Chick-Fil-A and Proverbs 25:21

So on August 1, 2012 it seems that a bunch of folks on one side of the whole Chick-Fil-A fray are planning to spend their hard earned money to actively deny me and my family the same civil rights they enjoy.  Ok, cool.

But check this out, a whole bunch more of us can show up that day too and make a faithful stand of our own.

“There’s this bible passage, Proverbs 25:21 ‘If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.’  So if you are not a fan of Chick-Fil-A’s stand on hate, on August first I suggest you go there and ask for a large water. If they say you need to order something, cite Proverbs 25:21.  I mean technically if they are operating on biblical principals they should give you an entire combo meal if your stomach growls but lets keep it simple.  Just ask for a large water and nothing else. If they give it to you, you just got a few pennies of their profit and less money goes to their don’t r hate foundations.  And if they don’t…”

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I’m just sayin’

Thanks Jackson!

Oh yeah, and all you Christians who are vehemently defending their economic platform – how’s that hook-up with Mammon workin’ out for ya?

 

 July 30 update: My cousin who I love and respect offered this very good critique of this post: “When we use Scripture to tell someone else how to act, we’ve used it wrong. Your hermeneutic here is no better than those you oppose. You can’t change the dialogue by playing the same game.”

To which a wise and generous friend replied: “I think this “counter-counter” protest is not as much about a scriptural challenge as it is a gentle way to for CFA to see the human faces of those who question one “biblical principal” being espoused by the founding family. I see it in the vain of Jesus asking the woman at the well for a drink of water – not as a way to piss her off, but as a way for her to SEE a little deeper into who this stranger really was.”

And so I hope I pray that I can gently yet firmly live into that  vision rather than bitterly live out my own pain and righteous indignation. Here’s a subsequent post as I reflect more deeply about holding these ideas in generative tension.


This message from the public snarky broadcast system is complete.  We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming of compassionate dialogue between real people.

About Kimberly Knight

After working for decades in the technology sector, Kimberly Knight graduated from Candler School of Theology with an M.Div in 2009. During her time at Candler she served as an intern in the office of Religious Life at a small liberal arts college in the south where she facilitated worship services and faith formation study groups. Also while at Candler she launched an online congregation where she led progressive Christian worship, bible study and community events in Second Life. The merging of her theological training and technology background led her to serve as the online organizer for The Beatitudes Society for two years and then later as a marketing and social media consultant for The Center for Progressive Renewal. Kimberly has led social media workshops for communities of faith across the nation as well as presented a paper at the AAR, was a featured speaker at Big Tent and organizer of a round-table like event at Wild Goose 2013. Kimberly returned to that small liberal arts college in the fall of 2012 and currently serves as the Director of Digital Strategy. She has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eatin' and generally trying God’s patience since 1969.

Kimberly currently lives in Decatur while her teenage daughter studies abroad for semester in France. She and her daughter are active members of Kirkwood UCC.

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  • DLS

    Using the shrimp defense for the sin of homosexual acts disqualifies you as having any more than a half inch deep understanding of scripture.

  • Little Turtle

    Said the young warrior child, to the elder, “which is more important?, to be loved or to love?” the elder looks up then points,”which is more imortant to the bird, the left wing or the right wing?” the Great Spirit is my Father and the Earth is my Mother. and while the Great Spirit and the four winds may not always aprove of what i do here on soil, it will always accept us just the way we are., it seems to me that the christians have a very demanding god, (do this or you cant come home), what a horrible thing to say! and a diety above all should know better!,..look,..you are what you are,…don’t hate yourselves.

  • Timmy

    Here is a heartwarming tale about a person who did exactly what you suggest!
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/02/chick-fil-a-harasser-gets-served-his-walking-papers/

  • Amy

    People who neither respect or understand the bible shouldn’t teach from it for the sole purpose of defending themselves.

  • Jonathan Woodlief

    Aside from all of the reasons for or against everything involved….I won’t get into that. I think what is sad to me about this idea is that it is taking the issue out on teenage servers (for the most part) who have nothing to do with the issue at hand. In fact, some of them might even agree with you. They are going to be getting enough grief as it is on this day. It seems like there this does not align with the ideas of showing the love of God that have been articulated on the blog.

    • Kimberly Knight

      I agree Jonathan and I would never, not for a millisecond, wish for anyone, teen or otherwise to be harassed. My goal is not to be petty or hateful or abusive (which thousands of LGBT teenagers experience every day of their life at home, school, church and workplace). My goal is to show up with a human face and gently but firmly point out the inconsistency in the claim that the company operates out of biblical principles. They operate out of selective biblical principles and a whole lot of capitalist principles (a’int nothing wrong with capitalism, but I get to divert my $$ to other, smaller, more compassionately run companies).

      • Frank

        Kimberly what biblical principles are they not following that they should?

      • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

        Kimberly,

        I haven’t met a more compassionate group of restaurant workers than I have experienced at Chic fil a. They are hands down the nicest restaurant to eat at. The workers have manners and treat you with kindness and sincerity.

        • jesus stinks

          you’re right. i went to kfc, and soon as i walked in they just started being rude to me. they cussed me and told me i was ugly. then they would not take my order. I’ll always go tot chik fil a now, because they are so nice to me. idiot. who cares, you know who wins here? chik fil a. they are loving the attention. they don’t care about your opinions. they just want to make money! hell, on the home page it says closing on sundays is the best BUSINESS decision they had ever made.

    • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

      Jonathan,

      That is the point I have made a couple places in the comments but no one has responded to that yet. Maybe someone was listening. You are right on track.

  • Michael

    Where did Chick-fil-A once say that they would not serve food to gays? It’s really shallow to try yo compare this to black skinned people’s rights to eat in restaurants…

    • Kimberly Knight

      Michael,

      In no way have I once compared this to the civil rights of African Americans. Please re-read my original post to find my meaning. I will not give my money to a company that is using that very money to invest in large organizations (with immense political power) who actively work to deny me the civil right to marry the woman to whom I have committed my life. I speak up because there are people who need to hear that there are Christians, yep – gay Christians, who will no longer participate in or allow their own degradation. Again, Chick-Fil-A and its leaders have every American right to use their money exactly as they wish, and I, as a hard working, granddaddy fought in WWII, tax paying citizen I have every right to: a. withdraw my money from whatever private enterprise I wish b. freely speak up and encourage others to do the same in the name of justice.

  • Michelle

    (Re posting: can you please delete
    My previous post? Its a draft and I’m a writer too and can’t have dangling prepositions hanging out there…)

    Im jumping back in after several days of research and discussions of the issues and points raised by various posters here. Namely, I have been reading up on the Southern Poverty Law Center and the organizations it has designated as “hate groups” to which  Chick Fil A allegedly contributes “millions”. The Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC.  The SPLC maintains a list of hate groups defined as groups that “…have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” It says that hate group activities may include speeches, marches, rallies, meetings, publishing, leafleting, and criminal acts such as violence. It says not all groups listed by the SPLC engage in criminal activity.”  I’d like to argue that the SPLC is itself, by it’s own definition,  a far more insidious hate group that has attacked and maligned whole groups of people placing conservative Christians on the same hate group list as members of the KKK, violent, militant white supremacists and international terrorists. Of the groups Winshape has supported, the Family Research Council and Exodus International have some opinions and a few spokespeople that I believe cross the line of Christlike belief and behavior toward the LGBT community . What the media isn’t telling you though is that Winshape only gave $1,000 respectively to each of these organizations; while $280,000 went to the fellowship of Christian athletes who are a well respected organization of exceptional young people with a long tradition of philanthropy and service.  Their hate crime? Support of traditional marriage and failure to support the political and social agenda of the LGBT community. I resent having my exceptional 15 year old student athlete and eagle scout candidate maligned and vilified by this hate group simply because he believes marriage is a sacrament ordained by God for one man and one woman. I want to be sympathetic to the cause of civil rights and  have very thoughtfully considered my views on the issue. I have learned  a great deal from reaching out to LGBT people and their allies and would be open to reading / studying viewpoints that don’t trace back to the SPLC and their own brand of hate. As for Chick Fil A I am all the more convinced to support them tomorrow and beyond. I am willing to overlook a few thousand dollars of questionable charitable donations in light of all the good they have done. I have to,  for the sake of defending my own civil rights to free speech and the practice of my faith. Thanks for the polite and thoughtful debate.

  • Michelle

    Im jumping back in after several days of research and discussions of the issues and points raised by various posters here. Namely I have been reading up on the southern Poverty Law center and the organizations it has designated as “hate groups” that chick Fil A allegedly contributes “millions” to. The southern poverty law center SPLC defines hate groups as “] The SPLC maintains a list of hate groups defined as groups that “…have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” It says that hate group activities may include speeches, marches, rallies, meetings, publishing, leafleting, and criminal acts such as violence. It says not all groups listed by the SPLC engage in criminal activity.” I’d like to argue that the SPLC is itself, by it’s own definition is a far more insidious hate group that has attacked and maligned whole groups of people placing conservative Christians on the same hate group list as members of the KKK, violent, militant white supremacists and international terrorists. Of the groups Winshape has supported, the Family Research Council and Exodus international have some opinions and a few spokespeople that I believe cross the line of Christlike belief and behavior toward the LGBT community . What the media isn’t telling you though is that Winshape only gave $1,000 respectively to each of these organizations; while $280,000 went to the fellowship of Christian athletes who are a well respected organization of exceptional young people with a long tradition of philanthropy and service. Their hate crime? Support of traditional marriage and failure to support the political and social agenda of the LGBT community. I resent having my exceptional 15 year old student athlete and eagle scout candidate maligned and vilified by this hate group simply because he believes marriage is a sacrament ordained by god for one man and ine woman. I want to be sympathetic to the cause of civil rights an have very thoughtfully considered my views on the issue. I have learned a great deal from reaching out to LGBT people and their allies and would be open to reading / studying viewpoints that don’t trace back to the SPLC and their own brand of hate. As for chick Fil a I am all the more convinced to support them tomorrow and beyond. I am willing to overlook a few thousand dollars of questionable charitable donations in light of all the good they have done for the sake of defending my own civil rights to free speech and the practice of my faith. Thans for the polite and thoughtful debate.

  • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

    My concern about this approach is that it seems to me that it is not the approach that one would take that would mirror the same attitude that Christ Jesus had (Phil 2). We aren’t called to shove things in people’s face. We are called to love even those we disagree with and even those we would consider enemies. Why not just go and love the people at Chic-fil-a and show them that side of it all if you really were aiming at changing people’s hearts? In my opinion, this approach seems pretty petty and un-Christlike. Am I missing something?

  • Jeff Straka

    It’s NOT just the anti-gay organizations CFA donates to – many people don’t know about their integral involvement at Berry College in Rome, GA: http://southandout.com/blog/chick-fil-gay-one-seminarians-journey

    • Jennifer

      Jeff, I have really enjoyed your insight. Where are you at 2am and Im looking for some deep conversationalist to challenge me to think deeper. kuddus

  • JOHNSONdale Smith

    Here is the evil,biggoted companie’s official statement:
    Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
    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. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
    Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.
    Sure sound like the world would be better off if we had less companies operating like this.

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    • JOHNSONdale Smith

      Amen to that Kimberly! God bless you for everything you say and do to support Christianity.

  • JOHNSONdale SMITH

    We love everyone no matter who you are or what you do. Even for disagreeing with us. Who disagree with you. We LOVE YOU! I Love You! In the name of JESUS CHRIST BLESS YOU ALL!

    • JOHNSONdale SMITH

      Even being A christian I have never eaten at chick-fil-a. Their prices have always been too high and they do not have a value meal of any kind. I work for a day program assisting disabled adults who can’t help themselves. Now that I have been given a cause. I am going to treat my group of 6 special needs adults to a free mega meal lunch at chick-fil-a on August 1st. A place I never would have gone ro before all this nonesense started.

  • Juan C.

    Michelle,
    The issue with CFA is not the expression of the personal religious beliefs of its CEO. The issue is that the company has provided financial support to hate groups, specifically the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. The Southern Poverty Law Center designated these as hate groups because these organizations conduct campaigns based on misinformation, spin, slander, and outright lies to malign, persecute, and oppress LGBT people.

    Here is some information on these groups from the SPLC web site.

    FRC, AFA Named as Anti-Gay Hate Groups
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alvin-mcewen/family-research-council-a_1_b_787313.html

    FRC
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/family-research-council

    AFA
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/american-family-association

    10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/10-myths

    Gays Remain Minority Most Targeted by Hate Crimes
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/under-attack-gays-remain-minority-mos

    I trust that this will help with understanding why the LGBT community is so outraged. Imagine if a company said that they don’t discriminate against anyone, yet they contributed millions of dollars to the KKK. You get the picture.

    • http://rkeefe57.wordpress.com/ Richard Keefe

      The Boy Scouts of America have stated publicly since at least 2002 that gay men “lack the morals” to be Scout masters and refuses to hire them based solely on their sexual orientation, yet the SPLC doesn’t consider them a “hate group” for some reason.

      That reason is a simple one. Many of the SPLC’s donors were Scouts or the parents/grandparents of Scouts, and linking the almighty donors with a “hate group” is bad for business.

      “Fighting hate” is all well and good until it cuts into the bottom line.

      http://wp.me/pCLYZ-d3

      If the SPLC is your expert on “hate groups” then Proverbs 15:2 is more appropriate.

  • Michelle

    Tim, in this current debate, I am supporting Chick Fil A for several reasons. 1. My family loves their food 2. They have always provided us with excellent service. 3. We are a Christian family and Chick Fil A is being persecuted and discriminated for their expression of their personal religious beliefs. I have searched and researched both sides of the issue and can find no proof that chick Fil A,nor it’s representatives have ever said anything specific against the GLBT community. Neither have they ever been charged with denying service, employment or any other benefits on the basis of sexual orientation. As for their support of family research council and other similar organizations I had to look these groups up to determine what they are about and what they do. What I found is that opposition to gay-friendly legislation is only a small part of what these organizations lobby for. Other issues they promote are the defense of the rights of the unborn, restriction and regulation of pornography, and gambling. They have fought for teacher and student rights to pray in school and to learn about the theory of intellegent design alongside studies of evolution. They have lobbied for permanent increases to the child tax credit and have fought to protect my right to homeschool my children. So to say these organizations help no one just isn’t true. All these issues affect my family and I am greatful that my right to practice my religion and to pass my beliefs on to my children are being defended. I do not personally contribute to these groups but neither do I care if Chick Fil A wants to send a few million dollars out of the billions they earn annually to an organization with a multi faceted pro- family platform. I’m not particularly against gay marriage but I take seriously any threat against the freedom to practice my religion and my constitutional right to Speak freely about my beliefs. I’ve probably waded in deeper than I should but you asked and I am confident in my position.

