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PilgrimPastor
Jul 15th 2008, 08:48 PM
I have removed this post.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 15th 2008, 09:43 PM
This is possibly one of the best posts I've seen on any message board in quite some time.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 16th 2008, 04:08 AM
If you don't mind me asking, why did you remove such an excellent post?

PilgrimPastor
Dec 6th 2008, 11:52 PM
If you don't mind me asking, why did you remove such an excellent post?

Here it is again...



Boycotting Christ?


I recently received an email from a certain Christian organization which was calling on pastors to encourage their congregants to boycott a very well known restaurant chain for its supposed stand on a particular hot-button political issue; the issue of same sex marriage. The trouble with a boycott of this type, as I see it, is that a company does not have a voice as such. It is made up of many individuals with varying political and religious ideologies. The spokesperson for the company has a voice which reflects the opinions of the leadership of the corporation, but what of the countless employees of this restaurant chain who are merely working to earn a living? Do they have a voice? Did the corporation poll all of its employees to find out what their views on this divisive issue are? I suspect they did not.

Restaurant chains do not have opinions, people have opinions. In this email, same sex marriage was referred to over and over again as SSM, which, previously unbeknownst to me, has apparently been adopted as the official acronym. I served several years in the military prior to entering the ministry.
Seeing this acronym over and over again, in this boycott solicitation email, reminded me very much of the military’s over usage of acronyms. Acronyms have a way of dehumanizing whatever they refer to. It occurs to me that their repetitive and long term use also allows us to forget the human element of this controversial issue.

Here is another acronym; PAC, Political Action Committee. Is that what the Church of Christ has been reduced to? It seems that, at times, the Church looks much less like Christ on the Cross than it should and much more like a Political Action Committee at election time than it ought. I am certainly not saying that the Church should not be involved in social issues. What I am saying is that when we are involved in social issues we should take care to always look like Christ. For example, what looks more like Christ, picketing an abortion clinic or loving a young girl through a pregnancy, giving her shelter, clothes, and food so she has an alternative to the abortion readily available?

This particular boycott may even have some merit. That is not my point. What I am much more greatly concerned with is what appears to me to be the willingness, even the preference, on the part of the Church to forfeit looking like Jesus in favor of looking so much like the world. It is as though in our very efforts to fight the ideological wars of this age we are boycotting the love of Christ. Jesus ate with sinners as a way of loving them into the Kingdom of God. He did not make picket signs against their sin; he loved them in spite of their sin, and even died to forgive their sin. I am deeply saddened that Christianity has been reduced by so many to merely another social ideology, yet another encampment on the landscape of an already scarred, bruised, and overpopulated culture war. Christians have not been called to be culture warriors as such; we have been called to be active participants in God’s plan of redemption and grace in this world! Our task as believers is not primarily to go on the offensive against opposing worldviews as much as it is to aggressively love others with the radical, unending, unrelenting love of Christ! We do well not to define ourselves according to what we are not but according to what we are.

Boycott if you choose to do so but in all that you do, as a follower of Jesus Christ, remember that we have been called to look like Christ, act like Christ, and love like Christ! The Church, while being a large and influential organization, is so much more than that. We are the hands through which God embraces this hurting generation and world. Above all, let us never boycott the radical love of Christ; let us focus primarily on loving people into the Kingdom of God rather than boycotting them out of it.

Lyndie
Dec 7th 2008, 12:28 AM
Wow, that was awesome. Gives me something to think about.

TrustingFollower
Dec 7th 2008, 01:14 AM
It is a good post, I am glad you put it back on the board.

moonglow
Dec 7th 2008, 03:03 AM
I So agree with this and have tried to say so on certain threads on the board encouraging boycotting...I don't think its Christlike..its not following His example to do this. While others feel it works...so they continue doing it and I can understand their outrage in certain companies supporting such things...it just doesn't get to the root of the problem and yes causes us to function as the 'world' does. No one at the time understood what I was trying to say...maybe reading this will help as I apparently wasn't able to express well what I was trying to say..

I think it also is causing us to force our religious beliefs on others....yes they are trying to force their beliefs on us by supporting such things...but again we aren't to be of the world and not 'push' back so to speak...but simply do as Jesus did which was to reach the lost.

