Go Therefore and Wage a Political Cultural War, Legislating In the Name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!

The Battle for Chick-fil-AIt is time for Christians to stop thinking like politicians, to stop attempting to effect change in our culture through political legislation and activism, and to start loving people.  If the values in American society are crumbling it is because people have turned away from God and embraced Secular Humanism—and this problem, the hardening of man’s heart against God, will not be solved through polemics and legislation.  We can rally together at Chick-fil-A, draw a line in the sand, and fight for our rights to free speech; but even if we “win” this battle, it is only a temporary solution.  We are dealing with a deep sickness and attacking the problem with political activism is as ineffective as trying to heal cancer with a band-aid.  The real problem is not a political one but a spiritual one.  The real problem is that people are lost and, in consequence, held captive by vain, irrational, dehumanizing forms of worldly thinking.  While we puff ourselves up, stomp our feet, and scream about our “rights’ as American citizens, lost souls are desperately searching for meaning and love and finding it in all of the wrong places.

The truth of the matter is:  we have lost our youth.  They do not accept objective moral values, they don’t understand what truth is, and they are not interested in the Christian worldview.  They are impulsive, emotionally driven, materialistic, superficial, and have absorbed Secular Humanistic, nihilistic, thinking without even realizing it.  In about twenty years, when these kids in our illustrious high schools are doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians and entertainers, we will find that all or our political grandstanding was ultimately a waste of time.  The very democratic system that we are currently relying on to fight the “cultural war” will be turned against us in the end; because this was never a political battle in the first place—and, more to the point, truth is not determined by a vote.  So, we are faced with a choice: we can drum up huge crowds of evangelicals to eat at Chick-fil-A, to fight for our right to free speech and “take a stand for marriage;” or, we can start focusing our efforts on loving people.

When I speak of loving people I don’t mean having a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.  I mean loving them with the same self-giving, sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated on the cross.  I mean that we start truly caring for the left out, down hearted, misunderstood, people in our society.  That we stand against hate crimes against homosexuals and alongside hurting families who have had loved ones commit suicide because they were gay; that we stop drawing a line in the sand and start opening our arms.

This is not to say that we give up our values or compromise our beliefs.  It is to say that we value people more than our own right to free speech.  The fact is, Christians in America are simply scared of persecution.  Much of the political posturing we participate in is simply done out of fear:  fear of losing our right to free speech, fear of Secular Humanistic ethics dominating our legal system.  Fear, however, is contrary to the teaching of Jesus who explicitly told us not to fear and who said shocking things like: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).

How many of you considered it a blessing when the media lashed out at Dan Cathy for simply making the statement that he believed in the Biblical definition of marriage?  How many of you rejoiced and were exceedingly glad when the mayor of Boston stated that Chick-fill-A was not welcome in his city?  Or, were you simply indignant, angry, and fearful?  It’s difficult for us to wrap our heads around Jesus’ teaching on persecution because, quite frankly, we have it so easy.  We are not really persecuted in America; but one day we might be if we continue waging a hopeless political battle.

A culture is made up of people; we, therefore, only effect change within a culture if the people who give life to a culture have a change of heart and mind.  People are changed by Christ, not legislation, and this only happens when Christ’s people die to themselves, start demonstrating His love to the world, and make true disciples.  Jesus said it best: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).  Please note how non political sounding Jesus’ final command to his followers was.  The kingdom of God is brought about through His people bringing the gospel to the world in a tangible way; not through manipulating the democratic political system.  Only love, the self-giving, self-sacrificial, love of the cross can change hearts, renew minds, and ultimately revive a culture.


