Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The proof...it's not in the coffee

Today i ran across an article on Facebook, that caught my attention.  The headline reading something to the effect of "FINALLY, WE HAVE PROOF THAT STARBUCKS IS SATAN!"

That's not what it said.  But that is what they were getting at. (I'll post a link to the real article later, so you can see for yourself.)

Now, i was certainly skeptical that Starbucks had been proven to be Satan, but attention-getting headlines, get attention, and this one got mine.  I followed the link to an article published in an online magazine aimed at Christian readers, written by an author whose column title is given to the idea that she is watching out for us and warning us of what's out there.

The writer of the article tells the story of a legitimately displeased Starbucks customer who had been sold two yummy coffee-based wonderments the tops of which were decorated in caramel, by an artsy barrista, one with a pentagram (it's the same star you've drawn since you were six, but it has a circle around it), and the other with the number "666," commonly recognized as symbols of witchcraft or satanism.

Now this nice lady who was served the offensively decorated treats, happened to be a public school teacher who adheres to the Catholic faith, and as you might imagine, she penned a reasoned and polite complaint to Starbucks headquarters, expressing her displeasure, in the most careful and kind words i can imagine for such a venue.

According to this author, Starbucks made a statement, indicating that the corporation does not support the behavior of the artistic coffee slinger in question, and that is where any semblance of reporting the facts ends.

The writer of this article goes on to suppose a series of hypothetical situations in which Starbucks would probably have been mean to Christians.  Hypothetical situations which are all nothing more than conjecture and products of the author's imagination.

Can i tell you something?  (Of course i can; this is my blog.)

This watchman's article (that was the link) hurts my feelings.  A lot.

To be more true, the fact a magazine that purports to represent Christian values and "spiritual perspective," published an article that concludes the absolute worst about an entire corporation, based on a truly stupid move, made by a misguided coffee slinger, and the public statement of a CEO, supporting what is considered by many to be simply moral values, (no matter how much we may disagree), hurts my feelings.

I don't know anything more about this author than the article i read today and the picture i saw next to it.  I don't know if she is generally less angry or generally more kind, so my comments are about this article only.

And...

I am personally not a big fan of Starbucks coffee.  Unless it's drenched in enormous amounts of sugared pancreas-melting yumminess that i am attempting diligently to avoid, i don't really appreciate the flavor as much i am told i should; i've never liked the weird symbol that represents their brand; and i DO disagree with the CEO's particular standard of moral values.

And...

In case there's any misunderstanding, i sincerely hope and encourage someone (in love, of course) to smack that fool-headed coffee slinger in the back of his fool-head and teach him a thing or two about how to act and what NOT to draw on other people's coffee.

But...

Demonization of a corporation (and by extension its leadership and associates), based on actions we imagine they might take if certain things happened a certain way, is ... well, it's kind of evil.  That sort of slandering doesn't come from a heart of love.  I'm sure of that.

Furthermore, articles like this give credence to what i wish were baseless stereotypes about Christians, stereotypes that rightfully turn non-Christians off to Christianity (they turn me off too), because when these stereotypes play out in real life, they do everything except show the love of Jesus to a broken world.

So here's what i came to say:  please, please, please, please, please, please, Christians, be so careful.  Be so thoughtful.  Be so discerning.  Measure everything from a heart of love.  Don't be caught up in political agendas that masquerade as the furtherance of the gospel.  The God whom we attempt to serve IS love.  What does that tell you?

And please, please, please, please, please, please, non-Christians, understand that Christ, Himself, is love, and He is not prone to being caught up in hype or unfair prejudice, a point at which those of us who seek to represent Him, shamefully, often fail.  We are so sorry.  Please forgive us.

Lastly, a reminder:

LOVE...is patient.

LOVE...is kind.

LOVE...is not jealous.

LOVE...does not brag.

LOVE...is not arrogant.

LOVE...does not act unbecomingly.

LOVE...does not seek its own.

LOVE...is not provoked.

LOVE...does not take into account a wrong suffered.

LOVE...does not rejoice in unrighteousness.

LOVE...rejoices with the truth.

LOVE...bears all things.

LOVE...believes all things.

LOVE...hopes all things.

LOVE...endures all things.

LOVE...never fails.

If i have not love, i am....a clanging cymbal.

If i have not love, i am...nothing.

If i have not love, every act of faith or sacrifice...profits me nothing.

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