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Am I Chicken for Not Attending Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day?

Why did the chicken cross the road? To escape from Chick-fil-A, of course.

On August 1, I did not patronize a Chick-fil-A. Maybe I’m just chicken.

The debate about the fast food chain seems to have spilled over from the general cultural debate to an in-house discussion among Christians. Should Christians attend CFA appreciation day at the behest of Mike Huckabee? After all, who is Mike to call for a national day of prayer and (anything but) fasting?

Some are of the opinion that Christians should stay out of the restaurants for fear of forming an “us-verse-them” mentality. In this article, the “us” are Christians and the “them” are homosexuals, or unbelievers in general.

Others are of the opinion that we should support the fowl peddlers. And by the results on Thursday with CFA restaurants flooded with patrons, it seems these are of the majority opinion.

So, should I have gone (or, should I go next year)? Or, should I BBQ up some chicken thighs and drumsticks on the grill (or, just go to KFC!). Should I go to support CFA in the future because of their stand for marriage? Or, should I attend the kiss-in on Friday and show love for the homosexuals who will have a protest of their own and try to defuse the “us-verse-them” mentality? What would you do?

Here I hope to offer a discerning third option.

How about both?

Support CFA for their stand AND love homosexuals and unbelievers (yes, including liberals!). After all, we do believe in both common grace and the antithesis. We believe that being a Christian in the world often means taking a stand for what is right, even if it means our marginalization. On the other hand, as Christians we believe that we should love our neighbors, and not marginalize them (even gays and liberals). Its tricky, but the Christian is to live both a life of common grace and antithesis.

So, here are some thoughts to consider. Obviously, simply “doing” does not say the whole story of our actions. People do all sorts of things and they do them for all sorts of reasons and motivations. What is your motivation for supporting CFA? I would submit that if your motivation is to advance the Gospel and the Kingdom of God, then stay at home (or go to KFC!). Supporting a Christian business owner is nice, but not necessary for the advancement of the Kingdom. Supporting marriage between one man and one woman is wonderful (because that IS the definition of marriage!), but you don’t have to be a Christian to do that. Catholics, Mormons (well, most anyway!), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, and Jews can do the same thing. And certainly when they do so they are doing everything other than advancing the Kingdom of God in the Gospel. In other words, you don’t have to be born again to patronize CFA.

However, if you think the reaction against the stand of the COO of CFA is ridiculous and non-sense (as it surely is), then go. Go as a person with common sense. Go as an American who believes in freedom of speech. Go in good conscience simply because their waffle fries are pretty good. Go because you think the mayor of Chicago is a moron. Go as a Christian, if you are a Christian, and take a stand for biblical principle. But don’t think that this will advance the cause of Christ in the Gospel. Taking a stand for biblical principle is a must for a Christian, but it won’t save any souls. Yet, it may, in fact, advance the cause of common grace—and there is value to that.

But if you go, go because you want to and not because Mike Huckabee—or anyone else—guilt tripped you into going. Don’t go because you think that if you don’t go you are being a cowardly Christian (assuming, of course, that the reason you don’t go isn’t because you’re afraid). This is one of those things which, I believe, you may do according to God’s Word, but you are not required to go by the Word of God. You have liberty here.

Now, what about the kiss-in? Yes, go to that as well. Go to that, however, only if you go motivated by Gospel love. Please, PLEASE! Don’t go with signs and angry chants. Go with money in your pocket and buy the kissers a meal. Sit down with them and share the Gospel. Speak the truth in love. Invite them to your church.

There is a place for the Christian to fight the cultural war. But we need to always remember how and why we fight it. God has given us weapons to fight, as Christians. And its not long drive-in lines at fast food joints. Our weapons are spiritual, they are not carnal. Numbers are good and helpful in fighting the cultural wars, but they do not win the battle. Only the Gospel of God’s free grace in Christ can and will do that. Speaking the truth of the Good News in love and gentleness will do that, not a nose to nose shouting match.

So, next year (or tomorrow!) should you stay home or go to Chick-fil-A? By all means, go if you want. Go and love Chick-fil-A and their biblical principles. But also, go and love the homosexual and liberal community with the biblical call to repent and believe the Gospel.

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Jonathan

7 years ago

Jim,

Well put! Loved it.

patrick

7 years ago

One good reason not to go to CFA is because factory farming is ethically horrendous.
But evangelicals, in their cultural myopia, have long since picked their moral stance and won’t be having that (or other) debates any time soon.

Benjamin P. Glaser

7 years ago

I don’t want to turn this into a post about factory farming, but as one that lives in the south of Mississippi and has “factory farming” chicken farmers in his congregation the idea that it is “ethically horrendous” is absurd.

But to the OP I am not sure we have to do either. The only reason I didn’t go yesterday is that if there is one thing I dislike more than anything it is waiting in long lines. And the only reason I won’t be going to Chick-Fil-A today is I have no interest in being involved in what is likely going to be a “bait-catching” exercise by the sodomites.

RN

7 years ago

Curious – have you ever even visited any of these “factory farms”?

Benjamin P. Glaser

7 years ago

I think I noted having a factory farmer in my congregation so I certainly think that is a yes to the visitation question. But to do that one better not only have visited one, I worked at a similar turkey factory farm in High School sweeping the feces off the floor. The “Food, Inc.” doc was so incredibly biased and nonfactual to be almost farcical.

RN

7 years ago

The earlier comment is a valid one – I don’t think CFA is known for raising up cage-free, organically-fed chickens, but rather chickens of the inhumane, packed in, windowless, deafening variety as you can see in documentaries like ‘Food, Inc.’

But back on topic, I personally find the entire issue ridiculous that we govern opinion by means of chicken sandwiches. Maybe I miss my mark, but the apostle Paul never spoke about engaging the secular government and society at large by means of ordering overly-salty fried chicken sandwiches.

souless Chiken

7 years ago

I like how the word humane is used when referring to Chicken…

Frank Aderholdt

7 years ago

All these conversations have run a-fowl of my sensibilities. You won’t get a peep out of me.

Charles Hyneman

7 years ago

I read your article until you described Catholics as non-Christians. Then I realized you are a fool as described is Proverbs ans stopped reading. What specifically makes you think Catholics, who are the only Christians who stand up for the unborn by truly following Christ, are not Christians? Would you call the ELCA Lutherans Christians? If your answer to that questions is yes, the you have earned the designation as fool x 2.

James J. Cassidy

7 years ago

Charles, I guess I am only a 1-sided fool as I believe both the ELCA and the RCC are equally anti-Christian. Sorry I missed the deuce, though.

patrick

7 years ago

People like Ben should, first, learn to make reasonable arguments. How is it, in any way, a sufficient argument for a moral claim X that some people one knows who are involved in the practice X think the practice is fine? (And from a pastor no less. One would surely hope Ben does not approach all questions in ethics with such flippancy.) Second, people like Ben should do some actual research, and the topics like the cognitive and experiential capacities of mammals, the conditions of many factory farms, and so on, are extensively researched and come out as a serious moral issue on every extant ethical theory.

Unfortunately Reformed pastors are no less free from cultural and ethical myopia than evangelicals, and this isn’t a conversation most Reformed will be having any time soon either (even though people that work in ethics–Christian or non–are overwhelmingly decided on this issue, for it is an easy moral conclusion that animals ought not be subject to unnecessarily painful conditions.)

Benjamin P. Glaser

7 years ago

Thank you Patrick for your comments.

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