Thought Question: Cake for Lesbians

lesbian-wedding-cakeFrom the Baptist Press

Pro-gay activists have launched a boycott of an Iowa baker who declined to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple based on her religious beliefs.

Victoria Childress, the owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage in Des Moines, has been accused of being anti-gay, homophobic and a bigot after she refused to make a cake for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers.

Childress told Fox News & Commentary that she made five cakes for the couple to taste – unaware that they were lesbians.

“She introduced herself, and I said, ‘Is this your sister?’” Childress said. “She said, ‘No. This is my partner.’”

At that point Childress told the couple that she would not be willing to make their wedding cake.

“I was straightforward with them and explained that I’m a Christian and that I have very strong convictions,” she said. “I chose to be honest about it. They said they appreciated it and left. That was all that was said.”

But that wasn’t the end of the story. Soon Childress began receiving hateful emails and then the local media called. Vodraska told KCCI that she was offended by Childress.

“It was degrading,” she told the television station. “It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her. I know Jesus loves me. I didn’t need her to tell me that. I didn’t go there for that. I just wanted to go there for a cake.”

The pair also released a statement, calling the Christian cake baker a “bigot.”

“Awareness of equality was our only goal in bringing this to light; it is not about cake or someone’s right to refuse service to a customer,” they wrote in a statement posted on KCCI’s website.

The Iowa Civil Rights Act was amended in 2007 to include protections for sexual orientation. The couple told the television station they had not decided whether they would file a civil rights complaint against the baker.

Todd Rhoades comments,

So, you’re a baker… but you won’t bake for a same-sex wedding.  What else won’t you bake for?  A heterosexual wedding of people who have been living together?  A heterosexual wedding for people who are being unequally yoked?  A couple that’s getting married at the local mormon church?  A baby shower for a single mother?  The anniversary party of a drunk?

You’re a baker.  It’s cake.

If you own a lawn service, do you only service people who are Christians?  Do you service Catholics, or Mormons, or Presbyterians?  Do you mow the lawn of a gay couple?  I would say if you’re in the lawn business… you do.

Am I all washed up here?  What’s the big deal?

Where do we get the notion that if you bake a cake that you’re condoning lifestyle?

So, dear readers, what do you think?

And think carefully. The condoning theory is deep in our blood. After all, it’s often been argued that if we fellowship error we condone the error. It’s a common thought. Is it right?

Avatar of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
This entry was posted in Thought Questions, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Thought Question: Cake for Lesbians

  1. laymond says:

    I agree with Todd, completely. This is Iowa we are talking about, not San Fran. If Iowa passes laws to protect civil right of Gay People, we can pretty much say get over it. like Todd said if we exclude sinners in our life we are pretty much a hermit. and there is no way we can do God’s work.

  2. Price says:

    Let him who is without sin buy the first cake…:)

  3. From one point-of-view, the Christian baker lost her opportunity to engage with and witness to this couple. Which is more important: maintaining the opportunity to witness about Jesus, or maintaining my personal feelings?

    Not much of a choice. Jesus gave up everything for us, and we’re hung up about selling a cake?

    Get real

  4. ellis says:

    The cake baker honored her convictions. Others may not agree with her decision but it was still her decision.

  5. Todd Collier says:

    Still rolling this one over but I am not sure Todd’s examples meet the situation. A wedding is a statement about the couple’s values. Lawn mowing is not. A cake is a central (traditionally) part of the wedding celebration. People will ask who made it if they like it. People, being people, will then make assumptions about the person who made it. I would not perform the ceremony for such a wedding. Why would I condemn this woman for chosing to withhold her own contribution?

    As the culture war continues to grow we will be increasingly put into situations where we will have to face the truth that even the smallest actions can have serious consequences. And that there will be a time (even for a progressive like me) to draw a line in the sand and not back down.

