Whatever Happened To Tolerance?

Is tolerance no longer a virtue? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Remember about a decade or so ago that tolerance was all the rage? Books were being written about tolerance. Every apologist who spoke about ethics and political situations had to say something about tolerance. The tolerance being talked about wasn’t classical tolerance, which is always a virtue, but an idea that one must not just allow but accept and celebrate something.

Tolerance was the great virtue everyone celebrated. It was seen as the mark of a good person that they were tolerant. It was all these bigots out there that were intolerant and didn’t allow anyone to have an opposing viewpoint.

Somehow, tolerance seems to have lost some popularity. For all the time people spent preaching this gospel, the good news of it appears to be short-lived. It looks like the opposite is what is virtuous now. When someone does something you really disagree with, now it’s virtuous to call them on the carpet and demand that they repent.

Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter. Earlier this month he stopped at a Chick-Fil-A and for some reason tweeted out his receipt. He was immediately taken to task for his awful action. He dared to stop at a place like Chick-Fil-A that supports only traditional marriage during June which is “Gay Pride Month”? Jack Dorsey eventually apologized for his “sin.”

Most of us also know about so many Christian bakeries and florists and photographers who will perform many other services for homosexual customers, but just say they cannot do something that would give a tacit endorsement to something they consider immoral such as a “gay marriage.” Instead of just going to the next person down the road who has the same business and will be glad to do it, the right thing to do now is apparently to take them to court and sue them for everything they have so they never dare do business again. Disagreement will not be allowed!

Looks like tolerance is just not what it used to be anymore.

Most of us are sure we know what happened. Tolerance is a great virtue when you think you’re the underdog, but as soon as you get into what you think is a position of power, it’s no longer needed. I don’t really think this is the majority opinion still as I do hold to the silent majority, something we saw on an event such as Chick-Fil-A Day. In the eyes of the media, which is apparently what really matters, tolerance is no longer the virtue that we’re supposed to uphold.

Years ago I and several others had been saying that tolerance is a sham. As far as I’m concerned, the way people are acting now demonstrates it. If tolerance was the virtue it was thought to be, it would be practiced now just as much as it was then. Instead, tolerance was used back then to silence the opposition. Now, one can go to the court of law or the media to silence the opposition so there’s really no need.

Our marching orders? Still the exact same regardless of what the world around us does. Fulfill the Great Commission. Stand for truth in our lives. Love our neighbors around us even when we disagree with them. Preach the true gospel, not just one of faux tolerance. Teach the one that says that God does not tolerate sin, but He gives full and loving acceptance to sinners and wants to reshape them to be like Jesus.

I can’t tell what will happen in the future. My thinking is that this will probably lead to a major backlash one day as more and more people get fed up with where society is going and as the other side keeps pushing the envelope, they will one day push it too far. The question is if the church will handle it properly. In America, I’m not so sure since we don’t have the best track record, but I can always hope.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

And Then They Came For My Fun

Do we have our priorities out of whack? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Over the weekend there was a church shooting in Tennessee. You might not have heard about this. The media gave it some lip service and then it went to the big story. What’s the big story? Football players kneeling during the National Anthem.

It’s not to say that this isn’t worthy of discussion. For what it’s worth, I find it deplorable that so many players are doing this, but at the same time, I don’t really care. My attitude towards most sports has always been that I don’t care. When the Super Bowl comes on here, Allie watches the game. I put down my book and watch during the commercials. If the NFL dies over this, it won’t affect me one bit.

Yet I do notice something. Americans don’t tend to get excited about a topic unless it affects their entertainment. You might say that Christians are not like that. Oh no. Sadly, Christians in America are just like that. Go after everything else in the world and that’s fine, but focus in on their fun and it’s time for war.

A few years ago, there was a major controversy when Duck Dynasty was pulled from the air. Why? Because one of the main characters had said something against homosexual practice. A&E pulled the show and before too long, there was a Facebook page set up with a million members and protests as people had their cable disconnected. Cracker Barrel in an amazing suicide stunt decided to join in and received the same attention. Eventually, A&E and Cracker Barrel relented.

So there you have it. Christians across this nation won a great victory because they stood up and spoke. They got their TV show back and after this great victory, they did what is the next obvious step.

That’s right. Absolutely nothing.

What about Chick-Fil-A? Now this is something that I can have some interest in as I do like their waffle fries, but other than that, I’m not a chicken fan. So then we have the media go after Chick-Fil-A and then we go after that by having Chick-Fil-A Day. It’s a rousing success. Chick-Fil-A shatters business records that day. People waited in long lines just to have something at Chick-Fil-A. After this great success, Christians again who saw what a difference their voice can make when they speak did the obvious thing with a great victory.

That’s right. Absolutely nothing.

So what do I gather from this?

