At the risk of offending and bursting our national “evangelical bubble”, I write briefly today.
I first state that, along with Dan Cathy, I believe marriage to be a sacred union between a man and a woman. I believe the Bible to be true in every way, so I can’t imagine lining up in any other way with regard to that issue. However, the firestorm that was sparked by Cathy’s Scriptural affirmation brings up another issue entirely.
There are few evangelicals (Bible believing, church attending, fried-chicken eating evangelicals) that would fall to the side of this argument that allows for homosexuals to be legally married. The reasons range from the acidic declaration of homosexuality’s abominable status in “God’s eyes”, all the way to the more social “marriage-already-has-a-unique-definition-call-your-union-something-else-please”. And for those that are likely to read anything I write, a solid 99% will likely fall into that spectrum. So for me to re apply yet another coat of paint to that wall would be a waste of time at worst and redundant at best.
So, I offer you this word of warning. Eat at Chick-Fil-A, but do so with a sharp eye on your own heart.
Our tendency as people is to create a demon out of another man’s sin with one hand while simultaneously sweeping our own under the proverbial rug with the other. Homosexuality is, under the Biblical definition, sin. But, what we must remember, and be reminded of particularly often, and sharply in the current climate of frenzied condemnation, is that homosexuality is NOT a unique sin. It is merely one of a thousand ways to turn from God.
I would lovingly remind my Christian brothers and sisters that the same ferocity that causes you to want to boycott, picket, blog against, and roar loudly in protest of homosexuality ought to exist for gluttony and vanity as well. However, unless I’ve missed it, I don’t see evangelicals picketing all-you-can-eat buffets…and this is generally because they are too busy trying to get a good place in line inside the establishment. I have yet to see a grass roots movements rise up in opposition to Louis Vuitton, Maybelline, or Chanel.
The temptation for us my friends is to become so concentrated on the sins and shortcomings of others that we grow far too forgetful of our own. I understand this because it works in me as well. The sin at arms length always looks more heinous than the ones within my heart. The failings of others always looks more like rebellion, while my own “misfires” look like accidents with “the best intentions”. And maybe all I’m asking throughout this fray is that we give others the same benefits we give ourselves. Where we would see our failures as an honest mistake, or even a misdirected pursuit of truth, may we allow that to be the same motivation of those we could easily demonize.
So, eat more chicken, by all means, it’s a quality product offered in a timely manner (and how often do you really hear “its my pleasure to serve you” outside of Chick-Fil-A?). And while you are enjoying your bird, ponder not how great it is that someone was wrong in this argument, but how you can show grace to those you disagree with. And for your own sake, for the joy of your heart, pray daily the Psalmists words:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Through this whole debacle, my heart has been miraculously turned to the truth of my own sinfulness. Pastor Mark preached a few weeks ago that we are “all just black hats and then there’s Jesus”. I’ve sat here all day in a state of shock and amazement at the grace of God, without whom there is no cleansing, healing, redemption, salvation.Thanks for writing what was in my heart that I could not really express. Much love. 😉
thanks for reading. i can’t help but wonder how much better we would all be if we did make concerted efforts to remember both who we were, and who we are and realize that God’s grace didn’t stop being useful to us after we started following Jesus. His grace is the only thing that keeps us following Him as well.
i can’t help but say, with some level of mischief, today we are all homosexuals. we are all the people that are in need of His life changing love and soul shaking mercy. of course without prior knowledge of my penchant and delight for frustrating people that kind of statement could be taken the wrong way 🙂
I always enjoy your blogs and love the way you express yourself. May I share my heart with you about “Chick-fil-a Day”?
I reposted a status on my FB page that one of the men in my church posted: “The first ammendment…umm… tastes like chicken.”
To me that really sums up what yesterday was all about – our rights as Christians to have a divergent opinion from the politically correct without being ostracized and black-listed. Every group in the world can have an opinion and air it proudly without fear or rancor; but let a Christian air their opinion and all hell breaks loose. That is what yesterday was about to many, many people. Mr. Cathy has a right to say whatever he wishes to say and for the mayors of major cities to take him to task and impugn his restaurant is intolerable to me. If he had spoken in favor of the gay agenda, the world would have applauded and encouraged him. The double standard is what sickens Americans.
I have homosexual friends that I care deeply for, shoot, ever so often I even splurge and eat Ben and Jerry’s fro-yo! So, why can’t those who disagree with our stance let us stand where we will and leave us alone? Could it be because the light blinds and hurts eyes and it’s easier to try to turn it off than to humbly bow with face to the ground in response to it’s brilliance?
The fact that you continue to read what I write is encouraging to me in profound ways, thank you.
As to the question posed in your response, I have a “sort-of” answer that really is only backed up by my own opinion. I don’t disagree with your last sentence. I do believe there is a painful reaction to some of the rays of truth that come from us. I cannot help but be reminded of the passage in 2 Corinthians that speaks of Moses’ challenge as he came out of God’s presence and the people couldn’t handle looking at his face because of its radiance. And that is an appropriate comparison.
So the question, it would seem to me, is not, “how do we get the light to shine?”, but, “how can we prepare the eyes of those who need to be able to see?” CS Lewis commented on the light of Christ not as something that blinded him, but as something that allowed him to see everything else more clearly. I do not see that kind of revelation coming out of the skirmishes in our culture between the secularized non-believers and the conservative Christian “team”. I see far more polarization taking place. And admittedly that is merely my perspective, which is limited.
I just wonder what it would look like for followers of Jesus to set their (our) minds to preparing the eyes of those who need light before blasting them with the brightest beam we have. I wonder if less accusation would create more fertile soil. And, yes, this would require us to hold off on saying certain things, that are fully true, until they are useful as well. I’m not saying that any of us are actually condemning anyone, but I am saying that its being received, at least to an extent, that way.
I am perpetually amazed at the way Jesus could move through crowds of “sinners” and not only not cause them to feel like they didn’t belong there, but to be magnetically drawn to Him. I wonder where that kind of magnetism comes from. He only offended, it seems, strategically (John 6:52-71).
So, I do believe that you are absolutely correct, and I agree with you. I just wonder if there’s a way that we, as Christians, could live that would make you and I gloriously wrong. A way that would allow the brightest of lights not to be shielded and turned from, but to become a pathway to the presence, beauty, and grace of God.
And you are always welcome to “just say” 🙂