The Worst Thing About Wendy’s …

I try to avoid fast food. Although I don't always succeed, I am sure to avoid eating at Wendy's. Today, I'm participating in a fast and will be part of a peaceful protest in front of a Wendy's not far from where I live. Here's why ...


In December 1997, six farmworkers in Immokalee, FL made the decision to stop eatng un l the growers who owned the farms on which they toiled would hear their concerns. Low wages, verbal and physical violence, sexual abuse, and even forced labor plagued Florida tomato fields, and the workers who picked in those fields demanded better conditions. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ members’ hunger strike lasted 30 days, and only ended when former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop John Nevins of the Catholic Diocese of Venice intervened to call for a dialogue with growers, on the condition that the workers would break their fast. On January 18, 1998, at a Catholic mass with over 800 people in attendance, they did.

Today, the fight for justice in the agricultural industry continues. Incredible progress has been made since 1998 through the CIW’s Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and major food retailers that has transformed the tomato industry in seven states along the East Coast. But outside of the protections of the Program, wages are still stagnant and hundreds of thousands of workers are still vulnerable to human rights abuses.

We, as allied faith leaders, have made a commitment to carry on this struggle to eradicate forced labor, gender-based violence, wage theft, and other such violations in the fields through our alliance with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for the establishment and expansion of the Fair Food Program. We commit ourselves to standing with our nation’s farmworkers in their mission to bring the powers of the food industry into partnership with them.

We witness, especially, the ongoing refusal of Wendy’s, the last major fast food holdout, and their stubborn denial to do what is right in the eyes of their consumers and their global community. Instead of joining an initiave called “the best workplace monitoring program”
in the U.S. in the New York Times and ensuring that workers’ voices and personhood are respected in their supply chain, Wendy’s has unconscionably chosen to shift purchases away from participating Fair Food Program farms in Florida to Mexican fields rife with endemic and unchecked abuse.

On January 18, 2018, we will fast and demonstrate outside of Wendy’s franchises across the country in solidarity and protest. We will call upon the leadership of Wendy’s to join their peers and listen to their consumers, and to finally sit at the table of justice with their workers.


So today, I'm fasting, praying, and protesting for justice for the people who work hard to plant, tend, and harvest the food you and I eat.

If you see a Wendy's today, stay away ... or better yet, go in and tell the manager you wish they would join the Fair Food Program. But don't buy anything there until they come around.

Here's a prayer written by my friend Wesley with whom I'll be protesting today. I hope you'll pray it with us:

Creating and Redeeming God, be with Your people today in their struggle for justice. We thank You for the blessing of gathering together as people with common purpose, and we are grateful that You have directed us to Your transforming and renewing work. God, we ask today that You bring Your spirit into the lives of Wendy’s owners and executives. May they come to know Your peace and seek out Your voice. Surround them with Your love that shatters boundaries and abolishes injustice. May they respond in faithful discipleship to Your presence and join with their neighbors in creating a just world for all.

Lord, empower Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. May they become a leader in their industry not through exploitation but through partnership; not in violation but in dignity; not by stratification but by fellowship. May they engage Your call in the world to announce a new day in this nation’s harvest, and in doing so may they become an instrument of the coming of Your beloved community.

We pray this with knowledge of Your love for us and with confidence in Your reforming activity in the world. In Jesus,


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Q & R: The nastier bits of the Bible?

Here's the Q:

Thank you so much for your work and fresh theology. I like the way you interpret the Bible and Jesus. My question is how you handle the nastier bits. Like Jesus bringing a sword of division. Or nobody getting to God except through him. These two verses seem in conflict with the rest of the message. How should we look at them. Can a Christian just throw them out as inconsistent, or is hostility part of Jesus and potentially God? I have been walking the fringe of Christianity for about 4 years. I listened to the entire bible in less than a month last year and from that mile high view it seems like there is lots of ego mixed in with clear moments of transcendent grace.

I believe I have experienced the spirit and I feel Gods presence at times, but I also cringe at dogma that defends hostility and judgment of the other which seems so apparent to me in much of the Bible.

Here's the R:

Thanks for your encouragement. On "nobody getting to God except through Jesus," I hope you'll check out my e-book, Is Jesus the Only Way? It's available here:

And for a healthier approach to the Bible that puts those "nastier bits" in perspective, I'd recommend you read Chapters 4-6 of The Great Spiritual Migration and Chapters 4 - 11 of A New Kind of Christianity. I think you'd find them helpful.

May we all move forward from interpreting those cringe-worthy bits in cringe-worthy ways, as you say!

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0 Comments2 Minutes

A Reader Writes: Clicking Forward

A reader writes:

Thank you for your insights and efforts at bringing Christianity into the 21st century. I’ve heard you in person and read a couple of your books. Now one of my favorite Christian terms is Aliveness!

Recently, I got a group of online friends, including my pastor, to read your “Spiritual Migration” book. Although we had many positive comments, I have one concern. You stated you might abandon the concept of “God 5.0” after that chapter. IMHO, that would be a mistake. Mixing a theological and technical term can carry great understanding. Younger people especially resonate with that kind of improved-version terminology. It certainly implies a forward movement in conceptual thinking. It’s not just a different God but a more developed notion of God. It’s an easy way to explain the emerging Christian model especially for typical church members who might not yet be at the progressive level of the rest of the book.

Rob Bell uses a somewhat similar analogy in describing God calling us forward as clicks. From wherever we are, we are invited to go to the next step in the continuum of human history and understanding. He calls clicks the divine pull. I suggest that clicking forward in God awareness is like stepping up to God 5.0.

It’s a great, understandable model. Please don’t diminish it, but expand upon it


Thanks - so glad the model is helpful. And with your encouragement, I will try to expand upon that model.

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A reader writes: you never know!

A reader writes:
We don't know each other personally; I know you through reading your book The Secret Message Of Jesus. I just wanted to encourage you with my testimony of the effect your writing is having.

I am an Englishman who 10 years ago heard God's invitation to invest myself for His purposes in a small ex-Communist European country with its own (spititual and other) needs - the reason God has brought me here.

Francis Chan has asked (my paraphrase): "If you were alone and read the Bible for yourself 20 times, could you have have come to the same understanding that you are getting from what people say or write?" With that question in mind, I find your book to be a brilliant shaft of light revealing Jesus' secret message and so apt for this country in Europe (as well as the rest if the world). Thank you so much, Brian, for putting pen to paper (or fingers to computer keyboard).

It is amazing to think that, just as John wrote Revelation when in exile on Patmos and probably didn't know how widely his message would be read in the years to come, God can use your writings to have an influence in countries I guess you may not ever get to see in person.

Thanks for these encouraging words! I actually was in the country where you serve once several years ago ... I have great memories of the people there, and it's a joy to know of your good work there. I'm humbled and honored to share in some small way in your labors of love!

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0 Comments2 Minutes