Ohio Governor John Kasich, in responding to a question at a recent CNN GOP Primary Debate, said that if Christians are in commerce, they should do commerce. What he meant was that if Christians own a bakery, they should make wedding cakes for gay couples. Though not explicitly, he also implicitly affirmed the legal actions taken against those business owners who have refused such service to gay couples—but I don’t intend to get into that point here. If you are interested in the debate clip, you can watch it here (it’s about 1.5 minutes long).
Other Christians have taken similar positions to the one held by Kasich, either saying, “It’s just a cake! Just make the cake!”, or, “I wouldn’t make the cake, but if another Christian has decided that it is ok, then it’s fine.”
I’m writing this post to clearly explain the reason why neither position is valid. A Christian who owns a bakery cannot both honor Christ and bake/sell a wedding cake for a “gay marriage”. That is not to say that someone can’t be a Christian and do such a thing. It is to say that such a thing is sin, something that a Christian is not permitted to do by their King, Jesus Christ.
As a quick aside, why am I writing about this anyway? Can’t Christians just get over this? Really, you’re still harping on cakes? Don’t Christians know that there are other desserts out there?!
This matters because righteousness matters. This matters because truth matters. This matters because obedience to Christ matters.
As has been said,
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
This matters because Christians are losing their livelihoods; husbands are losing their means of providing for their families; and they are doing so foolishly and stupidly, or they are modeling Christian obedience to the King of kings and Lord of lords in the face of mounting persecution, in a land that has not known such persecution since its early years.
But again, my point in writing is to clearly articulate why a Christian cannot righteously sell a wedding cake to two men who intend to eat it together at their “wedding”.
So, Step 1: A gay wedding is a lie and an abomination to the Lord. It is sinful. If that sounds harsh, take it up with God, not me. It’s his Bible, I’m just telling you about it.
How is a gay wedding a lie? Well, a gay wedding is saying that these two men are getting married. After a gay wedding, someone declares them to be married. And then that idea is celebrated with a reception. And none of that is true. It is not possible for two men or two women to get married. Why do I say that?
Moses writes in Genesis 2:21-25:
21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
These verses from the second chapter of the Bible make clear that marriage is not an invention of man, of culture, of time, philosophy, or society. Marriage is made by God. It is his institution, from creation itself. And while the Bible says much more about what makes marriage good, these verses make clear that marriage is between a man and a woman (that’s right, there is no gender spectrum in the Christian/conformed to the Bible worldview). So a gay wedding says something is that is not. That’s what a lie is.
How is a gay wedding an abomination?
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
In case you missed it, that means that men who practice homosexuality are going to hell. You can’t practice homosexuality and be received into the kingdom of God. Again, take that one up with God.
Paul writes in Romans 1:24-27:
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Paul describes homosexuality with such words as “impurity”, “dishonoring”, “dishonorable passions”, “contrary to nature”, “shameless”, and “error”.
A gay wedding is a lie and an abomination. It is clear in Scripture. If you do not see it, that is only because you don’t want to see it. It is because you love others things more than you love God.
Step 2: Making a cake for a gay wedding is giving approval to that gay wedding.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Isn’t that presumptive? Can’t I personally disagree with it and still sell a gay couple the wedding cake?
Nope. And yes. It is just that straightforward. Nope. You cannot do that. You can have all the personal assessments you want on the matter, and I sincerely hope that they are correct; but you personally disagreeing with someone else’s action in no way changes the nature of your own action. The making/selling of the wedding cake is approval in action. The cake is a central component of celebration in most weddings. You are with immediacy facilitating the celebration of the “wedding”. You are with immediacy celebrating sin. You are celebrating gay “marriage”, whether or not it is your intention to do so. Your intention matters a lot, even in this situation, but it is not decisive.
“With immediacy” is included in my wording intentionally. That is because I recognize that, technically, all actions within an economy facilitate other actions in that same economy, to one degree or another, as long as the action has a capital cost. But proximity matters when considering culpability. I’m a contributing member of society, so in some distant way my actions have bearing on some loser buying a car to use as a getaway car in a robbery. But that is substantively different from me standing beside a man who is about to shoot somebody, watching him murder, and then handing him a celebratory IPA.
Imagine I own a gas station; and I sell beer at my gas station. A man comes in with a smile on his face. He walks to the fridge, grabs a six pack, comes to the counter and slaps the right amount of cash in front of me. Still smiling, he says, “Sir, tomorrow I am going to shoot Bobby Joe in the face, just because. In anticipation of the big day, I want to buy this beer so I can celebrate over his corpse once the deed has been done.” Do you sell him the beer? I mean, you’re not the one who is pulling the trigger, right?
Of course you don’t sell him the beer!
He is breaking the law, committing an atrocity, and you’re not going to help him party about it.
But what if, by carnal coincidence, shooting people in the face, just because, was now legal in that locality? Do you sell him the beer then? Of course not. That locality saying murder is ok doesn’t make murder ok. Everyone knows that, but it is the Christian who can explain that. The action is still unlawful because it violates God’s law, rooted in the value of humanity since God created everyone and everything.
Because God’s law is clear, the Christian keeps his opposing stance no matter what that locality decides to put on the books.
Making a cake for a gay wedding is giving approval to that gay wedding, for it directly facilitates its celebration.
Step 3: Giving approval to sin is itself sin.
Paul writes in Romans 1:32:
32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
The context of the verse is Paul’s discussion of God’s right wrath, fury, and anger against the wickedness of people everywhere. So he lists a bunch of wicked things people do, and then he says that people are even wicked for approving other people’s wickedness. It is a damningly straightforward chapter.
So here is the argument in summation.
- A gay wedding is sinful.
- Making/selling a cake for a gay wedding is giving approval to sin.
- Giving approval to sin is sin.
Christians, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, are not allowed to make/sell cakes for gay weddings. They can sell birthday cakes to gay men. They can sell Tuesday cakes to gay men. But they cannot sell wedding cakes for gay “weddings”. It is unlawful. And sinful though Christians remain to be, we have to press on for obedience.
The Christian position is clear. Let the legal troubles come. We’ll be just fine in just a few years.