FINAL VERDICT: Most Christians do NOT care about Starbucks’ Red Cups! (Hallelujah!)
You may have seen a bit of commotion this week regarding the new Starbucks Red Cup. After seeing several comments and posts on my own Facebook newsfeed of my friends committing to the #merrychristmasstarbucks “prank,” I wrote a little diddy (Dear Christians: Calm Down About Starbucks’ Red Cup) in an attempt to address those folks (and my other 17 readers). To my surprise, it got quite a few hits. Quite a few.
I was happy with the traffic on two counts. One, because it was about a bajillion percent more traffic than usual on my blog, so that was cool. But two, because most—not all, but most—of the feedback I received on it was proving that we Christians, on the whole, are not as crazy as everyone thinks. The sliver of Christians who are actually mad about Starbucks’ red cups is small. They do exist—trust me, I read some comments of some misinformed, but truly upset folks. But they do not represent the majority of Jesus-followers.
So I have a couple things to say to follow this up—to my fellow Christians, and then to everyone.
Dear fellow Christians: It’s not news to you that we are living in a world where the media blows things out of proportion, obviously. And they don’t always get it right. We know this. But wherever the media got wind of our alleged outrage—whether warranted or not—they still got wind of it somewhere. But we’re also living in a world where people actually believed this about us. I mean, nobody was watching the news saying, “Noooo, Christians would never be offended by that!” Apparently, it wasn’t completely unbelievable for everyone to think we are a group of people that might be upset about something as insignificant as this. This is a bigger problem than where you buy your coffee.
We have become a people known more for what we’re against than who we’re for. That’s a problem.
Whether or not it’s true, the perception exists in our culture that Christians are easily offend-able. That’s not a good reputation. We must do all we can—going out of our way to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and loving our neighbor as ourselves—to counteract this perception.
And for those of you who might not have a problem with the red cups but do wield the “Merry Christmas” sword—because I know you’re out there—stop it. “Merry Christmas” is not our message. “Merry Christmas” is not the Gospel. The Gospel is Jesus, the Son of God, was not only born, but He grew as a sinless man who died as the perfect and only acceptable payment for all of our wrongs and mistakes; Jesus died on a cross and came back to life, making the way to Heaven. Jesus did all of this because He loves us and wanted to provide the way for us to go to Heaven. That’s the Gospel. Not “Merry Christmas.”
Forcing people to say “Merry Christmas,” or being upset when they don’t, says absolutely nothing about the Gospel—except for making people who believe the Gospel (i.e. Christians/us) look angry, belligerent, and generally the opposite of who we actually stand for—Jesus.
“Merry Christmas” is not the battle we’re fighting. Stop making it one.
(Oh, and boycotting is seldom helpful. Except for that one time Rosa Parks started a whole thing in Montgomery. But she was Rosa Parks, soooo…)
Now. Everyone else.
Dear EVERYONE: Christians really aren’t as silly as y’all think we are. Sure, we’re all human and have moments of craze, and there are few extremes here and there who say and do things they probably should have thought about a little longer before they said or did them. But the reality is, not all of us Christians are as preposterous as the handful of crazies that make it to the headlines. We’re not all Joshua Feuerstein. We’re not all Westboro Baptist. We’re not all Breitbart or Fox News.
We’re not all perfect, but we’re also not all the same. What connects us is Jesus, not political views or where we do or don’t buy our coffee. Don’t believe everything you hear; and please do not associate us with Joshua Feuerstein.
And just like you would like us to respect your views, we would ask that you respect ours in return. That’s what tolerance is, right? Giving the other person the right to be wrong—or at least different.
The Red Cup headlines have run their course. I’m done thinking about that silliness and moving on to more important subjects. Next up: The Imago Dei in all of us.