  6. Rick Griffis says:

    I agree with Todd 100%. How silly.,

  7. Emmett says:

    This is not about condoning a lifestyle. It’s about pro homosexual political activism. It’s about creating a particular sociopolitical climate. If you look abroad, even as close as North of the border in Canada, you see where this is headed. It’s about being able to punish those who disagree – not merely have a discussion but actively sabotage any possibility of discussion. And marginalize and/or jail those who dare disagree. Not so far different from when Paul’s letters were written. Those gentiles who chose to embrace Christianity gave up a lot…Including their homosexual lifestyles. They suffered for it. We aren’t accustomed to that, and in our Republic there should be no fear of it. Rome was once a Republic too…

  8. Terry says:

    I’m not a baker, but I was invited recently to a lesbian “wedding.” I politely declined. It’s not appropriate. Many homosexuals realize that their Christian friends will remain their friends, even though we cannot participate in endorsing some of their activities.

  9. Charles McLean says:

    If the same couple comes to a Jewish butcher and wants a wedding ham, is he obligated to provide it?

    Herein lies one problem I see today. The homosexual community is not satisfied with “live and let live”. They demand our approval, our positive acceptance of their sin. It is not enough to politely say, “No, thank you, I will not bake you a wedding cake.” We do not have that freedom. They can choose, but we cannot. Once they have chosen, that removes our right to do the same. We must submit to their agenda or be labled and slandered and sued.

    In my job, I would be fired if I suggested that the homosexual lifestyle is not appropriate for child-rearing. I would have trouble on my hands if I even suggested that a heterosexual mom and dad offer clear advantages to a child over a homosexual couple. Social politics in social services has now forbidden even this discussion to take place.

    I wonder when we are going to realize that most of today’s “gay-bashing” is not against gays, but BY them.

  10. Alabama John says:

    She could of baked a cake and when they cut into it discovered it was Devils Cake! lol

    What are we coming to?

  11. Ted says:

    Charles McLean – Your comments are always so profound and thoughtful. yet kind.
    Amen to your comment.
    Would love to know more about your background.

  12. laymond says:

    “Herein lies one problem I see today. The homosexual community is not satisfied with “live and let live”. They demand our approval, our positive acceptance of their sin.”

    No they don’t no more than you demand we accept your sin of judging others.

    I am sure John only serves “angel food cake”.

    Ted’s comment makes me feel uneasy, considering the topic here. :)

  13. Alabama John says:

    So far only men have answered and we all have lesbian tendencies.

    Above all people we see the sexual attraction of women.

    We just object when women start competing with us.

    Look in the barnyard, you’ll never see two Roosters (or hens) walking hand in hand.

    Its against nature and who created this nature?

  14. aBasnar says:

    I see the problem in the comment of Todd Rhoades that we so easily can be accused of inconsistency and using a double standard. Nevertheless the baker acted bravely and correctly – surely there are more occasion where it is doubtful to bake a cake; but this one is one ofthe most sensitive ones in our culture, a “line in the sand” that someone drew – and we have to take positions.

    Yes, we have to choose sides in other issues as well, but I am glad that not all of these are drawn as “lines in the sand” yet. But sooner or later they will be …

    Alexander

  15. Charles McLean says:

    Ted, I can’t say my thoughts are always kind, but I hope they are at least thoughtful. I was born and bred CoC– full time preacher there for seven years. (My education, however, is secular.) I left the denomination over twenty years ago, but still have many relationships there. I guess one could call me a “charismatic”, but I find that my views sometimes offend people all along the spectrum. I once told a friend that the conservatives think I’m liberal, the liberals think I’m conservative… but I get along with unbelievers pretty well. Go figure. Currently, I am a social worker for a state agency.

    This is an issue where I can certainly see room for disagreement. In this case, is it loving to ignore or abstain or confront? It’s worthy of discussion. But I hope that people will try to reason well rather than simply throwing rocks… as sometimes happens.

  16. Charles McLean says:

    Oh, Laymond, I don’t have any expectations of you at all, my brother. Be free.

