Heroes and Haters: When Living By Biblical Convictions Brings Scorn
By Benham Brothers
If fashion designers are heroes for living by their convictions, then cake bakers aren’t haters for living by theirs.
Unless, of course, you’re Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop or any other Christian artist refusing to participate in the sexual revolution.
In that case, you’re a hateful, discriminatory, bigot who deserves to be run out of business.
This is what we heard in the media (and from the ACLU) as oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission were delivered to the U.S. Supreme Court last Tuesday.
We were in D.C. that day and went to the Court the morning of oral arguments to show our support for free speech and free expression.
As the case unfolded, it blew our minds how the Civil Rights Commission of Colorado pressed the argument that Jack Phillips “refused to bake a cake for two homosexual men.” In fact, Jack testified he offered to bake them any cake they wanted on the same day they came into his shop.
But these men demanded a customized cake for their “wedding” – at a time when marriage was not even legal in the state of Colorado in 2012. It was more of a setup than a service request.
We should actually put “scare quotes” around “civil rights” when talking about the Colorado Commission – because its hypocrisy is simply astounding. Just one year ago, it ruled in favor of a cake baker who refused to bake two cakes for William Jack, a customer who requested two Bible-shaped cakes from another Denver bakery. The baker didn’t like the message and refused the service – and, by the way, we fully support the right to do this – so the customer sued.
The “Civil Rights” Commission ruled in favor of the bakery, saying it did not discriminate. Hmmmmm…
Back to Phillips.
This man is now being maligned as a hater for exercising his free speech and expression rights not because of discrimination, but because he is on the wrong side of the sexual revolution. It didn’t matter to the Commission that his convictions have been consistent over the years, as he refused to bake a Halloween cake when requested and also a celebratory divorce cake as well.
(Did he discriminate against those people? Of course not – it was the event he had a problem with. The headlines won’t distinguish that.)
So in the case of this “gay wedding,” his convictions remained consistent in that he refused to use his artistic expression to support an event that ran against his conscience.
But this common-sense logic matters not in the sexual revolution. If you’re on the other side of the ever-elusive sexual whims of the LGBTQ+ agenda, you’re a hater, not a hero.
Living in this context can easily get discouraging, especially for those seeking to live with Christian conviction. And, we’ve got to be honest: We were discouraged Tuesday morning as well …
Until I (David) turned to Psalm 37 in the wee hours of the morning before heading to the Court. I was blown away when I read verses 12-14:
“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in conduct.”
I had read that passage many times before, but I never saw it like this, given the gravity of the Phillips case.
And yet, as I read verses 3-6, I was greatly encouraged as a Christian business owner who desires to operate my business in accordance with my convictions today:
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.”
Regardless of whether or not I’d “bake the cake” (that’s between me and God – not the government), it’s vital I dwell in the land and cultivate faithful service for all my customers. To serve with excellence, whether I’m a baker, florist, photographer, printer or whatever I choose to be – I must keep being faithful in my work and my walk, committing it all to the Lord. And I should not be afraid of forced participation in messages and events that are against my convictions.
No matter what label we as Christians may receive (or decision the court may render), the Lord “will bring forth our righteousness as the light and our judgment as the noonday!”