Someone decides to have an important, major family event at his house, this likely being a once-in-a-lifetime event. He invites all his relatives, which include over a dozen first cousins, plus their “significant others”. Other very close friends are encouraged to come. The relatives themselves have been very closely knit together for a long time.

This kind of event is a great barbecue, taking place during one of the warmer months. There is only one main entrée for this feast. It is an entire hog, slowly roasted over an open pit. This cooking would be given a few hours of a head start before the guests were to arrive, due to the pig taking a few hours to cook thoroughly. Baked beans, cole slaw, fries and corn bread would also be served, and there would be an extravagant selection of more than ten(!) kinds of barbecue sauce.

This “shindig” would have a very pig-oriented theme. There would be many posters displayed, including Porky Pig, Miss Piggy, an old pig-in-sunglasses promo flyer and a bunch of “pig pride” and “oink!” banners. Playing over the speakers at the event would primarily be country music, especially songs with pig themes. In other words, this family get-together would be predominantly a “piggy-fest”.

Most of the invited guests, especially the cousins, are delighted to attend, so they eagerly look forward to it.

But...there is one cousin whose conscience is greatly bothered by this. The reason why is due to his being a very strictly-observant orthodox Jew. In particular, he takes his kosher dietary law-keeping very seriously, and this observance strongly prohibits his consumption of any pig (or pork) products. He would furthermore become too conscience-stricken if he even involved himself in an event that places a promotional emphasis on a pig theme. At least active participation would be a severely stumbling experience to him.

However, this person wants to show his love for his closely-knit family, including his cousin who is hosting this barbecue. The religiously concerned person does not want to insult this host (who he loves very much!) in any way. But the overwhelming pig themes would be troubling to the kosher observer’s soul.


In today’s (2013) American culture, chances are very highly likely that the barbecue host would be reasonably understanding of his orthodox Jewish cousin’s concerns.


Back in early 1987, I carefully put together a sensitive letter confessing my Christian faith to my non-believing, Jewish parents. I would like to especially point out my dad’s reaction. After his reading my letter (and my praying fervently), he indicated that he respected my belief in Jesus. He did not agree with me on this theological stance. In fact, he informed me that he would not be comfortable attending a Messianic Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) service with me at the congregation that I was attending at that time. So he did not personally approve (actively support, encourage, endorse, embrace, etc.) of my faith in Jesus, but he at least respectfully tolerated (put up with, allowed, permitted, bore with) it.


About ten years ago, I was, at least “politically”, more opposed to homosexuality than now. I feel that back then I was too much focused on God blessing a morally-revived America and too little focused on the salvation of my fellow Americans. I likely did not give enough attention in regard to so many morally/religiously compliant persons still being unsaved. I needed to dwell more on the fact that mere moral/religious compliance does not save, but rather that a spiritual relationship with God through Jesus is needed. I also needed to realize that—to a very large extent in America—without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, there is hardly enough incentive to give up homosexuality!

So I have in more recent times become more “politically” tolerant of the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) community. In fact, I have been sensing more of a love-driven burden towards reaching these people for Jesus. I have given thought (at least in some kind of way) to putting homosexuality in the same “boat” as divorce—that one getting the “tolerant” treatment from Moses’ law. But note here my use of the word tolerant. I am using this word specifically as opposed to approving. If I were to be approving (or showing, as often expressed in LGBT dialect, “pride”), I might as well also be approving of opposite-sex activity outside of wedlock (which itself has been largely “glossed over”, even by many professing “Christians”, probably especially those co-habiting before marriage). Although Moses’ law tolerated divorce, even Jesus indicated that this was due to mankind’s hard-heartedness. He furthermore indicated that divorce was not God’s ideal arrangement. So one could not expect the Lord to issue His “stamp” of approval here.

Yet I feel that I have been getting some signals that at least some in the LGBT community are not satisfied enough with Christians tolerating homosexuality but that they furthermore want the church’s approval. As a result, some may see intolerance now going the other way—the reluctance by such gays to allow the church to continue its long-established (and fearfully respected) biblical policy of discouraging homosexuality. But I wonder if the gay movement’s push for Christianity’s approval, as opposed to simply tolerance, is driven by an LGBT hunger for restitution over the many persecutions suffered by that community at the hands of the church. After all, much of the church has not only disapproved of homosexuality, but has furthermore fought to disallow it in American society.

That “intolerance” may be due, at least in part, to the kind of society Israel was back in Old Testament times, especially from the days of Moses onward. This nation back then, at least when turning to the Lord, often expressed a corporate zeal to expel sin and not tolerate it. There were concerns about God cursing, rather than blessing, Israel if this nation was not diligent enough in eradicating immorality (in fact, the book of Joshua includes an incident about a single man’s sneaky wrongful plundering that resulted in the whole nation’s military setback!) out of the land. But that was before New Testament times, with what appeared to be more of a responsibility shift from corporate to individual. Yet persecutions from a number of churches towards non-compliant outsiders have continued over the past centuries leading up to the present.

It really is too bad that history has turned out like this, particularly in America. Too many organizations have given God a bad name (Westboro Baptist especially comes to my mind—this Kansas church has contributed extensively to the resulting difficulty of genuine, loving Christians in this country maintaining their faith without compromise, let alone sharing that faith—even lovingly—with others). If those aforementioned persecutions did not happen, perhaps the LGBT community would be less angered, and therefore be about as accommodating to sexually moral guests invited to a gay wedding, as a “pig fest” host would (hopefully) be to a kosher-keeping Jew invited to that event.

But due to many in the church hatefully portraying (and thus perverting!) a loving God, too many victims of such hate are going to automatically regard all (i.e., even without the will to differentiate the fakes from the genuine) professing Christians, even genuine loving ones, as a bunch of “evil, self-righteous, homophobic bigots”—even those who politely decline a gay wedding invitation (not at all because of hate, but because of moral conscience)! This is at least one reason why it is now more difficult in America today for genuine practicing Christians to uncompromisingly preserve their beliefs, without incurring the wrath of the LGBT community and its strong supporters. Would a gay newlywed at least be lovingly content if the morally concerned Christian still attended such a wedding, but declined active participation in some activities (those that directly bother his/her conscience) at this event??