Why I Did NOT Eat at Chick-Fil-A Yesterday

[NOTE: Please see my new post above for additional thoughts on this.]

Yesterday millions of conservative Christians went to Chick-Fil-A in support of the company’s stand against gay marriage. Now, if you got a chicken sandwich or three yesterday, this post isn’t to condemn in any way. But, I think it’s really important that we think about how our actions reflect upon the gospel. So think out loud with me.

I didn’t eat at Chick-Fil-A yesterday. Yes, I believe the Bible teaches that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman. Yes, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. But yesterday’s mass show of support for Chick-Fil-A didn’t bring the gospel of grace and repentance to homosexuals. It simply erected another barrier. It didn’t display the glory of Christ, it simply demonstrated that we don’t like it when someone attacks our faith. It didn’t glorify the life-changing, sin-destroying power of Christ, it simply said, “We won’t stand for this.”

My biggest concern is that we may win the culture war on gay marriage and yet drive homosexuals away from Christ.

Instead of voicing our disapproval of homosexuality by buying chicken sandwiches, what if we followed Jesus’ example instead, and made friends with homosexuals? Hung out with them, ate with them, listened to them, heard their stories, and then shared the life-changing gospel with them? What if we asked them to tell us about their experiences with homosexuality, then showed them how the gospel meets them at every point in their lives? What if we told them about how Jesus has completely changed our lives?

Consider how Jesus led people to repentance. He hung out with the wino’s so much that people called him a drunkard! He asked the Samaritan woman (an “us” vs. “them” situation if there ever was one) at the well for a drink of water. He ate dinner with Zacchaeus. Jesus demonstrated a beautiful boldness and gentleness.

The cause of the gospel will lose if we ban gay marriage and yet at the same time create an “us” vs. “them” battle. Our ultimate goal should be to win homosexuals for Christ, not win a culture war.

If a homosexual comes into my church I want him to feel welcome. If everyone came into the church carrying Chick-Fil-A bags, I think that would create the opposite effect. It would make him feel very unwelcome. Excluded. Hated. Like no one wanted him around.

I don’t believe homosexuality is right, but if we’re going to effectively reach those in the gay community, we’ve got to find better ways to do it. The only people Jesus boycotted were the religious leaders. With everyone else, he entered into their world. Yes, he called them to repentance, and we need to do that. We can’t back down from what the Bible says about homosexuality. But we need to do it with the love, gentleness, and affection of Christ Jesus. Not with snarky Facebook comments and loud demonstrations.

Jesus was called a friend of sinners. I don’t think that buying chicken sandwiches puts us into that category.

Comments

    • Arnolda Brenneman says

      To my understanding, supporting Chik-Fil-A was not for the purpose of disapproving of homosexuality, but in supporting our constitutional right to free speech.

    • AJ Pena says

      No, he doesn't have a good point! He basically believes that any Christian that speaks God's truth and gets persecuted because of it should be abandoned by the rest of the saints so that the persecutors aren't offended. He thinks that that was Jesus' method of spreading the gospel.

  1. Emily K says

    People were not eating at Chick-fil-a to protest homosexuality. People were eating at Chick-fil-a to support them in the face of attacks on the restaurant based on their beliefs. Mayors across the country are claiming they will shut them out of opening businesses simply because they disagree with CEO Dan Cathy's Christian beliefs. We all have a right to speak our beliefs in the public square and to not be shut out because someone else disagrees. That's why people went to eat there yesterday.

    There are people supporting Chick-fil-a who disagree with Cathy's comments/beliefs, but they stand up for his right to express them and to run a business in the U.S.

      • Stephen Altrogge says

        I agree, that was the "official" point of the protest, but there was so much other stuff being thrown around. If I went to Chick-Fil-A, then immediately ran into one of my gay friends while holding the bag, what does that say to them? I think this was much bigger than simply supporting Chick-Fil-A's right to freedom of speech.

        • Emily K says

          What is this "other stuff being thrown around"? Doesn't the Chick-fil-a bag just let your friend know you like chicken sandwiches? If your homosexual friend buys something from Home Depot (who is donating large sums of money against marriage amendments across the country, and recruiting other companies to do so as well) mean they somehow hate you?

        • Emily K says

          And what if your homosexual friend also had a Chick-fil-a bag? There's not a sign outside the restaurant saying "heteros only."

        • Janet W. says

          Stephen – I have never, ever disagreed with things your post on your blog and often "share" it around the web. But in this I must disagree with you and totally agree with Emily K. The point was to show support for the Cathy's comments/beliefs. I have gay friends with whom I discussed my decision with. They got it. Support the right to voice your belief – even if it is not politically correct. We cannot just turn aside when we have the option to peacefully stand together.

          Now, I have to admit I never got to Chik-fil-a yesterday. The line was too long and I had five of my kids in tow. But we did show up – just didn't eat there. :)

          • Candace says

            I’ve never posted on here before, although I read and am encouraged by this blog a lot! I just wanted to post my experience by what Stephen is talking about. Around the country, maybe it was just a support of free speech on Wednesday , but where I live (Greenville, SC) it was anything but. I did not eat at CFA on Wednesday because, not all, but most “Christians” here were eating there as angry Christians. They were eating there to take a stand against homosexuality, and expressing that that particular sin is not welcome here. Sure, brush our pride and gluttony and adultery under the rug, if you are gay, God hates you and we hate you. My oldest brother is a homosexual, and although I do believe that what he is doing is a sin, so is my vanity and pride! My sin doesn’t offend God any less than his! The only difference is that I have been redeemed, and Christ covers me. Because of that grace and love, I love my brother and his partner dearly and have a relationship with them. How else could I possibly witness to them or demonstrate the love of Christ? My prayer is that God will draw them both closer to Him, and as a result of that , their relationship will be changed. That is the attitude I want to take to, yes homosexuals, but honestly to anybody! There is no line to be drawn in the sand. There is just Christ’s love and His sacrifice to be taught and accepted. It is not “our side”, its God’s glory.

    • Jacob Hantla says

      I agree, emily. The reason I would have gone would have been to support Chik-Fil-A. The issue would have been that every one of my homosexual friends and acquaintances would feel like it is a direct attack on them. So if I had gone I certainly wouldn't have flaunted it on facebook. I have no desire to create an us-them separation but to have gone to chik-fil-a and post about it would have put up unnecessary barriers in my relationships with homosexuals who already find it far to easy to mischaracterize Christians.

      • john q. public says

        i suspect that your homosexual friends feel like your opposition to homosexuality is also a direct attack on them. They probably find the "hate the sin, love the sinner" slogan to be a distinction without a difference. At a certain point the mischaracterization of Christians is a problem created by others, not Christians themselves.

      • Jeff from PA says

        I have a feeling that the majority of people that went to Chik-Fil-A yesterday do not have any gay friends or relatives, but that is just my opinion.

        • Brian says

          Jeff, the sad part is that you’re right. Christians have become so homophobic towards the culture that their effectiveness in bearing witness to the gospel has become anemic. I work with several gay coworkers and my last on-call weekend with one of them (before starting his newly promoted position) telling me about how he and our boss were in a relationship before he found a new partner. My response to that was something to the effect of, “So…? You’re point?…”, which caught him off-guard! Like my coworker, many homosexuals feel like their culturally “unclean” from Christian churches, but informing him that I have more sin to deal with than his own, that adjusted his perspective about what a TRUE Christian is. I went on to explain why and by God’s grace we have mutual respect and appreciation for each other (well… for the most part! For another time!); in fact, my wife and I were able to have a photoshoot with him, his partner, and his dogs. I’m sure if this got out in our church, that would be frowned upon and my wife and I would be accused of being too liberal.

          Should Christians develop friendships with homosexuals, where there is mutual appreciation, respect, and humor for one another? ABSOLUTELY!
          Should Christians share the gospel with homosexuals whom they know? Yes. Christ commands us to; in this case, however, I’m convinced that this must be done winsomely, humbly, and not treat our homosexual friend as a “project” or “mission”.
          hould we desire to be a part of our gay friend’s life? Yes! Treat them as a real person and not as a project.
          Now… should Christians support gay marriage or gay pride events? No. To do so would be to go against the word of God in regards to homosexuality (note: I said homsexuality, NOT homosexuals). And if ANY Christian dare join the “God hates fags” church and “damn those heathen to hell”, then we better challenge that brother or sister to realize that apart from the grace of God poured out upon us in Christ, we would be no different than they.

          All to say, I disagree with homosexuality and do say it IS a sin; therefore, I also disagree with gay marriage. But instead of becoming homophobic Christians or staunchy, fundamentalist Christians who are too holy to be around gays, we are to “be imitators of God as dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1), getting ready to roll up our sleeves and get dirty, knowing that ultimately we are clean in Christ.

    • Jeff from PA says

      Emily, as a Christian who supports gay marriage, I just want to add one thing: Every pro-gay marriage person that I have talked to over the last few days (a small sampling, I know), is for protesting Chick-Fil-A (not because of the comments that were made, but because of the donations the group has made to multiple anti-gay groups – one example: Chik-Fil-A spent 25,000 dollars lobbying for the US to support a Ugandan Bill to expel and kill gay people in Uganda). However, they have all been against the comments of those mayors that have talked about keeping Chik-Fil-A out – those mayors should have taken a little more time to think before they spoke. Most importantly, what those mayors did was just talk – there is no legal way that they could actually keep Chik-Fil-A out of their cities – any such action would be overturned in court immediately. So, any commentator on television that claims that mayors actually have that power is talking out of their butts, just as those mayors did. The mayors should be widely condemned by my side (pro-gay marriage) and any commentators that are tying to anger / scare Christians by saying that these mayors actually could do it, should be widely condemned by your side. Pro-gay marriage people should have every right to boycott and anti-gay marriage people should have the right to support with their dollars – that is part of the First amendment.

      • says

        Jeff from PA, I don't know you, and it is not my place to judge you. However, Christains do not support gay marriage, it is a sin just as stealing and murder. Please study your Bible, like 1chorinth 6 vs 9. Or the chapters that tell that marriage is between a man and a woman.
        As for supporting people who try to kill others for any reason, I agree with you that is wrong

        • Jeff from PA says

          RSmugs, if you are against gay marriage, then you are also against people that have gotten divorced remarrying, right? Why is it that most Churches do not push out divorced people who did not divorce on grounds of sexual immorality? Why don't we have laws against them remarrying? Why is that in the dozens of Churches that I have visited over the past few years (in searching for a home church), I heard dozens of sermons against homosexuality, yet not one sermon on not remarrying after a divorce?

