If Jesus ran for President would he bake a cake?

Jesus at an election rally

It’s the beginning of the presidential “race” in the US, and although I live on the other side of the world, the outcome is important for Aussies. (For a start, if America decides to have another war, odds are Australia might join them. 🙁 )

I have heard that Senator Ted Cruz (about whom I know almost nothing) was the first cab off the rank, announcing his intention to seek nomination for the Republican party while visiting Liberty University. (Ironically, the students were not at liberty to choose whether they could attend this event or not.)

That event would have been unremarkable to me, except that blogger and author Benjamin Corey wrote a blog about it, asking what Jesus might have said if he was invited to visit Liberty University. His comments were so powerful to me that I had to share it with you.

What sort of President would Jesus be?

Benjamin took various political statement I presume were made by Ted Cruz, and offered teachings of Jesus in the gospels (mostly from the Sermon on the Mount) to counter them. Here are a couple of examples:

“You have heard some of my opponents say that we must kill and destroy every last member of ISIS …. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who hate you, so that you can become God’s children!”

“You have heard some of my opponents say there’s nothing wrong with a Christian being filthy rich, but I tell you: It will be easier for a camel to fit through a needle’s eye than it will be for a rich Christian to enter heaven!”

Non-violence (which flows out of his teachings on love) and the perils of wealth are two of Jesus’ strongest themes. How a christian country can have a high regard for military force and capitalism is not something I understand.

After 50+ years as a christian, Jesus teaches me something new!

Sometimes an idea hits you between the eyes and gives a whole new perspective on an issue. It doesn’t happen often enough, but when it does it’s a blessing.

This happened with one of Benjamin’s sayings.

Most of us would have heard of the christian bakers who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding, and may be bankrupted for their stand, which is illegal in their state, and another baker forced to make such a cake and report regularly to confirm that he is not discriminating unlawfully against LGBTI people.

Like other christians, I was disturbed by the force of law being used to make christians go against their convictions. Unlike most other christians, I could also see the other side of the question, the importance of removing discrimination.

And so I wondered what would be a fair resolution of this conundrum – until I read Benjamin’s assessment:

“You have heard some of my opponents say we must pass laws ensuring that we don’t have to bake cakes for gay weddings, but I tell you: If a gay person asks you to bake a cake for their wedding, bake them two!”

Suddenly it was clear.

I, and most christians, had framed this as a question of rights. But Jesus re-framed the question as one of loving service. Followers of Jesus should be willing to give up their rights to show love to others.

The Romans were hated enemies and their soldiers could require Jews to carry their gear for a distance, yet Jesus said (Matthew 5:41): “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Don’t stand on your rights, don’t even do the minimum you can get away with, but show love by serving beyond what is asked of you.

The same principle can be applied here. As christians we need to refuse to actively go against God, but baking a cake isn’t a sin, so even if we disapprove of what someone is doing, we can still serve them and show God’s love to them.

This goes against the grain, I know, but Benjamin (and Jesus!) showed me that I was not thinking as Jesus thought.

Following Jesus means following his guidance

We are not legalists, and Jesus’ guidelines are not inflexible rules. There will always be times when one principle is contradicted by another. But where we can, we need to be doers of his words and not just hearers.

Unfortunately, some of what passes for christianity today is actually contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

Picture: a combination of two photos, by Fibonacci Blue and More Good Foundation both via Compfight cc

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  1. One minor correction… you said:
    “How a christian country can have a high regard for military force and capitalism is not something I understand.”
    As much as we may have had our start in Christendom and have had Christianity embedded in some of our founding ideals, I cannot say that we were ever a “Christian” nation… our treatment of natives, our centuries long support of slavery, our almost constant warring, our “every man for himself” ethic… none of these are “Christian”.
    We are “Christian” in the same way that the Holy Roman Empire was Christian…it is a term we used because that is what we did…. So, the Ben’s statements shouldn’t be that surprising that the USA is so UNChristian in it’s ideals… we never really were.
    Check out Greg Boyd’s book “Myth of a Christian Nation”.

  2. I read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States as very Christian in their ideals. Freedom coupled with individual service and social responsibility seem to me to be at the core of Jesus’ teachings. Given human history, that the United States is and has been imperfect in its realization of these ideals shouldn’t seem to me to come as a big surprise. Indeed, I am inspired by how well the United States has done and has improved over what is historically a fairly short time. As a country, the United States has failed (and continues to fail) in many ways, but to focus on these failings to the exclusion of the great good it has and continues to do is no more judicious for a nation than it is for an individual.

  3. Baking a cake is not a sin. Bit in this case is a sign of approval to “marriage” of people of same sex. Being against marriage among persons of same sex isn’t plain prejudice, it is a matter of definition of marriage, and this definition doesn’t need to be grounded on Christianity or the Bible.
    There are homosexual persons against it. It is not about homofoby, it’s about knowing what’s marriage is or was.

  4. Hi Robert, yes I agree. I should probably have said “supposedly christian”. But overall I think your point is consistent with Benjamin’s point – many involved in US politics appeal to christian voters and claim to be christian in their policies, but the recorded teachings of Jesus are very different to their policies in many cases.

  5. “to focus on these failings to the exclusion of the great good it has and continues to do is no more judicious for a nation than it is for an individual”
    Hi, thanks for reading and commenting. But I don’t think that is really what Benjamin is talking about. He is criticising people who say they are christian but do the opposite to what Jesus said. My comment about a christian country was (I think) the only place where I even mentioned the nation, and it wasn’t to make any overall judgment such as you are suggesting, just making the same point – that in the two important areas I mentioned, US values are quite the opposite of Jesus’ teachings.

  6. Hi Jonathan, thanks for your comments. I don’t think we should ever make a rule about these things, but I do think we should consider Jesus’ teaching of being willing to serve people even when we disagree with them.
    “if a gay friend of yours gets “married”, should we take part of the ceremony?”
    I think this is a good question to ask. if a christian disapproves of an action, or believes it is sinful, how much should their behaviour towards that person be a reaction to that behaviour?
    There are clearly things we shouldn’t do to help someone – e.g. drive a getaway car after a robbery (which is a crime). But there are many other situations that don’t involve us committing a sin, but lead us to associate with other people doing something we think is sinful.
    For example, if your son or daughter was gay and in a relationship and you thought this was wrong, would you attend their wedding? If you were a baker and a person who was violent towards his wife asked you to make a birthday cake, would you refuse? If you were a real estate agent and a couple wanted to buy a property to run it as a brothel, would you refuse to sell it to them? If you ran a hotel or motel, and a couple wanted to book a room for the night, would you ask to see their marriage certificate first? If you were a taxi driver and a person asked you to take them to an atheist conference, or a gay bar, or a brothel, or a mosque, would you refuse? If you think christians shouldn’t “be unequally yoked” by marrying a non-believer, would you attend such a wedding or refuse?
    I think it is easy to find situations where such questions are hard to answer. I wonder whether christians treat some sins differently to others? In such situations, Jesus’ teachings about love may lead us not to object. Would you agree?

  7. In regards to your statement “How a christian country can have a high regard for military force and capitalism is not something I understand”, First, I believe it would be truer to say that Americans have, in general, a high regard for their military *forces*, but not military force in and of itself. And this regard stems not from the ability of its military forces to project power, but instead upon their voluntary willingness to self-sacrifice for others, their honorable commitment to upholding not the presiding government, but the principles underpinning that government, and, yes, their devotion to the skillful performance of their duties. It is true that Americans for the most part are not opposed “having another war” if they perceive that war as necessary either for their own defense or for others who are defenseless, but they quickly tire of wars they perceive no longer are serving either purpose. None of these sentiments are foreign to Christianity,
    Secondly, the majority of todays Americans are not devoted to capitalism, but to free enterprise. Much remains in the governance of the United States that reflects its more capitalistic past, but if you asked a random sample of Americans which system they preferred, free enterprise would be their overwhelming choice. However, governing a large, wealthy republic is complicated and the influence of the rich on that process is always going to be difficult to control without sacrificing the very liberties the government exists to protect. But, for good or bad (though mostly good), that is exactly what the United States has been doing for the last 80 years or so. America is progressively trying to balance free enterprise and socialism, while doing what it can to keep the capitalists at bay. Its a tough, never-ending fight that most people everywhere (not just Americans) have little interest in so long as their lives seem to be going along OK. And while American culture absolutely defends the right of the rich to be rich, it also expects (though doesn’t require) those with means to be charitable to those without. This is borne out by the fact that Americans are, in fact, a very charitable people. There’s obviously nothing un-Christian about that.

  8. Hi Matrimble, you live in the US I presume?
    I guess you know I live in Australia so I mostly know the US as an outsider (though I have friends and relatives there and I have visited 4 times). But I think there are some clear facts about the US that are relevant here.
    1. The US has by far the highest level of gun deaths and gun homicides of any “first world” country, indicating a level or violence that seems contrary to Jesus’ teachings.
    2. The Iraq invasion in 2003 was judged by the Bradford Peace Studies group as one of the few modern wars to have religion (in this case christianity) as a major cause (see Does religion cause wars) and ended up costing hundreds of thousands of lives (most estimates are between 100,000 and 1 million) and trillions of dollars, and to be a major reason why ISIS has become a force. This is just one of many US (and often Australian) military interferences that seem quite contrary to Jesus’ thinking.
    3. The US is one of the world’s richest countries yet it has the highest level of wealth inequality of all “advanced economies”. It is one of the few (the only?) one of these economies to have resisted universal health insurance. This suggests to me that greed and wealth matter more to Americans than caring for the poor.
    It wasn’t my purpose in this post to bash your country, I was commenting on inconsistent christians, but I do think your comments are not recognising the facts. Of course Australians have been grateful to have the US as a strong ally (e.g. in WW2), but my post is simply asking whether the beliefs of some US christians follow what Jesus taught. I think the above facts only support that question. What do you think?

  9. Not a problem. Even in (or should I say especially in) disagreement, I appreciate your thoughtful and rational approach to questions. It is my hope that I may come across in a manner similar to yours.
    Concerning 1 & 3, I would say that Americans value freedom above both. The same might be said of God and, by extension, Jesus. There seems to me strong similarities about these questions and the much large problem of evil. God so values free will because the only through it can we truly learn to love. God permits evil because people must be free to choose love instead. The innocent suffer because of evil, but so does the evildoer, both in this life and after. In the United States, many suffer because of the freedoms all enjoy and that some abuse. If Americans are slow to curb the abuses, it’s usually because of their reluctance to curtail everyone’s freedom.
    For 1, Americans are free to own guns because most still believe it would eventually endanger citizen freedoms to not be. That being said, there is an increasing opinion that access to handguns and (to a lesser extent) assault rifles should be controlled. There is moral progress being made on this issue, but I it slow for what I believe is a good reason; giving up freedoms for the common good is the excuse every charismatic tyrant uses to justify the enfeeblement of their enemies.
    For 3, while it is true Americans allow those with means to be greedy and not share their wealth with the poor, that in no way translates to “greed and wealth matter more to Americans than caring for the poor”. As I mentioned earlier, the citizens of the United States are at or very near the top of the most charitable people on the planet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Giving_Index). Also, and while I believe the concept of “Rugged Individualism” still has its adherents, The United States of today is fantastically more caring and generous to the needy than it was 100 years ago. But I’m with you on this one and while we may not yet have true Universal Health Care, we’re getting there and at least not going in the other direction. It’s strange because freedom pops up here for Americans as well; their reluctance to let go of the freedom to chose when, where, and how they seek their care (even when that freedom costs them much more money) has so far frustrated efforts. On top of this, a chronic shortage doctors, nurses, and medical facilities across the United States makes Universal Health Care in a way almost an academic discussion, implying as it does timely and free access to health care by every citizen. But one way or another we’ll get this one figured out.
    For 2, I must admit that neither I nor anyone I have known *ever* saw religion as “a major cause” of the invasion of Iraq. I believe there were some good reasons and some bad reasons for the war and there certainly were a good number of bad decisions made after the war had started, but religion wasn’t a part of those either. As far as ISIS is concerned, there are probably about a thousand possible scenarios that could have played out *after* the invasion that would not resulted in an ISIS coming into being, with the United States not playing a decisive role in even most of them. The war may or may not have been justified, given one’s understanding of the causes at the time, but to conclude a causal connection between the decision to go to war and rise of ISIS is problematic.

  10. Yes, I understand that are several examples of situations that lead US to sort of a crisis.
    But as a sais before, this issue of “marriage” between people of same sex isn’t an issue of Christians against non Christians, as most of your examples. There are several secular points against marriage between same sex persons. If the discussions remains only on the ground of Christian versus non Christian worldview, the debate isn’t going anywhere.
    It’s not matter of judging a personal behaviour as renting a room for a unmarried couple or driving someone to a place that doesn’t honour Christ, I’m not Pharisaic. It’s a matter of discussing one of the base of societies. I wouldn’t mind going out for a dinner with a gay couple, as I have already done. It’s about the definition of marriage and everything it involves, mainly children. People like Dolce & Gabanna annoys the extremists lgbt movement far more than any Christian community. Is Elton John going to call the Italian fellows homophobic, bigots, ultra conservative?

  11. Hi Matrimble, thanks for your kind words. Yes I too appreciate your courtesy.
    I think you are answering a different point to what I am making. I think you are answering the question of whether the US can justify its culture and actions on guns, war and wealth. I think those things can be questioned and I think I disagree with your answers, but that is not my point here, nor Benjamin Corey’s.
    We are both saying that the American attitude and actions are contrary to Jesus. Whether they can be defended or not on their own terms, they are contrary to clear teaching he gave on non-violence, loving enemies, avoiding giving priority to wealth and caring for the poor.
    I have already said that I don’t think his teachings are infallible rules, but guidelines, and sometimes other truths may require compromise on these truths. But I think that is rare and I think such counter truths haven’t been expressed by you, or others.
    May I therefore ask you, (1) do you think American culture on guns and American actions in Iraq are contrary to Jesus’ teaching on non-violence and loving enemies, or consistent with it? (2) Do you think Jesus’ teaching on being wary of wealth and caring for the poor supports or critiques the disparity of wealth in the US and the unwillingness by many to provide a health safety net for the poor? (3) If you disagree with my interpretation, how would you justify your views to Jesus himself?

  12. Hi Jonathan, I’m not sure I see where your comments are going here. I think the question isn’t what anyone think of gay marriage, but how one applies the principle Jesus taught of serving others even when we disagree with them. I don’t suggest it is a principle that should be applied in every situation, but I think it probably should be applied in the wedding cake situation.

  13. I believe Americans believe their freedom is their most valuable possession and that, ultimately, guns secure that freedom. They also are gradually coming to the opinion that certain sorts of guns contribute inordinately to violent crime and I believe, in time, will come to restrict access to those type of weapons. But, with these exceptions, guns will no doubt be a fixture of American culture for the foreseeable future. My mind does admit that non-violence and submitting to your enemies does seem to be what Jesus was trying to teach us, but my heart still tells me otherwise and I (and suspect many other non-pacifist Christians) really do struggle with this. And it’s not even some supposed right to self-defense that hangs me up on this one, it’s an almost instinctive drive to protect the weak and innocent from cruelty and violence that is the far more powerful driver. In some ways, to help clarify Jesus’ teachings on this point it is perhaps unfortunate that we don’t any Gospel stories of Jesus confronting war criminals raping small children and decapitating their parents before their eyes. What *would* Jesus do?
    The disparity of wealth in the United States is deplorable, but please remember that even the poorest in the United States right now take for granted access to food and urgent health care that the vast majority of people in the world today live without. Most Americans deeply believe that to help someone is to help them help themselves and that privation (within limits) is the strongest motivator to self-improvement. Unfortunately, that model doesn’t work out for everyone and I believe that’s where many, many Americans try and do what they can to help those that have fallen and *can’t* get back up. But, yes, our society can do better.

  14. But why do you think it is a situation in which we should follow this guidance? What do you expect from it? What reflection it is going to bring for the gay couple? The cake is only a piece of the whole discussion on marriage and children.

  15. Hi Matrimble, thanks for your response. I am reading your response (in summary) as saying that you agree that America isn’t following Jesus’ teachings on several matters that I raised, but you think that behaviour is partially justified.
    If that is a fair summary, then I have made my point. The secondary question is whether you are right that there are reasonable reasons why not following his teachings is OK in these cases. I have said all along that I don’t think we should be legalistic about these things, but I don’t think your reasons are cogent in these cases.
    “it’s an almost instinctive drive to protect the weak and innocent from cruelty and violence that is the far more powerful driver”
    The result of high levels of gun ownership and aggression in USA is that (1) the death rate by guns is way higher than in any other comparable first world country, and (2) I have seen studies which indicate that guns rarely stop crimes, and most often help people commit crimes, so the people most hurt by all this are the weak and innocent you want to protect.
    Guns are not helping, they are making things worse. So I think the argument doesn’t work for you.
    “even the poorest in the United States right now take for granted access to food and urgent health care that the vast majority of people in the world today live without. Most Americans deeply believe that to help someone is to help them help themselves and that privation (within limits) is the strongest motivator to self-improvement. “
    I agree that the poor in the US are still better off than many elsewhere. But the rich still live right next door to the poor and don’t do enough to help. It is true that it is best to help people help themselves if they can but often poverty is not due to lack of willingness to work, but to low wages (the poor in the US can work hard and still not have enough because of low wages), insufficient jobs, mental illness, etc. It seems to me Jesus would rather a few get a free handout than that many keep on missing out.
    So I think there is insufficient reason to go against Jesus’ teachings.

  16. “But why do you think it is a situation in which we should follow this guidance? What do you expect from it? What reflection it is going to bring for the gay couple?”
    Hi Jonathan, I take Jesus’ teaching which Benjamin quoted on this matter to be saying we should always try to show love and be willing to serve if we can. So unless there are clear ethical or prudential reasons against it, a loving action should be taken if possible. A loving action is its own point. Showing love through selfless service is always a good thing because it is a small picture of how God behaves towards us.
    If Jesus could advocate cheerfully carrying a Roman soldier’s pack an extra mile, I feel he would advocate baking cake for a gay couple, and I don’t think there are compelling ethical reasons against that. So it seems to me to be a good response and defuses the whole situation. I don’t think it says anything that implies support for the ethics of the wedding, rather it says we are willing to allow someone else the freedom to make their own choices.

  17. Hi Jonathan, I think we have probably said enough. I think both your examples aren’t very different to Benjamin Corey’s suggestion, except his suggestion leads to baking the cake with a little more grace. I think that is preferable. Thanks for the discussion.

  18. We too have probably said enough, though I do want to say that, probably through my own fault in my writing style, you’ve applied the examples I’ve given to the wrong points that I was trying to make.
    I agreed with you about guns and crime, but crime isn’t the reason Americans defend their right to own guns; the right exists in our Constitution as a powerful mechanism to ensure our continued political freedom.
    The weak and the innocent I was referring to were and are the hundreds/thousands that have been and are being butchered around the world today, but particularly in the Middle East and Africa and not so long ago in Europe and Asia. To these my question remains, what *would* Jesus do?
    And I also agreed with you about the need to help the poor who as a consequence of their situation cannot help themselves and that many, many Americans (statistically many times the entire population of Australia) volunteer their time, possessions, and money to these people everyday. And the rich that I think you’re talking about aren’t the ones living “right next door” the the poor you’re talking about. The rich that drive the income disparity both of us deplore in the United States are insignificant in terms of numbers, making their extreme wealth all the more gaudy. The vast majority of Americans enjoy no more of a “rich” lifestyle than other citizens in developed countries around the world (http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/11/news/economy/middle-class-wealth/). Curiously, in this study in median net worth the United States ranks 19th and Australia 1st.
    But enough of that, let us both declare “Mission Accomplished” and move on. 😉
    Regarding the cake. If a wedding cake can with justification be considered part of the wedding ceremony, then why does it make sense for society to force an individual’s participation in an activity for which they have moral objections? By extension, does this mean we shouldn’t grant pacifists exemptions from military service? Or should we force doctors, nurses, and medical staff to participate in abortions or euthanasia against their will? I would suggest that in so doing society commits the far greater offense. A free, civil society must be able to come to terms with and accept differences of opinion without attempting to compel cooperation in the absence of consent.

  19. Robert’s take speaks the truest to me. There are no Christian nations, there is only one Christian nation and that never corresponds to any political nation in the profane world.
    There are of course nations that have been influenced by the history of Christian ideas at some point or ones that claim to represent a Christian culture. We can admit to Christian influence on constitutional and modern democratic ideals, but solely speaking of them as Christian nations or countries obscures other sources and oversimplifies history.

  20. Hi Matrimble,
    I am happy to stop, but I feel (presumably same as you) that I want to respond to what you have said, for I still think there are worthwhile things to be said.
    “the right exists in our Constitution as a powerful mechanism to ensure our continued political freedom”
    This is often said, but I think it is largely meaningless. Does anyone really think that the US Government is undermining its citizens’ freedom in the broadest sense? (Of course some freedoms have to be balanced against others, but that isn’t the same thing.) And does anyone REALLY think that owning a few weapons is REALLY going to protect against the might of the US Army if the government did decide to interfere in an individual’s life? That is surely an anachronistic reason.
    “The weak and the innocent I was referring to were and are the hundreds/thousands that have been and are being butchered around the world today, but particularly in the Middle East and Africa and not so long ago in Europe and Asia. To these my question remains, what *would* Jesus do?”
    Again, I think this doesn’t recognise two factors. (1) The iraq invasion cost far more lives than ever would have been lost if Saddam Hussein had been left alone, and (2) the US seems very arbitrary about where it gets involved – it hasn’t interfered in some of the worst situations (North Korea, Rwanda, Sudan, Zimbabwe) and has been accused of only going where political or oil interests are affected. So there are many outside the US who see their involvement in more sinister terms than you do.
    So while I still agree that we cannot make rules and many of these situations are complex, I think on balance if the US had followed Jesus’ teachings more seriously, things would have been better overall, bot for US citizens, and for the citizens of other countries. In particular, the situation in the Middle east is now worse than it was before the Gulf War and the plight of christians in many places in the Middle east is now far far worse.

  21. “Public Discourse points are very different from Benjamin suggestion.”
    How do you see the difference. It seemed to me that all three suggested baking the cake, but their motives and attitudes were different. Nieli suggests doing it under protest, Miller suggests it can be seen to be moral, while Corey suggests doing it positively with love. Same result, but I prefer the more loving attitude.

  22. America’s Bill of Rights was not written to protect against an imminent threat to citizens’ liberties, but to safeguard those liberties through troubled times in an unknown future. Times change and, historically, complacency never seems to end very well for governments or its citizens. And, yes, owning a “few” weapons, when multiplied by millions, does provide real protection against the might of any army. If one thing has been made clear over the last fifty years of America’s wars, it’s that they are very real limits to what conventional military force can do against an armed civilian population. And I do think it is (dare I say REALLY) ironic that while advocating for the current and continued benevolence of the government of the United States, you conclude your very next paragraph implying its “sinister” motives for waging war. So no, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is not anachronistic, it is realistic.
    Wars typically *always* cost more lives than would be lost in the immediate term either through avoidance or capitulation, but that is not why they are fought. Among other reasons, just wars are fought to stop aggression, whether it be of the expansion or genocidal variety. Just wars are fought on the principle that in certain cases to do nothing is to be complicit in the evil being committed. In my previous message I deliberately brought up Africa because I, for one, am ashamed not only of my country, but of the whole Christian world for standing by and watching the genocides in Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. In the case of North Korea, they are holding a knife to the neck of millions in Seoul, which greatly limits the world’s options against that detestable regime.
    Things are worse now, I agree, but things were worse in London in 1940 than they were in 1939, too. I only say that to mean that sometime things get worse even when you’ve done and are continuing to try to do the right thing, but are making mistakes, not getting cooperation, or simply facing a skillful opponent that will not easily be defeated. Or, of course, a combination of the three.

  23. Nieli doesn’t suggest baking it. He just defends the protest because he thinks breaking the law is a worse thing, he really doesn’t want to bake the cake, he really feels it as a threat to his freedom and beliefs. By the way the protest, as I see it, is a mean to change the law in the future, or, at least, making
    I wasn’t quoting Miller itself on the second link, but the discussion raised by Ventrella, that’s discussed there – of the morality of the law.
    The problem between us is perhaps what we see as a loving attitude. I don’t see accepting to baking it a loving attitude. I see no lack of love in non-baking. As I’ve said before, only if we want to raise one (or another) generation of spoiled adults, we need to give signs of approval for everything in order to show love.
    But again, for me, this baking thing is only a point of the whole topic – the topic of marriage, children, gender ideology, sexes roles etc.
    It’s like the case of Brendan Eich in Mozilla. He lost a position because he had supported an legal act against same sex marriage. Of course, he was labeled homophobic and so on. Probably no one wanted to hear his definition on marriage before, or really investigated how he really treated homossexual people. I would bet that he was, and still is, a loving person to everyone – marriage isn’t only about love. The State doesn’t need to rule or make laws about love.

  24. Hi Matrimble and Jonathan,
    I think it may be best to follow our joint suggestions that it may be best to finish up these conversations.
    I’m not convinced by the arguments for the US attitude to domestic gun ownership or US military exploits abroad, but even if the arguments were convincing, I cannot see how they can be reconciled to Jesus’ teachings. The fact that US christians think they can be reconciled is beyond my understanding.
    I agree that the matter of the cake is more complex than the simple action of baking a cake may appear. But I can’t help feeling christians are singling this action out when they don’t make a stand on other similar issues, so I still feel that Benjamin Corey’s view is more gracious and to be preferred.
    But I understand you two are not convinced, and I think I have little more to add to the discussion, so I will close now. Thanks.

  25. Actually…the best of what we three have to learn from it is that being a Christian is not a uniform thing and we should always be studying and praying in order to behave properly according to God’s will.
    The question What Jesus would do in a given situation won’t get the same answer from each one of us.

  26. Hi Jonathan, yes I agree that we need to be “praying in order to behave properly according to God’s will”. I think there are some matters on which the Spirit will lead us differently, and others which he would want us to do the same. I think this issue is a bit of both.

  27. Hi PVS, thanks for the link. I appreciate the caring attitude of the writer. But we can always think of counter examples.
    In this case, attending the wedding (as the reference discusses) is different to a baker baking a cake for it. If we wouldn’t bake the cake, would we sell a paintbrush to an atheist painter?
    Addressing the issue in the reference, we can ask (as one commenter there said), if I would attend a gay wedding, would I attend an abortion celebration? It’s a bit of a gruesome and unlikely scenario, but the point is obvious. But on the other hand, if I wouldn’t attend the gay wedding, would I attend the graduation of someone who had done an accountancy degree so they could devote their lives to making money?
    I think the important thing is that we be serious in praying about all such difficult issues, we should avoid knee-jerk responses, and we should be sure we are being loving.

  28. And I agree with you, to an extent. I am fully aware of the conflicts involved, however, as I have a gay younger brother that I love with all my heart. His salvation is my utmost concern and it is a fine line to walk in this situation. My reaction is far from knee-jerk, believe me.

  29. Hi, thanks for sharing that. Yes, when you have a relative (as you have) or friends (as I have) for whom these issues are their lives, it makes a difference.

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