Friday, August 03, 2012

Really? Chick Fil A? An Admitted Rant.

I so don't get the group of people I call myself a part of.  We Christians sometimes really, really don't see the damage we do by "making a point".  Oh, I know all the reasons so many felt the need to stand in ridiculously long lines Wednesday to purchase a fast food meal.  I know that for many folks, who staunchly support the political ideology of any company that this is important...very important.  I also 100% support the right of anyone, or any company to say what they want to say, to support issues they believe in.

What I despise is how blind we all are to how this exact sort of thing, the nitpicking, the "taking a stand", the divisiveness that we somehow believe means we are "stronger Christians" but actually does nothing more than support every non-believer's opinion about us...that we claim we offer a new life in Christ which leads to finding peace, to reaching out to others in love, that is about showing what joy life can actually offer as we live in the ways Jesus taught us, but is really NO BETTER than what the world has to offer.

Now tell me, folks, how in the world is what's happening during this asinine culture war doing a SINGLE THING to help others find that joy or peace?  How does this "taking a stand" draw any single person to that new life?

It doesn't.  I know I have a ton of non-believers who read this blog.  I apologize for what you are seeing in our public Christian discourse.  It is NOT the kind of Christianity I know, it is not anything I can relate to at all.  I know this is not reflecting anything at all to you that would make you have any sort of desire to step foot in the door of a house of worship.  I can't even call it a "sanctuary", for the sanctuaries of America are often quite the opposite for those whose beliefs don't align perfectly with those who dwell inside, otherwise all that "Jesus loves you" stuff goes flying out the window and you will clearly be receiving the message "You are NOT welcome here...unless you want to go eat at Chick Fil A with us this afternoon..."

I am sickened that our American lives are so well off, so clearly blessed, that we think THIS is taking a stand for Jesus.  Tell that to Jesus as he points to the very children my own walked hand in hand with in the streets of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.  Tell that to the mothers in African whose weakened bodies carry their own dying children across miles and miles of desert to try and obtain medical help...or even water.  Tell Jesus that you "Made a stand for him" by spending $20 at Chick Fil A...as you strode past the homeless, the ailing, the hurting from alcohol and drug addiction...and did nothing.

And watch Jesus shake his head in sorrow and utter disbelief.  Listen as he says "Did I EVER say that following me was about THIS?"

Call me a weak Christian, call me one unwilling to "take a stand".  I'll take a stand, all right.  My stand is "Love".  If it doesn't lead others to find the Jesus I know and follow, then I am not participating.  Period.

Are you as sick of this as I am?  Are you Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist but want to "take a stand" yourself for those who truly need us?  Do you think, regardless of how his people sometimes act, that Jesus actually taught some pretty cool things?  Then join with me to say "KNOCK IT OFF" to anyone of ANY faith who thinks this sort of action accomplishes anything that Jesus really wanted us to accomplish.

Do what Jesus said...provide for the widows and orphans.  Show love.  To everyone.  Let God sort out the rest.

Donate $5 or $10 to John Wright over at www.actofkindness.blogspot.com and "take a stand" for love.  You can agree or disagree with with gay marriage, I don't care.  Frankly, I have a feeling that Jesus cares a lot more about feeding the hungry than he does who sleeps with who.  But let's use our disgust to show a little love, not support a corporation.  Take a stand, feed an orphan, make a REAL difference.



25 comments:

Carrie DeLille said...

