Christian-owned wedding venue advertises it won’t host same-sex weddings

Flournoy
Bob and Genie Flournoy own the Christian Texas Forest Country Weddings venue.

Originally published in Christian Today

A Christian couple who owns a wedding venue in Texas has placed an advertisement in a local newspaper to announce that they will not host same-sex weddings because of their faith.

“Our Christian faith demands that we not participate in same-sex, transgender or any other perversion of marriage,” the ad placed by Texas Forest Country Weddings reads, according to Life Site News. “If you disagree with our stance on marriage, please respect our Christian belief and have your wedding elsewhere.”

The venue, which is also a bed and breakfast, is owned by Christian lawyer Bob Flournoy.

In a post on the venue’s website, Flournoy asked, “America, Land of the Free and home of the brave – so says our National Anthem. Are we still brave enough to remain the land of the free? We are certainly losing our freedom at an alarming rate.”

Taking responsibility
He said in resolving the issue, “we must trust the Lord and pray” and “we must take responsibility for the conduct of our lives and that of our nation.”

“Third, we must stop tolerating evil and embrace obedience to the law of God. Fourth, we must look for every opportunity to do our duty to God and man,” he wrote.

Flournoy narrated that “my wife and I have been placed in a situation where we face the choice of giving up the freedom by which God has made us free or bow down to the ungodly and perverse conduct of those who want to marry the same sex or claim they are some sex other than what God made them to be. We have decided that we must obey God rather than man, regardless of the consequences here on earth.”

He said refusal to host same-sex weddings “is our unalienable right, memorialised in the United States Constitution to exercise our religious liberty and refuse to participate in such a wedding at our home.”

Not on my watch
“We cannot, and will not give up our right. As the brave people of Gonzalez, Texas said in the Texas war for independence, when the Mexicans demanded they give up their cannon, boldly said ‘Come and take it.’ The Mexican army tried but was repelled by the courageous men of Gonzalez. I am adopting that stance and declaring ‘Not on my watch’ will you take my freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof,” he declared.

He said “Christian bakers, photographers, florists, musicians and venue owners are being destroyed all over the country by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). They want to stand for what they believe but the whole force of government is being unleashed on them.”

Flournoy called on pastors, other church leaders and Christians in general to “please wake up and begin to stand up. Together we can remain the land of the free when we prove that we are the home of the brave.”

7 Comments

  1. A wedding venue is not a church. A church is the house of God, a wedding venue is merely a hall.

    We need to start taking a step back and see where we stand here. Where does it end? Do we not supply them stationary? Transport? Clothing? What about their every day lives, do we not sell our products if we are business owners? Do we not serve them at a reasturant?

    We are to love these people. While we do not agree to their lifestyles, and do not agree that they are to be married, we have no right in stopping them doing so. The only part I would not prohibit the Christians service, is the Pastor officiating the wedding, and the church hosting the wedding. The remaining services are just that, services. Would we do the same for those that are Muslims? Fornicators outside of marriage?

    • Darryl, I hear where your heart is and honour that. I do think the issue here is not about buildings (church vs hall) or preventing people from entering into gay marriages (The couple say: if you want to do it, please choose another venue) but about the couple’s conviction about God’s design for marriage as revealed in scripture — and having the freedom to live according to one’s faith convictions. Remember too, that they have been seeing Christians in their country punished for standing on their convictions. As Christ followers who desire to obey God we will differ — sometimes substantially — on how to live out our biblical convictions. That’s ok. But let’s stand together on defending everybody’s freedom to hold and follow their faith convictions. [Editor]

