Alright, let me start out by saying that I intended to write something about this yesterday but before I could do so I saw a post from a friend that was better than what I would have wrote.  I would have simply linked to the article; however, his blog was getting so much traffic that it was operating at a snails pace. Therefore, I want to share the entire thing with you here. Thanks to Perry Noble for the thoughts! Enjoy.

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!!)

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 throughconversation, 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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  1. Doug August 4, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

    I agree! When the adulterous woman was brought before Jesus, He simply began to draw with His finger in the dirt. When those present threatened to stone her, He simply said, “Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone”. No stones were thrown, and He told the woman to go and sin no more. We have so many things that divide us, that we draw lines in the sands. It isn’t my job to judge others but to present to others the image of Christ. We have to learn to agree to disagree, because after all, a christian is simply a “saved sinner”.

  2. Rachel Kempf August 4, 2012 at 10:36 PM #

    I agree and think it couldn’t be said any better. We are to be Christ like! Thank you for sharing and also encouraging!!! I wish everyone views it this way!

  3. Vic August 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM #

    I strongly agree with the tolerance issue, but when one side vandalized (criminal) a Chik-fil-a facility, that threw everything a few levels up. If homosexuals want tolerance, how about they quit attacking not only verbally but also physically the private business of mr. Truett? You call on Christians to lead the way? All we did was support a private claim of a president of also a private business. Now tell what tolerance do we still have to speak of? we took a stance, and the opposition already opened fire. Such friction will not blow over soon, I strongly support your effort to ease the rage of both sides, and to sit down like civilized humans and sort things out.

  4. Colette Martin August 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM #

    Awesome! Thanks for posting this!!

  5. Abby August 5, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

    Jerry, you went out on a limb here. Taking the middle road in a very hot topic. I wasnt going to post any thing because 1) i never do and 2) i don’t like getting into debates. Then i realized that you had the guts to speak your mind and coukd use encouragement. I reaaly appre iate your aproach to this arguement. It rings true. God bless.

  6. R. Zirlott August 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM #

    Thanks, J.R. I agree!

  7. Andrea T August 6, 2012 at 12:58 AM #

    I love it!!! Thank you so much for summing up (in the best words I’ve read yet) what so many people created a “war” over! There was so much TIME & ENERGY wasted that could’ve been directed elsewhere with better results.

  8. Bonnie G August 6, 2012 at 7:14 AM #

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  9. Khristy Boring August 6, 2012 at 8:33 AM #

    You know, the biggest argument that my husband and I have EVER had is about this topic.

    If I could have been able to say what I needed to say just like this blog put it, I may have been able to have avoided that horrible argument. Thank you for sharing. I am going to send this to my husband and ask him to read it with an open mind.

  10. Sonja August 6, 2012 at 10:11 AM #

    Thanks, very well said! I have forwarded this several times!

  11. Isabel Carrillo August 6, 2012 at 10:34 AM #

    He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone…

  12. Susan LaCount August 6, 2012 at 8:17 PM #

    JR – First of all, I am happy you came to speak to us at Antioch Christian this evening. It was an awesome service! Thanks!
    Secondly – I agree with the writer of this & applaud his statements. Reminds me of the Casting Crowns song that says something about putting down our signs, cross over the lines & Love like Jesus did….. Things to think about…. and act on. :)

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