Bake for them two

canstockphoto9505469In Jesus’ time, the nation of Israel was under Roman rule. The Israelites were allowed to live there and practice their faith for the most part, but they had to pay taxes to Caesar and obey the Roman laws.

To the Israelites, the Romans were evil and ungodly. They had no place ruling over God’s chosen people in God’s chosen nation. That land had been promised to Moses and his descendants when God brought them out of Egypt. Their very presence in the land was blasphemous.

One of the Roman laws stated that any man could be required to drop what he was doing and carry a Roman soldier’s equipment for him for up to a mile. In the Sermon on the Mount, with his followers gathered around him, Jesus referenced that law and told his followers what they should do in that case:

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” ~Matthew 5:41

Go with them two miles. That was not the advice that most of the people in the crowd that day had been hoping for. That was not the conclusion that they would have come to on their own, following this man that they hoped would lead them to victory over the Romans. That was certainly not respecting their religious beliefs — go with them two! What if their neighbors saw! What if seeing them carrying the Roman’s equipment caused other Jews to think the Roman oppression was okay? What if there was other work that needed to be done — good work, charity work even, but they spent all that time carrying equipment for the evil oppressor? But Jesus is not worried about any of that:

“If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also,” he said. “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Christians, our Jesus said, “Go with them two.”

If you believe gay marriage is immoral (I don’t, myself) and a gay couple comes into your shop and asks you to bake a cake for their wedding, what should you do? If God causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall on the wedding days of straight and gay couples, then what is our responsibility? If it is against the law to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, but you believe strongly that their lifestyle is immoral, what should you do?

Christians, our Jesus said, “Go with them two.”

If you are wondering if it is worth being sued and losing your business to stand up for what you believe is right, if you miss the look of hurt in the couple’s eyes when you refuse them and only see an angry, media-driven, ACLU-led mob attacking the small business owner who is only standing up for what you believe in, what should you do?

Christians, our Jesus said, “Go with them two.”

Jesus said, not only should you follow the law of the land — the law which in America for the most part prohibits discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation — not only should you do the minimum you have to do, you should go the extra mile. (Yes, that’s where that expression comes from!) Do *twice* what the law requires.

If someone forces you to bake a cake for a gay wedding, bake for them two.

Christians, our Jesus said to not only follow the law, but to rise to a higher standard of love. Christians should be the FIRST people baking cakes — for everyone who asks us. We should be known for our cake baking. People should be saying, “There go those crazy Christians again, baking cakes for everyone. They just won’t quit!” Then, when we share the reason for our wild, all-inclusive love, people will want to hear it. “Let your light shine before others,” said Jesus, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Christians, when we dig our heels in and insist on our right to discriminate, we are hurting people — we are hurting so many people, so deeply. Behind the ACLU and the liberal media are real people, who have been hurt again and again in the name of Christ. Christians, you and I have hurt them. I know most of us have really good intentions, but we are making Jesus the last thing they want to hear about.

If we “snatch one person from the fire” by refusing to condone behavior we believe is immoral, but send hundreds and thousands of others fleeing churches and Christianity entirely, what have we really accomplished? Someone else will make that cake and fewer and fewer people will look to Christianity for love and hope. We will have won a battle that we were never called to fight in the first place, but lost the war.

*****

Friends, after receiving more than 1500 comments this past week, I’m closing the comments section on this post. I want you to know that I value all of you who took the time to leave a comment, even those who disagreed with me, and especially those on all sides of the issue who vulnerably shared their stories of hurt and healing.

If you would like to read other Christians’ perspective on this issue, or find places for further discussion, I have shared some resources that have been helpful to me here: BFTT follow up and resources.

If you are curious how I came to support gay marriage and full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the body of Christ, you can read about that here.

If you have felt rejected or unloved by Christians or the church because of your sexuality or gender identity, please read my post We choose you.

And please check out Faithfully LGBT and their wonderful photo series of LGBT people of faith.

