Would Jesus Bake a Gay Wedding Cake?

Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, on "The View" in New York City, June 29, 2017. | (Photo: Youtube/"The View")

In Colorado, cake artist Jack Phillips declined to bake a specialty cake for a same-sex wedding. Why? Well, Jack Phillips is a Christian and the "what would Jesus do" question is real for him. That leads us to ask what Joy Behar asked Jack Phillips during an episode of The View last month. "Would Jesus have baked the cake?"

Phillips and his attorney contended that Jesus would not have baked the cake. Joy Behar insisted that she was speaking for Jesus and declared that He would have.

Carmen Fowler LaBerge is president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee and host of "The Reconnect with Carmen LaBerge," radio program. | (Photo: Courtesy of Carmen LaBerge)

In order to answer the question, "Would Jesus bake the cake?" we have to know Jesus. Not just any Jesus or some genie-Jesus, but the real Jesus.

When Jack Phillips says he cannot bake a cake because of his sincerely held religious beliefs, those beliefs are based on something. And in this case, those beliefs are based on Someone.

So, would Jesus have baked the cake?

Which leads to the follow-on question, "Why not?" Because Jesus always does the will of the Father. He literally — and I mean literally — never does anything apart from the will of the Father. Jesus cannot be separated from Who He is (fully God, fully man) which means He and the Father are one — one mind, one will, one redemptive plan, one Spirit, etc.

Some might protest, saying, "But Jesus loves people and Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. Isn't that proof that He liked to celebrate other people's joy?" First, yes, Jesus loves people but Jesus also hates sin.

The reference to the wedding is from a story John recounts in a chapter of his gospel. Yes, Jesus does turn water into wine as an extravagant demonstration of His power over the elemental things of life and an act of grace for the couple who would have been very embarrassed if the wine had run out. It's a lesson in the abundance of God's grace, but it should not be taken to mean that Jesus is a genie Who does our bidding. To suggest that Jesus' participation in the wedding at Cana is an affirmation of same-sex marriage is adding to the text something that is not there.

"But how can we know God only wants one kind of marriage?" you ask. Because the Bible tells us so — and Jesus affirms it. In Matthew 19:1–8, in His answer to a question about divorce, Jesus positively affirms marriage by God's good design. Quoting Genesis 2:24 when Jesus answers, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.'"

Jesus is referring all the way back to the good old days of Creation when everything was right with the world. A creation for which He was present and in which He was fully active. That's right. Jesus, as the second member of the Trinity, was present and participating in creation. When the Gospel of John says that in the beginning was the Word and then describes Jesus as the Word made flesh, the Bible is pointing to Jesus' eternally present nature.

So, the same God Who speaks in Genesis is speaking in Matthew 19, and He cannot contradict Himself. That's the real issue in the question of whether or not Jesus would bake the cake: would Jesus contradict Himself?

If people do not understand and acknowledge the reality of Who Jesus is, then they think they can put words in His mouth and have Him conform to their ways. If you know and acknowledge Jesus is the son of the living God and that He and the Father are one, then you know He wouldn't bake a cake because to do so would be to bless or affirm or celebrate that which is contrary to His own original and good design for human life and flourishing.

But better than baking a cake, Jesus does one better — He offers Himself as the Bread of Life. To understand this concept read John 6:28–69. When asked what God requires, Jesus answers, "to believe in the One whom God has sent." The people respond by requesting Jesus perform a miracle to prove He is the One. But Jesus isn't a genie Who does the bidding of people. Jesus reframes the conversation and tells them He is the very "bread of life who has come down from heaven." He is their provision and those Who believe in Him receive much more than daily bread or a cake, but everlasting life.

Carmen Fowler LaBerge is president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, host of "The Reconnect with Carmen LaBerge," radio program, and author of Speak the Truth: How to Bring God Back Into Every Conversation, to be released September 25th. 

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