All week I’ve been thanking my lucky stars (and, erm, God) that I don’t live within 150 miles of the now-infamous poultry sandwich establishment, and that most of my far-North friends have no innate loyalty to the Southern chicken chain. For me, the ugly, aggravating, and to my mind incredibly stupid debate has played out online, and not in my community. *sigh of relief*
Still, there were some good, if searing, jewels that emerged from this dungheap of a debate. I will admit my bias up front: I am not half as concerned about Christians’ rights to express themselves as I am with HOW Christians express themselves. So that’s what these posts address.
Five Reasons Why the Church Failed Yesterday by Matthew Paul Turner
“People felt hate and we ignored that… Whether or not hate actually existed is not the point, people felt hated. And rather than acknowledging those feelings or trying to understand or engage them in any way, Christians everywhere marched off to their local CFA like it was a cross to bear, a necessity, a battle cry of some sort, the waffle fry’s last stand… How many times do we hear Christians say something like, “I don’t hate gay people. I may not agree with their lifestyle, But I don’t hate them.” If you were gay, would you believe that?”
Why Appreciating or Boycotting Chik-fil-A is an Adventure in Missing the Point by Larry Shallenberger
“In Jesus’ day, the religious lawyers used meals to prounounce moral judgement on their neighbors. They ate with those they deemed to be keepers of Moses’ law and shunned those they considered to be sinners. Tax collectors, shepherds, adulterers, drunks were all considered to be unworthy dining company. To eat with the unrighteous was to endorse their behavior… Jesus, on the other hand, found a far more interesting way to make a point with meals. He used meals to communicate his radical love for moral misfits. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus eating with sinners: people who made careers by stealing from others, people who worked in shady occupations and people who even ignored God’s rules about the use of their sexual organs. He ate with them all. By doing so he communicated that a Heavenly King wanted to extend his protection and lordship to these people, knowing full well who they were.”
And, standing in because the post I really wanted to put here has gone missing, Jan Hatmaker’s invitation to join her In the Basement.
“Christians, do you really think posting pithy statments on Facebook about “standing firm in our values” and “resisting the liberal media” is helping? The lines we draw in the sand do absolutely nothing except assure everyone else: YOU’RE OUT. When we turn to politics and power to legislate our brand of morality, we take the opposite approach of Jesus whose power was activated in the margins with the outcasts…humbly…preipherally.”
And, of course, there’s this:
If that’s not convicting, I don’t know what is. Next time something like this happens, let’s line up to show our love for people who are truly hurting, hungry, and downtrodden, instead of feasting on the greasy pleasure of flaunting opinions others find hurtful. Let’s break bread with the “moral misfits” Jesus invited to the table, instead of seizing the opportunity to demonstrate our disapproval–as if they didn’t already know that.
If we expect people to believe that we love them, we’d better start proving it.