Taking up your cross is harder than taking home some chicken.
The event comes two days after supporters of the chain’s president Dan Cathy’s stance on gay marriage attracted thousands, many of them conservative Christians, to restaurants, resulting in record-setting sales. former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister and Fox News talk-show host, issued the call to action at the company’s more than 1,600 locations.
We no longer discuss or debate in our society. We stage media events.
The church fathers wrote books and essays like “The City of God” and “Exhortation to the Heathen.” During the Reformation, theologians made arguments defending or explaining the faith to the public, learned and unlearned, like Luther’s “Bondage of the Will” or “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.”
Today there is no public debate depending on reasoned arguments. We can’t make them, or don’t believe in them. We don’t enter into public discussion with ideological opponents. There is no discussion about whether homosexual “marriages” will benefit society, whether they make sense. Everyone knows that no one cares about reason and argument. What matters is how people feel about homosexuality. And what matters is how effectively you are able to command the terrain of the battle, which is the media and how you look in it.
Homosexual marriage is an absurdity. An examination of history will show you that there has never been any such thing. That’s because marriage is not primarily about love, or about being turned on, or about your affection for your relative who’s gay nor about your nostalgia for the good old days of deistic civil religion. Marriage, at least as far as the state is concerned, is about babies.
Babies continue to come into existence only one way–through the union of a human male and a human female. Because of this, it has always been in the interest of nations both to encourage procreation of children in such a way that the next generation was taught and nurtured toward responsible citizenship, and discourage the procreation of children who would grow up inadequately nurtured and taught. So governments wanted to discourage sexual unions that produced children with absent fathers, and also to discourage sexual activity which would not result in children at all.
A ways back we got the idea that low birth rates were beneficial–or at least not harmful–to the health of a nation.
The evidence that these old ideas were right are punching our society repeatedly in the eye, but we still don’t hear any voices in the media saying this unequivocally. This argument doesn’t get heard.
The idea that marriage is not simply a cultural idiosyncrasy of the West, but merely an acknowledgment of the laws of nature, is shouted down. Along with the entire intellectual tradition upon which our present civilization depends.
We can’t have the discussion. We don’t discuss whether or not Nazi race ideology has any merits, because it is considered obscene to even discuss it. I agree–racism and genocide is ugly and evil. Unfortunately, that is getting to be the way every issue in our culture is staged. Those who oppose homosexuality are simply evil people, just like Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan.
But I find myself wondering, again, if we’re fighting the wrong way; if organizing a rally around Chik-fil-a is really the way to fight this battle. The owner of Chik-fil-a was well aware of what it would cost him to say that public endorsement of homosexuality invites God’s judgment.
Gay activists picketing and boycotting everyone who dares to say that homosexuality is a moral evil akin to racism–the appropriate way to fight that is to tell Christians and nostalgic Americans to go buy a bunch of fast food? In the interests of getting on the evening news? Isnt’ that just feeding into the problem?
Far better to speak the truth in love and then endure the attacks that will follow. Buying fried chicken is not going to stop the public approval of homosexuality. Maybe you could argue that Christians have to act politically to fight unjust laws, such as gay marriage laws. You have to also recognize that this is probably a losing battle. But participating in stupid media stunts? Is that really how we operate? I seem to remember Paul saying that we do not fight with the weapons of the world, and that we have renounced hidden ways, but we commend ourselves to men’s consciences by speaking in the open. I remember Jesus saying, “For this purpose I have come: to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18? 19?) Not to manipulate crowds, not to win public opinion.
What works in favor of Christian opposition to homosexual marriage is first of all that it is simply true that homosexual marriage and sex is wrong. And people know that.
In a sense you could look at the gay outrage and loudness as the cries of desperate consciences. Deep down people know that it is wrong. But what people don’t know is the gospel. They don’t know what to do when they are sinners and can’t stop sinning. And the problem is that the Christians in America, by and large, have neglected to tell people, clearly and unmistakably, that human beings are born dead in trespasses and sins, enemies of God who are unable to turn to Him and unable to do anything good in His sight.
