On the chicken wars

Today I am weary and I just want to rest my head on Jesus’ shoulder. And I am second-guessing this blog post as I second-guess every post.

We have started an Uncivil War in this country. Or, as Billy Joel famously sang, “We didn’t start the fire…” but we are happily throwing gasoline on it instead of water.

I have to laugh at the battlefield, though. Chicken? Really? A thigh here, a pool of giblet gravy over there…

At issue for me is not whether those who oppose Chick-Fil-A have a beef (sorry, couldn’t resist) or whether “free speech” is at jeopardy.

What concerns me more are the long lines of Christians who are perfectly willing to stand up for their rights—when Jesus told us to lay them down.

The ones who believe that Americanism is more important than Christianity, that free speech is more important than loving our neighbor, that being right is more important than being like Christ.

Those of us who willingly travel overseas to help build homes for the poor, but at home vote for policies that turn the poor out on the street.

We seem to be compliant when Jesus asks us to give and help and pray and donate and love, but only as long as it’s on our own terms, as long as these terms don’t involve discomfort or sacrifice.

When Jesus said that we should pray for those who persecute us, He didn’t attach a rider that said, “Only if we can’t fight back.”

He didn’t fight back. He didn’t stand up for His rights, He didn’t call down legions of angels in His defense.

He went to the cross.

And He told us—in no uncertain terms, with no stammering or hedging—that we would have to do the same.

Why does this always surprise us?

Why am I always offended—every single morning—when Jesus asks me to die all over again? Because I freely admit, I am. I have to pray for the grace to give myself to Him all over again.

We refuse the cross, and then we wonder why no one comes to church with us.

But “Thy will be done” was not an afterthought in the Lord’s prayer. I think He knew we’d need it.

We cannot be “a Christian nation.” We cannot because we are not—we are Christian and atheist, Jew and Muslim, Hindu and Wiccan and a hundred colorful variations thereof—and no amount of anger or coercion or Bible-thumping or proof-texting or boycotting or voting rightly will bring those of other faiths to Christ.

The only One Who brings people to Christ is Christ, and He does it through love. And if people who do not know Jesus don’t see Him in His church, in the eyes and the hands and the love and concern of those of us who know Him, they may never see Him.

And we will have to explain why, while our neighbors perished for love, we were eating chicken.

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About lisa@diggingformyrrh

I'm Lisa: Christ-worshiper, writer, kitty-mama and wannabe saint (with a long way to go). Trying to stay on the path and appreciate the beauty...with daily thanksgiving. Trying to listen for His song and sing along...and loving every note.
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4 Responses to On the chicken wars

  1. mrsaboyer says:

    Just posted this to my wall. Thanks for being you, Lisa!

  2. Bob says:

    Have to take issue with you on this one, Lisa. Jesus did not roll over during His ministry. He did not turn His gaze away when people were walking in their sin, He consistently called them on it. He even sat down in front of the temple one day, in clear view of all the people, and braided a whip. With His own hands. Then He used it to physically beat the tar out of the money changers. He violently overturned their tables and drove them out of the temple by force. He only turned the other cheek when it was the appointed time at the end. He told Pilate that God gave him power over Jesus, else he would have had none. All that standing up for what is right, publicly, is what infuriated the Pharisees to the point of attempted murder.

    That said, I am not advocating violence against ANYONE, so don’t misunderstand. I simply feel you have mischaracterized how the Lord behaved. He confronted sin. Still does. And not just ‘the other guy’s sin’, or one particular type of it. All of it, mine, yours, theirs.

    Many people want to make God out to be a soft, ‘schmooey’ sort of God. He is anything but that! The Lord is made of stern stuff. Was it love when Jesus told the Pharisees they were a brood of vipers, and were of their father the devil? Was it love that caused God to strike Ananias and Saphira dead in their tracks when they lied about their giving? (that was New Testament!) You tell me. His ways are not our ways.

    Let’s not try to make God who we want Him to be. Let’s see Him in ALL of how He really is. He is not only about hugs and comforting. He is also a God who promises us, in advance, that we will suffer, and even die, for His sake. God saw that we would suffer. And God saw that it was good.

    Regarding the chicken fiasco, I can only say that there is enough disgrace being displayed on all sides of the issue to last 50 years. The whole thing is vile.

  3. Kirwin Stewart says:

    Lisa I have to agree with Bob. Indeed we are called to love our enemies and turn the other cheek. But I think Jesus calls us to stand up and call sin sin. In this case- while I find a great deal of this fight ridiculous- Many on the right are tired of the bullying… that if you oppose gay marriage your a homophob. That if you disagree with any issue on the left you lack compassion. And for me Lisa it is the constant attack on Christians who stand up for what ever they believe. It simply gets old… And I think the “Chicken fiasco” as struck a nerve.

    Yes indeed I think we are daily called to carry our Cross and we must expect opposition to our faith- Jesus told us as much…. But Christianity is not about letting yourself be steamrolled in the name of peace.

    I wish more Christians would show this kind of passion for reaching the lost for Christ, going to church and simply loving our Lord. And I grow so weary of this constant Jr high crap that seems to go in our country over social and political issues. It seems we have lost the art of debate and dialogue , and even the common courtesy of listening to someone else even if you disagree with them without resorting to name calling! It makes we wonder what Jesus must think of it all!

    I love your postings Lisa – they do give me much to think about! Blessings friend!

  4. I understand your take and your thoughtful responses—thanks for sharing them!

    I have a couple of thoughts…and again, this is just my take.

    When Jesus cleared the temple, it’s my understanding that He did so for one basic reason: the religious leaders were coming between the people and their place of worship. They were hindering the people’s relationship with God. Jesus had a real thing about that and he confronted the religious leaders about it on several occasions. What I find interesting is that His disciples did not, nor were they instructed to.

    And yes, it is true that Jesus confronted sin. He still does. But to us, He said, “Don’t judge,” and “turn the other cheek.” My own yardstick is sufficiently short at this point—I really don’t want to give Him reason to lop off any more of it. So if I’m going to err, I’ll try to err on the side of grace and love. I’ll let the Holy Spirit do any heavy lifting where sin is concerned. Me, I have a plank stuck in my eye that I still have to work on removing.

    This might sound like a cop-out, and maybe it is. Maybe that’s it exactly! : )

    But you know, Kirwin, I’m right there with you—I would love to see Christians get as passionate about REACHING the lost (rather than condemning them) or serving the poor. And yes, it IS difficult to be attacked just because we stand up for our faith.

    I just pray we stand up for what is truly right, rather than the currently fashionable issue according to Fox News. While we chase red herrings and let our love grow cold, Satan laughs.

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