Picking Up The Pieces of Chick-Fil-A-Gate



To this point, I don’t believe I have ever directly referenced the fact that I am a Christian. This is not because I am trying to hide it or am embarrassed by it, but because that is not the point of this blog. While my faith is the filter for every aspect of my life, this blog is a homemaking blog, and my aim is to provide food for thought, advice, and embarrassing anecdotes from my life as a wife, mother and homemaker. While many of our readers are followers of Christ as well, there are readers of this blog who do not put themselves in that category, and they need to read about the ridiculous messes my kids get themselves into and my advice on what gear should outfit their kitchen as much as the next guy. It’s my belief that bringing every post back to my faith convictions will lead to 4smartypants only reaching people in the same camp, and there are plenty of those blogs out there already. (Not to discredit any such blogs, but that simply is not the purpose of THIS blog.)

That being said, it is with much fear and trepidation that I put this post out there on the interwebs. I am greatly saddened by the events of August 1st. As I watched my newsfeed yesterday, my heart grew heavier and heavier. I am trying ever so hard to choose my words very carefully with regard to this situation, because there are so many people whom I love dearly who fall on each side of Chick-Fil-A-Gate, and I don’t want anyONE of them to feel attacked or degraded by my feelings about it.

The sweet 19 year old kid who lives next door to us is an aspiring musician. He is not just aspiring, the guy’s got chops. This kid is good. He has played some of his recent recordings for us and they are really impressive. (As a stay-at-home mom, I rarely get to use my hard-earned bachelor degree, so I’m going to tout my credentials at this juncture and point out that my opinion is a professional opinion, as I have a degree in music. That felt good to say, thanks for letting me get that out.) In fact, a record company is currently working with him and I believe that before too long, everyone will be hearing his music on the radio. And I’ll have my autographed copy and be able to say, “That guy was our neighbor!” You will likely be jealous of my brush with fame. He is a really sweet kid and he adores his younger brother. He is very good to his momma, who is a hard-working single mom trying to finish nursing school while working 3 jobs. It’s taken about a year to learn this much about him and to get to the point that he feels comfortable coming over to our house. I believe this is because my husband is a church planter (if you don’t know what that means, he is a pastor who is working to begin new churches) and the kid next door is gay. Right off the bat we were at a disadvantage in trying to get to know our neighbor, because the interactions he’s had with christians to this point have lead him to the conclusion that living next door to a pastor is a hostile environment for him.

The thing is, he is a REAL PERSON. In the last few days as I’ve observed the Facebook traffic regarding Dan Cathy’s statement and the recoil from officials in a couple of big cities and the outpouring of support from the christian community, I’ve had a lot of thoughts/reactions/feelings. I’ve composed status updates, only to hit “share” and then delete the post 2 minutes later in hopes the fewest number of people possible saw it before I removed it from the feed. I’ve written heated comments on other peoples’ posts, only to hit “cancel” before going through with my protest to their musings. But I have wondered at every point, “How aware are my fellow christians that their reaction is affecting REAL PEOPLE?”

In all honesty, I have no qualms with the statement made by Mr. Cathy. I do believe in the right to free speech. And in his defense, he was ASKED what he thought. He was put on the spot, and he gave his honest answer. The thing that is breaking my heart over the issue is the solidarity with which christians rose up to defend him in response to the call for a boycott. It was like believers didn’t even need to think twice about taking their stand. I am a big fan of standing up for what you believe in, but I am also a big fan of thinking twice, especially when there is enough time to do so before acting. And there was. There were several days between to call to observe Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day and the day in question. But that time seemed to only garner more and more support from the christian community, rather than cause christians to stop and count the cost.

The problem I face is that I KNOW so many of these people who proudly made their stand yesterday, and I know their hearts. They are good, wonderful people, whom I have loved for years. They are people who have been good, and kind and generous to me and my family. I know that when they spent 3 hours waiting for a chicken sandwich in the heat yesterday, it was because they felt they were either A: defending Dan Cathy’s constitutional right to freedom of speech, or B: defending family values in America. I sincerely don’t question their motives. But I am COMPELLED to say something. (At this point in the blog post, if you are not a christian, you may want to skip ahead. This is directed at those readers who share my faith and are bound by the same convictions.) Where do we get the notion that we are entitled to a government that supports our beliefs? What has given us the idea that whether or not the people of our nation AGREE with what we hold true, they should be forcibly bound to uphold our values? How on earth is THAT biblical? And what’s more, if we were truly concerned with defending “family values,” we would be FIGHTING TOOTH AND NAIL anything and anyone that advocates DIVORCE, because that is a force that is doing FAR MORE to destroy family values than gay marriage. Where is the solidarity on that front?! I’ll tell you where it is, it’s nowhere, because each of us has loved ones (or ourselves, even) who have faced that ugly giant, and we’d rather pretend that we’ve forgotten divorce is wrong that to confront it. If you believe that God defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, then how does the American government recognizing marriages between 2 men or 2 women affect you? It doesn’t!! If God defines something, you have no reason to feel threatened by anyone else’s definition of it. As far as you’re concerned it’s just a formality that allows certain legal rights to 2 people. We were never promised that the laws of our country would reflect our spiritual convictions. Why do you feel so entitled to that? We were actually told to expect things to be difficult for us, but we throw whiny fits everytime everyone doesn’t want to do things our way.

The biggest problem that comes from this mess is this: we are out of line. Yes, freedom of speech is our RIGHT. No, Dan Cathy was not in the wrong. But we overstepped our boundary when we made it about defending him. Because in doing so we flip-flopped the order of importance. If we believe what the bible says, then we know we are here for a purpose. There is a reason for our existence, WE HAVE A MISSION and it is love. There is no tiny bit of the love of Christ that was shown to the world yesterday as a result of our actions. Instead, we showed a group of hurting, dejected children of God that “You were right, christians are more concerned with their rights than with loving you.” You know how the saying goes, “They will know we are christians by our incessant demand for our rights.” I remember one guy from the bible who found himself being horribly mistreated and sentenced to his death unjustly, and not once did he say, “That’s not fair! What about my rights?! You can’t do this to me!” Because he LOVED more than he cared about his rights.

Yesterday, christians all across America chose to stand for their rights above pursuing their mission. And the message was received loud and clear. When we put rights above mission, our mission fails. And defending our rights isn’t even close to why we’re here. Priorities, people. I’m all for defending our rights as long as it doesn’t compromise our mission. And now we are left with an even longer road to travel if we hope to even have the chance to show the love of Christ to those hurt by our “stand” yesterday.

And now I can’t enjoy a Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Chick-Fil-A at least until the dust settles for fear one of my gay friends will think I’m making a statement to them by doing so. What about me? What about my rights to a freaking awesome chicken sandwich? Thanks a lot.

So I gather that a lot of people went to bed last night, proud of their contribution. And while I know in my heart that they are wonderful people who love Jesus, I am now left to clean up their mess. There’s a REAL PERSON next door whom I hope will still talk to us and not assume that the pastor living next to him is in the same camp as the hoards who chose defending rights over loving people yesterday.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Picking Up The Pieces of Chick-Fil-A-Gate

  1. Rick

    I wrote a very long response and it disappeared when I tried to post it.

    I will try again later. Good blog.

  2. Renea

    Love, love, love this! We often get so wrapped up in the “goings on” that we forget about loving REAL PEOPLE,

  3. Terri

    Great blog post! In my 52 years on this earth, I don’t ever recall a more fervent response by Christians to an issue – not to abortion, not to divorce, not to child abuse, not to the slaughter and starvation of so many around the world. How ironic that a chicken sandwich would be the icon of this issue.

  4. Rick

    Here goes another try.

    Excellent blog. It raises a few questions. I agree that Christians who protest loudly about their rights being violated are fordeiting opportunties to be a witness in a powerful way. But, in a case like this how do we show support for a brother whom we believe a has been maligned and misprepresented in a horrible way? How do we do this without disenfranchising a whole segment of the population whom we have the responsibility to reach? If I had been treated like Dan Cathy I would whope my brothers and sister would find a way to show support and encouragement.

    Next, if I had gone to CFA yesterday it would have been to show my concern as an American. I would have made it clear that I was standing with the ACLU who, strangely enough, have put themselves in the postion of defending Mr. Cathy’s right to free speech. They have made it clear that any attempt by government officials to punish CFA for its president expressing a viewpoint would put those gov’t officials at risk of violating the constitution.

    Last, as I was considering all this the subject of tomorrow’s gay kiss-in at CFAs nationwide came to mind. There will surely be many outraged Christians who will see this as an opportunity to call down the wrath of God. I believe a good parallel to the kiss-in would be John 8 where the woman is caught in adultery. Jesus, who clearly knew this woman was sinning, chose to focus on the accusers. What would it do to the religious/Christian community if we did that?

