Snakes!!! Why does it always have to be snakes????

That quote is one of my favorites that comes from Indiana Jones.  If I remember correctly, it is spoken right when he’s facing a room full of snakes.  Of course, he’s either in pursuit of someone, or someone is pursuing him.  He wasn’t always afraid of snakes…the beginning of the movie shows a young Indiana Jones (played by River Phoenix).  He fell into a pit of snakes while running from someone (imagine that!!), and that’s where his fear of snakes came into play.

Can’t say I blame him.  I don’t even have to fall into a pit of snakes to know that I am afraid of snakes.  My daughter’s afraid of thunder and flies.  My son is afraid of getting hit by the baseball when he plays.  We’re all afraid of something.  And that’s ok.   What matters is how we handle that fear.

One of my all time favorite books is a 3 part series called The Mark of the Lion by Francine Rivers. The books take place in first century Rome.  The time when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the Roman empire was taking over all corners of the world.  This is also the time of Christian persecution.  The books follow several characters…one is a young girl named Hadassah.  Hadassah is the sole survivor of her Jewish family.  What you find out later is that Hadassah is also a Christian.  Throughout the books, you see her faith in God grow, and with it, her circle of influence widens and she is able to lead many to Christ.

I don’t want to spoil the books for you, in case you’d like read them for yourself, but there comes a time in the story where Hadassah is asked to proclaim the emperor as Lord.  All she has to do is utter a few simple words.  No one would know the difference.  No one would fault her…she’s saving her own life.  And yet, she doesn’t hesitate and proclaims that God is Lord and there is no other.  Of course, she is taken and thrown to the lions, while the rest of Rome is entertained.

Now, in many countries, Christians are still persecuted and killed for their beliefs today.  Of course, they don’t get a lot of news coverage.  There’s not a lot of attention drawn to them.  Every so often, you will hear a story or 2, but for the most part, they are quietly killed.  I feel I am blessed to live in a country where we have the right to worship in public without fear of being killed. 

However, we face a new persecution.  The arena of public opinion.  We live in a society where the words of CEO’s and owners of companies are thrown to the lions of media.  Am I being too dramatic??  Of course, you know I am referring to the recent interview of the CEO of Chick-fil-a.  Dan Cathy was asked by a reporter what his beliefs on marriage and gay marriage were.  With no apologies, he said that “the company is very much supportive of the family”, but only when it involves heterosexual couples.  They follow the biblical definition of the family unit.

You all know the fallout that has happened.  It is definitely a 2 sided issue and the lines have been drawn.  Many have pledged to boycott.  Others are meeting together today and eating at Chick-Fil-A to support the company.

Remember what I said earlier about it’s ok to be afraid…it’s just how we handle the fear that matters??  Do you think Dan Cathy knew that there would be a media backlash to his statements?  Do you think he knew that advertisers and other business would withdraw their support??  Do you think he knew that people would boycott the restaurant???  He seems like an intelligent man.  I’m going to venture to say he did.   He may have even been afraid for a split second  worried about what people would think of him personally.  He may have even feared for his safety and his family’s safety.  But he stood for what he believes in. 

II Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Dan Cathy was not timid.  He did not fear.  And all over the country, you can see what is happening.  Sure, some are boycotting.  Some are pulling advertising money from the company.  But, a lot are supporting the company and supporting the courage it took to stand up for their beliefs.  That courage is empowering others to do the same.  To stand up for what they believe in.

I have a confession…I was afraid.  For the past week or so, I’ve been thinking about what to write on this subject…if I should write on this subject.  What am I opening myself up to??  But II Timothy kept running through my head.  As a Christian, I should not be timid.  I have the Spirit that God gave me and that gives me power, love and self-discipline.  With that standing behind me, why should I fear??

So, my family did eat at Chick-Fil-A today.  We parked outside of their parking lot (because it was so crowded!!), walked into the building, stood in long lines and ate outside because there were no tables free inside.  We wanted to say “thank you” to Dan Cathy & Chick-Fil-A for being wonderful examples on how we as Christians are to live our lives.  I will continue to eat at Chick-Fil-A, as I always have in the past, because I appreciate their values. 

My kids are too young to understand what happened today. One day, I’ll be able to talk to them about it.  To explain how important it is to stand up for what you believe in, no matter if it’s popular, or if it’s not politically correct, or even if you’re afraid to.

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