Friday, June 24, 2005

The Boycott is Over! Did we win?

According to this Associated Press article, "Southern Baptists ended an eight-year boycott of the Walt Disney Compnay for violating 'moral righteousness and traditional family values' in a vote on the final day of the denomination's annual convention Wednesday. 'We believe for the boycott to be effective, it had to have a beginning and an ending,' said Gene Mims, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention committee that put the Disney resolution before some 12,000 members at the meeting."

The article continues to say that "The Disney resolution, passed at the SBC's 1997 convention in Dallas, called for Southern Baptists to refrain from patronizing Disney theme parks and Disney products, mainly because of the entertainment company's decision to give benefits to companions of gay and lesbian employees. 'We felt like it was time to end it. We're hopeful Disney will do what the resolution calls for,' Mims added."

So, basically, what Mims is trying to say is, "IT DIDN'T WORK!!!"

I am still amazed at this misguided strategy of the church in attempting to get the ungodly world to act godly. How? It simply cannot be done. The world, which stands in opposition to God by its very nature, lacks the power and the inclination to do good. Paul tells us as much in Romans 3. To put it simply, we are asking . . . no . . . bullying the world to act like Christians before they become Christians.

And for what? So we can feel better about ourselves? So that the world "looks" and "acts" like us on the outside even though they are still nothing like us on the inside. And what if we succeed? What have we truly done? Sure, these lost souls will be "behaving" but they will still be lost. And one more thing, what about Paul's words to the church (at Corinth, and by extension, us):

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside.
Note what he says in verse ten: we should not have any dealings with sexually immoral people - who are INSIDE the church. Paul is not saying we are to distance ourselves from sexually immoral lost people. They need us more than ever.

Instead, he asks in verse twelve a very relevant question: "What business is it of mine to judge the lost?" Rhetorical question. He answers it in verse 13: It's not my business; God judges those people.

Now, because of this boycott, we've lost great opportunities to present the gospel of peace with these people because we have been at war with them for eight years. The very people we are to reach have been made "our enemy." Jesus said the world would hate us and they do - but for the wrong reasons.

Again, the Apostle said it well in 2 Corinthians 10;
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.


Mike Cline said...

Hey, I've gotta GREAT idea, let's all celebrate this major event and GO TO DISNEY WORLD !!!!!!!!!!

Jim Pemberton said...

Yes, I taught about that passage last Wednesday. This is a matter of godly wisdom. I juxtaposed it against the worldly wisdom of I Cor. 5:2 that said, "You have become arrogant..." The world would accuse us of being arrogant for not associating with so-called Christians who are unrepentant in their sin, but God teaches us differently. The goal is that the unrepentant brother will recognize his sin and repent. Therefore, we would have his best interest in mind. This is not arrogant - it is self-sacrificing that we would put a division between ourselves and such a one where ongodly division would cripple a church if we would let such a one remain in fellowship.