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You may have heard: East Lansing, Michigan, is in the news.

The city of East Lansing is now facing a lawsuit when it comes to the city's farmers market.

The suit was filed this morning after the city excluded Charlotte-area farmer Steve Tennes and his family from selling their crops at the farmer's market because of the family's religious beliefs.

The dispute started in August last year when a person reached out to Steve Tennes on the Country Mill's Farm Facebook page regarding their religious marital beliefs.

Tennes responded honestly stating he and his family will not book same-sex couple weddings at their farm because it is against their religious views.

Since then, the situation escalated and the city of East Lansing refused Tennes and his family a spot at the farmer's market and now the Tennes family is taking legal action against East Lansing.

Depending on whom you listen to, East Lansing is either standing up to bigots or violating the First Amendment rights of Catholic farmers. As the latest in a growing list of same-sex marriage disputes, it’s no surprise the story has been garnered local, statewide, and national attention.

I might as well put my cards on the table: as an evangelical Christian who believes in the historic definition of marriage, and as an American citizen concerned with the erosion of religious liberty, I support the Tennes family and am thankful that Alliance Defending Freedom has taken up their case. But rather than repeating the religious arguments in favor of traditional marriage or the legal arguments in favor of religious liberty, I’d like to offer a few personal reflections.

My City

I live and work in East Lansing. Yes, I’m moving in less than two weeks to take a pastoral position in North Carolina, but since 2004 the Lansing area has been my home, and since 2012 I’ve lived in East Lansing.

A few details for outsiders. Lansing is the state capital of Michigan. East Lansing is not just the eastern part of Lansing, it’s a separate municipality. With a little less than 50,000 residents, East Lansing is most well known for being the home of Michigan State University. It’s a great city and a wonderful place to raise a family. East Lansing has a small-town feel, but with a vibrant little downtown and world-class arts and athletics. There are nice parks, good schools (if partisan and liberal at times), plenty of places to run or ride a bike, and a lot of kind, decent people. There are more Christians here than you might think, and the non-religious usually respect people of faith. My son’s baseball team, for example, has been understanding that Sunday morning baseball games just aren’t going to work for us.

I’d like to say I was shocked to hear that my city denied a Catholic farmer the ability to sell his produce at the local farmer’s market, but East Lansing is a deeply progressive place. The city is overwhelmingly Democratic, with a strong Bernie vibe. East Lansing is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and almost any social justice or LGBTQ issue. Judging by responses I’ve seen from friends and neighbors on Facebook, I imagine most residents are proud of the city for barring the Country Mill from selling their fruits and vegetables here in East Lansing.

Toward a More Inclusive Inclusion

As a member of the East Lansing community (at least for ten more days), I’d like to suggest that this pride is misplaced. I want to assume the best about those who made the decision to push out the Tennes family. Maybe East Lansing officials are out to punish traditional Christians. But I think it’s more likely they believe strongly that people like the Tennes family and people like me are on the wrong side of history. They are probably convinced that tolerance and inclusion demand that LGBTQ dissenters be given no quarter and offered no compromise.

But what if this leads to a militantly exclusive form of inclusion?

I wonder if East Lansing officials see the radicalism in the position they’ve adopted. Do they really want to send the signal that evangelicals, traditional Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus, not to mention many visiting scholars from Africa and Asia, are human-rights abusers for believing in the historic definition of marriage?

And do they really want to inject culture war politics into every aspect of our community life? On the East Lansing webpage, it says ,”What makes the ELFM unique is that every item sold by vendors is 100 percent homegrown. Vendors must either grow their own produce or make their own products. Customers at the market enjoy authentic local Michigan goods.” Sounds like a great vision for a farmer’s market. But then in an official statement responding to the lawsuit, East Lansing defends its position against the Tennes family by saying vendors must “embody the spirit of the market.” You mean, like the selling homegrown Michigan products? Or like denying two millennia of church teaching on marriage?

Officials claim that the Tennes family violates the Public Policy section of East Lansing’s Civil Rights Code:

It is hereby declared to be contrary to the public policy of the City of East Lansing for any person to deny any other person the enjoyment of his/her civil rights or for any person to discriminate against any other person in the exercise of his/her civil rights or to harass any person because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, height, weight, disability, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, student status, or because of the use by an individual of adaptive devices or aids.

