Saturday, August 4, 2012

Adam Smith, Chick-Fil-A drive thru guy who berated drive-thru employee, apologizes. Sort of.

Updated to include identity of and comments from law-breaker who defaced Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Torrance, California. See below.

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When Jesus said in Matthew 24:6 that one of the signs of His soon coming would be wars and rumors of wars, automatically we think of military wars. And indeed it means that. Military war is not only what He meant, in my opinion. He didn't use the word strateuo: "to make war" (from stratos, "an encamped army"). He used the word polemos which means war but it also means battle, strife, quarrels.

The word 'polemos' that He used in English is 'polemic.' A polemic is "a contentious argument that is intended to establish the truth of a specific belief and the falsity of the contrary belief. Polemics are mostly seen in arguments about very controversial topics." Polemics address important issues in religion, philosophy, politics, or science. The word is derived from the Greek meaning "warlike, hostile" which comes from polemos, "war". (Wiki)

What we have in the Chick-Fil-A controversy is a very open war- a culture war with polemical battle lines drawn on one side and the other. This week America was engaged in a national convulsion in polemics, AKA culture war, strife, battle, and quarrel. Christians brought biblical light to a Godly value (heterosexual marriage) and focused it in such a way as to shine it directly into the eyes of those who are yet in darkness. My own opinion is that this is also what Jesus meant when He said 'you will see wars and rumors of wars.'

Now for the relevant application. I'll boil the culture war down to two people, Adam Smith and Rachel.

Distribution of Chick-Fil-A restaurants
in the US. Wiki commons


The background to this war is that in an interview with the Baptist Press, Chick-Fil-A chain restaurant owner Dan Cathy responded to a question about the company's support for traditional marriage, saying:
"Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families – some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that ... We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles." Source
His mild and gentle but clear statement caused a firestorm of protest. The usual protests came from the homosexual segment of the population, but this time the politicians and Mayors of major cities, particularly Boston and Chicago, stated that they would do everything in their power to stop Chick-Fil-A from operating as a company in their city.

The usual argument in culture is one thing, but the US is founded on principles of freedom of speech and religion, and this not-so-veiled attack on those principles ignited a peaceful protest by the conservative segment of the population. They decided to go and buy Chick-Fil-A food as a sign of support. On August 1, 2012, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day happened. Boy, did people turn out for this!
Illinois
Texas

South Carolina
Arizona
Maryland
Even in GASP! Boston!

Boston, Burlington Mall

My Christian brother in Norway tweeted, "Why is everyone from america talking about this chick-fil a or something??" I told him that the national convulsion we're experiencing here is simply the latest iteration of an age-old battle. This week it burst into open warfare in such vitriolic proportions that the culture war spilled overseas to the notice of other nations.

You might ask, the homosexual agenda has been visible for a long time, this isn't the first time it has burst open in America. Remember Stonewall? How about all those Pride Days, Gay Parades, and legislative rallies and protests for homosexual marriage?" Yes, that is true, that is part of the culture war. It's been one-sided so far. But this week was the first time in my memory that the initiative was taken by Christians, in a well-planned and organized push-back.

People who are not in Christ are in satan. There is no in-between. Satan deludes the unsaved into thinking that there aren't that many Christians. They think we are kooks, living exclusively in the south, and that we have no power. Christians are no-account in an unsaved person's life, because they simply don't see us. We are invisible to them because satan has blinded them to the Light of Jesus that is in us. I cannot stress this enough.

I can say these things because I wasn't saved until I was 43 years old. Until then I was a New England liberal elite who thought Christians numbered in the dozens, maybe hundreds, living Deliverance style in the woods of Mississippi. Or maybe all in one subdivision. They were easy to avoid and had no impact to my life. When I did get saved and moved to the south I was shocked, shocked I tell you, at the sheer number of Christians. Before, they were invisible to me. And that is because satan has blinded their minds.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

I have four points I'd like to finish with.

On Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, Adam Smith, an executive at an Arizona company named Vante, sat for a looooong time in the drive-thru. He was there to buy some water and to tell the employee serving him that she worked for a horrible company that denies homosexuals their rights. He said he felt good, purposeful and jazzed to be doing it. We know all this because he filmed his encounter and posted it on Youtube. The next day his company fired him.

A day or so after that, Smith posted an 8-minute video apologizing for his actions and stated he wasn't just saying this because he was fired and he has a lot of time on his hands to reflect on his actions. His video is below. You can watch for yourself. First I'll post some of his comments and embed them in the context of the (culture) wars and polemical arguments bursting out all over.

"You should know I never planned to say the things I said that day...and how I said them. I planned to peacefully participate in the Youtube post where Jackson Pearce asked people to order a large water as a sign of support for the gay community. But when I got to your window, after seeing all of the people in and outside the restaurant, that came to support Chick-Fil-A, I lost it. I just lost it. I couldn't believe the number of people that came out to support a corporation..."

1. What he really means there is he couldn't believe how many people came out to support a corporation that openly embraces a Christian value. Because, of course, liberals and homosexuals and the unsaved come out in force and in numbers all the time to support or oppose corporations. Look at the Occupy Wall Street protests. They oppose Bank of America or other banks. Last time I looked, those were corporations.

2. I can just see how sitting in that long line for all that time roiled Mr Smith. He got madder, madder and madder. Satan opposes God. When someone is deeply reprobate, they will be angry when confronted with truth. Smith had buckets of time in line to watch truth in action. Romans 1 says that all have seen God because He has revealed His invisible qualities to us through the creation. In this case the truth hit him on the nose and he couldn't help but see the numbers of people who support corporations with Godly values. Those who deliberately suppress this truth descend on a path that gets darker and darker. Confronted with truth, they get angry. They will become the things they claim to hate!
"And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless." (Romans 1:28-30).
Smith could not believe the number of people who love God and who support Godly principles. Smith was confronted with visible, tangible proof of the fact that God exists in many people and he shrank like a vampire from holy water, screaming 'noooo noooo nooo'. OK maybe not literally, but pretty close, seeing his own words above! "I just lost it." So he lashed out:

"For me, the main goal of supporting the gay community outweighed any collateral damage that Rachel became. ... I just literally saw Rachel as collateral damage."

3. In other words the war in the reprobate to win at all costs no matter who gets hurt in the process is clearly unveiled. This is because in suppressing the truth, they are filled with all manner of unrighteousness as described above. Their unreasoning, satanic hatred of all things Godly will darken them to the point that they rise up in violence. This is a war. When presented with the truth become so blinded with rage they lash out and as in any war, there is 'collateral damage.'

Like this:

Huffington Post reports, Homosexual "Manny Castro has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the "Tastes Like Hate" message painted on the side of a Chick-fil-A restaurant Friday morning in Torrance, Calif." Castro claims that he, as a homosexual man has few rights and that the people at Chick-Fil-A were trying to take away what few rights he has left. "When Castro saw news photos of thousands of Americans lined up around the block to buy a sandwich in support of the company on "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," his heart sank even more." Castro says Americans eating chicken sandwiches to support their preferred restaurant is the "same thing" as when 40 years ago Christians protested whites marrying blacks. Therefore, he reasoned, his defacement of local property is "not that much of a crime."

You notice that it was when Castro "saw" the photos of lines upon lines of people at Chick-Fil-A that the polemical issue really affected him. "His heart sank." It was when he was confronted with the truth that he was angered into negative action, that is.

They will never see the irony in that a hate filled heart will, under cover of darkness plot an evil plan, buy paint, gather together in unrighteousness, and in their foolish battle, they break the law in order to claim that others hate. Breaking the law is the most hateful incivility in the highest degree. But their reprobate minds just lose it and in the ensuing war, there is collateral damage. In this case, an innocent restaurant manager who had then to deal with the aftermath of reprobate hate plastered on his building.

