21st Century Evangelicalism Responsible Citizens

Let Them Eat Cake

Freedom of religion is a valued tenet of American life. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free exercise of religion.

In June, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriage, which caused many Christians to fear their first amendment protections were eroding. Following this ruling, two Christian bakery owners refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. They believed they were demonstrating their personal convictions and their faithfulness to the Scriptures. Another situation has been in the news where one Christian owner of a flower shop refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding on the basis of their religious convictions. Though the vast majority of Christian business owners serve the general public without hesitation, conservative Christian pundits have praised the few who have denied service to same-sex couples saying they are standing for their faith. But are they?

As I’ve participated in missions work around the world, I’ve stayed in hotels and eaten at restaurants owned by Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and a long list of other faiths. In the United States, I’ve often stayed in Marriott chain hotels, which are owned by Mormons. The gracious hospitality these establishments showed me did not indicate to me that they endorsed my Evangelical Christian faith. It meant they recognized me as a customer and treated me courteously and humanely. I appreciated it. Their willingness to trade with me earned them income and provided me the things I needed to fulfill my Christian calling. If they adopted the ideology of only doing business with those who believe and practice their same convictions, we Bible-believing Christians would be out in the cold and hungry, having been discriminated against because of our faith.

So let’s take this ideology to its logical conclusion. If we Bible-believing business owners refuse to serve those with whom we disagree or who violate our Christian convictions, we will run into a problem. Jesus taught that anyone who marries a divorced person is committing adultery (Paul gives us limited exceptions). So should Christian florists avoid selling flowers to those who are celebrating their second, third, or fourth Christian wedding? The Bible teaches that we should not forsake the gathering of ourselves together. So should a Christian bakery refuse to provide pies and cakes to a family that does not attend church? And the Bible is very clear about the necessity of praying without ceasing. Does this mean we should refuse to do business with people who do not have a consistent prayer life?

Of course these examples sound absurd. But they are no more absurd than a business owner refusing to serve someone in the public under the guise that the customer violates their core religious beliefs. Where do we draw the line? Just with same-sex couples? Or with those who don’t participate in our denomination? Or with those who are in our denomination but don’t practice their faith the way we think they should? With this way of thinking, a devout Catholic car salesman wouldn’t sell to a Protestant, a good Baptist would refuse to rent a room to a Church of Christ member, and the Dalai Lama would starve to death trying to travel in Europe, America, or the Middle East.

Religious leaders mislead Christians when they state Christians are being denied religious liberty when the businesses and corporations they established for the purpose of serving the public, are, in fact, required by law to serve the public. Serving the public is simply serving the public.

Nothing in the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage requires us as individuals or churches to attend, support, endorse, or perform same-sex marriages. Actually, the Supreme Court decision articulates that this decision must never be construed in any way to restrict religious worship or expression. But just as Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu hotel owners rent me a room and provide me meals while I am in their cities for Christian meetings, so should Christians who own public business serve the public, without passing judgment on their customers’ personal choices. This practice does not violate our Christian faith.

How do we know? Because of the way Jesus responded to sinners. Just one of many New Testament examples is in Matthew 9:10-11 which reminds us, “Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher [Jesus] eat with such scum.’” Another would be when Jesus fed the multitudes, he did not exclude any particular sinners. Certainly Christ had no problem at all serving the general public, even sinners. He did that very thing on the cross.

I am confident the Christian owners of bakeries and flower shops are well aware that it is not their self-righteousness that saves them, but Christ’s righteousness freely given to them by God’s grace. It might be wise for all of us who are enjoying the grace Christ has given us to extend that same grace to others. We might even go so far as to let them eat cake and enjoy some flowers too.
Others are interested in your response and I appreciate your feedback. Please ensure that your comments are are informed and contribute constructively. Your thoughts after reading the blog are certainly welcome, and I read all of them, but they will only be published if they are helpful to the discussion. At times, after reading a comment, I go back and correct or improve the blog. Thank you.

