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?
Do you question my salvation because I've been disobedient to my parents?
Do you question my salvation because I was disrespectful to my husband yesterday?
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.