Since Americans don’t know that, they don’t understand or know that the only answer to the sin that lives in us is the crucifixion of the Son of God. Because Jesus was brutally killed and bore God’s wrath against my rebellion, my sins are no longer counted to me when I believe God’s promise to blot out my sins for Jesus’ sake.
You can simply tell people the truth–it is a perversion of human sexuality for people of the same sex to pleasure themselves with one another, since their sexual organs are self-evidently for the purpose of creating human life. Eventually the truth will out.
But why do people not listen to this truth? Because they know that the sex drive–lust–is powerful. And they know that many gay people find themselves attracted to the same sex at a young age without consciously choosing it. And they feel that it is not possible for something to be wrong or evil and worthy of condemnation if it is not something you choose.
It is a misguided compassion.
You don’t overcome false compassion by fighting–by fighting back in the media and by buying fast food.
Take a lesson from Jesus, or Gandhi, at least. You tell the truth, and you suffer injustice without perpetrating injustice in return. Eventually it’s going to be hard to portray Christians as compassionless, self-righteous haters if it’s the gay rights groups that are constantly boycotting and screaming and dragging us into court.
But the goal is not to be perceived as compassionate, but actually to be compassionate. To speak against homosexuality because we love homosexuals, and the media, and because our Lord loves homosexuals, and the media. We should not speak against homosexuality, much less buy fried chicken against homosexuality, because we love ourselves.
First of all, God loves sinners–real, ungodly, wicked, going to hell sinners.
Secondly, God loves sinners. He earnestly, passionately loves the ones who hate and oppose Him and would kill Him if they could. He so passionately loves evil sinners that He allowed them to kill Him. He has given Himself into our hands. And how often has it been the Church that has blasphemed and killed Him in response to His love in putting Himself into our hands? Far more often than it has been the gay rights groups.
Because we are often the ones who have done the worst to Christ–we have gotten His word wrong or portrayed Him wrong or denied Him–and worse, hardened ourselves against Him when He rebuked us–we should know something about what Jesus’ love for those who vehemently hate and curse Him is like.
I’m not trying to criticize Mike Huckabee or anyone who jumped on the Chik-fil-a bandwagon. I’ve struggled with this in my own mind. It is important to speak the truth and to stand with those who speak it. I know how painful it is to be attacked and then have your supposed allies say nothing, or say it’s your own fault because you didn’t say things the right way.
But we have to learn to evaluate victory differently. Many homosexuals and supporters of gay marriage hate Christians because they think that Christians hate them. And frequently they are right. They need to see something of the reality that God loves those who hate Him. They need to see Christians love them not only by Christians telling them the truth about their sin, but also by humbly bearing with abuse out of love. And if we wish to do that, it means we need to ask the Holy Spirit to cause us to see, like Paul, how we have persecuted Christ and done the unforgivable, yet Jesus “loved us and gave himself for us.” (Galatians 2:21) He passionately loved us while we were still His persecutors, enemies, and murderers.
- You’re doing it wrong: Chik-fil-A edition (orthosphere.org)
- Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day Reveals Liberal Intolerance (thecollegeconservative.com)
- Chik-Fil-A: Hate the Hater, Love the Chicken, Eat More Beef? (reason.com)
- Americans flock to support Chick-fil-A (wnd.com)
- I made out with my gay lover boyfriend at Chik-Fil-A. Where should we get chicken sammies from now? (hipsterrunoff.com)
- Political Chicken And Coffee (personalliberty.com)
- Kisses at Chick-fil-A to protest gay marriage view (cnsnews.com)
- Playing chicken: Same-sex Muppets vs. Chick-fil-A (wnd.com)
- Yes, You Care: Antoine Dodson Says He Will Continue To Eat At Chik-Fil-A (crunktastical.net)