Full Christian Bellies
As usual, I am about a day late and a dollar short.
Apparently there’s been a not-so-great debate going around the country the last month or two, about chicken and marriage. And, while it sounds gross, illegal and to be honest, a little weird…I still felt I should write about it.
First of all, let me be clear that I don’t ever, I repeat ever, watch the news.
I don’t watch much TV, really.
I don’t read the newspaper.
I don’t listen to talk radio.
I don’t debate openly about anything…especially politics. In fact, I don’t know much about politics. I do know this.
These realities in my life are why I hadn’t heard about the whole Chick-Fil-A-hates-gays-so-let’s-hate-them-back campaign. I honestly didn’t know. Ah, what ignorant bliss that was.
That was then. This is now. Now, I do know about this mess.
I know about the hateful comments.
I know about the quick judgments.
I know about the broad labels and the vast assumptions.
I know about all of it now.
But, honestly, friend, IT DON’T MATTER NONE!
Because most importantly…I know Jesus. No, seriously…I like personally know the Guy. In fact, He and I hung out a lot the past few years while I was flat on my couch.
So, I thought about Him and I asked myself…
Self, would Jesus would be at Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday August 1st, 2012?
Dang right He would.
I don’t think He would scream condemnation and hold up picket signs with some cleverly thought up, yet equally mean spirited phrase painted on it. Not because He wouldn’t be mad about this junk. He’d be very mad. Correction. He is very mad. Shocked? No. But I’m fairly certain He is pissed off. And if you don’t think Jesus could get that way – you are wrong. He simply didn’t sin in his anger like we seem to repeatedly do hour after hour.
Jesus wasn’t some long-haired hippy who was a few thousand years too early for the peace and love movement of Woodstock. Yes, He is peace and love. He embodies them. But, He is also perfection of judgment. Righteous, perfect, and holy. God doesn’t take sin lightly, friend. People used to get smote, you know. I mean, whoa – that’s for real mad! I’ve been mad, but not gonna-smote-people-kind-of-mad.
As for this mess…
I won’t judge Truett Cathy or his comments, because I’ve never met the man and haven’t heard every single thing he’s had to say on this issue.
I won’t bash the mayors of Chicago or Boston. I’ve never been to their cities nor met them, either.
I will most certainly not use the Name of the One who holds my eternity, as a weapon of hate or judgment upon thousands, maybe millions of people – none of which, I’ve ever met.
I will, however, say this…and I will say it slowly so as to not be misunderstood.
Marriage – is – for – one – man – and – one – woman.
I won’t dance around that. The Bible says it, and that settles it. End of story.
The Bible repeatedly confirms what God had in mind for marriage. And it seems like our culture continually craps all over that. The book of James is pretty clear about obedience. Seriously, go read it. It whipped my lazy heart into shape!
James 4:17 “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” As Beth Moore so eloquently said, “James won’t let us ‘grace’ ourselves out of obedience.” Amen to that!
My comment on facebook (Team Holzberger will be at Chick-Fil-A Wednesday August 1st…will u? Don’t be a chicken! Just go eat some in Jesus’ Name.) was meant as an encouragement to my friends to support something they believe in, NOT a statement of hate toward anyone else, anywhere…especially those I haven’t met.
Friend, did you know God knit every gay and lesbian person together in their mother’s womb? Every single one. He has their hairs numbered. He knows their hearts. And, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for them, too. Yes, even if they don’t have a favorite pew to sit on or a fish on their car, He died for them too.
Does that make you uncomfortable? Are you upset at the thought that God may have done that kind of knitting right before He knitted your scrawny neck?
Is that where hate comes from?
But, hatred is not the same as judgment.
Jesus didn’t tell us never to judge. He just said to be prepared to be judged as well if you do, and with the same measure. He instructed us hypocrites not to judge the particle of dust in someone else’s eye when we have a flippin’ beam of timber sticking out of our own. (Matthew 7 and Luke 6)
But, we have to judge. We judge every single day if things are appropriate for our lives or not. Big things. Little things. And absolutely huge things.
We judge little things, like what clothing is appropriate for us, and God help us, our children to wear.
We judge big things, like what we will spend our time, money and energy on. And more importantly, what we won’t.
And then, like today, we judge absolutely huge things. Like how we will handle situations like this big ol’ mess. Well, my friend, I have made my judgment.
I’ve judged that this whole thing is completely and utterly ridiculous!
Goodness gracious, people, we all have the right to have an opinion, whether it differs greatly or aligns perfectly with Truett Cathy’s.
But, hear me…if all we ever do is rant and rave about it, then go fill our Christian bellies with Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday – then I judge that the enemy wins.
Satan is not only a master of destruction, but he is most certainly a master of distraction.
He is thrilled if we stay all puffed up or all up in arms about this whole thing. Because whether self-righteous or mad, either way we focus less on Jesus, who He is, and what He wants us to do today.
Yes, maybe we’ve ordered some waffle fries on a certain date…but for goodness sake, wouldn’t we have eaten supper that day anyway? Am I right? Friend, I assume if you are reading this now, then you have access to a computer, a roof over your head, and leftovers rotting in the back of your fridge just like I do.
