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    Boycotting vs Supporting: Christian Values in the Secular World

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    Drew.Rub

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    Boycotting vs Supporting: Christian Values in the Secular World

    Post  Drew.Rub on July 28th 2012, 9:47 am

    I suspect that I'm about to open a very large can of worms with this post, but I feel the need to seek opinions of others about our current socio-political environment.

    As many of you are aware, the president of Chik Fil A recently vocalized support for the traditional biblical definition of marraige; one man and one woman. He also insisted that his company still is committed to providing everyone with respect, regardless of race, creed, color, orientation, etc.

    Yet there's a massive attempt to get CFA shot down or forced out of current locations. The arguement; hatred, bigotry, and discrimination.

    Regardless of one's support or opposition to the issue at hand, I wonder if anyone else is as disturbed as I am about several politicians who have decided to insert themselves into the issue by saying they will try to have CFA blocked from opening chains within their areas of influence. Chicago's mayor has said "Chik Fil A's values are not Chicago's values." In a way, he's abosluetly right, and that's a good thing. But when he and the alderman claim they will block a business from opening simply because it voices an opinion that is counter to their's, I see the beginning of the degradation of our freedoms and liberties.

    Although many legal scholars have already said this is unconstitutional and wouldn't stand up to a court case, the idea that these political figures have decided that a business's values are a potential litmus test for consideration of a business license is disturbing.

    I obviously support a company's right to express it's corporate First Amendment rights. When JC Penny's and even Target started obviously supporting the gay community, I chose not to participate in any boycott of their business. I did this because those company's are allowed to express that. I choose not to shop at JC Penny because they are overpriced. I shop at Target because they are closer and very affordable on many things.

    So where am I going with this post? I'll see if I can bring it all together.

    As Christians, obviously we are taught that homosexuality is a sin that God finds detestable. As with any sin, we are to continue to show love to the sinner, as Christ showed love to us. We are to continue to pray for the sinner, that they would find salvation and forgiveness in Christ Jesus. We should also always remember that as Christians, we aren't inherantly better than non-Christians, we are just different through our salvation. We too are sinners that have been forgiven.

    When we hear the vitriol from the liberals (I direct your attention to some of the twitter posts from Hollywood liberals, which you can find at twitchy.com - warning, LOTS of foul language from the left), what is our best response? I've been reading a lot of these pro-gay people attacking the Christian community for it's intolerance of the gay lifestyle.

    Bigotry, as defined by Dictionary.com is stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own. I'm always tempted to point the hypocrasy of the left/liberal viewpoint, since they are the one's that seem to be intolerant of the Christian viewpoint.

    We shouldn't, as Christians, tolerate a sinful world and sinful behavior. We should work to put people in front of Christ, and let him work on them. We are the sowers, not the harvesters. But in today's secular world, how do we do that without presenting the message of Christ as "intolerant" and "haters"? What's the best way, in your varied opinions, to say, "Hey, we support the biblical definition of marriage. That doesn't mean we hate you. We just disagree with you."

    I'm honestly feel like the persecution of Christian beliefs is becoming more prevalent in American society. I know that we are taught that we should be honored to be persecuted for Christ, I guess I just never really suspected it to be happening in my lifetime.

    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Boycotting vs Supporting: Christian Values in the Secular World

    Post  Nathan James Norman on July 28th 2012, 9:18 pm

    I really appreciate your thought-process on this!

    To be quite honest I have been struggling through my own thoughts and convictions of how Christians should engage politics over the last two years. As I continue to read and study the topic as well as looking at our culture's recent history, I think I've come to some conclusions:

    1. American believers have put way too much hope in the ability of politics and human law to transform and preserve society from humanity's orientation towards sin.

    2. American believers over the last two generations have, by and large, disengaged from society and created a subculture, and have only re-emerged to speak the gospel.

    3. In many instances, American believers treat "sinners" in a way that is inconsistent with the way Jesus reached out, had compassion on, and befriended sinners.

    So with those thoughts in mind, how do I view the CFA news. Meh. Chik-Fil-A will survive, and probably thrive. Boycotts rarely work.

    The anger and vitriol from those who are not believers shouldn't surprise us at all: "And you will be hated by everyone because of My name." (Mark 13:13 HCSB) Why should we be surprised that people who are still in rebellion against God, hate us and hate our beliefs (when they are based on biblical revelation)? The key thing here is in how we respond to the hatred poured out on us: "Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good." (Romans 12:21 HCSB). Instead of defending ourselves, or apologizing for our beliefs, we need to respond to the hatred with creative love, befriending those who hate us, speaking words of life, and offering the gospel in a way this generation can understand.

