From my perusal of social media, I see that many American Christians have decided to wage war on a big, bad company that is trying to take Christ out of Christmas.
Now, this company (I think we all the know the name, but it rhymes with Schmarbux) rakes in a gajillion dollars of Christians’ money the rest of the year, because to many Christians, coffee is their lord and savior. Need patience in the morning? Coffee. Need strength for the day? Coffee! Need a dose of happiness? Coffee!!
(I can self-righteously look down on these coffee drinkers because I prefer to get my liquid medication in the form of sweet, sweet high-fructose corn syrup mixed with caffeine in a red pop can. — she said, attempting to infuse humor into her ranty post)
Starbucks — there, I said it — dared to change their coffee cup design and instead of putting Christmas ornaments on the red cups they made them plain red. Plain red! Can you imagine!? What’s next? Not offering pumpkin spice lattes every fall?
Starbucks’s War on Christmas(TM) is just too much for some Christians. We have to have Christ in Christmas! How will unbelievers know that we love Jesus if the landfills are littered with these plain red Styrofoam cups instead of snowflake ones? Dumpster divers need Jesus too!
In many minds of Christians in America, these plain red cups are “Vessels of Dishonor.”
Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (II Timothy 2:20-21 ESV)
Some think that if we lose our freedoms in America, we will lose our position of honor. I am grateful for our freedoms, but we have the ability to vote. We can call the police if we’re the victims of a crime. We can still own businesses and go to school as Christians. It’s Thanksgiving time and we have SO MUCH to be thankful for here in America. For example:
In many countries around the world, to be a Christians means you have no legal recourse if you are the victim of a crime because of your faith. Police will either be involved in harming you or they will turn a blind eye. In some cultures, if you become a Christian and your family is another religion, they will have nothing to do you with. They will literally pretend you do not exist. Or will actively try to kill you. Just for saying, “I believe in Jesus” and being baptized.
In other countries and societies, evangelizing a neighbor will have you put in prison or beaten. For being a Christian in many places, women are raped, men killed, and children orphaned. If we put half the energy into helping those Christians in need as we do whining about the color of paper mug, think of what we could accomplish!
Many people don’t want to know too much about the beatings of Christians because it’s hard to look at. It’s easier to focus myopically on our coffee cups than it is on the acid-scarred visages and machete-disfigured bodies of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I know. I’ve been there.
Jesus said, “I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”
What makes a vessel of honor? Of dishonor? Not what’s on the front, that’s for sure. Jesus would probably be okay with us giving water to a homeless man with a cup emblazoned with logo of the local Satanist chapter. It’s what’s on the inside that matters.
Reading on in that chapter of Timothy come the convicting words:
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. [v. 23 emphasis mine] And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Here’s a thought. For every cup of coffee you would buy this Christmas season, put that money in a special jar and in January, give that money to an organization that is helping those believers. Or, if you do decide to get that mocha latte whatever at Starbucks, let the red cup remind you of the blood these believers are shedding for their faith in Christ.
They are the vessels of honor. The world is truly not worthy of them.