If there’s one thing thing that the internet needs, it’s more people giving their personal opinion on this Chick Fil A story. So here we go. You’re welcome, Internet!
I’m not writing to explain in great detail why Chick Fil A is right, why Chick Fil A protestors are right, or which group is composed of narrow-minded bigots hell-bent on destroying the world. It’s been my personal experience as a conciliator that calling people bigots doesn’t move the conversation forward.
I’m writing for two reasons: (1) To explain why supporting one thing doesn’t necessarily mean that you hate the other thing, and (2) to explain why, at the end of the day, I’ve made my peace with the fact that you might think I’m a backward-thinking idiot. It’s worth it to me.
First, does supporting what we’re calling “traditional values” or “traditional marriage” mean that you automatically hate homosexual people, America, etc? My answer is no. Here’s my story explaining why.
I’m a Christian guy married to a girl. My understanding of how marriage works is that marriage is an allegory of Jesus and the Church, meaning God’s people. It’s a picture that Jesus loves us and will never forsake us. Marriage is suppose to be the same way. A husband should be fully devoted to serving his wife through thick and thin and vice versa. In the Bible, marriage is between a guy and a girl. That’s my understanding of marriage. I think that’s a beautiful picture and I like it very much.
As I said, I’m a Christian. What does that even mean? To me it means this – I believe in God, who is Love and who is good, I believe God made Creation, and that God made humanity “in his image”, which means we have lots of God-like traits. These include creativity, the capacity to love, a certain amount of power, etc. Somehow, through humanity’s decision to do bad rather than good, we separated ourselves from God. God provided us a way back to him through Jesus. Jesus somehow reconciled us back to God through dying. (I don’t understand how it works. I’m not a master theologian.) If we want to be reconciled then we can be. I also think that’s beautiful and I like that.
A person who is a Christian is obligated to love Creation like God does. You can basically sum up the Christian life as “Love God and love each other.” That’s pretty much it. Now here’s where Chick-Fil-A comes in. One reason that a lot of people are upset at Christians is because by supporting “traditional marriage” they are therefore not supporting gay marriage and gay rights. They are being backwards and bigots. Jesus loved people, He didn’t condemn people!
Ok. Let’s do this. Correct, Jesus did love people. God loves people, he loves everyone, he wants everyone to be reconciled to him! Sometimes what we might be missing is that a lot of the way that Jesus loved people in the New Testament was by helping them learn about being reconciled to God. He told them to repent from their old, sinful ways and instead obey God. (This is the same God that created people and loves them.) Jesus called out a lot of people. Rich people, religious people, people being mean to others, people living “a life of sin”, etc. Since God made us, it seems like he knows what’s best. And so when we live out what’s in the Bible, that’s our best life. When we want to be redeemed, God will redeem us. That’s as good as it gets.
If I believe that’s true, that God can offer redemption to us, people who do evil and bad things but want to be good, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t share that Good News that you can be redeemed? If I think that the New Testament in the Bible is true and I don’t share it, wouldn’t that be the biggest pile of hate possible? That’s like having a life jacket and looking the other way when someone is drowning.
Let me pause here. I understand that you can have 1,000 objections to my trail of thought. Here are some of them:
- You believe in GOD?!?
- Jesus didn’t explicitly say anything about homosexuality.
- What does that have to do with FORCING your beliefs on others?
- It’s none of your business.
- Actually if you compare verse x with y….
- In the Old Testament they were polygamists!
I’m happy to discuss those privately if you want. I’m not addressing them here simply because that’s not the point of this particular essay.
In sum, I’m saying that I support “traditional” marriage and I don’t hate gay people. In fact, the only reason I’d ever speak up about Jesus and God is because I believe that it’s all true and I REALLY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE IT AS WELL. It’s the best thing I know and I want to share it. The redemption of Creation isn’t the kind of thing I’d sit on and keep to myself, even though I’m shy and an introvert. I disagree with you but I don’t hate you. I’d love to spend all eternity with you. The only thing I truly hate is traffic. Not you. Even if you are in traffic. Even if you cause traffic.
That brings me to my second point – I’m ok if you think I’m a backwards thinking idiot. Ideally, I want you to know the truth that I’m awesome. But I understand if my personal beliefs and values seem stupid to you. I also want you to understand that the reason I support Biblical marriage is because I think it’s a beautiful picture of how God loves us. I disagree with you but I’m not against you, I’m on your team! Same side! That’s why I’m willing to risk being labeled as a mindless, hate-filled bigot who doesn’t understand modern culture, the Bible, Jesus, name it. Even if you think I’m weird, know that I’m a friend. I believe in something very strongly and I want you to, too.