I read today that the students at a university have voted to keep Chick-fil-A off campus because of the stance that the Chick-fil-A owner has taken related to various social issues. He bases his stance on his beliefs and, right or wrong, has been consistent in affirming that belief. From the best that I can tell, he has neither attacked nor discriminated against any particular group, but he also has not embraced beliefs or behaviors outside of his convictions.
The pendulum that appears to have swung is one of intolerance towards those that have such convictions. Legally, discrimination based against a legitimate, faith-based conviction is no more right than the intolerance they are accused of. Spiritually, I’m not sure that right, wrong, legal or illegal has much to do with it.
Followers of Jesus have to get this, sooner or later: we are the ones that are different. We are the ones that are weird.
John 15: 18-23 – “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also.
Even if the world hates us, we are still called to love them. In fact, maybe especially because of the hatred, we are called to love. Jesus is grace personified and through Him, we all can know the love of the Father. The love of the Father is the hope of the world. Judgment, ridicule, rejection, fear, discrimination, debate and disgust outside of grace distract from the love of the Father and don’t represent what Jesus has done for us.
- Don’t be surprised, be resolute.
- Don’t be offended, be determined.
- Receive and give grace.
- Receive and give love.
Resolve it now and determine for yourself that you are born again by the love and grace of God and that you will carry that same love and grace even when persecuted. The persecution is coming so you might as well make up your mind now what you’re going to do when you experience it.