To Boycott the Christian Boycott, That is the Question

Every time I turn around, it seems that my fellow Christians are fired up about something new in regards to popular culture.  I consider myself to be pretty fundamental.  I try not to view things that are gratuitous in nature, and I monitor what my children see.  However, I don't know if my reasons for this are the same as they are for some fellow Christ-followers.

I'm not aiming to be critical of choices when it relates to consumption of media, especially when it relates to conviction-led decisions.  Entertainment is a tricky element to navigate in our world as believers, and it would seem that the best decision always is to fill ourselves less with it and more with God.

With that said, I find myself filled with mixed emotions when it comes to publicly boycotting a certain movie, book, album, television show, theme park, etc..  I fully believe that we should be bold as believers and not shy away from living lives filled with conviction by the Holy Spirit.  However, I can't help but feel that much of the motivation of the boycott comes out of a spirit of fear, anger, pride, and self-righteousness.

If you've been paying attention, you see a lot being written about the movie and book, The Shack.  I am not going to advocate for or against this book.  I haven't read it or seen the movie.  There are many theologians I deeply respect that have warned against the theology presented in this story.  Thus, I do pay attention to what is being said.  Another movie that is making headlines in our arena is Disney's real-life adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.  Many are calling for the boycott because the director is claiming that one of the characters is a homosexual.

The part that bothers me about this is NOT those who will quietly and convictionally steer clear of these movies.  Its the constant obsession that comes from some believers who feel the need to always be ready on blast.  Honestly, I could respect that avenue approach more if it came out of an honest heart.  But, I must admit that I have seen social media rants by some people boycotting the heck out of Beauty and the Beast, when just weeks ago they were talking about going to see Fifty Shades Darker with their friends.  I understand that the human heart is prone to hypocrisy, and we all struggle with it.  No one is perfect.  I'm at the front of the line of those who mess up.

With that said, I only write this to have us reconsider what is the best pursuit.  I've been reading a devotional recently on purity.  Just this morning, I read one that talked about focusing on who we pursue more than what we leave behind.  One good thought I read was, "It is true that our path to holiness starts by ridding ourselves of evil deeds and influences, but that is just a start.  From an eternal perspective, the reason we flee immorality and the deeds of the flesh is those things keep us from pursuing God.  In the end, holiness is more about who we pursue than what we leave behind".

Sanctification is setting ourselves apart not for show or out of a defiant pride towards our culture.  It is about being setting apart for our great God.  Great athletes don't focus more on their weaknesses, but perfecting their strengths.  A Soldier doesn't focus on not being a coward, but constantly preparing himself for the battle.  Its about moving forward, not constantly looking backward.

Hebrews 12:14 says, "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."

Again, I'm not saying that boycotts should never happen.  I'm not entirely trying to re-visit the old maxim "they should see what we are about, not what we are against."  However, I do think with the increasing visibility that social media gives us, we need to think carefully about the messages we proclaim.  Thom Rainer just wrote a great piece on Why Pastors are Getting Fired because of their Social Media PostsIn his post, he talked about the reality that with social media, we can give people a perception of us by what we post, even if that perception is not true.

If all people see from us is what we boycott, sarcasm, anger, prideful political memes, debate, and fear of the world's destruction.....that one little post about being happy that you get to worship on Sunday is going to get lost in the sauce.

Please know, this post is aimed at myself, just as much as it might relate to anyone who reads this.  God consistently brings me back to the lesson that I should not simply consider what is a good choice, but what is the best choice as a follower of Christ.