I get that the city of East Lansing thinks it is morally wrong for the Tennes family to disallow same-sex couples from getting married on their property. But the family was not denying anyone the right to buy any of the fruits and vegetables they want. They were minding their own business (literally) when they were told to not to return to the farmer’s market. So who is harassing whom?

For all the talk of diversity and inclusion, I’ve found that East Lansing can be disinterested in diversity that dares to circumvent progressive norms. The high school recently had hijab day where students were encouraged to wear the Muslim head covering in support of other cultures. You can be sure a similar day encouraging students to wear cross jewelry would not have been met with the same enthusiasm.

I don’t think people are trying to be insensitive. They just don’t realize that like conservatives, liberals can live in bubbles too. I can think of numerous times I’ve been talking to East Lansing friends and neighbors when the person talking to me will say something about gay marriage with the obvious assumption that since my wife and I are nice people and we live in East Lansing that we obviously agree with them. East Lansing wants to be a welcoming place, but it seems as if they prefer ethnic and sexual diversity to genuine intellectual diversity.

Besides being a possible infringement of First Amendment rights, the farmer’s market policy is unwise and untenable. Do we really want to make sexual expression and gay marriage the shibboleths for entrance into polite society? What about the sign I read at the East Lansing owned and operated community center that says men must not bring girls into men’s locker room? Is that a violation of transgender human rights? Or what about the fact that the farmer market itself advertises that children’s activities will be provided by Ascension Lutheran Church? I don’t know what the leaders of the church believe, but I know it is a member of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, which is a denomination that holds to the traditional view of marriage. I’m sure city officials are thankful to the church for providing a nice community service, one that has nothing to do with its views on Obergefell, so why not pursue the same sort of attitude toward farmers selling fruit?

I love East Lansing. As a place to live, I would recommend it to almost anyone. I’ve enjoyed meeting a lot of kind, friendly, decent people in East Lansing, many of whom think and worship differently than I do. But I hope the city will rethink its progressively partisan policies. There is a fuller kind of inclusion and a richer kind of diversity that can better embody the spirit of what East Lansing says it wants to be.


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Comments:


50 thoughts on “East Lansing Farmer’s Market: Isn’t There a Better Way?”

  1. Chris Gallo says:

    You don’t seem to understand the nature of Progressivism and its hatred for Christ and His Church. No opposition can be tolerated.

    Their answer to your rhetorical questions, “do we really want to make sexual expression and gay marriage the shibboleths for entrance into polite society,” and “do they really want to inject culture war politics into every aspect of our community life,” is a resounding, “YES!”

    Are you really this naive? Progressivism is the enemy of Christianity and it has been extremely successful at infiltrating the Church and transforming culture, one step at a time.

    You might not want to accept that they are your enemy, but make no mistake, you are theirs.

  2. Dr. Richard Zeile says:

    Very well stated and thought out sir! We will miss you in Michigan.

  3. Curt Day says:

    It seems that according to the above post, the wrongness of discrimination depends on a relative moral standard. For it depends on who is exercising discrimination against whom. For one side, it is ok to respond to the discrimination practiced by the Tennes family with discrimination. As for the other side, it seems that it is ok for Christians to discriminate against the LGBT community when it comes to weddings.

    What many of us Christians don’t see is this: when we use our private property in order to offer goods and services in business transactions, we are dealing with a larger community than just offering services to fellow believers or those with whom we want to associate; we are working within a broader social context. That the principles we use are principles that all others in business should be allowed to use. And if we are allowed to discriminate against a group because of whatever principles we cite, so should all others. At this point, part of what occurred during Jim Crow should be considered.

    The issue here isn’t whether the Tennes family are discriminating in every way possible, the issue is whether all others should be allowed to practice the discrimination that the Tennes family is practicing in forbidding same-sex weddings on their not so private property–it is not so private property if that part of their property is being used as a business such as in the hosting weddings.

  4. Linda Jarvis says:

    You talk about the distinctly Bernie vibe. That is truer than you may have originally thought, after his anti-Christian line of questioning Russell Vought.