We in America, and Christians are not an exception, care about an issue when it interferes with our fun. Other than that, it doesn’t affect us supposedly so leave it alone. Sure, the homosexual left has been going after marriage for awhile, but who cares about defending that? Just don’t let them go after Chick-Fil-A! That’s when we stand up and say we will not accept this!

There are many issues we can talk about in our country, but obviously what needs to be fixed first is the NFL issue. Again, it’s not saying we absolutely avoid talking about it, but we ask based on how much time we spend discussing things what our priorities are. If we are willing to stand up for Chick-Fil-A, and not saying we shouldn’t, but we aren’t standing up for marriage, then what are we to say? Do Christians value Chick-Fil-A more than marriage? Sadly, I think we do.

The solution to this I think is to raise greater awareness. Why should we defend marriage? Should we care about things greater than our entertainment? This won’t be an easy task because too many of us think “Unless it affects my life, I just don’t care.” If you don’t care enough about a problem to do something about it though, you have to ask if you really care about it at all.

So what do we care about?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

When Christian action is not action

Are you really making a difference? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many times, Christians get offended over something that happens in the media. I’m not complaining about this per se. It can happen. Sometimes, the offense is justifiable. What’s the response often? “I won’t buy this product,” or “I’m going to cancel my service,” or “I won’t shop there,” or “I won’t watch their TV shows, their movies, or listen to their music.” In doing so, many Christians think that they are taking a stand.

Let’s use Amazon as an example. Some Christians don’t shop there because Amazon supports practices they don’t believe in. What does the Christian often do then? “I will just shop somewhere else. That will show them!”

Really? Let’s think about that a little bit.

It would be hard to guess how many customers Amazon has but they are one of the largest companies in the world no doubt. Numerous people shop there, including me. My in-laws usually get me Amazon gift cards for my birthday and Christmas and anyone who doesn’t know what to get me and wants to get me a gift knows that they can just go and get a gift card and that will be enough for me.

So all of those customers all over the world, which probably number in the billions….

And you are going to stop shopping there to take a stand.

I am just sure Amazon is really feeling the heat.

The sad part also is that a Christian can really feel like they’re doing something when in fact, they’re not really doing anything. Now keep in mind this is different from someone who acts out of a personal moral stance. If you think it would be immoral for you to buy from Amazon, then don’t buy from Amazon. That is not the problem. I am not telling you to buy or not to buy. I am just saying that the idea of refusing to shop there on your own is not going to make a difference. Amazon will not notice you.

Wal-Mart is another example of a company like this. When I used to work there, we often had a joke up front when we met customers who decided to get angry and say “I am never going to shop here again!” We wanted to have them go and stand in front of a wall and hold a sign saying something like “Never coming back again.” Then we’d use a Polaroid instant camera and take a picture and post it on the wall and just watch and see. Of course, no one ever did that, but the joke was funny because it really wasn’t a threat. Considering the attitude of some customers, many people in retail would be glad to see some people never come back again.

Now if you think you’re doing a service for God by refusing to shop somewhere, then you can think you’ve taken a Christian stand when in reality, your stand is not affecting anyone whatsoever. Pick whatever major company you want. You are not making a difference.

Are there some exceptions to this? Yes. What makes them exceptions shows what we’re lacking in the Christian world today.

First off, how about the reverse instead? Shop at companies that support what you support and are Christian businesses and let them know Take the time to thank them for good service and for holding to the position that they hold. They need to be told this. This also puts more money in the hands of someone who is going to hopefully do some actual good for the Kingdom.

Second, organization. This is the problem majorly with boycotts. We do not have organization. Let’s start with one reverse example that worked great. Chick-Fil-A Day.

Let’s suppose that Chick-Fil-A Day had not been planned but that one morning, some Christians got up and decided to post on Facebook and say “Let’s all go to Chick-Fil-A today and stand up for traditional marriage.” Think that would have made the evening news?

It would be amazing if it even made local news.

What made Chick-Fil-A day a success was it was planned out. Christians knew in advance. We had a time. We had numerous places. We had the reason. We all agreed and discussed this as well using social media. Christians came together and did something. Whether someone thinks it was right or wrong, they did something. What we did that day was show that we can take action and we sent Chick-Fil-A’s sales soaring through the roof.

Let’s use another example that was a boycott. Duck Dynasty. When the events with Phil Robertson took place, Christians started immediately organizing on Facebook and calling A&E and cancelling their cable subscriptions. When Cracker Barrel started joining in with A&E, Christians immediately made a concentrated effort. In both cases, the companies relented. Christians won the battle.

Notice in both cases what was needed. Organization. It was not one person doing something. It was Christians gathered together who had a unified cause, a reason to fight, and a clear goal in mind.

