Unless you have been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks, you are well aware of the controversy that Chic-fil-A has been generating in response to their owner’s comments in support of traditional marriage and Christian family values. Mike Huckabee even created an event in the fast food chain’s honor, asking supporters to flock to their local venues and literally “eat mor chikn.”
Based on my facebook news feed, there are basically two main lines of thinking on the topic. Either Chic-fil-A is God’s voice in the fast food world and not supporting them is not supporting God or Chic-fil-A is the ultimate symbol of hatred and anti-gay sentiment.
No matter where you come down on that discussion, you have to admit one thing: this is probably the single greatest thing to happen financially for the fast food franchise in a LONG time.
Which is my rub with this whole thing.
While the evangelical Christian community is going ape poop over a fried chicken breast sandwich, they are forking over $5 or more per person. Money that could have been spent in much more productive ways. But someone has already said something to that effect I’m sure. And that’s not where I am going with this thing anyway.
Another issue I have is this sudden interest in the free market economy that the Christian community has. It shows a deep hypocrisy within the movement. Fast food, which is directly linked to obesity when consumed in large quantities, is acceptable while things like alcohol and smoking, which when consumed in large quantities are bad for you, aren’t?
Of course, regarding fast food, the argument is that, when consumed in moderation, it doesn’t hurt you. Hate to say it, but the same is true for the other things mentioned above as well.
Again, not the point. I digress.
My point is that this whole thing is not what the Gospel is about. We can join the CRA or eat fast food all we want, but what good does it do if supporting those organizations does nothing to advance the Gospel? Be honest: what has eating at Chic-fil-A today done to advance the reason Jesus came to earth in the first place? When the world sees the statements made by the owners as hate speech, and we run to support them, doesn’t that look like we support hate speech?
Do we really want to be associated with that? Do we really want to be known for what we supposedly hate?
But, even deeper than what is staring us in the face is the fact that, more often than not, this is what we Christians like to do. We like to rally in support of people and organizations that stand against things that we don’t like. From small things like riverboat gambling (I remember when I was a kid, seeing everyone at church, pastor included, wearing these buttons with a boat on it with the traditional circle with a slash through it denoting “no” and the pastor railing against the evils of riverboat gambling as the city considered opening a casino) to the big things like abortion. We devote countless hours of our time and millions of dollars seeking to prevent committed homosexual couples from getting married and mosques from being built in our communities.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t defend life, family, or moral integrity. But that isn’t what Christ has called us to devote ourselves to. Christ commissioned us to go into the world and share the gospel and baptize people into His family. You can’t do this if your time is devoted to issues that would resolve themselves if the Gospel were penetrating the far reaches of the earth.
We love to point out other’s sins that are not so easily hidden as what we ourselves do behind closed doors. If the Gospel has truly filled us, then we should be ministering to the world in the same manner He did: washing their feet and dying for their freedom from the curse we share with all men.
But we can’t really do this if all our time is devoted standing in line waiting for fried bird carcass, however it may be dished out.