Why I Go To Starbucks

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Well, the Christian internet world is all atwitter with Starbuck’s most recent public proclamation of their recent market shares and their opinion on them. Here are some quotes:

“We believe it’s defensible – but we’re not reaching that decision to in any way offend you or anyone else. And I would say candidly, since we made that decision there has not been any dilution whatsoever in our business…. In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing…. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.” ~Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz~

Now, the last part of the response was directed towards boycotters who profess Christianity and refuse to buy anything at Starbucks. If you don’t know, the CEO of Starbucks actively supports Gay Marriage and the homosexual movement. The majority of the Christian Communities response has been to scream “BOYCOTT” and do no business with them.

I believe this reaction, is not only wrong, but extremely unChristlike as well. Christians who boycott are lowering themselves to the worldly standards of money and agendas. With that being said, here are some reasons I believe boycotting as a Christian is flawed.

Boycotting is based on Ignorance, rather than being Informed.

Most, if not all people I know who boycott, fail to realize the scope of businesses they use in day to day actions. Business is everywhere in life. For instance. Let’s look at the past “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day”. Why did most people go there? Supposedly for the fact Truet Cathy supports the God instituted  definition of marriage, that being one man and one woman. I agree with that definition and applaud him for standing up for that.

However, what people fail to realize, is when they went to Chick-fil-A, some drove there in a FordChrysler,  GM, or Toyota. Some bought a Coca-Cola Product, as those drinks are the only ones Chick-Fil-A sells. Some paid with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express. Some used MicrosoftAndroid, or Apple cell phones to take pictures. Then, some went home and got on Google, then posted on Facebook, Twitter, and G+ about their experience.

What do all these companies have in common? They are all publicly in support of Gay Marriage. Additionally, I did some research  expanding outside of Gay marriage, including companies values on Abortion. I found that  all stores, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Apple, Microsoft, tons of shopping centers, car companies… every well known grocery store… All have financially supported values we as christians disagree with on a biblical level.

To boycott one store based on personal “Conviction” and ignore the others because it would be inconvenient for you is the height of hypocrisy and double standards. Skipping out on all Starbucks coffee, no biggie. But skipping out on buying a car, or  not going to a grocery store… a bit more of a biggie, isn’t it?

Christianity is not an Agenda.

A business can’t have morals. Why? Because a business isn’t a living thing. It is a government instated legal entity with a name. Christ doesn’t call us to withdraw financial support of something to prove a point. He calls us to engage the culture. I go to Starbucks, even though the owners actively support things I disagree with. Why? Because the people that work at Starbucks are a mission field. As are people at any other store we go to. 

Are there some people there that I disagree with in their lifestyle? You bet, and it is my opinion, based on scripture, we are to reach out and witness to everyone in every company, regardless of what the “owners” believe.  I would think it much more productive instead of boycotting , to go to those places, and be a light of christ to the people working in that company. They are the ones who have an eternal soul. Corporations don’t. I don’t see one example where Christ withdrew when he saw something that was wrong. He engaged what? The people.

Boycotting is a worldly idea people use to further an agenda. It isn’t based upon changing the heart or showing love, it is based upon hurting the other until they change their mind. That is not biblical nor Christlike. It is time we stop worrying about the worldly financial “Success” of a business, and start worrying about the eternal heart of the employees we come in contact with every day we go shopping.

So I’ll see you at Starbucks, Chick-Fil-a, or any other store for that matter. It is time we start engaging the people, and stop worrying about for what business they work.

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14 thoughts on “Why I Go To Starbucks

  1. I mostly agree with your thoughts except for one thing.

    You say, “Christ doesn’t call us to withdraw financial support of something to prove a point.” I would disagree. To add more emphasis lets turn this statement around. “Christ doesn’t call us to give financial support to something to prove a point”.

    Money is significant for us simply because we exchange it for what we value. What you do with your money shows what you value with your heart.

    In the natural world, We value life and taste, so we give money for food. We value education, and so we give money for books and tuition. We value entertainment, and so we give money for DVD’s & Music.

    In the spiritual world, We value the ministries of the church and the spread of the gospel, and so we give money to the church and other ministries.

    Jesus said in Luke 12:34, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

    John Piper says, “The movement of your money signifies the movement of your heart. Where your money goes, your heart is going. You exchange money for what you value, what you treasure.”

    Sorry to make a Mountain out of a Molehill but this is an important point to me.

  2. Note to Caleb:

    I don’t think you understood the point of the message. The message that is being conveyed is that it is hypocritical for you, as a Christian (or as a member of any special interest group for that matter), to stop shopping at Starbucks because you disagree with the companies stand on Homosexuality, but yet still give your business (directly or indirectly) to other companies who hold the same stance as Starbucks.

    Either what you said is TRUE or it isn’t. If it is true, and if you are going to stand by your position, you must by default make that your basis for ALL of your buying decisions, not just some of them. To make that part of your basis for only some of your decisions is hypocritical.

    If God has told you only to spend money with companies who support your values and your positions, life is going to get very difficult.

    Another thing that must be remembered is that to remove spending does NOT send a message at all. If Starbucks sales go down, there is no means of determine that the REASON they went down is because of the boycott.

    And last, seeing “Starbucks” on your bank statement doesn’t tell me or anyone else that you support the Homosexual agenda, it tells me you like over-roasted coffee.

  3. love love love this. I think we really have to pick our battles. I will not buy from a company that I know uses slave labor, however, I will very freely purchase from a company that supports gay marriage. Why? Because the promotion of gay marriage is not exploiting an individual, it is supporting and giving a pat on the back to a lifestyle I do not support, but it is not working to destroy traditional marriage. However, I won’t buy from Hershey, Apple, Hollister, Aeropostale, Forver 21, Urban Outfitters, and others, not because they support things such as abortion or gay marriage, but because of their use of slave labor. I feel like it’s a totally different “field.” This has definitely got me thinking more though…

  4. I DISAGREE with this on SO MANY levels. I do agree with the point that it’d be almost impossible for us to completely boycott business that support things we don’t agree with.

    HOWEVER… In a free country we are allowed to support whatever business we want. A purchase is a like a vote… If I (and other people) buy more organics at the grocery store they’ll carry more items that are organic. This is kinda like what Caleb was say, what you buy shows what you support.

    If I want to boycott a business I am free to do so. If you don’t want to boycott then don’t do so, but don’t start getting proud and telling people it’s wrong to boycott! And there in no way you can back that up with scripture.

  5. Excellent thoughts Austin! I really appreciate your perspective; I have always had this view on boycotts, but I’ve never read such a good summary. This really helps me to know WHY I don’t like boycotts.

  6. Though I’m on the other end of the political spectrum from you, I appreciate a well thought out position. I might add another reason not to boycott: it doesn’t work. Any company that has announced a position on a social issue knows its customer base well enough that they’re not worried about alienating them.

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