Sweet Cakes by Melissa," a Gresham, OR bakery, to order a "wedding" cake for her and her partner back on January 17 of this year.
She met with Aaron Klein who along with his wife Melissa owns the bakery.
Klein asked for the date of the wedding and the names of the bride and groom.
Cryer says she told him, "There are two brides and our names are Rachel and Laurel."
Cryer says Klein told her he didn't make cakes for same-sex couples planning to marry because of he and his wife's religious beliefs.
Klein told the Oregonian newspaper that they couldn't participate in same-sex "marriage" because "it goes against our Christian faith."
Cryer and her partner filed a formal complaint with the State of Oregon, making the issue public.
The Kleins explained to the press that they were not discriminating. They said, "It's definitely not discrimination. We don't have anything against lesbians or homosexuals, it has to do with our morals and beliefs."
Here's what happened since then, including the shutting down of the couples small business this past Saturday.
Following the formal complaint filed with Oregon, an investigation was initiated by Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.
Avakian said, "Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn't mean folks have the right to discriminate."
He said: "The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate."
Rehabilitate the Christians.
He also said he wanted this to be a learning experience for the Kleins.
The business is shut down, which leads us to know that the Kleins did not rehabilitate well. Obviously they did not forsake the practice of their faith on the command of the government.
The Klein couple is going to try to continue their business as an "at-home" business, taking orders from their website and by phone.
People can order from this email address: email@example.com
This indeed was a learning experience. We have learned that the Kleins have strong convictions about their faith and their convictions are based in biblical teaching. And they are willing to stand for their faith even if there are consequences.
The Willamette Week, a left leaning pro-homosexual newspaper, was the first to break the story that the bakery closed Saturday night.
What can we take away from this "learning experience?"
1. We have learned that homosexuals are intolerant. They would prefer to see a small business shut down because of differing beliefs than to walk down the street to a different bakery.
The WW says when this issue became public, "Demonstrators lined up outside the shop protesting discrimination, and the store's Facebook was inundated with messages showing support for the couple who'd been denied service."
Intolerance and these kinds of actions are not isolated to this case. They are consistent. Remember Chick-fil-A? And others.
Arlene's Flower and Gift Shop in Richland, WA is facing the same kind of attack on her freedom to practice her Christian faith in her own business.
2. We learn from this episode that those who are committed to advance the homosexual agenda work in harmony with one another.
Commissioner Avakian, as a state senator, was instrumental in passing the law he used to shut down the Kleins.
The Willamette Week reports in their own story that they, the paper, called the shop and misled the owners, "to test out which religious convictions would cause the shop to refuse business." They say they asked the shop to make cakes for divorce, out of wedlock children, human stem cell research and a pagan solstice.
And the WW says, "All requests were responded to positively with price quotes."
There was an uptick in business following the incident. The Kleins told the press at that time they were seeing "a huge influx" of customers and planned to fight the state and the possible $50,000 fine.
The huge influx has subsided.
3. We have also learned that the Kleins obviously have deeply held Christian values based on biblical teaching, and are willing to experience the consequences of living out that faith in public.
Convictions are more than personal preferences or subjective opinions, they involve strong beliefs that manifest themselves in actions.
Having convictions is being so thoroughly convinced that something is absolutely true that you take a stand for it regardless of the consequences.
Paul said, "The gospel came to you not simply with words, but with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction" (I Thess. 1:5).
Our culture is creating an environment where Christians can believe whatever they choose, but can not express that belief in any tangible way in public. More and more biblical teaching that relates to homosexual behavior is being silenced.
Christian biblical convictions are being tamped down to mere ideas or thoughts---but not public actions.
The military is censoring Christians from sharing their faith with their colleagues in the military. They are calling it proselytizing, and punishing those who do so.
Laws are being passed that enshrine into law homosexual behavior as normal, and those who oppose the intrusion on their beliefs are punished or put out of business.
There are at least two ways in which to properly respond to this decline in our culture and the increased attack on the expression of biblical Christianity.
1. Be Vigilant. And be active. Become involved in your neighborhood, your town or city and your state. Get elected or appointed to boards and committees related to community life, i.e., school boards, citizens groups, etc.
Also consider running for public office in your community or state. Seek Godly council before taking this step. Be confident you have the proper skills for the specific office and that you feel assurance God is leading you, then do it!
2. Help your children and grandchildren. Teach standards and help develop convictions.
Teaching standards and developing convictions are similar but different. Clearly parents are called to teach their children (Deut. 6:7). We all need to teach spiritual standards, but we can never directly create or command convictions in others. In order to develop convictions, a person must "see" the truth of what is being taught and he also has to "own" that truth.
Here's God's instruction for helping your children to "see" the truth: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6: 5,6,7,8,9).
You will look at everything in life through the lens of a biblical worldview. And you will not be afraid, because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
Be Encouraged. Be Bold. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.