Monday Musings for September 18, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

Would you eat food that was sacrificed to idols? The Apostle Paul was open to the idea… but he was closed to the idea if it caused a brother or sister to stumble. Welcome to the “gray areas of sin” … which is where we live, by the way. Now, I’m not saying that absolute right and wrong don’t exist. But in my experience, real-life laughs at black and white.

For instance, in Christian circles, there’s not a lot of discussion about whether we should murder or blaspheme God. Even in this shades-of-gray world, we know those to be black; they are slam-dunk sins in this grayish world.

But life tends to serve up milder moral challenges like, should I work on Sunday? Should I buy a raffle ticket to support disaster relief? Should I ever bend the truth… like, tell a harmless lie to encourage a friend… or tell a 4-year-old that her kitty will be in heaven?

Those examples are pretty generic, though, so let me tighten the circle… and let me make you social conservatives squirm a little. Would you buy a loaf of bread from a bakery that was run by a gay married couple? How about a corn muffin to go with that coffee? How about an apple pie for after dinner? … or how about a wedding cake?

This is a gray area for sin… and this is an area where Paul worked tirelessly. In today’s question, a believer wants to know about commerce. He wants to know where we draw the line with vendors who are also in the LGBTQ community.

But the fact that we are comfortable even speaking in terms of “drawing the line” shows that sin is subjective. Since we can plot our varied and acceptable moral responses along a gradient — from black to white — we can measure our levels of moral acceptability… and perhaps even force similar issues to separate out into black and white.

For instance, buying coffee at a shop that happens to be owned by a gay man is one thing, but shopping at an LGBTQ flagship store for gay-pride bric-a-brac is another. The former would be miscellaneous commerce — which in America, should be blind to race, creed and color — and the latter would be the purposeful support of a cause.

These areas are legitimately gray… because one side of the scale looks nearly white. But when you slide to the other side of the scale, that gray can look pretty black — as black as sin… and just where that happens is what we explore that today. Enjoy the musing.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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