    I'm not against believers being involved in politics, voting their beliefs, or advocating for their positions . . . but I think we've cut our legs out from beneath us. We somehow have bought the lie that if the right person, or party is in power, we can somehow transform culture.

    Laws and rules will never have the power to change people. Only the gospel can transform.

    So I think us American believers need to reassess our strategy on transforming the culture. We need to befriend those who hate us the most (but I'd venture to guess that many believers would struggle with how to spend meaningful time with people who are against Christianity). We need to respond to hatred, with unconditional love. But mostly, we need to put everything on the gospel. If our Christian sub-culture got as impassioned about spreading the gospel as we are for advocating political candidates, bills or positions our culture would be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

    Paeter
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    Re: Boycotting vs Supporting: Christian Values in the Secular World

    Post  Paeter on August 1st 2012, 5:23 pm

    Nathan James Norman wrote:
    So I think us American believers need to reassess our strategy on transforming the culture. We need to befriend those who hate us the most (but I'd venture to guess that many believers would struggle with how to spend meaningful time with people who are against Christianity).

    So many good thoughts here so far. My two cents would be to suggest, as Nathan did, that changing the world will not happen at a political rally. (Which, in both camps, look frighteningly like idol worship services as people scream and weep for their "saviors" at the podium. Watch this fall to see if things improve.)Changing the world mostly happens one relationship at a time.

    Sure, Jesus spoke in public, and used artistic stories to express the truth, but his listeners usually missed his point. It was the 12 guys he invested in relationally that were transformed most, and were used to transform others.

    So the phrase "relational evangelism" has been floating in my head for a few years now. And as for Christians having trouble finding common ground with unbelievers, this is another category where I think the Christian Geek is ESPECIALLY equipped.

    We don't typically limit ourselves to only the Christian entertainment provided by the Christian sub-culture. That kind of living is often what makes it so hard for many Christians to relate and spend time with unbelievers. By contrast, we love stuff that tons of non-believers love, and for many geeks, it's these common interests around which our longest lasting friendships are formed.

    When it comes to Geeks, God-honoring relationships with non-believers are just sitting there waiting to happen.

    (Cue percussion swell and inspirational music)

    So RISE UP, re-born Geeks of the world!
    RISE UP to the life you were made for!
    RISE UP to fulfill... YOUR DESTINY!!



    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Boycotting vs Supporting: Christian Values in the Secular World

    Post  Nathan James Norman on August 2nd 2012, 10:22 am

    Paeter wrote:

    When it comes to Geeks, God-honoring relationships with non-believers are just sitting there waiting to happen.



    This is so, so, so very true.

    One of the biggest mistakes I made while living in California and serving as a youth pastor, was stopping to go to my local comic book store on a regular basis. I became busy with more important things, and lost the relationships I had built there.

    David N. Alderman

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    Re: Boycotting vs Supporting: Christian Values in the Secular World

    Post  David N. Alderman on August 6th 2012, 9:59 pm

    Boy, this Chik-Fil-A stuff really had me upset for a bit last week because I'm getting tired of non-believers calling Christians haters because we profess our beliefs. There's a lot of double-edged swords and hypocrisy going around, and I have been itching to post a vent or comment on someone's Facebook. But like Nathan reminded us, we shouldn't be surprised when people reject and ridicule us for our beliefs. I also agree that we can't rely on politics to get a spiritual message across.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with Paeter in regards to the fact that Christian geeks hold a unique position in the world right now. Many non-geek Christians stuff themselves in a box that doesn't allow them to relate to the world on any type of level and it makes it very hard to develop relationships at all with anyone. I think the problem is that many believers neglect to remember we are IN the world, even if we aren't OF it. That doesn't mean we have to sin like the world does, but it does mean we need to cast off the attitude that we are a special tribe or species apart from sinners, because in reality we are all sinners. The only difference is we have accepted Christ's forgiveness, and in doing so, our mission is to reach those who haven't with the Good News.

    My pastor gave a great sermon on Sunday regarding the Chik-Fil-A issue and it ran along the lines of Absolute Truth and how many people in the world today only choose to believe in relativism - meaning whatever is good for them is the truth. It's dangerous ground to be treading on when we seek to create our own truth, but that's the condition the world is slowly degrading into. We can rest assured that we have a whole guide that speaks of God's truth and that's the only truth that matters.

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