Chick-Fil-A and Jesus

The recent big brouhaha surrounding Chick-Fil-A really put me ta thinkin’. Actually, I didn’t think too much about it until I started seeing such hateful posts pop up on Facebook…and then I started hearing a lot of hateful comments in cubicle-land where I work. And I’m sure there were mean things said from Christians, too, I’m just fortunate enough not to be friends with any of the mean ones.

One of the most common things I kept hearing (well, reading mostly) from anti-Chick-Fil-A people was that Dan Cathy should try to attempt to model Jesus more. It was usually pretty clear that most of them had never cracked a Bible and only knew about Jesus from other sources, but it reminded me of a guy I knew in college who was fond of saying that Jesus didn’t hang out in churches, he hung out with sinners. Now, knowing this guy, he was just looking for a reason not to go to church and a reason to hang out in the bar…but once I became a believer, his words echoed in the back of my head.

And I realized he was right.

But it was only a partial truth. Jesus actually DID go to church; scripture is full of references to him teaching there. But he also hung out with sinners (“hang out” is probably too loose a translation, but hang with me a bit because that is the exact terminology he used to use). The difference is when Jesus hung out with them he always ended up saying, “Hey dude, you’re sinning. Stop it.” (Roland’s paraphrase, of course)

The reactions were generally that the person hearing Jesus said “wow! You’re right. Please forgive me.” Then, Jesus would tell them their sins are forgiven and for them to go and sin no more. That’s the biggie here. Jesus spoke the truth in love and He is indeed all about forgiveness (which is what the hateful voices on the left continue to shout), but he also told those forgiven to stop doing whatever sin they were doing (and they were many). That’s the key.

Forgiveness is about stopping the bad thing you’re doing. I mean, if I steal your car and you find me and you decide to be like Jesus and offer me forgiveness, everything will be fine—so long as I don’t steal your car again! (or someone else’s, for that matter) You’re willing to be forgiving if I stop the bad thing I do, right?

But you gotta stop doing the bad thing.

The problem with the whole homosexual argument these days is that both sides almost seem to suggest that homosexuality is the only sin that should be dealt with today when in reality there’s a whole bunch of other ones too: gluttony, envy, greed, anger, sloth and pride…just to name a few.


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9 responses to “Chick-Fil-A and Jesus

  1. Good thought Roland. I am one of those Christians along with a lot of people I know in the culture that know Jesus did leave an entire flock to go get one, He hung out with sinners and well, He spoke truth to them. Our world if full of people who don’t want to be Christian and be accepted for what they choose to believe, but criticize us for believing. It is called reverse discrimination. On the flip side there are some huge mistakes Christians have made representing the gospel, that deserve opinions being thrown at them. I am not perfect, I struggle with so many things about myself that only Christ can help me maintain. No one in perfect, ceptin God and well sometimes it is difficult to take what He says is okay.

    At the end of the day, we do the best we can. No profound truth here, we just do the best we can.

  2. Some great points here, Roland. I like that you went beyond “Jesus hung out with sinners” to what actually happened when He did.

  3. I’m attempting to understand the connection between your comments on forgiveness, homosexuality, and the Chik-Fil-A controversy. Are you saying that for homosexuality to be forgiven by Christians that homosexuals need to stop being gay first?

    • I wasn’t trying to suggest that “Christian people” are really in a position to “forgive” anything as people don’t really have authority or power to do so. I am trying to say that forgiveness comes freely from Jesus regardless of the sin. Furthermore, regardless of the sin, Jesus tells people to stop sinning. His words are frequently (Roland paraphrase, of course), “Your sins are forgiven, now go and stop sinning.” This is his command, regardless of the sin.

      • So…gay people are sinners, and the hater’s request doesn’t fly because Dan Cathy would need them to stop being gay in order to forgive them? Sorry buddy, I’m not trying to be a jerk. I’m just trying to understand the Chik-Fil-A connection.

      • No apologies necessary. Any misunderstanding comes because the writer did not do his job appropriately (for those of you skimming, “writer” would be me!).
        It’s probably bad timing on my part because the Chick-Fil-A connection comes from the brouhaha of more than a month ago (I do my best NOT to react and to let ideas percolate some before posting–I probably just waited TOO long to post this).
        ANYWAY, a comment I heard frequently from non-believers is that Christians should be more forgiving like Jesus because he (Jesus) used to hang out with sinners. SO, I felt I needed to attempt to clarify that Jesus didn’t just “hang out” with them, that he forgave them and told them to quit sinning. The understanding being that they have to STOP what the sin they’re doing.

      • Ah, got it. Thanks for clarifying; just wasn’t initially sure where to what point you were taking the issue.

        I’ve got a small bit of skin in this game. Despite the fact that the Cathy family’s principles differ significantly from mine, I originally took sides WITH Chik-Fil-A for two reasons: private organizations should have a right to do what they want with their money and, at the time (early 2011), I could only find that among Cathy’s philanthropic efforts, he gave to charity organizations that themselves espoused opposition to gay rights. That’s a far different thing than Cathy himself, or Chik-Fil-A itself, doing so.

        Come 2012, however, I found egg on my face as Cathy proved me unable to support my latter point. (

        My position regarding the former stands. I may have the opinion that Chik-Fil-A’s “corporate commitment…to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us” would be better fulfilled by funding efforts (and changing menus) to fight childhood obesity rather than supporting groups who aim to define the limits of love, but that’s my opinion. I get to buy my chicken elsewhere.

        And I do.

  4. Peggy Johnson

    This was a good one……PJ

  5. That last paragraph of yours hit the target.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Funny how many Christians don’t know the Bible well enough to get that people that fool around on their husbands, people who drink too much, and people who gossip are equated here and elsewhere (IIRC) with people who are actively gay. That drives me nuts. If you’re going to use the Bible, you’d best KNOW the Bible.

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