To the Upper Management of Chick-Fil-A, to whom it may concern:
My name is Justin Jacob, from Maranatha Full Gospel Church in Dallas Texas. I do not know what words to use to describe the decisions that you all have taken today in stopping your charitable donations to the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home-Christian Charities which, according to your Chief Operations Officer, you all had to do because “it is just the right thing to do: to be clear, caring, and supportive, and do it in the community.” Shock? Sadness? Outrage? Betrayal? What word should we use?
What was the reason for this turn of events? My guess is the LGBTQ’s harassment. You should have considered that a compliment…after all, it only generated growing lines of people at your restaurants and kiosks all over the world. I have just one question for you all; what evil did the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the others Christian charities do to be treated with such contempt such that you stopped all your donations to them?
Perhaps the administration of Chick-Fil-A should walk the streets of any big city of this nation during this holiday season to find out if such a decision was wise. While the LGBTQ activists as well as the city councils in cities such as San Antonio, Buffalo, Chicago, and Boston may have problems with the Christian faith and doctrine of the Salvation Army and FCA, in the inner cities, suburbs and rural areas of this country and other countries, in high schools and colleges; the work of these ministries cannot be protested. They would see Salvation Army centers which feed the homeless and the hungry, care for the needy, and rescue people who are perishing without regards to race, color, creed, gender, or lifestyle. Walk the streets in Dallas and you will see that after the emergency rooms in the medical district hospitals (Parkland, UT Southwestern, etc.) one would see just as much traffic heading into the Salvation Army centers located near those hospitals. A ministry that has achieved its reputation with its Christian service and evangelism for over 150 years…to have unwarranted attacks because of the Christian principle that define this ministry is a gross insult not just to this ministry but to this conscience of all humanity.
Perhaps the administration Chick-Fil-A should traverse the world of athletics in high school and college and take a good look at the ministry of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A ministry that serves to influence athletes to Integrity, Serving, Teamwork, and Excellence through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Apparently the LGBTQ has a problem with these ministries' stance on sexual purity which is based on Scripture (all heterosexual sex outside of marriage is sin, any alternative lifestyle is sin). But if that is the issue, let the higher-ups at Chick-Fil-A look closely at every type of violation that takes place in athletics, not to mention hedonistic. How many players in the pro ranks are literally bankrupt because they had absolutely no moral direction in their lives or had anyone give them the idea that Excellence is not strictly for the particular sport they are engaged in, but also in every facet of life. Or that such things as “cheap shots” or “dirty plays” are wrong no matter what advantages they may give at the moment. Those lessons along with others that serve to raise character are taught and learned in FCA.
I could say more, and about other Christian charities as well who will not receive any charity donations in the future, but I think the point has been made. In the aftermath of this news, I saw one homosexual activist saying that this was not enough, that Chick-Fil-A had to make a “clean break” from all “hate groups” such as Focus on the Family and others. Bible-believing Christians are now classified “hate groups.” Christians who believe and practice the spiritual and moral teachings of the Bible, and its central message of Jesus Christ are now akin to Nazi, Communist, KKK, and other vile violent groups? And is this what Chick-Fil-A is afraid of?
I know not what more to say but I will finish with a story that I heard several years ago during the Easter season from the late Baptist preacher, Dr. Adrian Rodgers. The sermon that he preached was called The Cup - it was part of a sermon series that Dr. Rodgers preached at his church which was focused on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This particular message was so powerful, it affected me personally for several days. The Cup refers to the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed to God the Father saying “let this cup pass away from me.” Ultimately, the Lord responded by saying “not my will but thy will be done.” Dr. Rodgers said of the Cup, it was the sins of the world: every horrible, vile, thing that has ever been done. “Hitler’s gas chambers was in that cup…the worst deathrow offenses…my and your sins…all of it was in the Cup. It would be like taking a cup of the worst sewer in the world and saying, 'drink it'. In His holy Humanity, He (Jesus) revolted. But because of his Divine Love, he took it.” The Apostle Paul would later say in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He who knew no sin became sin so that the righteousness of God would be revealed in us.”
Dr. Rodgers took on the idea of Agony. Those who know the story of Gethsemane know that often it is referred to as the “Agony of Christ”. A struggle, like that of two wrestlers in a wrestling match who struggle to get the advantage of each other. He then went from here to the story of the martyrdom of 40 wrestlers during the time of the Roman Empires’ persecution of the Christians. There are two variations of this story: one that is shared by the Eastern Church, and another venerated in the west. The story, Dr. Rodgers mentioned, has been passed down so much, that most likely it was no invention, but rather a very real event that happened during the long history of the persecution. The version that Dr. Rodgers told happened during the time of the Emperor Licinius. During his time, there were 40 wrestlers - world famous at the time for their victories in the various arenas and games of the era. They could be considered the superstars of their day, and they were the pride of the empire being involved as they were with the Roman Legions. Like the gladiators of the day would do when they begin their combat in the arena, these wrestlers would also pledge their devotion to the emperor by saying something like the following: “We are 40 wrestlers here for you our emperor to win for you the victory and the victors crown.”
