3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Stumbling Stones or Stepping Stones?
Some time ago a friend sent me a clip from the Way of Life web page.
STARBUCKS PRINTING ANTI-BIBLE SLOGANS ON CUPS
As part of its "The Way I See It" campaign to collect different viewpoints, the Starbucks coffee chain is printing anti-Bible slogans on coffee cups. A quote written by Bill Schell, a Starbucks customer in London, Ontario, says: "Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure." Another quote, written by Joel Stein, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, says: "Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can't wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They're basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell." Starbucks argues that the slogans are printed on the cups merely to "spur discussion," but they are giving people a large forum for spouting anti-Bible views and the company is accountable for what is printed on their cups. Tricia Moriarty, Starbucks communications manager, said: "We are committed to this program. ... Certainly, we have no plans to remove any of them" ("Starbucks Markets More 'Anti-God' Coffee Cups, WorldNetDaily, May 9, 2007). Starbucks is based in Seattle, Washington, a lovely city that is a bastion of Humanistic, New Age philosophy. www.wayoflife.org
This is probably outdated by now, but the point holds true for other things besides Starbucks coffee shops. The point that I see is not that these places should so much be boycotted or rebuked by Christians, but (as long as they are places where Christians should be at all) that their foolishness should be turned back on them and used as openings for preaching the gospel.
Paul did not avoid the market places because meat offered to idols was sold there. The idol is nothing (1 Cor. 8:4). He also did not see souls saved in Caesar's household (Php. 4:22) by rebuking Caesar openly for killing and persecuting Christians, and allowing his government leaders to do so also.
The verse that comes to mind is:
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
What's the point of this "blurb" on Starbucks? The world has always acted like the world. They've been blaspheming God for centuries and will continue to do so. By the very fact that they attack the Bible and the Christian faith, they are admitting that it is the one religion to attack; that God is the true, all powerful God; that heaven and hell are real. The other religions/gods are socially acceptable to them because they are of their father the devil.
The good news is that they are inadvertently giving an open invitation for Christians to testify of Christ and witness in their shops by printing these cups. A simple question - "Do you agree with this?" - asked in a friendly tone of voice could lead to a real "door of utterance".
Did Mr. Cloud miss this? He doesn't clearly tell us his motive in repeating the above item (at least not in what I saw). Are we to boycott Starbucks or what...? It seems like it would be better to turn this into an opportunity to testify of the truth - not in a rude or overbearing way, but to invite discussion whereby we could lead someone to Christ.
The point is this: Instead of flying off the handle or being shocked or dismayed at such open displays of godlessness, we should be inspired to find ways to turn them around so that God is glorified and the gospel preached.
Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
We should seek God's wisdom and help to do this very thing if He so leads us.
Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Witnessing Through the Mail
If you receive one of the Reiman publications (Country, Country Extra, Taste of Home, etc.), or any other magazine that has a "Can you help me?" type section, why not check this section to see if there is someone you can help? If you see a request for instructions, a recipe, or something you can provide why not send the person a letter with the desired information and also enclose a Gospel of John and/or give the gospel in the letter? If they are seeking a pen-pal you could start up a correspondence with the objective of giving them the gospel. It is not advisable for ladies to write to a men, but you may be able to send information to a man in your husband's or dad's name, with his permission, of course.
If someone is looking for an old book you could send them this address: Bicentennial Bookstore; 820 S. Westnedge; Kalamazoo, MI 49008. Ph. (616)345-5987. Owner: Vaughn Baber. This bookstore sells old and antique books. (I have used this address to send to a lady, along with a witness, and she was able to get at least one book she was looking for from them. She was already a believer.) Amazon's used book section would be another good source to suggest, or perhaps some other online book store you may be aware of.