Sept 16 Devo

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  • Sept 16 Devo

    I thought I'd post this as there's been discussion about this amongst the brethren. You may not agree, and that's fine. I highly respect this man and his insight.


    QUESTION

    Good Afternoon Mr. Russell

    My question surrounds the current Nike® Ad Campaign. It is not so much about my feelings regarding Colin Kaepernick but around the bigger issue of Christians boycotting businesses. I have been in lots of conversations and have seen lots of Facebook posts regarding this issue. It feels overwhelming for me to have to take the time to scrutinize every business that I purchase items from. Attempting to determine what they stand for or against, the management and employee practices, as well as the methods used to make their products (sweatshops, etc.) seems nearly impossible. Do you have any suggestions how Christians can honor or dishonor God through our buying habits?

    MY ANSWER

    I seldom encourage Christians to boycott a particular business simply because we disagree with the owner’s policies. I have even less enthusiasm about participating in a boycott of Nike® products for the following reasons:

    – The Nike® decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of their business is not a clear violation of a Biblical principle. The disagreement people have with Nike® is based on patriotic feelings, not on a Biblical command. The majority of white people regard anyone who doesn’t stand at attention during the national anthem as disrespecting our nation and denigrating our heroes. The majority of African Americans (including many Christians who are black) see the protests as a tangible way to express dissatisfaction with racist attitudes that still exist in America and that need to improve. My strong personal preference is that everyone stands at attention, but I can’t cite a clear Biblical principle that is being violated. *(See “Five Reasons Why I Choose to Stand at Attention During the National Anthem,” Sept 4, 2016)

    – Even when there is a Biblical command that’s breached, organized boycotts don’t work very well. Remember when national Christian leaders encouraged believers to boycott Disney World because Disney hosted a Gay Pride week? The subsequent boycott was a blip on the screen. That kind of action may have been more effective a few decades ago when there was a higher percentage of Christians in the country. We are now very much in the minority. The recent book, The Great Evangelical Recession by John Dickerson suggests only about 9% of Americans are evangelical Christians.

    – Organized boycotts give followers of Christ a negative image. The mainstream media seems to delight in portraying believers as hateful and judgmental, and boycotts provide them with additional, fresh ammunition. We can’t avoid ridicule from the world, but it’s counter-productive to be deliberately offensive.

    – Boycotts often punish fellow believers. Hundreds of Disney employees are Christians. My grandchildren love going to Disney World. There is a funny, old tale where a man laments having a friend who hits him on the chest every time his friend sees him. “It hurts, and I’m tired of it. Next time I see him I’m going to tape a stick of dynamite to my chest and blow his hand off!” Anytime we try to get even we hurt ourselves. I think it’s best to leave the judgment and punishment up to God.

    – Boycotts divide Christians. Those who don’t join the boycott are criticized as disloyal by those who do. Frequently, harsh words are exchanged and Christian friends are alienated from one another. The Scripture encourages us to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

    – As much as possible we need to stay focused on the positive message of the gospel. Ours is a message of good news; Christ died to forgive our sins. He conquered the grave to prove that through His power we can do it also. That’s an urgent message of salvation and hope that everyone needs. We’d be wise to stay on the offensive.

    The Apostle Paul was asked by the Corinthians if it was permissible for them to buy meat that was sold at a reduced price in the marketplace because it came from animals that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul concluded eating meat sacrificed to idols was a matter of opinion. He advised his readers to be true to their own conscience and not make their choice of meat a test of fellowship.

    I feel the same way about boycotting companies that endorse anti-Christ policies. There are a few businesses that I personally choose not to frequent because I strongly disagree with the owners’ position on moral issues. But my wife continues to stop at Starbucks, and we still speak to one another and go to church together!

    “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:17-18).

    And one final note regarding the Nike slogan, “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything;” if you’re going to believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything, be sure to believe in that which is true. Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) There are many noble things in which to believe, but none more important than believing in the one true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.








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    Bob Russell Ministries Blog
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    bringin' em back ~ to the Dodge Mahal !!....

    Where old Magnums can find a home.. :angel:

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