Chic-Fil-A Trifecta Part 1: Money Matters

With all the recent discussion around boycotting Chic-Fil-A, it’s probably a good time to stop and reflect on how we spend our money. Does it matter to God where we spend our dime? How much impact can we have with our dollars?

Perhaps loosening or tightening your purse strings won’t single-handedly solve any world problem, but money is still a powerful tool. Spending habits are a tangible way to express support or disagreement with a particular cause. You can even say that it is an aspect of personal devotion and spiritual discipline. Where you spend your money does make a difference.

Following are some guidelines that will help you figure out where to toss your change.

1. Do your research

Money is one of the most importance resources we have. That’s why everyone is trying to get a piece of it. Once it leaves your hands; however, corporations can do almost anything they want with it. If this fact disturbs you, you owe it to yourself to figure what your favorite stores do with the cash that you give them. Where do you shop regularly? What are your favorite brands? Research what the companies who make your favorite things do with your money. If they offend your conscience, make different decisions.

2. Realize the Limitations

Big corporations have weaved a tangled web across our society. The reason why they can get so big with relatively no challenge is because they are engrained in the production and transmission of goods that we use in everyday life.

Truth is, unless you manage to relocate to the woods and live off the land, you’ll have trouble steering your Benjamins clear of every societal evil. Let’s say you decide to boycott Chic-Fil-A. There are plenty of other places to eat (and you could always, perish the thought, eat at home). But, you have to drive to get to work, or take public transportation. To operate a car or bus you need gasoline. It’s pretty much public knowledge that oil companies are fleecing the public and are involved in environmental destruction. If you can’t afford to buy an electric car, what are you going to do? Not go to work?

We can’t avoid everything. Do the best you can, but don’t condemn yourself about what you can’t do.

3. Realize the Options

The flip side of this is that we do have options. Perhaps not in every area of life, but certainly a lot. If I want a pair of slacks, I have a multitude of places where I can purchase them. If a particular brand is attached to practices that I don’t agree with, there are other companies that make slacks.

If where your money goes is that important, do the legwork to figure out how to get your needs met without offending your beliefs. Perhaps you’ll have to forgo luxury brands, but your beliefs will be intact.

4. Donate to causes that you support

Unfortunately, Christians in America are known for what they disagree with rather than what they are passionate for. Many people don’t know what Christians actually agree with. Don’t let that be the case for your money. Give generously to the causes that you are passionate about.

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Introduction to the ReBoot

Reboot (definition):

1. An act or instance of booting a computer system again.

2. In serial fiction, to reboot means to restart a series from the beginning with a new continuity that disregards the previous continuity.(http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue344/reboot1.html)

Reboots have become popular nowadays.

From old television shows to popular movie franchises, it’s a trend to take a beloved story from the past and bring it into the present time. DC Comics recently revamped its whole line of comics, shedding years of history to present their properties to a new generation. The same characters and ideas are there, but with a modernized presentation.

That seems to be a common theme with reboots. History and continuity aren’t bad things. That’s why certain characters and stories endure over time. There is something about Superman, Charlie’s Angels, Planet of the Apes, or Hawaii 5-0 that bridges generations. There’s something human about them, something that resonates with most anyone that is a human being in any time period. However, at times an idea or concept can become so bogged down with history that the main idea gets lost. And that history can be so far removed from the current generation that it creates a barrier in understanding the story.

The main points become hidden. Too much history. Too different of an experience. Too far from the current day-to-day realities.

Even think of the old school Nintendo Entertainment System (okay, you might be too young for that. Let’s say Playstation 1). If the game gets stuck or otherwise acts weird, you turn it off and start again. The game didn’t change. You just restarted to deal with the issue in the system.

The same can be said of our faith. There are times when our view of Christianity is bogged down by a lot of history. Old stories that reflect a different time, a different place, a different mindset. We still love the core of the story, the basic points of the good news. However, the view of what matters most about the Gospel’s central character, Jesus, is obscured. The basic tenants are blurry because of chance encounters with the negative aspects of organized religion. The main parts of the faith are a bit hazy when one reflects on the pain caused by others in the name of Christ. Years of church attendance and ministry involvement have lessened responsiveness to the story.

And, truth be told, we all have our own baggage, history, and continuity to deal with concerning our faith.

The unanswered questions.

The harmful theology.

The effort to maintain the knowledge of self while growing in the knowledge of God.

The “church hurts.”

Perhaps it’s time for a ReBoot.

This is what this blog is about. The ReBoot isn’t about trying to change the Christian faith into something that we would like it to be. It’s about sifting through the layers of history and events and stories to get to the main point of Jesus, the core essence of who he was, and what his life means for us today.

Reboots don’t change the basics of what a story is. Rebooting your computer doesn’t eliminate the files that are already there. It just allows your computer to start over again. Rebooting a popular series doesn’t change the main character. It allows the core to remain while giving the freedom to revisit other aspects surrounding the character.

Truth is, some things need to be explained differently for the story to continue.

Some characters, viewpoints, and ideas, need to be revisited, updated, or perhaps, eliminated. Things that got added over time but aren’t essential to the story.

And some things need not ever change, because if they did, it wouldn’t be the same story.

That’s what you’ll be seeing here at The ReBoot. We’ll be using some creative means to look at the Christian faith in different ways. The story must be told. It’s too important not to. But perhaps, there’s a different way of approaching it.

Just maybe.