. It is easier to be the other son angry at having everything with the Father than the prodigal, having to humble oneself and come home. It is easier being the publican who views himself in relation to God than the tax collector who cannot even lift his head to gaze up to God for knowing who he is. Dr. Brown bemoaned Christians not taking a stand so I will capitulate. I take a stand against this kind of false teaching that results in grandmothers losing their businesses because they have believed in vain that Jesus Christ is about who He wouldn't serve.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- February 17, 2017
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.