          “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. —Matthew 5:31-32

          • says

            Yes I am against divorce, and remarrying. The churches I grew up in preached that. As you must know, even if you divorce because of spouse sexual immorality, you still can't marry unless that x-spouse dies. Us Baptist's go by what the Bible tells. And if they don't, I look for a new church. If the preacher (or church) doesn't go by the Bible, they are doing a diservice to all
            I have never been to a church that has pushed out sinners, isn't that what church is for….sinners……..God does forgive

            • Jeff from PA says

              RSG, Thanks – I can at least respect that because it is consistent (though I vehemently disagree with it). I strongly feel that any Christian that accepts second or third marriages, but not gay couples, is basing their beliefs on anti-gay sentiment, not scripture.

        • Dstephens says

          RSmugs, who are you to say that "Christians do not support gay marriage"? Because I support gay marriage… does that undo my salvation? My support of gay marriage has everything to do with the founding documents of this nation or does
          "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" not apply to homosexuals?

          • says

            Dstephens, do you support murder, stealing, or adultery as a Christain ? I hope not. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin just as any other sin. Never heard of Christians supporting sin._

      • Jesse says

        The whole "Chick-Fil-A donated $25,000 to kill gays in Uganda" story is a lie. Firstly, Chick-Fil-A didn't directly spend a cent lobbying. Family Research Council (a group that Chick-Fil-A donates too) admitted to spending the $25,000 lobbying, but it wasn't in support of the Ugandan Bill. It was to have the language in it changed to "make it more factually accurate." They wanted to "remove inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right." Do some research before you blindly quote lies.
        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20006856-5

    • monica says

      There are those that saw eating there as a "slap in the face", so to speak, instead of just supporting a restaurant. Mostly because many of the comments I have read on the internet of some people who ate there that day were slanderous toward gays, and actually even said that they were doing it just to upset the gay community. It was a great idea to have a support day for Dan Cathy and his restaurant, but for MANY PEOPLE it was seen as something else entirely. Sad, yes. True? Yes.

    • Melissa says

      They never said they would put them out of business. Someone told me that me saying this was semantics. Well I guess that the truth is semantics when it washes away the lies? The mayors said that they the beliefs of their city were not in line with those of CFA. Boston's mayor said they would urge CFA to not put a location ACROSS from where gays get married – not in the entire city!

      But I know Huckabee's lies are more convenient and admitting you fell for a load of political crap likely makes you very uncomfortable.

  2. John Gardner says

    Ironically, I got called a "Chick-Fil-A hater" by folks at my own church (who actually missed church last night because they were waiting in line for chicken) for writing something similar on my blog a couple days ago. It's madness!

    But you're right on.

  3. Starla Tracy says

    What does light have in common with darkness? Whoever is a friend of the world has made himself an enemy of God. Jesus was not a friend of impenitent sinners, Stephen. The unregenerate Adamic man/woman hates the truth of God's word and refuses to come to the light lest their deeds be exposed. You cannot win them over by friending them unless you think that it is your kindness that leads people to repentance. Scripture teaches that it is GODS KINDNESS that leads people to repentance. We on the other hand are commanded to obey Christ and fulfill the Great Commission and trust the Holy Spirit to work through people hearing the Word. We do that by sharing God's law and Gospel with the sinner and warning them of the wrath to come against those who disobey the Gospel of Jesus CHrist.

    Relational evangelism is unbiblical and is not the model that Christ nor His disciples used. Jesus witnessed by sharing God's law (as it is a mirror to show us our wicked hearts). The law is a schoolmaster that points people to Christ, our only hope.

    I think it is better to go to Chickfila and SHARE the Gospel, instead of trying to 'win' them some other way. For the flesh profits nothing, Christ words are spirit and LIFE.

    Jesus is only a Friend to HIS CHILDREN, sinners saved by Grace through faith.

    • Amanda says

      Really? Because my Catholic parish is pretty conservative, but I've always been taught to love and respect everybody because no one person is better than another.

      Sounds like you missed the lesson about casting the first stone.

      • Starla Tracy says

        Sadly Amanda, uou have no idea what true biblical love is. GOD has described what that love in the Bible. Love is always wed to truth. Love apart from truth is pagan sentimentality. God does not love as humans love. God's love is held before man in the person of Christ (1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18). One cannot embrace God's love until He has fleed from his/her sin (rebellion toward God). The carnal mind is hostile toward God (Rom. 8:7). The agape love of the Christian, commanded by Scripture, is to warn sinners to flee from God's wrath and to His love (Christ). Pagan love (Eros) does not warn and delights in wickedness. Eros (worldly love), even in the life of some professing Christians, consumes, compromises, is cowardly and winks at sin for the sake of Pseudo-utopia. Agape love stands boldly and warns the streams of sinners from the rooftops to repent and believe. Sadly, God's love can be and will be rejected by those who favor worldly pagan (Eros) love, in the name of clinging to sin and rejecting Christ on His terms."~Doron Gladden

        • Amanda says

          Sorry, but I don't feed trolls, and I don't bother responding to people with holier-than-thou attitudes. Have a nice day!

          • Donna says

            Just like we can't "see" the emotion behind Jesus' words as he talked with sinners, it's impossible to "see" into Starla's heart attitude. While I agree with you, Amanda, that love will win people to Jesus, I also must say that the truth must be spoken…for the Word is sharper than a two-edged sword. I used to pass a billboard that had Mt. 11:28 on it (Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, etc). When my heart was cold and hard, I'd pass verses like that and mock them or simply ignore them. But as the Holy Spirit was making my heart softer and opening my eyes a little more, those verses began to convict me. So, I guess I should say you are both right :) We need both truth and love. I'd also caution you (lovingly) that you're not too quick to judge others (even if they're self-righteous), but instead respond in love…as Jesus told us to love our enemies. Hope that helps :)
            Donna

          • Stuart says

            :) Romans 5:8 ESV
            But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
            1 John 4:18 ESV
            There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
            1 John 4:20-21 ESV
            If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

        • Kasey says

          Wow..Is that really "LOVE", Starla? I do not say this is in anger, hatred, or vengeance by any means, but i feel the Holy Spirit just wrestling inside of me as I read your comments. It seems as tho you know your stuff! You even use Scripture and Greek words to back it up..but i believe that much of what you mentioned is not biblical. If you'll allow me to be blunt, God loves sinners, which means I should too! I think that much of how we approach this world should be done with discretion, but Starla, we must see how the Bible tells us to act on a day to day basis. In Romans 12, Paul gives us multiple marks of True, Genuine Christians. He starts in verse 9, "Let love be genuine." Right there, we know that any love we display should not be out a heart of duty, but of genuiness. Lets go on, "Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good." YES!! Hate the EVIL!! ABHOR it! Stay away from even the appearance of evil(1 Thess. 5:22)! Paul says to Hate the sin..but nothing about the sinner! He actually goes on to say "Love one another with brother affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." This speaks directly to us about how we should act to the sinner and the saved. We should never cease in loving and showing honor. We know that he is talking about both the saved and the unsaved because we see in ONE verse, verse 13, how we should treat the "saints"/christians. Then in verses 14-21 we see how to treat those who would like to harm God's children. Thats EIGHT verses on how to treat the unregenerate (and in all cases the regenerate as well). He says, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in HARMONY with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is HONORABLE in the sight of ALL. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' To the contrary, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

          Maybe I'm the only one that sees it, but it seems as though this passage is perfect for this "Chick-fil-A Day" occasion. I know that Chick-fil-A did not plan this day! And I do not want to attack Dan Cathy at all! I am very proud to call him my former-CEO (ya, i worked there for 5 years). I totally agree with what he said! but Starla, i do not agree with you. And I don't think Paul, John, Peter, or even Jesus would agree with your "Separatist" mindset either. We are to be IN the world and not of it! We are to be showing, as you mentioned, "Agape" (which means, unconditional, selfless, sacrificial love..whether its sharing the gospel with them or just having a good conversation about the olympics) love with Absolutely EVERYONE we come in contact with. Then attempt in every way possible to outdo them in showing honor to their person. Not to their sin, but to their regenerate or unregenerate soul.

          Now, as to the Eros form of love, i dont know where you got your information, but it is NOT what you said. It is simply physical or sensual love between a husband and wife (look it up). You must not be married, because if you are, then you (most likely) have committed this form of love. This is a Good kind of love! This is the love that is celebrated in Song of Solomon between a man and his new bride! This is a beautiful love that God made specifically for us as humans to enjoy IN MARRIAGE! I dont know who this "Doron Gladden" is and i don't know how much of that paragraph was a quote from him (because there are no beginning quotation marks, just end ones.), but if some/most of that paragraph was from him, I would kindly encourage you to stop reading him. His understanding of "Eros" love is way off.

          Now, Starla…again, i hope that you do not come out of reading this comment with a distaste, because i pray it was seasoned with the Holy Spirit and the Scripture. I hope that we can join together to fulfill the law, which in Romans 13:8 Paul says, "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves(Agape-unconditionally) another has fulfilled the law." Please learn to love without any bounds. Thats what Christ and Paul taught.

      • Memmy says

        Starla is a typical southern christian. Probably pentecostal. Pentecostals and other similar religions believe that all they have to do is sit on their fat booty, talk a lot about jesus, and they are saved. It's definitely the best form of Christianity in that it really doesn't take much effort.

    • Carissa says

      Jesus is the "friend of sinners". He did not hang out with the church crowd (called the Pharisees back then), he befriended the outcasts. He walked among the lame and broken. It's in all 4 gospels.

    • Margaret says

      How r they to know if they r not lead into a real realaship with Christ I am glad the person who brought I to Christ did not think the way u think no man is without sin and no din is greater then any , u do not know where God is going to bring them .. Call it what u want but it judging and not loving Jesus love without holding back thankful I serve a God who see beauty and potential in all His children since he created us all in His imagen

  4. Starla Tracy says

    The very people who talk about pointing people to the Savior and being 'more loving' than CHRIST HIMSELF (who was HATED by the world because He SPOKE God's word) are THE VERY ONES who do NOT evangelize. How arrogant and prideful to think that you 'know a better way' than God Himself! Makes my blood boil, and rightly so.

    This is NOT even about CHickfila, this is about professional churchmen who think they know more than the weak disciples out there sharing God's truth in the highways and byways. Who think that they can make God more appealing to wicked radically depraved men and women when it is GOD who has chosen the FOOLISHNESS of preaching His word to perishing sinners, and that IS TRUE love!

    • Jeff from PA says

      Imagine if all this fervor went to help groups that helped people in poverty instead of supporting a fast food place – that would reflect God's love a lot more than a Chicken Sandwich.

