"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."- Matt. 15:11. That said, was this whole thing that Dan Cathy and Rahm Emmanuel wrought worth it on a Christian standpoint? I got a chicken sandwich, not because "God wanted me to", but because I took a dim view of government leaders trying to base how they treated businesses on the faith of the owner. I would expect the same treatment if CW Martin, mayor of Besancon, Indiana, refused to allow a kosher deli or a Muslim cafe in his town. Because that's what the establishment clause, oh so near and dear to our liberal friends when keeping high schoolers from praying at ballgames, is supposed to be all about.
Not all liberals, or even all supporters of gay issues, disagree with this. But you hear far more voices of unreason than reason- My son tried to tell a girl a couple of nights ago this same thing, and was called a homophobe (which is a stupid term because it indicates one is "afraid" of gays) and a racist (which really made him mad as his roommate is African-American, not to mention it questions the accuser's intelligence when you try to figure out which "race" is involved); and of course, Roseanne Barr thinks I deserve to get cancer from all this. But what we need to be asking ourselves is not how to defend our faith against people who think they can get defensible positions by watching John Goodman (who has certainly passed up a lot of chicken sandwiches in his life) dress up like Col. Sanders, but is the battle one a Christian should fight?
Point number one- Christians by definition are "in the world but not of it". We are supposed to show our morality in our actions, not legislate it to the unsaved. Oh, but what about when the government does something we are against? Well, fight it in the legislature or the ballot box, it's your right as a citizen- BUT it is NOT an obligation to God. Remember when the disciples wanted to fight taxation? Jesus said, Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God
the things that are God’s.”(Mark 12:17.) Meaning that the government's business, with it's focus on earth, is it's business, and the christian's business, focused on the next life, is God's concern. Another example? Look at Romans 13:1-6: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. " Clearly, a Christian's job is not to fight the government- except...
Except when it is interfering with the execution of your faith. Note the story in Acts 3-4 that concludes thusly:
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” . ” (Acts 4:13-20.)
I won't point out the obvious-other than to say that at least the Sanhedrin was honest in ADMITTING that there is power in faith, but since it wasn't a power they were part of, they tried to ban it. Try to get that much from an atheist today! Satan's brainwashing is much more efficient now. AHEM. Anyway, the thing to take from this is there is a line of discernment of when to fight an issue because of faith and when not to. This line is not always clear, so let me try to focus it just a wee bit.
Jesus gave us the commision to make believers of all the world. Not to take over the governance of said world. As a fellow blogger said, we waste way too much energy on semantics. If gays wish a civil union, let 'em have one, it's their business. If they want to appropriate the word "marriage", despite it's faith connotations, because of some imagined slight to their "equality", it's just a word. WE DO NOT GOVERN THE UNBELIEVING. And with a divorce rate of 60% among those who call themselves christian, and 38% among regular church attenders, Christians have a lot more to work on on the subject amongst our own than to waste time on the outside.
On the other hand, we DO have to stand up when the government wrongly takes away our rights to observe that faith. We do have an obligation to stand up when told we can't pray in public. Or that we cannot have prayer meetings in our homes, like what's happening in Arizona. We DO have the right to speak out when the government asks us to support something that is against our faith, such as being forced as religious institutions to fund abortions.
But what you have to ask yourself is, does the thing I'm fighting for have anything to do with getting one lost soul into heaven? Christmas displays and crosses on city flags, while an unbelievably petty thing for the "world" to complain about, does not fall in this category. Nor does a chicken sandwich.
When you stand up for God, make sure it is God you are standing up for. We are alienating far too many people fighting political battles as religious ones. Remember, nations don't go to hell (well, physically at least)- PEOPLE DO.