It really is bad enough to witness supposed intellectual people cry out against the rape that is experienced when a baker turns down a client.
For whatever reason.
In these cases, of course, it’s about bakers who really, really don’t want to make a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony.
Now, before we get into Jesus here, to sum up my position on the whole will-you-or-won’t-you make me a cake with two girls on top, it’s this: all the gay couple has to do is move their finger(s) down the list of bakers to the next one, pick up the telephone, and just call another baker.
Do they do this?
Instead they go to court in an attempt to drive the no-we-won’t bakers out of business.
Ten – fifteen, tops – minutes of inconvenience which don’t even require the use of additional tissue over the trauma of having endured the horror of having heard the word, NO, compared with hours and days of filling out forms, pointing fingers, and filling their supposedly happy and contented hearts with hatred for them.
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
My favorite aspect of it all is how what appears to me to be a two-year-old’s temper tantrum, albeit in tandem, is compared with having to use separate bathrooms, etc.
No, that’s not what has got me to say, enough.
The newest expression of this bakery wars phenomenon is Orthodox Christians, people that on a normal day make a whole lot of sense, writing or declaring in the most sincere way possible, that, yes, Jesus would make a cake for a same-sex wedding reception.
(Just as an aside: Really? Jesus made cakes in his day? Let’s talk over that supposition with Martha, shall we?)
But of course reality is not the real issue here.
It’s Jesus. (Turn on array of twinkling stars here to the sound of oohs and aahs. Glow on halo up.)
Jesus the lover of people just the way they are. Jesus the sweetie-pie.
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Mark 13:13)
Just as there are errors in the you-can’t-discriminate-against-gays-because-that-is-hating-them argument in terms of the bakers in question, confusing judgment (you hate) with discernment (I acknowledge that this act would be an act of blasphemy on my part), there are very serious errors in transforming Jesus into what has to be the biggest wuss who ever walked the Earth.
Jesus, goes the argument, would do just anything for anybody! Because he just loves them all to pieces!
Somehow scripture falls by the way here, both for the average in-the-know man-about-Facebook and now actual priests, deacons, vowed religious, and whoever just adores this current bandwagon.
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. (Luke 21:17)
The real Jesus, the Jesus of scripture, is a servant. He gets down on his knees, he takes the towel from his shoulder, and he washes the feet of his disciples.
Were he alive today, I am confident that he would walk down the street, get down on his knees, take the towel from his shoulder, and wash the homeless man that he finds lying there.
There is nothing relative about his service to us.
He died on the cross in service to us.
His love for us is absolute.
But there is one thing that Jesus never did: he never accommodated us in our sin.
Instead, he counseled those he cared for to go, and sin no more.
He tells us that he is here to save the sinners. Not the righteous. The righteous don’t need his saving.
So where will he be found, then, if his mission is to save sinners?
With sinners, of course.
Not, as the argument today goes, to slap them on the back and wish them well in their next indiscretion, their next indulgence.
And most certainly not to serve them up the fruits of their sin on a platter, pimp-like.
After he saved the adulterous woman from stoning, did he give her a card with the name of a man who might like her in his bed? No. Actually, he just said, go, and sin no more.
And his own, personal, empowered definition of healing was to tell the inflicted one, go, your sins are forgiven.
For Jesus, it IS all about sin, and teaching people of God’s abundant grace of forgiveness.
For their sins.
Denying something that is known to be sinful was not his thing.
Accommodation, the seeking to please, would not have caused him to end his life on a cross because the priests of his religion denounced him, and the people of his culture cried out against him.
But all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:21)
Every single gospel book declares him to be an object of hatred.
Abhorred. Detested. Considered an abomination.
And not just any old hatred. Hatred by all.
Because he healed people.
Because he raised his fists against the power brokers of his day.
Because he told people to repent.
This is not accommodation.
This is grace.
And so to the bakers of this world who are standing up to the power brokers of our day I say, If William Penn can refuse to take off his hat, then you can refuse to not top a cake with two guys holding hands and deliver it to the church hall on time.
It’s the true law of this land.
And to the rest of us, there is only question that needs to be asked here:
Did Jesus wash the feet of Judas?