  17. guestfortruth says:

    To begin “does not exist the Gay Gene” just an hormonal imbalance that can be corrected. The perception (faith) modulate behavior. This is a topic of morality and ethos (values and principles) that can comes from God or man. This case presented here show the agenda of promoters of Homosexuality as a “ another life style” so that way it does not sound ugly. As everybody has the universal right to free will (Christian and not Christians) she choose for God’s side honoring her biblical principle. There is a Spanish saying that said “ The One who kills the cow sins as much as the one that holds its leg.” Interpretation “ when two people do something wrong, but one of them does almost everything the other has as much fault as the other one, because he witnessed whatever happened.” I didn’t know why this ladies were not satisfy with the answer of the lady? Until later they show their purpose in the news? Why this ladies did retaliation and even treat toward this believer bakery owner? Their statement “ Awareness of equality was our only goal in bringing this to the light; it is not about the cake or someone’s right to refuse to service to a costumer,” they wrote in a statement posted on KCCI’s website. So that mean that those ladies had a plan to choose a believer to show the media with their activist agenda to promote acceptance of homosexuality. We know that the Divine Law of God is over all the positive law of this world. Sodomy in the Old Testament and New Testament (that include all fornication, bestiality etc. ) (Gal. 5:21). If everyone is interested in knowing about Homosexuality and the Christian Response by Stan Butt Jr. you can ordered the DVD from world video bible school http://www.wvbs.org/index.php/dvds/doctrine/homosexuality-and-the-christian-response-dvd.html. If you are an American Citizen Contact your senator and let them know that you are oppose to the so called “Respect for Marriage Act” which will repeal the defense of Marriage Act of 1996.
    Condoning : Accept and allow (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive) to continue.
    Jeremiah 4:14
    ” 14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, That you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?”
    Jude 1:7-8 “7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
    8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.”
    4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: (Romans 2:4-6)

    21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced. (2 Cor. 12:21)

    Act 5:29 “ But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
    19 “I know your works, love, service, faith,[a] and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow[b] that woman[c] Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce[d] My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. ( Revelation 2:19-21)

    Revelation 2:12-17
    12 “And to the angel (preacher) of the church in Pergamos write,
    ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.[a] 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
    17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’
    God loves the sinner but hate their actions.
    In Christ,
    Guestfortruth.

  18. Jason Stockton says:

    Ok – I can’t get on board with “right or wrong” in reference to the Victoria’s decision. Her convictions are solid. No doubt she should live by them. Was there another option to live within her convictions? Any suggestions?

  19. John says:

    If the finacial gain was greater, such as a Christian realtor being asked to help a gay or lesbian couple purchase a house, would the realtor say “no”?. I seriously doubt it.

  20. JMF says:

    This will leave a lingering bitter taste about Christians in the mouths of those offended. My immediate thought was, “Well, no luck of ever introducing those two ladies to Jesus.”

    My second thought is that (in responding to Jason Stockton’s post) there was likely a more diplomatic way to handle this. My *guess* is that the conversation went something like this (upon finding out they were gay): “Oh. Well, we don’t serve your kind in here. You’ll need to go somewhere else as I don’t accept your lifestyle choice.”

    Rather, she could have said, “Ah, I see! Would you guys like a cup of coffee? Great. Guys, I’m prepared that this may offend you, but I want you to know I am saying this with no mean-spirited intent. To be honest, making a cake for you guys presents me with a moral dilemma.

    “Now, you guys are fully aware of how Christians interpret the Bible to read about homosexuality. I have to decide how to apply that to my life. Should I ignore homosexuality? Should I be polite — yet avoid personal interactions? Should I angrily ignore you? Truthfully, ladies, I don’t know.

    “But where I currently stand, I think I’d struggle with the idea of providing your cake. I suppose I’d ask for you to be respectful of my decision, even though you may not feel that I am very respectful of your life choices.”

    Again, I imagine that the conversation was cold. We Christians tend to fear touching sin so we often come off rather uncomfortable. Just acting in a loving way would probably have avoided all of this.

  21. laymond says:

    Charles, I feel I am closer in relation to the sinners of the world than “charismatics” who claim they have the power of God in their hands, and withhold it from the many that are in need. I am one of the sinners, and I believe only God has the power of God.

  22. Todd Collier says:

    And how do you know the conversation didn’t go that way? Aren’t we assuming that the baker was heavy handed or short with these women? Is it just possible that this woman could have been as pleasant and polite as possible but was just presenting these women wih a message they did not want to hear? Do you forget how aggressive the gay-lesbian folks are in pushing their agenda? Who took this to the news media? Who appears to be trying to damage or destroy someone’s business because of they took a stand for conscience sake?

