Should we really boycott Chick-fil-A?

I am not a fan of the thinking of the owner of Chick-fil-A, although I have long been an admirer of the business culture of the company. From what we can see and hear, Chick-fil-A values itself on being a vital part of the community. This is a requirement of franchise owners, if I am not mistaken. Further, they, unlike the rest of us, live up to the idea of the Sabbath Rest. If nothing else, they refuse to be taken in by the 24-hour must have American consumer culture.

I know that many are calling for the boycott of the restaurant and with good reason. After all, in a capitalist society, we do vote with our pocket books. But, who are we hurting? The owner of the fast food chain is wealthy and will not be hurt by a boycott. I seriously doubt that the boycott will be effective outside of the West Coast and New England, if then. But, let’s say that it is effective in New England or San Francisco. Would that hurt the owner of the chain? Hardly. Here’s why:

First, most of the stores are franchised. That means that the owner of the company doesn’t really own the store. He just makes money off the name and food served there with no real investment. If the owner of the local store is forced to shut down, it will not hurt Dan Cathy or the Cathy family. It will hurt Mr. Sanchez, the owner of the actual store. Not only that, but the employees will be hurt as well. If the store suffers an economic downturn, the first people to feel the affect will be the minimum wage employees who barely make it anyway. If you have ever worked in fast food before, you know that hourly checks on profit v expenditures are made so that the manager can decide to send people home. Who do you think it hurts if 20 people a day no longer show up at the restaurant?  The first to be hurt, long before the owner of the franchise, will be Ms. O’Reilly who needs the money to feed her children.

I’m not sure what to do about Chick-fil-A, but a boycott over a man’s thoughts will not get the movement anywhere. It will not change his thoughts, nor will it hurt his pocket-book. It will only hurt the lowest rungs on the corporate latter.


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136 Replies to “Should we really boycott Chick-fil-A?”

  1. Of course we should boycott.

    They don’t put mayo on their sandwiches and plus their pickles are stupid. 

    Oh, and plus they’re colossal bigots with a fascist business model built around evangelical exclusivity and multi-million dollar donations to thwart the civil rights of an entire class of American citizens.

    But mostly the mayo.

      1. well, like you said, it won’t hurt anyone. Why all the ruckus? who cares? Starbucks promotes homosexuality and there are probably people boycotting them too but so what? what are going to do? go back to your Foldgers?

        just seems funny (in an odd or ironic way) to me that the “world” can make lots of racket about Chik-fil-a having their own stance on an issue and they can raise all the racket they want, but when Starbucks promotes that same issue and Christians try to raise a bunch a racket it’s silly or stoopid or who knows what..

        don’t you just love my ambililence about it? 😉

  2. I enjoyed my Chick-fil-A yesterday. It did have cheese, but no mayo, which was just how I like it. No shortage of customers – in Virginia this controversy has probably brought them extra trade rather than less. But I decided to ignore the boycott partly for the reasons you give, but mostly because these sandwiches are the best, from a limited choice, in our local mall. Thanks for the post!

  3. we don’t go there anyways mainly because the breading has milk and my daughter has a dairy allergy so there isn’t anything she can eat there anyway… if she can’t eat there, we don’t go.

  4. When there are calls for boycotting a chain of restaurants because its owner does not offer obeisance to sexual promiscuity, it is time to recognize just how far society has declined in its morals.

          1. I presume he’s against sin in all its forms, but it’s his view on sexual morality that has upset his opponents and created the stir.

            My point was, and is, that social stigmatization, which is one of the means by which a society can keep itself in check, is in this case being perversely applied to those who oppose sexuality promiscuity rather than those who practice it. It’s like stigmatizing firemen and honoring arsonists. Thus the decadence of our society is truly appalling.

          2. Would you have not called for the boycott in the 60’s against white-only counters? The mixing of races was considered immoral at the time and Scripture was used to justify it.

            Further, why do you think you are correct about homosexuality being a sin?

            And one more thing… why is it okay to be against a sin that doesn’t effect you, but ignore the ones that do? How many sins do you think he is guilty of as a CEO?

          3. The Scriptural justification for racial segregation was weak at best, while its denunciation of sexual immorality is clearly and explicitly a theme.

            I’m as convinced that sexual immorality is wrong as I am that racism is wrong. Aren’t you?

            As for the sin not affecting him, I cannot think of a single sin more destructive of a society than sexual infidelity. It destroys society at the cell level – that is, the family. Over 40% of American children are now being born out of wedlock. The social ramifications of this will be overwhelming. What Daniel Patrick Moynihan feared for blacks in the 60’s is now to be feared for all of society. The notion that sex has no effect on anyone other than its participants is incredibly naive.

            As for your challenge that the CEO should be without sin, bear in mind that he does not preach to his customers. He does not refuse service to anyone. I have been in many Chick-Fil-A’s and I do not recall ever seeing anything that would reflect his view against same-sex marriage. If he’s not making an issue of it in his restaurants, why should his opponents?

          4. Sure, sexual immorality is wrong – but what counts as sexual immorality?

            It would seem, Mike, that Scripture disagrees with you. Economic injustice and idolatry, at least in the Old Testament is what destroys society.

            I never said he should be without sin, but he is a bit hypocritical.

          5. If you’re unwilling to say what constitutes sexual immorality then it’s meaningless for you to say you’re against sexual immorality.

            And if you don’t think that sex is one of modernity’s favorite idols then you’re just turning a blind eye to that reality (as well as to the concomitance of idolatry and sexual immorality in both testaments).

