Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Today has Proven. (Otherwise known as the post in which I may lose friends.)

It's on the news.  It's all over my facebook newsfeed.

Christians love chicken.  Especially from Chick-fil-a.

I've looked at countless pictures of chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

There have been quite a few status updates "sticking it to the man," in regards to gay marriage, free speech, and religion.

I've received numerous requests inviting me to the Appreciation Day.  I actually have had some folks tell me that I better be there.


What are we really trying to prove?

Are we representing our Jesus by posting pics of milkshakes and writing status updates boasting about how wrong the mayors of Boston and Chicago are?

For those of you that know me personally, you are WELL AWARE I love Chick-fil-a.  In fact, I fully support our local Chick-fil-a and their yearly revenue is probably subsidized by our household alone.

I eat there a lot.  I loooooooovvvvvve their unsweet tea with lemon.  Don't judge.

I also love the company.  I have family and friends who are Chick-fil-a operators.  I believe that they are one of the most well-run companies that truly cares for their customers and their employees.

They have given many of their employees college scholarships. They were more than willing to help us host a Spirit Night a year ago to raise funds for our adoption.  In my years of student ministry in Atlanta, they readily donated food to many of our events.

What I'm writing about today doesn't have to do with Chick-fil-a.

It has to do with the Christians who are seemingly waging war with words (and instagram pictures) in a battle that I'm not sure Jesus would even have engaged in.

Let's be clear, Jesus was firm on sin and it's effects.  He was the first to confront and the first to forgive.

But it wouldn't have been with a chicken nugget in one hand and his iphone in the other.

I think this issue is becoming more about sides.  Who can scream the loudest.  Who has the wittiest comeback that can shut down the other side.  Pride, in all it's ugliness is rearing it's head as Christians boast and claim their victory because the drive-through line is very long today.

I've read commentaries and statuses and watched how this has becoming a screaming match between political, sexual, and faith preferences.

And I just keep thinking- how is this like our Jesus?

I pray that if a gay young man or woman was actually brave enough to go in a Chick-fil-a today that they were welcomed with the hands and feet of Jesus.

But after what I've read online today.... I don't know.

Some of you will argue that this is just about free speech and democracy.

But Jesus was not about politics.  He was about freedom from sin.  Forgiveness.  Redemption.  Caring for the poor, the widow, the orphan.

What I can't stop thinking about today is that all we've proven that we need to win arguments.  That our side is bigger and louder.

I wonder how many of us, who know and love Christ and who support Chick-fil-a, took the time to  engage with someone who is gay in a conversation about faith in these past few weeks.  Not an argument. A conversation. One   in which we really listened to what they had to say.

As Christians, we can enjoy our sweet tea and chicken sandwiches, but let us focus on becoming more and more like Jesus.

I pray that we would be less concerned with winning arguments and proving our points and more concerned with loving our neighbors, helping each battle through the deadly grasp of sin, forgiving always, and caring for the broken-hearted.

I pray that rather than engaging in facebook flare-ups, we would spend our time advocating for those in this world that survive on much less than a chicken sandwich a day.

I pray that we would be less concerned saying "I told you so," and more concerned with introducing people to Jesus.

I pray that my Christian brothers and sisters would know that I write this not pointing the finger at everyone else, but turning it on myself as well.

Tomorrow is a new day.  Let us be just as passionate tomorrow about becoming more and more like Jesus as we were for a #5 combo meal today.