  5. Donna Wenger says

    Thanks, Stephen, for those thoughts. I also have been thinking a lot about our response as Christians to homosexuals and also about the current culture we live in. I realize that there are no easy answers, but I would also want any unbeliever who walked thru our local church’s doors to feel welcome and loved. I would count on the preaching of God’s Word to convict them of the of their sinful lives, and not just the sexual part. I remember some 28 years ago when God was beginning to draw me, I sat in a service and as the Word was preached, I was convicted of some areas in my life that previously I said, “No way” to letting God in to change. We should plant seeds of love and joy to whet people’s appetite, and speak the truth about what the Bible says, but let the convicting up to the Holy Spirit. When our family lived in a city where there was a fairly large homosexual community, we befriended two men. One of the men died from aids :(, but my prayer has been that at the end he responded to the Gospel. The other man made a comment once to us that he had known many Christians over the years but had never met anyone like my husband and I, who truly loved him and accepted him, even though we still spoke the truth about homosexual sin when he asked. We also shared the Gospel with him, and I pray that others came into his life to water the seeds and that God makes it grow. We all have sin bents, we all struggle with various sins, but thanks be to God, we have victory in Christ. I pray that we are motivated to share Him with others. :)

    Donna

  6. AnotherChristianBlog says

    This post makes complete sense. The reason I went to Chick-fil-A yesterday was because #1 I enjoy it. #2 I think free speech is important. Often, we see those espousing the homosexual agenda calling Christians bigots and hateful. And what is their reason for doing so? Simply opposing the agenda will get you called a bigot.

    For me, standing behind Chick-fil-A isn't so much opposing homosexuals, it is about standing for the rights of people to believe what they want to believe. I don't blame you for not eating at CFA because the Gospel is the most important part of my life. However, if the liberal agenda succeeds we could see the rights of religion and freedom of speech destroyed in the name of tolerance. I think standing for freedom will allow us to continue preaching the Gospel through many means…including our blogs.

    Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

    • Vawna says

      Travis, you verbalized this so well. It is important to share the Gospel, but if we continue to let the media make us out to be what many Christians are not, we will lose our freedoms for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    Well said. I think the central question in all of this is, was the cause of the Gospel furthered by our (conservative Christian) actions yesterday?

    • AJ Pena says

      Truth is offensive. God's ways are offensive. This guy's point "The cause of the gospel will lose if we ban gay marriage" is completely wrong. As a matter of fact it's full of errors and half-truths. He contends that people trump everything. Again, wrong God's Holiness trumps everything! Yes we need to love sinners, but never to the point of compromising God's Holy standard. Jesus never intended for Christians to accept sin and water down the gospel. He didn't just walk into the temple sprinkling love dust on the money changers so that they'd accept him, he took a whip and drove them out. Apparently this person would agree with all of Christ's methods. It was His Father's Holy temple! Marriage is also God's institution. That's why it's called Holy matrimony. These blogs popping up with there faulty premises and incomplete view of scripture do more harm than good.

  8. says

    This is nonsense. It is literally impossible for me to drive someone away from Christ because of where I eat lunch. Salvation belongs to our God and the Lamb (Rev. 7:10). Stop trying to trick people into believing in Jesus and preach the gospel (Rom. 10).

  9. Raul says

    What you are saying in your blog is what the MSM (Main Stream Media) wants us to believe – that Chick-Fil-A hates gays – that is not the case at all, that's the narrative that all the liberals want us to believe. Being neutral when a fellow believer is being attacked by the MSM is only embolden them to keep attacking christians who happen to believe that gay marriage is a sin. I disagree with you stephen.

  10. Phil Larson says

    Stephen, you are off-target. Jesus opened himself to the out-of-power Samaritans, an adulteress, and others not in power. Homosexuals are not out-of-power. The philistines are attacking, and you are making excuses for them.

    • Patrick says

      So are you comparing homosexuals to Philistines? And what about the Pharisees (full of power) that attacked Jesus, who remained silent and didn't fight back? I'm not saying that there are no battles worth fighting, but I think Stephen is on point with his post.

    • Jeff from PA says

      LGBT Americans have so much power that they have never been president, never been VP, only one person has been an openly gay senator, and a handful of Congress people. LGBT Americans have so much power that most of them stay in the closet for fear of losing their jobs. They have so much power that they do not get the 172 rights and privileges that married couples get, including the – on average – 200,000 dollars in tax breaks over the course of a lifetime. know a couple in my town that has been together about 40 years and still will not go out in public except outside of the town for fear of losing their jobs. They have so much power that my LGBT Christian brothers and Sisters cannot even find a church to worship in in many places throughout the country (including my town). Jesus always stood with those that did not have power and I think he would definitely stand by my LGBT brothers and sisters.

  11. Stephen Altrogge says

    Folks, I'm not going to debate anyone in the comments. You're free to disagree with me. But the attitude after yesterday seemed to be "Yeah, we really stuck it to the gay community". That's not going to get us anywhere. I'm not going to debate this any more.

    • Mark says

      You know better than that, Stephen. The attitude was not, "Yeah, we really stuck it to the gay community." It was, "We took a small and overdue stand to support a Christian businessman being demonized by liberal, anti-family zealots." The "hate" on this issue is coming almost entirely from one side. Hint, it's not the good people lined up at Chik-Fil-A yesterday.

      • Jeff from PA says

        Mark, I disagree with the owner of Chik-Fil-A and the donations that he has made to anti-gay groups (especially one to support the killing of gay people in Uganda), yet I have been a Christian since a little Child – so am I an "anti-family zealot?"

    • HC Wap says

      "seemed" to whom Stephen? to you? perhaps you missed the point. and are attributing motives to others that aren't there.

    • says

      I think it's more likely that what you are seeing is, "Praise God, this nation isn't as far along on the path to total destruction as we thought." On another note, did you honestly think you could post a blog like this and NOT end up in a debate?

    • Stephanie says

      I just wanted you to know that I worked at Chick-fil-A yesterday and I never heard those comments, only those of we support you guys, just thought you should know that was my experience :o)

    • says

      Not everyone who supported Chick-Fil-A yesterday were Christians. There were many people there who just wanted to protect 1st Amendment. I knew because my husband and I were talking to them while waiting in line. To assume that only Christians were there can be offensive to those who are not. God can use every situation to reach out to the unbelieving world even waiting in line at Chick-Fil-A. When we come face to face with God, the only thing that will matter is whether you share the gospel with the unbelievers or not, just being friendly and nice will not save anyone, homosexuals or not. You need to tell them the truth even if it hurts. Criticizing your fellow Christian for lining up in support to Chick-Fil-A owner who happened to be very courageous to tell the world where he stands is like limiting God in what He can do in any situation. God does not need our help, we just need to obey Him.

  12. Kelley says

    I understand your concerns but respectfully disagree. You seem to make assumptions about believers who ate chicken yesterday to support their freedom of speech and their support of God's definition of marriage. Jesus told us to expect the world to hate us because it hated hated Him. He told us to love our enemies and to build up and encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith.
    I have had many, many gay friends throughout my life. But, this issue of marriage, it is the dividing line with most in the gay community. A lot of my gay friends have called me a bigot and a hater for simply stating that I believe God's Word on marriage. I have been shunned in certain musical communities because I will not play music for gay unions, blessings of said unions, etc.
    All because I believe God and trust His word to be true.
    I didn't oust gay friends from my life, they ousted me because of my beliefs. I pray for them and know the most important thing is to speak the truth when given the opportunity, because I'm more concerned about their eternity, than earthly friendships with me.

    This is no longer an issue in this day and age where we will be able to fly under the radar and not take a stand if we believe God's Word. And it will cost us friendships, family relationships, prestige, standing in the community, and as they tried to prove to Dan Cathy, economic ruin, I'm thankful for the Cathy's and their intentional giving to organizations that promote families and restoration of marriages, they are not the haters and neither were the vast tens of thousands who supported them yesterday.

    • Stephen Altrogge says

      So Kelley, do you want to take your stand by going to Chick-Fil-A? Wouldn't it be better to take a stand by engaging with individual homosexuals and proclaiming the gospel to them?

      • Kelley says

        I think it's more than okay to do both. Had a great conversation with one of my homosexual friends about all of it the other night. I don't believe it has to be an either or situation unless made that way. I know when I first heard the Gospel coming out of graduate school I was offended. Hugely offended that this preacher guy would question my goodness, standing with God, lifestyle, etc.
        And here's what I love,
        But GOD

        He used that offense and anger in me to lead me to Himself. He did that, not the preacher, but he certainly used the preacher's boldness and courage to risk offending me with the truth.

        I'm thankful for that preacher every day!

        • Jeff from PA says

          Kelley, are you just as strongly against divorced people remarrying? Would you support laws against it? Do you refuse to play music at these weddings? I am curious, because most of the social conservative Christians I am in contact with would take all those stands against homosexuality, but not against their friends that are in second or third marriages:

          “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. —Matthew 5:31-32

          • Kelley says

            Like most people, I have family and friends who are divorced, homosexual, living together unwed, etc. I strive to treat everyone with kindness and love from my heart.
            When my sister was twice divorced and living with the third man outside the covenant of marriage, I did not stop loving or caring for her. At the same time, when they visited in my home, I also requested that they not sleep together in my home. They loved and respected me and my wishes. They visited many times knowing this would be the case.

            I am conflicted on the issue of remarriage after divorce, as there are many noted theologians I admire and respect who have varying interpretations of the scriptures which address this.
            In general however, I am more in line and convinced by Scripture that once divorced, it would be best to remain single. Most of my friends would disagree. So I'm more in line with John Piper on this understanding of Scriptures.

            • Jeff from PA says

              Thanks Kelley -I appreciate your thoughtful answer to my only question – would you be for a law outlawing remarriage? If not, how is this different than gay marriage, since both are forbidden in most circumstances in the Bible?

              • Kelley says

                Hi Jeff,
                I don't think these two are comparable. The Bible does not condemn marriage between a man and a woman. As Jesus further pointed out, marriage was instituted by God and it was because of sin that divorce came about but it was not God's plan from the beginning. 

                I would most likely be in favor of removing 'marriage' from the government–and from its  recognition of benefits for marriage. I'd have to do more study on that however. But it seems to me that would help in not giving any government rights to marriage and leave it with the church. 
                I am not in favor of gay marriage because of my understanding of God's word. 
                Most of my gay friends, not all, have told me though that they are definite about wanting to use the word, 'marriage' and unless that happens it would still be unfair to them. 
                I happen to believe that marriage is a divine covenant with God between a man and a woman and so I cannot go there with some of my gay friends. 