Love,
Jessica

824 thoughts on “Bake for them two

  1. Nice article. Well put together and true. I am a servant of the Most High God and I wouldn’t be be one if it wasn’t for the love and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross who died for all of my sins. I hope all people responding understand that Jesus did say, “He was the only way to Heaven”. I believe that but don’t hate anyone because of what they desire to do in this short life. I hope that we all understand that no matter what, it is invetible that we are not going to live forever and the big picture is this, “where do you want to spend eternity?”. I hope you choose heaven with a loving God who really cares about all of you including this big sinner, me’. It’s not hard to ask Jesus in your heart and thank Him for dying for us when we deserve death the most. Remember, God loved His Son, (Jesus), that he sent Him to die for you and me for what we have done. Could you send your son to do that? That’s one awesome God! Hope all well and that you ask Him in your heart while you still can”. (While your alive I mean). 🙂

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  2. I see all sides and get everyone’s opinion. I think refusing to bake for a gay couple is understandable, because a Christian’s religious beliefs permeate all areas of their lives, not just when they’re at church on Sunday. At least if they truly have a relationship with God. But I think maybe they are going at it all wrong. Why not accept the gay couple, bake the cake, and have a chance at ministering to them in the process? And pray for them? Show love. God knows your heart and knows whether you are condoning the marriage or not. And yes, the Bible says all sins are the same. And we shouldn’t judge one another. Get the log out of your own eye and then get the splinter out of your brother’s. I think it is confusing because it doesn’t actually say in the Bible not to bake or do anything else for a gay couple. But it does say men laying together is wrong. So the Christians who love the Lord really are trying to do the right thing. They really are. Am sure they struggle with their decision to not make the cake. Do they make the cake and possibly displease God, or bake the cake and show love to all? It can be a fine line. It can be confusing. But above all….show love. It is not that Christians hate gays. The Bible says to love people and hate the sin. Hating gays or being homophobic has nothing to do with it, I would think. They are just trying to obey the God they love, and are putting their love of God above love of the gay people who want a cake. At least, that’s what they’re trying to do from what I understand. Remember, God loves, really loves, all.

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  3. Hello Jessica. This is a well-written piece. I have not considered the situation in this light before, so forgive me as I “type out loud” some thoughts I had while reading. I offer these thoughts respectfully.

    You included Matthew 5:39-48 and drew a conclusion from that passage. So as I understand it, you have interpreted Jesus’ meaning to saying that carrying a Roman soldier’s equipment is equivalent to assisting with an event that a Christian views as immoral or inappropriate. I guess I found myself confused at that equivocation. I’m not sure Jesus’ point in this passage can be rightly interpreted to Christians being involved in these events they don’t see as moral.

    Upon further study (specifically http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/5-39.htm), I found that this passage actually has the idea that some will treat the Christian unjustly, but the Christian is not to react in-kind. The Jews had taken the “eye for an eye” principle personally and used it against those who wronged them, but Jesus was instructing them not to react to evil with evil.

    With that meaning in mind, I just don’t see how this passage could be used to say that Jesus instructed us all to involve ourselves in situations or ceremonies we believe are immoral or inappropriate.

    As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t discussed whether same-sex marriage ceremonies are right or wrong, as my thoughts are before that issue. I’m referring specifically to the basis of your argument in this article.

    I felt it was good to at least bring this up, as Paul instructed Timothy to “correctly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), which means there is a correct and incorrect way to handle the word. I would hope for more discussion to make sure we are interpreting scripture correctly. Thank you for your time and consideration!

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  4. Reading this was so refreshing. This said what I had been thinking, but could not put the words together or even gather my thoughts together as you have done so eloquently. Thank you so much for this, I will copy and read every day. Christ be with you. I do remember this story from the bible from my youth. So good to hear it again.

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  5. Why is the separation of church and state such a difficult concept to grasp? Marriage is about contract law, not superstitious practices and beliefs. Everyone should have the right to marry whom they choose. Twenty five years ago my then-fiance and I were refused service by a bakery who didn’t want to serve an interracial couple. We were hurt and annoyed, but found another bakery. Another bakery made us a lovely cake which they delivered to where our reception was to be held-across the street from the rude bakery. Today they are no longer in business and we’re still married.

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  6. Reblogged this on Faith on the Fringe and commented:
    An excellent perspective of what Jesus expects us to do.

    “Christians, our Jesus said to not only follow the law, but to rise to a higher standard of love. Christians should be the FIRST people baking cakes — for everyone who asks us. We should be known for our cake baking. People should be saying, “There go those crazy Christians again, baking cakes for everyone. They just won’t quit!” Then, when we share the reason for our wild, all-inclusive love, people will want to hear it. “Let your light shine before others,” said Jesus, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

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  7. thank you. This was the way I was taught by my parents. You love others no matter how different you may be. Being gay, this article made me feel much better, if only people would not only read the Bible but truly understand what the message is and live by that instead of living by thief interpretation. Again thank you.

