**Editor’s Note: To view the video that is causing all of the pandemonium, please click here.
Hi Joshua (or Josh, if you prefer),
Man, you sure know how to create a buzz. Every social media portal is blowing up with harsh words of criticism or mockeries of faith or Starbucks cups in support.
I won’t preach to you about how Christians shouldn’t be paying attention to this when there are so many other, more pressing evils we need to be upset about in the world.
Racial tensions and stereotyping
Church straying from Biblical principles
There’s a wide array of things that you could rally the troops for–and while Christians should definitely be aware that Starbucks employees are allegedly not allowed to say “Merry Christmas,” as well as the views and vision governing the franchise–those pesky red cups are not really anything about which we should have concern. [Side note: I don’t think we should push aside lesser evils like franchises’ wars on Christianity because, “Poverty! Sex slavery! Hurting!”–I simply don’t think this is even a lesser evil.]
If Hobby Lobby started bagging all of my glittery wall decor in red bags, I wouldn’t mind. Just give me my glittery wall decor for 40% off and have a wonderful day. I’ll see you tomorrow.
If Hobby Lobby started bagging my glittery wall decor in bags that said, “Satan Rules,” then maybe we can start thinking about battle. Or maybe a contingency plan on where else I can buy glittery wall decor.
To be honest Josh, this tactic seems a little silly to me. It’s all too reminiscent of when the LGBT crowd and its supporters flooded (and sometimes harassed) Chick-Fil-A and its employees. While I hope no Christians made out in front of the counter while waiting for their soy latte, it’s still a bit silly to say, “My name is Merry Christmas” and then parade triumphantly around Starbucks, instagramming a “gotcha!” smile next to your coffee.
I know that you are a former pastor, Josh. Speaking as someone who respects my pastor very much and tends to trust what he preaches, it’s a little unsettling to see you encouraging Christians to “prank” a business–no matter what your opinion is of them–and then share it with the world.
It’s been said for both sides, but I’ll say it again: If you don’t support a business, then don’t support them. Do you realize you mobilized tens of thousands of people into purchasing luxury beverages?! (Kudos, by the way. You may have a sales role in your future!) Imagine if we took that $5 from each person who answered your call, and gave it to an organization you support (I hope) like International Justice Mission or Tiny Hands? (Whoops, I’m preaching now like I said I wouldn’t. Forgive me!) When your hashtag started trending, the PR people for Starbucks were probably all in a tizzy, calling meetings, shooting out emails and messages as fast as they could to make sure this wasn’t a marketing disaster for them.
I can see them hurriedly gathering around a conference room table, the Director of Marketing coming in with her hair unwashed and eyes bleary as she didn’t get a wink of sleep the past 36 hours.
“Okay everyone. Thank you for being here at 6:00am. Everyone have their coffee?” Ten professionals raise their Satan-colored cups in unison.
“Good. Now somebody tell me, what was the fuss all about this weekend?”
“There was a video put on social media that told people to buy our drinks and give a fake name when they do.”
“Way, way up.”
That’s a humorous situation, but what if someone took your activism model to the extreme? What if the organization in question was Planned Parenthood? I don’t want to joke about what would happen there. Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.“ If Starbucks is truly an organization that denies Jesus, you have just led many thousands of souls to directly fund them. It doesn’t make sense. We can expose darkness, but let’s do it another way.
In your video you ask Christians around this great nation to “please take a few moments to not be politically correct, but just correct.” I have a hard time believing your actions were “correct.” Did you ask what any of the employees’ names were? Did you ask how their days were going, or how you could be praying for them? Did you leave your number in case any of them ever wanted to talk about spirituality or religion? Pastor means shepherd. Christian means Christ follower. What did you do to shepherd people to Jesus on that day? What did you do to lead people to Christ on that day?
1 Peter 3:13 asks, “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” I think you’re zealous for good, Josh. I really do. Be careful about how you go about it though. I heard someone say once that the Gospel is offensive to nonbelievers all on its own, but as messengers we should not deliver it offensively.
Lastly, has anyone ever told you that you look like Kevin James? That’s sick man. You should audition for Paul Blart: Mall Cop #3 and see if they even notice it’s not him. Please let me know if you do.
All the best, brother.
In Christian love,