                I think that each church decides for themselves about divorce and remarriage. For instance in the church I attend, you cannot be an elder or deacon if divorced, even if you're remarried. It's not the same for every denomination however.

              • Jeff from PA says

                Thanks Kelley, while we do disagree a bit in these areas, I am very appreciative of your thoughtful answers. Personally, I am definitely for removing the government from my marriage and all Americans. I think that the 172 rights and privileges that the government grants to married couples – including about 200,000 dollars in tax breaks on average creates most of the animosity – I personally had a friend that was not allowed to visit his partner of 35 years bed when he died because they were not legally married, so he sat in the parking lot crying as his life partner died. After all, the Bible says that marriage is a covenant as that between Christ and the Church – not Christ, the Church, and Caesar (government). I strongly believe that allowing Caesar to control our marriage has done a great deal of harm to the covenant, but again, that is just my opinion. Thanks again.

              • Kelley says

                Jeff–I agree with marriage not being between God, the couple, and government. I have wondered why we don't hear more about this from our churches, politicians, etc. I suppose people on both sides of this issue don't want to compromise or work to find a solution beneficial to all? I don't know. I'm single and every year at tax time I've thought it really unfair I don't get all those 'perks' married couples with children enjoy—even though I'm paying all those taxes for schools, roads, libraries, soccer fields, parks, etc. :)

                Interested in why gay couples cannot set it up so their partners can visit in a hospital? As a single person, raised in foster care, so no true biological family–I have written a living will, with the help of my attorney, for this sort of thing for myself. 
                Are gay couples not allowed to do the same? 

                I have sat by the bedside of a great friend who died from AIDS in '96 in Manhattan and it was soul crushing to watch my sweet friend die. Ive missed him nearly every day since his passing on. Not sure why I was allowed to be there with him and others of his friends and family (parents and siblings) but I'm thankful it wasn't a question or an issue. 

                Appreciate the dialogue with you and am encouraged by your kindness and thoughts. 

  13. Chad Bresson says

    The kingdom and its Gospel are not advanced one iota in defending (or even expressing) "rights". And American conservatives have convinced themselves that the latter doesn't impinge on or eclipse the former.

  14. Stephanie says

    I don't like the idea that people are going around with an "us against them" attitude. Ours is not to battle flesh and blood. Maybe we fight this battle on our knees, not in a fast food restaurant? I didn't go out of my way to eat at Chic-fil-a yesterday, but if I had been close to one and wanted a chicken sandwich from there, I would have purchased one.

    The fact that Mr. Cathy's statements were made to a Christian publication would indicate that at least one person who would take offense to his statement was reading said Christian publication. Maybe that's a good sign?

    I would like to point out that possibly his statements could be construed as just as offensive to divorcees……everyone please go back and re-read the exact quote…he referred to one man, one wife….people automatically assumed he was referring to only homosexual relationships….

  15. Dawn says

    totally disagree with you Stephen…sorry. I support Chick Fil A not because I want to "stict it" to the homosexuals but because I support a Christian who is willing to stand by his beliefs even at the detriment of his business. I respect someone who displays that kind of courage. AAAND I have homosexual friends and enjoy their friendship. You're making blanket statements that just are not accurate.

    • James says

      Well said, I was also going to point out that Stephen's assumption that a visit to Chick-fil-A equates to "voicing our disapproval of homosexuality by buying chicken sandwiches" rather than a support of one man's courage to speak the truth with boldness and in love

  16. leigh-ann says

    Thank you for widening the scope of the subject. This debate shouldn't be centered on the rights of corporations- after all, that's not what Chick-fil-A was trying to prove. But even more than what Chick-fil-A was trying to prove, there's something infinitely more important at play here, and you've put your finger on it: what does this say to homosexuals and to the world about Christians? Does it display that God can save and love even the messiest sinners (1 Cor. 1:26-30)? Does it display Jesus' love and forgiveness? No. No, it doesn't. Instead, the opposite effect is produced, as you mentioned.

    I'm especially grateful you posted this because I have several gay or lesbian or bi-sexual friends. Of course, I think their sin is heartbreaking, just like any sin, because it separates them from our most-loving God. But they're human, just like you and me. They're not some hybrid animal from another planet. My homosexual friends have talked to me about their lives and struggles and aspirations, and when they learn I'm a Christian, they're shocked. Every time, their responses have been along the lines of: "But you know I'm gay [lesbian or bi]. Why do you care about me? Isn't it against your religion or something?" This is sad. And this Chick-fil-A mess isn't helping.

    • Jeff from PA says

      Thanks Leigh Ann, I can't tell you how many friends that have shared similar thoughts with me – that they were amazed that a Christian could be friends with them. The saddest times for me though have been when friends of mine that have been in Churches their entire lives are kicked out because they came out of the closet. I can't even count how many friends I have had cry on my shoulder because they want to find a Church to go to, but none will accept them because they are gay… Also, among my students, it is the number one reason by far that they say they are not going to church – that they don't get how the Church can reject their best friends / relatives… I can't even count how many students have shared this with me over the years…

    • James says

      It is very sad to hear that many gay individuals conclude that Christians cannot or will not be their friends. This is in some cases a failing of us as Christians, in some cases it is a reflection of the way the media portrays Christians, as any statement in support of traditional marriage is labeled "anti-gay", etc.
      Despite this, the solution to this problem is NOT to burrow our heads in the sand on issues that God is very clear about, or to leave our Christian brothers/sisters who do speak on these issues (in love) standing alone on an island. The solution is to speak the truth but let our speech always be seasoned with grace, and to demonstrate by our actions and friendship with these men and women, that God loves them, wants to redeem them (as He has redeemed us), and that we care about them as individuals.

  17. Stephen Altrogge says

    Folks, going to Chick-Fil-A is not cultural engagement for Christ. If we want to engage the culture for Christ we need to proclaim the gospel in our preaching, in our friendships, and in our workplaces. The only thing we accomplished in going to Chick-Fil-A is showing that us conservatives won't be pushed around.

    We need to engage homosexuality at the level of the heart not the stomach. We showed homosexuals that we have the right to free speech, and by doing that, we also showed them that we really don't like them.

    • says

      What a load of baloney. The LGBT is spinning this as a personal affront and you are buying it. Show some discernment. The truth is that they have been shoving their agenda down our throats for many, many years and for once (once) someone came up with an idea that non-violently and quietly affirmed the Biblical definition of marriage and they're "offended"? Too bad! I'm offended because of the years of nonsense we've heard from them on being born that way, about intolerance and racism, and forcing us to accept homosexual marriage (I am from New York State).

      Before you show your tolerance for them by branding me a hater, keep in mind that I have a good friend who organizes gay pride parades and have been witnessing to for a couple of years. We have bought her groceries, dinner and have a respectful relationship. We've yelled at each other through megaphones but have enough sense to be able to see each other as friends. The last time I saw her when preaching at a gay pride parade we tried to get together to say hello but the police wouldn't let us, so we gave each other hugs from across the street. All of this proves that this doesn't have to be an eitheror. Thinking people can confront sin in love. People who don't confront sin, don't love.

      • Jeff from PA says

        Jon, do you take the same stands against remarrying after divorce? Do you protest? Try to get laws passed to prevent people from getting remarried? If not, why not?

        “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. —Matthew 5:31-32

  18. Matt H says

    Stephen,

    You're missing a couple of points here. As others have made clear, one of the key issues in this is the freedom to say what God says. Dan Cathy simply said that he believes what Bible declares about marriage and sexuality. This didn't grow into a major issue until the mayors of Chicago and Boston started making tyrannical declarations that Chick-Fil-A, a privately owned business, was not welcome in "their" cities. And yes, "their" is in quotes because they seem to think they do in fact own those cities. In other words, a private U.S. citizen repeated what the Bible already says about this issue and the mayors of two major cities start claiming absolute authority, authority to keep people that declare what God says out of their city. Only God has absolute authority. Not only are the mayor's "values" directly contrary to scripture, their claims to keep privately-owned business out of U.S. cities are illegal and most certainly unbiblical. In Romans 1:28 fashion, they're calling evil good and giving approval to those that practice it and then overreaching their authority to make sure everyone else does the same thing.

    Second, while I applaud your focus on the gospel and the desire for sinners to be saved above all, I think you're missing something here as well, namely backbone. The gospel is the good news and it's only the good news because it's the answer to the very bad news that we are all dead in our trespasses in sin. Declaring the good news necessitates declaring the bad news, otherwise the good news frankly doesn't make any sense. You end up with the gospel being a "your best life now" bunch of baloney where Jesus just helps you be a slightly better version you. The gospel is offensive and divisive. Jesus *was* murdered, after all. So were almost all of the apostles. Christ and his disciples didn't end up being killed because they were super nice guys that never offended anyone, they were murdered because what they preached is fundamentally offensive.

    You've raised the question of what a homosexual friend might think if they saw you toting around a back of chicken. Would they be offended? Angered? Hurt? If so, why is that? Because the COO of Chick-Fil-A said that he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman? Because he said that God will judge homosexuals? Isn't that what you believe? It would seem that the homosexual friend is going to hate Chick-Fil-A because Dan Cathy believes the Bible, which is what you believe as well. If anything, carting around bags full of chicken sandwiches might give you *more* opportunities to share the gospel.

    This would be an entirely different scenario if people were buying chicken nuggets and waffle fries from Westboro Baptist. Dan Cathy said nothing more than what the Bible says, and he did so, it appears, without any invective or hate. Speaking the truth today is simply not tolerated by large portions of our society. Yes, we need to be on guard to speak the truth in love and to not manufacture offense where it doesn't need to be. At the end of the day, our message is incredibly offensive if it's going to be declared truthfully and there's no way around that.

    I'm all for sharing the gospel one-on-one and in the context of a relationship. That's vital and nobody should be arguing against that. But it's not the only way, and it doesn't appear to be the primary way of declaring the gospel in the NT. Most of what we know about Jesus and the apostles comes from what they declared to crowds and circulated in letters. Think of where we'd be today if Isaiah and Jeremiah, Jesus and Paul, Stephen and Peter had spent all of their time in private, one-on-one luncheons listening to sinners stories rather than declaring the word of God in public.

    The gospel has a backbone and those who declare it need to be vertebrate as well. Sneaking around on the periphery, avoiding controversy and staying out of the kerfuffle all in the name of a "kinder, gentler gospel" is the path to madness and an impotent church. In truth, that may be precisely why we are where we are today, but that's a discussion for another time.

