Monday, April 25, 2016

Is a Boycott of Target off the Mark?

I posted this article a few years ago about a different issue and it seems that every so often I find myself updating and adding to it as new "boycotts" appear on the spectrum.

The latest issue has surrounded whether or not Christians should boycott Target due to the latest announcement from
Target that they will join many other businesses in removing gender labels from their restrooms. With this move they are taking their stand with the Transgender movement to affirm those who were born with one gender and have decided to identify as another have the right to use the bathroom of their choice.

To weigh in on this issue there are a couple of things we need to think about.

1.) This was already happening - This was already taking place, the difference now is that it is getting corporate approval and increasing cultural approval.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned about the issue.  That doesn't mean that we shouldn't speak up about it.  We do need to keep in mind, however, that it isn't as though this wasn't a thing one moment and then all of the sudden it was.

2.) This is an indication of a society presently undergoing God's judgment.  People say, "God's going to judge America for this." No friend, the fact that things like this happen and receive hardy cultural approval is proof that God has and is judging America.  When a society gives approval to sinfulness and even begins to endorse it, you can be sure that you are seeing Romans 1 on display.

Now, I've heard much discussion in general over "boycotting" said businesses (specifically Target) that decide to make their restrooms gender neutral.  Should we boycott businesses for this?  My position, is no.  No we shouldn't.  Hear me out before you go nuts.

Here is my 8 point pondering on the matter.

1.) A boycott is the way of the world.  Bruce Springsteen recently released a statement stating that he would not do a concert in North Carolina in protest over the HB2 legislation.  Bruce is of the world.  We are to be set apart.  A boycott is a worldly endeavor in this case.  I think if the world is reacting one way to a given situation then we as the church need to assume our reaction will likely be a polar opposite. (Mind you that's not a concrete principle and it may not always apply equally.)

2.) Have you gone about boycotting the bad doctrine and theology in your church or your denominational affiliations?  For example, I am a Southern Baptist.  I love my Southern Baptist brethren and denomination.  I am NOT a fan of the staggering lack of discernment that seems to be growing in some of our Baptist institutions.  For example, Lifeway sells books and "Bible" studies by two women (at least) who claim to receive new revelations from God.  That's heresy folks.  That's some really really BAD teaching.  Why is there no boycott there?  If there is to be a boycott of anything it should probably begin by aiming to 'clean house' so to speak and work its way out from there don't you think?

3.)  Have you considered confronting them in an Ephesians 4:15 way?  Speaking truth in love to them first.  It seems that we were all happy to spend our money at Target and endorse all sorts of debauchery but not this one touches on a level that comes with a very real risk of effecting us personally.  All of the sudden it is a much bigger deal?  That seems a bit off to me.

4.) It doesn't seem doing this has been thought through too wisely.  Granted we ought to feel something when we see things like this.  I am so thankful that many are upset about this primarily because it is a continued rebelling against God's Word and what it says, in this case, about gender identity.  You have every right to see to it that your family is protected on top of that (I'll address that in a closing thought), Our reaction, though ought to be to proclaim the Gospel all the more!  Not condemn the world. Has anyone personally contacted any of them and arranged a time to sit down with them and share the true Gospel (Mark 1:15), perhaps to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? I am not saying that they would receive such an advance, but have we tried?

5.) Gender neutral restrooms are not the real problem here.  The real problem is a society dead in sin that loves their sin and celebrates their sin.  This will only get worse from here.  The problem isn't just gender confusion (rebellion).  The problem is sin.  Right now we see it in the gender issue, but it is also shows up in a myriad of other ways.  That said, if all we go after is the small battle of keeping the restroom usage policies in accordance with a person's God-given gender we have won very little and missed the war.  The end result of this is that those business who give to your boycotts and change back (if any do) you've not changed their hearts, you've soothed your conscience so that you can continue doing business with that place... (1 John 1:8-9).

6.) Shouldn't we be consistent? If you are going to call out businesses using who follow Target's folly, then let's also go and call out businesses that support abortion, that promote promiscuity or drunkenness, or that put out sinful media products (all of which can also be found at Target).  Are you sure that the businesses that leave their bathrooms as Men and Women aren't selling products of companies who don't? Have fun figuring that one out!  Where does it end?  You'd better go home and clean out your pantry and throw away all clothing items as well that come from companies that give money to Planned Parenthood or some other evil corporation/campaign. You'd better cut your electric off because chances are your company gives to an immoral group or political candidate or something in some way. The commission of the church is not to chiefly attack the peripheral issues of this sin broken world, but rather to attack the heart of all issues with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That though they are sinners bound for God's wrath, their is forgiveness and pardon in Jesus Christ alone!  (John 3:16; Mark 1:15; Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:16-20)  It doesn't mean that we don't speak out, but we keep the cross and eternity in our ultimate perspective. 

7.) Preach the WORD in and out of season... PREACH THE WORD. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)  Just because you are willing to give other businesses a pat on the back for maintaining a sane and Biblical restroom usage policy does not equal success.

8.) Have you considered the issue of hypocrisy in your own heart with this? Is this the only time you've spoken up about the God ordained role of gender?  Have you sought to share the Gospel with those who are gender-confused?  They are darkened in their hearts.  They are in open rebellion against the God who made them.  He created them one way and they are charging Him with wrong.  And you are seeking to make them your enemy as opposed to your mission!?  The lost world is not our enemy, they are our mission.  We aren't trying to destroy them, we are trying to lead them to Christ who can clear up this sinful confusion AND forgive them of ALL their sins!  If this is the only thing that gets you riled up, might not you look like a hypocrite because you are claiming to prize and hold the name of Christ so very very closely and yet never share the Gospel any other time in the year?  Just a thought.  Some "Christians" will rail about these things (and again I understand the anger and agree what is going on is immoral) but those same Christians NEVER share the Gospel.  Never witness to anyone... How do you expect things to change if you keep the Gospel to yourself?

My Final Thought:

I am going to protect my family.  If my daughters or wife are headed into a restroom anywhere and a man identifying as a woman is in there or follows them in I will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to protect my family.  Please hear me clearly, the whole identifying as a different gender issue is one of sinful rebellion.  It is not ok. It goes against the Lord and His Word.  Businesses who capitulate to gender-neutral restroom usage policies are wrong for doing so and they advance the cause of evil.  But unless we are going to pull out of every worldly thing, I don't think a boycott is the best way to combat it.

I want to hear from you on this.  If you believe I am way off base, please provide Scripture to refute me.  Keep your comments civil.  If you are a person involved with the transgender movement, I want to tell you that you are dead in your sin.  Not just because of the gender issue, but a whole host of other sins as well.  You need Christ to save you from your sin.  I was just as you once.  My sin didn't look like yours, but I needed the rescuing grace of Jesus Christ no less.  Repent of your sin, turn to Christ.  He will forgive you and give you a new nature.  He will not only clear up your gender confusion He will give you of His own righteousness.  Curious about that? Feel free to contact me.