Boycott Costco?Over Thanksgiving, I heard from a number of friends and family members that I should be boycotting a few of my favorite stores, such as Costco, Home Depot, and Target because they have removed the word Christmas from their advertising and employees' greetings and replaced it with holidays. My initial response was one of frustration, but rather than unthinkingly share them at the time, I listened and said that I'd blog on it. Well here's that post:
As Christians in America, we are so quick to fight silly battles that the message that we are here to proclaim gets lost in the mix. I fear that, to the world, our proclamation of the Gospel sounds just like "God needs to stay in the pledge," "Ten Commandments on the wall," "Boycott Hollywood/CostCo/Convenience stores/Disney/etc," "Don't have sex before marriage," "Don't smoke or drink," and "Vote Republican." When people think of the concept of Christian, I can guarantee you that the majority don't correlate us with the message that God loved his rebellious creation in such a way that he would step out of heaven into the world to pay the penalty of our sin with His own blood so that we can enjoy, serve, and love Him forever. That's not the message that they think of. They think of the "religious right."
I am not advocating staying out of politics (in fact, I strongly believe the opposite), I am not advocating that we should not have a position on issues informed by Scripture (we must be informed by Scripture and apply it to today's world), but I am saying that many of these types of causes that we stand for, we stand for just as loudly or more so than we do for the gospel. This is not only inconsistent with the faith we claim to possess, but it is a gross misrepresentation of Jesus and the message He proclaimed and came to die for. We can take positions on issues; we must take positions on issues, but let's make them issues that matter. Abortion: Yes, millions of lives are at stake. Freedom of religion: Yes, our freedom to publicly worship God and share His Gospel are at stake. Christmas v. Holidays: No, to demand that a world that rejects Christ honor Him through the commercialization of His birthday is a silly demand, and it proves nothing more than that we think that people should respect us, a demand inconsistent with the gospel. So in the words of Tom Ascol, "Count me out of the boycott, I will save my bullets for the real war."
Update 12/2: Founders Ministries Blog posts an update - We're winning! Yipee. That'll show 'em.
Update 12/4: NYTimes Article here
Update 12/5: Al Mohler comments on the boycotts, taking my position.
Update 12/8: President Bush joins in, sort of.