Smith goes on to say that the reaction against him subsequent to his video posting and then his firing was discouraging. He has received threats against himself, his family and his co-workers. This is unfortunate and is not a Christian value. People who do those things, no matter what side of the culture war they say they are on, are reprobate with a foolish heart and a darkened mind.

However Smith also says that on the other hand it is encouraging. Because, he says, "If people can get this passionate about a guy being rude to a girl in the drive-thru, how much more passion can we have for our fellow human beings have whose basic rights are being threatened by a corporation like Chick-Fil-A?"

4. So you can see that he is not really sorry. His heart is still darkened. He recognized the light inside of Rachel the woman he berated, but he wants to harness that light for satan's purposes.

This "war" will continue and even deepen. The lines are drawn so clearly now.

The chasm between the Light-filled Christian and the Dark-Hearted Reprobate will shrink, and shrink and shrink, until one day Christians will be raptured and we will study war no more! The Dark-Hearted Reprobate will have no one left to battle with...so he will turn against the next guy whose heart is even darker than his. Because their war is really against God. They will continue, because Romans 1:32 closes out with:
Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
May God have mercy upon them...but His wrath is building.

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Original video of Smith going through drive-thru on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. It is a little over 2 minutes.:


Adam Smith's apologetic video, it is about 8 minutes

16 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth:

    I wanted to say that I am in total agreement with you on this. I also watched the video where he spoke to Rachel and even though he wasn't too nice, he really wasn't too bad, as I thought the video would show him basically foaming at the mouth yelling at her or something. For me, the issue wasn't so much his anger, it was his arrogance in his position taken and the fact that the unsaved change good for bad, hate for love and dark for light. Their thinking is totally twisted on this issue as well as most other issues, because they haven't been renewed by the Holy Spirit and it is so, so sad, because they truly believe they are right in their positions. How we need to pray for them, as they are deceived by the enemy of their souls, just as we were prior to our salvation. It is truly a war and our best position is on our knees and declaring the truth of God's word despite the trials we may face in doing so. Go Chik-fil-A and go Elizabeth Prata. God bless you and I miss your weekly newsletter but totally understand why you had to stop for now. Looking forward to meeting you in the Lord's Kingdom!!

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    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thanks. I agree, what he said wasn't in yelling, snarling, anger, but you could see the 'pull' the issue had on him. He said at least twice, maybe three times, "Well that's all I wanted to say" and started to go, but then he pressed the brake pedal and said some more stuff. He could not let it go.

      Looking forward to meeting you too. Maybe it will not e so long...Damascus is having incredibly heavy fighting today and extreme explosions as well as rifle fire has been heard in many neighborhoods, as well as checkpoints near the Presidential palace. People are too afraid even to go to the windows to see what is going on. :(

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    2. For example: "CONFIRMED: a real war now in Rukneldin central Damascus: presidential guard, helicopters shelling, 30 explosions a minute- Syria"

      I keep waiting for Isaiah 17:1...Damascus will be a heap of ruins...

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  2. I agree, very well explained, honest essay on the issue of war, and very enlightening too, thank you!

    Also, due to issues I've had with fellow Christian who respond in anger to the truth I've tried to tell them, with scriptures, which hasn't matters, as they still get angry and refute the scriptures I give, and me, saying I'm talking crazy, as they believe they aren't guilty, I was wondering what scriptures you would use to back up this statement you made:

    "When someone is deeply reprobate, they will be angry when confronted with truth."

    J.L.

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    1. Hi J.L.,

      I'm sorry that happened to you. The verses to back up what I said are the ones I used, all of Romans 1:18-32 particularly 1:28-31. But, they speak to the unsaved, not fellow Christians. "Reprobate" in the verse is the Greek word for 'depraved', and it means disqualified, failed the test, rejected. (http://concordances.org/greek/96b.htm)

      You said you had difficulties with fellow Christian, so a different set of verses apply.