    Just a thought.

  5. Rick

    Fordeiting = forfeiting

  6. thank you. Great post.

  7. Michael

    Wow, so completely missed the point. It is sad you bought into the propaganda that allowed someone else to define the issue as you are either for family values, or hurting someone who is gay. We as Christians need the discernment, and wisdom to see through lies like this. One can stand up for someone else who is being slandered and bullied – whether that is a Christian business leaders whose values are being forever tarnished by those who oppose them, and those not wise enough to realize they have been brainwashed into a forced false dichotomy, or whether one is standing up to value a person who is gay, or in some other way is being de-valued. I for one will vote for gay marriage, and stand up for family values and Chick-Fil-A. I will also refuse to be manipulated into somehow believing that I have to buy into the fact that my beliefs, or Dan Cathy’s actually hurt anyone to begin with.

    • Jonathan

      This response doesn’t make sense and is very vague. The author of the blog at no point defined the issue as simply standing up for family values or hurting someone. She said that when we take needless stands that show people we’ve got to have our rights rather than we’ve got to show people Love, we are missing the point. Did you even read the blog?

      What “Forced false dichotomy” are you referring to? A forced false dichotomy of love? You do realize that’s the dichotomy of Jesus, right? If you say you value taking a stand. What stand is that? Because you say you will vote for gay marriage, but then in the same sentence you say you stand up for family values and CFA. Seems awfully conflicted…

      Your last sentence is the best (worst?)! “I will also refuse to be manipulated into somehow believing that I have to buy into the fact that my beliefs, or Dan Cathy’s actually hurt anyone to begin with.” Are you seriously just going to ignore the fact that THOUSANDS (if not more) of people who are homosexual were hurt and pushed further away from the Love that every follower of Christ SHOULD be exemplifying? Whether you want to admit it or not, or whether is was Dan Cathy’s fault or not, people who we should be bring in closer to that Love was actually pushed much, much further away.

      Way to miss the entire point of the blog. Great job.

      • Michael

        Thanks Jonathan. I appreciate the reply.

        If I may, you actually demonstrated my point pretty well. The “false dichotomy” is this:


        One fully embraces and condones all views, (or remains completely silent).


        One “hurts” someone by not agreeing with their views, and saying so.

        I see nothing in your reply that leads me to believe that in your worldview you allow any other option? If I missed that then please enlighten me.

        When the media and activists seek to create this dichotomy and place everyone in one category or the other, then no real dialog can occur, and we see what happens. I have no issue with people protesting and using the market to try and influence who buys their products. Just like I have no issue with others who feel that protest is unfair and standing up in support. America is supposed to be a place where such peaceful demonstrations and dialog can and should occur.

        There are some facts the author seems to have overlooked though in my opinion. One, this company has been in business for a while (20 years or more?) and during that time has managed to employ, serve, and operate within all cultures, views and political ideologies (except for maybe vegans?) 🙂 You are not hearing about employment discrimination, refusing to serve customers, or anything of the sort. In fact if the CEO would have just kept his mouth shut (which you feel is the right thing to do?) then by all standards of American business, and company values like integrity and creating a positive working environment for families (closed on Sundays) what is there to attack? I mean maybe the fact the food is not the best for you?

        So, what this boils down to apparently, is that when he was ASKED by a Christian publication he stated his personal religious beliefs. When he had choices what to do with his money, he chose to give to pro-family groups. Is there anything illegal about this? Not in the slightest. Do I agree with all his views? Absolutely not! There is nothing contradictory about that.

        So what I was struck by in the blog is that the author seemed to me to be making a global statement condemning and judging those who chose to support what they likely perceived as an unwarrented personal attack on a man for stating Constitutionally protected religious views. Views that the majority of Americans support. I am sure that represented on both sides are people who are radically and sadly hateful on bath sides, but to paint everyone with that brush misses the point completely.

        The conclusion I draw on this issue is that Christians in general, the author specifically, have lost the entire concept of being salt and light. Jesus loved people unconditionally, but never shied away from the truth and a message that was at its core offensive. In fact he was killed for his views, so obviously they offended someone. Paul certainly taught to love each other, but also speak the truth in love. I came away with a different conclusion about Cathy; to put his words against the actions over 20 years of running his company and serving and employing all aspects of people and treating them well. When the reality of how he has treated people for decades is also considered then a different picture emerges. THAT picture is one that those attacking the company do not want even discussed. (Thus the forced false dichotomy!) The author in her desire to risk being offensive also missed the point that she can be both a loving and supporting neighbor, and be ok in being identified with fellow Christians, some of which she may not agree with.

        You may decide to ignore or disagree with my entire perspective, and while I feel badly that my seemingly paradoxical views of being supportive of gay civil unions and legal rights, and also supportive of Dan Cathy, is one you can’t quite grasp, perhaps its because I understand what tolerance actually means. Tolerance can only happen if someone disagrees with something, but supports or loves others anyway. Seems thats what Cathy’s life’s work demonstrates, even if his recent statements do not.

        Have a great evening!

    • Jonathan


      First, I want to say that I’m sorry for being disrespectful in my last post. I have a tendency to do that in writing. So, I apologize.

      Although, I also want to say that I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you’ve said except for one. Its the fact that you think the blog writing was trying to bash Dan Cathy or even CFA. She wasn’t. I’m not either. She (and I as well) fully acknowledges that Dan has run a successful and ethical business for nearly 45 years. She also understands that he was kind of backed into a corner. People asked him what his opinion was, and he answered honestly. The blog writer (I think, unless I misread or made it up in my head) even said that she would have said the same thing if she were in his position.

      So, what we are saying is that we don’t understand why so many Christian American’s have reacted the way they have. When I say reacted, I mean that they have blown this up into the most ridiculous proportions. Facebook posts shouting their unneeded cries of agreement is the main thing. Yes, its their constitutional right to do so. However I believe Jesus brought us to this earth to share the good new of Him so that, in the end, more of His creation would worship him. If order for us to share that gospel effectively, we have to love others beyond any level any of us have ever attempted before. It has to be extreme love, just like Jesus’.

      I also understand that Jesus also took a stand against things that were wrong, but if you look into those instances, they were the Pharisees. Never did he stand against a prostitute, he stood alongside them. Of course Jesus wanted them to end their live of prostitution, but he understood that he had to walk with them in what they were going through and not walk against them.

      The homosexual men and women of this nation, whether it was our intention or not, have been pushed further away. They feel that our Jesus has taken a stand against them. When really, both you and I know, that Jesus loves them more than anything else in the world. So by our mod mentally support of something, again, whether we intended it to or not, has sent a completely different message than has been our charge for the past 2,000 years.

      So really, I think that’s all we are trying to say. Those of us who have friends who are homosexual and not followers of Jesus, this has made if more difficult for us to show the Love of Jesus. Instead of seeing that Love, they are seeing yet another instance where Christians are lining up (at a chicken joint register) to come against them. We think we are showing our rights as American. Standing up for our beliefs. All they see is a line of steadfast resistance coming from a group of people who should be loving them the most.

      I hope I understood what you were saying, and that we can discuss this further.

      Again, sorry for my disrespectful post last night.

      • Jonathan

        Meant to say “mob mentality” not mod mentally in the fifth paragraph. Oops.

    • Dart


      Dan Cathy’s practices have hurt people. He has donated millions in dollars to registered hate groups. Organizations that spread lies and propaganda about homosexual people, organizations that host “pray the gay away” camps, which are not only proven entirely ineffective, but are extremely detrimental to the mental health of the young people subjected to them, and an organization that sponsored the “Kill the gays” bill in Uganda. The bill that would make homosexuality punishable by death…an organization funded by Chik-Fil-A was in favor of that. That’s genocide. Chik-Fil-A’s money went to a company that favored genocide of gay people.

      The only “propaganda” out there is the lie that this issue is about what Dan Cathy believes. It’s not. We don’t care about that. We care about the fact that the company has donated money to hate groups. Murderous, lying hate groups. People have tried to twist this issue to make it about free speech and turn Chik-Fil-A into a victim, but it’s not. It is not about that at all. Dan Cathy’s free speech was never threatened – never called into question.

  8. Jeanie

    My thought as a Christian is that we should all go to CFA tomorrow, too, and share the message of John 8 with those who show up to do the “kiss off” thing. Even though I am sure they won’t care about the message we are trying to share with them. Those who are so embedded in that lifestyle as to come out in public and be involved in trying to disrupt Mr. Cathy’s business by insulting him in such a way are mostly too hard of heart to even be interested in what Jesus had to say about repentance and being forgiven. The words “Go and sin no more” will have no meaning for them… so I will just go to Chick-fil-A tomorrow for supper and sit there and enjoy my meal and try to take up space in the local store so that there will be support for Mr. Cathy and the employees one more time.

    • Rick


      What about the other message of John 8? Do we have anything to say to those who would set themselves up as judges and guardians of societal morality, which is sometnhing Jesus never called us to do?

  9. This reminds me of something that happened in my home last week. My 15 yr. old was getting yelled at, I felt unjustly, by my husband. I became angry with him and started arguing with him about it. My son then got mad at me. I said, I was defending you! His response….Mom, you don’t have to defend me, I can defend myself. This shut me right up. I guess I wonder if we did Mr. Cathy a favor or created a mountain out of a mole hill. His poor staff must have felt overwhelmed yesterday. People wiped out his products. Was Mr. Cathy saying, “Thank you for the sentiment, but please don’t defend me”? I think our good intentions whipped us into a bit of a frenzy.

  10. Jeanie, I have to wonder if things like your suggestion might be a very large part of the reason for their hard hearts? How does this idea spread the message of the Gospel? Love, love, love. Regardless of thd condition of their hearts, love. Not revenge.

  11. I LOVE this post and am so thankful for it. I guess I’m glad this whole chickengate thing happened because a whole lot of my Christian friends and acquaintances have surprised me with their awesome responses to it. I’m all for free speech, separation of church and state, and family values. Family values are not the exclusive domain of the religious right.

    Also, isn’t the state of another person’s heart or soul between that person and God? I don’t think we should speculate on that, by saying someone has a hard heart and can’t hear the message of forgiveness. That’s incredibly harsh, isn’t it? Probably no one kissing at a Chick-Fil-A has hunted down Christians to execute them, but wasn’t that sort of Saul’s thing, before he became Paul? I think you’re getting into very dangerous territory when you’re saying someone is too hard of heart to “go and sin no more.”

    Love is the most important thing. I’m not even very good at that one simple little thing God has asked me to do. I know I am forgiven,and God’s grace and love extends even to someone like me. And I know what a scummy person I am, so if God can love and forgive me, I can’t imagine he’s condemning people just for being gay.

  12. I understand where you are coming from but you are forgetting that this is about more than just Mr Cathy. The overwhelming support for Chic Fil A wasn’t really about this one incident. It’s a shame that the writer of this blog couldn’t take into account the whole issue. Those of the silent majority in this country are tired of being bullied into thinking they are not allowed to speak. You are so worried that the boy next door might be offended that you have forgotten that the frustration shown shows how offended million of people are by being called “full of hated”, “biggotted”, “homophobic” etc every time they try to speak. Even more upsetting though, are elected officials like mayors and alderman trying to keep a company that has never denied service, employment or respect to any person, a chance to do business. There is no bigger bully than the government trying to silence the governed.

  13. doubleofive

    Wait, this was about free speech? I thought it was about supporting that CFA donates money to anti-gay marriage organizations and they wanted to make sure CFA had as much profit as possible to stop it. I had that all wrong then, didn’t I? Even if the support was for free speech, that’s not how the rest of the world sees it. They assume, as I did, that this was essentially an anti-gay rally.

    Good article, Steph.

  14. Heather

    Thank you for the well thought out, heartfully considered response to a polarizing situation.

  15. Thank you for eloquently putting into words what I’ve been trying to muster for days now. I didn’t go stand in line on Wednesday and I watched many of my Christian friends do just that and it made my heart heavy to think about what kind of message Christians are sending to the LGBT community. No wonder they hate us so much. Because we do things like this. We draw lines in the sand and make our stand on one side and shout “your morals are wrong!” when Jesus said our only job was to LOVE everyone. How will we win people for Christ with this behavior? We won’t.
    Christians want to look at themselves and cry out that society is persecuting their beliefs and values when we’re the ones who’ve encouraged the fire with our intolerant and judgmental actions.

  16. Kelly

    Wow, so your a pastors wife…… The problem in this country is that churches have gotten politically correct. A church isn’t a building it’s a congregation and many have forgotten that. It is all about not wanting to offend anyone. We have lost so much morality in this country and yes it boils down to much more than just being gay. We need preachers to not be afraid to preach the word of God and they are few and far between. You can repent for anything but when you repent you should turn away from that sin. How can you repent from being Gay if you continue to live that lifestyle.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I understand your feeling, but in light of those statements, what do you do with 1 Corinthians 5:12?

