A couple of weeks ago Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family." In a radio interview shortly after his initial statement, he said: "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'"
Backlash from politicians and activist groups ensued. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee began to organize "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day", calling Christians to support Dan Cathy's company for their stance on marriage. Billy Graham even offered his support for the company. In the past several days my social media streams have been inundated with posts from well-meaning Christians vouching their support for the fast food chain because of their stance on marriage and family values.
While there may be some merit in offering support for Chick-fil-A (I certainly enjoy their food), we must not do so at the expense of marginalizing the gospel and the pilgrim character of the church (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13). In all of the social media posts and news articles I have read surrounding this issue, only one has mentioned scripture, repentance, the hope of the gospel, the coming Day of the LORD, or the glory of Jesus. Has the church's message been subtly reduced to moralism and chicken sandwiches instead of Jesus' return and signs that confirm it? With many tears like the prophet Jeremiah we should be lovingly calling the unrighteous to repentance in light of the coming judgment on unrighteousness (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21). Instead we seem to be seeking to promote morality by gaining social and political influence. In doing so, as Alva McClain says, "the sharp edge of the church's divinely commissioned witness is blunted". It should be alarming to us that the American media's presentation of the church has very little to do with the glory of Jesus, His cross, and His return.
Every year since July 4, 1776, America has observed "Independence Day", the day when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress and the United States became an independent nation. Though I am an American citizen by birth, the Bible describes me as "born again to a living hope" (1 Peter 1:3). My true nationality and citizenship is not here, but "in heaven" (Philippians 3:20), because it is from there that Jesus will return to establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. My true home will not be on a cloud with a harp but will be with Jesus on this very earth in a very real city that will descend and come out of heaven (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2).
The Bible is filled with descriptions of that mountain city called "New Jerusalem", "heavenly Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22) or the "Jerusalem above" (Galatians 4:26). We are constantly encouraged by the scriptures to set our minds there and ponder it often (Colossians 3:2). Thus as believers in Jesus and citizens of that city it is fitting on this day to meditate on our eternal home and to behold what transpires there. Far from yawning angels reciting dry liturgy in a musty, dimly lit hall, the Scriptures describe the Temple in heaven as filled with unfathomable colors, sounds, music, and smells because of the splendor of the One enthroned there. His Temple also has fireworks of its own - thunderings, lightnings, and noises are coming from the throne (Revelation 4:5). I'm certain they're way better than anything Kansas City can put on tonight.
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