By tedhaggardblog

Ted Haggard is the Sr. Pastor of St. James Church in Colorado Springs, CO and founding pastor of New Life Church and past president of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is the husband of Gayle, and the father of Christy, Marcus, Jonathan, Alex and Elliott.

62 replies on “Let Them Eat Cake”

Thanks Pastor Haggard, you and your wife have such a beautiful spirit.  Shining true with the Love of Jesus. Much Love in Christ, Caroline and Michael Vigilante 

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Great article Pastor Ted.

I have to say that I have been guilty of defending the rights of business owners like the people who would not bake a cake for a gay wedding. I was convicted to change my attitude regarding how to handle situations like these.

In reality, baking a cake for a gay wedding is NOT participating in the wedding but rather doing business with the public NOT as a “gay” couple…

Thanks so much for this article Pastor Ted…It has opened my eyes to my own ignorance in this area.

Lord bless you,

Your response Pastor Ted comes from a place of love. Sadly some of the reaction to the scotus decision comes from hatred. When the woman was found in adultery he could have joined in the stoning. But as Rob Bell tells us so clearlly, Love Wins, As Christians we don’t need to join the Westboro Baptist Church with hatred.

Great explanation. I fully agree that Christian businesses should provide a service to the general public regardless of who or what they are, and I believe that this is what’s actually happening. However, a Cake Shop owner in Belfast has been prosecuted, not because they refused to provide a cake to a gay couple, but because they refused to put a message on the cake that explicitly supported same sex marriage. I would sell the cake, as would they, but I would not sell my beliefs, and neither would they, although sadly some will.

Thanks for your compassionate and Jesus led response. It’s remarkable that Jesus didn’t never called the outsiders, the lesser thans, the marginalized, or even the sinners with whom he ate, “scum”. Only the Pharisees did that.
I hear too many of those who call themselves Christians doing some horrific name calling.

Of course those muslim, buddhist, and hindu hotel owners rented you a room. Sleeping is not contrary to their beliefs. But I’d be willing to bet that those same muslim, buddhist, and hindu hotel owners most certainly WOULD deny you the use of their banquet room to give a lecture about Mohammed being a pedophile/false prophet, or about Buddhism being an empty, meaningless and false ideology, or about the falseness of the hindu pantheon. Try asking that muslim hotel owner for a ham sandwich and see how fast he denies you. Those bakers and florists did not deny to do business with gays. Any gay can walk into any christian-owned bakery and purchase muffins, cookies, or cakes for any other purpose with no problem. They simply denied to provide items for the celebration of sin; something no christian should ever do.

I agree with both Kyle and Barbara. The problem with the law is that it institutionalizes what God has called sin. I am a sinner saved by grace and I choose to practice loving others, regardless of their beliefs or ethnicity, however I do not believe that it is necessary for a Christian to take part in celebrating sin. As Kyle said, the bakers and florists did not refuse doing business with gays, they just couldn’t justify helping them celebrate sin for profit. There are many other businesses that would not have a problem with this. I think it is extremely unfair to call those who are standing firm in their faith, self righteous or judgmental.

So if you sell tobacco or alcohol or anything that is a sin to other people what then would Christ say. Um this subject is a grey area and people have the right to believe in practice what they feel is right or wrong. We have to listen to the Spirit and not support sin, but the law of the land will justify discrimination on their behalf. We should always help people come towards Christ in a way and not hate them.

Kyle, it seems to me you have missed the point of Pastor Haggard’s message, sadly.. First of all why would anyone do what you suggest. This is totally disrespectful. Who are you or anyone else to say that about someone else’s belief? Ofcourse, they will react in the way you expect or to ask a muslim hotel owner for a ham or pork sandwich. What is your point? All it does is, show your attitude toward others, one that is very disrespectful and to me does not show any kind of advancement towards unity among our fellow human brothers and sisters irrespective of our differences in our beliefs. Jesus to me always talked about love, grace and forgiveness. These things spring to the fore while reading this article, much like the bible. Yet, as Christians we love sight of what Jesus and God is really about. It is not ours to judge others but to strive to live the life Jesus showed through his own examples. Through our actions, shall we be judged. The very things we as Christians do and preach sadly turn others away from Christ. We pick and choose what we will stick to, using Jesus as our excuse for our actions as in the case of the florist and cake shop and many more misguided Christians.. Our faith and love of Jesus guide us in our daily lives because alone, I cannot do the things we as Christians ought to do..

