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Way to go, John!

July 29, 2017

I’ve always been somewhat conflicted about John MacArthur.  Several years ago I was given a signed copy of his MacArthur Study Bible and it is still a prized possession.  I’ve admired and agreed with many of his doctrinal interpretations.  But I have also differed with some of his stances that have struck me as harsh, most particularly with his comments on charismatics.

But today I saw a statement of his that cheered me greatly.  He was in a panel discussion and was asked if it was sinful for a Christian business person to make a product for a same sex wedding.  This was his answer:

“No, it’s not sinful for a cake maker to make a cake for a gay wedding any more than its sinful for a guy who runs a restaurant to serve dinner to somebody who is gay, sits in a booth and eats the food, or goes to the market and buys a loaf of bread and you own the market.”

He went on to say: “What the issue is, is not whether that’s sinful, it’s whether the federal government can demand that people do certain things, which goes against their Christian conscience.”  He identified this as “more of a political governmental issue.”

He is 100% correct.  The issue of government regulations is not a Christian issue, it is an issue of balancing the rights granted to all of us in our country that sometimes conflict with each other.  The Bible never promises us religious freedom; indeed you can make a better case to say it promises us we won’t have it.

Romans 14 makes it clear that we must respect brothers whose conscience make them uneasy about issues like the cake-baking one.  It does however identify such brothers as “weaker” while we tend to see them as “courageously taking a stand.”  My beef with those who make such a stand is not whether they are weak or courageous but that they seem to want no consequences when they take such stances.  Taking a stand can never be cost-free.

MacArthur then concludes with his personal recommendation: “I actually think that we need to show love to everyone and particularly, we need to do good to all those that are outside the kingdom, as well as inside the kingdom, as much as possible….”

All I can say is way to go, John!  This is a great challenge to be bold when we “do good to all those that are outside the kingdom.”

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