The restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has been the subject of very strong criticism lately because of statements made by its COO, Dan Cathy, regarding his beliefs about marriage. We all, whether business owners or 9-to-5 workers, are permitted to speak our piece in a way that does not incite violent unrest. Freedom of speech is treasured in the United States. It is a fundamental right for those of us who live here.
Marriage sometimes may be more permanent between two men or two women than it is between a man and woman. A heterosexual couple can deny the sanctity God places on marriage, just the same as a homosexual couple. It’s not our place to say that a gay or lesbian couple must believe or live the same way that followers of Christ must. Freedom of religion is another fundamental right in our country.
On both sides of the Chick-fil-A issue, there are dearly loved and respected people. On one side, there are those who have chosen to boycott the restaurant, and on the other side, those who have chosen to show their support by increasing their patronage. While neither approach is necessarily wrong, Jesus liked to approach difficult moral issues in a different, more peaceful way.
There is a story in the Bible that describes how the Pharisees, a staunchly religious group of men, caught a woman in the act of adultery and preceeded to drag her in front of Jesus to make an example out of her. A crowd had gathered, and the Pharisees intended to use this opportunity to shame Jesus by posing a difficult question to him. They asked, “We caught her in adultery; should we stone her as the Law says to, or let her go and break the Law?.” Jesus responded by doing something out of the ordinary; He started to write on the ground. What He wrote we can only guess. He then said out loud, “You who have not sinned, cast the first stone.” Caught in their own trap, they began to leave the presence of Jesus, one by one. No stoning took place that day. Jesus asked the woman, “Who condemns you?” “No one Lord”, she replied. He told her “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”.
The Bible contains many good and helpful principles; in fact, they give meaning to our life and have both temporary and eternal value. But Jesus spoke His words as an offering to others who didn’t believe. To those who did believe, He had some commands; they were tough, but also beautiful. Let’s look to the example of Jesus when dealing with difficult moral issues, and remember to be full of humility and grace when interacting with those whom we disagree with.