Well said. We think serving gays or Muslims violates the core of our faith, yet we have no problem celebrating Jewish customs or holidays despite the huge difference between their religious beliefs and ours, and those differences don’t violate the core of our faith (which is believing Jesus is the Messiah) ? Wow. The whole bakery thing is yet another example of how we make exceptions all of the time and it shows the world how truly flaky we can be, which basically means we are really immature. Until pastors everywhere tackle this problem, Christian immaturity will continue to polarize us from one another and from the message we all claim we are responsible to bring. I say, “Grow up church.”

Hi Ted, I don’t disagree with your post, but if as a Christian baker they ask for me to write, “Gay Marriage is Great,” or “God Who? Get Over It! All the best to Dick and Bob,” or “Divorce is no big deal, party with me after the court date,” “Happy Porn Day – Let’s Get Naked”…I would not want to sell that cake. Having said that, the much bigger issue here is power and what I feel is the foundation now for the intentional attacks and attempted eradication of church establishments and Christian organizations…the first time you are asked to marry two men in your church and you refuse (I am assuming you would),…there will be a lawyer in the parking lot, the first time Liberty University or Regent University addresses the sinful nature of homosexuality in a class there will be a lawyer in the parking lot. The Supreme Court stated that their recent “opinion” (more like judicial activism and law making) will not impact one’s right to their own religious conscience…they ‘say’ that but I believe we are in for a world of trouble and the true Body of Christ will be tested…all Praise the our King Jesus…may we stand with Him when those days come and they will…that is the true nature and the true objective of the homosexual lobby…it has precious little to do with “love winning” anything…it is all about chipping away at the Judeo-Christian foundation of the nation and directly attacking Christianity. We are entering new times…dangerous times for our nation….each family will have to decide where that line will be drawn….as for my family, we will serve the Lord. Like you, I will eat at the Muslim restaurant, (in fact I just did in Jaffa one month ago), I will love my atheist friends, I will love all (as a side note, I don’t always have to “like” them…you said that in a sermon one time many years ago and it made me smile…you said, “I don’t necessarily like all Christians (or people in particular) but I love them…just love them from afar :-))…anyway, that always stuck with me). For what it is worth, I agree with your point regarding the gay baker….I would have sold the cake (in fact the one gentleman was fined $135,000 by a gay couple he had served several times before…this time around the gay couple had an agenda. Anyway, my two cents. Hope you and the church are doing well. Mike

Ted, thank you again for letting your light shine. I appreciate the clarity in which you address the subject. I am in agreement that Christ has never discriminated against anyone. I do think we should operate in, and display His likeness. I do have a question though. I know we are to respect the laws of those who have the rule over us, and thus respect the legal decision of the supreme court. I think the point most have an issue with the government is: does a person have the right to operate their own business in the manner they consider is in the best interest in all involved? Or, does the legal system dictate to them what they can and cannot do? I know another issue that is similar is fair housing. I know an aged couple that are fortunate to have an older apartment complex with 10 units in them. Most of the entire community, not just the complex, is 45+. They wrestle with being required, by law, to rent to families with young children and pets. The law makes it difficult for all involved. Children have to be afforded the liberty to be children. They need to be able to play, run, get loud, etc. The elders should be able to spend their latter years in an environment that is of their choosing. A good business man finds a niche and fills it. It is what generates a living for him.

In this situation the children would always be “exhorted” to be quiet; the elders might be stuffing their ears with cotton and looking for a different place to live; and the owners would have a greater turnover and vacancy rate. These owners have had individual rental houses in which they have gladly rented to families. They are very family oriented.

