Thursday, August 2, 2012

another friggin post on Chik-fil-A

Let me begin by including a meme from my friend Taylor’s facebook page that I suspect describes how most people feel about reading another blog, meme, or facebook comment about Chick-fil-A.

For this reason I’ve tried to be diligent about reading the smorgasbord (thanks Mr. Rogers) of commentary offered on Chick-fil-A so I don’t waste your time by repeating what has already been said. 

After my undoubtedly narrow survey of internet ramblings here are my winners:

Jan Hatmaker’s “in the basement”

The always thoughtful Rachel Held Evans “some words for Christians on both sides of the Chick-fil-A war

In response to yesterdays outpouring of support for Chick-fil-A, Matthew Paul Turner has written, “5 Reasons Why the Church Failed Yesterday.”

And for pragmatic commentary, Jonathan Merrit’s article in The Atlantic. 

I haven’t seen anything by the neo-reformers, but I trust that this silence means what we all know … God is sovereign over CFA.

There is one reason why I’m glad that issues like this get a lot of attention and that is this because it matters.  But I probably don’t mean what you think.  It doesn’t matter that Evangelicals showed up in masses to let people know what they think.  It matters that Evangelicals showed up in masses to let people know what they think.

We need to talk about this.  We need to be critical ourselves and we need to decide how wise these choices were.  If it takes one blog, two blogs and an article, or whatever is necessary—the endless critical analysis that we offer in cyberspace is well worth it.  We need to think carefully about the choices are making and why they matter. 

In 1 Corinthians 5:12 Paul says, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?”

When I watch the news and see the devastation that plagues the world I’m heartbroken, but uncritical.  This is what I expect from the world.  When Christians devastate the world, this is a disaster.   People get hurt, suspicions are confirmed and atheists are created.  For this reason we better be sure as shit that when we do something in the name of Jesus, it’s what Jesus would do.  I’m convinced there’s nothing more demonic than Christians getting it wrong in the name of Jesus.

Speaking of the news, this was the best facebook post I saw on the whole episode from my friend Emily.

Last night I watched the local news.  An elderly lady, with convictions, shared about why she had come to eat at CFA. 

“I’ve come to support the Biblical definition of marriage.”

And then later

“God created Adam and Eve.”

Dear Lord help us ..  she’s not going to say it …

“Not Adam and Steve.”

As I ingested internet commentary instead of chicken yesterday I was reminded of a sermon Kyle preached.  I don’t remember the whole sermon, the text, or even the context in which Kyle delivered the words, but I do remember Kyle admonishing us to be Christians who were “for” something and not be defined by what we were “against.”  I did some research and found his source. 

In his chapter on being Post/Protestant in A Generous Orthodoxy, Brian McLaren points out that protestants have gotten so used to being against something they’ve forgotten how to be for something.

Indeed.  Christians are supposed to be “for” people.  Yesterday as moderates were reminding conservatives on facebook that Jesus cared about social justice my friend Victor, pastor of La Vega Community Church, was unable to join the digital discussion because he was doing justice.

Victor’s church served 140 hungry people from his community.  My point is that, yesterday, Victor spent his time being “for” something.  And the great thing is that by him being for something I know exactly what Victor is against.  He is against people being hungry in his community. 

Some might object that they didn’t go to Chick-fil-A to be against anything.  Rather they went to be “for Christian marriage” or “for free speech.” 

Two points in response. 

1. I can assure America, that free speech is not under attack.  If this country has protected Westboro Baptist Church’s right to do what they do for this long … we are a long way from anyone’s free speech being threatened.

2. I wonder if  Chick-fil-A lunches were really the best way to be for Christian marriage?  My friends Byron and Carla are passionate about healthy marriage between a man and a woman.   They’ve given their life to building and protecting healthy marriages.  Byron and Carla truly are “for” Christian marriage. 

I haven’t heard a specific number, but as suspected CFA killed it yesterday with record sales. 

The divorce rate in the US is 50%.

What Byron and Carla do takes money.  What if yesterday all the Evangelicals gave their $5-7 to Legacy to help families fight for marriages.  That would be an awesome “for” marriage day. 

Or my friend Tara Livesay who with her family lives in Haiti.  Her and her husband Troy work hard to help mothers keep their children so they don’t have to give them up for adoptions.  What an incredible way to be “for” families.  What if we all sent them our $5-7. 

Jesus said that to whom much is given much is expected.  American’s have an unprecedented amount of wealth.  We have so much money (and time) we have the luxury of making restaurant choices into political choices.  Holy schikies!  

I don't doubt that Evangelicals went out by the millions with good intentions.  I don't doubt that we are passionate people.  I sometimes doubt we were effective.  The Christian West has an incredible opportunity to affect change.  I hope we get it right.