Chick-fil-A is great. The food is delightful, and although they discontinued the carrot and raisin salad, I still want to believe that the guys in charge love Jesus. Obviously, they cannot exclusively hire Christian employees, but there is a loving and friendly atmosphere in every one of their restaurants. Can you get saved by eating their waffle fries? I doubt it, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
What is the gospel according to Chick-fil-A?
If you know anything about Chick-fil-A, it is probably that they are closed on Sundays. This is a great Christian ideal, and allows their employees to attend church and spend time with their families (if they so choose). In addition, there are many stories circulating the internet about them feeding the homeless, helping stranded travelers, and other great and Christlike things.
Because of this strong pro-Jesus stance, church groups from all over show up in their large white vans to fellowship over some sanctified chicken blessedness, and who can blame them? From what I can see, the people running Chick-fil-A allow their Christian values to affect their business practices. This is admirable, and should be imitated.
Christians are invested in what Chick-fil-A is doing, and it’s about more than the sandwiches. People like to support those who are like-minded with them. Why shouldn’t Christians enjoy supporting their spiritual brotherhood? It’s a great thing to invest in the family of God.
But what happens when family let’s you down?
Recently, there was an article published online with the headline Chick-Fil-A Makes Controversial Move to Open on Sundays. Okay, so this article was published on April 1, and it was a joke, and was probably not endorsed by the God-fearing chicken barons. The headline pretty much says it all, but the article is good for a laugh.
While initially believable, the article made several references that were just too cheeky to be believed by any thinking person, such as myself or my highly intelligent readers. However, many people (obviously not Unhymned followers) saw fit to comment on this bit of satire with varying results:
I now hate Chick-fil-A and their Godless business practices!
Clearly the new CEO isn’t a Christian like his father before him.
The Bible says that if you call someone a fool, than you are in danger of hell fire. And you played an April Fool’s joke. You’re going to hell.
I’m going to boycott Chick-fil-A and get offended and act like an idiot.
Okay, so maybe that last one wasn’t actually posted, but it should have been. And herein lies the problem:
Christians are quick to act the fool.
Yeah, I said fool, and I don’t believe that I’m not in danger of hell for this. When you publicly put your opinions out there, you are opening yourself up for criticism. Does that mean that we should bully those that we disagree with? Obviously not! I’m bound to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, even when they make Jesus look bad. But, because I love them, I’m also obligated to raise the red flag in hopes that they can see it and maybe change their behavior.
So if you’re that guy on the internet who wants to boycott everything and like to post on Facebook using all caps, listen up, because this is for you.
Jesus loves you. He really does. But He doesn’t love you anymore than those sinners who do horrible things like sell chicken sandwiches on Sundays. And your outrage directed toward those sinners isn’t showing them that God loves them. Instead, your disapproval is a great way to tell them that you, and God, really don’t like them and want nothing to do with them. (This, by the way, is not the great commission.)
Christians, can we just not scream and yell every time something rubs you the wrong way? I mean, yeah, Jesus flipped tables in the temple, but he wasn’t out in the courtyard knocking over food carts. He didn’t go looking for sinners to kick while they were down. He didn’t stop drinking Turkish coffee just because the Turks didn’t follow Him. He loved them, and one way He proved it was by being around them.
He didn’t sit in the synagogue and talk about how bad the thieving tax collectors and prostitutes were. Instead, He went to their house, where they had doubtless committed a myriad of sins, and He ate their food. And you know what? If they had bought a chicken sandwich on a Sunday (or on the Jewish Sabbath, which really isn’t Sunday), He would have eaten it.
Before you start to get fired up about having a restaurant serving food on a Sunday, check yourself and see if Jesus would act in the same way that you are about to.