Q&R with Greg Albrecht – “Should Christians Boycott & Protest?”
Should Christians boycott? Should they actively use their “dollar power” to support or protest moral issues?
This is a difficult question and I don’t know that there is one right or wrong answer for it. I do know that there are many boycotts Christians have organized in the past that have not worked. In fact, some of these protests have boomeranged and allowed or caused Christians to be seen as silly and perhaps even as hateful. The Southern Baptists decided, some years ago, to boycott Disney, Disney World and Disneyland because Disney had decided to extend health and other employee benefits to the partners of employees who lived in homosexual relationships. From all reports, the protest/boycott did not diminish the financial success of Disney. Apparently, it wasn’t even successful in keeping Baptists and their children away from Disney and its products. The flip side of this protest is that it was used to paint Christians as hateful and mean-spirited people.
Some churches and ministries seem to do little more than “take a stand.” Among such groups, it seems that virtually every month there is some new position that needs to be taken, some new boycott or protest. At the same time, some of these churches and ministries become politically polarized. After a while, if one listens to and reads about their message and mission it seems much closer to a political action committee than it does to the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a ministry whose efforts and work I once enjoyed, but over time their mission became so politically polarized and seemingly vindictive that I have little in common with them.
Having said this, I don’t mean to say that there isn’t a time for Christians to make a difference. Christians should exercise their right to vote, to organize as a group, and to influence legislators to pass laws that are in sync with the Kingdom of God. However, when we do boycott, let’s make the lines we draw count for something. Let us voice our feelings about issues that are critically important and let us ask how our protests will help us reflect the light of Jesus.
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