    • Melody

      When young gay people are being bullied and subsequently committing suicide due to being told they are an abomination, it is no longer just “personal beliefs.” THEY are the ones being persecuted, not Chick-Fil-A. That is not okay. What if their stance were for “traditional” single-race marriages and giving their funds to white supremacy organizations? I will not support a company that donates to anti-gay organizations. If you want you continue eating there, be our guest. But don’t criticize those of us who are speaking out against the company’s support for hate groups.

    • Melody

      Also, who’s threatening your freedom of speech? You have every right to speak your mind, just as we do. But we also have the right to openly disagree with you. That is nowhere close to persecution.

  • Michelle

    I like your blog by the way. I’ve read several posts and discussions today and I gather you are a GBLT person who is also a Christian? I have learned much from the comments here as I seek to justify my faith with what it means to love God and love others as myself. It is refreshing after hearing so much vitriol from gay and Lesbian atheists of late. Our family is supporting Chick Fil A and are going to the 8/1 event with our teen aged son and I wanted to prepare him to understand both sides of the issue. I stumbled onto your site looking for articles about how Christians should respond to the issue and I must say that your contributors are very intellegent, respectful and well informed. We will be at chick Fil a on 8/1 but we will also be buying lunch and sharing the love of Christ with any of our GLBT neighbors who show up in protest. #peacelove

    • http://timothy.green.name Timothy (TRiG)

      You’re supporting a company which gives money to groups like NOM and the Family “Research” Council. These groups do no good to anyone at all. They are vehemently, disgustingly prejudiced, and engage in lies, slander, and dirty tricks in their attempts to strip civil liberties from their fellow citizens.
      Explain to me why you’re supporting Chick-fil-A.
      I really would like to know.
      TRiG.

  • Michelle

    I doubt 50 percent of chick Fil a’s customers are GLBT as the majority of their stores are in the bible belt and chick Fil a has been open about their Christian views and businesses practices for decades. The 8/1 chick Fil a appreciation event has over 300,000 committed attendees on facebook while the counter events have only a few hundred committed supporters. Cathy confidently defended his beliefs because he was being interviewed by a leader in his church denomination for a religious program and because he knew his position is consistent with that of the majority of his customers. The problem with boycotting CFA now is that most who disagree with their stand on traditional marriage have already been boycotting them for some time, and those of us who support CFA are flocking there in record numbers not to protest same sex marriage but rather to defend this Christian businessowner’s rights to free speech and to operate his privately held business according to his personal convictions.

    • Jeff Straka

      I am including allies in that number (I am one) and while that number may be high for the rural areas, I would bet it would be fairly accurate in the urban areas. And yes, Dan Cathy is certainly free to hold personal convictions on his biblical beliefs and is free to voice them anywhere he wishes, but he was quite clear that he was speaking on behalf of the corporation. If Dan Cathy were contributing his OWN personal monies to this anti-gay organizations, I doubt there would be a quibble at all, but he is funneling customer-raised CORPORATE funds there. I would be very interested in hearing from individual franchise owners who’s sales/profits are being affected by this – are THEY 100% against same-sex marriage? Are THEY pleased about where corporate donations are going? Do THEY think that those with differing views are “shaking their fists at God”?

  • Michelle

    If they are holding signs with hateful language, protesting in your parking lot and trying to harm your livelihood they are certainly enemies, and Chic Fil A is treating those people with compassion and respect like they do with all of their customers.

  • Michelle

    Here in Louisiana and other places Chick Fil A employees are already bringing free lemonade and sweet tea out to protesters without being asked. Sorry but they are the real deal. Walking the talk and loving their enemies without condoning their lIfestyle.

    • ABA

      Exactly, you can love someone, serve someone, and befriend someone…without condoning everything that they believe in.

    • Jeff Straka

      Interesting you say that those in favor of same-sex marriage are “enemies”. How friendly and loving of them. I’m pretty sure Jesus was wanting to erase those lines of differentiating neighbor and enemy. If you are truly LOVING the other they no longer ARE an enemy.

      • ABA

        Actually, they writer of this blog post basically stated that Chick-Fil-A was an enemy by quoting that bible verse.

      • ABA

        Actually, the writer of this blog post basically stated that Chick-Fil-A was an enemy by quoting that bible verse.

        • Jeff Straka

          Actually, she is quoting Jackson Pearce who is looking was using that verse from Dan Cathy’s stated perspective.

