Chick-Fil-A Under Fire?

Chick-Fil-A and the mayor of Boston Tom Menino are going at it.  The issue began to heat up when Cathy was quoted in the Baptist Press as saying:

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38271

Then Mayor Menino replied to Mr. Cathy.  He sent a letter to Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A regarding a restaurant currently proposed to be located in Boston.   Here it is below.

“In recent days you said Chick-Fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said that the generation that supports it has an “arrogant attitude.” Now—incredibly—your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston. You called supporters of gay marriage “prideful.” Here in Boston, to borrow your own words, we are “guilty as charged.” We are mindful of pride for our support for same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people. We are proud that our state and our city have led the way for the country on equal marriage rights. I was angry to learn  on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. When Massachusetts became the first state in the country to recognize equal marriage rights, I personally stood on City Hall Plaza to greet same sex couples coming here to be married. It would be an insult to them and to our city’s long history of expanding freedom to have a Chick-Fil-A across the street from that spot.”

You can read the copy of the actual letter it here:

http://bostinno.com/2012/07/25/read-mayor-tom-meninos-full-letter-to-chick-fil-a-about-not-coming-to-boston-image/

Let me focus on a few things.

1)      Free Speech.  Mayor Menino is getting upset regarding the personal stance of the Owner Dan Cathy.  While Chick-Fil-A is tolerant of others viewpoints, they maintain a respect for those of differing views, a statement from their Facebook page below:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/ChickfilA

It is ironic that while Mayor Menino values his free speech, he is outraged by Dan Cathy’s free speech.  While Chick-Fil-A is not condemning anyone, Boston’s Mayor is.

2)      Discrimination.  This has to be one of the most blatant statements of hypocrisy I have seen.    Mayor Menino says “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it”.  Did I just read that right?  The Mayor is upset about Chick-Fil-A voicing an opinion in which Cathy discriminates against same sex marriage while Menino himself discriminates against Chick-Fil-A coming to Boston.

At least if you disagree with Chick-Fil-A, Mr. Mayor please make a non-circular argument as to why you disagree.  But Menino’s not done, he also comments

“Are there other companies? There might be, but their president, their ownership doesn’t speak out as loudly as this individual (Dan Cathy) has. We can make all kinds of excuses, but it’s no excuse when you discriminate against other folks,” Menino said.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/07/26/meninos-letter-to-chik-fil-a-president-fuels-national-debate/

And what’s your excuse you when you discriminate against other folks at Chick-Fil-A Mayor?

3)      Diversity and Inclusiveness.  Mayor Menino’s mistake is not limited to himself, other companies are arguing against their own stance’s as well.

That stance didn’t go over well with the Jim Henson Co., whose Muppet characters have been served up as toys in Chick-fil-A’s meals for kids.

“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors,” the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/national/muppets-mike-huckabee-join-chick-fil-a-fracas-over-dan-cathys-same-sex-marriage-comments#ixzz21kaQn78e

Let me state, I have no problem with The Muppets choosing not to do business with Chick-Fil-A.  I do have a problem when people are hypocritcal about ‘other companies not being diverse’ when they themselves are not being diverse.  So “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness”  but they refuse to include Chick-Fil-A in their business ventures and do not respect the Christian perspective in their diversity.  If The Muppets don’t want to work with Christians fine, but don’t claim to be diverse and inclusive when that’s exactly what you’re not doing by cutting ties with a company that promotes a message you don’t agree with.

Advertisements

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

This issue is a lightning rod in our culture today.  Let me say from the get go, I know people who are homosexual, and I care for them.  I really do.  Most of the time when a position is given that is perceived as ‘against’ one’s family or friends, the hearer becomes defensive.  If a right relationship with God is greater than allowing people to turn away from God and follow other desires, all followers of Jesus should speak out.  In love yes, and in truth, we should speak out of true concern that others are living lives that are not consistent with the reality that God exists, and we exist for relationship with Him.  As sinful people ourselves, we should point out sin and turn toward Jesus.

For most people in support of homosexuality, they base their decision on the rights for others to engage in homosexual relationships and receive the same recognition and benefits, on their feelings towards those that they know are gay, saying nothing in nature prohibits it, it doesn’t effect them, etc.  The problem with this issue (and others) are that since it current laws are just man’s opinions expressed at a given time, they are not transcendent.  In other words, the laws extend to our country, but not others, the state laws extend to our borders, but not into another states’.  There is a limit to our current laws.

However, if we have an all-powerful and just creator, then His word on this subject is authoritative.  Since we are all created by Him, this would supercede or transcend, any cultural or man-given laws.  Given this, we will look at what God’s authoritative Word has to say about this.

God institutes marriage at the beginning of human history, as His perfect way to structure the family.  A man in a sexual relationship with another man, does not have the right to redefine that as marriage. 

 Genesis 2:18 ESV  Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”


Genesis 2:20 b-24 ESV  But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.  (21)  So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  (22)  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  (23)  Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”  (24)  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Man was not made out of man, but woman.  It is quite a stretch to read verse 24 and see anything other than the family as made up of a father and mother raising children. God does not institute an exception for homosexuals to raise children, regardless of what current local laws provide for or allow.  On top of this, let’s say the current laws would allow for homosexuality to be defined as ‘marriage’.  Would incest then become OK too?  What would prevent an uncle and a niece from marrying?  It would simply be subjective to the current law of the day, and the current country who’s laws you were under.  So if the US allowed incestual marriages, but over in Saudi Arabi they didn’t, then the ‘right’ as to who can marry is simply dependent upon where you live.

