Fried vs. Fabulous

 

We are a nation who worships controversy and conflict, and I wish that wasn’t the case. More often than not our tendency to categorize people, places, or things as good or evil hinders any sort of meaningful dialogue that could be had. It happens in politics, sports, and religion, which funnily enough are three things that are unwise to bring up in polite conversation, due to the likelihood of offending or angering someone. The most recent debate, Chick-fil-a vs. same-sex marriage is turning out to be more than a passing blurb on the internet, and is instead blossoming into . . . well . . . a situation.

Armies have been assembled on both sides, and lines have been drawn. Evangelicals from all over the country are registering on Facebook, declaring their intent to attend the “Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day.” Here in metro Atlanta, the drive thru lines are filling up with cars sporting all manner of ichthus decals and “honk if you love Jesus” bumper stickers, while Midtown and college campuses are grumbling at the anti-homosexual sentiments emanating from Truett Cathy’s minions. But it doesn’t stop there. Elsewhere, Muppets are angry, and the mayors of Boston and Chicago are using the bully-pulpit to dissuade the restaurant from attempting to set-up any locations in their cities, preventing their citizens from enjoying the lightly-breaded goodness. The board is set and the pieces have begun to move. We only have to wait for the game to play out.

“How we, the Church, play this game, directly influences how non-Christians see Jesus . . . “

Most people are going to have some sort of opinion on same-sex marriage. Chances are, yours is going to anger someone else, which is fine. That’s the nature of opinions, especially those regarding politics and religion. My take on the whole thing might be a little more blasé than some, which will probably anger or disappoint a few people who believe Christians should take a more pointed stance. I suppose my opinion can be boiled down to the idea that I would rather err on the side of grace. Whether or not I believe homosexuality is a sin should have no bearing on how I treat that person, because why should I take an aggressive stance against someone else, or a community, simply because they sin differently than I do? Maybe that’s riding the fence. I’d like to think that I’m not a bad Christian because I choose to engage people with the Gospel rather than stones.

This is bigger than a chicken sandwich or a wedding cake with two grooms on top. How we, the Church, play this game, directly influences how non-Christians see Jesus, because if we are the Body of Christ as scripture says we are, our actions represent Christ. That means our actions should be congruent to his ideals. Jesus, who talked with Samaritan women and prostitutes, who dared to look lepers in the eye. It’s the same Jesus who ate with tax collectors and sinners, and who chose to not speak out against the decadent and perverse Roman culture. This is nothing like the Church today. By and large we segregate ourselves from society until we see something so heinous that we have to speak out, even if what is going on has no influence on our lives. We need to decide what is most important: forcing culture to fit within our own understanding of what a Christian nation looks like, or simply loving God, and loving people in their own culture and context.

What are your thoughts?  How can the church effectively engage this rapidly changing culture in a way that still effectively communicates the gospel?  Also, if you haven’t yet, please like the SemiTheologian Facebook page with the button on the sidebar.

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14 thoughts on “Fried vs. Fabulous

  1. Amen! I am so proud of this and proud to say you are my brother in law. I am going to share it with all if I can figure it out!

  2. You have a way of making people think. If the words you write are absorbed and processed, you realize that is a true Christian’s point of view. Being tolerant works both ways. It is amazing how the people that accuse other people of not being tolerant of their choices can be so intolerant of the views of other’s choices.
    Very good writing.

  3. It has always wondered me how some groups believe freedom of speech only refers to their group or cause, no matter how sick it may be. You are much more tolerant than me. Think I’ll ponder your piece some more over a Chicvk-Fil-A and waffel fry.

  4. what’s funny to me is how so many people presume someone to be a “homophobe” or a “hater of homosexuals” just because someone rejects their lifestyle and/or believes it to be sin.

    of course, some people DO send a message of hatred toward homosexuals — like those nut ball so called “Christians” who condemn homosexuals at various public events, holding signs that says, “God hates homos”, etc.

    the Biblical teaching is to hate the sin but love the sinner, which i believe is Christ’s example.

    but on the other side of the coin, the homosexual movement’s agenda seems to be to force people to accept their lifestyle. some people have even lost their jobs for speaking against the act of homosexuality. i believe this kind of thing is perhaps one of the primary reasons why the hatred against the homosexual movement continues to grow, because people are just sick of it.

    what others do in PRIVATE should be of no business of individuals nor government, so long as they keep it in PRIVATE. but once such matters are pushed in PUBLIC — like all this “GoTopless” foolishness — the line between PRIVATE and PUBLIC is crossed, and then we have a problem.

    i just wrote a blogpost about this subject which might be noteworthy even if off mostly off-topic, in case anyone here might like to read it:

    Right to Public Indecency?
    http://infinityliberty.blogspot.com/2012/07/right-to-public-indecency.html

    i will certainly continue to strive to NOT grow in any kind of hatred toward my neighbor, simply because i disagree with their ideologies.

