Considering I am online all day for my job, there are still some things that I don’t realize are happening on the news or the Twitterverse so to speak. I actually kind of like it better that way sometimes. I don’t need to know every little thing that people are in an uproar about. It’s not necessary to be upset about every little thing.
I write this post for two reasons.
- I am actually surprised by how upset Christians are over this issue
- I was accused by a friend of siding with those who are mocking our King and Jesus by expressing my opinion that this is not direct persecution of the Church.
I wish to make three brief points and then pray that this issue blows over. It’s a shame that this is causing accusations within a community of believers.
- Starbucks sells coffee and does not owe it to any religion to support their holidays. Let that simmer. Now, I 100% believe in Jesus. He is the only way to Heaven and I am forever grateful that He died for my sins. However, I don’t believe that as an American company, Starbucks owes us a Christmas themed coffee cup. Over the years they have decorated their cup with snowmen, Christmas string lights, carolers, etc. Never have they claimed to agree with my religious beliefs or decorated (to my knowledge through Google) the cups with a manger, or a church, or baby Jesus. With that said, loads of retailers partake in the Christmas profit and will sell just about anything red or green or festive to reap the rewards of the holiday. However, if you go to any retail location, they do not owe you anything. If I go to a Jewish store, I’m not going to disrespect their beliefs and ask why they only have Hannukah items. I feel like this is the same thing. If God, knowing who He is, allowed us to have free will, I think I as a Christian, I can bestow that same grace to other people.
- The color of a cup is not real persecution. I think we all realize as Americans that we are very privileged. We don’t know real suffering. We are not refugees, we are not being wiped out for worshipping Jesus, we are not being beheaded, we are not being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery, etc. Now that is a blanket statement. I know that. But I have a very hard time understanding why we feel like as a Church, not having a paper cup decorated to fit the Holidays compares to the current Refugee Crisis, the Egyptian Beheading, the Chibok school girl kidnapping, the number of yet to be rescued sex slaves, the Nepal earthquake, etc. I feel like the fact that Christians see this as a crisis proves how lucky we are to not be experiencing actual persecution. We are able to gather on Sundays to worship Jesus, we are able to go to the grocery store or food pantry when we are hungry, we are able to lock the doors to our homes and apartment knowing we will not be stolen out of our beds. I believe strongly that when we elevate small issues like this we belittle the severity of the actual issues our brothers and sisters in the world are experiencing.
- We should not fill each other’s mouths with words or motives. I don’t like the fact that Starbucks chose to color their cup red, and this has been blown up into a full fledged war on Christianity. It’s a cup. Maybe they liked the minimalism of a red cup and their green logo. It’s still Christmas-y. I also don’t like that people can’t express how silly this looks, like I did, without being accused of being worldly, or worse being lumped into the same category as those who mock Jesus. Jesus didn’t go around starting fights with people. Luckily God sees our hearts. I’m sure some Christians feel like they are defending God and their heart is pure, but some of what I am seeing happen to myself and others is not very Christ-like. This verse is perfect for what I am trying to say:
Proverbs 17:9 (AMP)
9 He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love,
But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.
If you are easily offended or trying to cause shame or blame, you or not seeking love. And you are causing dissension Romans 12 in the MSG also says it well “Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”. What I mean is, our culture loves to “roast” each other. Everything is a mockery or a debate or a shaming. No one separates their own beliefs from someone else’s to try to understand where they are coming from. Instead of assuming the worst or trying to change someone’s opinion I think it is important to listen. You can agree to disagree, you can share what you believe, but there is a certain tact to it. I feel that this is severely lacking in this Starbucks conversation.
Let us remember grace for others. Not everyone believes what we do. Not everyone is your enemy either. Don’t attack your brothers and sisters in Christ and likewise be willing to listen to those who do not have the same religion as you.
I’ll leave you this reminder of love:
1 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP)
5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.