Friday, February 28th 2014

I have a bold proposal. It sounds very libertarian, but hear me out. Yesterday all the news seemed to be about Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of legislation regarding a new Arizona religious rights law, wrongly or rightly interpreted to anti-gay. You’d never know that Ukraine is in a new crisis with Russian troops amassing at its borders. Or that the Venezuela is about the boil over into civil war. All anyone seemed to care about it which side of SB1062 they landed on. And more battles like this are sure to come. What we need is a simple solution, and I just might have it. With the exception of legitimate government functions and other services vital to public welfare, such as emergency rooms and hospitals, why not give the private section the right to refuse service to anyone, except when life is endangered. Before you cry “foul,” think of it this way — let the marketplace decide. If a gay merchant doesn’t want to retail products to a Christian client, so be it. If a baker doesn’t want to make a wedding cake for gays so be it. Either or both enterprise might be out of business fast, by loss of client�le or public outrage. This idea would stop all the posturing on both sides of issues like the Arizona proposal. Sure, such a policy might make things uncomfortable for some in the short run, but as long as it’s not threatening to life and limb, economic forces would prevail in the long haul.

Here’s the problem. As a culture we have fallen into the trap of wanting the government to legislate the rights of every public interest group on the planet. We’re discovering that just isn’t possible without a lot of acrimony and ill will on both sides. The end result is ever more government intrusion into our bedrooms, our places of worship, and even our bakeries. Bureaucracy has become the all-knowing overlord of an increasing nanny state. I think it’s fair to protect LGBT individuals from hateful reprisals. It’s also reasonable that no one should tell a Christian would he should or shouldn’t do with his hard earned resources. As a nation we’ve taken the Golden Rule and made it into a million government laws, all designed to supposedly protect us but gradually eroding all our freedoms. Isn’t it time to avoid all the pitched battles and verbal hyperbole intended to demonize our opponents? If we acted more from our hearts rather than what laws tell us to do, we’d likely have a more just society and it would certainly be less litigious. I’m sure my readers can think of many exceptions to this idea and some possible horrible consequences. Okay, then after starting at zero we could make a few necessary laws the ensure fairness if and when there is an egregious, outrageous complication, like “whites only” segregation. But in the meantime, let’s stop shouting at each other about protecting “our rights” and remember the words of Jesus who said, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:27-31 NIV) *

*NOTE: The above proposal was intended tongue in cheek but then again . . .

An encouraging word:  ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST

How many times have you heard a Christian say with boldness and determination, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s a great thought, but I wonder if we don’t sometimes put the emphasis on the “I” rather than “Christ.” “I” can do this or “I” can do that. Such a sentiment can turn into a bit of an ego trip with Jesus along for the ride of what “I” can do. Rethink what Paul said in Philippians 4:13 to put the focus on “Christ” who does His work and will through the vehicle of the “I.” Indeed we may do great things for God but it’s all about Christ in us and His strength.

Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did� (Luke 4:18).  You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.