I think, first of all, that the problem is, you may never have eaten or experienced Chik fila :o). Haha...they're awesome. And FYI, you can't go to Chik fil a after church on Sunday...they're closed!! That's what's hilarious about the "big deal" made by the media. It's a Christian business, closed on Sundays, and they thought they were going to get any other answer from them than that they support a biblically based marriage of a man and a woman? Really? That's searching to condemn the Christian.
With true love, there is discipline, there is right, there is wrong. Love it not telling your children that whatever they do is ok, nor is it that way with our Lord and us. It is not choosing our own truth. For with choosing our own truth, everything is ok (or maybe nothing is ok), and I’m sorry, it’s just not.
Reminds me of all the training for foster care we received years ago. “Now, if the child goes to stick his finger in a light socket, DO NOT SAY NO or DO NOT slap his hand. You say say “Now, so and so, if you want to stick your finger in the light socket, that is ok, but it might be better if you don’t.”
As Christians, we are not called to condone sin. We are, however to love, and love is filled with truth. We are not to hold unbelievers to the standards of believers, so yes, we must be careful, but I am sick of Christians being told we’re intolerant, when indeed it’s those who say that who are the least tolerant of all.
If a sector of people who do not believe the word of the Lord to be truth and infallable, and are going to come down on a company for following and believing the word of the Lord, then I personally think, that I want to support them and let them know they do not stand alone.
I probably go to Chik fi la every other week or so for something (their diet lemonade is my favorite!). This week, I chose to go on the day that would send them a clear message, that they don’t stand alone on believing God’s word to be the truth. I have no doubt that the Lord will continue to bless them because of the message they send regularly to the public.
Even Christ, the great Shepherd of the Church and the Great Physician, NEVER HESITATED to point out people's sins and to COMMAND them to "repent" and "go and sin no more".  It was not Christ's acts of kindness that prompted the Jewish religious authorities to have him crucified. IT WAS HIS WORDS!  He dared to testify to the truth:
"The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." John 7:7 There is tolerance and there is love, but if somebody dares say that they believe in the Holy word of God as the inerrant truth, then I will stand behind them. There are many things I should do without and give instead to those who serve the Lord, this I should consider :o) each time I embibe in a tasteful delight that cost me $5 (lemonade is less)! You know I love and respect you soooo much, girl! May we all worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Heather said...

Respecting your opinion, I have to say that I agree with Carrie. The people standing in lines to show support weren't forgetting those in need. They were standing up for what they believe in which is the institution of marriage. I have gay friends who know I disagree and don't condone their lifestyle, but love them dearly. I don't have to agree; I have to love. But I can still stand for what I believe in and continue to show compassion and support for those in need.

Lisa Brotherton said...

Love your post Cindy!

Laura said...

Amen Cindy! I believe you have hit the nail on the head: "Jesus cares a lot more about feeding the hungry than he does who sleeps with who..."

Stephanie said...

Right on target! Thanks Cindy. Well spoken and very to the point. Can you imagine how many more orphans, how many widows could have been helped by all the meals purchased that day?! Did the majority of those folks go home w/ full bellies or did they go to the homeless shelters to help out afterwards? I think it is ashame what happened.

Sven Oborn said...

Here's a thought. How about the government not define marriage at all. Create a civil partnership status that any two consenting adults can apply to. That way there is equality AND no redefining of marriage. There is nothing new about this, after all, the government did not define baptism for a few hundred years. This should diffuse all hooplah I think and then perhaps people of persuasions would devote more energy to causes such as the one you described. The only ones that would not be happy with this would be the socially conservative and socially liberal busybodies - but I don't care about them.

Randy, Denise, Camden Denson said...

Carrie stated it well, and just a few more thoughts, Christ did get in the face of those who were doing wrong. He THREW the merchants out of the Temple. He told them to NOT defile his Father's house. He got in the faces of the disciples when they doubted him on the boat. When they were afraid for their lives during the storm, he was almost disgusted that they didn't trust him to take care of them. Jesus was always in their faces. He told those who wanted to stone the woman that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. While we are all sinners, we also need to stand up for Jesus and for our fellow believers. That is why the church has been kicked out of everything because we have not stood up for our rights. And also, we are to witness to the unbelievers, what does it show them when we do not stand behind a fellow believer, of whom we share the same belief? Just a few thoughts.

Cindy LaJoy said...

I love that everyone here commenting is respectful of each other's perspectives. Truth is, my main point is I am growing oh-so-weary of the things that turn people off to Christianity...especially when I see how it turned ME off for many, many years. This happens to be one of them, in my opinion.

Yet let me make this clear, in case anyone doesn't understand what I am also saying...Chick Fil A has as much to voice their opinion...and back it up with their money...as I do to voice mine. Thank goodness we live in a country where that still occurs, and as much as I may disagree not even so much with Chick Fil A's actions but rather the uproar it has caused and how Christians react in ways that those who are tentative about church will then feel is cause to reject it, I STILL think they have the RIGHT to do what they want.

Just as I have the right to say I'd prefer not to get into such conflicts that make people question what Christ is really all about.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Cindy!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with such fervor and clarity.

Reading through these comments, it amazes me yet again at how different parts of the Body of the Christ can see things so differently that it's like they're at cross-purposes and carrying on two entirely different conversations. And yet we're all seeking to faithfully follow the same Lord and Savior!

Anyway, thanks again!
Love, blessing, and shalom!
Kaye

Unknown said...

So appreciate you comments Cindy. Am receiving what i see as a little angst from those 'taking a stand for morality' for something i posted on FB yesterday.

Maybe so often our 'stand' is like slapping a blind man for being blind. lol

Steve

Anonymous said...

Plus, the food looks gross!

Dee said...

Hmm... I live in Atlanta where Chick Fil-A was started. The food is very delicious, far higher quality than any other fast food. I LOVE their chicken, their lemonade, all of it.
However, I will not be buying their food until they publicly announce they have stopped giving money to hate groups. I have dear friends who are gay. They didn't "choose a lifestyle." They were born gay. All of my friends are Christians and attend church, too, just fyi.

Thank you for posting this and reminding folks that the bigger issue is why can't we all act Christ-like and do some real good with our time and our money? Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

I admire your courage, Cindy, to speak your mind. I am definitely one of those totally turned off to Christianity (or any religious zealot). There is a sense of self-righteousness of the far right that I find extremely distasteful. It's like they are brainwashed and sometimes their ignorance scares me for our country. I only hope that education and common sense can help the coming generations. One doesn't need to have blind faith in order to care for others, act in charitable ways, and show love and decency to our fellow human beings.

Am thankful that we do not have Chick-fil-a around here, and I am very glad that I have never been to one, knowing what I do now.

Take care, Cindy.

Anonymous said...

"Call me a weak Christian, call me one unwilling to take a 'stand', all right." In every way, in every act I know that you are a Christian with deep faith, compassion, respect for all, and love. Your's is the faith to which I aspire.

"My stand is 'love'." Your life i" love. Your blog is just one example of that love.


Pick a place to make your money, time, and actions make a difference, and if you have money to spend, send it to John Wright so that he can be your hands in action for children in Kazakstan.

Reach out-love in action.
Lael

Anna said...

Carrie I so agree with your comment. As for other comments "Jesus cares a lot more about feeding the hungry than he does who sleeps with who..." I think He is probably more concerned about their salvation than their full belly. And as for criticizing people for eating at a restaurant instead of feeding the hungry, I seem to recall one of Jesus' disciples making a similar accusation against Mary for using an expensive perfume to anoint Jesus' feet with instead of giving the money to the poor, and shockingly Jesus did not agree with him at all. If you think Christians are a critical unloving group of people, then the people you think are Christians are definitely not. I know two different kinds of "christians" and let me tell you, there are churches where you will find love and acceptance, they do exhist, and these are the people that are true christians.

Anonymous said...

You are so right on. Whenever I see anyone trying to argue otherwise, all I see is a vapid, brainwashed "blah blah blah blah."

It's as clear as crystal. You get it. It's so very sad that others don't.

Thank you for writing from your heart.

Anonymous said...

Thought you would appreciate this post, which backs up your point of view quite well.

http://matthewpaulturner.net/f1/5-reasons-why-the-church-failed-yesterday/

Anonymous said...

xcellent post, Cindy! And I agree with Sven that the government should get out of the marriage business and offer civil unions to any two consenting adults. Then if they want to be married in their faith, they can do that too.

I guess I'm confused by the Christians taking a stand to oppose a basic civil right to gays because they believe it goes against biblical teachings. If you don't believe in gay marriage, then don't get one and discourage your children from doing so also. But please don't impose your views on the rest of us. We have a separation of church and state in the US. I'm sure you wouldn't like it if we based our laws on the Muslim or Jewish or any other non-Christian religion.

Also, I'm confused about why homosexuality is such a concern for some Christians. I certainly respect their right to hold a different view than me and to not practice homosexuality or enter a gay marriage. But what about all of the other things that are sinful according to the Bible? Do the Christians eating at Chick Fil A to show support live lives free of sin? Why are they so concerned about others "sinning"?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a wonderful post, Cindy. If we were able to overcome fundamentalist evangelical Christians using "the word of the Lord" to justify, condone, and support slavery and segregation, then I am hopeful that some day we will also have equal rights for gays in this country.

