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. I’ve been following events in Indiana and reading a lot of articles and opinion pieces this past week, and have found myself more troubled than usual about the state of our society. This writing, however, conveys for me the best approach for all of us. I’m not Christian, but feel one could replace “Christian” with “American” in many of the sentences in the closing paragraphs and get the key message. We should not simply follow the laws of the land in regard to equality, we should strive to exceed them. And if the laws of the state we live in do not yet include protections for everyone, we should be clamoring for their creation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The Other Side and commented:
    An excellent post. There is more to the “going two miles” than this post indicates, political overtones of a subversive nature, but this is a good post none the less. I share it in hopes that we can have a discussion on this topic. There has been so much pain and so many wounds have happened, we need healing ideas.

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  3. I am a transgender gay man, who seeks to follow in Christ’s footsteps.
    I’m thankful for being shown the way to your words, and the ability to feel the honest love you are trying to show. I can only hope that I’m allowed to “go with them two” with everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi,

    You make a good point and I agree with what you say. We are to love not judge, recognising we are all sinners and God loves us all, etc. However, you use the turn the other cheek, give your garment, go the extra mile passage which is about highlighting injustice and oppression in a non-violent way. Ghandi used it to great effect. A roman soldier was not allowed to accept a second mile and would face discipline if someone carried his equipment further so would be in a position of having to take the equipment off the person which would be embarassing. If all of Jesus’ audience did this the romans would soon stop. The others also highlight oppression through nudity (your garment would be the last thing you had left) and the difficult back-handed slapping someone who has their left cheek faced towards you. It is all very subversive and brilliant and isn’t quite in context with what you are saying here.

    Still, good article though.

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  5. Laws against discrimination against persons due to their sexual orientation are not universal. In many places it is quite legal to discriminate against gay persons. It is not just a question of inconvenience and hurt in the market place but also of discrimination in hiring, housing, and other ways. There is much to be done. Two cakes are a nice start, tho.

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  6. Good word. I’m a pretty conservative guy, theologically, but you hit the nail on the head with this particular issue. As Christians, our rights should come second to taking every opportunity to sharing the grace and forgiveness available to us in Jesus Christ. Rock on!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful! I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have many gay friends and believe discrimination hurts Christians and Christ never would have done such a thing.

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  8. Thank you for your words, and the voice you have lent to us this day. I remember the passages in the bible where Jesus spoke to his disciples and the crowd that gathered before Him, and I truly believe that your blog, while not pleasing to religious fanatics, would strike a chord with the voice of Jesus as he instructed his followers to be more than they had to be, to go farther than what was required. I love this blog, and I had to share it with all of my friends, and “neighbors.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jessica, thank you for your wisdom. I never would have thought of this topic in this way. I’m gay and USED to have those same conservative beliefs. I changed those beliefs when I came out on Facebook. One of my conservative friends has known this about me for a decade or so. I used to disagree with him on some posts, but not anymore. Lately, he has been giving me more and more aggressive responses to my comments on his posts. Even when I just agree with him, he jabs me with something like “You should put that spirit into work on your Facebook page”. It’s obvious that he’s VERY angry that my pro-gay posts are showing up on “His wall” “His private space” “I do what I want here, so if you don’t like it, step off!”
    Pity. He has a fervent heart, just way too angry due to “childhood problems”. I do too. I still struggle with them and frequently have anger management problems. I, however, have learned not to jump on people for their beliefs.
    I still can’t understand why we Christians can’t agree to disagree. As unsaved I get it, but Christians? Aren’t we supposed to follow the blessed example of Jesus? Aren’t we supposed to DIE to self? Aren’t we supposed to TRUST Him with everything, including our concepts of right and wrong?

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    1. I’m a Christian and I completely agree with you Amanda. I’d say the majority of Christians feel this way but sadly, it’s the ones who don’t that shout the loudest and give Christianity a bad name. It deeply grieves me because in order to preserve their beliefs on the subject, they are disregarding the most important aspect of Christianity: to love others and to not judge. They forget that Jesus hung around with those others wouldn’t. While he didn’t endorse their lifestyles, he loved them regardless. Many Christians assume that once you accept Jesus into your life you have instant immunity against sin. This is so wrong! We are Christians because we acknowledge we make mistakes and need help. All sin is the same to Jesus and needs his forgiveness. We all sin and fall short of his glory. Therefore, what right do we have to judge others when we aren’t blameless ourselves? I thought this article was such a beautiful reflection and demonstration on how Christians ought to act. I personally believe homosexuality is not part of God’s plan, but neither are suffering and persecution. But this doesn’t mean I should condemn them. What right do I have to do this? Instead, I try and demonstrate the love of Christ through my actions. Actions often speak louder than words. God bless you. 🙂

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    2. I, too, am a nonbeliever, having been driven from the church by the actions of a few so-called Christians. If they all felt this way, perhaps one day I might come back.

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    3. Unfortunately (yeah starting out the statement with that word)… Other media outlets and extremists on both sides of the debate get all the attention. This creates division, confusion and ultimately bad feelings making people chose “fight or flight”. this has probably been the most clarifying perspective on this topic, which has turned emotional. When emotions are involved, all logic and reason usually are thrown to the curb. Thanks for posting the write-up, it pretty much sums up my feelings and can move forward with more clarity based on scripture.

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    4. The majority of Christians love one another. We only hear about the negative stories because conflict sells. I’ve been a Catholic for thirty years and have never heard a priest tell his congregation to hate anyone for any reason. Any priest that does is reading from a different book than I am.

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    5. I am a human who respects all religions and will never understand how any religion justifies evil in the name of their religion. My religion says love your brother. We are here to love and learn from each other, and we all should pray for tolerance and acceptance and understanding. And OMG, I’m Christian and republican, and could care less if you’re black, white or purple, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu. Praying we may learn to respect each other instead of destroying each other.

