World magazine got it wrong. In an editorial published on their website, they called the “mass of Christians” who are today voting for morality with their pocket books “a bold mistake.” And the writer has it wrong on one word: conviction.
At my local Chick-fil-A, civil servants and medical workers, construction laborers and business men, stay-at-home-moms and teachers packed shoulder-to-shoulder like sardines to wait 45 minutes for lunch today. And that was after sitting on the highway for a half an hour just to get within walking distance of the building.
They weren’t there for a thinly-veiled, neubulous conviction that some might agree to and others might not. They were there for something way bigger: absolute morality.
Whether the issue is family, marriage, or free speech, thousands in my relatively small community obviously agree that there are absolutes when it comes to right and wrong. And there comes a time when we as men and women stand up and say, “This is right. That was wrong.”
While I stood in line for my salad, clutching my five-year-old with one hand and his chocolate milk in the other, I was reminded of the conversation I had over dinner last week with my husband. I asked him why the Church isn’t persecuted now; was it because we were too weak, too like the world around us?
He disagreed. Instead, he countered, persecution – physical, financial, societal, and spiritual – happens around us every day. We just don’t open our eyes to see it, nor to stand against it.
And then I thought about these words from Francis Schaeffer:
It is important to realize what a difference a people’s world view makes in their strength as they are exposed to the pressure of life. That it was the Christians who were able to resist religious mixtures, syncretism, and the effects of the weaknesses of Roman culture speaks of the strength of the Christian world view. This strength rested on God’s being an infinite-personal God and his speaking in the Old Testament, in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and in the gradually growing New Testament. He had spoken in ways people could understand. Thus the Christians not only had knowledge about the universe and mankind that people cannot find out by themselves but they had absolute, universal values by which to live and by which to judge the society and the political state in which they lived. And they had grounds for the basic dignity and value of the individual as unique in being made in the image of God…
Rome was cruel, and its cruelty can perhaps be best pictured by the events which took place in the arena in Rome itself. People seated above the arena floor watched gladiator contests and Christians thrown to the beasts. Let us not forget why the Christians were killed. They were not killed because they worshiped Jesus. Various religion covered the whole Roman world… Nobody cared who worshiped whom so long as the worshiper did not disrupt the unity of the state, centered in the formal worship of Caesar. The reason the Christians were killed was because they were rebels…
We may express the nature of their rebellion in two ways, both of which are true. First, we can say they worshiped Jesus as God and they worshiped the infinite-personal God only. The Caesars would not tolerate this worshiping of the one God only. It was counted as treason… If they had worshiped Jesus and Caesar, they would have gone unharmed, but they rejected all forms of syncretism. They worshiped the God who had revealed himself in the Old Testament, through Christ, and in the New Testament which had gradually been written. And they worshiped him as the only God. They allowed no mixture: All other Gods were seen as false gods.
We can also express in a second way why the Christians were killed: No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions. The Christians had that absolute in God’s revelation. Because the Christians had an absolute, universal standard by which to judge not only personal morals but the state, they were counted as enemies of totalitarian Rom and were thrown to the beasts.
– Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live, bold added
I am glad I took the time to visit Chick-fil-A today. I’m even more encouraged to see countless others stand up boldly and publicly for what is right.
God Bless America.