            Whether or not the CEO is hypocritical, I do not know. What I do know is that, because he supports a biblical view of marriage, he’s being stigmatized in the media. Whether he is a saint or a hypocrite is irrelevant to those who want to legitimize sexual promiscuity by demanding sanction from all those who have power in society.

          6. I didn’t say I was – you brought up the subject, so I want to know (chapter and verse please) what constitutes sexual immorality.

            I didn’t say modernity. I said Old Testament. Surely, God’s rules still stand, right? So does his sociology.

            In other words, as long as he stands with you in one thing, it’s okay that he doesn’t in the rest?

            Tell me, what is the biblical view of marriage and I’m going to have to insist on chapter and verse.

        1. Joel, you are a Bible scholar, so you are surely familiar with what the Bible has to say about marriage and sexual morality. If your conscience has allowed you to rationalize these verses to the point that you’re unwilling to say that homosexuality is wrong and that sex outside of marriage is wrong, then my pointing you to these verses is not going to change your mind.

          We do not need the Bible to tell us what constitutes racism or that it is wrong. Therefore, we should not need it to tell us what constitutes sexual immorality and that it is wrong. It does indeed tell us that these things are wrong, but this comes as affirmation – not revelation.

          Ironically, if someone today stands up today in defense of racism, society will rightly marginalize and condemn such a person. But if he stands up in defense of sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman, society will only marginalize and stigmatize those who disagree with him. The reason for this is clear and simple: to be against racism costs people very little but to be against licentiousness costs them personal pleasure and social approbation. Thus the corruption of our generation is great. And hypocrisy is a big part of it. To wit: we only decry sins we’re aren’t really tempted to commit. We need to repent.

          1. Ahhh… so if people don’t agree with you they are wrong and rationalizing it?

            That’s the problem, ain’t it? You point to verses. Out of context. You proof text.

            Injustice is wrong – that is in Scripture. So is oppression. So is denying someone their humanity and personhood. So is speaking wrongly for God.

            You seem, Mike, only to be able to when pressed, say “I know.” That is not a real answer.

          2. Jesus lived a life that we might emulate it. It was a life of moral purity and excellence. May His view on these matters we have discussed prevail.

          3. Joel, you must have a lot going on in your head because you keep responding to things I have not said. My point was that you and I have exchanged views, without changing each other’s minds, and now we’ve reached a point where we’re merely becoming repetitive. Therefore, I attempted to close out the discussion by appealing to the one authority on whom I assumed you and I could agree: our Lord Jesus Christ. Without saying whether He favored your view or mine (or neither) I left the final say with Him. I assumed you could agree with that.

          4. No, actually, Mike I don’t. That is a cop-out. You have provided no evidence for your reasoning insist that it is okay to commit injustice and then you ask Jesus to decide? That, in my opinion, is the very definition of using the Lord’s name in vain.

          5. Oh? Call homosexuals sinners – without proper justification – is keeping the truth down by injustice. Suggesting that it is okay to discriminate against one group (homosexuals) and okay to ignore the man’s other sins (poor pay to works) is injustice.

  5. You show me where the Scripture denounces racism and I will show you where it denounces homosexuality.

    As for discriminating against homosexuals, I don’t believe in doing that.

    1. Race is a current construct. It does, however, denounce the idea of viewing one ethnic group over other – neither jew, nor gentile.

      If you separate others from yourself, you are discriminating against them.

      1. Earlier you appealed to the Old Testament for sociology. There’s no more obvious sociological principle in the OT than the distinction between Jew and Gentile. The NT gives us a whole new way of viewing the OT, and your response demonstrates that – whether you wanted it to or not.

        As for discerning the Bible’s view of homosexuality, it’s no more difficult than looking up homosexual, its cognates, or synonyms in a concordance.

        I am firmly convinced that both racism and homosexuality are wrong, but there is much more explicit biblical support for these beliefs regarding the latter than for the former.

        As for your definition of discrimination, it is as vague as your definition of sexual immorality. This vacuity allows you to arbitrarily condemn whoever you like. In this case you appear to be siding with those who are condemning the Chick-Fil-A CEO for holding to a biblical view of marriage. This emphasizes my original point: a society has gone far astray from godly morals when it stigmatizes those who aspire to godly values.

        1. Actually, if you read the OT, you’ll see that God was intent about the relations between Jews and Gentiles. Read Amos where Israel is leveled as the same as every other nation. Now, in the NT, would you mind showing me where the basic economic factor is removed and replaced with sexuality or where idolatry is?

          The original languages do not contain words for homosexuals or cognates. A concordance is based on a human idea drawn from a human translation.

          You can be convinced, but you have provided nothing to show for it.

          No, I think I’m pretty clear here. You are discriminating against those whom for no reason you have deemed depraved sinners. You have gone too far from God’s morals and you discriminate against those with godly values.

          1. This was my statement: “This emphasizes my original point: a society has gone far astray from godly morals when it stigmatizes those who aspire to godly values.

            This was your response to it: “You have gone too far from God’s morals and you discriminate against those with godly values.”

            Joel, do you actually believe that homosexuality is a godly value and that anyone who speaks against it is evil?

          2. Joel,

            I believe that the Bible is clear, and that, more specifically, Jesus is clear, that sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong. You don’t seem to believe that because you are speaking positively of homosexuality. Are there other forms of sex outside of marriage that you also view positively?

            You have said that you are against sexual immorality but you’ve been unwilling to state your definition of sexual morality. I’ve stated mine. What’s yours?

          3. Would you mind showing me that in Scripture. You’ll have to forgive me if I would rather take Scripture than your word.

            I want support for your definition.

