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What is a "Christian" Business?

Updated on March 28, 2014

Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A

The flap over Chick-fil-A's position on marriage raises huge and confusing questions over the interface between the Christian faith and the public square. Religious tolerance has become "I accept your right to believe whatever you want as long as it doesn't affect me." So religion is conceived as a private and personal matter. Yes, it is personal but not private. Anyone who claims to have a religion that is private, has no religion. Which is itself a religion. Even no religion can't be kept private.

The dictionary definition of religion reads, "a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance." This is usually, but not always, associated with belief in a supreme being. It is impossible to keep something you regard as of supreme importance private. The most secular atheist regards it of paramount importance to avoid worship. Can he keep his absence from worship a private matter?

When Mr.Cathy makes a statement about his convictions on marriage he does no more nor less than what the rest of us do with our own core convictions.

What makes a business Christian?

A Christian is an ordinary sinner who embraces Jesus Christ as his Savior from sin and its eternal consequences. Out of gratitude to the Savior, he conducts himself, albeit, imperfectly, in a manner that honors his Lord.

Dan Cathy is a Christian. His values and commitments are shaped by what God reveals in his Word. It is to be expected that, as a businessman, he will do his best to shape his business accordingly. Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays, has a stellar reputation for quality food and ambiance and treats both employees and customers honorably. Does that make Chick-fil-A a Christian business? I don't think so. Jesus didn't die to save corporations. He died to save and to transform sinners who in turn will influence for good the world around them: schools, businesses, politics, you name it.

No righteousness card

Christians are called to live under the Lordship of Jesus. "Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (I Corinthians 10:31) A Christian businessman will seek to run his business to the glory of God? Does that mean he demands a righteousness card from his vendors, employees and customers? Of course not. He will, however, implement policies that reflect godly values and will resist practices that contradict them. Anyone is free to associate with Chick-fil-A or not to. The precise company structure will vary. That Chick-fil-A closes down on Sundays doesn't mean that every company run by Christians should do so.

While Chick-fil-A has a reputation for upholding Christian values I've never seen an ad that touts Chick-fil-A as a Christian business. That's as it should be. In fact to do so would be off-putting. It implies that one should frequent the chain because it's Christian. That would be cultic, not Christian. If there are better chicken sandwiches to be found in a restaurant run by atheists Christians have no problem sampling that fare. I'd take the same approach in choosing a surgeon, auto-mechanic or home-improvement store.

Some object that Chick-fil-A supports Christian causes with its reputation and money. So while an homosexual will be treated with the same care as any other customer, the money earned off his lunch is used to promote pro-family causes. That's life. Conversely, a Christian who buys a hammer at Home Depot will indirectly contribute to the gay agenda. Jesus left us to live in the world without being of it. One cannot escape indirect association with causes that are wrong and destructive. Jesus did not intend that we do so. We are only responsible for what we can directly influence.

Mr. and Mrs. David Green Founder and owner of Hobby Lobby
Mr. and Mrs. David Green Founder and owner of Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby

Next to Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby will be of interest as a successful business run by Christians who respect godly moral principles.

Comments - I'm listening

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    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Absolutely, James!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Chik Fil A is the best company in America. I love them and I love their food. Finally, one company stands up for what is good, noble, right, and true in the world and of course the haters on the Left can't stand it. They cannot allow ONE company not to bow down to their satanic, demonic evil hatred. Shame on them. Long live Chik Fil A!

      James :D

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Just discovered your comment, Darrell. Thanks for stopping by and leaving it.

    • profile image

      darrell 5 years ago

      Excellent article, Frank.....the best one I've seen on this subject. I fully support Chick-fil-A and ascribe to the same values, but try to avoid the knee-jerk actions that some engage in. What some are calling "hateful" is the result of attention being brought to their lifestyles. The Bible seems very clear of the right and wrong behavior at issue here.

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Phoebe

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

      I almost forgot to mention, your hub is really interesting and cool.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

      Unfortunately the link you posted is from a biased source... look at the court transcripts and you will be able to see the actual testimonies. In court they had a VERY different response.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      You have said this well. It astonishes me that those who avoid the truth of the bible try to force everyone to. While letting them have their rights we are expected to give up our own to think individually and this does not mean Chick-fil-a hates Gays or would even ask they not come to their restaurant but I think for Gays to go there kissing and pushing their sexuality on the public there should not be allowed. I would not want to witness anyone's sexual preference anywhere or watch anyone make out and this is a crime in my opinion and I just don't see the point. I don't care what Gays do (marriage, taxes, lovemaking; whatever) as long as it is not forced in my face or my children's. That goes against our belief and we do not force our belief on them. Why is it looking the other way is not enough for them? I would really like to know what their point is? They are never going to change a real Christian's mind who can read and understand God's word on the subject. What Chick-fil-a believes and does with their money is their business, why should anyone else have a say in that? People with two sets of standards need to get real.

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks Phoebe Pike for stopping by and commenting. This link from Exodus challenges the data you offer.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

      I agree with you, we are only responsible for what we directly influence.

      I do not support this company. Not because of their religious beliefs, but because they donated over 5 million dollars to anti-gay groups. One of which included Exodus International. The same Exodus International that claims to "cure" homosexuality. The same group that actually textified in court rooms outside of the US (in Uganda). Their testimonies was the actual reason that the DEATH PENALITY was issued for anyone who is a homosexual in that country.

      It's not about what they believe, but how they spread it. They issued to other Christian groups, many of them peaceful and kind groups that encourage people to live by the Bible. But because they decided to give money (repeatedly) to groups known for their hate towards the gay community, I cannot support them.

      This is the same Chick-fil-a that has businesses in cities known for the LGBT community. The same one who accepts their "gay" money and uses it to donate it to Exodus International...

      I respect their beliefs in the Bible, but why couldn't they donate to groups that don't actively harm people?

    • profile image

      AJ 5 years ago

      Very well said Frank!


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