Friday, November 10, 2006

Should Wal-Mart reflect Christian values?

O.K., for the most part, my blog has been an outlet for writing about my family. Pictures with a short little ditty about the day have helped keep our family (far away) up to date and at the same time, allow me to express the joys and blessings of being a wife & mother. I have had several burdens, convictions, ideas & questions come into my feeble mind but I have found it extremely difficult to have either A)the quiet needed to compile thoughts B)the time needed to compile thoughts OR C) the energy needed to compile thoughts. I want to be so cautious with my words when I am decidedly arguing for biblical convictions.

Well, this thought is obviously not going down without a fight because I have found myself having an ongoing conversation (with myself) for the last couple of days. It's time to include others.

Wal-Mart is donating 5% of online sales to a homosexual group. If you haven't received the e-mail, just hang tight because it most certainly is coming your way. I have received a whopping *6* e-mails on this subject within the last 24 hours. It appears to be rubbing people the wrong way and really exciting the Christian community, provoking the "oh-so-common" petition that Donald Wildmon is famous for. I have no real issue with Don Wildmon, but more of a concern with the zealous outrage that seems to come with his e-mails.

First, Wal-Mart has never identified itself as a Christian organization. While I suppose some would argue that they have stood for family values, I for one have never used their store as my platform or their business plan as a model for my family. They have had very public problems with the treatment of employees and created an even greater stink over what they have done to *small-town* America. Still, I shop there. I suppose it is choosing the lesser evil. If I can save money at Wal-mart, then I am able to give more money elsewhere (think church, pro-life organizations, missions, etc.).....Back to Wal-mart being pagan.

My issue with the e-mail and the overall attention paid to this matter is this: Should I really be surprised when Wal-mart doesn't adhere to Christian values?

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Matthew 7:16

I know this could really start a riot. I understand the importance of standing up for Christ. I just question where does that start? Doesn't it undermine the goal of the gospel when we only stand up for *Headline* issues and never really change the way we live our lives? I like to use this analogy from my old YMCA step-aerobics days. When the teacher would come in and be *not-so-much* in shape, I would have a little less respect for this teacher. I mean if she couldn't apply her teaching to her *own* life, then how could I trust that it was something she truly believed. Is Christ truly life-changing? Why doesn't the world see that?

Isn't is much easier to sign a petition and forward it to 60 of your closest Christian brothers & sisters, than make a real stand for Christ? To acknowledge him in your child's school, at your workplace or with your neighbor is a concept that provokes fear and humiliation. To deny your own selfish desires (television programs, movies, music) or ungodly talk with friends is definitely on the back burner. I mean, this Wal-mart issue is right here in our face and we can make a real difference as Christ-followers if we just sign & forward, right? Sorry for the sarcasm. It helps to mask the anger.

I wonder what kind of difference we could make if all those who profess Christ began to live a life of denial to self and complete allegiance to Him.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1Peter 3:15


Amy said...

You know, I was just thinking about this issue last night while I was washing the dishes, and came to the same conclusions. I'm glad you found the time and mental clarity to write this up :)

Jenn said...

Good thoughts! I agree. Sometimes we can use 'platforms' like these to make ourselves feel better, like we are making a 'difference' for Christ when the reality of our day-to-day life does not reflect living for His glory!

Anonymous said...

Get the log out of your own eye first, huh? Excellent point.

I haven't gotten one of those emails yet, however, I can see the point of not wanting to contribute money to a homosexual organization. What I don't see is why the Don Wildman/AFA has to muscle businesses everytime they learn about something they don't like. Just quit shopping at Wal-Mart if it bothers you. Why do they have to drag the rest of Christendom into it?

Wal-Mart also gives a lot of money to its employees. I'm sure they don't all spend their paychecks on righteous endeavors. Is he going to investigate what every single Wal-Mart employee buys with their paychecks? Are we going to ask all the checkers where they spend their money? What about all the other stores in America? What about all the money that pours into the AFA? Where does the criticism stop?!

Does he tithe? How does he know every penny is spent as it should be? What if his pastor is buying things he shouldn't? What if his pastor shops at Wal-Mart? Then, his tithe is going to homosexual organizations! The variables can just go on and on. It's best to just worry about ourselves and not everyone else.

If our righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees, then we are in big trouble.