On the boycotting...here is a perfectly example of what I seen happen with this. One year...my sister and her son were down visiting and she over heard her son talking about a group of people...I think a gang and saying judgmental things against them. She got after him about it saying he was being judgmental when he didn't even know them and didn't know if they were involved in illegal things or not...then she turned around and said she was boycotting anything sold by Martha Steward because of the crime she had committed and my sister was very disgusted with her...she even suggested I drive to other stores to find garden seeds that weren't sold by this lady...all I wanted was maybe two dollars in flower seeds and the closest store only sold her brand...I would have spent more gas money going esle where just to avoid that brand...but anyway..she tells her son to not judge others, then turns around and in the same breath...passes judgment on someone...thinking boycotting is a good thing when you don't like something someone else did.

Now I have to say she has been greatly influenced by this whole boycotting idea by getting constant emails from this one Christian site who is always wanting to boycott some company. She used to forward them to me all the time. One year it was boycotting Target for not allowing their employees to say Merry Christmas and not having a bell ringer outside...

You have to wonder how many employees lost their jobs or had their hours cut back due to that because alot of Christians did boycott Target and the next year...Christmas was allowed to be said again. I never stopped going to Target inspite of my sisters advise and if Martha Stewards flowers seeds are all that are being sold...I buy them...:lol:

My biggest concern though was how she was telling her son one thing...but doing the exactly opposite herself...

I may copy that email and send it to her...;)

God bless

Dani H
Dec 7th 2008, 05:42 AM
I enjoyed that post, glad you put it back on for me to read. I agree with it. We should be known more so what and Who we're FOR, not so much what we're against. I prefer offensive love to defensive judgmentalism. :)

Literalist-Luke
Dec 7th 2008, 08:10 AM
Boycotting Christ?


I recently received an email from a certain Christian organization which was calling on pastors to encourage their congregants to boycott a very well known restaurant chain for its supposed stand on a particular hot-button political issue; the issue of same sex marriage. The trouble with a boycott of this type, as I see it, is that a company does not have a voice as such. It is made up of many individuals with varying political and religious ideologies. The spokesperson for the company has a voice which reflects the opinions of the leadership of the corporation, but what of the countless employees of this restaurant chain who are merely working to earn a living? Do they have a voice? Did the corporation poll all of its employees to find out what their views on this divisive issue are? I suspect they did not.

Restaurant chains do not have opinions, people have opinions. In this email, same sex marriage was referred to over and over again as SSM, which, previously unbeknownst to me, has apparently been adopted as the official acronym. I served several years in the military prior to entering the ministry.
Seeing this acronym over and over again, in this boycott solicitation email, reminded me very much of the military’s over usage of acronyms. Acronyms have a way of dehumanizing whatever they refer to. It occurs to me that their repetitive and long term use also allows us to forget the human element of this controversial issue.

Here is another acronym; PAC, Political Action Committee. Is that what the Church of Christ has been reduced to? It seems that, at times, the Church looks much less like Christ on the Cross than it should and much more like a Political Action Committee at election time than it ought. I am certainly not saying that the Church should not be involved in social issues. What I am saying is that when we are involved in social issues we should take care to always look like Christ. For example, what looks more like Christ, picketing an abortion clinic or loving a young girl through a pregnancy, giving her shelter, clothes, and food so she has an alternative to the abortion readily available?

This particular boycott may even have some merit. That is not my point. What I am much more greatly concerned with is what appears to me to be the willingness, even the preference, on the part of the Church to forfeit looking like Jesus in favor of looking so much like the world. It is as though in our very efforts to fight the ideological wars of this age we are boycotting the love of Christ. Jesus ate with sinners as a way of loving them into the Kingdom of God. He did not make picket signs against their sin; he loved them in spite of their sin, and even died to forgive their sin. I am deeply saddened that Christianity has been reduced by so many to merely another social ideology, yet another encampment on the landscape of an already scarred, bruised, and overpopulated culture war. Christians have not been called to be culture warriors as such; we have been called to be active participants in God’s plan of redemption and grace in this world! Our task as believers is not primarily to go on the offensive against opposing worldviews as much as it is to aggressively love others with the radical, unending, unrelenting love of Christ! We do well not to define ourselves according to what we are not but according to what we are.

Boycott if you choose to do so but in all that you do, as a follower of Jesus Christ, remember that we have been called to look like Christ, act like Christ, and love like Christ! The Church, while being a large and influential organization, is so much more than that. We are the hands through which God embraces this hurting generation and world. Above all, let us never boycott the radical love of Christ; let us focus primarily on loving people into the Kingdom of God rather than boycotting them out of it.I agree with apothanein kerdos - this is one of the best things I've seen a good while - well done. :yes:

TrustGzus
Dec 8th 2008, 02:16 PM
I agree. I posted on this subject about 18 months ago in my own blog at another site. Thought I'd paste it here for those who are interested . . .
Boycotting (http://blaugmenting.blogspot.com/2007/04/boycotting.html)

Over the years, I've heard many calls to boycott certain products. You have too. How, as Christians, do we react to this?

Let me say that primarily you must go with your conscience. If it is sin to you to buy something because a product is made by a company that uses its money to support some ungodly cause, then don't do it. This is a disputable matter. This falls under Romans 14 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=rom%2014&version=31).

If you choose to boycott, I would advise sending a letter or email to the company explaining your reasoning. If you choose to boycott some personal hygiene product or a fast-food restaurant for example, but never tell them that you're doing it or why, while your stand may be good and appropriate it won't send the message. A person would need legions of people boycotting with them to make a noticeable difference. However, even if the company noticed a decline in sales, if they are not told why it is happening, they probably will not figure out the reason is because they support something the boycotters don't appreciate. So, let them know.

I'll tell you where I stand on this. I don't worry about it. I am accountable to God for how I use the money he's put in my charge. If Taco King or Dairy Land, or any number of places chooses to use money in a bad way, I am not responsible for that.

I go to fast-food places for food. I give them my handful of dollars and get a burger or chicken sandwich and some fries and a drink. That's what I paid for. It's their money now.

Let's change the circumstance around. I work at a secular job. They pay me money for a service I render to them. They aren't responsible for what I do with that money. What if they were? I'm giving lots of my money to church, para church organizations, and missionary work. Some people are probably spending their money on pornographic materials. Others on an alcohol problem. Others are spending money on members of the opposite sex that aren't their spouse. None of that is my employer's responsibility. The employer pays us for the skills we offer.

Furthermore, why stop at the first person you hand the money too? Shouldn't you logically find out who they give it to? Say you decide Burger Bell is bad but Burger Queen is good. Well, some of Burger Queen's employees are using money in not good ways. Some of them will buy drugs with their paycheck or perhaps a nasty magazine at the local bookstore or gas station. When do you stop worrying about where your money goes? Why must one know what the first recipient of the money does with it but then it doesn't matter what the second recipient or beyond does with it?

I stop worrying once it leaves my hands. I didn't pay for an abortion. I paid for a burger. I didn't pay for gay rights. I bought shampoo. They are responsible for what they do with the money now, not me. It's not my money anymore. They gave me what I paid for.

In closing, let me say that I don't see it as a sin to boycott or not boycott. You must do what your conscience tells you and not judge Christians with other perspectives unless you can line up a biblical reasoning I haven't been able to.

Lamplighter
Dec 9th 2008, 04:49 AM
If we Christians boycott evil companies, we are going to be naked without clothes to wear. We also can't eat chocolate any longer. Both are made through the product of slave labor at one point in their creation.

Bethany67
Dec 9th 2008, 05:48 AM
Thought-provoking - thank you.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 21st 2009, 02:51 PM
Thought-provoking - thank you.

With presidential election season all over now, this subject seems to have cooled a little bit but something I would suggest is still rather important for us to consider. What is the Christian's role with regard such matters? What is our role in society with regard to community outreach "social justice" matters? Why is it that Evangelical Churches tend to shy away from such matters, focusing entirely on winning souls to the exclusion of "community building? And, are the two mutually exclusive?

Being salt and light is a full time gig. All of it matters.

keck553
Apr 21st 2009, 07:15 PM
If we Christians boycott evil companies, we are going to be naked without clothes to wear. We also can't eat chocolate any longer. Both are made through the product of slave labor at one point in their creation.

So then is all that talk about God providing our needs just fantasy?

Kahtar
Apr 21st 2009, 08:25 PM
My question is, what is the church doing trying to fix or improve that which is going to be destroyed anyway? We're not called to fix the world, we're called to come out from among them.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:25 AM
My question is, what is the church doing trying to fix or improve that which is going to be destroyed anyway? We're not called to fix the world, we're called to come out from among them.

Surely, but are we called to pray for the hungry sinner or feed him? Are we called to be called out and shine forth Christ or be called out and hide in a cave waiting for the Rapture?

apothanein kerdos
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:43 AM
Surely, but are we called to pray for the hungry sinner or feed him? Are we called to be called out and shine forth Christ or be called out and hide in a cave waiting for the Rapture?