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    6. My dear is this awesome! I’ve been praying for a response and thank God for you! This is it!!!! All I can say at this moment is thank you & may God continue to give you the wisdom to help us all.

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    7. Wonderful interpretation of what it means to be a Christian. Thank you for your insightful words of how to show Love towards all.

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  10. I understand that believers have made errors in the past with their tone, means, and intentions in regards to this issue. What would be your view of the fact that simply, at the end of the day, what is offensive (what “hurts” them) is the fact that the Christian believes homosexuality is sin and expresses that view when asked? In other words, there is a way to go about this as loving as possible, but there will be a clash of worldviews where people will feel “offended,” won’t there?

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    1. Not all Christians, genuine Christians, believe homosexuality is sin. We live in a complex world, with many definitions of what is good and what is not.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Genuine Christians KNOW homosexuality is a sin. But Genuine Christians love PEOPLE. No matter what sin they have in their lives. Whether it’s homosexuality, alcoholism,drugs,sex outside marriage, gossiping, overeating, exceeding the speed limit, etc. The fact is sin is sin. We’ve elevated certain “sins” above others when in reality sin is sin…period. There is not many definitions of what good is and is not. If God through His Word says it’s wrong, then it is wrong.

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      2. What do you mean by genuine Christians? Christianity holds a large range of religions. It is offensive to say genuine because than others feel they have to be defensive about there religion.

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      3. I as a Christian do believe that homosexuality is a sin. But I do not judge those who are.
        I have dear friends who are gay and I feel that is their life and it is between them and GOD.. if they believe in God, there are many things that even Christians do that are sin. We are all human, none are righteous no not one.

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      4. Rev., genuine Christians have the Bible as their standard to live by. It is God’s direction on how He wants us to live for our protection as well as His plan. When we pick and choose and decide what we want to believe out of His book, then we are taking His place. He is a Holy God. He loves us but gives us His boundaries to live in through His Word. Yes, we are to love but also uphold His statues. He is a just God. What do you do with the scriptures that He gave us on this matter? We are obligated to let the world know what He says so they will be able to make decisions on their lives. And yes, with love and pray for them. We all carry sins we are easily given to but we rely on God’s Grace and help to change us … only by His Grace. My main point is that man can not pick and choose what he wants to believe in the face of a Holy God and think it is ok. He is God and we are mere mortals. Thanks for listening. God bless.

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      5. You mention what the ‘world’ thinks, and that is the problem. The ‘world’ says a lot of things are ok. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 makes it pretty clear that the Bible thinks same sex relations is a sin. However, it does not say it is a greater sin than any other sin. If a spouse cheats on their spouse, it is sexual sin, if someone cuts me off in traffic and I swear at them and flip them the bird, I have sinned. Being involved in a same-sex relationship is sin according to the Bible, you can’t just ignore that because the ‘world’ now says it is ok.

        The problem is too many Christians treat this as a worse sin than others because it is ‘their’ sin, and ours are ok. It is not. The Bible does not say it is a horrible unforgivable sin. But a genuine Christian cannot ignore the Bible and say it is ok just because the ‘world’ now says so, but they also shouldn’t treat gay folks as outcasts. Jesus hung out with sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors (evil folks in that day), and if he were walking around today He would hang around with gays, and He would love them. When we get to heaven there will be a lot of surprises, we will see folks we didn’t expect to, and not see some that we did expect to see.

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      6. Thank you Reverend! I’m one of those Christians that doesn’t believe it’s a sin. I believe in compassion, and that humans don’t judge humans on matters such as this. And to snub is extremely offensive to the laws that He set for us.

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    2. Be careful, Gavin, about being the one who defines what “the Christian” believes. I would be considered an evangelical Christian, yet I do not believe that homosexuality is a sin because I believe sexual orientation is not a choice. And I personally know gay & lesbian Christians who are living Christ-directed lives. Please be careful about assuming you are a representative for what “the Christian” believes. I encourage you to ask questions based on your own personal convictions.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Marcia, I’m an evangelical Christian too, but I’m curious as to why you don’t think homosexuality is a sin. God is very clear in His Word what He thinks about the practice of homosexuality. Also, why do you think sexual orientation isn’t a choice?

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      2. If you don’t believe homosexuality is a sin you are saying the bible is lying. Because clearly the New Testament lists it as one of the sins that if carried on in, in unrepentance, we keep you out of the kingdom of God. Why would God say this, is homosexuality was not a choice and something someone inherently just does without any choice? Why would it be mentioned in as ugly of a light as it is of God made us that way? Be reasonable and read your bible if you are Christian. Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked.

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      3. Hi Jess, there are actually many Christians who have prayerfully sought God on this matter, investigated scripture, and concluded that the Bible does not prohibit same sex marriage. They are not mocking God, they are genuinely seeking to love and serve him.

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      4. I personally did not see the demeanor of ‘assumption’ in any way in this piece. It is perhaps the most eloquent and inspiring thing I have read yet on this subject. Actually, I see much care has been taken here.

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      5. I didn’t see Gavin’s statement as intending to be normative of what all Christians believe. I thought he was referencing a specific instance where a hypothetical Christian (i.e. the one who is being asked to bake the cake) might bake the cake but still end up offending simply because of his belief about homosexuality. I don’t think this was meant to imply that all Christians think the same about this. I think his original question was, if an individual Christian believes homosexuality is sin, how will that individual handle situations where holding that belief in and of itself is enough to offend?

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      6. Thank you Marcia. I, too do not believe homosexuality is a choice. I too, am a Christian but often do not advertise it in order that “right wing” labeling is not applied to me. And I have always had friends of a different sexual orientation who struggle with the discrimination. Thanks for posting.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Had this discussion in Bible class today. I’m thinking John 8:3-7. It seems all sins are viewed by God the same. So, if one regards homosexual acts as sinful, then my lack of love is just as sinful. I agree that doing more than is “required” or even asked is biblical. Let us outdo others in showing love.

