Why I Boycott Boycotts

I do not like boycotts. In fact, the only thing I boycott is boycotts. Why? Because to me it seems that boycotts violate the very call to take the gospel to all men. I just cannot wrap my head or heart around the image of seeing Jesus, or Paul for that matter, leading a picket line or social demonstration to force morality upon others. I can sum up my problems with boycotts with 10 simple questions.

1) Isn’t the Gospel for all?

2) How can we reach people by boycotting them? 

3) How can we love people when we are standing aloof and boycotting their business?

4) How can we communicate their need for Christ while refusing to enter their work space?

5) Why offend with boycotting the very people I’m called to reach?

6) How can I reach them and demonstrate the gospel if I fail to enter their everyday life?

7) Why make social mores or public laws the dividing line for who gets respect and who does not? 

8) Why make the moral law the central issue when the gospel is about grace, repentance and redemption?

9) Are we called to make men moral, socially acceptable or offer them spiritual life?

10) Are we called to establish an organized boycott to correct society or to plant a church by preaching the gospel to reveal a testimony of grace and truth?

I will support those who stand for godliness and righteousness, whether in business or politics. However, if you ever see me participating in an organized boycott in the name of Christianity, please walk up and ask me the questions from this post. Either I’m not thinking clearly or have spiritually abandoned the call to preach the gospel to every creature.

Secularists and social progressives are using the same tactics promoted against them in the 1980’s and 90’s by so-called Christian activists. That is, using boycotts in an attempt to change society instead of preaching the message of redemption. The progressives learned about boycotts because religious men of the past used these moralistic activities to strong arm them into submission. The church is reaping the whirlwind in return for the foolish unbiblical antics of the previous generation. (Hos. 8:7)

If I refuse to offer my support or patronage to a business, it will be as an individual and upon personal convictions…not as an organized attempt to guide the masses into social reform. There is too much at stake for dumbing down the gospel for the sake of social mores or public law. Therefore you will not see me carrying signs of protest or marching in the streets. Instead of boycotting, I want to reach out with the gospel–speaking truth in love! The only thing I will lift is Christ and Him Crucified. If men are offended at the scandal of the cross, so be it.

But I do boycott…

I boycott boycotts! 

Related topics:
God Uses The Wrong People
Has The American Church Missed It?
Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace

2 thoughts on “Why I Boycott Boycotts

  1. Here is a reply I received via email from a person which warrants a response.
    From: Nate
    I read your article on boycotting boycotts and had mixed feelings about your thoughts.
    I wonder if in one aspect you have mistaking the hostility that sometimes attends boycotts with the intent of boycotts in general. All boycotts are not created equal, or the motives and attitudes fueling them. I think your “Ten” questions are only one side of the coin. I think that the blog could cause some Christians to take weaker stances against growing evils that when unopposed in public settings metamorphosise into norms that breakdown the family unit and weaken the Church/bride of Christ.
    Ten questions that could be from the other side of the coin.
    1. Could boycotting a business that targets Christian and traditional family values possibly convict the owner that what they are doing is wrong, causing them to make a change and reevaluate their practices and the possible ramifications?
    2. Could people who witness real living conviction from Christians who take a stand against something that is wrong make some onlookers start to ask their selves where they actually stand on the issue at hand such as abortion?
    3. Could a great harm be stopped by the financial impact of boycotting a business such as the demonstrations in the civil rights movements?
    4. Did Jesus ask for offerings from those he preached to? I.e., comparing some things to what Jesus or Paul would do may not be completely parallel.
    5. Can we say that boycotting is an absolute wrong? Is it opreori truth, does it break a commandment?
    6. Could boycotting or other similar active displays of resistance have stopped or hindered atrocities in the past when religious figures chose to avoid any kind of boycotts, demonstrations and the like? I think WWII has more than one story about the Church ducking and palliating the sin of the hateful attitudes that became the driving force that culminated in the deaths of millions.
    7. Are there appropriate ways to boycott an event or business that still allows Christ and the message of the Gospel to stand without shame?
    8. Isn’t the message of the Gospel and the Cross one giant offense to the world because in its essence it boycotts and demonstrates against evil, death and sin.
    9. If more Christians boycotted events, businesses and popular ideas would there be any less evil in the world?
    10. In the Old Testament isn’t God constantly calling the nation of Israel to boycott the practices, ways and Gods of those around them, both privately and publicly?

    These are just some quick thoughts I had after reading the blog. I don’t want to beat you up on this; I hope I have spoken in love and not condescendingly. Keep the faith and go with God.
    In His grip

  2. Nate, thanks for your comments. I do believe you are missing several issues which I will attempt to point out in this response. I will respond to each one of your points by number.
    1. Of course ‘it could,’ but that is not the issue. Is it the biblical way of presenting the gospel? I contend that it is not as it lacks biblical warrant.
    2. You second point can be done without an official boycott by a group of social activists.
    3. Again, yes. However, if there is one thing we learned from the ‘moral majority’ work in the 1980s is that it results with a greater hurdle for preaching the gospel by manipulating free markets. If markets are affected, it should be because people’s hearts have been converted to Christ, not because we are on a social vendetta. (Acts 19:23-41)
    4. Your fourth comment seems irrelevant to the discussion.
    5. No, boycotting is not absolutely wrong. It can even be honorable as individuals. However, the politicized boycotting by ‘so-called’ Christian activists violates the spirit and call of the gospel.
    6. We should not avoid declaring with clear voices the godly principles against the immoral positions of society and government. However, an organized attempt to change society apart from the declaration of the gospel dumbs down the message of salvation.
    7. Yes, individually and spiritually, instead of professionally and naturally.
    8. Boycott in your statement is an absurd eisegesis. Our demonstration is a life changed, in practice as well as verbally.
    9. No, but you will make it harder to present the gospel to those needing redemption by unnecessarily offending the world with social boycotts rather than letting the message of repentance and faith in the gospel remain the scandal.
    10. The Old Testament paradigm was one of protection and nationalism. The NT paradigm is one of infiltrating and sharing with all nationalities. Israel was a theocracy. The Church is on a mission to take the gospel to all men!

    Thanks for your input. I also pray the Lord fulfills His call in your life.

    Because of the Cross,

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