Dr. Brown gives his insights on major laws and rulings in Arizona, Kansas, India and Uganda — laws and rulings of tremendous moral importance — also getting input from a leading Christian attorney on the front lines of the culture wars. Dr. Brown will also talk about his recent dialogue with New Testament scholar James Tabor. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The war is on, it’s knocking at our doors; how will we respond?!
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Just because people call the Truth “hate”, don’t let that stop you from speaking the Truth in love.
SPECIAL OFFER! THIS WEEK ONLY!
More than 25 years ago, Dr. Brown taught an 8-week, 12-hour class on spiritual warfare, and that class has stood the test of time as the very best teaching he has ever done on the subject. The audio CD for this series is $20, plus postage, but you can download the entire series for just $10 this week.!
Call 1-800-278-9978 or Order Online!
I wonder if Dr. Brown read the text of the Arizona law before he accused people of misrepresenting it.
Anyway, I got curious and read the law.
My non-lawyerly opinion, this bill really does open just about any sort of discrimination.
MOST CERTAINLY, just about anyone could refuse to serve a gay person. (or a black person, or a Christian, or whoever.)
The law is written so generally and broadly, practically any denial of service or entrance could be legal on religious grounds.
Here is who can deny a service based on their own religious beliefs:
>> ANY INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, CHURCH, RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY OR INSTITUTION, ESTATE, TRUST, FOUNDATION OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY
The only possible exception might be government employees. I’m not sure.
Is a police officer an individual? Is a fireman an individual? (They might be considered agents, I’m not sure.)
Anyway, Here is the text of the law:
As for my own opinion, it might surprise you guys to know that I am somewhat sympathetic to, let’s say, the baker who refused to serve that gay couple.
I think the baker is being very un-Christ-like but I don’t think it is the government’s responsibility to make people act like good Christians.
But, I don’t extend this same sympathy to corporations. Corporations are not Christians. They certainly don’t have religious rights. Corporations are the product of a government regulation and it is completely within the government’s right to regulate them for the general good of society. And, religiously-motivated discrimination is very bad for society. (witness: just about any country in the Middle East)
So, if I could write the laws — I’d let single-proprietorships exercise their religious bigotry but not corporations.
I’m glad that Dr. Brown would de-egg the egged gay couple.
But would he take responsibility for egging the egger to egg?
I think you are basically right about corporations. They are an entity created by the state and the state has every right to regulate how they operate. A nonprofit corporation is also an entity created by the state and therefore they can be regulated or closed down or told they have to allow homosexual ministers. If a church wants to go back to having it’s existence come from Messiah, it needs to close its nonprofit corporation.
I would probably not withhold most services from most people because of their being homosexual or adulterers or abortionists. I would probably not rent a motel room to adulterers or homosexuals if I knew that’s what they were. I would probably not sell scalpels or saline solution to an abortionist if I knew he was one.
I would probably sell food to anyone and I would probably dig ditches for anyone. I just would not want to be a partaker in anyone’s evil deeds by supplying the wherewithal to facilitate them.
So, as you could probably guess, I would probably not own a medical supply house or a motel or a liquor store or a marijuana dispensary, but I might own a restaurant or an excavation business. I would not be a preacher in a nonprofit incorporated church…nor even a member since it is just to exactly a woman that rides a beast.
Believe-it-or-not, I respect your position.
I really try to be intellectually-consistent on this issue. I think it is VERY WISE of you to not open a marijuana business! 😉
As for religious non-profits, I’m not so sure.
I’ve spent most of my adult life working for religious non-profits and I can say that the government has not meddled in our beliefs at all. I mean, not even a little.
Our legal status was a protection of our religious rights, not a compromise of it.
But, I suppose, if you are really worried about it — be a pastor in a house church that has no legal status.
I have no idea what you mean by “it is just to exactly a woman that rides a beast.”
but, I gotta say, that phrase could be a good line in a rock and roll song.
I think Dr. Brown is in denial about the multiplying effect of Christian missions.
A small heresy in the American church will be moved overseas and get exaggerated in a less-developed church.
In the case of the American conservative Christian anti-gay bigotry: a simple prejudice gets multiplied into a full-on human rights disaster.
Marijuana might be something with some merit, like alcohol, but I would not want to be the one providing it on a regular basis…except to my family on Passover and Sabbath in small doses as a special memento. Not marijuana, but a little wine. This is enough of a responsibility for me.
