Home > Uncategorized > Boycott?? Not us…….at least not when it’s popular

Boycott?? Not us…….at least not when it’s popular

While our family has made a conscious decision about a year ago not to shop at Wal-Mart, it has nothing to do with a “boycott” called for this past summer by Christian groups. Our choice to refrain from spending our money at Wal-Mart came about after we realized that we actually didn’t save any money shopping there!!! The money we saved because of their “low prices” was actually being negated by the money we spent on the unnecessary stuff they have on their shelves because Wal-Mart has everything under the sun on their shelves and it is very tempting to “just go ahead” and get these things we really don’t need.
After we had this realization, and had decided that it was not in our best interest to shop at Wal-Mart anymore, we happened to watch a documentary titled “The high cost of low prices” and realized that there are other good reasons not to darken their doors anymore. I won’t list them all here, I encourage you to watch this film and see for yourself.
I came across this article today, and it kinda reminded me about the choice we have made not to spend our money at Wal-Mart anymore, and it reaffirmed how I feel about “Christian Boycotts” – I dislike them. Personal “boycotts” or decisions not to do business with a company is one thing, but hopping on a bandwagon because someone else says you should – I disagree 110%. I think you should think these things thru and come to your own decision, not blindly follow the loud voice of whoever.
Anyway – I’m going to share the text of this article with those that don’t like following links. The author – Bojidar Marinov has taken quite a bit of heat over this. But you know what – I agree with the author completely. We as “The Church”, or “The body of Christ” are called to be missionaries, so this article applies to us as well. Read for yourself:
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Raising Moral Standards of Missionaries to that of Wal-Mart
by Bojidar Marinov, Aug 12, 2009

These last couple of weeks I came across a discussion between Christians about possible boycott of Wal-Mart. The reason is that Wal-Mart outsourced the production of certain goods to Africa and thus took away the livelihood of dozens or even hundreds of families and small businesses in the Midwest who used to produce those goods. The cost went down, the participants admitted, but Wal-Mart outsourced the production to countries where slave labor–and even child slave labor–is used.
I have mixed feelings about such a boycott. On one hand, I am not sure if I want to follow that same logic to the bitter end. As a Texan, I feel bitter against Wal-Mart that buys certain goods from the state of New York and not from Texas; I believe it thus finances the corrupt and greedy bureaucracy of the state of New York. And I can’t see why a corrupt and greedy bureaucracy in the US would be morally superior to a slave holder in Africa. And the logic can be extended further and made even more absurd. On the other hand, corporations should be careful about the moral purity of their actions on the market–for instance, I find no excuse for General Motors co-operating with the Nazis during WWII or using slave labor from the concentration camps.
But I have a bigger question here: What about our missionaries? Do we measure them by the same standard as Wal-Mart?
According to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, the United States deploys currently a little over 35,000 foreign missionaries across the world. At the average cost of $50,000 per missionary a year, this makes a total of $1.75 billion of Christian money donated for missionaries, whose job is to spread the message of the Bible around the world. Part of that biblical message is the biblical laws against chattel slavery and against all other kinds of immorality, whether personal, cultural, or institutional.
How many of those missionaries actually address the cultural or institutional immorality in the nations where they are at?
Let’s see. Wal-Mart’s primary social function is to provide us with consumer goods at a low price at a convenient place. Preaching the Word of God is not a primary function of Wal-Mart. And yet, we do expect Wal-Mart to observe certain moral standards, and even to impose sanctions on its suppliers on the basis of those standards–by buying or not buying their goods. We expect Wal-Mart to “silently preach” by the powerful medium of its purchasing departments. And when Wal-Mart doesn’t measure up to this standard, we as Christians consider boycotting them.
The primary social function of our foreign missionaries is to preach the Word of God to the nations (Matt. 28:18–20). Not just to individuals, but to whole nations. That means, our missionaries are supposed to do full-time what Wal-Mart is expected to do while conducting its main business. This is the “main business” of our missionaries, to preach against slavery, and against all other kinds of immorality in the nations. Against oppressive social and political systems; against socialist government policies that destroy the families; against cultural practices that break the Law of God; against customs that denigrate individuals or kill the unborn and the defenseless; against traditions and practices that rob people of their life, liberty and property. Missionaries should preach to the nations the beauty of the Law of God, showing them that true happiness and prosperity for a nation comes only when the nation obeys the Law of God (Deut. 4:6–9). If we expect Wal-Mart to withhold its money from those who practice slavery, we should also expect our missionaries to be there and actively denounce slavery and call God’s judgment on those who practice it.
But how many of our missionaries around the world actually preach to the nations? In my ministry, I have met hundreds of American missionaries, and I have seen precious few only who understand their mission as one to whole cultures. The vast majority of them refuse to be “social reformers,” limiting themselves to “saving souls” and “planting churches” only. Tracing it back to the source, we’ll discover that the mission organizations and the missionary boards that sent those missionaries do not even include in their vision statements challenging whole cultures for Christ. You would be hard pressed to find at least one missionary organization that officially includes in its vision statement the eradication of slavery in Africa, or passing pro-life laws in Europe, or the demise of the caste system in India, or the defense of life, liberty and property in Latin America. And of course, tracing it back to the churches, how many churches really hold up the missionaries they support to the same moral standard as Wal-Mart?
Keep in mind that the bulk of the $1.75 billion mentioned above is spent abroad, in cultures that as collective cultures break every single one of the Ten Commandments, starting from “Thou shall have no other gods” down to “Thou shall not covet.” And yet, these cultures meet no challenge whatsoever from our missionaries, except in a few individual converted souls. But then, of course, we expect Wal-Mart to do their job and impose pressure on those cultures.
Judgment always starts from the House of God. Before we look for the specks in the eyes of the Wal-Mart’s executives, we need to see the enormous beams in the eyes of our own churches and missionary boards and organizations. And before we boycott Wal-Mart for failing to “silently preach” to the nations we should start boycotting our own missionaries and mission boards who refuse to openly disciple the nations in the Law of Christ. We should withdraw our money from those who have limited the Gospel of Christ to “saving souls” and “planting churches” and make them reconsider their worldview. It isn’t Wal-Mart’s fault that there is slavery in Africa; it is our fault that we have failed to train and send out missionaries who have comprehensive worldview to evangelize both man and his institutions. It’s about time to raise the moral standard for our missionaries to that for Wal-Mart.
And then, of course, what do we do with our own pastors and denominations here in the US that refuse to challenge an increasingly pagan culture and political establishment? I’ll leave this one for you to figure out.
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Until next time…..

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