Should Christians participate in boycott or cancel people?
This is not a question with a simple answer.
There are two definitions for a boycott:
To combine in abstaining from, or preventing dealings with, as a means of intimidation or coercion.
To abstain from buying or using.
The first definition is more like canceling. A canceling kind of boycott is meant to bully corporations and individuals into doing what a particular group wants them to do. Jesus did not intimidate, coerce or bully anyone into anything and neither should His followers. Period.
From a historical perspective canceling types of boycotts have not worked out super well for Christians. Occasionally they have even backfired. They have actually made people curious about the products corporations were selling. In some cases, this drove business to the corporation that was supposed to be “punished” by the boycott. So, no, I am not a fan of canceling kinds of boycotts.
That being said:
The second kind of boycott is not a boycott it’s more like good stewardship.
As Christians our stuff isn’t really our stuff. All our stuff belongs to Jesus.
Christians should view themselves as stewards or managers of their money and belongings, not owners. Christians should spend their money mindfully and prayerfully whenever possible. If we have a choice about where to spend our money we should think hard about whether or not Jesus would want us to spend His money at a particular company.
Anytime we buy goods or services from a corporation that corporation makes a profit from our purchases. Many corporations then donate a percentage of their profits to causes they believe in and want to support. In a very real sense we are investing in those causes by spending our money the companies that donate to them.
The bottom-line is: Christians should be mindful with their money and if they have a choice about whether or not they get their coffee, clothing or entertainment from a company that supports anti-biblical causes they should choose not to.
Is it okay for Christians to use weed recreationally?
Just a few years ago this would have been a very easy question to answer. Marijuana was illegal. Christians should never willfully break laws that don’t contradict God’s laws so using marijuana (an illegal substance) would be wrong for Christians. Period. End. Of. Debate.
Laws have changed radically in recent years. Marijuana is now legalized or decriminalized in thirty-three states, marijuana use is entirely prohibited in only four. This makes the rightness and wrongness of marijuana use a much more complex issue for serious Christians. The real question is not whether or not Christians CAN smoke weed it’s whether or not Christians SHOULD smoke weed.
The Apostle Paul says this about Christian freedom:
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others-1st Corinthians
Using marijuana is lawful for Christians. Nonetheless, marijuana use not beneficial or constructive because:
Christians are told to be sober minded (1st Peter 5:8, 1st Thessalonians 5:6-8). Marijuana clouds judgment. It’s tough to be sober on weed.
The Bible warns Christians against drinking alcohol to the point of impairment (Ephesians 4:8, 1st Corinthians 5:11, Titus 1:7, 1st Peter 4:3). It is true that weed and alcohol are different but they both lead to impairment. It is possible to drink a small amount of alcohol without becoming impaired. It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to use any amount of marijuana in a manner that does not lead to impairment.
Using marijuana is not a good example for Christians to set for others. Christians are commanded not to do anything that might cause another person to sin or “stumble” (Matthew 18:7, Mark 9:42, 1st Corinthians 10:32). Marijuana is a known gateway drug. This means marijuana use makes people more comfortable with other, stronger drugs. Doctor prescribed drug use aside, drug use does not typically lead to full, abundant, law abiding life. When non-Christians, or newer Christians see mature Christians using marijuana it sends the clear message that drug use is okay and no one is lives their best life on drugs.
We live in times that require Christians to be alert, holy and entirely present (Ephesians 5:15-17). God wants His people to be clear-minded and ready to fight the spiritual battles that come our way (Ephesians 6:10-17). Drug use of any kind does not help us to be alert, righteous and entirely present. Therefore, it should be avoided.
This week’s question comes from a reader in Florida.
Is it okay for Christians to consult horoscopes and/or practice astrology?
Uh. That would be a hard no.
While I don’t personally believe Christians will go to hell for reading their horoscope or practicing astrology, neither do I believe the practice of astrology is a biblical, wise or appropriate thing for a Christian to do.
First of all:
God’s people are commanded in the Old Testament to stay far away from diviners, witches or soothsayers (Deuteronomy 18:10). The Hebrew word for astrology or astrologer is “diviner” or “conjurer”.
The Bible commands Christians to learn wisdom and obtain direction from God, His word or from wise people (Proverbs 2:6, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 13:20) rather than from the stars, fortune tellers and astrologers.
There is a harmful spiritual component to astrology, witchcraft and divination. These activities unknowingly give the devil a foothold in our hearts (Ephesians 5:7, 1st Peter 5:8). This open us up to deception, sin and even Satanic influence.
God wants us to seek Him, to know Him and to fear Him. As we grow in our relationship with God He becomes our friend. As we become God’s friend He reveals truth to us (Psalm 25:14). Divination is shortcut to knowing God. It’s a way to gain information about life and the future without knowing the author of life or developing a friendship with Him (James 2:23).