You should say yet as regards to governmental control. Nazi Germany found out the hard way and so have a number of churches in the US.
Here is what I mean about a woman riding a beast:
Re 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Re 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Churches were not corporations for the most part until the late 1960’s and following. We had plenty of religious freedom before that. Now they cannot legally make public political statements without the possibility of losing the nonprofit status and the physical property of the corporation if the powers that be so choose. Also, our religious freedom should not come at the expense of the taxpayers that do not go to our church.
Not for profit status has made the church into a not for prophets entity 🙂
Greg, *anytime* you make a moral judgment, you engage in “discrimination.” Discriminating between righteous behavior and unrighteous behavior is not wrong at all.
Where the real “discrimination” is coming from is this notion that, even though a bakery is owned Christians, and believes that making a cake for a homosexual “wedding” would be promoting homosexuality, and hence, would violate their religious beliefs, they are still forced to make it by the brute force of the law. No moral argument even given. *That* is discrimination!
I looked on Google to try to find information on this law, and I found things like “Arizona Anti-Gay law.” Why don’t the headlines say something like “Arizona Religious Freedom Law” or why doesn’t it call New Mexico’s brutal force of this couple to make this cake the “Anti-Christian Court Decision?” It is interesting the way these arguments are framed. They are framed so that anyone who believes that doing something would validate homosexual behavior when they believe it is wrong as “anti-gay” and anyone who supports people in their sin as supporting “gay rights.” The language is so biased so as to be laughable.
Good points, Adam!
I believe the woman who rides the beast quite well could represent world wisdom, or wisdom of the world, as it takes control of worldly systems, often governmental systems.
It’s that kind of spirit that wants to control everything, manipulate everything, and works contrary to the things of God, even desiring to overthrow righteousness wherever it can find it.
Sadly, the kind of people who have thrown themselves in with that kind of spirit, ways, or methods, have done so for worldly gain, glory of man, and any kind of power or position of what would seem important, and they have done much harm to those who are of the kingdom of heaven.
I think of witchcraft when I think of that woman,
I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but I began to imagine a woman clothed like Wonder Woman. Was I describing America in my above post?
Whatever that spirit is that’s been riding American government, it needs to be dethroned, replaced by Christians in government positions.
I believe we have a few there, and maybe more than just a few, but they need to become energized, and take a stand.
The Bride of Christ needs to knock her off and take control.
Maybe it’s the Church in America that will take control of government and do amazing exploits like Wonder Woman, with her golden lasso.
As you said Dr. Brown, we legislate morality all of the time. On an individual basis, you might not change any particular individual into a morally upright person, but as a society, laws and regulations communicate values to everyone, and can prevent people, especially the young, from going down sin’s path ever widening path. I see the argument that you can’t legislate morality or turn people around morally by laws to be superficial or short-sighted at best. Just as a person with OCD has a brain configured for fostering that behavior, so too it has been found that behavioral changes and different actions and decisions can change that same brain and remake the person. It’s a two way street. Naturalism proposes we are victims of our brain chemistry. Divine insight holds us responsible individually and collectively for our actions because we can indeed be changed internally by making decisions to change our behavior and attitudes and also externally by a cultural and legal milieu that does not let us get away with vile sinfulness.
Of course Brown cut off the only voice of real reason (Brody Levesque) because he is so threatened by any authentic intellect.
I just don’t see religious non-profit status corrupting churches — at least the way you believe it does.
I do see some “mega churches” and other religious organizations abusing the financial benefits of us. Some religious organizations are huge profit-making organizations and they use the protections meant for churches to cover-up their operations.
(Not most… by any means. But some.)
But, there is no reason your church or ministry has to accept the protections of being a religious non-profit.
It is still perfectly legal to hold meetings with no legal or financial status at all. We have a couple of house churches in our neighborhood who, I’m pretty sure, have no legal or any sort of status.
“Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.” – Martin Luther, infamous anti-semite.
I wish we had a president who would begin a speech by opening up a Bible and begin reading it, then pause, and ask, So what do you think the state of the union is?