            Sexual immorality is not just sex outside of “marriage.” Sexual immorality is sex that is harmful to the other person. Perhaps it is against their will, such as spousal rape. Sexual immorality is using sex wrongly – to say, gain objectives. Sexual immorality is selling sex.

            The greatest love poem in all of Scripture is about two people, using birth control, having lots of sex, outside of marriage.

  6. If I can interrupt your argument for a second. I don’t think we have this chain in my country. Anyone know where the weird name — “Chick-Fil-A” — comes from?

    1. Think “McDonalds” but with a chicken sandwich instead of a hamburger as the main menu item. The chicken is cooked in a pressure fryer. The bones are removed; hence, the company’s name is a play on “chicken” and “fillet.”

  7. If Mike Huckabee says to eat there, that’s a good enough reason for me not to.

    Not that there are any branches in these parts anyway . . .

    Take my advice you yanks, go find a branch of Tim Hortons and eat there instead!

      1. Tim Hortons doughnuts are unsurpassed. They also have delicious soups, sandwiches, muffins, wraps, paninis, and, of course, freshly brewed coffee. Go on, do yourself a culinary favour and support the Canadian economy at the same time.

        Ya know ya wanna try a Tim Hortons doughnut . . . I recommend the Canadian Maple one. Sheer Northern heaven.

  8. Sexual immorality is sex that is harmful to the other person.

    Would you mind showing me that in Scripture, or in any other pre-21st century authority?

    Yes, that is part of logic behind sexual immorality. But there are types of sexual activity clearly presented in Scripture as wrong which are not especially harmful to another person, including a man lying with a man as with a woman (Leviticus 18:22) and the activity of arsenokoitai and malakoi, whatever that might be (1 Corinthians 6:9). Your responses to Mike Gantt will never seem convincing if they fail to deal with Bible verses like these.

    1. But, Peter – he didn’t provide bible verses. Those two words you mentioned are found in cognates in other lit of the time, by the way – and you sorta ruined it. The point is, one cannot simply just put words down and say believe them.

      Neither, as you know, can one take verses out of entire passages, out of books, out of time periods and say – see, believe me.

      Rape is harmful to other person, is it not? It is abuse of another person, is it now?

      1. Joel, I can agree that all sex that is harmful to the other person, including rape within marriage, is immoral. That does not imply the opposite.

        Yes, it would have helped if Mike had listed Bible verses. That would have put some teeth into his arguments. I would say that we need to find a middle way between an over-literal use of verses out of context and the kind of attempt you are making to distil general principles out of biblical definitions. These distillates are then usually mixed with generous shots of Enlightenment philosophy and contemporary political correctness to come up with pleasant looking but potentially poisonous cocktails like “Sexual immorality is sex that is harmful to the other person”.

  9. Joel and Peter,

    I have not posted scriptures to support my view of sexual immorality because they are well known. When the Chick-Fil-A CEO was excoriated for stating that he held to a biblical view of marriage, no one – not even his critics – considered his position biblically obscure. Nonetheless, since you insist:

    Matt 5:27-32
    Mark 10:2-12
    Luke 18:20
    Rom 13:13
    1 Cor 6:9-10
    1 Thess 4:3-8
    1 Tim 1:8-10
    Heb 13:4
    Jas 2:11
    Jude 1:4

    Joel, your definition of sex “Sexual immorality is sex that is harmful to the other person,” as Peter has rightly pointed out, has nothing to do with biblical values and everything to do with 21st-century societal mores. It is these corrupt mores that seek to stigmatize those who do not support unrestrained sexual appetites between willing partners. Your definition would allow any kind of sex between any number of willing partners as long as none of those participating complained. No wonder your Christianity is unsettled – it apparently will go anywhere the winds of political correctness take it.

    By your definition, Jesus was remiss in sending away the woman caught in adultery with an admonition to “sin no more” without having first inquired as to whether she or the other person were harmed in the process.

    Joel, I urge you to rethink your definition of sexual morality. It sounds innocuous but it is destroying the core unit of our society – the family – and consequently destabilizing life for everyone. Sex is for marriage, and marriage is for a man and a woman. It always has been this way; it always will be this way. For a society to rebel against this truth is suicidal. God loves us too much to not warn us that this is so.

    1. Your verses are out of context, Mike, as they usually are.

      Sexual immorality that is defined as harming another is not far off from Scripture. What is the golden rule? Do unto others? Consensual sex isn’t always unharmful, Mike. Too bad that you are unable to see that.

      Actually, the unsettled part means that I don’t accept silliness – the words of people – and acts as a way to suggest that Christian has become too settled. You know, like you. You think you know everything… You are settled. God didn’t call us to settle in this world, but to be unsettled and unsettling. Shame that you are more settled than a rock.

      forgiveness does not a sin unmake. The woman caught in adultery harmed herself and was abused by the man. Jesus forgive her. Would you question Jesus?

      Mike, I urge you to change your understanding of God, society, and sexual immorality. It is not biblical and has done a great deal of disservice to the world.

      1. What tells you that the woman caught in adultery “harmed herself and was abused by the man?” And in what way did the woman harm herself? And in what way did the man abuse her?”

        1. Are you deft?

          Sex like other things is a gift from God. misusing it in lust or when you have promised it to another, or selling it, is harming yourself and the other person. Taking advantage of a person willing to debase themselves is abusing that person.

          Unless you think that it is okay if a woman is putting out, it’s okay to take

    2. Just want to point out how bad your proof-texting is.

      James 2.11 says do not commit adultery. This is tied to murder and loving your neighbor has yourself. What is this? Adultery, of course, is easy to know. But, why is it in this context? First, these maxims are relating a common story – do not do what to others what is harmful to them. Suicide is murdering oneself. Illicit use of sex, even if consensual is still harming oneself.

      1 Co. 6 and 1 Tim aren’t what you think it is. As Peter pointed out, those two words are pretty controversial. Granted, I think that I can make a sound argument about their use from then-current texts. For example, what is translated as effeminate is a word used by Josephus to describe men who would rather stay home with their wives and make babies instead of going off to fight a war with Rome that was surely lost. In context, how does this word fit? Kidnappers, liars, murders – harmful to others, and taking or doing something that is not your own. I would argue that effeminate (in the original) means something more along the lines of not being who you are supposed to be.

      Romans 13.13 is exactly what I am saying about sexual immorality being that which harms. Love does no wrong to a neighbor. The words in this verse, however, point to lust. Is lust really a good thing? Surely, you can see how lust, jealousy, and other motivations is what makes something a sin, right? Lust makes use of something only to fill a momentary need. That is harmful. This is the same concept in 1 Thess. It is about being honorable. Umm… sounds like what I said…

      I think that pretty well shows you how bad your understanding of this is. For you, sexual immorality comes down to sex outside of marriage and homosexuality.

      You haven’t shown scriptural proof for these baseless assertions. You rely only upon what you think is settled fact. You know, like slave owner, racists, sexists, and others who make use of Scripture without challenging the “settled fact.”

      1. You incessantly demand that I give you verses, yet when I do you immediately invoke the pejorative “proof texting” to condemn me. You are like the children who say, “We played a flute for you and you did not dance, we played a dirge for you and you did not mourn.”

        Re: James 2:11, what do you regard as “illicit sex”? So far, the only sex to which you seem opposed is “that which harms another” – yet you have not defined what constitutes harm.

        My view, which I consider completely unoriginal and entirely biblical, is that sex outside of marriage is wrong and that marriage is a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is, by definition, sex outside of marriage. It does not need to be separately condemned, even though the Bible separately condemns it – and in more verses than the ones I mentioned.

        You may not like my definition of sexual morality but at least it is clear. Yours seems beyond discovery.

        Re: 1 Cor 6:9-10 and 1 Tim 1:8-11, the words you say are controversial are not the only references to sexual immorality in those lists. It doesn’t take a linguist to know that the Scriptures are constantly counseling sexual purity. Various examples are occasionally given for illustrative purposes, but that needn’t drive us to think that just be because a particular deviant practice is not explicitly mentioned that we should think it is acceptable. If the NT does not explicitly condemn bestiality or any other sexual perversion, does that mean God sanctions it?

        Re: Rom 13:13 You seem to miss the point of the verse entirely, as well as Jesus’ teaching on evil of lust. Do you think any sex outside of marriage takes place without having been preceded by lust? And do you not understand that Jesus taught us that evil occurred not just in the act but in the lust that preceded it?

        Rom 13:13 and 1 Thess 4:3-8 are both about pursuing sexual purity and avoiding sexual promiscuity. By your definition, I don’t see how sexual promiscuity can even exist. Only sexual violence seems to qualify as sin by your definition.

        Here is what is settled: Jesus Christ. He is our cornerstone. Your diatribes on sexual morality could just as easily be coming from the keyboard of a secular humanist. There is no discernible difference in moral tone. You have embraced the zeitgeist of the modern media culture and splashed on a patina of Christian vocabulary. There is nothing unsettling to the world about your view of Christ. You have put the world’s words in His mouth. That is taking His name in vain.

        “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.” Surely it is wicked to condemn the righteous, but you have condemned Dan Cathy – a man whose only publicly-known sin is to say that holds to a biblical view of marriage. It would be sad enough if you merely disagreed with his view, but the fact that you heap condemnation on him for holding it is sad indeed.

        1. Where does it say that sex before marriage is wrong? I have identified the harm to the other.

          So, if gays got married, it would be okay then? Do you see the circle there? Let me help you out – you’ll say that marriage is biblical and only between a man and a woman. I’ll ask you to show me that in the bible. You’ll say that it is plain to see. I’ll say where. You will not give me any reasonable answer. I’ll point to the idea that marriage in ancient texts were property transfers. I could sell my daughter. Marriage was contracting a woman to a man. Men could have several wives. You will then say that you just follow Jesus – who was never married, by the way.

          The definition of homosexuality is not sex outside of marriage. It is the attraction to the same sex.

          In Re 1 Co and 1 Tim – you answer goes in circles.

          Lust – as I said, is sexual immorality. It harms yourself and the other. I do hope you read my words more carefully.

          You keep tossing insults, but I’m pretty sure you aren’t actually reading anything I write.

          Only publicly known sin? That is laughable. First, to judge others, what should do you? That is not his only known sin, by the way, but good try.

          1. Joel, just because you don’t like the things that I say does not mean that I have insulted you. I am not speaking against any person; rather, I am speaking forthe truth.

          2. Mike, when you don’t speak the truth, you insult me. I haven’t seen much where you have plainly stated the truth.

      2. Joel, thanks for your interesting observations on malakoi. Now what about arsenokoitai? Do you have any evidence to suggest that it means anything other than some kind of male homosexuality? I ask this as someone who would like to believe that homosexual practise is not against God’s standards, but finding it impossible to reconcile this with taking the Bible as inspired and authoritative.