  5. James Ensley says:

    Thank you for taking the time and energy to speak up and defend a community member in this post. I know moving is stressful and this may bring some heat. I believe you raise important points in a non-combative way. Looking forward to your continued ministry.

  6. Marshall says:

    Cities shouldn’t be in the business of being in business. If they stayed in their (what should be, limited) jurisdiction, maybe someone would come along and privitize a farmer’s market. Then this problem wouldn’t be a problem.

  7. James says:

    <> Exactly. The wider (progressive) culture’s preference for relatively unhindered sexual license, and the accompanying discrimination used to bludgeon those who oppose it, is not something that ought be defended in civil society – Christian or not. The irony is that so many self-professed Christians have no issue with giving wide berth to such illiberality in the name of fair play or “compassion”.

  8. James says:

    Sorry. This is the quote I was referncing: “Do we really want to make sexual expression and gay marriage the shibboleths for entrance into polite society?”

  9. James says:

    “referencing”…need an editor.

  10. David says:

    It is almost certainly also true that many of the vendors agree with Country Mill, they just don’t host weddings. I think the best protest would be them, still attending the market, but displaying signage that informs people about the lawsuit and expresses their belief that Country Mill ought be allowed to attend. Would take courage.

  11. Levi says:

    Curt-

    There is a huge difference you are missing here. The family not allowing gay “weddings” on their property are private citizens. Citizens can discriminate, and be discriminated against. It is fair for Christians to hold views that people do not like and vice versa. But the City of East Lansing is the government. And the government is not to discriminate based on religion, it says so in its very statement on inclusion. It’s one if private citizens hold beliefs or conduct actions that discriminate, it is a whole other level when the government does it.

  12. Carolyn Putney says:

    Curt Day says that if Christians are allowed to discriminate against a group who holds different beliefs other than their’s, then so should every other group. What he doesn’t understand is that they do. Try going into a Muslim bakery and asking for a wedding cake for a same sex marriage. Try going into a bakery owned by a LBGTQ and ask for a wedding cake that cites the Bible about marriage being between a man and a woman, and see what happens. This has actually been an experiment tried, and the customer was basically shoved out of the store! In addition, the Tennes’ property IS private property, on which they have invited people to come and share in their market, apple orchard, etc. They do not discriminate who they sell to, or who may participate in the hay rides, select pumpkins, etc. As owners of this private property, they should have a legal say in what activities will be allowed, just as anyone else would over those they invite to their property/home. I don’t allow people to smoke at my house. What about businesses who now do not allow customers to smoke? Isn’t that discrimination established (first) by certain business owners, and now established by other state measures? Whether my refusal to let people smoke has to do with my Christian beliefs, or not, makes no difference. It is my home, and you are my guest, and I will make certain rules on the basis that it is my home. Period.

    In addition, the Tennes’ property is NOT in East Lansing. Their religious beliefs regarding that property has nothing to do with East Lansing, nothing to do with their business at the Farmer’s Market (they don’t discriminate who they sell to, and I’m quite certain they treat every single person with kindness and respect who goes to their booth. They have done business there for a number of years, and nobody had an issue, until Mr. Tennes was honest in what he believed. Then, he became this bad guy.

    East Lansing may consider itself a progressive place, but in my opinion, when a community becomes such that they become a bully towards those who hold a conservative, faith-based belief, it is not progressive at all. I can already hear others say the Tennes’ are doing the same thing; bullying those whose religious belief is different. But the key point here is “religious” or “faith based.” LBGTQ is not a religion; it is a lifestyle. Why don’t we see LGBTQ people suing Muslims for discrimination? There is no way a Muslim bakery or entity would host a gay wedding anywhere!! When one looks at how Muslims think about gay weddings, or anyone in the LGBTQ community, how those people are treated in predominately Muslim countries, how is that considered progressive, yet the Muslims are welcomed with open arms. Not so for Christians, who may not agree with gay marriage, but don’t go cutting off heads, stoning, burning someone alive, etc.

