Jul 302012

We will meet them at the door holding a copy of the sacred scriptures in one hand and a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the other! – Pastor Charles Lyons

Up front I want to say my mother-in-law Doris told me about this. Pastor Lyons was her Chicago Pastor until she moved here. She still goes there when she takes a trip back home. He is not only her Pastor but her friend. He was her Pastor for nearly a quarter of a century and a fine man. I am posting this because he is in the ‘heart’ of all the Chick-Fil-A controversy. The alderman representing the district of this church, Armitage Baptist Church-Chicago, is smack in the middle of the ward of Joe Moreno.

You heard me right. The alderpunk who started his Anti-Christian attack against Chick-Fil-A. For this he may face some serious repercussion. So up front let’s pray for Charles W. Lyons, Senior Pastor and his courage. You do not buck the Daley machine, the Rahm machine, whatever, it is the same devil. I would ask you share this post with ‘Your’ Pastor, priest and rabbi. He may need support in the coming days. Although Pastor Lyons was very respectful to Rahm, that does not cover the alderman in the district of Armitage Baptist Church run by Joe Moreno.

See Pastor Lyons on ABC news:

A local FOX network Chicago network thought Pastor Lyons noteworthy enough to cover him:

CHICAGO (FOX Chicago News)

A Chicago pastor is pushing back against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s comments on Chick-Fil-A.

Last week, the mayor said that the values of Chick-Fil-A’s owner are not “Chicago” values. That’s after the owner made comments about traditional marriage versus gay marriage.

The mayor said he’s not a fan of a second Chicago location for the restaurant.

Pastor Charles Lyon of Armitage Baptist Church said the mayor’s comments against Chick-Fil-A border on “hate speech” and “agenda-driven bullying.”

Pastor Lyon said he thinks the mayor probably wishes he could rephrase his criticism of Chick-Fil-A.

The following appeal was made to Rahm by Charles W. Lyons, Senior Pastor & The Pastors of Armitage Baptist Church. THIS is what the pulpit ‘should’ be used for:

In the spirit of thoughtful discussion, let’s reflect on Mayor Emanuel’s statement of this past week. “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors, and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community you should reflect the Chicago values.”

While we believe we understand the Mayor’s thinking, perhaps the statement lacked the breadth, the depth, and the clearer thinking necessary when interacting with the complications of a pluralistic society. It would be helpful to have a better understanding of the term “Chicago values.”

Are these the values of R Kelley, with his contribution to sexual restraint in our culture? Are these the values of Minister Louis Farrahkan and his love affair with Jews? Are these the values of our city’s political system known around the world for its corruption. We have heard no denial to a place in Chicago for these parties.

Furthermore, there seems to be some confusion related to the distinction between personal religious beliefs of a company CEO and actual practice. There is no track record of discriminatory practice or behavior by Chick-fil-A toward its employees, its customers, or the communities which they serve. Rather, they seem to be the poster child for practicing the value of consistent respect for employees, customers, and community along with outstanding business practice.

We are left then with language aimed at individuals and a business that borders on hate-speech and the actual action of blocking a business.

This could easily be seen as anti-religious, agenda-driven bullying.

Thousands of faith leaders in Chicago and the hundreds of thousands they serve in churches, synagogues, and mosques are but a portion of the several billion people who belong to one of the three largest religions in the world. They have held to the Biblical, traditional view of marriage for a cumulative 7,000 + years. We are not talking about some backwater sect adhering to an obscure tenet.

It is way too simplistic to pull out the tired labels to throw at people who hold a different belief system than we do. Sound bites may work for politicians and pundits – for a moment. However, we live lives far more complicated – lives of text and subtext, lives informed by history, society, and personality, lives that deserve thoughtful discourse and understanding and yes, love.

Mr. Mayor, please do not dismiss us.

Do not disrespect us.

We, too, are Logan Square.

We, too, are Chicago.

You probably realize by now that to exclude a particular business for the reasons you have stated is problematic on many fronts. Is Holy Name Cathedral going to be told they are no longer welcome? Will the entire Roman Catholic Chicago Archdiocese, including Catholic Charities be shut out, shut down? Do we begin informing hundreds of thousands of congregants they are not welcome in Chicago: their money, their business, their taxes are not wanted, not needed?

If the thought police come to Armitage Baptist Church, we will meet them at the door respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die on this hill, holding a copy of the Sacred Scriptures in one hand and a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the other. The Armitage Church congregation loves God and loves our neighbors – all of them. The LGBTQ community is represented here today – not because they forced their way in, but because we welcome everyone to worship in this house of prayer. We are followers of Jesus Christ. We go beyond tolerance. We seek to actively love and serve everyone, not just people we agree with.

Mr. Mayor, we appeal to you in the spirit of pursuing genuine diversity in our contemporary, pluralistic community. Please consider inviting representative faith leaders who hold the values you say are unwelcome, to sit with you in an attitude of love and honest, open minded dialogue.

Pastor Lyons actually presented this as a sermon to his members in a sermon JUST yesterday. Listen HERE It is AWESOME! Praise God!

Armitage Baptist Facebook

Share this sermon with your church leader. Let them see what a preacher should be talking to his members about. Let them be encouraged to stand up to Anti-Christian behavior by liberals. While you are at it tell your church leader you will tithe to Armitage Baptist because of the courage of Pastor Lyon who is staring down the face of the devil representing his church district of Logan Square in Chicago.

If you are ever in Chicago on a Sunday go visit this remarkable Pastor:

Armitage Baptist Church
2451 N. Kedzie Boulevard Chicago, IL 60647

Give him a call. Send him an email. Tell him Thank you! Pastor Lyons is a rare preacher. One our congregations need more of. I share this with literally ‘thousands’ through this website and social media. Please do the same? ~ JP

More local coverage of Pastor Lyons:

CBS Blocking Chick-Fil-A Is ‘Anti-Religious, Agenda-Driven Bullying’

ABC Armitage Baptist Church Pastor Charles Lyons read a letter addressed to the mayor on Sunday


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