I tried to look at this from a distance, although I am a Christian Pastor. I am also a counselor who has heard plenty from both sides. Be patient as I process through the thoughts I had of the day and what surrounded it. I will try to answer comments or questions. Some answers I won’t know. Please be civil. This is not a fun post. It’s just eating me up as I feel there is such a misunderstanding about the differences from both sides. Different does not mean hate. This is not about Chick-Fil-A or homosexuality. It is about a conversation of respect between people with different beliefs. I will read but filter out personal attacks.
Yesterday was Chick-Fil-A appreciation day. It was suggested and encouraged by Mike Huckabee, a Christian Politician (No that’s not an oxymoron), after some very angry and high-profile people in the media called for a boycott of CFA. The reason for the boycott was that CFA CEO Dan Cathy, on a Christian radio show, was asked his stance on gay marriage.
He did not issue any inflammatory remarks. He did not attempt to call anyone by any derogatory names. He was not hateful in his comments. He did not say that people who are gay would not be hired and/or served at Chick-Fil-A restaurants. He simply stated that he holds to the traditional/biblical view of marriage (which is his right as an American citizen.) And it seemed the world lost its mind. ~ Pastor Perry Noble (You can read his post here)
Mr. Cathy did not make a political statement or hate speech. He stated his belief based on the Bible which is the foundation of his values and his principles by which he strives to live his life. These are the same values that keep his company closed on Sundays in order to honor the Sabbath and allows his employees one day a week to spend in worship or with their families.
He gave a similar answer that a Jew, Muslim or any other person of many different faiths would have given if his answer was based on the principles and commands of his Holy Book.
Christians, or people who say they are Christians, are hammered every day for not living according to what they say they believe, and they should be. Many non-Christians love calling Christians hypocrites and look for every opportunity to do so. People say they like Jesus, but they don’t like the people who follow Him.
Nobody is perfect. And some try harder than others.
There are some people who say they are Christians who don’t even make an attempt to live according to the very Bible that they say is the Holy Book of their faith. As a pastor who teaches the Bible, this is very frustrating to me. There are other Christians who pick and choose the parts of the Bible they like, and those parts change with every season and situation of their lives. This group is even more frustrating to a pastor who knows the power and health that comes with living a dedicated life. The third group, the best way they know how, dedicate their lives to growing more mature daily by loving God, loving people and having faith in the Truth of God’s Word. They are not perfect, and it is painful for them when they make choices that are in direct conflict with God who loves them and the Word they believe is truth.
So I understand hammering Christians for being Hypocrites. We should be hammered, but Christians are also attacked and persecuted for our beliefs. And usually by the same people.
Over and over again yesterday I saw hateful comments being shot from the hip in anger from both sides. This is the same thing that is bogging down our political system.
Pastor Noble wrote:
Honestly, it is my prayer that people on both sides of the argument would stop yelling at each other and talking about one another and actually sit down and talk to one another understanding that just because two people do not agree on an issue does not mean they have the right to hate one another for it. Conversation is NOT compromise…it’s actually Christ like! And our world would be a MUCH better place if those who called themselves Christians would step up and lead the way in this, understanding John 3:17 is the attitude that we are called to have!
Since writing on emotional subjects has always made me nervous, I would love to sit in a group and talk about it. So much can be read between the lines according to the readers emotional view. This is my convicted attempt to make some headway in my little corner of the world toward conversation.
I have some observations I will be writing on in the next few posts. I would appreciate your reading and joining the conversation. We won’t agree on some things. But we can show respect to a different, and honest point of view.
I will be attempting to filter my comments through what Jesus stated is the proof of being his followers.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matt 22:36-40
When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:10-11
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32