CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

On Christians, Chicken, and Living in Caves

Nov 20, 2019

Increasingly our options are being lessened as more and more companies and businesses push ungodly agendas:

I had recently started an article on how Western Christians are to respond to the increased persecution, anti-Christian bigotry, and the ever-darkening times we live in. I had penned other pieces on this, but it seemed that as the days grow more resistant to faith, freedom and family, the issue deserved further attention.

But it is the current Chick-fil-A issue that has made all this even more relevant and urgent. See my earlier write-up from today on this concerning matter: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/11/20/chick-fil-a-christianity-and-compromise/

If they have indeed caved to the activists, then we may reconsider where we buy our next chicken dinner from. And yes, one can live – and live well – without ever eating any chicken – whether from CFA or not. But we all must eat something at least. And the point of this article is that in almost every major area of life, we are losing our options and choices.

If we want to continue to buy goods and services, or patronise various businesses and companies, the concerned Christian is finding fewer and fewer outlets that they can happily do business with. More and more are engaging in activities which are at best, questionable, and at worst, sinful.

Part of this article springs from a lively debate on the social media a few days ago that I was involved in. I let it be known that I had recently flown Qantas to get to some interstate speaking engagements. I even used a photo of a Qantas jet painted with rainbow colours.

Many folks said they would never fly with them, and some seemed upset that I had. I tried to remind these folks that unfortunately Australia really only has two major domestic carriers – and they are both equally bad when it comes to non-Christian or even anti-Christian agendas.

So where does that leave someone like me, who is called by God to frequently speak around the country – and overseas as well? Do I ditch flying altogether and buy a horse? Or walk? Some folks suggested I use a train or bus or car. But even here there are obvious limitations.

I really do not have time to take a trip somewhere over several days that would simply be several hours when flying. And as more and more car manufacturers and petrol stations hop on board various radical, immoral and anti-Christian agendas, what are we left with?

I am simply left with using airlines I prefer not to use. There are so many other areas like this as well: almost all our companies, banks, businesses, insurance companies, corporate giants, and so on are deep into secular left activism. What do we do if we want to be ‘uncontaminated’ from all the evil that they are involved in?

What do we do if we want to be free of all this and be morally and spiritually ‘pure’? As I said a number of times in that discussion, believers need to think carefully and prayerfully about how we proceed as things get darker and our options become fewer – at least morally and spiritually acceptable options.

Of course one option is simply to head for the hills. You can live in a cave, grow your own vegies, and hope that a self-sustaining lifestyle is viable and doable for you. But the truth is, for most folks that likely is NOT viable and doable.

Another problem arises. If all concerned believers move into caves or forests, what happens to our Christian witness? We are supposed to be salt and light in a dark and needy world. We are supposed to share the gospel with the lost. If we simply look after No. 1 in order to be pure and free of the world, we will then have no impact on the world.

Sure, there may well be a time and a place for some such withdrawal. That of course was the theme of Rod Dreher’s 2017 book, The Benedict Option. I discussed that volume and three other similar recent books here: billmuehlenberg.com/2017/06/11/strangers-strange-land-christianity-contemporary-culture/

But the reality is, we need to get real here – things are getting more and more precarious for believers in the West today. Sure, we can live without chicken, or chicken fast-food outlets. But we can’t live without food. And as more and more food producers and manufacturers hop on board various trendy lefty causes – often quite inimical to Christian values – then we keep losing options.

For example a few months ago I discussed the objectionable television ad proudly featuring homosexual characters put out by Australian food giant McCain. See my piece here on this and other companies: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/07/30/it-is-time-we-start-resisting/

OK, so believers can boycott them – as they should. But what happens when more and more food companies and businesses also go down the tubes? Again, alternatives and options become fewer. So maybe a vegie garden in the back yard IS the way to go.