    If I lived in East Lansing, and we just moved from the greater Lansing area, as a Christian I would not attend the Farmer’s Market. I think the best impact the Christian community can make in opposition to this, is to avoid the market, and let them see the impact of this decision.

  13. Loriann S. says:

    Thoughtful article, loving attitude.

  14. Eric says:

    I’m usually sympathetic to private individuals exercising their rights. I understand where you’re coming from, and I wish there was a way to compromise. I can also sympathize with the city and their desire not to be associated with oppressive ideologies. And considering that plenty of Christians still want to criminalize homosexuality, execute gays, and generally use the power of the government to impose their own understanding of the universe on the rest of the world, I get why East Lansing felt the need to make a statement.

  15. Pat says:

    Are you aware that according to my research the tennes family has chosen not to hosy any weddings of any kind on their property thereby losing revenue in order to eliminate the conflict but it made no difference to the east Lansing farmers market.

  16. Troy Lazarus says:

    I recall in my political science class that the Bill of Rights was designed to protect us from the Government, not each other. The Government can not enact any law that favors one religion over another or declares one religion superior over any other. The Bill of Rights protects us from discrimination from the Government, not from other citizens. The very name of Progressivism assumes their philosophy is right and everyone else is wrong. It denies all flexibility when it comes to freedom of thought and expression and denies anyone a voice who disagrees with it.

  17. hsl says:

    Quick side question: Where are you going to, Kevin?

  18. Lance Rodgers says:

    Good article, but your use of the word “disinterested” in the fourth to the last paragraph is incorrect. It should be “uninterested”.

  19. Lumi Schartle says:

    What happened in our society with our respect to the people that want to offer products or services to others? Why are we coming to them with a demanding attitude? If what they offer does not satisfy my appetite or my prefference, then I should demand it? For example I like a certain kind of white shoes and I go to a store that does not provide that for me. Should I start demanding to the store manager to provide them for me or I will go and put him in the news that how could he dare not have that kind of shoes in his store? Or I really would like that main stream doctors treat me as a patient also from a functional medicine view, paying attention to the whole body and not only treating my symptoms ( that is my prefference as a patient), but that is not found with the main stream doctors, but in a free country I can go and be seen by a functional medicine doctor. So, it is my choice and my privilege to go and choose the business that will provide the kind of product or service I prefer and desire without persecuting the ones that choose or cannot serve me with all my appetites and prefferences. That is called respect of each other ! The availability of choices in this country is so great, that should not even come close to us to become demanding as there is only one person in the whole picture: ME ! ME! ME!

  20. Curt Day says:

    Levi,
    The distinction you are missing is that of private property designated for private use and private property used in a business. The Jim Crow laws allowed for owners of the latter kind of private property could discriminate against in their businesses. So the question is this: Do we want to opt for that part of Jim Crow only for a different group?

  21. Curt Day says:

    Carolyn,
    That others discriminate is no grounds for us to discriminate. That those others must be held to the same standard we are.

    Other than that, I would point you to my response to Levi as well as back to my first comment.

  22. Stephen Madonna says:

    Churches throughout the area should suggest members not shop there.

  23. Phil says:

    Curt Day – I’ve observed, upon following Kevin’s posts over the past few years, that you generally have an opposing or additional comment to make on his articles. Ignoring perhaps two of Paul’s admonitions:

    “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”

    and 1 Tim 3-10 regarding controversies among brethren.

    Have you found this to be fruitful within the Christian community in promoting peace and unity. If you agree that homosexuality is a sin in the Lord’s eyes then isn’t it wiser to error on the side of caution?

  24. Levi says:

    Curt-

    I understand that they are private citizens offering a public service by having weddings (which they have now ceased to offer any weddings). But you missed my point. the point is this, they are private citizens. The city did not go after their wedding business saying it violated discrimination laws. No, rather the city government chose to discriminate at private citizens by banning them from selling produce at a public marketplace. The fundamental difference is that this is a city discriminating against an individual based on their religious beliefs. They are not enforcing anti-discrimination laws demanding that the family host gay weddings. No, they have inflicted financial harm by banning their produce from being sold in public place. The difference is clear, personal discrimination versus state-sponsored discrimination. The constitution is clear, the government has no business making such distinctions. If city governments can do that, then perhaps some little town in the South should ban a muslim family from selling its products because they are against gay marriage… No one should want to go down this path.

