Can We Have Our Cake and Eat It, Too?: How One Oregon Baker’s Decision Affects the Community

Many of you have heard about the Oregon bakery that recently refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. One of our guest bloggers, Josha, lives in the same town as that bakery. She, like the owner of the bakery, is a Christian… but Josha is also gay. How does a situation like this affect a community? How does it affect LGBT people who live within that community? Here’s Josha’s take on it. -Mandy

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I’d like to share about a moment in which I was disheartened.

lesbian wedding cakeThe background is that there is a local bakery, about a mile from my house and about a mile from the church I attend. Recently, the bakery denied a lesbian couple a wedding cake in support of their stance on what they believe is right vs. wrong.

The church I attend has a wonderful tradition in taking the time at the end of each Sunday morning service to collect prayer requests. The elder of the month reads them and immediately leads the congregation in a prayer for the requests. Today, someone presented a request for this local bakery and called for more support from Christians to help this bakery make a stand against “gay marriage.” The elder stated, “We need to support those who support the Lord’s way.” This is the moment in which my heart sank, while many in the congregation said “Amen.” My heart sank, not because I am “homosexual,” but because I’m a Christian who seeks the Lord. And as a Christian, I do not believe that denying a couple a wedding cake is the “Lord’s way.” Whether you agree with gay marriage or don’t agree with gay marriage, the “Lord’s way” is not to deny a service due to that person’s ethnicity, race, color, gender, or sexual preference. Discriminating, that is “the human’s way.”

As a health care provider, I serve the physical needs of people. I have recognized within 6 years of serving, there are ALL KINDS of people. And some of the people I have served have been “gay.” I did NOT say to them, “As a Christian, I am going to take a stand on what I believe to be the ‘Lord’s way’ and not give you physical therapy.” I serve everyone who comes into my path where I work. In the health care system it is called “unconditional positive regard.” In the Kingdom of God, it is called “God’s unconditional love.”

(And as an acknowledgement to my humanity I have struggled in serving people who are arrogant and self entitled, raging alcoholics, “male dominate” mindset, and racist, to name a few. At these moments I don’t only remind myself of “unconditional positive regard,” but I remind myself of who I am in relationship to God and am called to love with “unconditional love.”)

I realize it is important to stand up for what one believes to be right. My concern in the case of the bakery is that the stance is out of ignorance. I wonder if any of these people who are protesting for support of the bakery’s stance thought about the souls of the couple who wish to celebrate their love? Do they know people who are gay? Do they talk with and learn about the pain that people who are gay endure?

Furthermore, I’d like to know if there is some kind of survey each couple has to fill out at the bakery, prior to ordering a cake. Would this bakery deny a divorced individual who is getting remarried? Would they deny a couple that had sex before marriage? Would they deny someone who is not a “Christian?” If that person were a “Christian” would they deny that person a cake if they were not from a certain religious sect of Christians? What truly is their standard on whether they will provide for a couple or not?

Assuming there is no questionnaire or issue with other religious right/wrong with marriage, my question is, why do they stop their service when the couple is same-sex?

As one who is “homosexual” and as one who is Christian, I would like to say to the baker of this bakery, “I will not hate you. I will not speak in ways that curse your name. I will not threaten your life. In fact, if you were harmed, I would want to help you. But I also want you to know that people who are homosexual have the same desire for pure and genuine love as people who are heterosexual. And it sure does hurt when people put up barriers to celebrate that love.” I’m guessing he does not know this because so many people who are “gay” seem to be retaliating in hateful ways toward him.

While there are going to be “bakers” out there who don’t invite certain people to their bakery, the Lord’s Table is different. At the Lord’s Table, all are welcomed and are served with no conditions. I pray that I can continue to learn how to serve all people, as does the Lord.

And finally, if I were so blessed to have someone in my life that produced a love worth celebrating I would choose “The Lord’s Bakery,” to order my “cake.” Knowing that the Lord, being The Baker, would willingly provide me a “cake” to celebrate such a special love and commitment. And as a Lover, I would appreciate the Lord’s service. And because of the Lord’s service, my Love and I would celebrate our love with a Community of People who would share in the “cake” and in The Love and all would be well within a world filled with greed and hate.

12 responses to “Can We Have Our Cake and Eat It, Too?: How One Oregon Baker’s Decision Affects the Community

  1. This is the typical anecdotal and sentimental stuff that is found on this blog. The issue isn’t how people feel, but what the biblical teaching on this subject is. You cannot reconcile homosexuality and Christian conduct biblically (1 Cor. 6:9-11, e.g.). God’s unconditional love does not mean He accepts us as we are. It means He has provided a way of deliverance from His coming judgment if we turn from our sinful thoughts and conduct and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. And then if we do this, we will know His love in a way He shows to only His repentant children. If the bakery is run by Christians, they have the right to serve whom they want to and whom they don’t want to. And that is not necessarily an ‘unloving’ act. Every ‘gay christian’ I know is way too biblically and theologically simplistic. And they’ve all bought into the ‘God loves us all as we are’ junk that much of evangelicalism has peddled for way too long now.

