Jesus Would Let Them Eat Cake

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop will be billed by Evangelicals as a victory for “religious liberty.”

It isn’t—at least not for these people. For them it’s license to be a jerk in Jesus’ name.

It’s about people professing to follow Jesus, who don’t have the slightest concern about emulating him.

It’s about people who wouldn’t know Jesus if he showed up as the least of these, across the counter from them looking for their kindness during one of the most important moments of their lives.

A telling story is recorded by all four of the New Testament biographers of Jesus. It goes like this:

Jesus has been teaching in a remote spot and the place is packed. As with many preachers, he’s gone long and his disciples realize the logistical challenge developing.

They essentially say, “Jesus it’s getting late, it’s Sunday and Chick-fil-A is closed anyway, and people are getting hungry.”

Jesus, feeling compassion, says to his students, “Okay, you feed them.”

They begin to stammer and look around and shrug their shoulders—and the story goes that Jesus asks them to collect what they can, which turns out to be some bread and fish. He gives thanks for the food, blesses it, and multiplies it, feeding thousands gathered.

We can see the heart of God here through a radical act of generosity, and we see the reality that these Christians would rather ignore:

Jesus feeds hungry people.
That’s what he does.
He sees need and he fills it.

And as striking as what Jesus does here, equally revelatory is what he doesn’t do here.

There’s no moral screening attempted, no sanctimonious religious stands taken, no litmus tests given to verify everyone’s theology and ratify their politics, no review of their dating histories or sexual activity to identify those worthy enough to earn a seat at the table or to be fed.

Their hunger and Jesus’ compassion for them, makes them worthy.

That’s it.

This is why the Christians at the Masterpiece Bakery, and all the pastors and politicians and pews sitters celebrating today are frauds of the worst kind—because they don’t give a damn about Jesus. Their actions are in direct conflict with his. As they argue to exclude someone else based on their religion, they argue against their very namesake. They’re passing the buck of bigotry to a Messiah who will not accept it.

This isn’t about religion or liberty:
Muslims aren’t doing this crap en masse.
Jewish people aren’t either.
Neither are Sikhs, Buddhists, Pagans, Humanists, Wiccans, or Atheists.
That’s the point here. The people most commonly claiming faith or worldview while being jerks—are Evangelical Christians. 

And the saddest irony about it all, is that this is what the Bible these folks claim to love so much, warns against.

Jesus’ life and ministry pissed off the hypocritical religious phonies who feigned outrage while he dined with prostitutes, tax collectors, and the detested street people.

The supposed sanctified resented him because he expanded the table, welcoming women and Roman soldiers and non-Jews. 

It was precisely his hospitality and his refusal to deny people affection, proximity, dignity, or respect that made him so hated by his own.

Nothing new under the sun here.

Jesus washed the feet of his betrayer.
He healed on the Sabbath.
He touched the hand of a leper.
He dined with the disregarded.
He spoke in public with women on spirituality.
He made a despised Samaritan the hero in his story.
He embraced the outcasts.
He fed a disparate, sprawling multitude stretched out before him.

He’d have made the damn cake.

He’d be making cakes and providing refugees sanctuary and welcoming immigrants and giving people healthcare.

If Jesus were at the Masterpiece Cakeshop when a same-sex couple walked in, he’d be kind at the sales counter, effusive in his generosity, and joyful while making the most delicious cake he could muster—because he knew that ultimately love and compassion, not hatred and exclusion are what faith should liberate us to.

Based on the evidence in the Gospels, he’d gladly let LGBTQ couples eat cake, no matter how vehemently Christians carry on otherwise. He’d do that no because or in spite of who they were. He’d do it because they needed a cake and because making that cake would (like every other act Jesus performed) would let them know of their beauty and belovedness.

This case and ones like it, are simply about Evangelicals who claim to love Jesus, wanting another excuse not to simply be kind and decent to people.

Congratulations, you’ve won that.

The rest of us who see the audacious heart of Jesus, and think he meant what he said and how he lived—will keep feeding people with cakes and compassion.

 

76 thoughts on “Jesus Would Let Them Eat Cake

  1. The line between religious freedom and discrimination based on religious freedom seems to be a blurred one. That’s my opinion anyhow. I saw a video from the bakery owner and he doesn’t appear to be a religious zealot. I don’t know where the line is between exercising a person’s religious belief that gays shouldn’t get married and discrimination stands. If I was the baker, I would just bake the dang cake. If I was the couple, I’d just find another baker. I bet if you remove religion and motherrossas, you’d do away with this thing.

