A reflection on life after Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day

August 2, 2012

One of the most troubling aspects of our fallen human state is the tendency for the failings of human nature to be amplified in larger groups. Peer pressure is not only for kids. Many of us tend to lose emotional balance and the capacity for self-criticism. That is why, despite my well documented support for Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A (scroll down for a number of earlier posts), I stayed away.

Let’s try to work this through. Is the fast food chain stating the correct position on same-gender marriage? Yes, no question about that. Should fellow Christians support a brother or sister who does the right thing? Absolutely. When we publicly emphasize Christian practice and belief, should our actions honor the name of Jesus Christ? That question should answer itself.

It turns out that just about everybody has an opinion about Chick-Fil-A. Several mayors of large cities, and a smattering of low-functioning elected officials, have descended into delusional raving by proposing that the power of government to zone property for commercial use should be used to punish the national chain for the religious views of its CEO. That kind of thing is beyond dumb and astoundingly dangerous. Of course, the only natural response to this kind of unhealthy political outburst is to introduce the offenders to the Second Amendment – a not very well concealed resort to violence. How pleased the Heavenly Father must be as he looks down upon his Christian children! Yes, that gospel thing is really taking hold in the hearts of Jesus’ followers.

A notable, and discouraging, aspect of our culture is the ease with which people in the public eye disregard the law, the fundamental rights of others, any faithfulness to truth, and respect for others as bearers of the image of God. You can see that this is seen across-the-board. When Christians willfully participate or enable this kind of thing, we are choosing man’s way over God’s way.

What follows next here is not a “solution,” or even a “criticism.” Christians may not stand by and do nothing when we are supposed to be the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth.” (Matt 5:13-16). It is a solemn duty to share the good news. So, is the threat of violence “good news,” or is it just more of the same failed corrupt human tendency toward coercion and intimidation? Is verbal abuse or homophobia “good news,” or does this represent a continuation of man’s prideful misrule of God’s good world.

American evangelicals are frequently influenced by the materialistic and self-seeking culture. There is a very great danger of replacing the gospel standard with man’s instinctive rebellion against God’s long-term plan to bring everything in the universe under the rule of Jesus Christ. As our savior and example, he stood trial before Pontius Pilate without a harsh word, knowing that he would be brutally mistreated and executed.

It is a bad temptation to think that we scored a big one for Jesus. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity who is enthroned on the right hand of the Father,  does not need us to do anything. If our actions and our hearts are not right, all that was accomplished was to bring discredit on the gospel. We are not sent to share the gospel with only those we like, or the people that make us feel comfortable. Christians who are conscious of living the gospel deliberately make their conduct appealing and are willing to respectfully interact with all kinds of people – even those we consider enemies.

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