      If a Christian is confronted with the truth according to the Matthew 18 process that is prescribed for us, they may simply be mad for a bunch of reasons. Maybe they're sinning and their conscience is pricked. Maybe the truth was delivered to them unlovingly, or with a log in the speaker's eye. Maybe the situation was misread. It could be a variety of things, but God instituted a process for pointing out sin in Matthew 18.

      I don't know enough about your specific situation to comment. There is a three step process;
      --point out the sin in love and in truth one to one, if the brother or sister refuses to repent,
      --then go again with some others,
      --and if that doesn't cause repentance, then to the church.

      The goal is that we love the brother so much we do not let him remain in his sin, and speak and pray for restoration. That is the goal. MacArthur explains how he conducts his 'pointing out sin' Matthew 18 process here
      http://www.gty.org/resources/distinctives/DD02/church-discipline

      As with any brother or sister who receives information about their personal sin, there will be blowback. It is inevitable. That's why Matthew 18 is so hard and should be taken so seriously and carefully. What I do in case that situation ever has to come up in my life, is that I repent often, and I ask Jesus to show me my sins that I am even too blind to know about. That accomplishes three things
      1. I am in right relationship with Jesus
      2. I have purer eyes to see, and discernment is more clear
      3. I don't have a splinter in my eye if I have to I point out the log in his eye, (Matthew 7:1) but can judge a righteous judgment (John 7:24).

      The bible talks a lot about no harsh speech coming from our mouths but to build up each other in love, (there are a LOL of verses about right-speech from us) and that should be the emphasis. *Should* being the key word. Because we're all sinners, sometimes we have to point out something. Thyatira was a church where though many of the people there individually were commended, those who were not participating in the sin of Jezebel were still blasted, because they *tolerated* it.

      If someone has responded badly to your truth you tried to tell them, and refuse the scriptures, you can pray and either choose to go forward with the Matthew 18 process, or you can pray for that brother earnestly and for direction from the Spirit on what to do or whether to do anything; and also plead for wisdom and discernment yourself too. I can't say much more because I don't know the situation. Pray, and search the scriptures, is what I can offer you. :)

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  3. As the Christian mother of a gay woman, I am so sad because, as you say, the line is being drawn in the sand. I will be on one side; and my daughter on the other. Who knows where that will take us. I pray constantly about this.

    Kim

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    1. Dear Kim:

      As a fellow blogger of this site and as a sister in the Lord, I will keep you and your daughter in prayer. It must be a hard position to be in emotionally, but we know that the Lord loves us all and is in control and can change anything and anyone. Amen! We ourselves are living examples. Don't give up faith and keep up praying, sometimes it is a long hard road, but He is faithful. Amen!

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    2. Kim, my heart breaks...I'm so sorry, but Lisa's words are so wonderfully encouraging. Thank you Lisa for your sensitivity and kind words. We do share each other's trials, and I do ache for you Kim.

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    3. I'll also be in prayer for your daughter Kim. A dear friend of mine is also gay and through the person I met many people who were living the gay lifestyle and identified as so many other thigs sexually before I got saved. I will confess that i also identified as LGBT because of desires of my flesh before I surrendered to Christ and I no longer became a slave to sin.

      I now know how they are as people is not as important as their hardened hearts to God. I know very personally how dearly many in the LGBT community hold their sexuality and community. They've accepted so totally the warped lies of the evil one and are so so so blind, it's scary and heartbreaking. You are right that the line is being drawn in the sand. Without The Holy Spirit working in us, Its extremely easy to be swept away by gay pride/rights today if you have loved ones that live the LGBT lifestyle or if you yourself struggle with the flesh. IThere is some serious, serious spiritual warfare going on regarding all this right now and prayer is most importantly needed at this time.

      I also want to add that there is always hope in Christ for your daughter and those in the LGBT community. There are so many testimonies of people in this day that have been delivered from living the LGBT lifestyle by surrendering their souls and desires to Christ. It is not impossible like people try to make it seem because our God is always mighty to save and The Holy Spirit is working!!! May God continually strengthen you.

