What does Hooters and Jesus have to do with each other? I’m still trying to figure that out.  Sesame Street sings that, “One of these things is not like the other.”  

I was at a downtown café the other day (it’s a great place by the way, my friend James eats there twice a day) and the table next to us had some guys eating breakfast.  

One guy was wearing a Hooters T-shirt and another guy had a “I love Jesus” ball cap and we could hear them having the typical “church” type conversation — but somehow my brain does not connect someone that promotes Hooters with someone that can represent Jesus at His very best.

I might be criticizing this “chicken wing” place without cause because I have never been there but I don’t think you go there for the food. And while Jesus went to parties and turned water into wine I am sure Hooters ruined His love for wings.

The boundaries have gotten very blurry for Thumpkin (the church).  Where is “above reproach?” Does anyone live on the moral high ground or are we just all living deep in the valley of muck (rubbish, distasteful or of very poor quality) and the mire of hedonism (self-indulgence or debauchery, take your pick).

I’m old (turned 50 yesterday), cynical and pessimistic for sure.  I’m an uptight conservative and have lived a sheltered life for the most part and therefore can be very naïve, but really?  

Do we really think we can be an ambassador for reconciliation (remember Christmas the holiday we just celebrated, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men?”) but still be part of the culture? I read somewhere “what fellowship has light with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14).”  It’s not that we are anti-Hooters but rather we are for Jesus.

We don’t have to watch television shows with gay characters in order to be connected or culturally relevant – most of us have gay characters in our own families and so we interact with them on a regular basis. There is such a fine line between faithfulness and foolishness.

Which side do we err on?  

I choose the side of grace + truth = love. When in doubt stay out of the wing place. And if you had a moment of failure don’t buy their merchandise that proves you had a lapse in judgment. And then if you do, don’t wear it out in public. And then if you do, don’t talk about Jesus in public that day.

I’m wondering why we do not use our spiritual filters – at least those that claim to be a follower of the Rabbi.

Remember the story about the Pied Piper? The frog boiling on the pot? I’m thinking Jesus wants to see His bride (the church) wearing white when she walks down the aisle. He told me to tell you that.  See you Sunday!

 

Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.