Yesterday the news started to break that Chick-fil-A, the closed-on-Sundays restaurant chain known for its chicken sandwiches and Christian values, had announced that it would concentrate its charitable giving to fewer organizations. The news has sparked significant controversy because amid recent pushback from LGBT advocacy groups, Chick-fil-A will now no longer support the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
The big question on everyone’s mind is this: Is this the first step of Chick-fil-A departing from the values of founder Truett Cathy and capitulating to cultural trends?
It’s an important question to ask because, for Christians, Chick-fil-A has long been much more than just a place to get amazing chicken. They have been a moral beacon and a deep encouragement to those of us who are seeking to live according to God’s word in a rapidly changing world. The fact that they have been named America’s favorite fast food restaurant for four years in a row, and maintained a top position in profit, despite refusing to open for business on Sundays has always seemed like a stamp-of-approval straight from God himself. My wife and I are not the only ones who have been continually impressed by their unmatched level of customer service - no matter if you visit a location in Kentucky or Tennessee or Florida.
In fairness to Chick-fil-A, this story is still playing out. We don’t know how it will end, and we honestly cannot confidently answer the big question above… yet. But the answer will come soon. Soon we will know where Chick-fil-A stands.
However the controversy itself reminds us that in America in 2019, and moving into 2020, this is a question we must all answer sooner or later. Will we stand with God or give in to the pressures of the culture around us? The LGBT issue is not going away. And you can no longer hide from it just because you live in small-town, Bible-belt America. Sooner or later the question will be put to each one of us. And you can be sure, when the time comes, there will be consequences for choosing to stand for God’s truth.
Are we ready to be called “bigots”? Are we willing to have our small business taken to court? Or perhaps to eventually lose that small business? Are our non-profits and churches willing to lose tax-exempt status? Would we be willing to go to jail if it eventually comes to that?
In the end these, and many other trials will always be more than worth it when we consider eternity. Paul says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) He tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” You may be accused of being on the wrong side of history, but being on the right side of eternity matters more.
Please pray for Chick-fil-A and those running the company. Please pray for everyone who experiences same-sex attraction. Please pray for our country and its leaders. And pray for the strength to stand firm, and suffer with Christ, when the time comes.
** For more teaching on the topic of homosexuality and same-sex attraction, and how to speak the truth in love to those experiencing these things, please see the podcast episode linked here: Homosexuality & Same-Sex Attraction (a Wednesday Bible study by John Davis)