Okay. I admit it. I ate Chick-fil-a. Not yesterday for CFA appreciation day, but the night before. I like CFA, the companies desire to stand for biblical values and the food they provide. Granted, I shouldn’t have eaten it the other night, especially with that cookies and cream milkshake. D’oh! But my step-son offered….I hope you won’t judge me too harshly….
Mr. Cathy believes he is sincere in his belief regarding traditional marriage and family. He also has the freedom to express those beliefs. I will not deny him that. Some may see him and his support of certain groups as bigoted. But I wonder if he knows any gay people?
Likewise, those calling for a boycott of CFA have the freedom to do so. Boycott, schmoycott. This has the appearance to many of the sincere believing Christians of self-righteousness. We are tolerant, open, affirming, progressive, politically correct and on and on. I wonder how many of these folk would be willing to engage in civil dialogue with a conservative Christian like Mr. Cathy?
This is the point where I need to call BS. Both groups are talking past each other, jumping to conclusions, making assumptions (which makes an a…never mind). Where has civility gone? Buying a chicken sandwich from CFA does not make you righteous. Christ only does that. Boycotting a company over freely expressed opinions does not make you more enlightened. Only Christ can bring the light. Both are blinded by the two-headed monster of right and truth. This is monstrous when separated from the love of God. Screaming shrilly at each other “I’m right, you’re wrong!” without listening is not loving. Hollering “I stand for truth, you embrace the false!” without seeing the other shows no grace. We are called to love our neighbors, even enemies, yet we can’t even have a civil conversation about gays, marriage and family.
Both sides have hypocrisy regarding freedom of speech and self-righteousness seeping into their attitudes. Both claim to have biblical responses. Both are broken and in need of redemption. Christ is the redeemer and mediator, He alone is the source of reconciliation. Even when it’s a political opponent. Even when they are gay or straight. Even when they are conservative or liberal. Rich or poor. Whatever we can think of that divides us as a human race, Christ can restore and bring healing.
All I see in this division is the work and opinion of men. I see agendas. Jesus prayed for the unity of the disciples, then and now. I believe that prayer is answered. Embracing the divisions we create means holding onto the brokenness of our human situation at the expense of the finished work of Christ. In effect we say the cross is not enough and neither is the resurrection for us to love our neighbor (or enemy). Jesus died and rose again so we could boycott/support a chicken sandwich shop? The Kingdom is so much bigger than this….Then again, Jesus loves the bigoted pinhead and the self-righteous progressive just the same. That fact should change the tone of this diatribe, on both sides. Hopefully the reality of God’s love for us, in all its freedom, wildness and grace, will shatter us and allow a new way of living to emerge.
They will know we are Christians by our….ability to buy a chicken sammich? No, that’s not it …our ability to boycott a company with differing views? Nope, wait I remember, our love. Lately we have not been very patient or kind. I hope and pray we can put this behind and embrace the love of God found in Christ. The beauty of that could change the world….
“There is always opposition when you challenge the powers that be,…Some will hear the truth; some people will choose to hear the lies. At least we got the message out.”
So says Victor Birdsong to the protagonist of Hometown Prophet, Peter Quill. Peter has bottomed out and moved back home to live with his mother. Shortly after arriving there he begins to have lucid dreams that quickly come true. This results in him gaining some notoriety in his hometown and being called a prophet by some, false prophet by others. At the heart of this book is a vision of God that could upset some conservative evangelicals. Emphasis on loving all our neighbors, be they poor, homeless or of a different religion, care for the Earth and the subtle pride among Christians might be seen as red flags. Hometown Prophet seeks to challenege the status quo and open our eyes to a wider vision of God’s love and mercy. That being said, this may not be everyone’s cup of (Southern sweet) tea.
The author states this story grew out of a frustration with how he saw Christianity misrepresented for personal or political gain. I can relate to this frustration as I see various leaders, or should I say voices, in Christianity that seek to leverage Scripture and believers for certain agendas. Last I checked Jesus had one agenda, the Kingdom of God, which He fleshed out by loving God and neighbor. Too often we try to spiritualize the Kingdom into something that has no impact in the world. Sadly, like the early disciples, we too can miss the point.
For me, this was a page turner that went by swiftly over the course of a couple of cigars. I also found myself getting misty eyed after certain passages. I would recommend this book for anyone coming from a charismatic/Pentecostal background and has questions about or are struggling with what they believe. The theology is in the background and common assumptions are questioned so it does provide some food for thought.
I did find my self relating to Peter in a deeper way than some might because of where I was at 30. Recently divorced, working 2 jobs to make ends meet and involved with a charismatic church, yep I can relate. I did have some dreams like Peter, lucid, very significant, as though God was trying to get something across, yet nothing of a predictive nature. Some of these dreams are still very clear in my memory. Were these prophetic? I’m not sure. Maybe. Whatever the case may be, I am open to God speaking to people in ways like dreams and visions. Now that I’m older, I start wondering if I have more dreams like that in my future. Time will tell.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.