A New York judge has issued a ruling after a Christian family refused to allow a same-sex couple to use their upstate family farm as a setting for their "marriage."
Cynthia and Robert Gifford have been subsidizing their farm income by renting out the farm and part of their large barn-like house for special events, including weddings.
Because they politely refused this particular "wedding" business, they have now been slapped with a $13,000 fine, with $3,000 of it going to the lesbian couple for the "anguish" they suffered by the rejection.
The Giffords and their employees must now go through a "re-education program."
A similar situation occurred at Le Blanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation preserve in Minnesota.
The Christian owners supplement their income from the 1,700 acre farm by renting out the facilities for special events, including weddings.
When threatened with an expensive court trial and the possibility of fines in the thousands of dollars, they decided they did not have the money to fight the two homosexual men who were demanding the use of their property and the force of the state, so they worked out a compromise.
American Founder Patrick Henry famously said as he looked at the British ships anchored off the coast of the Colonies, "When people forget God, tyrants forge their chains."
Is the obsession with same-sex marriage, the homosexual agenda, and the laws that have been enacted to enforce the agenda becoming the ball and chain of 21st Century America?
The compromise was that the Christian owners in Minnesota set aside their biblical beliefs on marriage and allowed the "wedding" to proceed even though it violated their conscience and their religious freedom and liberty.
This is becoming a regular event in American life. People are being forced not to just tolerate, but to affirm and participate in something they do not believe in or condone. Something that violates their conscience.
Weekly, if not daily, we hear these same kinds of stories involving bakers, florists, photographers and property owners.
Those filing the suits are most often not looking for accommodation, but affirmation. In the case of the New York couple, the lesbians had secretly taped the 2 to 3-minute phone conversation, which affirmed the kindness with which the property owners declined the "wedding."
In both cases other venues were available.
This is the most significant threat to religious freedom in recent years.
In addition to the $13,000 fine and the enforced "re-education program," the Giffords must now publicly display a non-discrimination sign at the entrance to their property.
We understand what Patrick Henry was referring to, but are the chains of bondage being forged now from within, rather than from without?
In Deuteronomy 32:32, Moses wrote speaking of the enemies of the God's Truth, "For their vine is the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter."
He also spoke of "The sword without and the terror within..." (Deut 32:25).
As in the prophecies of Ezekiel, Moses taught that when people forget God, or " move Him out" of the culture, they become, not as the "true vine planted", but as the "vine of Sodom and the field of Gomorrah."
The sin of Sodom was homosexuality.
It was not, as the religious left would lead people to believe, a lack of hospitality.
Although it is rarely mentioned in some churches, the Old Testament was given as a "tutor" or teacher in regard to God's laws and principles and the consequences of violating or sinning against those laws and principles.
When grace and mercy came through Jesus Christ, God's Son, the laws were fulfilled in Christ and were referred to in the New Testament book of James (2:8) as the "Royal Law of Scriptures."
While the eternal consequences of sin and rebellion toward God are paid in full by the death and resurrection of Christ for those who accept Him as their Savior, often the temporal or earthly consequences of sin or bad choices are experienced in this life.
Sin has consequences.
If we forget what sin is, we must review it in the Old Testament.
Our nation has come to a place where those who hold biblical beliefs on the matter of homosexuality are now being punished by the force of the state and the law.
Both the Old Testament and the New are very clear that homosexuality is not to be celebrated, elevated or normalized.
While only about 2% of Americans practice this behavior, our country is torn and divided by the issue. And it is forging chains that deny the very God given religious freedom upon which this country was founded and it is standing in rebellion against God Himself.
In forging the chains, homosexual activists attack both those who disagree and the basis of their belief---the Bible.
Before President Obama "evolved" and came all out to redefine marriage he said, "I believe in civil unions....I don't think it should be called marriage, but I think it is a legal right that they should be recognized by the state. If people find that controversial, then I would refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."
Obscure passage in Romans?
The "obscure passage in Romans" was written by Paul under the guidance and inspiration of God's Holy Spirit. And it is hardly "obscure."
Romans 1:24-32: "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another, they exchanged the truth about God for a lie...Even the women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men abandoned natural relations with the women and were inflamed with lust for one another..." and there is more.
In II Thess. 2:11 it is written, "And for this cause God sent them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."
It's decision time.
The Lie? Or the Lord?
The lie is using government run education to steal the hearts and minds of our children, indoctrinating them rather than educating them.
The lie is telling people there are no absolutes--- truth is whatever you believe it to be.
The lie has cost the lives of nearly 60 million aborted unborn children in America.
The lie is costing us the very God given freedom and liberty upon which this nation was birthed.
The lie is attempting to redefine marriage and family.
The lie is advancing the homosexual agenda under the guise of tolerance, fairness and equality.
It is from within that the chains of our day are being forged.
So what should we do?
- Repent of our sinful ways.
- Remember God's Truth.
- Rehearse His Truth to our children.
- Redeem the culture with the life changing message of the gospel by living it and speaking it.
- Reclaim the political process by electing people who share your values.
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.