And then start talking about everything that is going wrong in America
In my state, I heard of the governor wanting to put a hold on the death penalty, something that’s been talked about as another power grab by a politician, who doesn’t have rightful authority to do that, which also is an attempt to trump the will of the people, and it was said (on a talk radio program) how statistics show that for every death of a murderer by the death penalty, 14 lives are saved from murder, saying that the death penalty really does make a difference, and that people are living more safely because of it.
Yes, I believe in this world we do need laws, and when people live more corruptly, more laws will be needed, and we won’t be as free as we used to be in America.
As population increases and crime continues, I suppose that’s something we have to live with.
I would rather freely drive places without traffic stops as police check for drunk drivers, but I would also rather be able to drive places with fewer drunk drivers on the road.
>>Greg, *anytime* you make a moral judgment, you engage in “discrimination.”
Who says? I certainly don’t agree. I don’t think the bible says that either.
>> Why don’t the headlines say something like “Arizona Religious Freedom Law” or why doesn’t it call New Mexico’s brutal force of this couple to make this cake the “Anti-Christian Court Decision?”
I believe it turns Christianity on it’s head to define “religious freedom” as “the right to not serve” people you don’t like.
And, I strongly believe that this exclusion/rejection-based concept of “religious freedom” is greatly damaging to the message of Jesus Christ. Where is the “good news” in such discrimination?
Probably, you see it as good news but, I guarantee you, such attitudes make Jesus look very unattractive to people who need Jesus.
Do you know what would be a true “moral revolution”?
If all Christians started baking cakes for “sinners” in the true spirit of Jesus Christ.
>> I wish we had a president who would begin a speech by opening up a Bible and begin reading it,
I, in contrast, look to old Europe and other countries without a clear separation of church and state and see how bad that was for the church.
A strick wall between church and state is good for the church and good for the state.
Let’s not turn back the clock to the what did not work.
“Who says? I certainly don’t agree. I don’t think the bible says that either.”
The meaning of the word itself. Look it up in the English dictionary:
dis·crim·i·na·tion [dih-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn] Show IPA
an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.
Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.
The problem is that this word can carry with it the conversational implicature of “immoral discrimination.” That is where the left has used this word, because people don’t understand things like conversational implicature. Thus, you are able to use the word discrimination of homosexuality in the same context as using the word discrimination of race or gender. Some people fell for that little trick. However, this game is easily exposed for what it really is. The only way something can be immoral discrimination is if we already know that there is no moral or ethical reason to discriminate. However, there is clearly a moral and ethical reason to discriminate when it comes to homosexuality, and that was the whole point of the debate in the first place! Hence, if we just recognize that homosexuality is immoral [something all Christians have recognized for 2000 years], we will be able to address this abuse of language.
“I believe it turns Christianity on it’s head to define “religious freedom” as “the right to not serve” people you don’t like.”
Who said it was on the basis of not liking them? It is on the basis that serving them gives approbation to their behavior, and celebrates homosexual “marriage,” which we believe to, not only be sinful, but a profaning of God’s good gift of gender and sexuality. No one can, in good conscience, serve such a person if they believe that, in so doing, they will be promoting something that they believe is wrong.
“And, I strongly believe that this exclusion/rejection-based concept of “religious freedom” is greatly damaging to the message of Jesus Christ. Where is the “good news” in such discrimination?”
The freedom from sin presupposes that there is sin. The only reason the gospel is “good news” is because of the fact that there is the bad news of sin to begin with. When a person refuses to give approbation to sin, they are saying that sin is real, it is a problem, and that sin needs to be taken care of by the cross of Jesus Christ-not swept under the rug all in the name of “tolerance” and avoiding “discrimination.”
In fact, what is really bad is, from the Christian perspective, because of the approval of homosexuality by the culture at large, it is robbing these people of hearing the gospel. Who needs the good news of salvation from sin if there is no sin to be saved from? The good news is that man can be freed from homosexuality by the gospel of Jesus Christ. To keep people from hearing that good news by denying that homosexuality is sinful is, in and of itself, discrimination.
“Probably, you see it as good news but, I guarantee you, such attitudes make Jesus look very unattractive to people who need Jesus.”
