Are You Seeing Red Over Starbuck’s Latest Cup?


Well, one guy did. And he went all out to make his unhappiness known by posting a video rant on his Facebook page on November 5. It went viral, of course.

In his one minute-plus video—which has since been viewed more than 15 million times— self-proclaimed American evangelist Joshua Feuerstein went into a tirade over how Starbuck’s latest seasonal coffee cup is an attempt to “take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups”.

Yes, you read that right. According to him, Starbuck’s plain red cup is an affront to Christ, Christians, and Christmas. It doesn’t matter that Starbucks has already clarified that this year’s design is meant to be a “blank canvas for all customers to create their own stories”. It doesn’t matter that to start with, previous Christmas designs on Starbucks’ cups had nothing to do with Jesus’ birth. (Past years’ designs included gift wrappers, snowmen, Santa, and sprigs of holly.) It doesn’t matter that we’re just talking about a cup. Not to Feuerstein, anyway.

As far as he is concerned, it seems, none of these matter because Christians have the right and duty to champion Christ all the time and in any form. That might sound right . . . if you can get past the next few questions:

1. Why should we expect a company that has never celebrated Christ’s birth to engage in token Christmas-themed displays?
2. How does going on a campaign to “force” Starbucks to acknowledge the existence of Christmas and Jesus lead others to a greater appreciation of Jesus Christ?
3. Will creating a brouhaha over a plain red cup give dissenters fodder to make light of the Christian message and drive people further away from Jesus?

As believers, we know that the true meaning of Christmas rests in the person of Jesus Christ, who came to the world to live among us and, ultimately, to die on the cross so that we might be saved from our sins.

But we’re not going to succeed in spreading this truth simply by forcing companies to represent the true meaning of Christmas. We need to bring people to Christ first—and worry about the decorations later. And the best way to celebrate Christmas is not by putting up token decorations, but by living for Jesus and sharing His love every day. In so doing, we may inspire and lead others to do likewise.

So let’s make good of this storm in a (red) cup. Grab a cuppa with someone—never mind what color it is—and share about Christ’s love this Christmas.

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