I love Chick-fil-A. I love their food. I love that we got to enjoy one of the FREE retreats for pastors and their wives that they sponsor. I love that they are closed on Sundays to allow their staff to worship. Love them!
So I will definitely be asking for extra honey mustard for my fries on August 1st! Proud to show them support during the attack that has unfolded in the last week!
Is it just me or have you been watching this scene wide-eyed and with knots in your stomach about where we are headed as a nation?
Obviously the media has a huge agenda in this matter and they are going so far as to use quotes that aren't actually quotes at all. They have taken things out of context to stir up the debate. They have presented as truth and fact, not what Mr. Cathy actually said, but what they feel like he meant.
I read an article last night that highlights this very issue and has links to other pieces also written about the error of the press in this all out attack on Chick-fil-A.
"... the press put aside context and decided to paint this company as some radically-religious-gay-hating-entity and then let the forces of anger, hate and spite have their way with it." It is like they yelled "FIRE" in a crowded room and are just sitting back watching the chaos ensue.
Then there is the issue of mayors/government deciding that it isn't okay for a person or a company to believe differently from their personal opinions and that they have the right to deny them a license for business. Really? We are actually to the point of a refusal to let others have different opinions?
Makes my heart heavy. And makes me wonder what is ahead. How bad will it get?
Then I read Matthew 24 this morning . . . "As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ," and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of birth pains."
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
Friends, it will only get worse.
Be honest . . . how many of you are scrolling through your list of friends in your head and deciding who you would want to live in a commune with you?! We all have this natural desire to flee chaos and especially to protect our children.
But Jesus doesn't call us to insulation. He calls us to endurance and expansion.
We aren't to try to hide from all evil, but are called to stand firm as the enemy rages against our God. Instead of drawing in, we are to advance . . . advance the kingdom of God by literally advancing to all peoples with the Gospel.
We can't just be thankful that as followers of Christ we will go to heaven when we die and just wait until that day comes. The hope of the Church is not that we'll be going to heaven, but that Jesus will return. As Chad said in a recent sermon, "Revelation doesn't end with "We're coming Lord!", but with "Come Lord Jesus!"
Later in Matthew 24 Jesus declares that no one knows the day when He will return, but we should all be ready, living as if that day is today. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes."
Even in the midst of chaos and evil and persecution, we still have a mission . . . to make disciples of all nations. And I do believe that an all out abandon to our mission will be the very thing that helps us endure the days ahead.
I've been preparing to teach 1 Peter in Sunday School. Peter is writing to followers who are facing intense persecution because of their faith. The commentary I've been reading notes that "there are also many modern readers of 1 Peter who cannot relate directly to that situation, for we have been fortunate enough to live in societies where, generally speaking, Christian faith does not lower social standing, jeopardize livelihoods, or threaten life itself."
American Christians might have a hard time understanding and applying the Word of 1 Peter, but that might be changing. The more we face persecution for our faith, the more we'll grasp the riches of God's Word on the subject of suffering. And the more we'll have compassion and unity with the millions of brothers and sisters in the faith who have only known suffering since they made the life-changing decision to surrender to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Let us be a people who endure to the end. Let us be refined and purified by persecution. Let us stand firm against the enemy. Let us make disciples of all nations.
And let us "Eat More Chikin" while we're at it. :)