“You will be made to care. You will not be given the option of silence or the sidelines. The sidelines are now gone. Everyone is fair game now—even mild mannered wedding cake designers...”
In his new book “You Will Be Made to Care,” Erick Erickson outlines the stories of Alliance Defending Freedom clients who were forced from the sidelines onto the playing field. Creative artists like Jack Phillips, a wedding cake designer in Colorado, Barronelle Stutzman, a floral artist in Washington State , or Blaine Adamson, a promotional printer in Kentucky have all been forced into the game just for living out their faith.
Their stories are remarkably similar. Each believe that their creative talents are a gift from God and as such, should be used to glorify him. Each follows the teaching of Christ to love others as he loves them, and in so doing serves anyone who walks in their doors no matter who they are. Each declined to use their gifts to create a message that goes against their beliefs. Each faces the loss of their livelihood for remaining faithful to God.
None of these Christians were activists looking for a fight. They lived their lives as you or I do, believing that in America the First Amendment protects our freedom to live according to our conscience. But for Jack, Barronelle, and Blaine the choice to quietly go about their business was taken from them. As Erickson points our repeatedly in his book, the government is not allowing the three to live and let live, but is using so called nondiscrimination laws and ordinances to coerce them to approve of and celebrate ideas that conflict with their faith.
Don’t despair. If you only read the first few chapters of “You Will Be Made to Care,” which details many other cases that are similar to those mentioned above, the trend could seem alarming. Fortunately, Erickson devotes much of the book to exploring ways in which Christians can begin to win our culture back. But it won’t be easy. It will require Christians to get up out of the stands and get in the game. It could mean some of us encounter the same threats as Jack, Barronelle, and Blaine. That is why Alliance Defending Freedom exists, to come along side those who are being forced to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Erick Erickson joins ADF podcast Freedom Matters today. Matt, Kerri, and I talk with Erick in detail about his book, and the challenges and hope for Christians in America today. You can find us on SoundCloud and iTunes. This is an episode you don’t want to miss.