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      1. Oh no, to have one’s opinion on homosexuality is not a lack of love. To call something out is sinful is not necessarily judgmental or unloving. It all depends on where you are coming from and God knows what is in our heart

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      2. Hi Christine, I agree that only God can know our heart. I understand that it’s hard to feel you are being sincere and loving, and just calling sin sin, and still get called unloving. I would just encourage you to listen to the stories of gay Christians, and try to understand why your words are being heard as unloving. I tried to explain it a little here: http://tenthousandplaces.org/2015/04/20/the-long-slow-work-of-love/
        Thanks for commenting.
        Jessica

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      3. I guess the question is, is it showing love to knowingly participate and facilitate something that we believe grieves God as sin? If we believe that homosexual activity is sinful, then – would we make a cake to celebrate them robbing a bank or assaulting someone? This is a good post to make us think, but I don’t think that the conversation is over yet – this is just one facet.

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      4. New Testament Scripture says that all sins are not the same, several places.
        John 19:11, 1John5:16-17
        Also in Genesis and Exodus
        The sin of murder is not the same as the sin of a “white lie”.
        That being said, beautiful article. I also read it Ito say we are
        Not following Christ by not baking, and in turn, not following Christ by condemning and hurting those who choose not to bake.

        I love God as much as I love the one I live the least.

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    4. I know many, many Christians who don’t believe homosexuality is sin. However, I see no reason why those who do should forebear from stating their opinion if asked for their opinion.

      Volunteering that opinion to people who haven’t asked for it is a different matter, however.

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    5. Gavin.

      I believe that God’s highest design for marriage is one man and one woman committed to each other in sexual union and procreation forever. I have many gay friends who know this is my belief and yet they also know I love them.

      There may be some who offended by what I believe about the text. But I haven’t encountered those folks yet. Most are offended by the hateful, un-Christian, in-human rhetoric of so-called “Christians” who refuse to follow the loving example of Jesus Christ.

      Being hated for being hateful is a far cry from being hated for speaking the truth in love. There has been so little of the latter, I don’t think we can really tell if there is any of the former going on yet.

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    6. But is that the question? Did Jesus say, “Make sure you express your dislike of carrying the Romans’ stuff that extra mile”? Simply do it with grace.

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    7. Gavin’s question remains unanswered. Instead of focusing on semantics, could we answer the question? For the Christians who do believe that homosexuality is a sin, how can they respond in love when directly confronted about their views? Is there a way to have the conversation without offense or compromising one’s conviction?

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    8. I understand what Gavin is saying. I don’t think he is trying to say what Christians believe. After all, Christians are a diverse and large body that disagree on many things. I think he is posing a hypothetical about a particular Christian in that instance. In that instance, the particular Christian believes that homosexuality is sin and when he is asked about it he expresses that view, instead of lying about his belief. I think he is asking about the delicate balance of having a different opinion when that different opinion alone is offensive to others. So that particular Christian is loving and helpful and serves others and treats everyone equally, but he believes that heterosexuality is sin. So, in my opinion, he is asking what would be your view if the Christian was kind and loving, in simply expressing his or her belief that homosexuality is sin, but the person is still offended. So the Christian bakes the wedding cakes as your post suggests , but because the Christian does not share the same belief, others are offended and views him or her as wrongful. Why has it become wrongful to have a different belief than another person even when you treat that person with respect and love?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LaRita, in my experience that is not usually the issue.
        I am gay and I have been hurt by many many people who want to call themselves a “christian.” I also have some dear friends with very different beliefs than I, who have told me they believe it is a sin to be gay.
        I do not hold someone’s personal belief against them. But here is an example: one person who I felt close to, when the subject came up, told me she was praying for me to leave my sin and become straight. But you see, I have a wife of nearly a decade and together we have three beautiful young children. Do you think your god wants me to leave my wife and family? Is that what holiness is?
        Another friend said to me, “I do not understand this part of you. But God has told me it is not my place to judge others. I love you because you aware my friend. I love your family because they are yours.”
        Do you see? Many times, in my experience, when someone claims their very belief is offending someone, it is really the manner in which that belief is directed toward the other person.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I am a gay man, I can not speak for all of the LGBTA community but I can speak for myself. I am not offended when someone believes homosexuality is wrong. I will not be best friends with them but I can respect their opinion, even though I do not share that belief. As long as I am treated with respect, like any other human being, I am fine.

        What I believe, and have experienced, is that many folks can not let go of telling me my gay life is inherently sinful. If I came to the bakery to get a cake, that is not an invitation to “covert” me back to a straight life, or let me know how wrong you think it is. It is an invitation to take my money in exchange for your expertise and to have polite conversation.

        I do not believe that there is a way to not be seen as wrong – for in the hypothetical above homosexuality is wrong from that specific Christian’s point of view and from mine I do not believe the same and I would not suggest otherwise to another.

        The take away is that some people are offended by anything, if we remain respectful and polite to all then the majority of folks will see your effort and commend you for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for this. To not serve someone based on religious beliefs, is a lost opportunity to serve God. How will things change if we only associate with people who are of like minds?

    Liked by 8 people

    1. That is your opinion. Maybe they feel that not participating in the activity is a way to serve God. We don’t know what is in their hearts. Allow them to do what they want goes both way. If you don’t want people to judge gays as sinful then why judge the couple as discriminatory when they simply choose to not participate in something they don’t believe in and are comfortable.

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  12. 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 and with a spirit of grace.

    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, and I want to make sure to do that in this situation, so I would like to discuss this for balance-sake! Thank you for your time and consideration! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What you said about them running away is very true. I was once a very devout christian, of my own choice at 21. By 24 i was done because of the bigotry and the constant failures. I needed it, i begged for it, i stayed after to discuss that days sermon to understand more and i was let down too many times. This thinking could help more people.

