I remember years ago, wanting to get all my Christian friends together to boycott everything Disney because they were allowing for a Gay Pride day at Disney World. “How could this wholesome corporation, that was so family oriented, betray all those families by letting gay people have their own day?“
That was my question. We needed to stop Disney. Then a brother, who was a bit wiser than me, pointed out that Disney was in Orlando and a lot of Christians actually worked for Disney. By boycotting Disney we would be hurting our dear brothers and sisters who made their living working for the godless corporation.
Of course, my knee-jerk reaction was that they should quit working for Disney immediately? Really? Yes, that was my thinking. But over time, with some wisdom, and the story of Daniel, I really began to see that our loving God uses godless corporations to actually provide for His children.
In fact, it was shortly after this event that I began working for a company in which the godless owner made millions of dollars every year. There were at least 10 Christians working for this man in his quest for millions. God raised this man up, with his desire for riches, so that some of His followers could faithfully provide for their families and needs.
This happens all the time. The world of commerce is godless. Yes, I know there are a few companies like Chick Fil-A and Hobby Lobby that are based on biblical principles, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. Most of us have to work for companies, or government entities that are no more godly than your typical drunken college protester. We like to tell ourselves that we are there standing for righteousness, sharing the gospel and praying to see that the company repents and trusts in Christ. But the truth be known, we are not. We are trying to provide for our families and live as faithfully as possible in the situation in which God has placed us. He may use us to reach a few. But that would be because of His grace, and no more.
The point is that here recently, there has been a dust-up over some Starbucks coffee cups concerning the upcoming non-Christian holiday called Christmas. I’m really not sure what the dust-up is about. But it is quite ridiculous on several levels. First, Starbucks has never pretended to be a Christian company. They went into business to sell coffee and that is what they do. They did not do so for the glory of God, but to get rich. There is no hiding that reality. There is nothing wrong with that goal either.
Secondly, as Christians, we need to get over Christmas. It is rooted in pagan practices, and is NOT mandated in Scripture. God has given us so many holy days a year, 52 to be exact, and Christmas is not one of them. Yes, I know, we like to tack the baby Jesus onto Christmas and try to make it a holy day. But this is, at best, window dressing. I’m not saying you cannot celebrate Christmas, but let’s quit calling it Christian, especially given that most of us are Protestants. Just the word Christmas should give us a clue that it is not a part of our heritage; Christ-mass. We do not celebrate the mass.
Third, as Christians, we should be more concerned with keeping the LORD’s day holy than worrying over our consumer-fest every December. Our LORD has actually given us the LORD’s day to cease from commerce and worship Him. It should offend us more that many Christians drive thru at Starbucks on their way to church every Sunday, than to worry about what cups the coffee is served in. To break the Fourth Commandment is sinful, on par with murder, adultery, covetousness, stealing, and idolatry.
By going to Starbucks (or any other eating establishment) on Sunday you are causing your “servants” to work on that day, depriving them of the opportunity to worship the LORD as well. If all the Christians would actually honor the LORD’s day by not engaging in commerce, more companies would be apt to close on Sunday. However, the church is walking lockstep with the spirit of the age when it comes to violating God’s holy day. It is sad that so many get upset because of some perceived sin against Christmas, and think nothing of committing an actual sin when it comes to the LORD’s day.
Finally, I need to let you know that my wife works for Starbucks and I’m truly grateful God has given her the opportunity to do so. She doesn’t get paid a lot, but our health benefits are fantastic. The health plan we have is better than some of the ones I had as a pastor. So say what you want to about this pagan company (because they have a pagan symbol on their cup), they truly take care of their employees. Given my salary working for the state (another godless entity), I would not be able to afford such a plan.
God is, once again, using a godless company to provide for two of His children. And guess what? My wife does such a good job for the company, that she never has to violate her convictions about working on Sunday. She told them upfront when she began working for the company five years ago that working on Sunday was not an option and they have honored her commitment to the LORD.
I know of at least one retail company in which all the owners and upper management make a big show of being Christians, yet require all their employees to work on Sunday without batting an eye. The hypocrisy is a stench in the LORD’s nostrils. If more Christians would actually stand for the truth and God’s Law, then fewer places would be open on the LORD’s day.
Most believers are not that concerned about the entirety of God’s Law. You can see this when you suggest that breaking the Fourth Commandment is actually a sin…they rip Romans 6:14 out of context and claim that the Law has no place for us in the Christian life. Yet they still believe in the Seventh Commandment of the Law concerning adultery and never seem to complain about the reality that we should keep that Law.
I digress. The point here is that God uses the godless world system to provide for His children. He may have us move out of the world system at some future date, for which we should always be ready. But until then, He has chosen to keep His Daniels in the employment of the king for HIS own glory.