Today, the case of Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips will finally be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court - and the Alliance Defending Freedom, the group representing Phillips, has said that what the high court decides "could dramatically impact freedom for us all."
On Tuesday, the high court will hear oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, appealed to the Supreme Court after he was found guilty by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of discriminating against same-sex couple Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2002 for refusing to participate in their same-sex marriage by baking a cake for their wedding.
Today, he will be defended by Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner, who will ask the Court to uphold Jack's artistic freedom, according to a press release made available to The Gospel Herald.
"After five years of fighting this lawsuit, he is down to his last appeal," says the press release. "And what the Supreme Court decides could dramatically impact freedom for us all. Your faithful prayers and generous giving have made it possible for us to defend Jack free of charge and, in doing so, defend freedom for this generation and generations to come. We ask for your continued prayers and support as we stand before the Supreme Court today and as we continue to defend religious freedom throughout the world."
ADF notes that as a Christian, Phillips' faith is "of the utmost importance, and he believes he should honor God in everything he does."
"But it wasn't always that way. If you had asked Jack years ago if he ever pictured himself going before the High Court - standing for his right to live and work according to his faith - he would have laughed," the organization says.
However, driving home one night, Phillips heard God speaking to him.
"I just felt like God came into my car and convicted me of my sins. It just took a few seconds. 'You're a sinner. You need a Savior. It's Jesus Christ.' I said, 'You're right. Let me clean up my life.' He said, 'You can't.' I said, 'You're right. I'm Yours.' So I gave my life to Christ, driving home from work."
Thus, when Phillips started Masterpiece Cakeshop 24 years ago, he set out to honor God through his work.
"Jack didn't imagine then that the plans God had for him included going to the U.S. Supreme Court, but there he sits today. Jack is taking this stand to honor God. But in doing so, he is also standing for the religious and artistic freedom of all Americans," ADF concludes.
Many conservative Christian leaders have issued a call to prayer ahead of the hearing, as the outcome of the case will significantly impact religious freedom in years to come.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, joined hundreds of others in praying outside the Supreme Court ahead of the decision.
"Here at the United States Supreme Court, leading the crowd here in prayer as the SCOTUS hears the Masterpiece Cake First Amendment case," he captioned a photo of the rally on Twitter.
"TOMORROW morning--Tuesday, December 5th--Jack's case will be coming before the Supreme Court," evangelist Franklin Graham wrote on Monday. "This is a very significant case and has huge repercussions for freedom of expression and religious liberty in our country, so I ask you to pray. Pray for Jack, pray for Kristen Waggoner at Alliance Defending Freedom who will argue the case, and pray for our Supreme Court Justices."
Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warned that the "stakes are high as Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop case" and pointed out that the case pre-dates the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage in 2015.
"Jack Phillips is standing in for Christians, not only in Colorado, but everywhere in virtually every expressive profession," he said. "This is basically the sexual revolutionaries' bullying a baker. This baker, in that profession, will not be the last."