Homosexuality

To Bake, or Not to Bake…

Earlier this month, a blogger posted her thoughts on the highly debated issue of gay marriage and what should be the proper Christian response. More specifically, this blogger cited the Christian baker that was sued for refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual couple’s marriage, and compared it with Jesus’s remarks found in Matthew 5:41, “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

The main argument was that if Jesus called us to “go with him two“, the Christian baker should have baked two cakes for that couple. For several reasons, I respectfully disagree with that bloggers take on how Christian’s should respond to these situations.

While I don’t think that the issue of gay marriage will be resolved through a simple blog post, I do think we shouldn’t shy away from talking: because that’s what Jesus did. He spoke with his disciples. He had conversations with people, even if he had to cross cultural and social bounds to do it. This simple post isn’t going to give the solution to the gay marriage debate. I don’t intend to chime in on the whole cake baking (or not baking) ordeal either. This post, simply put, is meant to just offer a few reminders in regards to gay marriage and the proper Christian response.

 

Gay marriage is one sin among many.

From my interpretation of scripture (and many other pastors for that matter) the Bible seems to be clear in labeling homosexuality as sin. For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul is calling out all their wrongdoings within the church and specifically calls out homosexuality as sinful. We must remember, though, that homosexuality is one sin among many. The fact is, we’re all sinners deserving of death. We’ve all screwed up. Each and every person living on the face of this earth has a laundry list of sins that God doesn’t approve of. We first need to keep this in mind when approaching the homosexuality discussion.

 

God doesn’t advocate or support sin, nor should we.

The fact is that by His own nature, God cannot advocate or support sin. If He did, He wouldn’t be God. From the beginning, mankind chose our selfish desires over genuine fellowship with our creator. We chose sin. Through Adam and Eve, sin entered the world and death followed. Immediately, God was forced to dish out punishment because of our actions, because God and sin don’t and can’t mix. Neither should we. We are called to live lives that are apart from the world. As followers of Jesus, we’re held to a higher standard. We are to honor God in our actions and in our relationships.Advocating and supporting sin should never be part of that new life.

 

In his defeat of death, Jesus proved he had power over sin.

Because of our sins, there was a price that had to be paid. Jesus went to the cross in order to pay the price in full. He died, but he didn’t stay dead. Jesus rose from the grave and proved to the world that he had power over sin. Because of the resurrection, followers of Christ now have the power to defeat sin. After winning the battle over sin and death, Jesus left us with a charge to be his witnesses to the world. (Acts 1:8) He told his followers to go out and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19) Never were we told to tackle the problem of sin. That’s Jesus’ job. Our job is simple: share Jesus.

 

That Christian baker faced a difficult decision. They had to decide whether to bake, or not to bake. They had to determine how best to deal with the issue of gay marriage. At one point or another, we must too. Christians are called to share Jesus to the world. We must also honor God by not supporting or advocating sin. With a highly debated issue like gay marriage in mind, we must remember to follow the example of Christ. What do you think? What’s a proper Christian response look like? To Bake, or Not to Bake?

 

(Photo By Flickr User: Purple Sherbet Photography)

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4 “Jesus-Like” Qualities I See In My Wife

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was homecoming at the local high school, and the parade was creeping through town towards the football field. I was one of the hundreds of people in attendance that brisk fall afternoon. It was the day that I would meet my wife, Amanda.

Photo Credit: Amanda Statson

Photo Credit: Amanda Statson

One near death experience, and three declined invitations later, we finally settled on the perfect lunch date. One date led to another and pretty soon, we were dating for five years. After gathering enough courage on our ‘anniversary’, I finally decided to pop the big question. A few short months later, we were married.

I’ve had the opportunity to grow in Christ alongside my best friend for the past several years. Since the first day we met, I’ve noticed she has many Godly-qualities. Here’s 4 “Jesus-Like” Qualities I See In My Wife:

 

1. Compassion — “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” -Proverbs 31:20

Throughout scripture Jesus always had compassion on the least and less fortunate of people. He chooses to eat with broken & sinful people, rather than the respected authorities. Christ goes even further, in his Sermon on the Mount, and he tells his audience to pray even for enemies. Compassion isn’t something to show only those close to you. We are to offer up love and support for everybody. This quality that Christ embodied is also very evident in Amanda.

 

2. Humility — “…but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” -Philippians 2:3b

Christ was born for a reason. He came into this world to die. More specifically, he came to die for us. Jesus lived a sinless life. His life was of extreme importance, and yet, he put the needs of others before himself. Similarly, I see this often in the life of my wife. Constantly, I find Amanda putting the needs of others before her own. She thinks of others, acts out for others, serves others, loves others, and will encourage others way before she thinks of herself. Every day, I work towards being as humble as she is, and as humble as Jesus was.

 

 

3. Forgiveness — “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we can do. To often, people hurt us more than we can bear. Jesus taught that we must forgive. This forgiveness doesn’t mean we must say a simple, “I forgive you.” Instead we must love & pray for those that have hurt us. As sinners, we all deserve death & judgement. Instead, Christ came to die in our place. He forgave us. Amanda models this forgiveness in her own life. (Keep in mind I’m not easy to live with! She forgives me, even when I am least deserving of her forgiveness.) Her wisdom, when it comes to the area of forgiveness, pushes me to be more forgiving in my relationships with others.

 

4. Love — “We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

Love and Jesus go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Everything Jesus did revolved around love. My wife models this kind of love in her life. The love she shows for others, and for Christ, is immeasurable.

 

The moral of the story is that Amanda continues to amaze me as she embodies Christ-like qualities in her own life. She serves as a great example to myself and all those who know her that this life isn’t about us: it’s about Jesus. I love you Amanda!

 

p.s. Don’t forget to leave a comment below. If you know Amanda, be sure to leave her some love!

 

UPDATE: See 4 (More) “Jesus-Like” Qualities I See In My Wife

 

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