Civility, freedom and Christian discourse

After the ‘feast of chickens’ I’m seeing much discussion on whether the church should have engaged in the activity. One statement I read on the matter said this: “What if all those people took a day to serve in soup kitchens instead.” The statement has merit, but it misses something as well. Silence is not always king.

Civility
There is a grave lack of civility in our culture. It is completely civil to state one’s beliefs in a matter that is humble and gracious. Current rhetoric about most matters in our country lack civility. To express one’s view of marriage being one man with one women for a lifetime does not mean one is automatically homophobic and discriminatory. On the flip side, one being homosexual doesn’t mean God gave up on them and immediately sentenced them to Hell. God saves all people.

Freedom
Baptists in Virginia strongly pushed for freedom of religion. The reason: many Baptist preachers were thrown into prison for preaching without a license. From this the first amendment was born. The founders also viewed the importance of religion to speak to the conscience of a society, while at the same time understanding the state should not run the ‘church.’ This lead the amendment’s specific wording. The intent of the amendment was to prevent exactly what certain mayors did.

Christian discourse
While the Gospel is first and central, we must also faithfully teach and uphold God’s Word. Culture does not decide what is sin or not, the Bible does. Yes, the act of homosexuality is a sin. That does not make the church homophobic. Jesus saves all, desires to redeem all, and will make all things new. Homosexuals are welcome to church. Why? We’re all broken. It’s not if we struggle with sin, rather it’s what sin do we struggle with? Truth and love must be tied together, and in the Gospel they are.

The bottom line:
If I had the opportunity, I’d bought chicken too. Freedom is too precious to let people trample on it. A line was crossed that should have never been crossed. I agree with the statement above, what if we all served in soup kitchens. But, I also believe a stance for freedom is vital. Both are important. So, church, let’s do both. We must keep the Gospel first and central. Standing for a biblical view of marriage doesn’t mean we hate homosexuals. (If because of this you do, you need to repent and have the same attitude as Jesus.) Standing for a biblical view of marriage means we strive to live according to God’s plan. There is a difference.

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