Whether you are a Christian, an atheist, or haven’t got a clue either way …the fact is this – God made you and He knows your heart. Your lack of faith in Him doesn’t make Him any less God. My true faith in Him doesn’t make you any less important to Him.
But, if you do claim to love Jesus, then Wednesday, August 1st is a great day to go to Chick-Fil-A if your reason in your heart brings Him glory. But, if your reason in your heart is just to make you feel better about all this, or to show ‘those liberals’ who’s boss, for the LOVE of God, don’t go.
But, if you do go, please, friend, don’t let it end there.
Yes, your willingness to fight that crazily crowded parking lot may have helped raise the number of people who went out to “support biblical values” that day…but have we really loved anyone?
Have we fed the poor? Helped the needy? The orphaned? The widowed?
Have we really acted like Jesus?
Or have we acted more like the Pharisees and sat back in judgment while we turn our backs and full bellies on those who are in very real need?
My dear, sweet friend and fellow sojourner on this road of writing led me to a link of someone I have grown to respect.
Her name is Jen Hatmaker and I totally think she and I would be friends.
She loves Jesus, but not only with her words on facebook, her blog, and her books…but with her life. With her sacrifices. With her actions.
She, too, is appalled at this whole ordeal. In fact, I invite you to read her opinion on this whole thing. She has invited you and me into her basement to ride this whole thing out. She invites us to not take part in such ridiculous arguing.
And although I respect her greatly and feel certain that the two books of hers I’m about to read (Interrupted and 7) are going to rock.my.world…I have never been much of a basement girl.
I’m more of a ditch-the-dark-basement-and-sprint-to-the-hilltops-with-your-big-ol’-maglight kind of girl. Pretty often, in my world, anything worth doin’ is worth overdoin’.
A hundred years ago when I was an athlete, my favorite part of basketball was repeatedly and purposely taking a charge. Bruises. Broken ankles. Concussions. It didn’t matter. I still planted my feet firmly and held my ground while my opponent barreled into me with all their might.
The whistle blew. The ref made the call and that was that. Sometimes the call was in my favor. Often it wasn’t. Either way, we both always ended up with our backs flat on the court.
This is no different.
‘Us’ and ‘them’ will both come out of this bumped and bruised and perhaps concussed.
Little do we know, we aren’t each other’s enemies. We all actually have the same enemy. And he is fierce.
He’s come at me full speed and flat-out leveled me, at times.
I’m sure Satan has done that to you as well.
Like I said, my friend…this is no different.
He is coming at anyone who leans toward the left, and trying to get to them to lean even more. He is highlighting the sinful responses, ugly comments and out-right mistakes of those of us who call Jesus, our God.
He is coming at us Christians with one goal. He’s trying to get us to take our eyes of Jesus and put them on chicken. He wants us distracted, frustrated, upset, and busy.
After all, he has serious work to do in this world. And he won’t let some five-foot-four-blonde-‘has-been’-athlete-chick get in his way without a fight. But, does that mean I don’t take the charge? Um…Dear Hell, NO!
Once my visceral reaction about this madness died down…the more of me was released and the more of Jesus was revealed. The process wasn’t pretty. But, I realized I just couldn’t stop thinking that I wanted to do what Jesus would do.
And Jen Hatmaker, with all due respect, I just don’t think He would go down into the basement and ride this out.
In fact, I kinda think He would go grab a nugget tray and turn that puppy into something that would feed ten thousand. He’d find a way to get a handspun milkshake to someone who desperately needed something cold to drink.
He. Would. Serve.
He’d give a fresh chicken sandwich to a lesbian and then sit down and have lunch with her. Look her in the eye. Listen to her. Love her. Show her the Truth.
So, yes, in my humble opinion…I think Jesus would go to Chick-Fil-A on August 1, 2012 to openly support the Truth of what God’s Word says.
But, only briefly.
In fact, maybe He’d save the drama and just drive-thru.
Because He would know the real work to be done was not just ‘saying’ He stood against something, or stood up for something and being proud of the pics He posted on facebook with the cows cut outs behind Him.
He knew it was more important to live it.
Taking that blessed secret chicken recipe and giving it to someone who hasn’t eaten meat in weeks.
Surprising a group of kids with milkshakes who hadn’t been hugged in months.
He would sit with them. Talk with them. Pray with them. Laugh with them. And then on August 2nd, friend, He would get up and do it all over again.
So, my friend…what will you do?
Sit back, idle and quiet as your kids purposely eat McDonald’s on Wednesday, just because you don’t agree with every single word that’s come out of Truett Cathy’s mouth?
Make posters with slogans and draw a line in the sand proudly, reassuring every gay and lesbian person out there that you’d actually prefer a line to separate them from you?
Or go feed your belly with chicken and go home to proudly rest your satisfied head on your clean, fluffy pillow?
Or maybe…just maybe…you’ll take a step further.
Maybe you, like me, would ask forgiveness for your great, huge, ridiculous sin. And when you were done, you’d do it again for all the other ones you forgot.
Then, you’d make a PB&J for yourself, grab an apple for the road and then go serve chicken to the people who really need it.
And yes…you should give up the waffle fries, too.
You can do it.
C.S. Lewis wrote in the book “Mere Christianity” I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.