Any time a Christian points out the Bible is clear on homosexuality being a sin and gay marriage deviating from God’s design, someone somewhere pops up to claim “their god” would not be opposed and they claim to be Christian. Occasionally though, you will find an honest biblical scholar willing to say that, though he supports gay marriage, the Bible is against it.
The truth is, the issue is not complex. Genesis 1 and 2 note that God created mankind male and female. He establishes the union of male and female as a marriage. Uniquely for the ancient Near East, He makes clear that women, not just men, are created in His image and in union male and female are complete. Then God prohibits all other unions, both between couples of the same sex and unmarried couples of opposite sex. The theme is consistent from Old Testament to New.
Believe it or not, there are Christians in America who still take their faith seriously and are not willing to twist the faith to conform to their views. They are in sharp contrast to those Albert Schweitzer noted at the turn of the twentieth century who go off in search of the “real Jesus” and find a Jesus who looks just like themselves. Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop is one of those Christians who really wants to conform to a 2000-year-old understanding of Christ instead of having Christ look like him.
Phillips does not bake cakes for Halloween, a pagan holiday. He will not bake for second marriages if the first ended in divorce. He will not bake cakes for gay marriages. He actually offered to sell a gay couple a wedding cake, but he was not going to adorn it with the decorations they wanted. Instead of going literally across the street to a different baker, they sued.
Taken before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the commissioners showed Phillips their open disgust for Christians who take their faith seriously. At least one compared Phillips’ refusal to the Holocaust. Another claimed Philips was just a bigot and his religious objection was just rhetoric. None of them apologized. Instead, they used their contempt against Phillips’ sincerely held religious beliefs to punish him.
His Majesty Anthony Kennedy, the most powerful man in the world, has now determined this is bad. Kennedy supports gay marriage, but he hates bullies. He led a 7-2 decision of the United States Supreme Court finding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not treated Mr. Phillips’ religious objections fairly. Essentially, Kennedy determined that government bureaucrats can hate religious people all they want, but they need to keep their mouths shut when they discriminate against the faithful. Nonetheless, a win is a win and Jack Phillips’ Masterpiece Cake Shop won.
The Supreme Court’s Obergerfell decision legalizing gay marriage fell in June, just as this case does. Pastors who spend a Sunday in February preaching on life to commemorate the Roe v. Wade decision should spend some time in June explaining to their congregations why God’s plan insists on marriage between one man and one woman. As more and more Christians experience hostility for their views, their pastors need to encourage them. Christians should acknowledge the Masterpiece decision is not very broad, but they should be encouraged by one Christian’s refusal to yield to secular hostility.