To Boycott or Not to Boycott?

December 24, 2018 at 10:56 AM 4 comments

There is a great deal of talk regarding boycotting specific stores or companies today. Many conservatives and Christians believe that they should make their voices heard with their wallets/purses. It is believed that the statement of boycotting is good and a necessary evil to help owners of those selected companies/stores get the message.

There are also Christians and conservative who routinely believe that boycotting businesses serves no good purpose and should not be undertaken. Then there are those who believe boycotting should be used but as a last resort.

What should Christians especially do when faced with the opportunity of boycotting to make our beliefs or morality known? Some argue that if we start boycotting businesses because of one thing, we need to be willing to boycott all of them since it is very likely that all secular businesses have some sort of issue with Judeo-Christian beliefs. Because of this, Christians then should realize that we would need to boycott all secular businesses.

Is there anything in Scripture that will help us understand the reality of boycotting? Why we should do it (if permitted in Scripture)?

I believe there is and as always, it is up to each reader to decide for themselves if what I’m writing here is in line with Scriptural principles. If we look to 1 Corinthians 8, I think we have our answer and it may not be what you expect, or what appears to be obvious.

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 1 Corinthians 8:4 ESV

The situation that existed for the Corinthian believers is that they were surrounded by pagan ideals. People routinely worshiped false gods and of course, Paul outlines the fact that even though these “gods” exist for people in their minds and as part of their belief system, there is only one, true God. Everything else is simply a false god.

Because of this, Paul moves onto the idea that since these false gods are not really gods at all, any meat that has been sacrificed to these gods and sold in the public square is absolutely fine to eat. There is nothing wrong in eating these meats that were used in sacrificial rituals to false gods.

Then, Paul highlights the fact that love should guide all of our decisions. He notes that some Christians who came from a background steeped in worship of false gods, would try to eat the meat sacrificed to idols but they would feel guilty about it (v. 7). In verse 8, Paul notes that food itself does not make any difference and here, he is speaking of a difference to our spiritual nature. He is not speaking here of ill-health that might be caused by eating unhealthy foods. The context is referencing spiritual health. Food that was sacrificed to idols has no negative impact on the Christian unless their conscience gives them away. In that case, it would be better for them not to eat that type of meat ever or at least until they arrive to a point of fully understanding that the particular meat in question, though sacrificed to pagan deities, has no negative impact on the Christian’s spiritual life in Christ.

In verse 9, Paul intones that for Christians who have absolutely no problem eating this type of meat (e.g. their consciences do not give them away), these Christians should be careful so as not to offend or cause to stumble other Christians who are “weaker” in the faith and who believe that they should avoid eating meat sacrificed to idols. This is the law of love – doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If we then skip ahead to 1 Corinthians 10, we read the summation of Paul’s argument regarding what Christians can eat. Paul essentially sums up by saying the following: “Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience,” (v. 25). However, Paul is not yet done as he quickly adds something to the mix that further clarifies his teaching.

28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? (1 Corinthians 10:28-29 ESV)

Notice what Paul has carefully stated in these two verses. He is saying that it is perfectly fine to eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols, except in one case. If someone serves you a plate full of sacrificed meat and they tell you that the meat has been offered to idols, then the Christian should not eat the meat. Why? Is it due to the Christian’s conscience? No. Verse 29 tells us that we should not eat sacrificed meat because of the other person’s conscience or essentially because of our testimony.

In other words, the Christian is free to eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols. But what if the person serving you is not a Christian and for full disclosure they point out that the meat they have just served you has been offered to idols? In that case, to go ahead and eat that meat may cause that person to stumble. They may start thinking, “Interesting, he/she is eating the meat that I specifically told them was offered to idols so in saying they are Christians who worship one God, maybe they are also polytheists, worshiping more than one god?

In that case, if the Christian eats the meat sacrificed to idols, the person serving the meat would get the wrong impression. In that case, it is better to abstain so that the other person will understand the Christian’s commitment to the Lord. In essence, this act of not eating the meat sacrificed to idols is a testimony to that other person who served the sacrificed meat.

Again, Paul is not saying we should not eat the meat because it has been offered to idols as if it will negatively affect us, spiritually. He’s saying we can eat anything we want to eat, BUT if the person serving the meat tells us it has been sacrificed to idols, for the sake of their conscience (the server’s), the Christian should abstain so that their freedom to eat anything they want does not become a stumbling block to that other person. Make sense?

But what does this have to do with boycotting businesses? A good deal, in my opinion.

We all shop at stores that are owned by secular people, people who are not only not saved and tend to have very leftist ideology. However, in many cases, we do not know the details of that business structure; to whom they donate money. Do they for instance donate to Planned Parenthood? They might, but if they do not tell me that, it does not force me to make a decision to no longer shop there. If they make a huge public announcement about it, then I have to reconsider.

Take Target, for instance. They have announced that they support Planned Parenthood. They also stated that they were going to create unisex bathrooms in their stores, which meant that both men and women would all go to the bathroom in one place. This was a nod to the LGBTQ+ communities, specifically where transgenderism is concerned. The move was appalling and immediately people began to boycott Target. It obviously worked because not long after, Target pulled back on its decision regarding unisex bathrooms. However, there have been specific cases of men dressed as women or dressed like men who claim to identify as women who continue to use the woman’s bathroom.

In this case, the Christian has several choices. They can continue to shop at Target and not use the bathroom or discontinue shopping at Target. Since Target itself, as the “server,” has made the public pronouncement about their goals and aspirations, it puts the Christian in the unenviable position of deciding if they will continue to shop at Target.

If Christians continue to shop at Target and it is learned that they are Christians, it will likely send very mixed signals to people who work or shop at Target and are not Christian.

