Don’t Chicken Out

It’s the story everyone is talking about. A quick perusal of Twitter, Facebook and the “blogosphere,” and a few minutes listening to talk radio, and you quickly discover that just about everybody on the planet has an opinion and feels obligated to weigh in on the controversy.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard the uproar about the accusations of “intolerance” and “hate” aimed at the President of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain, Dan Cathy, and the calls for boycotts against the restaurants from some activists because of Cathy’s “anti-gay” comments in a recent interview.
For the record, here’s exactly what he said:
We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.
It’s hard to find a lot of “hate” in that comment. As one writer said, “it just sounds like a Christian businessman answering a question about his faith.” I’m not sure why any of this was a surprise, anyway. Anyone who has been paying attention has known for a while that Chick-Fil-A is a family-focused restaurant built on Biblical values.
But since this is the hot story out there, and I know you’re waiting to hear my opinions too (you are, aren’t you?), here’s my $.02 worth.
*This is a good lesson for all of us to stand firm, even when we feel the pressure of the world against us. Thanks to Mr. Cathy and Chick-Fil-A for living out their family values and basing their business on Biblical convictions. These attacks are not to be unexpected. Remember that Jesus said that we would go out into the world as sheep among wolves. But that doesn’t mean we have to “chicken out” when we face opposition. Stand up, and stand strong, for what you believe.
*It’s obvious, in our politically correct world, that “tolerance” does not mean what it used to mean. This is the ultimate irony in this case, that those who have called for tolerance for certain lifestyles are the first to condemn others for their beliefs.
*We must guard against a condescending self-righteousness and spiritual arrogance in times like these, which usually fuels the impression those who oppose us have about us. If we do not love with humility, as Christ did, even those who lifestyles we may disagree with, then we negate any truth that comes out of our mouths. The Gospel on which we stand is not about living up to anyone’s moral standards, but about grace, bestowed on sinners like us through the cross. That leaves us in no position to condemn anybody.
*Finally, my biggest frustration is that I’ll NEVER be able to get into the parking lot at Chick-Fil-A any more. It was bad enough already, with all the crowds showing up in support of good food and good service, accompanied with “it’s my pleasure” hospitality, in a family-friendly atmosphere. With the boycott, there will be so many Christians rallying behind their brethren under attack, it will be harder than ever to find a place to park at lunchtime.
To borrow from Mr. Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. May the Lord bless you as you stand up for what’s right where you are, and as you love God and love people all around for His kingdom sake. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
–Pastor Ken