On Friday, Christian bakers Aaron and his wife Melissa Klein were fined $135,000 by the State of Oregon for declining to bake a "wedding" cake for a lesbian couple.
The Klein's are biblical Christians and believe in biblical marriage---one man and one woman.
When Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer asked to order the cake, the Kleins politely declined because of their religious beliefs.
Within hours the lesbians had filed a complaint with the State of Oregon and homosexual activists began picketing and disrupting their small bakery in Gresham, Oregon, finally forcing the Klein's to close the bakery in 2013.
We wrote about it at the time.
Judge McCullough said Friday he could have awarded each of the lesbians $75,000, but chose to award $60,000 to Laurel and $75,000 to Rachel.
The award, the judge says, is for the "emotional suffering" experienced by the lesbian couple as a result of the Christian couple declining to provide the cake.
Friday afternoon a supporter of the Kleins opened a "GoFundMe" account on the Internet to raise money to help the Kleins pay the fine and other related expenses.
By Friday evening, the "GoFundMe" page was dark. The company had removed it.
Welcome to the world of Tyranny, not Tolerance.
Following Friday's announcement by judge McCullough, Melissa posted this on her Facebook page with a link to the newly opened GoFundMe page: "We just found out that the judge has made his decision, he is ordering that we pay '135,000 in emotional damages'." She explained the money would be coming from them personally and would directly impact their ability to pay their mortgage, buy food for themselves and their 5 children.
Bottom line, they do not have the ability to pay the money. Since being forced to close their business, they are struggling to make ends meet.
By Saturday morning the Oregonian newspaper was reporting, "Late Friday night, anyone looking for the GoFundMe page set up to help the Gresham bakers facing a large unlawful discrimination award would have hit a dead end."
"More precisely," the paper said, "they would get a 'Campaign Not Found' message on the 'Support Sweet Cakes by Melissa web page."
By 5 PM Friday, the Oregonian reported $66,000 had been raised toward the goal of $150,000. Other sources were reporting about $109,000 had been raised.
"By 9 PM," the Oregonian reports, "it became apparent there were problems. Visitors to the web page encountered a terse note: 'We're sorry, but the campaign URL cannot be found'."
By late Saturday night people were beginning to post on Melissa's Facebook page about what had happened:
"Evidently Go fund me has shut down our Go fund me page and will not let us raise any money. Satan's really at work but I know our God has a plan and wins in the end," one person posted.
Yes, God does have a plan, and He certainly does win in the end.
At the time I'm witting this, the best explanation the owner of GoFundMe has made was this statement Saturday:
"Thank you for witting to us about this campaign.
After careful review by our team, we have found the 'Support Sweet Cakes by Melissa' campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions and have removed this campaign.
The money raised thus far will be made available for withdrawal."
The so-called "Careful review" featured an almost immediate reaction by the homosexual community demanding the site be taken down, much like the attack on the bakery itself in 2013.
Tyranny. Not Tolerance.
Lisa Watson of Oregon went on Facebook asking homosexuals and their allies to storm the gates of GoFundMe, saying, "The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting."
They did---homosexuals from all across the nation went on the attack. As the web page was pulled, Watson said in celebration, "I can't believe we just did that."
But God has a plan.
Franklin Graham, with his Samaritan's Purse organization, felt God wanted him to be a part of "The Plan."
Franklin said, "They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone. I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their 5 children."
He said, "When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that's persecution, plain and simple."
You may give to the Kleins through Franklin Graham here.
This is Tyranny, not Tolerance.
It's difficult to see this play out in a nation that was founded on the fundamental, God given right of religious freedom. We wonder how can a nation fall so far so fast.
The answer is sin. Rebellion toward God. And leaders who advance it and celebrate it.
The secularist has his own god. One of his own making. One made in the image of his own liking and desires, one that demands complete obedience to a secularist state. No dissent is tolerated.
Three young men come to mind. They too, were faced with the workings of such a belief. They too stood firm in their belief in God.
Daniel 3 gives us the story. The king had erected a golden image and had commanded that when all peoples, nations and languages heard the music, they were to fall down and worship the golden image. If not, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace.
The three young Hebrew men, you know their names, suggested they couldn't do that because it was a violation of their beliefs in the One True God.
Called before the king, the young men were given a heads up as to what would happen if they did not comply. An angry, red faced king promised them the furnace---hotter than ever.
The young men said they couldn't do it, did not plan to bow down to the king's god, or the king himself, and there was really no need to discuss it.
They explained that their God would deliver them. And even if He didn't they were going to stand for Him anyway.
As the fire around them raged, the bonds with which they had been tied and bound burned off, and the image of what was happening stunned the king---to the point that he even correctly identified the fourth man in the fire.
The result? The king made a public statement saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego..." making a decree that anyone caught speaking against the young men's God would be punished, "Because there is no other God who can deliver like this."
And the three young men were politically advanced.
Relax. God has a plan.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Faithful. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.