      • Sorry Andre, I stand with Darryl on this one.
        As far I can understand what Darryl is asking, his question is not about one’s right to stand firm on one’s convictions (which in most cases is just another word for opinions), but about whether those convictions or opinions are biblical and Holy Spirit-led. If you look beneath the clatter and commotion of this controversy the question is not about whether the Flournoys believe that homosexuality is right (they obviously don’t), but about how to relate to homosexuals in everyday life.
        Do the research, there are openly ‘gay’ churches all around our country and the world, that look and sound just like our churches, except for their convictions/opinions about same sex marriage. They are charismatic, they prophesy and speak in tongues, and they certainly sound like they use the same resources that we do when they preach the kingdom of God. Like us, they also stand on their convictions/opinions, and they also expect others to allow them to practise their freedom of religion. But are they really being honest to themselves when they study the scriptures, and are they really hearing what the Spirit of God is saying to them? The answer is an emphatic and categorical NO.
        So let’s apply these two most important principles to ourselves as well.
        Paul’s epistles make it very clear that homosexuality is wrong, to put it mildly. We get that. But Paul does not tell us how God expects us to relate to homosexuals in everyday life. For those directives we have to turn to the Gospels and follow Jesus’ lead, who touched, ministered and even socialised with the most vilest of sinners around.
        When confronted by the Pharisees about this, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” One of the key words here is CONDEMN.
        Paul confirmed this and added, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” Two of the key words or phrases here is NOT COUNTING and RECONCILIATION.
        The way that Jesus also related to the lepers, who were the ‘untouchables’ of the time, says it all. In Jesus’ day, the religious believed that by touching a leper one was tainted by their ‘uncleanness’. But Jesus knew that when the Spirit of God was upon and in one, the exact reverse effect happened, and that the ‘unclean’ would at least become cleaner because of the contact, if not completely clean.
        It may be hard to believe, but that is also true today.
        Lastly, let’s also be clear about this, lest we kid ourselves anymore and face unnecessary suffering. Facing persecution because one is living out the Christ in you is honourable and without shame, despite the fact that it may be tough. But facing persecution because one is behaving in a manner that is unChrist-like (i.e. bigotry), is ignorance at best and stupidity at worst, and most importantly, it misrepresents our Lord and Saviour.

        • I agree with your gracious approach Barry which is also my take on the Jesus-way and the way which I aspire to live by and vigorously promote. But I am not about to try and force Bob and Genie to respond my way or else. Those heart changes I believe are best left to the Holy Spirit to effect. I equally defend the rights of people of other beliefs to live out their convictions. We however live in times when the cultural pendulum has swung so far that Christian people are facing severe financial and other penalties for acting according to their faith. There are activist groups whose agenda includes eroding Christian freedoms and if we do not stand for freedom of conviction we will play into their hands.

          • Reacting to an error (or an attack etc.) never brings truth, it always brings more error (or more injustice etc.). Therefore trying to correct the pendulum is never the wisdom of God. Jesus taught that by His actions (He never reacted, He only responded as the Spirit led Him), and history has taught that to us over and over again. So let us rather stick to the Bible and the Holy Spirit’s leading.
            Believing that you are somehow participating in the sin of homosexuality because you rented a hall to them or sold them flowers or a cake, is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, if not an insult to one’s intelligence which God gave us.
            The Pharisees tried to put that one on Jesus too.
            It’s even worse than me telling your readers that voted for the DA that they are participating in abortion because the DA’s constitution supports it.

  2. I think what this couple are trying to say is that they will not allow same sex marriage ON THEIR PROPERTY. I think this is any Christian’s OR NON CHRISTIAN’S right to decide what he/she will allow in their own homes, property etc. This is not just about renting out a hall/place.. this is on their land and I really think what they will allow or not allow on their own land should be respected as well..

  3. The debate above is between those Christians who emphasise the Grace of God to sinners, and those who emphasise the Truth of God in not condoning the lies, the overt sins of the world. Jesus came, and in Him we see the full glory of God expressed in BOTH “grace and truth” together. (John 1:14) So Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery “Neither do I condemn you” (Grace)and then he added “God and sin no more” (Truth). Don’t commit adultery again. As a marriage officer, I conducted over 100 weddings. Most were unchurched, and were open to me including Christian content. But some were Muslim, and some asked me not to read the Bible. I agreed, because “Marriage” by Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-6 definition is NOT a Christian institution. It is a Creation institution. But by that same definition Marriage can ONLY take place between Man and a Woman. Anything else is not “Marriage” at all. The Flurnoys are correct when they say that “same-sex Weddings” are a perversion of the real thing. When I was asked to conduct same-sex weddings, I took the Love-Grace opportunity to explain the Gospel, which includes God’s loving-truthful condemnation of homosexual practice, and showed that by admitting their sin they qualified for Salvation, because Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matt 9) Everyone has sinned (in this and many other ways), and only those who confess their sins can be forgiven and saved. With this approach, we resemble Jesus who was full of BOTH Grace and Truth.