Waffling over Waffle Fries?

Not to jump on the bandwagon of controversy, but someone I love very much was struggling today over the issues I discuss below. This is for her…and you!

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I don’t know about you guys, but after a week of news stories, blog posts and Facebook statuses about Chick-fil-A, I’m a wee bit tuckered out.

Not physically, as most of them have been read as I sit on my bum, staring stupidly at a computer screen, with a cup of coffee or some M&M’s or a giant canister of sugary cereal by my side…

But emotionally.

And yes, spiritually.

I’ve been (through generalization, not directly) outraged, I’ve been confused, I’ve been labeled a hypocrite, I’ve been convicted, I’ve been humbled, I’ve been happy, I’ve been saddened, and I’ve been hungry (seeing references to Chick-fil-A nonstop for a week will make a girl positively pine for some waffle fries).

And as my fellow believers have also grown tired of all the controversy and all the opinions and all the nervous chatter, many have expressed their frustration with all this noise in beautifully written and passionate articles beseeching the Christian community to pipe down and, in a sense, remove the log from their own eye before hypocritically pointing out the speck of sin they see in our culture.

I agree with what these brothers and sisters are saying, and I adore their hearts. These needed articles resonated with me, and I know that, when read correctly, they can absolutely spur us on to love and good works. I also understand that they are speaking to a specific audience, i.e. the professing believers who make a bunch of racket, who rail at those who have different sin than they do, and who seem more concerned about the sin that the world is in love with (namely, homosexuality) rather than the sin that they hide in their own lives between church services (namely, gluttony, gossip, bitterness, pornography, etc. etc. etc.). I get it. They are making generalizations about a group of people who actually do exist and who are a major problem in our churches and in our culture.

That said, when people like me (I’ll explain in a second) read these articles, regardless of the authors’ intent, we can sometimes begin to feel guilty for being politically active. We can begin to feel ashamed for spending our lunch money on a chicken sandwich on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. And worst of all, we can even begin to feel afraid to speak the truth – at all! – to a lost and dying world. And so I want to encourage those of you who are in my boat with a few more thoughts on the subject, hopefully tempering the blog messages I alluded to above for those who need a little boost…

What if you do meticulously see to your own marriage and seek to honor God in your family life?

What if your church disagrees with divorce as much as it does homosexuality?

What if you are not rude or hateful to homosexuals?

What if you take your own sin so seriously that it causes you to weep?

What if you do examine your own heart before pointing out the sin of another?

What if you’ve never resorted to ‘boycotting’ even when it was the popular thing to do?

What if you, by buying a chicken sandwich last Wednesday, were simply trying to encourage a Christian brother who had been unfairly criticized in the media and by elected United States officials?

What if your prime concern in political activeness is to defend the God who made this world and all the people in it?

What if you, too, are trying to live like Jesus did and to represent Him well?

What if you are loving your neighbor by pointing out his/her sin, and go about it in a Biblical manner?

What if you do care as much about the poor and the orphaned as you do about the Cathy family?

Of course, we fail in all of the above just as we fail in every area of godliness this side of heaven, but many of us who are concerned by the current political vibe in America and by what has taken place in the media these past couple of weeks are not necessarily the people who are mentioned in the articles I read this week.

We are sinners, saved by grace, and we know it.

We are concerned for our culture, because we love it.

We love and abide by the law of God, because He has miraculously changed our hearts and caused us to walk in truth.

We are stepping heavenward and striving to glorify God through each passing day, sharing the gospel on Monday, giving to the needy on Tuesday, buying a chicken sandwich on Wednesday, spending time with our family on Thursday, praying and fasting on Friday, engaging in discussions of truth concerning abortion and homosexuality on Saturday, and engaging in discussions of truth on gossip and divorce and bitterness and gluttony on Sunday.

My point is, Chick-fil-A Day was just another day in the believer’s life, and however you chose to spend that day was your prerogative, so long as you were honoring God in your heart and in your thoughts and are continually striving to be a good steward of what He has given you.

{The funny thing is, I did not go to Chick-fil-A on Wednesday! Too far away…}

I’ve heard a story from the Bible mentioned several times this week in reference to the Chick-fil-A debacle, in which the scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Jesus to test Him that they might accuse Him, and He told them “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” As usual, He deflated and defeated these so-called beacons of righteousness in a sentence, bringing to obvious light their ridiculous hypocrisy. But do you know the last words that Jesus told the adulterous woman once the room had emptied of her accusers? “Go and sin no more.”

These are the same words that Jesus has said to us, are they not? These are words of life, words that save, words that inspire repentance.

Likewise, Jesus ate with tax collectors and harlots, but He never glazed over their sin so that He might win an audience with them. He loved them, He loved them well, and He did so by caring enough about them to tell them the truth, even as He met their needs…and guess what? Only a few followed Him; the rest hated Him and later killed Him.

And so I just want to encourage you. The world may not be hating you because you’ve done something wrong or sinful or hypocritical or because you support Chick-fil-A; they may be hating you because they hated the One you follow (John 15:18).

