My question to these two scenarios is how Jesus would deal with all of this? Would Jesus be “rallying the troops” to show up at Starbucks, guns in tote, and force these baristas to say “Merry Christmas” by writing those words on His cup thats holding His $7 upside down caramel macchiato? Would Jesus be staging walkouts and going on hunger strikes in order to “demand” justice for His race or His people? To be unashamedly cliche, “what would Jesus do?”
Let me say this - I despise that question. It assumes that we know the mind and heart of Jesus, and can therefore make completely correct and accurate judgments in lieu of our knowledge of His Word. In my humble opinion, it creeps uncomfortably close to setting us up on God’s throne to accurately prophesy or forecast God’s decisions in areas that we didn’t see Jesus deal with in 1st-Century Israel.
I would rather re-word that question to say this - “What DID Jesus do?” That’s a question that can be answered with solid footing. We know what Jesus did because we can read about it in His Word that, for over 2,000 years, has been on the Best-Seller list and has yet to be proven incorrect in any area to which it speaks. I’m much more comfortable with that than with projecting my own thoughts into the mind of Christ.
With that settled, we can see both what Jesus DID do, and a little of what Jesus DIDN’T do. He did NOT purposefully stir up conflict just to prove His point. When He was sought out to be proven wrong, He was OUTSTANDING at turning the tables on His would-be nay-sayers, but He didn’t intentionally stir up strife and conflict. What would Jesus do with this anti-Starbucks movement? I don’t know. But I DO KNOW that He did sit down and have conversations with those who were seeking out the Truth. He lovingly explained some intricacies of the faith and didn’t condemn those for sinning, but sent them on their way with an encouragement to sin no more. He rewarded those willing to listen to the Truth and submit to it… and He did so in a way that was inviting and conversational, not in a way that was hell-bent on creating a raucous in the streets (or online) to prove His point.
In the case of Mizzou, I don’t see Him going on hunger-strikes (but I don’t see Him mocking those who were passionate for a just cause, either). I do see that He loved the unlovely, and sought out opportunities to engage people in conversation with the hopes that eyes and hearts would be opened to the Truth they were being presented with.
So, as Christians, how do we respond to these types of things? We all know that there are those who are so “anti-Christian” that they’re just chomping at the bit to judge our faith by Mr. Feuerstein’s actions against some poor barista at Starbucks who had no control over the corporate decision to use plain red cups this Christmas season. How did Jesus respond to false accusations against Him? Silently. He answered the questions with truth, but didn’t seek to set everyone straight and prove His point by degrading others. There are times when words aren’t going to prove the point, but how we live our lives and love Jesus and love others will speak volumes.
So, go enjoy a Grande Mocha at Starbucks in hopes you can have a meaningful conversation about Christ, the church, and the faith in the process...