Romans 1:26-27 ESV  For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;  (27)  and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Now we will focus on the words “natural” in v. 26 and “relations” in v. 26 as well.  Below are the greek deinfitions according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary.

Natural G5446  phusikos  foo-see-kos’

“physical”, i.e. (by implication) instinctive:–natural.

Relations G5540  chresis  khray’-sis

employment, i.e. (specially), sexual intercourse (as an occupation of the

body):–use.

Anyone reading this text must make a gigantic leap to dance around what the text is saying, if they try to avoid that God is condemning those that are homosexual, both male and female.  The natural or physical function is that man is made for sexual intercourse with a woman, not another man.  The ability to create children is an example of natural relations.  Now not only this, but Paul states a warning for those who approve of homosexuality.

Romans 1:32 ESV  Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

With very strong words, Paul chastises and gives warning to those who seek to approve of the practice.  This a stern warning to us today, when this is such a hot button issue, we must not, and cannot swerve from God’s position on this, regardless of what culture says.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV  (9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Lastly,  in the letter to the Corinthians, Paul warns again against homosexuality.  While we see very clearly the command to prohibit this, maybe the most overlooked portion is that God says “neither the sexually immoral”…”will inherit the kingdom of God”.  While those who support homosexuals may say those heterosexuals treat them unfairly, the reality is, God hates all kind of sexual sin.  Not limited to homosexuals but to heterosexuals too.  Paul is warning the people of how to be obedient to God, to inherit the kingdom of God and be restored to right relationship with him.  Let us recognize all sinners are in need of savior.  We can turn to Jesus to forgive us of all sin, including sexual sin, to be restored.

Earliest Manuscript of the New Testament Discovered?

Taken from an article by Dan Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary, Professor of New Testament studies:

…I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year.

These fragments now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, more than 43% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.

It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.

Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years.

How do these manuscripts change what we believe the original New Testament to say? We will have to wait until they are published next year, but for now we can most likely say this: As with all the previously published New Testament papyri (127 of them, published in the last 116 years), not a single new reading has commended itself as authentic. Instead, the papyri function to confirm what New Testament scholars have already thought was the original wording or, in some cases, to confirm an alternate reading—but one that is already found in the manuscripts. As an illustration: Suppose a papyrus had the word “the Lord” in one verse while all other manuscripts had the word “Jesus.” New Testament scholars would not adopt, and have not adopted, such a reading as authentic, precisely because we have such abundant evidence for the original wording in other manuscripts. But if an early papyrus had in another place “Simon” instead of “Peter,” and “Simon” was also found in other early and reliable manuscripts, it might persuade scholars that “Simon” is the authentic reading. In other words, the papyri have confirmed various readings as authentic in the past 116 years, but have not introduced new authentic readings. The original New Testament text is found somewhere in the manuscripts that have been known for quite some time.

These new papyri will no doubt continue that trend. But, if this Mark fragment is confirmed as from the first century, what a thrill it will be to have a manuscript that is dated within the lifetime of many of the eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection!

http://www.dts.edu/read/wallace-new-testament-manscript-first-century/

Is Jesus God?

Here are the 3 questions that will be addressed:

Did the Biblical writers believe Jesus was God?

 Did other people of the day believed Jesus claimed to be God?

 Is it necessary Jesus was God?

Let’s initially look at whether the writers of the New Testament believed if Jesus was God or not.  Paul in Philippians gives the incarnate description of Jesus coming into human form, but does not stop there.  He capitalizes this idea with verse 11 stating “Jesus Christ is Lord”

“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

(Philippians 2:6-11 ESV)

Also, in Matthew 9:2, Jesus tells the paralytic to get up and walk, his sins are forgiven.  Matthew obviously sees Jesus as God here in that he mentions Jesus said “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” Which only God can do, see Mark 2:7.  Secondly Matthew notes the proof or evidence.  Anyone can walk into somewhere and claim their sins were forgiven, but only Jesus as God incarnate would have the power to make the life long paralytic walk again.  Thus by enabling the man to walk through His power, Matthew is recording that Jesus would also have the ability to forgive sins.

Mohammed, Buhdda, and all the other great teachers could have said thought provoking claims.  But none had the ability to forgive sin as Jesus did.  This separates Jesus from all the other teachers there have ever been.

Next, let’s look at whether other people thought Jesus claimed to be God.  Not only should we expect that the followers of Jesus believed his claim to be the messiah, but others should have taken note too.  Josephus, a non-Christian first century historian said:

Antiquities 20.9.1 But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.

Antiquities 18.3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/josephus.html

Also, “Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliney the Younger, Thallus, Celsus, Lucian of Samosata, Mara bar Serapion, and certain Jewish rabbinic traditions all contain some references to Jesus and/or the early Christian movement.” See The Jesus Legend by Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory Boyd

Lastly, does Jesus need to be God? Why can’t he be a good moral teacher, or a very wise person?

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

(1 Corinthians 15:14-19 ESV)

Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians that our faith depends on Christ being God, being raised from the dead.  That if Christ has not raised “you are still in your sins”.  We have no hope other than that Christ is God as He claimed to be.  He must be God if we are to have salvation in God.  Otherwise our sin leaves us separate from God, but Jesus has secured our eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)