The same thing comes up with me and others having to fly a lot. As I mentioned, options are limited. But what happens if God calls you to speak all over the place as part of your ministry? Cancel all the talks to stay “pure”? Or simply make do with a bad situation? Try to choose the lesser of evils?

These are very real and urgent questions. I do not have all the answers by any means. But I am insisting that we think long and hard about such matters – starting now. After all, we do have some rather scary words found in the book of Revelation about these issues. Consider Rev. 13:15-17:

The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

I wrote about this passage in an earlier piece: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/19/babylon-its-fall-and-the-mark-of-the-beast/

How and when these things will come to pass I cannot say. But it sure seems like Christians are slowly but surely heading in those directions. Our buying options are being reduced all the time – whether with goods or services. So far it is not too bad. But it WILL get worse, that much we can count on.

So again, we really need to think about this much more carefully and prayerfully. All true believers may soon be having to make some important decisions concerning all this – not just about what to buy or not buy, not just about what to boycott and protest, but even where we might live, and so on.

These are serious issues. I already said I do not have all the answers here. But I encourage all Christians to be in prayerful consideration about such matters. Today it may just be Chick-fil-A or McCain foods, or Bonds underwear (see their atrocious new ads here: www.news.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/people/bonds-fans-defend-major-retailer-after-it-copped-backlash-over-christmas-ad/news-story/4a6f5420699e2bcab442acaf7e7d1741 )

Oh, and while you’re at it, please contact Bonds and let them know that you will not be buying their products anymore; www.bonds.com.au/helphub/other.html

But things will get worse. Whatever believers decide to do about these sorts of issues, prepare for a much more difficult ride in the days ahead.

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28 Responses to On Christians, Chicken, and Living in Caves

  • It is indeed becoming harder to avoid using anti-Christian services. This is inconvenient and hard to accept morally, however the real test is when the mark [of the beast] is introduced.

    “The faithful, who’ll refuse, will be punished. So they should start getting used to living simply, and if they can they should have a field, a few olive trees, or an animal for their families’ needs.” ~ Saint Paisios

  • I stopped ordering Girl Scout cookies long long time ago because of their ties to Planned Parenthood and I am appalled when they are sold in churches, even when the Priests/Pastors are aware of this connection. However as you pointed out, it is getting to where you cannot eat or drink much without having to in some way give money to a business that financially donates to this.

  • For now, my guiding principle is simple. Where I can avoid services or products that push evil agendas, I do. When I can’t, I try to minimise it as much as possible. Maybe the other thing to explore with certain products is to always buy second hand. As other Christians have already observed regarding holding fast to a life of faith, it is a battleground here on earth, not a playground.

  • Maybe Paul’s comments about eating meat sacrificed to idols in 1 Cor 8 and 9:25-33 are applicable?

    He seemed to be more concerned about the harm done to other people’s conscience rather than any spiritual harm to himself.

  • Bill – I have not been able to find a contact address to tell Bonds that after sixty-plus years of preferring their brands, I will no longer be doing so. Can you help, please? As I was looking for such an address, I went to their blog, which, ironically, majors on ethical behaviour and invokes the name of Baptist World Aid. I suppose we can always separate sexual ethics from environmental (and other) ethics. I’ve copied the whole article and reproduce it below. You may, of course, want to edit it.
    Each year, Baptist World Aid release an Ethical Fashion Report to help consumers make every day, ethical purchasing decisions when it comes to fashion.

    Grading over 130 apparel companies from A to F, and highlighting which brands are making positive strides to address ethical sourcing and workers’ rights across their supply chains, Baptist World Aid aim to ensure that companies are doing more to protect their workers.

    The Report takes an in-depth look at five key areas including: policies, transparency and traceability, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental management.

    As part of Hanesbrands, we’ve taken active steps to improve all five focus areas in our ethical sourcing programme and are proud to have upgraded our overall score in 2019 to an A rating from an A- in 2018, reflecting our commitment to ongoing improvement in our supply chain.

    As part of a global company, we have worked hard on our policy and governance, emission reduction, water usage, material product waste, tighter chemical standards and forward momentum on more sustainable end product.

    This acknowledgement from Baptist World Aid both validates and strengthens our desire for continuous improvement. There’s certainly more for us to do but we are proud of our ongoing commitment and the steps we’re taking.

    It is through this report that Bonds fans can gain a more comprehensive and complete view of our company’s BKIND approach to sustainable sourcing. You can find out more and read the report here: https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/2019-ethical-fashion-guide/.

  • Thanks Neil. The second last paragraph of my article above provides a link so you can contact Bonds and complain.

  • https://www.bonds.com.au/helphub/contact/index is a more direct email link.
    It seems you need an order number for it to go through though… I had an an old one.
    If you’d like to refer to it so that you can actually send the email, I don’t think that should be a problem: 514250810. You can admit it’s not your order, but otherwise I can’t see how you can send an email to them from their website.

  • Babylon Bee (babylonbee.com) has done a very appropriate and cutting satirical piece on the Chick-fil-A situation (actually, the title says it all): Chick-Fil-A Trades Adoring Christian Fans For Outraged Mob That Won’t Be Appeased Until Their Every Demand Is Met

  • just read your previous article, and you’ve already linked that petition! sorry, not keeping up here… Bill, i find your articles so helpful, whatever I’m wondering about, there it is, Culture Watch to the rescue!! Thank you.

  • Many thanks Sherna. Bless you.

  • Thank you for enlightening us again. This Chic-filet is very concerning. Food is just the beginning. As I was reading this article I kept thinking, “how much longer will Christians be allowed medical care unless we bow to the LGBTQ?” I have to believe the prayers of the remnant crying out to the Lord will buy us more time and our children and grand children & until that time we will put action to our words through peaceful means. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to hold back the kabal and I believe he is going to be successful, he already is. He’s done more to stop evil than most of the church.

    Louise

  • I would like to know where Michele Cook got her information regarding Girl Scout cookies supporting Planned Parenthood because according to their website they claim they do no such thing or never have.

  • David, GS leaders have often proudly boasted of their associations with PP and other pro-abort groups. See here eg; https://www.lc.org/newsroom/details/032218-girl-scout-cookies-crumble

  • So as we are constantly bombarded with advertising imagery which promotes wickedness are our conscious minds (foreheads) and right (grasping) hands being spiritually marked?

    Jesus was clear that if your eye is in darkness so is your whole body (Luke 11:34-35).

  • The profits of Qantas belong to the owners of the company, the shareholders, mostly who are Mum and dads and superannuation funds. Not the sodomite CEO or other senior managers who support and push all this filth. Yes they get paid from the profits made by the airline but that would only be a minority. As you have pointed out, buying a Qantas ticket to get from A to B when there are no other alternatives and when you are not flying with them to support their godless agenda is no moral issue at all. How many people realise that our tax dollars go to subsidising Medicare, which funds abortions? I have to pay to use the trains in Sydney to get to work, and NSW transport openly supports sodomy. Nothing I can do. If I drive taxis to make a living to support my family and a passenger asks me to drive him to a brothel (for example), then merely driving him to that place is no sin at all in my opinion as long as I do not encourage him in any way and do all that I can to dissuade him. In relation to places like immoral restaurants such as Starbucks where there are alternatives, then it is incumbent on Christians to avoid them and I think it would be a sin to frequent them knowing there are alternatives

  • Neil mentioned the Baptist World Aid link but noted it ignores sexual ethics, and it’s focused only on clothing production. Are there any organisations tracking companies and advising who to do business with? Bill notes for instance that Australians have the choice of Qantas – run by an LGBTP militant and promoting said values, or an alternative which is little better – Virgin I’m assuming. Internationally however there are a lot of choices – Cathay, China Air etc which as far as I’m aware provide better service at comparable prices and don’t have the ethical problems Qantas does. What of car manufacturers and petrol stations, banks, businesses, insurance companies, or corporate giants? It’s so hard (for me at least) to remember who is doing what, and I hate putting my private info out there (one part privacy preference one part previous cyber issues) which makes me loath to sign onto petitions.