Lori @ Five of My Own said...

the politicizing of the Christian church has done more to threaten our faith and our families than gay marriage ever could.

And, standing in line for fast food is hardly turning over tables in the temple...makes me wonder, where are the long lines of people for the 147 million orphans in this world? Where are they when children are killed or sold into slavery? Where are they when a child is hungry?

Maybe they do both. Eat Christian chicken and feed a hungry child. I hope so but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Did not realize it got so big. Here people went because the company was tolf they could not sell chicken in a coupld of cities becasue of what the CEo said. It was not started as a "christian" stand just a few people who did not appreciate the cities' politicans reponse to freedom of speech. Ofcourse if the media did not make it an issue, most people woudl have never heard what the CEO said or cared. Too bad the kids in Africa don't get the kind of media attention this did.

. said...

I am confused why there is doubt that Christians who supported CFA don't also give to the poor? Everyone I know who supported CFA during this controversy also is very active in supporting the poor. The more I sit here and survey my friends and family who went to CFA on Aug. 1 or 3 to agree with the CEO's stance, yup, give WAY more money to the poor than CFA on that day or accumlated over time. Wow, I'm even sitting here thinking about lifestyles - many of my friends who supported CFA intentionally live very sacrificial lifestyles so they can minister to/with the poor and give their money to the poor. I'm sad that the CFA thing offended some but I think that topic is very separate from the caring for the poor issue. I'm bummed that some folks who are so opposed to making generalizations would then make a generalization themselves about a group of folks they don't agree with.
Shan in CO

Cindy LaJoy said...

Shannon, for me it is not that there is doubt that some Christians do both...sacrifice to support those in need. I guess I just find it so deeply sad that we Christians choose to participate in culture wars in ways that turn people off to Christ. We use language that is intentionally inflammatory, we love taking "stands" over issues that essentially place us in the position of making our own personal "hierarchy of sin" rather than letting God have the role that is God's alone, and that bothers me very much. The very man behind Chick Fil A (and I know little of him, other than he is human just like I am, just as any gay person is) himself is a sinner yet has placed himself in the position of judging that sin as "worse" than others. He is not "sinless" nor are any of us, and I just can't abide by our human need to categorize and attack others for their more obvious sins while ignoring my own which might be better hidden, yet still definitely exist.

Anonymous said...

We're all here together people. That's no coincidence.
Think about it.

Sven Oborn said...

Skimming through the messages and also in context of my previous post, I will add:

First, for those suggesting that there is a choice of either giving to the poor or eating at chick-fil-A, are in danger of backing yourself into a corner. Unless you are prepared to stop eating out all together and to live frugally, (no trips to movies, no travel to see family because that is frivolousness!) inorder to send checks to the 'poor' in africa, there is no moral leg to stand on.

Second, what complicated this situation, is the fact that some busy body mayors promised to using the heavy hand of government to punish cfa for simply having 'incorrect' views. One would expect such censorship in Saudi Arabia or some banana republics but in a free country? Freedom for the right to believe in ______ (fill in the blank) is worth fighting for. In Acts 16:37, Paul was standing up for his civil rights as a Roman citizen. Everyone, including christians, should likewise also stand up for their civil rights to beable to live their lives according to their conscience. And We need to stand up for the civil rights of christians (and by logical extension others too) in the banana republics because there's alot of them being discriminated against.

Third and having said all that, it is disappointing that influential individuals in the religious right are determined to have biblical principles enforced by government. It is worth repeating. It's not the government's business what people believe and how they live. Some people, if not most, simply do not want to live by biblical principles and we have to accept that. Most gay couples want the same benefits as heterosexual couples. My previous post gives a more amicable solution to that I think. Conforming to biblical principles must be voluntary and not by the heavy hand of government. This is what is causing, and what I think Cindy is getting at, the church to become such a stench. More importantly I see no evidence in the New Testament that encouraged political activism in order to have the biblical principles enforced by government. If anything, the NT encourages the opposite.

And while I'm at it, perhaps the government should stop harassing people in the polygamous communities. Is that any different from the freedom to believe and practice marriage as only between one man and one woman for life? Perhaps the government should also stop harassing those that want to 'get high' on substance. Is that any different from the civil right to live a 'spirit filled life according to biblical principles'?