I was just reading an article in USAToday and I saw this headline… “Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has declared Aug. 1 National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Oivay.
I keep hearing all of these soundbites and reading blurbs on the internet about Christian leaders saying we need to defend Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A and most of all our Christian faith. NO! We don’t! That is not we are called to do at all. I imagine that all of the Chick-Fil-A restaurants around the country are going to be filled to the brim with Christians. Christians, Christians and more Christians… together… in solidarity… standing for the rights of other Christians… defending against the vile attacks of the lost.
Now I know that’s not the phrasing they will put on the promotional posters – but the bottom line is that it is doesn’t matter what Christians say the real reason is for coalescing around Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday – what I said above is still what anyone outside of a Jesus relationship will hear.
So here is my question… If Jesus were here now… where would He be on Wednesday? I kind of think if he was going to indulge in deep fried chicken and fries on Wednesday – it wouldn’t be at Chick-Fil-A. You might be more likely to find him at Hooters… or a bar for the businessman’s special… or at an orphanage…. or a senior citizen’s home. I think Wednesday, you’d probably me more likely to see Him anywhere BUT Chick-Fil-A … and it’s not because He doesn’t love Dan Cathy or see the amazing love for His Father that Dan assuredly has. It’s because no-one in Chick-Fil-A, especially on Wednesday, will be in need of Him!
If we are supposed to represent the hands and feet of Christ – is that really where we should be on Wednesday either? What if we laid down our desire to defend our faith and instead reached out to a community in unconditional love. Love that says – hey there are no requirements for you to change first before I can love you. What if the Christian soccer mom and her beautiful perfect family of 2 boys and 2 girls showed up at Hooters in her 2011 Honda minivan (complete with the drop down screen in the back playing non-stop Veggie Tales DVDs) and walked in and asked for a table for 5. What would it look like if the kids had small gifts for all of the waitresses? … No, not the little laminated bookmarks of “Footprints In The Sand.” I mean what if it was something they’d really like … like lip gloss or a $5 Target git card? I mean I think you get the idea that “what it is” – is not as important as “what it isn’t.”
I know right now that some are going to say – this is a ridiculous idea! “I would never expose my children to such a place!” Ok – well I disagree first of all – but ok… Start out somewhere tamer. Head to a nursing home to spend time with strangers… head to a skate park and give out free bottled water… Go to Kentucky Fried Chicken (if you are bound and determined to eat fried chicken on Wednesday) and take small gifts for those employees. Again – it’s not so much the destination – it’s the heart behind it once you arrive.
So Wednesday my family won’t be at Chick-Fil-A. Not because we don’t support them or our Christian values (we love both!) but because it’s not where I think Jesus would go Wednesday. We will stop in there Thursday maybe to say hello to Jenny (one of the ladies that works at our local Chick-Fil-A joint – and my kids love her!)
Governor Huckabee – I love you buddy and I know you mean well and it’s probably too late to call this thing off (which I imagine you wouldn’t do anyway) but since you have this platform, don’t waste it. Encourage everyone that visits Wednesday to buy as much food as they can afford and take it with them to give away. Don’t just crowd into the store and eat at a table surrounded with other Christians… Take that food to a homeless shelter maybe! Then encourage them to do that every Wednesday. In other words don’t make Wednesday a National Day of Appreciation (aka National Defend Our Faith Day), make it a National Love Your Neighbor – Every Neighbor Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Religion – Day. I think that sounds way better on a poster and then this scripture at the bottom… Matthew 9:9-13 – Yeah. That wraps it up pretty well.