  25. Phil says:

    Curt Day – I’ve observed, upon following Kevin’s posts over the past few years, that you generally have an opposing or additional comment to post on his articles. Ignoring perhaps two of Paul’s admonitions:

    “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”

    and 1 Tim 3-10 regarding controversies among brethren.

    Have you found this to be fruitful within the Christian community and promote peace and unity. If you agree that homosexuality is a sin in the Lord’s eyes then isn’t it wiser to error on the side of caution?

  26. Levi says:

    Curt-

    I am not asking or talking at all about whether or not a person in the marketplace can discriminate, something you fail to acknowledge. The point I have continually made is that whether or not you allow for personal discrimination, it is illegal for any government at any level to discriminate based on religious beliefs. This is what East Lansing has done. How? They banned a Catholic family from selling at a public marketplace because of their catholic views. You may have had a point if the local government had sought to make them host gay weddings, but that is not what they did. They chose to block their other business based on their religious actions. That is a whole other level of discrimination because it is state sponsored. As I said before, do you really want to go down this route where city ogvernments make decisions on who can sell at a farmer’s market based on their religious convictions? If so, there are many little towns around this country would could do the same thing to Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, etc. Whether or not you agree with what the Tennes did with their farm and weddings, everyone should be against what East Lansing did. If you are not, then you should be for other towns doing the same things to other people groups.

  27. Curt Day says:

    Levi,
    I am only challenging whether a person can discriminate in the market place. The issue of whether the land that Tennes used to host weddings was part of the market place is key here. If he was charging for others to use his land for weddings, then that part of his land is part of the market place. Quite simply, we can’t have discrimination in the market place.

    As for the Catholic family you cited, from what you say I would have to disagree with that particular ban. My agreement on the ban of the Tenne farm from the market place is conditional based on whether I have enough info to make the call. Again, I don’t know if Tennes charged people money for using his land for weddings.

  28. Curt Day says:

    Phil,
    I don’t see where those scriptures apply to what I have written on Kevin’s blog. I do see a lack of concern for social injustice when corporate sins are not mentioned while we over indulge ourselves in trying to prohibit equality for the LGBT community. Should note here, that whatever we do, when we call ourselves Christians we associate our actions and the groups we belong to with the Gospel. So what I have objected to in some of Kevin’s writings is the attention given to LGBT issues vs attention given to corporate sins where, most often, the wealthy are the primary beneficiaries. There is much Biblical precedent to objecting to not talking about social injustice. And history teaches us that when the Church sides with wealth and power, the Church not only brings unnecessary persecution on itself, it dishonors the Gospel.

  29. Phil says:

    Curt-

    Paul encourages the Philippians to continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling by continuing to obey. We know that sexual sin is to be taken seriously as Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians and there is no ambiguity regarding homosexuality. So, first and foremost, we must obey as we continue to work out our salvation.

    The point of 1 Tim 1:3-10 is the promoting of controversy and dissent among believers with false talk and whatever is against sound doctrine. Do you see yourself promoting unity or division on this issue?

    In Robert Bork’s 1996 book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline”, he saw America and more generally Western Civilization declining in a steady march toward ancient Gomorrah. Indeed many of us believe we are already long there. As far as a lack of social justice, equality and hypocrisies within the Christian church at-large, I don’t necessarily see that at all. In fact many of the mainline Protestant denominations Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational and non-denominationals have gone so far that direction as to have become apostate. The Gov’t is going to do what it is going to do but we must obey God and so while we can, those of us who are fighting for religious freedom, will continue to fight against irrational gov’t overreach.

    Where do you stand in regard to forcing gay marriages on private property or wedding photographers being required to attend and photograph gay weddings? And pls don’t recite again what you already have, I’ve heard the debate over and over again.