    • truthis2share says

      Being a Christian is offensive to those who love darkness. If you’re genuinely living a godly life those in sin will not feel comfortable around you. If they do per Scripture its because your not living right.
      If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

      For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (John 3:20)

  19. Mark says

    While we're thinking about the impact on the gospel, we should consider what the ramifications for the gospel will be if we allow the public expression of Christian truth to be successfully demonized and excluded from our society–without raising a voice to try to stop it . And quite honestly, I am far more concerned about my brother in Christ who is being persecuted by anti-Christian zealots than I am about how eating at Chik-Fil-A might affect my ability to "hang out" with unbelievers.

    • Jeff from PA says

      I am seriously curious, If he had come out condemning people who remarried after divorce, do you think the Christian community would have come out in such force defending him? I argue no. Gay bashing has become completely acceptable; whereas, divorce, which is mentioned more times in the New Testament is not acceptable to be bashed in the same way. As a Christian, I was pretty disgusted at the glee that the people I saw in television were taking as they were bashing gay people – and no, I am not saying that by going to Chik-Fil-A they were bashing, I am talking about interviews with people that went – it sounded like a Klan rally at multiple locations I saw videos of, just with gay people instead of African Americans.

  20. says

    Stephen… graceful message but I think at the expense of some of the reasoning people acted by supporting Chik with in the context of our political frame-work, which by the way does not, as you seem to think (If I understand you) raise a barrier. That barrier is no more then the technical challenge we have as Christians to voice are opinions thru media..but the media lens is very biased and your message is buying into theirs–in part…Do you think…?

    Christians who want to "persuade" other's who are not believers can certainly show support for a cause (the mind of Christ), or brother, or business who stands up against the cultural drift. and in doing so are being genuine. Certain behaviors in spite of Government support or popularity can be "protested" in some non-violent way.

    This shows the "non-Christian" community in some way, that we can be a people that are supportive of one another and for their beliefs without violence.. It also allows us to get the hypocritical arguments used against the Bible and Christians as a platform addressed and broadly-casted–this is a good thing if done in a compassionate manner(still working on these things) .I mean eating a chicken wing can't be that bad can it…? (ok a touch of sarcasm)

    I agree with you whole heatedly that we should treat fornicators, drunkards, liars and the whole lot, of which I have personally experienced these sins in my life, with a warm hearty greeting and continual invites for picnics, get together ect and I do. I must admit I did not provide alot of warm and fuzzy in many of my posts today…but that is to be improved, and something you personally seem to grasp at your young age well–bravo

    I am also under the notion; that even though the church has been more motivated as of late, it has been attacked more then I have seen in my 50 years in our nation. I would ask you calculate as to why that might be. No I am not looking for a broad generality so much as particular social/political issues that the church has left go asunder, and has received the farmers penalty: little attention to your field will bring forth little fruit and many weeds….and I am speaking social/cultural issues here , not castigating any of the sin top 10 list.

    I guess I agree that of course dialogue especially one on one is an excellent way. With mass media, 24/7 news, we have found a high tech way of asserting our Jesus is Lord affection and sometimes disaffection(but be sure to look at the media spin)

    I don't know that I would be so troubled as you over the the buzz of Chik…

    Be glad, thankful I think, that you can speak and write (so far) without political or dare I say..criminal repercussions… because in some way these Chik supporters, (similar to the military defending your freedoms) are defending your right to speak as you do and their own as they boldly proclaim the Bible as the source of wisdom in a day where it is looked as fairy tale. Remember, many Christians may they feel threatened by an increasingly hostile government. I sense we are not on the same page perhaps in this political social area…that's ok.

    I will just say grace is not won by silence…thinking about WWJD….nor being vocal unfortunately,has not always been graceful

    Otherwise I enjoy your consistent push for grace.

  21. Stephen Altrogge says

    I'll make one last statement on this and them I'm done. The gospel is offensive. When I tell my homosexual friends about the gospel, I expect that they will be offended. When I tell them that they need to repent, I expect they will be offended. I will not back down from this.

    But, regardless of people's intent, the actions at Chick-Fil-A yesterday made a statement to the homosexual community that said, "We are against you." I don't care if you were not saying that. I don't care if that wasn't your motive. That's what the action as a whole said. And I want no part of that.

    I will boldly proclaim the need to repent, but not by purchasing chicken sandwiches.

    • says

      Ok you said your last if you like. Yes the Gospel is offensive, hence I don't understand why the angst…although you did it gently. But now you have become more bold in your assertion of this truth…the folks at Chick agree with you. Maybe the compromise is:

      Take someone to Chick who opposes the Gospel.

      All good–I have finished as well.

    • Mark says

      Stephen, if you're going to unilaterally declare, "This is what the action was saying, regardless of whether anyone involved was saying it or not," that definitely ends the argument–at least any rational component of it.

    • Jeff from PA says

      I just wonder if there would have been so much support for a CEO that bashed divorced people and made large donations to groups that wanted to outlaw divorce? In my opinion, this type of commentary in our society is accepted against gay people, that would never be accepted against divorced people that remarry because gay people are dehumanized in many Christian communities. I can't count how many Churches I have sat in where there are couples in their second or third marriage and they are never condemned, but if a person is outed as gay, they are usually kicked out of the Church.

    • gbfluteman says

      Stephen.

      To be frankly honest, then, you want no part of proclaiming yourself a "Christian." The mere mention of the word, especially if it involves the words, "born-again" and/ or "Independent Baptist" is enough to grant you an immediate screaming match about how much the homosexual you're speaking to hates Christians and their "intolerance." By simply attending a church service, in their minds, you make the statement of "We're against you", as you put it. That's why you MUST take the time to develop relationships with INDIVIDUALS. The group as a whole may have a certain mentality towards the things we do, but INDIVIDUALS will not.

      While I did not eat at Chick-Fil-A yesterday (due to distance), I engaged in multiple conversations with homosexual friends yesterday over the issue. Because I have developed relationships with these individuals, they know that though I strongly disagree with their lifestyles and was willing to support my 1st Amendment rights to eat there, they know that I love them, even as Christ would love them.

      I'm sorry, but I refuse to let "group-think" (aka, "the fear of man") dictate my actions.

      Fighting the Good Fight of Faith….

  22. says

    Eating at Chick-fil-A is definitely not the same as sharing the gospel. It is my hope that those who supported Chick-fil-A did so to support freedom of speech, freedom of commerce, and freedom of religion. I also hope they ate there 'cause they like the food. And, I do pray that these same people would not hesitate to eat with tax collectors and sinners and adulterers and…. homosexuals because neither they, nor WE, shall escape the wrath to come unless we come to God through Christ who saves to the uttermost because of what HE HAS DONE. Furthermore, I hope that those who so adamantly support freedom of speech (at Chick-fil-A) would also not hesitate to use such a precious gift of freedom to speak aloud about God's greatest grace, which is able to save even a wretch like me. Christ did come for the lost. Yes? Christ did talk with the lost and show them grace – the same grace given us, even though we do not deserve it in the least. Amen?

  23. Chad says

    I think this is another thoughtful article that nevertheless misinterprets the statement of yesterday. While many chicken eaters yesterday doubtless had the same confusion, what I saw overall articulated in the day’s intention and throughout the media was that the “appreciation day” was not levied against gay marriage per se, but against those who in the name of tolerance would threaten an establishment’s freedom to operate within a city because of their (positive) views on the family. It was a 1st amendment issue. By freely spending their money to buy chicken yesterday, 500,000+ people (Christians or unsaved, freedom-loving citizens) need not feel that they threatened the gospel anymore yesterday than any other day of their lives. Believers should always "walk in wisdom among outsiders" (Col. 4:5) and let their lifestyle be worthy of the gospel (Phil 1:27). Altrogge writes, “Jesus was called a friend of sinners. I don’t think that buying chicken sandwiches puts us into that category.” However, that statement begs the question, “How did not buying chicken sandwiches yesterday necessarily put any of us into that category either?” Obviously, it didn’t…and the statement is thus pointless.

    What I also see as a confusion here (by participants and dissenters alike) is between appreciating and boycotting. The closest yesterday could be associated with a “boycott” is that one may argue it was “a boycott of boycotting Chick-fil-a,” which essentially is the exact opposite of a boycott. What you had instead was the rush of thousands of lovers of freedom (though doubtless many Christians and as always certainly some who were misguided in their thinking and rhetoric) to support a fast food chain that has unwillingly become the latest target by the secularist agenda and the tolerance police. Gay marriage may be front-and-center in many peoples’ minds, but I think a lot of people understood that the specific issue of gay marriage was more peripheral. Check out the beginning of this recent video on FoxNews. http://video.foxnews.com/v/1767362798001/

    I’m not a fan of everything Huckabee, but in this clip he communicates what the day was intended to be about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8zgCI2q3X8 He notes that he still buys Starbucks and other products of companies with whom he disagrees. This is not about boycotting companies, but the opposite – not penalizing companies because of views that are different from others’.

  24. Dustin says

    The discussion going on here is why participating in things like this are problematic. No, I don't mean wrong or right, I mean problematic.
    – I know a large group of folks whose reasons for going was about the political piece of this whole deal. They went to support CFA b/c the discrimination from government officials that followed after the personal belief of one of the owners was shared. Much rather see this than picketing something or someone.
    – I know a large group who went because the Cathy's are Christians and they felt a brother was being persecuted for standing up for the faith.
    – I know a group of folks who thought that going up to CFA was dumb b/c it didn't express the love of Jesus nor would it lead anyone to Christ.
    – I know an individual guy who loves CFA but hasn't reached the point of sanctification in his life to where he's got the patience to wait that long in line and is VERY upset that they have phased out the Banana pudding milkshake for that unholy Peach milkshake.
    – Then I know a group of my gay friends who… well….. I'm not sure what they thought. Why? Because they were the LEAST vocal of the bunch.

    Here's my point. There were MULTIPLE motives for going, or not going, to CFA yesterday. And because there's no way we can have individual conversations with all of them, we proclaim the conclusion that we've reached for their motive as truth and express that as EVERYONE'S motive is for going. I don't know one of my gay friends who would have given a rip if I came to work with a CFA bag, but just b/c I don't know that doesn't mean that they in fact truly didn't give a rip. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't? But, somehow, I think this whole issue has divided the body of Christ rather than edify her. One "side" goes to CFA for one reason or another and the other one doesn't.. Both sides express why they are not/are going over the interwebs.

