Guest column: Don't take sharing Christian values for granted
I read in today's Advocate (July 20, 2012) about gay rights advocates being surprised that the president of Chick-fil-A Dan Cathy, has taken a public position against same sex marriage. This Associated Press article printed in the Advocate refers to Cathy's remarks given to the Baptist Press, but contains only a few of the statements Cathy made to the Baptist Press. The Baptist Press article referred to can be found at http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271.
He is quoted a bit more at length there than in the AP article.
From the Baptist Press: "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," Cathy emphasized.
"We intend to stay the course," he said. "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."
Can this biblical principle of marriage between a man and a woman be boiled down and found in one Bible verse? Some say yes, but better by a thorough read of the Bible, God's own revealed word, does it become clear that God's intent is for marriage to be between a man and a woman.
I think it is reasonable to state that America is becoming more accepting of homosexuality and same sex marriage. "Inclusiveness" seems to be the driver, but the powers and principalities use inclusiveness as a tool to manipulate and gain power.
In this same Advocate article, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which supports same-sex marriage said, "As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality."
Here Griffin incorrectly assumes two things, that a "mentality" is the cause of Chick-fil-A's stand, rather than an understanding of and obedience to God's word, and that "stuck in the past" is necessarily a bad place to be.
As if principles of old must be cast off for a new perspective.
President Obama recently declared, "It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." Then in the same interview said, "There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we're talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently."
It doesn't make sense to them and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective," he said.
Therein lies the problem. With an understanding of the scriptures, it would make sense to them, and to him. I wonder does the father Obama understand and teach his children the Bible's truths?
In eight quotes easily found on the Internet regarding his evolved stance on gay marriage, not once did Obama mention biblical principle as a concern for his stand at that time. He and those who cry out for equality and inclusion look first to the world and the body politic for guidance rather than to God's word regarding marriage. I considered adding the church as a source for guidance, but I realize much of the church has also foregone God's word as the guidepost in favor of the world as the guidepost. No accident here. The enemy has been tirelessly at work in principalities and powers, within the church as much as without, since Adam allowed the serpent into the garden and the woman engaged in conversation with it.
In today's twisted world, Chick-fil-A is the bad guy, having "finally come clean," said Griffin, as if by following the biblical principle Chick-fil-A is guilty of dirty and dark deeds.
Much can reasonably be inferred from Griffin's statement "While they (Chick-fil-A) may have been in neutral, kicking this fight into overdrive now allows fair-minded consumers to make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company."
The statement is certainly inflammatory, no where is it evident Chick-fil-A is trying to kick up a fight, only to take a stand.
Griffin mentions fair-minded consumers, but unfairly accuses the company of being openly discriminatory. Does Chick-fil-A ask customers about their sexual orientation before taking their order, or post notices that they do not serve homosexual customers or treat them with different service than others? The answer is no.
Implicit in the support Griffin mentions is a threat of retaliatory boycott by The Human Rights advocates, but the truly fair-minded might also reward the business by becoming a new customer or frequenting it more often.
Since I began this article, talk of nationally organized boycotts are taking place, and mayors of two large American cities have cried foul against Chick-fil-A.
"Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. "They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents."
In other words Chicago is not a place of Christian values. Woe be unto Chicago. Ironically, "Emanuel' in Hebrew means "God with us."
I quote Boston Mayor Thomas Memino, "We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people. We are proud that our state and our city have led the way for the country on equal marriage rights." Woe be unto Boston. Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture says the Lord.
Indeed I wonder if Memino speaks for all of Boston? I pray for the Christians of Boston, Chicago and everywhere to stand and witness as does Cathy.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy thanks the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles. Be mindful that the world and the enemy seek to destroy even that.
Christians, do not let the secular world, the principalities and powers, slander and even destroy those who do business according to biblical and Christian principles.
And do not take sharing Christian values for granted. Such sharing is often looked upon not just contemptuously but with more and more intolerance from those who accuse Christians of intolerance.
God bless Cathy for taking a stand. May all Christians stand in the gap with him.
Steve Fiedler is self-employed in the auto repair business in Victoria. He is a member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, where he leads a Sunday Bible study class.