  30. mdb says:

    Curt-
    You obviously have a pro-LGBTQ agenda, and are being evasive to that point.
    1) Christians shouldn’t side with the rich and powerful? Great, then side with the farming family against a city government. That would be the correct response. Corporate sins not being mentioned? An entire city banning a family IS a corporate sin.
    2) One trope that was always brought out from those on the Left is that, people have the right to free speech, but there are consequences. This was always brought up if a Christian was fired for having views against gay marriage, or even a non-believer, in the case of Brenden Eich at Mozilla. I had a friend tell me that the first amendment only protects “from government discrimination.” Well, here we are. The government, the official government, is taking a stance against a family, because of what they believe religiously. Goodbye first amendment. Which, look, I am aware that many pro-LGBTQers don’t care about the dismissal of the first amendment, but it still needs to be said.

  31. Curt Day says:

    Phil,
    The issue here isn’t regading whether homosexuality is biblical or not. Of course it isn’t. But neither are other religions biblical and yet we extend to people who adhere to other faiths full equality in soceity. And since acceptance of homosexuality,, in many cases, is based on religuos belief, why is it wrong to extend fully equality to the LGBT community? Doing so does not prohibit us from sharing the Gospel and what God’s Word says about homosexuality. And won’t we have more willing listeners if we work for equality for the LGBT community in society than if wee work to marginalize them in society? I believe that I have just answered your question, but if it isn’t clear to you, then let me know.

  32. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    I am not sure what you mean by a pro-LGBT agenda. I only want them to be treated as full equals in society. And supporting some of the measures that were practiced during Jim Crow works against that equality.

    I think it is quite simple, we will have more opportunities to witness to others including those in the LGBT community if we work for full equality of the LGBT community in society. To the degree that we work to marginalize the LGBT community is the degree to which we are imitating Martin Luther as he called on German society to punish the Jews for their unbelief. Please note that he also said that failure to practice sanctions against the Jews for their unbelief was to be complicit with their unbelief.

    BTW, for each Christian who has lost a job because of how they expressed and practiced their biblical views of homosexuality, guess how many homosexuals were imprisoned, killed, harrassed, or lost their jobs for their sexual orientation in American history.

  33. mdb says:

    Curt-
    A lot for one reply, but we’ll do our best.
    There’s no such thing as equality. There are benefits to marriage. There are benefits to being single. You pick one path in life, and you don’t get to have the benefits of the other. Homosexuality is sin, and so-called homosexual marriage is no more marriage in God’s eyes than Flipper the Dolphin is a dalmatian.
    To your second paragraph, two points 1) There have been homosexuals who want the truth of their sin. They’ve said coddling won’t help. We’ve been tolerant for the past 30 years. It hasn’t worked. As LGBT’s get more power, we see them use it to further their agenda (bathroom laws, etc.). 2) Whenever someone tries to get someone to tolerate sin, do what I do. Substitute wife beater. Positive example: We’ve all sinned, God’s grace is there even for homosexuals (and wife-beaters). Example no one would use: Let’s give wife-beaters equal rights, so we can have more opportunities to witness to them!
    Your final paragraph: I would love to read more about homosexuals who have been killed in this country, because they are homosexuals. Do you have links?

  34. Curt Day says:

    MDB,
    Remarriage can also be sin. But here we are talking about what God commands, not what the state should allow. What else is sin is the worship of other gos. To deny that Jesus is the only way to the Father is sin. But having the freedom to remarry or worship other gods is allowed by the state. SO what should the state not allow same-sex marriage even though homosexuality is sin?

    Now, regarding tolerating sin, should we tolerate people who worship other gods and believe in others than Jesus? Substitute ‘wfie beater’ with worshiping other gods and see what you get. What you get is absurd because in terms of what the state should allow, wife beating and worshiping other gods are not comparable. So why would homosexuality and wife beating be comparable in ters of what the state should allow?

    As for what some other gays say, why should what they say prohibit what other gays want?

    As for researching my last paragraph from the previous note, I believe you can do that yourself. Don’t know how old you are, but when I was a kid, practicing homosexuality was illegal and could result in being incarcerated. In addition, for a while from the beginning of our nation, a legal penalty for practicing homosexuality was the death penalty.