        1. “finding it impossible to reconcile this with taking the Bible as inspired and authoritative”….I don’t have a problem with reconciling it. All I have to do is remember it is roughly a 2000 year old book. Then I remember it was put together in a conclave meeting of bishops (NT) and a conclave of rabbis (OT), that had as much politics involved as current day republicans and democrats. Both Jewish and Christian groups had as much diversity of opinion on the gospels, as well as their interpretations, then, as now. With the exception that after the accepted gospels and their interpretations were set in concrete by the bishops, they destroyed all the competition through scripture burning and execution of people with opposing opinions. At least the Jews, it seems, continued the tradition of arguing points without book burning and executions. But maybe I’m wrong, since I’m certainly no expert. So I take the bible as inspired (but only it’s overall “big picture”, not really specifics). The bible as authoritative…that’s a different story. Depends on what the definition of “authoritative” is. I don’t sacrifice lambs, or participate in stoning people either. Although, I should say, in an effort of full disclosure, that I have a son who is gay. And a granddaughter who happens to be living with her boyfriend. 30 years ago I probably would have had a different opinion. But age, experience, and the realization that life sometimes does not work out perfectly as you might expect, tempers your judgement of people and their actions. That tends to change a person’s opinion, sometimes.

          1. I am fully convinced that the Bible teaches that Everyone Is Going to Heaven.  However, it also teaches that Judgment Is Upon Us.  For this reason, if we love people we must not be silent when we have opportunity to warn them of destructive behaviors – especially when so much of society is sanctioning those very behaviors.

            I agree that our primary governing emotion in all these discussions ought to be compassion.  And I further agree that when immoral behavior occurs close to home that glib answers are out of place.  These things vex our souls, just as Lot’s soul was vexed living in Sodom (2 Pet 2:7-8).

            The way of Jesus is not easy in this world.  However, it is the way He would have us follow.

          2. Mike, the bible teaches no such thing. There is no heaven for us to go too.

            You are reading 2 Peter without Ezekiel. Sodom wasn’t destroyed because of sex, Mike.

            You follow your own way, it seems, and call it Jesus.

          3. Ezekiel added color to the Genesis account of Sodom – he did not repudiate it.

            As for the way I follow, if it weren’t for the Scriptures I wouldn’t even know about it.

          4. Great. I know where the passage is. Now, tell me explicitly where it points to the idea that homosexuality is the sin of Sodom.

          5. I’ll let the text speak for itself. I’m not interested in focusing on homosexuality. The post was about Dan Cathy’s defense of biblical marriage, and it’s that view I’ve been interested in defending.

          6. In other words, Gary, you reject the authority of the Bible, and claim the right to decide for yourself which parts are inspired. That is a reasonable position. It is not the position of evangelical Christians including myself. And it is not a way to make the reconciliation which I was looking for.

        2. Peter, as you know – that word is difficult. Arsenokoitai (poisonous bed?) has a connection in the Sibylline Oracles in connection to the Roman practice of raping young boys or men. I’ll try to find the Oracle

          1. Not “poisonous bed” but “male bed”, and surely an allusion to Leviticus 18:22 LXX: καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν. Yes, maybe it is about homosexual rape, but at least that is one form of homosexual activity clearly condemned in the New Testament.

          2. Yes, i realized it after I said it. Sorry. male bed. but, is it homosexual, Peter? This is a new concept, and not one that the ancients would have recognized. I mean, in the 19th century, lesbians weren’t recognized as having sex because there was no penetration. Think of it this way – rape of a female is only (in some thoughts even today) separated by a slim line. Do you own her? If so, she is yours to take. That is the natural use of a woman. The male, on the other hand…

          3. ‎”but, is it homosexual, Peter?” Well, Joel, you linked this Greek word with “the Roman practice of raping young boys or men”, not of young girls or women, which clearly implies homosexuality even though the term is anachronistic. I’m sure the ancients knew the difference between raping boys and raping girls – after all the body parts are rather different!

          4. But homosexuality is a modern concept, Peter. Raping boys deprived them of their masculinity. This was used in war, as you know, to humiliate and enemy. That is hardly what we could call homosexual.

          5. Joel, if you mean that this is nothing to do with the very modern concept of homosexual orientation, I agree with you. But no one argues that the Bible condemns homosexual orientation, only that it condemns homosexual practice. And men raping boys is a variety of homosexual practice.

          6. Does? Or does the bible condemn the illicit use of sex? For example, adultery is forbidden. This is presumed to be heterosexual. is heterosexuality then condemned?

            Rape is condemned, but so is the rape of of a female by a male.

          7. My claim was only that there is “one form of homosexual activity clearly condemned in the New Testament”. I accept that there are serious difficulties with generalising this condemnation to all forms. But I would also want to see some clear evidence that arsenokoitai refers only to homosexual rapists and not more generally to active homosexuals. And I’m afraid you will have to do better than appealing to books of the Sibylline Oracles which are widely considered to be strongly influenced by Christianity – even if that is not true of every section of those oracles.

          8. I’m not saying that there is any definitive proof anywhere of the meaning of arsenokoitai. But similarity of language to the Greek of Leviticus 18, which I pointed out before, seems to me a strong argument that Paul is referring to the same type of abomination that is listed in Leviticus.

        3. Peter, if you look at 2.70-78, you’ll see the a cognate in a list of economic sins.

          In 3.764 and 4.34 – it is used in a list of sins of the idolatrous. I’ll leave it up to you for the translation. From my view, it is the abuse of males. In those days, how can you abuse a female?

          1. Joel, I am not an expert in the Sybilline Oracles. But I understand that the scholarly consensus is that large parts of them were written or edited by Christians. This strongly suggests to me, and to others, that the passages you reference are dependent on Christian teaching, and perhaps specifically on 1 Corinthians. As such they might illustrate the early understanding of arsenokoitai, but not so much what Paul actually intended by the word.

