At a time when so many of our Christian leaders are guilty of compromising the gospel before the media, dishonoring the Lord as they try to make God’s Word palatable to the world, it was an older British woman, nearly 70 and the owner of a bed and breakfast, who displayed a backbone of steel, a deep and consistent faith, and a theological clarity while being grilled on national TV. Cheers for Hazelmary Bull!
Hazelmary and her husband Peter, already in his 70’s, owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Cornwall, England for three decades. Five years ago, they refused to rent a double-bedded room to a homosexual couple, since they only rent these rooms to married men and women, as stated plainly on their website.
The two men were offended and took the Bulls to court, and this Christian couple was found guilty of hurting the feelings of the gay couple, fining them more than $6,000.
The Bulls are now appealing that decision to UK’s Supreme Court, although due to decreased business they have had to close down their bed and breakfast. Since the court case, they have also suffered personal death threats as well as vandalism to their building, but they have not backed down from their convictions.
In an interview on ITV Daybreak on October 8, 2013 with Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly, Hazelmary did all the talking, with Peter nodding in agreement and then affirming his wife’s position at the end of the interview.
And make no mistake about it. This is not some slick, camera-friendly couple, versed in the latest clichés and fitted with the coolest wardrobe. This is a couple grounded in the Word and committed to Jesus. Today’s Christian leaders could learn well from her example.
When asked why they were going ahead with the appeal after all they had been through, Hazelmary replied, “. . . the reason we have continued with this is because we feel there are augments to be made, because we are hoping some way or another, a pathway will be found through this so that two different lifestyles, which at the moment have had a head-on collision, two different lifestyles could live together in our society.”
Her purpose, then, is marked by conviction and conciliation: How can we live together in the same society when we have such different convictions?
Lorraine Kelly: “May I suggest that maybe you are in the wrong business? Because when you think about it only 40% of couples now are actually married, so when you do that, forget all the arguments and all the rest, but actually from a business sense, it really doesn't make any sense.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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