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  4. Without going into exact specifics as it would be too long, basically, these supposed Christians, were guilty of various sins, including, but not limited to: gossip, slander & libel, defaming, covetousness, theft, lying, and several other forms of abuse. There were witnesses, but based on certain details, such as those witnesses not being Christian, and not being as involved, they weren't involved in any of the biblical protocol (which I did follow) for addressing these issues with those guilty. The church officials, were long time friends with these people, and thus didn't just side with them, weren't even open to hearing from me, what all happened, exactly, and they theirselves colluded with them, and sinned against me too.

    For some I'd had suspicions they weren't true Christians to begin with, given certain aspects of their life, others, I was completely shocked by the revealing of what I now know are their true colors. Denial, anger, and a complete lack of moral uprightness and Christian love, has been the response from each of them that have been contacted, the ones that even bothered to respond at all, directly or indirectly (One, a pastor, while griping to one of the top people involved in this, threatened to sue me for harassment, when there was no harassment), one phone call, not answered, and one email, don't constitute harassment.

    I hadn't though of the terminology, of having a reprobate mind, because of their angry, loveless, frankly, unChrist like responses/behaviors. I have considered them to have seared consciences though, as there has been continuation in the same sins, with a continued denial that it's sin, and thus no remorse. In fact, smugness, and gloating in what they've gotten because of their actions. In their minds, the means justified the ends, and because they have gotten away with it, in their minds, it must be God ordained. That it's God's will. Which seems to be one of the factors feeding into their complete lack of realization that they were and still are, sinning.

    I've watched a few sermons on youtube the past few days, by Paul Washer, about salvation, and true conversion and false conversion. I think these people are examples of people who do some altar call, say a prayer one time, and think that's all it takes to be saved, and they continue to live their life pretty much as before, with very little changed. There's alot of outward appearances of being Christians, but by the way they have acted towards myself and certain others, it's obvious it's not just innocent mistakes made in the flesh. Because Holy Spirit is always grieved in a truly converted believer, and He, Holy Spirit, (along with God's word) is how we are kept aware of our sinful nature, and that we need to repent.

    J.L.

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    1. Paul Washer makes an excellent case for the damage the altar call has done. In my opinion 150 years of "pray a prayer" had resulted in a veneer of Christianity which will be ripped off on the last day to illustrate that it was mostly laminate and not oak. The verse says "Many will say to me, Lord, Lord..." I think we will be shocked to see how huge the true church is but how small in comparison to what we thought it was. Washer (and MacArthur and Conway and Lawson and Johnson and Green and McClarty...) say that there is no such thing as a carnal Christian. I agree.

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    2. Very well said, a veneer of Christianity...mostly laminate and not oak. I agree too, I think many will be shocked to realize they weren't really saved, and that the number of those who make up the true church is far smaller than many currently believe. I agree too, no such thing as a carnal Christian. God bless you! :)

      J.L.

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    3. I just want to offer encouragement to you J.L. I too have been in a very similar situation. The Lord says all things done in darkness will be brought to light and all things whispered in the secret chambers will be shouted on the roof tops. (Luke 12:2-3)

      Also, Pslams 18:47 says
      The God who executes vengeance for me,

      And subdues peoples under me.

      We're also told Jeremiah 17:5 not to put our faith in men or we're cursed. I'm sure you already know all this, especially after dealing with what you have. The good news, as I"m sure you know, you are blessed:

      Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
      (Matthew 5:10-12)

      This is a test for you I'm sure, just be patient and you will be vindicated and restored.

      God Bless you and I'll pray that the truth surfaces quickly.

      D.M.

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  5. I watched both videos and found the apology lacking sincerity and more of an explanation and justification than anything. Between the gay and the abortion issues we have two very divisive choices dividing even the christian community. A sure sign how far we have fallen.

    Thank you Elizabeth for a well written and thought out post.

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