What exactly did Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A say that has so angered politicians up north? The match that seemed to light the fuse appears to be the following from the Ken Coleman show …
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about”
Please understand that the Bible gives the Christian a clear definition of what marriage is … and as a convicted believer, Dan Cathy does not (nor does any other believer) have God’s approval to offer alternative options. He must respond based on what is revealed to him in Scripture …
He (Jesus) answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV)
This is really not an argument about who is right and who is wrong … if that is all it becomes, then as believers we have lost sight of our objective … we are not the morality police … we are not seeking to simply change or control behavior … we are agents of reconciliation seeking the transformation that only Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit can perform within one He has reconciled unto Himself.
This is about declaring truth and revealing lies. Remember what Jesus said … ‘The truth will set you free.” If you study the Gospels and the ways Jesus dispensed truth … you will see He used a wide variety of methods. Sometime He simply presented the truth in a loving way without any condemnation and judgment whatsoever … very subtle. On the other hand, in His interaction with the scribes and Pharisees (like in Matthew 23), He was extremely confrontational and judgmental … of course, they claimed to be children of God and He focused on their hypocrisy. The point in all this … there are different ways to present the truth. As believers, individually we must depend on the leading and conviction of the Holy Spirit for the timing, method, message and audience and regardless of the approach the truth must ultimately be presented with love and with a desire for there to be reconciliation to God … not to declare I’m right and you’re wrong.
(Just a thought … but is it possible that Jesus’ approach with the Pharisees was such that as a whole they would play their designated part in making sure Jesus completed His journey to the cross? And if so, what does that imply for believers today?)
All that said … very few people living a lie who are confronted with truth are going to respond in a positive manner … so buck up and be prepared for it.
Usually when there is a disagreement between two groups that is grounded in the battle between the truth and lies, the tolerance / intolerance cards are going to be played helter skelter. Let me share a couple of thoughts that came to mind on Chick-Fil-A Wednesday …
First, tolerance is defined as a disposition to allow freedom of choice or behavior … but that does not mean you must agree with that choice or behavior. Second, oftentimes tolerance is just another way of saying I have no convictions that I believe wholeheartedly in. Third, intolerance is just a deceptive way of saying our disagreement (because of the truth you are standing firm upon) is your fault. And finally and ironically, the intolerance card is usually dealt by one crying foul … one whose heart is already full of intolerance for the truth.
Quite frankly I am more concerned about those who claim to be born-again Christians but embrace tolerance with no regard whatsoever for the truth that can save their friends than I am with those who scream ‘Intolerance!’ but are embracing the lie to begin with. Perhaps I should be equally concerned for both …
All that said … I truly believe our God is a God who strongly believes in choice but we must all understand that choices have consequences … sometimes good … sometimes bad. God loves us and wants us to love Him … and in the midst of that choice to love Him with mega doses of work by Jesus and the Holy Spirit is found obedience to his commands.
But we are equally free to refuse that choice or choose another … we just need to understand we are also choosing the subsequent consequence … and when the time comes to reap some of that consequence, we just might not be too happy about our choice.
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17 (ESV)
I’m not saying all this is easy … Lord knows I fail at it constantly … but I have no doubt this is the longing … the desire of God … for his children.
For our consideration and comments …