    — — —

    other noteworthy thoughts…

    i’m perfectly fine with individuals choosing to live according to their own desires, so long as they do not interfere with the way others choose to live — and that goes likewise for Collectivists in government who want to control nearly every aspect of PRIVATE life.

    but i will never support “special interest rights”, largely because there is no such thing, even though some people claim otherwise.

    for example, if a homosexual is assaulted, the perpetrator who violated the individual rights of another should be prosecuted in the same manner as if they assaulted a heterosexual — insert any other descriptor for ethnicity, religious persuasion, etc.

    EVERY individual has unalienable rights regardless of all these categories. however, the masses have largely forgotten such basic truths because the “Neo-Amerikan” system of gov’t has blatantly ignored this fact and usurped many powers beyond its authority and jurisdiction.

    the homosexual movement’s agenda is to cram their belief system down the throats of others who don’t agree with them. some pathetic cities even permit homosexuals to parade around naked in PUBLIC (see my blogpost above).

    individuals — especially in the public school system — are often silenced for their ideologies for fear of losing their jobs. and heck, people have even lost their jobs in gov’t sectors simply for stating their belief that homosexuality is a sin against the Creator and nature.

    and the so called “same sex marriage” issue is a complete deception. if people began asking the CORRECT questions like, “why is government allowed to interfere in PRIVATE contracts between individuals, and even determine tax rates based upon marital status?”, and educated themselves about how “marriage licenses” came about to begin with, we would get gov’t out of the business of granting permission (in the form of permits/licenses) for something everyone has the unalienable right to do in the first place.

    nearly every social issue involves a violation of someone’s rights, and therefore becomes a matter of LIBERTY.

    one other thing that can be infuriating and provoking: that MANY advocates of the homosexual movement call anyone “homophobes” simply for disagreeing with their lifestyle and their agenda. it’s a childish, foolish, and stupid tack to take in any case, just as calling homosexuals names.

    i’m all for standing up for the rights of ALL individuals, but i stand against allowing ANY movement to stifle the rights of others, and that is exactly what is happening in many cases if one so chooses to observe — and it goes both ways, for sure.

    1. “the Biblical teaching is to hate the sin but love the sinner, which i believe is Christ’s example.”

      I can’t imagine how much easier it would be to hate the sin and love the sinner when one is without sin.

  5. I like what seems to be your main point, namely that Jesus would have been accepting of those who are different from them, instead of hating, persecuting, and judging them. The only thing I didn’t like was the line about “preventing citizens from “enjoying the lightly breaded goodness.” In a republic, one person in a position of authority (public office) represents the will of the majority, as the majority selected that person to speak for them. In this case, the culture in cities includes strong support of gay-rights, and as the representative of that society the mayor is right to rail against the homophobic Chick-Fil-A company, and show solidarity with their constituents in keeping a hateful and shameful company to do business in their city.

    1. “In a republic, one person in a position of authority (public office) represents the will of the majority, as the majority selected that person to speak for them.”

      While that is accurate, you have to consider the times that those in authority go outside the boundaries of their office to become champions of their own pet causes, either out of ideology or to pander for votes. For instance, the large soda ban NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing through the health department. I don’t think the people of NY voted him in office to control their lives, nor do I think the people of Chicago or Boston want their mayor to push their individual ethos on the community. But let’s be honest, they’re jumping on the bandwagon to gain notoriety. That’s what politicians do.

      Thanks for commenting.

    2. yes, representatives represent their constituents. however, they are also not supposed to be violating the rights of anyone. prohibiting a business from operating in their city simply because the owner(s) do not accept homosexuality as a righteous way of life is a direct violation of rights against the owner(s).

      it does not violate the rights of anyone to say i will not condone your way of life which i believe to be unrighteous (etc.).

      the lawful action of the mayor would be to not prohibit the business from operating and simply allow the free market to work: those people who wish to boycott their business are free to do so.

      otherwise, the actions of this mayor are in direct violation of the rights of the business owner(s) to conduct business. any such tyrant should be immediately removed from office for failing to uphold the US Constitution in defending the individuals rights of ALL. of course, if such justice was practiced, there would be few politicians left in office! 😎

  6. I especially like the bit about “just because they sin differently than us.” Sometimes when Christians get on their “better than others” soapbox, I think we forget that we are all sinners saved by God’s grace. That phrase is gonna stick with me for a while. Thanks!

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