The rub comes when the letter of the law is enforced strictly by statute. With statutory law, there are penaltlies and consequences when the rules are deviated from at all. The owners who have invested money, labor, and years of management are not allowed the freedom to make an intelligent choice. They either suffer when controlling what tenants they allow, or when they allow anyone to rent. They either have to pay a penalty to the legal authorities, and possible law suits; or they have to suffer loss of business and lively hood.

I know this is a matter of law in the United States. There are protocols to follow in order to change unjust laws. I think there is confusion on the recent supreme court decision. People are witnessing what appears to be a disintegration in the liberties they thought were guaranteed in a document written on paper.

That is where we have lost the battle, as Christians. We have depended on the righteousness of man and his ability to produce, and sustain, a well intended legal document. The letter of law can never produce true life and liberty. It can only take it. It shows us our inability to walk perfectly.

The supreme court is man’s court and ruling on man’s written laws. They are doing the job that they have been given, whether we agree with them or not.

We, who are called the children of the kingdom, are citizens of a different judicial system. We must always remember this. We are in this world, but we are not of it. We must set our eyes on things above, not on things below. It is time we walk in the power that has been given us. Christ said He would give us power to “become” the sons of God. We must put away foolish and childish ways, and talk. We must now walk in maturity.

We must endeavor to walk in the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus!

To every person who find themselves looking for direction in a situation such as these, I would remind you of what Paul wrote Timothy was the purpose of his instructions. The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscious, and a sincere faith. It is time for each of us to take responsibility of our own walk. God will deal with all others in His time.

We have to make sure our heart is pure. We are to guard it with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life. I then have to ask myself, am I walking in your presence and will oh God?
Finally, is my faith in response to what He has spoken to us, or is it religion? We have to be real with ourselves.

We must leave the judgment of where others are with God. Remember Paul again. He exhorted the Corinthians to let every man be persuaded in his own heart. Let him who eats meat in good faith towards God, eat freely. Let him who obstains of eating meat, let him freely obstain. But let every man be fully persuaded.

Only the administration of the Holy Ghost can bring true freedom and liberty to the repentant sinner. But guess what. God can do it without us. If He asks us, let’s be quick to comply. But let’s let Him be God!

Man’s laws, man’s judges, man’s enforcement. God’s laws, God is the Only Judge. Let everyone walk to His glory.

Again, I thank you Ted for your faithful sonship and I thank God for His rich giftings in your life. Continue steadfast. Blessings to all.

Ted, you have completely missed the point. The baker’s objection wasn’t merely doing business with homosexuals, it was the fact the the homosexuals wanted something written on the cake that was pro gay marriage. This is what the bakers objected to and why they refused to do business with the homosexuals. Kyle’s reply to you above is correct. When you did business with people of other faiths, did you require them to let you promote your beliefs that violated theirs in doing said business. You’re comparing apples and oranges, brother. The bakers would not violate their on convicts to make a buck and I for one applaud them for it!

Thanks Ted. It is amazing how we Christians pick and choose the sins we take stands against. Great reminder about Jesus’ definition of adultery.

Preston…you are so right. Picking and choosing another’s sin is a whole lot easier than looking in the mirror. Also. aren’t Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus our neighbors we are called upon to love?

Thank you Ted. As always, well reasoned and thoughtful…most importantly, loving and reaching to the world. I wonder under what conditions early church “disciples” and followers of Christ served in a wide variety of Roman and Jewish occupations, often contrary to their express faith or positions on doctrine, but nonetheless, served with a redemptive attitude of love (the Centurion and “great faith” comes to mind). Unfortunately, the Western Church’s view of sin, confession, repentance, and sanctification has largely contributed to the “we vs. they” mentality of many. My congregation and I often rehearse Paul’s comment, “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) Love and blessing dear brother.

We are not saints until we reach heaven. We, as Christians, are all running the race, but we gain nothing if we quit before the finish line. Actually, we will lose our souls if we quit. As a Catholic, I believe that sanctification and salvation are processes not one time events. Each day, every moment, I can say yes or no to the Lord. When I sin, I must repent with sincerity and through the sacrament of confession John 20:23. Though grace is a gift from God, our response to grace, our free will, requires effort and work on our part. Hence Philippians 2:12 and Christ describing the difficulties of attaining Heaven Luke 13:23-25

Bro Ted,

Thanks for your thoughts on this. You bring up some great points.