    • Melody

      Being gay is NOT a lifestyle. No one chooses to be attracted to one sex or another. It’s wired in. Homosexual orientation is no more of a lifestyle than heterosexual orientation. Those of you who still think being gay is wrong desperately need to learn the difference between the words “orientation” and lifestyle.” They are nowhere remotely the same thing. Meeting some real, live gay people might help adjust your perception, as well.

  • Jeff Straka

    I think this “counter-counter” protest is not as much about a scriptural challenge as it is a gentle way to for CFA to see the human faces of those who question one particulat “biblical principal” being espoused by the founding family. I see it in the vain of Jesus asking the woman at the well for a drink of water – not as a way to piss her off, but as a way for her to SEE a little deeper into who this stranger really was. Perhaps for a moment, they will see the person before them not as one simply asking for a cup of water, but rather they will see Christ.

    • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

      If your goal is for them to see the person, is the best way to do that by poking them in the eye with this glass of water approach? Why not shower Chic-fil-a with love if you really want to show them the “human face” of the side the disagree with? Seems to me this particular approach has it backwards.

  • ABA

    You cannot pick and choose what to believe from scripture. You quote the Bible, yet the Bible is very clear on its views about homosexuality. Chick-Fil-A never stated that they would discriminate against gays, they simply stated that they supported a Biblical view of marriage. Are they not allowed to have their own opinion? Or would you choose to discriminate against them for what they believe? You say that they promote hate, but you wish to have people go in and ask for free water, using a Bible verse out of context…is this your version of promoting love? Do you honestly think this is something Jesus would do?

    • Kimberly Knight

      So how’s that not pickin and choosing goin when you eat shrimp, wear poly cotton blends, play with a football or stay your stoning hand when a child disobeys?

      • Melody

        Preach it, Kimberly! The anti-gay crowd is always ragging on us progressive Christians for cherry-picking, yet they have no problem ignoring what Jesus actually said.

      • ABA

        It is completely a different thing, because “cotton blends, football, and discipline” are not features of morality or salvation, whereas the bible preaches blatantly that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.

        1 Cor 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals”

        You might want to overlook this verse…you might want to change it in some way…but to do so is to write your own version of the Bible. And THAT you cannot do.

        You might want to call me intolerant, and say I am hypocritical. However, I am not intolerant…I can love a gay person, and not agree with what they believe. Just as I can love an alcoholic, love a thief, etc. And, if I claim to believe in the bible, but do not accept what it actually says, that would make me a hypocrite. So, don’t ignore what the bible actually preaches, and don’t take what Chick-Fil-A stated as a hate crime, because its not. It is simply a man stating what his beliefs are. You may not like them, you may not agree with them. But, he has the right to them, just as you have the right to yours. To lash out against him and his company due to his beliefs is the real crime. It is unchristian, un-american, and unconstitutional.

        • Jeff Straka

          Some one DID write their own version of the bible! The word “homosexual” first appeared in the New Revised Standard (RSV) Bible in 1946. The authors of the original text did not have an understanding of sexual orientation and there was no Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic word for it. The word Paul used was “porneia” which means “a harlot for hire” – not quite what we are talking about when we are discussing a same-sex couple loving one another and wanting to share their lives, is it?
          And saying you love a gay person as a thief ain’t zactly loving. Think about it.

          • Frank

            While the word homosexual might be a newer convention the definition was understood in biblical times. So your argument fails.

          • Jeff Straka

            But Paul was NOT using it in the context of a loving, same-sex relationship (loving the other as one self), Frank. He was using it as a reference to abusive, dominating non-loving, non-committed sex (NOT loving the other as one self). Why do you not understand the difference?

          • Frank

            Jeff you are incorrect again.

            Are you suggesting that there were no loving homosexual couples in biblical times? Paul would have been aware and could have easily qualified his statement. He did not. And given the sexual ethic all throughout scripture Paul knew exactly what he was talking about; homosexual behavior in ALL forms is sinful. I am sorry you have been deceived!

          • Jeff Straka

            Frank, you obviously have a direct link-up to God and all the authors of the bible. How stupid of me to try to debate one with such awesome channeling powers. I give.

          • Frank

            Jff do you even realize that you refuse to answer my simple questions? Is that by choice or simply you do not know the answer?

          • Basil

            Jeff, don’t waste your time feeding delusional trolls like Frank. Seriously dude. He’s a broken record, singing the same old homophobic song as always. He’s probably closeted — who cares

          • Frank

            Yes Jeff you certainly can ignore my statements and questions and continue to live in ignorance and be dismissed like Basil and Melody or you could just respond and make your case scripturally that God condones and blesses homosexual behavior .

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

            Jeff,
            Two questions:
            1 – What do you do with Romans 1 that seems to say there are natural (heterosexual) and unnatural (homosexual) relations.
            2 – When you say things like this,
            “But Paul was NOT using it in the context of a loving, same-sex relationship (loving the other as one self), Frank. He was using it as a reference to abusive, dominating non-loving, non-committed sex (NOT loving the other as one self).”
            how can you be so certain you aren’t reading your predetermined conclusion back into the text?

          • Jeff Straka

            Matt – Paul seems to be talking about idolatry and lust, not committed loving relationships. Aren’t YOU reading your “predetermined conclusion” into the text?

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

            Jeff,
            Which one of us is going to sit Paul down and ask him which he meant? I was asking you whether or not you are willing to say it is possible that your interpretation is being biased by your preconceived ideas. You seem to be pretty defensive. If you aren’t okay with questions then I will stop asking them.

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

            Having read my response to you I realize I sound defensive myself…sorry about that. I didn’t mean for it to come across that way.

          • Jeff Straka

            To be honest, Matt, I am not a follower of Paul – I am a follower of Jesus. I could really care less what Paul says. Paul never met or hung out with or learned from Jesus. He and the pseudo Paul probably got a thing or two wrong. Just sayin’.

          • Frank

            In other words Jeff just assembles his own scripture to follow. Which is a choice he can make, sad and tragic as it is.

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

            Jeff,
            Your take on Paul is highly problematic. Are you saying Paul’s writings weren’t inspired? Paul’s writings were considered scripture by Peter, who did hang out with Jesus – 2 Pet 3:16. I find your line of reasoning troubling here…He is the one you are basing your “NT is pro-homosexuality” arguments on and then you go and say you could care less what Paul thought. That just doesn’t line up very well in my opinion. Either he is inspired or authoritative or he is not. If he is not then feel free not to care what he thought but then don’t go and make all your arguments based on his writings. Help me understand if I have completely misunderstood you.

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

            “He and the pseudo Paul probably got a thing or two wrong. Just sayin’.” – So you are saying Paul could have been pro gay marriage but had that one wrong? That argument goes both ways.

          • Jeff Straka

            Matt, it depends on what you mean by “inspired”. If you mean that God “spoke” to Paul and then he wrote this stuff down, absolutely not. I no longer see ANY of the bible that way. I would allow that the authors were influenced by their thoughts/ideas of God but that the writings are THEIR thoughts and not directly God’s. BTW, it is highly debated that 2 Peter was written by Peter, so I don’t put much credence in that unknown author lifting up Paul’s writings. Paul represented ONE sect of Christianity. James represented another (and there likely was no “pretty merger” as we are led to believe in Acts), and we are now learning that there were perhaps many others, such as Mary Magdalene and Thomas that the empire church jettisoned. I think Paul has been highly misunderstood and misused (the pseudo Pauline letters did NOT help this!). Some try to read him as a mystic (I do find that helps somewhat) and some even see him as a closeted gay man (John Spong) which could explain some things. All this to say that I read Paul as interesting history on one sect of Christianity – one that has some stuff right, but some stuff wrong.

            What IS more “authoritative” to me are the sayings/teachings of JESUS (which, for me included Thomas). And HIS teachings clear up this “debate” quite easily: Love God = Love Others as Your Self. Is the action towards another kenotic Love or is it self-gratifying and even harmful? (Paul points towards this simply “theology” at certain points but it gets fuzzy and complicated again.) Now if my stance makes me “nonChristian” in some eyes, I really could care less. I really no longer like or use the “Christian” label anymore due to all the damage done in its name. I just want to follow the Way of Jesus.

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

            Jeff,

            I appreciate the tone of the discussion. I really do. What I don’t want to do at this point is go much further off topic in regard to inspiration of the Bible, who wrote which books, biblical authority, etc. It would be a lovely conversation and one I would love to have but I know this is not the post for that so I apologize if I have taken this thread off course to some degree. Let’s get to your last statement about Jesus and his teachings,

            “And HIS teachings clear up this “debate” quite easily: Love God = Love Others as Your Self. Is the action towards another kenotic Love or is it self-gratifying and even harmful?”

            I agree 100% with Jesus teaching about how we view and treat others. This does not, however, define the proper confines for sexual relations with others. I can agape love every woman that I know but that doesn’t make having sex with her okay in the sight of God. So love and the sexual expression of that love and the proper context for that expression are not laid out in Jesus telling us what the greatest commandments are.

            Do you believe it would be okay for me, in the sight of God/scripturally speaking, to have sex with every woman that I had a giving kind of love toward and wasn’t in it purely for self-indulgence?

          • Jeff Straka

            I find your scenario to be a bit of a stretch (these relationships don’t sound very deep or committed), but if you both were single and sex was a natural progression kenotic love and it is an expression of your spiritual connection (Oneness) to one another then it would be fine “in God’s sight”. (As one who leans towards panentheism/quantum theology, I do NOT think of God as one who “sees” like a grey-bearded peeping tom, but a being that experiences our experience.) Cynthia Bourgeault, in her latest book, puts out the possibility of Jesus being in a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene, which of course FREAKS OUT most church folks. But I kind of like the idea of Jesus being FULLY HUMAN and experiencing one of our most amazing and vulnerable connections with another human. Christians (and most religions, really) have badly perverted sexuality, totally removing God from the experience and your question kind of reflects that, frankly.

