Chick-fil-A, the famed chicken fast food franchise, has just announced that it will now open Sundays.
CEO Dan T Cathy declared this past week that the shifts in consumer expectations have resulted in a careful decision by the company to open seven days per week, starting from January 2020.
In a press release today, Cathy stated:
If you really look at the Bible, and the big picture of God’s story, you’ll realise that Jesus is in fact our Sabbath rest. The commitment to sabbatarian theology simply doesn’t stand up to the reality of what the Bible says. And I for one will be first in line to enjoy the tasty goodness of our new found freedom in Christ.
None of the above is true, of course. Fake news.
Chick-fil-A will continue to stay shut on Sundays. The company has, however, rolled over to financial and cultural pressure, primarily that leveraged by the Sexular Age in announcing its charity arm will no longer support the Salvation Army.
And the great sin of the Salvation Army? (apart from all the good work it does for the truly marginalised in our culture, the poor). Their statement of faith and practice affirms the biblical view of marriage. Shock, horror.
Pressure from LGBTQI+ lobbyists has finally seen Chick-fil-A cave in and cut charity funding to evil groups such as the Salvation Army. The same Salvation Army that actually runs shelters for transgender homeless people. New funding will be given to other groups including one that requires all staff to sign that they are committed to the new definition of marriage.
But, stoically, bravely and vainly. Chick-fil-A will still stay shut on Sundays. Go figure. From how I see it they may as well be open 24/7. Any claim to keep the Sabbath holy, if that’s how they are viewing it, is now empty virtue signalling. And in that they’ve simply joined their previous rivals, cultural progressives.
Why is the company’s continued shutting on Sunday reduced to virtue signalling? Well leaving aside the fact that the Sabbath was Saturday, Chick-fil-A’s commitment for all these years was a declaration of trust in God and His provision.
After all that was what Sabbath was for. It was, as Walter Brueggemann memorably wrote, resistance. Resistance to the nations and their skewed vision of the good life that slavishly drove people to work without rest, lest disaster befall.
And Chick-fil-A was joining in the resistance in the very land – the USA – where work is worshipped; the new Egypt and its modern production line of Pharaohs and pyramid schemes. Chick-fil-A was resisting that godless view of flourishing.
As the Israel story goes, after all those years of brick making day in day, God delivers his people into a day of rest. It’s God’s way of saying to Israel as she begins life as a nation:
“Trust me. Trust me that I can provide your needs and ensure that you do not fall behind the nations in terms of economics and security. Take a day of rest to remember I AM is your salvation.”
Yet time has proven that this Sunday commitment has not cost them. In fact it’s been fantastic publicity and probably ensured their growth in store numbers and overall finances.
And now? Chick-fil-A has blinked. Why? Because it’s costing them. They have stopped resisting at the very point where God might just be saying “Trust me on this one.”
Keeping the Sabbath is no longer the true resistance in our culture. It’s twee and cute and a point of cheeky difference. The true resistance in our culture is looking the sexual tsunami and its culture warriors in the eye and saying “Thus far shall you come and no farther.”
And if the big boys, of the big chickens in this instance, can’t resist, then good luck the local corner cake shop. Or the small Christian school. Or the Fill-In-The-Blank.
Chick-fil-A can crow all it likes about being different; about holding different values, but it’s just put an idol in the temple.
It can keep all the Sabbaths it wants, but as we know from Israel’s history, it was the rest behind the Sabbath that was critical. Not much point closing on the Sabbath if seven days per week you’re simply concerned about feathering your own nest.
Chick-fil-A’s goose is cooked. It has rolled over like the rotisserie poultry it is, when true resistance was not only possible. It has caved in to a new salvation army, one that brooks no rivals and has no interest in dialogue. And that’s just cultural cowardice that does no one any good. The company has given in to the restless churn of the Sexular Age, and no amount of shut shops on Sunday will get that rest back.
I’ve never eaten at Chick-fil-A, indeed the first reference I heard to it was in the Ben Folds Five song, Army. But I reckon if I ever do, it’s gonna taste like chicken.