So this weekend I came home from a Disaster Relief deployment supervising flood victim clean up for SBDR, to a brouhaha about Starbucks Cups and the war on Christmas. Now, I do in fact believe that there is a culture war but I just did not see it in this cups controversy. An excellent article by Ed Stezter can be found here, http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/november/when-we-love-outrage-more-than-people-starbucks-cups-and-yo.html.
Read it if you want to know about the Cups. Read this if you want to hear my rant about how we are all being duped.
How are we being duped? Because the cause was Christmas, and it was brought to my attention by some preacher, I can’t even tell you who, I was immediately put on guard. Even though it made absolutely no sense to me that taking completely secular symbols off a coffee cup and replacing them with nothing would constitute a war. I bought it at first. Just days ago I bought a Venti Bold with not one but two shots of espresso. I think it came in said red cup. Not only was I now guilty I failed to even recognize I was the perpetrator of friendly fire in the culture war.
Duped means we are being deceived so what is the deception? I refuse to pay too much attention to the cup persecution but the motivation is usually money. A book to sell, a program to join, or just send it in boxes so your kids will have straight teeth and less acne. All of that is fine and dandy unless the cause is solely a means to make money. Maybe it’s just narcissistic attention grabbing? An attempt at humor? Or as others have pointed out, addiction to controversy, drama. Without real substance it is deception and manipulation.
Substance is the real key. Strip away whatever emotion accompanies the plea, look for a real issue and proceed. If the issue is absent it is just drama and you can simply opt out, you do not have to play, or be played.
Ministry is expensive. The cause is as always the rescue from sin. The words of the great commision are the most expensive ever uttered. Spend your time, energy and treasure there and the culture war will be won.
Putting our own messages on the cups in place of our names is ingeneus. Merry Christmas is great! So is Jesus Saves, The Price is Paid, John 3:16, and Your Forgiven! How about this, “I am a Christian who refuses to play this particular cups game.” Do it with courtesy, creativity, and stop being a stingy goat about the tip, I bet they will be glad to play along.