"Normal Times "
July 26, 2017
(See John 16:2-4) - Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. ... But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
There are a few things you should know about Jack Phillips.
First, you should know that Phillips owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. The second thing you need to know is that he is a practicing Christian. Now normally those two facts wouldn't cause a conflict, but these are not normal times. That's why, when Phillips was asked to come up with a cake for a same-sex wedding, he declined. Although making such a cake might not bother every Christian, it bothered him. That's why he said, "No, I don't think I can do that."
Well, as I said, these aren't normal times, and the offended couple ended up taking Phillips to court.
It didn't take too long for the Colorado Human Rights Commission to say, "Jack, you're wrong." Then the Colorado Supreme Court chimed in and agreed Jack was wrong.
I said there are a few things you should know about Jack Phillips. Here's one more: he doesn't like it much when someone tells him he is wrong when he believes he is right. It was that kind of feeling which will, this fall, take Phillips to the United States Supreme Court where he will plead his case.
Many of the people who have heard about Jack Phillips have been saying, "Will you look at that! Jack Phillips is just another one of those narrow-minded, politically incorrect, Bible-spouting Christians who wants everyone to believe exactly the same thing that he believes."
I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
My opinion is a bit different. My opinion says our crucified and risen Savior knew exactly what He was talking about when He said the day would be coming when people would think they are doing the community a public service by getting rid of non-conforming believers.
Jack Phillips would agree.
You see, he and his family have been receiving death threats for their beliefs. Some threats are quite specific. For example, there was the one where the caller said he knew the address of the bakery and that Phillips' daughter worked there. Then, to be sure he had made his point, he shared step-by-step driving directions. The caller then finished with a promise to murder them all.
Now the point I would like to make is this: Jack Phillips is not the narrow-minded, politically incorrect individual who wants everyone to believe exactly the same thing he believes. No, that title belongs to the open-minded people who are only open-minded when it comes to others. No, Phillips is just a Christian fellow who isn't living in normal times -- and neither are we.
This is why we who have been redeemed by the Savior need to listen to His words of warning, be prepared for the world's hatred, and hold fast to the Redeemer, whose sacrifice has won the ultimate and final victory for all who are blessed to know Him as their Savior from a sad and sinful world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, this devotion has said we don't live in normal times. Looking back on history, it is quite possible that these days are more normal than we might wish. Since before You walked this earth, the world has always hated and opposed You and those who follow You. Give us the strength to be faithful to You who gave Your all for us. In Your Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written Veronica Neffinger for Christian Headlines on June 30, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries