In last week’s article I explained my disagreement with boycotts in general and the boycotting of Target in particular. Of those within the Christian Community who shared their thoughts with me, all but one disagreed including my brother who is normally a staunch supporter of my views. It caused me to review what had been shared and to revisit the issue in this week’s article.
I was surprised that so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ thought I was wrong. I wasn’t surprised because they disagreed with me. Like everyone I have a fallen nature that I must guard against in what I think, say and do. I willingly confess, I am flawed and subject to mistakes. For someone to question my judgment does not upset me or surprise me.
But there were two things that did surprise me.
First, not a single believer who disagreed with me cited a biblical basis for their disagreement. No one said to me boycotts are biblical and here is where the Bible says so. I know the word “boycott” is not a biblical term. It entered the English language circa 1880 long after the Scriptures had been penned. What I mean by a “biblical basis” is there a theological principle in the Bible that would support the concept of a boycott. If there is one they kept it to themselves.
Second, I cited as support for my views the words of Christ who told us to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” and Paul who instructed us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Not a single person who disagreed with me said I misquoted Jesus or Paul, or misread, misinterpreted, or misapplied their words.
It is one thing to disagree with me and question my judgment; it is quite another thing to disregard the Word of God. Do my critics suggest Christ would agree with us boycotting those who persecute us instead of His command to pray for them? Do they think Paul would agree that boycotting is a good way of overcoming evil?
In an article last year I wrote my disagreement with Franklin Graham (it is the only time I can remember disagreeing with him) when he called for believers to boycott Wells Fargo because of an ad it produced showing a lesbian couple learning sign language in order to adopt a speech impaired child. He is now telling New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio he is wrong in calling for a boycott of Chick-fil-A. Seems like boycotting is a two edged sword.
I write about current events from an avowedly biblical perspective. So the issue for me boils down to one simple question; what does the Bible say about it? Jesus once questioned His followers, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” That’s the question I’m asking.
Shelley Snyder says
I have been a student, so to speak, of you for a long time. Because when you teach, my spirit gives me a “peace” about your teaching. Today, I heard that Obama gave an ultimatum to our public schools, allowing boys and girls to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers at their schools or else…. My Biblical take on that is righteous anger. Jesus was angry that there were people selling sacrificial animals in the temple. He turned their tables over and ran them out of there! I’m SO glad my kids are no longer in the school system and much older to know that there are bad people, even today, who wish to exploit and take advantage of every situation. As to the boycott, I won’t spend one dime in Target because they have put profit over decency.
Gary B. King says
Jesus said, “Do not judge according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” John 7:24.
Jesus tells us not to make decisions, or judgments, based on superficial appearances, but to make our judgments based on a more thoughtful consideration of what is right or wrong. I will try to apply that principle here.
The transgender issue, not transgender people, is one of many evils that threaten the moral fabric of our nation. Like you, I am angered by the advance of moral evil in our nation. Anger, when it motivates us to take the necessary actions to correct an evil or injustice can be a great good, but, when the emotion of anger clouds our vision and causes us to do what is not guided by God and His Word; it can compound the evil. This is because “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God,” James 1:20.
Using the actions of Christ when He over turned the tables of the money changers and the sellers of doves in the temple, as an example of righteous indignation to do as we please or what we think is right when we are angry, is only permissible if one is as righteous as Jesus.
Jesus did not call for a boycott of the temple. He turned over their tables and ran them all out. If you are as righteously angry as He was then do as he did, find a Target store and turn over its shelves and run all the employees out; follow His example. I am not saying you should, because I do not think your anger or judgment is as righteous as His. But if it is, you should follow His example.
The public school system is a different set of circumstances. Unless one is home schooled, or attends a private school, school-aged children are required by law to attend public school. President Obama’s mandate that public schools make provisions to allow transgender children to use the restrooms, locker rooms and showers of their choice is an all out assault on common decency and individual privacy forced on children in the public school who are forced to attend (no one is forced to shop at Target or use its restrooms).
While both situations are driven by transgender issues, and neither is good, they are not the same problem and will require different solutions, but prayer is needed in both.
We live in a culture that is desperately wicked and has ignored the Word of God to do as they please and we are witnessing the judgment of a nation that has turned its back on God and it may get much worse before it gets better, if it gets better. All I am saying is God has not promised revival if we boycott; He has promised revival when we pray and do as He says (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Shelley Snyder says
I guess I didn’t think beyond my own feelings on these issues. I took this from my flawed conscience’s point of view. I know that to avoid all evil I would have to leave this world, and our judgement is for our brothers, but how do we just stand there and observe this as it unfolds and do nothing? And I do believe the two are connected because it opens the door for exploitation on both levels. Does it seem that our voice of truth is silent? I admit I haven’t loved them or prayed for them (so I have done nothing also). Maybe it’s our own witness that has lost it’s effectiveness. Or the last days are unfolding rather quickly. Either way, this has caused me to dig deeper in the Word for correct answers. Thank you for the insightful teaching.
Gary B. King says
We certainly live in difficult times and if Christians ever needed the wisdom of God it is now. My first thoughts are believers are left with little choice if they hope to shield their children from this kind of insanity. We need to pray for our enemies to forsake this wickedness, and for wisdom to know how to address this evil.