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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ruffled feathers

I get very little enjoyment from watching TV these days unless it is a re-run of Little House on the Prairie or the Waltons.  The airwaves are riddled with all kinds of commercials advertising the need to lose weight and the "miracles" which can be accomplished with this device or the latest "medical breakthrough".  As election season is upon us, they are also riddled with all kinds of smear campaigns.  If this is not enough, the news is propagating all the "hype" about the family-owned business known as Chick-Fil-A.  Evidently, taking a stand to support marriage between one man and one woman is a crime in our country!  There have been bomb threats, people driving through the drive-thru windows taunting and ridiculing the employees, and all manner of silly debate over what has now been termed "hate food".  If I step on a few toes with this one, I will not apologize!


If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you.  (John 15:18-19 The Message)


Jesus put it out there - he prepared us for exactly what we are seeing today.  The godless world cannot understand the "traditional" views of those who have chosen to follow the example of Christ.  Their outrage toward the "family values" of this restaurant chain's founding fathers is ill-placed.  They are really angry at a higher power!


The fact is, whenever we choose to live on God's terms, we will ruffle a few feathers!  I'd like to quote something my daughter posted on her timeline the other night:


"All the people who are boycotting Chick-fil-A are doing nothing more than spreading more of what they themselves are calling "Hate" by judging that company and it's owners and the Americans who support them. It's fine if you don't agree, but it doesn't mean you need to be malicious or hurtful in doing so."


The words of a 33-year old woman echo so much truth!  We "judge" so freely - based on opinions we have formed.  Then we go about thinking it is okay to display our "hatred" toward one "group" or another - simply based on opinion. When a man or woman takes a stand to live by the truth revealed in God's Word, they are considered narrow or bigoted.  Becca could not have said it any better than she did - you can choose to disagree, but when it becomes malicious or hurtful, the opinion we hold is doing more harm when it is expressed!  Another friend actually said she was taking a "sabbatical" from Facebook for a while until the controversy died down!  She would not follow the posts of her friends, or become burdened down by all the frustrations.  


Jesus warned us of this very thing - the world has an issue with any "opinion" founded on the truths of scripture.  As Becca so aptly put it in her post on Facebook - it is not her opinion - not her religion, but her belief.  Opinion and belief differ.  An opinion is based on something for which you have INSUFFICIENT evidence to produce ABSOLUTE certainty.  Belief has some of the same characteristics of opinion - making it easy to confuse belief and opinion.  With both, a sense of confidence is apparent, as is a sense of conviction.  


The difference comes in what each produces in one's life.  My opinions don't always produce the best of fruit!  On the other hand, my beliefs tend to direct me in the path which bears fruits like love, kindness, and long-suffering.  So, I will choose to stand on my beliefs, not my opinions.  I will choose to allow my beliefs to affect my actions, not my opinion of others or circumstances.  


It is my goal to live in such a manner so as to reflect the love of Christ.  I will not compromise my beliefs - but I will also not argue my opinions!  Every man or woman is entitled to both.  Whatever the choose to "stand upon" determines the course of their lives.  May it be that which produces fruits like love, kindness, and long-suffering.  May it always reflect the image of Christ to a world who simply does not understand with CERTAINTY the ABSOLUTES of his truth.