Here’s a hard saying for some: Just because you think Jesus would do something doesn’t mean He would.
Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cake Shop, is a brave man. Because he refused to decorate a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, he was hauled before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. He was fined, and faces financial ruin. But he’s still standing fast. And the Supreme Court has agreed to take up his case.
Perhaps even braver than appearing before the Supreme Court was agreeing to appear before another august panel about his Christian beliefs: I’m speaking of the daytime TV show “The View.”
Paula Faris got the ball rolling. “Did you ever ask yourself what Jesus would do in this particular situation?” she asked, and then added knowingly, “Do you think maybe Jesus would have said, ‘I don’t accept this, but I’m going to love you anyway.’”
Of course, the audience applauded, knowing that nothing says “I love you” like baking a cake.
Phillips’s reply was pretty straight-forward: “I don’t believe He would have because that would have contradicted the rest of the biblical teaching.”
“Oh c’mon,” one hostess interrupted to more applause, “Jesus would have made the cake. Jesus can turn water into wine. He can do whatever He wants.”
And then resident theologian Joy Behar jumped in, “You’re supposed to believe the Bible and everything but … that’s a deal breaker. Jesus is gonna make the cake,” then she tosses her palms up like, “what’s the matta’w’you?”
Look, I have no insider information about the faith or theological training of the cast of “The View,” but I’m struck by their certainty that they know exactly what Jesus would do.
But then again, that’s not at all unusual these days, is it? How often do we hear atheists, agnostics, or members of other faiths pronounce confidently exactly what Jesus would do in any given situation?
And almost always it’s, “Jesus is all about love.” And by “love” they mean accepting and affirming whatever someone says, wants or does. It’s called “radical inclusion.”
Now of course, what’s missed in all of this is that God’s love for us is inseparable from God’s sovereign purposes in the world He made. As Abraham Kuyper so helpfully clarified, Jesus is not doing something new or different than God the father. Redemption doesn’t reject creation, it fulfills it—it completes it. In Christ, God hasn’t changed His plan, He’s fulfilling it, which includes bringing us into full communion with Him and into conformity with His grand story of all that is, all under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Our personal opinions about God’s love and God’s plan don’t change that reality one bit.
But sadly, even many believers miss this point. They get upset when you say that a belief they hold contradicts Scripture, or that an idea they embrace contradicts or is inconsistent with a Christian worldview.
Look, Christians disagree on many things, and there is room on many issues for disagreement within the bounds of orthodox belief. But not all.
Here’s the point, one that Doug Wilson made at his blog recently: “A Christian worldview is not the sum total of what all the people who are going to Heaven think. It is the system of truth and life that is revealed to us in the Bible. We find out what that is by careful and submissive study, and not by counting available extant interpretations.”
He’s right. We can debate all we want the reliability of Scripture, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the existence of hell, and the biological fact of the difference between men and women as created by God. Fine. But our debates and opinions don’t change revealed Truth.
When we lose sight of that, what we get is not a Christian worldview at all, but more of a circus like “The View.”
John Stonestreet is President of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and BreakPoint co-host.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by BreakPoint.