    • We both know that we sincerely disagree on this topic, although I always welcome your input. You can call my personal theology anything you want… but do not call it “simplistic”. My journey (and the journey of everyone here) has been anything BUT that. To reduce it to a word like “simple” implies that hardly any thought, or prayer, or turmoil, or pain went into this research. I believe that the Bible is important… the most important collection of books in Western civilization! But I believe it is best read along with a healthy dose of reason, and in light of our history and personal experiences. You are free to interpret it however you like. I may not agree with you, but I will certainly respect your opinions.

      • X-Gay Apologist

        I certainly do not mean to downplay the difficulty and pain of anyone’s personal struggle. I am not insensitive to how agonizing that can be. By ‘simple’ theology I am referring to what appears to be a reductionist view of biblical teaching that narrows everything to ‘the love of God.’ While that is a central element in biblical and Christian theology, it is not the whole story. Our perspective on anything has to be determined by the Word of God. This is true even when everything in our being wants to challenge it. I know the painful questions that made me want to scream out to God, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ and ‘Why don’t you take these desires away? Don’t you really care about me?’ But the Bible told me that God didn’t make me this way and that the process of redemptive change takes time and proceeds differently with each of us as God sees fit. Often what we think and feel clash with what God’s word says, but the problem isn’t with the scriptures. So I sympathize with your journey, but not with your perspectives on scripture. If the Bible isn’t authoritative for what we believe and how we live, then all we have is opinion. And that leads to dead end.

  2. “At the Lord’s Table, all are welcomed and are served with no conditions.” I think if we can just get this through our thick skulls, we’ll all be better off.

    Thank you from a straight, thick-headed sister of two gay siblings who accidentally bought a book by Sara Miles that set me on a path that changed the way I think.

    • Problem is there are conditions for sitting at the Lord’s table…repentance and faith. Not just anyone is welcome.

      • To X-Gay Apologist:
        I’m a “baptized believer,” I have never indulged in a sexual relationship, not even a kiss. I try every day to live with intentions to honor God with a steadfast faith. I study The Living Word to seek wisdom, to learn about relationship with God and who God is and how I ought to live in relationship with others. I worship/study/serve with church family at least 3 times a week and look forward to partaking in communion regularly. But NONE of this is what makes me welcomed to the “Lord’s Table”. I’m welcomed to the “Lord’s Table” because of Christ and the love of God, period. And I will try my best to use scripture in order to be like Christ and NOT use scripture in the ways that the Pharisees used them.

        I realize that the bakery has the right to refuse service to whomever they want to refuse service and it does not mean they have “unloving” hearts. I know they are just standing up for what they believe to be right. I’m not judging them. My hope for the circumstance is that there could be more education. Just as they don’t want to be viewed as “haters,” I don’t want to be judged as a “perversion” or an “abomination.” And most of all, I want people who are homosexual to know that they ARE welcomed to be in the presence of the Lord.

  3. Beautifully written, Josha. This is the type of inclusion that Jesus calls all of us to participate in – around his table as well as in everyday activities.

    • Homosexuals are welcome into the Lord’s presence only if, like any other sinner, they first turn from their sin and believe on the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s Supper is a meal for only those who have become disciples of Christ through repentance and faith. That’s not a Pharisaic use of the Bible, it’s the truth that the Bible teache.

  4. I love this blog post! It speaks with the voice of God’s love. To “x-gay apologist” I would only say that many before you have been convinced that the Bible said one thing and were willing to go to war over that interpretation or view, only to discover later that they were wrong. I would suggest that you continue to pray with an open heart and ask God to speak to you and show you His truth on this subject. If you really do keep an open heart to God’s leading, He might just surprise you with what you hear.

  5. What the Bible says is pretty clear. We like to evade that fact by saying it’s a ‘matter of interpretation’. God leads by His Word and Spirit, and they led me out of homosexuality as contrary to both. God’s love does not contradict His moral requirements. So the voice of God’s love is not speaking on this blog post. It’s rather an attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable.

  6. I’ve been working with a 93-year-old lady to help her through physical rehabilitation. We laugh and work hard together. Today she told me, with her Southern Bell accent and raspy voice, “You make life beautiful.” This meant so much to me because this lady is blind. I respect and trust what she “sees.” I hope that I can be more “blind” to how I perceive others and myself based on human “eyes”, and can learn more and more to see how people and couples of all kinds can make life beautiful. I strongly believe that the spirit of Christ is living and at work within our souls to make life beautiful and we are blessed when we recognize this in others. And that is something I have learned from the story of God in relationship with humanity.

  7. Pingback: Update on Oregon Bakery: Guest Blog Series | Coming Out Christian

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