Ultimate Answer

“Apologetics is not the ultimate answer. Apologetics is only a means to gain respect to be heard and observed. What is going to change their life is not the brilliance of your answer, that may just open up the avenue. Ultimately the changing of the heart is God’s work in the individuals life. Sometimes it’s a gentle word, sometimes it’s the love of Christ, sometimes it is the way you have handled the question and retained the dignity of the moment. In India they have a saying that once you cut off a persons nose, there is no point in giving them a rose to smell, and apologetics can slice off a persons nose. You’ve got to know how to answer and when to back off.”

-Ravi Zacharias, 7/27/12 Just Thinking podcast.

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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.

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.

As a man thinks

This blog is dedicated to the furthering of Christian thought and through that, actions.  As cited in Proverbs 23:7 speaking about a man:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

The purpose of this blog to engage others in a way as to help point both hearts and minds to Christ.  As has been said, “Good theology leads to good doxology”.  Let us take in wisdom that shapes our minds then turns our hearts toward Jesus and others.  Let our hearts then prompt us to action in service of the one who served.