So, please, do not be afraid or embarrassed to share the words of life to those around you. Do not feel stupid for supporting your friends at Chick-fil-A last Wednesday. Do not stop actively engaging in this present struggle if the Lord puts it on your heart to do so. And do not feel like you have to become a silent doormat in a culture that needs to hear what you have to say; after all, “they” are not the problem and “you” (and your supposedly sinless life) are their solution. Rather, sin (in you and in me AND in them) is the problem and Jesus Christ is the answer. If that’s your obvious message, dear friend, you’re not saying anything wrong.

We can do it all, you know…

We can be as concerned about “gay marriage” as we are about divorce in the church.

We can be as outraged about our own sin as we are the sin of the world.

We can admonish those in the church while evangelizing those outside the church.

We can love the poor and needy and our brother, Dan Cathy.

We can be compassionate and passionate.

We can be strong and brave disciples without being hypocrites.

All that to say, chin up, brothers and sisters. This week has been rough, the messages and opinions confusing and varying and tumultuous and heart-wrenching…

but we’re not facing anything new here; our current struggle is as ancient as its solution.

It is for this solution – Jesus Christ and the life abundant that is found in following Him – that we continue to engage our culture with kindness, boldness, and most importantly, truth.

~

After writing this, I came across this outstanding and succinct post from Kevin DeYoung. I highly recommend reading it!

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As ever, I read all comments, but I do not publish those that might lead to controversy or lengthy discussions in this section of my blog. I would love to respond to you privately, but I do not have that option. Thank you for understanding, and for taking the time to share your opinion!

12 thoughts on “Waffling over Waffle Fries?

  1. Thank you! I feel like you took all my confusion and..guilt?.. and my feelings and laid them out nicely and explained them to me in a Biblical light. You are pretty much the best!

  2. Thank you! Beautifully & lovingly said…these can be very discouraging times for Bible believing people, but we can look UP (to our Creator and Savior) and find strength. Thanks for being so sensitive to the things of the Lord, and being such a hand out-stretched, to voice your faith in Christ, as well as kindness to the lost.

  3. I echo what everyone else has commented already. Thank you. This is absolutely exactly what I needed to “hear”. I was almost starting to feel guilty for going on Wednesday and you really helped take away a lot of the confusion and you put words to what was going through my mind and on my heart.
    I just want you to know I so appreciate your blog ~ God has truly blessed you with a wonderful gift of writing!

  4. Thank you! I am home from church today tending to my 20 year old daughter as she recovers from a tonsillectomy so…I have a few minutes on the computer. Your blog was just what I needed to hear. All the emotions you described were right on!! Keep up the good work!

  5. Thank you for speaking the truth in love, throughout your blog! I first found your blog after a friend of mine shared your “Magic Mike Who” post on Facebook. I agreed whole-heartedly with the points you made in that post, and I shared it on Facebook as well. I spent an embarrassing amount of time that night perusing your blog. I am a stay at home mom to a two-year-old and a three-month-old, and I could relate to so much of what you have posted. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing out loud (my hubby was asleep beside me….it was after midnight!) as I read your posts about “surviving a hospital stay” as I was just there a few months ago having my second. I cried as I read your post about your “sunshine at night” as I, too, have cherished those precious, fleeting moments that I wish could last forever. Then, last night, I read this post; and it beautifully conveyed what I had been feeling!

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been feeling the same way and wanted to share something on Facebook or my blog, but I wasn’t sure how to say what I wanted to say. My devotion on Friday was about being slow to speak (something I struggle with!), so I decided not to post anything just yet. However, the issue continued to weigh on my heart. Then, last night, I received my first email notification that you had updated your blog (I just signed up for it on Thursday). I was excited just because I enjoy reading your blog. Little did I know it would be exactly what I needed to hear and wanted to say.

    Thank you for using this blog as a ministry. I know it has ministered to me. I will be a regular visitor! 🙂

  6. Love this, I had this very discussion with a very liberal friend where she ended up calling me a B—-T. Then had the nerve to bring my adoptive daughter into the conversation. Wish I had your words a week ago!

  7. thank you, thank you, thank you for that. I have feeling all those things, but not heard anyone put them out for others to read, so again, thank you. We need to let our love unify us, rather than divide us. We all serve the same King, and we can not afford to let the world distract us from that.

  8. @carolinemargaret – I have received all of the messages you have sent and wanted to share my comments policy with you to clear up any misunderstanding: I read all comments, but I do not publish those that might lead to controversy or lengthy discussions in this section of my blog, even when they are kind in tone as your first message was (which I very much appreciated). I would have responded to you privately, but I do not have that option.
    My reason is not to hide the fact that there are many who might disagree with me or because I can’t come up with a response, but twofold: 1. As a homeschooler with 3 small children underfoot, I barely have time to write at all. It would be impossible for me to then engage in discussions with those who disagree with what I do write, OR to moderate discussions in the comments section that others wanted to respond to. You spoke kindly, but what about the next person and the next person and the next person who wanted to argue with you? And what if their words angered you and caused your tone to change when your responded? It is simply too much responsibility and I don’t have the time or the wisdom to carry that burden at this time in my life, and 2. I believe that little is accomplished in the comments section of blogs and articles, and would rather my readers hear my thoughts and, if they choose, discuss them with real people in their family or in their circle of friends. I hope that you will continue to prayerfully consider what I shared here, and know that I am listening to what you’re saying and I respect your opinion. Thank you for understanding! God bless you as you seek His truth for your life and for your family.

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