I absolutely LOVE Chick-fil-A and it has been my go to “fast food” for decades. This past weekend Chick-fil-A announced that they were going to stop supporting certain Christian charities, such as the Salvation Army, that support education, homelessness and hunger in preference to non-Christian charities that support education, homelessness and hunger. Did they not hear the story of last week when Ellie Goulding who threatened to not sing at the Cowboy’s Thanksgiving halftime show if the Salvation Army didn’t jump through certain hoops proving that they serve the LGBT community. The Salvation Army DID NOT cave but simply provided the, already obvious, proof that they faithfully serve that segment of society in their commitment to not have some litmus test for who they serve. Ellie Goulding wisely walked back her threat and is going to sing.
Really, Chick-fil-A??? Can no one in your corporate office read? Does no one in your corporate office listen to the news? Are the lights even on in your board meetings so you can see your growth chart over the past 10 years? You have only benefited and grown to become the #3 fast food company in the nation as a result of support from almost every sector of American society because they could see though the pathetic accusations and attacks from the far far left (and because you make a killer chicken sandwich). Now you decide to betray that support and trust by capitulating to the far far left. What’s next, opening on Sunday? This will not end well for you as evidenced by GLADD’s response yesterday saying that you didn’t go far enough. And as sad (and hungry) as it makes me, this writer for one will choose to go elsewhere when I can from now on. Where is the nearest Popeyes anyway?
On season 20 of Survivor – Heroes vs. Villains – Russell Hantz came in 3rd place. He will go down as one of the most colorful players in Survivor history for his physical and mental gamesmanship. But his social game was severely lacking as he failed to get the votes necessary from his fellow contestants in the final “tribal council”. In response to this loss, Russell claimed that there was a “flaw in the game” and that the those outside the game (viewers) should get a say in the final vote which he believed would have garnered him the win. In response Jeff Probst, the host of the show, replied “that would be a different game” (not the game of Survivor).
This same attitude of there being a “flaw” in the “game” is quickly gaining popularity in modern or progressive Christianity. Although I hate to reduce God’s word to some list of do’s and don’ts, as it is far more than that, the Bible IS our “rules book” which clearly and definitively spells out the requirements to be found in Christ (being a Christian). Those “rules” include ALL of the following minimum requirements – repentance for (turning away from) sin, commitment to obeying God’s laws and embracing the atoning work of Christ. I fully admit that this is a significant over simplification while still headlining the core essence of what it means to be a Christian.
There are countless individuals and denominations today who claim the name of Christ and yet are editing the rules of Christianity in a progressive effort to point out there is a “flaw in the game”. It matters not how compassionate, popular or progressive these edits are, the simple fact is that to change the “rules” means they are engaging in a different “game” (religion) and therefore CANNOT be called Christians. Whereas this may sound harsh, the simple fact remains that if you are trying to introduce chess pieces into the game of Scrabble you are no longer playing either chess or Scrabble – it becomes a different game. In the same way, if you embrace the killing of babies in the womb, homosexuality, ignoring the poor in favor of your own financial security or “wink” at gossip, greed or gluttony; well then that would be a different religion and you should feel free to practice it. Just don’t call it Christianity.
Being a Christian is no game! Neither is it some club whose members periodically vote on new rules or eliminate old ones. It is a commitment, to the best of our ability with the help of the Holy Spirit, to honor the Creator and his plan of salvation for those few (see Matthew 7:14) who find that narrow pathway that leads to eternal life. If that sounds too harsh and exclusive for you, there are plenty of “other games” out there that might interest you. But don’t, in some show of arrogance, come into the doors of the Church and try and change God. God NEVER changes with the shifting shadows of time or popular sentiment (see James 1:17). Why would you do that? Why not just go somewhere else and call it something else. No one is forcing you to follow Christ or embrace God’s laws. Find another club or group, make your own rules and call it whatever you want. But don’t attempt (because that’s all it could be – an attempt) to change the Character and Nature of our Holy Creator – because that would be a different religion.