Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Thoughts on Support Chick-fil-a Day

I woke up thinking about all of "this" today. Generally, when I wake up thinking about something, it's with me in my thoughts all day. Sometimes blogging helps me process information. I'm going to try that with "this."

I'm sure most of you know that Chick-fil-a has been in the media quite a bit recently because of their "anti-gay" stance. I have "anti-gay" in quotation marks because I don't think the fact that the owners of Chick-fil-a support the biblical definition of marriage makes their company "anti-gay." From what I know of the company, they welcome everyone into their establishments, and they serve ALL of their customers with respect. I'm confident all of their guests get a good dose of "my pleasure" (employees' response to "thank you"), regardless of sexual orientation.

I'm sure most of you know that there are two major sides here that I'm going to over-simplify into the boycotters and the supporters. I'm going to say that I don't fall into either category, because I don't think I really fit into either one.

Now I'm going to share all of my random thoughts. You can read or not read. That's your right.

As a Christian, I have to look to Scripture. This whole Chick-fil-a issue isn't about chicken. It's about family and homosexuality. Would you agree?

I believe that Scripture teaches that marriage between a man and a woman is a beautiful mystery, one that plays an important role of portraying the relationship between Christ and the church (see Ephesians 5:25-33).

I believe that Scripture teaches us that we are to love our neighbor, that we are to "walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us" (Ephesians 5:1; see also Matthew 22:35-40).

I believe that homosexual acts are sinful (see Romans 1). I say "acts" because I'm not sure saying "homosexuality" is sinful is spot on accurate (I welcome Scripture that will help me understand, if you'd like to share). I'm fat. I'm not sure being fat is sinful, so much as the gluttony that leads to me being fat is sinful. Does that make sense? I also believe there are a whole host of sins. If you decided to read Romans 1, you'll see one list of sins. Did you find yourself in that list? I certainly did. If you've ever been disobedient to your parents, you're in the list. I don't think any of us can escape the list.

I believe that Christ died for us, even though we're all in the list.

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23, emphasis mine)

"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

I believe there are some genuine believers who are homosexuals.

Do I question their salvation because of their homosexuality?


Do you question my salvation because I'm fat?

Probably not.

Do you question my salvation because I've been disobedient to my parents?

Probably not.

Do you question my salvation because I was disrespectful to my husband yesterday?

Probably not.

I could go on, but I won't.

Now I'm going to be honest with you. I don't know what to do with the fact that there are genuine believers who are struggling with the sin of homosexuality. I don't always know what it looks like to love them (or the nonbelievers in the LGBT community) - and I believe with my whole heart that I am called to love them, just like they're called to love me even though I'm fat, even though I walk around every day with undeniable evidence of my sin covering my bones. I don't know what it looks like to love them in the realm of civil rights and laws and such. I don't know. I wrestle with it. I need to study Scripture and read and pray and beg God to show me how he wants me to live.

Now back to Chick-fil-a.

I don't believe boycotting Chick-fil-a is the loving thing to do, because boycotting Chick-fil-a doesn't just affect the owners. A boycott will affect the employees and their families.

I don't believe participating in Support Chick-fil-a Day tomorrow is the loving thing to do, because it will not show love to my neighbors in the LGBT community. What I may see as supporting the owners' rights to their beliefs could be interpreted as an intentional, hurtful act toward the LGBT community, and I don't want to do that.

So, while I won't be eating Chick-fil-a on August 1st, I am not boycotting Chick-fil-a.

For those of you planning to participate in Support Chick-fil-a Day, I challenge you to pray and ask God to reveal your motives to you. If it really is just about supporting the rights of the owners, OK. But if there's even an ounce of an "I'll show THEM" motive, I encourage you to ask yourself if that's loving. Jesus told his followers that the second greatest commandment was to love their neighbors as themselves. Would you think it was loving toward you if someone did something with an "I'll show THEM" motive and YOU were a part of the THEM?

