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Posting Someone Else’s Post

Have you heard about Chick-fil-A lately? It’s been frustrating watching our community leaders, politicians, commentators and fellow followers acting the way they’ve been the last several weeks…it’s crazy!! I came across a post by Perry Noble in which I thought was well thought out and wanted to share.

         Ben & Jerry’s, Chick-fil-A & Political Correctness

Let me begin by saying I absolutely LOVE Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  (Gonna go ahead and tell you that Oatmeal Cookie Chunk is THE BEST flavor I’ve EVER had!!)

Have you heard about Chick-fil-A lately? It’s been frustrating watching our community leaders, politicians, commentators and fellow followers acting the way they’ve been the last several weeks…it’s crazy!! I came across a post by Perry Noble in which I thought was well thought out and wanted to share.

A few years ago I went to Wal Mart (the closest thing to hell I can imagine…that and the DMV), found my favorite flavor and decided to tweet that I was purchasing some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream…and doing so “unleashed the hounds” in a sense.  Honestly, I’ve never experienced anything like it, “Christians” began @ replying me on twitter condemning me and scolding me for buying this product because apparently Ben & Jerry’s supported gay rights/same sex marriage.

Honestly, it bothered me.  Because, first of all…I wasn’t trying to make a political statement I was simply trying to get some chunky monkey and some oatmeal cookie crunch.  I like ice cream…I believe it will be served in heaven (with ZERO calories)!  And second, it has broken my heart the way that many who claim to follow Christ have treated those who are homosexuals.  We’ve yelled at them, ignored them and in some cases damned them to hell without EVER sitting down and actually having a conversation with someone who is gay.

“But Perry,” you say, “the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.”  Let me put my cards on the table and say that I agree; however, for too long the church has seemed to be obsessed with the sins that we do not struggle with; after all, if I am pointing out the sins of others I don’t have to deal with my own.

People have taken me to I Corinthians 6:9-11 before and said, “look, the Bible says that homosexuals will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.”  I always try my best to point out that also included in that list are…

  • The sexually immoral (anyone been watching porn?)
  • Idolaters (anyone love anyone or anything more than Jesus?)
  • Adulterers (see Matthew 5:27-28)
  • Thieves
  • The greedy (uh oh!)
  • Drunkards (tailgating season is quickly approaching)
  • Slanderers (uh oh, a lot of bloggers and women’s Bible studies are in trouble!)
  • After looking at this list I would say we are all pretty much screwed unless Jesus intervenes.

And…while I am at it why don’t I just go ahead and throw out that gluttony is way more of a problem in the church today than homosexuality!!! (Please see Proverbs 23:2…pretty intense!!!  ONLY in the church can people that are huge condemn people who are homosexual and somehow feel like that they are spiritually superior!)

Do I hate homosexuals or have a “homophobia?”  Absolutely not!  (And, let me be VERY clear that as a child I was molested…TWICE…by men who were older than me.  I have no idea if they were or are practicing homosexuals…but I can honestly say that I have forgiven them and do not think that because of what they did to me that homosexuals are bad people!)

So, if a company or an organization wants to support gay rights/same sex marriage I don’t believe that Christians should boycott and/or protest them (come on people, has that REALLY worked for us in the past?)  Jesus went after the hearts of people far from Him through conversation, not condemnation.  Yes, sin must be called what it is, even at the risk of offending people: however, when it is done so with a hateful spirit then Jesus is NOT exalted, thus making the confrontation of sin sinful!

We live in America…and people have the right to say what they want to say…

Which brings me to Chick-fil-A…

I love Chick-fil-A…I probably eat there no less than five times a week (no, I am not making that up!)  The fact that Truett Cathy has built a business from the ground up and has sought to honor Jesus every step of the way is an inspiration to me.  Every Chick-fil-A I’ve ever been in has excellent food and excellent customer service…and I believe I read the other day that they made 4.1 billion dollars last year (not bad!)

Recently Dan Cathy (the current CEO) was asked about his stance on same sex marriage.  He did not issue any inflammatory remarks.  He did not attempt to call anyone by any derogatory names.  He was not hateful in his comments.  He did not say that people who are gay would not be hired and/or served at Chick-Fil-A restaurants. He simply stated that he holds to the traditional/biblical view of marriage (which is his right as an American citizen.)  And it seemed the world lost its mind.

It’s quite sad really that those who scream for tolerance seem to be intolerant of anyone who does not hold to their particular view.

No one in the media screamed “foul” when corporations came out in support of same sex marriage; however, when one company spoke out against it in a non condemning tone people were calling for a boycott…even provoking the mayor of the city of Boston to say that Chick-Fil-A was not welcome in the city.  (Uh…wow, talk about tolerance!  Honestly, I believe the city of Boston needs Chick-fil-A way more than Chick-fil-A needs the city of Boston!)

