So you and your partner are finally getting married.
This must be a really happy time for you! After all these years of waiting, you can finally marry the person you love the most. And, understandably, you want other people to be happy with you and for you. After all, this is a momentous occasion in your life, one you will look back on with much fondness.
You want me to bake your wedding cake (I couldn’t really bake a wedding cake, but let’s suppose I could).
This puts me in a difficult predicament. You see, I really do love you. I don’t mean that in a, “We are the world,” kind of way. I mean I really love you, as a person. Please ignore what people like Pat Robinson, Phil Robertson, and the political pundits on Fox News say. I’m a Christian, and one of the things that is supposed to define me as a Christian is true love for other people.
Yes, I know, there are times when I do a terrible job of loving others. I get angry in traffic, cuss people out in my head (not out loud – what would other Christians think?), and have a hard time getting along with certain people. But I’m changing, ever so slowly.
But it’s precisely because I follow Jesus that I find myself in this predicament. See, the Bible makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin. Don’t get me wrong: being gay doesn’t mean that you are a worse sinner than me. I don’t fit in well with those who have their act together. In fact, if you knew the vile thoughts and desires that course through me on a regular basis, I suspect you probably wouldn’t want to hang out with me.
If you asked me to bake you a cake for any other occasion, I would gladly do it! Heck, let’s break out the candles! I’ll bring the wine! Let’s make dinner together. I’ll bring my family and you bring who you want!
But by asking me to bake a cake for your wedding, you’ve asked me to help you celebrate something that I believe is truly wrong. I know this is a bit confusing so let me try to explain a bit more. I believe that your marriage is morally wrong. For me to bake a cake for a celebration of this marriage would also be wrong.
And trust me, there are loads of other events I wouldn’t bake a cake for. For example, I wouldn’t bake a cake for Mormon child’s initial baptism party. I believe I would be helping to celebrate and honor something that’s sinful.
Do you see where that puts me? If I asked you to help me host a celebration of something that went directly against your conscience, how would that affect you? Would that cause you any inner conflict or turmoil? Would that cause you to struggle at all?
I get it. My refusal to bake a cake for you makes it seem like I am directly opposed to you. Like I am trying to stand in the way of your happiness and joy. Like I’m a terrible bigot who hates people.
I understand that. I understand that you probably feel hurt because I’m not celebrating a happy moment with you.
But that’s not it at all! It’s simply that my allegiance to Jesus means that I can’t celebrate something Jesus doesn’t celebrate. Jesus is one person who matters more than anyone else to me, and by asking me to bake a cake for you, you’ve asked me to go directly against Jesus.
As much as I love you, I just can’t do that to Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in my life.
Speaking of Jesus, you probably have mixed feelings about him. Or at least about the people who claim to follow him. But here’s the thing you need to know: Jesus loves you more than you could possibly imagine. He wants you to have as much joy as your heart can handle. But that overflowing joy can only come from Jesus himself, who created you and who created joy. You can’t find the deepest joy in anything but Jesus Christ.
How about after you get back from your honeymoon, you come on over to my house for dinner?
Thanks for listening and for your friendship.