Scandal In The Church of Starbucks

I think it’s safe to say I’m not a coffee snob, in fact I hardly drink coffee (I’m a one cup in the morning type of guy).  But I have been inside the walls of St. Arbucks(as a friend of mine likes to put it).  It seems like a nice enough place to hang out.  There are tables, chairs, couches, coffee and snacks.  People are relaxed and engaged in either conversation, or their electronic device with their ear plugs in – removed from the rest of the world.  It’s a nice place to visit – but until this past week I had no idea that the “Christian world” considered Starbucks to be a church!

Apparently, Starbucks did a bait and switch.  They were supposed to be a church that boldly proclaimed the birth of Jesus and just happened to serve coffee on the side.  Now it appears they were just a high priced coffee shop after all.  No church, no steeple, no choir, no preacher, and now no sign, message or quote from Jesus on the cup.

This newest stunt by Starbucks should take us by surprise if up until this year their cups had featured the nativity or the slogan, “Jesus is the reason for the season”.  But that’s not what happened.  This may shock you – if you have a heart condition –
I would advise you sit down before I make this next statement: Starbucks has never had a nativity, a slogan, a quote, or a reference to Jesus on any of their holiday cups.  They have however featured such biblical symbols as snowmen caroling, ornaments, pine trees, reindeer, and a boy sledding with his dog.  May I add that nothing makes me think more of the Biblical account of Christmas like a snowman caroling!  In 2009, Starbucks went as far to adorn their cups with the most dreaded “Christian” word “holiday.”Starbucks - 2014

Now if it seems to you that I’m being a tad sarcastic – you get an “A+”.  Now you may be wondering exactly where am I going with this article – you don’t want to get 450 words into an article and it not have a point!  So here’s my point:

The same people getting upset about Starbucks “commercializing” Christmas are the same people who will line up outside Wal-mart and Best Buy at 2:00 a.m. on Black Friday to get the best deals of the season.  Then they will send out Christmas cards with the slogan, “Keep Christ In Christmas.”  These same people will criticize Starbucks for not publicly proclaiming Jesus while they themselves have rarely if ever talked to someone about Jesus.

The hypocrisy of those who call themselves “believers” trivializes the true message of Jesus in our culture. Jesus didn’t come to this earth as a baby to be featured on a coffee cup – he came to save us from our helplessness and hopelessness. If we want to get worked up over something – let’s get worked up over sharing Jesus with others this Christmas season by building relationships and through our acts of generosity – not by our boycotts and protests.

By the way, first century Christians didn’t have the benefit of a Starbucks that put Jesus on their holiday cup either – but they managed to spread the message of Jesus around the world.  I think we’ll do just fine – if St. Arbucks never features another Christmas cup!