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  8. I work with many gay people and they know I’m a believer in Jesus. I asked one, “if I treat you badly because you’re gay, would you think I’m bad or would you think my God is bad?” I knew what the answer would be but had to hear it. He said, “I would think your God is bad.” We serve a God of love, One who sent His Son to die for all, including those of the gay community. We need to show them the love of Christ that goes beyond the norm. If I would’ve been expected to change my life before coming to Christ, I would never have come. Any change God wants them to make is His responsibility, not mine. My responsibility is to share Christ and to love them through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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  9. This article reminds me of an experience I had over twenty years ago when I was a young adult. My sister and I were in an ice cream parlor in center city Philadelphia where I lived. Although I am a straight woman, it was/is a neighborhood primarily inhabited by gay men. Anyway, in the ice cream parlor a woman who was clearly charged, angry and primed for a fight approached me and very indignantly said “what did you say to my son?” Since I had only been talking with my sister who was in line ahead of me and had not said anything to anyone else I was completely taken aback. My sister was poised to greet the woman’s attack with a counterattack but before she could do say I asked “who is your son?” She pointed to an AA teenager. “And what does he think I said to him?” “He said you called him a faggot.” And before I knew it without giving it any thought whatsoever, I had what seemed to be a knee jerk reaction and opened my mouth (in what I swear was an involuntary response) and said “I would never do that. I’m a Christian.” And just like that the matter was defused. The woman apologized, her son nodded in indication of his regret, the other patrons offered their shows of approval, and my sister asked “how the heck did you do that? Cause you know I was ready to fight, right?” The only answer to her question that I could come up with was “I’m a Christian, I guess it was the Spirit of God that compelled that response”. And all these many years later that is still my answer. I don’t get Christians who either don’t understand or don’t care that their mean spirited intolerance is not Christlike. It fuels hatred and rage and harm.

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  10. I am a Christian with the same mindset about this as other Christian people. I am also a woman who has an illegitimate son, who has been married and divorced.who lived with my boyfriend and the list could go on. All Christians should be against these things too but they don’t discriminate because I don’t wear my sins on my shirt. The bible does not separate sins so easily as Christians do. When I got pregnant out of wedlock I was shunned..whispered about and felt isolated. By loving me or loving gay people that doesn’t make me an advocate. .it makes me show grace. I think your article is a needed statement. Thank you

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  11. Love this article. My daughter is a gay teen and I would dislike very much for her to be turned away because of her natural choices.

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  12. I am a Christ follower, and although I do believe that any sexual relationship outside of a marriage between one man and one woman.. this article sums up exactly what I’ve been saying and feeling for a while now. Well written.

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  13. If I owned a bakery and a same sex couple wanted me to bake them a wedding cake, I would do it. Do I think God wants two same sex people to wed? I do not; however, God teaches us in His Word that we are to hate the sin, but love the sinner. Am I a sinner? Yes, I am a sinner saved by Grace. The Lord Jesus Christ died on a cross to save me, and I have happily accepted Him as Savior and Lord! My Goal is to live my life as God would want me to live it. I am not suppose to judge. Do I still make mistakes? Unfortunately yes, because I’m still human. It’s my hope that if I wrong someone, God or man will let me know about it. Then I can try and make it right!

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  14. Thank you so very much for your perspective the reminder of such an important Bible verse! 10 years ago, I left the church because I felt I personally could not reconcile my homosexuality with my Christianity. Now exactly 10 years later to the day, I’ve returned as a Christian, I’ve been praying and reading my Bible and I’m very excited about it. My sexuality is something I see as fluid. Is it possible someday I will change? Perhaps, but I’m focusing more on my own healing and my own personal walk lately, and I have a feeling I am called to celibacy as I have no desire for marriage or a family. I’d rather do my best to help others and maybe start up a non-profit to help foster kids, runaways, at-risk youth and LGBT youth find homes and maybe even open a school for them. It’s one of my greatest dreams. And I think more Christians should have that desire. Unfortunately, the loudest amongst us are selfish and call for war.

    I have no doubt they themselves would crucify Christ all over again in favor of Barrabas, as that is the Jesus they’ve chosen.