I gave you reps for this, but simply an amazing quote.

Kahtar
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:46 AM
Surely, but are we called to pray for the hungry sinner or feed him? Are we called to be called out and shine forth Christ or be called out and hide in a cave waiting for the Rapture?:rolleyes: Certainly didn't and wouldn't suggest hiding in a cave waiting for the rapture friend.
As for the hungry sinner, both, and while we're at it, introduce him to the truth and the kingdom and bring him out as well.

quiet dove
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:54 AM
:rolleyes: Certainly didn't and wouldn't suggest hiding in a cave waiting for the rapture friend.
As for the hungry sinner, both, and while we're at it, introduce him to the truth and the kingdom and bring him out as well.

I'm not sure how this went from Christians boycotting to those who desire to be raptured waiting in caves.

I guess if we or (myself, as I am anxiously awaiting that particular trumpet,) are waiting and living in caves they/we/me.. have the boycotting down pretty well. Not really being a part of society anymore and all...just sitting at our cave fires waiting on the Lord.

Vhayes
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:58 AM
With presidential election season all over now, this subject seems to have cooled a little bit but something I would suggest is still rather important for us to consider. What is the Christian's role with regard such matters? What is our role in society with regard to community outreach "social justice" matters? Why is it that Evangelical Churches tend to shy away from such matters, focusing entirely on winning souls to the exclusion of "community building? And, are the two mutually exclusive?

Being salt and light is a full time gig. All of it matters.
This is something I have thought long and hard about, as well as prayed about, and still have not arrived at a place where I am completely comfortable.

Where I currently stand on this is if we are to truly make a change that matters it MUST be with the gospel. That comes first and foremost. Only the Holy Spirit can effect change in a persons heart and mind, in their daily lives.

When a person becomes a believer and grows in the Lord, he will feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It will be an automatic response.

When George H.W. Bush was President, he said something that flipped a whole lot of people out - he said that we should become points of hope and light - as individuals. I happened to agree with him on that. If I reach out and help a struggling family with buying winter coats for their four small children so they can buy groceries with the little money they have, am I working as an advocate for social justice or am I practicing what Christ told me to do? If I help a Palestinian man learn to read and write English so he can become a U.S. citizen and bring his family from the West Bank to live in the safety that is America, am I practicing social justice or am I doing what Christ would have me do?

I think one of the reasons we are in such a dreadful condition as a nation right now is we, as Christians, decided to have "the church" do our work for us. If we gave them more money, we would be absolved of actually getting our hands dirty; and by doing that we could close our eyes to the man on the corner who asked for food which eventually led to our hearts being closed. Then when the church couldn't or didn't keep up, we decided it would be best if the government dealt with it. It was a slippery slope that has become ever steeper and ever more slippery as the years have passed.

True social justice comes from Christianity. Christianity will never grow out of social justice.

I'm not sure of any of this will make sense to others or not, but I have tried to share what is in my heart and head.
V

apothanein kerdos
Apr 22nd 2009, 05:12 AM
This is something I have thought long and hard about, as well as prayed about, and still have not arrived at a place where I am completely comfortable.

Where I currently stand on this is if we are to truly make a change that matters it MUST be with the gospel. That comes first and foremost. Only the Holy Spirit can effect change in a persons heart and mind, in their daily lives.

When a person becomes a believer and grows in the Lord, he will feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It will be an automatic response.

When George H.W. Bush was President, he said something that flipped a whole lot of people out - he said that we should become points of hope and light - as individuals. I happened to agree with him on that. If I reach out and help a struggling family with buying winter coats for their four small children so they can buy groceries with the little money they have, am I working as an advocate for social justice or am I practicing what Christ told me to do? If I help a Palestinian man learn to read and write English so he can become a U.S. citizen and bring his family from the West Bank to live in the safety that is America, am I practicing social justice or am I doing what Christ would have me do?

I think one of the reasons we are in such a dreadful condition as a nation right now is we, as Christians, decided to have "the church" do our work for us. If we gave them more money, we would be absolved of actually getting our hands dirty; and by doing that we could close our eyes to the man on the corner who asked for food which eventually led to our hearts being closed. Then when the church couldn't or didn't keep up, we decided it would be best if the government dealt with it. It was a slippery slope that has become ever steeper and ever more slippery as the years have passed.

True social justice comes from Christianity. Christianity will never grow out of social justice.

I'm not sure of any of this will make sense to others or not, but I have tried to share what is in my heart and head.
V


No, it makes perfect sense. What you stated is close to the heart of the Gospel.

