There is a real war on Christmas. But it has nothing to do with Starbucks.
If you’re one of the Christians “outraged” at Starbucks’ new minimal holiday cups, can I be honest with you about something? You’ve been deceived. Yep. I’ve said it. And I will say it again. You have been deceived. More on that in a minute. But what have you been deceived with? Simply this: that a company that takes snowmen and ornaments off of their cups is throwing Jesus under the bus.
Let’s remember. We are the church, not Starbucks. So don’t expect a mainstream, non-Christian company to hold our beliefs. And besides, it’s not like they had the baby Jesus on their cups. I mean, they had snowmen, trees, ornaments, etc. These symbols might mean a lot to us, but they are not Christian symbols.
The over-hyped media about the war on Christmas is really, I think, a war on Christian intelligence. The real war on Christmas, which I’ll share in just a minute, is much darker than any coffee Starbucks serves up.
If you’ve noticed, this hype comes around every year around Christmas. Something happens, and people get upset because companies do something where they say Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas, or a local Nativity Scene gets challenged and becomes all the rage in the news.
Now listen, do I like to see a Nativity Scene? Sure. Do I prefer to hear Merry Christmas? Yep, and a Happy New Year Too. But let’s please not get sucked into the lie that that is what Christmas is all about. That those are the battles that we need to be expending our energy over and fighting over.
Here’s why I say this.
There are Christians in prison in Iran right now. People Like Pastor Saeed Abedini who have given their life for the gospel and endured extreme persecution—with no end in sight.
There are Christians in Afghanistan who worship together—risking their lives in the midst of religious extremists.
There are teenagers in Sudan who are staking their claim for Jesus at the risk of torture, banishment and death.
This is the real war on Christmas. The one that we like to look away from because it’s horrible, dark, gruesome and evil. These are acts of war—focused on the actual person of Jesus and his followers.
If we could bend all of this energy away from cups and holiday greetings and open up our eyes to see the real battle—remember, the one where Satan seeks to devour us? Just think about the impact we could have on the mission of Christ? It would be astounding.
If we could bypass all of these silly arguments and get serious about Christmas—and what it really means for the world, we would never cry out about pithy slogans or decorations. We would, instead, cry out for the world to know Jesus and for our brothers and sisters in prison—and suffering from persecution—to find freedom and relief through the very power of God.
We have the Holy Spirit within us. The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and claimed victory over death and sin forever. This Holy Spirit does not suffer silly arguments and neither should we. This Holy Spirit is ready to be unleashed like wind all over the world when the Church prays holy prayers filled with expectancy, power and confidence in the strength of God and his listening ears.
Who cares what happens with cups and ornaments? Let’s care about what happens to people. Real people. Our real brothers and sisters who are experiencing the war on Christmas like you and I have never imagined.
Let’s take our collective strength and shoot up prayers and encouragement to the imprisoned, the persecuted and the faithful.
It’s so much easier to debate the color of cups—and call that a war—than it is to fix our gaze on real persecution and all the darkness surrounding it.
Let’s never forget about the real war on Christmas.
Jesus come quickly.
Note: This article was adapted from another article written by Brian Orme. Brian, thanks for the great reminders.