I’ve seen a lot of opinions fired off on social media about Jack Phillips and the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court case. I’ve seen the phrase in the title of this blog posted and re-posted, even by a number of Christians. I believe it’s driven by good intentions and the notion of love and tolerance; two words that have been so routinely overused and misapplied that they have altogether been gutted of any real meaning or virtue.
Love for someone else is shallow and mere sentiment if it doesn’t include understanding and actions grounded in what is actually best for the other person. In a free society we can certainly disagree about what is best for ourselves and those around us, but from a true Christian worldview perspective; a perspective rooted in scripture as inspired by God and authoritative for our lives today, we have an obligation to offer and steward His truth with integrity – to love others well, not weakly or permissively.
Would Jesus have baked the damn cake? Would He have participated in and added His blessing to a union that both the Old & New Testament clearly reveals is outside of God’s design and intention for sexual expression and human thriving (contrary to revisionist pro-gay “theology”)? Would Jesus, by His actions, affirm something that He did not affirm in Matthew 19:4-6, when He spoke of creating only just two genders, as well as God’s design for marriage and sexual expression between one man and one woman permanently joined together in marriage?
Jesus would (and does) love gay identified people far better than that, and it’s time for a sloppy Church to repent of our affirmation of the practice of sin (in any area, not just LGBTQ or sexual), while lost and confused people prop up an appearance of godliness that requires no surrender, no repentance of sin, no death to self and resurrection into new life – a feel-good “gospel” in which there is no salvation.
Of course, a church that upholds Orthodoxy, including God’s design for human sexuality, but then couldn’t care less about becoming equipped with real answers, or developing an environment of gracious safety and transformation, is also not modeling the One we claim to follow. Right theology without compassionate and practical action is worthless – James 2:15-17.
Pastors and Christian leaders, what sort of help or support does your church provide to the statistically enormous percentage of people struggling with sexual sin, sitting in your church every Sunday, or for those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction or identity issues? Is your church an environment of both safety and transformation or a place where nearly everyone is too ashamed to let anyone know the bondage they’re living in?
To clarify, I’m not down on church. I was a pastor for many years before leading Transforming Congregations – an equipping ministry for pastors and Christian leaders. I love the church. God used the church to rescue my life. However, in the area of restoring an incredible number lives broken by sexual sin and relational wounding – the church has a great deal to learn, and we’re way behind the culture (and even being lead by the culture).
No, based on what I read of Jesus in His invitation to death-to-self and life with Him and through His dealings with; His disciples, the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, the rich young ruler, the adulteress, Nicodemus, Lazarus, Mary and Martha, etc… I believe Jesus would have offered much more than lending His services to bake a ceremonial centerpiece, affirming a pathway into further darkness and confusion for people He dearly loves. He would do what He always does; use every opportunity to reveal a person’s truest need and call them out of darkness into His marvelous light.
In my early 30’s, God used simple, honest, godly men like Jack Phillips, who believed that God had more for me than a lifetime of identity confusion and homosexuality. It’s men like Jack who walked alongside me in the depth and breadth of what love really means – never rejecting me, sharing their own fallen temptations and struggles, and also not telling me what I wanted to hear, yet always desiring God’s best for me.
I don’t know where I’d be without men like Jack in the body of Christ. But I do know that I wouldn’t be married to my amazing wife, have two incredible boys together, been a pastor for many years, and now leading a national ministry equipping other pastors and Christian leaders on the epidemic of pornography and sexual brokenness within the Church as well as LGBTQ issues – and how to restore a walk of wholeness once again.
Thank you to Jack Phillips who is simply striving to honor God and is actually loving with compassionate action. He and his family have faced incredible personal loss. He experiences ongoing pressure and persecution to compromise the faith He holds dear… the faith that transforms lives. You may watch a brief video about his story below.
Also, thank you for the faithful and hard work of Alliance Defending Freedom (and other organizations like them). They work tirelessly to maintain religious freedom for all; the ability to live and work according to faith and conscience. In addition, so people like me can engage our right of self-determination and find the help and support we desire, to live lives congruent with our faith and personal goals.
To learn more about our ministry or utilize us to speak with your leadership team, your church or Christian college/university visit www.transformingcongregations.org