I think there are two separate issues being addressed in this blog post, neither are simple issues.

1) The Christian ethics question.

Under what circumstances will you, as a Christian business owner refuse to do business with people? These questions are more difficult in practice than in theory.

We once owned a party planning company. Our income was from party rentals – church, corporate, etc…

Initially, my view was, “money is money” even if it comes from a source that I disagreed with.

Then we were faced with some awkward rental opportunities…

– We found out that a regular customer (a college fraternity) was using some of our equipment for rave style parties that involved some explicit activities. Not illegal, but not something we’d care to publicize. (Think inflatable arena with foam.)

– An alternative lifestyle group (think animal costume fetishes) wanted sound and lighting equipment for semi-regular events.

– A local bar wanted a rental contract where we provided different equipment weekly. One week would be for bikini oil wrestling, then bikini oil boxing, the next week would be for bikini oil riding on the mechanical bull (you get the pattern?)

These are real examples with no exaggeration.

So the first issue we had to wrestle with is “What are our personal convictions about our company participating in these events?”

The second issue was…

2) The Free Market question.

How would our business name, with a reputation for youth group, church and family events be impacted by doing business in some of these contexts?

Of course our business would suffer if we had our equipment at these events.

So I think Bro. Ted’s blog post addresses some of these issues well from the perspective of individual Christian ethics – and how Christians need to think through these implications in their businesses.

But to me, the more important societal issue is the second one.

For the sake of religious freedom and for the sake of the thriving free market, I’d rather businesses be free to make their own decisions and let the market reward or damage them accordingly.

Thanks for reading,

I think we are coming to the test of fire. Heat the furnace and we will see who is consumed and who comes out safe. The test of cake will not endanger us, but the leaders of Babylon always find another test for the servants of a foreign God. Something is askew. We are not being asked to merely eat with sinners we are being asked to confess our sin to another god. I am so sure we are in the grip of seduction that I can barely breath at times.

You are generalising and completely missing the point of the individual cases. It is a completely different proposition to serve people regardless of their sexual orientation than to be forced to produce something with a slogan completely against your religious convictions.

The issue is not whether we should or should not voluntarily participate. Some Christians will, some won’t. The issue is whether the government should punish Christians who refuse to do so voluntarily, because in good conscience, we cannot participate in endorsing what we believe is somebody else’s sin. Should the government punish, fine, and bankrupt Christians who refuse? Clearly not. Heavy-handed government-compelled religious participation would infringe on our religious freedom to opt out of their ceremonies, and force participation. That violates the Colorado Constitution, Article II Section 4, the Bill of Rights, which states “No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent.”

GASP!!! And what if we all latched on to this crazy notion that there is no “us vs them?” Then I would be left to face the true fact that my struggle is only myself and the things I as one single human decide to do or not do. Will I choose love to will I choose exclusion? Will I choose hate or will I choose serving? Jesus came for me. . .and he loves the person on the other side of the counter just as much.

Something also to consider…Jesus came to his own, those he forgave were those that were given the law…we are out here among those that don’t know God…even law told us this –

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be to you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

How much louder than law should “grace” speak?

Early on, I basically felt that the bakers were right. Then I began to realize that we have a great opportunity to be a demonstration of the Love of God. Probably the biggest hurdle we face is, what I see as a misconception, that to participate is to endorse. Somehow I think I know what Jesus would do. Extreme Love will trump extreme dogma every time.

A few others have touched on this. I’ll take it one step further.

I see all of life as “ministry.” Hence, no difference between the spiritual choices I make “at church” and “in business.”

It is one thing for me to proactively determine the race, gender, orientation, etc of a person and decide whether to serve them on that basis. There’s usually no reason for me to do so.

