There is much controversy in our culture today surrounding followers of Jesus who own businesses being forced to photograph gay engagements, bake cakes or provide flowers for gay weddings, or rent rooms to gay couples. Some bakers have refused to provide service for homosexual weddings, incurring lawsuits, media invective, and the world’s ire. Other disciples see no problem with providing service to gay weddings.
I don’t intend to get into the politics of all of this here.
Here is one general principle: the only way the unbelieving world will hear the good news is if we, as disciples, live it and proclaim it. God will be the judge of whether I am faithful in proclaiming the good news of Jesus. That is God’s goal for me.
“How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
Totally avoiding everyone who lives in sin would require us to leave the world. We live in a fallen world, and we cannot avoid contact with the fallen without moving to Mars — and then we’d still have ourselves to deal with!
We can’t be salt and light unless we engage the world. Light has to shine into darkness in order to be meaningful — light that doesn’t shine isn’t really “light”; and salt has to get into the food in order change the flavor — salt does no one any good in the salt shaker.
- Habakkuk 1:13 —Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?
- Matthew 19:13–14 —Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
- Mark 9:33–36 —They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them,
- Mark 9:38–40 —John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. “For he who is not against us is for us.
- Philippians 1:17–18 —the former proclaim the Messiah out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, the Messiah is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice.