One of the responsibilities of Pastors is to lead in repentance. A friend of mine recently pointed out to me that what I wrote below was uncharacteristically uncharitable and censorious. He was right. I’m sorry. And here’s the deal. I’ve deleted a large portion of this, not because I think what I wrote is incorrect but because even if it is correct, this isn’t the way to express disagreement or even offer a reproof. This kind of approach simply causes distress and offers no appeal to our better angels. I apologize. Pray I’ll do better.
When I wrote it, I was distressed over the way far-left cancel culture was pressuring Christian agencies and businesses (and others too) to conform to their vision of reality or pay the consequences. That kind of activity still concerns me, but what concerns me most is the log in my own eye. It pains me that I wrote words more characterized by anger and snark than by Gospel hope. Weirdly, I invoked a form of cancel culture to condemn cancel culture. So, I get to repent of a lack of Christlikeness but also get to confess to being, well, stupid. Forgive me.
This is about the Salvation Army and the people who so hate what it believes that it will seek to cripple its ability to help the most poor and marginalized of people, regardless of what those people believe.
It is not about Chicken or about whether a corporation can do what it wants within the law with the funds that are theirs to steward.
It is about a popular myth. That myth is that Christian organizations which do great good in the community will be left alone by those who cannot abide their traditional Christian stands on sexual ethics; that their great service will gain them at least grudging respect and acceptance by those who disagree with them on that one issue because the work they do is so vital to so many hurting people. Recent events suggest that just isn’t so.
If the Salvation Army is the ‘enemy’ and can be treated as a pariah by corporate America – by Chick-Fil-A, no less! – then not a single Christian individual or organization should remain under the slightest illusion that some amount of mercy ministry will be enough to establish it as ‘safe’ or ‘good’ in the emerging cultural tyranny.
Nope. You don’t get a pass from the haters just because you house the homeless, feed the hungry, shelter the abused and abandoned, and help the addicts. If you maintain Christian moral teaching on sexuality as your standard, you’re out.
The Salvation Army cares for all, regardless of religion, the lack thereof, gender (fluid or otherwise), or who a person’s preferred sexual partner may be. If you’re homeless, hungry, naked, or an addict, they’ll do their level best to do as Jesus commanded and love you in word and deed.
That’s enough for some people. It appears that unless the Salvation Army abandons its own doctrine on marriage and sexuality for its own members, it is worthy only of being savagely attacked, scorned, and defunded.
Which brings me to the myth I hear many espouse.
Some Christians seem to think that all of the do-gooding will gain them street-cred. Get over that nonsense. Get ready for a fresh hot lesson in what Paul actually meant by ‘I am not ashamed…’ in a society that viewed everything he said and did with disdain and heaped shame on him and his tribe.
The loving our neighbor mission will NEVER be abandoned by the Church – loving every singe neighbor no matter what – but don’t be confused about the purpose of obeying the commandment. That purpose is:
* God’s glory
* Our Neighbor’s Good
* Bearing witness to Love in an angry, divisive, tribal society
It is NOT to convince the powers that we’re ‘OK’.
Let me be clear: Jesus was and is perfect love and they hated him for it. They killed him for it. They hated him without a cause. They’ll hate you too for all of the same invalid reasons.
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