          2. Peter, I’m not sure that is the consensus at all. For instance, 5 is somewhat ex-Christian. By that I mean, not but existing alongside

    1. Gary, hardly any of us are left untouched by the kind of personal dimensions to these issues that you describe. And I can assure you that it’s not a subject I enjoy discussing.

      Certainly I could experience less wrath from Joel if I were to acquiesce to our generation’s prevailing view on this subject. Though not drawn from the Bible it’s nonetheless true that “all that’s necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for good men to do nothing. Dan Cathy (the CEO of Chick-Fil-A) professed a view that has brought him the scorn on the intelligentsia. At least in that regard, he follows the path of the biblical prophets and of the Lord Himself – for he spoke up for the truth.

      1. Mike, do you realize that you are saying the same thing that Southern Christians said in the 1860’s and the 1960’s about their views that racism is okay from the biblical perceptive? That you use the same words who use the bible to defend the inequality of women?

        1. Joel, do you realize that in making this comparison you are using the same argument as the secularists? They believe that history is always advancing, society is always improving, that any idea from a prior generation is ipso facto suspect if not outright wrong. Contrary to this view, civilization is not always marching in the right direction.

          Also, I was a Southerner in the 1960’s and never thought racism was right. Stereotypes don’t always square with reality.

          Lastly, just because today’s society uses the language of the civil rights movement to justify the pursuit of its lusts does not mean that it is right.

          1. The progression of history is found in Scripture, Mike.

            I’m trying to use the concepts of Scripture. Haven’t seen you do that yet.

      2. Mike,
        Oh well. Guess we’re at an impasse. You said, “And I further agree that when immoral behavior occurs close to home that glib answers are out of place”. Not so sure I judge living together before marriage, or being gay, as immoral behavior anymore. Certainly not based upon a 2000 year old book. And I’m not an atheist. And not so sure it is destructive behavior, at least not anymore. Certainly no more destructive than a person being drafted in the 60’s to kill people in Vietnam for a rather questionable cause. One similarity between now than then, is that the people drafted in the 60’s, and the people volunteering for the military in the ’12’s, are generally, young, naive, from relatively poor families, looking for better opportunities. Then the old men send them to war, to fight the “old men’s battles”. This is destructive. I’d rather have a relative of mine living in sin here, via loving someone, than thinking its moral to kill in Iraq or Afganistan, Syria, or Iran. I know it is a diversion from the argument, but there are many sins in the world. I’d rather take care of the more important ones. I’ll put the gay thing, into the same bag as eating lobster. I rather like lobster. As you can tell, I’ve lost my train of argument. Since it is Saturday, and a rather nice day outside, I quit. I’m going outside.

          1. No Tim Horton’s where I live, unfortunately. Although I would rather eat doughnuts than discuss the meaning of a Greek word written 2000 years ago, in order to influence my opinion of bible authority, and moral choices in modern days. If I followed the bible’s authority, I might have to follow one of the church father’s advice (since they are the ones that established the bible’s authority, not Jesus – it didn’t exist when Jesus was alive). Paul’s opinion, celibacy and martyrdom are “better” for him. Origen castrates himself because he takes the bible’s authority literally, at least in the case of sex and sin (talk about over-reaction). Augustine argues “Against Faustus”, just proving that Faustus is smarter than Augustine. I think my judgement is better than theirs, at least for how I would live my life. I wonder if the “Holy Spirit” trumps a 2000 year old document, not written by Christ? Just Saying.

          2. Gary, you don’t think the Scriptures existed when Jesus was alive? Of course, the New Testament documents didn’t exist in His day, but certainly you are aware that the documents we call the Old Testament not only had existed for some time but were considered authoritative by Jews of that day. If you were to take away all Jesus’ references to the Scriptures it would eviscerate His teaching.

          3. Mike – there was no “Old Testament.” As history and the New Testament demonstrates, their was a collection of Scriptures. No set canon, however.

          4. I meant the “bible”, not “scriptures” in general. I do not remember Jesus saying that Paul’s letters would become scripture, and part of the bible. They were Paul’s interpretations. OT is obsolete per Hebrews (unless you are a Jew). Church fathers were the ones that the bible’s authority is based upon (they said so, not Jesus) – they were the ones that selected the scriptures, and the ones that interpreted them, to become the creeds. If you assume God is outside of time, then you could assume that the Holy Spirit inspires you, just as much as the church fathers (who lived after Jesus, but did not know him in the flesh). So unless you think the Holy Spirit was more reliable when interfacing with Origen, than you, you have to assume your interpretations are “more” valid to your life, than Oregin’s, Paul’s, and Augustine’s interpretations, as an example. Just saying we each come to our own conclusions. I have no problems with you having a different opinion than mine. But as an example, Jesus disregarded the Sabbath to heal. So he was driven in a direction different from the strict OT laws/scriptures.

          5. That’s one way of looking at it. Another is that Jesus brought a new interpretation to the Old Testament and that it is this view that is reflected in the writings of the apostles (i.e. the 27 documents we call the New Testament). With this view we have no need to know or care what subsequent church fathers thought or taught. What matters is what Jesus thought and taught.

          6. You know know what Jesus taught (not what he thought) by the recorders of history. As a matter of fact, Paul doesn’t record much if anything of what Jesus actually taught – only what he did.

  10. So after studying the scriptures in their original languages I think we now all agree that Tim Hortons is the place to go.

    1. Agreed – once they open up in our area. But currently “No locations found within the maximum radius of your search location”, not just from our small town in Virginia but also from Washington, DC.

