CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Protestors recently gathered outside a Christian café in Denver to object to the café’s parent organization’s Christian foundation. Since its opening last month, The Drip Café has seen graffiti, protesting, and even rocks hurled through the window. Owner Jamie Sanchez believes the Denver Communists — the ringleaders of the protests according to Facebook — and other LGBT protesters were triggered by Scripture on the website of his coffee shop’s parent nonprofit Recycle God’s Love, which ministers to the local homeless population. Following the acts of vandalism, Sanchez said police told him that “they can’t do anything because of free speech.”
As these attacks on religious freedom come mere weeks after the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Colorado graphic designer who refused to create same-sex wedding websites, many are outraged at the blatant disregard of religious freedom. Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), commented on the loss of tolerance in America and how the Christian community should respond to hateful acts like this.
“My, how the times have changed! It seems like only yesterday that you could disagree with another individual even about something extremely important and still be able to relate as friends,” said Ginn. “That old fashioned concept actually provides a good definition for the concept of ‘tolerance.’ But in today’s culture, tolerance can only be achieved through nothing less than total acceptance of the other person’s point of view or lifestyle. Hence, if a person or group does not buy into the current cultural anomalies ‘hook, line, and sinker,’ then they are immediately labeled as ‘undesirable,’ and any means to harass them into submission is deemed admirable. Ironically, the demand for extreme inclusivity then gives rise to the discriminatory exclusion of those with whom you do not agree and who refuse to surrender their beliefs, which is the very thing that these irrational folks claim they are fighting against.
“The Christian Post reported one of the latest examples of this phenomenon this past week when it published a report about a recently opened Christian ministry-based coffee shop, The Drip Café, in Denver that is being harassed by the local Communist Party and other LGBT protestors. The crime committed by the coffee shop that triggered the over-the-top response was simply that the parent company of the coffee shop also has a homeless ministry, and their website had the audacity to speak the truth about God’s Word, the Bible, which calls homosexuality ‘sinful.’
“Never mind that the same website also states that the entire organization is instructed to ‘love those living such lifestyles,’ as the page reads, ‘We believe that showing hate towards people in these communities is not the way Jesus would respond. [Therefore], although disagreeing with the lifestyle, we must show love.’ Not only that, but the Communists and the LGBT folks who are in need of the services of the homeless ministry are welcomed, and they can enjoy a good fresh cup of brewed coffee just like everyone else. Not to be deterred in their crusade though, calling The Drip Café ‘bigots,’ the Denver Communists’ event page for the protest labeled these merciful Christians as ‘key incubators of the homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny that underpin the current assault on [LGBT] rights.’ Apparently, simply because the traditional beliefs of this Christian ministry run counter to the godless wishes and wants of the rabble rousers, a needed service can be gleefully disrupted and ultimately destroyed with impunity. As Forrest Gump might say about this whole situation — ‘godless is as godless does.’
“At Southern Evangelical Seminary, we understand and comprehend morality only in light of Scripture and natural law. At the same time, in following God’s Word we proclaim the Gospel message of God who loved all of us so much that He sent His only Son to live amongst us, die in our place, and ultimately rise from the dead in victory over death itself. Because of this great love manifested to us, Christians fully understand the weight of sin because we were, and are, sinners who are saved simply by the grace of God. As Sinclair Ferguson would say, ‘God accepts us despite the way we are. He receives us only in Christ and for Christ’s sake. Nor does He mean to leave us the way He found us, but to transform us into the likeness of His Son.’ The way we show our love to those who do not know our Savior is to serve them the way we have been served and to let them know that there is life in Jesus that far transcends any momentary pleasure this world has to offer.”