Back when I last lived in Seattle, I got connected with Eric Holmberg of The Apologetics Group. Eric was working on a manuscript for a documentary chronicling the sexual chaos movement and was looking for some help.
The previous two times I’d lived in Seattle, I was quite comfortable avoiding the big Gay Pride Parade that rolled through the city. But with this potential project in mind, and with Eric heading from Nashville to San Francisco to cover the flagship Gay Parade about to happen there, I thought it might be good and productive to break out the camera, throw on the bulletproof vest, grab a few barf bags and head on over to cover the Seattle version. (I wrote about one aspect of this a couple years back in Remember when a bunch of naked guys on bikes riding past a crowd of little girls was a bad thing?)
The reason I bring any of this up now in the context of a post dealing with various corporate elites and how we ought to deal with their companies and products is that one of the things that was most striking about the Gay Pride Parade in Seattle was the avalanche of blue chip corporate sponsorship. Individual floats were sponsored by the best known brands and businesses in America. The Corporate American push for sexual chaos and the destruction of the family was about as loud, clear, and proudly on display as possible.
So here we are almost six years after that event and we have the likes of Apple and PayPal threatening North Carolina because the state has decided to maintain some semblance of sanity where restroom access is concerned. I’m not going to get into the details of that surreal (yet entirely predictable) scenario right now (maybe later), but I do think that this situation offers us another opportunity to consider exactly what we are dealing with in anti-Christian corporate elites, the businesses they own, the products that those businesses make, and how we deal with all of the above.
Let me say plainly that I am not about to offer here an ironclad formula or universally applicable formula for dealing with these things. Context is everything. There are many moving parts to each life that interacts with the elites, businesses, and products in question.
That said, the ultimate goal is for the complete Christianization of all businesses of every kind. The goal is, has always been, and will always be to take every business, technological, economic, and social thought completely captive to Christ (as per 2 Corinthians 10:5), which inherently means that every physical action in His physical world is also to be taken completely captive to Him, since all deliberate physical actions are preceded by thoughts. Capture the thought, and you capture the action. Okay, so maybe I am offering up (or reminding us all of) an important ironclad and universally applicable rule here…
It is in this context that I’d like to offer up the following suggestions for your consideration, with the assumption that we are all going to wrestle with these issues in different ways and may each be called to take different approaches in some areas, none of which necessarily means that any of us are in sin or failing the cause of advancing the Kingdom…though we ought to all be about the business of constantly testing and reforming to see to it that our ideas and approaches are indeed born of Christ-centered rather than self-serving motives. With that noted, here are five points to kick around and pray about:
- We must pray for the salvation of Corporate elites and employees. The elites and employees of companies aiming to push North Carolina deeper into the darkness of an unwinnable war against God are in desperate need of the conviction and repentance that can only come through the supernaturally confrontational and corrective Gospel of Jesus Christ. While we should certainly work to oppose their aims and take every opportunity to bring light to the darkness they promote, we must always do so in a Spirit of personal humility and full understanding that there but by the grace of God go you and I.
- We need to understand the difference between God-glorifying, high quality products and unrepentant, anti-Christian product makers. The products crafted and sold by companies under anti-Christian management are, insofar as they are truly good and helpful products that allow mankind to do more, better, and/or faster work (we were made for work), glorifying to God and a blessing to His people. God uses all things – including the most vile of unbelieving creative types and business people – to give His people tools that they can then use for His glory and the advance of culture and civilization in a Christ-honoring way. Remember always: Every truly good thing that ever was, is, or shall exist in God’s creation, is a reflection of something true about God’s Nature. It is a blessing. It is a gift from God, whether Apple, Ford, or AT&T are the means by which He delivered that blessing or not.
- We ought to work toward the Christianization of all things (at least usually) using the highest quality tools that God gives us. Sometimes there will be Christ-honoring companies offering products or services that are comparable to those offered by anti-Christian businesses. In those instances, we ought to be thankful and supportive of the truly competitive Christian offerings. Christians actually investing the time, talent, and treasure necessary to create the best art, technology, or service ought to be able to count on other Christians to support, encourage, and reward them for their faithfulness.
That said, when Christians produce mediocre or poor works of art, technology, or anything else, we ought not feel the least little bit compelled to purchase or support their product or service. Christians have become well-known enablers of some of the most sub-par, awful, cheesy, and lame film, music and business productions known to man. That is a blight, not a virtue.
- We need to pray for (and actively support) Christians who are doing what they can with their talent and time to advance the Kingdom of God in whatever realm(s) He may have placed them in. We need to pray that Christians will be inspired and equipped to spend their time, talent and treasure to craft and share the greatest of gadgets, movies, books, art and services.
Along with the supernatural salvation of executives and creative types currently operating from an anti-Christ worldview perspective in companies like Apple, Google, Chevron, and Verizon (see: point #1 above), this is the means my which God will have future cutting-edge technologies, five-star artistic endeavors, and top-tier life-improving services brought to market by His people, for His glory, and to the benefit of the people, culture, and civilization they are there to serve.
- We need to understand that using tools made by unbelievers is not an inherently evil thing. Of course, things get trickier when we understand that buying products from powerful, anti-Christ organizations helps to fuel those enterprises. This is undeniable, but even in this formula, please consider the following: The US dollar itself is the epitome of what God considers to be an economic abomination (see: Proverbs 11:1), yet nearly all of us use the dollar (or another fiat currency) in some way.
The point is not so much whether we are using tools made by evil people for evil purposes, but whether we are using those tools with God-honoring motives with an eye and effort made toward claiming temporarily enemy occupied territories for the Kingdom. In this context, using a dollar is not evil so long as we use it and manage our lives in ways that take us step by step in a direction that leads us, our families, and our culture out of the darkness and into the light.
I hope that these points help to spark some healthy contemplation and discussion. As mentioned earlier, I offer each of ’em up with the full understanding that good, sincere Christians may well see things very differently. We’re all works in progress by the grace of God.
Here’s one extra little nugget as to why I’ve been kicking these ideas around and wanted to share ’em: Our support system for the donations that keep Fire Breathing Christian rolling financially (at least for now) are fueled by…*drumroll*…PayPal. (Yes, the very same PayPal that I took a shot at earlier today over at The End Times satire site in Jenner To Sing “I Am Woman” At PayPal Sponsored Super Bowl Halftime Show.)
PayPal is very good at what it does. It’s a proven, reliable and safe option in a sea of options.
Even so, over the past few days, I’ve filled out online forms to begin the process of connecting with two self-described “Christian values supporting” alternatives to PayPal. I just filled out early contact forms; nothing super detailed. I wanted to see what these folks had to offer.
Haven’t heard back yet.
And that doesn’t work for me. That won’t cut it.
I also use Apple products whenever I can afford them. My Apple monitor and Apple iPhones have been among the most reliable, helpful, cutting edge tech products I’ve ever owned. I’d be happy as a clam if I could snag a few key Apple products to help kick the Fire Breathing Christian mission into a higher, more productive gear.
I also have AT&T cell service. All competitors that I know of offer much worse service in the rural areas that I visit most. Even my AT&T service is awful in some of those places, including my own home. But still, it’s the best available.
All of these products help me greatly right now. All of them are gifts ultimately from God, not from Apple, PayPal or AT&T.
Let’s strive to use every top tier tool given us in a manner that brings us closer with each passing day to a reality in which all of the best things brought to market are made by Christians consciously striving to glorify God with the products they create and the services they offer.
May God grace us with the desire to strive for excellence and the ability to seize it in every realm of life, all by His grace, all for His glory, and all to our eternal benefit.
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