    I want to know, how many of you would preach this wedding? The issues are exactly the same. Unless you can tell me you would be the one signing the officiant line you don’t have a lot to say about this woman choosing to not be involved.

  23. LoriBelle says:

    Ok, I’ll try this again…This is a tough question that is only going to get tougher as we face this more and more. I can’t say I know exactly where I stand aside from the fact that I believe homosexuality to be sin and against God’s design for men and women…it leaves me thinking of the words “behavior modification”. Sometimes, I think we think that if we disapprove of something enough, it will change things. But the truth is, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. If everyone who has ever had a true conversion experience where you were translated from darkness to light…thinks back to that time, did it come by someone telling you how bad you are? Jesus is kind to ungrateful and evil men. And I think that’s difficult for us because we feel we have to acknowledge that what someone is doing is evil. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely think there is a time and place for that. For example, when Paul was talking to Felix in Acts 24:24 he was talking about…”But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.” Unrepentant sinners don’t want to hear that they need to change. We would also need to make sure we were consistent with every belief and that would make us the sin gestapo. We’d have to inquire of everyone’s background and make sure we also aren’t making cakes for divorced and remarried people who are guilty of committing adultery. On this, I think Todd made a valid point. But, I think I would probably make the cake. I might have to tell them, in an uncondemning way that I’d be glad to make the cake, but I would have to draw the line with putting the two women on the top. And perhaps kindly ask them if they could agree to come in to do that part and explain why and what that symbolizes to me. I would hope they would respect my conviction on that and maybe give a slight discount in the process. Now I would however have to stand my ground if I (well not me personally since I’m a woman) were the one asked to officiate the tying of the knot. Marriage is God ordained and it’s to be honored among all and the marriage bed undefiled. Which leads me to my next comment…

    We as believers do need to obey God rather than man. We cannot condone sin. I hear many times this scripture quoted, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Well, we have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. That is true. And as believers, we have been set free from sin. God has provided a way for us to live a life of obedience through the sanctifying work of the Spirit as we reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. And that scripture does not mean we will never call sin…sin. I think it’s used by carnal believers and unbelievers to silence truth. It’s like Charles McLean stated above, “They demand our approval, our positive acceptance of their sin.” Because like it or not, there is a God given battle in their hearts that can be “quieted” upon approval.

  24. As a former wedding photographer, we had decided if we were approached as the baker was in this story, that we would in a tactful way explain that we develop a relationship with our clients, and we work very hard to present you with photography that really captures you on your day. Due to our convictions, we would not be able to do this for you as a gay/lesbian couple.

    The point isn’t really whether she should also not bake cakes for adulterous couples – she owns her business, she knows her own convictions, it’s not our business who she decides to sell to or not sell to.

    Since when is it supposed to be a fundamental right to go into a business and demand to be served, no matter what? She had the right to refuse to do business as a baker.

    My 2 cents

    Dwight

  25. LoriBelle says:

    Dwight, you do bring up a valid point as a photographer. We had a photographer where I live sued for refusing to photograph a homosexual wedding. And I know that I thought about that, and given the nature of photography, it is more “intimate” if you will, than that of being a baker. It would put you in the middle of things as a witness and having to set those things that are vile to your heart and soul before your eyes. I think I would have to share that same conviction with you. Like I said…it’s a tough question.

  26. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    John asked,

    If the finacial gain was greater, such as a Christian realtor being asked to help a gay or lesbian couple purchase a house, would the realtor say “no”?

    A very good question. Still mulling this one over.

  27. LoriBelle says:

    This goes back to my “behavior modification” comment. I have seen the fruit of behavior modification and it isn’t spiritual. We can’t control what sinners do. And trying to control their behavior isn’t going to produce the fruit of a changed heart. God brings his life giving rain on the evil and the just. Paul also talks about not accepting those things in the church. But God is to judge those outside the church. If we were commanded by God not to associate with those who practice such things outside the church…then we need to leave the world.

  28. If a realtor said no, the realtor would be violating the federal fair housing laws and the fair housing laws of most states.

    The realtor would also be violating the realtor association’s code of ethics.

  29. Mandy says:

    I guess, for me, the question isn’t whether or not she has the right to refuse the couple, but whether it is loving or effective. I definitely feel she has a right to refuse anyone for religious reasons, but in handling it in that way, does it further the cause of Christ?

