Christian hoteliers wrong over gay discrimination

by John Hayward
320px-Vacancies,_Tullamore,_March_2011I have just given a pre-recorded radio interview about the court decision against the bed and breakfast owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who refused service to civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy on the basis of their sexuality. Here’s what I said:

If we are going to open our homes to strangers, then surely we should be demonstrating the love and forgiveness of Christ, rather than condemnation and judgment. Especially if we are charging for services, we shouldn’t think we can refuse just because we object to the lifestyle of those who are prepared to pay us. It’s obviously consistent of the B&B owners also to refuse to allow unmarried couples to stay in their rooms, but would they also refuse people on the basis of other sins about which the Bible has far more to say, such as gossip and anger? Thinking of the account in John 4, you do have to wonder how some of our Christian brothers and sisters would have treated the woman of ill-repute that Jesus spoke to at the well in Sychar!

For more on this issue, see our Cambridge Paper Homosexuality: finding the way of truth and love, which concluded:

‘The Christian community must respond to the issue of homosexuality and to homophile people in a way that combines love and truth, compassion and biblical integrity. There are homosexual people outside our churches or struggling within them because as Christians we have not yet learned to love as we should. Meanwhile, the debate among Christians about homosexuality is, implicitly, a debate about how to do theology. Homosexual behaviour can only be affirmed by Christians if the following are accepted: the repudiation of a created moral order, a shift from an objective to a subjective morality, and a new centre of gravity in theology whereby human insights and ‘pastoral concern’ can take precedence over divine revelation. But love and truth are not in the end isolated from, or opposed to, one another. The church will only be able to love homosexual people to the full if we have, along with more tender hearts, a firm grasp on the searching insights and transforming power of Christian truth.’

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Category: Blogs

January, 2011

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