Gospel Relevance

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Dear Christians Boycotting Starbucks

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Like coffee?

I do too. I drink it everyday. Actually, more like several times a day. I wouldn’t want to go a day without it.


There’s a Starbucks by my house. I sometimes go there before work or church. But I usually don’t. Not because I’m boycotting Starbucks or anything, but because it’s cheaper to make coffee at home.

As you and I both know, Starbucks will be using all red cups for the holiday season–a simple design with no reference to anything Christmas-related (or really to anything at all).

I saw the video of the guy that started this whole thing. But I also saw your Facebook post. It seems like, well, you’re angry. Am I right?

I get it. It’s kinda annoying when the local nativity scene which offended exactly no one for many years is removed. I too think it’s silly. I too want to keep Christ in Christmas.

But can I share some stats with you?

Sorry to change the topic so quickly. But I just wanted to remind you of some alarming statistics:

  1. There’s roughly 1.2 million abortions performed every year.
  2. There’s over 2.5 million girls ensared in human sex-trafficking across the world.
  3. Almost 3 billon people in the world have never heard the gospel.

Please. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. And anger is not always bad. “Be angry and do not sin,” says Paul (Ephesians 4:26). Anger can be good.

But I think you should shift your anger towards murdered babies, harassed women, and the fact that many are dying without Jesus. I think your anger is misplaced. And I want to encourage you to focus your anger on things that actually matter.

May God bless you this holiday season,


About David Qaoud

David Qaoud (MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary) is associate pastor of Bethesda Evangelical Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and founder of gospelrelevance.com. His work has appeared on The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and Banner of Truth. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and son. Learn more.

6 Replies

  1. That there is another move to make the Christmas season generic is by no means new. I’m okay with that: Celebrating the birth of Jesus is about so much more than decorations, presents and whatever acknowledgement is made by businesses. I regard this as an opportunity for believers to stand out even more: Celebrate with gusto! Extend your hand of love, mercy, forgiveness and generosity. Make melody in your hearts; let it spill out of your mouths. Demonstrating anger at Starbucks because they’re not following some unspoken rule that says we all need to act and be just so is a negative witness. Shine your light in this dark world instead.

    1. Hey Hannah – You’re exactly right. This perceived obstacle is really just an opportunity to shine our lights for Christ all-the-more.

  2. I like the simplicity of the cups. I plan to take a marker with me the next time and buy two. Give the second cup to a stranger and write Merry Christmas on it. Maybe ….. Just a thought. Anyway, I agree with you. I think Ellen misconstrued Christian reaction. Most of us are like what controversy? A business has a right to promote whatever they like. We have more important issues to deal with as you so correctly pointed out.

    1. Thanks, Mary. I also like the cups. And your comment about the second cup made me crack up. That would be hilarious. And you’re right: Starbucks is a secular business and we shouldn’t expect them to do non-secular things.

  3. Nom Johnson

    Great, worthwhile perspective. Thanks David.