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.