    Everyone knows that most evangelical Christians don’t condone homosexual relationships. So, how do we lovingly and effectively relay the love and forgiveness of Christ to those who are dealing with those issues?

    It just has me thinking…..

  30. Cathy says:

    Those who say “It’s her business; she can refuse service to anyone”: Would you feel the same if she were refusing service to a mixed-race couple, or a couple of a race different than her own?

    I happened across this article this afternoon, and it seems relevant to this: http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

  31. Todd Collier says:

    Cathy the Scriptures clearly point out that judging based on race is wrong and that mixed race marriages are not a problem for Christians. (The dividing wall is gone.) Can you make the same argument for a homosexual marriage?

  32. Cathy says:

    So discrimination based on your interpretation of Christianity should be legally protected, but no other form of discrimination should be? After all, while you think that’s clear in the scripture, many throughout history have disagreed.

  33. Alabama John says:

    There is a big difference in selling two gays real estate, gas for their auto, clothes, groceries, etc. and supporting in some way a marriage (union) which is an act sanctioned by God Himself for a man and a woman and nothing else.

    Would feel the same if it was a man wanting to marry a pig or Jackass.. Just his business, wouldn’t hurt anyone, probably not a law against it, but I still wouldn’t participate in any way.

    We, the normal folks do still have rights too.

  34. John says:

    Alabama John,

    Selling a gay couple a house is providing a place for them to live together.

    The fact is, Christians pick and choose where they draw the line and the line is often determined by how much money is involved.

    I am a very progressive Christian who tries to live respectfully of those more conservative than I. Yet, I have no problem pointing out that conservatives practice situation ethics very freely, whether it is in making money or by rationalizing their own private lives while condemning others.

    Lets face it, cable allows most Christians, with a clear conscience, to watch movies that our grandparents would have called filth. Each generation makes its adjusments. And in each generation the ones who still make a difference are those who live the greatest and second greatest commandments.

  35. Bob Brandon says:

    There’s no contract – or obligation to contract – if one of the parties is unwilling. The couple is free to find a willing vendor of wedding cakes. In fact, had they gone into the shop to buy a ready-made cake off the shelf, they probably would have had no problem whatsoever completing the purchase.

    Boycott is an economic tactic directed by the less powerful, in unison, against the more powerful, in isolation or disarray. The Irish rent strikes of the 19th century are the example giving rise to the term. There’s nothing about this baker to indicate that she was economically more powerful than the couple.

    Plus the couple betrayed their underlying motives is what appears to be legal harassment: ““Awareness of equality was our only goal in bringing this to light; it is not about cake or someone’s right to refuse service to a customer.”

    That’s false pretense. In fact, the couple are using the state law to blur the lines between church and state to their own advantage. They want to use their own personal beliefs to compel another to do business with them while denying the baker the same right.

    As a citizen, I can accept that everyone should be able to live their lives doing as they please consistent with avoiding social harm. One doesn’t have to agree with gay marriage to accept that gay marriage make no difference at all to the success or failure of traditional marriage and that, as an essential secular political right, it is consistent with the fundamental civil law of our republic. And our republic is all about living freely, not knuckling under to authority. But it’s sauce for the goose as for the gander to misuse the law to attempt to gratuitously enforce one’s understanding of one’s own civil rights at the expense of another whose rights we don’t want to respect. It’s a due process problem that politicized courts and advocates are increasingly damaging to the rule of law.

    Herein is the problem in this case.

    As a Christian, I want to be able to live in a country where I am as free to practice my religion and proclaim my beliefs and values as anyone else of any other religious or personal persuasion because I believe in the the power of the Gospel openly proclaimed to open minds and open hearts. That means that I put up with exposing of myself and others to beliefs and conclusions I don’t agree with or even like because I want the same liberty to proclaim as well. It undermines my message if I want one set of rights and liberties for myself and an inferior set for those I don’t like or think are going to hell in a dump truck. And the society will pick up on that and discount accordingly: that’s the essential problem facing American evangelicalism and other hangers-on.

  36. laymond says:

    “So, dear readers, what do you think?” Jay asked.