However, what about when someone wants me to explicitly do something that I in good conscience cannot do? If government can force me to do it anyway, now we’re in a Shadrach/Meshach/Abednego situation.

Can government force me to perform abortions because I’m a surgeon? Force me to decorate a cake to say things that I consider blasphemous to God? Force me to deny my faith in public? Attend and facilitate an event that is immoral according to everything I know?

I think that you are wrong. We should love them but excepting that perverted behavior is not ok. And you know it is perverted. Let us be Christ-Conscience instead of Sin-Conscience. If someone has a belief that is contrary or practice to the Bible it’s still doesn’t make It all right. God has the final word.

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments. I think they help others understand the topic immensely. I do read all the comments, so please ensure that they are informed and contribute constructively. Comments expressing any viewpoint are welcome, but will be published only if they are on topic, not vulgar or excessively use slang, and helpful to the discussion. At times, after reading a comment, I go back and correct or improve the blog. So please don’t hesitate to write. Thanks again!

Ted – The Christian owners of the bakery that did not want to participate in the gay wedding by creating the wedding cake have said that they have often served homosexuals including this same gay couple in their bake shop. They did so knowingly and cheerfully and with love.
They drew the line at participating in the wedding.
The Christian couple has not shown animosity or hatred; in fact, some would call it the highest form of love…….

Thanks for this reflection, Ted. This is a wonderful and wise insight into grateful living with others, in the midst of our differences. I believe this is an expression of Christ’s love in a world in which all people are beloved of God, even as we find our way forward in genuine struggle for how best to live and love with each other.

If it had been my bakery, I probably would’ve made the cake. However, your comment does not take into consideration the fact that they had bake cakes for this couple many times and have been friendly. They felt that baking cake for the actual wedding would be an endorsement of the wedding what you say in your article that you don’t have to do. Religious rights erode slowly, but surely when the erosion is ignored.

Ted Haggard is wrong. The militant homosexual community has TARGETED bakeries owned and operated by Christians to force their views upon them and bring about humiliation and lawsuits if they do not comply. The militant homosexual community is NOT targeting Muslim bakeries or Jewish bakeries or for that matter, secular bakeries which are found in every supermarket in America. We have gay couples, getting ready for what is supposedly a happy (gay) day, picking on bakeries owned by Christians and then bringing financial fines, public humiliation and lawsuits if they don’t get their way. Where is the love?

We greatly magnify the clout of the Gay/Lesbian community and underestimate the power and authority we have in Christ. If we would get off the soap box and go to our knees, revival would shake the nation, including those who claim to be homosexual

Very well said and written i support you on this one. We should stop judging others least we shall be judged. If i was the bakery owner i would have baked that cake with lots of love, if i was the florist i would have made beautiful flowers for them. I would even go ahead and asked to be invited to the wedding even if we don’t accept there believes. I would attend those weddings with gifts and cards that read “God loves you so much”… Lets show others the love of God even in our own places of business.

Go to this link, read the story of a satanic organization which “…just after 11 p.m. on July 25, unveiled a 9-foot statue of the goat-headed Baphomet, a pagan symbol of Lucifer. The 1-ton statue features two young children looking up adoringly at the devil.”

Suppose the organizers of this “event” had wanted to hire Christians to provide goods for their ceremony and the Christians had refused on religious grounds?
Should they then be forced to do so?
Take the arguments regarding the forcing one religion or group or any person to participate in any ceremony they feel is wrong and take that argument to its furthest reasoning.
Is this what you want now?

I’m from India. We don’t have this issue here yet. But for years we have faced another kind of practical reality. Very often, while renting homes, devout hindus will not rent it to non-vegetarians since cooking/eating meat clashes with their religious beliefs. Or people of different faiths will not rent homes to people of other faiths since they don’t want other religious practices being done on the rented property. Christian organizations hire only Christians especially if the nature of the work demands that the employees subscribe to a like faith in order to do the work, because its done from a Christian ethos. The work itself maybe secular, but evangelism is a part of it.

We have learned to live and let live. To respect these beliefs and look elsewhere for houses, jobs etc where we will be accommodated. Why can’t the gay community to do the same? Why be so militant?

