ODJ: unpopular

June 25, 2013 

READ: Acts 28:11-31 

We want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know aboutthis movement is that it is denounced everywhere (v.22).

Chick-fil-A is a popular American fast food chain whose president, Dan Cathy, also happens to be a Christian. Biblical values permeate its 1,600+ restaurants, which are always closed on Sunday. Chick-fil-A also started the WinShape Foundation, which provides college scholarships, foster care programmes, and marriage enrichment ministries.

That leads to the recent media frenzy surrounding Chick-fil-A. Cathy supports traditional, heterosexual marriages. When his position became public, many people accused him of homophobia and vowed to boycott his restaurants. The mayor of Boston announced that he would not allow a Chick-fil-A to open in his city, and even the owners of the Muppets said the restaurant chain could no longer use their toys for store promotions.

It’s not surprising that supporters of gay marriage think Dan Cathy is guilty of hatred and intolerance, for that label has been hung on Christians since the beginning. Most people think Jesus was meek and mild, but the religious leaders of His day told Pilate, “He is causing riots by His teaching wherever He goes” (Luke 23:5).

The apostle Paul was chased and stoned by fellow Jews, for they assumed that his message threatened the dominance of their religion and its role in society. When Paul finally made it to Rome, he invited its Jewish leaders to meet and learn about Jesus. They replied that while they had not heard anything bad about Paul, they knew that the movement he led was “denounced everywhere” (Acts 28:22). Paul didn’t give up, but he “explained and testified about the kingdom of God . . . from morning until evening. Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe” (vv.23-24).

It hurts to be misunderstood, but we must never stop loving people, especially when they’re sure we don’t.—Mike Wittmer

Read 2 Corinthians 12:11-21 to learn how to respond when you’re treated unfairly. 
Who has misjudged your character or faith? How does God want you to respond?