March 1, 2017

February 19, 2014

Andy Stanley and Baking Cakes for Gay ‘Weddings’

Last year I warned people to be wary of Pastor Andy Stanley because of his apparent lack of confidence in the bible. His less than clear stand on homosexuality has also been a longstanding concern. Here’s yet another indication that Pastor Stanley is on the road to compromise:

“Evangelical pastor Andy Stanley leads North Point Ministries, the second largest church in the U.S. He told me he finds it “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law.” He said, “Serving people we don’t see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn’t see eye to eye. If a bakery doesn’t want to sell its products to a gay couple, it’s their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it.”

So, should a Christian baker refuse to bake cakes for gay “weddings”, fine, but don’t refuse in the name of Jesus. And should a Christian photographer decide not to take pictures of the event, well and good, but “leave Jesus out of it”.

I hope you can spot the problem with Stanly’s ethical proposition here? There is a cosmic difference between, say, baking cookies for your porn star neighbor (serving someone you don’t see eye to eye with) and driving your porn star neighbor to the set. There’s a big difference between helping your heroin addict office secretary get an appointment with a rehab counselor and driving your heroin addict office secretary to a meeting with her dealer. Love does not celebrate or participate in the self destruction of the beloved.

Christians must always act with compassion, generosity and charity toward non-Christians - there’s no debate about that. The debate, startlingly, centers on whether charity involves facilitating your neighbor’s sin. I say ‘startlingly’ because Andy Stanley is a famous evangelical pastor who should be well aware of the simple, fundamental, elementary truth that love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing” (1st Corinthians 13:6)

The quote above is taken from an article by Kirsten Powers in USA Today, herself a new Christian. She goes on to reason:

“Christians serve unrepentant murderers through prison ministry. So why can’t they provide a service for a same-sex marriage?”

Of course the essential service Christians render to unrepentant murderers is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ who calls unrepentant murderers to become repentant murderers and receive the forgiveness for which he shed his blood. This service does not include taking pictures of future murders or baking cakes during the crime. Such incoherence from a new disciple is understandable. For Pastor Stanley, there is no excuse.

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In Andy’s case, the apple has fallen very far from the tree. Charles Stanley (Arminian though he is) is hands down one of the finest Bible teachers I have ever heard.

[1] Posted by brianh on 2-19-2014 at 09:10 AM · [top]

Fr. Matt,
Interesting you should mention Kirsten Powers and her becoming a Christian. A couple of years ago I would have said she was completely in the tank for Democrats and Obama. She is billed as a “Democratic Strategist”, yet lately, she has been more even handed and thoughtful with her commentary and even critical of the POTUS. Her reasoning even seems sharper. She is very good on Bret Baier’s news show on Fox. I thought to myself recently, “Her ideas sure are changing.” This reminds me St. Paul. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

[2] Posted by Fr. Dale on 2-19-2014 at 09:19 AM · [top]

I agree Matt. I don’t see where baking a wedding cake to a gay couple is serving them in the context of “the essence of Christianity”. Pastor Stanley needs to rethink that one.

[3] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 2-19-2014 at 09:29 AM · [top]

The key thing is that baking a wedding cake for a gay “wedding” *participates* in a fraud and purports to “recognize” the thing-that-isn’t.

Most Christians of integrity recognize that that’s just not right.

[4] Posted by Sarah on 2-19-2014 at 09:39 AM · [top]

Our very language has been co-opted, but this is changing, too.  See here for an informative evaluation of the matter: .

[5] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 2-19-2014 at 11:13 AM · [top]

The blatant dishonesty in comparing this to “Jim Crow” laws is depressing… Of course no one is refusing to serve these people. They are merely asserting their right to not participate in an event and not be punished for it. So depressing that we’ve hit this low point.

[6] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 2-19-2014 at 11:29 AM · [top]

I read the article to which you linked. Is the idea of getting rid of words such as Heterosexual and homosexual another step in making sexuality a spectrum so finely shaded that such words are no longer needed and hence without the words,  the attitude is that it is all OK! Do I understand the author’s point or did I miss it entirely?

[7] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 2-19-2014 at 12:21 PM · [top]

SC blu cat lady,  “Is the idea of getting rid of words such as Heterosexual and homosexual another step in making sexuality a spectrum so finely shaded that such words are no longer needed and hence without the words,  the attitude is that it is all OK!”

Yes.  That is the goal from the “progressive side” and such a goal is enhanced by acceptance of the whole concept of orientation which is a transient construct as opposed to the Natural Law historical understanding.  The latter is to be asserted, not just acceptance and use of the transient construct of orientation.

[8] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 2-19-2014 at 12:56 PM · [top]

Thanks, dwstroumd+.

[9] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 2-19-2014 at 01:58 PM · [top]

We should pray that Kirsten Powers gets some solid, biblically faithful discipleship and doesn’t get subverted into being a follower of the Rob Bell (or, now, even Andy Stanley) brand of religion.  I am glad she appears to be in touch with Tim Keller.

[10] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 2-19-2014 at 02:14 PM · [top]

Rome, A.D. 64:  “Hey it’s just a pinch of incense, it isn’t a big thing and you should be willing to serve those who are worshipers of the Emperor.  You can refuse if you want, but don’t bring Jesus into it.  And by the way, if you refuse to do it bad things will happen to you.”

[11] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 2-19-2014 at 06:27 PM · [top]

Of course, it’s somewhat easy for Andy Stanley to make these comments. He’s a Pastor. His job is not subject to antidiscrimination laws, right?

I’d love to be a fly-on-the-wall when a gay couple comes to his door and say “Mr. Stanley, we’ve been coming to your church for a while. We’re so glad that you believe that serving people you don’t see eye-to-eye with is the essence of Christianity. Will you Marry us?”

[12] Posted by Derek Smith on 2-20-2014 at 01:24 AM · [top]

If we apply the same logic to restaurants, I should be able to hire the local vegan restaurant to cater an event, and demand they put prime rib on the menu.

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-20-2014 at 08:41 AM · [top]

Good point, TJ. I wonder who they would feel about that…. actually we all know, don’t we? The logical inconsistency is just mind boggling.

As#10 mentions- yes, indeed, we need to pray that Kirsten Powers gets the discipleship she needs so she can see the confusion behind her statement.

[14] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 2-20-2014 at 09:33 AM · [top]

I wonder *how* they would feel about that….. sigh. sorry.

[15] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 2-20-2014 at 11:45 AM · [top]

Sarah at #[4], is precisely correct. Baking a cake to celebrate what the Roman Catholic Church would consider the ‘simulation of a sacrament’ amounts to a personal endorsement of the dissimulation.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[16] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 2-24-2014 at 09:11 PM · [top]

It took a week, but Rachel Held Evans’ latest blog post affirms Andy Stanley’s remarks, along with her support for same-sex marriage,  and vehemently attacks evangelicals who hold dissenting viewpoints.

[17] Posted by the virginian on 2-26-2014 at 10:56 PM · [top]

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