Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tempest in a coffee cup

It started when a certain coffee shop chain decided not to feature an obviously Christmas-y decorated cup for the holiday season like every other coffee shop chain.  The most vocal outrage came from .... Christians.  First they bought the coffee and wrote Merry Christmas on the cups (ummm, doesn't that put MORE money in the chain's account?) and then there were calls to boycott ... and the debate raged hot and heavy on social media .... and so on, until everyone was (and is) sick of it. 

Oh come ON.

Photo "Homeless Man" courtesy of
Mantas Ruzveltas at
Of all the things to crusade for, this is what gets attention? A paper coffee cup?  How about the homeless in your neighbourhood?  How about the teenage girls who don't think they have any other option but to get an abortion when they get pregnant? How about the co-worker who is so lonely that he is considering suicide - how much would it cost to sit with him over a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie once in a while? or smile and say hello to him by name in the corridor?  How about the neighbour who needs his grass cut but can't afford to repair his lawnmower? How about you use your imagination to see how many ways you can do some good for someone else?  Who freaking CARES what your coffee cup has printed (or not printed) on it

I absolutely detest confrontation.  But I am so steamed about this small example of self-righteousness that I want to confront people who argue and judge over things that just don't matter. They don't!  It doesn't matter whether Joe Blow politician does or believes something you don't agree with.  It doesn't matter if people say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.  It doesn't!  

Stop trying to Christianize everything!  It doesn't matter whether the preacher wears a tie.  It doesn't matter whether people believe in the big bang theory.   News flash: there are a lot of good-hearted people who aren't Christians. And they (and others who aren't quite so nice) are watching us, watching how we act and react.  And they have concluded that we're a pretty pathetic bunch.  

And they're right. As a group, in Western society, we really are.  A lot of us see demons in dishrags, angels in the shape of birds, and we can't even enjoy a simple pleasure like a sunset without turning it into an opportunity to beat people over the head with creationism. Here's another news flash: that doesn't "win souls." That makes people want to avoid us - and not because we're being persecuted for righteousness' sake.  It's because we're weird. And not in a good way, but in a space-cadet, whacked-out way!!

The truth is, we don't live in a Christian society.  We live in a secular society. So did the early Christians.  You didn't see them carrying placards and staging demonstrations against the blood sport at the Coliseum.  You didn't see them writing their emperor to have the taxes lifted.  You didn't see them going around judging people either.  What you saw was them loving people, being good to people.  You saw them enjoying life, being happy, and being generous.  

Christians are real people in a real relationship with a real Person.  And that Person is really into being good to people (ALL people), loving them, bringing them joy, no matter where on the journey they are.  He went to the limit and beyond to rescue the whole world... to show us His love. 

Put that in your coffee cup and drink it.  Live THAT out in real love and compassion, without trying to one-up someone else or prove a point.  I dare you.

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