    I looked at my timeline from FB yesterday and what saddened me was a bunch of Christians who "in the name of love" used their keyboard courage to assign motive and guilt to the other for either choice that they made. There wasn't one mention of hate towards Christians or this protest from one gay friend of mine yesterday on my timeline. Yet, in the name of love, there was a clear divide in the church with unloving judgments. My timeline reflects Christians vs Christians yesterday and it breaks my heart. Did the Christians who sat behind their keyboards yesterday pray for God's favor on the ones who DID GO to CFA? Did the Christians who went to CFA check their motive for going and ask God to give them direction as to if it were to glorify Him to go?

    So I come back to my first statement that participating in things like this are problematic. Yesterday showed that we Christians are still, and will always be, great candidates for grace and mercy. It's going to be difficult to love the sinner when we are having a rough time loving each other……

  25. Dustin says

    Oh, for the record, I did enjoy Stephen's post. I think both Stephen and Barnabas Piper did an excellent job expressing their POV without hammering those who went. For me, both posts led me to consider another point of view because of the way they were posted. I appreciate them both expressing love for ALL people, being honest with how they see it, and at the same time not condemning those who see it differently.

  26. john says

    I think what he is trying to say is that this everybody-buy-chicken day is creating an us vs them situation. Don't spend one day getting attention about how many of "us" can go get chicken in one day. If you support Dan Cathy, then support him. Make it your regular Friday night spot. And though your reasons for going may not be offensive, be careful where to draw the line

  27. says

    Stephen,

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. I've given this matter a fair amount of thought because I have family and friends who are gay. While I wanted to show support for the godly example I've so often seen by the folks at Chick-fil-a, I didn't want to do so at the expense of being able to be a Gospel witness to the homosexuals I know.

    Ultimately, I did check in at Chick-fil-a, but didn't accompany it with any chest-thumping or comments meant to "stick it" to the gay community. I'm hopeful that the gay folks I know are aware of both my love for them and my love of the Savior. Homosexuals beyond that would never see my Facebook page, so I'm hopeful I didn't erect any unnecessary stumbling blocks.

    Again, I'm very appreciative of your position. I'd love to hear more thoughts from you in the days to come. It pains me to the degree that being a Christian immediately identifies you as "anti-gay" in today's super-heated climate.

    Dave

  28. Patrick says

    All Stephen is trying to say is that not eating at chick-fil-a might have done more harm then good. He is not saying free speech is unimportant nor is he saying that gospel is not offensive. He is just trying to say that we should use some discernment and common sense and not alienate and offend people from what could be perceived as our religious, gay-hating high horse. The gospel is already offensive and a stumbling block, why add the perception that Christians will vehemently stand against gays at all costs? Even if supporting chick-fil-a was all about supporting a brother's right to free speech, it could have, and probably did, come off to the gay community and other unbelievers, as a bunch of Christians banning together to let the world know that we are against homosexuality, rather than what we are for, the beautiful grace of Jesus. Good insight Stephen, thanks for the post.

  29. Karen says

    You don't have to eat at Chick-fil-a to offend homosexuals. They are usually on the defense no matter what. To me this shows a deep conviction that is being suppressed. The very act of Dan Cathy coming out and supporting traditional marriage was enough…they would have been mad regardless of whether there was a "CFA Appreciation Day". It is very sad and I show no malice or hate, but a family member who is gay hates me and calls me a "hate pusher" Not sure why, I have always loved him and we disagree, but have never had an argument over this topic. But he lately he is determined to hate me and call me names….it is a sad life.

  30. Matt Dawson says

    It was about his freedom of speech, not his religion. Please understand what you are fighting for. That is like saying only christians care about abortion. There are lots of atheist that don't like abortion.

  31. Jeff from PA says

    When is the last time a Christian CEO condemned adulterers, people who are divorced for reasons the Bible says you shouldn't, or single people who have had sex? I am doubting that you can find any examples. Many Churches throughout the country and Conservative Christians that I know in person and on TV, seem to take glee in castigating gay people, but would never think of doing that to a divorcee. This is one of the reasons why I currently am Churchless – there is such an anti-gay sentiment that would never be acceptable for a divorcee, that I just can't be a part of it. Luckily, Christ is my Church, but man would I love to have four walls to worship in on Sundays…

    • says

      I take from your comments that you divorced…….If you haven't asked God for forgiveness, do so. If you have and have made it right with God, then you should be at peace. If the church(s) don't accept it that, it is their problem. As I posted to you before,churches are for sinners to hopefully become less of a sinner and ask Jesus into their heart. No one is without sin, God forgives…just ask him to.

  32. says

    Stephen, your thoughts on this subject are so refreshing and encouraging! Thank you for putting into words what I felt yesterday so strongly that I was almost in tears. I believe very strongly that Dan Cathy is being wronged if people are trying to take his business license away, and I want to support CFA to that end. but I could not do it yesterday because of what "the other side" was saying. It wasn't hateful, but they felt it was, and that was motivation enough to skip it (nevermind the fact that we don't have CFA in Seattle). I don't want any part of that either.

    Christians who participate so vehemently in politics or the cultural war seem to be trying to make Jesus "popular" instead of truly following and conforming to Him.. They think it is honoring to Christ to protest and fight this cultural war, but it doesn't glorify him, it glorifies our right to free speech, a privilege granted to us by the Grace of God in this country but not promised to us. And all the while, it raises a barrier, as you said, between sinners saved by Grace and sinners who are still slaves to sin. We must glorify Him even when those rights are taken away. I am thankful for my rights and I want to proclaim His name joyfully and fearlessly because of them, but I would willingly give them up in this world to see my friends who are separated from God turn to Him.

  33. Dave says

    I liked this post a lot. As for “Chick Fil a supporting a bill to kill Ugandan gay people”…. Really? Where do you get your news? Let’s look at the bill, and see where the cash came from. Not just read a “Christians who support gay marriage and now hate chick Fil a” blogger. Bottom line is. They’re a private oganization, bigger bottom line is that its a chicken sandwich company, not a presidential candidate or someone who actually matters. Who cares?! Christians need to figure out how to prioritize a little bit better.

    • Jeff from PA says

      Dave, most traditional news sources covered the Killing Gay people in Uganda bill, which Chik-Fil-a has given large amounts of money to the organization that funded that bill:

      "Opposition to gay marriage has become a matter of pride for the Georgia-based chain. Worse by far is the support, as IRS forms show, by the WinShape Foundation (Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm) for various anti-gay bodies including Exodus International, whose leaders talked up its gay “cure” in Uganda before the country introduced legislation that threatens gays with death or imprisonment — although Exodus now says that going to that anti-gay conference was a mistake."

      Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/08/01/chick-fil-a-mea-

  34. anonymous says

    WOW people HAVE to find a reason to be negative in everything. People went to support Chic-fli-a for taking a stand on truth. Next time you take a stand for something that goes against your belief maybe your family and friends should just turn there back on you when others start attacking you.

  35. Mike K says

    Stephen, with all due respect, why do you post a piece like this and then say you're not going to debate the issue? You should just close this type of post to comments if you are not open to hearing other's perspectives. It comes across a little…I'm right you all are wrong.

    • Stephen Altrogge says

      Mike the reason I'm not going to debate the issue is because I simply cannot keep up with the comments. Plus, debating online is never very productive.

  36. Stephen says

    Would you be offended seeing one of your homosexual friends holding an Amazon box? Do you believe that if everyone at church was holding an Amazon box they would feel more welcome or just think you all were a bit weird? The issue isn't whether homosexuality is right or wrong, the issue is that no individual, group, or business needs to be demonized for expressing their own sincere beliefs and living their life, running their business, or operating their organization according to biblical principles. If we don't take a stand in the public forum, we'll soon be battling within our churches as sermons against the gay lifestyle will be considered hate speech and banned from pulpits.

  37. RSG says

    Brother Steven, I went to Chick-fil-a for breakfast yesterday, because that is where I go most mornings for breakfast – according to you, I did it in order to make a statement about homosexuality. You are quite mistaken. You and many others CHOOSE to interpret my trip to Chick-fil-a as a political statement. Going to Chick-fil-a yesterday was neither right nor wrong – right and wrong, in this case, is simply a matter of the heart. To be sure, there are many Christians who went to Chick-fil-a yesterday with a wrong attitude or motive; this is wrong.

    But YOUR attitude, and the attitude of many others in our culture is also wrong, by CHOOSING to judge me and others by something as trifle as a sandwich. Do you think your judgment glorifies the Lord? What you and the media have done is CHOSEN to make this an either/or. Either we love sinners, or we hate homosexuals by going to Chick-fil-a. Sorry, that’s not me, and that’s not the Gospel. It is necessary for us to love on the world around us. It is also necessary for us to stand up for what we believe. What you need to understand is that these are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE of each other.

    Jesus was a friend of sinners, no doubt. But Jesus also offended people everywhere he went. In fact, He downright infuriated them, and did things to provoke them, intentionally. Because while Jesus cared about the friendship, comfort and happiness of those around Him, their friendship, comfort and happiness were a distant second to his real priority. If I am going to be like Jesus, that means that I am going to cultivate a heart of building bridges, of loving those who are not like me, of caring for those who do not like me. It also means that I am going to offend many people, that I am going to publicly take a stand for truth and righteousness. If I am going to be like Jesus, then I am probably going to make enemies. Trust me, I am a Southern Baptist. There are many homosexuals who are offended by the Southern Baptist Convention. According to you then, the Godly thing for me to is love on homosexuals, BY hiding the fact that I am Southern Baptist. Brother, this is not the case. We are called to love people, yes. We are not called to never offend people. If you and others CHOOSE to believe that my going to Chick-fil-a, (or my being Southern Baptist) is an act of hatred, there is nothing I can do about it.

  38. Lindsey says

    Eating at Chick-Fil-A had much less to do with agreeing or disagreeing with homosexuality as it did with standing against the hypocrisy that anyone can acceptably stand behind a belief EXCEPT for Christians. In this day in age, it seems that Christianity is commonly called out for having an viewpoint yet any other religion or "group" of people doing the same is just fine?!?! I don't believe that the CEO of Chick-Fil-A issued any comments that in any way stated a hatred, or even dislike, of the gay community. They simply voiced a belief that their company stands behind the values of the traditional family.

  39. Shawn says

    I agree with your teaching on our interaction with those in the Homosexual community. I fear we have done things by the American Culture and standard that we have forgotten how to interact with those who are perishing. However, I do believe that yesterday was not a protest against those who support gay-marriage but for the biblical definition of marriage. I have learned that when you stand for truth someone always feels stood against and how we respond to them is usually how the relationship is going to continue or not. I rejoice that so many stood for truth but also have encourage those who took this stand now to love on those who might have taken hurt feelings away from this. When you teach truth, someone always feels hurt. Thanks for you article, it does give the reader much to think about!

