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For God and Chicken

August 15, 2012

It has been two weeks since the infamous Chick-fil-A day on August 1st. For those who have not heard of this (doubtful but there may be someone out there) this was the day that supporters of Dan Cathy made it appoint to patronize their local franchise in order to send a message to the leadership of this nation and to the owners of the business that there are plenty of people in this country who still believe in free speech and a free market economy and that the exercise of your free speech should not prevent your participation in the free market. Dan was vilified in the media and by some government leaders (Boston, Chicago, LA, and Washington DC to name a few) for expressing his views that marriage is between one man and one woman. This act of political correct heresy sparked a visceral response from the media, homosexual community, and certain politicians attempting to curry favor with both. The event on August 1st was a response by American people (started by Mike Huckabee) to show support for the Chick-fil-A leadership.

I have stayed out of this discussion thus far but after reading some of the responses of those on the Christian side of this debate I feel compelled to provide a response to their objections to this event. I condemn no one for not taking part in the event on 8/1. I did not do so myself simply because I dislike huge crowds and I am a regular patron of the restaurant (best spicy chicken sandwich out there.) I have spoken with and heard from many people who did and from all accounts I have heard this was a peaceful and fun event. People were patient and kind and showed proper behavior to their fellow man. This is something to be commended whether you agree with their position or not. However, I see many people making this into something it was not so I think it is time for a rational and sober look at this.

Not About Hate
The charge of hate is the first response that may people have when anyone comes out and says they believe in the traditional definition of marriage (as Dan Cathy did) or if they dare to state that homosexuality is a sin. This charge is arrogant in the extreme. It claims to know what is going on inside someone else’s heart and mind. Is the homosexual community, and its supporters, endowed with the psychic ability to read minds and emotions? I sincerely doubt it. It is rather funny to me that the first charge against supposed “hate” is visceral and hateful (and often laced with profanity which is another way of saying you are not intelligent enough to think of a better word.) Someone stating their belief in the traditional definition of marriage is NOT hate. It is an opinion. Deal with it. Stop injecting so much emotion into the discussion. All that does is show those of us who can think rationally that you have no argument for your position and are in fact simply trying to manipulate feelings. Enough of that!

As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I do so because I believe what the Bible says about it. You simply cannot get past this basic fact. Both the Old Testament and the New is abundantly clear that God considers this to be a sin and against His Law. And don’t tell me that Jesus never taught on this subject. Going that route is trying to place the words of Christ (red letters in many Bibles) over and against the rest of the teachings of Scripture. Jesus affirms the Law of God as revealed in the Old Testament. Don’t believe me? Read Matthew 5:17-20. You may not like what the Bible has to say about homosexuality but don’t tell me that it does not teach that it is sinful. I would rather that you reject the Scripture than try and twist it. At least that is honest.

Does that mean I hate the homosexual? Absolutely not. The same way I don’t hate the thief, or the adulterer, or the blasphemer, or the coveter, or the liar… Let this point sink in for a minute: Christians do not hate homosexuals! Those that do are themselves sinning and need to be called to repentance. Furthermore, those who are engaging in acts of physical and verbal violence against homosexuals are not behaving as Christians. I will gladly condemn those actions but simply stating the fact that the Bible teaches homosexuality to be a sin is not hateful. Remember, the message of the Bible is that we (all of us) are born sinful and at odds against a holy God. This God is also loving and has provided for the redemption of His people through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All who repent of their sins and turn to Him for forgiveness are redeemed from their sins. If people do not know they are sinful they cannot repent and be saved from the just punishment their sins deserve. How is it hateful to call people to repentance in order to save their eternal souls? It would be hateful not to.

Marriage is Already Destroyed?
The next big objection I hear is that homosexual marriage cannot destroy traditional marriage because things like divorce and adultery have already destroyed it. There are those who say that these things are as rampant within the church as they are in the rest of society therefore we do not have a basis from which to object to allowing homosexuals to marry. I find this charge somewhat confusing for a couple of reasons. First, Christians DO speak out against divorce and adultery. Does this get as much press as those who speak against homosexuality? Regretfully, they do not. The Bible teaches that adultery is a sin as much as is homosexuality and that divorce is against God’s intention for marriage (though it is allowed in certain specific situations: Matthew 19:8-9.) I know plenty of Christians and pastors who will proclaim these things to be wrong in the same breath they proclaim homosexuality to be a sin. There are churches that ignore these issues and I cannot commend them for it. Just because there are those that do is no reason to abandon the argument against the sin of homosexuality.

Also, do we really think that everyone in churches who claim to be a Christian really is one? I hope we are not that naïve. Could it be that much of the cases of adultery and divorce within the church are symptoms of the fact that not all who claim Christ really know Him? (Matthew 7:21-23) I am not suggesting that Christians cannot sin in this manner but please do not rule out the possibility and lump all of us in the same category simply because the ratios come out similar.