The bolded and underlined part is another great point. There are many who think they can have social justice without belief in a loving and personal God who came down in the flesh to die for us. It's impossible - without this belief, "social justice" is simply impossible.

There are others who think we can just believe these things and leave it there - this, too, is impossible.

paradiseinn
Apr 22nd 2009, 08:48 AM
Here it is again...



Boycotting Christ?




I recently received an email from a certain Christian organization which was calling on pastors to encourage their congregants to boycott a very well known restaurant chain for its supposed stand on a particular hot-button political issue; the issue of same sex marriage. The trouble with a boycott of this type, as I see it, is that a company does not have a voice as such. It is made up of many individuals with varying political and religious ideologies. The spokesperson for the company has a voice which reflects the opinions of the leadership of the corporation, but what of the countless employees of this restaurant chain who are merely working to earn a living? Do they have a voice? Did the corporation poll all of its employees to find out what their views on this divisive issue are? I suspect they did not.

Restaurant chains do not have opinions, people have opinions. In this email, same sex marriage was referred to over and over again as SSM, which, previously unbeknownst to me, has apparently been adopted as the official acronym. I served several years in the military prior to entering the ministry.
Seeing this acronym over and over again, in this boycott solicitation email, reminded me very much of the militaryís over usage of acronyms. Acronyms have a way of dehumanizing whatever they refer to. It occurs to me that their repetitive and long term use also allows us to forget the human element of this controversial issue.

Here is another acronym; PAC, Political Action Committee. Is that what the Church of Christ has been reduced to? It seems that, at times, the Church looks much less like Christ on the Cross than it should and much more like a Political Action Committee at election time than it ought. I am certainly not saying that the Church should not be involved in social issues. What I am saying is that when we are involved in social issues we should take care to always look like Christ. For example, what looks more like Christ, picketing an abortion clinic or loving a young girl through a pregnancy, giving her shelter, clothes, and food so she has an alternative to the abortion readily available?

This particular boycott may even have some merit. That is not my point. What I am much more greatly concerned with is what appears to me to be the willingness, even the preference, on the part of the Church to forfeit looking like Jesus in favor of looking so much like the world. It is as though in our very efforts to fight the ideological wars of this age we are boycotting the love of Christ. Jesus ate with sinners as a way of loving them into the Kingdom of God. He did not make picket signs against their sin; he loved them in spite of their sin, and even died to forgive their sin. I am deeply saddened that Christianity has been reduced by so many to merely another social ideology, yet another encampment on the landscape of an already scarred, bruised, and overpopulated culture war. Christians have not been called to be culture warriors as such; we have been called to be active participants in Godís plan of redemption and grace in this world! Our task as believers is not primarily to go on the offensive against opposing worldviews as much as it is to aggressively love others with the radical, unending, unrelenting love of Christ! We do well not to define ourselves according to what we are not but according to what we are.

Boycott if you choose to do so but in all that you do, as a follower of Jesus Christ, remember that we have been called to look like Christ, act like Christ, and love like Christ! The Church, while being a large and influential organization, is so much more than that. We are the hands through which God embraces this hurting generation and world. Above all, let us never boycott the radical love of Christ; let us focus primarily on loving people into the Kingdom of God rather than boycotting them out of it.

AWESOME!!!, We need to LOVE , not throw stones.......BE THE EXAMPLE!!!, AMEN

PilgrimPastor
Apr 25th 2009, 02:29 PM
Let me give some "legs" to this. Tonight the church I pastor is having an event of a social impact kind of ministry. I have brought in two professional Christian comedians and 1 local Christian comedian for a free admission benefit will donations going to build some "Wellness & Entertainment" carts for pediatrics (children) at the local hospital which happens to be just a stone's throw from the church. Last year we did the same thing and raised money for a school for children with developmental disabilities (autism, down's, MS, MD,etc.)

We are being "salt and light" in the community and as I said in a recent interview, we want to proclaim God's love not only in word but in deed. On Sunday mornings I preach the pure Gospel from the Holy Scriptures, repentance leading to new life in Christ and what that does in us now and eternally. No compromise. Grace. Hope. Christ.

Tonight, we show the community what kind of people that makes us; people who care about others radically and who lift up and encourage people. This also gives the community a positive impression of Christ in our community and the Church which He founded.

There need not be such a distinction made between social justice issues and the Gospel. They are two rails on the train car of evangelism.

Blessings!