    Signed one of the ones lost long ago

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Oh boy! photography – Go back to Jesus. Don’t worry about churches, hypocrisy,bigotry, or perceived failures. Jesus loves you. He wants you! There are no other requirements. Just believe Him.

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    2. Dear oh boy, please, please come back. Don’t give up on God, because the rest of us human beings have failed you!!! Faith is an extremely personal relationship with Christ and the Father
      its nice to have those you can share it with, but they are not essential to you. Only God and you are needed for this relationship to work. Don’t let the rest of us sinners be an excuse to walk away 😞

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    3. You are never lost!! God knows where you are at, at all times!! All you have to do is reach out to him and he will be there. You don’t have to be in a “church” to have a relationship with God. We are the church!!! Wherever two or more are gathered. God will never let you down!! Keep searching!!

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    4. I had a similar experience. Only, I was in the church since birth until about age 20/21. For me, my decision to leave was deeper than bigoted actions/ideology, it was more focused on deeper structural and ideological issues concerning the religion, but I totally agree that it didn’t help at all. I won’t say the church failed me, it did what it has been set up to do. But it disappointed me, for sure.

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    5. I have been burned by the church and Christians. I stopped going to church AND reading the Bible. There was my mistake. The church is made up with human beings and no matter how self righteous they think they are, they aren’t. The bible is the Truth. Read it, and you will learn how to live.

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    6. Oh Boy! Photography, I am so saddened to hear your story. And unfortunately, it is far too common. This is the reason why it is so terribly important to remember that people are people. They WILL fail. they will let us down. That is why we are not God. That is why we NEED God. He NEVER fails us. Try to get to know Him for yourself. Study the scripture, read, pray. He will lead you to the truth you are seeking. It’s not too late. The whole point of the Easter story is that Jesus came to die for us Imperfect people (read: all of us). Even in his day, well meaning disciples got it wrong sometimes, and He had to correct them. Talk to HIM, He’ll lead you to the right books and the right people. Just remember that ALL people are flawed. The only perfect one to ever walk the earth was Christ Himself.

      God still loves you.
      Christ Still died for you.

      Signed, oneof us out here still trying to get it right

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    7. I can understand how you feel. My experiences were far far worse. I have not lost my Faith in God, I just stay away from Churches. I follow my Faith, I live in service rescuing dogs and training service dogs. Have fed and listened to many many teens and kids over the years as well. I feel and see God in my family, my pets, the dogs we help, the Veterans we help. Because God is Love. And where there is Love there is God. Live in Love.

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  14. I just commented to a friend recently, that part of the problem some of us face is the notion (wrongly I believe), that to bake a cake or provide flowers for a wedding, is to endorse it. I personally believe that to officiate may be different. Having said that, I also told my friend that I believe that as a Christian, I believe that this kind of situation provides a golden opportunity to demonstrate the Love of Christ. I personally believe that homosexuality is not the design, desire or delight of God. Neither is divorce, and a host of other behaviors. However, I think that people who are not at peace with doing this, (providing a service), should not be forced to do it. I will not address a lot of comments that in my opinion, are flawed. It is amazing how quickly we adopt notions that seem to support our thinking, as fact. I will ask this that we stop calling anyone that disagrees with us on this topic, haters. I think it only alienates and to me, diminishes your voice. One more thing, according to Jesus, a pre-requisite to knowing truth is a willingness to follow through and do it. So unless you are willing to do what He would have you do, you probably won’t be able to know what that is. (John 7:6-18) That keeps me grounded.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Hi Joseph,I love the way you put it. I too believe that homosexuality is not the design, desire or delight of God. And I agree with you that a gay wedding may provide an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ. I should be willing to understand the couple and respect their freedom to do what they think is right. But how do I show that I do not endorse their marriage? Should I attend the wedding and pray to the Lord to bless them as a couple? Where do you draw the line? I would like to know what you think about it.

      Jacob Samuel, India
      jacobsamuel60@gmail.com

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You know in your heart that you don’t endorse it, God knows what’s in your heart. That’s enough, you don’t need to tell them about it. A wedding is a happy occasion, let them be happy.

        Liked by 8 people

      2. It’s simple, Jacob. Hate the sin, but love the sinner! Jesus typically took the opportunity to hang out w/, at that time, what was seen as the “dregs of society”, the unclean, prostitutes & tax collectors. Jesus never wasted an opportunity to use “these types of people” to get His message across to the public. Jesus un-apologetically used the “least among us” to end up DOING His most impressive good works & teaching of the Gospel. Now, he also forgave them of their sins and asked them to sin no more. (John 8:3-11) So, should Christian owned bakeries use what ever chances are given to them to share the Gospel? Of course they should. We all should! But, here is a scenario to ponder. If the Christian bakery says “Yes, we’ll be happy to bake your same sex wedding cake”, they should also be able to, if they feel lead, to politely & tactfully proselytize to the gay couple that ordered the cake w/o being looked upon or treated as “Anti-gay or haters”. So when this does occur, then the very biased liberal media shouldn’t use it against the bakery or Christianity in general! The problem is, not all Christian owned bakeries are going to choose the challenge of baking a gay wedding cake, and some might even be quite ugly towards the gay couple. This is morally wrong to do so. On the other hand, unless you live where there are almost no bakeries, why would a gay couple want to choose to spend money w/ someone that doesn’t “support them” in their lifestyle beliefs. So, in my humble opinion, should Christian owned bakeries make cakes for gay weddings? Absolutely! Should there be laws to force them to do so? No, not in my opinion. Sadly, haters are typically going to hate & we do not live in an perfect world where every Christian person acts accordingly to our faith. I’ll leave you with one last thought to ponder. If the worst thing a Christian bakery does is “refuse to bake the gay couple a cake”, then why is it that our media here in the USA absolutely tries to demonize them and make huge deals out of the situation? I’ve rarely, if ever, seen the news report on homosexual persons being sentenced to DEATH, which occurs many times every day, in strictly & moderately run Muslim countries…. Just wondering.