To me as a Christian, serving a gay couple is one thing, but preparing a cake for a gay wedding would be an endorsement of a lifestyle and choice I don’t agree with. Especially since a cake is often highly personalized to the couple and the occasion. Besides as a business owner, don’t I have the right to refuse to serve whoever I don’t wish to without being hounded for it? The public have the right to refuse to buy my product. I cannot push it on the public.

Loving people is essential Christianity, and Jesus did that to perfection. However, let’s also remember he didn’t hesitate to condemn sin. He called the established religious elite/leaders of his day whitewashed sepulchers – that doesn’t sound loving. But He knew their hearts and didn’t hesitate to denounce sin. Yet, he welcomed Nicodemus and I’m sure, he’d have welcomed anyone of the Pharisees if they came to him. Let’s not forget that while God is love, he is also holy. Refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding because it goes against one’s beliefs, is a freedom of choice that has to be given or so I feel. At the end of the day, its all a heart issue – is it done respectfully, communicated lovingly, and our motives for our choices.

Besides don’t Christians in America have right to hold on to and practice their beliefs in the public sphere without being hauled up for it? Or is that reserved only for non-Christians? Forgive me, but from all what I hear and read, it appears Christians in America have very little space to practice their faith, than do I in a supposedly non-Christian country. For example, I won’t be pulled up for wearing a cross to work, because someone finds it offensive, or wishing someone Merry Christmas, or refusing to serve someone because it violates my beliefs…. I mention this, because I’ve heard about all this from friends who live there.

In the name of love, have we been too willing not to stand up for what is truth and right?

Hello sir.

I just read part of your blog in July about the Bakers refusing to serve the homosexuals. You gave reasons of if Christians who are divorced and are remarried several times over and other examples. But, where do we draw the line? Homosexuality is one of the greatest sins there are in my opinion, next to unbelief and pride.
Its one of the main reasons I believe God destroyed Sodom, the lust filled men going after the angels and Lot etc.
I stand with the Bakers. If Christians dont stand against their blatant rebellious gross sin against God then who will?
I believe theyre action declared to the world- Yes, we are Christians, by the grace of God we love you, pray you repent and be saved, but do not not agree with homosexuality, and will not bake a cake expressing our consent of your union. I hope you see that homosexuality is bad all by itself, and homosexual marriage is worse. And once again, if they baked that cake for them they would be approving of their marriage.

We will suffer persecution for living godly and standing for truth. I believe they were convicted by the Holy Spirit that they just could not with good conscious bake that cake for them. Remember everything is rushing very quickly now towards judgement. His mercy is running out. Christ is at the door! Birth pangs are closer and closer. Good is evil now. And evil is good. They will not endure sound doctrine. We need to pray as never before.


Most of the comments here cherry pick god. I don’t see a majority of these people using the “let’s make a cake” theory arguing for or against divorce, human slavery, poverty, etc. Let’s face it. Most of the people responding here are full of it. For example, do you check every wedding cake to make sure the straight couple is a man joined with a woman who is “pure”? Do you make sure that so many goats were offered for the transfer of property (the woman) to the husaband (the owner.) Do you ensure that the couple will not fornicate during the woman’s unclean time (her period?) Just checking. C’mon! You’re all full of it. You pick bits and pieces…but if you were fundamendalists, your theoretical bakeries in this argument would go out of business…the fact remains, very few people you interact with comply with ALL of the rules. So you pick and choose…and hope people that aren’t interested won’t cross-check all your facts with the good book. Honestly…in the bakery scenario, you should have a 100+ question checklist that everyone should fill out to ensure one complies with your alleged morals. Feel free to respond with your quotes and passages…just make sure you’re not using the ones I can find on any brochure I find in any bush station or truckstop in America. Try responding with original scripture and when you do, and I respond with passages one or two sentences before or after, be ready to explain away the exchange of goats, the stonings, the plural marriages, etc.