    Since Jay has asked us to all sit in judgement over these people, let me ask one question do you think it would be better if these folks lived a lie, and said “yes we are sisters”
    Which sin is worse? I do believe homosexuality is referred to as an abomination, look up the word.

    Jhn 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    I don’t see where a lie is referred to as simply an abomination.

  37. Todd Collier says:

    Cathy show me any Bible scholar prior to the past 30 years who has said tha the Bible approves of homosexuality? I agree tha there are things the Bible says that are open to interpretation, but both Old and New Testaments condemn homosexual behavior by name in the same way they condemn adultery, murder, sealing and lying. I can quote clear New Testament scripture to show that judging others based on race, financial situation, gender et al. I have no such scripture telling me to willingly participate in something God says is wrong.

    As I have said before as a minister I could not be the officiant at such a wedding so how can I judge a baker or photographer or florist who made the same choice based on their honestly held faith stances?

  38. Jason Stockton says:

    To Bob Brandon – thanks for the clarity! Your contribution read as genuine. Would a concise, yet unfairly brief summary of your position, be stated, “consider how you ‘blend’ Christianity and American citizenship? Eventually one must trump the other.”?

    If I have missed the mark please tell me. I am loving the last paragraph, but desiring a simpler statement to convey the meaning.

  39. Cathy says:

    Todd — As many people quoted Scripture in defense of racial discrimination, slavery, anti-miscegenation laws, etc. as now quote it in opposition to those things. In 1850, what was the oldest scholarship supporting racial equality and emancipation? Again, what is clear to you now was not clear to everyone in the past.

    As officiant, you are participating in the ceremony. As baker, you are not.

  40. Bruce Morton says:

    I know a difficult subject and one filled with emotion. And I want to be clear that I believe Christians should indeed show kindness to those who believe homosexuality is proper behavior. However, in concert with other voices here (Todd, I appreciate your kind candor) kindness does not equate to allowing ourselves to be interpreted as believing homosexuality is a moral “right,” in the cultural context of this nation.

    And, what if Victoria Childress had been asked to make all of the party food for a pedophile sex party (they happen, you know) and declined?

    SOME BACKGROUND:
    Before anyone decides to head to the New Testament Apocryphal works (lost gospels) to justify homosexuality, let me share that The Secret Gospel of Mark (that suggests Jesus was homosexual) was challenged in the below writing:

    Peter Jeffery, The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled: Imagined Rituals of Sex, Death, and Madness in a Biblical Forgery. Yale University Press, 2007.

    The “secret gospel” is not apostolic; likely Gnostic, if anything. Further, I will note that numerous writings regarding both the ancient mystery religions and subsequent “Gnostic Christianity” reveal the same message. Yes, it appears that Gnosticism did indeed include strong endorsement of homosexuality (as a mingling of Christianity and ancient mystery religion — and Jewish mysticism).

    In contrast the early church fathers echoed Romans 1:26-27. See, for example, the summary at the below webpage:

    http://truthsintheword.blogspot.com/2010/11/early-church-fathers-on-homosexuality.html

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas

  41. Todd Collier says:

    As a wedding cake baker she is an “artist” who puts a lot of herself into every project and who expects her projects to represent her. She does not turn hese out every morning by the dozen but approaches every project individually. She also expects that people will notice what she creates and will want them to track it back to her. Therefore she may actually care what events and environments in which her work is presented. She has the right to make that call.

    Also I really want to know what scholarship upon which you are basing your call that homosexuality is approved by the Bible? The only such scholarship I am aware of are desperate attempts to redefine long established Greek and Hebrew words to make them mean something other than what they have always been understood to mean.

    The NT never outright condemns slavery – a slave holder could find comfort in that fact. The NT does outright condemn homosexual behavior – clearly and without question. How do we baptize it and claim it is suddenly sanctioned by God?

    Again, as believers we do have to make decisions about what matters and what doesn’t. We especially have to do so when we are subjected to a negative political environment which will see us condemned for unpopular decisions.

