Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Red Cup of Starbucks and Why as a Christian I'm Okay With It

Spoken words are just as powerful as printed ones.
Sometimes even more so.
The American Christian world, it seems, is losing its marbles over the redesigned Starbucks cups. Just in time for the holiday season, the company has intentionally decided to eliminated the words Merry Christmas from its new design.

There are articles splashed across the interwebs of how this redesign is emblematic of the Christian culture cleansing of the west.

There's been talk of boycotts.

Of protests.

Of a revolt!

You know what I think about this red cup redesign? Good.

Now, before you draft that hate letter to me, let me publicly declare that I am a Christian and I believe God sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. I also believe that maybe this red cup shake-up is getting under our skin as Christians because there's a truth there we don't really want to admit to ourselves.

Because maybe we need the reminder to say it intentionally out loud more often, instead of relying on some printed words on the side of a cup to be our mouthpiece.

Because maybe rushing in and out at the counter for our Gingerbread Latte and tossing out a hurried Merry Christmas over our shoulders as we side step quickly to avoid running into the next customer is not enough anymore.

Because maybe, just maybe, God wants us to slow down and really think about what those words really mean to us as Christians and why it's important we say them.

And maybe it's time that we take that responsibility on personally - and not expect a big business to do it for us.

One of the most interesting internet challenges meant to counter attack the redesigned cup asks people to "prank" Starbucks by giving your name as "Merry Christmas" so they have to write it on the cup. The challenge makes you have to look at the barista and say the words Merry Christmas out loud.

Look, it's not the cup's responsibility to declare your faith and it's not up to a franchise to speak on your behalf. If you truly believe in your heart of hearts that those words need to be said, then you take responsibility and say them. Now, if Starbucks passes some sort of coffee house rule that forbids us from personally saying the words Merry Christmas, well, that there is a different situation that requires a totally different blog post.

Throughout this holiday season you'll probably see me quite a few times with a bright red Starbucks cup in my hand - and you'll probably see me many more times without one. Doesn't matter. I'll still smile, look you in the eyes and wish you a very Merry Christmas. And I might even invite you to my church.

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