After reading scripture and considering what Jesus taught it seems to me that refusing to bake/sell/serve a cake at a same sex wedding because you don’t approve of same sex marriages is not something that honors the basic tenets of Christianity.
Jesus’ teachings seem to indicate that a Christian baker in the United States, where same sex marriage is legal, should be extra accommodating, helpful and generous towards a same sex couple planning a wedding.
In fact, if Jesus were here today he might be saying “go the second mile AND bake the second cake”.
In Matthew 5:41 Jesus said, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”
As usual Jesus was saying something that might have sounded shocking to his audience.
You see, there was a Roman law that could require men to drop what they were doing and carry a Roman soldier’s equipment for him for up to one mile.
The Israelites who lived in Rome were disgusted about having to pay taxes to Caesar and obey Roman laws such as this because they saw Romans as evil and ungodly.
So, when Jesus said “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” you would have heard a lot of gasps and grumbling among those in the crowd. In fact, it was probably one of those times when many just got up, left and stopped following Jesus. This was not a message they wanted to hear.
But that didn’t stop Jesus. He went right on challenging them to be extra generous and accommodating to those they saw as evil and ungodly. He went right on challenging them to put their reputation on the line for love and kindness.
Jesus wasn’t worried about people talking bad about someone for associating with the wrong people or for helping a Roman soldier more than was required.
Jesus was willing to risk his own reputation when it came to radical love and inclusion and he was telling his followers they should be doing the same kind of crazy, shocking, upside down sort of things.
I love what Jessica Kantrowitz had to say to Christians about this when she blogged about it back in 2015:
”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”
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?
Jesus said, “Go with them two.” – Jessica Kantrowitz
My oldest son, who is gay, got married earlier this month. I was so thankful for the love and support we received from so many of our friends and family members. Much of the support and love we received came from affirming Christians that we know and love, but there was a deafening silence coming from some non-affirming family members who refused to express any happiness or joy for my son. That silence hurt us deeply.
There was only one person among all the non-affirming Christians we know personally who broke their silence and offered a sincere, positive wish of happiness for my son in regards to his marriage. It was just a short message they posted online expressing their good wishes and happiness for my son. It was a comment posted on a picture from the wedding I shared on social media but that simple comment meant so much to us. It was shocking to me – in a good way. I was immediately impressed that this person wasn’t worried about what anyone thought about them as they sent best wishes to my newly married son. It reminded me of the way that Jesus loved others and how he was willing to risk his own reputation when it came to loving people. It reminded me that Jesus calls his followers to do the same thing.
It may be rare, but there are Christians who are really invested in and committed to loving like Jesus loved. I’m so thankful for them!
May more of us who claim to be followers of Jesus be willing to shock the world with the same kind of radical love and generosity Jesus demonstrated and taught.
May more of us who profess to be imitating Jesus be willing to risk our reputation the way Jesus did when he hung out with and loved those that the religious people thought were ungodly.
May more of us who call ourselves Christians be willing to go the second mile and bake the second cake.
Liz Dyer is the founder and owner of Serendpitydodah for Moms, a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ+ kids.
The group is set up so that only members can see who is in the group and what is posted there. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 2,000 members.
For more info about the private Facebook group email firstname.lastname@example.org