For my friends in the LGBT community (and I suspect there are more of you than I know), I do love you. Know that I'm wrestling with all of these things. I want to hold fast to what Scripture teaches, and I want to love you. I'll probably blunder along the way. I need grace, both from the Lord and from you.

If you made it this far, thanks.


Erin said...

I love your post - very thought provoking! While I don't agree with the choices that people make who practice the homosexual lifestyle, I do agree with Mr. Cathy's statements that it is not biblical. I plan to eat at CFA tomorrow to support them because they are a wonderful Christian business. Not in a "haha, I'll show you" way but "thanks for standing up for Christian values." That's my 2 cents. :)

About Our Family said...

Rachelle- I thought this was a WONDERFUL post. Very heartfelt and, I think, accurate to scripture. I'm with you, too, on wanting to love sinners (like myself- I definitely (like Paul) count myself as a chief among sinners) but not always knowing exactly how to do it.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I won't make a special trip to Chick-fil-a tomorrow either. I will show my support my continuing to eat there as opportunity presents itself. Their food is delicious and I have found most employees to be polite and helpful.

Brenda Christmas said...

I will be showing support for Chick-fil-A, but not as a way to thumb my nose at anyone else. That thought doesn't typically cross my mind! I am looking forward to some yummy waffle fries. I've been there when they've given away free food, so why wouldn't I want to give back by being there to show some support for them?

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate that you seperated out the attraction, struggle, act from the person. I feel the push to make that an identity presupposes a more personal attack when someone disagrees and that is untrue. I am heterosexual but I don't identify myself immediately as that. I am much, much more as a person. It is one thing about me. I have said this before and I will say it again, as a people who believe in Jesus and the Bible as truth we just shouldn't look just like a people who do not. If your response is equal and just as offended and crazy as the others, something is wrong. Here's to good food and good service whoever is givng it and to learning more and more to be gracious and humble. Thanks friend!
Julie J.

Martin LaBar said...

Well said.

One aspect of this that is seldom mentioned is that there is no evidence from the Bible that marriage ceremonies were religious -- see here. That doesn't mean that God is not interested in marriage, or that He is in favor of all marriages, of whatever sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

While I would agree with Ms. Adams that all sin is harmful and separates us from God, and that the only atonement for all sin is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I would have to say that she goes a little far in belittling the effects of a sin such as homosexuality by proposing that it is equal to a sin such as gluttony.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 clearly says that sins of a sexual nature reap a more severe consequence on us, (and thus on our culture.) In listing sins that severely effect the body, God, speaking through the apostle Paul doesn't say, "flee gluttony." (Although scripture certainly does as a whole condemn all sin, including gluttony.) This scripture clearly says, and I think if we are honest, we all know, that sexual immorality damages us at a deeper level than other sins. It is right that Don Cathy (with Chick-Fil-A) and others like him take this stand and cry out that our nation return to the Biblical Standards regarding marriage.
English Standard Version (ESV)

18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[a] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Anonymous said...

Yes, to all Rochelle says but there is a difference. Too often the gay community expects God to excuse thier sin and accept them for who they are. I sin every hour of the day and aI am very sorry for it and repent all the time and it saddens me. I do not expect God to over look my sin or to pardon me without me asking forgiveness. Too often we believe lies in regards to our sin. The homosexual in his life style has bought in to the lie that they were born that way. If it were true then why are so many homosexual people liberated from that life style and live lives of freedom after confessing the sin and with God's help living lives that are God pleasing? We need ot focus on Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith and He will direct our lives to be more God pleasing. If we are close to Christ in our Christian walk He will lovingly expose our sin and help us deal with it.

Karen B said...

I agree with the posts by Rachelle. As far as how to deal with the "mixed arrangement" situations, it is very simple as stated in the Bible: Love without judging. It is not my right to judge anyone. It is however my responsibility to love.