    But hopefully the example of those of us who love unconditionally and wholeheartedly will gain more traction in the coming years. There’s a lot about Christian communities which can be a great thing to be a part of. I just hope we get that chance before churches start failing faster than they already are because youth have grown up being shown the wrong version of God.

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    1. I will be praying God’s blessings on you Peter. What Christians are doing in the name of Jesus is costing Him the souls he longs to save. I can’t possibly understand what you’re going through but your love in spite of it brings tears to my eyes. God’s greatest blessings on you!

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  15. Reblogged this on ANDREA'S BLOG and commented:
    BY JOVE SOMEONE GOT IT! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH, I’VE BEEN SAYING IT FOR YEARS AND IT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN PUT INTO WORDS… LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE…

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  16. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS WITH SUCH CLARIFICATION. HAVE ALWAYS LIVED LIKE THIS, WONDERED WHY SO MANY OTHERS CHOOSE NOT TO, THE ONLY COMMANDMENT JESUS INSTRUCTED WAS IMPORTANT WAS LOVE. IF THEY SEE HIS LOVE IN YOU, THEY WILL WANT HIM, DISCRIMINATION BY CHRISTIANS HURTS THE CHURCH SO MUCH ITS INFURIATING! I’ve always felt a discomfort in saying I’m a Christian for just such reasons identifying with ‘Jesus freak’ instead. However I always felt aggrieved that I couldn’t identify as ‘a little Christ’ and felt angered that others would see bigotry as being ‘a little Christ’ your blog has reaffirmed my hope. That there are, out there, many who just love them. Love everyone. Thank you so much, this blog has made my day. xxx

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  17. when people say they believe that God is against homosexuality and so they can’t serve these people, they need to also post a sign they’re not serving adulterers, liars …. You get my meaning. Sin is sin and we who have obtained/received grace should beware we do not become the ” woah to you vipers and hypocrites” Jesus spoke of in Matthew.

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  18. Wow, this topic has received so much attention! I am personally not a Christian (Due to some of my own questioning) but I’m a nice guy 🙂 I enjoyed reading some of the perspectives on this. Makes me wish I had this type of crowd following me!

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  19. Let me start by saying that I don’t really know how I feel about homosexuality. Do I think they or anyone else should be discriminated against? No! My best friend from high school came out several years ago and, although I was very surprised, I have not truned my back. I would walk that extra mile with him and his husband, if they lived closer. I will bake two loaves of bread, the only cakes I make come out of a box.

    Many of your other comments reflect the Oddfellows organization that my father was part of. They were considered “odd” because they were there and willing to help anyone in need.

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  20. For me, with our current social climate, I think the point is this: You can no more change the hearts of Christians by force, litigation or coercion, any more than I can change the heart of a sinner by the same actions. I cannot attack you or anyone else into submission and neither can you do the same to me. That is what is oing on at present and it only creates more division and animosity.

    I did love this article and I pray that many of the faith will embrace the contextual relevance of the verse. But understand this too, you cannot change the hearts of Christians by force, litigation or coercion, any more than I can change the heart of a sinner by the same. I cannot attack you or anyone else into submission and neither can you do the same to me. It only creates more division and animosity and quite honestly, I’ve felt over and over that if I were in the shoes of the business owner that might have the type of business that catered to the occasional wedding, well I’d have no difficulty working through that. Jesus ate with the tax collectors, walked with prostitutes and more and He encouraged us to be in one anothers lives. I think the rub is for some, how do I do that without condoning the sin. And since we aren’t perfect like Jesus was, and neither are you or is anyone else on this planet, we stumble in our attempts.

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  21. I have learned over the years that many “Christians” do not get what Christ was teaching. Look at the people he befriended. You can see that He was teaching tolerance, forgiveness and above all grace and mercy. Christ was about love. It is not our place to judge anyone, our place is to show Christ’s love to all.
    I thank you for bringing this to peoples attention in such a nice way.
    Remember the scripture says “judge least you be judged”. Consider you actions as we will all day be judged. Did you show His love or did you condemn someone that Christ loves?
    It isn’t about a religion it is about relationship. Christ was about relationship.
    I had a young lady who is gay ask me if i thought she was going to hell for her lifestyle. I explained to her that it wasn’t my place to judge her, all the Lord asked me to do is show His love to her. I do not have to agree with her lifestyle, but I can show Christ’s love to her. It is He who can care for her.

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