In response to Ten Thousand Places blog’s viral post called “Bake for Them Two.”
In reference to Matthew 5, one of the Roman laws stated that a man could be required to carry a Roman soldier’s equipment for up to a mile. Jesus referenced that law and told his followers in 5:41, “if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”
The author of the blog post says, “If you believe gay marriage is immoral and a gay couple comes into your shop and asks you to bake a cake for their wedding, what should you do? ...Christians, our Jesus said go with them two.”
I think this can be, rhetorically, very powerful. It sounds like the loving and tolerant thing to do. Is Jesus saying that if a man forces you to steal another man’s cloak that you should steal for him two? Jesus was a carpenter. If somebody hired Jesus to carve an idol, should he carve for him two? I would guess [the author of this post] would say no. Why not? Because it’s immoral.
The example that Jesus gives is of carrying a Roman soldier’s equipment is amoral. It’s not wrong to carry a soldier’s equipment in and of itself. With same-sex marriage ceremony, our view is that it is immoral, that it’s wrong, and therefore shouldn’t be celebrated.
It’s certainly not the intent to hurt people. However, if you celebrate something that God has clearly communicated is sin, then you are actually the one who is hurting people by encouraging their sinful behavior. The key question here is this: Is this sinful behavior? If it is, then Jesus’ teaching doesn’t apply.