Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, generated a firestorm of criticism after opposing gay marriage. The mayors of Boston and Chicago have said Chick-fil-A should stay out of their cities.
Chick-fil-A is not accused of discriminating in hiring practices or in serving customers. They understand what James meant when he wrote, “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” (James 2:9, NIV) Chick-fil A welcomes all people as employees and customers.
Business leaders often have the opportunity to take public, biblical stands that may be unpopular with some. It does not mean that we have the right to turn people away while we uphold God’s standard.
Some time ago our pastor addressed this issue and explained that all are welcome in church, including those who practice homosexuality or do not adhere to God’s standard that sex belongs in marriage between one woman and one man. The pastor was clear, however; that he would continue to teach God’s truth and standards.
Chick-fil-A customers are divided in their response to this issue. Here are some comments posted on the company’s Facebook page:
“Disappointed in a company that believes in upholding the Bible- except for ‘all men are equal in God’s eyes.’ No longer a fan-and will no longer eat in your restaurants. Leave judgment to God and God alone.”--Beth Hutter.
“Hate mongers! Never again! Not another $ from me.”--Duke Richards
Others were more supportive:
“Thank you Chick-fil-A for standing up for family values! I will stand with you and support you by eating in your restaurants!” --Tonia Sullivan Mahaffey
“I love your food AND your values!”-Jennifer Wyatt Burgum
Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23, NIV) Ray Kroc, the man who franchised McDonald’s to make it an empire, has said, “I believe in God, family and McDonalds, but when I get to the office I reverse the order.” It is true that work needs to be a priority during work hours however, when we accept Christ, we must keep our focus on God, family and work in that order, all the time.
Taking a stand for the Lord will generate protests. The crowd yelled, “Crucify Him” (John 9:15) If Jesus was treated this way, we can expect similar treatment as well.
Those who oppose the Lord will attack every opportunity possible. When we have a platform like CEO Dan Cathy, what difference does it make unless we step up and use it?
I take God’s instructions very seriously. Not every business client I work with has been Christian. I see the prospect of working with non-Christians as an outreach opportunity. However, I will not work with a business that violates biblical ethics or promotes a product or service dishonoring to the Lord. For example, I declined to help someone set up a medical marijuana business. They were angry with my refusal and threatened to “report me.” I have no idea who would have received that report.
For Chick-fil-A, this has been a dividing line. They will lose some customers while they gain others. The issue is not how this plays out in business. The issue is what honors the Lord. If you agree with Chick-fil-A’s stand, stop by as a customer and demonstrate your support regularly.
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach
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