Chick-Fil-A has hit the headlines hard. For one reason because of left-wing protests and demonstrations outside of some of its newer locations, like one in Toronto. Left-wing activists have excoriated Chick-Fil-A for its support of traditional Christian values on marriage and family. They have also decried its charitable contributions to organizations like the Salvation Army, which also upholds traditional values on sex and marriage. In the face of such protests, conservative Christians have rallied to support Chick-Fil-A. Many would say it’s that support that has helped it become one of the most prosperous fast-food chains in the country, despite not opening on Sundays. Yet a couple of weeks ago Chick-Fil-A was in the headlines for different reasons.
After an interview with Chick-Fil-A executives, Bisnow published an article entitled “EXCLUSIVE: Chick-fil-A To Stop Donations to Charities with Anti-LGBT Views.” In the article the COO, Tim Tassopoulos, is quoted as saying: “There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” and “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
The journalist, Cameron Sperance, went on to explain that “the new initiative will no longer include donating to organizations like the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, Chick-fil-A says, all of which sparked criticism in the past from the LGBTQ community due to the organizations’ stances on homosexuality.” Sperance also said, “Future partners could include faith-based and non-faith-based charities, but the company said none of the organizations have anti-LGBT positions” (emphasis mine).
This November 18th article came on the heels of news that a halftime show singer for the Thanksgiving Day game between the Cowboys and Bills, Ellie Goudling, threatened to cancel her performance because the Cowboys work with the Salvation Army to help the homeless. The Salvation Army is not just a charitable organization, it is a Christian denomination in the Wesleyan tradition, founded by William and Catherine Booth. Because they have an official position that sex is for marriage and marriage should only be between one man and one woman—the same official position of the United Methodist Church and many other Christian denominations around the country and the world— leftists have labeled them a hate group. This is in spite of the fact that they are one of the largest and most effective providers of poverty relief for people from all walks of life. Just today a Salvation Army bell ringer told me how thankful for how much the Salvation Army had done for him despite his sinful past and criminal background. They help anyone who needs it. But for some left-wing activists identity politics comes before helping people in need.
In response to Chick-Fil-A’s decision not to renew their support for them, the Salvation Army made the following statements:
“We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed,” and “We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population.”
“When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk,” The Salvation Army continued. “We urge the public to seek the truth before rushing to ill-informed judgment and greatly appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our doors.” https://www.dailywire.com/news/salvation-army-releases-statement-on-chick-fil-a-cutting-ties-chick-fil-a-issues-new-statement
The news that Chick-Fil-A would no longer donate to organizations with traditional views on sexual morality and marriage sparked concern and outrage in conservative circles. Many conservatives felts betrayed. Some asked Chick-Fil-A to clarify their position. The Bisow article said Chick-Fil-A would continue to give to faith-based organizations, but not to one’s with “Anti-LGBTQ” views. In response to inquiries from The Christian Post, Chick-Fil-A representatives insisited they had not capitulated to political pressure and that they would continue to give to Christian organizations. That same article in The Christian Post, however, reminds us that the COO, Tim Tassopoulos, had told Bisnow
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” and
“There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.” and
“When there is a tension, we want to make sure we’re being clear. We think this is going to be helpful.”
Tassopoulos says Chick-Fil-A wants to be clear regarding the negative press they have received. Well Bisnow and many other media outlets came to the clear conclusion that Chick-Fil-A will no longer be giving to organizations like the Salvation Army that have supposedly “anti-LGBTQ” views (i.e. traditional Chrisitin views on sex and marriage). In light of the denials that that is actually the case, conservatives asked for further clarification from Chick-Fil-A. Franklin Graham called the CEO, Dan Cathy, personally. Mr. Cathy assured Rev. Graham that they had not changed their values. Some were satisfied, many were not. If they were really trying to be clear it didn’t work.
Some conservative Christians were offended that other conservatives would question Chick-Fil-A’s loyalty, much less condemn their decision. They said since it has long been a supporter of traditional Christian values that everyone should just give them the benefit of the doubt. Some suggested that it was un-Christian, even Pharisaical to raise such concerns about Chick-Fil-A. Apparently, some think it’s divisive to question and express concerns about Chick-Fil-A’s decision, but fine to depict those expressing those concerns as a pitchfork wielding mob of Pharisees.
If I had heard conflicting reports about the decisions of a friend, I would ask that friend for clarification, privately of course. But Chick-Fil-A is a corporation that made very public statements ostensibly to clarify its values. When the headline from an exclusive interview says what it said, I can understand the concern and the calls for further clarification, especially in light of the denials.
