Wisdom would dictate that I should probably just leave well enough alone in regard to this polarizing and admittedly tiresome subject, but, nonetheless, here are a few concluding thoughts.
1) I ate at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday. If that surprises you, then you didn’t read my previous post very carefully. As I wrote before, I love Chick-fil-A’s food and I greatly respect their corporate leadership, values, and philosophy of business. I stopped by and picked up a couple of yogurt parfaits on my way to the office, reasoning that it would be far less crowded than later in the day; a wise decision, as it turned out. I was more than happy to make the purchase, but I in no way saw it (or felt about it) as participating in some great moral victory, or a mighty blow against the forces of evil, and certainly not as “a mighty work of God,” as I saw it described in comments on Facebook. The Lord indeed moves in mysterious ways, but I doubt that mass consumerism is among them.
2) I have been reminded that PC (political correctness) has siblings named CC (conservative correctness) and EC (evangelical correctness) that are alive, well, and just as robust and domineering as their secular, liberal sister. Conformity is rewarded; questioning the party line is highly suspect and discouraged; deviation is dangerous and counts as disloyalty. The litmus tests and shibboleths differ in their particulars, but they exist just the same.
3) I trust that people’s motives and attitudes were as they should have been on Wednesday, but, just in case someone got a little excited and forgot to keep things in proper perspective, let me offer up the words of Jesus from Luke 18:10-12. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself, ‘God I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector (or fill in the blank). I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all I get; I ate at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday…” You know the rest of the story. Apply only as needed.
4) “Like me, like me! Tell me I’m pretty!” I still believe that far too many within the Christian community cling to a naive (and somewhat narcissistic) hope of being understood, respected, loved, and appreciated by our larger culture. And every time that doesn’t happen, when we are called backward, ignorant, unsophisticated, intolerant, cultural Neanderthals, we get our feelings hurt and begin to squawk (or cluck, or crow). Jesus warned us about this up front, friends. “If they have called the head of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they malign the members of his household” (Matthew 10:25). Despite the repeated heads-up from the Scriptures, we still react with incredulous surprise, “as though some strange thing were happening to us” (I Peter 4:12). I hate to break it to you, but the world is never going to ask the church to the prom! We need to get over it.
5) The following is excerpted from my response to a friend’s comment on the previous post:
I would agree with you that the U.S. still remains a beacon to the world in many respects, but I would suggest that the moral rout is already well underway and has been for quite some time on multiple fronts: violence and crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity (not only tolerated, but celebrated through the pornography industry and mainstream Hollywood), domestic abuse, sexual abuse, white-collar crime, and on and on the list goes. For that reason, I believe that the identification (by many well-intentioned people) of gay marriage as “the” moral issue of our time or the critical issue that is holding back a tsunami of evil is just myopic and misdirected.
I think you know me well enough to know that I am not defending or advocating gay marriage, encouraging moral complacency, or recommending that socially and religiously conservative people just lay down and roll over on this one or throw in the cultural towel.
I do, however, believe that Christians should be much more thoughtful and prayerful (and much less reactionary) in their responses to issues that challenge our faith and values. My blog post was intended to call and challenge Christians to that kind of introspection and accountability to a higher standard.
6) I mailed a donation on Wednesday to WinShape Homes, one of several inspiring divisions within Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation. WinShape Homes “provides a safe, caring and stable home environment for children who are victims of circumstance – a place where they can grow into strong, confident men and women.” The lady with whom I spoke on the phone on Monday was as kind, welcoming, and helpful as the innumerable young people at Chick-fil-A service counters and drive-thru windows that I have encountered over the years. My yogurt parfaits burned off by about 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, but I am confident that WinShape Homes can provide a much more lasting benefit for some young man or young woman who just needs a fair chance in life. Their address, if you would like to contribute, is WinShape Homes, 5200 Buffington Rd., Atlanta, GA, 30349.
I will close before these Nuggets turn into Strips.