The Cake is a Lie

“If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

Matthew 5:39-42, 47 NIV

I’m not a fan of cake.  I’m a pie kind of girl.  In my wife’s family, my favorite mother-in-law makes everyone in the family a cake for their birthday if it’s requested.   Chocolate with vanilla icing, vanilla with chocolate icing,  or in the case of my 13yr old daughter, chocolate on chocolate on chocolate.    My Mother-in-law listens and gives the person what they have requested.

In an case soon to be appearing before SCOTUS, a cake baker is suing to have the right to decide who should and shouldn’t receive his/her services based on their beliefs and opinions.   Counter to laws passed to ensure all are treated equal, the cake maker has appealed, lost multiple times and now will have their day arguing their case in front of the highest court in the land.  Citing “religious beliefs”, the cake baker feels they should be able to withhold services to another person because of a dislike of their sexual orientation or gender indentity.  Why?

Because Jesus.

When my oldest daughter was little, I forbid anything Disney related because I felt, as a Christian, Disney was evil and vile.  I believed the rhetoric and carried the tiki torch of anger through my home declaring the “No Disney Items” at the baby shower or demanding the Finding Nemo play tent was not allowed in our home and must immediately be returned.    It wasn’t about the tent or the fact it was cheaply made, it was because I believed what I believed and demanded others to follow suit.   I didn’t listen.  There was no debate.  No discussion.  I was a big bully.   Even though I proclaimed to love, I did it on my terms.  I set conditions and very limiting restrictions.  I thought if everyone saw things my way, life would be a happier place.  I was the parent.  The alpha.  I believed what I was taught and made my family follow and adhere to my terms.

Religion can make you a jerk.

I once asked my college roommate “What would you do if I came in one night, drunk off my ass?”

“I’d tell on you”, he replied.  “It’s against the rules.”

He was right.   At this small conservative Christian college, adherence to the rules was strictly followed.

Dancing?  No way.

Drinking?  Forget it.

Skipping chapel?  Ha.  They’d make you sign in and even once a semester, you were required to go twice a day…for an entire week.

The school leaned heavily on missions.  Going out and doing stuff for people and proclaiming the gospel.  On the surface it sounded great.  Giving.  Sharing.  Loving.  All Christlike things.

The more I thought about it, the more I equated it to a ballon.  A balloon is all nice and big, but inside there is nothing.  A facade.  Where was the relative substance?   What about teaching those to give even in the face of adversity?  Where was the learning to relate to others and find common ground?

I knew my roommate was wanting to be a youth pastor upon graduation.   After our exchange, I said to him.

“You know your dream of being a youth pastor?  Well, you are going to suck at it!”

As he picked his jaw up off the floor, I went for the jugular.

“In your moment of doucheness, you missed an opportunity to show love and compassion.  Did you even ask if I was alright?  Maybe I just suffered an incredible loss.  Maybe I am dealing with debilitating depression and the only way I can cope is by drowning myself in alcohol.”

On the fruit-o-minstry tote board, something like that would equal up to some negative fruit.”

But today’s church doesn’t see this.  Today’s church preaches down at us.  Today’s church tells us we are in a battle against “those people”.    We turn to James Dobson and many others who proclaim  “Love” and teach us to “Focus” on our families and create a life honoring Jesus.   It sounds great and it is very easy to believe.  No questions needed.  Just plug in what they say and away you go.    We trust these people because they speak our language.  We trust these people because we are told our eternal salvation depends on strict and loyal devotion.  We are those onward Christian soldiers marching as to war.  The cake is a lie.

Jesus taught us to give all we can.  Jesus taught us we would be known by our love.

Jesus didn’t know the 5000+ who gathered that day.  He didn’t ask for a drug test and two forms of ID.

Jesus loved.

Jesus didn’t jump in and pass out rocks to all his pharisee homies who were about to stone the woman who was sleeping around.

Jesus loved.

My question is… When did loving Jesus go from showing love towards others to a faith of self preservation and alienation?  When did loving Jesus mean one finds more value in a gun than the physical well being of a young child escaping war and destruction?

Doesn’t John 3:16 say “For God so loved THE WORLD”?  If Jesus wanted to protect HIS rights, he would have never sacrificed his life for those who today tarnish His reputation by being a selfish asshole towards those they find inferior.

As much as he asked to have this cup passed from him, he knew he had a job a do.  He was sent to earth to remind people they would be known by their love…not by their cake or their photographs..but by their love.

We utter the phrase “to be like Jesus this hope possesses me.”  Why don’t we actually act like it?  The world is watching.  The world is hungry for a true example of love and encouragement.

Be like my mother-in-law.

Let them eat cake.

“Give until there’s nothing left” – Relient K

No one told me
The right way
The right way to go about this
So I’ll figure it out for myself
Cuz how much
Is too much
To give you
Well I may never know
So I’ll just give until there’s nothing else

Yeah I’ll give give give (until there’s nothing else)
Give my life (until it all runs out)
Give give (and I’ll have no regrets)
I’ll give until there’s nothing left
I’ll give

No one told me
How bad I need you (need you)
But I somehow arrived
To that conclusion all by myself (all by myself)
And I want
All you have to offer (to offer)
So I offer myself and I’ll just give until there’s nothing else

And I’ll give give give (until there’s nothing else)
Give my life (until it all runs out)
Give give (and I’ll have no regrets)
I’ll give until there’s nothing left to
Give give give (until there’s nothing else)
Give my life (until it all runs out)
Give give (and I’ll have no regrets)
I’ll give until there’s nothing left

Sometimes I think
Like all I ever do
Is ask for things
Until I ask too much of you
But that’s not the way (that’s not the way)
I wanna live (I wanna live)
I need to change (I need to change)
But something’s got to give
Yeah something’s got to

Give give give (until there’s nothing left)
Give my life (until it all runs out)
Give give (and I’ll have no regrets)
I’ll give until there’s nothing left to give
Give give give (until there’s nothing left)
Give my life (until it all runs out)
Give give
Give until there’s nothing left
I’ll give