Specifically, if Chick-Fil-A wants to be clear about its values, it would be nice to know: Did the Bisnow article misrepresent their new initiative and the rationale for it? Chick-Fil-A said they will still support faith-based and non-faith-based organizations period. But the Bisnow article said that “the company said” none of the organizations have “anti-LGBTQ” views. Does this mean Chick-Fil-A will no longer support organizations like the Salvation Army because of their views regarding sexual morality and marriage? Or does Chick-Fil-A reject the idea that groups like the Salvation Army actually have “anti-LGBTQ” views? If so, why stop supporting them?
I think those are fair questions given the circumstances.
Grayson Gilbert reported that Chick-Fil-A’s recent decisions were at least a few years in the making. He says Dan Cathy admitted it was a mistake to oppose same-sex marriage in 2014. And it does seem that the way Chick-Fil-A wants to clarify its values in terms of its giving is in response to the criticism it has received based in the perception of its support for traditional values. I have to admit, I have my doubts that its representatives will make a clear and unequivocal statement in support of traditional Christian beliefs regarding marriage. At least I hope they would affirm the right of organizations like the Salvation Army to hold and express traditional views without harassment and threat of government coercion. Nonetheless, the Salvation Army will still receive my support and I hope yours as well. People like the young man I talked to today need help from the Salvation Army, and few do it better.
Regardless of where Chick-Fil-A really stands, make no mistake about what we are dealing with. The reason there is a controversy in the first place is because a powerful segment of the population in the Western world refuses to tolerate even the existence of organizations with traditional values on marriage in its precincts. Boston, Buffalo, and San Antonio all blocked Chick-Fil-A from opening new restaurants. A new Chick-Fil-A in Toronto was blockaded by protestors and a new London location had to shut down amid protests after only eights days. All of this because of their perceived support for traditional values. A perception that it seems Chick-Fil-A wants to change.
Leftists demand total capitulation and the full acceptance of their values, anything less will not be tolerated. This includes organizations like the Salvation Army and any other that refuses to abandon their traditional Christian beliefs regarding sex and marriage.
CBS has a new show called “Evil.” It’s about a team employed by a Catholic diocese to invesigate puported cases of demonic possession and other supernatural phenomena. In one of the early episodes the skeptic, former Catholic, agnostic psychologist asked her priest in training team member, why he would want to be a priest in the Catholic Church given its treatment of the LGBTQ community (strange that her concern was not about the child sex abuse scandals). The priest in training responded by saying the church is flawed, but needs “good” people to correct it. After watching several episodes, for several reasons, including what clearly seems to be a mixed portrayal of occult practices and a positive portrayal of a “throuple” (bisexual/polyamorous relationship), I’ve gotten the impression that the show’s producers are more interested in blurring the lines between good and evil than exposing the devices of the latter. A few weeks before the episode that clearly seemed to put a positive spin on polyamory, CBS published a glowing article about the same, including open marriages, that expressed disapproval of anyone’s disapproval of such relationships.
Make no mistake, the message to the Church is loud and clear, it must change to affirm and celebrate sexual behavior that it has traditionally deemed sinful. The pressure that organizations like Chick-Fil-A and the Salvation Army (which is a denominaitonal church) have faced will not stop at the front doors of other traditional churches. As a matter of fact, infiltrators slipped through the back door long ago anyway. We have already seen that many denominations have already capitulated to the pressure, much of which has come from within. If Chick-Fil-A in fact did capitulate, at least they clung to traditional values far longer than almost all mainline denominations before leftists activists started telling them to “cluck off!” (This literally was the message on picket signs in front of the new Toronto location). The radical sexual revolutionaries will accept nothing but total surrender. Mutual tolerance will not be tolerated, even though the sexual revolutionaries ascended to cultural power under that banner.
For a longtime our culture and much of the church in America has fed the flesh; now we are dealing with the beast. It resembles the beast described in Revelation, chapter 13. This is the leader of the world empire empowered by Satan that wages war against the saints and won’t allow anyone to buy or sell without his stamp approval, which requires total allegiance to his dark agenda. God’s people, however, are called to endurance (13:10), which means not to compromise with the idolatry and sexual immorality of the world empire over which the beast reigns (see messages to the churches in Rev 2, 3, and 17). The world empire is described as a great prostitute that makes the world drunk with sexual immorality.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” ~ Rev 17:1-2 ESV
Churches and individual Christians in the first century were called to be faithful to the end, to not capitulate to a hostile culture, if it cost them their livelihoods, or even if it cost them their lives.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. ~ Rev 2:10
Perhaps Chick-Fil-A compromised to sell more chicken sandwiches and waffle fries and gain cultural respectability; I hope not, but maybe they did. Whatever the case, when faced with temptation, every follower of Jesus needs to remember that man cannot live on bread alone. Jesus reminds us of this when he faced the temptation of the devil, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matt 4:4). Christians cannot live by Chick-Fil-A alone either.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17