Second, the issue of homosexuality (as opposed to divorce and adultery) is the one we are being asked as a culture and society to give consent and approval for. As far as I know there are no major lobby movements to grant special rights to divorced people or adulterers. Those caught up in these sins are not asking us to say that their lifestyle is ok and acceptable. Most of them could care less what we think about it. It is only in the area of homosexuality that we, as a church and society, are having the issue rammed down our throats. They want to redefine marriage from what it has been since the beginning of human society to include their specific sinful behavior. This is the equivalent of the thieving community lobbying congress to allow larceny. That is admittedly an extreme example but the point is made. Christians, who are also citizens of this country, are being asked to give consent as a society for people to take an institution established by God and redefine it to include behavior that He specifically says is sinful.

Will allowing homosexuals to marry destroy my marriage? No. On an individual level, specific marriages will not be affected. It is the institution of marriage that we are being asked to allow to be redefined. Redefining the word changes the institution and, in this case, causes severe harm to it. The last time I checked, Christians were also Americans. We also have a say in the laws of this land as much as the homosexual community does. Obviously, we are going to oppose the society allowing things that the Bible teaches are wrong. We are not personally threatened by this (though some may behave that way.) We are simply exercising our civil rights in speaking out against something we know is wrong.

A Plea for Reason
I want to appeal to those who condemned or downplayed the Chick-fil-A day on August 1st. If you think this was about Christians hating homosexuals or flexing their muscles and trying to force their views on you then you have missed the point. If you think this was the church failing to be a witness to the homosexual community then you have missed the point. The point of that day was twofold. First, this was an expression of love and support to the leadership of the franchise. Dan Cathy has been vilified in the press for statements which were not hateful and fully within his rights as an American citizen. (If you claim to be a Christian and would not have made the same statements then you are a hypocrite.) In response the homosexual community and certain leaders in the government have called people to boycott the business and deny them the right to practice in a free market. This is wrong and is detrimental to our society. If you don’t like their views then, by all means, go somewhere else. We don’t like when corporations such as Target, Microsoft, and Apple give money to the other side of this argument. You don’t hear us calling for the government to put them out of business. (This gets into a whole other issue which I will not venture into in this article.)

Second, the August 1st event was not done by “the church.” It was done by individual people (many of whom were not Christians) who wanted to show support. This was not intended to be a mission trip to reach out to the lost. Many have claimed that this has hurt the pronouncement of the gospel among the homosexual community. Is the issue of sin part of your gospel presentation? If not, then you are presenting the good news to people who have no understanding of the bad. The only reason people are so visceral against Christians for calling homosexuality a sin is that they know deep down that what they are doing is wrong and against a holy God. They are fighting to suppress that knowledge and when we echo what their own conscience tells them they cannot stand it and want to see us silenced. (See Romans 1.) The Chick-fil-A day did no damage to the witness that was not already there in the first place. It still requires regeneration by the Holy Spirit for someone to repent just as it did on July 31st. If you cannot deal with sin, rebellion, and rejection in your presentation of the gospel then you cannot present it rightly.

To all those who are caught up in the sin of homosexuality, adultery, non-biblical divorce or any other sin (sexual or not); I ask you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to repent of your sin and turn to Him. It is only through faith in Christ that we can be free from our sin and its consequences. It is only through Christ and His righteousness that we can be made acceptable to a holy God. You know this even if you expend energy to suppress it. I do not hate you, nor do I wish to see you condemned for all eternity. I say this as one who is just as much a sinner as anyone else. I do not come from a position of moral high ground or authority. I come to you as one who knows he is a sinner and has been redeemed by Christ. Repent of your sin and He will rescue you from it.

God bless.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Knight permalink*
    August 15, 2012 10:33 am

    I am leaving comments open on this but given some of the responses to those on my side of this issue I want to stress that if you want to comment on my blog you will be nice and respectful. I will not tolerate profanity or those who feel the need to rage against my position. I review each comment and if you cannot behave like an adult you will be deleted.

  2. August 15, 2012 11:14 am

    First, I want to thank you for your post and opportunity to dialogue about a topic in need of discussion. From what I have read, I would disagree that it was a “peaceful and fun event.”

    Being a Christian who also happens to be gay, I respect Dan Cathy and his stance on traditional marriage. That is his personal beliefs and that is freedom of speech. The debate on Chick-Fil-A is not about freedom of speech as much as it is about the organizations that Dan Cathy gives to from the profits of Chick-Fil-A. It is one thing to state your beliefs but it is another to fund organizations that hurt gay people and cause them even more pain when dealing with their sexuality. This is why I do not support Chick-Fil-A I will not use my own money to make other gay people hurt and confused about their sexuality. God has all called us to be good stewards of our money because after all it is His to begin with. I do not feel that supporting Chick-Fil-A is being a good steward of my money.

