It’s not easy to keep quiet. My practice is to stay away from politically charged discussions. There are some who I may someday influence for the cause of Christ who would stray if they knew my stand on political issues.
One of the first sermon series I did in our church plant during the last presidential election was called Going Purple. There are few things that cause division among people than politics, but our Christian communities need to be places where people can disagree on things and still worship together. Churches shouldn’t be blue or red.
I remember a pastor pointing out that numbered among Jesus’ disciples were Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax collector. Talk about extremes in political thinking! Zealots wanted to kick out the Romans and re-establish the kingdom of Israel while tax collectors were Jews who gathered up taxes that supported the foreign occupiers. I’m sure Jesus was intentional about this. The Bible doesn’t record it, but I wonder if those two hashed things out from time to time. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe the purpose and power of God among them helped them to see the greater cause? This thought prompts me to stay quiet in such times. However . . .
Christians have as much right to our opinions as everyone else. That some people lay it on thick and scare people away should prompt us to proceed with caution for God’s sake isn’t to say that we shouldn’t speak at all. I believe that marriage is between a man an a woman not just because it feels right to me, but because my God says it’s right.
Chick-Fil-A representatives never said that they would treat anyone differently because of their lifestyle choices. Christianity Today reports that there has never been evidence of discrimination of any sort on the part of the restaurant. So, once again, this is an issue of a particular people paying consequences for speaking freely. The mayors of Chicago and Boston have a right to disagree with the opinion of anyone else. But, they are denying these Christians of their right of doing business because they spoke out in favor of keeping the definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
These politicians have proved once again that they not only lack an elementary understanding of the Constitution they have sworn to uphold, they have foolishly become the epitome of what the world has so often (and justifiably in so many cases) claimed to be a major downfall of Christ followers: hypocrisy. They are outraged at the unfair treatment of Christians against the homosexual population by denying opponents of same sex marriage of their right to the pursuit of happiness.
When I take a bite of that chicken sandwich tomorrow, don’t misunderstand me. It’s not a political statement. I’m not condemning my gay and lesbian friends to hell, which I don’t have the power to do anyway. I am supporting the first amendment right to free speech. And, most of all, I’m casting my vote to help influence society in what I believe is the proper course in these confusing times – just like my friends on the other side of this issue are doing. And I hope that we can remain friends.
So on Wednesday, August 1, I will speak out in support of what I believe is right – both spiritually and constitutionally. I will have lunch at Chick-Fil-A (if there are any seats available). And for those who may take offense, please understand that I will not think differently of you if you don’t.