Who said anything about looking attractive? Wasn’t Paul beaten for what he believed? Wasn’t Jeremiah thrown into a pit? Weren’t the early Christians thrown to the lions to be torn apart? Since when did Christianity seek the approbation of the world?:
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Romans 8:7-8 ecause the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
2 Corinthians 4:1-4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Do you think, in the light of these verses that, when the gospel is preached properly, it is going to look “attractive” to natural man? If you are so concerned with how you are perceived by the outside world, then no wonder you are capitulating on this issue! While I don’t believe we should put an *unnecessary* stumbling block in the way of the unbeliever by presenting the gospel in an ungodly fashion, saying that you will not give approbation to something that is sin is not ungodly-it is the only thing a true Christian can do if they are going to be faithful to the message of the gospel.
“Do you know what would be a true “moral revolution”?
If all Christians started baking cakes for “sinners” in the true spirit of Jesus Christ.”
Ya, ironically, that would be a true moral revolution because, in so doing, they would be giving approbation to sin, and giving approbation to sin is something that would be a real moral revolution in Christianity; in fact, it would destroy it. You can’t get around the problem of sin, Greg. You can’t truly be presenting the gospel, and not address the problem of sin, or give approbation to sin, which is exactly what these bakers would be doing if they baked these cakes. In the book of Romans, Paul not only talks about the wrath of God against sin in Romans 1, but unashamedly and unabashedly mentions homosexuality in verses 26-27. And yet, the book of Romans is one of the great expositions of the gospel known to man. A gospel that gives approbation to sin is no gospel at all. A gospel that does not speak of sin is no gospel at all. That is why the homosexual movement can never be brought together with Christianity.
“I, in contrast, look to old Europe and other countries without a clear separation of church and state and see how bad that was for the church.
A strick wall between church and state is good for the church and good for the state.
Let’s not turn back the clock to the what did not work.”
Are we talking about an *ideological* separation of church and state or a *jurisdictional* separation between church and state? The problem is that the former is a modern invention. The notion that religious ideology cannot be used in civil discourse is not a view that came about until very recently. However, the notion that the church and the state have different jurisdictions, and rule on very different matters is something that is classic in American legal philosophy. The state cannot tell the church who to pass out the sacraments to, who to put under church discipline, or even who can be members of the church. Likewise the church has no authority to decide how fast we can drive on the highway, or how to punish a thief if they are caught. However, religious ideology can be used in solving both the question of who to pass the sacraments out to, and how to punish a thief if they are caught. The separation is *jurisdictional* and *institutional* not ideological.
Basically, an ideological separation between church and state makes the state a secular institution. It forces, with brute force, the ideology of secularism in the public sphere. That is why I really do believe that this is the issue Christians need to go after. We need to build alliances and file lawsuits challenging this novel idea of an ideological separation between church and state, until the court decisions which interpreted this separation as ideological are overturned. Also, we should make clear that all we should want is for religious ideologies to have a place at the debating table in politics. Right now, due to the way the courts have interpreted the law, that is not even possible. Allowing religious ideas to be considered and adopted is really one of the foundational things worth fighting for in America today.
Please do not melt into the bushes. Address Adam’s points head on and try to show why your way is the right way or the best way.
Many good points, Adam, but baking cakes for sinners wouldn’t be an un-Christian activity. It’s grace. They don’t deserve the cakes, but in mirroring the grace we have received, we give grace to them. Giving to our neighbors whether they deserve it or not is a good thing. We should give to those in need no matter what they believe as long as we are not enabling or, by proxy, supporting sin. Dishing out grace in our daily lives is hugely effective.
I heard a story on the radio about a woman who would bake goodies and sit in strip clubs handing them out while talking to the strippers. At least 1 stripper (from what I remember) gave her life to Christ and turned away from sin to follow him. That’s grace! It cuts through the shame sin brings and replaces it with agape love.
Maybe the issue is decorating a cake for a homosexual marriage feast or for a satanic ritual of as an offering to Allah. Is that a different matter to you?
If it were just baking a cake for a couple of homosexuals as a housewarming gift welcoming them into the neighborhood, I would certainly have no problem with that, and would, in fact, think it was a good idea. However, when we are talking about baking a cake in order to support the complete overthrow of Biblical morality in the redefining of marriage as something that is sinful [i.e., for a gay “marriage” ceremony], we are talking about doing something that is the complete antithesis to the Christian faith. As much as we may love that person, and want to see them saved, we cannot support sin. We can support them in any way we can, but not in their sin, because we should desire to see them come to repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.
Of course, I’m in agreement on that.
