Bryan Fischer is the voice of the American Family Association, a think tank that has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is the man who told us that homosexuality "gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews." Now, he says that the Mark of the Beast has arrived on Earth as predicted in the Book of Revelations - and... wait for it... it's all about those gays.
In his writing, he uses a number of examples for his concern - business leaders and celebrities who have been shunned from the public square and submitted to "re-education camps" to sway their belief in God, presumably. From football players to bakers, free Americans are being forced to worship the anti-Christ in order to earn a buck...
Oh... wait... but they aren't.
In John’s vision, any Christian who does not willingly accept the mark of the beast will not be allowed to buy or to sell. He’ll be fired or won’t be hired or will be drummed out of business entirely.
I beg to differ.
The Mark of the Beast, Bryan? Really?
None of the individuals mentioned in Mr. Fischer's comments are unable to "buy" the items they need to survive because they are Christians. None of them are unable to "sell" anything because they are Christians. In fact, they have been encouraged (legally at times) to sell to everyone; to sell more than they were selling before. The caveat here is that they would sell their wares and services to (or have fans who are) gay people. Oh! The Horror! <queue really freaky, but totally straight, music here>
Anyone who does not plaster homosexual rainbow stickers all over himself, his resume and the windows of his business will have his commercial interests terminated with extreme prejudice.
A class that teaches the law concerning equal rights for consumers (you know, the laws that say you can't serve persons of color exclusively out the back door of your restaurant because a group of incredibly brave young people sat at a lunch counter) is not a "re-education camp." A fine for breaking the law when you refuse service based upon a person's sexual orientation is nothing more than a fine for breaking the law. It is not a censure from hell or a demand that you worship anything, let alone the antitheses of your God.
I have no issue with anyone choosing their God over the civil laws of the land when it comes to this sort of thing. I have said it before and I'll say it again: I will defend the rights of my fellow Americans to worship as they see fit until my dying breath. If their love of their God- if the worship in which they choose to participate - means they cannot, in good faith and conscience, make a cake, snap a photograph, administer a civil ceremony, change into their football uniform in a locker room, or partake of any other means of earning a living that may place him or her into a position of service or advocacy of those dreaded folks with "the gay," then they are free to choose another line of work. No where in Scripture does it say that, if you choose to break the laws of man, you will be exempt from the punishments of man.
In fact, Scripture tells us that we should obey the laws of man when it comes to business and finances.
13And they send to him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14And when they were come, they say to him, Master, we know that you are true, and care for no man: for you regard not the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?15Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, Why tempt you me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16And they brought it. And he said to them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said to him, Caesar's. 17And Jesus answering said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at him.
So what is happening in these verses? Those questioning Jesus' opinion of what's going on the world (after hearing a parable of some violence concerning a wedding that nobody wanted to attend, ironically), the people asked Jesus about whether the Jews should pay tribute or taxes to Rome, or if they should resist, revolt, and not pay.
Jesus did not tell them to refuse to pay tribute. He did not tell them to lay down their lives over something as petty as paying taxes or, I don't know... baking a cake. He knew what would happen to the people if they refused to pay. They would be punished. They would be censured. They might even be killed. (Things were kinda rough back in the bible hood days.)
Interestingly, Jesus was speaking literally when He said to "render to Ceasar the things that are Caesar's..." He said this because Caesar's picture was on the money! It was, quite plainly, Caesar's money to begin with... so give it back to him, right? But symbolically, as the bible is often read today, these words mean so much more. They tell us that there is a break between civil law and God's law. If you break man's law, you must pay man's consequences.
If you break God's law... well, that's between you and God, isn't it?
On a further note, the scriptures here are followed shortly thereafter with a reminder of the instruction from Moses that if a woman's husband dies without an heir (if he dies before his wife has a child), the brother of the dead man should marry her immediately and knock her up, forthwith. He should then raise that child as though the child were the offspring of his brother. You know... parentage by proxy. But yeah... let's stick to the "Biblical" definition of marriage, shall we?