We are so worried about cups (and leggings and the use of contemporary worship music) and other things that don't matter that I'm afraid we're really missing the boat.
Do you ever fear that we are going about sharing Jesus in all the wrong ways? Do we do things that make Jesus seem less than attractive? Without intending to, I know I have.
We have gotten bandwagon happy. Hitting the "share" button the moment we read a headline has become our way of sharing our faith. We proudly strut our Christian "stuff" to show that we are no one's patsy and will not be pushed around. You know what I mean; just like (or nothing like) Jesus.
Enter the red Starbucks cup.
"Christian evangelists claimed Starbucks "fanned 'war on Christmas' with minimalist holiday red coffee cups." (NY Daily News)
"Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus" was a claim actually made by an Arizona Pastor (a Facebook user whose rants have gone viral.)
Our rants about this cup issue have gotten us quite a bit of attention. The number of headlines that are drawing eyes to our "cause" is staggering. From CBS to Fox News, the fact that Christians are outraged and planning to boycott or "prank" Starbucks is everywhere.
I wish the attention made Jesus look like the hero.
Not us because we fear we're being "persecuted."
We are not being martyred for our faith. We need to stop making it look like we are.
Our intentions are good. We really do love Jesus. We don't want anyone telling us we can't. We often feel marginalized by society. We are proud of the fact that we are Christian.
These are noble truths. All worthy of being acted upon.
- We are not standing up for things the way Christ did.
- We look like crowd followers. This viral Facebook post was originally made on November 5th. Just a couple of days ago (from the writing of this post). It's been seen by millions of people. Largely due to the fact that Christians see (in their news feeds)
The way I see it, Jesus taught us to stand up for what's right BUT not without knowing who we are locking shields with. And, not by making us look like egotistical lunatics who are uneducated and loud. Why are we expecting a company who has never claimed to be Christ-followers to operate as though they are? That doesn't even make sense.
Did you know?
1. Starbucks began offering "holiday" cups beginning in 1997. Each year since, the cup has had some sort of holiday emblem. The claim that Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS IS purely false because they've NEVER USED it on their cups. Furthermore, Starbucks hasn't issued any sort of statement to it's employees forbidding them from wishing anyone a Merry Christmas.
2. Starbucks uses the holiday cups beginning just when the frantic Pumpkin Spice Latte seasons starts to slow down. Therefore, the cups are used for at least two months. To call them "holiday" cups makes sense to me. I'm not offended. I don't stop loving Jesus because Starbucks refuses to put Christmas on my latte cup.
3. Starbucks has never made personalized cups for anyone group, gender, or species. :) Sorry, Christians. This is not persecution. I am not "owed" a Christmas cup anymore than I'm owed a year of free coffee. To claim that this is my RIGHT IS beyond ridiculous.
Please consider that
Instead of getting even, my Christian friends, could we worry about some things that matter? What if our barista doesn't know Jesus? What if the person behind us in line is at the end of their rope and has no hope? We are so worried about cups (and leggings and the use of contemporary worship music) and other things that don't matter that I'm afraid we're really missing the boat.
"Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight and guard against corruption from the godless world." James 1:26-17
Let's guard against corruption from the godless world by working on our own junk and by demonstrating meekness, humility, and love this Christmas season instead of "Christian" venom.