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

            Jeff,

            I have a few concerns about what you are saying. First, if I am reading you right, you are putting desire in the driver’s seat. Really, more than that…you seem to me to be saying that our desires define who we are. I guess you would say Jesus sheds light on who we are but even still, the ultimate definition comes from our desires and whether or not we deem them to be pure, regardless of what anything outside the Gospels might say about it. Is that a fair assessment of what you are saying?

          • Jeff Straka

            No – I am putting Jesus’ kenotic (non-clinging) path of self-sacrificing Love of the Other in the “drivers seat”. “Desire” implies an attachment. Buddhism also has a philosophy of non-attachment, non-harm, love and compassion.

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

            Are you a Buddhist?

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

            Then it seems like you are saying love defines what you can and cannot do with others and if scripture seems to contradict that, desire trumps scripture and scripture is then read through the lens of being in favor of what I desire. Again, help me out if I am not reading you correctly here.

          • Jeff Straka

            Matt – Yes – Love DOES define how we are to treat others. Show me ANYWHERE that Jesus says or does anything outside of his 2-in-1 commandment. Jesus himself lived it out when he broke Levitical law after Levitical law when he deemed it outside or coming against the Loving of Others. Desire doesn’t trump – LOVE trumps. And I didn’t say it, JESUS did!

          • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

            Love is at the very essence of how we treat others. Yes, 100%. Where did I disagree with that? What I am saying is my desire, even love for another person does not permit me to have sexual relations with them solely on the basis of my feelings. I can’t find any scripture that would allow that. Do you know of any? It is possible to have pure love for someone without feeling like it has to lead to intercourse…I hope that doesn’t sound crass but that is what we are talking about here.

          • Frank

            There is nothing loving, Christian or otherwise in encouraging sinful and damaging behavior. One day you may actually learn what love really is. I hope so because you are not living in love at the moment.

          • Jeff Straka

            No – sexual expression NEED NOT be a way to manifest kenotic love for one another (which is why Bourgeault, in her latest book, does not need to conclude Jesus had sex with Mary Magdalene or not – it does not matter). Song of Songs seems to be a place where kenotic Love gives “permission” to have “sexual relations” between unmarried singles. I think we’ve read into the text our own church-influenced bias against pre-marital sex in a loving relationship. But that is even getting off topic for the original post where it is about entering into a covenantal marriage.

          • Jake Horner

            Jeff,
            You aren’t quite right in your definition of PORNEIA. According to BDAG and LSJ it means:
            BDAG:
            1. unlawful sexual intercourse, prostitution, unchastity, fornication
            2. participation in prohibited degrees of marriage, fornication
            3. immorality of a transcendent nature, fornication

            LSJ: prostitution, fornication, unchastity

            The Greek for a female prostitute is PORNH [eta], and a male prostitute is PORNOS.
            Usually Greek nouns that end in –EIA are abstract, hence prostitution, fornication, sexual immorality.

            As far as a similar understanding of orientation to ours, who can say? There certainly was a lot of what we would consider pedophilia going on. But on the other hand there are quite a few artistic representations of (male) same-sex intercourse that seem to portray it in a positive light.
            Regarding Paul’s language, you are right that there is no literal Greek cognate for ‘homosexual orientation’ or homosexuality. But in the 1 Cor 6:9 beat verse, he uses the words: PORNOS [male prostitute], EIDWLOLATRIA [idolatry], MOIKOI [adulterer/philanderer] and then our two — first is MALAKOI:

            MALAKOS (BDAG)

            1. pert. to being yielding to touch, soft, of things: clothes
            2. . pert. to being passive in a same-sex relationship, effeminate
            esp. of catamites, of men and boys who are sodomized by other males in such a relationship, opp. avrsenokoiTHS
            [ 1 Cor 6:9 (‘male prostitutes’ NRSV is too narrow a rendering; ‘sexual pervert’ REB is too broad)]

