What’s Next On The Boycott List?
I had lunch with a friend yesterday and he mentioned to me that one of the things that he appreciates so much about NewSpring is that we do not get political—we do not get involved in boycotting certain places of business—BUT rather we stick to teaching Scripture, trying to show people how to fall in love with Jesus. THAT is how a community is changed—people getting to know Jesus.
I have seen the boycott trap before—and several years ago I was caught up in it. However, after reading Scripture I discovered that Jesus never organized a government protest or asked people to put their names on a piece of paper that said they were against the illegal Roman occupation.
And then there was the Apostle Paul—talk about an outspoken dude—yet he never boycotted or protested things—He taught Jesus & attempted his best to model for people what it looked like to be in love with Him.
I remember several years ago when video poker was a huge issue here in South Carolina. Several denominations, one in particular, took a MAJOR stand against the video poker industry. They had signs that said “vote no” in regards to whether or not video poker was going to be allowed. They had buttons that people wore around town. They even sent me a tape from one of their denominational leaders and asked me to duplicate it & give it to the people at NewSpring…it explained the “evils” of video poker. AND to top it all off—they asked churches to take a Sunday to preach against video poker!
It was the CLASSIC example of the church taking a stand against something—but never proclaiming what they stand for!
Let me be very clear—personally, I was not in favor of video poker. I once had a family member who was addicted to poker machines. I have seen up close and personal what gambling can do to a family. I once witnessed a dude putting over $1,000 in a machine over the period of two days.
BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND—these people don’t have a gambling problem, they have a Jesus problem.
Video poker was taken away—and those same people are still gambling today, they are just in the lottery lines and not standing at the poker machines.
I told a friend who was trying to “recruit” me to get NewSpring involved in what I deemed to be a meaningless debate, “The issue is this community needing Jesus, so if you are REALLY concerned with someone playing video poker then go down to a convenient store tonight with a role of quarters & give them to someone playing poker—AND buy them a coke—now you have their attention. Talk to them—get to know them—then after they lose their money offer to buy them something to eat—and while you are eating tell that person about Jesus.”
I guess I am different—I just believe that when the church gets involved in boycotting and protesting things it drives more people away. Jesus has called us to be concerned with people, not issues—not boycotts.
I know people that will not go into certain restaurants because they serve alcohol, yet the grocery store they shop in sells it. That is a hypocrite in my opinion.
The fact is that people on this planet who die without a relationship with Jesus Christ are going to spend eternity in a place called hell—that BOTHERS me—it keeps me up at night—it breaks my heart…and SERMONS on video poker and Disney World are NOT going to bring them into the kingdom!
The church needs more Jesus—more talking about His power—His love—His grace—His desires. That is how people will be changed—and THEN the Holy Spirit can lead and guide them instead of power hungry church leaders who feel the need to legislate morality for people.
That might not be your opinion—but it’s mine. NewSpring will not become involved in things that do not point people back to Jesus—we don’t have time. The people that many churches are boycotting and protesting—we actually love them and want them to join us on Sunday’s…for them to receive Christ—and then the necessary changes will come—not before!
There—I feel better! :-)