Thursday, August 2, 2012

How should the Christian Community Respond to the Chic-Fil-A controversy?



How are Christians to respond to the Chick-Fil-A controversy?

The controversy all stared Earlier this week in a radio interview on the “Ken Colemen Show,“ Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A stated that he believed “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation” when it comes to the discussion in our nation regarding what constitutes marriage.

Cathy went on to say in the radio interview “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Cathy concluded his remarks with: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”  

Of course any position on same-sex marriage is going to bring about strong opposition in  in our current culture. One such response came from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign which supports same-sex-marriage, he said in a statement that Chick-fil-A “has finally come clean” after keeping it’s official position hidden for many years.
 
Griffin continued, “While they may have been in neutral, kicking this fight into overdrive now allows fair-minded consumers to make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company.”

On the other side of the controversy the  Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors said that ,“Some people are saying that because of the position that Chick-fil-A is taking, they don’t want them in their cities. It is a disgrace. It is the same thing that happened when I was marching for civil rights, when they didn’t want a black to come into their restaurant," he told a press conference in Washington, DC.

In addition Mike Huckabee made a nationwide call — not to protest or picket — but for people to eat at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday. 

So as I thought about this culture crises I pondered; how should followers of Christ "think" and "act" concerning cultural hot topics? Should we ignore cultural hot topics? blog about them? write op-eds? protest? show support for our side, as in the case with Chic-Fil-A and follow the advice of the former Governor of Arkansas and eat at Chic-Fil-A ? 

Should we engage the opposition with dialog? Should we pray and stay inside the walls of our churches? Should we resurrect Jerry Falwell and remake the moral majority---to save our culture? Are we as the body of Christ even called to save our culture?
Many in the Christian Community would say right on to a quote that is often attributed to Martin Luther:
 “If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”
We live in a culture that is dark and depraved; Ephesians chapter two verse two tell us, "Satan is the "prince of the power of the air."We are admonished by John in his Epistle not to love the world (1 John 2:15). 

The Scriptures admonish the Church to walk in "wisdom" toward those outside of the body of Christ; making the most of every opportunity ( Colossians 4:5). 

Peter tells his readers, "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Blog readers, here is my answer to the question how the Church to respond to the Chic-Fil-A controversy.

First, we as the Church should respond. We should respond with wisdom, which means thinking hard through the issue without reacting form the gut. Making the most of every opportunity means that we use the present controversy to share the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. 

As followers of Christ we should be marked with gentleness and respect. No, no, no, not being spineless; but proclaiming the "truth" with boldness that is mixed with humility.

May God be glorified as we seek to bring His gospel to our culture!





Wednesday, August 1, 2012

YAHWEH IS NEAR


Here is something to get excited about:

 Psalm 145: 18 tells us that "the LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."

Do you notice that LORD is in all caps? The “LORD” is in all capital letters  more than 6000 times in the Old Testament.

Why is this important?

To find the beginning of the answer we have to travel back to Moses and the Burning Bush.  (Exodus 3:1-4:17).   God speaks to Moses. God tells Moses he is to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses asks God for God’s name:  God says his name is “I am.”  In Hebrew this is “Yahweh.”

 Moses was probably thinking, “I am what?”  Moses might have been waiting on God to finish the sentence.  He might have thought, “Is that the best God can do?  I am?  What kind of name is that?”  But what was God trying to show with that name?  Try this:  make a sentence with action without using the verb “to be.”  Examples:  I am running, we are eating, they are reading.  The verb “to be” is foundational to language.  What God was showing was that He is foundational to existence.  God is not a name, He Is and that is all.  Nothing else needs to be added.(©2007 Mark Nickens)


 It is this LORD, this I am, YAHWEH; who is near to all who call on him. The source of all life. The foundation to all that is. The creator of all things, yes, it is this God who is near to the humble believer who calls on him in truth.

WOW! tell me that isn't exciting? It makes me want to call on God and trust him more than I feebly do now. 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I know that at times God seems so very far away, all mature Christians relate to this experience. Read any of the autobiographies of the giants of the faith and you'll hear that at times in their journey with God, God to them seemed very distant.

The other day, (the last day of July 2012), I was sitting outside under a beautiful blue sky with big puffy white clouds. From time to time the wind would blow one of those huge white clouds in front of the sun, and for a short time the sun would be hidden. 

This reminded me that God is still near us even when we do not experience his presence. Remember Christian, we walk by faith, not by sight or feelings (11 Cor. 5:7).

So be excited today that Yahweh is close to you, and be encouraged!



The Renewing of the Mind

I've have written in the past on the life of the mind. I cannot stress enough the importance for the Christian to develop the life of ...