Jesus and the Chick-fil-A ordeal
by James Phillips
Aug 03, 2012 | 34116 views | 0 0 comments | 147 147 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Phillips
James Phillips
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Did you go to Chick-fil-A Wednesday?

If not, it might mean you need to take a little time to repent for not standing up for the restaurant and its CEO, Dan Cathy.

If you didn’t partake in some holy chicken (not that pagan stuff at KFC or Zaxby’s) Wednesday, you’re probably seriously lacking morals and endangering yourself to a rather warm eternity.

If those last couple of statements sound ridiculous, that’s because they were, but it’s pretty much the attitude that was projected by many promoting the Support Chick-fil-A Day earlier this week.

Of course I don’t think every person who took time to purchase a meal at Chick-fil-A Wednesday had that attitude. Most people thought they were doing something good by taking a stand for Cathy’s first amendment rights and supporting a business that reflects many of their own beliefs.

The vast majority of the people flocking to “eat mor chikin” this week would identify themselves as Christians, but how did converging on a restaurant advance God’s kingdom? It seems to me that all Support Chick-fil-A Day did was to make an already wildly successful company even more money. I’m sure Dan Cathy has spent the last day or so adding up cash register receipts from stores across the United States.

As a marketing tool for Chick-fil-A, the day of support was extremely positive. In my eyes, the day wasn’t near as successful for the Kingdom of God.

A Christian’s allegiance should be to Jesus Christ — not a restaurant, no matter how “Christian” that restaurant may appear. I’ve heard many Christians say they had to stand up, because Cathy was being persecuted for his beliefs. Across the globe there are men and women dying every day, because they won’t denounce Jesus as lord. They are persecuted, and calling Cathy persecuted is a slap to their faces. Cathy was well within his rights to share his beliefs, and protesters who didn’t like what he had to say were also well within their rights to denounce the CEO and boycott the restaurant. Christians standing up for Chick-fil-A were within their rights to do so, but was it the right thing to do?

If every homosexual in the U.S. stopped eating at Chick-fil-A, it probably would barely dent the chicken chain’s business. With that being the case, there are people around the world who are starving to death, and Christians decide they need to get all up in arms to save Chick-fil-A.

I am a follower of Christ, and it bothers me that we make these stands without even thinking about how it will affect others. For most, supporting Chick-fil-A may not have been meant as a statement against homosexuals, but that’s what it was. The only time the gay community hears from mainline Christianity is when they are being told how wrong they are. They’re told how their sexual orientation is wrong. They’re told how their wanting to marry the person they love is wrong. This whole Chick-fil-A thing was a way to even tell them how their choice to boycott a restaurant is wrong.

If homosexuality is such an issue, why doesn’t Jesus make mention of it anywhere in the Gospels? If Christians are so concerned about gays and lesbians because of what they perceive as sinful behavior, why is that behavior treated any worse than any other sinful behavior? Paul, the writer of most of the New Testament called himself the chief sinner. We are all sinners who fall short of God’s righteousness; that’s why Jesus came to this earth. We have churches full of people who sin every day, but a gay person can’t get in the door — and really why would they want to?

I just can’t see Jesus waiting in line for more than an hour to support Chick-fil-A. I certainly can’t see him then posting his lunch for the day on Facebook with such pride. Jesus never asked us to stand up for him. He commanded us to love God and love others. It’s really that simple.

Jesus was often accused of eating with “sinners.” Tax collectors would have been the casino owners of their day, and prostitutes certainly didn’t fall within the lines of acceptable sexual behavior, but Jesus spent most of his time eating and hanging out with those folks and others who were considered misfits, outlaws and weirdos. While Christians have tried to use the dinner table to separate themselves from others this week, the guy they claim to follow always used the dinner table to draw people closer to him. Jesus didn’t tell people to get their act together and then he might eat with them. Jesus met those people where they were, and he showed them a love that they had never known. Jesus continues to do that today, but unfortunately, the very people who say they follow him are the ones usually getting in the way of that love.

Why can’t Christians just approach homosexuals with love?

When we try to keep people who are different from us out of our churches, we are missing the point. We limit God’s love through this kind of exclusiveness. The Kingdom of God isn’t a country club. Nothing about a person can keep them from being a member if they accept Christ as their savior. As Christians, we love to quote John 3:16, but we like to add to it. We like to make the scripture say, “whosoever believes in him (and behaves a certain way) will have everlasting life.” When we deny God’s grace in this way, we deny Christ and his sacrifice. If we do that, what’s the point?

James Phillips is Editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at 205-221-2840 or james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.