To Starbucks or Not to Starbucks?

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable” (Brennan Manning).

I went to Starbucks and got my caramel apple spice beverage. It’s not on the menu anymore, but I asked for it and they were able to make it for me. It was uber-yummy. I might even get one when I go back.

Yep, I went there. Literally.

I know some people are upset with Starbucks for not having “Merry Christmas” emblazoned on all their paraphernalia. It’s not even Thanksgiving, people. What do you expect?

This is my take. Starbucks is not a Christian company. I never had any illusions that they were. They are a for-profit company. Period. They also make darn good caramel apple spice beverages.

I’m much more bothered by people who profess faith with their lips but deny it with their lifestyles, as Brennan Manning mentioned earlier.

I’m bothered by Christian businessmen and women who will engage in unethical practices and behaviors under the guise of “it’s just business,” as if their faith and their business ethics don’t mix and the people who get turned off by their bad witness don’t matter.

I’m bothered by people with Christian bumper stickers plastered all over their vehicles whose driving gives a very different kind of witness than those faith-based slogans. Not that I ever drive badly. Oh no.

I’m bothered by Christians who are the most obnoxious and demanding people at restaurants, who tip the least, who show the least amount of grace to those who serve them. I’m extremely bothered by the fact that Sunday is the day a waitperson dreads to work most of all because of all of the church people.

I’m bothered by believers who haven’t done a very good job of representing what Jesus was all about– namely, forgiveness, grace, second chances, and a home for all types of broken people. I’m bothered that people know us by what we’re against instead of what we’re for.

I’m bothered that Christians still think that we can elect a savior in the form of a politician who knows how and when to say the right things to tickle people’s ears.

I’d rather see my Merry Christmases lived out than spoken. I’d rather see people who celebrate the birth of the Christ child by following His example and, better yet, by being so filled with the Christ-presence that they bring Jesus into every place where they live, work, and play.

I’m okay with a “Happy Holidays” or a “Seasons’ Greetings.” I don’t expect Starbucks or Target or any other retailers to do my evangelizing for me. It’s not their job. It’s mine.

Oh, did I mention that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet? Let’s at least hold off on the “Merry CHRISTmas” rants until November 27, please. Thanks.

 

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