Bovine Haters, Gospel Loving Chicken Crusaders, and the Fight for Same Sex Marriage

Earlier this week, the president of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, announced in an interview with Baptist Press that he believed in the Biblical  definition of marriage.  Naturally, his comments generated a media frenzy and all out social assault on those proud producers of the most tasty chicken sandwich on the planet.  As a result of his statements, many people are now boycotting Chick-fil-A and some groups are even staging protests.  To make matters worse, the Jim Henson Company announced today that they would no longer partner with Chick-fil-A; therefore, depriving millions of children the joy of purchasing a chicken meal with pictures of creatures form Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

This is truly a strange turn of events for a company known throughout the world for its staunch support of Bovine Rights.  Yet, in spite of years of stalwart support for one of the most under-appreciated species in our country . . . the cow! . . . Chick-fil-A is now being accused of supporting the suppression of human rights.  On top of this, the mayor of Boston, in response to Mr. Cathy’s revelation,  tragically stated that, “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston” . . . can you imagine how depressed the people of Boston are going to be?  They shall never know the joy of ordering food from a place in which the employee’s say with a huge smile on their face, “it’s my pleasure,” after serving you one of the most flavorful chicken sandwiches ever invented,  next to a massive mound of waffle fries, and a giant cup of ice cold sweet tea!  Nevertheless, one can understand the mayor’s position.  As he further noted in his statement to the press:  “we’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”  Considering Boston’s status as being an open and inclusive city, it is only natural that its mayor would seek to exclude Chick-fil-A.

I must confess I’m a little baffled at the level of outrage Mr. Cathy’s comments (which he made to a Southern Baptist news agency) have generated.  I mean, let’s be honest — was anybody truly surprised to learn that the Baptist president and chief operating officer of a company which closes on Sunday’s and has the phrase, “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us,” in its corporate purpose statement, is not a supporter of Gay Marriage?  Why is it that everyone is now up-in-arms over something which, in my mind, was already clear?  The reason, I think, is because everyone (no-matter their age, race, gender, or sexual orientation) loves a good chicken sandwich.  No one wants to boycott a place with such great service and yummy food; but now that the “cats out of the bag” people are being forced to chose between the food they love and their political activism.

For now it seems the majority of people are suppressing their love for great food in favor of their stance on Gay marriage.  However, I wonder how long this will last?  Every day, as people head over to McDonald’s on their lunch break, only to be greeted by a menacing overweight cashier who snaps at you for taking too long to order, a seed of doubt will take root in their mind.  Every time an activist sinks his/her/it’s teeth into one of those greasy, bland, burgers on the value menu or takes a big bite out of a cheap imitation chicken sandwich, a sense of longing will begin to grow in their heart.  Every parent whose child discovers a three-day-old diaper or razor blade in the ball pit will experience an existential crisis.  Soon questions will enter their head: “why . . . why did the cashier blow her nose on her shirt sleeve before handing me my order?” . . . “why are these french fries so skinny and mushy?” . . . “why are their lumps of lard in my ice cream?”

Meanwhile, while Gay Rights advocates come to terms with a world devoid of safe, clean, healthy fast food, Christian activists are rallying together to defend the rights of gospel preaching chicken sandwich lovers around the country.  At the forefront of spreading the good news of Chick-fil-A is Gov. Mike Huckabee who is calling for Christian’s everywhere to order a chicken sandwich on the first of August!  When Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, suffered and died on the cross for the redemption and restoration of creation, I’m sure He had in mind this day–the day when thousands of His followers would come together and take a stand for good chicken sandwiches.  Just the thought of this brings a tear to my eye.

Finally, evangelicals have found a way to reach out with love to the Gay and Lesbian community and demonstrate the humility and sacrifice of the cross–and the best part is, they get to do it while slurping down a pepper-mint milk shake.  Admittedly it’s been hard to get Christians to rally together and tackle such problems as Human Sex Trafficking and Homelessness; so, it’s good to see so many devout followers of Jesus joining hands and saying with one loud voice, “we love Chick-fil-A!”  I’m certain this massive effort to show their love and appreciation for fast food will go far in helping conservative Christians connect with the Gay and Lesbian community.