My sister brilliantly summed it up in her Facebook status:
Finally figured out how to put into words why the Chick-fil-A stuff made me upset today. As a follower of Jesus we are never once told to defend our rights, but we’re repeatedly told to love our neighbors – how do these pro-Chick-fil-A rallies make us look to the LGBT community?
But it got me thinking even more.
I love Jesus of Nazareth. He is Messiah. He is Lord. He is King. He is God incarnate, God with us. Understanding this makes me a Disciple – I follow in His footsteps and learn at His feet. I am constantly on a journey learning how to best put my faith into practice as He makes me more and more into the man He has made me to be, allowing His views, His thoughts, to be the ones which shape my journey and life – not my own.
Doing this is easier said then done.
I am not perfect.
No disciple is.
We are all in process.
Those outside the church call us hypocrites.
Sadly, I cannot disagree with them. All I can do is agree with them and say,“Yes, I don’t always get it right and for that I’m sorry. Please forgive me because I do not always act, think, look like and say what Jesus would say.” I think this means I’m not a hypocrite – or at least I hope.
Being an American means I have the right to free speech and thought. Paul even asks me to be subject to the government (Romans 13). God also tells the prophet Isaiah this:
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
God tells His people to love their city well. Love their neighbors. Seek their good. Does this sound like Romans 13 yet?
Jesus Himself eats with the most “vile”, unreligious people of His day – tax collectors. Meanwhile, the ones Jesus rebukes were the religious leaders of his day (Matthew 23). Jesus, to answer a question tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus in His infinite wisdom teaches the greatest sermon ever, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) where He turns the world upside down, where He shows His followers what it means to be a disciple. In this legendary discourse He says: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
I have a simple question – was this protest or rally, or whatever it was, a way of loving their enemy?
Would Jesus have gone to Chick-Fil-A today?
Would Jesus get into Facebook fights over Chick-Fil-A?
I’m not here to argue politics or free speech – honestly, I don’t really care. I don’t believe those matter as a disciple of Jesus. If my government one day takes away my free speech, or freedom of religion, it is still my responsibility to stand up for the Gospel. I am and American and a Disciple, however, when the two do not overlap, I leave my American at the door.
Do I agree with Chick-Fil-A? Honestly, for me it doesn’t matter. What I know, is we are called to be “salt” and “light” (Matthew 5:13-16). We are called to be:
a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not recieved mercy, but now you have recieved mercy… Keep your conduct among the Gentiles (non-disciples) honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see yoru good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-10, 12
So I ask you, how as disciples should we react to Chick-Fil-A? Do we join the boycott? Do we give them unflinching support? Or, maybe do we let this oppressed community know we love them, care about them and long for their best? We view them as people, not objects. We view them as human beings, not horrible sinners. We view them in the same light as anyone else, if anything, the thing we should be concerned with is not their sexual orientation, but whether or not they have encountered Jesus and the Gospel yet.
As a disciple I have not arrived. I still sin. I still have my junk I’m dealing with.Jesus never once asked His disciples to fix themselves before they follow Him. The last thing I want to do is make the Gospel more offensive then it is. I mean, who likes being told they aren’t Lord of their own universe? Who likes being told they are sinners and imperfect? Who likes being told they are living their lives for things which in the end have no worth?
Love them. Pray for them. Don’t persecute them. Heck, if anything, get to know them. Take one of them to Chcik-Fil-A (they do make some mean waffle fries) and get to know them, hear their story and see who they are. They are not enemies.
Maybe I’m right; maybe I’m wrong?