We could go down many roads here.
One road is: “What your friend heard was not what CFA’s president said.” What the president stated was his view of marriage, his personal opinion, not the company’s stance. It’s unproven that CFA as a company is intolerant of any part of the human race. From my experience, it’s a well-run, multi-ethnic, positive and respectful environment. But I get it. This offended man felt that no matter how you slice it, a leader’s view impacts his company and implicates his company; and so, CFA must therefore be intolerant. It’s a leap of logic, not a necessary leap; but not illogical either.
Going down this road a bit farther leads us to the subject of free speech. I’m an ethnic mix if there ever was one. One fourth Norwegian, another quarter Venezuelan, with a full 50% of English, Irish and who knows what else! But I love the right of free speech and I’d argue verbally for someone to say to my face that they really don’t like people of mixed ethnicities, especially those of a Norwegian/Venezulean and western european kind and ethnic mixes should be outlawed in America. Ethnic mixes are immoral. They have the right to hold that view and speak that view. OK. Cool. People died in the Revolutionary War so we could speak our mind freely. Say it to my face. What a great country this is. Tons of people disagree with me about my Biblical views on life and I disagree with them about their views of morality. Hey, we can agree to disagree without jumping to character assassination. What a novel idea, public debate and civil disagreement. The road of free speech is an important one and applies here. It seems we Americans have gotten so thin skinned as a culture, we are condemned as immoral for speaking our mind. (By the way, I had a good chicken sandwich at CFA today. My friend who works there said it’s been a wild week, but no issues today. If you’re ticked I went there, you’ll have to deal with that.)
OK, but how should a Christian respond?
Besides the fact that we have a right to hold our own view about marriage and speak our mind, we do have to represent Jesus’ view. We are His disciples. Going down the Christian road, we need to say to our gay friends who think we’re intolerant or hate them, that what they’re hearing from us is not what we’re saying. Sure, there are some people who are Christians (or claim to be) who are unkind and even hateful as they talk about homosexuals. Most Christians, however, hate conflict and don’t want to be unloving toward anybody and are working really hard to love even their enemies! Jesus taught us that! I hate fighting and conflict, and my goal in life is not to intentionally tick anyone off or hurt anyone’s feelings. But God is good and what He creates and establishes is good, and so is His worshipper I believe that marriage as the Bible defines it is good and best for humanity (one man and one woman). Who am I to change God’s definition of marriage? I’m not God! When we Christians say we’re committed to the Bible’s view of marriage, we are decidedly not saying that we hate gays or are intolerant of their right to exist. They hear that however. It might be impossible for a gay friend of mine to hear a Christian say that the Bible does not support homosexuality or same sex marriage and be able to not feel anything but, “They are intolerant people, definitely haters.” But what they hear is not what we’re saying.
I’ve been a Bible teacher and pastor for a long time, and I’ve seen that there are so many behaviors that hurt people like crazy. Like adultery, alcohol abuse, coveting, lust and all kinds of sexual sins…materialism can consume you too. I’ve heard of things that would shave years off your life. And the Bible teaches against sins that destroy and commands us to stay away from those behaviors. They kill life. The Church of Corinth had a ton of people in it who were former sexual abusers of every type (2 Corinthians 6:9-11) and Jesus set them free. This is what we’re saying: The good news is that because God has come in Christ, we can be set free to a new life that doesn’t put us in bondage anymore. I want to see people free from what will destroy them. God wants that way more than I do!
"You wouldn't believe what I did"
My friend who broke out of the gay lifestyle was talking to me one day about it all, and he just couldn’t go into detail. He said, “Pete, you just wouldn’t believe what I did. I just can’t talk about it in detail.” But now he’s free and he’s glad, and wouldn’t go back. Jesus Christ set him free. What I would want gays to hear from me is, “I don’t hate you, I really want what’s best for you and God’s way I believe is best. If you differ, if you don’t think you’re in a trap and need to get free, and that your lifestyle is equal to mine, or that mine is inferior, that’s your privilege. But I don’t hate you, I’ve got a whole lot of stuff/sin in my own life, and the Father is setting me free and I gotta get back to work on that stuff. But if you ever want to get free, let’s talk. We’ll talk about Jesus.”
You Take It To Heart…