Is it “sinful” for a Christian business owner to produce a product for a gay wedding? That’s the question that was recently posed to some well-known faith leaders at Ligonier Ministries 2017 regional conference in Los Angeles, California.
And it’s a question that comes as the debate over Christian venders who refuse to serve gay wedding ceremonies hits a fever pitch, with a resolution to the dispute potentially on the horizon. As Faithwire reported last week, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case surrounding a baker who was punished after refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.
While some Christian business owners say that being forced to provide services for gay weddings violates their consciences, others disagree and have no problem offering services. Thus, the broader question — whether doing so is sinful — is both an emotional and thought-provoking one that is sure to spark a plethora of theological questions.
And it’s one that John MacArthur, pastor at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and president of The Master’s University in Newhall, California, wasted no time in responding to during the June 9 panel discussion.
“No, it’s not sinful for a cake maker to make a cake for a gay wedding anymore than its sinful for a guy who runs a restaurant to serve dinner to somebody who is gay and sits in a booth and eats the food, or goes to the market and buys a loaf of bread and you own the market,” MacArthur proclaimed. “What the issue is, is not whether that’s sinful; it’s whether the federal government can demand that people do certain things, which goes against their Christian conscience.”
In the end, the pastor argued that the real issue is political and governmental, though he did say that people should be free to make a decision for themselves if they feel that providing the wedding services does pose a conscience problem.
In the end, MacArthur said “it’s a personal issue.” “I actually think that we need to show love to everyone and particularly, we need to do good to all those that are outside the kingdom, as well as inside the kingdom, as much as possible so a gesture of kindness toward some unregenerate person is in itself not a sin,” he continued. “But, again, if it violates your conscience in some way then you don’t want to train yourself to ignore your conscience.”