The Lesson of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: a Reflection

randomlychad  —  August 2, 2012 — 14 Comments

I know what you’re thinking. No, you don’t have to say anything; the look on your face says it all: why do we need another Chick-fil-A post? I mean that was so two days ago, right?

Truthfully, we don’t. But if you bear with me, I think it’ll be worth your time. Promise.

Here’s the deal: we’ve basically got two groups of people who are feeling marginalized and disenfranchised. On the one hand, there’s the LGBT community who wants to be accepted; on the other, folks who are quite sick of being told what’s normative, what they need to accept.

Both groups often don’t feel welcome in their own country.

One groups looks back, and sees an ever-increasing decline in our country’s values; the other, an ever-increasing freedom.

In a sense, both are right.

Since 1969, at Stonewall, the LGBT community has become more and more vocal in speaking up, and acting out. Whilst the Evangelical community has dug in its collective heels. What we saw this past Wednesday was a great communal example of that. It was quite simply a conservative backlash at the gay community’s zealously proclaimed message.

Both sides are essentially saying you will accept me, swallow the message I’m peddling, believe as I do.

And both are equally guilty of intolerance. However, tolerance in and of itself no virtue–respect is. Mutual respect is what we all must work towards.

But it doesn’t happen in a fast food line, or a “kiss-in;” rather it happens one life at a time.

The problem as I see it is that people are so busy fighting for their rights that there is very little exercise of humility. We simply can’t hear one another over the din. The shame of it I lay at our feet, brothers and sisters in Christ: despite Bible that tells us that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” we insist on the using the same tactics as the “other side.” It’s like we haven’t heard that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

Instead of praying, we fight fire with fire. And wonder why we lose time and time again. It’s like we’ve come down with a case of spiritual amnesia, and forget the maxim of Jesus, which tells us “He seeks to save his life, shall lose it.” Might this not also apply to he who seeks to fight for his rights? “But he who loses His life for My sake, and the Gospel’s, shall find it.”

If my own life is at all representative of a large American Evangelical whole, I see very little of this Jesus-approve losing going on. In fact, I would say more than any Judeo Christian tradition, this country is predicated upon the notion of right fighting.

It is our American bedrock: we fight for our rights, rather than give them up for the cause of Christ.

Personally, I belive there is a reckoning coming, and all of us–whether gay, or straight–will have to answer to God, to Jesus. For it’s not for nothing that the Bible says “It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment.” This means every idle word, every jealousy, gossip, slander, idolatry–there is nothing hidden from the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.

Each of us must look to our own hearts, pull the logs out of our own eyes, before attempting to correct a brother.

In the meantime, we watch, and wait, and pray. And the wheat and the tares grow up together as they must.

At an acceptable hour, Father will call in the harvest. There are sure to be many surprises on that day.

In the end, what can I say? I echo the words of the Scriptures:

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.”

What do you think? Do you have something to say?

Comments

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Good point about how the knee-jerk reaction is as Americans (rights fighters) rather than as Christians (self-sacrificers).

  • Chad, sometimes while I’m driving I have an idea for a blog post. I will get Jan, Lauren or Andrew to text me the idea I quote to them. Here is what Andrew texted me a couple of days ago: Does following Jesus mean surrendering our rights? I’ll still write it, but you captured a lot of what I had to say.

    • Cool, Larry! Look forward to reading your take.

  • Chad, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this. There are sooooooooo many levels to it. I believe Christ needs to be the focus of everything. His glory needs to be the goal, not ours.

    • There are so many nuances, Jim. And if completely agree: Jesus needs to be at the forefront.

  • Well said, Chad. I decided to emerge out of my blogging cocoon to share some very similar thoughts, which is definitely good, seeing as how we both follow the same Jesus. =)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • BOOM! Thank you for writing this. I’m having a difficult time digesting all of this and the conclusions I’ve come are these:
    1. The bible is clear on sin
    2. ALL sin is the SAME to God
    3. It is not my place to judge, but rather to demonstrate Christ’s love
    4. Tolerance and moral relativity aren’t the answer
    5. Life is messy and rarely only two-sided

    This whole situation is really awkward for me because I have gay friends and coworkers who I respect and would defend.

    • And thank-you for reading!

      That is a pretty kick awesome summation, K. C.! Love it!

      Amen to every one of your points!

  • I hope you don’t mind, but I will probably be using some of this for the Sunday School lesson I’m teaching tomorrow. Great thoughts. Just had a conversation with my parents about America’s obsession with entitlement. At one time it was called Manifest Destiny.

  • Thank you Chad. I
    linked back to you from that other site, A Deeper Story, and found your take to
    be inspired, refreshing. All the fuss over “rights” is
    disheartening. Your words hit home,
    especially after being caught in the crossfire of a left/right war recently,
    and still feeling the raw wounds. When
    we receive the revelation that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood,”
    we’ll all be better off.

    • Amen, Debra, well said: “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms.”

      Meaning: people are not the enemy--the Enemy is.