All I am saying is this…I believe as an American everyone has the right to free speech.  I also believe as a Christian we have the right to speak the truth in love as it applies to the Scriptures and should not fear doing so because we may be perceived as politically incorrect.  Biblical truth (IN LOVE) always trumps political correctness.  Honestly, I respect and admire Mr. Cathy as he took a very unpopular stand on one of the most controversial matters of our day.  AND…as I’ve stated before, he did it with a non-condemning attitude.

It simply needs to be pointed out that people on both sides of this argument have been way less than civil with each other…which does nothing more than proves the insecurity in us if we feel like we have to “lower the boom” on people who do not see exactly as we see.

Honestly, it is my prayer that people on both sides of the argument would stop yelling at each other and talking about one another and actually sit down and talk to one another understanding that just because two people do not agree on an issue does not mean they have the right to hate one another for it.  Conversation is NOT compromise…it’s actually Christ like!  And our world would be a MUCH better place if those who called themselves Christians would step up and lead the way in this, understanding John 3:17 is the attitude that we are called to have!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Devotional, Family / Life, Reflection

 

If this life was his life…

When you hear the word disciple, what comes to your mind?  How would you define that term? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Before reading any more of this post, take a few moments to write down your current definition, your thoughts on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus (maybe even leave them as a comment to this post).

Seriously, take a few moments and consider the above questions.  I know you just want to read on but stop for a brief moment and ask yourself how you would answer those questions.

The reality is, as followers of the Way, we are called to be a disciple of Jesus.  Okay, he calls us to go and make disciples, but how can we make disciples if we aren’t a disciple?  Some have the understanding that being a disciple is about having knowledge about the Text.  Some would say that being a disciple is about faithfully going to church and being involved in a faith community.  Some would say that being a disciple means living by a certain set of guidelines and perfecting them.  And there are many more thoughts about what a disciple is.  What are your thoughts?

Allow me to start by saying that discipleship isn’t about perfection. An individual can be a disciple and yet be very raw and incompetent at it. A disciple is an apprentice, someone learning to become like his or her teacher.  Just as an apprentice of a musician will make mistakes as he or she is learning to create beautiful music, so will an apprentice of Jesus as they journey in life discovering the best kind of life.

In the words of Dallas Willard, a disciple “is simply someone who has decided to be with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become what that person is” (Divine Conspiracy, 282). What did Jesus do? He lived out the Kingdom principles in such away that it benefited others, brought goodness to their life, and made it possible for them to be a part of the Kingdom as well.

Being an apprentice, a disciple, of Jesus means we are learning to do everything we do in the manner that Jesus did all that he did.   To be the apprentice Jesus desires us to be, it is crucial that the focus of my life is my apprenticeship to Jesus.  It’s about learning from the master Jesus “how to lead my life, my whole life, my real life.”  Let me be clear, discipleship isn’t about learning how to do certain religious things, but is about how I do everything.  How do I parent like Jesus would parent? How do I be a friend like Jesus would be a friend? How do I play like Jesus would play? How do I do my job (regardless of what the job is) like Jesus would do it?

It’s not trying to re-live the life of Jesus (that’s already been done); it’s about living your life in a manner that Jesus would live it if it were his to live.

What thoughts come to your mind? What questions arise? Does it change your perspective? Do you feel this is freeing or binding?

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Devotional, Family / Life, Reflection

 

The Crumbs of Life

I want to share with you something I have just read from A Tree Full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary by Marcina Wiederkehr.

“We stand in the midst of plenty and we starve.  We dwell in the land of plenty, yet we persist in going hungry.  Not only do we dwell in the land of plenty; we have the capacity to be filled with the utter fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-10).  In the light of such possibility, what happens?  Why do we drag our hearts?  Lock up our souls?  Why do we limp?  Why do we straddle the issues?  Why do we live so feebly, to dimly?  Why aren’t we saints?  Each of us could come up with individual answers to all these questions, but I want to suggest here a common cause.  The reason we live life so dimly and with such divided hearts is that we have never really learned how to be present with quality to God, to self, to others, to experiences and events, to all created things.  We have never learned to gather up the crumbs of whatever appears in our path at every moment.  We meet all of these lovely gifts only half there. . . . We are too busy to be present, too blind to see the nourishment and salvation in the crumbs of life, the experiences of each moment.  Yet the secret of daily life is this: there are no leftovers! There is nothing–no thing, no person, no experience, no thought, no joy or pain–that cannot be harvested and used for nourishment on our journey to God.  What I am suggesting is that everything in your life is a stepping stone to holiness if only you recognize that you do have within you the grace to be present to each moment. . . . Each experience, every thought, every word, every person in your life is a part of a larger picture of your growth.  That’s why I call them crumbs.  They are not the whole loaf, but they can be nourishing if you give them your real presence.  Let everything energize you.  Let everything bless you.  Even your limping can bless you.  All too often we bemoan our imperfections rather than embrace them as part of the process by which we are brought to God.”

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Family / Life