    Anyone able to suggest guides or other resources?

  • Anti-discrimination laws prove that businesses are no longer allowed to be Christian [legally]. This is making the economy anti-Christian, which clears the way for implementing the mark of the beast.

  • This shows me we still are not fighting back hard. we are not taking advantage of the reprieve that we got when Trump got elected as WE PRAYED FOR!. please see my latest mussing: https://musingsonthechurchandchristianity.blogspot.com/2019/11/impeachment-farce-two-thoughts.html I hope bill you can maybe take a quick look at it and make a comment.

  • As far as I can see, boycotts are a matter of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face (see Wikipedia for suggestions of derivation). The Bible has: “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10)

  • Thanks John. Yes we are in the world but not to be of it. It is a balancing act. We want to have godly influence in this world, but not be overly conformed to the world.

  • Hey Denis, I thought of the same verses from Paul also, as my family was discussing them in the context of the issues we are all grappling with that Bill raises in this article.
    Those verses go to the heart of the issue to me- because for all of us, these are issues of conscience, but how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ over differences in conscience issues is really important. And the world is watching- so our Christian testimony is a big factor.
    The Revelation verses will change everything of course.
    Bill, in response to your earlier article about lack of clear-thinking Christians and despairing of writing article sometimes- just wanted to say that, having read your blog for over seven years or so, you have been very influential in my walk and the way I have learned to turn to God’s word for answers as I have grown in the faith. My fairly blunt grey matter has been helpfully sharpened many times by your articles and I am thankful.

  • Many thanks indeed Lauren. Bless you.

  • In Elijah’s case, standing against the ungodly status quo of his times included “going bush” and being fed by ravens! From that frying-pan, he was sent to be fed by a starving Sidonian widow in pagan Zarephath – well “beyond the pale” of the Promised Land – in Jezebel’s very native land!

    As to travelling by airliner: Evidently Ms Thunberg is persuaded that the world may be won over by taking “a slow boat to New York”… Much is made of digital and carbon footprints… What moral footprints will we leave on this planet when our last steps are taken?

  • Conscience? Did someone say conscience, Lauren?

    1787 was the last time that word was used. Freedom of worship was included in the Bill of Rights, but the word “conscience” didn’t make it into the Constitution.

    Fifteen Amendments to the Unratified Constitution
    Proposed by the Dissenting Members of the
    Pennsylvania State Legislature Constitutional Convention
    December 12, 1787

    1. The rights of conscience shall be held inviolable, and neither the legislative, executive, nor judicial powers of the United States shall have authority to alter, abrogate, or infringe any part of the constitutions of the several states which provide for the preservation of liberty in matters of religion.

    Abortion rights? The preeminent British jurist William Blackstone had this to say in 1765:

    ENUMERATED RIGHTS OF BRITISH CITIZENS

    The right of personal security consists in a person’s legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation.

    1. Life is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by nature in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemesnor.

    An infant in ventre sa mere, or in the mother’s womb, is supposed in law to be born for many purposes. It is capable of having a legacy, or a surrender of a copyhold estate made to it. It may have a guardian assigned to it; and it is enabled to have an estate limited to it’s use, and to take afterwards by such limitation, as if it were then actually born. And in this point the civil law agrees with ours.

    We’ve unlearned a lot in the intervening years, haven’t we?

    Keep up the great job, Mr. Muehlenberg. Wish you were here and not down under.

  • You could have flown with Emirates – at least they are faithful to a God and are not Satanics.
    John Abbott

  • Um no, and for two reasons John: Emirates is of course in a close business alliance with Qantas. And an Islamic airline is not faithful to the one true God as any biblical Christian understands. False religions are every bit as Satanic as are any secular belief systems.

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