Category Archives: Christianity in the News

Whose rights are more important?

This week we have seen in the UK a story in the press about a gay couple who sued a Cornwall Bed & Breakfast who refused to allow the couple to share a double room on the basis of their Christian beliefs that unmarried couples should not share rooms.  This particular case has caused a lot of backlash in the press, articles have been written in favor of one side or the other, and online newspaper reports have had many hundreds of heated comments.

It seems that such cases are becoming more and more common; its not the first case of its kind to hit the UK headlines.  An important point is raised by this and similar cases:  who’s rights are more important?  The answer is not easy.

The arguments are:

Why should two people of the same sex who having chosen to be in a loving committed relationship face discrimination for their lifestyle choices?

Why should two people who are committed followers of a certain religion face discrimination for not being able to put the principles of that religion into practice in their daily lives?

Giving freedom to one person can quite often restrict the freedom of another.

From my point of view, I am of course a Christian, and my sympathies are with the hotel owners.  However I also understand that whilst Britain is nominally a Christian country, these days many of those who call themselves Christian only offer the religion lip service, and the title is simply from lack of knowing what else to call themselves.  A very small percentage of the population actually attends church on a regular basis these days.

As Christians we do have to take the laws of the country into consideration in all our actions, and the Bible tells us to obey the authorities – so long as their rules do not conflict with the rules of God.

It is therefore a hazard, as Britain and many other “Westernized” countries become increasingly more secular, of undertaking our daily activities that we will come across situations that conflict with our personal beliefs.

For example, a strict Christian, myself included, would say that it is wrong to be in an active homosexual relationship, or indeed any sexual relationship outside of marriage.  There is however an overriding Christian duty to love everyone, and do good to your neighbor, so I think most Christians would agree that one should “love the sinner, hate the sin” – not forgetting that we are all sinners of course.

So – do you have gay friends?  Do you have friends “living in sin?”  Do you work with people in these circumstances?  Are you obliged to provide services to people in relationships of which you don’t approve?  Is it different providing a service that involves allowing people to actively participate in the relationship of which you don’t approve, such as the hotel industry?  Do you just do your job and mind your own business where other people’s personal lives are concerned?

Such questions could be asked in any kind of personal service industry, and I suspect there is not one person who does not come into contact with situations like this.

There’s no easy answer.

Being a Christian in a secular society, the best answer I have is to work to actively limit in your life the situations that may bring you into conflict with secular rules and regulations, and to do your best to lead a Christian example in your own friendships and relationships.

Let us take comfort in the fact that the increasing secularization of society can only mean that we are coming closer to the times of the end, when Jesus will return to restore all things.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Anglican Bishops Defect to Roman Catholic Church

In a new blow for the Anglican church, five bishops have moved to Roman Catholicism under a scheme provided by the Vatican for disaffected Anglicans. Splits have been caused by disagreements over homosexuality and the ordination of female bishops, but this latest high-profile move will do nothing to ease the tensions throughout the Anglican community.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11709148

“Creation was Godless” says Hawking

Yet more anti-Christian propaganda being thrown out by the scientists… apparently the Big Bang (which is still only a theory) doesn’t leave room for God to be involved. Once again, scientists stating things as if they were absolute fact, they do the same with evolution and it bugs me. They are acting more like religious leaders, not scientists – Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins, heads of the Atheist Church. One day they shall be humbled… but while we wait, have a look at the news article on the BBC website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11161493

John the Baptist found near Bulgaria?

The remains of the key Bible character John the Baptist have been found on Sveti Ivan Island it is claimed. The archaeologists are convinced, but more tests are needed. How they know I haven’t got a clue, but if it is proved to be John the Baptist it would be a wonderful for Christianity (if it was shown to be true – it was claimed his bones had been found in Iran five years ago, but obviously not I guess). One wonders if this isn’t another opportunistic attempt to boost Christian tourism to the area, something which the Roman Catholics are renowned for being good at.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10849211

Should we buy Christmas presents…?

Aside from the whole should-we-celebrate-christmas-or-not argument, one economist makes a very good case for forgoing the usual present buying frenzy that most developed nations experience every December.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8391774.stm