  35. mdb says:

    Curt-
    First paragraph – What should the state allow? Indeed, that is the question. Not the main point here, but I disagree with the traditional position most take that, somehow, we should have biblical laws on homosexuality but also that the First Amendment is biblical.
    Second paragraph – Well, again, that is the question, isn’t it. What should the state allow? If you disqualify the biblical position, there are plenty of secular reasons to not want homosexuality in a society (AIDS, loss of population, etc.). If I may borrow a phrase….go look it up if you want to see what I mean.
    Third paragraph – It’s a circle. Some gays want it, some don’t. Christians should realize they are in the fight of their lives. This farmers market dispute shows it. They will not tire. Tolerating homosexuality is not needed among Christians, that’s been going on for 40 years…check the mainline denominations. This is about wiping out any opposition to homosexuality. I shouldn’t need to explain this to you, in fact, I don’t, but it’s for others who may read this.
    Your fourth paragraph was hilarious. I can look it up myself? That’s because you’ve got nothing. I challenged you to show me, and you had nothing. If I would have asked you about a racial killing, you would have said Emmett Till. The fact that you said nothing reveals…that you have nothing. In fact, Emmett Till is a good example. That was more than 60 years ago, and yet we still hear about it. If there was some brutal lynching of Brian the homosexual by a bunch of Christians, needless to say the secular media would jam that down our throats every second. The fact that the media hasnt’, well, shows the lack of truth in the matter.

  36. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    I found your first paragraph confusing.

    Regarding your second paragraph, so some secular people also oppose homosexuality. Why? Some secular people oppose Christianity, especially conservative Christianity. So should they set the law?

    Regarding third paragraph, what fight for our lives? We are being asked to share society with the LGBT community as equals. Does such sharing contradict or even cause us to compromise our faith? Some view it that way but some also had similar views during the dismantling of Jim Crow.

    Do you want to oppose homosexuality? Then preach what is in the Bible while avoiding negative associations with the Christian faith that would become stumbling blocks for people who would otherwise listen to you.

    The fourth paragraph, an empty accusation. In reality, the looking up of that information is easy. And that you would claim I have nothing might be because you haven’t looked upt the information. And laughing at the response the way you described is not an adult way of conversing. .

    Talk to people as equals, that is because they are.

  37. mdb says:

    Curt-
    Are you a Christian, who believes in salvation, by faith alone, in Jesus Christ, and that He is the only way to heaven?

  38. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    Yes, but why would you even ask that question? Is it because I disagreed with yo?

  39. mdb says:

    I asked it because I wondered if you were a genunine believer, or a concern-troll. Concern-trolling that Christians need to drop our “past hateful ways” towards homosexuals if we want them to repent. Do you notice how, that’s exactly what an apostate world says we should do? Exactly, except maybe drop the repent part? When Christian advocate for precisely what the world would want, it makes me suspicious.
    Right now, we need to be stronger on homosexuality than ever. Stronger that it is a sin, because, as this article shows, we are in for a fight on this issue. As one person wrote once, we went from legal gay marriage to homosexual tyranny in about a week, or so it seemed. And you are concerned that the church is, or was, hateful to gays? How about being more concerned that in the face of such cultural pressure, Christians might completely buckle and accept homosexuality, and by so doing, deny the the infallability of scripture.

  40. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    Is wanting Christians to drop out of past hurtful ways mutually exclusive to believing in Christ? If anything, it would seem continuing past hurtful ways contradicts the Gospel.

    What should be be meant by past hurtful ways? Certainly not telling people to repent. But marginalizing the LGBT community in society should be. Opposing equality for the LGBT community in society not only contradicts the Gospel, it causes the Gospel to be dishonored by non-Christians. We should note that, exegetically speaking, a strong case can be made for saying that homosexuality is not the worst sexual sin according to I Cor 5. And yet, Paul was not concerned about the sexual mores of society; he was concerned about sexual purity in the Church.

    Yes, we should teach what the Bible says about homosexuality. The Bible says that homosexual practices are sins. At the same time, as stated in Romans 3:9, states that we are all sinners together.

    Finally, labeling a group, like your use of ‘concern trolls,’ doesn’t show a command of information. Rather, it demonstrates a weakness in resorting to labeling in order to persuade another person to agree. And if you are concerned about the Church buckling, then make sure that the Church does not unnecessarily associate hatefulness with the Gospel by demanding that society punish a group like the LGBT community.