Ryan, fundamental to biblical understanding is differentiating between New Testament and Old Testament, who the biblical author was writing to and their meaning in their own culture, and the adapted moral principles that apply today. Your note is effervescent in ignorance and misunderstanding. Even an elementary course at a local Bible school and university could enlighten your view. The Bible was written over a 2,000 year period, 66 books, a variety of authors and cultures. You embarrass yourself.

Hello, Mr. Haggard

I was totally on-board for this article – up until your reference to same-sex couples as being “sinners”, or as eluded to by proxy of the Pharisees as “scum”. Painting them in this light (that they are wrong, they are sinners) allows one to more easily justify the ill treatment and discrimination they receive — just the opposite of what you otherwise seem to be emphasizing with this article. It’s subtle, but obvious – and I think it undermines the message of love and acceptance that you otherwise promote.

Charles Ball, heterosexual atheist – not that either trait should matter to anyone one single iota 🙂

PS. People like Wesley (who posted on September 17) scare the hell out of me.

I get your point. But what you and others aren’t recognizing is the fact that people shouldn’t have to compromise on their convictions in order to be considered loving to sinners. That’s Jezebel at its best, and it’s time for cleansing of that spirit from the house of God; which would include many of the issues you stated in your article, not just same sex marriage. Real love doesn’t compromise truth or buy into the twisted lies of false compassion or codependency, which says you must do what we want to prove you love us.

I wholeheartedly agree with you! Is one sin worse than another? Let us all examine our own hearts and minds for what lies within where the truth of our motives and intentions are hidden. Perhaps we are distracting ourselves from our own guilt by singling out others with whom we disagree. Let The Lord God Almighty deal righteously with all His creations. In the meantime focus on the quality of the works of your hands and service and not on the worthiness or unworthiness of those who patronize your business which is none of your business. In doing so, you may become an instrument of blessing to those of greatest need of The Lord’s healing.

There is a difference between serving a cake to a gay person…and creating a wedding cake for a gay couple. The wedding cake makes a statement of celebration and endorsement for a perverse relationship that attacks the very image of God in man. That celebration and endorsement would be a “yoking”.
2 Corinthians 6:14
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

You make some valid points. There is a separation and church and state in the US. Also, unless your business is one that sells religious items, religion shouldn’t be the reason you sell, or provide services.

Businesses open to the public should not discriminate, period! They wouldn’t want their taxes raised because they were “Christian” business owners.

Jesus would open his doors to a gay couple, assist them with whatever they were purchasing and wish them a good day.

Remember all you “good Christians” out there that it was Matthew 25:40, “And the King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever yo did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me”

Excellent, as usual. You really nailed it here, Ted. You inspired me 30 years ago when we first met and you still do today. May God bless you as you continue to teach the Word of God in a very simple and straightforward way. I love you, brother.

I agree with you Ted. Operating a business in the US is a right and an opportunity that comes with an obligation: Sell your products to customers that want to buy them. “Where do you draw the line?” Is the right question. Best not to try to draw it somewhere in between. The Klan burns the cross for Christian purity. I’ll bet everyone reading abhors that point of view. But what if a Klan owned business refused to serve black people in the name of the first amendment based on their warped sick interpretation of the Bible? I respect everyone’s deeply held religious beliefs, including merchants. And in no way am I comparing the merchants you mention to the Klan. I understand those merchants’ feelings I have deeply held Christian beliefs. But this is too slippery of a slope. Thanks Ted.

Thank you for this post and I totally agree.
When Christians refuse to do business or nurture relationships with those who choose alternative lifestyles we eliminate any possibility of sharing our faith or being the example Jesus taught.
When Jesus encountered the woman ‘caught in the very act’ He did not condemn her. His example to us through this story is that when we treat those who have chosen a sinful lifestyle any differently than He treated this woman we are wrong.
As a minister I have failed greatly and have been broken half into because of poor choices on my part. Through all this His grace has consumed me. I have no right to judge anyones choice of lifestyle. But I do have a command to love, encourage and demonstrate His grace. According to Scripture I have no other choice.
God bless you Ted!

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