Pastor Tells Christians to Avoid Lawsuits by Compromising Religious Convictions
What if rather than adhering to biblical convictions, Christian business owners just agreed to perform services for same-sex weddings and donated all the money from those events to Christian organizations dedicated to defending traditional marriage?
That’s the suggestion from one pastor that is urging Christians to be “wise” in their business dealings by compromising their convictions.
In an article for WND, Pastor Jesse Lee Peterson says that “Too many Christians lack real wisdom when dealing with evil; and as a result, they are losing their livelihoods and suffering unnecessarily.”
Peterson’s solution? Compromise your convictions, take their money and donate it to a family organization.
This idea came to Peterson in response to the couple in New York that was sued for not allowing a same-sex wedding at their bed and breakfast farm in order to be true to their religious convictions. Rather than compromise the couple opted to stop allowing weddings altogether and, as a result, lose part of their income.
Peterson says that instead of closing their farm for weddings altogether and losing money, what if the couple allowed the wedding to take place, but with one notable caveat; “told the lesbian couple upfront that they would take their money and donate it to a conservative Christian law firm to fight against same-sex marriage? In other words, what if they took the sinners’ money and used it for good?”
Thankfully I’m not the only Christian with deeply held convictions that finds the suggestion of compromise to be untenable and offensive. Peterson shared the response from his radio audience:
“I floated this idea on my radio program and received calls from solid, stand-up Christians who could not even consider the possibility of doing this. They said that providing the service would go against their conscience and equated it to condoning the sin. But to me, using the sinners’ money to help restore God’s order is the right thing to do.”
Peterson has obviously not thought this concept through very thoroughly. The fact that he’s a pastor makes it even more disturbing. For him, “using the sinners’ money to help restore God’s order” just makes sense. And, I could easily agree if the money was just being given away. For example, if George Soros was randomly giving money away I would gladly line up to get some and then put it to use for God’s Kingdom. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Somehow Pastor Peterson misses the most important aspect of his suggestion. He’s missing the fact that in order to get “the sinners’ money,” people would have to FIRST compromise their convictions. The entire concept fails because in order to proceed people must first compromise their religious convictions. Whatever comes after this part of the idea doesn’t matter because he is asking us all to compromise our convictions and, at no point can any good come from compromising our convictions.
Peterson’s motives seem to revolve primarily around money. He wants Christians to be better funded and quit losing money due to legal fees, or businesses closing down. Those are nice sentiments, and certainly those fighting cultural battles on behalf of Christian convictions could use a little more money. But the Bible makes it clear that “you cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13). When our motives are primarily money-related there is a good chance we will make poor biblical choices. Pastor Peterson is proving that point right now.
He went on to say:
“Taking the sinners’ money does not equate to condoning the sin. It just means that we would be better funded and equipped to do battle.”
Well, yeah, it does actually. When a business owner agrees to bake a cake for a same-sex ceremony and is paid for it, he or she is giving silent consent to the wedding by providing a service to carry out the ceremony. So while the Christian baker might be able to take that money and donate it to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) or The Family Research Council (FRC) in order to defend traditional marriage, he cannot do so before compromising his convictions.
It’s interesting that these organizations I mentioned above that are daily fighting to defend biblical convictions are supported solely by the donations of citizens. And yet, despite the fact that they are underfunded and overworked they have never even hinted at such an idea.
Apparently Pastor Peterson has a poorly developed Christian ethic. For him it’s no big deal to give approval to same-sex “marriage” via providing goods and services to the ceremony. Just as long as he can take their money and put it elsewhere it’s not a problem. And while his intended purpose might come to pass, an end to lawsuits against Christian by homosexuals, one has to wonder at what cost?
Are we only disciples when things are easy and there’s no personal cost or financial loss involved? If we’re willing to compromise our convictions for same-sex “marriage” what else will we compromise? Would Pastor Peterson tell the Christians in the Middle East to avoid the sword of ISIS by agreeing to praise Allah to spare their lives? Would Pastor Peterson tell Christians in China to avoid jail by not reading the Bible or going to church? Would Pastor Peterson have told Miriam Ibrahim to renounce her faith so she could get out of jail?
Once we as believers start compromising our convictions there is no stopping the evil that will destroy this earth. History has taught us more than once that “all evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” Refusing to stand for our convictions in order to avoid lawsuits tells the world that our convictions are for sale.
I, for one, am thankful for the examples of the baker in Colorado, the photographer in New Mexico, the famers in New York, Miriam Ibrahim, Pastor Saeed Abedini, and Christians around the world that care more about being faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ than money, comfort, business, or life.