Top 7 Fast Food Items

While we’re all locked in our houses, I decided to take the opportunity to spend some time doing two things I love: Writing and arbitrarily ranking things. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Why top 7? Because 1) It’s my website and I get to do what I want 2) 7 is more interesting than 5 but less open-ended than 10 and 3) Subtle tribute to the greatest, John Elway (but that’s another list for another day).
I’ve got a few ideas for topics lined up, but if you have one you’d like to debate be sure to drop me a message.

Rules:
– Nothing that can only be found in a small region. For example, the large majority of the country has no idea what a Bojangles is, so they don’t count.
– I have to have tried it. Yes, it makes the list incredibly subjective. But I can’t rank it if I haven’t eaten it.
– It has to have a drive-thru in a typical location. Places like Five Guys, Chipotle, and Shake Shack get bumped up to “fast casual” and therefore don’t count here.

And now, for the list…

7. Dairy Queen Blizzard
You can get this kind of thing plenty of places. Soft serve whipped up with some sundae toppings is a pretty basic idea. Dairy Queen just does it way better than everybody else.

6. Chick-fil-a Peach Shake
If summer had an official taste, it may very well be this shake.

5. Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Taco Bell is a magical place with a wonderfully inexpensive array of options. The only problem is, almost all of those options are just a rearranging of 3 ingredients. Of those, the Cheesy Gordita Crunch is by far the best permutation of the tortilla, meat, and cheese. The spicy ranch sauce puts it over the top.

4. Chick-fil-a Nuggets
Perfectly juicy chicken. Perfectly breaded. Perfect for dipping in their delicious sauces. Simple as that.

3. Popeye’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Was it worth the kind of hype that created lines 20 cars deep at 9:55 at night and drove it out of stock for 3 months? Well, no. But it was pretty close. It has the crispiness that Chick-fil-a has always lacked, plus a fantastic spicy sauce and the best pickles in the business. The bun is pretty great too.

2. In-N-Out Double-Double burger (Animal Style)
Plenty of people think In-N-Out is overrated, but that’s almost certainly because of the hype surrounding it. After years of hearing people talk it up, you expect some extravagant burger. I know I did. What you find instead is a very simple burger. It’s as basic as it gets, just juicier and fresher than the burgers you get everywhere else. Since the cheeseburger is the very best fast food entree of all time, and since they do the most important parts of the cheeseburger better than everybody else, they’ve earned their ranking.
Throw in the extra thousand island-esque spread and the mustard-fried patties of the Animal Style (on the “secret menu”) and you’ve got the best fast food burger in the business.

1. McDonalds French Fries
Like it was ever going to be anything else. It’s exactly what you want out of fast food – salty (but not too salty) and greasy (but not too greasy) with a perfect texture. They will forever reign supreme.

Now, tell me why I’m wrong.

The church of Christ invented cancel culture

Of all the wonderful things the internet has given us, there have been a few that make me wonder if it’s all worth it. One of those negatives is what has come to be known as “cancel culture.” Cancel culture is that thing you hear of in the news where the internet mob gets a hold of some wrong action or social media post and does everything in their power to ruin that person’s life.

When they find one such person, they want blood. They work to get people fired from their jobs. They try to get the person’s friends and family to shun them. They want their target buried to the point where they can never come back. No amount of apologizing can ever save a person once they’ve been canceled.

The first instance I can remember involved a woman named Justine Sacco. She posted a couple of admittedly offensive, racist tweets while getting on a plane to Africa. By the time the plane landed, hundreds of thousands of people had banded together to get Sacco fired from her job. This all occurred in 2015, and since that time canceling has entered our vernacular and become a regular part of internet life.

Unfortunately, the church had a cancel culture long before the Twitter rage mob ever got a hold of Sacco.

For decades faithful Christians have been canceled over all kinds of things. The online mob stands ready to leap to action any time someone takes the wrong side on the Holy Spirit, heaven vs. renewed creation, whether drinking alcohol is a sin, or what holidays a person celebrates, or any other number of issues. Ironically, I’ll probably have some people canceling me over this article.

I’ve had people try to contact my congregation and demand I be fired over an article I wrote. I’ve had people pay for Facebook advertising to warn people that I’m a false teacher. My experiences pale in comparison to what others have dealt with, though. Some have been fired from ministry jobs, losing their ability to provide for their family over a slight difference of opinion. Some have had longtime friends turn on them seemingly overnight. Some have had it made clear to them that they are no longer welcome in buildings and events they use to frequent.

How can this be so when unity is one of the most emphasized attributes of the New Testament church? How is it remotely Christlike to cancel people without discussing your differences and giving them a chance to explain themselves? Where is grace when the slightest misstep is enough to instantly cut ties with each other?

Two considerations should be made:

First, when the time comes to take a firm, unwavering stand, it must still be done in love. And, despite what some claim, just because you’ve told the truth it doesn’t make you inherently loving (as 1 Corinthians 13:1 teaches us). Canceling someone is anything but loving.

Second, we have to be careful where we draw the line. Every Christian makes a distinction between non-negotiables and secondary matters. If we make everything (or 99.9% of everything) a non-negotiable, our standard is that there is no room to be wrong about anything. Matthew 7:2 must be kept in mind – our standard is the standard that will be used against us. If you’ve ever changed your mind on even the slightest thing, that “holding a single wrong belief makes one a false teacher” standard should be a chilling thought. We must always have the humility to be able to say “I could be wrong.”

Yes, there is such a thing as a false teacher, but we should use the term with extreme caution. Someone who disagrees with me is not automatically a false teacher. Someone who is wrong about something is not automatically a false teacher (see Apollos in Acts 18). The New Testament saves the term for those who teach foundational errors like works based salvation or denial of Christ’s deity. Additionally, we’re told that a false teacher will be known by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20). Their character will show that they are not obedient, Spirit-led people.

That distinction in Matthew 7 is key. Jesus starts by teaching us to be very careful in our judging. However, He then tells us how to judge. So, if you’re reading this and asking, “how do we distinguish between a brother who is sincere but wrong and someone who is actually a false teacher?” just read Matthew 7. The first section teaches us to give grace to those who are mistaken. The later section teaches us to beware of those who are clearly false teachers by their fruits. The problem with cancel culture is there is never room for the grace that gives us time to determine the difference.

So, the next time somebody writes or says something that seems wrong to you, hit the brakes before throwing out the “false teacher” term. Before you cut someone out of your life, ask if they are truly in the wrong, or if you simply have a difference of opinion. If you’re one of those people who actively tries to harm those who disagree with you in any way, repent of your pride and spirit of division. Leave the canceling to our corrupt, graceless, Godless culture.