The recent uproar about the Starbuck Christmas cup is a good talking point. Starbucks is an organization that makes business decision to earn money. The business was created to make money. They have the right to make decisions that will positively or negatively effect their company. It is that simple. A part of their social citizenship strategy may be to help out in social issue but their mission is not to spread the Gospel. Christians hold that responsibility.
Christians need to engage the culture with a relevant message. The Christian message can become distorted when we engage in a meme war. Posting memes that state why Christians should do this or that in response to lets say the Christmas cup issue is very productive. When the inevitable opportunities to share the Gospel avail themselves to us we have a great opportunity to tell people the real meaning of Christmas rather than the commercial one that is purported throughout society.
Lets talk briefly about what we should do when an organization decides not to place a Christian theme on their coffee cups or put up a Christmas tree. First, step back and reassess the situation. Is the organization Christian? Does it support the Christian way of life? For instance, is that business a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage? Or does it place advertising funds in support of Halloween but not Christmas? Second, after a careful assessment of their business practice you can then make your economic decision. The choice is clear. Either business is pro-Christianity or it is not. It is clear where an organization stands when it either support or does not support Christianity. Do not fight them with words. Fight them with the economic power. Stand strong for your faith.
We live in a secular society where some people and organizations do not support Christianity. It is your choice to engage or disengage. Engagement is the practical response. Most non-Christians do not wake up on Sunday morning and say, “Hey, I’m not doing anything right now. I think I’ll go to church.” Thus, secular society needs you to engage them…whether they realize it or not. Yet posting memes on what Christians should be doing rather than supporting a Christmas theme does not help spread the Gospel message. For instance, some have posted (I’ll adlib here), “If Christians are not supporting starving children then they shouldn’t be worried about a Christmas cup.” Lets not engage the culture that way. It reduces our core beliefs and actions to an unfair apples to oranges argument. It is counterproductive, unfair and unrealistic. We must not help people disbelieve in Christ by our actions. Instead, remind people what we believe in. Remind them of the great things Christians are doing and what Christianity represents. Simply put, do not help unbelievers strengthen their resolve against Christianity by providing a false narrative.
Your lifestyle and the things you say are two ways that will help the church fulfill her primary mission. What is our primary mission? Go to Matt 28:19. Our focus should be on Him. Do not be dragged into the fray of unproductive thinking and living. If you do, you will be losing precious ground. Pick up any newspaper and you’ll see why the world needs to hear the true and unadulterated word of God.
I hope to do a series in the near future on “Engaging the Culture.” Too many Christians fail to adequately address the contemporary cultural issues facing the church and thereby diluting its message when they contextualize the message to accommodate unbiblical practices. I said this for years and I think it is appropriate now. “I hear what you say but I see what you do.” Let the world see you living Christ-like. If they don’t see you living a Christ-like lifestyle they will erroneously fill in the blank. This fight for the souls of our society is a difficult one. We need everyone spreading the correct narrative. That narrative is found in the word of God.
Bless you as you continue to spread the Gospel
The Santa Claus, Christmas tree, Frosty the Snowman, the “Christmas spirit”, tinsel and Christmas presents have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas. Ask your church members at bible study to discuss this point. If you don’t know what Christmas is all about…today would be a good day. After your study, help spread the true message of Christ our Savior because those aforementioned items are counter-Christmas.