Boycott Starbucks?

That’s what some well meaning Christians wish to do in light of Starbucks’ position on Gay “marriage.” Upon originally hearing of this, I wanted to find out what was actually going on. So after looking at some articles about what was being said, I found that Starbucks is simply doing what most other big corporations are already doing in the U.S; they are realizing that many Americans want homosexuality to be widely accepted and are acting in response to gain more customer loyalty. If we think about it, this is a similar tactic to what business did until about 15-20 years ago by being closed on Sundays. They realized their customer base probably wouldn’t be coming out on Sunday because many people would be in Church and were encouraged to not buy or sell on the Lord’s day. That being said, this is probably more of a marketing attempt on their and others’ part to gain a greater customer base.

Beat to the punch

Dr. Russel Moore (and probably many others) has already responded to this situation better than I could here:

…we don’t persuade our neighbors by mimicking their angry power-protests. We persuade them by holding fast to the gospel, by explaining our increasingly odd view of marriage, and by serving the world and our neighbors around us, as our Lord does, with a towel and a foot-bucket.

We won’t win this argument by bringing corporations to the ground in surrender. We’ll engage this argument, first of all, by prompting our friends and neighbors to wonder why we don’t divorce each other, and why we don’t split up when a spouse loses his job or loses her health. We’ll engage this argument when we have a more exalted, and more mysterious, view of sexuality than those who see human persons as animals or machines. And, most of all, we’ll engage this argument when we proclaim the meaning behind marriage: the covenant union of Christ and his church. (Read the rest, here)

Other considerations

Dr. Moore is spot on in his reasons behind not boycotting Starbucks (or Home Depot, or other business with similar ideals). In response to the situation and his points, I would ask a few questions:

  1. How many businesses in America do you think support things you disagree with? If you did your research, how many would you have to stop shopping at to maintain your consistency as a believer?
  2. How many Christians do you think work at Starbucks and these other businesses? How do you think this campaign is affecting the testimony that they have worked hard to establish there? Chances are, this will initially hurt the testimony of the Church in those individuals (not ultimately, though, as God is still sovereign in our weaknesses).
  3. Likewise, how much money do you think was spent by Christians in Ancient Rome on businesses and goods that likewise paid for the crucifixion of their fellow believers? This is, of course, more speculation than anything else, but should be considered as well.

All told, I’m not going to stop going to Starbucks (or working at Home Depot, or shopping at Target, etc…) just because of their stance on this matter. I want to pray that God will use me in every situation possible to show Himself as the great God He is. Finally, whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. If you cannot in good conscience purchase items from those places that you have found support the sinful things of this world, then for you it is sin. But do not cast judgment on those who see nothing wrong with such purchases (we’ll prayerfully try not to cast judgment on you!)

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