What Unites Christians: …Chick-Fil-A?

Heard this one yet?

First let’s acknowledge the outright lie of the meme: that Christians don’t come together to help those less fortunate.  Countless hospitals, homeless shelters, food banks, etc. are all owned and operated on a daily basis, by Christians.  This, of course, is not to say that it is only Christians who reach out to those in need, but suffice it to say: the reason you don’t see the media covering a giant amount of Christians coming together on one day to bring food and shelter to those in need is not because it doesn’t happen; it’s because it is literally happening every single day.  For that reason, it’s not newsworthy; it’s simply the call of the Christian life.

But I get it.  If your impression is that anyone who supports marriage as being only between one man, one woman hates gay people or wants to make anyone who feels attracted to the same sex into a second-class citizen, then yes, this would seem like a rather un-Christian thing to unite over.  As Christians, we can at least be thankful that in some small way people still acknowledge that to be a Christian does mean to love your neighbor and to acknowledge the dignity of the human person.  We can also be thankful that people call us out when they perceive that we are not living up to the call that we have received in Christ.

However, Rick Warren hit it right on the head when he said:

Our culture has accepted two huge lies: the first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them.  The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.  Both are nonsense.  You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate

This isn’t just a zing to throw at your friends who don’t agree with you.  This is a challenge.  If you find yourself as a Christian viewing people who disagree with you as “the enemy,” watch it.  “We are not contending with flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).  At the same time, if your friend tells you they don’t agree with something you’re doing, it’s silly and pretty childish to assume they hate you because of it.  On the contrary: it most likely means they love and respect you enough to speak up.

If you’re ever questioning what “loving someone” means, it always, always, always means to tell the truth. 

If you know that someone you care about is leading a lifestyle that you don’t agree with because you believe with your whole heart that it is going to hurt them or leave them feeling empty or alone in the long run, it is absolutely and unequivocally not loving them to leave them in the dark.  We know and acknowledge this when it comes to virtually every other issue, but somehow with this one issue, speaking up for our convictions out of concern for our fellow man is viewed as hateful.

Love speaks when nothing else inside of you has the courage.  Love speaks even when it is afraid of being spit on.

So why do Christians unite on the issue of marriage and family?  Because we recognize the importance of the family as the building block of any society:

 “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” -Blessed John Paul II

By standing up for issues so fundamental to human society, Christians are doing just what Christ asks of us: allowing His light to shine through us, even when it would often seem so much easier to hide it under a basket.

“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hid.  Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to the whole house.  Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16)