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      3. I fnd it so hurtful when you, and so many others, presume to know what god’s design is. I am a gay man, and I did not choose to be one. I am one, and I have been one from the moment I recognized my sexuality. As has been said before, who would choose a life that is so scorned and vilified by so many?
        And when did you choose to be straight? When you first recognized your sexual interest, did you stop to think which way you would go – did you really consider your choices, to be straight, or gay, or bi-sexual, and then opt for the straight life style? Of course you didn’t and neither did I. I had no choice.
        I often wonder why so-called Christians don’t follow the precepts of their own New Testsment. Surely, the very names give you the strongest message. The Old Testament gives you the background, the belief in a hard riding harsh god who punishes those he does not like. The New Testament was exactly that, a new view of god as a god of love, of tolerance, fairness and generosity. Yet, you so-called Christians follow the old precepts which Jesus so reviled in his message. You are not Christian if you are living lives of hate, judgement of others and disregard for the unfortunate.
        When I attended church as a child, the one thing that felt right for me was the message “God is Love”. The beauty of that idea is one I would even turn around. Love is God. Yet so many seem to have adopted the opposite tack, that god is hate. If you are Christian, be Christ-like. Follow the New Testament and dump the old, or use it as a guide to how you should not act.

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      4. I’d love to hear some other Believers weigh in on this. I am similarly stumped. I decided I would not frequent a store who had offensive t-shirts in the windows and refused to move them to the back of the store. How is it not hypocritical to go to a gay wedding if I believe it sinful? I likewise wouldn’t attend a divorce party. If I attend I’m either going to celebrate their marriage or going to get free food and drinks. Neither of those are acceptable to me. What other possible options am I missing?

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    2. Mr. Miller, I could not agree more. Thank you. And as a contextual note to the original blog, America is not Roman ruled Israel. Americans are protected by the Bill of Rights and their Constitution. Jews in those times were not. Not sure the application applies to the current situation although I agree with being loving and not being a hater.

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    3. Dear Joseph Miller (and really, everyone of the commenters on this blog I’ve read so far, as well as the author of the blog),

      Firstly, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the respect and love shown here, despite what may be differences in belief and opinion. It’s awesome, inspiring and a true representation of Christ’s church.

      My comment is regarding your “design, desire and delight” comment. With that, I respectfully disagree.

      As a young Christian who is gay, I have struggled for many years to come to terms with both my sexuality and my faith. I have travelled the world, both literally and philosophically(I’m currently writing this from Dubai), to understand a paramount dilemma for me; questions I, for many years, beat myself up over: “Did God make me gay?” “Is my salvation secure living life as a gay man, as I felt I was since the age of 4?” “Can/will I choose to be straight if that means it pleases God?” — they all haunted me.

      The answer to all of these, after these years of searching, has been a resounding “God loves me, exactly as he made me.” And there is nothing that could make me straight, no matter how much I may have wished for it at one time. To believe that God made me gay, and that being gay was not his “design, desire and delight” would, in effect, vilify God’s miraculous work in making me. That, I will not do.

      I don’t intend to take up any more time or blog space than I have debating my statements above, as far more knowledgeable men than I have already done so. As such, I’d like to recommend a book that helped me to understand how God made me just as I am, and that I bring him joy by believing in the sacrifice he made for me, which in turn propels me to lead a life that is Christ-like and directed, just like every other Christian. “Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality” by Jack Rogers is probably the most unbiased and academic text I’ve read on the subject, and one that was paradigm- and life-changing on the subject for me.

      Thanks again for the blog and comments, all which have been shrouded in love. It has brought tears to my eyes, and a warmth in my heart to be a part of the family of Christ.

      With warm regards,
      ~Patrick

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  15. I will start out by admitting that I am really confused over this “battle”. I was raised going to church every week, but I did the typical drifting away in my late teens to early 20’s. I felt like something was missing in my life, and came back within a few years. My journey in faith has been a little rocky at times. I am, after all, a product of my environment. My mom and her family were prejudiced – Catholics, Jews, blacks, gays, etc. My dad was the opposite. I like to think – or at least hope – I take after him more. Sometimes I’m a little hard on myself because I don’t know or understand enough about Christianity. Then I remember the disciples followed Jesus for 3 years and still messed up. Thank God for His grace and mercy! I have attended a few different denominations over the years, so I’ve had exposure to multiple perspectives. The majority of them believe homosexuality is wrong. Everyone points to Scriptures as confirmation. Yet, here I find the opposite argument, also using Scriptures. I don’t know what to think.

    My husband and I used to work with 2 gay men years ago when we were newlyweds. We didn’t hate them. We were invited over to their apartment for dinner and Christmas parties a few times before we moved away. I still have contact via Facebook. Would I bake a cake for their wedding? I can’t quickly say yes, because I don’t know. I’m struggling with it.

    I think this whole thing is much more complex than most people realize. The problem the bakers are having has more to do with government intrusion forcing them to do something against their will, rather than discrimination. The discrimination angle gets more attention for those who like to stir the pot, though. Those bakers never refused to sell cupcakes or cookies to gay customers. They haven’t thrown anyone out of their bakery. But, they BELIEVE a wedding cake includes them in the wedding service. If the cake is really insignificant, then why don’t we all run to the grocery store and choose Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker to help us tie the knot? Our cake was briefly center stage at our own wedding reception, and I still have the pictures. A friend had referred me to the baker. When I was asked who made our cake, I referred people back to her. That cake represented her business.

    I’ve seen a couple of posts from gay people defending the bakers. If that isn’t loving your fellow man! Their reasoning is sound… 1) they can go elsewhere, and 2) why would they WANT to PAY someone for a service whose heart isn’t in it? In an extreme case, they may find an extra cup of salt was dumped into the batter, or worse. We all know how dark humanity can get. I’m saddened at how vicious these arguments have become… threats of burning the business down, death threats. Over a cake! Really?

