My Spiritual Birthday and Chick-fil-A: The Joy of Living Biblically
My spiritual birthday was yesterday. On September 9, 1973, I asked Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and become my Savior and Lord.
Think with me about all that has changed in the last forty-six years.
I remember when people called each other on a device called a rotary telephone. The first house Janet and I owned had a shelf built into a wall in the entryway where such a phone was meant to reside. You could get an extra-long cord that enabled you to walk into the kitchen while talking on it.
Then came push-button phones. Then came phones with wireless handsets (and very long antennas). I remember the first bag phone I ever saw—it was “mobile” so long as you carried around a backpack-sized battery. The day I got a phone built into my car was a game-changer.
Now Apple is set later this morning to unveil its latest technology. Analysts expect iPhones with a three-lens camera array on the back and improvements to their facial recognition system. The company may also announce innovations to their watches, AirPods, apps, credit cards, and subscription music, games, and TV.
Drones and suburbs
Technology is revolutionizing every dimension of the human experience. Advances in genetics are helping doctors diagnose, treat, and prevent disease on an unprecedented scale. Retailers are developing ways to deliver their products to our homes via drones.
Mobile devices allow people to work remotely more easily than ever. Autonomous vehicles will enable them to commute to the office while working in their cars. As a result, suburbs will extend farther from city centers than ever before.
It’s hard to identify a dimension of our daily lives unaffected by the amazing advances of technology. Those with the skill and discipline to create and market such remarkable inventions deserve the gratitude of those of us who benefit from their expertise daily.
And yet, despite all our astounding scientific progress, our perennial problems are still problems.
As of today, seventy thousand people have been left homeless in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian. The Centers for Disease Control is investigating more than 450 possible cases of lung disease linked to vaping. North Korea fired two projectiles into the East Sea this morning, its eighth weapons test since late July.
“Our most basic common link”
I remember well the day I encountered this theological fact in a seminary textbook: God’s word is always relevant because human nature doesn’t change. You and I still face the same fears and embrace the same hopes as our first ancestors.
President John F. Kennedy spoke for all humans across all time when he said, “In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
Because God’s word is as relevant today as when it was first inspired, living by biblical truth and sharing it with others is as relevant as ever. In our secular, post-Christian culture, this is an important fact to remember.
You’re not trusting an old, outdated book when you choose to live by biblical morality—you’re aligning your life with the Creator of the universe and living a life he can bless. You’re not “proselytizing” when you share the gospel—you’re offering other people the only pathway to eternal life.
You’re not “imposing your values on others” when you speak on cultural issues—you’re sharing life-changing truth with people. The more they reject God’s word, the more they need it.
“The most joyful hearts and a lot of love”
Chick-fil-A is back in the news. Not because opponents of biblical morality are organizing more boycotts against the restaurant, but because the company’s employees have once again embodied their founder’s biblical values.
When a man opened fire in West Texas on August 31, a local Chick-fil-A closed early so workers could be with their loved ones. A Facebook post explains what happened next: As restaurant employees were leaving, “an opportunity to feed local law enforcement presented itself and they were given the option to help . . . not one person said no.”
Partnered with another local Chick-fil-A, they cooked five hundred sandwiches “and packaged them with the most joyful hearts and a lot of love,” the post continued. “Sometimes light in a dark world looks as simple as a hot chicken sandwich.”
“It shall accomplish that which I purpose”
The next time you wonder if living by God’s word is worth the cost of personal obedience and public opposition, remember your Father’s promise: his word “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
It may seem dangerous to live by biblical truth, but it’s actually more dangerous not to.
For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images/Tom Pennington/Stringer