Thursday, August 16, 2012

What I learned from Chik Fil A

or late to the Chik Fil A party

so we are all tired of the August 1st controversy of Chik Fil A Appreciation Day. I get that. I am too. But sometimes I need to remove myself from the controversies and emotions to really figure out what I can take from an event. So here it is: what I learned from Chik Fil A Appreciation Day.

Matthew 22
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

If the greatest commandment given to me is love God and love neighbor, then I need to ask myself a couple of questions with every action I take. 

1. Who or what am I loving with the action I am taking? 
2. Is this the highest expression of love for God and for all my neighbors?

I don't think Christians were trying to be hateful. I have heard people declare that if we are to love neighbor--well, the Chik Fil A CEO is our neighbor too. It is true. We seem to have loved those who think like us, believe like us quite well on August 1st. But in the answer to who is our neighbor, Jesus used the Samaritan--the one who is theologically and politically at odds with God's chosen people--to illustrate who our neighbor is. 
August 1st taught me that we can love our neighbors who think like us and act like us and are like us while making the neighbors who are not like us feel rejected. 
And most Christians would say the CEO of Chik Fil A knows the love of God already. The people who Christians disagreed with--the ones who were boycotting Chik Fil A because of their views of homosexuality--were the ones Christians would say need to experience God. And so Christians showered love on the one who they believe knows God and left the ones who need to experience God out. Christians loved their standards and their dogma and wondered why people left unloved.
If Christians--those who serve the Creator God--cannot be creative enough to express love for those who are like them while expressing love to those who are not like them, what hope does the world have? 

I have heard people say that August 1st was about freedom of speech. I heard time and time again, it is our right to free speech. The problem is when we claim our rights--well it is very much in the first person. And our claim to our personal rights is still an expression of self love. Not that we don't have rights. But Philippians 2 tells me I need to have the mind or attitude of Christ who did not cling to his rights as God. 

And so I am going to try and ask myself in every situation who am I loving and is this the highest expression of love to God and to others?

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