My last two articles have focused on the idea that love and truth win when they are found in the proper context of our relationship with the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we live in this place of relational obedience, we find that our lives are no longer ours and we can practice radical hospitality.
You may have heard of Melissa Klein, a Christian; she’s the owner of Sweet Cakes bakery in Oregon. After refusing to make a cake for Rachel Bowman-Cryer’s wedding to another woman, Klein was sued. The subsequent court case has caused quite the stir of emotion within secular and Christian communities. It has also triggered a wide range of responses among my friends from various denominations.
I’d like to share with you why I would bake them a cake.
My belief in God and the supremacy of his word causes me to hold to a spiritual worldview. I would call this a Kingdom perspective, to which I am called to live my life. I believe that the culture or government around me does not dictate how I should live my life; rather, it is the God-inspired word that tells me how to live. This can lead to issues of separation. I am called to follow the laws of the land, but what if those contradict the word of God? Ultimately, I am called to trust God with all my might and lean not on my own understanding. In this place, I realize that in the eyes of God, marriage is between a man and a woman. This is the best for mankind. In this relationship he forms a covenant relationship. Jesus informs the Pharisees in Matthew 19:4-6, “He answered, ‘Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh – no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart’” (The Message). Jesus is confirming here the word made flesh and the standard to which we as believers are called to live.
So the wedding of this lesbian couple is not a Godly covenant. It is a government-sanctioned marriage made with the eyes of human thought. Baking them a cake, for me, would be about building relationship with those who do not hold to the same idea of covenant. It is not celebrating something God formed, but it is celebrating two human beings who have value and meaning. We are called to love our neighbour as ourselves and we are called to love our enemies.
The government will make decisions and laws that seek to protect and value human life and they have sought to do that with anti-discrimination laws for business owners. It is against the law to refuse service because of race, sexual orientation, religion or gender. So yes, Melissa Klein broke the law that was set out by government, which she believed she felt validated in doing so because of her faith and Kingdom perspective, and will have to face the consequences to that decision here on earth. It is a hard one to face. I don’t believe in the severity of her fine ($135,000) and I wish that Rachel Bowman-Cryer would have a different view, but right now she doesn’t. I believe that suing others only facilitates hatred and hostility rather than conflict resolution.
I wish that Melissa Klein had baked that cake, and in doing so shared the extravagant hospitality of our Lord Jesus Christ, opening the door to greater relationship with a couple who needed to experience the hands and feet of Jesus. I also wish that Rachel Bowman-Cryer would realize that two wrongs do not make a right; that the wounds she felt would heal and be restored in ways that one day she too would see the value of others who believe differently than she does.
If I knew they were comin’, I’d’ve baked a cake!
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