Those business owners who refused to make cakes for same sex weddings said they would gladly serve gays outside of same sex weddings, but they would not “serve” same sex weddings. They weren’t out to harm anyone. They just don’t want to be party to sin. By that standard though, they shouldn’t bake cakes for any sinful gathering. They would be, by proxy, supporting sin. If I don’t want to support sin, I shouldn’t be forced to and neither should anyone else. I think, though, we are headed that way in this country.
Greg, Religious freedom isn’t defined by the right to refuse to serve people because they are not liked. Rather it’s about refusing to serve people because of what they do. It’s about not wanting to be a part of what they do.
We have always had bars that knew they had the right to refuse service to anyone, because they knew how serving someone who is not well in control of themselves with good judgment and good
physical control, could be trouble for them as well as others and they rightfully did not want any part of automobile accidents and such because they went ahead and served them.
It’s about the same thing when a flower shop for example sells flowers to some customers who they know are homosexual, asking not at all about what they plan to do with the flowers, whether it will be used to brighten up a dreary apartment, cheer up a bored house cat, or even to give to one whom they do unspeakable things with.
They do this because they don’t dislike the person, though they do not approve of their lifestyle.
However when the same flower shop is asked to make floral arrangements for a gay “wedding”,
and they refuse because they do not want to be a part of that celebration, ceremony, and such, knowing that sometimes it’s openly made known who did the flower arrangements, they should have the right to refuse such services because of how doing so does impact them and their convictions.
And all of this, I consider to be evidence that it IS NOT that they simply don’t like gays, it’s just that they do not want to be a part of what they do.
There is a flower shop that is going through legal trouble because of this very thing. They do serve gay customers, but they drew the line when it came to certain kinds of “weddings”.
They should have the right to do that. The customer should understand that not all people think it’s a wonderful thing they do when they “marry” someone of the wrong sex, and they can take their business elsewhere. I am sure there are plenty of flower shops that will make them arrangements for their “weddings”.
All of this is already a part of our rights, and has always been this way. It’s really nothing new.
To suggest refusing the right to serve somebody is an exercise in disliking someone, isn’t fair.
I certainly believe a bar owner doesn’t refuse to serve some of it’s customers at times because he “doesn’t like” the person, rather, it’s just that there are certain times when they do need to cut off providing to some of their customers (whom they do like) at times.
This is not to say the bar owner likes everything the customer does all the time. There might be lots of things the customer does that he doesn’t like, yet the customer may have some likeable traits.
I really don’t like hearing about bakeries or flower shops having to go through very expensive legal trouble simply because some people don’t seem to know right from wrong. It just isn’t fair.
If something isn’t right, it really shouldn’t be made a legal right. It causes all kinds of confusion and trouble. There’s no need for it.
There’s a need for people to get right with God, to come to the cross and be healed.
It’s sad when so many “Christians” get used to promote gay agenda because they don’t go to the cross.
Actually, I skipped over four callers who were ahead of Brody in order to get him on the line, and gave him the maximum time to speak before the break and another guest who was previously scheduled. Must you advance your cause with lies and misrepresentation? How does that help things?
So, I gave Brody air time BECAUSE he had an opposing view, as I always seek to do.
Also, how are things going with you setting up the meeting we discussed on Facebook?
I wonder if the problem often lies with people because they don’t really know what religious convictions are, as if they don’t have any genuine ones themselves, though they might have once had some at one time.
I suppose if one really believed that painting himself up in green paint, and standing on one’s head in the rain is normal, he might not understand why some people might think there was something wrong with him.
If this was his habit and I owned a paint store, I wonder if I would want to sell him a gallon of paint, especially if he was to tell everyone where he buys his paint.
When I think about what a baker does to decorate a wedding cake…..When I was a kid, the neighbor kid across the street had a dad to worked at the bakery downtown. Once in a while we would stop by and see him. I remember he didn’t want us around if he was doing a wedding cake.
I remember once how he would be doing some decoration and if he didn’t like it, it got put aside and he began with another round of bare cake, and asked us kids to leave.
He really put his heart and soul into it.
Whatever we’ve lost can be regained at the cross.
Isn’t that always where we get back to where we should have been?
Does a store have to sell vandals cans of spray paint or can they refuse? I believe they have the right to refuse. That’s the way things used to be in America.
The gay agenda is always about imposing something evil on everyone else.
Comments are closed.