  40. says

    Stephen, how are Christians supposed to show their support for the decree that God commanded that a man and a woman marry, as you say "We can’t back down from what the Bible says about homosexuality." without participating in these type of events? I saw no signs from the Christian community yesterday, just people voicing their opinion. Please realize that most people that do not know Christ ARE hostile toward Christian ideas. We must take a stand but yes, you are right, we must engage the culture. But what about all the talk at the water cooler at work, at restaurants, etc, about what happened? This event forces the issue in the public eye and gives us Christians an opportunity to speak to those who do not hold to God's decree.

    • TMad says

      Adam, as long as the people in your sphere (neighbors, co-workers, etc…) are delivered the truth with a helping of genuine care and love, that's all you are responsible for. Getting a point across for the sake of it probably won't expand the Kingdom. Relationship, relationship, relationship.

  41. Jessie L. says

    We don't abandon homosexuals who are in need of Jesus. Let's pray for their hearts and ears to open to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  42. Kevin B. says

    I did not go to Chick-Fil-A to to support “the company’s stand against gay marriage”. The company traded people products and service for funds. The company and and founder exercise their right to hold an ideology and to support it. Some people claim that violates their rights, but they practice the same behavior, and, further, almost certainly cannot hold all the recipients of their monies to the same standard. Additionally, many would be offended if someone claimed they should not exercise their own right to fund their own ideologies simply because they earned income from an entity that preferred they not do so (unless both parties agreed to such a restriction before the transaction). On the other hand, I did go to Chick-Fil-A to pray that God could use the horrible situation to some good, and, to support Chick-Fil-A only in the sense that they do not deserve the unjust or unmerited accusations leveled upon them. I most certainly did not go to Chick-Fil-A to express any judgement against those that choose not to support the views of the founder, nor to make any statement about whether or not a homosexual couple should or should not be eligible to receive a particular tax status or civil right.

  43. says

    How condescending of you. Welcome them, befriend them and eventually tell them what an abomination they are. No thanks. Keep your kindness, mind your own business. Accept them as they are or go join your cohorts for a sandwich.

  44. norcal says

    "The cause of the gospel will lose if we ban gay marriage"

    so lets not ban murder, theft and everything else that may lessen the gospel…

    this is madness i cannot believe where all this is going..being ok with it is the same as doing it within your heart.
    do i hate gays nope nor murderers per say but i will not condone their actions by calling bad good.

    that is not what the lord teaches…

  45. Fred says

    Read Romans 1:24-32 …sadly this is where we are at this point. I can be compassionate and loving while still fighting for my first amendment rights. I also show love by sharing my beliefs. Rahm Emmanuel and other's think my beliefs shouldn't have any place in society while their beliefs should be the norm. No sir … I am saddened by the "lukewarmness" of Christians, we are in a battle right now. I worry for my children and their children. Chic Fil A was to show solidarity that we will not be silenced. We will be heard loud and clear. We are fighting the DEVIL head on now. These aren't rumors anymore, the battle has come. I will preach my bible with all my might. I will love every sinner, will accept them just as they are, but I will also tell them the TRUTH. Jesus said, " your sin's are forgiven, now go and sin no more". I will say this to every person I meet, straight and gay. But I will not be shutdown for this is our mandate to share the Gospel in spirit and truth and in it's entirety; The nice parts(Jesus, love, salvation) and the darker parts (hell, the Devil, sin and consequences etc).

    We can't do "Christian lite" … I don't know about you, but I don't want to be spit out if found to be "lukewarm".

  46. Guest says

    "Instead of voicing our disapproval of homosexuality by buying chicken sandwiches…"

    I must respectfully disagree with this characterization as I do not find that to be accurate – that is not what people were doing. Mr. Cathy's beliefs were not only under assault but his very right to believe them. Threats and attacks from people in positions of political power who implied they would use the powers of their office to keep him from being able to do business because of his beliefs. Therefore, this was a threatened abuse of government power and a threatened violation of the constitutional rights of Mr. Cathy. Those are essential, key details that sparked the actions of Wednesday – a response to political intimidation and discrimination.

    Your argument is thoughtful, and if what you describe you were responding to was a complete picture of what happened, I'm not sure I could disagree. I would like to see your thoughts on the issue using the full, complete details of what sparked this outpouring of support for Chick-Fil-A (vs. incorrectly saying it occurred to "show opposition to homosexuality"). Should Chick-Fil-A have not been shown support in the face of these politicians' attacks on its right to exist and everyone just remain silent? How else do you show support for a business under assault like this other than standing in line and buying their product? There were no "loud demonstrations" – everyone stood in line just as they would have normally….there were just a lot more people and it took a lot longer. That's a fairly peaceful way to show support for something under attack like that. A loud demonstration would have been to go to the homes of those making the comments with angry worded picket signs and shouting them down. Instead people peacefully and calmly showed disapproval of these threats by going to the store they were attacking and bought a sandwich or two.

  47. guest says

    If sinners feel comfortable in church, are we really giving them the Gospel. We are living in a society that preaches tolerance. As children are growing up, they are being taught tolerance in public schools. In large corporations if you are not tolerant, you have to go to special classes. When a minority group becomes vocal and starts pushing for immorality to accepted, I believe we as God's people need to stand for what is right. I believe in our church, all people are welcome but if all are comfortable, they are probably not hearing about how sinful sin really is which is what is lacking in most churches today. I agree we must reach out to the lost but we must not compromise our stand. I agree with Mr. Cathy and his right to speak out about what is morally right and morally wrong. I don't believe he does that in a hateful way. As one evangelist said when witnessing to homosexuals when one told him that "I was born that way." He responded that he was born that way also. We are all born sinners but we don't like to confront sin. May we have a holy boldness to speak the truth in love.

  48. says

    It may seem petty, but it really annoys me to see the word "homosexual" and "homosexuals" used as a noun.

    No, these people shouldn't be reduced to being "homosexuals." They are people who experience same-sex attraction, and either act on their desires, or don't act on their desires.

    Again, it may seem like a petty complaint. But I think it is more precise, and therefore more helpful to this discussion. It also allows for the possibility that these folks can change their behavior, since at their core they are not "homosexuals," but at their core they are merely struggling with sinful desire, as we all are.

  49. says

    I have skimmed the comments so please forgive me if I repeat any of what has already been said here.

    I have to side with Stephen on this one. When we fall into the trap of debating morality with our culture, there is never a winner. It becomes about behavior modification and completely removes the focus from Christ and his work on the cross. We are using the cultures' methodology to try and convince them that what they are doing is wrong. Do we want to alienate sinners (of which all of us still are) or bring them close to us and allow Jesus to be the one who changes their heart? Do we actually believe that we have the power to transform a heart? Do we really want to categorize and weight the different sins in our culture? It is as if certain sins make you more of a sinner?

    Listen, although I am a believer and follower of Christ, I still sin every day. Do I though now consider myself holier than another because I am in Christ? Or do I truly recognize that it is but for Christ that I am alive and saved? As Paul said, "I boast in Christ".

    So what I see by all this is Christians becoming more polarizing to our culture and alienating unbelievers further. Yes, things are changing disturbingly in our modern America. But let's not put up the walls of our own believes to make a point about sin. Let's wrap our arms around people and draw and point them to Christ. Let Him be the one who changes their belief and in the long run trust that He will use us for his purposes.

  50. Adriana says

    I dont agree with you we as christians have to be united and show to the world that we are stong force and not passive and that we are awake and can't longer be passive asleep. We must stop evil forces that damage our society by acts of kindness and stop trying to be a goodie christian not my friend it is time to be active and stand and defend what we believe. Support Chick-fil-A . We are not drawing away gay people. The one who wants Christ will believe in Him no matter what.

  51. Adriana says

    Proverbs 29:16 (NIV)
    16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.
    Buying chicken sandwiches from a Godly company helps the Gospel. READ THE BIBLE.

  52. thinkpoint says

    Most of those I know who participated in the "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" did not do it to oppose gay marriage but to support a business being threatened by a hateful boycott. It was a way of saying that a business owner should be free to say what he believes about marriage without being threatened. For the record, if a business owner said he opposed traditional marriage, I do not believe anyone should boycott his business for saying what he believes. This is about freedom of speech without threat of boycott from hateful people — no matter the issue. If the owner of Chick-fil-A said he would not serve gay people at his public business, it would be a completely different matter. Tolerance does not mean agreement. It means treating others with respect when you disagree. When we're told we're not permitted to disagree, we have coercion not tolerance.

  53. abc says

    As a patriot, I defend rights…I am obligated to defend both Starbucks and Chick Fil A's right to believe whatever they want to believe, independent of the accuracy of their belief. As a Christian, I defend truth. If you went to Chick Fil A yesterday to defend truth, Stephen is correct in saying that this was not the best avenue for winning people to Christ. If you went to Chick-Fil-A to defend your 13th amendment rights, that is your prerogative as a patriot of this nation. As Christians, we can aggressively defend our rights as citizens to have free speech in the public sector, and go home to dinner and graciously love our gay friends and in no way be inconsistent.

  54. Tony B says

    There is a lot of good discussion going on here, and all of it was from a loving viewpoint. I am sure some of the people eating at Chic-Fil-A were doing so out of hatred of LGBT people. Others were showing support for a fellow Christian and his courage to speak what God's word says.
    My problem is with the mayor of Boston, trying to use his position of power to prevent a good, traditional family value oriented business from entering his city. I wonder if Boston has any adult video stores? Do any of the stores in Boston sell pornographic videos or magazines? Instead of trying to eliminate material that exploits young women, as young as legally possible in most cases, he wants to try to keep out a business that exudes good Christian morals. Christians should unite and vote out of office the people that are against God.
    I am not a hater of anyone, however I hate sin. I hate the sin in my life and allow Christ in my life to resist sinful nature. Share the word of God with love, but never be ashamed or afraid to do so because it isn't popular.

