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To Eat or Not To Eat

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 3)

I was falsely accused of being a bigot this week (September 2012). Chick-fil-A’s president has caused a firestorm that reveals much about the hate that perverts our nation. I’m not talking about a hatred of homosexuals, for Christians should love those who hatefully despise us (Matthew 5:44). I’m talking about a hatred of God and the Truth.

Mike Huckabee truly hit the nail on the head when he said “Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant…” Many have been attacked (including me) for supporting Chick-fil-A and for supporting Mr. Huckabee’s comments.

August 1st (2012) has been declared “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” and any support of this franchise has been called into question by those in opposition to God. You hear in your social circles and all across the social networks that if we support Chick-fil-A, that we shouldn’t be shopping or eating at places that support gay marriage. A question then to pose is “Where did supporting Chick-fil-A turn into a boycott of other businesses?”

On a constitutional level, Dan Cathy (the president of Chick-fil-A) has every right to say what he believes. This is the same that can be said of those that support gay marriage. Is it ok to support a boycott of these companies according to our own principles? Paul addressed a similar situation with early Gentile converts in Corinth. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 and 10:25)

Cheap meat that was leftover from idol worship and sacrifice was being sold in the Greek and Roman markets. Mature believers knew that eating these meats was not wrong. The idols that they were sacrificed to were not real gods. Meat was meat, and it was serving a need to buy these cheap meats. There is no doubt that many if not all of the vendors selling the meats also supported the idol worship.

Compare this situation to what is going on today. Some businesses may support gay marriage, but mature believers know that this is not true marriage. These businesses still fulfill needs and eating their food or buying their goods does not make you support gay marriage any more than buying cheap meats would make you worship idols.

Our money goes to people, companies, and government that support things contrary to our faith every day. Do you think everybody working in Chick-fil-A supports the Christian agenda? Likewise, many non-believers that buy a good or service are possibly putting money in the pockets of people that do not support their agenda. Everybody at Amazon, Starbucks, and McDonald’s does not support gay marriage even though their companies might. For non-believers to say we shouldn’t support those companies because we support Chick-fil-A is ludicrous. They would likewise need to stop shopping anywhere a Christian works. Their money might go against gay marriage!

Another two points to note in Paul’s defense of eating the meat sacrifice is that we have to be sensitive to our conscience and be careful not to offend our brother. There are situations that your conscience may not allow you to support a certain company. The Holy Spirit’s leading is not to be ignored. Supporting a company may hurt your walk, your example, or your fellow Christian’s walk. The fact of the matter is that the service itself is not a sin. “But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” (1 Corinthians 8:8). God will not lead you astray.

The “brothers being offended” that is mentioned by Paul is often misinterpreted. Some would compare it to a fellow Christian being offended because somebody wears jewelry or has long hair. That is not the case. The brothers being offended were newer believers that were tempted or grieved of their old lives in idol worship. Eating the meat sacrificed to idols caused them to stumble. A mature believer has to be aware of how their actions are affecting their brothers and sisters in Christ. If you have a friend that is a former alcoholic, it is probably not a good idea to take them back to a restaurant where they used to drink. We have to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.

Using the services of a business or working for them does not mean that you automatically support their views. Believers and non-believers alike could never find a place to eat at, buy from, or work at if that was the case. We have to stand for God when He is attacked. We have to live lives that reflect God in all that we do.

The world is crying out for us to support diversity, but Christians are being excluded. The world says we are offending them because we don’t support something they believe. Well, we’re offended that you don’t support God, but Christianity commands us to “love our enemies.” I would like to see non-believers try to do the same. It is impossible without God.

From: Volume 1 - Issue 3


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