The Chick-Fil-A-Ing of the Church

November 18, 2019 9:35 pm

This is about the Salvation Army and the people who so hate what it believes that it will seek to cripple its ability to help the most poor and marginal of people, regardless of what those people believe.

It is not about Chicken or about whether a corporation can do what it wants within the law with the funds that are theirs to steward.

It is about a popular myth. That myth is that Christian organizations which do great good in the community will be left alone by those who cannot abide their traditional Christian stands on sexual ethics; that their great service will gain them at least grudging respect and acceptance by those who disagree with them on that one issue because the work they do is so vital to so many hurting people.  Recent events suggest that just isn’t so.

If the Salvation Army is the ‘enemy’ and can be treated as a pariah by corporate America – by Chick-Fil-A, no less! – then not a single Christian individual or organization should remain under the slightest illusion that some amount of mercy ministry will be enough to establish it as ‘safe’ or ‘good’ in the emerging cultural tyranny.

Nope. You don’t get a pass from the haters just because you house the homeless, feed the hungry, shelter the abused and abandoned, and help the addicts. If you maintain Christian moral teaching on sexuality as your standard, you’re out.

The Salvation Army cares for all, regardless of religion, the lack thereof, gender (fluid or otherwise), or who a person’s preferred sexual partner may be. If you’re homeless, hungry, naked, or an addict, they’ll do their level best to do as Jesus commanded and love you in word and deed.

That’s enough for some people. It appears that unless the Salvation Army abandons its own doctrine on marriage and sexuality for its own members, it is worthy only of being savagely attacked, scorned, and defunded.

Which brings me to the myth I hear many espouse.

Some Christians seem to think that all of the do-gooding will gain them street-cred. Get over that nonsense. Get ready for a fresh hot lesson in what Paul actually meant by ‘I am not ashamed…’ in a society that viewed everything he said and did with disdain and heaped shame on him and his tribe.

The loving our neighbor mission will NEVER be abandoned by the Church – loving every singe neighbor no matter what – but don’t be confused about the purpose of obeying the commandment. That purpose is:
* God’s glory
* Our Neighbor’s Good
* Bearing witness to Love in an angry, divisive, tribal society

It is NOT to convince the powers that we’re ‘OK’.

Let me be clear: Jesus was and is perfect love and they hated him for it. They killed him for it. They hated him without a cause. They’ll hate you too for all of the same invalid reasons.

Now, as to the Chicken thing…

I don’t eat there anyway and could not possibly care less about Chick-Fil-A, but they should just go ahead and open on Sundays for the people who do think its good food. They’re just one more cog in the money worshipping machine that can be pressured by hate. IF CFA caved over this issue – and there’s plenty of evidence that suggests that’s exactly what they did – then then they need to hang up their conservative Christian crdentials.

Money talks, but as Bob Dylan wryly observed, ‘Mostly it swears.’

If the Chick-Fil-A folks wanted their millions to say something unique, they could’ve given some of their spare change to groups the LGBTQ communities believe would assist people. Fair enough. That could be a terrific thing to do. I’d still not buy their food (Again, I’ve never bought it – I don’t like it), but I’d at least have abosultely nothing to write about here while I avoided it. By dropping the Salvation Army and the FCA they’re saying something different: Chick-Fil-A is apparently not only ashamed of the Christian Faith and Christian teaching but is actively opposed to it. Closing on Sunday? Big deal.

We won’t stop loving all our neighbors, no matter what their beliefs, helping in mercy, or sharing Jesus with people. I don’t think the Salvation Army will stop either. That will make a difference in many lives even if it invites the displeasure of some. I just think its incredibly sad that sponsors are being forced into a culture war premise for their giving – and sometimes capitulate to the loudest voices rather than supporting those who meet the greatest needs.

My advice? Give your chicken sandwich money to the Salvation Army this year. Add an extra gift. Seriously.

* I’ll be perfectly happy to drop this if the Chick People come out and re-instate their contributions on a yearly basis, suggesting ‘We just aren’t making multi-year commitments’. Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. *




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