You know what the real great tragedy of this is? That in all these cases when Christians came together and did something, as soon as they were done with their mission, they went right back to their ordinary lives. “Yes. I do realize that the homosexual agenda is often going after our freedoms and I do think that marriage is something sacred and should be honored, but frankly, we got Duck Dynasty restored to where it was. Isn’t that enough?”

Looks like a TV show was more important to most Americans than marriage itself.

Christians seem to be a group that wins a major battle and then retreats back to their safety bubbles instead of going forward. Those who are our intellectual enemies are not doing such a thing and if we ever plan to win the culture war, we have got to learn to move forward. No one ever wins a war just by fighting on the defensive. At some point in time, you have to take the battle straight to the enemy and challenge them directly.

Another case where a boycott could also work would be in a small community. Suppose a new business shows up like say a new Mom and Pop grocery store. Then it becomes apparent to the community that this store is anti-Christian. Since this is a local community and the store doesn’t have a global market, the community can band together and say “We will not shop there” and the store is going to have to make some drastic changes then.

The trouble as has been said is that Christians need to do something in the culture war, but what they are doing is something that will not make a difference but sadly convince them that they are making a difference. If you want to do something like this, then get organized, and it will take more than you and your immediate family and friends. It will take a concentrated global effort. Honestly, if more Christians were willing to come and work together and get over some of our petty secondary issues (Age of the Earth, style of worship, end times beliefs, etc.) we could do something. When we came together on Chick-Fil-A day and to restore Duck Dynasty, no one was worrying about that. That should prove we can all work together. We can discuss those issues, but let us not spend so much time fighting each other with friendly fire that we miss the real enemies coming into our camps.

Please do take action Christians. We must. We will all pay the price if we do not. When you do something that you think is taking a stand, check and see if it really is. If it’s not really making a change for the Kingdom of God, then find something else that is.

Gentlemen. We Are At War.

Is there a battle to win and a cost if we don’t fight? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Readers of this blog probably know by now that I quite like the church that Allie and I have found. I get a sermon that is intellectually satisfying while touching the heart as well. I wish I could say that this was the norm when it came to churches, but alas, I cannot. Too many churches have the congregations just getting some pablum so they can go home and at the end of the day feel good about themselves.

Christians. Take a look at the culture around you. Does it look like we’re really making an impact? Does it look like the church is being salt and light in this world?

If not, then why should we go to church and feel good about ourselves? If we are not obeying the Great Commmission, then we should be looking at ourselves with shame.

I have in fact reached the point where I want to go up to pastors and say to them “Please tell me why I should believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” There are two answers that are unacceptable for this one. Now there could be variants on how these answers are said but the answers are still the same.

“The Holy Spirit tells me that Jesus rose from the dead.”

“The Inerrant Word of God says Jesus rose from the dead.”

What’s the problem with both of these? In the long run, they both beg the question. You say the Holy Spirit tells you this? Fine. The Holy Spirit also apparently tells Mormons that the Book of Mormon is from God and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Do you believe that? Why should I think what you’re experiencing is the Holy Spirit and not something else? You could say “Well if you experience it, you know who it is.” Don’t you think the Mormons would say the exact same thing?

What about the latter? Now I do hold to inerrancy, but I hold to inerrancy as a conclusion and not a presupposition. You want to claim your holy book is the final authority. Fine. Muslims do the exact same thing. Why is it that I should believe what you say about your holy book but I should not believe what the Muslims say about theirs?

If all you have is your own subjective viewpoint for defending the resurrection, you will not last when opposition comes your way. When I meet pastors like this now I have a simple wish to make of them. “Get out of the pulpit. We’re in a war and we don’t need people like you dragging us down. Give your office to someone who deserves it.”

You see, too many pastors are acting like there isn’t a battle going on. They still have this idea that all Christianity is supposed to teach us is how to be good people. Christ did not need to come just to teach us ethics. The people of the day could have got that from the philosophers of their time. Christ came to bring about the Kingdom of God. Note that. Kingdom. How many people out there think that you could belong in a Kingdom and not care about what you were to do for the King but only think about what the King was to do for you?

There is a culture war that is going on here in America. If you want to deny this, then you are quite simply a fool. There is an active homosexual agenda that’s wanting to silence your voice on the public square. Abortion has been around for 40+ years and we have seen the lives of millions of innocent babies claimed. The new atheist agenda is spreading like wildfire through the colleges and your students are going to encounter it. Muslims would be delighted to bring Sharia Law here to America.

There is not a question any more of if we and our children will face opposition. We will. There is only the question of how we would face it.

Picture if you had a son or daughter who had to take a job somewhere where you had concerns about them walking to their car in the parking lot. What are you going to do? You might ask the police to keep a watch on the area, but the police can’t be there 24/7. What else could you do? You might want to say “I’ll give my children mace” or “I’ll enroll them in a class so they can carry a concealed weapon” or “I’ll have them learn karate.” Why? You want your children to have a fighting chance if they come against enemy opposition.

Picture your having a son who goes into the military. You receive word from his officers that they are about to fly overseas and go and fight the enemy. You ask if your son has taken any courses in combat to prepare for this mission and you hear “Nah. We don’t think that’s really necessary. We figure if we just give them a gun that they’ll know enough to be able to protect themselves.” I suspect you’ll be calling your Congressman or Senator before too long if that’s the case.

Yet we want to send our children into the lions’ den regularly and do so without giving them basic protection in apologetics?

There’s a word for that.

That word is “Stupid.”

Some of you might say “Well my children aren’t going to college.” Okay. College isn’t for every person, but this is happening in high school! Opposition will be there and not just intellectual opposition, but moral opposition. You want your children to practice a Biblical sexual ethic. What reason will you give them? If you just have them say “The Bible says so”, their friends in high school who are not Christians and are sexually active will be more than happy to clear them of their delusions on the Bible. If that takes place, do you really think your assurances will be enough to overpower hormones? How many of you would have had that work with your parents?

Some of you might say you will home school your children. Fine. Do that. Keep in mind this reality however. Sooner or later your children are going to leave home and go off into the world. Are they going to be prepared or not? If not, you are one who will be held accountable, especially the fathers. The fathers are the main ones in Ephesians 5 who are to raise up their family and the only ones said to give an account for how the whole family turns out. I’m not at all saying mothers are unimportant in this. Mothers are vastly important. Fathers in the Biblical teaching however are called to be leaders of their family and to raise up their children well. If you’re reading this and a father, imagine how you will stand before God and give an account of how you raised your children. If they’re not equipped and they fall away, what account will you give?

The reality is that we can win this battle. I think of a certain person in apologetics who recently said about my position to reclaim academia “How do you plan on doing that in a nation under the judgment of God?” How? Simple. One battle at a time. How dare we abandon our intellectual heritage and give it right over to the enemy! This is especially the case with NT scholarship where Christians should be at their strongest. We have too often let the enemy dictate how the battle will be fought. No more.

In other battles, when Christians do something, results happen. When Chick-Fil-A Day came, Christians went in droves to their Chick-Fil-A stores and set records in fast food sales for that day. When Duck Dynasty was pulled from A&E, Christians started on their own a boycott page and called their cable companies and canceled. Cracker Barrel had decided to not carry Duck Commander material. They changed their mind on that quickly when Christians spoke up! When Suntrust decided to pull away from some men who were in support of traditional marriage, Christians immediately began going to their Facebook page and letting them know their discontent and began pulling their accounts. Before a day had passed, Suntrust changed their mind.

Christians WON all of these battles.

The problem is not that the church cannot win battles. The problem is that the church rarely shows up.

I have too often seen churches deny the need for apologetics training. I will go to churches regularly and offer them to come and work with them. It will be of no charge to them whatsoever! I would be delighted just to teach. 99% of the time the answer is that they don’t really need something like that. I always leave a church like that realizing the pastor is just deluding himself. As one of my mentors once told me “The pastor will call you back when his son comes home from college and announces he’s abandoned his faith.”

When we encounter those who abandon their faith, it is normally for foolish reasons. Also, it can be because too much emphasis was placed on a secondary doctrine instead of a primary, the resurrection of Jesus. The two biggest offenders in this category are young-earth creationism and inerrancy. In both cases, when someone finds a reason why these are called into question and they no longer believe them, everything else crumbles like a house of cards. If inerrancy or young-earth creationism are made the foundation for the Christian faith, we are setting ourselves up to fail.

Make no mistake. We are at war. We cannot be just playing games and getting pablum at church and expect to be able to fulfill the Great Commission in this day and age. Here in America, we have the best means to equip our people. There is no excuse for our being unprepared for the battle that awaits us. IF we who have been given so much ability to learn and spread the truth fail with it, we will all give an account before God of how we did.

I can only end with saying what Joshua said for how he would decide. Choose this day who you will serve but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Emotional Tyranny of Whiners

Did your fries come at the cost of a soul yesterday? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Yesterday, my family and I went to our Chick-Fil-A. If your situation was like mine, we had police cars out front guiding traffic and long long lines outside the door. We waited well over an hour in line. We were there for dinner and were told we might not have any nuggets by the time we got in. I understand that Dan Cathy tweeted Rick Warren saying they had record sales even before the time came for our service. We just helped add to it.

At the one I was at, I saw no hatred of homosexuals. I saw no animosity. I saw a lot of happy and smiling people. I was even able to witness a youth ministry taking place with a youth pastor teaching his students from Scripture in the parking lot? What was he teaching on? Bashing homosexuals? Not a word said about it. How to judge others? No. He was teaching them to remain sexually pure for marriage.

