March 5, 2014

No, Jesus Would Not Bake a Cake for a Homosexual Ceremony

Photo Credit: www.testimoniesofheavenandhell.com

Nothing has so clearly shown the unbiblical commitment of liberal faith as the current firestorm about the legal requirement to facilitate homosexual behavior. People professing Christian faith have identified two reasons why followers of Christ should bake cakes for homosexual weddings: 1) Jesus would bake the cake, and 2) we should obey the law of the state.

It seems that many focus on the threat to religious freedom, which of course is important, but the all important question is the first, the claim that Christian love should move us to provide a service which contributes to sinful behavior. Although it can only be speculation, it does seem likely that few people who make the claim that Jesus would bake a cake, take a photograph, provide artificial insemination, or otherwise contribute to the sexual side of a homosexual relationship truly believe it is sinful. They more likely regard active homosexuals as victims, and the belief that sodomy is sinful as an oppressive belief of pre-enlightenment religion. In considering the issue, I will assume that the Scriptures really do teach that sodomy is sinful (which is not seriously deniable, although many have tried), and ask whether Scripture shows that Jesus, with his love and compassion for sinners, showed himself indulgent of sexual sin, even dismissing it, in favor of a ministry of justice, peace, and healing.

While advocates of liberationist views may often feel they have to get past the public’s spontaneous orientation to traditional readings of the Bible, the general public is right with them on Jesus’ anti-Pharisee polemic. Whenever sin is condemned, the man in the street is quick to respond with the words “hypocrite” and “judge not.” Matthew 23 gives Jesus’ final public address in that gospel, denouncing the scribes and Pharisees who bind heavy burdens for other people. What people fail to notice is that Jesus commended the Pharisaical idea of holiness; he denounced only the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Matt. 23:2-3; 23). We are not to neglect holiness in a concern for love of our neighbor.

The first reference by Jesus to sexual sin is arguably the most severe, in it Jesus declares that a lustful look is adultery in the heart and worthy of hell (Matt. 5:27-30). This is immediately followed by the stricture against divorce (Matt. 5:31-32), which, however precisely interpreted, establishes a far more restrictive regime for divorce than previous Jewish practice or the contemporary no-fault rule. The same formula of cutting off a body part (eye or hand) to avoid sin and hell is found in Matt. 18:6-9, which is particularly focused on causing believing children to “stumble” (clearly meaning to sin), but also has a more general reference (18:7; “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes” (NASB), also see a similar statement in Luke 17:1-2). Here again there is a reference to sin and hellfire, clearly indicating that to be the cause of sin is itself a sin worthy of hell. Matt. 19:4-12 declares the divine order of marriage, again prohibits divorce short of sexual immorality, and commends celibacy as superior to marriage. Mark 10:2-12 prohibits divorce with no qualification, Luke 16:18 does the same, John 4:4-26 relates the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, with Jesus mentioning the woman’s five past husbands and present cohabitation, the disputed John 8:1-11 relates Jesus saving the woman taken in adultery, admonishing her to sin no more.

There are no references in the Bible in which Jesus appears to loosen sexual strictures; he instead appears to tighten them. Even the woman taken in adultery is admonished not to sin again, while the woman at the well is implicitly rebuked. If anyone doubts that it is a respectful rebuke, note that it begins with an encounter about water satisfying thirst (a common metaphor for sexual satisfaction, even in the Bible (Prov. 5:15-20)). Jesus counsels her to turn to his water instead. The woman’s attempt to avoid the issue by citing Jesus’ different religion is met with Jesus saying that she does not know God, but she should worship him in spirit and truth (clearly implying that that is what she is not now doing).

