The Cup Heard ‘Round The World

 Hello, my name is Jacob, and I am a fan of the new Starbucks Red cup.

A select few of the Christian community has been in uproar over the rebranding and redesign of the Starbucks holiday cup. Claiming that Starbucks is trying to commercialize Christmas by removing any hint to the holiday from the cup, the protestors have become enraged by the company’s decision to change.

I don’t see a big deal with the change. While “Christmas” may no longer reside on the cup, Christmas is still plainly visible throughout the entire store. There’s a Christmas coffee blend. The iconic red and green of the season are plastered proudly at every location. Most employee are not militant about the holiday whatsoever.

In fact, I think the change is a good thing overall. Think about it from a design standpoint. Our society is moving towards a more minimalistic representation of companies, trimming away the fat and excess and getting to the real root of what they are. This redesign is genius for Starbucks, highlighting their brand while still incorporating a uniqueness for the Christmas season through the red coloration of the cup. Not only that, but my favorite color is red, and I love the sleek, sophisticated, and streamlined look of the cup.

Everyone and their mother has said something about people like Joshua Feuerstein’s unnecessary rant about Starbucks, bringing their points back to the idea of actually doing something beneficial like living out Jesus’ words of caring for the needy, helpless, and marginalized instead of boycotting Starbucks, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel by restating their well-thought-out and well-worded petitions. The only thing I will say is they have the right idea, and they’ve hit the nail on the head.

I will add slightly to it though; the debate of church in the culture versus culture in the church has been a longstanding, ever-evolving fight that has spanned decades, trying to tackle the problem of finding the line between secular and sacred.

Concerning the church being in the culture, it’s great that we are trying to do something about the supposed defamation of one of our days of celebration. But, might I remind you that, as Christians, we mustn’t seek to carelessly impose our beliefs and values on those who may not necessarily agree with them. We are to engage in careful, intentional dialogue with them in order to not only show them our side, but see theirs as well. It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.

To that effect, Starbucks, the largest mainstream coffee company in America, not to mention the world, has already stated its position on religion, being against it as a whole, and has laid its cards on the table concerning beliefs. This doesn’t mean we are to boycott or talk negatively against them, but it means we must love them, their partners, and their patrons with the love of Jesus, even if it results in them feeling like there’s someone who cares (which is nothing to bat an eye at).

The idea of transformation is not an instantaneous event. It’s a process, one that takes time, energy, and effort. You truly cannot expect for culture to change overnight because that is a ridiculous and nonsensical notion.

Culture will only change when they see that the option being presented to them is better than the option they’re currently choosing. Christianity isn’t supposed to be sugar-coated, watered down, or distorted to be health and wealth and prosperity, like false teachers such as Joel Osteen, Joseph Prince, and Creflo Dollar would manufacture. Christianity is supposed to be a message of those who were once dead being brought to life, not by way of their own doing but of God’s doing, creating hope where there was none and instilling comfort where there was once discomfort.

By no means are we to ever say that Christianity is easy, simple, or casual. It is a hard thing to do, abandoning all that once was for that which we can’t necessarily see at the moment. It is of a complex nature, being filled with sometimes hard to swallow convictions and proclamations. It is a full life devotion, calling us to give everything we have for the sake of following Christ.

None of this could ever be accomplished by simply boycotting a company for the fact that our agenda and beliefs don’t match up to theirs. In that situation, no one wins.

If the red cup offends you, then ask for the signature white one. They still have plenty in stock. But don’t be a self-righteous, belief-imposing, loud-mouthed jerk who boycotts a secular company for trying to reinvent their brand and simplify their product imaging.

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