One day, when the group was with their Legion in a place called Sebaste in Northern Armenia, a directive came from the Emperor in Rome. The command was that all Christians were to be immediately taken, and if they did not pledge their allegiance to the Emperor, they were to be killed immediately. The directive was one for the Legion itself, because the emperor had heard rumors that various soldiers of Rome had indeed joined the rank of this sect called the Christians.
The Legionary commander called the soldiers together and read the order and subsequently called out that any Christians in the company were to show themselves at once. He probably thought no one would dare, but to his shock, the 40 came forward. There was no way he could summarily order their execution; after all they were world-famous, the “pride of the Roman Empire”. But the moment of decision had come, and these 40 had decided to stand and be counted with Jesus Christ. They were not doing this to be cavalier. They already had achieved fame and fortune. They had done no wrong to the government nor to the Legions. However they lived during a time where the powers in charge had decided that Christians were evil, “hate groups”, and backward; how was one to reason with people, beginning with the Emperor and downward, when objectivity was impossible? The only thing that they could do was solemnly make their decisions knowing that they belonged to Jesus Christ and if that cost them their lives, then so be it.
At the time, it was the height of cold winter and much of the rivers in the area were frozen. The Legionary Commander had an enormous fire built on a river bank next to the camp. He ordered the forty to be stripped naked and pushed into the icy waters. “If any of you will pledge full allegiance to the Emperor and give up this Christian religion, you will be immediately welcomed back and warmed by this fire. Otherwise, you will freeze to death in this cold. Let us see which is more powerful!” The forty wrestlers in that dark night went into the icy water chanting their chant but with a slight difference: “We are forty wrestlers for you our Lord Christ to win for you the victory and the victor’s crown!”
All throughout the night watches, the chant continued and the soldiers on the bank could hear it at first loud and firm but getting weaker as the hours passed. Finally it went completely quiet, from the darkness coming toward the shore was one of the wrestlers - almost frozen purple - making his way to the fire on the bank. His compatriots on the shore ran quickly and picked him from the frozen river and led him to the fire, expecting that the rest would be following behind, but there was no one else. A moment later, voices came from the darkness of that frozen river: “We are 39 wrestlers for you our Lord Christ to win for you the victory and the victor’s crown!”
One of the guards (a man named Aglaius) took one look at the shriveled man now warming himself at the fire, took one look at the darkness of river…and stripped of his armor and clothes and ran into that frozen water shouting at the top of his voice, “We are still 40 wrestlers for you our Lord Christ to win for you the victory and the victor’s crown!”
And so is the story - one that is still commemorated with a host of churches and memorial built in their name in the Eastern Churches.
It will be easy to discount this story or to say that it has nothing to do with the times in which we live or Chick-Fil-A. As I said, Chick-Fil-A is free to do with its money anything it pleases and I am sure that other charities will be more than willing to accept their donations, whether they are food banks or public broadcasting. But can you give any kind of explanation about these particular charities that you have chosen to STOP giving money towards in the last few days? Other than the Christian faith, character, and principles, what is the reason? You will find out very quickly that the story of the 40 martyrs applies a lot more to our times than what one would desire.
I’m not really expecting an answer. The silence will speak volumes. Just as in the times of that story, it is not easy to face the relentless assault of social justice activists group and the public smearing from leftist politicians and media. I still remember the former mayor of Boston, Massachusetts declaring that Boston did not “need Chick-Fil-A values.” A sentiment that was echoed by Rahm Emmanuel when he was mayor of Chicago. I also remember how the general public rallied and the huge lines of people that came crowding to your restaurants in those cities and elsewhere in the United States, the day after.
Perhaps you think that with this decision, the general public will get the idea Chick-Fil-A is only a fast food eatery not a religious institution looking to peddle an idea or issue in society. I ask you, will it matter one bit? I ask you to please remember that they now refer to the Church and any charities or ministries therein as “hate groups”. The president of GLAAD has upped the ante (so to speak) by saying that they (I assume that means his group and all their leftist cronies) would not be satisfied till all connections with any and every “hate group” was terminated. From that story, an enormous fire burns on the shore…it may be that other Christian owned businesses may follow your example and kowtow in the name of getting out of “bad publicity”. May God always find someone who would join with His cause when other fall away. Psalms 68:1.
We wish you well.
In Service of the King of Kings,