The furor over Indiana’s RFRA is not surprising. In one sense, the political machinations mean very little to me. More significant in my mind is the way the Church thinks through the challenges pertaining to Christian life and witness. I’ve attempted to summarize the thoughts/arguments from one side of this debate.
Choosing not to provide a service for LGBT nuptials means:
- I must want to refuse any/all service to the LGBTQ community.
- I can’t be Christlike in the act.
- I’m choosing not to love a particular kind of sinner.
- I never want to associate with LGBTQ people.
- I’m a hypocrite unless I refuse to serve all sinners.
- I’ve chosen to condemn one (wo)man’s sin while ignoring all other sin.
- I lose my best opportunity to share the gospel.
As a full-time, vocational pastor the community requests my services for various wedding services. In an RFRA scenario, will Christians apply the baker/florist/photog critique to a pastor, too?
OK, maybe the title for this post is over the top. A little background:
Our daughter has come to enjoy reading with dad–provided she picks the book (is that a female thing?). Her literary taste is quite bland and her selections are entirely predictable. To be fair, she’s only two so for now I just enjoy the time spent with her.
Anyway, this morning I took to reading to her for a few minutes before I left for the office. To my surprise she didn’t pull out one of the books I’ve nearly memorized. She went for a Disney collection of fairy tales. During an “abbreviated” read of Pinocchio we came across the Blue Fairy who, after bringing the wooden puppet to life, counsels him “Always let your conscience be your guide.”
The moralizer(s) of the fairy tale assumes that by listening to our conscience we’ll astutely avoid familial estrangement, truancy, exploitation, or the jack-assery of self-indulgence on Pleasure Island. But what if our conscience is broken? Where do we turn for guidance when our conscience can’t be trusted (Jer 17:9; Rom 1:28-32; Eph 4:17-19)?
A man’s conscience may seem a sufficient guide but if, like Pinocchio, we desire real life we need more than the damning counsel of a fairy.