America, Sex, Chic-Fila and Misplaced Priorities

Well…Here we go.

Sex: I recently sat in a training by a local non-profit on the current Sexually Transmitted Diseases affecting teenagers and men and women in the United States. It has literally taken me a day to recover, much less re-read the information. (I am learning all of this information to help be a better pastor, man, future-father and friend.) The epidemic of growing rates for STDs is alarming. This summer, it local news reported right here in Austin, there we 4-5 cases of HIV in high school students as the result of some bad decisions at a young age that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

Chic-Fila: Well, folks, we have the owner of this company, that makes great chicken sandwiches and lemonades. They have exceptional customer service and even close on Sundays. We’ve known for a while (hopefully) it is a Christian based food chain. I don’t know if we knew the owner (not the food chain) was a conservative Christian as his affirmation of the biblical definition of marriage has re-ignited this debate of same-sex marriage, equality for all and “why are the Christians judging us.”  The homosexual community has felt offended–again–and rallied nationally. Political parties have drawn their lines. Kisses were given on an appreciation day. Chic-Fila saw record sales…and the sudden passing of one of it’s high-ranking Vice Presidents.

Misplaced Priorities:Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best years ago, “We live in an age when our technology has outrun our theology. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” It seems to me, we have some seriously misplaced priorities…and in a couple of areas:

1. We are losing generations of children.
Don’t believe me? Go to www.cdc.gov . HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia, obesity and a host of other problems are not only attacking adults, they are infesting the circles of our children. We need better teachers, better parents. It won’t matter what laws be pass/don’t pass to give children a “well-rounded view” of the world, they simply won’t be here.

2. Chic-Fila.
I didn’t want to say anything but I almost think as a Christian, I have to say something. Not to attack or defend either side but simply to state the truth. Before, I begin, let me be clear, I do believe marriage should be defined as the Bible states, between a man and a woman (PLEASE DON’T STOP READING…the conversation doesn’t need to end there).
To the Homosexual (Christian and/or Non-Christian) Community: I am sorry. I really am. I think the Christian church owes you a tremendous apology. You have been offended time and time again. Homosexuality has become “the hot topic” in the United States and in some ways to the fault of Christians. I have not seen us listen to you, acknowledge you as human beings. I have family members that have an openly gay life-style and I would never treat them the way some of you have been treated. You have been fired from jobs, evicted from homes, shunned by family, driven from churches, restaurants…and the list goes on.
Jesus sought to understand and be understood long before He attempted to change anything. Many Christians have attacked you, attempted to change you and they haven’t heard your story. I think that is truly sad.
My beliefs I would never force on anyone, simply out of respect. At the same time, I do not think it is far for me to have to change my beliefs either. There is a way for us to disagree and still be respectful towards each other. Again, I don’t think many heterosexual Christians have done that, and I want to say, I am truly sorry.
I think Christians have wrongly attempted to address their views on homosexuality by bashing you, ridiculing you. The truth is, when you read Scripture, there are a bunch of things we are called to respond to, but in a way that is honest, respectful and peaceful. Spiritual leaders aren’t allowed to have tempers, have affairs, etc. Do you know what gets you fired from ministry in Johannesburg South Africa? Having a temper. Yell one time in private. You’re done. They take Scripture seriously. If you are a pastor in the US, you may get fired if you steal the money or sleep with the women in the church. (However, if you have charisma and a lot of people are coming, and you have a lot of money in the bank, the deacons may have “grace” for you to stay.) We don’t chastise them. You’re an easy target.
This doesn’t address all the issues. There are some I did address. Some I skated around. There’s not enough time to cover them all. If you want to continue have a conversation, not a bashing on either side, message me. I’d love to talk peacefully.

To the Christian Community: We don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to attacking the Homosexual Community and its redefinition of marriage. I hear people saying all the time, “They are changing the definition of marriage.” This, that and the other.
Let’s be real: the divorce rate in the US is at 50%. It’s higher in the church. There are more Christians today who having sex outside of marriage than ever before. Many Christians today are content to keep having sex and not get married. The homosexual community is the only community fighting to get married. Something is seriously wrong here. If we truly believe marriage is God-ordained and between a man and a woman, we should act like it. We should have been acting like it long ago. When Heterosexual Christians sit down at the table with the Homosexual Community (Christian or not) and talk about marriage, they have a list contradictions to sight. We have given them all the ammunition. Our character, or lack of it, speaks for itself.
I will go out on a limb here, but I think if the church actually believed the Bible, I mean truly believed it, Chic-Fila wouldn’t be under attack this much. In our attempts to welcome everyone and be equal, we have watered down what the Bible says as how we should live.

There are parts of the Bible I don’t like either. That doesn’t mean I dismiss it because I disagree. Jesus cannot be Lord, and I tell Him, “No,” and He still be Lord. Some things are not cultural, or time-sensitive. Some of it is just Bible. It’s what Christians believe as God’s blue-print for how to live. If you disagree with that, then disagree. We shouldn’t attack you. You shouldn’t be attacked, nor should you feel the need to attack.

I may have stirred the pot here. I may cause more trouble than I intend. If I offend, I am sorry. That wasn’t my intention.

I just think if Jesus were on the earth right now, all of this would be radically different: I think Christians, like Peter at times, would get a strong rebuke for how we have treated the Gentiles/Samaritans/lepers(outcasts) of our day. I think Jesus would walk into the homosexual community and teach like He always did. But I also think He would walk around healing you. Not of homosexuality, but of the wounds Christians have inflicted on you.

I look forward to the day when the Scriptures become true: there’s a new heaven and a new earth. There are no more wars, fighting, misunderstandings, strife, death, misery or pain…because the old order of things will have passed away.

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