Too often Jesus’ condemnation of hypocrisy is taken as a rejection of God’s moral law. The law itself is understood to be oppressive, and people are hypocrites because they cannot live by it (although requiring it of other people). The Biblical explanation of hypocrisy is far different than the popular (and liberationist) understanding. Jesus says that human beings are “evil” (Matt. 7:11), and identifies the source of evil as the human heart, which leads to “evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness” (Mk. 7:21-22; also similarly Matt. 15:19). If we take Jesus’ moral condemnations seriously as his disciples, then the straight-laced morality of the past is not essentially wrong. If Christians at times have been too strict to the point of being unbiblical and cruel, that is a matter of detail. The old morality was right in its spirit, the hip culture of lewd language, sexual immorality, and general focus on gratification clearly is not. Could conservatives have a blind spot (as far as Jesus’ teachings are concerned) in considering the evils of capitalism? Perhaps, but they are not wrong, in fact they are indisputably right, that Jesus required a strict sexual morality, nowhere showing any dissent from that given in the Old Testament.

Didn’t Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners, and weren’t the religious people thereby scandalized? Indeed, but that is far different than contributing to their sinful activity. (We take it for granted here that sodomy is indeed gross sin, and thus a homosexual ceremony is gross sin. The observation, repeated ad nauseum, that Jesus didn’t mention sodomy is essentially a lame grasping at straws; Jesus didn’t mention rape, bestiality, or incest either, it is impossible to think he thereby approved those practices). The important point in the present controversy is that to contribute to sin is itself sinful, as Jesus said in saying we must not cause another to stumble, and, as a matter of justice, doing so is worthy of hell. Whether a Christian is ever in danger of hell is a point of controversy among Christians; sacramental Christians generally think so, Evangelicals tend to think not. But as children of God we do not want to offend God, that is indeed a sign of our salvation.

And so it is not the case that Jesus would have baked a cake to be used in a homosexual celebration. Rather his words in the New Testament clearly show that such an act is a sin, worthy of hellfire. Nor would Jesus, or the apostles, have obeyed a requirement of the civil authorities to commit such a sin, because Jesus was without sin (Jn. 8:46, II Cor. 5:21, Heb. 4:15; I Pet. 2:22), and the apostles clearly resisted the authorities when they commanded disobedience to God (Acts 5:29). What is presently required by antidiscrimination law in many jurisdictions is thus a human rule that disciples of Christ certainly cannot obey, rather they must take the penalty if they in fact are in a situation where such a law requires sinful action of them. They are not imposing their views on others, rather, they are being victimized for the sake of others’ hurt feelings.

Isn’t it the case that over the course of the last 60 years, Christians have learned to accommodate many other sinful things besides homosexuality? Yes, it is the case that the homosexual liberation movement has a real claim to discrimination here. To work at a movie theatre one would need to know that its presentations are not so contrary to Biblical morality as to be sinful (which is often not the case), one could even question serving at a public library (as the present writer did earlier in life) in view of its literature purveying sexual and occult material. Judges in civil courts are required to apply the state’s no fault (or other unbiblical criteria) to divorce suits, so faithful Christians cannot hold those positions. What about baking a wedding cake for a man and a woman who cannot marry by Biblical standards (i.e., one partner divorced his/her spouse for reasons other than adultery)? It would be rare if this is actually known, but if it is, the cake should be refused. To provide the cake is to contribute to sin.

The coming years may well see increasing pressure to accommodate things the Bible calls sin, especially the sin of sodomy. This may well be both by government coercion and social pressure, with the position of faithful Christians made more difficult as churches themselves accommodate sin, as even the Catholic Church is being pressured to do on a global scale. But the Word of God is clear. Jesus is indeed a gracious savior, whom we are to imitate. But he was a savior forgiving sin, healing the sick, and casting out demons, to those who came to him in faith and repentance. Outside of that, there is only the wrath of God.


22 Responses to No, Jesus Would Not Bake a Cake for a Homosexual Ceremony

  1. Marco Bell says:

    Good points Rick.

    So, given the sundry of occupations that might offend God or Jesus or his faithful followers, where then does that arbitrarily place those that can’t find work without breaking some religious edict?

    It would seem to me that these restrictions paint the abiding Christian into a corner, which will leave them no way to contribute without feeling compromised?

    An example might be, that a devout female fundamentalist (Muslim) would find it difficult to perform her tasks on the job if her burka got in the way! Of course, my example portends that a female Muslim would even be allowed to hold a job outside the home. So this whole travail of religious restriction seems to point to the regressiveness of a cloistered culture.

    I don’t mean to disrespect your tenets or propriety, but this argument just proves that there are always going to be people who are offended, and or persecuted by the world around them, and it will inevitably create the rift that will either expel them, or consume them.

    Best of luck with your position…and write if you get work!

    Sincerely,
    Marco

    • cleareyedtruthmeister says:

      Marco, I think you misunderstand the point.

      It’s not a matter of being offended, it’s a matter of not doing something, voluntarily or under force, that would be a major violation of one’s faith. Serving a gay person a meal in a restaurant, etc. would not qualify because it does not imply any endorsement of lifestyle. But engaging in activity that would be a clear enabling/facilitation of unChristian activity most assuredly would.

      The First Amendment–and I emphasize FIRST–prevents any government interference in the sincere practice of a person’s faith. Any business or professional person should not have to put their faith on the shelf just to run their business.

      • Marco Bell says:

        Thank you, Cleareyedtruthmeister.

        I’m assuming then, that the freedom, of the free market system, will ultimately provide the answer to whether one will ever have to engage in doing something against their religious beliefs? As one will just take their business elsewhere. That seems to solve the problem, yes?

        If a gay couple wished to purchase their wedding cake, but couldn’t find a baker in their town, then they would simply have to go elsewhere for said cake!

        There will always be regions of this great country that hold to ‘old’ ways, so that probably would (and possibly should) remain that way, until things change…if ever!

        I’m holding out that these are things that in time will evolve, but I also realize that the freedoms that I hold dear, are up for the same scrutiny, and threat of disappearing too, if I am not vigilant to defend them. So for the sake of shared liberties, I defend the right of the ‘Baker’ to refuse to participate as well.

        • Rick Plasterer says:

          Marco,

          As in one of your responses to a previous posting of mine, you seem to take a critical view, yet agree that people have a right to refuse to provide services they believe are immoral. So you are on the side of religious liberty against those secularists (now much of the mainstream media) who want to deny it.

          In defending freedom at a rhetorical level, it is good to say that “discrimination” and “freedom” are really the same thing. All of life is discrimination, picking one thing and not another. We may not have the freedom to refuse a homosexual customer, but a believer should have the freedom to refuse a service he/she believes is immoral; no one should be required to take action they believe to be wrong because others are offended.

          Yes, applying liberty of conscience may result in inconvenience. One may not be able to have a job if the substance of a possible job is sinful (as in a movie theatre worker, noted above), but if the job isn’t essentially wrong, one’s conscience should be accommodated. If you can’t find a wedding cake because the baker finds your marriage immoral, its the same situation as if there were no bakery at all in your area.

          Didn’t mean to write another article, but there’s much to say on this topic. Thanks for your thinking through this contentious issue.

          Rick

  2. gary47290 says:

    Matthew 19 says nothing against same-sex couples, it only describes an ideal as our Lord saw it. His silence on the other half of the equation does nothing to support your position.

    Sodomy as described in Genesis is rape, not Gay sex.

    Sodomy as described in Ezekiel is the pride and haughtiness of your derision against Gay and Lesbian persons.

    Sodomy as described in Romans is ritual cultic temple prostitution.

    But thank you for playing.
    http://epistle.us/hbarticles/clobber1.html

    • Rick Plasterer says:

      gary47290,

      As I noted in the article, I assume that the Bible teaches that sodomy (meaning same/sex activity) is sinful. This has been well shown Robert Gagnon in “The Bible and Homosexual Practice” (2003). However, my concern in the article was to show that Jesus declared a strict, not an indulgent, sexual morality, and so would not have contributed to sexual sin, which is itself sin.

