I have spent a week praying about the topic that I am going to blog about today. In the past week, I have also asked several Christian friends their opinions on the subject. I found that most people agreed with me but there were a few who did not. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the opinion of friends who do not believe in the Bible, so I do not presume to know their opinion of the topic except for what I have seen expressed on facebook or in online comments on news articles.
If you have seen the news or have had any presence online in the last week or so, I am sure that you have heard of the conflict between the media and Chick Fil-A. In an interview, the company’s CEO stated that he supports traditional marriage which caused an uproar in the gay and liberal communities. Anyone who knows anything about Chick Fil-A would also know that the company was founded by a Christian man and has been run with Christian based values its entire existence. Despite pressure from communities, Chick Fil-A closes its doors on Sundays so that its employees have the option to go to church if they choose to do so.
(Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for the New Chick Fil-A song)
What surprises me (well actually it doesn’t really) is that when the company’s CEO was asked his opinion in the interview, and he stated it according to well-known Christian beliefs, the media acted shocked at his response.
Of course, the gay community immediately jumped to the conclusion that Chick Fil-A and its CEO and owners hates all gays. This is something that I do not understand. Why does disagreeing with homosexuality automatically equal hatred towards or afraid of homosexuals? I might disagree with someone on any topic (religion, how to raise kids, what movies or books we like, how we spend our money, etc) but that doesn’t mean I hate them or am afraid of them. In my opinion, only when someone’s actions show that they are hateful or afraid, should that argument be used (such as Westboro church has so frequently demonstrated). Anyway, due to their misguided opinion, a lot of the liberal community has declared a boycott on Chick Fil-A. For some reason, it seems as though gays only seem to have an intolerance toward Christians and Christian companies when Biblically based beliefs are expressed. I wonder if they realize that all Abrahamic religions (Christian, Judaism, Islam) as well as other world religions find homosexuality morally wrong.
Which brings me to the point of my post. Obviously most people tend to support companies either that support their values and/or that provide goods/services that we need or want. (For example, if I need a Christian book I more than likely will purchase it from a Christian book store instead of a large book store chain unless the Christian book store didn’t have the book I needed). But what reason(s) would make someone choose to boycott certain companies? When I asked this question of friends, I received several responses.
One friend says he has a loose boycott of all large corporations. Whenever possible he shops local and pays slightly more for things but he does so knowing that 100% of the retail markup goes to local people; who then spend it locally. This doesn’t prevent him from shopping at larger corporations if commissions from his purchases will help a personal friend or if a local shop is closed and there is an immediate need for an item or service.
Another friend tries to avoid all companies that he knows are pro-gay.
Yet another friend has a whole list of companies that she boycotts based on the following three reasons “1) open hatred of Christians in general 2) Use of practices that are in direct opposition to God’s will, like using aborted stem cells for flavor enhancement and 3) support of agendas that hurt the morality of the country, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity etc. “
Another friend points out that “in 1 Corinthians 8, Paul is telling believers that there is no harm in buying and eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. The issue he was addressing was one of whether eating that meat caused a brother to stumble, but the context of the verse is that in the first-century, pagan temples funded themselves in part by selling the meat that they sacrificed. A Christian, knowing that idols are nothing, could purchase and eat that meat without fear of incurring the wrath of said idol, but apparently, Paul had no problem with money passing into hands of pagan temples from Christian pockets.”
My husband said that according to the Bible, we should fast in private without announcing it to the world which would bring glory to ourselves instead of God. So he feels that if a Christian is going to boycott a company, they should do it quietly so as to not draw attention to themselves so that they do not seem “more holy than thou, preachy, a bully, or intolerant.”
So, what do I think? I think in most cases, when Christians and conservatives boycott non-Christians and liberals then we are all feeding into a vicious cycle. I think more often than not when this happens, both sides are being hypocritical. We Christians want non-Christians to be to tolerant of our religious beliefs. Gays want Christians to be tolerant of their sexual orientation. Yet when both sides boycott every company that may or may not disagree with our beliefs, both sides are in fact being intolerant. Our country was founded on freedom. In this country, I have the right to be a Christian. Someone else has the right to be gay. I also have the right to believe that homosexuality is morally wrong just as someone who is not a Christian has the right to not believe in my God or my Bible. All that being said, if someone (conservative or liberal) truly has a conviction to boycott a company or cause, I believe they should follow their convictions. But they should do it without spouting hate and judgement towards the company they are boycotting. There are companies/organizations that I do not support because they go against my beliefs. There are also plenty of companies that I still shop at or use their services even though they may have some history of disagreeing with my beliefs. We should stick to our convictions with humility and recognize that others have different convictions without being judgemental towards each other.
I love the following song which reminds us that sometimes we as Christians stand in the way of others knowing Jesus.
Jesus, Friend Of Sinners By: Casting Crowns
Jesus, friend of sinners
We have strayed so far away
We cut down people in Your name
But the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners
The truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You
But they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up
I’m so double minded
A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands
And a heart divided
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world
At the end our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Break our hearts for what breaks Yours
Jesus, friend of sinners
The One whose writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away
And the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember
We are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy
Bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for
Only what we’re against
When we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs
Crossed over the lines
And loved like You did
You love every lost cause
You reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame
They’re the reason that You came
Lord, I was that lost cause
And I was the outcast
But You died for sinners just like me
A grateful leper at Your feet
‘Cause You are good
You are good
And Your love endures forever
And just for fun, here is the New Chick Fil-A song by Tim Hawkins…