  11. Mike – there was no “Old Testament.” As history and the New Testament demonstrates, their was a collection of Scriptures. No set canon, however.

    Joel, note that I said “what we call the Old Testament” (italics added).  Of course, no one in the first century would have called the Jewish Scriptures by that name.  Simply that there was a collection of Scriptures to which Jesus appealed for authority was my point, and you have awkwardly and inadvertently affirmed this point when we find in the midst of your comment “their [sic] was a collection of Scriptures.”

    I never referenced a specific table of contents to this collection as it was not relevant to the point.  However, regarding canon, the similarity of contents between Judaism’s Bible and that of all three major branches of Christianity is impossible to ignore.  None of these Christian branches reject books that the Jews accept, though they in some cases add books to the collection.  Thus history does not contest a core canon to which Jesus would have been referring.

    You know know what Jesus taught (not what he thought) by the recorders of history. As a matter of fact, Paul doesn’t record much if anything of what Jesus actually taught – only what he did.

    It would be wrong to say that since we know what Jesus taught we can know everything He thought.  But it would also be wrong to suggest, as you seem to be doing, that we can know nothing of what He thought.  You don’t believe Jesus’ words reveal any of His thinking?  Or is it that you don’t believe the New Testament faithfully records His teachings?

    Why you think Paul is relevant to my point, I do not know.  I do know, however, that he is the one who wrote that “we have the mind of Christ.”  He also quotes Jesus in his letters.  It’s not a lot, but it’s more than we find in the other epistles (save Revelation).  And then we have a gospel attributed to a man known to be a co-worker with Paul.  Nevertheless, we do not have to know the extent to which Paul knew the words and deeds of Jesus to know that the New Testament includes a faithful sample of what Jesus did and said – both before and after His resurrection.  That it cannot be more than a sample is affirmed in the last verse of the fourth gospel.  Fortunately, a sample is enough.  Like the jar of manna in the ark of the covenant, it reminds us of the living and abiding word of God which is with all those who will hear Him and do His will.

    1. Mike, could you please show me the collection? We’ve had this argument before – and you lost when you admitted that you simply didn’t know.

      The Gospels are biographies or historical newpapers reports – they are the collection of interpretative history. This is accurate because it is inspired.

      1. Joel, I described to you the commonality of canon among the four major bodies who have an interest in the matter. How you can say it’s unknown is a complete mystery to me.

        1. Because the canon is later developed. You cannot take something developed centuries later and say that it was the same before it was developed.

          1. Joel, you’re majoring on minors; that is, you’re wanting to talk about the canon instead of the collection. My point to Gary was that a collection of writings from Moses and the Prophets existed in the time of Jesus, and that Jesus revered them. That Jesus does not give us a detailed listing of all the documents He considered to be part of the collection is a minor point. His specific quotations of Moses, Samuel, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others are enough to let us know that He wasn’t speaking about a collection of which we have no knowledge.

          2. Oh? Did Jesus leave us an index of these writings?

            You still think that the Gospel writers were writing down every word that Jesus said?

          3. Joel,

            Why do you keep raising peripheral issues? The point is that there was a “bible” in Jesus’ day – that is, a collection of writings considered by Jews as sacred – and Jesus considered it authoritative, repeatedly appealing to it. Neither the absence of an index nor controversies about the composition methods of the gospel writers changes that.

          4. “All” we have is over two dozen first-century documents making constant reference to an collection of ancient Jewish writings. And Jesus goes so far as to say that He – as Messiah – was the collection’s central and unifying subject. For you to continue to suggest that there is inadequate evidence to believe there was a collection is most puzzling.

            To what then do you think Jesus and His apostles were referring when they spoke of “Moses and the Prophets,” or “the Scriptures,” or other such synonymous titles?

          5. Do you not see the circle there – there were plenty of collections. The best collection is at Qumran – and that collection included books you’ve never seen and refused to have books you have. The idea of Law, Prophets, Writings is a broad concept but does not denote a set collection of writings. Considering the wide range of Jews during the time – the Sadducees only used the Torah – it would be a bit ignorant to say that their was but one collection of writings.

            Jesus never said anything, Mike. Or at least, what you know of. Considering that the Gospels are not records or transcripts, it’d be best not to simply say “Jesus said.”

            Jesus is the incarnation of God’s narrative. Doesn’t mean a set collection. Stop running in circles

  12. Old Testament. … Of course, no one in the first century would have called the Jewish Scriptures by that name

    Paul did in 2 Corinthians 3:14, as rendered in KJV. Exactly what he was talking about is debatable, but a good possibility is that he was referring to the public synagogue reading of the Hebrew scriptures. Perhaps the main reference is to the Torah, cf. “Moses” in verse 15. Perhaps it was to the wider canon of books which was very likely already fixed at least informally. It is unfortunate that we do not have much evidence for what was read in synagogues in that period, but Luke 4 is evidence that reading was not restricted to the Torah.

    1. Yes, Peter, 2 Cor 3:14 is a notable exception and probably indicates some wider usage, though we’d be hard-pressed to say just how wide. Regardless, the passage gives no indication that the apostles’ writings were at that time collected and juxtaposed with the original collection and called “the New Testament” by contrast. What’s more likely is that at that time “the old covenant” read like “the new covenant” when “the veil was lifted” and they were read “through Christ.” This, for example, seems to be what taking place in 1 Peter 2:9-10 and in so many other places in the New Testament writings where what had previously been read from a physical (i.e. flesh, fleshly, earthly) point of view through Christ came to be read through a spiritual (i.e. spirit, heavenly) point of view. In this way “law” became “grace.” In any case, I take your point and welcome your refinement to what I said.

  13. Indeed, the community at Qumran had a collection of writings which differed in some ways from what we call the Old Testament. It’s also true that the Sadducees eschewed the prophets and elevated only the Torah. You could have added that the Samaritans as well clung only to the Torah. And you could have pointed out that the Septuagint contains documents not in the Hebrew Bible, and that the Septuagint itself sometimes varied in exact contents from one region to another. But what do any of these details have to do with the main point that Jesus of Nazareth guided His life by the Hebrew Scriptures?

    Are you suggesting that because the various collections of sacred Jewish writings were not precisely identical that they had no common elements? Are you suggesting that when Jesus taught that He had come to fulfill “the Law and the Prophets: and that “the Scriptures” are about Him that no one had any idea which writings He might have been referencing? Are you suggesting that when Paul began and ended his great treatise to the believers in Rome with an invocation of “the Scriptures of the prophets” that his readers found such appeals incoherent because there was no commonality of view as to which particular collection he might be referring?

    As for knowing what Jesus said, I am accept the testimony of those who died to commit and preserve His teachings in writing. When they write, “Jesus said…” I’m comfortable repeating them. If you’re not, that’s your business.

    As for your describing Jesus as “the incarnation of God’s narrative,” I think that’s nice. However, I prefer the fourth gospel’s “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” NASB (John 1:14).

    Jesus of Nazareth – the Son of God – has been given that we might know and understand our Creator and Redeemer. The more we focus on Jesus Christ, the better off we are.

    1. But what do any of these details have to do with the main point that Jesus of Nazareth guided His life by the Hebrew Scriptures?

      That is, first, a historically inaccurate statement.

      You keep saying that their is a set collection and then when shown otherwise, you retreat to “common elements.”


      1. No, I said there was a collection, and you said that because there were variations in the collection that there was no collection. The only circle is the one you are going in as you focus on minutia and ignore the obvious. Without the Old Testament, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection would have been inexplicable to first-century Jews.

        1. But, there was no collection. There were collections and collections within collections.

          There was no Old Testament. As a matter of fact, the material commonly excluded from the OT adds substantial weight to the death of Jesus. And, actually, the death was still inexplicable to first century Jews.

          1. By whatever name you want to call it (e.g. “Old Testament,” “Hebrew Bible,” “the Law and the Prophets,” “the Scriptures,” and so on), a body of sacred Jewish writings prophesying hundreds of years in advance first-century events was central in the movement which left behind the New Testament documents.

            That there were other writings also in consideration during that time is widely known – and peripheral to the point.

            If you think the death of Jesus was inexplicable to any first-century Jew I suggest you re-read the New Testament documents. They are the product of first-century Jews who, in the light of revelation, came to see that “the stone that the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone,” and that when Moses said that God would “raise up a prophet” after him, he meant it literally.

          2. Oh dear… More circles.

            Okay – no set body of documents existed. No document told about anything in the future.

            The fact that Jews en masse rejected the death of Christ should tell you something.

            Paul and the Evangelists were Jews but used equally Greco-Roman writing methods to justify their view of Jesus.

          3. It’s not suitable – I would rather believe that I am always right, much like yourself, but after study, serious, sincere study, I knew that I was wrong. Thank God for that.

  14. The two warring American factions should meet somewhere neutral — say Tim Hortons — and discuss their differences amicably over nice fresh Tim Hortons coffee and Canadian Maple doughnuts. Peace and equanimity would rapidly ensue.

        1. All Dan Cathy has to do is embrace the moral code of modern society as you have done and the crisis would go away tomorrow. That he clings to the view of marriage and sexual propriety that Jesus taught puts and keeps his fortune and reputation at risk. I admire such courage and love.

          1. As I have done… You have yet to show why your supposed code is any better.

            People admire all sorts of evil people for their courage.

            And you have yet to show what he clings too. You keep throwing things out and trying to hold a moral high ground, but in the end, it is a lot of hot air

          2. One thing that is clear is that Cathy clings to the traditional teaching of Christian churches. And for that he is being persecuted.

            Joel, you can disagree with that teaching if you like, and you can argue against it. But, although you might be able to show that we can’t know what Jesus and the apostles really taught about homosexuality, I very much doubt if you can prove that they agreed with the very 21st century concept of equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. And without that proof you have no basis for arguing that Cathy’s views are anti-Christian and to be condemned outright. This should be treated as a secondary matter on which Christians can agree to differ, and not one which is a cause for name-calling and rejection of the person, from either side.

          3. Peter – Jesus and the Apostles didn’t approve of 21st century medicine or the other sciences. Nor, can we really imagine them agreeing with 21st marriage where we are free to marry, without dowry or other compensation, others of legal age if it is consensual. What’s your point?

            No, he is not persecuted. Persecuted happens in Pakistan and other Islamic countries.

          4. OK, “persecuted” is a strong word, but if the mayor of a city actually manages to stop Chick-fil-A doing business there, and it isn’t just political posturing, I would consider that a form of persecution.

            I take your point about modern definitions of even heterosexual marriage. But if some Christians choose to stand up for arranged marriages and dowries, or if they reject modern science or medicine, they don’t have campaigns and boycotts organised against them. Well, there is your campaign against Ken Ham and friends. Is there a difference?

    1. Yea, but wasn’t Tim Horton a hockey player. No peace from a hockey player. Only pieces (of teeth). Anyway, who would actually want to eat a fried chicken sandwich from a fast food restaurant. Any fast food restaurant.

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