I didn’t agree with all the examples, but I appreciate the general point of this article very much. I discovered Andrew Klavan through his wonderful testimony, The Great Good Thing.
I’m delighted to report that we finally have a diagnosis for Mary! May God be praised.
I preached a sermon on Christmas morning on the following passage from 2 Corinthians 6:
11 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. 12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13 Now in a like exchange-I speak as to children-open wide to us also.
God has opened His heart toward you through His Son, Jesus Christ. Open your heart to Him.
It does seem ridiculous for me to compare this new Airbnb policy with the persecution of Christians by the Roman empire. We’re not quite there, and so the comparison was over-the-top. But…
It’s where I believe we are headed. Here’s why:
- You have to understand what the statement actually means and not just what it says. Obviously, I can agree to treat everyone with respect. I can discuss sin, the judgement to come, and the gospel of Jesus Christ with a homosexual couple in a respectful way, just as I can discuss it with any other poor sinner. But that’s precisely what this statement says I must not do. They would consider such words from my mouth as hate speech and inconsistent with their guidelines. The statement itself is vague, of course, and so they have plausible deniability, and you can tell me that I’m crazy and that’s not what it means. But I think you’d be wrong. I think that’s precisely what it means.
- I believe that Airbnb should be allowed to set the terms of their service to anything they want. The problem is that this currently only goes one way in this country. Back in 2015, a bakery in Oregan was forced to pay damages of over $135,000 because they refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. That’s apparently not allowed, but, as I said, this new statement means that if I use Airbnb, I cannot refuse to offer my home to two homosexual men simply because they’re homosexuals. And so Airbnb can refuse to serve me because I’m not willing to subscribe to their statement of faith… but the cake-bakers don’t have that choice.
In a tolerant society, we would be allowed to associate and serve whomever we choose. My point is that this is yet another attempt to marginalize Christian conviction.
Wilson is right: the new “community guidelines” required of all users by Airbnb is a confession of faith. Of course, we’ve been lying for years and accepting terms of service agreements that we’ve never read, so we’re well prepared to simply click “Accept” this time also.
The difference this time is that these terms are very simple, and we have read them.
From ye old Wikipedia: “A creed (also confession, symbol, or statement of faith) is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets.” We recite these kinds of things in our Sunday morning service all the time “I believe in God the Father, maker of Heaven and Earth,” etc. Before you can do anything on Airbnb’s website, you must agree to the following: “I agree to treat everyone in the Airbnb community—regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age—with respect, and without judgment or bias.” Wilson’s point, with which I agree, is that that is a creed, and they are requiring us to recite it with them before they allow us to use their service. I do not believe that Christians can “recite it” in good conscience. In Roman times, Christians who simply refused to declare “Caeser is Lord” could be convicted of treason and executed. This is similar, and it’s only the beginning, so far as I can tell.