Daniel and Amy McArthur started Ashers Baking Company 22 years ago “as a husband and wife baking dream team with a vault full of family recipes.”
The couple’s faith is central to their lives and they view their work as a service to God.
The name of their bakery even comes from the Bible: “Asher was a tribe of Israel who had many skilled bakers and created bread fit for a king.”
The couple came under fire for refusing to make a cake with the words “Support Gay Marriage” written on it.
Now after four years in court, a shocking ruling has been handed down.
As Christians, many of us receive tests of Faith.
Will we stand with what we know is right and Biblically sound, or will we give in to the conforming pressures that society puts on us?
And how do we stand up to that test when it lasts for weeks or even years?
The controversy of Christian bakers being forced by the government to violate deeply held beliefs has been in the news in the United States, especially with the ongoing battle faced by Colorado baker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Christians in the United Kingdom have been facing similar battles and Daniel and Amy McArthur’s Ashers Baking Company is right at the center.
But now the UK’s highest court has finally come to a conclusion in their case.
For four years this family-run bakery has battled in the court system to defend their decision to refuse to ice a cake with the words “support gay marriage” as a matter of freedom of speech and religion.
The lower court ruled against them, saying that the bakery had discriminated against the customer.
With the couple’s faith central to their business, this ruling would have made it impossible for them to continue to operate.
But the owners stood firm and appealed the ruling against them.
They restated their case that they were not against the customer himself, but merely against the message of the cake, something they have been more than clear on for the entirety of their four-year ordeal.
They also made it clear that they did not discriminate against the customer, Gareth Lee, due to his sexual orientation because they did not know that he was a part of the LGBT community until after they refused to ice that particular message on his cake.
Their refusal was never about being against someone or hating someone; this was about being able to run their business in accordance with their faith. The couple argued they should not be required to convey a message they disagree with.
Finally, news came out towards the end of last year that the UK’s Supreme Court found that the Ashers Baking Company was in the right and had simply stood up for their own personal, moral and religious beliefs.
They determined there was no discrimination involved toward Mr. Lee, nor toward the LGBT community.
This was a big win, not just for the Ashers Baking Company, but for Christians across the UK who are fighting for their religious freedom.
Daniel McArthur had this to say about this shocking court ruling: “I want to start by thanking God. He has been with us through the challenges of the last four years, and through the Bible and the support of Christians, He has comforted us and sustained us. He is our rock, and all His ways are just.”
Yes, he gave the Glory of this ruling to God, as it should be. He knows that if we keep our Faith in God, He will take care of us.
This case and others like it have been the subject of much scrutiny recently, and we can’t help but notice how, if they are persevering with their beliefs and if they keep fighting for them, the people in these cases seem to be blessed by God.
It is proof that God is here and that He hears our prayers and He will be with us in our times of trouble.
What are your thoughts on this case and do you think we should expect to see others? Be sure to let us know in the comments section.
I think our hope is that those who wish to sue people for their religious beliefs will look at the outcomes of these cases and change their minds.
However, I do not think that it will work for everyone, and with more religious tension building all over the world, we will probably see many similar cases in the future.
Let us pray for the truth to shine its light in all the world and for our God-given rights to be recognized and protected. And let us also pray for more blessings from God for those who are standing up for the Truth of His Holy Righteousness.