Ah yes, it’s the notorious red Starbucks cup. You are probably groaning and tempted not to read this right now. You’re probably thinking this is yet another article on why we should boycott Starbucks for their “war on Christmas” or you may think this is about the “war on Christmas paranoia”. Either way, you’re probably sick of hearing about it. But don’t worry, this blog post is not about the plain red “holiday” cup. It’s about the deeper problems the red cup uproar represents.
If you have a Facebook or pay attention to current events and trends, you’re probably very familiar with this cup, but in case you aren’t allow me to enlighten you. Starbucks recently announced that they are using plain red cups this year as more open minded approach to the Christmas season. This originally enraged many Christians, who feel they are trying to take the Christ out of Christmas. But then, after the initial wave of social media ranting, there came another tirade of annoyed Christians, but they’re anger was directed toward a surprising source. Other Christians. These Christians claimed that ranting about the red cup was just paranoia, and Christians just wanted to rave about something. Ironically, I saw a lot more of these post than the original holiday anger.
Honestly, I don’t have an opinion concerning the Starbucks cup. I don’t drink Starbucks for other reasons, so it doesn’t matter to me. I can see both sides of the argument. But after seeing several of these Facebook posts written by Christians about other Christians turn a little nasty and snarky, I realized that the infamous red cup symbolized a deeper problem. Christians are using social media to attack other Christians in a way they would never do face to face.
Now before I continue, I would just like to point out that I’m not referring to this one instance, only using it as an example. This is not the first time I have seen Christians go at other Christians on Facebook, but it is the first time I’ve seen it to this extreme, with well-known Christian leaders and celebrities chiming in as well.
This brings me to the point of this post: is social media hurting the Church?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest. I spend way more time than I probably should on these websites each day. Facebook is great for snooping on other people’s usually more interesting lives and finding out about fun events. YouTube is great for watching some of my favorite blogs and listening to music. And let’s not even get started on my Pinterest addiction. But the more time I spend on social media, Facebook specifically, the more I notice a disturbing trend. Christians using Facebook to vent their frustrations with other Christians, causing division in the Church.
I’d like to clarify that by the Church, I mean believers all over the world who love and serve God. I’m not referring to a specific church group. Believers are suppose to be encouraging and loving to one another.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26 says, “So that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
It’s as if Christians forget that the Bible still applies on the internet as much as it does in person. More so even, because not only are you disregarding someone’s opinion tactlessly, but you are doing it publicly. Also, it’s much harder to judge someone’s tone over the internet than it is in person. And in the end what does it really solve? Reality is your not going to change anyone’s opinion by posting five different articles on why or why not Starbucks is declaring war on Christmas. So before you post that article on why Christians are wasting their time ranting about the red cup, or how they must not care about babies being aborted or homeless people because their concerned about a stupid cup, or called them paranoid in a condescending way, remember that they are all your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray about what your about to say, and ask yourself, “Is this somewhat snippy comment really necessary? In the end, what’s it going to prove?”
The really ironic thing is I’ve seen more Christians rant about how other Christians are wasting their time ranting about the red cup, than Christians actually ranting about the red cup. Is it really that big of deal that’s worth causing conflict?
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful” ~Colossionas 3:15