Wednesday

What Would Jesus Do Were He a Baker?

Much has been made of the accusations of gay discrimination and the subsequent announcement by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses contend allow discrimination against gays. Regardless of the legitimacy of the issue and what side of the argument Americans stand, I am flummoxed by the entire controversy.

I do understand the dismay of gays who feel their rights are denied by businesses who refuse offer them service. I also understand private businesses who believe that they should have the right to deny service to anyone.

What I cannot comprehend is how any person who professes to follow Jesus (i.e. a Christian) refuses to extend service to those whose lifestyles are deemed unworthy of their faith. 

What?  


What would Jesus do were he a baker?
Even more confusing is that I've not heard a single voice express their outrage at what seems to me to be an egregious demonstration of hypocrisy. 

Have we strayed so far that we've forgotten Jesus' response to the adulteress at the well? Clearly, the woman's behavior was anything by righteous. Regardless, Jesus took the time to serve... 

Why? He loved her. 

Yes, I recognize the concern of Americans regarding the ever-increasing governmental intrusion into every part of their daily lives. I too would prefer that government side with freedom, allowing our culture to fully experience the consequence of its behavior - reaping what is sown. 

However, when it comes to Christians denying service to those who do not share their faith, the disconnect of their action with the doctrine they embrace is mindbogglingly antithetical to everything Jesus taught. It's grotesquely absurd. 

My fellow Christians are fond of citing "love the sinner, hate the sin." Yet, for all its pith, for some it does not seem to amount to anything more than good intentions. 

I cannot think of any better way to display our love, a love worthy of the name Christian, than when we extend ourselves for the benefit of those whom we strongly differ. How else might others experience of the love of Jesus were it not for those who have professed to be his emissaries while living on the outside of heaven?

Unless I've missed something, and Jesus actually meant that the world will know we belong to him by our judgmentalism, it would seem to me that a more loving and Christian response to the non-christian is not rejection but expressing the heart of Jesus. 

After all, were it not for loving Christians who accepted me and took me in while I was lost, I'd still be reveling without a clue. Romans 5:8.


One last comment for my friends who are reading this and shaking their heads as if I’ve lost it (which was swiftly made evident after posting this on my Facebook page...).

One of the essential differences between God and human is that whereas people are quick to judge by outward appearances, God discerns the heart. God is not into 'gotcha' tactics or looking for loopholes to trip you up - like humans. He is ‘sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; he judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.'

I trust Him to detect the difference between loving others, reaching out with the hopes of reflecting His love and grace, from that of "celebrating" in harmony with behaviors antithetical to His design.

In other words, it's exactly the reason of hating sin and loving the sinner that Jesus, were he a baker, would have baked a cake.

That is, un
less someone would like to make the case that Jesus crafted furniture for only the righteous. 

Mark
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