So, have you been to Chik-fil-a recently? Never has someone’s fast-food choice meant so much to so many, right? I think this controversy has only given us a foretaste of all the heated division that is sure to surround same-sex marriage for the foreseeable future. I think it’s also revealed something about the people on both sides of the controversy: it’s bigots vs. hypocrites.
First, the bigots, since I’ll be spending less time discussing them. Merriam-Webster defines a bigot as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.” They are the ones saying “I am progressive, tolerant, and accepting of the views of others. Oh wait, you hold to a traditional, Judeo-Christian view of marriage?!? You’re a horrible person who needs to just shut up and get with the times!!” You can’t claim to be tolerant, yet refuse to accept those who have differing opinions. In fact, that makes you intolerant. It makes you a bigot. How else can you describe the way same-sex marriage advocates and supporters have been treating those with whom they disagree? There certainly hasn’t been any open-minded dialogue; no warm-hearted acceptance towards those who don’t agree with them. How can you claim to support freedom of speech but then be appalled when someone voices an opinion that disagrees with you? Truthfully, you don’t support freedom of speech! It’s a double-standard, and it’s painfully obvious. As Perry Noble said, “It’s quite sad really that those who scream for tolerance seem to be intolerant of anyone who does not hold to their particular view.” (I hope I’m terribly wrong here, but this is all I’ve seen; if you’ve seen constructive dialogue anywhere, please share a link in the comments.) But as bad as the bigots are, the hypocrites are worse.
Merriam-Webster defines a hypocrite as “a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.” The hypocrites are the ones saying “I think marriage is sacred, therefore same-sex marriage disgusts me. However, I choose to ignore the Christians all around me having premarital sex, living together, cheating on their spouses, and getting divorced.” It’s a particularly disgusting form of hypocrisy when Christians protest gay marriage yet look the other way while countless numbers of their fellow Christians dishonor marriage themselves. We can’t credibly say that we think marriage is sacred while we’ve been busy desecrating it for decades. We Christians claim to believe that marriage is defined by God as one man, one woman, for life; so let’s start living as though that’s true. Before we try to remove the speck of sawdust from the eye of our culture, we should probably spend some time removing the plank from our own eyes (Matt. 7:3). Marriage is intended to demonstrate Christ’s love for the Church to an unbelieving world (Eph. 5:32). Sadly, the American Church is a disgusting, abhorrent witness to our culture. Until we start to obey God’s commands, we have no right to call non-Christians to obey God’s commands (1 Cor. 5:12).
Christians, let’s just be honest; we’re failing because we are lukewarm. How deep do you hold your convictions if your idea of fighting for the sanctity of marriage is to go buy some fast food? A chicken sandwich proves nothing. Waffle fries demonstrate nothing about Christ’s love for the Church. Sweet iced tea and lemonade do nothing to preserve the sanctity of marriage in our society. Do we honestly think God is watching and saying, “Well done, good and faithful Chik-fil-a patrons”?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the reason our culture doesn’t believe in the traditional, Judeo-Christian definition of marriage is because the Church has failed to demonstrate it! Why would they believe in something they’ve never seen? We claim that Judeo-Christian marriage is God’s best plan for a man and woman, yet we fail to model its goodness.
So do you want to really be a rebel? Do you want to buck the system? It takes more than chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. How about, instead of buying fast food, wives respect their husbands (Eph. 5:33b) and submit to their Godly leadership (Eph. 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1-6)? How about husbands honor their wives (Eph. 5:33a, 1 Peter 4:7) and sacrificially lead them (Eph. 5:25-30)? I guess the ultimate way to combat the degradation of marriage in our society is to have an awesome marriage. This is how it has to start, otherwise who can blame culture for not taking us seriously? Would you take us seriously? Let’s be rebels, brothers and sisters, and treat marriage with he sanctity that it deserves for God’s glory and our joy.