Chick-fil-A Controversy: My Theological and Clumsy Attempt at Gaining Perspective
Right Answer, but the Wrong Attitude
I’m sure that most of us have witnessed the war of words between the “pro-gay rights” folks and the “christians” stirred up by what I call “the Chick-fil-A Contraversy”. I left the label “christians” with a lower case “c” simply because many of our Christian brothers and sisters seem to be lowering themselves in this discussion turned debate turned shouting match.
Here’s a quick overview of the controversy in case you’ve been living in a cave: During an interview Dan Cathy (owner of Chick-fil-A) simply stated his belief in the traditional biblical view of marriage. That brought out many verbal protests by “pro gay rights” folks and then many wonderful “christian” people protested the protesters. That’s what Jesus would do, right? Just in case you didn’t catch the sarcasm, much of the “christian” reaction smacks of self-righteousness, condemnation and lack of love. Whether some form of self-righteousness lays in the subconscious motivation of the majority of “Christians” intentions or not, can’t really be proven. No man can judge another man’s inner thoughts (1 Corinthians 2:11). But at the very least, many people living outside of evangelical social circles perceive Christians this way. Who can blame them with the venom being spewed from several “christian” acrosse various forms of media. To those on the outside, it just looks like we Christians just want to prove that we’re right.
Christians (I, as in me too) Sin Also
Ok. Ok. We Evangelicals make mistakes too (including myself to the Nth degree). I’m going to be honest with you. It isn’t always easy for me to hold myself back. Watching “pro gay rights” advocates ignore rational discussion concerning the constitutional right of Americans to hold different beliefs concerning gay marriage can be very… very frustrating.
Sometimes I want to jump out of my chair at the TV, when “experts” claim that scientific genetic study proves that homosexuals are born this way. There are theories that lean that way, but they are simply theories, they fall significantly short of proof. On the other side, some scientific studies/theories suggest such genetic fatalism hypothesizes are improbable. The following link gives us one such example found in a journal. An interesting twist is that this quasi-academic piece was published by an anti-capitalistic, pro-gay rights and pro-abortion rights organization called the International Socialist Organization: http://www.isreview.org/issues/40/genes2.shtml This is a healthy portion of food for thought for those who read this article and have concluded that in fact homosexuality is genetically predetermined.
Many “pro gay rights” folks label us as hate mongers because we interpret God’s word as identifying homosexuality to be a sin. When I consider some “slow-to-think-quick-to-anger” Christians, I sympathize with those holding a more liberal bent toward the subject. However, according to the Bible sin (one sin and/or all sin) is an offense that leads to death (Romans 6:23). Euphemistically speaking sin is unhealthy. Not only that, but scripture clearly conveys the notion that all people, Christian and non-christian alike, struggle with sin (Romans 3:23). This means that all Christians have struggled or presently do struggle with at least one or more of the following: selfishness, pride, lust, greed, gluttony, gossip, idolatry, covetousness, fornication, pornography, lying, drunkenness and yes, even homosexuality. So a Christian, who genuinely seeks to be like Jesus (striving for sanctification), does not like sin, but actually truly loves the sinners. Or else, we’d have to hate ourselves.
If we’re honest, we all need salvation from behaviors carrying heavy emotional, physical and spiritual consequences. The consequences of sin are devastating because they adversely affect God’s beautiful creation. They steal faith, kill hope and destroy life of humanity. However, Jesus didn’t take on flesh and descend upon the earth to tell us: “You humans have ruined everything and there’s no hope”.
Our Goal Should Never Be to Make the Earth a Better Place for People to Go to Hell From
Qualifier: Ok. I realize the grammatical error and a flare for the dramatic in the sub-title. But it’s meant to leave a lasting impression. It’s really a modified quote from the late great Pastor Adrian Rodgers.
Can we Christians get it into our heads that folks without the guidance of the Holy Spirit are going to act like, well… people without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Heck, it’s hard enough to live a godly life even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Are those, who don’t know Jesus, supposed to act righteously before knowing the Righteous One? Is that our goal? Is it our mission, as Christians, to persuade or prod people to behave correctly?
Jesus didn’t come to point out our sins so that we can pull humanity from our moral-bootstraps. He came to save ALL of us from ourselves because we can’t save ourselves and loves us (John 3:16-17). So Christ Followers, “We are just beggars trying to lead other beggars to the bread of life”-Charles Spurgeon. It should never be our purpose nor is it within our tainted powers to make the world a more moral place.
The Love and Kindness of the Lord Leads to Repentance
I’m not saying that we need to hide the truth. And I’m not saying that Dan Cathy was wrong by expressing his biblically based belief. Cathy answered a simple question concerning his view on marriage in an interview without condemning anyone.
Here’s the most important question: How are proponents of homosexuality or those who don’t believe in the Gospel going to believe? Love is the answer. The same love that drove Jesus to the cross can drive enemies of the truth to Him. Sure, if someone asks you what God’s word says about homosexuality, tell him or her the truth. But try to let people know how much you really do love them and how much God loves them, even more. Focus on God’s love and kindness rather than the sin (Romans 2:3-5). This doesn’t mean that you have to totally ignore the truth about sin. I’m only pleading that we, as Christians, strive as much as we can to develop meaningful, loving and Christ-like relationships with people that hold opposite moral beliefs from us, that we might win some. We are His ambassadors, living breathing vessels of His Gospel of Love and Redemption.
For a more truthful, grace-filled and less clumsy perspective on the Chic-fil-A controversy, check out Perry Noble’s perspective: http://www.perrynoble.com/2012/08/01/ben-jerrys-chic-fil-a-political-correctness