Where Was Jesus on August 1?

Blogs take on a variety of roles in our information age. Some are rants, some are jokes, some are for fun or entertainment, and some are even informative. I THINK the idea is that they provide an outlet for the blogger to write freely and express himself or herself.

I don’t think that they are supposed to be hard work, at least not for a “ham and egger” like me. But I’ve worked harder and fretted more over this particular edition than any other blog.

More than a week has passed since Cluck Fest 2012 (aka the Chick-Fil-A Day) on Wednesday, August 1. I’m hoping to offer some perspective on that event that is somewhat removed from the frenzy that surrounded it. To make sure you get plenty of it, check some of the links to other articles and blogs on the topic.

Last week, I became a fan of the Facebook photo that shows Samuel L. Jackson pointing his weapon and threatening, “Say ChickFilA again!” (Expletives deleted to protect the innocent).

Waffle-Fry-Palooza is over; and what have we learned, kids?

Not much.

I didn’t learn anything from this until I spent more than a week pondering a question that a friend asked me on Wednesday, August 1:

In your opinion, would Jesus eat at Chic-fil-A today? Does He stand with the restaurant and its supporters, or with those planning to protest?

That question has perplexed me and I’m weary of trying to answer it. So here goes my best guess:

I think Jesus would have been sitting on a picnic table outside a Chick-fil-A drive thru, watching all this. I think He would put His head in His hands and say, “Oh unbelieving generation, how long must I put up with you?”

And just as in Mark 9:19, He would have been directing his comments at the religious.

Christians love to jump on the bandwagon and cheer for themselves when they do it. I’ve never seen people come so close to breaking their arms patting themselves on the back for buying a chicken sandwich.

I have yet to read one story about a hungry person being fed outside of a Chick-fil-A on August 1. I cannot find any stories about Christians taking #1 Combos to homeless shelters or collecting bags of canned goods while they drove to line up. No school children learned to read or got school supplies. No prisoners were visited and received a message of grace and love.

I hope they did, but I can’t find a single story that says any of these things happened while Christians were waiting in line for their extra polynesian sauce. Honestly, can you imagine if all that money spent on food for ourselves went to something worth doing?

I haven’t read one story about a person coming to know Jesus Christ because of this. In fact, I’ve heard of a number of people who have turned further away from Christ because of it (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/02/a-gay-chick-fil-a-employee-speaks-out.html).

That brings to mind another scripture: Jesus wept.

Let’s not overlook the fact that plenty of gay marriage supporters are equally guilty. For all their talk of humanity and equality and decency for all, they aren’t falling over themselves to get to the soup kitchen, either. This includes the many Christians who oppose Chick-Fil-A’s moral position on gay marriage.

So then, where was Jesus in all of this?

Noticeably absent.

I have to believe that He would have taken time to point out some things to the picket groups and the customers. He would remind us that no one lines up so work the food pantry or the soup kitchen.

No one is willing to wait to get answers from God when we ask for something. We aren’t even willing to wait one minute extra when we are supposed to be worshiping God, because the Methodists might beat us to the buffet. (Or, in my case, because kickoff is coming).

I think Jesus would then be noticeably absent from the proceedings, because He would be busy doing the work that He called us to do.

I don’t say any of this in judgment of what Christians could have done on August 1 instead of going to Chick-Fil-A. I didn’t go to Chick-fil-A, but I didn’t feed any the hungry or hold the hands of an AIDS patient that day, either. I do painfully little to serve, at least compared to what I’ve been given by God.

But like all Christians, I know that I should. And I can’t take any pride in the fact that we did little but put more millions into the pocket of a millionaire last week. I don’t think Jesus takes any comfort in that, either.

Perhaps the next time such a choice comes up—which is a long way off, I hope–we’ll decide to “go and do likewise” rather than congratulate ourselves for waiting in line for extra waffle fries.

I bet we’d be shocked at the results if we’d follow Jesus instead of jumping on bandwagons.

For Further Reading:
http://www.perrynoble. com/2012/08/01 /ben-jerrys-chic-fil-a-political-correctness/

http://articles.philly.com/2012-08-04/news/33020769_1_social-media-traditional-marriage-first-amendment

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