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God is Not a Chicken Sandwich

By Paul Bright
Posted Aug 6, 2012 in
First and foremost, full disclosure. I am a Christian southerner that isn’t very fond of Chick-Fil-A’s food. I know, I know. It’s near blasphemy. I don’t even have the “I live on the West Coast” excuse now because there are two restaurants within five miles of my home. I just think they are overpriced chicken sandwiches, although I can’t hate on their waffle fries. I can, however, find fault with my fellow believers that basically turned God into a chicken sandwich and gave the devil yet another tool to divide us.
Let’s bring this up to speed: Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, remarked that he is “guilty as charged” for supporting the biblical traditional marriage, i.e. between a man and his first female wife. Suddenly, groups took that to mean that he hates homosexuals and so does Chick-Fil-A. People protested. Social media set on fire. Yet no one could find one Chick-Fil-A policy or sign at a Chick-Fil-A that read “no gays allowed”.
But fellow believers thought they should rally around this Christian-principled business and show appreciation by standing in line for hours on a designated day and buying Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee organized the day on line and garnered 65,000 positive responses to his invite. It turned out to be the most profitable day in Chick-Fil-A’s history. Counter-protestors rallied by staging same-sex “kiss ins” at Chick-Fil-A. The Muppets pulled out of business with them. Boston practically banned their restaurants.
With all of this controversy, I can honestly say that my beef (can I say “beef?” in a chicken-based article?) is not with the anti-chicken protestors but with my fellow Christians.
If Cathy is as Christian as he proclaims, he’s probably also against gluttony, bigamy, mistreatment of God’s creatures, non-biblical divorces, premarital sex and adultery. I’m willing to bet that there are employees in his company that all fit in these categories. They’ve got past and present sin. Yet there are no policies in his company that exist to create hate or unlawful discrimination against any people with those sins.
Take a look around the pews. Many of us fellow Christians can say we’ve been to Celebrate Recovery for the same ones. And, as in the bible, none of God’s “policies” call for discrimination against people, either. Believers and non-believers are all in the same boat:
Romans 5:6-8: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
My problem is that too often we Christians will rally around some sort of cause that we believe attacks our faith without realizing how much it distracts us from what we are called to do: spread the love and gospel of Jesus. In this case, we rallied around an overpriced chicken sandwich, and not around God. I’ve been there, done that, and learned the lesson the hard way.
There are even gay employees at Chick-Fil-A who have suffered from discrimination- not by the company, but by misguided believers. Christians actually came in espousing support for Chick-Fil-a but followed it with homophobic slurs.
Take a look at Jude 1:23: snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
How do homophobic slurs or spending all that time in Chick-Fil-A on Appreciation Day demonstrate this?
Sure, we’re allowed to judge. We are called to judge a specific group of people: ourselves. 1st Corinthians 5:12-13: For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
The right thing to do would be to demonstrate Jesus’ love by balancing that truth with grace. You could have spent those same hours asking people in line if they wanted to hear the true gospel of Jesus. Maybe you could have bought dozens of sandwiches and fed them to the homeless or disadvantaged. Or perhaps you could have dug into your bible and read the full context from where Dan Cathy’s views came from and made a conscious effort to reexamine your own faith.
Instead, we fell into the devil’s trap. We created a golden icon to rally around. We threw money at a political cause in hopes that somehow our cries and judgment would lead to salvation even though salvation can only be gained through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior. Our rally cries turned more people away than brought them into the church. We created yet another icon to worship and adore in the name of our God, but it wasn’t our God.
In this case, we’ve turned our God into a spicy chicken sandwich.
That’s just how the devil likes it.