    Yes, Jesus was known to associate with “undesirables”, and we are called to live like Him. So, it would appear that if we drag our feet, we must hate someone. You want to see real hatred and discrimination? Look around the world… gays are being thrown off of buildings, just because they exist!!! I don’t have the answers – I told you I’m confused – just offering food for thought. We should be able to have open and honest discussions about things without fear of reprisal. I think in the end we need to pray for deeper understanding over this issue. And, mostly, pray for the “other side”, no matter which side we are on. God’s peace to all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Making /Letting someone go MORE than one mile was illegal. Turning the other cheek means that your enemy has to punch you like an equal, not back-handed you like an inferior.

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  16. Thank you for this post. I am a conservative, evangelical Christian. I struggle with this issue. My own mother refused to play the organ for the wedding of a divorcée– and that was 50 years ago. Times have changed. God’s Word has not changed! BUT we ALL fall short of perfection. Thanks be to God that He sent His Son to forgive our sins. I will continue to open my home to serve whoever enters–even those who are gay!

    Liked by 8 people

  17. Jessica:

    I have enjoyed this post very much. As a “former Christian/bible college student/minister (in my grandmothers mind only)” and current “human being/nurse/gay man” I find this whole debate quite polarizing. And unnecessarily so. I often feel very deeply hurt for friends in the USA who do not have the freedoms and protections I have herein Canada. But often times I feel even more for the religious zealots who have forgotten the entire message of the faith they are supposed to hold…..

    Trying to “convert” non-believers by force and shame is exactly like trying to make another human being love you by stalking them incessantly. First it ISN’T going to work and second it makes you look really REALLY creepy to EVERYONE!!!!

    Thanks for taking a scripture that EVERY Christian has heard since childhood and applying it in the context of the modern societal fabric.

    It seems you just might have a thing or two figured out….

    Liked by 12 people

    1. I truly enjoyed this post. I have a dear minister friend that frowns upon divorced people, no will he marry anyone that has been married and divorced. He himself has 3 daughters and 2 sons. With the exception of 1 daughter, every one of his children have been divorced. Only the sons have remarried and do not have good relationships with him. His two daughters never remarried and they are still young! How sad to have to remain alone for the rest of your life because of what a man believes. Divorce is a sin. You ask God to forgive you and you move forward with your life. God has not called any one of us to judge a soul. He told us to love one another. Period.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. “And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Matthew 5:47 How do these Godly people plan to save these all these poor sinful bastards, if they won’t even deal with them anymore? I don’t understand how Jesus can explain love so beautifully and simply; and we humans just screw it all up. Very insightful post!

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Jessica, Oh, so wonderfully put! Personally, I do not endorse homosexuality on any level, however, I also believe no one should be forced to provide a service that makes them uncomfortable. Having said both, I am in complete agreement with our point. Oh, the message we could share, if we did so with gentleness and compassion. I also wonder, if in the example given of don’t bake one cake, bake them two, doing so without being sneaky about it. Being right up front. Showing that honesty and compassion supersede earthly desires. I recently met a transgender person, I live in a very small community, so this was new to me. Instead of preaching about sin and blasphemy, I asked if I might inquire of her. Two hours later, we were still talking. I am no closer, really at understanding the why’s of her choice, but I was told that I was the first person in the entire county, who was pleasant and respectful to her and her wife. I told her, I am a believer, we even talked about her decision in the face of the fact that, she too believed. We are now in contact. Do I care what the “church” says? Not really. I tell them, and yes, I have been taken aside and “spoken to,” well, I’m glad The Father picked me, and not you, then.” They slink away, and I am no longer being greeted or approached. Well, too darn bad. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” It’s not up to me to make others pay when they are being “naughty.” That’s God’s job, and He is much better equipped to handle it, than I am.

    Thank you for your clear and thoughtful post, Jessica. And thank you for making us think. Sometimes, even the most devout among us, need a gentle reminder.

    In His Holy Name,

    MacKenzie Raye

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Bless you for listening! That is really what the LGBTIQ community want, just to listen. You did God’s work that day.
      A great film I enjoyed is Seventh Gay Adventist. It is a film about 3 couples in the Seventh Day Adventist church. Quite enlighting. The couple who made it are straight. They saw how their gay friends were being treated and questioned why they were being treated that way. The film is a result of this conversation.
      They have lost many friends because of it, yet they have committed to spreading the love of God for everyone.
      They have a Facebook page.
      For a long time I was told they were going to hell. I studied because as a woman in that church, in 1981, I was told I couldn’t be a pastor. To me, it was outright discrimination. I knew in my heart that the God I knew did not discriminate. I left organized religion because I only saw them as a big business. Not a messenger for Christ. I kept my personal relationship.
      This article puts another wonderful loving, kind, and generous view of what Christ wanted us to do to represent Him in our world today.
      Thank you for listening! It really is important and healing.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I agree with you about not endorsing homosexuality, and I applaud your decision to be in contact with her despite opposition. God commands us to love one another, and to not judge lest ye be judged. My thought is that I may not agree with everything someone else is doing, but their actions/beliefs are between them and God. That’s not my business. My business is to show His love. And how else are people going to experience the love of Christ if His followers don’t demonstrate it? Well done!! 😊

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  20. When you refuse to bake a cake or serve pizza it is taken as rejection and as far as rejection by God! I hope I would get the opportunity so i can share the love of Jesus Christ through something simple as baking a cake! All people are born as sons/daughters of God and it is up to them to receive Christ so they can receive their inheritance! To treat anyone less than is not Gods heart!

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  21. This was very interesting. We sometimes forget what was actually going on in the time of Christ.
    My brother was gay and I am divorced. I was asked to leave a church once. Mainly I want to say that I had a chance to walk in my brothers shoes before he died. I got to know him and see how lonely his life was. Hear about his life growing up. We cared for each other. I prayed for him every day just as I still do for my children. Not for him to change but that he would except Christ as his personal savior. I listened, I prayed, and I loved him. Now I miss him. I do not have all the answers for everyone but love must be shown to all. I can not say I do this for everyone, but I am trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. So well said! I saw this on FB and then I shared it from there. I wish more people would realize that WE aren’t the judge. I strive to remember that none here are pure; we each have “issues” and the issues of one aren’t necessarily worse than those of another. Thank you for publishing this blog.

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  23. If you are a Christian you believe the Bible is the word of God and the truth. That being said, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are to love each other, though, we don’t have to nor should we be forced to agree with everything others believe, which seems to be where the problem is. I don’t believe this baker was acting from hate but from her deep belief. Should she have shown love by making the cake or could the couple have shown love by saying we respect your belief and gone to the many bakers who would have gladly have baked the cake? I don’t know the answer. I do know that as the world changes, God’s word does not. In the end, if the Bible is in fact true, as Christians believe, we will all be judged by the only one who should judge. Until then we should love one another as Christ loves is.

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    1. I don’t believe the baker was acting from hate either. And personally, if she had refused to bake me a cake, I would have taken her at her word, and just gone elsewhere. I completely do not understand why that gay couple sued her. But then again, I rarely fully understand how God works, and I know in my heart that their decision to sue the baker has caused a sea of change that *IS* God’s will. The Holy Spirit is alive and vibrant and challenging people to love each other, regardless of our differences. Maybe God always wanted society to love “the gays” just as he always wanted us to love the lepers. We are living The Gospel in our life, right now, right here.

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      1. This is the most profound reply on this issue I’ve read. Think about what would be transpiring now if she had won? The amount of hate and self-righteous condemnation towards other people would be intolerable.

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      2. I don’t know the gay couple who sued the baker and cannot answer to their motives, but if no one stands up, the situation will never change. The situation needs to change because, whether any person or group dislikes another for whatever reason, they are still people and deserve respect as such. People who want to exclude anyone for being different from them have missed the point of Christ’s ministry. Jesus included everyone and so should we.

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      3. I question what we all think we know of the situation. Are you sure there was a suitable alternative? Are you sure there was a gay-friendly bakery, within reasonable distance, with comparable quality and cost? What lengths should one have to go to, before it becomes discrimination?

        My wife and I reserved a wedding site. We put down a deposit, we ordered “Save the date” cards, we started reserving other vendors. Four months before the wedding, the site decided they were “not comfortable” with a gay wedding. Four months! We were unable to find a suitable alternative within that time frame. We had no choice but to postpone.

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    2. Cherri: I don’t believe Jesus counseled a “you-first” approach to this. Personally, I don’t go looking for a conflict with someone who rejects me — but the baker’s rejection is problematic in itself, is it not?

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    3. But consider the following situation: Say that the couple lived in a small town and there were no other bakeries that could bake a cake for a wedding party. Or perhaps the bakery in question was the only one in their price range, or the only one that specialized in catering large events. Her refusal would then force the couple to pay more than anyone else around them might (having to find someone else further away or long-distance, etc.) or go entirely without. We might agree that in a situation where options are limited, that the damage of refusal is greater than the damage when options are plentiful.

      But is the damage–the hurt, as noted above–made less, and the choice to refuse less hurtful, based solely upon the willingness of others to help someone? If I refuse to help someone, is it “less bad” depending on how many others there are who will help in my stead?

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  24. I consider myself a true Christian… a true believer in the bible and the word.. that being said.. I know I am a sinner… I am sorry for all of the bashing I hear of gay people by ‘Christian people’… I firmly believe that yes they are sins but also..yes I sin..daily… all sins are created equal … I am for sure no better than anyone… I am humbled when I think about coming before Christ… One thing I know FOR SURE. … is that NONE of us goes to hell bcuz of our sins…. if we did every. single. one. of us would go there… we get to heaven by our belief that Jesus paid for our sins… Yes. .. I try to live in honor of our Savior… yes..i fail daily…but I persevere… I share the happiness that I know in believing in Jesus…i heard it said once that telling ppl about Jesus is similar to telling a fellow beggar where the free food is… His blood was shed as the new covenant with his believers to allow our sins to be washed away…He loves every single one of us…and the more I study about him the more it makes complete sense to me…and about how things are and how things work…. Please don’t lose faith in Christ because of some ignorant opinions. … I am a firm believer that u can love Jesus whole heartedly and still b a sinner!! So… how do u get to heaven? ?? U have a firm belief that Jesus suffered and died for the forgiveness of our sins!! It is in no way for us proper to judge others here on earth… I will pray for everyone here to please not be discouraged or lose hope

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  25. Such a wonderful post beautifully written. This topic is so polarizing and I can’t wrap my head around why people would be so hateful and not take time to listen, gain knowledge, and have a thoughtful conversation. Thank you for your words!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. A well written post, Jessica. You should not be getting so many rejection letters. I read a number of the comments, and it is a very interesting discussion. I agree with the overall premise of your post. Christians have indeed hurt people in Christ’s name, as folks of other religions have also done in the name of their gods throughout history. We who claim Jesus as Lord can certainly improve in our emulation of Him, and keeping of His commands. I do however want to point out some salient facts in the controversy over traditional versus gay marriage.

    Undoubtedly there are LGBT folks who’ve been wronged by Christians. There is also a strong and well-funded effort underway attempting to force believers in traditional marriage to accept and affirm something they strongly disagree with. Those pushing this effort desire to portray this issue as identical to the civil rights struggle of blacks and other minorities in the 1950s and 60s. But it is not. Declining to participate in an event of any kind, gay or straight, is not discrimination. It is a simple exercise of our freedom of association. We are all free to conduct business, or not, in accordance with our conscience and values. LGBT folks can take their business to others who will gladly serve them. None of us have a constitutional right to be served by any particular business, nor do we have the right to not be offended by anyone. In reality, declining to serve a customer for any reason may be bad business, but it is not violating the law.

    In a recent example of this acceptance effort, Indiana passed a religious freedom law which mirrors a federal law which passed in 1993. The 3 page law simply says that no-one can be held liable for acting according to their religious convictions. The identical federal law has never been challenged, and has not led to discrimination against anyone. Following passage in Indiana, there was an uproar from LGBT activists. Some went searching for businesses that would decline serving gays, just to create trouble. They finally found a pizzeria that, when asked if they would cater a gay wedding, they said no. (no-one had actually asked that, it was hypothetical) In the media firestorm that followed, the pizzeria had to close temporarily due to hate mail and death threats.

    All this over a law that duplicates a non-controversial federal law, and that 21 other states have on the books already. A few governors from states that have these religious freedom laws have banned state employees from travel to Indiana. How’s that for hypocrisy?

    In summation, yes, we need to love those we disagree with, and treat them with respect. Jesus loved, but He also called sin what it is, and told people to stop. There are examples in Scripture of Christians acting in accordance with God’s law rather than man’s, when the two stood in direct contradiction. We need a reasoned discourse on this, and this seems like one of the more reasonable forums I’ve seen. Thanks

    Bill

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The part I don’t understand is that everything you said about freedom of association applies just as thoroughly to people or businesses which did not wish to serve black customers in the 1950’s. You say it’s different, but you don’t explain why, and I’m afraid I don’t see any such difference. Can you please explain to me what difference you had in mind? I’d like to understand what you’re trying to say, but right now I don’t feel that I do.

      Incidentally, I don’t know if you’ve read through the Indiana law and the federal law thoroughly. I have not, but I’ve heard people who have done so tell me that they are far from duplicates — that the Indiana law has problems which the federal law did not. I don’t know more than that, so I can’t evaluate the truth of the statement, but I put it out there for people to consider and research for themselves. I wouldn’t go in assuming that they’re just alike, without at least checking, I don’t think.

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    2. Bill, I have to correct you on the issue of the Indiana law in so far as it did not mimic the other versions of the law but indeed exceeded it.

      All the others protect the deeply held beliefs of a religious person from imposition by government. Explicit in those versions are declarations that federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws which protect the LGBT communities are not affected by the religious freedom laws.

      The Indiana law went on to not only to protect the individual’s religious freedom but also included business entities, without inclusion of governmental interest. This means that any anti-discrimination laws were rendered impotent and instead declared ‘open-season’ on anyone based on religious superiority.

      The issue is not simply one of refusing to bake a cake. It is the abrogation of public accommodation laws which generally apply to all businesses which hold a trading licence. One can say that the gay person can go to another vendor – but what if they live in a rural area with limited stores? How far must they travel, how many refusals, how much humiliation must a gay person face before people realise that this in discrimination of people based on an IMMUTABLE trait?

      Finally, when a similar law was proposed in Washington state a local legislator was asked about the above scenario – ‘What if I am refused service even in a grocery store?’ The answer received was, ‘Grow your own food’!

      I was pleased to read this article and it gave me hope for my LGBT friends and family that followers of the Christian message could see the persecution imposed upon gay people. However, it is the intransigent denial of the scientific reality of homosexuality which drove me years ago from my own faith, and which I am only just finding again through the non-judgmental Unitarian Church.

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    3. Bill, with all due respect, the Indiana law is not the same as the federal law or the laws passed by the 19 other states that have it. It is easy to find stories written recently about that if you google it. I don’t really want to get into any further discussion about it because I feel it would be too off topic for this comment thread.

      Deborah

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Thank you, Bill, for saying what I have been feeling. Jesus was many things- loving, kind, merciful – but tolerant of sin, he was not. As I recall, he said, “Now go and sin no more.” We are also called to be loving, kind and merciful but I would also like to reserve the right to speak the truth in love and not to be sued for doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Here’s what I know. I know that many Christians genuinely feel that homosexuality is a sin and that gay marriage is wrong. I know they find support for that view in Scripture. I know that they really, actually feel that it would be sinful for them to participate in or condone gay marriage.

    So, you are basically asking Christians to do something that they believe is sinful.

    And, Romans 14 told you not to do that. I think you are well-meaning and believe that you are acting in love.

    However, “If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.” Romans 14:15.

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    1. Hi David, thanks for your comment. I hear what you’re saying. I think that we have to take that verse in the context of the whole passage, though. Paul was saying that in fact there is nothing wrong with eating meat sacrificed to idols, and that the strong Christians know this. But since the weak Christians think it is wrong to eat meat sacrificed to idols, the strong Christians should not cause them to stumble by eating it in front of them. The problem I’ve seen with churches applying this verse is that they protect “weak” Christians at the expense of even weaker ones. For example, I was involved in a church which vetoed an after-school outreach to area teens because some of the elders were concerned that it would look bad to the community to see teenagers hanging around the church, with their baggy pants and tie-died shirts, maybe even smoking cigarettes. So because of the weak consciouses of the church elders, those teens were deprived of the opportunity for Christian mentoring. In the case of homosexuality, young men and women are struggling with depression, self-hatred, and even suicidal thoughts and actions because they feel rejected by Christianity. I would argue that those young people are the ones who need our love and protection, not the conservative, older Christians who are weak in their faith.

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  28. I think it amusing that many believers single out as the most horrible sin of all a sin that they would never commit, as the largest part of the population is hetrosexual. There are 5 references in the bible to homosexuality (one actuality being more about masterbation, and none about female homosexuality). There are over 100 verses in the bible about money and many enjoinders about tithing (or giving away 10% of your income). Is everyone who is so vocal about homosexuality giving away 10% of their income? Or are they picking a “sin” they would never commit calling it “the worst” and using all their money for themselves, although biblically they are commanded not to, commanded not to many, many more times than homosexuality is ever mentioned.

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