The McDonald’s located on Long Island in New York doesn’t have the identifying golden arches or the big windows around a play area. In fact, if not for the sign, you might not know it was a fast-food restaurant.
It is a nineteenth-century mansion that has been converted over the years and used as restaurants, a funeral home, and now a McDonald’s. It has hardwood floors, a double staircase, and the original portico and has been called the most beautiful McDonald’s in the US.
When the fast-food chain bought the rundown mansion in 1986, plans were to tear down the house and build a more traditional eatery. But public outcry resulted in the mansion becoming a designated historic landmark. And the company restored the house and opened The McMansion, keeping the 1920s look.
Despite The McMansions’ new look and upscale location, a food critic noted that the food was “exactly the same.”
Twisted bacon is another food item making news these days. A viral trend on social media is making a new way of cooking an old favorite an internet sensation. The rising trend got its start around mid-March with the hashtag #twistedbacon. Evolving hashtags include #bacontwist or #bacontwists.
Tutorial videos walk through this new cooking method, which replaces the frying pan with a baking dish. Bacon strips are twisted then baked and reportedly come out crisp (and possibly chewy, according to one tutorial). Variations include smoked and barbecue twists.
The price we pay
Eating a serving of burgers and fries in a nineteenth-century mansion on Long Island or sitting at home eating baked twisted bacon with eggs and biscuits sounds good to me. And probably to you.
But, no matter where we eat the fast-food burger and fries or how we cook the bacon we eat, we will pay the price.
Temptation often comes in the guise of something good, or supposedly good for us. If someone offers me a plain yellow cake with plain icing, I won’t have trouble declining. But offer me one layered with cream cheese chocolate icing decorated with ripe strawberries and other healthy fruits and I can’t resist. My flawed reasoning is that healthy additions cancel out the bad.
I believe that’s the “sizzle” of twisted bacon and the appeal of the McMansion. But that’s flawed reasoning. By the way, twisted bacon is appropriately named. It’s “twisted” that I am lured to eat something so bad that tastes so good.
Dressing up sin doesn’t change the ultimate result, either.
How do we resist lies?
Evangelist Billy Sunday says it best: “One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake.” I also believe sin often looks more like a cream puff than a rattlesnake. That’s the way Satan works and has worked since the Garden of Eden.
The serpent that tempted Eve was “more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made” (Genesis 3:1). He will do all he can to make temptation attractive.
Our culture is filled with advertisements to seduce us. Television programming is filled with scenes gratifying sin. I recently turned on a favorite show I usually watch and the opening scene was a sex scene with two male characters in bed. I turned it off. Even had it been a heterosexual couple, it was primetime TV and I would have done the same. I chose to stop watching that show for good.
No matter how our culture “normalizes” sin, it’s still sin.
French scholar Alexis de Tocqueville came to America in 1831 to study our nation. He reported: “I searched for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. I searched for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forest, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
The same is still true, except I believe we are trading the flames of righteousness for twisted bacon. We have moved from God’s truth to twisted truth. How do we resist Satan’s lies?
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7–8).
We need a heart undivided in its loyalty.
The psalmist prayed, “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever” (Psalm 86:11–12).
Twisted bacon is still bacon. Twisted truth is still a lie.