If you’re a Southern Baptist pastor like me, there are a few things that aren’t good for your career. Disagreeing with Franklin Graham, son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham, is one of those things.
So long, career.
For the record, I don’t think that Franklin Graham needs to go away, be quiet or do one of the hundreds of other physical impossibilities that some are telling him to do with himself. I’ve never met him but I like Franklin Graham. I think that he does a lot of good. But I also disagree with him. And, in case you forgot, which would be quite easy to do in today’s climate, it is possible to disagree with someone without one or both of you calling the other a (insert: racist/bigot/sexist/cotton headed ninny muggins).
So before you file a petition to have the Southern Baptist Convention pull my card, hear me out.
Franklin Graham is calling for American Christians to rise up and make a stand against the gay agenda by, wait for it, boycotting businesses that support that agenda. True to his word, Graham has moved all of his business accounts away from Wells Fargo because the company features a gay couple in an advertisement.
Graham and I agree that homosexuality is a sin. Where we disagree is how we as Christians are to speak out against that sin. I don’t think that a boycott is the best way.
But perhaps you do. If so, how far are you willing to go?
Are you going to find a new bank?
Are you going to get rid of your Apple computer and delete all of the songs you bought off of iTunes?
Do you have a gay agenda questionnaire that you can hand out to new businesses before spending your money there in order to get a feel for where they stand?
And what if the higher ups at your place of employment are on board with the gay agenda? Are you going to quit and find another place to work?
Oh, and why stop at the gay agenda. When your favorite mattress company puts up a billboard of a man and woman in bed, are you prepared to switch your loyalties when wedding rings cannot be clearly seen in the picture?
Here’s the thing about boycotts. They rarely work at proving the intended point. They do however have a pretty good track record of exposing our hypocrisies. Think back to the days when Christians wanted to boycott Disney for their support of the gay agenda. That lasted right up to the point where several of the athletic types found out that ESPN was owned by Disney. What was that you said about a boycott?
Thankfully, there is a better way.
Husband, if you really want to make a stand against the gay agenda, love your wife. Sacrificially serve her. Lead her with love and humility. Take her out on a date. Stop referring to her as your ball and chain and instead show the world how crazy you are for the woman you married all those years ago.
Wives, stop treating your husband like an ape who couldn’t even manage to brush his teeth if it weren’t for your presence. Even if that happens to be the case, the rest of the world doesn’t have to know it. Honor him. Be kind to him. Show affection to him. Resist the temptation to nag. Laugh with him, not at him.
Marriage is in trouble. There’s no doubt about that. But we would be misguided to place all of the blame on homosexuals and politicians. Nothing does more harm to the institution of marriage than professing Christians who have forgotten to love when forgetting to love comes easy and are quick to bail out when things get tough.
Christians, stop fighting each other. You are not in competition with the other baptist church across town. More importantly, you are not in competition with that lady two pews behind you. Stop arguing with each other. Jesus doesn’t care about the color of the carpet in your sanctuary, the flowers on the table up front or the ink stains on the new hymn books. But Satan does. That’s because those are some of his favorite tools for getting people who belong to Jesus to act like they don’t.
So please, chill out. Share a meal together. Get over your petty grievances. And love each other. It’s that love, not the passion or eloquence of your many arguments, that will properly represent Christ to the world (John 13:35). What a shame it would be if some passionate supporter of the gay agenda came into your church in desperate need of hearing the gospel and heard only fighting before making a quick exit for his favorite bar where everyone seems to get along.
The world doesn’t need Christians to do anything different than what we’ve been told to do all along. And what we have been told to do is to be different (Matthew 5:13-16).
So let the rest of the world have their boycotts.
If you really want to make a bold stand for what’s right, just keep doing those millions of little things you’ve been called to do for the glory of Christ and the good of your neighbor.
Speak his truth in love.
Confront sin, especially your own.
Care for and enjoy your family.
Stay committed to your church.
Be salt and light in your community.
And go have a good time at Disney World to the glory of Jesus Christ.
But when you get there and the lesbian waitress at one of those Orlando area restaurants messes up your order, show her a little grace.
She needs it.
Just like you and I do.
But if there’s one thing that she doesn’t need, it’s a boycott.