Some people have been curious about my response / thoughts on the whole Chick-fil-A vs. Gay Marriage debate. So here it is: stop being categorizers.
Both sides. Stop.
Every time this debate shows up, I think both sides end up losing the battle and the main point.
Should Christians stand up for marriage? Yes. Is gay marriage really the end of traditional marriage? No. Should gays and lesbians get married? Honestly, I don’t think any one can stop it from happening. Are all people who oppose gay marriage hateful and insensitive? No.
I personally do not agree with same-sex marriage or relationships. I hold fast to the traditional interpretation of scripture. However, you won’t find me boycotting gays and lesbians who want to get married either. We live in a society that neglects the Word of God. As I’ve said before, we do not live in a Christian nation. We are a multicultural, multi-religious country. Boycotting the things we don’t like, especially in the name of God, does about the same level of good that giving a blind person keys to a car does. He may get in to the car and turn it on, but he isn’t going to go where he hopes. We may hold up signs with scripture on them, but our message doesn’t resemble the one we should be portraying.
As I’ve said before about marriage, gays and lesbians getting married isn’t the end of traditional marriage. The institution of marriage has been dying far longer. And frankly, until Christians start being pro-family all around – meaning that we tend to single parents, provide for orphans, stop getting divorces ourselves, speak against adultery, etc – then we really do not have the right to protest some one else starting a family – gay or straight.
When we protest against one and not the others, we are guilty of cherry-picking scripture.
In saying this, let me speak to the other side of this debate. When myself, or other Christians, come out and say we do not agree with homosexuality, or gay marriage, this does not mean we hate gay people or wish ill-will towards them. It simply means we do not agree with the belief that homosexuality is biblical. Now, there are some Christians who do wish hate and ill-will … for this, I’m so sorry that their evil rises above the truth of God’s love.
Should gays and lesbians boycott Chick-fil-A because of their stance on gay marriage? No. It’s their belief. Just the same, Christians shouldn’t boycott Disney because of their stance on gay marriage. It’s their belief. This is America, where religious freedom reigns. Non-Christians should not get bent out of shape when Christians stand up for their religious convictions. It’s what we’re suppose to do (though in a non-boycotting way). Likewise, Christians should not get bent out of shape when non-Christians stand up for their convictions. We can not keep claiming “religious persecution” for the very thing we want the ability to do – which is express our convictions.
I just finished a book by Rajendra Pillai, “Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard,” and I want to share a quote from his chapter on changing attitudes. Pillai is discussing the various types of attitudes people have towards internationals. His conviction is that we need to move from these attitudes and instill a more biblical way of looking at people – we are all precious in God’s sight. Pillai says this:
(In ministering to people) our job is threefold: (1) Respect the other person’s beliefs and customs without compromising our own Christian principles; (2) be ready to share the gospel gently and respectfully when the opportunityarrives; and (3) be a true friend … We must see people as unique individuals rather than trying to fit them into an ideology born of past experiences … the great divide is not among people of different skin colors, nor is it among people of different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. The great divide is between believers and unbelievers. It is our job to bridge this divide by reaching out in friendship and sharing the good news of salvation … However, to bring about a change at the societal level, we must start with ourselves.
pages 38, 40, 42, 43
I think Pillai’s words resonate with what is being said here.
If we are constantly at war with each other, how are we able to move forward? Being a light in the darkness means that we stand up and allow our actions to speak louder than our words. It means that we allow the influence of Christ to transform that which needs to be transformed – starting with ourselves first.
In this whole mess – and in the messes yet to come – I think Christians need to be a better witness. This means we don’t take a situation like this and continually slam gays and lesbians with it. How about, instead of buying a chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A, in support of their “great stand for Christian values,” we concentrate on befriending a gay neighbor. After all, I think that’s what Jesus would do.