What a message of hatred!

Compare this to what Chick-Fil-A has received. They were villainized in the media and told they were anti-gay and opposed to equality. A boycott was called on them. Two cities said they would not welcome Chick-Fil-A into their city, an affront on free speech which the left has generally so very much valued.

Why did they get this?

Because Chick-Fil-A believes in the family.

Thus, in the name of tolerance, Chick-Fil-A was not tolerated. In the name of inclusion, Chick-Fil-A was excluded. In the name of love, Chick-Fil-A was regularly smeared. In the name of diversity, Chick-Fil-A was cast out.

A lot of Christians decided this was the last straw. Mike Huckabee called for people to go to Chick-Fil-A to show their support. No one forced this on us. We chose to do so freely. It was a great day for Christians to come together.

Some preferred not to.

Enter Rachel Evans.

Rachel wrote about feeling out of step with her faith. Notice that right at the start. This is about how Rachel feels. It is not about the truth of the matter. Is homosexuality right or wrong? Not discussed. As a Christian, what does Scripture say? Irrelevant. Should marriage be between a man and a woman only? Who cares?

Rachel wants to know if Christianity is all about eating a sandwich to prove a point.

No. Not at all, but that can go right in line with our Christianity. Christianity is about making Christ the Lord of your life. It is not about making your feelings the Lord of your life.

Rachel complains about having pictures shoved on Facebook in the face of homosexuals. Rachel. Let me remind you of how Facebook works.

Facebook is a social media where you can put up on your page your views and your opinions. No one is forced to look at it. If someone wants to unfriend me because of my stances, then that will be their choice. Are you wanting to say that I should not put my opinion up on my own Facebook page? I don’t know about you, but I would hope my friends are better than that and if they break with me on that point, well they weren’t really much of friends to begin with.

Keep in mind the homosexual community has been in our faces. One can hardly watch a TV show without having homosexuality treated like normal, especially in the program being advertised during the Olympics, The New Normal. Keep in mind some homosexual groups are planning a kiss-in for Chick-Fil-A. This is where homosexual couples will come in and publicly kiss each other in front of the clientele of Chick-Fil-A.

Somehow, I doubt Rachel will be complaining as much about that.

Now let’s look at what else Rachel says that will show us where she’s coming from.

“Suddenly, my religion is alien to me—small, petty, reactive. My faith has lost its bearings. I don’t feel like praying anymore, not even for the mom who begged me to pray for her gay son who vowed yesterday never to return to church again.

Can I blame him? Perhaps it is better if he stays away.”

Yes. Our religion is being small and petty. We only have the sacred institution of marriage that is the foundation of our society and celebrates the love we have for the most important person in our lives being under attack! How dare we stand up for the institution of marriage we believe was designed by God Himself in this way!

Rachel doesn’t feel like praying. Tough! I don’t feel like praying a lot of times and I do it anyway. When I wake up in the morning, I read Scripture first. Sometimes, I don’t feel like doing it, but I do it. I don’t feel like loving my neighbor a lot of times. I don’t feel like loving the Mrs. sometimes. I don’t feel like honoring God sometimes.

I cannot live my life based on feelings. Somehow, when I stand before the throne of God, when He asks me why I didn’t do X, I don’t think saying “I didn’t feel like it,” will cut it. “Why did you not love your fellow man that time?” “Well Lord, I just didn’t feel like it.” “Oh my! You should have said so earlier! I’m so sorry for you! All is forgiven!”

The next section from Rachel will clinch the point.

“I am hanging by the tips of sweaty fingers on this ledge of faith, wondering if letting go will bring freedom or death. I’ve hung on before—through the science wars, the gender wars, the Christmas wars, the culture wars—but I’m just so tired of fighting, so tired of feeling out of place. ”

Yes everyone. People went to Chick-Fil-A and Rachel considers apostasizing from the one who is to be called King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In this, Rachel is guilty of idolatry and needs to repent. She has not asked the question of if God exists. She has not asked the question of if Jesus rose from the dead. She is not asking if Jesus is the God-man. She is looking and saying “Christians went to Chick-Fil-A! Christians stood up for what they believed in! Some people were hurt!”

If you’re hurt by someone getting a chicken sandwich, get over it.

Reality is that we all get hurt most every day. I am married and happen to live next door to my folks with my aunt and uncle being my other neighbors. Even in a close-knit community like this, we all can hurt each other at times. It happens. Sometimes it’s intentional. Sometimes, it’s unintentional.

What we cannot do is be forced to walk on eggshells because someone’s feelings might be hurt. We will not sacrifice truth in the temple of feelings.