      Rick Plasterer

    • Greg Paley says:

      You provided a link that gives the familiar (and false) spiel about the “clobber passages” in the Bible. After 2000 years in which the Christian church has consistently studied and interpreted the Bible, and has consistently condemned homosexuality as a terrible sin in God’s eyes, do you honestly believe that we’ve been getting this wrong for 2000 years, and that suddenly, amazingly, gay Bible scholars discovered the “real” meaning of the Bible? Paul the apostle grew up in the predominantly gentile city of Tarsus, he would have known quite a lot about homosexuality and his world wasn’t that diffferent from our own, morally speaking. Sorry, but there’s just no getting around the New Testament’s clear condemnation of homosexuality. There it is, like it or not. This is America, there are many religions available that do not claim to abide by the Bible. Take Christianity “as is” or not at all. If you think Paul and apostles got it wrong about ethical behavior, then dump Christianity and move on to something that suits you, morally speaking.

      • gary47290 says:

        The Church was wrong for nearly all of its history on slavery and the role of women in the church and the world, and science until post-Galileo. Why do you think She is stridently, unalterably right on this issue? Sexuality is not core to the faith.

        • cleareyedtruthmeister says:

          You need to go beyond the shallow, cherry-picked historical talking points of contemporary leftists. The church’s stance on the issues you mention has always been more complicated and nuanced than you suggest (e.g., read Rodney Stark’s “The Victory of Reason”). There has always been division in the church over those issues. Not so with sexuality.

        • Greg Paley says:

          “Sexuality is not core to the faith”?

          Oh, but it is. According to the Bible, it is VERY core, otherwise why so many restrictions, why so many admonitions to Jews and Christians to hold to a much higher standard than the surrounding culture? Ground Zero for the biblical view of sexual sin is 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul condemns all sexual sins, not just homosexuality. Our secular culture treats sex as “no big deal,” which explains the hook-up culture, divorce, STDs, and many other things we are better off without. As C. S. Lewis observed, for the Christian it’s either celibacy or marital sex of a man and his wife. That’s setting the bar pretty high – but, hey, that’s what Christianity does. If you think that lowering the bar for sexual morals ha any pay-off in the pews, check the membership numbers for the Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, PCUSA, ELCA, and other liberal churches. Notice the pattern? Numbers going DOWN as those churches become “inclusive” about people practicing non-marital sex.

          Sorry you think that “sexuality is not core to the faith.” It is. If you attend a church that shares your view, great, but that church isn’t Christian.

        • Rick Plasterer says:

          gary47290,

          I would add to what cleareytruthmeister and Greg Paley said that Christians do not have to be embarrassed by the stock examples given of the Bible’s need for radical re-interpretation, i.e., its scientific accuracy, the role of women and slavery. We better understand that science and reason point to a creator than a generation ago, and the role of women is the role of “helper” God ordained, regardless of how scandalized the modern world is. (Some orthodox Christians would disagree, but their disagreement is not as unreasonable as those who attempt to justify sodomy). Slavery is the most difficult issue, but I would observe a heritage of Christian opposition to slavery, and that American slavery was different from the kinds prescribed in the Bible. Without writing another article here, consult one of the passages condemning sodomy, I Tim 1:10, it says that not only sodomites, but “menstealers,” variously translated as “kidnappers” or “slave traders” are “lawless” and therefore sinful. American slavery was based on slave capture in West Africa, it was therefore based on what the Scripture calls sin.

          Rick

    • cleareyedtruthmeister says:

      The tactic, as we see again, seems to be this: repeat the same misinterpretation enough times and, eventually, people will believe it. Sadly, this is working among the naive and uneducated.

      The Bible is unequivocal, in both Old and New Testaments, in condemning anything other than heterosexual sex. This is not a debatable point. Anyone who cannot appreciate that fact has no credibility telling others how to interpret the Bible.

      If you disagree with the Bible then have the personal integrity and honesty to say so, but don’t go around engaging in disingenuous mental gymnastics to pretend the Bible says something it clearly does not.

