Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fried Chicken and Traditional Marriage?

I love Chick Fil A.

To be honest, the reasons I enjoy eating there have nothing to do with the personal views of their CEO or any management staff. I love Chick Fil A because I love their chicken and they have great service. But unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, you've heard almost every politico or cultural commentator  celebrating or snubbing the recent comments by CEO Dan Cathy that he supports marriage as between one man and one woman.

The Mayors of Chicago and Boston have reacted and promised to keep this business from opening in their city because of the personal views of their CEO. Of course I am biased (everyone is!) , but if you take a step back and consider  the reality of a government official promising to regulate commerce because of one person's  personal views , it is revealing and striking to say the least. The Jim Henson Company has notified Chick Fil A that it will no longer partner with them on future projects. Facebook had a "snafu" when Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee invited hundreds of thousands of subscribers to Chick Fil A appreciation day, and the invitation mysteriously disappeared for hours. Needless to say, this topic has exploded and generated strong opinions and comments on both sides.

As a minister I am both encouraged and convicted. I am encouraged anytime someone in our culture who is a leader in their community, or contributes in a sphere of influence, stands up for biblical values. But I am also convicted that as a culture, we exist in such an environment where behavior can become so normalized that to question it is to invite a firestorm.

While affirming my commitment that the practice of homosexuality is sin, nonetheless I can't help feel  the church has failed in reaching out to those in the homosexual community. Heterosexual sex outside of marriage is just as sinful, and yet our Christian sub-culture makes allowances for certain taboos and respectable sins (If you haven't read Jerry Bridges' "Respectable Sins" first repent, then go read it :) We in the church need to speak the truth in love, and unfortunately we have proven the culture right at times when they have claimed that those in the conservative Christian world (of which I am an unashamed member) are bigoted or hateful. We need to repent, just as we are calling homosexuals to repent and those who support "gay marriage" to repent. Homosexuals don't need to "get straight"...they need Jesus, just like you and I do. And once we are transformed, our desires and affections are changed that we want to live in the sweet spot of life; loving and delighting in the law of God.

(For more on this topic, click here to read "The Bible, Homosexuality, and Shellfish") 

The Apostle Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit)  sums up the problem with his usual poise and grace when he wrote to the Corinthians, "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) Let us never forget, that our only banner is the crucified and risen Christ;  not any enterprise or fast food chain (as tasty as it may be). We should not be surprised when the world rejects our message, for it is folly to a self-centered and individualistic culture. Yet it is nothing less than the very power of God to those who are refined and refreshed by its healing grace. So on August 1, if you want to eat at Chick Fil A to support their CEO, by all means go ahead! But don't forget, that taking a stand for Christ involves daily dying to our own agendas, and remembering that our life is hidden with Him (Colossians 3:3)

It has been said that some things are as American as Apple Pie and Baseball. Maybe we our entering an era (good and bad)  where something is as traditional as fried chicken and marriage.

Lee Hutchings is an Assistant Pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland, Mississippi

No comments:

Post a Comment