I don’t always discern decisions as much as I should, but I have found that it has stopped me from writing many a ranting post on Facebook or this blog. Every day our feeds are filled with the awful, the ridiculous, the sensational (Like Donald Trump trying to run for president).
I will often get halfway through typing a scathing social commentary on whichever controversy-of-the-day, only to realize that by doing so I am falling right into the trap. Instead of representing Jesus in my words and behavior I’m doing the very thing I most commonly rant about, which is to be a Christian hypocrite.
So when I first heard about #cupgate2015 I tried to ignore it but there’s something about this one that is so utterly absurd that I had to write about it. And here I am… If you’re reading this, it means that I have not yet decided to crumple this rant into the proverbial trash can.
This isn’t new, of course. Some 8 or 9 years ago I can remember a group that tried to organize a boycott of large department stores like Macy’s and Target over their decision to deliberately leave out the word “Christmas” in their holiday advertising (how’d that work out for ya?). I actually wrote a term paper on it, and remember getting through a few different drafts of it before giving up completely because the subject was so absurd I couldn’t truly do justice to what I wanted to say. But I’m a little older and (I hope) a little wiser, and the timing feels right to give it another try.
(Fun fact: this article was also fueled by a Grande soy latte out of one of “Satan’s Sippers” thanks to my husband who loves to encourage me in my writing.)
#cupgate has got me in a strange state somewhere between grief and amusement. Probably about 70/30.
I’m Christian. I love Jesus and I try to live my life according to God’s will. So when I see the myriads of “controversies” dredged up by people claiming to be the same, I get frustrated.
I don’t need to see snowmen on my Starbucks cup in order to feel good about my choice to follow Jesus. I don’t need the snow motifs, I don’t need to see “Merry Christmas” on my Macy’s ads, and I don’t get all up in arms when I see that my local supermarket parking lot is decorated with “Season’s Greetings” banners.
But you know what does make me upset? When I open my Facebook feed in the morning and I’m barraged by videos, posts, and rants going back and forth about this. Let’s get something straight here: The outraged “Christians” who make cup design a platform for evangelization are not following Jesus by doing so. In fact I think we can safely say they are effectively de-evangelizing the populace. Because the Christians that are actually working for peace, the weak, and the marginalized, have a kind of perspective and inner peace that only true faith in Jesus can bring. Sorry to be such a Linus here, but THAT’s what Christmas is all about.
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:1-9 MSG (emphasis mine)
So in conclusion, let’s put Christ back into Christian and move on to things that really matter, like protesting gender-neutral dolls and gay penguin weddings.*
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*gratuitous 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation joke