So I figure it is my time to weigh into the whole Chick-fil-A controversy. I was recently asked by a friend what my opinion was on this whole issue. His concern is that the church of Christ should be concerned about bigger issues. There was a time when controversy in church actually meant something! Controversy in the church meant the deity of Christ or the inspiration of Scripture were at stake. Now when we go to war, we fight about chicken sandwich shops… I understand my friend’s concern and have a great deal of respect for him. I can truly say his facebook posts have been most edifying and have challenged me to think deeper and to grow closer to the Lord. However, on this issue I must disagree.
I have decided that on August 1 I will be eating lunch at the closest Chick-fil-A to me, which is about an hour away. I would encourage my fellow blog readers to join me. Yes, I publicly support this chicken sandwich shop. I will give you two reasons why.
First, I am concerned about the future of my country. If you recall, this controversy started as liberals reacted against Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy voicing his support for the traditional family. He acknowledged that he gave money to pro-family organizations. Both the Mayors of Boston and Chicago declared the restaurant chain unwelcome in their cities due to such bigotry. Of course, Chick-fil-A does not discriminate against any homosexual when he comes to the restaurant for food or a job. Liberals made this a controversy. All they reacted to was a man who supports a Biblical definition of marriage.
This greatly concerns me. This issue has nothing to do with chicken and much to do with our individual liberties as Americans. Now, I am aware that Christians have historically prospered under persecution. I am not for one minute going to suggest that a chicken place not getting a zoning permit is just as fierce as being thrown to the lions. On the other hand, I think we would be naïve to think that can’t happen in our country at some point. Whether we like it or not, homosexuality is going to be the theological issue of our day. Those who take a firm stance against homosexuality will face increasing difficulty in this world. This current controversy should be seen for what it is – a harsh, unwarranted attack on Biblical truth. It most likely will get worse. We should expect it, but I don’t think we have to accept it.
God has blessed the Christians in this nation with religious freedom and liberty unknown in most of the world and in most of the history of the church. To
simply let this go without a fight seems ungrateful. It would be a failure to recognize what an incredible gift the Lord has given us. Yes, Christianity has prospered during times of persecution. But, there’s a reason why Puritans and Separatist fled England to the unknown shores of America – they didn’t want the persecution they received in England. I don’t want it here in America either. I would rather preach Christ with freedom than preach Christ while looking over my shoulder. But let it be said – I preach Christ crucified and magnified either way!!!
I would like to see my country continue to tolerate freedom of religion. Let me be clear, I am not suggesting our nation’s government needs to lead the charge for moralism. I am not looking to elected officials to enforce or even promote Bible doctrine. I do want my country to allow religious expression to be protected in the public forum. I want the government off the back of the church and individual Christians as we seek to spread the gospel. It is only the gospel that will change lives and culture for the better.
Second, I want to support my brother in Christ. As I said earlier, it was the liberals who made this the controversy what it is. After Cathy made his comments, you didn’t see a swell of conservative mayors demanding Chick-fil-A to come to their cities. You saw a man trying to honor God viciously attacked. In light of this, I want to encourage my Christian brother. He is facing an onslaught of attacks. What a huge encouragement it would be to see millions flock his restaurant when secularists are calling for boycotts. It is such a small thing to eat lunch at a restaurant. I don’t think it on the same level as Luther at Worms. But this small thing can encourage a brother and may even strengthen others like him. This is a no-brainer for me. What would it say if I were not willing to do such a simple thing to encourage a fellow believer under distress?
I hope you see this isn’t just merely about a fast food restaurant. Sure, it’s not Athanasius taking on Arius or Tertullian writing against Marcion, but it is an issue worth talking about.
Update – listen to my KevCast podcast about this very subject – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kevcast/2012/08/01/chick-fil-a-and-the-culture-wars