The MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP CASE currently before the Supreme Court and expected to be decided by summer of 2018, involves a Bakery owner (Jack Phillips’) rights under the Freedom of Religion, or Free Speech clause and the rights of the Gay Community (Charlie Craig & Dave Mullins) to purchase a wedding cake without discrimination under Colorado’s Public Accommodations Law. This case will effect every Christian in this country in some way depending on its outcome. It is a case which garners great interest in both the gay and Christian communities , and I might add in the heavenly realm.
Should the bakery lose, here is what we might look out for: litigation against evangelical and fundamental Churches who refuse to marry same sex couples.
The take down of the conservative Christian community is where this is headed. Churches need to be prepared should this case go against us. How can we prepare?
First where will we be vulnerable should this case be lost? What gives the case potential is the fact that the government licenses the food industry and the bakery itself. This coupled with the fact that the law of the land is currently allowing same sex marriage seems to be the basis for the potential victory over Phillips. Should he/we lose, the same principle used in this case will be applied to churches who are licensed by the state to issue a marriage license. And based on this as a president should it be lost, then churches will also lose. Unless we do the right things and get prepared. So how can we get ready?
First of all this is a potential new spiritual battle forming. Pray. Then each pastor will need to turn in his license to perform marriage within each jurisdiction. The church will need to issue a written statement to the effect that the pastor and the church will no longer license under local, state or federal law any marriage performed in the Church or on its grounds. Any couple seeking to be wed on church property or by its pastor/pastors before God must obtain their own Marriage licenses from the jurisdiction overseeing licensing in their local jurisdiction of residence. All Church weddings will in the future be performed only before God by the pastor in keeping with the marriage doctrine as established in the churches doctrinal statement. Any couple being married by the pastor of X Church must complete marriage counseling with the Churches pastor and agree to and be subject to the Church doctrine in order for the marriage to be performed by a pastor of the church or on church property by another pastor.
So when should these actions be taken? In my opinion, immediately, certainly before the first Gay couple enters the Church property seeking a conference with its pastoral staff concerning their marriage.
Why is this my opinion? The case will not be decided for some months, but it will effect actions that take place before this decision. If your church has already turned down a Gay couple seeking to be married in your church or by its pastor it may be too late should this case be lost.
So what is at stake should you lose one of these cases? Possibly the Churches very ability to remain a viable entity financially.
Personal liability insurance should also be considered for church staff dealing with questions involving wedding venue. Training the staff and the recording of phone conversations should also be considered.
Why am I concerned about this issue? One, I am a Believer and have been for the last 40 years. I am very familiar with the wiles of the devil. Two, for 35 years I worked managing Insurance claims. This was coupled with litigation management for the last 20 years of my career before retiring. I know how litigation works in a litigious society. Litigation for a church caught unprepared is a formula for disaster in the Christian community.
My final thoughts. The Church is not its property, of course, and maybe it just could be God’s will in all of this to refocus us as believers away from Church Property and more toward assisting those around us with finding eternal life? I don’t know, but should we not prayerfully take the proper action we may soon find out. May God bless the Church, as for the nation it may have already lost His blessing. Time will tell.