With the recent uproar on social media by Christians over the Starbucks Christmas cups, I felt it was applicable to touch on a subject that brings out many varying opinions. The topic is a simple one: Do we expect the world, and more specifically, our country to act like Christ?
It surprises me that so many Christians get upset about their country “becoming less Christian”. I don’t see anywhere in the New Testament the notion that there is even such a thing as a “Christian Country”.
The apostle Paul writing under one of the worst rulers of all time, Nero, exhorted the believers to respect the government they were under. They were to pray for their leaders and live peaceful lives.
When believers rant and rave about a secular company’s coffee cups and lament at how “they” are taking Christ out of their land, how is Christ reflected in a positive way?
What do we expect?
Why would we believe that non-Christians should promote Jesus in a positive way? The Lord told us exactly what to expect from the world.
In John 15:18, the Lord says, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” Why would we expect the world to do “Christian” things?
A secular company doesn’t have to put Christmas symbols on their cups. They don’t have to post “Merry Christmas” on their walls. They don’t have to place a nativity scene in their windows.
Where does our allegiance belong?
In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul writes, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
As believers, our entire focus should be on our citizenship in Heaven. Yes, we are to obey our government and it’s good to love the country we live in. But this national patriotism should not come at the expense of our heavenly patriotism. God is not in the business of setting up Christian governments. He’s in the business of saving souls.
Who should promote Jesus?
We need to ask ourselves what we are doing to promote the cause of Christ. And what is His cause? Saving souls. If we are taken up with fighting political battles, we are wasting time from furthering the truth of the gospel in the lives of men and women all across our lands.
We can’t look to companies, governments and schools to “keep Christ in Christmas”. It’s not their job; it’s the role of the church. It’s the body of Christ that needs to reflect the character of Christ in a lost world. Only then can a real work be done in our nations.
Stop worrying about Starbucks. Stop complaining about what is not being done for Christ by a world that we are told will hate Him. Stop ranting about cups.
Instead, love people as Christ loved. Feed the poor. Help the needy. Comfort the grieving. Support the weary. Encourage the faint-hearted. Preach the gospel to all.
And remember, they are only red cups!