  17. Dani

    Hi, Let me just start off by saying that I agree with the blog wholeheartedly. I have friends on both sides of the gate too. In the midst of the CFA choas one of my friends found this quote, and I think it sums it up pretty well: “I think perhaps the accusations of hate are the Church experiencing the consequences of preaching moralism more than preaching Jesus.” — Jonathan Fletcher.

  18. Shelly

    Stephanie, your words are soooo what I have been thinking, but never took the time to write. Thanks for putting the words out there for all of us.

  19. Karen Shepherd

    There is so much here and so little time/space. Beginning with the aspiring musician and the pastor: hopefuly this would provide the opportunity for conversations of truth in love, and an ongoing demonstration that, as a Christian, we are not homophobic, bigoted, intolerant etc. But, that we do believe in a God that created us, knows what the “best” path is for us, and describes any deviation from that path as “sin”, which separates the sinner from God.
    Ten years ago, when I realized there really was a “homosexual agenda” which included total acceptance as well as marriage (this is clearly outlined in the book “After the Ball–How America will lose its fear and loathing of homosexuals” and which describes marginalizing Christians by using the above catch-phrases), I also began researching why God identified homosexuality as sin.
    By going to such controversial websites as the CDC and GLMA–the website used by homosexuals for health news–I discovered that there are many diseases associated with both lesbianism and homosexuality. I also found that even the homosexual activists who wrote “After the Ball” acknowledged that homosexuality was not in-born but ” seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence.” (quote from the book) But, then went on to explain that if this was publicly acknowledged Christians could open a “can of worms labeled moral choice and sin” and this was to be avoided–“And since no choice is involved, gayness can be no more blameworthy than straightness.”
    I write these things not because I hate homosexuality nor am I trying to “keep homosexuals down” by standing for traditional marriage, but because I can think of nothing more hateful than in supporting (or standing silently by) as laws are put into effect that separates a person from God.
    The same-sex marriage law affects people during their life-time on earth. Aren’t we to not cause others to stumble because of our concern for their eternal life? To stand by God’s biblical words and warn of judgment–just as the Israelites were repeatedly warned (then punished when they also turned away)is not hateful, it’s truthful. And, isn’t it then up to us to have these discussions with others in a loving way, but not turning away from the truth.
    We have been lied to by the media. Very little research led me to discover the facts I’ve outlined. But, do you also know that sexual-orientation can be changed with up to a 70% succes rate? And, are you aware that changing God’s definition of marriage has already opened the doors to other groups and arrangements wanting “marriage’? Research “polyamory.” But also glance over the NAMBLA website–which stands for the North American Man Boy Love Association, and which openly pushes form legalization of sex between men and boys.
    If you consider what I’ve written as hateful and able to turn people away from God, I am truly sorry. I did not stand in line at Chick-fil-A because there are none in my area, but I do undestand why so many did; we are tired of standing silently by as pornography, abortion etc destroy our families and our countries and this was one public moment when we could say so in a respectful manner.
    For the haters who tweeted hateful things about homosexuals–shame on you! For those at Chick-fil-A who continued to treat all people with respect and dignity–thank you.

  20. Karen, I appreciate the gentle attitude with which you commented. I love that we can bring differing thoughts to the table without being ugly.
    I have chosen not to speak my specific views on homosexuality in this post, as I fear this would become a different topic, altogether. Much of your post regards a very specific side if thd line, and I don’t want to discuss this side or that here. I will say this: any conviction my husband and I have about actions and behaviors that constitute sin, we don’t believe we can impose those on strangers. Anything like that should come from the heart of a loving friend (unless we are asked by someone what we believe about their actions). We have to earn the right to speak into someone’s life voluntarily. Why should someone who doesn’t know that we first love them be open to our stance on their rightness or wrongness? But we also believe that we shouldn’t become friend’s with them for the purpose of earning that right. So, we love our neighbor because he is a child of God, created in His image. We love because we have been loved. No hidden agenda. And we build relationships, but we allow Christ to convict. We pray to be open to the Spirit’s leading, and should he want to use us to speak specific truth to our neighbor, we are willing. But if we try and take matters into our own hands, we will drive him away and solidify in his poor heart what he already thinks of Christians. For now, my job is to love him, and until I head otherwise, that’s my focus. I trust that God has a plan and He will nudge me if He wants.

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