There are certain things that will make good, smart, well-meaning people turn into complete morons. Things that make our brain stop working momentarily, overcoming common sense in favor of a fleeting moment of primal ecstasy. They lower our inhibitions and cloud our judgement resulting in decisions we regret very quickly. I’ve come to conclude that homosexuality is that thing for the majority of Christians. Like a swimsuit model in a room full of middles school boys or a bottle of Yagermeister with a group of college coeds, homosexuality seems to make Christians stop thinking just long enough to do some of the most unChristian things possible.
It happened this past week with a couple from Missouri who decided to share a little bit of passive aggressive condemnation on their homosexual waiter. After a lovely meal out with excellent service from their waiter, the couple left a note on their receipt rather than a tip. The note read:
“Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. (Gay slur) do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your (gay slur) choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for (gay slur). May GOD have mercy on you.”
What struck me first was how did they even know he was gay. Are Christians going so far as to pass judgement based on their “gaydar” now? Then there was no extension of grace. If you don’t believe in what someone is doing, help them (or ignore them entirely which is what most people do). Why not invite the man to church where he could find Jesus and God’s favor according to your own perceived notion of what proper godly living is? Every time the Bible gives an example of judgement, the next line is to offer salvation through repentance and fellowship. But somehow Christians have missed that. These people like many Christians didn’t even have the nerve to tell the waiter to his face. They had to leave a note. They knew deep down what they were doing was cowardly and unChristlike.
Christians like this need to stop going out to dinner entirely, unless they’re going to Chik-Fil-A. As a matter of fact, just don’t even leave your house. After all, you don’t know who’s sinful habit you may be supporting. You wouldn’t want to support that single mom who got herself knocked up having premarital sex would you? What about those college students who are just working so they have money to party? It’s the same mindset that people have when they say “I’m not giving money to the homeless, they’ll just use it on drugs and alcohol.” Just admit it, you’re cheap and just didn’t want to give anything.
People should know by now that by doing these sorts of things it simply gathers more support and celebrity for the victim than not doing anything. The waiter’s tips this past week probably quadrupled thanks to the note. The couple inadvertently blessed the waiter through their public consternation.
What if this happened the other way around? What if as the couple bowed their heads to pray over their food, the manager came out and said “folks, I’m sorry but this is a public space and while you’re lovely people we can’t allow you to spread your beliefs by praying in our restaurant.” The full wrath of every bible-belt church would have come down on that restaurant. But that’s not the way it happens. Customer service is blind. Regardless of color, race, or sexual orientation those who choose to serve know that their livelihood depends on loving those who in many cases like this one, are unlovable. Sounds almost Christ like doesn’t it?
This isn’t a referendum on homosexuality. This is about how Christians interact with the world. This type of behavior is why so many people leave the church and faith entirely. What Christians need to remember is that these actions will not be forgotten. There will be a day when all accounts will be called up. They will be called before their savior to explain why they would behave in such a manner while still claiming to be his followers. We have a perfect example of how we are to respond to those who may be practicing a lifestyle we don’t approve of. Like the young woman caught in the act of adultery and thrown before Jesus, our response should be “I don’t condemn you, but go and stop what you’re doing”. It’s that simple. I believe Jesus would have left a tip for hard work earned and then had a conversation with the young man and inviting him into fellowship. With love and grace we should be an encouragement to each other, after all everyone has sinned and fallen short of that grace so many Christians claim will bless you if you live rightly. No one deserves it. And no one deserves to be treated like this waiter.