Rachel is a whiner engaging in emotional tyranny. She is saying that because of what happened, she is tempting to give up. Because a homosexual person was hurt, she is considering not taking a stand for Christian sexual principles.

And this is a form of tyranny.

This is what whining does. It makes the rest of the world your emotional hostages. You are not allowed to say or do anything because that might hurt someone’s feelings and they will hold you personally responsible for that. It’s so odd. When we were growing up, most of us were told to not pay attention to people who called us names and to learn to ignore and move on.

I somehow think that that principle can still work today.

Rachel. Jesus told us all that if we love anyone more than Him, we are not fit to be a disciple of His. For me, that means if I love my own wife more than Jesus, my wife who I am commanded to love and to be willing to lay my life down for, if I do not love Him more than her, I have no right to be His disciple.

His call is severe. It is serious. It is lifelong. It is not based on feeling. It is based on the identity of Jesus as king of the universe.

If you say you are not sure if you can hold on because some people offended homosexuals, then you are more concerned about offense to the cause of homosexuals than you are about offense to the cause of Jesus Christ.

That’s why I say to repent.

Now if you see this, you will not like it. You will cry about it. You could label me as someone who hates. You can go ahead and do that all you want, but it will not change the reality. The reality is Jesus Christ must be Lord of your life and you are not to hold the rest of the world hostage to your emotions as you are being held hostage by the homosexual community. God gave you a mind. Use it.

Does that mean ignore feelings altogether? No. Feelings will not tell you the truth about right or wrong. Feelings will tell you only about yourself. If you want to know about the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality or SSM, you need to look at those topics.

Rachel ends her piece with the passage about Jesus saying that He will give rest and decides she can maybe hold on for one more day.

Thus, the emotional tyranny continues.

Rachel. I am not your parent. I am not responsible for how you feel. If you abandon Christianity, you cannot blame me. It is your choice. Don’t dare hold the rest of the world hostage to your emotions. Don’t make us responsible. When you stand before God, you will give account for what you have done as will I. You can say I was a mitigating factor in your apostasy as were others, but it will have been your choice. There will be no partiality before the greatest judge of all.

Remember, the blame game began in the Garden of Eden. It did not work then. It won’t work now. It will not work in the future.

Take control of your own life. Realize what right and wrong is. Don’t be a slave to the emotions of everyone else around you and don’t be a slave to the emotions that are within you. There is nothing wrong with having emotions but there is wrong with emotions having you.

You want to show love to the homosexual? By all means do that! I encourage that! Don’t hesitate to call sin, sin however. I can love the homosexual, but I will not tolerate sin in the name of love. That is not love. I will not change the institution of marriage to make it be what it is not. That is a denial of reality and again, it is not love.

Remember Rachel, if your love for God is not first, it will put all others love out of place in life. Nothing will really fit. If you are more concerned about the heart of homosexuals than the heart of God, you will have a problem. It’s the same for the most important relationships we have. If I put my wife before God or she puts me before Him, our marriage will have problems. If I put my parents or friends before God, there will be problems.

Jesus came to give rest, but it was not rest from emotional struggles. That would have made no sense. It was rest from having to do everything exactly right as the Pharisees did. It does not mean the way of Christ is easy. If anything, Jesus raised the bar. Yet despite that, Jesus gives rest in that He fulfills His promises to us if we remain faithful to Him.

Rachel. It’s time to put your emotions in the right place. Don’t hold the rest of the world hostage to them and don’t hold yourself hostage to them. Grow up and take charge for yourself without having to bend the halo to please everyone.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Rachel’s blog can be found here.

Chick-Fil-A Day

Ready to go support the cause? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Today is what we call Chick-Fil-A Day. It is a day where we will go to our local Chick-Fil-A’s in response to the animosity they have received for their views on the family. Please note this at the start. Chick-Fil-A is not anti-gay. They are pro-family. There is a huge difference and the claim of anti-gay is made to make them sound like they are in opposition to people as people. No. They just think the unit of the family as it happens to be described in the Bible is that which God intended and they support that.

My family and I will be going this evening. Now I personally with my strange Aspie tastes have never really cared for chicken. I could probably just have fries and an ice cream tonight. Still, I am going with my family because I happen to love the family unit and I happen to love marriage. Those of us who are married say that we will do anything for our spouses. Yet when someone takes a stand against the union that is to demonstrate the greatest love a man and a woman can have for each other, we often sit by strangely silent. That love is unlike any other, one reason being that all things being equal, that love can result in new life.

We’re often told we’re guilty of hate. I’m going to surprise readers and say for me, I am guilty as charged. I hate the attacks on the family unit. I hate the downgrading of marriage. I hate that businesses are being told to be quiet as long as they don’t walk the line. I hate that just because I have a strong conviction on these matters, I am automatically to be labeled as a homophobe or a bigot.