  41. mdb says:

    What do you mean by equality, for the LGBT community?

  42. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    I am talking about the same kind of equality for the LGBT community that we expect for any other group would have though some of the applications are different. Equality for the LGBT community would include the legalization of same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws that would protect the LGBT community both on the job and in the market place.

  43. mdb says:

    Curt-
    Ok. As I said upthread, I advocate for total equality for men who beat their wives. We need protection for them. They shouldn’t lose their jobs. We really need to de-criminalize it, actually. As a matter of fact, Christians should be FOR it! It will shine the light on how well Christian men treat their wives, which will really showcase the gospel.

    That was obviously sarcastic, but I could have gone on all day. You’re wrong. We should not legalize (or have legalized) gay marriage. Wife-beating is illegal, for a reason. Gay marriage was not permitted, for a reason. Lumping a group of people together and calling them “victims” doesn’t mean they deserve civil rights. And I mean that. We Christians need to own it. Civil rights for wife-beaters also, or we are admitting that we draw the line somewhere. Since we all agree we draw the line somewhere, biblically, that line should be with gay marriage being illegal.
    Job protection for LGBT’ers. Hmm. What do you think of Brenden Eich, late of Mozilla, losing his job?

  44. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    So you want to compare violence and abuse of wives with homosexuality? Based on what, the testimony of abused wives? Do you even know how serious spousal abuse is and how traumatizing it is to the victims?

    Below is an interesting article from the OPC website:

    http://www.opc.org/msfw/CLS%20talk-A%20Christian%20Approach%20to%20LGBTQ%20Issues%20in%20Our%20Time.pdf

  45. mdb says:

    Both are sins according to scripture.

  46. Curt Day says:

    mdb,
    But why the sin of murder? Adultery is also a sin.

  47. Curt Day says:

    But there are other sins to compare homosexuality with. For example, one could compare it with adultery. So why did you compare it with murder?

    And did you read the article linked to in my last comment?

  48. Curt Day says:

    But other sins could have been used in the comparison. Adultery for example. So why wife beating?

  49. mdb says:

    Wife-beating isn’t always murder…I invoke wife-beating because it’s a sin we all agree is wrong. Everyone in the church and out believes it is wrong. It is even against the law. Thus, it is a useful metric. When someone says we shouldn’t “judge” homosexuals, ask yourself, would they say that about wife-beaters? No, they wouldn’t.
    And before you start, homosexuality is much more than an activity between two consenting adults. Homosexuality is, also, as wife-beating, quite damaging. It is damaging to society. Homosexual activists are ACTIVELY recruiting children. There is a story out there (I’m sure you can track it down, am I right?) about an older drag queen having his “pants charmed off” at some gay pride parade, by an 8-year-old. Now, maybe in the old days we were mean to homosexuals (I think it’s overblown, as I told you a couple weeks ago). But, if it was the old days, those perverts would not be allowed to recruit that child, and destroy him and his soul in such a sick way. Again, the boy is 8. We know it started before then, for him, at a younger age. Homosexuality is always wrong, according to scripture. Having said that, it would be one thing if the gay rights lobby just wanted to be two consenting adults, in their bedrooms, minding their own business. This story (remember reading the OP? I do too. It seems so long ago), and the recruitment of children, shows that the gays have designs far beyond their own bedrooms. This is happening in society, and it’s obvious. And you want the modern church to just bend over and take it (Yes, may the Lord forgive me, filthy pun intended). We should take it, while wondering how mean we have been to gays, and feel bad. Yet, the gays march on, inflicting their immoral brutality on our nation.

  50. Lt. says:

    Be the Change You Want to See. If you don’t like being discriminated against — being barred from publicly-offered services and goods — then you should open your doors (and your heart) to people who are different from you. By law, government agencies cannot condone discriminatory practices. If they do, we end up with people of Jewish tradition and African descent being barred from lunch counters, drinking fountains, and neighborhoods. You could be thankful that our God has put some generosity towards your business and not canceled your corporate privileges altogether.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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