  55. paula says

    I have read every post carefully on this issue and must say Satan is having a field day and rubbing his hands in glee. Some points to consider. 1. Freedom of speach what is your thought on the men and women dying hundreds of years for that right to be defended and your ability to have that freedom of speach and defend it at home. 2. What really is the preaching of the gospel is it not that Christ was crucified for everyones sin He gave His life freely man did not take it our sin did Christ is the fullment of God’s promise to all mankind He rose from the dead to prove He was God and that gift is available to everyone as a free gift for their belief through f aith in that payment THE ONLY PAYMENT our repentance of our sin is the direct result of that gift our continued living in that faith is our obedience of that faith and 3. The issue of homosexuality the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah has not changed Old or New testament it is abhorant to God. Our. stand to all these issues must be to the dictates of our faith and our understanding of the Word of God the battle has always been there Satan is getting bolder as God’s prophecy continues to unfold. A final thought Christ told us to render to Ceaser’s. What is Ceaser’s and to God what is God’s nowhere old or new Testament does it ever say render to. Santan’s what is Santan’s we are to fight for every soul until God calls us home have I always been faithful in this no I have not all I can do is ask God for forgiveness and continue to strive to be more obedient in His grace for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Christian and non Christian alike don’t give Satan the victory.
    atan what is Satan’s

    O.
    O

  56. DAD says

    IS THIS THE LIBERAL STANCE OF SOVEREIGN GRACE LEADERSHIP , SOUNDS LIKE PETER DENYING CHRIST . CHRIST SAID SOME HARSH THINGS , HOWEVER HE STOOD FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS , IT IS BELIEFS LIKE YOURS THAT BROUGHT SODOM TO SODOMY . LET'S JUST BE KIND AND MAKE NO STANCE FOR THE TRUTH BECAUSE IT MIGHT HURT SOMEONES FEELINGS, AND RUN THEM AWAY FROM GOD………BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN ELECTION EXCEPT FOR HOMOSEXUALS ??????? I GUESS YOUR GOD DID NOT DESTROY SODOM . WHAT HAVE YOU DONE PUBLICLY TO ADDRESS ANY RIGHTEOUSNESS , OR BIBLICAL TRUTHS REGARDING SAME SEX MARRIAGES ????? TOO SCARED

  57. Ashley says

    Here’s my 2¢. I didn’t eat there yesterday NOT BECAUSE I don’t think people should have fredom of speech. I did not eat there yesterday BECAUSE I found out that the money I spend there goes to organizations that support the banning of gay marriage. I think the owner can say what ever he wants, but i’m not going to give them my money so that it can in turn be give to an organization that I don’t agree with.

  58. Pastor Phil McKeown says

    I appreciate your approach of being light to those who are lost. There is also Jesus’ admonition to be salt. The destruction of the family in the US will not be because of gay marriage, but because of “followers” of Jesus who have the same morality of pop culture. We are to love the sinner but respond to the sin in the righteousness of God. I did not go to Chic Filet, but I do support those who did as an attempt to salt. In many cases today the church has simply loved and then accepted the people in their sin. Simply my two mites.

  59. Dana says

    Jesus didn't speak at all on the matter of homosexuality. The only place in the bible that even vaguely mentions it is the Old Testament. Now if we want to start hearkening back to what is a sin in the OT, don't get me started. Jesus died for our sins, so what you are saying is that the LGBT community is not worthy of forgiveness as people such as yourself, with YOUR beliefs. We don't make laws on someone's religion in this country. We still have a Constitution. My last comment will be this. If you want people to live by the laws of the OT, do so yourself as well or be labeled a hypocrite. For instance, stone your daughter's in the street if they are not virginal on their wedding night. But don't expect others to live by the OT or any part of YOUR religion unless you are willing to do so yourself. And not even then, I stand by the 1st Amendment and if you are a free American, so should you.

    • says

      NT Book …….1 Corinthians 6:9 (NKJV)
      9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

      • smh says

        Do you not know… that fornicators = unwed pregnant teenagers and adulterers = divorced, remarried people? Both of whom are usually welcomed in most churches with opened arms despite their “mistakes”, while a homosexual person would be shunned, rejected or be informed of their sinful nature. A believer’s place should never be between a sinner and the cross.

  60. Dana says

    Oh, and BTW, Cathy has given millions of that chicken money to organizations that are rallying for the Ugandan "kill the gay" bill. That is a fact. So, this isn't so much about marriage equality as it is about murder. So I say to you who still patronize the CFA, "eat at chick fil a and you too can kill a gay". Think before you give your money to someone who is lobbying for the murder of others. How "christian" is that?

  61. Dan Croy says

    I agree with you. However, I ate there because I wanted to stand up for our first amendment rights. Mr Cathy has the right to state his viewpoint. I’m wondering what the outcome would be if the Mayors of Chicago & Boston made similar comments about any businesses owned by Islamics.
    When I state that I believe that a man and wife should stay faithful to their vows does that automatically imply my hate, disgust, & phobia of adulterers?

  62. Steve says

    So eating a chicken sandwich is no longer about supporting CFA, but represents an attack against homosexuality? That’s not why I eat chikkin at CFA. Cant I just go there to support a business (and food) that I love, without being a hater? I think I can, thank you.

  63. Samaritan says

    While your intent on this article is good, it is creating a false dichotomy. That is, it is creating a false scenario where there are only two choices (or three…..a false trichotomy). The real appropriate decision is to support this business which is based on the Christian principles of ethical capitalism from top to bottom (this business is far more than just "pro-traditional marriage…and those of us who have frequented the restaurant know of what I speak)…AND…to reflect love and grace to homosexuals. We are to do both…and the latter via not holding more severe contempt upon those who sin differently than us (I Tim 1:16) We are to humbly stand firm on Scripture for our world view yet love others practically, humbly and sacrificially (Phil 2:3-4).

    In summary, it's not either-or…it is to be both.

  64. John Hamilton says

    People were eating at Chik-fil-A to support freedom of speech.I don't know a single person who showed up to express some sort of hate for gays or anyone else.People were protesting the lefts/gays stance that freedom to have an opinion does not extend to Christians. Your stating that we are all hateful homophobes without the love of Christ is itself hateful and wildly misinformed.Did you even bother talking to anyone who went or did you get your opinion from CNN.

  65. Joanna says

    As I was reading your post, Stephen.. this song by Casting Crowns came on the radio. :)

    "Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
    Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
    Let our hearts be led by mercy
    Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
    Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours"

    Let our hearts be led by mercy. Great post!

  66. M Beatty says

    Thanks for the good article. Good to here this from someone on the more conservative end of the spectrum.

  67. GMc says

    We are not to explain things based on our opinion or emotions…any Christian who tries to explain a situation based on their emotion or opinion and not the word of God is wrong…some of you did that, some of you did not. I find this to be a problem with most subjects in the Christian community. To Christians only…do say a word unless you know what God says about it…your feelings mean nothing.

  68. Emil says

    I go back and forth on this one. On one side I firmly hold biblical convictions that transform the way I live and act in this world. Because of God'slove, no matter how foolish it may seem, I want to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Yet, It's theologically incorrect (correct me if I'm wrong) to think by forcing my morality on others they will turn to God. I'm all for standing up for for freedom of speech but it's always been a pagan world we live in and while I'd like America to embrace my morality I have no reason to expect it to. This type of sexual sin is personal, consenting, and is none of my concern until I'm invited to share Jesus. I'm against a lot of things and believe its vitally important for those of us whom claim to be Christian to live by example which we have done a horrible job doing.

  69. Non-believer says

    Many folks here say they only stood by Chick-fil-a and Cathy because of the free speech issue. When it comes to the actions of Chicago and their ilk, I agree Cathy was wronged. However, no one standing up for free speech, is in turn standing up for the liberty or freedom of gay individuals to be able to marry despite their own personal religious beliefs. Your standing up for political rights would seem far more believable if in fact you demonstrated that you stood up for political rights outside of those represented by your chosen religion. So the author has it right in the sense that you do not simply appear to be standing up for rights, but that you are standing up for rights that will in turn deny other people their rights to pursue their happiness and liberty out side of your personal religious beliefs. You can claim the high horse, but until you really stand up for political rights, you have not indeed mounted said horse. And I concur with the author of the article that at least in my case, you have created a greater rift between Christianity and non-believers. If you seek to politically impose your religion on others, you can count me as your life long enemy.

  70. CeCe says

    When I heard that there was going to be a big showing at Chick-Fil-A–
    I'll be honest, there was something about it that bothered me.
    Yet I wasn't quite sure what it was, but I believe you hit it on the nail with your article.
    Jesus wasn't afraid to hang around sinners because for "1"he was and is GOD.
    He knows who HE is–He knew his mission on earth.
    He came in the 2nd person of God to show what God was like: kind, gentle, bold, fearless, healing, joyful,leading,
    and NO.1 he came to "forgive" sin.
    He came to shed his blood
    He made the pharisees mad because the broke the law of the sabbath.
    He healed on the Sabbath—
    Jesus forgave sin and offers new life to anyone who comes.
    Our job is to communicate that message in love–
    If we are persecuted the bible says rejoice
    not hold a re-actionary Chick-Fil-A eating marathon.
    I think we missed an opportunity to show God's love in all HIS fullness.I think we communicated to the homosexuality
    community….
    "WELL JUST WATCH MY SMOKE, see if its not bigger."

  71. says

    At the end of the day, I think this whole thing shows that companies should not be seen to be taking a view on political matters. Just as I don't think that the boss of Chick-Fil-A should have made any comments on the matter, I also think that the Starbucks boss was an idiot to come out and say he (and, apparently, the entire company) is in favour of gay marriage.
    However, I also think that the reaction of the various government bodies to Chick-Fil-A were completely stupid and over the top and if the "purchase protest" is all about telling the morons that want to ban Chick-Fil-A where they can go then I think that the protest is a good thing.

  72. KellBell says

    I’m a Gay Christian that loves my chic fil a sandwiches!! yummy!!! Now you can all talk about me when I am gone. LOL God loves me and Jesus never said one word about gays. God made me in his image. And John loved David as he would a woman. Bigotry wrapped in religion is still bigotry.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] On the first issue, Christians argue that the Bible is pretty clear that homosexuality is a sin and is thereby morally wrong. Some examples from the Bible include Romans 1:26-27, Genesis 18-19, Jude 7-8, among others. I think it is very difficult to argue that the Bible does not state homosexuality is wrong.  Of course some within the Christian Church do make such an argument, such as Bishop Gene Robinson from Concord, NH who does so very openly. However, I believe  cherry picking parts of the Bible you like and do not like is being a buffet Christian. That is, you only pick the parts of Christianity you like while ignoring other parts. Additionally I should add that though Christians (myself included) believe homosexuality is wrong we believe that we must treat our brothers and sisters with the same dignity and love as everyone else. I do not wish to harp on the issue of morality of homosexuality here though, as that is not the main point I want to drive home. For more of an argument on the Biblical perspective on homosexuality a great discussion can be found here, here, and here. [...]

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