“Jesus Ate Regularly with Tax Collectors and Sinners—So Why Can’t you Bake a Cake?”

Probably you’ve seen this provocative challenge on Facebook.
It’s interesting that this statement
doesn’t seem to mind who it clearly equates those ordering the cake with.

But the statement asserts that Jesus would be happy to eat with them.
And when it’s time for dessert, why didn’t you bring it, you bigoted baker!

When I was young, for a while it became a popular snappy comment, after somebody was bragging about something they had just done, to pooh back:  “Well, what do you want me to do, bake you a cake!”  And everybody knew there would be no chocolate cake with vanilla icing on the way.

For our wedding 26-1/2 years ago, Mary and I wanted the baker who would most put her heart into making us the best cake for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.  One of Mary’s best friends rose to the occasion with a delicious raspberry pound cake.

Who would even think about demanding somebody make such a special occasion cake when it would defile the baker’s conscience to do so, no matter what the reason might be!  James 4:17 says for that person it would be sin!

And the demanders would clearly label themselves.  Because Paul said a Christian must forego doing even something that would be lawful rather than cause someone to violate his conscience and stumble.

Well, today it’s no laughing matter when a baker, trying to honor His God and serve his community with a helpful business, is deliberately targeted by activists pushing their politically correct and morally  bankrupt agenda that everybody has a right to whatever sexual aberrancy they choose.

“They declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it” (Isaiah 3:9).  They boast about it!  “Pride” Ezekiel 16:49)!  “Yes, bake me a cake!”

“Well, why don’t you get somebody who would welcome the business opportunity to make you one?  They could really put their heart into it and come up with a “wow” creation that you dream of for your celebration that means so much to you?”

“No, you must do it or we’ll shut you down and bring you to financial ruin!”

What does Matthew 9 really say?

Did Jesus eat “regularly” with tax collectors and sinners?  That statement is from one special occasion when Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to become one of His disciples.  Matthew stopped whatever corrupt practices he was doing and followed Jesus.

Their first stop was apparently in Matthew’s house to eat, where Jesus and His disciples were joined by “many tax collectors and sinners” (verse 10).  Jesus did not go seek them for lunch or to give a keynote speech.  They probably wanted to say goodbye to Matthew and Jesus was no doubt happy to let them do that.   The Gospel of Mark adds that many of those guests then also followed Jesus.

Later in Jesus’ ministry, another tax collector named Zaccheaus so tree-mendously sought Jesus and was graced by Jesus coming to his house.  He  repented of his dishonest dealing.

“Sinners?”  The Pharisees hung that label.  They often used it on Jesus!  All of us humans are sinners and we gladly pray for His blessing on the meals and ask Him to dine with us in Spirit.

But we had better not be asking Jesus to bless us in our sins.  This is not working for America today.  Jeremiah says the time is coming when God will not hear such prayers, and I’m sorry, it looks like we’re there now.

Those who are sick need a physician (verse 12) and they need one who will not help them continue sick actions.  Jesus called sinners to repentance (verse 13).   He told the woman taken in adultery to “go and sin no more.”

When the gospels say Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s house, mentioned only one time as far as I can tell under short study, Jesus gave some spiritual instruction to the host and his guests.  Nicodemus was a Pharisee who came to Jesus by night and said “We know you are a teacher come from God” (John 3:2).  Jesus was happy to help Pharisees who came to Him.

Jesus said He did not come the first time to condemn the world.  But never did He participate in sin, celebrate it, condone it, approve it, or even wink at it.  He is Judge of all.  He can read minds and knows exactly how to gently and lovingly correct.  But He is not trying to save the world right now.  He did not dedicate His efforts to ending poverty in the land and He did  not take on the Romans.  He said His Kingdom is not of this world—yet.  He started and trained His Church to announce His soon-coming return to establish His rule over the earth.

So when people drive up to a Burger King window, a worker only needs to worry about letting them have things their way as far as the Whopper.

A Special Ed teacher would help her child no matter what issues they bring to the class.

When a landlord rents out a two-bedroom, he doesn’t need to know the relationship of the occupants or how they intend to use the two rooms.

The same would seem to go for a baker who sends off a prized creation.  Any of his customers could be leading sinful immoral lives.  The baker is not endorsing it.  He is not their judge now.

Today it seems a person who wants to run a bakery must be willing to bake such a cake if pressured into it.  And being a Christian would then compel him to do what he does with all his might and make the best cake he can (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  If he can’t do that because of conscience, he will need to seek God’s help in dealing with the persecution.

As for those ordering—literally—a cake.  Traditionally at a wedding, somebody asks “Is there anybody here with a reason why these two people should not do this.  Speak now or forever hold your piece.”  I can only hope they would

Read & heed Romans 1

Those are God’s words, and the kindest one is “shameful.”

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One comment

  1. shallowthinking · May 18, 2016

    Reblogged this on Shallow Thinking.

    Like

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