Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law has come under a lot of attacks from various sides for various reasons. The one I want to address is the charge from some well meaning Christians that it is about not showing love to others as Christ would. One writer in particular seems to think that a hypothetical refusal to cater pizza to a theoretical gay wedding is evidence of Christians building walls between ourselves and non-Christians instead of being open and accessible, and showing love.
My response is to discuss how this application of principle actually works.
Refusal to sell a pizza can seem so petty, so judgmental. But what if it were a photographer refusing to take pictures of a sexual and pornographic nature? What about a doctor asked to perform an abortion? The concept is the same. Would it be showing love to participate in recording the sexual act you didn’t believe in? Would participating in the abortion be the best way to show love?
The concept is the same in all three cases. Participating in the activity you don’t agree with is not the way to show love, if you have the option.
But wait, somewhere in the gospels, the sermon on the mount, Jesus said something about “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Doesn’t this say we should cater the pizza? No. Now if the law forced us to do so, this indicates we should willingly go above. But to go against conscience when we have a choice? That isn’t showing love.
Jesus didn’t shun the others, he interacted with them, but he also didn’t condone their actions. He told the Samaritan woman about her former life, but didn’t encourage her to continue it. He didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery, but he also told her to “go and sin no more.”
Supporting or condoning their way of life isn’t showing love. Judging isn’t showing love either. Living with, engaging with, challenging them while accepting their differences, sharing with them an example of new life, is.