  2. Says Mr. Pavlovitz:

    “If Jesus were at the Masterpiece Cakeshop when a same-sex couple walked in, he’d be kind at the sales counter, effusive in his generosity, and joyful while making the most delicious cake he could muster—because he knew that ultimately love and compassion, not hatred and exclusion are what faith should liberate us to.

    Based on the evidence in the Gospels, he’d gladly let LGBTQ couples eat cake, no matter how vehemently Christians carry on otherwise. He’d do that no because or in spite of who they were. He’d do it because they needed a cake and because making that cake would (like every other act Jesus performed) would let them know of their beauty and belovedness.

    Says Jesus:

    If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5: 29-30)

    -When Jesus hung out with sinners, it was to help them change, not to further encourage their sin (as you clearly do Mr. Pavlovitz):

    “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

    When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

    Jesus also says:

    “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law [i.e.-Leviticus 18:22-You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination]or the Prophets [Moses, who wrote the above]. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    So no, Mr. Pavlovitz, Jesus would not bake a cake that would encourage anyone to sin or remain in sin.

    He actually came to die a violent and brutal death, so that people would have the opportunity to break free from the enslaving and destructive power of the very sins you keep encouraging people to embrace.

    You cannot love a single human being on this earth, and encourage him or her to love sin.

    • Mr P.

      excellent points. Progressives actually think that Jesus does not have any problem with their sin, because after all, Jesus broke bread w sinners. In fact Progressives down play sin. (at Pastor John’s church their website says, ‘sin is just not that big a deal.’)

      (come to think of it, the only sinners that they get upset about are orthodox Believer’s sin. )

      Progressive Christians are not looking very closely. Jesus didn’t go around knocking on doors and inviting himself into dark & perverted places. Jesus planted himself where he was invited. He was served and hosted in the most hospitable way.

      The sinners came to him. They wanted something DIFFERENT. They knew in their hearts that they were not on track. They were looking for a way out of their darkness.

      The sinners, prostitutes, thieves, homosexuals were attracted to Jesus’ message (‘Repent & Believe’). They flocked to Him. He did not go out into the camps of the Pagans and sit at their fire. He went where he was received. If he wasn’t received, ‘what has Light to do with Darkness’? He split.

  3. Was Sodom a story about using sex and strength to dominate and rape rather than about homosexuality?
    And if sex before the marriage sacrament is sin, did Adam and Eve go to hell?
    Jesus had about thirty years to say the important stuff. Did he mention homosexuality?

  4. I read a great comment today. “If selling someone a wedding cake is participating in a marriage, isn’t selling a gun to a shooter participating in a murder?”

    • Good point Joanne, although if the business is under the impression that the gun will be used in a murder, then for them to refuse service would be to do exactly what our baker did. You’re making his point for him in pointing out that he did the right thing. If you disagree, then you must agree that the gun store should sell guns to murderers lest they be branded as engaging in discrimination.

      • I wonder if he makes wedding cakes for serial adulters. How important is the sanctity of marriage to him?

        What I am saying that this is a slippery slope. What if one sees serving Jews, Mormons, Catholics as against his religious beliefs – or gay people, or women who wear make up or …. Maybe we could go back to the day when signs said “Negros Not Allowed” only listing all the people not allowed. Was that when America was great because I have always wondered when that was

        And you are wrong. If a gun seller sells a gun to someone he knows is going to commit a crime he is aiding and abetting a crime. Same sex marriage is not against the law. Apples and oranges.

  5. This decision did not deal with the religious freedom/civil rights issue at all. It was based on a procedural error made in a previous hearing of the case. The main question is yet to be decided.

  6. Pingback: Jesus Would Let Them Eat Cake - Harbourview Church

  7. “Muslims aren’t doing this en mass…”

    Doing what? Politely declining to decorate a same-sex wedding cake? Of course not; they’re too busy putting homosexuals to death in the Middle East. But that doesn’t matter. Jon Pavlovitz’s rageful hatred of Christians blinds him to any semblance of reason.

  8. I wonder how many people who disagree with baker nevertheless agree with the restaurant manager who refused to serve Sarah Sanders

    It’s also interesting that Ms. Sanders sides with the baker.

    It seems that partisans on both sides use special pleading here.

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