The following is a statement posted by the Kleins on their Sweet Cakes by Melissa Facebook page:
“The final ruling has been made today. We have been charged with $135,000 in emotional damages, But also now Aaron and I have been charged with advertising. (Basically talking about not wanting to participate in a same-sex wedding) This effectively strips us of all our first amendment rights. According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech. We will NOT give up this fight, and we will NOT be silenced. We stand for God’s truth, God’s word and freedom for ALL americans. We are here to obey God not man, and we will not conform to this world. If we were to lose everything it would be totally worth it for our Lord who gave his one and only son, Jesus, for us! God will win this fight!”
The Kleins will probably never see this post of mine, but pretending for a moment that I could talk to them, here is what I would say:
Mr. and Mrs. Klein, forgive the presumption, but you are missing the real opportunity here. The Lord is not giving you a chance to win some battle for Him in a pointless culture war. Nor is He looking for you to proudly maintain your integrity as you lose such a battle. He is giving you the blessed opportunity to know Him and show Him simply in being persecuted for His name’s sake.
If I were in your position, I would have said the same thing to the young woman who wanted a cake for her (so-called) same-sex wedding. I would say, “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t do that. I hope you can understand that my answer is coming only from love, but in any case, I’m afraid I can’t participate.” And then I would seek with all my might to be used by the Lord to bless her and her friend. I would seek to befriend them personally. And if the response was still the legal attack, I would lovingly accept it.
Take your stand, yes. But for the sake of the Lord Jesus who, while being reviled, did not revile in return, do not “fight” for your American “religious” “rights.” It is not the US Constitution or Oregon law that gives you freedom; it is Christ who sets you free. Free from sin. Free to follow Him. Free to know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.
If you feel that making a cake for a (so-called) same-sex wedding would be a participation in something wrong (a conviction that I, for one, share with you), by all means, politely, kindly explain that you cannot do so. Then accept the consequent hatred of a world that does know not Him who is the Truth.
I sincerely believe you should drop three words from your vocabulary: “fight,” “rights” and “religion.”
Be Christians and let the world be the world. Stop acting as if it’s not okay with you that the world acts like the world. Stop acting as if it is a shock and a scandal that the world hates you. You actually have apostolic instruction not to be surprised (I Peter 4:12-19). What good does it do to take a stand against the wrongfulness of homosexual practice and then go against the Scriptures which tell you to glorify God in suffering for His name?
I write to you as one who has, in the past, also missed opportunities to endure attacks for the Lord. Believing in the righteousness of my cause, I have made the mistake of fighting to defend myself. But in the process, I missed out on knowing Him more deeply in humbly playing the loser.
As one who understands this, I am praying for you.
I’ll finish with some extended words from John Piper:
American culture does not belong to Christians, neither in reality nor in biblical theology. It never has. The present tailspin toward Sodom is not a fall from Christian ownership. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). It has since the fall, and it will till Christ comes in open triumph. God’s rightful ownership will be manifest in due time. The Lordship of Christ over all Creation is being manifest in stages, first the age of groaning, then the age of glory….
But Christian exiles are not passive. We do not smirk at the misery or the merrymaking of immoral culture. We weep. Or we should. This is my main point: Being exiles does not mean being cynical. It does not mean being indifferent or uninvolved. The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat. Where it can, it saves and seasons. And where it can’t, it weeps. And the light of the world does not withdraw, saying “good riddance” to godless darkness. It labors to illuminate. But not dominate.
Being Christian exiles in American culture does not end our influence; it takes the swagger out of it. We don’t get cranky that our country has been taken away. We don’t whine about the triumphs of evil. We are not hardened with anger. We understand. This is not new….
The greatness of Christian exiles is not success but service. Whether we win or lose, we witness to the way of truth and beauty and joy. We don’t own culture, and we don’t rule it. We serve it with broken-hearted joy and longsuffering mercy, for the good of man and the glory of Jesus Christ.