SEEING RED

Regrettably, once again some Christians' lack of perspective astounds me.

Many Christians are evidently "outraged" that this year's Starbucks holiday cup comes minus snowflakes. No wonder we're ridiculed! Starbucks has never suggested that their values are biblically based. There is no question that the company has done several commendable things to address suffering and injustice. Although their good deeds are based on their humanistic ideology, we as Christians should be thankful for anyone who addresses human suffering with compassion. This company has made no secret of their secularism. In the past some in their leadership have even suggested Christians might be more comfortable at other establishments. At the same time they have not, to my knowledge, ever been openly hostile against Christians.

So let me talk to my fellow Christian believers. The world is reeling on the brink of unspeakable events. Vast numbers of innocent people have been left homeless by Middle East madness and religious nuts. Muslims and Christians alike have been exiled in a refugee nightmare on a colossal scale. Elsewhere, India is becoming polarized by influential voices who would love to see historically tolerant India disintegrate into "Hindustan." East Africa deals with yet another huge crisis prompted by the chaos in Somalia. True persecution of Christians is spiking in many parts of the world.

And yet as these and other epic events unfold, many myopic American Christians have chosen to focuse their "concern" on what is or is not on a coffee cup! This is misdirected outrage that defies logic. Such pettiness falls somewhere between ridiculous and reprehensible.

Missiologist Ed Stetzer pegs it, observing that Christians often love outrage more than people. Please note (and heed) his important advice: "This is the wrong fight and being done in the wrong way. And it's just making Christians look silly, like so many of these fake controversies do. We have a better story to tell than one of faux outrage. So let's tell it. It's not the job of your barista to share the gospel. It's your job to share the gospel. Don't get mad about stuff that doesn't matter. It wastes time and energy and hardens people to what you have to say about the stuff that does matter."