A Note on Love and Chic-fil-a

By Jeremy Gulley

When the cop arrived at My Father’s House, a homeless shelter in Paola where I volunteer, I was shocked to find out he was there for me. What unfolded afterwards was equally surprising.

See, I was negatively profiled this week. On Monday I paid for my gas at the pump at a station across from the shelter. I did not get a receipt, because I never do – I just write down the amount and move on (less paper to waste). Then I went inside where my family was purchasing drinks, poured myself a cup of coffee, paid for the coffee, and went across the street to the shelter.

Twenty minutes later I was being escorted back across the street by a police officer and accused of skipping out without paying. I asked the obvious questions – why did the gas pump allow me to pump gas if the card didn’t work, why didn’t you say something when I was inside – and received vague answers. Then I was presented with the bill and it was seven dollars higher than my purchase. But, as I am often wrong, I just paid for the gas and moved on.

The next day I went to the bank to check my transactions. As it turns out, I did pay for the gas the first time, so I paid twice. The manager of the station was very nice to me when I went back to clear up the mess. I got my money without incident, and moved on. But why was I accused? Why were the cops called? I was accused of skipping out because the cashier lost seventeen dollars and panicked. She assumed the issue was my fault and could come after me because I went to the shelter (and because I have tattoos and a bushy beard?) I know this because the manager told me, and because of the notes written on the receipts I was given.

Everyone told me that I should go “give her a piece of my mind” and “demand justice!” But, instead, when I went back to get drinks at this same station, and this same cashier was working, I simply smiled and informed her she was out of 32oz cups, and asked for more. She seemed shocked. But why would revenge or vengeance get me anywhere? How would that change the stereotype she has of people who are associated with My Father’s House? Easy – It wouldn’t. It was just as easy to be nice to her and hope that she would realize that all homeless people are not sneaky crooks or deviants. I tried to love her like Christ loves her, and acknowledge that she simply made a mistake.

I think this same philosophy applies to those who are reacting one way or another to the Chic-fil-a issue. On one side, some Christians (as well as non-Christians) are being insensitive to the LGBT community by blindly supporting an organization without considering the ramifications to everyone involved. On the other side, Christians are blasting the first group and saying how appalling their actions are, and how they don’t want to be associated with them.

But, how does this change our perception of Christians? How do any of these actions help further the cause of love that Christ called for? As I see it, it is easy to love an oppressed group or a group facing discrimination, especially if they are being oppressed or discriminated against by a group we are associated with. But what about loving those who oppress? What about praying for those who don’t realize what their actions are doing? What about standing with them, not against them, as fellow travelers rather than setting up false hierarchies and divisions. Rather than disassociating ourselves with Christians who we think failed or made mistakes, perhaps we should simply pray for them and love them the same way we want them to love others. Perhaps they view others as we view them, but we want them to change instead of us. This unnecessary division will cause nothing but more issues and help nothing.

See, we all suck. We all make mistakes. We all do things without realizing how they hurt other people. We all fail. But the answer isn’t more unnecessary divisions. The answer is love. Love for the hurting, love for the healthy, love for those who we think are right, and love for those who we think are wrong. There are not divisions, there is only us.

As for the LGBT community, I will try to love them like Christ loves them. As for Chic-Fil-A and those who support Chic-fil-a, I will try to love them like Christ loves them. As for those who speak out against supporters of Chic-fil-a, I will try to love them like Christ loves them. Nothing else matters and nothing else will make anything better.


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Posted by admin on Aug 4 2012. Filed under Jeremy Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

8 Comments for “A Note on Love and Chic-fil-a”

  1. Very well put Jeremy, very well put.

  2. What you wrote is true. But, there is a balance to everything in this life. Just as we believers are to love with the love of Christ, we are also called to be salt and light, and to “speak the truth in love”. Same sex marriage will destroy the foundations of our nation, and we also have the responsibility to speak this truth in love. This may sound like preaching, but, hey, I am a preacher.

    • How will it destroy the foundations of our nation?
      Please be specific.

      • Wayne, do you have members of your congregation who are homosexual? If so, how do they feel about these statements? If not, would your actions and comments create an atmosphere where homosexuals would want to attend your church, or stay away because they don’t fit it? Is it more important to judge them and their desire to marry (even in love as you say) or just love them and let God work in their lives (which he will).

        It seems as if churches can’t get past the homosexual issue, but where is the sin in homosexuality? I mean, is being homosexual a sin? If you say it is, then what about gluttony? The Bible speaks very clearly about gluttony, yet we don’t condemn and alienate fat people the same way we do homosexuals, but it also is destroying the foundations of our nation by making us sedentary and apathetic.

        Our Churches need to be places where the Godly and Godless feel comfortable together seeking God’s presence. That may sound like I’m preaching, but, hey, I am a preacher.

        • Yes, I am sure that I have homosexuals in my congregation now, and in the past. I am certain that they appreciate the fact that I teach God’s Word in love. They have been forgiven by the grace of God just like heterosexuals have been forgiven for their sins. Yes, gluttony is a sin as well as drunkeness, pride, adultery, unnecessary divorce, etc. Opposition is not hatred. I do not hate anybody, and certainly not homosexuals. I love to share the gospel with anyone. The truth is, we are all sinners in one way or another and desperately need the grace found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And hey, maybe you are a preacher!

      • The foundation of any strong nation is the strength of its homes. Of course, I believe in the Biblical definition of a a home. When homes crumble, be it by unnecessary divorce, adultery, or same sex marriage the foundations of the nation are weakened. I don’t think homosexuality is worse than any other sin. Heterosexuals certainly have a host of sins, but I am thankful that God is able to forgive any sin.

  3. Very well spoken.

  4. Thank you Jeremy for the wonderful note. You couldn’t have said it any better! Be Blessed! 1 John 4:7

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