Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Starbucks and Their Red Cups

"About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning The Way." -- Acts 19:23

Over the past few days "no little disturbance" has arisen on Facebook over Starbucks' release of their very plain red paper holiday cups.  A one-person cry of blasphemy toward Christmas, and by extension Christians, has managed to morph into a near rebellion with even one leading Republican candidate to suggest boycotting Starbucks for not including a "Merry Christmas" message on their cups.

This struck me as not altogether unlike the disturbance told in the later part of Acts 19 only in reverse.  According to the story in Acts, the popularity and spread of the Christian Way through the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor is starting to pinch some businesses.  The silversmith's union in Ephesus was up in arms over the new number of Christian converts who were not buying statues for the goddess Artemis anymore.  A large gathering was threatening Paul's life and riot in the streets.  The town clerk stands up and basically says, "They aren't doing anything illegal so disperse."

In 21st century America, it seems we've come full circle such that over-sensitive Christians feel offended by a business simply including a free cup with their coffee.  The ridiculousness of this claimed insult has bypassed all rationality, and seriously damages public perceptions of the Christian Way that the Apostle Paul taught us.  Why is there such a powerful siege mentality among a loud, significant minority of Christians?  One video online this morning showed a "Christian" so offended by a paper coffee cup that he rebelliously waved his handgun while ranting about Starbucks encroaching on his rights.  Seriously?  I don't get it.

From the beginning of the Church, legitimate Christians secure in their salvation have never raised alarms or weapons over the very real persecutions they endured.  "Blessed are you when people revile and persecute you... your reward is great in heaven," --Matthew 5:11.  American "Christians," who will be whining all through this entire holiday season about the "oppression of Christianity," need a reality check.  Their sickening sense of entitlement and privilege being used to whine over their "persecuted status" is an egregious insult to those brave Christians throughout Church history who did endure gladiators, torture, imprisonment, and death for their faith.

Please take your guns, your cameras, your computers, phones, and vitriol and just quietly pray somewhere.  If your faith feels threatened, then do something constructive for the rest of Christiandom -- find someone who needs a loving hand and the True Word of our Lord's hope and grace.

Lord, forgive them for they know know what they do.  Amen.

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