To boycott, or not to boycott? That is the question. Inevitably a company will take a social position that offends the sensibilities of a large segment of their customer base. This happens on the political right and left. Those whose values have been offended or assaulted often respond with a call for a boycott on the offending business, and refuse to buy from that company.
My experience is that while many engage in these reactive “buy-cotts”, many others grow weary of having to keep track of whom to avoid and whom to support. To them, it’s just a lot of fuss over nothing. Who cares what you buy, or from whom? This mentality insists that if I want to buy Levi’s jeans or Clorox bleach, then by George, I’m going to buy it. I don’t care what the corporation supports financially, or what social positions they embrace, I want the product I want. There is also the view that boycotts don’t accomplish much, other than that many of those who engage in them appear to be radical extremists who don’t know how to deal with the fact that there are people in the world who disagree with them.
The Biblical concept of stewardship is that, as Christians, we own nothing. God owns everything. We are only caretakers and stewards of God’s resources. We see this in the parable of Jesus regarding The Talents. When we understand this concept, it radically changes the way we live our lives. Our life is made up almost exclusively by how we allocate our ideas and skills through our time and resources. If everything we have as Christians is to be under the control of God’s will, it alters our priorities. Instead of orienting our lives around our own selfish whims and wishes, we need to think in terms of God’s Kingdom. Are we putting God’s kingdom first as our foremost priority?
What is odd about Christians is that they often seem to be passionate about supporting and funding movements, causes, products and organizations that are completely contrary to their professed values and beliefs. Almost no other people group does this. Almost every other sub-culture on the planet recognizes the value of spending money (through donations or through commerce) within their own philosophical neighborhood, so to speak.
Not Christians. Christians are often some of the primary contributors to the causes that are committed to their ideological destruction. Take Planned Parenthood, for example. Not only do most Christians never contribute strategically to pro-life organizations, who are on the front lines opposing abortion on demand, but Christian will gladly fund any and all companies who fund Planned Parenthood, as long as it is a product or experience they enjoy.
Anti-Christian organizations do not return the favor. They will categorically avoid spending money with movements and organizations that do not support their worldview and life-vision.
I don’t like the term, “boycotting.” It sounds reactive. It sounds like I’m just mad about something. Personally, I don’t think that way at all. Instead, I think about my values and convictions, and I ask myself, how can I funnel the most amount of money possible (directly through donations, and indirectly, through my purchases), to causes in which I believe? How can I ensure that organizations and groups that support my values have the funding they need to do the things that I believe will make our nation (and world) a better place?
Personally, I don’t want one penny of my dollars to knowingly go to support groups like Planned Parenthood. Can I avoid, altogether, supporting some causes for which I am opposed? Unfortunately, because of the world in which we live, I can’t completely avoid spending money or utilizing services with groups who oppose my worldview (especially the government, when they tax me for immoral causes they fund). I can’t do everything, but I can do something. I can seek to be the best financial steward that I can be, and spend God’s money as He would have me spend it. I hope you will pray and consider how you can do this as well.
A website that helps you to know at a glance which companies support the values that are important to you, is 2ndvote.com. Check them out! God bless!
Join us during the last week of April as we have Dr. Calvin Beisner, the founder & national spokesman for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation discuss the Christian responsibility to the environment as we learn how to discern truth and myth in the climate change controversy.
April 25th in Rockford
April 26th in Arlington Heights
April 27th in Orland Park
April 28th in Peoria
Click HERE to learn more!