Sad Day For Chick Fil A
From the gay and lesbin perspective this particular controversy is about an organization that contributes financially to other organizations they believe are hate groups, and driven to deprive them of their 'right' to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From the conservative Christian perspective it is about the right of a business owner to express his views without government backlash.
Gays and Lesbians hearld the mayors of Boston and Chicago as chapions of their cause for self determination and freedom of sexual expression and marriage. Conservative Christians hearld Dan Cathy and Chick fil a as a becon of truth in a morally bankrupt society.
There is a third group, those who desire dialogue, understanding, and love. But this can only go so far, because in the end it comes down to what one believes the Scripture says about homosexuality and marriage. If I believe literally what the bible says then I can listen and talk all I want, but in the end I can no more agree with the gay and lesbian perspective than they will with mine, no matter how loving we want to be.
Can we live side by side in tolerance? Tolerance isn't accepting the beliefs or behavior of someone, but dissagreeing and living together in a civil manner. Gay and lesbian organizations want acceptance, and anything else is considered bigoted and hatefilled. Acceptance means allowing those with whom I disagree acess to my work place and my place of worship without feeling bad about the differences. Tolerance means that there will always be tension and exclusion at times, but that we will treat one another with dignity and respect.
Homosexuals are welcome in our church, but we would not support public displays of their behavior, or allow into membership anyone who is practicing homosexuality. I am sure that I would be welcome to attend gay and lesbian gatherings, as long as I didn't pull out my bible and begin preaching what the bible says about their lifetyle, nor would I be accepted into membership of their organization knowing what I believe. These tensions and exclusions are normal and I accept them.
The deeper controversy revolves around practices and institutions that are civil in nature. In a secular society can one group of people discriminate against another, and deprive them of rights afforded to another group, i.e. marriage. In a secular, deomocratic, socieity whose definition of marriage is the right one? Answer, the one who has the most votes. But our constitution is such that it protects the rights of the minority from the unjust weilding of power of the majority. That is why there is so much tension and arguing. Gays and lesbians wonder why we, as conservative Christians, are so upset with their desire to live in a married relationship with someone they love. Conservative Christians see it as a water shed issue, and that defining marriage as anything other than a man and women will lead the country further away from its Christian roots and eventually ending up like Europe -- the new dark continent. Conservative Christians also see it as a way for the government to impose practices that violate their beliefs and conscience. In other words if Gays and Lesbians can marry then I, as Christian employer, will have to pay for benefits that support their lifestyle, or face discrimination accusations. Or would a Christian adoption agency be forced to place a child with a legally married gay couple. It would be easy to say that these things would never happen, but we all know that someone is always looking to push into areas for the sake of their own agenda.
There is no reconciling the differences between these two groups. The tension will always remain, and as history has proved, the stand for moral truth will lose out in a free and diverse society. So how do I respond? Jesus said that we are not to respond to hate with hate, but with love. So what does it mean for a follower of Jesus to respond in love? It means standing firm on the word of God, speaking the truth in love, sharing the grace of God in a way that offers hope, and allowing only the gospel to be offensive. In the end we need to relize that no matter how loving we are those who reject the truth will always see us as homophobic and we will always see them as Chritophobic. We also need to underand that no matter what happens politically or socially, in the end Christ will return and the glory of God will reign. We don't need to judge, sin is judged already, what we need to do is point people to God's grace. If they respond the angles will rejoice. I'm just saying..