            and lastly ARSENOKOITHS [eta again]
            BDAG:
            (a;rshn ‘male’ + koi,th ‘bed’; in a vice list—avrsenokoitei/; cp. the association of a;rshn and koi,th Lev 20:13, s. Soph. Lex.: av.= o` meta. a;rsenoj koimw,menoj koi,thn gunaikei,an=‘one who has intercourse w. a man as w. a woman’; cp. the formation of mhtrokoi,thj [mh,thr + koi,th] ‘one who has intercourse w. his mother’ Hipponax 15, 2 Diehl(3 )[=Degani 20, 2]) a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9 (on the impropriety of RSV’s ‘homosexuals’ [altered to ‘sodomites’ NRSV] s. WPetersen, VigChr 40, ’86, 187-91; cp. DWright, ibid. 41, ’87, 396-98; REB’s rendering of malakoi. ou;te avrsenokoi/tai w. the single term ‘sexual pervert’ is lexically unacceptable), of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. malako,j (difft. DMartin, in Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality, ed. RBrawley, ’96, 117-36); 1 Ti 1:10; Pol 5:3. Cp. Ro 1:27. Romans forbade pederasty w. free boys in the Lex Scantinia, pre-Cicero (JBremmer, Arethusa 13, ’80, 288 and notes); Paul’s strictures against same-sex activity cannot be satisfactorily explained on the basis of alleged temple prostitution (on its rarity, but w. some evidence concerning women used for sacred prostitution at Corinth s. LWoodbury, TAPA 108, ’78, 290f, esp. note 18 [lit.]), or limited to contract w. boys for homoerotic service (s. Wright, VigChr 38, ’84, 125-53). For condemnation of the practice in the Euphrates region s. the ref. to Bardesanes above.—RBurton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, 1934, vol. 6, 3748-82, lit. reff. and anthropological data relating to a variety of Mediterranean cultures; DBailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, ’55; KDover, Greek Homosexuality ’78; RScroggs, The NT and Homosexuality ’83; JBoswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality ’80; JBremmer, Greek Pederasty, in JBremmer, ed. From Sappho to de Sade(2 )’91, 1-14; ECantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World ’92.—Pauly-W. 8, 1333f; 1459-68. DELG s.v. a;rshn. M-M
            {sorry for the long post for ARSENOKOITHS]

            ARSENOKOITHS is in interesting word, some think Paul made it up, as it is only attested here in the Bible. It is a compound word from ARSEN [a male] and a KOI– root word {n: bed, couch, daybed; v: to lie, lie with, have sex with] It is my guess that Paul went back to Lev 18.22 in the LXX and cobbled the word together from language used in 18:22. I think it’s a good guess : ).

            The RSV combined MALAKOI and ARSENOKOITAI into one English word. Not particularly good translation technique…. anyhow in the Greek the list reads : sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who are the passive partner in same sex intercourse, and men who are the active partner in SSI. For better or worse that’s how the Greek reads in all likelihood. If you look at how the language has been translated, it’s pretty much all over the place, but the Greek text itself is pretty precise.

            Hope this helps,

            Jake H.

        • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com Matt Dabbs

          Do you think love is a desire?

          • Jeff Straka

            It is defined as a “longing”, then yes, love could fall into that category. But I thought you were using in a a “craving” (concupiscence) sense. There is a difference.

            Am I a Buddhist? No, I’ve not “converted” but I do like many of their mindfulness practices and much of their philosophy as it parallels Jesus’ central teachings quite well.

      • Frank

        Kimberly I hope that you would study Levitical law more so you wouldn’t make such ignorant statements about them. It certainly does not help your credibility.

        • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ Matt Dabbs

          Frank,

          Talking to people the way you have been doing doesn’t really help your credibility. I am sure you won’t mind my being direct given all the things you have said in the comments. You may be writing those things with the utmost love in your heart but it isn’t really coming through via hypertext and your choice of words.

    • http://www.intownconfidential.com Lib

      How is she saying they don’t have a right to their opinion? Where do you see that? They can have their opinion and I can have my opinion, which is that I will never eat there again. (Not that I ever did much anyway; seems I always craved their delicious sandwiches on Sundays.)

      Not so long ago, restaurants refused service to black people. Seems pretty outrageous now but back then, I guess they just had their own “opinion.” It takes people engaging with each other and their opinions to make positive social change. Simple as that.

      • ABA

        Chick-Fil-A doesn’t refuse service to Gays…and they never stated that they would. Comparing what the President of Chick-Fil-A said to racism is both an ignorant statement, and a hateful one.

        • http://www.intownconfidential.com Lib

          You’re right, they don’t refuse to serve gays. They actively work to prevent gay people from gaining a basic right.
          My point was that human beings have to engage in dialogue to work toward change. And then you throw around words like ignorant and hateful. Nice. Way to keep it at a higher level.

        • Jeff Straka

          They don’t refuse to serve because they are capitalists – they LIKE money! But it doesn’t sound like Dan Cathy is being loving or respectful when he says THIS about perhaps 50% or more of his paying customers: “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

          • Frank

            Well the estimates are 3% of the population is gay so 50% is inaccurate and he speaks the truth whether someone likes it or not.

          • Jeff Straka

            Hey, Frank – I’m talking about the total population that is in favor of same-sex marriage. It is ALL those that Cathy was making this statement about, not JUST to the LGBTQ community. So he insulted a HUGE part of his customer base. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_opinion_of_same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States

    • Sensi

      The Bible is also very clear about the fact that a victim of rape must marry their rapist and said rapist can not ever divorce her. Is that the truth you live by?

  • http://pulpit2pavement.wordpress.com James Marler

    The funny thing here is that in an attempt to be subversive, you will probably be given water, with a smile, and asked if you want a refill before you’re even finished.

    • Kimberly Knight

      That’s awesome if I do.