If you’ve logged on to Facebook, checked your Twitter feed, or read the news in the last week you’ve probably heard the latest decisions Christians are supposed to be outraged over: Starbucks’ new red cups. Yes, their cups. But they shouldn’t be, according to one popular Christian.
See, every year Starbucks changes their cups before Christmas to mark the season. But this year, instead of having any sort of festive design, the coffee company went with plain ol’ red. It was a move meant to be more inclusive.
“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs,” Jeff Fields, the company’s vice president of design and content, said in a press release. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
“We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it,” he added. “It’s a more open way to usher in the holiday.”
Cue the outrage.
Those who go to Starbucks are “being told/reminded that this time of the year is no longer about Christmas,” wrote Raheen Kassam. “It’s about the colour red, or something. It’s a ‘holiday season.’ Don’t say Merry Christmas. It’s offensive.”
“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups?” That’s why they’re just plain red,” ranted someone else.
Except not everyone agrees.
Enter Candace Cameron Bure, also known as DJ Tanner from “Full House.” She’s the sister of Christian movie icon Kirk Cameron, a host of “The View,” and a staple on the Hallmark Channel for, fittingly, Christmas movies. She’s a Christian, too.
She took to Facebook on Monday to tell Christians to stop being so upset about the cups:
Starbucks War on Christmas?
It’s a red cup, folks.
[When] Starbucks puts a baby Jesus or nativity scene on the cup while saying Merry Christmas, then pulls it because they say it’s offensive, let’s talk. I don’t remember Starbucks ever being a Christian company, do you?
A Santa, a snowflake, some holly, a polar bear, some jingle bells or plain red cup don’t define Christmas for me as a Christian. My relationship with Jesus does.
So, I will joyfully sip on my Starbucks coffee, in a plain red cup, and instead of complaining about the lack of decorations, I will lovingly share the good news of Jesus Christ with friends and co-workers or anyone who’s willing to engage in conversation.
Merry Christmas to all!
As AOL pointed out, “Looking at past cups, it’s not as if they featured openly religious symbols before. A Christmas tree seems to be the most explicit Starbucks got.” And guess what: Customers can still purchase a Starbucks “Merry Christmas” gift card and buy Christmas Blend coffee.
There’s also this from Jared Wilson:
Actually, if you think about it, a red cup is a lot more Jesusy than snowmen and reindeer.
— Jared C. Wilson (@jaredcwilson) November 9, 2015
So maybe Christians should stop expecting everything to look Christian and getting outraged when it’s not. Instead, they should be working to restore brokenness in a broken world, building relationships with their hurting neighbors, and changing people’s perceptions of what it means to be a Christian.
“It’s not Starbucks’ job to share the love of Jesus. It’s your job.”
The subtitle to Ed Stetzer’s post on the topic is blunt: “It’s not Starbucks’ job to share the love of Jesus. It’s your job.”
As Lyons said when talking about a new generation of Christians:
Instead of discovering something new, they’ve actually recovered a key understanding of the Gospel that has largely gone missing in many parts of Christian teaching and doctrine in the last century—the idea of “restoration.” They believe that part of their responsibility in following Jesus is to lead lives that are prioritized around restoring broken people, systems, schools, neighborhoods, marriages and a variety of other things to reflect God’s original intention for his creation. They emphasize seeing the image of God in every person they encounter, even if that person wouldn’t acknowledge it. They don’t only care about social good, but see that as part of a holistic faith that naturally opens the door to much deeper conversations with their friends about the meaning of life, who we are as human beings and what God’s best is for his creations.
A boycott of a red cup isn’t going to do that.
Got you thinking? Now read, “Stop being so offended.”