At first I thought it was a no-win situation for me to speak on the topic and if I was right I’ll delete this blog before I post it.
In my sermon from this past Sunday I talked about self-serving verses Savior-serving. In other words, are we doing things to benefit ourselves or are we doing things to glorify and stand for Jesus. I used the examples of Chic-fil-a and President Obama and the gay marriage debate. If you are a business and you do not support gay marriage, it is in your best interest to remain mum on the issue. Many gay rights people will boycott your business. Anyone who wants to recognize only traditional man/woman marriage is considered and called hateful by many of those who are for gay marriage. So when the Chic-fil-a representative said he believed in the traditional, Biblical view of marriage, there is no way he could be accused of being self-serving. Whether he is right or wrong on the issue, he felt like he was Savior-serving. It had to be, because it was certainly not self serving. I must point out that throughout the years and still today, many people were/are mistaken when they believed/believe they were/are standing up for Jesus. The Crusades, the Westboro Baptist Church, and that guy in Florida who was going to burn the Koran come to mind.
On the other hand, President Barack Obama said he held the traditional marriage view when he was running for president. After he was elected, he would only say he was “evolving” on the issue. It certainly looked like he was trying to put off saying one way or the other until after November’s election when he had nothing to lose. However, after being pushed by reporters and the public until he was forced to take a side on the issue, he eventually said he believes homosexuals should be allowed to marry. Now, one has to wonder if he ever really believed in traditional marriage in the first place, if he changed his mind, or if he’s been more interested in self-serving political gain. This was only an illustration. The sermon wasn’t about homosexuality, but about self-serving verses Savior-serving. Maybe the president is convinced he’s Savior-serving changing his stance, but you won’t convince me. It looks too much like self-serving.
People can and will boycott Chic-fil-a because of the company’s stance. They have that right. But when we are Savior-serving, I don’t believe we should protest Amazon.com because their founder stands in support of gay marriage. Or I don’t believe we should protest Target or J.C. Penney because they put gay couples in their advertisements. Our primary way to be Savior-serving is to show love, even when (or especially when) we disagree and do not want to love those who don’t see things as we see them.
As Christians, I believe we can and must be loving to those with whom we disagree on marriage. I believe we can and must be loving to those with whom we disagree on abortion. From my perspective, loving does not have to be accepting each other’s beliefs. Those who are for gay marriage, for the option of abortion, or a number of other issues, may not see our disagreement as love. They may see our disagreement as hate. Sometimes, it obviously is hate (Westboro Baptist’s name calling can’t be considered loving, but we are even called to love them!). Followers of Jesus do not have to answer to other people. But we do have to answer to Jesus. And Jesus says love everyone: those you agree with, those you disagree with, and even those who persecute you. And when you truly show love as the Holy Spirit gives you the ability, it’s a win for Jesus which makes it a win for us who call him Lord.