Jesus Juking McDonalds: Love is Endless, but Your Business Model Isn’t


Josh, enjoying some American fries, the type he can no longer get in England.

Josh, enjoying some American fries, the type he can no longer get in England.

McDonald’s has taken quite a few hits lately in the news, whether it be from allegedly discriminating against employees to falling profits, right now is not a good time to be an executive at McDonald’s. While it’s been known the past decade or two that McDonald’s is hardly nutritious, the last few years their product has more than likely contributed to a decline in their profits.

Never fear, however, because in the Corporate World™ a problem with the product is easily fixed through…marketing. While common sense dictates that a problem in the product or in how a company is managed requires the product and management style to change, in the Corporate World™ all that’s required is better publicity. Such strategies have proven to work, that is, until the advent of social media. Regardless, McDonald’s isn’t aware of such things and instead has produced a “commercial aimed at millennials.” Rather than fixing the product, like Chipotle did, McDonald’s is trying to just change the public perception by focusing their commercials around the idea of “love.”

Thus, we end up with this:

Now what, exactly, does “love is endless” have to do with eating horrible tasting hamburgers and fries? How does anything in that commercial or message make me think, “Well, maybe I should eat at McDonald’s”? The idea that “love is endless” is certainly true, but to cheapen it as a ploy to get people to buy hamburgers kind of negates the sentiment.

And now for the Jesus Juke…

See, love is endless because God is love, and he is infinite. To state that “love is endless” is certainly true, but one has to ask if McDonald’s is really qualified to use this statement. After all, a Christian approach to business, one centered on endless love, wouldn’t really allow for McDonald’s business practices, especially with its employees.

The same Bible that tells us that Jesus is God and that God is love tells us that God expects fair, livable wages to be paid to employees. Consider James 5:2-5 (ESV):

Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

James is quite emphatic about the type of wealth these people have acquired; not just wealth in general, but wealth gained off of wage fraud. The phrase “kept back by fraud” is actually just one Greek word: ἀποστερέω (apostereo), which means to hold back from someone or to deny them their due. Even Jesus in Luke 10:7 says that the laborer deserves his wages.

The idea of justice in Scripture is based on love – a love of God will always lead to justice with God and a love of one’s fellow man will always lead to justice with one’s fellow man. Justice, in a Scriptural sense, refers to putting others on equal footing with yourself (that is, after all, the second Greatest Commandment, to “love thy neighbor as thyself”). Biblical justice involves wholeness, repairing and making whole that which was broken by sin. In terms of poverty, Christian justice is the act of giving to the laborer a wage worth a living, and then giving to the needy what is needed for them to survive. Proverbs 29:7 says as much;

“A righteous man understands how to judge on behalf of the poor, But the ungodly man will not consider such knowledge; For he has no understanding heart for a poor man.” (Orthodox Study Bible)

If McDonald’s wants to try and use “love” as some gimmick, then they must understand they bring upon themselves quite the burden; love is endless, but it’s one thing to say love is endless and entirely another to live it. Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that McDonald’s actually loves its employees, but merely want to point out the importance of taking important phrases and subjecting them to triteness.

From the Christian perspective, love is endless whereas money has a definite ending. Love then is the focal point of the Christian life and supplants all other pursuits, including that of money. Not that money isn’t important or that it’s inherently wrong to be rich as a Christian, but instead that for wealthy Christians, especially business owners, that wealth ought not be obtained by denying fair wages to others. And by “fair” I do not mean the “market standard,” but instead the type of wages on which a person can live. How can Christians claim love is endless if they’re unwilling to display that love in a monetary way by paying their employees a fair wage? We can’t expect consistency from McDonald’s – even if their business model is quite absurd (they want consumers to pay for their food, but want to keep their employees poor, thus removing their employees from the consumer section and eliminating their own profit; the company’s policy of keeping wages low forces the company to eat itself) – but we should expect consistency from Christians in regards to paying a livable wage to their employees.

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A Caution for Every Christian Who Eats Fast Food


I was inspired to write this post after reading Pastor Nathan Rouse’ article, A Caution for Every Christian that Drinks Alcohol.  I don’t think he took his argument far enough  . . .

caught in the act . . .

caught in the act . . .

Something unhealthy has crept into the American church and it’s quite distressing.  Many Christians have allowed themselves to take eating fast food lightly.  Now, before you start throwing your empty hamburger wrappers at me, let me be clear:  I don’t believe eating fast food is a sin (in spite of the fact that doing it might very well send thousands of people into Hell).  Of course, gluttony is a sin; and let’s be clear, obesity is one of the biggest killers in our society and continues to take a destructive toll on marriages and families.

But, there’s an even bigger problem!

The often overlooked sin rearing its ugly head are Christians openly displaying their love and consumption of fast food to those around them in public and on social media, when there are many around them who struggle with this temptation and addiction.

the face of evil . . .

the face of evil . . .

The Apostle Paul addressed this same issue in his day when the Christians in Corinth argued over whether or not they could eat meat sacrificed to idols.  Paul clearly stated that, even though they had the freedom to eat meat sacrificed to idols, they should be sensible enough not to eat it in front of those who struggled with this practice.  Check it out for yourself (there is absolutely no possible way to misinterpret or misapply this passage of scripture):

“Only take care lest this liberty of yours [in our case, eating fast food] somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple [a.k.a McDonalds], might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols [i.e. a Big Mac]?”  (1 Corinthians 8:9-10)

What this means is this: shame on you when you share pictures on Facebook of you enjoying a juicy hamburger!  

Now, before you say you only eat fast food with others that are like minded or with your spouse, let me ask you the following questions:

  1. Do you highlight or joke about your french fries in person or on social media (posting pictures like this one on the world wide web for all to see)?
does this tempt you?

does this tempt you?

2. Do you eat your fast food in public when there’s a good chance you might bump into someone who struggles with gluttony (oh, and believe me, you will)?

Whether you like it or not, people are watching you . . . oh yes, they are always watching you . . . and holding you to the highest possible standard.  Therefore, you should never ever, upon any circumstances, do anything.  The goal of the Christian is to be a people pleaser–we never want anyone to get the wrong idea.  One false step could be fatal!  Eating a french fry could be the straw that breaks the camels back!  Consider this scenario:

Billy (a Christian) orders a value meal from McDonalds and decides to eat it in the restaurant.  Michael (who struggled with gluttony for years, had a gastric bypass, and lost 400 pounds) walks by and sees Billy taking a bite of his hamburger.  This tempts Michael who enters McDonalds, orders a meal, and falls, head long, into the never ending pit of overconsumption.  In three months, Michael finds himself, once again, struggling with obesity . . . and it’s all your fault!  How could you be so heartless?

Do you love fast food so much that you are willing to undermine your Christian witness?  Do you love your “freedom” so much that you could care less how it affects another brother or sister?  Do  you realize that anything you do in public could send someone spiraling out of control?

Be afraid . . . be very afraid . . . and, in the future, order Chinese and have it delivered directly to your home (then, secretly, and privately, consume the food).