5.19.2015

Would Jesus Bake Their Cake?

Something has been bothering me. Like a sharp rock in my shoe or an eyelash in my eye, it's irritating and I want to remove it. Over the past year this uneasiness has grown in me. Perhaps I’ve become more aware of something that’s been around for a long time.

I recently read an article titled, "The 'least of these' are not the poor but the Christian baker, photographer and florist." The article focused on a common, but possible, misuse of Matthew 25:40. It said Jesus was not referring to the poor, rather to his disciples who share the Gospel and face persecution or are ignored because of it. The article explained that Jesus and the Bible often encourage helping the poor, but in this particular passage the poor are not his subject.

I’m fine with this part of the article. My initial thought is a bit of "so what?!" I quickly read a few translations of Matthew 25:40 and I could see how Jesus may have been referencing his disciples rather than the poor. In which case there are likely better passages of scripture to use if one is trying to raise assistance for the poor.

The article then states Jesus was referring to folks like the current Christian baker, photographer, or florist. Christian business owners facing the consequences of not providing services for wedding ceremonies of homosexual couples. He goes on to say these folks are being persecuted or treated badly for defending their faith and are examples of the "least of these" Jesus referred to.

Huh?!

There’s no sense in sugar-coating my stance. I'm disgusted by this type of message. I find no gospel in it. Where is the "Good News" to the world in need in this religious BS?!

Current Christendom is filled with stories of the plight of the "Christian business owner" who refuses to serve wedding ceremonies of homosexual couples due to the business owner's personal religious convictions. It’s a popular narrative right now, whether the press is for or against the position. It’s news when someone says ‘I won’t sell you my goods because I believe you’re sinning against God.’

I hear these stories and ask myself, "How do Christ-followers logically defend a position that honestly will not serve sinners?" And we especially refuse to serve certain flavors of sin? I cannot understand the supposedly “Christian” mindset that believes it's okay to segregate sinners in public shame, while embracing other forms of acceptable sin.

As a baker of cakes and sugary confections, aren’t you essentially making a living from the gluttony of the masses?

As a photographer, do you exclude clients who engage in premarital heterosexual sex? What about viewers of pornography? Adulterers? Fornicators? Liars?

As a florist, do you refuse to provide arrangements to the graves of criminals, drunkards, or folks who cheated on their taxes?

Is there a survey Christian business owners require to be completed listing which of the ten commandments their clients have broken with room for detailed responses? I've never been asked to complete one. Thank God!

Imagine the consequences of such religious requirements. There would be no one qualified to purchase the goods or services of the “Christian business” - not even the owners!

How in the world can we make a case that Jesus would be okay with us telling anyone their sin is worse than our own?!

I can’t fathom the logic-leap behind this stance.

Some might say we should not be forced to provide services for something we do not agree with. Generally speaking, I agree. I believe we should retain the freedom of choice. I believe God was the original author of choice when he gave us the choice to follow him or not. We are given the option of choosing life or death, with God’s hope and instruction to choose life.

When it comes to choosing whether or not to sell your products or services to someone of different beliefs, please do not shroud your disagreement behind the veil of Religious Freedom - unless your religion is "Bigot."

Don't call it Jesus's good news.

Don't call it Jesus's love.

If we truly believe Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am chief, when we see sin we ought to be moved to action. We ought to be motivated to lovingly engage and find ways to connect. If someone living a life that we truly find sinful approaches us for professional services - celebrate! What an opportunity to be a light and beacon of love! How could we better demonstrate Jesus's love than to compassionately engage, pray, and provide the highest quality of services possible?

If a homosexual couple asked “Jesus, the Baker” to provide his services for their wedding ceremony, I believe Jesus would bake the cake.

I think his cakes would be the most fabulous cakes ever!

His cakes would be made with so much love and excellence people would never forget them!

His demeanor would be so outstanding that the new couple would return to their favorite baker often because they could not get away from the sense they were truly loved and adored.

If Jesus was their baker they would realize he would give his life for theirs.

Jesus would bake their cake.

He wasn't an A-hole.

Many Christian commentators believe that American Christians are somehow losing their freedoms.

Our God-given freedom is to show real love to a world dying in sin. It can't be taken from us! Our freedom is only lost if we choose not to make use of it.

Jesus loves sinners; me and you. He would not put up a sign saying, "I don't serve homosexual weddings." He didn't say, "I don't serve sinners."

Jesus did put up a sign, with his arms outstretched, and said, "Daddy, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." And he gave his life for us.

We are asked to put up the same sign.

Will we?

Through my passion for this message I hope to encourage, not criticize Christians, sinners, or the author of the post I referenced. Our freely received grace should be freely given to whomever the Lord brings across our path, personally or professionally.

None of us have all the answers. All of us can learn much from each other. The best way to learn is in relationship. As we take the time to look beneath the surface, we find community in our brokenness. Our ignorant judgments can be removed to make room for loving grace and opportunities for trusted friendship.

Seek Jesus in your position. Learn from many. Google returned more than 200,000 results for the phrase “Jesus would bake the cake.” Go ahead and poke around. Seek and pray. Act obediently.

Consider:
  • What would Jesus do?
  • What did Jesus do?
  • What would Love do?
  • What would I want others to do if it were me?


Embrace love.

A bit more: