On Making Cakes for Homosexuals
IntroductionRecent events centered around whether Christian cake makers can or should refuse to make cakes for gay couples has caught my attention. And mostly I am disappointed in how this was handled. Update: it's 2019 and this Christian cake maker is being sued again.
I am no expert, and so I am only here to give my opinion on the matter. Everyone has an opinion, and all opinions equally stink. My hope is that it will help those who, as a result of this, think that all Christians are discriminatory.
Understand that, at the time of writing this, I am studying Addiction & Recovery Psychology at a Christian university. I am not a pastor. I am not an expert in any way. I am merely here to give my opinion. I do not know if I can stand with Jack Phillips or not.
Also, keep in mind the word "sinners" used below refers to everyone, because every human being is a sinner, from the Pope to the person with the substance use disorder on your street corner. I am a sinner. You are. Here I use it to refer to basically everyone, but especially outsiders to the Christian Church. I am not using it in a derogatory way.
Here are the questions that come to my mind about this event:
- Even if gays are our enemy (which I don't believe), didn't Jesus say "love your enemies"? (Matt. 5:44-45)
- Why isn't there a verse in Scripture that tells us directly to refuse to serve cake or food to sinners?
- Didn't Jesus spend a lot of time hanging around sinners?
- Couldn't 2 Kings 5:17-19 be interpreted as God understanding
when some responsibilities require us to be where we don't
want to be or do things we don't want to do? Naaman
clearly believed only in the God of Israel, but asked for
pardon when he had to do his job as vice commander and bow in
the temple of Rimmon. The response? "Go in
peace." I think God understands that sometimes we must
indirectly partake in things that we don't want to partake in,
in order to keep our jobs. I think 2 Kings 5 might apply
to cake making as well.
- Was Jack Phillips listening to his conscience, or was it his
comfort zone that was violated? Sometimes they can feel like
the same thing.
- If you make a cake for a gay couple, is that
celebrating? Or is it celebrating to eat the cake at the
reception? Because when I play music for an event that's
not a church worship event, I'm too busy playing to celebrate.
- Didn't Jesus tell His followers to carry a Roman soldier's
armor twice the legally mandated distance? Wasn't
homosexuality widespread in the Roman army? Did carrying
that armor make the Christian carrying it a partner in their
savage acts in war? Or their homosexual lifestyle?
- Did Paul refuse to make tents for homosexuals? Why do
we have no record of this?
- Wasn’t homosexuality widespread in the first 100 years of
the church’s history? Why then are there no direct statements
to refusing to serve (in any way) homosexuals?
- Where in the Bible does it say we cannot bake wedding cakes for homosexuals?
- Where in the Bible does it say we cannot perform any business service for homosexuals?
- Are homosexuals more likely, or less likely, to listen to a
gospel presentation based on the actions of Jack Phillips?
- Given the golden rule, shouldn't we perform basic business acts for everyone, because we wouldn't want anyone to refuse to do business with us?
- Didn't God say people get put to death for their own sins? If so, then would God punish you for making a cake for a gay couple? Wouldn't God hold that couple accountable for their own sins?
As such, I cannot support or condemn Jack Phillips. I don't think this issue is clear enough.
Update: I am now a student at a Master's Degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. My state has a law that states I don't have to provide therapy to the LGBTQIA+ for "conscience" reasons. But I'm not going to need to use that law. I'm going to provide therapy to anyone and everyone who needs it, to the best of my ability.
Other Flawed Arguments
Argument 1: this is similar to cake baking
in the temple complex in Old Testament Israel, so it's service
to God. My answer is that Jack Phillips isn't Jewish, nor
a priest, he's not working for the church, and this isn't
Can our secular work be service to God? Absolutely it can, and for the Christian, everything should be done to God. But I don't see enough justification in Scripture to make me think I should refuse to bake gay people a cake.
If someone cannot work in an industry any more due to their convictions (or, again, maybe his comfort zone?), they might consider leaving that industry.
I served in the military right alongside homosexuals, and to be honest, they worked just as hard (if not harder) than everyone else. I supervised several. If I had a problem doing that, I should've separated from the military. But I had no problem with it, so I gladly continued serving.
For the sake of this paragraph, I'm going to nickname the one homosexual worker I supervised, "Lucy." As a Christian, there is a point in which you must separate your work life from your spiritual life, only in the sense of doing your job. If I had downplayed the work Lucy did, I would be doing something immoral, in terms of the military's standards and - I believe - Christian standards. At work, I evaluate Lucy by her work, not her lifestyle. She was an excellent subordinate, and I put her forward for special jobs several times. At work, we "win" people over to Christianity by our work ethic and our morals
ConclusionWhat I know about the Bible doesn't make me think Jack Phillips is wrong, but it also doesn't make me think Jack Phillips is right. In light of no Scripture I know directly supporting what Jack Phillips is doing, I am not taking sides. Although I will point out that it appears that he is being targeted.
If you are a homosexual and you are reading this, I am sorry for any fear or worry that this event has caused you. I hope you will give Christianity a second chance.
I do not know if I can support diverting money ear-marked for missionaries to defend Jack Phillips.
I do not appreciate those Christians within my denomination that have made "No True Scottsman" statements, claiming that because I am a Southern Baptist that I "must" support Jack Phillips. I think Christians should read the Bible and make up their own minds on this topic. Given how this court case has played out multiple times, I don't think I can take sides. And I especially don't like how some tried to say that the Bible supports discrimination. Again, there's no Scripture that supports Phillips or discrimination.
It appears Jack Phillips is being targeted and bullied, as this is the 3rd lawsuit. However, at the same time, I have to ask whether or not he's asking for it or not. I don't know. Did the lawsuits make him reconsider what the Bible actually says? Did everyone's support of him make him even more resolute? Is Jack Phillips right? Is he wrong? Only time will tell. I wish him luck. But I can't take sides.