Posted by: Robin Foster | January 13, 2009

Worshipping the Burrito Supreme?

I have to admit, when I first saw this video yesterday, I was a little suprised.  First, because I was a restaurant manager at Taco Bell for five years.  Second, I am now a pastor.  It wasn’t necessarily the fact that the couple was having a wedding at Taco Bell, people are doing crazy things these days, but it was what the groom said concerning the fast food giant. He stated,

“Taco Bell is the closest thing we have to a church.”

Being a pastor, you might expect me to be offended at this statement, frankly I am not.  Taken back, yes.  Offended no.  Actually my heart goes out to this couple.  They have found something they believe is authentic, a connection with others that is real.  When I managed restaurants, I had regulars that would come in, not necessarily because the cuisine was five stars, but because over time, they had developed a relationship with others and had found acceptance in a culture that did not pretend to be something it was not.  People were honest about their problems and were free to share them without fear of judgment.  They found encouragement and helpful advice.  It was great because I got to know some of them on a first name basis. By the time I began to manage at Long John Silvers, I was sharing my faith with customers and encouraging other believers in the faith.

Before anyone says the “L” word, I am not getting all emergent/postmodern and I am not saying we need to abandon our doctrinal beliefs.  Again, my heart goes out to the couple.  I pray that they find what is authentic among believers that is rooted in a Savior that gave His life for them.  I pray they find peace in submission to God and His redeeming grace.  It starts with His love for us that brings us to loving Him and then each other.  It lets us know that we are forgiven and therefore we should be forgiving of each other.  It declares that we have been tried and found not guilty by the blood of Jesus.  Because we are not guilty, should we not use our freedom to love each other and others rather than being consumed with judgment for those we feel do not measure up?  Absolutely!  Should we abandon our beliefs in doing so?  Absolutely not!  Love is found in our Savior and Jesus does not allow us to define for ourselves who he is.  He left a perfect record known as the Bible that tells us who God is, who we are, and how we are to live in light of that knowledge.

Our lives should be expressed in a “real” fashion: living for Jesus, submitting to Him, being accountable to each other, and reaching out to people like the couple in the video.  It’s not rocket science. People are substituting a false  reality in place of a real relationship with Christ and His people.  Maybe we all need to go back to the Bell, order a Burrito Supreme and engage that culture with loving authentic faith that points the world to the Savior?  Maybe we need to close down the coffee shops in our churches and engage lost people at our local Starbucks or McDonalds?  Maybe we need to abandon our family life centers that have thousands of dollars wrapped up in exercise equipment and join our local health club?

I don’t know exactly what the answer is, but I do know of a couple that believes they have found something real in a Taco Bell and it is not “authentic” Mexican food.  They have found something on which the church should have a monopoly.  People who are experiencing the same struggles as everyone else, yet are growing to over come those struggles through a Savior that gave his life for them.  Now, that is real.

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