My point is simple. For me personally, I will shop wherever I like even though the likelihood of that business donating money to godless organizations or making decisions that go against my particular belief system is there. However, as long as I am unaware of these decisions and/or donations, it’s not a problem, if we compare with what Paul is teaching above. We need to remember that we are in a world controlled by Satan in many ways (though clearly God is in complete charge over this world and Satan, with Satan only doing what God allows). It should be no surprise to us that many to most of the people who own or are in leadership positions in these businesses do not do the things that glorify God.

So I can shop wherever I want. However, if a company is bold enough to tell the public that they donate to this or that godless organization or make some decision that speaks against Christianity, they have done so publicly and it requires me to make a decision.

I think we should be careful about boycotting one business after another. Unless you can grow your own food, create your own gasoline, heal yourself when sick, you could be cutting your nose off to spite your face.

In those cases where a business or company comes out and directly states their anti-God platform, then Christians must use discernment (gained from Scriptural principles), to determine what their action should be going forward.

I boycott companies that sell Halal (Islamic) food products. Halal food undergoes a process where the food is blessed by an Islamic Imam, much the way Kosher foods are blessed by a Jewish rabbi, but it’s more than that. The reason I boycott Halal foods and not Kosher foods has nothing to do with any Islamic “blessing” prayed over the food. Remember, Muslims do not worship the one true God (and neither do unsaved Jews for that matter).

So why do I avoid purchasing Halal foods? It is solely due to the way the animals are slaughtered under Halal. I recall discussing this with other Christians a while ago and several lambasted me using Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. They thought I was being childish and immature. I had to explain the actual Halal slaughter process for them to understand that animals who are slaughtered under Halal regulations do NOT die quickly. The animal’s carotid artery is simply “nicked” open. It is a painful and abusive way to kill animals. The animal will slowly bleed out, eventually going into convulsions, finally dying of a heart attack. It is gut-wrenching to witness and there are numerous videos on the ‘Net that show the process if readers are interested in looking them up. Be warned, they are graphic and will likely make your blood boil.

The way animals are normally slaughtered under non-Halal procedures is generally a quick shot to the head, normally killing the animal instantly. Yes, there have been undercover videos showing abuse of animals at slaughter houses, but this is not the norm. Usually, these slaughter houses are fined and/or shut down when discovered.

I complained to Butterball one year because I’d heard they were using the Halal process on their turkeys. I called them out on it and asked them why they were allowing turkeys (and other animals) to go through this barbaric practice? I told them I would no longer be eating their products until or if they stopped torturing animals. One year later, I contacted Butterball again and they told me NONE of their products were now Halal as they had stopped using that practice. So, once again, I could eat Butterball turkey for Thanksgiving.

I even called PETA to complain about the Halal process and asked why PETA was doing absolutely nothing to stop it? They sent me some pamphlets – whoopie. PETA is afraid to condemn Halal because Muslims are an unofficial protected minority. So the abuse of animals in the name of Islamic ideology continues and because of it, animals die a horrifically brutal and painful death.

Christians, we are part of this world in that we live here. It is impossible to avoid having contact with non-Christians. It cannot happen and the only way it could happen is if we were taken out of this world.

Sometimes we have to make hard choices about boycotting. You can get to a point where you wind up boycotting just about everything when you don’t need to do that. Concentrate on those businesses who make their policies public and actually brag about what they do. This in-your- face, triple-dog-dare-ya may be the reason Christians avoid a particular company and it may be the only reason to do so. Sometimes boycotting is needed but it can also paint the Christian in a corner as well. We need to exercise discernment.

Over to you. Study the Scriptures to determine for yourself the path you should take when it comes to boycotting. Remember, you’re not simply sending a message to the corporate office and owners. You are unfortunately, likely affecting the people who work at these stores as well. The more we boycott, the greater the chance that the workers will suffer, not necessarily the corporate bigwigs.

Things to ponder. In case I don’t present another article before Christmas, may your Christmas day celebrate the life of the One who gave His life that we might receive eternal life through Him!

Entry filed under: Agenda 21, Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , .

Hebrews 4: What is the “Rest” Mentioned? Last Things Still Future

4 Comments

  • 1. Glenn E. Chatfield  |  December 24, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think the Corinthians passage applies in any way whatsoever.

    The issue of boycotting isn’t just for Christians, but for anyone who wants to send a message. Boycotting Target has affected their bottom line, which is why they are planning to make individual restrooms (supposedly planning) to replace current ones so that issue will no longer be a factor. Until then, I will boycott them as much as possible, which for us means we still shop there occasionally for things we can’t get elsewhere locally — be we have reduced our spending there by 75% at least.

    As of those business which spend a WHOLE lot of money promoting the LGBTQXYZ agenda, such as Home Depot, I will never shop there again.

    Just about every business now supports the LGB… agenda in some way, so you’d have to quit shopping if you boycotted everyone who give SOME support.

    Another example, having nothing to do with morality, is Dick’s Sporting Goods and their new policy on gun sales — I will never again darken their door with my shadow.

    No, boycotts have noting to do with any Biblical passages unless you are boycotting something that is majorly involved in supporting anything like LGBT, abortion, et, because then you’d be helping them in their sin.

    • 2. modres  |  December 24, 2018 at 12:54 PM

      Hey Glenn,

      Thanks for your comments. I hear what you’re saying and while the Corinthian passage does not directly speak to the issue of boycotting, I think the passage has numerous applications.

      We can agree to disagree.

      • 3. Glenn E. Chatfield  |  December 24, 2018 at 5:21 PM

        I still think you are comparing apples to oranges.

      • 4. modres  |  December 24, 2018 at 5:44 PM

        I understand your point, Glenn.


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