    And just so you know, I do not make my decisions in a cold sanitized vacuum but have to wrestle with these questions in my own extended family. I have to struggle on a regular basis with that fine line between showing proper love and respect while not compromising my stand with my Boss. I’ve had to have hat difficult conversation with each of my kids as they reach a certain age to explain X’s decisions in light of what God has to say. And no one would be happier if God would send down NT 2.0 deleting all references to homosexuality as a sin within a monogamous relationship. But I don’t think that is going to happen in light of how Paul explains why homosexuality is such a problem in Romans 1. In God’s eyes it is not just a sin, it is the result of rejecting His sovereignty.

  42. Todd Collier says:

    laptop “t” button is hit or miss… sorry.

  43. JMF says:

    Bruce Morton: Stringing a comparison to a “pedophile sex party” is nowhere near an accurate comparison. That is illegal and plainly an attack on an innocent party. A fair comparison would be a couple engaged in pre-marital sex, that sees no problem with that lifestyle.

    Laymond: You, my friend, are an enigma. :) Always enjoy your posts — rarely agree with your posts — but you are unpredictable and unlabel-able which is cool in my book.

  44. Doug says:

    I don’t know how it is up North but in the South a very common sign at restaurants says “no shirt, no shoes, no service”. That means the restaurant owner reserves the right to serve those who meet his conditions for service. Of course, the Federal Government has muddled that up quite a bit but I think this owner was just saying that she didn’t want to be involved in any way with this “marriage” and I think that ought to be her right. There may be a law that permits gay marriage but Christians should be free to reserve the right to not participate in the ceremony in any way and that would include the reception. That doesn’t mean that you shoudln’t expect some heat as a result but that is par for the course.

  45. Jerry says:

    The question I have goes back to some of the previous discussion about eating meat offered to idols. Paul instructed the Corinthians to eat whatever is sold in the market place, asking no questions for conscience sake. YET, if someone said that this had been offered to an idol, then refuse.

    Does this have anything at all to do with the situation under discussion here?

    I think it could. As long as she did not know the cake was for a “gay” wedding, she was happy to bake it without asking questions for conscience sake. When she was told, she declined. Why? Because she could not in good conscience do something that would make her appear to be condoning the choice of the gay couple.

    Rick, I also agree with Todd. Collier, that is (not Todd Rhoades). With two Todds in the conversation, let’s specify which we are talking about!

  46. Jason Stockton says:

    Thanks for your opinions and input. I rarely voice anything in these “reply” columns.

    My reason for not participating is clearly exampled in this discussion. Ranging from baking cakes all the way to pedophilia then back to idolatry this conversation makes it apparent that a principle in application is inherently volatile.

    Consider the Law; love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Now consider it in application to the initial conflict.

    Because the understanding of what is loving will be dramatically divergent in this instance, there will be many ways to ‘keep the Law.”

    Does the varied application fit into God’s design? I am starting to lean toward a yes without regret. Little help here?

  47. LoriBelle says:

    Jerry, I thought about that conscience thing. And in the scriptures you are talking about, it’s not about your own conscience, it’s for the unbeliever who is serving you the food sacrificed to idols and informed you about it.. Perhaps it’s because you know there is no such thing as an idol. They don’t, so if you eat it after being informed, they may think you are participating in the idolatrous sacrifice and your freedom is then spoken of as being evil. I suppose there could be a principle there in this situation. I suspect it is a matter that we truly need to seek God about and pray for wisdom and understanding that we may do His will. Just my 2 cents.

  48. Alabama John says:

    When God said love your neighbor, He didn’t mean like that.

    A person in business has the right to not participate because of several reasons and for religious is the main one. Try forcing a Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or other religion to go against theirs and see how far you get.

    Its Christians that are taking the brunt of this type of thinking and it must stop.
    .
    Not bar-b-q at your company picnic because alcohol is being served is heard here in the Bible belt regularly.,

    Try having a Jew cater your party of any kind and ask him to cook PORK on his grill. His saying NO wouldn’t cause a comment and would be totally accepted by all.
    Point is we wouldn’t even ask him and would be embarrassed if any in our party did.

    Like it or not, we are still a Christian Nation and in many ways we are too tolerant of those that oppose us and our beliefs.

  49. laymond says:

    Ala. John said, “we are too tolerant of those that oppose us and our beliefs.”

    John, that is what sets us apart. You might even say Jesus was tolerant also.

    Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.