      The Bible is unclear on a number of topics….this isn’t one of them.

  3. David says:

    So what is a Christian mechanic to do when the local Imam comes in for an oil change? Based on purely religious conviction there is no way he can help promote the spread of Islam by assisting in this way. I’m not being facetious. I wonder if this doesn’t infiltrate every aspect of nearly every job.

    • Rick Plasterer says:

      David,

      Assisting an imam with his car does not directly contribute to any sin. As noted in my comment above, a person’s identity does not mean they cannot be served, only if they request a service which contributes to what the Bible clearly calls sin should they be refused.

      Rick Plasterer

      • David says:

        So does cake a marriage make? Does cake a sin endorse?

        • Rick Plasterer says:

          David,

          The cake is not equivalent to a marriage, but a baker supplying a cake especially for any particular homosexual ceremony does contribute to that sin, and thus is itself a sin.

          Rick

  4. Jon Benton says:

    No..Jesus wouldn’t bake the cake..but ‘He’d bring it’ so all could share & enjoy. He seems to want “all” to learn grow & be in His presence ..and when they love each other..His will is achieved.

  5. Leon Green says:

    Thanks, Rick. Absolutely clear.

  6. Marco Bell says:

    There are some great exchanges through this thread, and I appreciate hearing all of them.
    Rick, to answer your question…I’ll always be on the side of liberty, be it religious, political, economic, etc..

    I am more secular than I was as a Methodist youth, but that’s because the world is vast, and the likelihood of only ONE Religion claiming the Truth, seems arrogant… and that’s a sin too!

    I dare not use the term “Devils Advocate”, but technically, that’s what I do to test everything in life. And as I said, the exchanges in this thread are healthy, and hopefully helpful!

    • cleareyedtruthmeister says:

      Marco, you must anchor your conclusions on something or else you have your feet firmly planted in mid-air! On what belief system are you basing your claim–if I understand you correctly–that believing only one religion contains the Truth is a sin?

      Christianity never says there are no truths in other religions. Christianity is, however, exclusivist in saying that it encapsulates ultimate Truth.

      The concept of orginal sin–on which most people base their concept of sin–is a Judeo-Christian origination.

      • Marco Bell says:

        Dear Cleareyedtruthmeister, and FV Scotten, It is clear to both of you, and I, that Truth and Love are virtues, and other religions claim to regard them as their tenets as well. So why does it matter what religion one is, if they also honor those virtues with the same sincerity?

        FV quotes the Bible for his evidence, and that’s fine. But a non-Christian can possess the same truth as well!

        Cleareyed… I have my head in the clouds because I like the altitude, feet that are planted firmly on the ground…get moldy.
        “Ultimate” Truth?! Isn’t that a little bit egotistic? What’s the difference?

  7. F V Scotten says:

    I’m a Christian that doesn’t speak Churcheese well, so forgive me for what I am about to write.

    The word “love” is bandied around so much that it is attached to everything to justify sin. To make love real we have to know it is real only when it is attached to truth. And that truth is Yeshua (Jesus). For those who think it is arrogant to say and the truth is not Yeshua, it is your prerogative. But then you state that Yeshua (Jesus) is then arrogant.

    John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
    If you don’t know or accept what Jesus says than I suggest you stop reading, because what I say next is not going to matter to you. Why put yourself through that?

    One of my favorite quotes from Ravi Zacharias is “LOVE is a supreme ethic. TRUTH is a supreme point of judgment. And if you lose either of them; you lose God.”

    When you enable sin with your “love”, it is not love at all, because there is no truth involved. The “love” becomes an abomination. The worst thing a brother can do for me is to reinforce my sin instead of lovingly correcting me with the truth. That is Truth. That is Love. That is Yeshua (Jesus).

    Reflect on the next quote from 1 John 3:18 “ Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and TRUTH.”

    Read the whole book of 1 John once in a while. It is really humbling. At least for the believer.

    Thank you for your patience.

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