The reality is, everyone hates. We have to because we love. IF you love something, you will hate that which is in opposition. Our opponents hate that homosexuals are not allowed to marry. They claim to hate intolerance. They are doing this because they do not like the way things are. Notice that I have stated in the things that I hate that I have not included persons in that. I have said there are behaviors I hate. I’m honestly not sure if the other side can say the same towards us. For all the time we spent hearing about love and tolerance for decades, that is suddenly gone. For anyone wanting to see evidence of this, I recommend just checking Twitchy.

We should also be opposed to cities like Boston and Chicago wanting to restrict a business from being built just because of disagreements on beliefs. This can get us easily into a totalitarian position. For instance, I am opposed to the Muslim faith entirely, yet if the Muslims want to build a mosque in our community, I will defend their right to build a mosque. They have the freedom of worship. They can peaceably come together with other Muslims. This is their right. I will defend it.

If a homosexual business that was within legal rights was being built, we should also defend its right to exist. We do not have to support it of course, and that much is fine. A company is free to build a business but no one is obligated to support that business. If you do not support Chick-Fil-A, then stay away. You do not have to come there and you do not have to make purchases from Chick-Fil-A. I can defend the rights of a homosexual business to exist, but I also have the rights to not give a single penny of my money to it.

For the homosexual community wanting to support Boston and Chicago, be careful. If the tables ever turn, what will you say? If those you oppose got power, what could you say if they decided to restrict your businesses from opening up or say that your opinion was not to be allowed? This is where we get to true tolerance. Tolerance is not telling the other side to be quiet because they disagree. Tolerance is in respecting the rights of the person you disagree with while disagreeing with their ideas.

For those of us who are going out today, enjoy your day, but remember that there is much more at stake than Chick-Fil-A. Seek to learn what you can about the issues. Most importantly, if you want marriage to be treated as sacred, then you make sure that you are treating your own marriage as sacred.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

General Mills Vs. Boston

What does a cereal company have to do with the capital of Massachusetts? Find out on Deeper Waters.

We’re taking a break from our look at the law to discuss a hot topic going on today. Not too long ago, some companies like General Mills came out in favor of homosexual marriage and this caused an outcry from several Christians and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) leading to a boycott of General Mills and other companies.

Immediately, the blogosphere was ablaze with the imbecility supposedly of Christians doing something like this. Even on the Failblog one would see entries asking about how many other things would be boycotted because of the position of General Mills. Obviously, Christians were just dumb for doing what they did.

The reality of this situation is that Christians who want to do this are simply living according to their principles. Most people who believe in tolerance would agree that it would be wrong to force someone to do something that they deem to be immoral. Of course, if they say otherwise, one wonders what kind of tolerance they have when they believe they should force their opinions on others.

Enter Chick-Fil-A. Chick-Fil-A is known to be a company built on Christian principles. You will not find a Chick-Fil-A open on a Sunday. Chick-Fil-A has also been accused of being in support of traditional marriage. Before going on, let’s take a look at the way the debate is framed.

Chick-Fil-A is said to be in opposition of marriage equality. If you oppose homosexual marriage, you oppose said equality. This is fallacious however as it assumes that the opponents are people who oppose equality and we see equality as a good quality to have. Who would want to oppose it?

Now when I meet someone who claims an inequality, I ask how my marriage rights differ from someone who is homosexual. This is the response I get.

“You have the right to marry the person you love!”

Well, not necessarily.

Before some of you might start panicking, let me assure you I have not made a statement that says anything about the love I have for my Mrs. I have made a statement rather about the rights that I have. Let’s see what my rights are as a heterosexual.

I can marry someone of the opposite sex.
I can marry someone who is of age.
I cannot marry a close relative.
I must marry a human.
I cannot marry more than one person.

As it stands, the person I love falls into that criteria.

Here are the rights of a homosexual.

They can marry someone of the opposite sex.
They can marry someone who is of age.
They cannot marry a close relative.
They must marry a human.
They cannot marry more than one person.

Looking at the lists, the rights are identical. Now the homosexual community says that they are not allowed to marry the person they love, which is someone of the same sex. I agree. They cannot. The reality is that I cannot marry someone of the same sex either and I cannot force a change just by saying “I love them!” If I claimed to love my mother sexually, it does not mean that I should therefore have the right to marry her.

So the idea of marriage equality is just wrong. There is a different right that is desired. At this point however, we can just ask why we should not change any of the other rights. It could be that we will be told no one is campaigning for those rights now. So what if they are? What do we do then? By what criteria do we not grant them those rights that allows for homosexuals to marry someone of the same sex?

