Starbucks and Christmas

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Starbucks and Christmas

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Ok, I wasn’t going to comment on Starbucks and Christmas and the whole coffee cup thing but I am now.

Here’s what I’ve personally observed:

  1. I have yet to hear one of my friends tell me that they’re upset by this whole issue.
  2. I have 5000 friends on Facebook. Not one of them has posted anything saying they’re upset at Starbucks for not having little snowflakes and Christmas trees printed on their cups.
  3. My understanding is some guy in Arizona posted something about this as if it were some clandestine attempt by Starbucks to steal Christmas just like the Grinch. (I just realized! There’s green on those cups too? Coincidence??)

Now my analysis:

First of all I think the media is blowing this thing up to create some sort of controversy and create internet traffic and make money. Again, nobody I know or have come into contact with online or in person has a problem with red Starbucks cups. Typical of our media today, they take one person’s opinion and present it as a mainstream view in an effort to stir the pot.

Now to anyone who does care about it:

OH MY GOSH! Really?! Are we REALLY talking about this? Is this the most serious thing facing Christianity: the color of a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Who cares?!! Let me just say this. It needs to be said to everybody on both sides: If you’re looking for a corporation, restaurant, or any other place of business to represent Christ, you’re looking in the wrong place. No business has an obligation to represent Christ. If the owners are Christians they have an obligation to run their business in a way that honors Christ and… if you’re a Christian, guess what? It’s our job to BE Christ! WE represent Christ. That’s right. You and me. And while Christians can be in business and make an impact for the Lord, it isn’t the business’ job to do that. It’s individuals. It’s US.

I used to be offended when people didn’t say “Merry Christmas.” Not anymore. If they want to say it, great, if not, fine. I have yet to hear of one person whose life was radically changed by somebody shoving “Merry Christmas” down their throat. If somebody wishes me “Happy Holidays” I smile back and say “thank you.” Shoot, with the way things are today in stores you can start wishing people “Happy Hallothanksmas” the first week of October.

People keep talking about putting “Christ” back in “Christmas.” How about we start by putting “Christ” back in “Christian”? If we truly did that, these other things would become non-issues. I mean, seriously? There are people who have never heard the Name of Jesus in our world (including people next door to us). There are people who are hurting and suicidal. There are people who are starving to death. There are Christians in chains and prisons because they will not renounce their faith in Christ. There are Christians today who are being beaten, beheaded, and shot for claiming the Name of Jesus. And we’re bickering over the color of coffee cups and whining because Starbucks “doesn’t celebrate Christmas like we think they should!”?

This season, instead of worrying about businesses and people who choose to observe the holidays without Jesus, how about we make a concerted effort to BE Jesus in our private and public lives? How about we practice the art of loving people like Jesus does? How about we do some random acts of kindness in Jesus’ Name and when people ask, “Why?!” we simply reply, “Because Jesus loves me, I wanted to do something loving for you.”? That could possibly change somebody’s life. That might actually create curiosity in a non-believer to want to know more about a God who actually loves people like that and open a door to share and just maybe… their life will be changed forever!

And if you feel you simply cannot do that then please do everybody else a favor. Have an overpriced cup of coffee or some chicken nuggets or a coke or a smoothie and then… shut up.


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A Christian Response to the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage

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I posted this on my Facebook page and had quite a response so I decided to publish this here on my website too. It’s meant for Christians to read but I hope it will help bring healing and hope to all who read it.

There are two possible Christian responses to this week’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to legalize gay marriage in America:

#1 Response- Condemn and spew vitriol. I was extremely upset by the SCOTUS legislating morality. If this decision had gone the opposite way (by only one vote!) the other side would be screaming the same thing. I remain very concerned as a Pastor about being forced by the government into doing something against my deep convictions. But in spite of my deep disagreement with the decision, railing against homosexuality is NOT the solution. I have friends and relatives who are homosexuals. Bottom line is: I love them. Does that mean I agree with what they’re doing? No. BUT they do NOT need me to tell them I disagree with them nor do they care if I do. I’m sick to death of petty, childish name calling on both sides. It solves nothing.

And here’s the problem with Christians disagreeing and railing against homosexuality: Not only is a non Christian not going to understand a Biblical world view (you waste both yours and their time and honestly look stupid for even having the discussion) but when you’ve been divorced and remarried four times, lecturing someone on the morality of marriage between a man and woman doesn’t hold water with them. When you’ve cheated on your spouse, lecturing someone on heterosexual monogamy isn’t going to mean anything either. When you talk about love but you’re constantly running people down with your mouth it smacks of hypocrisy. As Christians we can be very arbitrary in our “pet sins” that we feel good about condemning. We condemn homosexuality but wink at idolatry, adultery, fornication, gossip, greed, getting drunk, and swindling when all those things are condemned as well. Bottom line is: the moral slide in America isn’t the fault of the world, it’s the CHURCH’S fault. We have lived lives of compromise for decades and now we want to condemn others as unrighteous when we ourselves have been living unrighteously, too. Just because our sin doesn’t look like someone else’s in no way qualifies us as “Condemners in Chief.”

#2 Response- Live a righteous life. Pray in our homes. It is the height of hypocrisy for us to call for prayer in schools when don’t even pray in our own homes. Don’t tell someone “You need to read the Bible!” or “You need to go to church!” when you don’t do the same thing yourself! And if you’ve been in sin or failed, FINE. It happens. But don’t wallow there! Ask for forgiveness and get right with God! It is the height of hypocrisy to call for others to live lives of righteousness when we ourselves are not. We must surrender everything to Christ and allow Him to live His life through us. LOVE EVERYONE!

Loving everyone is two fold: 1. Don’t condemn. Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery. 2. Don’t condone. Jesus also told that woman, “go and sin no more.” Nobody has been condemned into heaven. Plenty have been loved into it. Love is not saying “Everything you do is ok” but it is saying, “I’ll accept you as you are and still not compromise MY beliefs and live my life in such a way that is an example of what a Christian should be. I will pray and lovingly (Ephesians 4:15) share the truth of Christ and realize that everyone has to make the choice to accept Christ or reject Him on their own and that it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to draw and convict.” (i.e. take care of OUR homes and OUR morality and OUR families)

I heard Dr. Adrian Rogers say one time, “If the gold rusts, what will the iron do?” The immutable law of reaping and sowing is always in effect. The Church is now reaping the results of years of compromise and laziness. We’ve ignored our own sin and lived lives of compromise and unrighteousness and now we’re reaping the results of all of it. BUT there is a promise God gave us: “If MY people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Notice it does NOT say “If the world repents or if sinners repent.” The onus is on Christians. God’s people. He’s calling on US to repent!

God forgive me for placing my focus on others and not on myself. If our nation is going to experience revival it’s up to one person: ME. And the same is true for you, my Christian brother/sister. It starts with us cleaning up our OWN lives and being who Jesus said we’re supposed to be. Until we do that, we aren’t qualified to say anything.

Here endeth the rant. Please know, my friends: I love you. I really do. The choices you make are your own and the choices I make are mine. May we both do so with these parameters in mind: Love Jesus, love others and live like HE would have us live. In public and in private. NO compromise.