  50. Bruce Morton says:

    JMF:
    Yes, pedophilia is illegal, but we also need to think in terms of the Word of God versus cultural perspective and legality. Correct? Isn’t that the context of this discussion?

    And as for “innocent party,” I hope you are aware that far too much of the pedophile world argues that “the children” in these groups are consenting individuals (it is just that society has not achieved this aspect of sexual freedom yet, is the line of thought.). But Is a pedophile sex party darkness? Yes, absolutely. And so is homosexuality, despite the growing tenor of our nation.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas

  51. Royce Ogle says:

    According to some of the thinking here Jesus should have refused water to the woman at the well on the solid ground that fornication is wrong.

    It is one thing to hold to biblical standards. It is quite another to try to impose our views on others. Did the baker think she was going to change the girl’s minds? Or make them think about what they were doing?

    That very same baker sells goods to liars, tax cheats, and people who commit all sorts of sins and thinks nothing of it. We have our favorite sins and sinners to exclude don’t we. God doesn’t.

  52. Cathy says:

    Amen to Royce. Well said.

  53. Alabama John says:

    laymond,

    this is a church of Christ site, as a whole we are known by all and proud of it to be the most intolerant of all.

    Narrow is the gate and only a few will enter thereby.

    Jesus was patient with those that didn’t know better or circumstances had put them in a bad situation and so should we.

    Jesus was also not patient or tolerant with those that knew better, did it anyway and threw them out of the temple.

    If we believe Jesus was and is all that tolerant and patient why do we teach most will go to hell for infractions that to most of the Christian world do not matter?

  54. laymond says:

    Royce, rarely we ever agree 100%.

    John, said ” If we believe Jesus was and is all that tolerant and patient why do we teach most will go to hell for infractions that to most of the Christian world do not matter?”
    John, the way you and Jay describe most CoCs in Alabama, I doubt that I would remain a member for very long, Southside Church of Christ in Mineral Wells Texas teach “forgiveness” and tolerance of others.
    John, we even have dominoes one night a week for old codgers. In the rec center. But we don’t dismiss anything
    Jesus said or done.

  55. Hybrid says:

    If you’re going to be a bigot, go for it… You certainly have the right (in most cases). When the rest of the civilized world boycotts you and calls you out, don’t be surprised, especially if your “reason” involves inane comparisons of gays to pedophiles, or dogmatic citations of holy books.

  56. Doug says:

    I don’t see how taking a pricipled stand for or against something can be regarded as intolerant, exclusionary, or bigoted. If your principles don’t allow you to particpate in something, that says nothing about the others who do participate. It’s about your principles and not theirs.

    While shopping for furniture to replace tornado damaged furniture, a furntiture store owner wrote my invoice up for more than I paid for the furniture. I asked him why he had done that and he replied that it so I could get more money from the insurance company. I told him to write the invoice for what I paid and he did but told me that most people appreciated him padding their invoice. My stand was on this was principled. I did not denounce him as a fraudulent cheater, I did not tell others that they should avoid this store, and I still bought the furniture from him. But he knew that their was at least one person who wouldn’t participate in cheating the insurance company in that way.

  57. eric says:

    This is a very difficult subject to tackle. I’ve found myself in a position to witness to individuals with this lifestyle and it is complicated when in my case they wanted to talk though they had not professed a faith in Christ. All they knew is that many outspoken in the Church seemed to hate them. My response was that God loves everyone and wants very much to have a relationship with them, while also requiring faith in Christ in which leads us to follow His plan for our lives. This plan is to first and foremost bring glory to God. In light of this I see the sexual relationship between a husband and wife as a oneness symbolic of the relationship between Christ and his church. That making it a sacrament, and marriage being a covenant symbolic of the oneness between Christ the church and God. This being said I believe marriage from a Christian perspective is something to be protected. We like Paul should feel comfortable calling out other Christians, in a loving way of course. As far as non Christians are concerned if we can find a way to show we love them while holding to our convictions it will make it far easier to witness. I personally have no problem with the baker kindly refusing this request or a realtor for that matter. The laws of the land should be followed till you fill they over reach(Daniel still prayed to God, and most of us approve of the Gospel being preached in places where it’s not allowed). I try to keep an open mind, so let me know if I can see things clearer.

Leave a Reply