This week the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Ashers’ Bakery in Northern Ireland. Responding to the judgement Gareth Lee, who originally sued the company on grounds of discrimination, said that it made him feel like a ‘second-class citizen.’ But he’s quite wrong and the Bible on which the owners of the Ashers’ bakery base their lives tells us why.
The Bible declares that we are all created by a loving God to reflect His image and to live in relationship with Him. Sadly, that image in all of us is marred and broken. But God loved us all so much that He sent His only Son to die for us and restore what was lost. How can anyone bearing the image of God and for whom Christ died be regarded as a second-class citizen?
It’s when we try to find our identity from within ourselves that we condemn ourselves to a life of comparison and competition with those around us. But when we find our identity in Christ we discover that we are all equal before Him, and there is no place either for pride or condemnation. Christ’s open arms on the cross are God’s welcome to us all and encountering His divine holiness will change us all.