Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-Fil-A, A Hot Van, and the Key to Marriage

The Van Was Super Hot, and We Were Hungry!
I was sitting in a hot van in the intersection of Highway 98 and Capital Boulevard in Wake Forest North Carolina. The mission? Lunch at Chick-Fil-A. No air conditioning in this vehicle, so this was a big sweaty deal. We, like many of the patrons choking the right of way on the road were waiting in line to make a statement to our political leaders, our fellow citizens and the world. Our motivations varied, with some voicing interest in our right to free speech, some standing on the standard for biblical marriage, and others who would follow Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee if they told them to jump off a bridge. Whatever their motivations, the people came out in force, wrapping lines around the restaurant, and flowing through the drive through like a line of army ants carrying away a picnic lunch. 

Like Moths to a Flame
It was easy to be impressed by the sheer volume of people engaging in this statement. In the end, I wondered, what is the point? What do we expect to accomplish by eating a chicken sandwich besides putting on a few extra calories? I don’t intend to take anything away from this demonstration of unity, but it does make one wonder how far many of these same people would go if we took out the act of buying a chicken sandwich, and inserted the act of speaking to a political official about the definition of marriage? What about sitting down with an active homosexual, and sharing the Christian faith? Would people still line up in droves to stand up for what they believe in. Pondering these things left me with a few nuggets of wisdom. People invest in a cause in proportion to their understanding of it’s worth, and the burden they feel of it’s weight. So, if standing up for the truth only costs me $8.75 and I get to enjoy a chicken sandwich on top of it, it’s doesn’t take much reflection on my part to decide if Biblical marriage is worth standing up for. One can have a peripheral understanding of marriage, and see all of their church buddies flocking to Chick-Fil-A, and get a cheap way out of a rather weighty issue, if it stops there. 

Nuggets of Wisdom
Marriage is a foundational institution in the Christian faith. It’s not peripheral, it’s not a sidebar, it’s not a subject that can be chalked up to, “whatever floats your boat”. Some people think that marriage is all about our happiness, or our need for companionship, but it is so much deeper than that. The Bible teaches us that a husband unites to his wife to paint us a picture. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:31-32 ESV) If marriage is redefined, or re-ordered, or made about our own selfishness, it’s as good as throwing paint thinner all over the picture that God has painted for us. He is showing us by our marital union how his relationship with His bride, the Church, works. Without Christ and the Church, we lose the meaning behind a wife submitting to her husband, and a husband can easily become a misogynist, or the wife can easily liberate herself into a broken relationship. Without the understanding of Christ and the Church, we lose the meaning behind a husband’s sacrificial love for his wife, and a wife can become overbearing, and a husband turns into a shell of a man, lacking in stability and purpose. But with the understanding of the blessed union of man and wife as a picture to the world of Christ and His Church, the definition of marriage carries more weight, and should burden those who are standing up for the Truth. With two wives, or two husbands, The Holy picture is totally lost, and a new picture of selfishness is painted.

What's a Christian to Do?
Should you go buy a chicken sandwich and take a stand for marriage? Absolutely. But it shouldn’t end there. With such an important issue at hand, and the foundations of the family being eroded away by every wind of understanding, much must be invested in its defense. The state must understand that it has no business in the definition of marriage. The only marriage that exists is that as it is defined by it’s creator, and it remains legitimate not because it is recognized by our lawmakers, but because it is ordained by the ultimate authority. 
I leave you with a few questions:

  • With such a precious picture at stake, what will you invest to stand up for it?
  • With such a weighty issue at hand, how much time will you spend with those who don’t understand?
  • If you don’t think it is such a big deal, can you be sure that you take the Bible as seriously as you ought?

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