It's hard to live in a fallen world as a Christian. Really hard! We are constantly surrounded by sin, evil, immorality, and wickedness. We struggle with our own temptations, yet try to honour Christ. At least we should be trying to honour Christ! I read an article the other day about the pro-homosexuality agenda of Starbucks. Many businesses and companies are involved in deeply wicked and immoral things. This puts is in an awkward position as Christians.
Although, I suppose some Christians just don't care whether or not the money they spend goes to corporations and businesses that are entrenched in immorality. I care, but I find it difficult to make a decision on whether or not to support these businesses. I believe every single store, business, franchise, restaurant, company, etc. is involved in some type of activity that I would disagree with. After all, most of them are owned and operated by non-Christians. How many other businessees besides Starbucks support gay marriage? Probably a lot! Do I quit buying from all these franchises? If I quit shopping at Wal-mart because they manufacture their products in factories with under paid labour, maybe even child labour, where else do I go? Zellers is probably no better. Dollarama is probably worse!
These are some things I've been thinking about lately. Ultimately, I don't think it's possible for Christians to avoid every sinful thing that exists in the world! Even if we cut ourselves off from society and lived in isolation, we'd still have our own sinful flesh to deal with. However, I think it's also necessary for us to establish some standards when it comes to our interactions with the world. I know many Christians who work at jobs were they are surrounded by filthy language all day! Should they quit their job? Would a different job be any better? It's unfortunate that they have to hear such things, but that's the world. In the world we are surrounded by immoral language, fashion, music, philosophies, and attitudes. Often these things affect us negatively. They can wear on us spiritually. They can tempt us with evil. That's why Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armour of God. I've also found that the sinfulness of the world is a great witnessing opportunity!
I remember my first "real" summer job (babysitting doesn't count :P). I worked at a Provincial Park and all my fellow employees were unsaved. It didn't take them long to notice that I was different. I hadn't heard of their tv shows, movies, or the music they listened to. I'm sure they must have thought I lived under a rock! Oh, and I was homeschooled and headed to Bible college that fall. God used all of those things to give me tremendous opportunities to witness, even though I had to deal with their bad language.
That was a bit of a tangent from my original thought, but it sorta ties in.... :P. I think there are some areas as Christians where we definitely have to say "No" and avoid at all costs. When it comes to how I spend my money in north American society it gets sticky. I don't have it all figured out yet. In fact, it's not even something that crossed my mind until I read that Starbucks article. I really am not sure how to balance living where I do, needing the things I need, and spending money at corporations that fund things I'm totally against. That's a hard one! I'm not sure it's even possible to avoid supporting these types of businesses. If it were, I think I would do it! That's only one aspect of living in a fallen world as a Christian, but it's something I've been considering, and will probably continue to consider...