The Church & Starbucks, part 3

Before I tackle the topic at hand…I heard a few funny things that I need to comment on:

  1. According to the bastion of right-wing conspiracies, National Geographic is predicting that the sun is “oddly quiet”, which could produce a “mini-ice age”. But take heart all you glodal warming (or is it “global climate change”? I can’t remember what we’re calling it this week), no matter what the sun does, “the star’s effects on climate will pale in contrast with the influence of human-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).” So, keep buying carbon credits and selling “cap and trade” as the solution to our woes!
  2. While driving in this morning, I heard on ABC News radio that someone was testifying in Congress that some banks may “have to fail.” That would have been nice to know before we spent 1.2 TRILLION dollars. But, that’s what happens when “hope and change” reverts to “the sky is falling”.

Now that I’ve alienated at least 3 people who might read this blog, let’s return to the video. Today, I’ll be commenting on the “Real Men Love Java” post. You can watch the video by clicking on the link to the right.

“You’ll notice that there are some great bumper stickers in our video… “Real Men Love Java,” “Think this coffee’s hot??” and of course the Starbucks logo eating the Juan Valdez logo. Now, this was not meant to be a cheap shot at all Christian bumper stickers, as bumper stickers are not the issue when it comes down to it. We specifically chose bumper stickers that had a combative undertone…If you have 10 seconds to say something to someone with your car, is that what you want to tell them?”

I have my own feelings on the whole bumper sticker/Jesus t-shirt situation. A few weeks ago, I was driving to Cedar Falls and got behind a truck that had a huge sign on the back that read, “Are you rapture ready?”. What does that mean? Does a non-believer understand that phrase? Or, do they just lump them in with all the psycho “Left-Behinders” whose car will be “un-occupied when Jesus returns”? That’s just what we want to communicate…when Jesus comes back, there will be a 20-ton, 53 foot long missile barreling down the highway at 70 mph that will front end some hapless soul and then jack-knife, causing the deaths of untold dozens of people who won’t get the “second chance” at redemption. (Gee, now you know my eschatological bent as well.)

“Think this Texas heat is hot? Wait till you get to hell.” This is along the lines of “Get saved or get microwaved.” It might sound cute when we say it among believers, but would you ever kick off an evangelistic effort with this door-to-door opening line? Oh yes, and we are not the biggest Darwin fans, but does our fish have to eat his fish? I’m not saying it doesn’t work—just that combative evangelism is not necessarily the best way to open hearts. I assume most of the church world gets this, but let’s be aware of our need to develop a culture that loves people into the knowledge of God. Remember, it is “His goodness (kindness and patience) that leads us to repentance” (Romans 2:4).”

What if we desired to really love people? What would that look like? Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a…”Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easilt angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevers. Love never fails.”

The aforementioned bumper stickers and tractor trailers come across as boastful and proud. The opposite of love; as Derek Webb sings, “Truth without context, my favorite of all my crimes”.

Some points to ponder:

What are we communicating to non-believers by what we wear and adorn our vehicles with?
What about when people pull into our parking lots, and see nothing but “McCain/Palin” stickers?


1 Comment

Filed under bailout, eschatology, hope and change, left behind, national geographic, richard reising, Starbucks, TARP, what if starbucks marketed like the church

One response to “The Church & Starbucks, part 3

  1. I personally love the bumper stickers that say “God bless everyone. No exceptions.” My thinking is that if we ask HIS blessing upon everyone- don’t they get some grace from that? Goes right along with the whole “praying for our enemies” thing. I voted for Obama, but I maintain a healthy scepticism about politics and I think we all just need to keep praying our butts off for whoever is in the Oval Office… (see, not alienated at all).

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