Assuming that âthe business was advertised as a Christian establishmentâ, I really have no idea what that means. For example, Orthodox? Roman Catholic? Anglican? Putting that aside, should the owners therefore be permitted to exclude Jews? Buddhists? Atheists? Should another such business be entitled to declare itself to be a âwhite establishmentâ and exclude people with black skins? If people wish to receive guests in their own home they can discriminate to whatever degree makes them happy. If they want to operate a public business they should not be able to do so.
There is nothing in any of the reports I have read to suggest that the would-be guests were excluded for unacceptable behaviour. They were excluded because of their sexuality not for sexual activity. Obviously, any business has a right to impose standards of behaviour on customers; discrimination against a person is different to enforcement of such standards.
And it was in relation to behaviour that the Lord threw the traders out of the Temple. He did not exclude them for being, say, left-handed, but for engaging in conduct that he regarded as wrong. You might, however, note that the Temple authorities did not regard such behaviour as wrong. Trade was an essential part of Temple worship â for example, the buying of lambs for sacrifice. The Temple could not have functioned without the income from such commerce, and it was not considered âdesecrationâ. It is most probable that the Lordâs action was directed not at the trade itself, but as dishonesty and exploitation in the trade (see, for example, Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47). We often romantically imagine the Temple as a quiet house of prayer and contemplation: the Court of the Gentiles, where this event almost certainly took place, was a location specifically established for the purpose of purchasing sacrificial animals and a place where Jewish pilgrims could exchange their foreign coinage for the appropriate local currency.