Anyway, to get back to where we were, some who think Chick-Fil-A has taken a wrong stance have also decided that they want to boycott Chick-Fil-A. Upfront, I think that is just fine. That is what their moral belief is and they have the right to act according to that belief. If they think Chick-Fil-A deserves to be condemned in this endeavor, then by all means let them speak with their pocketbook. We can speak about the rightfulness or wrongfulness of such a position, but we cannot say the action of a personal boycott is automatically wrong.

Now recently, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A has come out with a statement in regard to their stance of being for traditional marriage and has said that they are guilty as charged. I find it interesting in this that someone who believes in traditional marriage is meant to automatically be seen as a bigot. He is not speaking out against something so much as he is speaking for something.

Now because of this, a different factor has entered the equation. Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston, is moving to block Chick-Fil-A from opening a restaurant in Boston. Now when NOM went against General Mills, it was a personal boycott. Right now, Menino is doing a political action to make his case.

What do I not expect to see happen? I do not expect that the people who mocked Christians for their boycott will go after Menino for not just boycotting but actively blocking the business of Chick-Fil-A. A look at Twitchy shows that there are comments that have this. (For those who don’t know, Twitchy is a service that shows comments on Twitter in response to various news items)

Instead, what we are seeing is that Menino is proudly standing up for those who are being discriminated against. This is in fact Menino’s reason. He does not want a business that discriminates in his city. The problem is Menino is confusing persons with behaviors and in fact, his position is dehumanizing.

You are not a behavior walking around. You are a person. You are a person who happens to do whatever behaviors might be discussed. Menino’s actions instead define persons by their behaviors. It claims that persons must perform with such and such a behavior and they cannot avoid otherwise. With regard to homosexuality, a person must perform sex in a homosexual manner and they cannot do otherwise.

Now we could write endlessly about whether someone can change from homosexuality to heterosexuality. I’ve read of enough stories of that happening that I think they can, but let us suppose for the sake of argument that they cannot. Does it follow that a person who is homosexual must partake then of homosexual sex? No more than a person who is heterosexual must partake of heterosexual sex, unless you want to make the case be that heterosexual people have self-control and homosexual ones don’t.

Can that be difficult? Of course, but would someone deny that it is also difficult for a heterosexual person to not engage in heterosexual sex outside of parameters they believe that it is permissible, such as within marriage? (If anyone does not think it possible, I can tell them my wife and I were virgins until our wedding night) Sexual temptation is difficult for most anyone.

Now if someone does not eat, that someone will starve. If someone does not breathe, they will suffocate. If someone does not drink, they will dehydrate. There are things we have to do individually to survive. Sexual behavior is not like that. You will not find an autopsy anywhere that lists cause of death as “Did not have sex.”

Now of course, as a whole, the species must engage in sexual intercourse to survive, but we are quite fortunate that it seems that most men and women don’t really need encouragement to get together and make babies. We don’t see any reason to think the human race will soon die out due to a lack of babies coming, although abortion might make us wonder in the future.

And to be even more specific, no one needs to engage in homosexual sex in order for the species to survive. If no one ever had homosexual sex, the species would still get along just fine. It is something like this that makes me wonder why it is that so many atheists want to rush to defend homosexuality? One would think that from an evolutionary perspective, it doesn’t do much to bring about the fitness of the species.

At any rate, we can think of terms that describe our behavior like vegetarian or homosexual or baseball player or anything like that. We would not want any of those to be our whole identity. Behavior is an aspect of persons but not a definer of persons.

Hence, Menino’s position is really dehumanizing as it makes homosexuals be identified by their behavior. If saying marriage should not be changed is discriminatory, then what is anyone to say about people who are homosexual as well and want marriage to stay the same?

Furthermore, for all his talk about discrimination, Menino’s position is discriminatory. He has set up which businesses he will allow in his city, those who agree with him, and has set up which ones he will not allow, those who do not agree with him.

Of course, he could be right in his position, but let us not make the mistake of saying that he is not discriminating. In fact, he is also discriminating against a population, something he says he is against. He is discriminating against the population that believes marriage should stay what it is and that we should act to protect it.

Now we often hear from the homosexual community about how we should be tolerant and open of other opinions. Apparently, that means people who believe in traditional marriage should be open to being wrong, but people who are for homosexual marriage do not have to be open to being wrong. Tolerance in this case is never a two-way street. Will we see tolerance coming from the other side? Doubtful. This decision will be celebrated while at the same time the decision to boycott General Mills will be mocked.

Ironically, it is the marriage side that is practicing true tolerance. We are saying General Mills has every right to say what they think is true. Meanwhile, we have every right to not buy their products if we choose. Menino on the other hand is saying that not only is Chick-Fil-A wrong, he will not have a discussion with them. He is just going to block them and use the force of his political power to not let anyone in his city enjoy their products.

Ah. The loving tolerance once again that is being expressed. But what do we know? We’re just bigots who need to be more tolerant.

In Christ,
Nick Peters