    The argument about divorce and gay marriage is the gay community sees a double standard. The sin of homosexuality is put on a pedestal and treated more harshly than that of a straight couple who has divorced. Does any churches have consequences to divorced people? No. So why are there consequences and punishments for people who are gay when both issues are considered condemned in the Bible?

    Hopefully this gives a better understanding of where gay people are coming from.

    • Knight permalink*
      August 15, 2012 11:45 am

      I appreciate your polite response. However, if you claim Christ as your Lord and are living a sinful lifestyle then you need to repent and seek forgiveness that can be found in Him.

      Your other objections were answered in my article. I will not debate with you about what Dan Cathy does with his money any more than I will debate about what Target does with their money in promoting homosexual lifestyles. If you don’t want to patronize the restaurant because of this then that is your right.

      Christians do speak out against other sexual sins (and sin in general). If they don’t then they are inconsistent.

      • August 16, 2012 7:09 am

        So what are your beliefs specifically on homosexuality? I am feeling that you believe all people should have a straight sexual orientation. Is this correct?

      • Knight permalink*
        August 16, 2012 7:35 am

        I believe and affirm what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. That it is a sin against God and a violation of His law just like stealing, lust, coveting, murder, and many other sins.

      • August 16, 2012 7:41 am

        I get that. At the end of the day though that are people that have a gay sexual orientation. Do you believe that gay people should change their sexual orientation to straight and marry, etc or do you believe that gay people should be celibate as an act of sacrifice to God?

      • Knight permalink*
        August 16, 2012 8:05 am

        Anyone who has homosexual tendencies, feelings, etc. needs to do the same thing that any of the rest of us sinners needs. Repent and turn to Christ for forgiveness.

        I am not a counselor. I do not presume to tell someone who struggles with this how they should live. That is not the point. We all struggle with sin in our lives even after we have been born again in Christ. It is a sign of that regeneration that we now struggle with our sin. Before God gives us a new heart the is no struggle. Part of the Christian’s life is this daily repentance and turning to Christ. This is not a one time event but a lifestyle of acknowledging our sin and trusting in what He has done on our behalf.

        You seem to think that I am singling out this sin above all others. That is not what I am doing at all. In fact I have beefy clear that this sin is not the “one sin” that will send people to hell. All sin is against a holy God. All sin He must punish. And all sin is redeemed by the blood of Christ for those who repent and believe.

        Do you believe God made you the way you are? If so, what do you base that belief on?

  3. August 18, 2012 5:44 pm

    With only text to convey our thoughts and opinions, I want to say that I mean no disrespect to you in what I say. To me, it comes across as silly to say repent to gay people and yet not have a way in which they should live. It is saying to ask God for forgiveness of my gayness but I am going to continue to live out my sexuality and continue to repent. What good does that do?

    I am not saying that you are singling homosexuality and I am sorry if you got that interpretation. I just wanted to know what you believed on the topic.

    Here’s an article on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day:

    Did God want me to be gay and have a purpose for it? Yes, I believe that. I believe that a person is gay through both nature and nurture. Studies have shown that gay male brains functions and fire similar to those of straight woman so there is a nature part to the gay sexual orientation. I also feel how a person is raised adds to the possibility of a person having a gay sexual orientation. I have seen that “pray the gay away” has not worked and reparative therapy has not worked. If God wanted all people to be straight, he would make a way for all gay people to be straight and as of right now, there is not a way. There are people would are gay that continuous pray and ask God to take away their gay sexuality and they end up frustrated, upset, and feeling like they are not good enough because nothing is changing. There is more I could say but feel free to ask me any questions you have.

    • Knight permalink*
      August 18, 2012 10:34 pm

      Do you know what it means to repent? It means to have a change of heart and mind toward your sin and no longer seek to live according to your sinful desires. This does not mean we never struggle but we always return to God for forgiveness. I cannot make you repent, nor can I tell you specifically how you should live your life afterwards. God gives us a new heart and new desires and will help us resist our sinful desires. The first step is understanding that you are a sinner in need of redemption.

      You cannot claim the name of Christ and continue to live in this lifestyle. Do you not believe what the Bible says about homosexuality? Do you not believe that it is sin? Since you claim to be a Christian I have to assume that you do not. Can the person with a desire to steal claim that it is ok because God created them that way?

      I am sorry if this sounds harsh but you are in the position of those to whom Christ will say “I never knew you.” I do not want that for you so I implore you to repent.

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