Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Red Cups & the Holidays

ImageHave you heard the latest controversy here in America? This year, Starbucks eschewed the traditional Christmas themed red cups they serve, revealing instead a plain “ombre red” cup on November 1. Starbucks’ vice president of design and content Jeffrey Fields said that the cups, “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

So, here we go again. Some are concerned about being politically correct. Some are offended if they have to bear any reference to a religion that is different from their own, or any reference to religion at all. Some are concerned with what they call a “continuing attack on the Christian faith.”

It amazes me that we have gotten to this point in our society. We have a large portion of our culture who reject the concept of God, and do not want to hear about Him. We have another group who have become so selfish in their thinking that if anyone in the slightest, most innocuous way does or says something they don’t like, they take personal offense. And, we have a large majority who claim to be Christians who have no concept about what faith in Christ is all about. So, in response to these observations, allow me to make a few salient points:

  1. The Starbuck cup controversy is irrelevant. The Christmas holiday has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian faith. We do not know when Jesus Christ was born, and we have no command from God to celebrate or acknowledge that birth with a special holiday. Those who have studied the tradition note that it came into being as the Catholic church co-opted a pagan festival, and arbitrarily assigned it to be the day that Jesus’ birth is to be celebrated. The Catholic church was wrong to do this. It is an example of “teaching as doctrine the commandments of men” (cf. Matthew 15:9).
  2. Regardless of whether it offends, God calls us to preach the gospel to the lost. Proselytizing is not a politically correct thing to do. However, people’s souls are in jeopardy, and the gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). In this, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
  3. If we do preach the gospel, we will be persecuted for sharing that message! The apostles suffered, and rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41). How do we compare today? The apostles risked their lives to share the message with audiences that were often hostile to the their teaching. Isn’t it true that we often lack the motivation to do the same? It seems that sometimes the smallest impediment — a lack of time; a perceived lack of interest on the part of the prospect; a concern for how our efforts will be perceived — all serve to stop our mouths.

The gospel of our Lord is the sole means available to facilitate any man in his efforts to escape condemnation. As His children, we are the ones charged with the proclamation of that truth to the lost. Perhaps if we get busy doing just that, we too will cause a ruckus among the worldly. If being a Christian were a crime, would there be enough evidence collected to convict you? It is something to think about!