So, I can’t stop thinking about the Phil Robertson thing not because I watch Duck Dynasty (I’ve seen season 1) but because I believe this event like so many others in the past two years is a watershed moment for our society. Just for the record, his anatomical statements were meant to highlight the inherent unnatural nature of gay sex aside from biblical prohibitions. He was right on that point. He included homosexual behavior in a list with bestiality which Leviticus 18 does as well along with incest. And finally, he almost perfectly paraphrased 1 Cor. 6:9-11. These are his offenses. In our society, your choices currently are as follows: 1. “Get in line” (direct quote from gay rights activist speaking on CNN), 2. Be persecuted for accepting the Bible as the inspired Word of God. I pick #2.
So I’ve coined a new saying, “When you’re right, you’re Nathan.” Just kidding. But how do we hold to truth without coming off as arrogant or judgmental? Acts 17-18 holds an important message for Christ followers in this regard.
I cannot endorse homosexual marriage. Sometimes I wish I could. I don’t want to come across as bigoted or intolerant. I don’t want to erect unnecessary hurdles to people coming to faith in Christ. I don’t believe that anyone woke up one morning and thought, “I think I’ll be sexually attracted to someone of the same gender today.” That being said, I cannot endorse homosexual marriage because the Bible universally and unequivocally denounces homosexual activity.
For me, the choice is to either denounce homosexuality as one sin among many or deny my faith in the message of the Bible. I will not choose that latter. So does that make me a Pharisee or a bigot? I’m sure there are many who would say, “Yes.” Because they say it does not make it so no matter how many say it or how loud they say it. No one’s words can change the truth of who I am or what I believe. For that reason, I give anyone full permission to disagree with me or to say whatever they like about me. I would appreciate the courtesy to be allowed to share my convictions, though.
By now, everyone as heard about Dan Cathy’s comments and their repercussions. I think, though, that most people are missing the lesson to be learned here. The main issue which the last two weeks have brought to the fore is free speech, or for that matter, free thought. Mr. Cathy is a private individual who can believe and say whatever he would like to say. He can spend his money or his company’s money in ways that he deems are worthwhile. Should his stance be incorrect, those who oppose him have nothing to fear.
I believe in free speech for everyone. When opinions are stifled no matter how egregious they may seem to our sensibilities, everyone loses. When we muzzle one person or fail to tolerate dissenting opinions, we narrow our vision as a society and eventually become blind.
I didn’t go to Chick fil A yesterday. I don’t like crowds and don’t prefer their food. I do however like Starbuck’s coffee. So I’ll be there tomorrow morning supporting their CEO’s right to his opinion and my caffeine addiction.
I’ll close with this landmark quote from Martin Luther which I believe applies to the current debate: